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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 264

CONTENTS

Thursday, December 7, 2023




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 264
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Speaker: The Honourable Greg Fergus

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer



Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

  (1005)  

[English]

Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 22 petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, “2022-2023 Reports by Federal Authorities with Obligations under Section 71 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012”.
    Furthermore, as required by subsection 14(1.1) of the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, I would also like to table, in both official languages, “2023 Progress Report on the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan”.
    We are lowering our emissions and fighting climate change on this side of the House.
    I want to remind members to simply table documents.

Committees of the House

Agriculture and Agri-Food 

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 14th report of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, entitled “Supplementary Estimates (B), 2023-24: Votes 1b, 5b and 10b under Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food”.

Bringing Home Justice for Victims of Serious Crimes Act

    He said: Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo for seconding my bill today. I am honoured to rise to introduce the bringing home justice for victims of serious crimes act.
    There are few things more frustrating to law enforcement than to have the legal right to access potential evidence but the inability to get that evidence. That evidence is often locked behind a virtual locked door of encryption. This can impede the investigation of critical files, such as for child sexual exploitation and human trafficking. It denies justice to the victims of these serious crimes, many of whom are children.
    This bill would allow a judge to make an order to compel a person to unlock their device in a narrow range of specific serious offences where law enforcement has already received a warrant to access the information on that device. As technology continues to progress, Parliament must ensure that law enforcement has the tools it needs.
    This legislation would give law enforcement a previously unavailable tool to ensure critical evidence for serious crimes by unlocking electronic devices. When I have spoken to members of law enforcement and child protection organizations, they have made it clear that this tool would be a game-changer when it comes to securing justice for child victims of serious crimes.
    I want to thank the individuals from both the justice community and child advocacy community who have helped draft this bill. The work they do every day is so important. Let us bring home justice for victims of serious crimes.

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

  (1010)  

Petitions

Health Care Workers  

    Madam Speaker, very quickly, I have five petitions to table on behalf of my constituents.
    The first one calls for a blue seal program, modelled after the Red Seal program, for medical professionals.

Justice  

    Madam Speaker, the second petition calls for the government to ensure that hate crimes are prosecuted in Canada when they target certain religious groups.

Democratic Institutions  

    Madam Speaker, the third petition asks for an inquiry to be called into the foreign interference in our elections by the People's Republic of China.

Climate Change  

    Madam Speaker, the fourth petition from my constituents calls for Bill C-50 to be abandoned, as the unjust transition act targets them specifically.

Employment Insurance  

    Madam Speaker, my fifth petition calls for the Government of Canada, and the Speaker specifically, to give royal recommendation to Bill C-318 so that adoptive and intended parents are able to better support their families.
    I want to remind members who are having conversations to please take them outside. They may not think it is loud, but I have my speakers on and I can still hear the conversations.

Food Security  

    Madam Speaker, it is a huge honour and privilege to table this petition today on behalf of constituents in my riding.
    Farmers' markets are a key tool for COVID–19 recovery as small business incubators, domestic system and food security builders and local economy community builders. These coupon programs are a key support for new market development and for existing markets and their provincial associations. In B.C., the Association of Farmers' Markets, with its 135 member markets and 4,000-plus vendors, helps 16,000 vulnerable families, seniors and pregnant women to access weekly coupons.
    The petitioners call for a national matching program that would support all provincial market coupon programs and would match provinces that already have contributing programs. This would help tackle poverty, support local farmers and help provide healthy food to the most vulnerable.
    Madam Speaker, I rise today to present a petition on behalf of the community around Enterprise Public School in Kingston.
    The petitioners call on the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to prioritize funding for a national school food program through budget 2024, for implementation in schools in the fall of 2024.
    The petitioners bring to the government's attention the new Statistics Canada data from 2022 that indicates one in four children in Canada lives in a food insecure household. They remind us that Canada is the only G7 country without a national school food program and that school food programs are recognized around the world as essential to the health, well-being and education of students, with over 388 million children in at least 161 countries receiving food or subsidized school meals at their school.

Employment Insurance  

    Madam Speaker, I rise today to present a petition recognizing that maternity and parental benefits provide parents with critical financial supports and that adoptive and intended parents are currently at a disadvantage under the EI system.
    The petitioners are calling on the government to support the adoption of a common-sense Conservative bill, Bill C-318, which would deliver equitable parental leave for adoptive and intended parents. This must be done by way of royal recommendation.

Health Care Workers  

    Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to table a petition today signed by Manitobans regarding the important issue of health care.
    The petitioners amplify the importance of recognizing the credentials that immigrants bring to the country with respect to health care and recognizing our post-secondary facilities and the need to better support our health care providers, who are really the backbone of our health care system.
    Again, I want to remind members that if they wish to have conversations while somebody else has the floor, they should take them outside. I just mentioned that. I think we need to afford the same type of respect to other members that we afford our own members.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Order. There is no chance for debate on this matter. I am asking members on both the government side and the official opposition side to respect each other and respect this House to ensure that we maintain decorum and that the House can function properly.

  (1015)  

Questions on the Order Paper

    Madam Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand, please.
    The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[English]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Carbon Tax on Farmers, First Nations and Families  

    That the House call on the Liberal government to immediately repeal the carbon tax on farmers, First Nations and families.

[Translation]

    Today being the last allotted day in the supply period ending December 10, the House will proceed as usual to the consideration and passage of the appropriation bill. In view of recent practices, do hon. members agree that the bill be distributed now?

[English]

    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Madam Speaker, Canadians are hungry for Parliament to pass today's common-sense Conservative motion that the House call on the government to immediately repeal the carbon tax on farmers, first nations and families. When I say they are hungry for us to pass this motion, I mean it literally.
    Here are the facts: Two million Canadians used a food bank in a single month in Canada. Since 2016, there has been an 82% increase in the number of workers in Ontario using food banks. A single mother of two in Sydney, Nova Scotia, said this: “Well, this month, I had to choose between eating and having heat. My kids are getting fed, but my house is freezing.”
     For the first time in 60 years, according to the Bank of Montreal, rents in Canada are outpacing income. Halifax now has 35 homeless encampments. Ironically, this is in the province of the Prime Minister's own housing minister.
    According to an article, Dalhousie University's Agri-Food Analytics Lab says that buying holiday foods this year will be “an expensive proposition”. A growing number of Canadians are forced to work two jobs. Rafid Khan is a full-time student who works full-time for a not-for-profit and has a second job at a car rental company. He said, “You can just hear your body scream for more rest”.
    As I travel this country, I see the young, emaciated working-class people who clearly have lost weight and have black bags under their eyes from fatigue. I bump into them in airport lobbies at 11 p.m.; they tell me they are entering their 16th or 17th hour of work that day. It is not because they are squirrelling away for a down payment on a home; they have long given up on that. It is because they must work non-stop just to feed themselves and to pay their rent to avoid becoming homeless. In the meantime, they are hopeless; they see no light at the end of the tunnel.
    Trevor Moss, CEO of the Central Okanagan Food Bank, talked about food bank usage in his community. He said that they are projecting another 100% increase in the next three or four months because of inflation.
    Cynthia Boulter, chief operating officer of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, said, “We see parents who are skipping meals so that their children can eat. We see people who haven't eaten in days. We see seniors who haven't had produce in months”.
     Christine MacCallum, a resident of Marshfield, P.E.I., said that they do not buy orange juice as often as they used to; that is a luxury after eight years under the Prime Minister.
    Patrick Gallagher is a part-time worker living in a homeless shelter. He said, “‘I lived in my car six, seven months and then came here,’ adding that he is not sure how he will ever afford his own place.” He said, “The rents are really high. It’s hard to find places”. This is someone who still works part time.
    I have met carpenters who live in parking lots. When we have an economy where the people who build our homes cannot afford to live in them, it is a fundamentally unjust system; something must change. Indeed, Canadians are literally hungering for that change.
    This is life after eight years under the Prime Minister and the Liberal government. This is the misery that Canadians are living. This is eight years after he promised he would help the middle class and those working hard to join them. Do members remember those people? We do not hear about them anymore. Now that he has their votes, he does not need to worry about them.

  (1020)  

    The reason he would never mention the middle class and those working hard to join it is, obviously, that the whole nation would break down into simultaneous laughter and tears. The irony that this man would talk about the middle class after he robbed people of their birthright in Canada, to own a home if they worked hard and nourish their family with good food, would be both hilarious and tragic. These are things we took for granted eight years ago. Now, Canadians are forced to desperately cling to these things. What is the Prime Minister's promise now? It is to quadruple the carbon tax on the farmers who feed our people.
     Let us talk about the impact this is having. Just today, we have a new report from Canada's “food professor”. Professor Charlebois of Dalhousie University produced a report indicating that, next year, Canadians will spend 701 more dollars to feed their families. This is on top of the 20% food price inflation we have had just in the last couple of years. Next year, the average family of four will need to spend $16,297 to feed their children and themselves. Projections from this report indicate that, for the coming year, food inflation will be between 2.5% and 4.5%, on top of the pre-existing food price increases.
     Liberals will say inflation is coming down. Prices are going up. The 20% increase in the cost of food is not going away. The 2% to 4% increase that will come this year will be compounded on top of the previous increases. The Prime Minister said he might be quadrupling the carbon tax on farmers and truckers who bring us our food, but we should not worry. He is having meetings with CEOs of grocery chains. That clearly has not worked, because food prices continue to go up again after the dozens of promises that he would make food more affordable.
    The report reads:
    In 2024, it is probable that Canadians will continue to experience the strain of food inflation, compounded by increasing costs of housing, energy, and various other expenditures....
    Canadians are facing stricter budgets as they contend with higher costs of living as rent continues to increase, interest rates have risen, and household debt is up. Food and beverage retail data shows that between 2022 and 2023, Canadians reduced the amount they spend in food and beverage retail by 3.26%.
    They are paying more to eat less; they are cutting back on their nutritional budgets, buying less-nutritional food. They are buying smaller portions, where the nutrition is literally stripped out of it and replaced with manufactured oils, artificial sweeteners and flavours, so they can trick their palate into thinking that they are nourishing their bodies.
    The Agri-food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie further notes, “A recent report by TransUnion found that the average Canadian has a credit card bill of $4,000 and a 4.2% increase in household debt compared to last year”. The problem is getting worse. That increase in household debt is on top of the fact that Canada already has the highest household debt in the G7 by a country mile. No one else is even close. We now have approximately $1.80 in debt for every dollar in household income. That is all rolling over into higher interest rates, which the Prime Minister's deficits have caused.
    The report continues:
     Food prices are not the only increase in expense that Canadians are facing as other commodities are still feeling the effects of inflation, and household expenses like rent and utilities are also increasing year over year.
    The last two months have been the fastest months of increase in rent.
    I will be sharing my time with the member for Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, who comes from a farming community
    The Prime Minister proposes to quadruple the carbon tax on the farmers who make the food and the truckers who ship the food. Conservatives are going to fight tooth and nail to stop the Prime Minister from getting on his surfboard and leaving this place until he agrees to pass our common-sense proposal to axe the tax on farmers, first nations and families heating their homes.
    Can the Prime Minister put his ego and his ideological obsessions aside, so Canadians can feed themselves this Christmas? It is the common sense of the common people, united for our common home.

  (1025)  

    Madam Speaker, it is interesting that there is so much attention being paid to first nations in this country, though I wish it were in a more positive light.
    How many first nations were consulted about including them in this opposition day motion? We have heard from Ontario chiefs on this issue, but there are over 630 in the country. What kinds of consultations and conversations have been had?
    Madam Speaker, the answer is approximately 133 first nations. That is the number taking the government to court because the carbon tax violates their constitutional rights. Now first nations are fighting the Prime Minister in court again. They are forced to spend their limited resources hiring lawyers, not because they want to but because they know their people will not be able to heat their homes in their cold, and often remote, communities. They will not be able to fill up their pickup trucks to go to work, which they need if they are going to work in rural and remote areas in logging, fisheries, mining and agriculture. Naturally, these first nations are fighting for their constitutional rights to heat their homes, feed their families and travel to work.
    I would add that I also stand with first nations against the Prime Minister's plan to ban hunting rifles. First, he wants to tax the food that first nations buy, and now he wants to take away their ability to use hunting rifles to feed themselves. We will stand with first nations for their right to hunt, their right to heat and their right to eat.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I feel like I am in a kind of parallel universe this morning as I listen to the Conservatives talk about the carbon tax yet again. I have no idea what universe the Leader of the Opposition is living in.
    I toured Quebec in recent months and met with over 400 housing organizations, including the Réseau québécois des OSBL d'habitation, the Réseau Solidarité Itinérance du Québec, and technical resource groups that work with homeless persons and women who are victims of domestic violence or that build social housing. No one ever talked to me about the carbon tax. What these people want is for governments to invest. They want the failed national housing strategy to be reviewed. They want the government to send Quebec a cheque so it can build real housing that people can live in. That is what people want. No one ever brought up the carbon tax to me.
    What universe are the Conservatives living in?

  (1030)  

    Madam Speaker, I live in a universe where people need their trucks to go to work. That is the reality in Saguenay and throughout the regions of Quebec. The Bloc Québécois has forgotten the regions of Quebec because the Bloc is obsessed with Plateau-Mont-Royal, where the lefties are completely obsessed with taxes and the concentration of government powers.
    I find it ironic that the Bloc wants to radically increase taxes on Quebeckers in the regions, only to put all the money in the hands of the federal government. That means more power for the federal government and less power for Quebeckers. That is the Bloc's real agenda. The Bloc is out of touch with Quebeckers. It is costly to vote for the Bloc Québécois, very costly indeed.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I still remember what the Conservative leader said on the day that the Prime Minister delivered an apology to residential school survivors. He said he was not sure Canadians were “getting value for all of this money”, referring to the compensation for residential school survivors. He suggested that, rather than compensation, residential school survivors “need a stronger work ethic”. That is racism, and he apologized for those comments, but the harm and hurt of those comments resurfaced again this year.
    What does he say to the first nations, Inuit and Métis people who would like him to apologize for when he spoke at a luncheon for residential school deniers?
    Madam Speaker, I addressed those remarks 15 years ago.
    Here and now, Conservative Party is the only party fighting for first nations, while the NDP wants to quadruple the carbon tax on first nations communities, take more money away, cause more poverty, increase the cost of food, cause more food insecurity and cause more paternalism and colonialism. A colonialist carbon tax imposed by the NDP-Liberal government in Ottawa on first nations without their consent is the last thing we need. It runs against reconciliation. Only the common-sense Conservatives will stand up for farmers, families and first nations.
    Madam Speaker, it is always a privilege to speak in this place, and of course to follow the leader of the official opposition, the member for Carleton, and his wise words. He did end on the issue of first nations, which are now taking the government to court, at least 133 of them, bands represented by the Ontario chiefs, to fight what they are calling the discriminatory carbon tax.
    First and foremost, I think we can all agree it is crucial to recognize the undeniable commitment of indigenous peoples to environmental stewardship and sustainability. Of course, many communities have deep connections to the land, and have for generations practised a harmonious relationship with nature. It comes to that, which is supposed to be the allegedly most important relationship for the Prime Minister, the one with indigenous peoples, but there are now 133 Ontario chiefs taking the government to court. It is not necessarily something they want to do; it is something they are forced to do.
    The following is a headline from APTN: “Chiefs of Ontario ask for judicial review of a carbon price regime.” I will read the first paragraph, because it highlights quite perfectly exactly what I want to speak to: “First Nations leaders in Ontario say Canada needs to fix what they call a ‘discriminatory’ carbon price system, arguing the federal government failed to address their repeated concerns and blocked their exemption request only to then issue a carveout [to other parts of] Canada.”
    That is quite clear. The next quote builds on what the leader of the official opposition was just saying about the fact that first nations leaders are not consulted despite the repeated comments of the government. It reads, “A First Nation leader called the move ‘completely avoidable’ if the federal government had only ‘showed up to the table.’” That is a quote from Abram Benedict, Grand Chief of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and the head of the Chiefs of Ontario's environmental portfolio.
    There are Ontario groups saying that they are disproportionately hurt by the carbon price tax. They are saying that they are willing to work with the government to come to a solution, yet the government does not even want to have that conversation. It will call anyone else “colonial”, but that is peak colonialism right there. The government refuses to show up at the table and negotiate with first nations communities, which have to pay the carbon tax that is causing the price of heating, eating and travelling to go up unnecessarily. However, they are not getting the break if they live on reserve. They do not get the rebate, so they are paying more and getting less.
    What is even worse with the government is that its department of Indigenous Services Canada has actually doubled in bureaucrats. There are almost 9,000 people working in the department, yet according to its own departmental data, it is hitting only 18% of its stated goals. In what other place on this planet can one get away with hitting 18% of one's goals? We have asked the minister many times to answer that question. There is no clear answer, but I can tell members what happens: The targets are actually moved down the road, so if it is not completed this year, it is just moved to next year and the year after that.
    The lives of indigenous peoples, under the current government, are not getting any better. The move by the Ontario chiefs proves that. The claim by the government that people are better off, with more money in their pockets because the rebates give them more, is not true. The Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed that. The Ontario chiefs lawsuit proves the example yet again. The government's plan to continue to increase the carbon tax year after year is not making people better. Emissions are going up. The government does not have an environmental plan; it has a tax plan, one that is making the lives of Canadians, whether indigenous or non-indigenous, miserable. It is spreading the misery around. It is probably easy for the government. Under its policies, it cannot seem to encourage more people to start businesses because, under this tax system, the more one makes, the more the government takes, so it will just keep spreading the misery and bringing people down. Those people are the middle class. Those are the people who are hurting the most.

  (1035)  

    The environment minister decided to take a nice trip to the UAE to talk about reducing emissions. It is interesting that he can sit and lecture others about trying to live their lives, pointing his finger at others who are trying to maybe take a vacation if they work all year around, and trying to feed their families, for crying out loud. Nowadays, food bank usage is through the roof. Expenses are through the roof. Rent and mortgages are through the roof. The minister has the audacity to look at others and say, “How dare you get on that plane?” He bemoans the wealth of others for maybe creating a job through a small business or two, creating opportunity in their community, then tells them they cannot see the fruits of their labour. He will take all that life has to offer. I bet that the environment minister ate at the best restaurants and stayed at the finest hotels.
    Now, there are 133 Ontario chiefs taking the government to court because it would not sit at the table and negotiate on a way forward, something that should be common sense to the government. It had to get to the point where these communities have to use money that would be better spent on providing services for their people. They now have to use it to go to court just to try to stop the misery the government is inflicting.
    In April 2022, the Auditor General, in what is called by many a scathing report on carbon pricing, found that indigenous groups were disproportionately burdened by the Liberal carbon tax. In section 5.60, the report states:
    Indigenous groups and small- and medium-sized enterprises were still disproportionately burdened. [The Auditor General] also found that Environment and Climate Change Canada had not established any criteria for their assessment of provincial and territorial systems in the federal benchmark to consider the potential disproportionate burden of carbon pricing for all jurisdictions.
    Unfortunately, in February of this year, a press release read:
     The reality in First Nations communities is poverty stricken conditions along with substantially higher costs for all goods and services in rural and remote communities. The Fuel Charge program has added a costly burden on First Nations, who experience far greater poverty and substandard housing and infrastructure than the “average” Canadian as a result of colonialism. The Fuel Charge cost to First Nations citizens amounts to another cash grab for Canada, removing several million dollars a year from those [people who are] least responsible for the climate crisis.
    That pretty much says it all. The hurt is real for first nations communities. There is not more money in their pockets because of the current government. The housing crisis has not gone away.
    The government leaves opportunities and passes them by. Leaders from Germany and Japan came to the government, saying that they would like to buy our energy. Who would benefit from that energy, in a lot of cases? First nations communities would, through jobs, opportunity, investment and equity stake. The government just fluffed off the Chancellor of Germany and the Prime Minister of Japan, saying, “No, you can buy your energy somewhere else.” Selling our energy would have provided some much-needed relief for indigenous communities, but the government, like the carbon tax, ignores the needs, wishes and desires of first nations communities.
    In our motion, we are calling for the carbon tax to be taken off for families, families and first nations.

