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Results: 1 - 15 of 15
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I will share my time with the member for Courtenay—Alberni.
This is probably my last chance to express my opinion about this government.
I listened to my colleague from Malpeque, and I know his heart is in the right place. He talked about the new horizons for seniors program, which is a very good program in many of our ridings. It is indeed a success.
However, I listened to my other colleague who spoke before him about the government's social housing initiatives, and I had to work hard to keep from shouting. The truth is that places like Longueuil—Saint-Hubert need social housing. We do not spend enough time talking about that. Sadly, the poverty rate in the City of Longueuil and its two suburbs is incredibly high. Over a third of the children belong to families living below the poverty line. I know for a fact that we need social housing. The Longueuil housing office's waiting list now has over 2,000 names on it. We need this kind of initiative, but the Liberal government has never done more than talk about it.
Once again, we are seeing their obsession with always calculating the very best time to announce some big carrot they want to dangle in front of people right before the election. That is what they did. Even though that was two years ago, they told us they were investing $10 billion in social housing. What they have put on the table so far is really just peanuts. What will we get later? It will be a nice gift. We will see if Canadians are smart, if they have realized that they have to trust the blue bloods in the Liberal Party of Canada. Now we will get small carrots here and there; we will get what is to be expected. It is appalling.
The media industry is now in crisis. How are the Liberals going to support the media? They are offering more carrots. No changes were made to the legislation.
Getting back to the people of Longueuil, what did the government do right away? It eliminated the tax credit for public transit passes. That is fantastic. It is almost as good as pipelines. Let us encourage people to take the bus. Congratulations, that is fantastic. I will not even mention the subway, since we obviously still do not have our subway extension.
Quebec has a lot of needs and a lot of ambition, and we can be proud of that. People in Montreal and the rest of Quebec really want to use public transit. Are we going to get some support from higher up? I sure hope so. I would love to see some big announcements before the election. They had better be good, and the Liberals would do well to keep their word and not lose the election. I hope members on that side can really understand how things are for the people of Longueuil.
Longueuil has had the same metro station since 1967. It is 52 years old. Nothing has been built since. God knows we need more. The bridges in my riding, especially the Jacques Cartier Bridge, are constantly congested. When people need to get to Montreal, they do not even consider taking public transit because it takes two tickets to cross the river and the return trip costs $13, so they drive their cars.
In fact, that is why I am so passionate about electric cars and the electrification of transportation. The people in my community were early adopters because it seemed like we were always stuck in traffic. Many drivers ended up going electric. Again, we got peanuts for the electrification of transportation. The Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development at least had the vision to support a few good projects, but the Department of Transport has not offered up a penny, for Pete's sake. How pathetic. Electric cars are nothing new. Tesla reinvented the car years ago, but Ottawa is asleep at the wheel.
Being here among the 338 MPs who represent the people of Canada is an incredible opportunity. It is time to wake up. We see a lot of apathy, especially on the other side of the aisle. I have said over and over how ashamed I am that this Parliament cannot stand up and make sure e-commerce is properly taxed, at least at the same rate as our own businesses. Peter Simons has opened a store here on Rideau Street, and what a store it is. It was not that guy from Amazon who did it; it was Peter Simons. He got people involved by investing his own money and hiring employees.
Taxes are to be expected, since they fund our services. Paying a tax is not a shame. Roads and hospitals do not pay for themselves, nor do the boats that keep us safe on the water.
The government is letting web giants into the country. Does Amazon, a competitor to Simons, for example, pay taxes? I am not so sure. People are always surprised to hear that someone who ordered a product on Amazon did not pay tax. This cannot work. We are not in a little village in 1812. This is 2019 in a G7 country. I am trying to refrain from swearing.
This is shameful. Why is the media in a crisis right now? The government thinks it is complicated and that it is a new paradigm. I remember I had an eBay account about 20 years ago. This is not a new paradigm, and that is not an excuse.
It is a fact that the Conservatives ignored this for 10 years. The Liberals are even worse. They have been calling this situation appalling for four years, but they are not doing anything. The truth is that the media sector is in one hell of a mess right now and has lost 16,800 jobs since 2008, and the Liberals are partly at fault, since they had four years to do something.
We do indeed need to amend legislation, but the government should have done it sooner. When the Liberals were elected in 2015, they said that they were going to change this because it is important. They said that they would consult, but they did not manage to get everyone together. A government is meant to be able to unite people. Did this government do so? Absolutely not. I do not want to sound alarmist, but that is the truth. Anyone in the culture industry would tell you that.
