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View Garnett Genuis Profile
The third petition, Mr. Speaker, raises the issue of the plight of Pakistani Christians, many of whom are stuck in Thailand. The petitioners call on the government to allow private sponsorships to help them respond to that situation.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
Mr. Speaker, the fourth petition highlights the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-18 10:25 [p.29267]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the hundreds of people who have signed this petition and are so frustrated with the government's policy to destroy Canada's energy sector through bills like Bill C-69 and Bill C-48. The petitioners are calling on the government to review the equalization formula, given the punitive policies against the Alberta energy sector. This is a petition that I support. They are also calling on the government to scrap Bill C-69. It is crazy.
View Georgina Jolibois Profile
Mr. Speaker, I am happy to present a petition led by the Elizabeth Fry Society about children in irregular situations.
View Erin Weir Profile
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 11:32 [p.29277]
Mr. Speaker, one of the main concerns the Conservatives have raised is that if we have a carbon price, it could prompt a carbon-intensive industry to move to jurisdictions with weaker environmental standards, eliminating Canadian jobs and potentially increasing global emissions. The government is trying to address this problem of carbon leakage with output-based rebates to industry that keeps its production here. Another approach to this problem would be carbon border adjustments, extending the carbon price to the carbon content of imports and rebating it on Canadian-made exports.
I would like to invite the parliamentary secretary to comment a bit further on the importance of maintaining a level playing field between Canada and countries that do not price emissions.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-18 12:06 [p.29282]
Mr. Speaker, today we are debating the following motion that Conservatives have put forward:
That, given that the carbon tax will not reduce emissions at its current rate and it is already making life more expensive for Canadians, the House call on the government to repeal the carbon tax and replace it with a real environment plan.
As part of debate on this motion today, I would like to break down what climate change is, what causes it, and then show why the Liberals' carbon tax scheme, which is currently at $40 a tonne, will not reduce emissions in Canada, why it exacerbates global climate change and why it is harmful to our economy, but I will do so in the following context.
Earlier in debate today, the member for Kingston and the Islands said that by raising this motion, the Conservatives were “playing with the lives of future generations”. Recently, something awesome happened to me. I became a stepmom and a step-grandmother. To one tiny, very sticky human being, I am known as nana. My stepson Kepi is watching the debate today and my stepdaughter Tori really cares about this issue because she has a son. This one is for them, not for the member for Kingston and the Islands.
What is climate change and what causes it? Climate change can be broadly described by global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid- to late 20th century onward and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels. Climate change is caused by changes in greenhouse gas concentrations, for example industrial emissions, cars, volcanoes, forest fires; deforestation and land use changes; sulfate aerosols; and soot particles or black carbon. If that is what it is and what it is caused by, then how do we reduce it?
Let us start with the Liberal plan, which is the subject of the motion today. To the member for Kingston and the Islands and everyone who has mentioned children as the reason for debate on this issue, Liberals have staked their children's future on a $40-a-tonne price on carbon. If we know what the causes of climate change are, as I read them out, then the policy objective should be to put in place a policy instrument that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. That is what we are managing to, to save the planet for our children. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us as legislators to ask, given the severity and gravity of this, if the Liberals' purported plan would work.
Those who have a background in economics will know that there is a concept called price elasticity. I am oversimplifying this, but it means that if a price changes on a good, people will buy more or less of it. When the price changes on goods and people buy more or less of them, those are highly price-elastic goods. When the price of goods increases but people still have to buy them and their consumption does not change, those goods are called price-inelastic.
I am raising this because this concept is super important when we talk about whether a carbon tax would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If an additional price is put on carbon, and I mean things like gas in our tanks, what we use to heat our homes or electricity, if it is produced by fossil fuels, if the government is going to put a price on that and that is its purported way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in theory, Liberals are hoping and praying that people will buy less carbon because the price has increased.
The government has refused to table or make public any sort of data that it has from modelling the price elasticity of carbon. That is really unfortunate, because it does not allow us as legislators, given what is at stake for our kids, to look at whether this is actually going to work.