  (1040)  

    Madam Speaker, one of the things the Conservatives are is very consistent, in the sense that they neither understand nor appreciate the policy issues related to our environment. They are, indeed, climate deniers. Today, we are going to be debating the Conservatives' agenda to get rid of the price on pollution. There would be a substantial cost to that.
    The member, in his election platform, indicated to his voters that he supported a price on pollution. How does he justify the 180° flip-flop on that issue?
    Madam Speaker, the carbon tax regime that the Liberal member opposite seems to keep promoting is not working. The fact that emissions keep going up is the problem. If the stated goal is to impose the carbon tax but emissions keep going up and people are suffering as a result, maybe it is time to rethink the position and the fact that it is not working. Maybe we should be investing more or opening up the free market to more technology and more rapid innovation to get to the world of more clean energy, but we can do that only if there is an equal playing field that allows the market to provide. This is something the government is not doing; it is taking, and redistributing only to ideas that match what the Liberal ideology is. That is the problem.
    Madam Speaker, my colleague talked about indigenous people's feeding their kids. I will tell members what it is like in my riding, where the Nuu-chah-nulth went to court to actually exercise their constitutionally protected rights to fish so they could feed their kids. What did the Conservatives do when in power? They fought them; they spent millions of dollars fighting them in court. When the Nuu-chah-nulth won in court, what did the Conservatives do? They appealed. Not once but twice did the courts side with the Nuu-chah-nulth. All that the people wanted to do was get back on the water and fish to feed their children.
    The MP who sat in the House before me did not say “Nuu-chah-nulth” once in 15 years. The Nuu-chah-nulth felt unheard and invisible in this place. I have said “Nuu-chah-nulth" 94 times. Will the Conservatives support the Nuu-chah-nulth? Will they support nations that have won in court to defend their constitutionally protected rights to feed their kids, or will they continue supporting litigation against indigenous people?

  (1045)  

    Madam Speaker, while I appreciate the passion from the member across the way, the issue is similar to what we are talking about right now. The member opposite from the NDP supports the current government. What we are talking about right now is the 133 Ontario chiefs who are bringing the government to court because the consultations broke down because the government refused to even talk to the chiefs about issuing a carve-out or trying to alleviate the misery of their people. The NDP keeps supporting the government. Will you stop supporting the government and pull back on your commitment to—
    The hon. member knows full well he is to address all questions and comments through the Chair.
     If the hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni has something to add, he will have to wait for questions and comments.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Thérèse-De Blainville for a brief question.
    Madam Speaker, through you, I would like to point out to my colleague that Quebec's agriculture sector is not regulated by federal carbon pricing or the Quebec carbon market.
    If the Conservatives are so concerned about farmers, what is their game plan for fighting climate change, which is having a major impact on our agriculture industry?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the people at the forefront of developing technology innovation are those working in agriculture. They have always been ahead of the curve with respect to using the best technology and best practices, because it helps them continue their operation; it helps them become sustainable. Those who are working the land in the agriculture sector need to have the best practices in order to keep their operation going.
     We want to continue to make it feasible for young people to get into the farming sector, but when the government is making it harder and harder for the people growing our food to make a living, we have a bit of a problem. This is the whole argument about the price of food. It is getting too expensive. Farmers are having a harder time making a living, and when they cannot make a living, it is tough to get people into agriculture.
    Resuming debate. If individuals want to have conversations, they will need to take them outside.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader.
    Madam Speaker, I always appreciate the opportunity to provide some thoughts with respect to Conservative opposition day motions. One thing I have recognized is that nothing has really changed. Time and time again, the Conservatives want to push the issue of what they classify as a tax. They say “cut the tax”, that bumper sticker about which I have talked.
    In fact, in looking through social media, we see the big blue signs. We see how the Conservatives have tried to amplify and simplify that message. This is a message of deception. It is often the type of thing I would hear when I listened to Donald Trump, the former president of the United States, the messaging and types of speeches he would deliver. It is like a flashback.
    I see the Conservative Party catering more and more to the far right, the MAGA right, if I can put it that way. I have made reference to how that right has virtually taken over the leadership of the Conservative Party today and the office of the leader of the Conservative Party. Other that the Canada-Ukraine issue, it is difficult to imagine many other issues on which the Conservative Party is so out of tune and prepared to mislead Canadians on public policy than its “axe the tax” slogan.
    For people who are following the debate, I would encourage them to listen to what the leader of the Conservative Party actually has said. When he was trying to appeal to people, he was using examples. He talked about this individual or that individual. He gave the impression that if we axed the tax, if we took away the price on pollution, we would be so much better off.
    An hon. member: Yep.
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: Madam Speaker, one member from the Conservative Party has confirmed exactly what I have said.
    Madam Speaker, it is just not true, yet the leader of the Conservative Party travels the country to spread that kind of information. I thought that style of politics was just south of the border, in the United States, where it was amplified by Donald Trump. Now we have the leader of the Conservative Party trying to out do Donald Trump.
    Let us think about his comments. He says that it is more affordable for people if we get rid of the price on pollution, if we axe the tax. I represent roughly 95,000 people in Winnipeg North, although it may be starting to grow a bit more and is getting closer to that 100,000 mark. Over 80% of the residents I represent get a net benefit because of the price on pollution.
     When the leader of the Conservative Party says he will get rid of the price on pollution, that also means he will get rid of the environmental rebate.
     The Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer is an independent, non-partisan office, with professional civil servants. It has made it very clear that over 80% of people have a net benefit because of the rebates. That is the reality and that is what we hear from the independent budget officer of the House of Commons. In Winnipeg North, it is even a little greater.
     Therefore, when the member tries to give examples, when he says what about this person or that person, most of the people he is referencing get a net benefit because of the rebate. If we take away the price on pollution, or axe the tax, as the Conservatives call it, we take money out of the pockets and purses of 80% of the constituents I represent.

  (1050)  

     When the Conservative leader says that by getting rid of the price on pollution, the Conservatives will be making things more affordable for people because they are going to have more disposable income, that is just not true. The sad reality is that every Conservative member on the other side knows that. Does that prevent them from spreading untruths? No, they continue to do it through social media. That is a nice way of saying they are spreading misinformation for those who might ask me the question.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The member said that we are spreading untruths. Could we possibly define that?
    That is a question to be asked during questions and comments; it is not a point of order.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, it is misinformation. Many would say it is misleading. Let me put it this way. A constituent of mine is told that 80% of Canadians will receive more money back than they pay for the price on pollution, and that has been affirmed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer. However, the Conservatives, including the leader of the Conservative Party, who is leading the Donald Trump charge, are saying that getting rid of the price on pollution is going to put more money in the pockets of Canadians, and that is not true.
    How would members classify that? I cannot be bold and blunt about what the leader is saying, because it would be unparliamentary. However, if we look at the information the leader is talking about, it is misleading Canadians. At the end of the day, everything the Conservative Party is doing today seems to be focused on that one issue. It is completely ignoring the environment. We are waiting to see any form of a climate plan from the Conservative Party.
    The last time I can recall the Conservatives standing in the chamber talking about their environmental plan was when Erin O'Toole was their leader, and they said they supported a price on pollution. A Conservative member just asked where he is. The Conservatives kicked him out and he is no longer around. There have been a few Conservative leaders, but they really like the current one. Maybe it is because of the far-right element. Most, if not all, Conservatives seem to be onside with moving to the far right, and it is at great cost.
    As I pointed out, all Conservatives who campaigned in the election two years ago made it very clear that they supported a price on pollution. It was in their election platform. However, that has changed. That is a fact.

  (1055)  

    No, we didn't, Kevin.
    Members in the chamber are not free to yell. If members have questions and comments, I would ask them to please wait until the appropriate time.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, I want to talk about the ways that the Conservative Party is offside and maybe do bit of contrast for members.
    If we look at the emissions graph, over the last number of years we have witnessed a shift. The curve is now starting to bend in a direction that I believe Canadians would be very supportive. Had there not been a change in government back in 2015, and under Stephen Harper's leadership, the curve would have continued up by an estimated nine points. Over the last number of years, the line has gone down by seven points under this administration. We are going in the right direction when it comes to greenhouse emissions, which is an important issue to Canadians. In real numbers, I am told it is like 53 megatonnes. For my constituents who are like me, I try to better understand what that means. That is the equivalent of 11 million cars being taken off the road.
    The population of Manitoba is about 1.3 million people. The population of Saskatchewan, I would guesstimate, is probably somewhere around 1.15 million. The population of the province of Alberta is well over three million, from what I can recall. We could take away every vehicle in the Prairies. Over the last number of years that is 53 megatonnes of GHG, or 11 million vehicles. To me, that speaks volumes about what the government has been able to achieve in a relatively short time span. We were able to achieve that through providing different forms of incentives and programs.
     I want to highlight the fact that we know Canadians want to participate. I have heard this for many years. I remember being in the Manitoba legislature and we were talking about banning plastic bags. We can look at the banning of single-use plastics, on which this government has moved forward, or our budget measures on financial incentives to support people. Our constituents would like to do more on the environmental front. We have programs like the greener homes grant. The uptake has been fantastic. A number of people in all regions of the country are participating in a program that will ultimately reduces greenhouse gas emissions, again, a budgetary measure.
     Another program is about electric vehicles. It is interesting when we look at the numbers. Canadians are choosing electric vehicles faster than expected, with 10% of new vehicles being ZEVs in the first half of 2023. These types of vehicles are a dependable form of transportation, with lower operating costs and reducing the environmental footprint. In its budget measures, the federal government has provided incentives. Some of the provinces have done likewise. Canadians are taking advantage of those programs. We have seen a high demand for those vehicles. I would suggest that it has been very successful.

  (1100)  

    When I think of how industry has benefited, two companies that come to mind right away are Stellantis, with the benefits that are being created there, and Volkswagen. Volkswagen is a substantial investment of a private company and both federal and provincial governments. Today, we have the Conservative Party opposing the agreement that we achieved with Volkswagen, contrary to even Doug Ford, but there is a difference, I guess, as the provincial party is a little more progressive than the federal Conservative Party. However, at the end of the day, we can think of the results and the potential that is there when we get companies around the world recognizing that Canada is on the right track when it comes to dealing with emissions.
    Volkswagen, in many ways, is one of the leaders in the world moving forward in the electrification of vehicles. It made a decision not to go to the United States but to come to Canada and make a serious investment. Once that investment is complete, it will be the largest manufacturing processing facility in Canada and, I am told, even in North America. I think it will be something like 200 football fields. It is going to be a huge plant. We can think of the types of green jobs that are going to be there as a direct result of Volkswagen making that decision.
    Where is the Conservative Party? It actually opposed what the federal government has done with Volkswagen. Its members do not like the fact that the federal government made a decision to make a financial contribution, even though the Progressive Conservative provincial government of Ontario has done likewise, not to mention the community of St. Thomas itself, which has also come to the table because of infrastructure. This brings real life to an industry that has the potential to grow, and the Conservatives and the climate deniers are completely offside.
    It is not just the province of Ontario that would benefit. We can think of the minerals involved and the other components. It is not just Ontario or the St. Thomas community that is going to benefit from this. All of Canada, if not directly, will indirectly benefit from this, and it does not stop there. I think of Stellantis and how, in Canada, the industry of electrification of vehicles continues to grow, and those two companies are not alone.
    Is it any wonder that today we lead the G7 in foreign investment coming into Canada? As a political entity, the Government of Canada recognizes that green jobs are golden jobs going forward, and we need to see those types of investments. As a government, from day one, we have supported Canada's middle class and those aspiring to be a part of it. We want an economy that is going to work for everyone.

  (1105)  

    As the Conservative Party's single focus seems to be on spreading misinformation, filibustering and ultimately playing a destructive force on the floor of the House of Commons, we will continue to be solely focused on having the backs of Canadians and providing the jobs that are going to be there for the future to ensure that life remains affordable and to deal with the issues that we know are important to Canadians. That means, in good part, dealing with the environment in a very real and tangible way.
    Madam Speaker, I listened closely to the member for Winnipeg North giving his speech on our opposition day motion to eliminate the carbon tax for farmers, first nations and families.
    He indicated that Stellantis and Volkswagen were getting significant federal contributions and that the Liberal government has made very large financial commitments to Volkswagen and Stellantis to the tune of about $40 billion. Is the member comfortable going back to his constituents of Winnipeg North and telling them that each and every single one of those families is going to have to contribute $3,000 for those plants in southern Ontario to function here in Canada? Is he comfortable telling his constituents that?
    Madam Speaker, the Government of Canada, through a procurement process, awarded Boeing hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts, and that Boeing contract is going to provide hundreds of jobs for people in Winnipeg. Substantial government dollars were used to support Boeing and our having military aircraft.
     I have no problem with the Government of Canada supporting industries that are going to provide good, sound jobs, either directly or indirectly, whether they are directly focused in the province of Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba or any other region of the country. It is an issue of fairness, and this government has been fair with respect to this particular project. Whether it is with Volkswagen or Stellantis, unlike the Conservative Party, we see these as investments that are going to ultimately build a stronger, healthier industry and provide good, solid middle-class jobs well into the future.
    The difference is that we think of the future jobs for Canadians. We are not stuck in the past, and we are open to having a healthier environment.

  (1110)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I have been listening to the debate since this morning, and, as a Quebecker, I feel completely left out. Yet again, the House is debating the carbon tax, which does not apply in Quebec and has nothing to do with Quebec. Furthermore, I am wondering how the Quebec Conservative members feel about this. Every time their party moves motions, they exclude Quebec. I am wondering why they do not fight for their party to move motions about things that affect Quebeckers. On the other hand, every time the Liberals rise to speak about climate change, they make it seem like everything is hunky-dory, like it is all a bed of roses.
    Canada is one the worst countries at fighting climate change. It is the only G7 country whose emissions have not dropped since 1990. According to a study by the International Monetary Fund, which can hardly be described as a far left environmental group, in 2022, Canada directly or indirectly invested $50 billion in the oil industry. I would like to ask my colleague how many social housing units he thinks $50 billion could have built.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, regarding the first aspect of the member's question, that is why I reinforced at the beginning of my comments that the real objective for the Conservative Party is to have a bumper sticker that reads, “Axe the tax”. That is really what the Conservatives are hoping to achieve. On getting rid of the price on pollution, the related facts are completely irrelevant to the Conservative Party. That is unfortunate because there is so much misinformation being spread throughout the country regarding what the Conservative Party is actually doing.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, here is what the Liberal government is actually doing. This morning, after a two-year wait, it finally unveiled its plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector, the emissions cap it has been touting. However, it is worse than anything we could have imagined.
    Two years ago, the government said that Canadian society as a whole would have to cut its GHG emissions by 40% to 45%, but that the oil and gas sector would only have to cut its emissions by 31%. Today, we learn that that figure is no longer 31% but 16% to 20%, that the industry has no obligations to meet until 2030, and that it is free to increase oil and gas production in this country.
    How does my colleague explain this climate crisis betrayal?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I would not necessarily say that is fully accurate. I was very encouraged about today's announcement, and if I had had more time, I would have really gone into it.
    The government is looking at a regulated cap-and-trade system to be established under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. It would apply to all upstream oil and gas production, including offshore development as well as liquefied gas operations. Together, this represents approximately 85% of the sector's total emissions. The proposed system would include two limits: an emissions cap and a higher legal upper bound. Facilities can emit more than the emissions cap, up to the legal upper bound, by using offsets or contributing to a new decarbonization fund that would support additional reductions in the sector.
    There is a lot more information available on what the government has announced today. It is a good day. It is also part of what I said earlier, which is that the government is focused on dealing with the environment. We do have a plan on the environment, unlike the official opposition.
    Madam Speaker, I wanted to go back to the piece my hon. colleague mentioned about the carbon price tax not being a tax. The carbon pricing regime on fuel charge is not a tax in constitutional terms, according to the Supreme Court of Canada. It is revenue neutral due to the rebate program and climate action incentive funds.
    What this looks like in my home province is Eel Ground first nation, or Natoaganeg, a Mi'kmaq community, receiving funding to complete energy efficiency upgrades and retrofitting its band office. Also, five schools in New Brunswick have seen the Government of Canada investing carbon pricing proceeds into improve energy efficiency.
    This is what is at stake, so I would like to bring the facts back to the conversation. Could the hon. colleague comment on that?

  (1115)  

    Madam Speaker, if there is a simple message on the whole issue of what the Conservative Party is attempting to do, it is that people really need to get a better understanding of what the leader of the Conservative Party is saying. His behaviour is similar to Donald Trump's behaviour in his spreading of misinformation because misinformation is what this whole campaign is all about.
    When Conservatives say that they are going to give more money back to Canadians, it is just not true. It is not true. Under the Conservatives' scheme, 80% of the residents of Winnipeg North would have money taken out of their pockets. They would lose money because of the silly and irresponsible approach the Conservative Party and the leader are taking.
    Madam Speaker, the member for Winnipeg North continues to spread his toxic rhetoric, rumours and innuendos, which have no basis in fact. Let us be factual here. These Liberals are going to increase the cost of food. We just learned today that the Canada food report said the price of groceries is going to go up $700-plus this next year.
    We already know they are quadrupling the carbon tax on families, first nations and farmers. This individual does not understand how agriculture works. He is making our farmers less competitive. He is going to make sure we import more food from the United States, China and elsewhere because we will not be able to grow it cheaply enough here in Canada to provide healthy, nutritious food to Canadians. Will this member recognize that the Liberals are increasing food insecurity in Canada?
    Madam Speaker, let us put it this way. The Conservatives are so focused—
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    Order. The hon. member had an opportunity to ask a question. Whether he likes the answer or not, he should still be listening.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader has the floor.
    Madam. Speaker, the Conservative Party of Canada is so focused on getting rid of the price on pollution that its members are actually voting against the Canada-Ukraine trade agreement. The excuse they are using is that it is because they do not believe there should be a price on pollution in Ukraine. Ukraine has had a price on pollution since 2011. That is how ridiculously reckless the leader of the Conservative Party is. He is prepared to vote against, for the first time ever, a trade agreement between Ukraine and Canada at a time of war in Europe because they have a price on pollution.
    The price on pollution is something the world is moving toward. Only the leader of the Conservative Party cannot conceptualize the negative impact his reckless policy and irresponsible approach to the Canada-Ukraine trade agreement are having, not only here in Canada, but also abroad.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, where to start? I would like to make a little detour before addressing my Conservative colleagues' motion. I would like to provide a bit of context for the motion.
    In my opinion, if we want to understand the context, we need to look at the current situation. We are in a climate crisis. There are two possibilities. Either the Conservatives recognize that we are in a climate crisis and commit to taking action to mitigate it, or they do not recognize that we are in a climate crisis. Our main problem is that, ever since the member for Carleton became leader of the Conservative Party, the official opposition has been using disinformation as their preferred political tool. As a result, we cannot have conversations about global warming with our Conservative colleagues. Whenever we try to, they become irrational. My colleagues will understand why I say this.
    In my former life, I taught political science. The introductory course for first-year political science students teaches a simple concept. It teaches them what democracy is. To explain what democracy is, I would tell them that one of the key principles is that it is better to use reason rather than force. That is what democracy is. Democracy means people deliberating together. It means people having a dialogue to determine what is best for the common good.
    For several years now, we have been witnessing the Americanization of Canadian politics. Dialogue no longer takes precedence over threats or over the imposition of ideas. Whoever is the strongest tries to impose their law using intimidation. That is how the United States currently operates. I do not want to compare the leader of the official opposition to Donald Trump right now. Let us set that aside. I do not want to compare the leader of the official opposition to Marine Le Pen or any of those other politicians in the western world whose questionable tactics involve taking liberties with the truth to avoid entering into discussions with counterparts who often think differently. I say this because dialogue is very important.
    The reason I am bringing up this topic is that we reached the bottom of the barrel yesterday. When I was younger, my mother often used to say that all things pass, meaning even a person's stupidity eventually comes to an end. I hope that we reached the bottom of the barrel yesterday. Yesterday, the Standing Committee on Natural Resources was carrying out its clause-by-clause study of Bill C-50. I have been involved in Quebec and Canadian politics since the early 1990s and, although I have always kept a close eye on parliamentary proceedings, I have never in my life seen anything as sophomoric as what I saw yesterday.
    There is a key principle. We can raise questions of privilege in the House because we feel that members have the right to be heard. Letting members speak, letting members vote, is a key principle of democracy. However, even this key principle, which is fundamental to democracy, was not respected yesterday. I heard Conservative members yelling to ensure that no committee member would be able to cast a vote during clause-by-clause consideration. Worse than that, I saw some highly questionable actions on the part of the member for Brantford—Brant

  (1120)  

[English]

    The hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands is rising on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, I just wanted to raise a quick point of order because I was at committee all night as well with that member. We wanted to get the—
    That is a point of debate, not a point of order.
    If the hon. member wants to clarify the record, that is a point of debate.
    The hon. member for Jonquière.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, we can see that this nonsense has carried over to the House. My Conservative colleagues do not even want to hear what I have to say here. They are going to try to deprive me of my right to speak by raising points of order that are not actually points of order at all. I have been subjected to this for over two months at the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, where they constantly raise points of order.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to be able to hear myself when I speak. I would ask my colleagues not to interrupt me.