Currently, we are talking a lot about the 75th anniversary of the brave heroes who defended our democracy in the Second World War. That is what we call patriotism, correct? The person who made a documentary on the Second World War—I forget the name of the production company, but no matter—sold one million copies of his DVD. Three years later, or around four years ago, they made another documentary, this time on the First World War. I can see how people could have found it a little dated and would not have been as interested, but that is not the point. They sold 100,000 copies of this documentary.
The band Alfa Rococo received $16,000 in public performance royalties for one of their radio hits, which makes sense, given that the radio was playing their song. During the same period, they only got $11 from Spotify. Clearly, this is the kind of thing that influences the decision of whether to go into music or not. That said, we are all happy to have music.
The government is well aware of all the problems. This morning I was asked in an interview whether the Minister of Canadian Heritage is incompetent. I said that I believe he is not incompetent so much as powerless. He is powerless before the will of the Prime Minister and he is powerless before the intellectual dishonesty of the Minister of Finance, who, when asked why the GST is not applied to Netflix subscriptions or ads on Google and Facebook, always says that this is very complicated and it should be taken up with the G7 and the G20.
Most of the U.S. states apply a sales tax on accounts like that. Everyone is asked to pay sales tax. For example, when we go to a small-time garage to buy some washer fluid and the employee says it will cost $4 in cash but he will have to add the tax if we pay by credit card, we raise a disapproving eyebrow, but that is what we are allowing to happen.
I did the math. GST would cost Netflix roughly 75 cents a month per subscription. That is roughly $10 a year per subscription. Ten dollars times roughly ten million subscriptions is $100 million.
Do the Liberals not want that money? Canadians do. We need it. The Liberals have to wake up.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I am truly glad to rise today to speak to this very sad situation. Talking about cars is a joy, but it is unspeakably sad to learn, as we did today, that 3,000 Ontario workers will be losing their jobs. It is appalling.
I said it is a joy because cars are one of humanity's guilty pleasures. I am 55 years old; I was born in 1963. When I was younger, I dreamed of owning a Duster with big tires and side pipes. That was my dream for years. I have been driving a Prius for the past 17 years, and it may not be terribly exciting, but it is the right thing to do. The problem with the Prius is that it is imported, so it does not really support Canadian industry. The Oshawa plant that will be closing its doors has been open since 1930, if memory serves. People have been making cars in that part of the country for a long time.
Which vehicles are made there today? They make the Chevrolet Impala, a small police car. I have had one as a rental car on occasion, and it is pretty nice to drive. Surprisingly, it is relatively good on gas. When the speedometer was showing 110 or 115 kilometres an hour—yes, I drive 15 kilometres over the speed limit—the car used 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres, if I remember correctly. That is pretty good, but that is not the current market trend, as my Conservative colleague said. People want big cars and SUVs. It is too bad, since we need to think about the environment right now, but that is the market trend.
The GM plant manufactures the Impala, the Cadillac XTS and the Equinox. Anyone, including the Prime Minister, can see that those models are on their last legs. Those old models are not very trendy. The Chevrolet Equinox probably still sells well, but it is definitely not the car of the future. Everybody knows that everything is built on platforms. I do not know the name of the platform used to manufacture the Impala and the Cadillac XTS, but it is a platform that has reached the end of its life cycle.
My colleague from Durham talked about the Chevrolet Volt. That car was manufactured in a plant in the United States that also shut down. I do not think that the closure of the American plant is an indication that hybrid vehicles have no future. The reality is that the Chevrolet Volt is built on the Chevrolet Cruze platform. The Chevrolet Volt is a hybrid of the Chevrolet Cruze. It is not the plug-in hybrid technology that is being abandoned, but the look of the Volt. Anyone who knows a little about cars will notice the similarities between the two, particularly with regard to the way the cabin is built. Only the look of the Volt is changing. The car will eventually be back in a different form. Obviously, that is what is intended because it was a great commercial success.
When I bought my first Prius in 2001, everyone laughed at me, even Jacques Duval. Today, he is a great supporter of the Tesla, but at the time, he said that these cars were ridiculous and that they were not going anywhere. Toyota gambled on hybrid vehicles and won. That is why we are proud to know that some Toyota hybrids are built here in Canada. Hybrid cars popularized the idea of driving a vehicle powered by something other than a combustion engine.