The reality is that, in Canada, where it is very cold and we have to use fossil fuels to heat our homes and to drive around, as we do not have the same sort of transit infrastructure that a small European country would have, there really is not a substitute good for carbon. In Canada, carbon is price-inelastic, which means that putting a price of $40 a tonne on carbon, as the Liberals have done, is not actually going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
The reason this motion is before the House today is that this is an important issue, but if we want to save the planet for our kids and we know that it is not going to work, then we have to talk about other solutions, not just cling to it out of political expediency.
Members do not have to take my word for it. This year, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, a non-partisan agent of Parliament whose job it is to do this type of modelling, said that the Liberals' carbon tax would need to be $102 per tonne in every province and territory in order to meet the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets set by the government, which it is purportedly managing to.
When asked if she would raise the tax to this level, the environment minister said no. Praise the Lord the answer was no. Essentially, the Liberals have said that they are setting a $40-per-tonne price on carbon. They know it is not going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and they are not going to raise it to a higher level.
What have we done in four years? The Liberals' own released report this year shows that Canada is actually further from the Paris target than last year. New numbers released by Environment Canada show that Canada is on track to fall 79 megatonnes short of its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions target, and that is up from 66 megatonnes last year.
These guys are standing here doing something that I like to call apocalypse porn. It is where people stand and talk about all the terrible things that are happening and focus on that to deflect any sort of legislative inquiry into the efficacy of their policies. We know it is not going to work. That is why the motion is in front of us today. Liberals shut down debate when any of their climate plans are questioned. If they know that their plan will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions and they will not raise the tax, then why have they put this forward?
I could speculate at length about that. I think this is a cash grab for the Liberals' out-of-control spending. This is a way for some of the senior cabinet ministers to get on speaking tours and perhaps position themselves for jobs in the industry of people who do not really have plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but make a lot as environmental consultants.
I think that is what they are managing to, and that is really unfortunate, given that the member for Kingston and the Islands appealed to the children. I do not want my kids to see a Liberal carbon plan where what the Liberals are managing to, instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, is jobs after politics, because they have said the right things but have done nothing.
I want to debunk some of the talking points that the Liberals have been throwing out today in opposition to the motion. First of all, they are citing the Nobel Prize-winning economist who said that this is the way to fight climate change. Let us go through some of the work that Dr. Nordhaus actually did. He acknowledges that the carbon tax raises many practical design and implementation questions. There are issues with cross-border taxes on carbon emissions and issues with administrative inefficiencies.
In fact, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said that the cost of administering the carbon tax in Canada, which, as I have shown, is ineffective and does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is $174 million, outside of the cost to Canadians in their pocketbooks. There is no price elasticity data by the Liberals to show that the $40 per tonne would actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
For comparison, the United Nations report the Liberals often cite actually estimates that the government would need to impose effective carbon prices of $135 to $5,500 per tonne of carbon dioxide by 2030. This does not take into account any sort of economic growth modelling or what would happen to the growth of the Canadian or global economy at this point in time.
There are other things that this professor talks about in terms of some of the inefficiencies and uncertainties that could be applied to the Liberals' ineffective plan.
In one of his books, he writes, “The exact pace and extent of future CO2-induced warming are highly uncertain, particularly beyond the next few decades.” Yes, there might be a consensus view, but he notes, “Science does not proceed by majority vote.”
He notes that costs are key:
People want to be assured...that [carbon emissions] targets are not simply the result of overly concerned environmentalists who are intent on saving their ecosystems at the expense of humans.... People want to compare costs and benefits.... It will not be sufficient to say: “Ecosystems are priceless”, or “We must pay any cost to save the polar bears.”
He also notes that modelling is hard. The Financial Post said:
Of his own computer exercises looking into the implications of climate tipping points, he emphasizes that the assumptions he makes “are at the outer limit of what seems plausible and have no solid basis in empirical estimates of damages”.
This is a complex issue with complex economic modelling, which the Liberals have not explained to Canadians. They have not talked about the fact that the $40-a-tonne price on carbon will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions, yet they are asking Canadians to pay a very high cost for that. It is morally bankrupt and it is wrong.
Nordhaus also notes that all countries, the poorest countries included, need to be included in globally binding emissions structures in order for this to have any effect. However, the Liberals are not doing any of the things cited by this economist, absolutely zero.