[English]

    Again, I want to remind members to be respectful in the House. If they wish to have conversations they should take them outside. If they have comments and questions, then I would ask them to wait until the appropriate time. I am not sure who was having the discussions or trying to make comments, but I want to make sure that the whole House is aware that members need to be respectful when someone else has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I was having a very quiet conversation with my colleague who is sitting right beside me here. I was in no way trying to talk at that member. He—
    As I said, I do not know which comments came from whom. If individuals want to have conversations they should take them outside.
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Through you to our hon. colleague, I would say that the conversation that is taking place at the Speaker's chair is indeed louder. It is not offending me, but it is indeed louder than the one that our colleague is being called out for—

  (1125)  

    I want to remind the member that I did not indicate who was making the noise, because I really did not know who it was. However, I will certainly make sure that my conversations here are quiet as well. The point is well taken.
    The hon. member for Jonquière.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I do not even have to show the House what I am talking about, because the Conservatives are doing it for me. They use this same tactic day after day at the Standing Committee on Natural Resources. Earlier, I heard a Conservative say that he was just having a nice, quiet discussion with one of his colleagues. If members want to know what Conservatives think is a quiet discussion, they should have a look at the video of our meeting yesterday at the Standing Committee on Natural Resources. They will see what my Conservative colleagues consider a nice, quiet discussion.
    As I was saying before I was interrupted, the member for Brantford—Brant behaved in a highly questionable way. He tried to intimidate the Bloc Québécois whip and the members of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources to prevent them from speaking to a bill. As I was saying earlier, we have been dealing with this type of behaviour in the Standing Committee on Natural Resources for more than a month now. We are never sure whose turn it is to speak, which is frankly ridiculous. When I put all that together, I see what I call the “Carleton method”. It is the approach used by the leader of the official opposition, and it is based on two major but very simple strategies: on the one hand, we have intimidation and, on the other, disinformation.
    As I said in my introduction, we are now at a turning point. In the face of climate change, the actions that we should take immediately will have an irreversible impact on future generations. When political parties use intimidation and disinformation in this kind of context, the only outcome is disaster.
    What I am trying to do this morning is to appeal to the sense of responsibility of each and every parliamentarian. Every parliamentarian should perhaps look beyond the end of their nose and beyond the next election. They should think about their children and future generations. Unfortunately, more and more members have become extremely short-sighted, behaving like lobbyists for the oil and gas sector and refusing to listen to science, which is clearly showing us that climate change will have harmful effects on us. There are members who behave that way, who do not have the will or the integrity to tackle the problem before us head on, and who prefer to use intimidation and disinformation.
    I can think of a number of examples. One of the focuses of today's debate is Bill C‑234. We saw an intimidation campaign by Conservative senators against two of their colleagues, Bernadette Clement and Chantal Petitclerc. Worse yet, I can say that I saw on the Conservatives' monitor in the lobby a photo of the two senators as if on wanted posters. We sometimes see wanted posters for criminals. The goal was of course to post these images on social media to instigate an intimidation campaign against the senators in question. We all know how social media works.
     As I was saying earlier, that is the member for Carleton's method. Not so long ago, we were alerted to what the member for Carleton was capable of. The people who warned us about how the member for Carleton operates were also members from Quebec, in particular the member for Richmond—Arthabaska. He indicated a number of times that he had never seen a more hateful campaign than the one he was the victim of in his own riding. People took it upon themselves to incite the public to call him and intimidate him. As we know, the member for Richmond—Arthabaska is a former Conservative member.
    The member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier also warned us. I will quote him, and it is a quote that applies perfectly to what I witnessed yesterday in committee. Here is what he said about the last Conservative leadership race: “I have never seen such an aggressive race or such vicious personal attacks”.
    Well, to borrow the member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier's own words, I have never seen such aggressive and vicious discussions and such savage personal attacks as I witnessed yesterday in committee.

  (1130)  

    This method in no way helps solve the problem before us, namely the climate crisis.
    The Conservatives often use empty slogans like “Axe the tax”. I see it everywhere. Upon closer inspection, however, through all the rhetoric, what the Conservatives really mean is “Axe the facts”. What they are trying to do is gloss over all the scientific data that show that we need to adopt robust measures to fight climate change to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. I have never seen a Conservative proposal to introduce carbon pricing. I have never seen the Conservative Party recognize that carbon pricing is necessary if we want to transition to a low-carbon economy. The only one who ever defended that was the former leader of the Conservative Party. Unfortunately, a few members, probably from his own party, managed to get their way.
    There is something else I would like to bring to my colleagues' attention. I said earlier that, in my opinion, responsible elected members use reason rather than force. That is a guiding principle of democracy, which the Conservatives do not appear to respect, preferring intimidation and disinformation.
    There is another principle that is quite important. I believe that we were elected to defend our constituents' interests. That is critical. Every one of us must defend our constituents' interests in this House. Here is where my bewilderment stems from. I have a colleague in this House who comes from my region. My colleague from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord is a Conservative member from the Saguenay—Lac‑Saint‑Jean region. He rose in the House to ask the government to expedite the legislative process in the Senate regarding Bill C-234, which is about reducing the tax on the fuels used for grain drying. It is linked to the carbon tax. Once again, as all members from my party keep saying, the carbon tax does not apply in Quebec.
    Yet, the president of the federation Les Producteurs de lait du Québec is in the riding of the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord. He has been working tirelessly for three years with the member for Berthier—Maskinongé to have a bill passed that would stop any further breaches in supply management. This bill was passed here, in the House. It is now before the Senate. I do not want to impute motives to anyone, but we are told that Conservative senators are delaying the passage of the bill. I cannot believe that a member from the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean area who counts the president of Les Producteurs de lait du Québec among his constituents would rise in the House to defend a bill that will have no effect on his fellow citizens or on Quebec politics, but remains silent what it comes to supply management. That is a fundamental violation. Today I challenge the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord to stand up in the House and ask a question or make a statement in support of the supply management bill. That is another issue.
    We heard the leader of the official opposition tell us at length that in the next election campaign, the “ballot box issue” will be carbon pricing, that is the carbon tax. We will say it again: That tax does not apply in Quebec. Clean fuel pricing already exists in Quebec; it was implemented by the Quebec government itself. I cannot understand how Conservative MPs from Quebec can support such far-fetched initiatives. These initiatives will have no impact in Quebec.
    Today, I have a request for my colleagues from Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, also a Quebecker, and Louis-Saint-Laurent. I have always held the latter in high esteem. He had a career in the media and was also, at one time, a distinguished politician. I ask them to become responsible again, to set aside the Carleton method that is becoming increasingly common and to take an interest in Quebec.

  (1135)  

    The people of Quebec will repay them in kind. Federal MPs from Quebec have to advance the interests of Quebec society here in the House. My sense is that, somewhere along the way, my Conservative colleagues from Quebec clearly lost their political bearings.
    I will close by saying that the motion before us today is very similar to many of the motions we have seen in recent months. To me, this proves that the Conservative members from Quebec have no influence over their leader right now. The Conservative Party's messaging is solely focused on fossil fuels and defending the oil and gas sector.
    In my opinion, the Conservative members from Quebec have very little influence. Nevertheless, I encourage them to grow a spine and stand up for the interests of Quebeckers, as my leader often says.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I find it interesting that the Bloc, a party only from Quebec that has never formed government and will never form government, seems to take issue with the fact that Conservatives are calling for very clear and simple answers for why senators, including Senator Petitclerc from Quebec, voted to shut down debate and voted to gut a common-sense Conservative bill, Bill C-234.
    I would ask the same question of Senator Paula Simons from Alberta. She voted to gut and attack it as the deputy chair of the ag committee. She is the deputy chair of the ag committee in the Senate and she voted to punish farmers.
    I encourage Canadians to reach out, respectfully of course, and share their opinions with these lawmakers in our country. It is essential that they hear from affected Canadians, whether it is a person who is being forced because of the Liberal Prime Minister's policies to visit a food bank or—
    We have a point of order from the hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, as everyone knows, the member was asked to the leave the chamber yesterday. I am not too sure if there was a requirement of the member to apologize—
    The hon. member was named and it was just for that sitting day that the hon. member was not allow to attend.
    I would ask the hon. member to say his final two words because his one minute is up. Then we can go to the response, and to other questions and comments.
    The hon. member.
    Madam Speaker, that is a perfect segue. Lawmakers need to be accountable, whether it is senators in the Senate attacking farmers or MPs in this place needing to be accountable for the words they say. That includes the Prime Minister who certainly needs to be held accountable.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I never said that we should not hold the government accountable. After all, the opposition's job is to hold the government accountable.
    However, what we cannot do is intimidate people. We cannot do that. I just want to point out that my colleague was expelled from the House during question period yesterday for using intimidating language. I think that this way of doing things is infecting my Conservative Party colleagues.
    What I saw yesterday was a profound lack of dignity. I encourage people at home to watch last night's meeting of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources. That will give them a sense of how the Conservative Party asks the government questions. People can then judge the Conservative Party's actions for themselves.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague from Jonquière to talk a little more about what happened last night in committee. In his opinion, did it lead to any breakthroughs in terms of helping workers in our country, environmental issues and the fight against climate change?
    What I saw yesterday were attacks on individuals in committee. There were no discussions about what we are going to do as a country to tackle these very important issues. Can the member help us understand what happened last night?

  (1140)  

    Madam Speaker, I really enjoy working with my colleague and I thank her for the question.
    I do not agree with Bill C‑50 as it is currently worded. The work I was trying to do yesterday was to bring forward amendments that were proposed to me by environmental groups and unions. Unfortunately, we did not get to talk about those amendments because the Conservative party kept heckling and did not allow us to do our work as legislators. That is what happened yesterday.
    I will follow up with all these people who proposed amendments to me. I will tell them that, unfortunately, the work that they did was in vain. All those hours they spent reading the bill to try to improve it were for naught and thrown out the window.
    Why is that? That is because there are people in the Conservative Party who have decided to adopt the spurious strategy used by the member for Carleton to try to intimidate people. What we saw yesterday at the Standing Committee on Natural Resources was intimidation pure and simple.
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Jonquière for his speech and his calm and reasonable tone.
    After today's big disappointment regarding the cap on emissions for the oil and gas sectors, we see that the big difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives is that the Conservatives do not even bother to pretend to take the climate crisis seriously. They want to abolish a tax that does not even apply in Quebec. I do not understand why the 10 Conservative members from Quebec continue to argue about that.
    What is more, we have learned from Statistics Canada that doing away with the carbon tax in the provinces where it does apply would benefit households that earn more than $250,000 a year. I would like to hear my colleague from Jonquière's comments on that.
    Madam Speaker, I agree with my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie. It is true that we often get the impression the Liberal Party claims to be green just for show, but it does not actually walk the talk. Let me share some statistics that do not lie. Over the past two years, the Liberal Party met with oil and gas lobbies 2,000 times. That is 1,000 times a year. That is over three meetings a day, without a break. I do not think that the environmental groups get the same access to the government.
    That being said, if my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite‑Patrie is not satisfied with the government's policies, he can always cut ties with the Liberals. It is in his hands.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the government released its environmental reduction plan update today and is bragging about only being on track to meet Harper's targets. It is clearly not on track to meet its own targets.
    I am curious whether the member can comment on this new, but very similar, revelation.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, the major problem is that Canada is taking the wrong approach. They did not want to cap oil and gas production, but they want to cap GHG emissions. That will not work.
    A rather simple concept, the green paradox, explains why. It seems like we want to give those in the oil and gas sector one last chance to line their pockets by supporting them, telling them that we will try to reduce their emissions. However, production is rising steadily. If one has the least bit of sense, one quickly sees that, if production goes up, worldwide GHG emissions will inevitably go up.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I hope the member is at least willing to admit that Quebeckers are disproportionately impacted by the carbon tax. The carbon tax is applied on the trains that go to Quebec, the carbon tax is applied on trucks and semis that transport goods into Quebec and that gets passed on to consumers in Quebec. They are, in fact, paying the carbon tax.
    I am wondering if the member opposite would acknowledge, at the very least, that Quebeckers are getting a bad deal by this federally imposed carbon tax. Even though it is not imposed in Quebec, Quebeckers still have to pay for the damages without the rebate from the government.

  (1145)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, there is no serious analyst who would support what my colleague says. There is no economist in Quebec who would support it. There is no serious public policy analyst who would be ready to support it.
    However, serious analysts would confirm that inaction will cost us dearly. The climate catastrophes we are seeing, that are causing insurance premiums to skyrocket and forcing us to pay two or three times more for infrastructure, will cost us very dearly. My colleagues should be worried about that.
    If their goal is to make life easier for families and farmers, I ask them to fight global warming, because it will have disastrous impacts on people's wealth in the coming years.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I wonder about the problems of having the leader of the Conservative Party going around indicating misinformation in regard to the price on pollution. Could my colleague provide his thoughts on that and what he believes the impact will be, just in terms of the general knowledge of the population?

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, we are familiar with the disinformation method of the member from Carleton. He rises in the House to say that people are asking for medical assistance in dying because they have nothing to eat, and to promote a video he shot. I get the impression that we have a Leader of the Opposition who is of little substance, who is trying to be an influencer, and who twists every fact in his favour by trying to pander. He is a Leader of the Opposition who finds simple solutions to very complex problems. To me, this is populism defined.
    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.

[English]

    This holiday season comes at a very difficult time in Canada. People are struggling to get by. Food bank use is at an all-time high, and many families are unable to pay the cost of their heating bills. The Liberals are failing everyday people.
    About a month ago, I was proud that the NDP presented a motion that called on the government to provide heat pumps to low and middle-income households in Canada, to remove the GST on all home heating and to implement a windfall profit tax on oil and gas companies, which are making record-breaking profits. It is shameful that there are oil and gas executives making record profits and getting millions in bonuses this holiday while Canadian workers are barely scraping by. Our NDP team is fighting to make life more affordable for everyday Canadians.
    Unsurprisingly, the Liberals teamed up with the Conservatives to vote against our motion. I guess this makes sense; this year, the Liberal government met with oil and gas lobbyists over 1,000 times, which is nearly three times every single day. Not only did it meet with them, but it also invited oil and gas executives to help craft its climate plan. These are the same CEOs who are fuelling the climate crisis to maximize their own profits. It is like inviting the fox to help us design our henhouse. Therefore, it is not surprising that, when it comes to fighting the climate crisis, Liberals continue to drag their feet and disappoint.
    Canadians voted for a strong emissions cap on oil and gas. Now that it is finally being announced, we find out that it is full of loopholes and gaps that let oil and gas companies carry on polluting. Industry will not be asked to cut emissions in line with the government's own emissions reduction plan. There is compliance flexibility, but what this actually means is that the Liberals are making everyday Canadians and every other sector of the economy pick up the slack. The Liberals are throwing young people's future under the bus to make life easier for oil and gas CEOs.
    We are in a climate emergency. After the worst wildfire season in this country's history, forced evacuations across the country and droughts leading to crop failures, the fact is that we are already breaking the 2°C threshold. We cannot wait any longer, and farmers are on the front lines of the fight against climate change. Few feel the impact of our changing climate more than they do. We need to ensure that they have the tools they need to keep doing their jobs. This is why I am proud to support the work of my colleague, the member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, who has been working on the national soil health strategy bill. When we support farmers, the benefits in healthy food and a safer, greener environment are for everyone.
    It is also important to note the disproportionate impact of the increasing frequency and severity of climate disasters, such as floods, droughts and forest fires, on indigenous communities. In the last 13 years, indigenous communities have faced over 580 evacuation orders, and extreme weather events and climate-related disasters are only expected to get worse.
    What do the Conservatives propose to do to deal with these climate-related disasters? How do they plan to support first nations, Inuit and Métis communities that are impacted by the climate crisis? The reality is that the Conservatives do not have a plan. They cannot even agree about whether climate change is real, let alone how we fight it.
     While indigenous communities are often on the front lines of the climate crisis, they are also facing the cost of living crisis more intensely than many other communities are. The price of groceries in remote communities is through the roof. My colleague from Nunavut has highlighted the housing crisis in her riding as well, and her constituents are not alone. The indigenous housing crisis is a serious problem across our country. That is why we forced the Liberals to include by indigenous, for indigenous housing in budget 2023. However, so much more needs to be done. In my community, urban indigenous folks are facing a variety of unique challenges in accessing safe, affordable and culturally supportive housing.

  (1150)  

    This is why I am so grateful that we have organizations such as the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness. They are doing incredible work. However, without stable, ongoing funding and adequate federal funding for their projects, indigenous people in my community have been hit hard. This is an environment where inflation has been high, interest rates are skyrocketing, the cost of living keeps going up and housing is unaffordable even for people with full-time jobs.
    The Victorian Native Friendship Centre is another incredible organization doing important work. Their executive director, Ron Rice, talks about how they provide housing for grandparents raising their grandchildren, youth attending post-secondary and youth transitioning out of care. He has spoken about how many of the people who stay in their shelter have at least one full-time job. The federal government needs to provide more funding and resources to these organizations, and we need a federal acquisitions fund for the community housing sector to acquire rental housing properties.
    It is disappointing that the Liberals always drag their feet and need to be pushed into doing the right thing. At the same time, it seems that the Conservatives only listen to indigenous communities when it serves their interest. Why did the Harper government refuse to launch an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls? Why are the current Conservatives not using today to bring forward a motion about the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people or about the water crisis in indigenous communities?
    Why are they not calling for a solution to the indigenous housing crisis in Nunavut or the housing crisis impacting Métis communities? Inuit and Métis people are not even mentioned in their motion. There are intergenerational cycles of homelessness and colonial violence that pushed Inuit, Métis and first nations people off their lands. Why do the Conservatives only advocate for indigenous people when it is related to the carbon tax?
    Today, I asked the Conservative leader how he responds not only to the people who are hurt by his comments from 15 years ago, to the effect that residential school survivors “need a stronger work ethic” rather than compensation, but also to first nations, Inuit and Métis people who would like him to apologize for this year, when he chose to speak to residential school deniers at a luncheon in Winnipeg. He responded by saying that he addressed those comments 15 years ago. What about his actions this year?
    It is clear that he is not who he says he is. These are not the actions of someone who understands or respects the needs of indigenous people.
    Neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives have responded adequately to the concerns of indigenous people. Neither party has responded to the Assembly of First Nations' call for an additional $30 billion in climate adaptation funding for their communities, nor has it met Métis and Inuit needs.
    The Liberals are spending more money to help communities evacuate than they are spending to help them prevent a crisis in the first place. This is clearly unacceptable. Canada deserves better than the delay-and-disappoint Liberals or the corporate-controlled Conservatives.
    Our New Democrat team has been calling for a rollback to the carbon tax loopholes that the Liberals gave to the biggest polluters. Instead of having loopholes, they should be made to pay their fair share.
    We are taking on grocery store executives. Canadians know that New Democrats are the only party that will stand up to the rich CEOs who are gouging Canadians while raking in record profits.
    We also believe that Canadians across the country deserve a break on their heating bills, which is why we are calling to remove the GST on home heating and for programs to deliver heat pumps to low and middle-income families. We are calling on the Liberals to finally implement a windfall profits tax on oil and gas companies to pay for it. We are also pushing the government to engage in true reconciliation, to properly fund indigenous organizations who are doing for indigenous, by indigenous housing.
    We are pushing them to make it easier for farmers to burn cleaner fuels, which would help reduce carbon emissions, as well as to create a red dress alert to save the lives of indigenous women who are at risk. We will keep fighting for people from coast to coast to coast.
    I urge my colleagues from across party lines to do the same.

