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View Richard Cannings Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Minister, for being with us today.
I'm going to pick up on that commentary about first nations consultation and accommodation. It was this aspect that caused the Federal Court of Appeal to rule against the government last year.
After the announcement that you were okaying the permit, I heard an interview with Chief Lee Spahan of the Coldwater band on CBC, and I've read interviews with him in the press since then. He said that “the meaningful dialogue that was supposed to happen never happened”. This is since the court case, and in that court case, the appeal court said that “missing from Canada's consultation was any attempt to explore how Coldwater's concerns could be addressed.”. This was a band that really wanted accommodation and demanded meaningful accommodation, as the courts have said, and they're saying that it hasn't happened.
I talked to Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh recently. They're not happy either.
How confident are you that we're not going back to litigation? It seems that the hard work that needed to be done still has not been done.
View Richard Cannings Profile
NDP (BC)
They're saying that the questions they asked last February—February of 2018—still haven't been answered.
You've just said, I think twice—both in your introductory remarks and in your responses to Ms. Stubbs—that really the only reason we need to build this pipeline.... We've gone through a heck of a lot in this country to try to get this pipeline built, and apparently the only reason is to get our product to tidewater so that we'll have access to Asia and we'll get better prices.
You know this isn't true. This is just a false narrative. Nobody in the industry is saying that we're going to get better prices in Asia. The best prices for our product are in the United States, and they will be for many, many years to come.
Why are we doing this?
We have these price differentials that happen occasionally. They have nothing to do with the fact that the U.S. is our only customer. It's because there are temporary shutdowns of pipelines to fix leaks or because refineries are getting repairs. That seems to be the reason we have this price differential, which covers only about 20% of our oil exports. Eighty per cent of them get world prices because they're exported by companies that are vertically integrated and have their own upgraders and refineries.
Why are we continuing with his false narrative that we're going to get a better price by getting oil to tidewater when that is simply not true?
View Richard Cannings Profile
NDP (BC)
I want to get one more question in before my time is up.
Basically, you're admitting that we're not going to get a better price and that the reason we're building this pipeline is that it's an expansion project because the industry wants to expand its operations in the oil sands.
None of the risks that caused Kinder Morgan to walk away from this project have been alleviated. B.C. is still asserting its rights to protect the environment. Many first nations are still steadfastly against it. Vancouver-Burnaby is against it. The Prime Minister has said repeatedly that the government can give the permits, but only communities can give permission. How are you going to convince them that this pipeline is in the national interest?
It's a project that will fuel expansion of the oil sands and increase our carbon emissions when we're desperately trying to reduce them. This isn't about getting a better price for our oil; it's about expanding our oil production.
I think this is an opportune time.... When you were considering this decision, you could have said, “Let's join the rest of the world and move toward a no-carbon future.” Building a pipeline is locking us into a future that just won't be there in 20 or 30 years, so why are we doing this?
View Richard Cannings Profile
NDP (BC)
I get the last questions of the Parliament. Okay.
View Richard Cannings Profile
NDP (BC)
On Monday we passed a motion here in the House of Commons to declare that we are in a climate crisis, a climate emergency. The IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says that we have to act immediately, right now, to tackle climate change.
You talked about spending the profits of this pipeline, $500 million a year, on green initiatives. We've spent $4.5 billion buying this pipeline. That's where the profits of that pipeline went. They went to Texas when we bought that pipeline. Now we're going to spend another $10 billion building it over the next two years. That's about $15 billion we could invest right now in fighting climate change, instead of spending all that money and then waiting two years and then dribbling it out over the next 10, 20 or 30 years. We have to do this now.
I just wonder what sort of economics you are using to try to spin this as a win for climate change. It's just Orwellian.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
First, I would like to express my condolences to Mr. Kmiec and Mr. Poilievre and to everyone who knew Mark Warawa well. I also want to express my condolences to his widow, Diane, and to his entire family. This is really a sad day.
I want to commend you, Mr. Giroux, because I think this is one of the most important reports you've ever produced.
Over the last four years, we haven't had a single charge from the Canada Revenue Agency on corporate tax avoidance. This is going to become a major issue, I believe, in the federal election campaign because of the fact there has simply not been any action taken against tax avoidance.
At the same time, Canadians are struggling for affordable housing, for medication and to get their kids through school. The answer they're always given is that they're going to have to wait because there are other priorities, but the reality is that there are astronomical sums that seem to be getting around a taxation system, with no action being taken by the federal government.
I want to start by asking you about this, just so I can understand the figures. They seem astronomical.
First, we're talking about nearly a trillion dollars—$996 billion—in reportable transactions with offshore financial centres. Then there are the electronic funds transfers, where we're looking at $1.6 trillion. How much overlap is there between the reportable transactions—that nearly trillion dollars—and the $1.6 trillion? How much of that is actually an overlap? What would be the comprehensive final figure combining those two?
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
You don't have a precise figure to give us, and it is still likely to be in the trillions of dollars.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Those are astounding amounts.
Next, in your conclusion you say that if we assume that 10% of the trillion dollars in reportable transactions has avoided corporate income tax in Canada, it would represent an amount of $100 billion in taxable income that should have been taxed. Then you make an estimate of the billions of dollars that is part of this massive tax chasm that exists.
The assumption of 10% comes from where? Is it possible that the assumption is actually low and that, potentially, the percentage of those transactions avoiding corporate income taxes in Canada is much higher than 10%?
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
Could I have a final, quick question?
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
What resources would you need to really get to the bottom of this?
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
There were no charges.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Don Davies Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you, Chair.
Commissioner, thank you for being here.
As a state party to the UN convention against torture, Canada's record on preventing and addressing torture and other forms of treatment is periodically reviewed by the UN Committee Against Torture. Canada's most recent review took place last November in Geneva, and in its final report, the committee officially recognized that the “extensive forced or coerced sterilization of indigenous women” in Canada is a form of torture.
The UN committee provided Canada with a number of recommendations, including that the Government of Canada ensure that all allegations of forced or coerced sterilization are impartially investigated.
In your view, which institution in Canada should bear primary responsibility for ensuring that all allegations of forced sterilization are impartially investigated in Canada?
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