A few other things have been raised in debate today. The member for Vancouver Kingsway cited B.C.'s carbon tax. He cited this 2.2% emissions reduction as if it were a victory. However, he is looking at data in the context of the Lower Mainland, B.C. It is warmer there, and there is more public transit. The price elasticity for carbon there might be different from that in rural Saskatchewan. If we are looking for a solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, it has to be a solution that applies to the entire country without harming our economy.
Members opposite brought up Preston Manning. I think Preston Manning's approach on this is absolutely wrong. I question why Preston Manning is doing this. I would even go as far as to speculate that he is doing this to raise funds for his think tank, not to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I would be happy to debate Preston Manning, on any stage, on the same data I have put forward, because this is not right and it will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
Members opposite have also cited the Pope. Members cannot stand in the House of Commons and say that we need a science-based, empirical response to climate change, not produce their own data and then cite religion, from a man who would not even meet the litmus test to run as a Liberal candidate.
Members opposite have talked about revenue neutrality. I will explain this concept for those listening and for my stepson, Kepi. According to the government, and only a Liberal would say that, revenue neutrality means paying a tax and getting an equal amount of money for it. That is crazy, because, as members know, it costs money to take money away. People are paid from the $174-million administrative cost. People will not get the same amount of money back in a cascading tax that affects every single level of production. This has been borne out by data reports in British Columbia, which have shown that the tax has become regressive. It is not revenue-neutral anymore.
Furthermore, with respect to the purported rebate that is going to Canadians, which the government said was factually correct, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, in an announcement, showed that the average carbon tax rebate Canadians received in 2018 was significantly lower than the amount the Liberals claimed Canadians would receive.
If it is not reducing greenhouse gas emissions, people are paying more and it is not revenue-neutral, why would we accept this as the status quo when talking about what we are doing for the children? It is just crazy.
In addition, the Liberals, the NDP and the Greens all say that this will not affect the economy. That is bunk. I will tie this into the concept that the Liberal carbon tax actually exacerbates climate change globally, because when we tax goods that are produced under high environmental standards, such as we have in Canada, we actually displace them with goods coming from higher-carbon jurisdictions. A perfect example of this is steel production in Canada.
When our steel producers in Ontario were subject to a carbon tax and Chinese steel was not, and the Chinese government was able to dump steel in Canada at lower prices, that was actually displacing goods in Canada that were produced under lower emissions standards.
We, as a country, can put a carbon tax on greenhouse gas emissions until the cows come home, but as long as we are buying goods from China, India, Brazil and the United States, we are not going to tackle the issue of greenhouse gas emissions. There needs to be a globally binding system that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, with binding targets, for this to work.
What should we do? Tomorrow, my leader is going to announce a very comprehensive plan that addresses many of these issues. Again, I do not want to scoop him. We need a made-in-Canada solution that addresses the fact that we have a regionalized economy. It is cold here. There are not a lot of substitutes for our products. We have a wealth of technology that needs the right incentives to be adopted. We need energy efficiency standards. This is just me thinking up things.
Our global climate action cannot be the Minister of Environment going on a photo op tour where the most environmentally friendly thing she did was sit at a table covered in grass and drink cocktails. That was not Canada using its role on the world stage to incent climate action.
I want to speak to the Conservative record. The Liberals can say that the Conservatives do not have a plan until the cows come home, but there is one inconvenient truth: there is only one time in Canada's history when we saw a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions while the economy grew. It was under Stephen Harper's government, when we imposed regulations on passenger vehicles. I would also argue with the member for Vancouver Kingsway about any reductions they saw in B.C. What about the passenger vehicle reductions we put in place?
The coal-fired regulations on Canada's coal-fired sector came in under a Conservative government, because we believe, and here is the underlying point, that we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without undermining the Canadian economy. I am standing here as an Alberta MP, because these guys have used their apocalypse porn to put my riding out of work. The Liberals have done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They have stood here and railed, “What about the children?” The Liberals have done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and they have put my riding out of work. That is morally bankrupt. That is crass politics.
Members should be concerned about what political party they stand for after this debate. It is partisan. The Liberals stand here, apocalypse porn and all, behind policy instruments that do not work, and then they want me to look at my children and my grandchild and say, “Yeah, it was great. It was non-partisan. We did nothing.” That is wrong.