  (1155)  

    Madam Speaker, the level of hypocrisy coming from the NDP is staggering. At every step of the way, NDP members support the Liberal government; then, when it is convenient for them, they stand up and say, “Shame on the Liberals.”
    When it comes down to the vote, they toe the line. One can hear the echo of the whip from the Liberals whipping the NDP. They vote to support the Liberals, whether it is cover-ups or the carbon tax. The only ones who have been pressuring the Liberals to axe the tax have been members in our Conservative caucus.
    The hon. member talked about the wildfires and droughts in our province of British Columbia. We have to do more to stop the extreme weather events; I agree with that. I believe that climate change is impacting it, but the carbon tax is not working.
    Why does she vote in favour of punishing British Columbians and Canadians? She always toes the line.
    Madam Speaker, it is wild to me that the member would mislead his own constituents and British Columbians across our province, because guess what. British Columbia has a provincial carbon tax. This motion has nothing to do with helping out British Columbians. It does not have anything to do with helping first nations, Inuit and Métis—
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    Order. There is a member who seems to be contributing, a parliamentary secretary at that. I would ask him, if he has questions and comments, to wait. This is not very respectful to both sides.
    The hon. member who just asked the question wants to contribute more. I would ask him to wait as well until I ask for questions and comments and he can attempt to be recognized.
    The hon. member for Victoria.
    Madam Speaker, I would ask the member to stop misleading British Columbians. This has nothing to do with them, since there is a provincial carbon tax that was brought in by a conservative premier.
    I hear him talk about the NDP versus the Conservatives, but we are the only party that is pushing to get things done to deliver for Canadians, while the Conservatives obstruct and listen to the lobbyists, who make up about half of their national executive. These are corporate-controlled Conservatives.
    Madam Speaker, I know my hon. colleague is deeply passionate about this and knowledgeable. She is a mom of young kids. It deeply concerns me the kind of future we are handing over to our children.
    I was privileged enough to sit in on a finance committee meeting when we had the Parliamentary Budget Officer with us. He clarified for I think the millionth time in this place that 0.15% of food inflation could be attributed to the carbon tax, whereas 3.5% was attributed to drought, disease and an unpredictable growing season. It really is the climate impacts we need to address in this House. I am glad she highlighted that.
    Also, I find the tokenizing happening with respect to indigenous peoples offensive and disturbing. I really want to reiterate that Métis and Inuit people were excluded from this opposition day motion.
    I will move quickly to the piece about windfall tax profits. I would like to learn more about this, as I am concerned about it. We cannot trust oil and gas companies to do the right thing. Would it be possible to pass on those taxes to the consumer through increased prices? I am looking for more clarity on that.

  (1200)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for her passion for the environment and for standing up for indigenous rights.
    The windfall tax is an important policy piece that I wish her government would implement. I wish it had the courage to take on rich oil and gas executives and the wealthy CEOs of grocery store chains.
    It is hard for me to imagine being in her position and having to stand behind a government that talks the talk but will not walk the walk, when our future, our children's future and our grandchildren's future are at stake in this climate emergency.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague. She spoke at length about the housing crisis.
    Last week, I travelled to France with the Canada-France Interparliamentary Association and I met a socialist senator. We talked about housing and she was surprised that Canada gives or lends money to private developers to build housing. Her jaw dropped. To her this is totally absurd.
    I know that my colleague spoke earlier about an acquisition fund. One of the problems with the national strategy is that too much money is being sent to private developers for housing that is not at all affordable, for example housing at $2,000 a month in Montreal. She talked about this acquisition fund and the fact that it would be important for the government to lend money to non-profit organizations to buy housing to get it out of the private market. I would like her to elaborate on how important that is.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. It is a very important one.
    A housing acquisition fund is a key policy piece that can support housing organizations to acquire the land to provide housing. It is wild to me that the government is giving money out to private developers with no strings and no requirements to ensure affordability or to ensure that the people whose housing is being demolished to build new housing will be able to afford the new units. It is unbelievable.
    We also need to tackle real estate investment trusts, which are raking in record profits while renovicting tenants to maximize profits. We give them tax loopholes and incentives and do not make them pay the corporate tax. It is wild.
    Let us implement a housing acquisition fund. Let us take the loopholes out of our system—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Victoria for her very interesting speech. I also thank her for all her hard work and her passion for the environmental and climate emergency files, as well as for housing and first nations issues, both in British Columbia and across the country.
    The Conservatives are still pathologically obsessed with the carbon tax, which is really a price on pollution. When we talk about a price on pollution, we are clearly talking about the environment, climate emergencies and the climate crisis. Speaking of the environment, I cannot help but mention the Liberal government's announcement this morning about a cap on greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector.
    Two years ago, at COP26 in Glasgow, the Prime Minister said we had to implement a cap on greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector. We waited two years. What we are seeing today is worse than anything we feared, worse than anything we imagined. I am sure my colleagues will believe me when I say that we have quite a rich imagination.
     It is appalling to ask society as a whole to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% to 45%. In fact we could have a discussion about the proportionality and burden of responsibility of every Canadian and the Canadian economy with respect to the targets we need to reach to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees or 2 degrees. We are heading more for 2 degrees. We should be prepared to reduce our emissions by 50% to 60%, because, per capita, Quebeckers and Canadians create a lot of pollution and produce huge amounts of greenhouse gases.
    Let us consider a 45% decrease. Two years ago, we were told that the oil and gas sector would probably have to reduce its emissions by 31%. That means 10% to 15% are now gone; that is a gift from the government, thank you very much. This morning we learned that the oil and gas sector no longer has to reduce its emissions by 31%, but that the Liberals would be happy with a 16% to 20% decrease. That is ridiculous. It is irresponsible for our children and for future generations. Given the climate emergency, that is a joke. Why is it a joke? Because this government listens only to lobbyists from big oil.
    We said it yesterday, and again today: In the past two years, there have been 2,000 meetings with lobbyists and representatives from oil and gas companies. Considering there are 365 days in a year, that amounts to more than three meetings a day between oil lobbyists and the ministerial offices of a government that calls itself pro-environment. That includes Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Day, Easter, Hanukkah and more. Then we wonder who the Liberals are listening to. There were three times more meetings between oil company representatives and the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council, Treasury Board and Finance than there were meetings with environmental groups.
    That is the root cause of what we are seeing this morning. This joke they call a “cap” is nothing but rubbish. There is nothing in it except a blank cheque to the oil companies so they can continue to do business as usual. Not only has the reduction dropped to 16% to 20%, but these corporations have no obligations until 2030. They have carte blanche for the next seven years and after that a bit of flexibility. That means they will be allowed to continue increasing production. I do not know how they are going to achieve a 16% to 20% reduction while continuing to increase production. There is so much flexibility in the document presented by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change that it reminds me of a yoga class with people able to perform the most absolutely incredible contortions.
    This is totally irresponsible on the part of a government that claims to care about the climate and the environment, but then puts this kind of nonsense forward this morning, even though oil and gas is the economic sector that emits the most greenhouse gases. I believe it is responsible for 24% of total emissions. That is huge, even more than transportation.

  (1205)  

    The increase in Canada's greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 is mainly due to an 88% increase in emissions from the oil and gas sector. It emitted 100 million tonnes in 1990, 168 million tonnes in 2005, and 189 million tonnes in 2021. Now the government is telling the oil and gas sector that it will not have to worry for the next seven years. The government is giving it carte blanche, or should I say “carte noire”. The oil and gas sector can carry on polluting as much as it wants. There might be a target sometime around 2050, maybe. We will see. Sadly, this is consistent with the Liberals' vision and proposals since 2015.
    We learned just this week that the government plans to subsidize oil companies to the tune of $12.5 billion for carbon capture technology. That is a page out of the Conservatives' playbook. The Minister of Environment, once an environmental activist, basically copied and pasted the Conservative Party leader's plan, a far-fetched fantasy in which a magic technological wand solves all our problems. This is public money paying for this, even though we know that carbon capture technology is not proven, has not been properly tested and is not producing the promised results.
    We need to shift toward the centre and have a strong energy sector that focuses on renewable energy. That is what the science has been telling us for years, but the Conservatives and the Liberals are going in the completely opposite direction. That is not surprising from a government that bought the Trans Mountain pipeline, which has so little future that no private sector player wanted to buy it. It was also the Liberals who saw to it that everyone here, along with the people we represent in our ridings, is paying for it. At first they were talking about $7 billion. Then it was $12 billion, then $16 billion. Now we are at $30 billion for a pipeline that, in 20 or 30 years, will no longer be used, because it will transport the dirtiest oil in the world, the most expensive to extract, and no one will want it anymore.
    It is not surprising that the Liberal government is also authorizing projects like Bay du Nord, which once again means an increase in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. It is not surprising that the Liberals and the Minister of the Environment, in February, issued oil and gas exploration permits off the coast of Newfoundland for 12,000 square kilometres of delicate marine ecosystems. They also issued exploration permits to ExxonMobil and to British Petroleum.
    This is the Liberals' record: a government incapable of meeting its targets, as we learned in the environment commissioner's latest report, a government that authorizes oil and gas projects and has just given Canadian oil companies a leg up to continue to do what they do while asking all citizens and companies in our economy to make an extra effort.
    The situation is disastrous. Do we remember the forest fires last summer? Do we remember the consequences of increasing natural disasters, as we call them? These disasters are in fact less and less natural: The science and all the reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC prove that they are becoming more frequent and intense, and have greater consequences on our economy, populations, and health.
    There is a very interesting article today on Maria Neira, director of public health and the environment at the World Health Organization. She says that the air pollution that is causing respiratory problems and an increased incidence of asthma in young children is directly linked to the burning of fossil fuels. This is not a hypothesis. This is what is happening.
    Both the Conservatives and the Liberals are being irresponsible and not taking measures to reduce the consequences of pollution and climate change on human life and health, but also on our economy and the future of our society and our communities.
    People can count on the NDP. We will fight and take climate change seriously.

  (1210)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to know how many emails, visits and phone calls the member has received from his neighbours about the cost of living. On this side of the House, we know that life is not affordable for Canadians and that this is a big problem, especially for the first nations.

[English]

    First nations have filed a judicial review that says that climate “cannot be healed at the expense of” communities.

[Translation]

    How does the member respond to that?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    I agree with him completely. People in Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie are worried about the cost of living. People write to us about rent and the cost of groceries. In the House, the ones who are doing the most to lower the cost of groceries are members of the NDP. We are the only ones saying that big companies should have to pay a special tax on excess profits. We are the only party saying that the big grocery chains should be governed by a code of conduct to make them treat consumers with more respect. Only the NDP brought the rich CEOs of these companies here to ask them questions in parliamentary committee, while the Liberals do nothing.
    Getting back to pollution and the climate crisis, the only difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives is that the Conservatives do not even pretend to take these issues seriously.

  (1215)  

    Mr. Speaker, I asked Mr. Weston and the others questions this morning about this code of conduct, which we, as Liberals, also support. Perhaps we are doing more than my colleague thinks.
    My Conservative colleagues are saying that carbon pricing is the sole reason for higher grocery prices. However, I heard them asking Mr. Weston questions this morning in that committee meeting. They recognize that there are other factors driving up costs, and that is why they want to get the companies to agree to abide by this code of conduct.
    Does my hon. colleague agree with the Conservatives that carbon pricing is the only thing driving up costs, or does he think that there are there other factors at play? It cannot be both things at once.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for that very good question.
    Grocery bosses should not be the ones writing the code of conduct for the major grocery chains. The code should not be voluntary. It should not allow them to manage and discipline themselves. We need an independent body. That is important to the NDP.
    A price on transportation-related pollution, for example, could certainly have an impact. However, food prices have risen faster than inflation for 24 months now. Corporate greed must have something to do with it. Corporations are lining their pockets and making record profits, and their executives are getting exorbitant paycheques.
    We must not blame everything on the carbon tax. It does not even exist in some provinces, such as Quebec and British Columbia, where it literally has no impact.

[English]

    Uqaqtittiji, I know that, supposedly, we are to be talking about how to better advocate for first nations, as the motion states, but I think we all know that is not the real intention of this motion.
    I recall when the Conservatives were in government and the enormous number of cuts they made to indigenous services. The current Liberal government is also failing first nations with the impending cuts it is planning to make in the next budget.
    I wonder if the member can share with us what kind of work the NDP is doing to show that it is the party fighting for first nations, Métis and Inuit.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for such an important question. The concerns of first nations, Inuit and Métis are truly at the heart of the NDP's work on social justice and true reconciliation.
    I want to congratulate my colleague from Nunavut for all the work she is doing, especially on indigenous housing and on having a housing program for and by indigenous peoples. Housing is a major issue in the north in general, where people have felt the effects of Conservative budget cuts and are now feeling the effects of inadequate Liberal investments.
    These people can count on the NDP, which will continue to speak out about the challenges of housing and the cost of the groceries for first nations, Inuit, Métis and all northerners.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Saskatoon—University.

[Translation]

    It is very simple. We want to cancel the carbon tax for farmers, first nations and families.
    We know that mortgages and rent have doubled and that it is basically impossible to buy food for a family. Unfortunately, a new report indicates that groceries will cost an extra $700 per family next year.
    I want this NDP-Liberal government to be honest with Canadians. The carbon tax is raising the cost of living. When the carbon tax drives up costs for farmers and truckers, the cost of living increases for all Canadians. I like bologna, but I do not like it when the Liberals feed Canadians baloney.

  (1220)  

[English]

    Sadly, after eight years, we know that Canadians are experiencing the greatest financial difficulty since perhaps the Great Depression. As the leader of His Majesty's loyal opposition has taken to saying many times, if pictures of the lines outside a food bank were in black and white, everybody would believe that we were back in the so-called dirty thirties.
    The NDP-Liberal government has shattered the dreams of many Canadians. It was interesting to hear the response from my hon. colleague when I asked a question just a minute ago with respect to the emails, phone calls and visits that every member of this House receives in their office every day. I cannot understand why they choose to ignore the folks who put them there. We know very clearly, because everybody wants to look at a poll now and then, that it is at their own peril. I suggest that Canadians, as I said in French, are not foolish. They recognize very clearly the peril that their financial situation is in. We know that many Canadians are $200 away from being broke at the end of the month. That is a situation nobody wants to be in. Many Canadians are way beyond that. There are two million Canadians visiting food banks. That is 5% of the population.
    I had the opportunity to visit the food bank in my hometown of Truro, Nova Scotia. Sadly, we know its client roster has ballooned to 1,800 folks. In a small town of around 12,000 people, there are 1,800 clients. We know from an incredible study done from my alma mater at Dalhousie University that groceries will cost a family of four an extra $700 next year. This is an incredibly sad state of affairs.
    In that report, there was an interesting quote that talks about food bank use. It says, “This is the highest level of food bank use in Canada on record,” and, “In 2024, it is probable that Canadians will continue to experience the strain of food inflation, compounded by increasing costs of housing, energy, and various other expenditures.”
    As I said in French, we all know that when we tax the farmer who grows the food and we tax the truck driver who ships the food, then ultimately the person at the end of the line paying for the food is going to have to pay more. We know that when we tax businesses more, they pass that cost onto consumers. That is a simple fact of business; it is not one that we like.
    I do wish to highlight a couple of interesting stories, which are incredibly heart-wrenching, from my own riding.
    In the recent past, I had an opportunity to speak to a couple who would have been very close to retirement. They have been married in the 25-year range and told me, and this is hard to believe, that sadly they had to sell their house. They were very close to paying off their house and could not pay the mortgage. I am the parent of three kids and two grandkids. A parent would not want to do this, but they took the money they gained as a profit from selling their house, as meagre as it was, and are going to pay it to their daughter because they are going to live in her basement. It is absolutely mind-blowing. These are stories that, in generations, have not been heard. It is incredibly gut-wrenchingly sad to hear a story like that.
    I heard another from an older lady who lives on her own. She made up a new term. I was going to say this in French but I did not know how to say it, and this is really not a word in English, but she called it “ungrocery”. She would do her grocery shopping and go around with her cart, as we all do, putting things in that she would like to have. Then at the end of her tour around the grocery store, she would add up the cost of those items. She knew she could not afford it all, so she would go back around the grocery store taking things out of her cart, doing the math in her head and then realizing what a meagre amount of groceries she was actually able to afford. That is what “ungrocery” is. It would be exceedingly sad, of course, if that made it into common language in Canada.
    We also know this carbon tax needs to be removed not just from families but from farmers and first nations. First nations have filed a judicial review over the federal carbon tax, noting very clearly that the climate cannot be healed at the expense of communities. We know very clearly the burden that is being placed on the backs of Canadians every single day. The debt the NDP-Liberal government has inflated over its eight years of ridiculousness has debt service charges now that would be equal to the Canada health transfer. It is incredible the burden of payments that will be required by generations to come.
    The great thing is that Canadians are paying attention. They are understanding this message. The know the fiscal irresponsibility of the NDP-Liberal coalition is something that has to change. We know the hundreds of emails we are receiving every day are a reflection of the sad reality and the fiscally irresponsible position the NDP-Liberal government has put Canada in.
    Its members can go on and talk about their machinations with debt-to-GDP ratio and those kinds of things, but what Canadians know is they cannot afford to heat their homes and to put food on their tables every single day, if they are fortunate enough to have a place to live. That is what we know and the message is resonating with Canadians that the NDP-Liberal government has to go.
    Right now, its members could easily vote for the opposition motion today to axe the carbon tax to make life more affordable for everyday Canadians who call our offices and who will gladly put the NDP-Liberal coalition out of business.

  (1225)  

Indigenous Services

    Uqaqtittiji, there have been consultations, and I believe that if you seek it you will find consent for the following motion.
    I move:
    That a take-note debate on Indigenous Services be held on Monday, December 11, 2023, pursuant to Standing Order 53.1, and that, notwithstanding any standing order or usual practice of the House: (a) members rising to speak during the debate may indicate to the Chair that they will be dividing their time with another member; (b) the time provided for the debate be extended beyond four hours, as needed, to include a minimum of 12 periods of 20 minutes each; and (c) no quorum calls, dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent shall be received by the Chair.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay.
    It is agreed.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion will please say nay.
    The motion is carried.

    (Motion agreed to)

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Carbon Tax on Farmers, First Nations and Families  

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to the Conservatives speak to the motion, and have have been listening to previous speeches, and the Conservative Party is spreading misinformation through social media and things of that nature. The member himself did it, to try to give the impression that the vast majority of constituents I represent would have more money in their pocket as a direct result of taking away the price on pollution. This is the “axe the tax” propaganda. He knows full well that, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, this is not the case.
    Does the member not have any shame in trying to express to my constituents and Canadians that they are actually getting less money, when, in fact, when we factor in the rebates, they are getting more money in their pockets to allow them to buy more?