The Chevrolet Volt is a commercial success. Quebeckers love that car. The Chevrolet dealership in Rawdon is the top dealership in North America. It is no doubt the General Motors dealership that sells the most cars like the Volt, the Sonic, or perhaps the Sprint, and the Bolt, both by volume and per capita. It gets the lion's share. Many Ontarians buy from that dealership because Quebec offers a lot of incentives for purchasing an electric vehicle. The Volt is a major seller, and I find that reassuring. In my opinion, that model will come back on another platform.
Canada's auto manufacturers always end up with the short end of the stick. Having spoken to workers' groups and representatives of Canadian manufacturers, I can see that companies are fond of describing themselves as international players. They do not want to say that their made-in-Canada cars are better than the others. They do not want to get into regionalization. As members can imagine, this would not be beneficial for them. At the very least, they do not see it as a positive.
We have to do this, at least as much as our trade agreements allow us to. We should be proud of what is manufactured here. We should be promoting the vehicles manufactured by our workers.
Earlier I said that a long time ago, in 2003, Jack Layton pushed for a plan, a vision, to renew Canada's automotive sector.
I understand that Canadian auto workers look down on Japanese vehicles or other vehicles that come from elsewhere. Unfortunately, up until now, the electric vehicle movement was essentially limited to imports.
Our relationship with the auto industry in general is not one of equals. It is the epitome of cynicism. If I look at the notes we had on GM, it would seem that bailing out companies is inevitable. Two days later, the boss gives himself a bonus before closing up shop. In this case, the government gave GM a $14-billion tax break just last week.
In the meantime, we cannot be so self-centred as to ignore reality. GM is facing challenges. According to the numbers I saw and the consultations I have held, the company is very profitable. It is in the process of downsizing. We see it quite often. These companies are posting profits, but in this case it was not enough, because 2,500 jobs are being cut in Oshawa. It is cynical. It is even more so when we consider that it was just given a lovely $14-billion gift. The company got financial assistance when it needed it, and now it is closing its doors.
That said, what I want to focus on is the pride we should take in what we make. In Canada, we manufacture vehicles that may seem a bit outdated, a bit last-generation. However, not many people know that we also make cars like the Toyota Corolla, a top seller with broad appeal. Normally, the plant should not have to close. Of course, the Cruze is a whole different story, because the platform needs to change.
In Canada, we manufacture the Toyota Corolla, the Toyota RAV4, the Lexus RX 350 and the Lexus RX 450H, which is the hybrid model. We also manufacture the RAV4 hybrid. Not many people know that.
Once the car is in the dealer showroom, is there anything preventing us from saying that the car was built in Canada or that it is a modern, environmentally friendly car? I would think that would be a plus, yet nothing is ever said about that.
The last time I went to California, I drove through strawberry country and saw signs saying “America's best strawberries”. Americans are always tooting their own horn. In Canada, we never brag about what we do. I think that is a bit of a shame.
Toyota manufactures its cars here because we have good workers who do an excellent job of assembling cars and who know how to do it. They know very well that they are going to sell those cars to their neighbours, and they want them to be made right. We can be proud of our workers. Unfortunately, I do not know why we are so embarrassed about this.
I want to point out that there are a lot of RAV4 hybrids in the government's fleet. This is a good thing, and I am proud of it.
In addition to those three GM vehicles, we also make the Ford Flex, which, I must admit, will soon be discontinued. This model was quite unique, but it is clearly not a car of the future. The Ford Edge and its equivalent at Lincoln, the MKT, are interesting vehicles, but as far as I know, they will soon be discontinued. We have been making these cars for quite a while, so this is a bit worrisome.
As a politician in Ottawa, I do not find it reassuring to know that we make the Ford Flex, the Lincoln MKT and the Ford Edge. These are old models. We also make the Ford GT, an extremely prestigious car with a short run, but I still think it is worth pointing out that skilled Canadians hands manufactured such a prestigious vehicle.
Before I talk about Chrysler, I need to talk about Honda, which manufactures the popular Civic. Something tells me that this model is not going anywhere. I would be shocked if there were problems at that plant. We also manufacture the Honda CR-V, a much larger, but extremely popular, model. I have no concerns about this plant either, although I cannot say the same about Ford's.
