Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to Bill C-97, the budget implementation act.
Yesterday was World Environment Day. Tomorrow is World Oceans Day. We would hope that the government would have some imagination, knowing that we are in a state of crisis. There is a climate emergency happening right now, and if we do not take action, there will be catastrophic climate change, which we are seeing right now.
I am from Vancouver Island. In January, as members are probably aware and have heard me speak about, we had the largest windstorm in recorded history. In February, we had the largest snowstorm in recorded history. In March, we had the largest drought in recorded history.
Here in Ottawa, on the river, in two of the last three years we have had the largest floods in the recorded history of this region.
We are having forest fires on Vancouver Island right now, for the first time in my memory, and I was born and raised on Vancouver Island. The salmon are struggling to make it to their migration routes. The Cowichan area is at 25% water levels. Members have probably heard from my colleague in Cowichan—Malahat—Langford that the government needs to invest in the Cowichan weir and invest in ways to mitigate the impacts of climate change. However, we have not seen the bold action we need.
We have talked a lot about climate and economic equality. The time for talk is over. We need bold and courageous action. Our leader from Burnaby South has put forward a bold, courageous plan, power to change, to move us forward. It is a plan that includes working together, taking climate leadership, creating good jobs for everyone, improving where we live and work, improving how we get around, powering our communities carbon-free and protecting our land and water.
We talk about getting results. We know we need to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030. There is an incredible movement happening, as we know. Greta Thunberg, a young woman from Sweden, is leading a movement around the world. She is mobilizing youth. Youth are asking to be heard, and we are listening at our end of the House.
I walked with Youth Environmental Action in the Comox Valley. There were 300 young people from George P. Vanier high school and Mark R. Isfeld Secondary and the elementary schools. Grandparents, parents, cousins and aunts and uncles walked with them in support to give them strength and ensure that they are being heard and that we bring their voices to floor of the House of Commons. Just last week, at Wood Elementary School in Port Alberni, the kids walked out and demanded action on climate change. We need to listen to them.
Last week at the FCM, there was a new climate caucus created. Local governments are not seeing action from the federal government. They are calling on us to take further action, bold and courageous action. We need to listen to local governments and their leaders in our communities.
It is a privilege to follow my friend from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, who is the first electrification critic from any party. We have an opportunity to take bold action and electrify vehicles across this country. It can be done. In Norway right now, 53% of vehicles are electrified. Norway's goal is that by 2025, any new vehicles sold will be EVs. It is happening around the world.
Taking bold climate action is good for the economy. Sweden has reduced its emissions by 25% and has grown its economy by 50%. California has seen its GDP rise by 35%, and it has reduced its emissions by 25% per capita. This is the kind of bold leadership that helps grow the economy, tackles inequality and moves us forward in taking this crisis seriously. This is the kind of bold leadership our country can take. There are models around the world and there are leaders around the world who are doing this. We need to join them.
I am calling on the government to take real action. In their budget, the Liberals committed $300 million to an energy retrofit program. We wanted to see that. It is something we are happy to see get started.
However, when the Liberals talk about balancing the environment and the economy, there is no balance. They bought a raw bitumen pipeline for $4.5 billion. We know that if they twin it, that will accelerate to $15 billion. Therefore, $300 million and $15 billion is not balancing the environment and the economy, far from it.
Organizations in my riding, like Hakai Energy Solutions and Synergy Electrical Installations, have been calling for a home energy retrofit program, something that is bold and courageous, and $300 million across this incredibly large country of ours will not get us there.
I wanted to touch on that, because this is a crisis. There are so many opportunities for us to move forward.
Before I go any further, I would like to take a minute to recognize my colleague, the member for Avalon, who is the chair of Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. He is turning 60 on Saturday. I wish him a happy birthday, and I hope we all can do that. It is always nice to acknowledge our colleagues in the House.
The government has talked about investing in our salmon and fish. We are in a crisis in British Columbia. Six species, Chinook salmon being one of them, are endangered and six are threatened. This is impacting sport, commercial, indigenous and recreational fishers all across the coast of British Columbia with recent closures.
The government talks a good game. It talks about how it is investing in salmon at record levels. It talks about a coastal restoration fund, $75 million over five years coast to coast to coast, which is a drop in the bucket. That is $15 million a year that has been slow to move out and that has not shown up in most of the communities I represent. We are in a state of crisis with our salmon. We know restoration dollars go far. However, our hatcheries have not seen an increase in 29 years.
I just met with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. Chief Moses Martin and his council asked me to bring the message to Ottawa, that the government needs to accelerate money in enhancement and it needs to do it right away.
The Liberals announced their new B.C. restoration fund of $142 million. They understand and say that there is a crisis, but what do they do? They rollout $17 million for the whole coast of British Columbia. Again, organizations like West Coast Aquatic in my riding have been denied funding from coastal restoration funds. They have been denied money from the B.C. salmon restoration fund. This is not how we deal with a crisis.
Again, this is how the Liberal government continues to respond to crises, whether it be on our salmon restoration, climate crisis or our housing crisis, rolling out a 10-year plan.
The Liberals talk a good game about the oceans protection plan and plastics. We have not seen them invest in mitigating the impact of plastics. We hope this month when the Liberals rollout their response to my motion, Motion No. 151, on a national strategy to combat ocean plastics, there will be money behind it to take on these really important issues and also some regulations to eliminate single-use plastics, like the EU and India have done. It is real action.
I also want to talk about the oceans protection plan. The Liberals had scheduled to spend $145 million in 2017-18; they spent $105 million. They scheduled to spend $263 million in 2018-19; they spent $217 million. The shortfall total is $86 million. This is their world-class delay in spending money, not their world-class oceans protection plan.
Again, people in my communities are not talking to their neighbours, saying “Hey, there's a world-class oceans protection plan protecting our oceans”. In fact, they are saying that the government is not acting with the sense of urgency we need to protect our oceans.
It is the same thing for housing. Real estate prices have gone up over 50% in my riding over the last three years. The government has been slow in dragging out its funds.
On indigenous languages, the government has been slow in getting money out the door. It does not provide the flexibility that is needed for indigenous languages. In fact, there is a project in my riding for an indigenous languages revitalization pole and the government has no flexibility to fund that, which is very important to the Nuu-chah-nulth people.
A lot of issues and things are not in this budget, such as pharmacare, money for the opioid crisis, and I could go on and on.
I hope the government is listening. I hope we see some urgent action on these issues on which we can work together.