  (1230)  

    Mr. Speaker, I would suggest to the mathematically challenged NDP-Liberals, and perhaps they are challenged in reading either of Canada's official languages, that the Parliamentary Budget Officer's report, which all of us on this side of the House have read, would say that Canadians are worse off. I guess the fact of the matter is that if the member is so excited about the great and rosy financial picture of Canadians, then it would only make sense that axing the tax would be very simple. That is because what that would mean, of course, is that there would be even more money in the pockets of Canadians with such a great and rosy financial picture.
    How can the member make sense of the fact that two million Canadians, more than at any time in history, are actually visiting food banks? If the member, who, I believe, must be arithmetically challenged, does not understand that, then I do not know how better to explain it other than by the fact that, of course, constituents call, email and visit our office every day, making it very clear that their financial picture is that they are close to bankruptcy.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, as the saying goes, one step forward, two steps back. That is the impression I am getting from this debate. We are concerned about people who are struggling with the cost of living, and we are concerned about the housing crisis that is affecting our constituents. However, the Conservatives' proposal would do nothing to correct these situations, just like the government's climate change policies.
    There is one thing that could be done. Canada is a petro-state, and climate change affects everything we are talking about: the price of groceries, agriculture, housing and food. In that context, how do the Conservatives aim to present a serious plan to address climate change?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, very clearly, there are two parts to the answer.
    One is that, first and foremost, we need to make it more affordable for Canadians to live. There will not be a country if people cannot afford to eat, to heat their homes and to house themselves. We know that those are the three main requirements to having a life to live, so that is very important.
     The second incredibly important point is that we know clearly on this side of the House that Conservatives continue to put forward great ideas. For example, the leader of His Majesty’s loyal opposition put forward a 15-minute video releasing his housing documentary. However, the Liberals, of course, did not even have the decency to watch it. If they did watch it, we know exactly what would happen, which is that they would abscond with those ideas. They took advantage of the credit for the great Bill C-323, which was released. It happened to be my bill. What did they do? They included it in their mini budget, because they are out of ideas, and, of course, we all know they are out of time.
    Speaking of being out of time, I am going to give the reminder that I have not given in a while, so I am pretty happy that I get to do it: the shorter the questions and the shorter the answers, the more people who get to participate in the debate we are having today.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Saskatoon—University.

  (1235)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to take part in this very important and timely debate. I am very concerned about our country, and I hope all 338 of us take some time to talk to Canadians over Christmas. Let us knock on 100 doors, go and find out, straight from the people we work for, what life has now become after eight long years of Liberal government, the policies it has enacted and the living hell that Canadians are living through because of the Liberal policies.
    Today, we are going to talk about the carbon tax. There are many terrible policies the Liberals have put forward, but this is just about the carbon tax and what it has done to Canada. It is with a heavy heart that I am reading the statistics of what Canadians are facing: 30-year high inflation challenges just to live. What does that mean? It means that Canadians are not keeping up with inflation. At the end of the month, there are more days left than there is money in the bank account. That means Canadians are skipping meals.
    We are the breadbasket of the world. I come from a province that grows things that we sell to and that feed the world. We are put into this task by God; we are given this land by God, to feed the world and to feed Canadians. We grow so much that, as Canadians, we cannot eat all that we grow, so we trade. We are a trading nation, and that is a good thing. It is what actually sustains families on the other side of the world. The policies of the current government mean that there are families starving, not just in far-flung places around the world but also right here in Canada. Eleven million Canadians needed food stamps or their equivalent from the government last year. They could not provide enough for their family to eat. The government had to help one in four Canadians. This is not right.
     These are very, very tough times for Canadians, and things are going to get tougher. That has more to do with the interest rate hikes and what they are going to cause with respect to mortgage renewals. They are going to skyrocket. Right now, families are holding on by their fingertips. The tipping point is going to come in a number of months and years as mortgages are renewed. The problem also occurs on rental properties, so we know that rents are going to go up. We know that the price of rent in Canada has doubled already. What happens when the owners of rental buildings have to renew their mortgages? Rents are going to continue to go up.
    What we are debating today is a terrible tax. It is a tax on movement. It is a tax on things we used to do very well in this country. We do things. We are known as a country that grows more canola and more wheat than anywhere else in the world. We build things. We rip it out of the ground. We refine. We value-add different God-given gifts to our country, and we sell because we cannot utilize as much as we can produce in this country. That is a good thing. That is how, for over 150 years, we have been so prosperous as a nation. What we have, from eight long years of the current Liberal government, is an attack on that, with the carbon tax on anything that moves. If it continues to move, the government taxes it harder.
     We know that the Liberals are going to quadruple the tax. What is that going to mean? Academia's theory of the carbon tax is that if the Liberals keep increasing the price, people will stop using that item. The theory is faulty. All we have to do is look at the price per litre of gasoline in other parts of the world that are not as gifted with natural resources as we are. In Europe, it is roughly equivalent to around $5 to $6 Canadian per litre. Europeans are still driving; they have to drive. In Canada, we have to drive in order to get to work to provide for our family. We need to utilize oil and gas to produce the crops that feed the world.

  (1240)  

    The one disincentive that the government has decided on is to attack anything that moves. That is what the carbon tax does. It is a tax on being productive. Just look at what it has done in Atlantic Canada, where the government has carved out a special deal that exempts the region from tax on home heating oil. It has destroyed the argument of why we need the carbon tax. The government, supported by the NDP, has proposed that if home heating oil is to be exempt in Atlantic Canada, it is due to the cost of living. Wait a minute. Did it not just say that Canadians receive more money back than they pay? The rationale for Atlantic Canada is that people there are in a cost of living crisis, which they are. To make things better just in that region of the country, not all over Canada, the government removed the tax. The government's argument that people receive more back has just been blown to pieces, because if that were true, then the government has actually made the cost of living crisis worse in Atlantic Canada. Therefore, it is not believed to be true.
    The government has also argued in favour of making more expensive the dirtiest forms of energy with respect to emissions. The worst for emissions is home heating oil. It actually made that cheaper, the one source of energy that, if the government believed in its logic, should have been costing more. The government's arguments are blown out of the water.
    I will get back to my conclusion of why this all wraps up into the motion. If we look at the troubles we are facing in Canada, we know that it is tough out there. Anything the Canadian government can do to make life more affordable is something we should act on today. We have a long list of things the government should have been doing for the last eight years, but it has decided to ignore those suggestions. Just with this motion today, we could remove the carbon tax on home heating for farmers, first nations and families, three groups that are hurting and that we could affect today.
    Take off the tax, and, instantaneously, food prices would drop, because the tax is baked into all of the actions of a farmer. If we remove the tax, instantaneously, food would become cheaper for first nations. There is a lot of neglect from the government on reserves, but I cannot think of a worse example than this: A lot of first nations and reserves use electricity to heat their homes. Right now, the government is jacking up the rate of carbon tax on those homes, homes of individuals who are barely holding on with the cost of living crisis that is taking place, and now, it is going to quadruple the carbon tax. The third group is families. We know that they are going to have to pay $700 more next year alone just on groceries because of the carbon tax. That is $700 in sports fees they will not have. Layered on top of the troubles with interest rates increasing, we know this is a recipe for disaster. There are Canadian families that are just struggling now but will be starving.
    I am not putting blame on anyone, but this is a Liberal policy. It is not the families of the Liberal members of Parliament that are going to be suffering. It is going to be the other families throughout Canada that have a severe challenge with the cost of living. We can make that all better today. Increasing costs are not all going to be reduced because of the policies of the government, but this is one area in which, if we act as Parliament, we could act before Christmas to make food cheaper, to make life more affordable and to make Canada that much better. If I am true to the people I represent and the stories I hear, I cannot think of another group that has been so challenged under the Liberal policies and that we need to provide relief for. That is what the motion would do.

  (1245)  

    Mr. Speaker, I want to state some facts. This is not a Liberal policy. The carbon tax was first established in British Columbia by a right-leaning Conservative government under the mask of the B.C. Liberal Party. Therefore, I find it quite interesting when I hear B.C. Conservatives in this place talking about getting rid of the federal carbon tax, which does not apply in British Columbia. I state that fact on its own.
    Another truth is that the New Democrats have asked for the removal of the GST on all home heating. The Conservatives had it in their election platform, but they voted against it. In their election platform, the Conservatives had a price on carbon, but today they do not want to talk about that. It is like they have amnesia.
    Let us talk about the need for a school food program. The advocacy for the need for a school food program started under the Harper government when inequality skyrocketed.
    Maybe the member could talk about why he voted yesterday against the implementation of a strategy for a national school food program. Perhaps he could also correct some of the facts of why the Conservatives ran on a platform to put a price on carbon, but today they do not support that.
    Mr. Speaker, this tax is bad. It makes everything more expensive, does nothing for the environment, because Canada has missed every emissions target since it was brought in. It is a terrible tax that does nothing for the environment and hurts Canadians, and the proof is in the last eight years.
    On food equality, I cannot think of a more hypocritical position as the NDP's. The New Democrats claim to be the party of the workers and the poor. The people this tax hurts the most are their supporters. People who have the least ability to pay increased costs on food and heat for their homes are the ones suffering the most. The most dire emails and phone calls I get at my office are not from people who are well off. They are from people who have the least ability to pay for these increased costs.
    Mr. Speaker, I sat through the speech of the Leader of the Opposition this morning, and we certainly know what he is against. He has waged a war against science. He has waged a war against climate change. He has waged a war against green infrastructure investments and the green economy. We know what he is against, but I am not certain we know what he is for at this point.
     His campaign is not what he brags and boasts it to be. It is not an axe-the-tax campaign. It is actually an axe-the-facts campaign that he has waged against all the things I just referenced, and Canadians know that.
    When will he present an environmental plan for Canadians that will actually do something, that is based on science, that will address climate change and all the issues that come with it? That is my question for the member.
    Mr. Speaker, if we want to talk about what will actually do something, it is scrapping the tax. It will make food and heat more affordable across Canada. That is an actual solution.
    If we want to talk about actual solutions for the environment, this tax, which is supposedly an environmental policy, has not hit a single emissions reduction target. The only year there was a reduction was the first year of the pandemic due to everything being locked down. If the position of the Liberals, supported by the NDP, is that we have to again lock down societies, where nothing moves, nothing grows and nothing flourishes, if this is the policy of the Liberal-NDP government, then I welcome the next election.
    We know there are technological solutions. We have faced difficult environmental problems in the past. When I was growing up, the ozone hole was going to cause everybody to get skin cancer. I was paranoid and scared about it. However, it was not a tax that solved that problem; it was technology. With acid rain, it was the same thing. It was going to melt our buildings. Technology solved that problem.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, first, I want to say to my colleague that we need to stop the disinformation.
    I also want to make a couple of very important reminders. First, the carbon tax does not apply in Quebec. Second, households outside Quebec that pay this carbon tax receive financial compensation that is in no way related to their profession or marital status. It is based on their income.
    Third, the Conservatives' proposal excludes many households for no good reason. How do they define family? What about single people or the elderly?

  (1250)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, it is all about fairness. Quebec does not directly pay the cost of carbon tax 1, but it pays carbon tax 2.
    I will give an example from my province. We are going to grow some mustard. For that mustard, all the inputs that go into putting seed in the ground, harvesting and shipping that grain to a processing plant is all taxed with the carbon tax. Then it gets to the plant and it is processed into mustard. Before we put that mustard on a hotdog, we pay a carbon tax for the production of the seed, the production of the mustard and the transportation into Quebec. Yes, people are going to be paying more carbon tax if they elect the Liberals.
    Mr. Speaker, it is another day that we have the privilege of rising in the House to speak for our constituents back home. I see some of my hon. colleagues who I was with for several hours last night at committee. It was great to finish clause-by-clause of Bill C-50, the sustainable jobs act, which will assist citizens across our country.
    I am happy to participate—
    Order, please. There are conversations going on and I would ask members to take them to the lobby so we can continue with the debate on the floor.
    The hon. member for Vaughan—Woodbridge.
    Mr. Speaker, I sat and chatted with the member for Saskatoon—University for a good chunk of time last night during our session at the natural resources committee.

[Translation]

    I would like to remind my hon. colleagues that, since 2015, our government has spared no effort to make life more affordable for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
    We have lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty and, thanks to the guaranteed income supplement and the enhanced Canada pension plan, we are offering unprecedented support to our seniors. Indeed, 2.3 million fewer Canadians are living in poverty than before 2015. Whether we are talking about $10-a-day child care or the new Canada dental care plan, our government has made historic improvements to the country's social safety net.
    The reality is that our economic plan is fiscally responsible and it is delivering results for Canadians. We have strengthened Canada's social safety net while ensuring that the country maintains the lowest deficit- and debt-to-GDP ratios in the G7.
    I must say that our government has implemented several measures in the past year to support Canadians. For example, last summer, roughly 11 million low-income people and families received the grocery rebate.

[English]

    We are helping Canadians from coast to coast to coast deal with global inflation. We have their backs, and will continue to have their backs, as we go forward and as the economy turns and inflation continues to decline.

[Translation]

    That was a one-time payment that helped them deal with the rising cost of living and put food on the table.

[English]

    I am splitting my time, Mr. Speaker, with my friend and colleague, the parliamentary secretary from the wonderful riding of St. Catharines.

[Translation]

    What we are talking about here is up to $467 more for eligible couples with two children, and up to $234 more for singles with no children, including single seniors. I have talked about the measure with constituents in my riding, and I can confirm that it has been very popular.
    To help Canadians with the cost of living, the government also issues Canada workers benefit payments automatically now.

  (1255)  

[English]

    This is the Canada workers benefit, which is transformational.

[Translation]

    This benefit has already helped lift thousands of Canadians out of poverty. We believe that these improvements will give low-income workers timely access to the funds they need to support themselves and their families.
    Since last July, eligible single workers have received up to $714, and families have received up to $1,231, spread over three advance payments.

[English]

    These are three payments during the year and then people files their taxes. The Canada workers benefit is a great way to lift low-income workers, hard-working Canadians, out of poverty and give them extra money during the year and at the end of the year to pay for necessities.

[Translation]

    As we also announced in the 2023 fall economic statement, we are going to amend the Competition Act to further modernize merger reviews, including by empowering the Competition Bureau to better detect and address “killer acquisitions” and other anti-competitive mergers. Our government is well aware of the fact that better competition means lower prices, more choices and more innovative products and services for Canadians.
    Our goal is very clear. We want to make groceries more affordable for Canadians. However, our government understands that many Canadians are still struggling to pay their bills right now and are under considerable financial strain. Obviously, it is important for us to help them. That is why we decided to temporarily pause the fuel charge on home heating oil for three years. This temporary pause will enable households that heat their homes with oil to save an average of $250 a year at the current rate. Meanwhile, the federal government is working with the provinces to incentivize the switch to heat pumps and gradually eliminate oil heating in the longer term.
     To support Canadians in rural areas, we are going to double the rural top-up for pollution pricing rebates from 10% to 20% of the baseline amount starting in April 2024. Our government is well aware that people who live in rural communities face unique realities, and this measure will help put even more money back in the pockets of families dealing with higher energy costs because they live outside a large city.
    However, as I said moments ago, we want to do even more to fight climate change by helping Canadians install more energy-efficient heating systems. An up‐front $250 payment will be available to low- and median-income households that heat their homes with oil and sign up for a federal-provincial program to install a heat pump. We are also working with the provinces and territories to strengthen the oil to heat pump affordability program. The amount of federal funding that eligible homeowners can receive for installing a heat pump will increase from $10,000 to $15,000, adding up to an additional $5,000 in grant funding to match provincial and territorial contributions via co-delivery arrangements.
     As a result, the cost of an average heat pump and its installation would be covered for low- and median-income households as we continue to minimize upfront costs and make federal programs even easier to access for all households.
    Obviously, this is a very important measure to help households in the long term. Homeowners who switch from oil to cold-climate heat pumps to heat and cool their homes save an average of up to $2,500 a year on their energy bills.

  (1300)  

    These are substantial savings for Canadian families.
    In conclusion, since 2015, we have done a great deal to support Canadians in need.

[English]

    Whether it is dealing with global inflation or COVID, our government has always had the backs of Canadians.

[Translation]

    We will continue to do so, while remaining prudent in how we manage the public purse.

[English]

    That is always done in a fiscally responsible fashion. We are maintaining our AAA credit rating and the lowest deficit and net debt-to-GDP ratio. We are bringing that down and continuing to lower it so it is alway below 1%.

[Translation]

    The grocery rebate, the advance payment of the Canada workers benefit and our support for the purchase and installation of heat pumps are excellent examples of measures taken over the past year to help Canadians.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, there is a PBO report that shows that Ontario families this year alone will have a net loss of $478 because of the carbon tax. In 2030, once the Liberals' measures are fully implemented, the net loss for Ontario families will be $2,316. I wonder how the member opposite sells that to the people in his riding.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Cypress Hills—Grasslands for his question.
    Our government has brought in many measures to help families and make life more affordable.

[English]

    The Canada child benefit, the Canada workers benefit and the climate action incentive payments go out to the residents in my riding. There are the two middle-class tax cuts, and we raised the base the personal exemption amount to $15,000. We did the first one in 2015.
    We will continue to have the backs of Canadian families, whether in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge or the member opposite's riding of Cypress Hills—Grasslands.
    Uqaqtittiji, it is clear that the Liberal government has not been making enough investments in first nations, Métis and Inuit. The Auditor General published a report earlier this year about the lack of investments to first nations regarding emergency preparedness.
     I wonder if the member can respond with stories that validate the lack of investments to first nations, and what the Liberals will do to make sure they are making changes so that first nations, Métis and Inuit are engaged in such things as emergency preparedness, as well as combatting climate change.
    Mr. Speaker, obviously the hon. member for Nunavut comes from an area of this country that is greatly affected by climate change.
    I would also say to the hon. member that members on this side of the aisle and I will always work with the member opposite to improve the lives of the people living in Nunavut, and all indigenous peoples and first nations, to ensure they have the resources to succeed, and to continue the nation-to-nation relationship and collaboration that has taken place since day one in 2015.
    Mr. Speaker, I wonder what my colleague might say in response to a recent study by an economist from the University of Calgary that found, if the carbon pricing were to be cancelled today, those who would stand to lose the most would be people with lower incomes and that high-income households stood the most to gain if the tax were axed tomorrow. In fact, the report found that 94% of people who earn $50,000 or less get more through the rebate than they would ever pay in carbon pricing.
     I wonder what the member might have to say about that.

  (1305)  

    Mr. Speaker, the climate action incentive payments, much like other measures we have put in place, whether the Canada child benefit, the Canada workers benefit or any other measure, is meant to make life more affordable for our residents, improve their quality of life, pull people out of poverty and, yes, at the same time, be a win for the environment in reducing emissions.
    We will continue on the path of making sure we have the backs of Canadians, particularly at this time of global inflation. Thankfully, inflation is dissipating, but the cost of living is still very high. The climate action incentive payments are just another measure to help Canadians and Canadian families, particularly those who are lower-income Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I was reflecting, as I believe this is the 18th time we are debating a motion similar to this in this Parliament, back to the last election. In our debates, I said it was refreshing that all of the main parties at that time, in 2021, were running on a price on pollution, including all the members of the Conservative Party who sit here right now. We were actually talking about how we fight climate change.
    Unfortunately, we are back to a time where one of the parties in the House is debating whether we should fight climate change at all. Its members can see it with their own eyes. They represent ridings that have had severe drought, flooding, fires and hurricanes. Their silence is deafening. The only plank of their environmental plan that comes through, as this is the 18th time we are debating this, is recycling slogans. There are no facts behind anything they are coming forward with.
    They say that the price on pollution does not work. It is false: 30% of our reductions can be attributed to the price on pollution. That is 30% of our reductions; it is working.
    An hon. member: That's not true.
    Mr. Chris Bittle: Mr. Speaker, they are heckling me and saying it is not true. They will not stand up at any point and show any facts. They will yell, slam their desks and heckle.
    The member for Provencher, who is heckling, represents a province that has suffered from the effects of climate with significant drought, and he is laughing. He thinks this is funny. He thinks his province going through severe drought is funny enough to laugh in the House of Commons. He will get up to talk about the price of food, but laugh when there are drought conditions on the Prairies.
    What is driving that price? Conservatives are going to talk about the price on pollution, but the impact of food increases is happening the same in the United States, which does not have a price on pollution. They cannot explain that. They will not bring forward any facts on that issue.
    They will not talk about the rebate Canadians get. They will not talk about how eight out of 10 families get more money back. They will not talk about the report out of the University of Calgary that shows 94% of individuals and families who make less than $50,000 a year end up with more.
    They want to get rid of the price on pollution. What would that do? It would go straight back to their friends the oil companies. It would go straight back to companies I believe last year made $120 billion in profit, and they claim this trickle-down approach would come back to us somehow.
    What it would mean is more stock buybacks and no spending on climate progress. It would not have any benefit to us Canadians across the board. Canadians who count on their climate action incentive would look to any government that cancels that and ask where the money is. They do not mention the rebate because they do not want to mention they would cut that rebate, which helps so many families across the board.
    They want to take Canada out of international discussions. According to the World Bank, there are 73 carbon pricing initiatives currently in place or scheduled to be in place across the globe. These include in Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Chile, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Germany and of course Ukraine. We cannot forget about Ukraine, which the members on the other side want to make a splash about. They say that they cannot afford a free trade agreement with Ukraine because it mentions a price on pollution.
    At the end of the day, they are willing to throw Ukraine under the bus. They are willing to throw it under the bus at a time when its president wants this free trade agreement. They talk about lowering the price of food, but they are voting against a country that is one of the breadbaskets of the world. Ukraine needs Canada's support, and this is what it has asked for.
    The Conservative Party members are so ideological on pricing pollution, when a huge part of the world is behind this, yet they are going to take Canada back. They are going to take Canada back to the benefit of oil companies. They do not care about defending allies such as Ukraine, and they do not care about being a leader on climate.