I was actually at an event with Al Gore, and I debated Al Gore. I wish that event had been public, because it was a lot of fun. There is a lot of inconvenient truth about the buzzwords that come out of these communities that do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We have a responsibility to take action in Canada. Conservatives have done that. In fact, the last Liberal government saw greenhouse gas emissions rise by 30% when it was in government. The Liberals are probably on track to do the same here.
This should be partisan, because these guys have made this all about falsehoods, all about policy, and have done nothing to materially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change said that it is time to be debating solutions and implementing those solutions. The kids are all right. They want us to take action. They do. However, a price on carbon that does nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and puts people out of work in this country, and allows countries like China to get away with producing goods in a high-carbon jurisdiction while we buy them, is not action. That is politics. That is morally bankrupt.
Since this might be one of the last times I speak in this House in this Parliament, I want to thank all my constituents in Calgary Nose Hill for giving me the opportunity to fight for them. It is important. I would just say to them that we fought hard. We fought the Liberal government at every turn, and we have had great success in holding it to account and making it step back on some of the policies.
Now the time to fight goes to my constituents, so I ask them to join us.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-18 12:27 [p.29285]
Mr. Speaker, a price on carbon at $40 a tonne does not magically change the fact that the most efficient way of getting energy is from a carbon molecule. When we look at Canada, what the member is trying to spin here is that there is a substitute good for gas in a combine or for driving to work in a city that does not have public transit.
Let us talk about what a carbon tax will do to incent substitute goods and the adoption of clean tech. What that $40 a tonne would do is chase investment capital away from Canada in areas where we could be developing receptor capacity for these types of initiatives. For example, in the energy sector, we are seeing capital leave the country, when we should be putting regulations in place to ensure that there is adoption of that technology without pricing us out of competitiveness with the United States.
The member talks about this magical structure, which his own policy upends and uproots and makes impossible to achieve. That is why this is so damaging. That $40 a tonne puts Canada out of the game with respect to adopting clean tech and the development and adoption of substitute goods.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-18 12:30 [p.29285]
Mr. Speaker, this is the member who just stood up and said that it was a non-partisan issue, and now he is bringing up partisan politics.
I spent an entire component of my speech talking about the fact that B.C.'s carbon tax has been shown to be regressive. It is not revenue neutral. His own colleague cited that it only had a 2.2% impact.
I also went through the fact that Vancouver is not as cold as the rest of the country. It has trains that take people everywhere. That is not the same as rural Saskatchewan. That is why we need to look at a national policy that recognizes that we are a natural resources-based, agriculture-based, very large, cold country.
With respect to solutions, I literally spent the last half of my speech talking about that in very detailed terms. If my colleague wants some further reading to edify himself, I wrote a detailed article in the National Post in 2016 outlining this, which has been shared and re-tweeted many times.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-18 12:32 [p.29286]
Mr. Speaker, that guy treats this like a joke, and it is not. He is building his argument on a premise, which I completely debunked for over 20 minutes. A $40-a-tonne price on carbon is not going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Former premier Clark, in 2016, talked about the fact that B.C. might be paying the carbon tax twice under the Liberal government's scheme. That is inappropriate. The fact that so many premiers in this country won mandates to scrap carbon taxes underscores that a punitive tax like this is going to have disproportional effects in different regions of the country, because we have regional economies that have different needs in terms of energy use and energy profiles. That is why we need to move away from a unilateral tax that harms our economy and does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Notice how many times that man mentioned the names of different premiers. That is because we are going into a federal election, and the Liberals are desperately doing everything they can to try to get away from the fact that Canadians are calling them on their lies on this stuff.
Canadians are concerned about climate change. We have had enough. Canadians have had enough. I am more than proud to stand against a failed, do-nothing, empty, virtue-signalling, paper water-box sort of policy that will not reduce climate change in this country.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-06-18 12:34 [p.29286]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciated hearing my colleague's perspective on the answer given to me by the minister to a question I posed on behalf of an energy-efficient home builder in my riding who is concerned about the increased cost of his products as a result of the carbon tax.
