Mr. Speaker, my House leader mentioned that our Parliament is probably one of the first in the world to hold an emergency debate on this subject following the release of the IPCC report. This initiative may well be good news.
I am very happy to be here on behalf of the people of Longueuil and Saint-Hubert. We are not here by chance, however. I have been in the House since noon, and although it is twenty minutes to midnight here, it is one minute to midnight in terms of global warming.
That is why my colleague from Courtenay—Alberni talked about mobilizing. There have been huge protests in Montreal, each twice as big as the last. I had the opportunity to participate in three protests with my daughter and her friends. People mobilized because this issue is not getting enough attention and they wanted their provincial politicians to talk more about it during the election campaign.
This summer, I was taken aback when Mr. Hulot, a French politician in the Macron government, resigned on live radio, which naturally created quite a stir. He was France's Steven Guilbeault, so to speak. The following is an excerpt from his speech:
I cannot fathom that the entire world is indifferent to the fact that we are all witnessing the development of an utterly foreseeable tragedy. The planet is turning into an oven. We are running out of natural resources. Biodiversity is melting like snow in the sun and is not always seen as a priority. To be perfectly honest, and what I am saying applies to the international community, we are seeking to maintain and even revive an economic model that is the cause of all these disruptions. Therefore, no, I do not understand how, after the Paris conference, after a definitive diagnosis that continues to be refined and to become more serious day after day, this issue is still relegated to the bottom of the list of priorities. The short-term pressure on leaders and the prime minister is so strong that it is pre-empting medium- and long-term issues. That is the truth, because a prime minister has social needs, humanitarian needs, on his desk that always legitimately sideline the long-term issues that take our society by surprise. I hope that my departure will lead to some serious soul-searching by our society about the state of our world.
Personally, I found that very upsetting. I remember writing on Facebook that I was brought to tears listening to the interview. An Internet troll thought it was entertaining to say that I was just playing politics, but it really did bring me to tears. Like many of my colleagues, I find it extremely disturbing to see young people lose hope and to hear respected commentators say that we are done for and that it is all over. It is pitiful and pathetic, and it is our fault. We need to take action and move beyond our short-sighted debates.
Earlier, I said that we are at war. It is time everyone realized that every country in the world is at war against global warming, a monster that we created, initially unknowingly. I am 55 years old, and when I was young, I was taught at school that the ocean was so big that it was impossible to pollute it. I did not make that up. I learned it at school. Today, we know that there are entire continents of plastic debris that harm aquatic life and do other damage. The insecurity we are facing today was created by the reckless behaviour we engaged in for years. Today, there is no longer any excuse not to take action. The problem has been documented.
Again, I say, why not create a commissioner's office for this? Quebec has a sustainable development commissioner tied to the auditor general's office. Why shouldn't we create a similar position, one whose mandate would outlast ours? Our terms last for four or five years. Continuity is what we need. The commissioner could be selected unanimously if we decided to stop fighting with each other. This is a fact, and we cannot argue against the scientific fact that the planet is warming and we are going to cook and boil like a frog that does not realize its bathwater is heating up.
Why not appoint someone? Why not put someone in charge of this? Why not create the ultimate international assembly where several people would have exactly the same mandate? Why shouldn't Canada be a leader? We took the lead on the Coalition for Cultural Diversity. Why not put forward a similar concept? Why not appoint a super minister, not an environment minister, but a minister of war on climate change? We are at war, after all.
I have no choice but to be critical of this situation. Sure, the Liberal government has good intentions. I understand. However, as Mr. Hulot described, in real life, it is all well and good to talk about objectives, but when one province was unhappy because its pipeline was not expanded, what did the government do? It bought the pipeline. It is toying with all kinds of short-term solutions. The government is not walking the talk.
The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development obviously understands the issue, but ultimately will not support the transportation electrification industrial cluster. MOST 21, in Quebec City, was a very promising aerospace cluster. However, it will not get support. The Minister of Transport promised to install charging stations in Canada. He promised this would happen in 2018, but there are hardly any. Everything seems to be delayed. This is very real.
The Conservatives obviously know that we think the carbon tax is a good idea. It is a good idea, but what is the government actually doing? Will it encourage people to use electric vehicles? It looks like we will be waiting a long time. I remember asking the Minister of Transport about this. The NDP has an official electrification of transport portfolio, since this is one of our priorities. There is an industrial movement, and the know-how and skills are there. There are people who have decided to focus all of their professional energy on it. Unfortunately, these efforts are a bit uncoordinated. Propulsion Québec is trying to connect all of the industry players. The Innovative Vehicle Institute, in Saint-Jérôme, is trying to mobilize know-how and skills to present beautiful, fully operational projects, like the Lion Electric Co., which is selling electric school busses in the United States.
However, the federal government is not providing enough support. That is the sad part. It is all well and good to brag about acknowledging global warming, but what is the government actually doing? I would also like to ask the government where the much-talked-about report is. The government asked Electric Mobility Canada and other electrification of transportation stakeholders to hold one meeting a month for almost a year. The report has still not been released, but we need it. Will the government be transparent enough to table this much-talked-about report in the House?
Obviously, the report would have enlightened us about this structure that we will hopefully come to see. As the Minister of Environment and Climate Change said today, the electrification of transportation is also a business opportunity. It upsets me that we do not celebrate our achievements in this country. Take, for example, Bathium Canada in Boucherville, which designed and manufactured the batteries that were used in 4,600 electric cars in Paris under a Hydro-Québec patent. That is no joke. The electric RAV4 in California is manufactured in Woodstock, Ontario. No one has ever seen it.
Could we celebrate our stakeholders and our entrepreneurs and will the government ensure that it walks the talk when it comes to its good intentions for the environment?