  (1310)  

     I know that the member from Manitoba laughs that his province is under a drought, but what about the farmers in his community whose yields are down significantly? This is not because of a government policy, but because of the impacts of climate change. However, we do not hear that in any of their speeches.
    The Conservatives, who do not want a price on pollution and claim that reducing pollution should be borne by industry, should be getting behind the government's latest announcement, which is an emissions reduction plan that would put a cap-and-trade system in place on the oil and gas sector to reduce 30% of emissions, but we are not going to hear that. We are not going to hear support for that plan because, fundamentally, I do not believe that they believe that climate change is real.
     It is sad that we are back to a Conservative Party that does not believe in climate change. We have heard speech after speech in the House today, and I am not hearing individuals talk about the impacts in their community. However, they can see it with their own eyes. I remember debating a similar motion to this and the smoke was so bad in Ottawa that we could not see across the river in to Gatineau the impacts of climate change were so real.
    Again, they are laughing. The hon. member from Saskatoon is making a joke. The forest fires in Quebec were so bad, but he stands here and makes a joke. The Conservatives are climate change deniers. This is a big joke to them. They do not care that grain yields are down on the Prairies. They do not care that forests the size of, I believe, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador burnt down this year, but that is a joke. First the member for Provencher laughed at the fact that there is drought in his province, and the member from Saskatoon laughs at climate change. It is a joke to them.
    This is an existential crisis facing Canadians. However, Conservatives are now claiming that there is no drought on the Prairies. The grain yields are down across the prairies, I guess, by magic—
    We have a point of order from the hon. member for Brandon—Souris.
    Mr. Speaker, it is a correction. We said there was no drought in Manitoba. There were small areas, but no drought in Manitoba—
    We are getting into debate. The hon. member can ask a question of the parliamentary secretary as soon as his speech is done.
    The hon. member for St. Catharines.
    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is suggesting that I am not telling the truth, but all we hear is them axing the facts, which is truly unfortunate. The Conservatives are not even going to say that there are drought conditions across the Prairies, which is fact.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Chris Bittle: Mr. Speaker, they are chirping. They are upset. They are angry, but the fact remains that this country has seen extreme weather time and time again, and that is what is impacting the price of food.
    One of the previous members brought up a study warning Canadians that the price of food is going to increase. However, the member did not mention the second part, which was that climate change is the main driver of that. What do they do? They want to get rid of one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce pollution. It is a system that works and puts more money back into the pockets of Canadians.
    Again, I call on the Conservatives to bring up some facts that support their arguments. Give us a better way to fight pollution. However, they are not going to. The only thing they have are slogans. I would like to see some facts. I would like to see a better way to fight pollution if they have it, but they do not. One Conservative member in committee said that environmentalists bring up all sorts of things, such as acid rain, but it went away.
    Do members know why it went away? It is because a price on pollution was brought in.
    An hon. member: Science.
    Mr. Chris Bittle: Mr. Speaker, the hon. laughed again and said “Science”, but a price on pollution was brought in to limit pollution. It was brought in by a Conservative government under Brian Mulroney, by the way, who was a leader on that front. I hope that the Conservatives return back to even 2021, when they were talking about a price on pollution and climate change.
    Climate change is real. We need to act. It is unfortunate that the Conservatives will laugh and deny it.

  (1315)  

    Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest and humour to the member for St. Catharines, because he is certainly a good fabricator. What he needs to do is get his facts straight. Before he surmises that there was a drought in Manitoba, he should do his fact-checking instead of hypothecating about what he would have liked to happen.
    There was no drought in Manitoba. The farmers in my region were experiencing bumper crops. I do not know what the member was talking about.
    Why does the member want to increase the price of home heating? Why does he want to increase the price of food for first nations and families right across the country? Why does he want to do that to my residents of Provencher? Why does he want to make life more expensive for Canadian families?
    I want to caution the hon. members when we are talking about fabrication, making stuff up or using the word that I kicked someone out of the House for yesterday. Let us be careful when we are taking on these things.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Mr. Speaker, grain yields are down. Maybe they are doing great in the hon. member's riding, but he does not cite any facts. He cites his slogans, and that is unfortunate because Manitobans are impacted by the effects of climate change, which is driving up the price of food. That is the main driver of the price of food.
    No one on the other side mentions that the price of food here is growing at the same price as it is in the United States, which does not have a price on pollution. Climate change is what is driving it. I do not know why the Conservatives are denying it or why they are sticking their heads in the sand. The hon. member ran on a price on pollution. Why is he denying it right now?
    Mr. Speaker, the Governor of the Bank of Canada cited that the carbon tax is causing about a 0.15% impact on inflation. This was confirmed by the PBO. That is 15¢ on a bag of groceries that is $100.
    The Conservatives are getting away with this runaway train of a disinformation campaign that the carbon tax is the major factor when it comes to grocery store prices. We know it is corporate greed, because the big grocery stores are recording record profits. The reason the Conservatives are able to get away with convincing Canadians to buy into this campaign is that the government has failed to go after the CEOs of the big grocery stores. There is no difference, really, when it comes to Liberals and Conservatives being gatekeepers for the rich and well connected.
    Will the Liberals finally go after the big grocery store chains and take real, meaningful action so that it shows up at the till when people are trying to buy their groceries?
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the support of the NDP on the budget.
    The thing I want to focus on is the cancellation of the price on pollution. It would disproportionately hurt the most vulnerable in our communities. As I mentioned in my speech, 94% of those making less than $50,000 a year get more back from a price on pollution. It is the Conservative Party that would disproportionately impact those hurting and struggling the most in our country.

  (1320)  

    Mr. Speaker, we hear a lot about the Conservative leader saying “axe the tax”. I think there is a comeback slogan to that. It is called “axe the facts”. Before he pre-empts his speeches with this in the future, I am wondering if we should emphasize the fact that, when it comes to the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, he will “axe the facts” and then get into the bafflegab of “axe the tax” on the price on pollution. I would like the member's comments on “axe the facts”.
    Mr. Speaker, I agree with the hon. member wholeheartedly. The only thing the party on the other side has is slogans. They have no experts who back them up. They have no respected economists or environmentalists who will stand up and say theirs is a reasonable plan or that they have reasonable ideas. They laugh when we talk about climate change. They laugh when we talk about it having an effect on their constituents.
    They have no plan for the environment. They have no plan for climate change. They are reckless. They are dangerous. This is the most serious thing facing Canadians as we move forward, and the only thing they brought to the debate is laughter.
    Mr. Speaker, the member talks about facts. Is he willing to stand in this House and say that based on Canada's proportion of greenhouse gases in comparison to the United States, China, India and many other countries in this world, our weather systems in Canada are due to our responsibilities in the global climate change scenario?
    Mr. Speaker, this shows how unserious that party is. If every country that had lower emissions than China and the United States said they did not have a responsibility on climate change, there would be no action on it. Countries like Ukraine have stepped up, and they have very small carbon footprints. What did the Conservative Party do? It voted against Ukraine.
    The price on pollution is important and we need to move forward on it. It works and it puts more money back into the pockets of Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to share my time today with my colleague from Elgin—Middlesex—London.
    Our Conservative motion to axe the carbon tax, as we have heard so much from the Liberal government about today, is an opportunity for all members of Parliament, even those in the Liberal backbenches, including the my colleague from Winnipeg North, to stand up for their constituents. I know it will take courage, but I urge every one of them to do the right thing.
    Like all MPs in this House, I am getting emails and calls from moms and dads across Canada who are struggling to pay their bills and put food on their tables. I am hearing from seniors who worked decades to save for retirement, only to see inflation eradicate their income and financial security.
     As someone who represents a large rural constituency, I know how the carbon tax disproportionately impacts the people who call Westman home. If we can pass this motion, it will send a strong signal to the Prime Minister that his government needs to get serious about the cost of living crisis in Canada. If the Liberals have not yet figured it out, the Conservative team will never back down from its mission to axe the carbon tax once and for all, no matter how long it takes. We will stand up for the families, seniors, farmers and indigenous Canadians who are being crushed by the drastic cost of living.
    Nothing was more insulting to the millions of Canadians trying to heat their homes this winter than when the Prime Minister decided to temporarily pause his carbon tax on only 3% of households. It is no wonder that provincial governments are up in arms. Even the NDP government in Manitoba is explicitly asking the Prime Minister to exempt home heating from his carbon tax. As for the top-up for rural Canadians, it is not even enough money to pay for the gas to take their kids to hockey practice on the weekend.
    Our common-sense Conservative motion today is simple. It is not a gimmick and there are no temporary measures. It is time to axe the inflationary carbon tax for good and bring home lower prices.
    Every single member of Parliament knows constituents are hurting. It does not matter if people live in rural Newfoundland or North Bay, Ontario, inflation and rising Liberal taxes are taking their toll. People are struggling to stay afloat, and the carbon tax is a giant anvil dragging them down.
    We found out this week, as an example, that more than 50,000 Manitobans are now regularly using a food bank, the highest number ever recorded in the province, and while we can get bogged down in statistics, we must never forget that we are talking about people. These are seniors, students, children and indigenous Canadians who cannot afford to go the grocery store. When people do have money in their pockets, they are decreasing the quantity and sometimes the quality of the food they are buying.
    This is not normal and it weighs heavily on the minds of moms and dads trying to pack their kids’ school lunch boxes. It weighs heavily on the senior whose fixed income is not keeping up with the rate of inflation. It weighs heavily on the young person who is trying desperately to pay for their education or save for a home but can barely afford their daily necessities.
    I know first-hand the challenges food banks are having. I have visited the Samaritan House in Brandon and it is struggling to keep up with demand. I cannot say enough about the good work that Barbara McNish and all the volunteers do for those in need, but we as policy-makers cannot just turn a blind eye to these startling numbers.
    As another example, I know the food bank in Killarney, Manitoba, is facing challenges. It recently contacted my office, as it now needs to hire a manager to run the operation as the demand on volunteers is too great. Under the Liberal government, small rural communities need to hire a manager to run a food bank. In all my years of living in Westman, I never thought in a million years that a very progressive community like Killarney would ever need to hire staff to run its food bank. It is a testament to the struggles that many are facing and it is undeniably heartbreaking.

  (1325)  

    If this is not a warning sign of how bad things have gotten out there, I do not know what is. What will it take to finally wake the Prime Minister up and get him to change direction? The rising costs of food cannot be divorced from the Liberal government's tax-and-spend policies. The carbon tax is driving up the cost of everything. It is contributing to the costs of growing our food.
    Let this sink in for a moment. While the cost of groceries has never been higher, Liberals have shown no compassion for those who cannot afford to put food on the table. The carbon tax is being applied all along the entire food supply system. It gets passed down until every Canadian gets stuck with the bill. It is no wonder the Parliamentary Budget Officer said that families are seeing a net loss under this measure.
    Families and seniors are getting crushed, and it is time for action. They are tired of Liberal gaslighting about how much better off they are under the carbon tax rebate scheme. The good people of Westman are not falling for the Liberals' talking points; at the end of the day, they do not have more money in their wallets.
    Just this morning, Canada's Food Price Report stated that the average family of four is expected to spend $16,297.20 on food in 2024. As we have heard my colleagues say in this House before, that is seven hundred and some dollars more than what they had to spend last year.
    I want to finish my talk today by just saying that this is an outlandish tax that the government is trying to place on everyone in Canada and their cost of living today. The government could have passed Bill C-234, which was a bill to take the carbon tax off heating barns and greenhouses in Canada and drying grain. The cost of food is directly proportional to the cost of the inputs that it takes to grow these products. We are talking about greenhouse produce that is extremely healthy and is exported all over the world, particularly to our neighbours in the United States to the south of us.
     Maybe some of my colleagues are not aware of what really happens when farmers are drying grain. It is not just a luxury; it is an absolute necessity, because farmers need to be able to store that crop when they take it off. If they do not, that grain could spoil, costing the producers millions of dollars across the country. It could be billions. This is something that is very much a necessity.

  (1330)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order.
    I simply want to say that the interpreter is indicating for the third time that there is a telephone vibrating next to the microphone and that it is a problem.

[English]

    Let us make sure the phone is not vibrating. Is there no phone there anywhere?

[Translation]

    I thank the member for his intervention.

[English]

    The hon. member for Brandon—Souris.
    Mr. Speaker, I was just saying that, with respect to the cost of drying this grain, the government is basically saying that it will take the risk of forcing farmers to, in some cases, not be able to afford to store their grain properly. That would lead to great devastation in regard to our ability to be a reliable nation in our export markets, as well as putting some of the best food in the world on the table.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I will ask my colleague the same question I asked the leader of the official opposition earlier.
    There were all sorts of food drives over the weekend. I met with organizations in my riding, very dedicated people, food banks, families, people involved in housing as well, who build social housing. They talked to me and what they want are massive investments to build social housing for families, for women who are victims of domestic abuse and for single mothers.
    Again, no one talked to me about the carbon tax and the related rising costs in Quebec. What they need is housing. No one talked to me about the carbon tax. The carbon tax does not apply in Quebec.
    What is it going to take for Conservatives to understand that this does not apply in Quebec? What would my colleague say to the woman who says we need investments in social housing?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, if he does not think that the carbon tax impacts him in Quebec, then he has not been listening to my colleagues in the Conservative Party or many of the people in his home province. Obviously, attacks placed anywhere in Canada affect the food prices in our whole nation. That is a big part of the problem that the Bloc has not recognized.
    Mr. Speaker, affordability is clearly a key concern. Keeping that in mind and having heard what the member opposite had to say, I wonder how he can fix everything that he has said and square that with the following fact: According to University of Calgary economists, if the carbon tax were axed tomorrow, the people who would actually benefit the most are people who earn $250,000 or more. More to the point, 94% of people who earn $50,000 or less receive more through carbon pricing rebates than they pay in carbon pricing.
    How is it that the Conservative Party is supporting giving a benefit to people who earn $250,000 or more? Are they the ones who are having the greatest affordability challenges?
    An hon. member: Hear, hear!
    Mr. Speaker, I really heard the enthusiasm of the colleague from Halifax sitting behind the member, who just had his carbon tax cut by the Prime Minister, starting in the new year.
    The member's question is relevant, but it is interesting to see how the Liberals have changed their tune; it used to be that everybody was getting back more than they paid. Then it went to 80%. Let us face it: They would not be getting anything back if it were not for the pressure the Conservatives put on them to have a rebate on the carbon tax in the first place.
    The difficulty with this whole process is that it is not true. The Parliamentary Budget Officer himself said that it costs the average family more than $1,000 more than they are getting back in the rebate. Some of the points that came out this morning in the food report showed that, in Ontario alone, there is a $2,600 cost, and $800 does not square that.

  (1335)  

    Mr. Speaker, let us talk about who is changing their tune. This member ran on a platform putting a price on carbon. Today, here he is saying that we should get rid of the carbon tax. The Conservatives ran on a platform to remove the GST on all home heating, something the NDP just brought forward. What did they do? They voted against it.
    My colleague before me just talked about how eight out of 10 families will get a rebate that is larger than what they will pay in carbon tax. In fact, if someone earns $250,000 or more, then they will not. They will pay more.
    The bottom line is that this is a diversion today. The Conservatives keep bringing this motion back. This is the 11th opposition day we have spent on it. It is a diversion from the fact that, as we know, the Conservatives are really fighting for those who earn over $250,000. They are not fighting for the eight in 10 families who are going to come out ahead. That is the truth.
    My colleague ran on a platform to put a price on carbon and to remove the GST on home heating. Could he say why he keeps voting against that?
    Mr. Speaker, the only ones running here are the New Democrats on Vancouver Island, who are running for their seats.
    I just explained to the member from the island, my hon. colleague, about the Parliamentary Budget Officer's findings. There is $1,000 more in costs. If one only counts the price in gasoline and heating fuels in one's diagnosis of this whole process, then one will leave out all the costs of the redistribution of products across Canada.
    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to speak to our opposition day motion. I want to start off with some basic facts, so I will read into the record this very important piece of information. This is the type of stuff we are actually discussing today:
    Between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, over 800,000 people in Ontario alone accessed a food bank. In total, there were 5.9 million visits to a food bank in this time period. Feed Ontario reported that “if the 800,822 people who visited Ontario’s food banks between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, became their own municipality, it would be the third largest city in the province ahead of Mississauga.”
    This tells us we have a problem, yet we are back to this debate. As the member from the NDP stated, Conservatives are bringing up this motion for the 11th time. We are trying to bring some common sense and understand why over 800,000 people in Ontario alone are using a food bank.
    Just this week, at the Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, we heard it is forecasted that a food bank in Kelowna, B.C., is expecting its growth to be 100% in the next year. In addition, “More than one in six visitors say they are employed, which is an 82 percent increase over 2016-17 and a 37 percent increase over the previous year.” Now it is forecasted that, for 2024, there will be a hundred per cent increase in the use of food banks.
    Why is this happening? It is very simple. It is because the cost of living is skyrocketing. Canadian mortgages have doubled, the costs of rents are increasing faster than the increase in wages and affordability is just absolutely out of control. We are in a broken economy right now.
    We can try to paint a flowery picture, as we have heard from many parties here, and specifically the government's side. We can paint a pretty picture of all they have done. They can talk all they want about the Canada child tax benefit, refunds from the carbon tax and $10-a-day child care, but none of these policies are working to date.
    This is why I am bringing this forward. We can talk about the Canada child tax benefit that was reformed in 2016, but we have to take into consideration what people received back in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Yes, I recognize there was an escalator to that, but the cost of living has continued to increase. Therefore, at the end of the day, Canadians are actually finding that they have less money in their pockets because of the cost of living. The more one spends, the more taxes the government is bringing in. This is the bottom line, and that is why it is so important that we axe the tax for farmers, families and first nations. It is desperately needed.
    I am from the incredible riding of Elgin—Middlesex—London, where some of our key industry is farming and agribusiness. I will share a bit of information I received yesterday. When one starts receiving such things, one wonders if anybody from the government benches is doing any reading. Specifically, this comes from Dowler-Karn. I would really like to thank Dowler-Karn and the great people there who are servicing our farmers daily to try to make sure we get crops off and that grains are being dried and everything.
    Dowler-Karn has seven locations from Windsor to Kitchener and services industry, agricultural producers, trucking companies and some residential home heating. It does not service gas stations or the mandatory residential home heating. I contacted Dowler-Karn in respect to its carbon tax expenses and was shocked to learn about the revenue that is leaving Elgin—Middlesex—London.
    In a 12-month period, from November 30, $27.2 million in carbon tax was sent from Elgin—Middlesex—London to the federal government from Dowler-Karn alone, which is only one of the riding's providers. By April 1, 2024, rates will be going up 23%, so the carbon tax for 2024 is estimated by Dowler-Karn at $34 million.
    Where does one think the $34 million comes from? It is added as one of the input costs to farmers. It is that simple. It is part of the business costs, so at the end of the day, when input costs go up, we are going to see the cost of food going up. It is really difficult for me to talk about food if we are not going to actually recognize that carbon tax plays a huge role in the production of food. It makes me very concerned that we are ignoring this.