Next, I wanted to talk about Chrysler, for I am not at all reassured, given that in Brampton, a suburb of Toronto, the price of a bungalow keeps going up, not to mention all the rumours going around. I am pretty sure that neither management nor the union would disagree with me on this: the Brampton plant just completely renovated its paint facility. I think tens of million of dollars were invested in it.
That is where the Chrysler 300, the Challenger and the infamous and aptly named Demon are manufactured. I think the Demon has 700 horsepower under the hood, which is about the same as eight Honda Civic engines. It is a beast. These are limited editions, and they can be very exciting and quite beautiful. However, they are relics of transportation prehistory on our planet, since they are powered by engines that produce an appalling level of pollution.
The Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger and Chrysler 300 are three very nice cars that many young men might find exciting, but honestly, we have to admit that their future does not look bright.
Now we come to the model that interests me the most. Yes, I am interested in the Dodge Caravan, but I especially like the Chrysler Pacifica. My colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands mentioned the movie Who Killed the Electric Car. I went to the Windsor and Detroit area and had the chance to see the sites that are interesting to people who are into cars.
First, I saw the first versions of the Pacifica, which is delivered with a rechargeable hybrid engine. It is a regular car for a regular family. I agree that it could be less expensive, and could be better supported, but it is equipped with a rechargeable hybrid system.
That means it is not unreasonable to think that a family living in a Toronto suburb with a Pacifica Hybrid could leave their house, drop off the children at day care and school, go to work, park the car, not plug in, all without using a drop of gas. Then when they go to visit grandma in Muskoka, the engine will start. At the end of the day, the family will fill up the gas tank once every two months. That is not bad as far as I am concerned. It is progress.
Has anyone really ever heard of this vehicle, though? It would appear that even the government has never heard of it, because I have been keeping an eye on it for two years now. There were two vehicles here in front of Parliament for the Canada 150 celebrations. This year, another official vehicle was used for the Canada Day celebrations and it ran on gas. What a bad idea.
There was no shortage of tourists that could have been shown those vehicles and who would have thought to themselves, “It's probably built in Windsor and it's all electric”. People can tell when a car is electric because they do not hear it pull up. It runs clean without exhaust emissions. We will not talk about it though. It is far too great of a Canadian success to actually talk about.
I visit Windsor to see that plant and that truck. People who like cars and who visit Windsor also go across the way to Detroit, Motor City, while they are there. Detroit is home to the headquarters of GM and the big towers that are right across from Windsor. Detroit is also home to the famous plant where the Ford F-150 is built.
I was therefore pleased to learn, even though this still surprises me, that the Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in North America. It outsells the Honda Civic and other brands of pickup trucks.
There is a reason for that, however. A lot of people need a pickup truck, and that is fine. I have a few doubts about my neighbour in Longueuil who has a really big pickup and, as far as I know, does not have to tow a trailer full of tools, a fifth-wheel trailer, or anything like that. Does he really need a truck like that to go to Jean Coutu? I have my doubts. It seems to me that it may not be a very good choice, but overall it is top selling vehicle.
I was delighted to see it at the plant and to see a plant like that one. I have not visited plants in Canada, but I can say that the Ford F-150 plant in Rouge River is a marvel of automation. The employees there work in a lab-like setting with gloves and little mitts. It is a model factory very much inspired by the man who invented the assembly line, Mr. Ford himself. I visited that place, and I was overjoyed to see that the gas tank is made in my riding, in Boucherville, by Spectra Premium Industries.
Obviously, this will have a huge impact on jobs and the economy. Anyway, I took a little detour to go see the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. While there, I saw GM's famous EV1, the electric car that debuted in the 1990s through Saturn. That model was destroyed, put out of commission by the oil industry. That was such a shame, and I have never really forgiven GM for making something so wonderful and then selling out to the oil lobby.
Today, in 2018, the Chrysler Pacifica hybrid is a vehicle that is well suited to the needs of Canadian families. Unfortunately, there is no sense of pride, no Canada-wide incentives, for this vehicle. We also do not have a vision for what we could do to improve Canada's automotive sector.
Unfortunately, the dealers that have these cars do not promote them. They do not want to sell them and would rather sell the regular Caravan minivan, which carries a profit margin of $1,200. The Pacifica does not have such incentives, and the margin is just $200 or $300. They would rather not convince a customer to buy a $50,000 van to earn just $300.