  (1340)  

    Currently, the monthly average for Dowler-Karn is $2 million to $2.5 million in carbon tax. Recently, the Canadian Propane Association released a study that, on average, Canadian households are spending $300 to $350 monthly on home heating alone. Currently, the rate of carbon tax on diesel fuel is 17.4¢ per litre, with an estimate to 45.4¢ per litre by 2023. This is affecting all transportation of goods in Canada by truck or rail.
    I also want to read into the record an email that we received. We are talking about families. We are talking about how people are being impacted. We recognize that there is absolutely an urban and rural divide on this, but people in the cities may pay less when it comes to the carbon tax because maybe their driving distance is shorter, or their homes may be different, like they might not being living in century-old farm homes. Barry Brigham of London wrote:
    With several years of country wide tax contribution income now in place and recognizing rebates extended back to taxpayers, my personal question...[to you] Has there ever been a public release of an accountability statement to the current summary of the carbon tax ledger dollar amount to share with taxpayers. Information such as the current balance along with income generated from interest and details as to the disbursement of this carbon tax income ledger detailing the direction of funds for environmental improvement areas would be of great value and interest to review for a majority of Canadians.
    Why do I bring this up? It is because when we talk about all of this money that is coming from the carbon tax, this psychological program that they are playing with Canadians, we are seeing that Canadians are paying a lot of money and they are absolutely desperate. They are asking where the government is taking the money it is receiving from the carbon tax, and are asking where it is investing it to ensure that we actually have climate solutions. That is what we see. The government continues to put its money into the general coffers so it has more revenue. This is a tax plan. It is all about bringing more money in, but we are not seeing the investments in technologies that we need to see.
    On Bill C-234, let us turn to something that is really disgusting. I have an email here from some farmers in my riding. Currently, one livestock farmer has already spent approximately $38,000 in carbon tax alone to heat his barns, and will be spending approximately $12,000 in carbon tax to dry his grain.
    Another large farming corporation that does some incredible work in the grain and oilseeds industry has already paid $80,000 in carbon tax. Where do people think this money comes from? It will come from the consumer at the end of the day because the input costs continue to go up.
    I know I do not have a lot of time left. We have talked about the families, we have talked about the farmers and now we need to talk about our first nations. I think one of the greatest challenges I have seen here is the fact that the first nations have been left out of this. We saw Atlantic Canada get a break on the carbon tax. Why? It was not working and it was making people poor.
    We are hearing the same things from our indigenous leaders. I want to read from a CBC article by Olivia Stefanovich. It states, “Ontario First Nations leaders are asking the Federal Court to exempt their communities from the federal carbon tax, a policy”—

  (1345)  

    We have a point of order from the member for Courtenay—Alberni.
    Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, and I have a ton of respect for this member, I want to remind members that indigenous peoples are not ours. I will give her a chance to correct the record.
    Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate that and I will correct the record. I recognize that indigenous people are a huge part of our Canadian history and are a huge part of our Canadian social work. They are a huge part of our history, so I do appreciate that.
    The article states, “The First Nations argue that the imposition of the price on carbon is leaving their communities worse off than others in Canada and breaching the principles of reconciliation.” The Prime Minister, in 2015, stated that the greatest relationship is that with the indigenous people. How dare he say that when we know this is one of the greatest challenges? Why are people having difficulties? It is because they cannot put the fuel they need in their snowmobiles. Gasoline is being taxed. We know food is being taxed to get up there. It costs more money. Food costs more.
    At the end of the day, I am asking that every parliamentarian in here supports Canadian families, supports Canadians farmers and supports first nations, and axes the carbon tax.
    Mr. Speaker, I do value the hon. member's input, but I have a question. In an era when big grocery is raking in massive profits, which, unfortunately, the opposition does not want to talk about, does the old Conservative idea of trickle-down economics square?
    Can the member guarantee, if we take the tax off farmers and truckers, that it will trickle down to the consumer or will it simply absorbed by the folks up and down the chain?
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. My colleague across the way just heckled, “You guys are literally brain dead.” That is exactly what the member for Dufferin—Caledon just said. I am wondering if you could perhaps ask him to retract that comment to at least have the perception of there being some decorum in this House.
    I did not hear that.
    The hon. member for New Brunswick Southwest.
    Mr. Speaker, I was just going to suggest that if you do that, I will then ask that he retract the retraction. It was a good-natured comment and the member has nothing to apologize for.
    Since I did not hear it, I would have to go back and listen. I do not know if we time to come back before this debate is complete. I will go back to find out if that is what was said.
    The hon. member for Elgin—Middlesex—London.
    Mr. Speaker, we know that the member for Kingston and the Islands loves to rise on points of order, so I would like to make sure I am getting my time back from his wasted point of order. I am, thanks very much.
    I was asked a very important question. Instead of questioning whether farmers are going to put money in their own pockets, we should ask the government why it keeps putting it in its pockets. The question that keeps being asked is what will happen if the carbon tax is not taken off and it is added on. We will be throwing our money to the government that continues to just waste it. Perhaps we should trust farmers way before we trust the government.

  (1350)  

    Mr. Speaker, I rose earlier on a point of order to remind my colleague that indigenous people are not ours.
    My colleague went on to say that indigenous people are part of our history. They are not just part of our history. Indigenous people in my riding fight every day to get through the challenges they face because of government policies that have tried to destroy them. They say every day that they are still here. They fight every day to remind people and let each other know that they are still here. They are not just part of our history, they are still here and need to be a predominant part of the conversation moving forward.
    To the question from my good friend, the 2021 election price-on-carbon platform running Conservative, why did she run on a platform to put a price on carbon, but today is running so hard against it?
    Mr. Speaker, 130 first nations in Ontario alone are suing the government because the carbon tax is not working. The member can split the words as much as he wants to. At the end of the day, indigenous peoples in Canada are not doing as well because we know the carbon tax impacts them. We know that it impacts the cost of heating their homes, the production of food and getting the food to first nations, especially in remote and rural areas.
    For anyone to ever question my support for first nations is laughable. I will continue to work with the incredible member for Winnipeg Centre when it comes to missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. Please, let us not be so petty.
    Mr. Speaker, this morning, two of Canada's largest grocery retailer CEOs testified that the carbon tax applied to the farmer, the trucker, the food producer and themselves will get passed on to the consumer, contrary to one of the questions from a member across the way to my hon. colleague from Elgin—Middlesex—London, that the grocery retailers are putting the carbon tax in their pockets.
    It is being passed on to the consumer. Would my colleague agree?
    Mr. Speaker, as a daughter of a farmer, a niece of a farmer and a member of my community, I am absolutely disgusted that we would ever try to question farmers on putting money in their pockets. They, like any other business person, have the right to make a profit. They are working hard to make sure there is food on the table.
    I very much question questioning farmers. We have a program that is not working. At the end of the day, we need to axe the tax. It is on the entire cost of food production, from the input to the consumer. We know it goes along the entire way.
    Mr. Speaker, perhaps I will pick up on where that last question and answer left off.
    The member was informed that, in committee, committee members were told by grocery chains that the carbon tax would be passed on to consumers, but I would inform those members that this is why we give the rebate to consumers so that they end up benefiting from it, and this is where I will focus my comments today.
    I am getting pretty tired of debate after debate on the same issue with Conservatives coming forward as though they are somehow here to look out for the little guy and for the people who are struggling. They are nowhere near doing any of that. Everything they do and everything they say is exactly the opposite of that.
    My colleagues from the NDP bring up an excellent point, which is that Conservatives ran on pricing pollution not just in 2021 under the leadership of Erin O'Toole, but they also ran on it in 2008 under the leadership of Stephen Harper. So a number of Conservatives have actually run on it twice. Then they come into this House and try to suggest—
    On a point of order, the hon. member for Brantford—Brant.
    Mr. Speaker, we often hear from this member characterizing the entire Conservative team as the team that ran on this. I can say that, personally, I did not. I know that several of my colleagues did not as well—

  (1355)  

    I appreciate that point of debate, but it is not a point of order.
     I will also remind the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands that he has five minutes remaining before we have to go to Statements By Members.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, he ran on it in 2021. It is in the platform, and I have the Conservative Party platform right here. If he had a problem with it, he is going to have to direct me to where—
    There is a point of order from the hon. member for Brantford—Brant.
    Mr. Speaker, the last time I checked, the member for Kingston and the Islands was not part of my election team, my readiness team. Again, he is—
    Okay, we are still getting into debate. I would suggest to the hon. member, if we are going to be interrupting one another, he should read pieces out of the Standing Orders so that they are actually points of order.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, the member is operating under good instruction from his whip's desk to keep calling out points of order on me. Congratulations to him.
    However, in the document, “The True North Strong and Free”, Stephen Harper's plan for Canadians, there is actually reference to pricing pollution in here through the cap-and-trade model that Ontario, Quebec and a number of states in the United States adopted. That member ran in 2021 on Erin O'Toole's plan to price pollution—
    There is a point of order from the hon. member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman.
    Mr. Speaker, under Standing Order 18, a member cannot stand in this place and talk disparagingly about other members in this place. I ask that he monitor his language very carefully. Rather than being a disruptive individual in the House and using bully-boy tactics, he actually should be more parliamentarian in his address to the House of Commons.
    I appreciate the help. I would also remind people to be very judicious with the words they are using and how they are characterizing other parties in this House of Commons.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, all of the Conservatives ran on that platform. Now, if some of them decided sometime during that election campaign that they chose—
    There is another point of order from the hon. member for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies.
    Mr. Speaker, the member for Kingston and the Islands just threatened this side. I do not know if that is common practice to do that or allowed in the House, but I wish he would retract it and apologize.
    I did not hear that part, but I will go back and listen.
    I would suggest that we are getting close to two o'clock when we have to do Statements By Members, so let us get the hon. member to at least five minutes into his speech.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, the member is referring to when the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman stood up and I said, “Would you like me to bring up Ukraine?”, but I was not going to do that until the second half of my speech after question period. I will hold off and I will be judicious in my timing, but if the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman would like to hear that, I invite him to stick around after question period.
    The reality is that all the Conservatives ran on pricing pollution. Each and every one of them ran on pricing pollution. Now, if they chose not to, then they should table for this House where in their campaign literature they were going against Mr. O'Toole. I wait with anticipation for that.
    However, here is the reality of what Conservatives continually miss. It is the fact that many more people, eight out of 10 people, get back more than they pay in. According to Statistics Canada, 94%—
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. That is factually inaccurate. If one reads the distributional analysis provided by the PBO, that point—
    We keep getting into debate, and this is debate.
    The hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby.
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservative behaviour is absolutely unacceptable. They should stop harassing people who are trying to give legitimate speeches. Shame on every one of them.
    In the House, sometimes it seems that what goes around comes around. What I would suggest to everyone, and I will ask this personally, is that when there are points of order, they actually be points of order, not points of debate. It makes it a lot easier and allows people to complete the debate we are trying to have on the floor.
    I thank the hon. members for trying to help out, but let us ensure that they are real points of order.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, who definitely gets back more than they put in? The Leader of the Opposition. This is an individual who lives in a government-funded house. This is an individual who has a private driver.
    I would like to know—
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would like you to rule on whether the point the member just made regarding the residence of the leader of the official opposition is relevant to the debate that we are having currently in the House.

  (1400)  

    At least we have a relevance question, which is actually a point of order.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, I just want to know if the Leader of the Opposition cashed his rebate cheque that he would have received. Would he like to table his bank statements to prove to us whether he did?
    That is really getting into questions and comments, and we are not at that point of the day.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]

[English]

Fundraisers

    Mr. Speaker, on the anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of the Sikh religion, two local media outlets in Surrey—Newton, Connect FM and RED FM, held radiothon fundraisers.
    Through the generous support of the community, RED FM raised over $1 million for the Surrey Hospitals Foundation, to bring two much-needed cardiac cath labs to Surrey Memorial Hospital, which will be the first-ever labs built south of the Fraser River.
    Connect FM raised over $175,000 in support of the Guru Nanak's Free Kitchen, a community organization that has been feeding those in need in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and other areas of B.C. since 2006.
    I thank all those who gave generously to both these worthy causes, and to the leadership, staff and volunteers of Connect FM and RED FM.

Medical Assistance in Dying

    Mr. Speaker, on March 17, Canada is set to go down a very dangerous road when MAID will become available for persons suffering solely from mental illness.
     Last year, the government delayed this expansion after leading medical professionals, including the chairs of psychiatry from all 17 medical schools, said that Canada was not ready. That is because it is impossible to predict whether someone with a mental illness will not get better. In other words, persons who could get better would have their lives prematurely ended.
    Recently, the Special Joint Committee on MAID wrapped up its hearings and heard loud and clear from experts that Canada still is not ready.
    I urge the government to follow the evidence, stop the madness and immediately introduce legislation to permanently scrap this dangerous expansion of MAID.

[Translation]

Orléans Parade of Lights

    Mr. Speaker, on November 25, I had the honour of taking part in Santa's parade of lights along St. Joseph Boulevard, which we are proud to call the heart of Orléans.

[English]

    We celebrated the 26th anniversary this year of Santa's Parade of Lights, the largest Christmas parade in eastern Ontario.
    It is always a special moment to walk along St. Joseph Boulevard to give out candy canes to the young ones and see such a big crowd, 150,000 people, gathering on a beautiful Saturday evening. A total of 75 floats, decorated and filled with lights, took part this year in the parade.
    This event would not be possible without the devotion and hard work of the Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters Association. I want to especially thank the chairman, Bob Rainboth, as well as his entire team for their leadership and for participating in raising money and toys for the fire fighters' Help Santa Toy Parade fund.

[Translation]

Media Food Drive

    Mr. Speaker, as a sure sign that the holiday season is fast approaching, today is the day that people can donate on street corners for the 23rd annual media food drive.
    Across Quebec, our media personalities are braving the bitter cold to help food banks and all Quebeckers in need. On behalf of the Bloc Québécois, I invite those who can afford it in these difficult times to give generously. Let us not forget that the campaign runs until December 31 and that people can also donate online if they do not get a chance today to contribute to the buckets of our courageous fundraisers.
    In closing, I would like to point out that if the Liberals want to contribute to the media food drive, we remind them that, during the election campaign, they promised $1 billion for food aid for schools. What a great opportunity for them to keep their election promise.
    I would like to thank all the participants and wish everyone a happy media food drive.
    Let us give generously.

  (1405)  

[English]

Food Banks

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to invite the people in Nickel Belt to support their local food banks.
    More than 17,000 people visit the greater Sudbury food bank per month, and countless others depend on the food bank sites in Onaping Falls; Sturgeon Falls; Coniston; Garson, Valley East; and French River.
    All these food bank locations, along with their incredible team of volunteers, have spearheaded countless fundraising efforts to ensure the most vulnerable do not go hungry.
    Right now, the annual Edgar Burton food drive in Sudbury is taking place until December 15.

[Translation]

    As the holidays approach, there is no better time to make a financial contribution or food donation, or to volunteer at a food bank.
    Food banks are reporting that usage is up and there is a shortage of donations.

[English]

    Let us help fight hunger and ensure that quality foods are available for seniors, families, children and all individuals who are in need.

2024 Olympic Games

    Mr. Speaker, King Township is horse country. Our very own Christilot Boylen jumped onto the world stage in 1964 when, at the age of 17, she became the youngest Olympian dressage competitor. Throughout her illustrious career, she has won seven medals at the Pan Am Games and competed in six Olympics.
    Currently, Christilot spends her time coaching 26-year-old Beatrice Boucher, who landed her spot in the 2024 Olympic games. Described as a “beacon of positive energy”, Boylen is Canada's most decorated dressage rider in Canadian history and a highly effective and inspirational coach. As one of the coaches for the Canadian team, her goal is to bring out the best in the athletes.
    King City will be cheering her on at the 2024 Olympic Games. Let us bring it home, Canada.

Glace Bay Christmas Parade

    Mr. Speaker, despite some travel disruptions, I was delighted to make it back home last weekend for Glace Bay's annual Christmas parade. It was a wonderful experience to see my constituents spreading holiday cheer as we indulged in the Christmas spirit all across my riding of Cape Breton—Canso.
     I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Glace Bay Volunteer Fire Department for its role in bringing people together during the parade. These firefighters serve their community in so many meaningful ways without ask for any recognition or reward. In any case, I feel compelled to give these volunteer firefighters their due recognition by thanking them in this very House.
    Community initiatives such as these bring people together at a time of year when we need to do just that.
     I want to wish my constituents in Cape Breton—Canso and everyone in the House a very merry Christmas and happy holidays. Let us be kind to each other.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, housing is booming across the nation and Surrey Centre is no exception. Our government's rental construction financial initiative will invest more than $82 billion to give more Canadians a place to call home.
     My home city of Surrey hosts the fastest-growing economy and fastest-growing population in British Columbia, and our housing strategy reflects Surrey's thriving community.
     With a total of $320 million over three projects, residents living in Surrey Centre can expect to move into these 843 new purpose-built rental homes by early 2025. These investments include $146 million for 392 units at Comma King George, $145 million for 373 units at Brightside Tower and $28 million for 78 units at Parker Living. These are on top of the already 94 homes built in Surrey Centre under the rapid housing initiative, for a total of 932 homes in Surrey Centre alone. For the record, that is 10 times more in Surrey Centre than the Conservatives built in all of Canada in 10 years.
     Do not believe a word that the Leader of the Opposition says. He talks a lot, but his resumé is rather small. Even if we increase—
    The hon. member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley.

Hanukkah

    Mr. Speaker, over the next eight days, Jewish families will gather around to celebrate the story of Hanukkah. Judah and a small group of Maccabean rebels represent a triumph of light over darkness. Each night with each new candle, the menorah gets just a little bit brighter.
    This year, the hope of Hanukkah is needed more than ever, as Jews are once again forced to suffer at the hands of the monsters who are trying to destroy them. Jews have seen countless oppressors who have sought to extinguish our culture and traditions, but each time the Jewish people have endured. We will persist and those who seek our destruction will never succeed.
    Today, I am also thinking of all the hostages still held in Gaza for two months who will be kept from celebrating Hanukkah with their families. It is time to bring them all home.
     As we enjoy latkes and sufganiot and light the candles on the menorah, and as children rejoice in the fun of receiving gifts and spinning the dreidel, I wish all a happy Hanukkah.
    Chag Chanukah sameach.

  (1410)  

Human Rights

    Mr. Speaker, today, I would like to acknowledge Mr. Jimmy Lai, a 75-year-old U.K. citizen imprisoned in Hong Kong.
     Mr. Lai has been a leading pro-democracy campaigner in Hong Kong since 1989. He is a well-known and high-profile advocate for democracy and he has been an outspoken critic of human rights violations by the government of China.
     For this work, Mr. Lai has been subjected to a barrage of criminal prosecutions and currently faces life in prison.
    Mr. Lai was first arrested in August 2020, and has now been in prison continuously for three years. On December 18, he will face trial under the controversial Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
    No person should be prosecuted for standing up in defence of universal human rights, freedoms and democracy and media freedom. I stand in solidarity with Mr. Jimmy Lai and call for his immediate and unconditional release.

[Translation]

Carbon Tax

    Mr. Speaker, the number of Canadians who use food banks has reached a record high, but the Bloc-Liberal coalition is doing nothing to lower the price of food. We introduced Bill C‑234, a common-sense bill to reduce production costs directly at the farm. The Prime Minister ordered his Liberal senators to vote against the bill in the Senate.
    This morning, an annual report confirms that, in 2024, the average family will pay $700 more for groceries. Canadians are lowering their grocery bill and reducing the quantity and quality of the food they buy by replacing it with less nutritious alternatives. Children and seniors, who are the most vulnerable, deserve to eat healthy and nutritious food, but the government is keeping its carbon tax, which is making Canadians poorer.
    After eight years, the price of food is not the only increase Canadians are dealing with. The cost of housing is skyrocketing. Conservatives will continue to fight against the Bloc-Liberal coalition to lower prices for all Canadians so that they can enjoy the holidays, unlike the coalition, that wants to ruin Christmas for everyone.

[English]

Carbon Tax

    Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House and speak about some very pressing matters. Times are hard for Canadians. A new food report out today shows that Canadians will be paying an extra $700 next year to feed their families.
    The Senate amendment to Bill C-234, which would have provided farm families with a much-needed break from the carbon tax, now has its passage in limbo after the Prime Minister lobbied his appointed senators in order to protect his minister.
    The Prime Minister could not care less about how his policies have created two classes of Canadians, those who pay the carbon tax and those who do not. First nations are taking the government to court, arguing that the carbon pricing regime of the Prime Minister unjustly and disproportionately impacts their communities and that they will be worse off. It is time to take the carbon tax off farmers, first nations and families.
    After eight years of the Prime Minister, it is time for common-sense Conservative government. The Prime Minister is just not worth the cost.

Labour

    Mr. Speaker, I have great news: The government has launched the Union-Led Advisory Table. Chaired by the president of the Canadian Labour Congress, Bea Bruske, this table includes additional labour leaders from across Canada and across industry sectors. It will play an essential role in providing advice on emerging challenges and opportunities in the labour market, including on matters of automation, energy transition, housing needs and worker shortages. Specifically, the panel will advise on how to identify the needs of workers in transitioning sectors, help skilled workers in changing industries access training for in-demand jobs and promote continuous skill development for workers, ensuring that these programs are accessible to a diverse and inclusive workplace.
    I know that the efforts of the table will help workers across Canada, including in my riding of Sault Ste. Marie. Workers and labour movements have helped shape Canada into the great country that it is, and will continue to do so for the ambitious future forward.

  (1415)  

Natural Resources in Alberta

    Mr. Speaker, I am a proud Albertan. My grandfather, Bert McCoy, was a pioneer in oil and gas. My father, my brother and my husband all worked in the oil and gas sector.
    While I am a proud Albertan, I am very concerned about our uncertain future. Albertans need a sustainable future with a healthy environment and a diversified economy, but in order to achieve this, we need federal leadership and support, because Danielle Smith and the Conservatives are taking us backward. Alberta Conservatives have stopped renewable energy development, driving away billions in investment and thousands of good jobs. They have brought back coal, inviting foreign investments to decapitate our Rocky Mountains and poison our water. They are putting toxic tailings ponds on top of sensitive environments like the McClelland dam.
    Albertans deserve better. The Albertans I know, the problem solvers, the builders, the innovators and the entrepreneurs, deserve better.

[Translation]

Climate Change

    Mr. Speaker, “We are in the fight of our lives. And we are losing”. “We are experiencing a climate collapse in real time”. These strong words come from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
    Do his remarks seem undiplomatic? I would argue that he has the courage to speak those truths that deserve repeating on December 8, World Climate Day. Countries that are increasing their fossil fuel production have been branded dangerous nations that are throwing fuel on the fire. Canada, I would add, does the same while disguised as a firefighter. Whether we are speaking of the COP28 president or Canada's multibillion-dollar oil companies, their interests keep feeding the beast of climate change by capturing regulatory authority through their lobbying efforts, using public funds, and hypnotizing decision-makers with their greenwashing.
    In six years, 2030 will be here. The Secretary-General says that we can prevent our planet from crashing and burning if we act now. Yes, but now is almost over.

[English]

Finance

    Mr. Speaker, I have a news flash: While Canadians across the country struggle to make ends meet right before Christmas, the Liberals are making it worse as food and home heating costs continue to rise.
    The Prime Minister's inflationary spending has caused a cost of living crisis, forcing millions of hard-working Canadians to visit food banks so they can feed their families. In fact, this is the highest level of food bank use that this country has ever seen.
    A new report released today shows that a family of four will pay $700 dollars more next year on groceries, with meat up 7%, vegetables up 7% and bread up 7% in price. Rising production costs have contributed to these price increases, yet the Prime Minister refuses to remove the carbon tax from farmers. This means the tax trickles down to the consumer, leaving Canadians struggling to put food on the table. The solution is simple: Take the carbon tax off farmers and families.
    Prices are up and taxes are up, and the Liberal Prime Minister's time is up.

[Translation]

École Polytechnique Tragedy

    Mr. Speaker, like every year, yesterday, I was at the Prime Minister's side at the December 6 commemoration, surrounded by my grieving community. It has now been 34 years since the tragic loss of 14 women, 14 Polytechnique students who were full of promise and destined for bright futures. I was able to honour their memory this week by participating in the Order of the White Rose ceremony and by awarding a scholarship to a wonderful young woman who is studying engineering.

[English]

    This was a femicide that marked an entire generation. The unspeakable tragedy was created by a mass shooter, a madman with a semi-automatic who walked into a classroom one day. That some good could come from such evil is unthinkable, and yet, from it comes the Order of the White Rose and the leadership of the women who created a grant to support exceptional young women pursuing engineering. From it comes the PolySeSouvient organization and the leadership of the women who were there that night on December 6 and have spent their lives since then fighting for better gun control in this country.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

  (1420)  

[English]

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, families, farmers and first nations from across Canada are struggling because of the Prime Minister's ideological carbon tax crusade. Food bank usage is up 100%. We learned today that the average grocery bill will go up by $700 dollars next year. His senators are blocking relief for Canadians struggling to eat. First nations communities are taking him to court because of the carbon tax.
    Conservatives have proposed a motion to axe the tax, and we will stay here as long as it takes.
    Will the Liberals finally listen to Canadians and vote with us to scrap the punishing carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, a price on pollution is an important part of a climate plan, one that addresses affordability concerns. The vast majority of Canadians receive more money in the rebate than they pay in the price of pollution.
    The only group to benefit from the Conservative plan to end the climate program and to end the rebate would be the top 20% of earners, while almost everyone else would be poorer as a result of their plan. The Conservatives are fighting for the rich; they are not fighting for Canadians who are concerned about affordability.
    The carbon price is both a climate measure and an affordability measure.
    Mr. Speaker, those are his talking points, but I will take that as a no. Not only are they going to vote against our motion, but they are also going to quadruple the carbon tax on gas, groceries and home heating.
    Instead of voting to take the tax off farmers, the desperate Prime Minister spent his weekend calling Liberal senators to manipulate a vote that he had already lost in this House. Senators gutted the bill, betraying farmers, and then his caucus members lost their minds over a plan to make them work overtime unless they axe the carbon tax.
     Why will they not keep their hands out of everyone else's pockets and finally axe the tax so Canadians can put food on the table?
    Mr. Speaker, there is only one caucus in Parliament that is losing its mind, and it is the Conservatives, because the Conservative senators did not show up to vote on Bill C-234 in the other place.
    We are happy to be here as long as it takes, because we will always stand up for Canadians and we will always stand against bullies.
    Mr. Speaker, that is the exact opposite of what the minister said yesterday. Because of ministers like this, more Canadians than ever will use food banks, and more simply will go without any food at all. For the new year, everyone is going to spend $700 more on groceries.
    While the Liberals fight for a few extra days of Christmas vacation, we are going to fight for Canadians, and then we will send the Prime Minister on the permanent vacation that Canadians desperately want him to take.
    Why will the Liberals not axe the tax for families, for farmers and for first nations, for good?
    Mr. Speaker, 98% of farm fuel emissions are already not impacted by the price on pollution. Farmers, though, are on the front lines of climate change. They understand the critical importance of addressing the climate issue. There are many factors that are contributing to the rise of food prices in Canada and around the world, including the war in Ukraine.
    While the Conservatives continue to vote against Ukraine and oppose the free trade agreement they need in their fight against Russia, we are taking action to reduce, to ensure affordability for Canadians and to support the government of Ukraine.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of this Prime Minister, grocery prices are skyrocketing. Canada's Food Price Report is saying that families will be paying $700 more for food next year. The price of meat, fresh vegetables and baked goods will rise by 7% again next year.
    The costly Bloc-Liberal coalition continues to want to drastically increase the inflationary taxes that are driving up the cost of everything. It is costly to vote for the Bloc Québécois.
    Will this Prime Minister reconsider his intention to drastically increase the carbon tax for farmers and families so that people no longer have to go hungry?

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, every day that I come into the House and take my seat, I am humbled, as I know all of my colleagues on this side of the House are, to work on behalf of Canadians.
    We talk about the need to support Canadians, but just yesterday, every Conservative on that side of the House voted against a national school food policy, a policy that would have given food to children so they would not be hungry at school.
    We will continue to do everything to support Canadian families.

  (1425)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, what is true after eight years of this Liberal government is that children are asking for gift cards so they can eat at Christmas. That is unacceptable.
    After eight years of this Prime Minister, housing prices have doubled and interest rates are through the roof. Grocery prices have risen by 23% and will continue to rise next year.
    Will the Liberals do the right thing for once and vote to end the carbon tax so grocery prices can come down and people can have enough to eat this Christmas?
    Mr. Speaker, every Canadian and every Quebecker knows that the Conservatives do not support the less fortunate. Our government is the one supporting all Canadians, including the less fortunate.
    This month, UNICEF released data showing that poverty levels in Canada have decreased by 22%. The Conservatives only know how to make cuts. We are here for all Canadians, especially the less fortunate.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers take in 48% of all the people who seek asylum in Canada. It is costing us $460 million. Quebeckers deserve to be reimbursed, not insulted.
    However, not only is the Minister of Immigration refusing to reimburse them, but, in committee on Tuesday, he reiterated his plan to send Quebec another bill. We provide 100% of the services and foot 100% of the bill, yet he thinks Quebeckers owe even more money. I cannot make this stuff up.
    The Minister of Immigration is meeting with his Quebec counterpart tomorrow. Will he check his arrogance at the door and bring his chequebook instead?
    Mr. Speaker, what is arrogant is to think that a relationship is a one-way street.
    We have a great partnership with Quebec. I hope to meet with Quebec's representative tomorrow. Hopefully everything will be settled in the House of Commons in terms of our marathon votes. That is not related, but the fact is that we are going to meet with my counterpart from Quebec. We will have a good discussion. Hopefully, afterwards, we will have a discussion with our respective finance ministers.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about collaboration. What is the federal government doing for asylum seekers? They are the federal government's responsibility, after all. It offers zero social services. It pays 0% of the bill, and the icing on the cake is that Ottawa's delays in issuing work permits and reviewing applications mean that Quebeckers pay even more.
    In short, Quebeckers provide 100% of the services, pay 100% of the bill and, because of federal incompetence, pay too much. We can do without the lessons.
    Tomorrow, will he tell the minister that he is reimbursing Quebeckers?
    Mr. Speaker, only the Bloc Québécois would say that $700 million a year, plus millions in social transfers in blocks with no strings attached is nothing, but let us leave it at that.

[English]

Grocery Industry

    Mr. Speaker, seven million Canadians are struggling now because they have to use food banks. The price of food is going to up by $700 next year just to put food on the table.
    In committee this morning, the Walmart CEO said that he is not supporting a stronger Competition Bureau. Maybe that is why the Leader of the Opposition did everything he could to block the legislation.
    Galen Weston, as we all know, earns 431 times what his average employee makes and thinks that his $12-million bonus was reasonable. What is the Prime Minister going to do to bring down grocery prices and end the free ride for these CEOs?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, Bill C‑56 will enable us to further strengthen the Competition Bureau and put consumers' interests first. I hope our colleagues will support this bill, because it is important. It will help harmonize and freeze prices and bring down the prices of basic goods.
    Mr. Speaker, seven million Canadians, including more and more workers, are using food banks because they cannot afford groceries. Today we learned that they will have to budget an extra $700 for groceries in 2024.
    This morning, Galen Weston, who earns his employees' annual salary in the time it takes to make himself a coffee, told the committee that his $12-million bonus was reasonable.
    What is the Prime Minister going to do to lower prices and put these CEOs in their place?

  (1430)  

    Mr. Speaker, we are monitoring the measures the grocers are taking to provide relief, including commitments to harmonize prices, freeze them, and give discounts on basic necessities.
    We are also working on long-term solutions to improve competition in the grocery sector. Bill C‑56 will allow the Competition Bureau to hold grocers responsible and give priority to consumers' interests.
    We are closely monitoring what the CEOs are doing.

[English]

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years, Canadians are learning the hard way that the Prime Minister is simply not worth the cost. The latest food price report shows that Canadians are bracing for another devastating blow next year, with families being forced to pay over $700 more for groceries. That is on top of all the price increases the Prime Minister's carbon tax and inflationary deficits have already caused.
    Instead of making food more expensive with planned tax hikes, why do the Liberals not support our common-sense plan to take the carbon tax off families, first nations and farmers?
    Mr. Speaker, while the Conservatives continue to do all they can to paralyze government, we are here to work on behalf of Canadians and are happy to do so.
    We will continue to make the necessary investments in our social programs, in the Canada child benefit and in our $10-a-day national early learning and child care program. These programs are transformational for Canadian families, saving them hundreds of dollars each and every month. We will continue to work hard on behalf of Canadian families.
    Mr. Speaker, the transformation the government has caused to families is that working people now have to go to food banks after eight years of the Prime Minister.
    Let me read a quote from the food price report: “Canadians are reducing their expenditures on groceries, either by reducing the quantity or quality of food they are buying”. This is unbelievable. This is in Canada. We used to have a high quality of life, especially for working people, and now people with jobs have to put water in their milk or literally go hungry.
    Do the Liberals not realize what they have done to this country? When will they finally take the tax off so food prices can come down?
    Mr. Speaker, we will take no lessons from the Conservatives when it comes to supporting the most vulnerable in Canada.
    Let us review the facts. UNICEF came out with a report just this month that showed child poverty in Canada has decreased by 22% compared to where the Conservatives left Canadians. Under our government, 2.3 million more Canadians have been lifted out of poverty.
    The Conservatives know how to cut. They do not know how to support Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, farmers are protesting, first nations are taking the Liberal government to court and families literally have to choose: “Do we eat, or do we heat our homes?” This is Canada after eight years of the NDP-Liberal government, and now Canadians get to pay $700 more for food. Merry Christmas, brought to them by the Liberal government. Canadians would have preferred a lump of coal.
    Will the Prime Minister finally listen to Canadians and take the carbon tax off farmers, families and first nations?
    Mr. Speaker, Canada today has 1.1 million more jobs than before COVID. The jobs recovery has been six months faster than it was after the 2008 recession, when the Conservatives were in office. Canada's GDP is more than 104% higher now than it was before COVID. The GDP recovery was four months faster than after the 2008 recession, which was much more mild.
    The Conservatives do not know how to support the most vulnerable among us and they do not know how to have an economic plan for jobs either. We do.

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, the finance minister wants to talk numbers; that is great. Let us talk about the two million Canadians who visited a food bank in a single month as a result of the NDP-Liberal government. About 800,000 Ontarians went to the food bank. It would be like the third-largest city in Ontario being dependent on a food bank for food.
    The finance minister says she will not take lessons. Even a third grader could figure out the Liberals have destroyed Canadians and driven them to food banks. They could fix it if they cared. All they have to do is take the carbon tax off families, first nations and farmers. Will they do it?
    Mr. Speaker, for once, we heard something true from the Conservatives. Yes, the finance minister does believe in talking about numbers, so let us talk about some numbers. There are 1.1 million more jobs in Canada now than before COVID. Eight out of 10 Canadians have more money in their pockets thanks to carbon pricing.
    Last week, I was in Edmonton. We have one of the largest investments in Canadian history, more than $11 billion from Dow. Do members know why? It is because of our price on pollution. That is what the Dow CEO told us was underpinning his investment—
    The hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques Cartier.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, Christmas is fast approaching and to me it would make sense to give Canadian families a bit of help.
    Our motion today calls on the government to leave more money in the pockets of Canadian workers. Aided and abetted by the Bloc Québécois, the Liberals want to radically tax—even more—with the carbon tax.
    Will the Prime Minister repeal his carbon tax on farmers and Canadian families?
    Mr. Speaker, I expected no better from the Conservatives, who, in 2023, have opposed workers' rights and spread disinformation about housing.
    They deny climate change. They want to reopen the abortion debate with Bill C‑311. They are betraying Ukraine. The one idea they had this year would financially harm eight out of 10 families. They are turning their backs on future generations when it comes to climate change. It is shameful.
    Mr. Speaker, I invite the minister to leave the Magdalen Islands and head to the streets of Montreal. The great media food drive is taking place today.
    The people on street corners soliciting donations because food banks are overwhelmed, are they okay? Does this government realize how desperate—
    Order.
    The hon. member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier can start his question from the beginning.
    Mr. Speaker, I suggested that the minister leave the Magdalen Islands and head to the streets of Montreal. The great media food drive is taking place today. People are on street corners soliciting donations because food banks are overwhelmed. Does this government realize how desperate people are, and will it listen to reason?
    A family of four will pay $700 more for groceries next year. Instead of piling even more taxes on Canadians, with the help of the Bloc Québécois, can this government show some compassion and scrap the carbon tax in order to give Canadian farmers and families some breathing room?
    Mr. Speaker, it is absolutely disgraceful to speak that way about the people of the Magdalen Islands. They survived Dorian and they survived Fiona. He should be ashamed for badmouthing the people in the regions.
    Shame on them—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Order.
    The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean.

Border Security

    Mr. Speaker, I hope that the member for Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier is not planning a vacation on the Islands next summer.
    Despite the human trafficking rings that are active at the Canadian border, the criminal networks that are run by Mexican cartels and the thieves who exploit vulnerable people to smuggle them across Canada's porous borders, the RCMP plans to reduce its border staff, as reported by CBC/Radio-Canada.
    While the Minister of Public Safety promises to increase the number of officers, the RCMP could possibly be reducing its personnel by up to 25%. It is difficult to imagine a more half-baked decision than that.
    Will the minister—

  (1440)  

    The hon. Minister of Public Safety.
    Mr. Speaker, we obviously share the concerns of all Canadians with respect to the integrity of our borders.
    My colleague is suggesting that we are going to cut RCMP staff in “C” Division in Quebec to fight organized crime and secure our borders, but that is not quite true.
    Since the closure of Roxham Road and the changes to the safe third country agreement, the RCMP has reallocated its resources to priorities like organized crime and border security.

Oil and Gas Industry

    Mr. Speaker, we have spent two years waiting for the Liberal plan to cap emissions in the fossil fuel industry. Our wait is not yet over.
    The government has just announced a regulatory framework without any regulations. There is zero chance it will be adopted before 2025. Worse still, the emissions cap will not be in effect until 2030. Not only does this plan not require any reductions in oil production, it explicitly gives oil companies the flexibility to increase production. It is literally a licence to pollute until it is too late.
    Who drafted this plan, the oil companies?
    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois talks a lot about the importance of respecting provincial jurisdictions and fighting climate change. Today, we did just that. Today, Quebec's minister of the environment, the fight against climate change, wildlife and parks, Benoit Charette, said that he welcomed the announcement of a cap and trade system for the oil industry, and that it was a good day for the environment and the economy.
    Mr. Speaker, according to the International Energy Agency, emissions from the fossil fuel sector must be cut by 60% by 2030 if we want to meet the Paris targets. Today, the Liberals are content to ask for a mere 16% reduction relative to 2005. That is barely a quarter. What is more, it is at the discretion of the oil companies, because no cap will be imposed on them before 2030. The federal government's plan, then, is to beg oil companies to do just a quarter of what is needed. If they do not do so, what will happen? Nothing at all will happen.
    How can the Liberals make this announcement with a straight face? Shame on them.
    Mr. Speaker, Canada has put in place a very ambitious plan, perhaps the most detailed in the world, to combat climate change. Today, we announced the world's first cap on oil and gas sector emissions. We are leading the way in this sector, and in the world, to combat climate change in a way that ensures we will have a strong and prosperous economy in the future.

[English]

Carbon Pricing