What this means is that I am worried for the Pacifica Hybrid, a vehicle than can be plugged in and that is manufactured in Windsor. This is the most futuristic vehicle ever manufactured in Canada, and I think that if we do not do something, we will lose it. We need to wake up, have some vision and be proud.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, first I would like to thank the member for asking his question in French.
Second, I am touched to know that his father worked in Sainte-Thérèse. Back in the day, Sainte-Thérèse is where they made the four-door Pontiac LeMans, that run-of-the-mill car everyone's mother-in-law drove. It was fine. Eventually, however, front-wheel drive took over and rear-wheel-drive cars fell out of fashion.
What happened next? The Sainte-Thérèse plant manufactured the last of those prehistoric vehicles: the Firebird, the Trans Am and the Camaro. We ended up with a mediocre factory. We always wind up with scraps, leftovers, auto manufacturing flotsam and jetsam. Can we make the next vehicle? Can we invest in a facility that will last 10 years instead of producing cars that will no longer be made a year and a half from now?
The member mentioned electric vehicles. What can we do for the people of Oshawa? When Bombardier announced it would be cutting 2,500 jobs, Montreal's aerospace sector banded together and took action. Can we work together to find places for these people? An entire city is traumatized by this turn of events. Can we stop quarrelling amongst ourselves and work together to find a way to put pressure on GM to retool the factory for the cars of tomorrow, not some old diesel dinosaur?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for his question. It is true that there seems to be an interest in alternative vehicles in Quebec. In fact, Quebec has the highest number of electric vehicles per capita in Canada, and I am very proud to say so.
The biggest market in Quebec is the south shore, and more specifically Longueuil. That is why I formed a coalition in Longueuil with my provincial and federal colleagues. We are six elected officials who fight to raise the profile of transport electrification.
No one knows this, but a company called Avestor, which is owned by Hydro-Québec, was building a battery. It was eventually sold, at an astronomical price, to the Bolloré Group, a French company that created a vehicle based on that battery. If I remember correctly, it was designed by Pininfarina, a great car designer, which created a small, four-door car with that battery, which can now be found in 4,600 electric cars in Paris's car sharing program.
Unfortunately, this program is winding down. As in the case of BIXI, there were problems and operating deficits. That said, at the time, it was the biggest test fleet of electric vehicles ever seen. We have every reason to be proud of our prototypes. The battery must have had some great qualities to have spawned such a tremendous project, but ultimately, they moved on to the next generation. The Minister of Science said that he had supported Blue Solutions in the development of its next generation of batteries.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question and for being here. We are having an emergency debate about the closure of the GM plant in Oshawa. My colleague just flew in from Vancouver about an hour and a half ago, and she is here. I congratulate her, and I think that all the workers at the Oshawa plant will thank her.
We are talking about electric vehicles. Electra Meccanica is a Vancouver company that builds great three-wheeled electric vehicles for the commuter market. Their vehicles are used by DHL, an express courier service. Many of these yellow vehicles are on the streets. Electra Meccanica also makes a convertible model, the Tofino, which will be fully electric. These cars are manufactured in Vancouver. We know that there is an interest in the environment and best practices in that region.
I have here the brief submitted by Electric Mobility Canada, which made five recommendations to the federal government. This organization was heavily involved in the consultations requested by the Minister of Transport. However, nothing has happened yet, unfortunately. It is really deplorable because delays on current issues like transport electrification can lead to our automotive industry being perceived as a dinosaur with no vision for the future.
I would like to point out that Toyota manufactures a RAV4 that is completely electric, but it is only sold in California. No one has ever seen it here.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his very interesting and clearly very sincere speech. However, he did not answer my Conservative colleague's question, which was about why big polluters get a break on the carbon tax. That is an excellent question.
People often describe the NDP as Parliament's conscience, and I can see that the member is the government's conscience. Everything he said sounds great, but the fact is that hardly any of those words are being put into action. About two years ago, a specific portfolio was created for transportation electrification with the generous collaboration of my party's transportation critic. I have been keeping an eye on what has been going on over there for the past two years, but that has not kept me very busy because there is nothing going on.
The Minister of Transport spent a year consulting a bunch of people at Electric Mobility Canada, but nothing came of it. It would have been so easy to promote the only Canadian-made plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Chrysler Pacifica, but that did not happen. We make the nicest electric vehicle, but the government did not even bother to buy any to show off at Canada 150.
With respect to what happened at the G7, my friend is absolutely right. Very little was said about this issue, and much more could have been. The government bought at least 150 police vehicles: Toyota Sienna four-wheel drives and Dodge Chargers. The Toyota Siennas were sold at a loss. If the government had bought plug-in Chrysler Pacificas, it would have had no problem reselling them to the Government of Quebec, which is definitely in the market.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
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?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I hope things will calm down a bit here because it is going to be a long night.
As the transportation electrification critic for my party, I attended the electric vehicle show more than a year ago. The Minister of Transport was there to announce a transportation electrification strategy for Canada. Naturally, the entire community is trying to promote this to both consumers and manufacturers. In particular, we could support the people in Windsor who build the Pacifica Hybrid, a technologically advanced plug-in vehicle manufactured in Canada.
All these people would like to see policies that promote the electrification of transportation. Despite the minister's commitment, there is nothing for this in the budget or the supplementary estimates. It made a lot of sense, so this is very disappointing. I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about that.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, my colleague is all the more convincing because he is talking so loudly. At least it is entertaining.
I am sure those watching at home must feel sorry for the Liberals because they are constantly being told that they said all kinds of things during the campaign and that they are not keeping their promises, which is true.
A year ago, at the Montreal electric vehicle show, the Minister of Transport promised to establish a strategy for the electrification of transport, but there is nothing about that in this year's budget.
Can my colleague explain why there is nothing in the new budget about the electrification of transport?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, following the Volkswagen diesel engine scandal, the U.S. government had Volkswagen agree, as part of the settlement, to inject $2 billion into charging stations for electric vehicles.
In Canada, we are still waiting for the results of Environment and Climate Change Canada's investigation.
My question is very simple. Can the minister undertake to have Volkswagen invest some money in Canada's networks of charging stations?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, we already know that this government is not even going to meet Stephen Harper's weak climate change targets.
The Liberals promised the moon during the election campaign. However, the recent budget indicates that there will be nothing for electric cars and charging stations for at least another year despite the urgent need to address climate change.
In the United States, Volkswagen was required to pay for a network of charging stations as penitence for its diesel scandal.
Did the government at least consider that approach? Unlike charging stations, there is no shortage of Volkswagens on our roads.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
How about pro-environment, Mr. Speaker?
Our Prime Minister keeps making promises and saying just about anything while courting American oil companies so they might award him some fairly dubious prizes.
How can this government even dare to claim that it wants to meet its objectives, which it committed to by signing the Paris agreement, when clearly the Minister of the Environment is being told to keep quiet?
When will this government finally be true to its word and join the G8 countries that have a strategy for the electrification of transportation?
We are not going to meet our COP21 targets with four charging stations.
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Madam Speaker, it would be nice if the government stopped talking about sustainable development and actually did something about it. As the NDP critic for the electrification of transportation, I can say that I look forward to the next budget. I look forward to it because I was deeply disappointed to see that this Liberal government's great contribution to the electrification of transportation in the previous budget was to give Quebec a grand total of four charging stations. Wow. In the meantime, the Quebec government was contributing to installing 800 stations all around Quebec.
Can the Minister of Natural Resources tell us how many charging stations Quebec will get in the next budget? One, five, or six more?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals made huge election promises, including when it comes to electric transportation. They even promised to have charging stations installed at federal building parking lots across the country, and people believed them. We are still waiting. It is not just about keeping a promise. It is about climate urgency.
I am truly proud to be the NDP critic for electrification of transportation. That said, I wonder who will be my counterpart across the way.
Can someone please tell us that this government is going to keep its promise and when?
View Pierre Nantel Profile
Ind. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, global warming is a fact, and it is time to require elected representatives from all levels of government to take real action on speeding up the electrification of transportation.
Longueuil is already part of the solution. The smart and sustainable transportation technology hub “IVÉO” is our entrepreneurs’ answer to this industrial revolution. This is something we can be proud of. The greater Longueuil community is a leader in Quebec with TM4 motors, Blue Solutions batteries and the spectacular SORA electric motorcycle.
As citizens, we must demand from all our elected officials an unwavering commitment within a coalition to make our region a champion. At a time when 37% of its young people are living under the poverty line, Longueuil badly needs the long-term jobs that will come with such a system of innovation.
It is with the people’s enthusiasm and support that I pledge to do everything in my power as an MP to build this coalition of elected officials so we can all work together tirelessly to bring these major forward-looking projects to our region.
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