Her response to me was about a company named VeriForm that is doing remarkable things. It reduced its greenhouse gases by 80% and increased its bottom line by $1 million. What she failed to mention was that this happened in 2014, under the Harper government.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-18 12:35 [p.29286]
Mr. Speaker, I am so glad that my colleague brought this up. We need to have an economic environment in which we are incenting the adoption and development of clean alternatives. When we have a high-price jurisdiction, where intellectual capital and actual fiscal capital leaves because of punitive policies that do not reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we are not going to see that sort of thing happen. The member is spot on.
I just want to build on the point of empty virtue signalling. The Liberal government dumped millions of litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. It has cut funding for lake cleanup.
My friend Sarah Fischer made a nine-second video last week mocking the Prime Minister's paper box water bottle thing. He could not even name what he was doing to reduce plastic waste in the country. I wonder when he last pumped a tank of gas or went grocery shopping. He is so out of touch. Her video closed with “doesn't work”. To me, there could not have been a more concise, accurate summary of the empty virtue-signalling, do-nothing, environmentally damaging, self-aggrandizing, self-promoting hogwash that we have seen from the Liberal government when it comes to the environment and the economy.
I am so proud to stand up to fight this and fight for better.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2019-06-18 13:04 [p.29290]
Mr. Speaker, I think the member opposite is following the advice of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, “if you say it louder...people will totally believe it.”
He should know that over the past year and a half, every single provincial government that has pushed headlong into this consumer-directed carbon tax has been defeated at the polls. Canadians are repeatedly saying that enough is enough. They are tired of being nickel-and-dimed.
The parliamentary secretary will know that the Alberta government got rid of its carbon tax, but it does have a price on the largest emitters in the province. The member just said that basically the federal backstop is only meant to impose a carbon tax on those jurisdictions that are not pricing it. Alberta is, and we have been told by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change that, as of January 1, we will be paying two taxes, one for the largest emitters based in Alberta, which is our jurisdiction, in our province, and now this revenue-generating carbon tax that Albertans have said they do not want.
What does the parliamentary secretary have to say to that?
Let us say goodbye to the member for Edmonton Centre, too.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
View Robert Kitchen Profile
2019-06-18 13:50 [p.29297]
Mr. Speaker, the member talked about how he did not want to call it a tax. However, what we do know is the government put a GST on the carbon tax.
In 2017, 43.6 billion litres of gasoline were used in Canada and $2.6 billion were collected in GST. The Liberals said that they would give 100% of this money back. Surprisingly, the GST money will not be given back. We found after the fact that actually only 90% would go be given back. Therefore, any way we look at it, this is a tax.
View Matt Jeneroux Profile
View Matt Jeneroux Profile
2019-06-18 14:02 [p.29299]
Mr. Speaker, two years ago, the Prime Minister forgot to mention Alberta in his Canada 150 speech. We were of course offended but did not think it was more than an innocent omission. However, the Prime Minister's actions have lived up to this omission, as it appears he wishes he could forget Alberta altogether.
His policies, like Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, are deliberate attempts to destroy our energy sector. Bill C-69 would impose onerous new regulations around pipeline construction. Bill C-48 would ban tankers from parts of B.C.'s coast. As a result of these bills, thousands of hard-working Canadians will continue to lose jobs in our province. The government also wants to impose a new carbon tax on Alberta on January 1. Talk about kicking us while we are down.
Approving the Trans Mountain expansion project is not enough. The Liberals must put forward a concrete plan to get the project built and tell Canadians when construction will start in Burnaby.
A Conservative government will stand up for Alberta, as a strong Alberta is a strong Canada.
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2019-06-18 14:06 [p.29300]
Mr. Speaker, last summer, the Liberals defended funding anti-oil and gas groups because of “free speech” while they shut down church-run summer camps because of their “values” test. The Liberals showed their values this year, once again using taxpayer dollars to fund groups that want to block the Trans Mountain expansion and shut down Canadian oil and gas.
The list includes Tides Canada running a decade-long, foreign-funded smear campaign against the oil sands; the Pembina Institute working with American groups to “landlock” Canadian oil; the Dogwood Initiative campaigning against politicians who support Canadian oil and gas, specifically against the Trans Mountain expansion; the Sierra Club running a campaign right now against the Senate amendments to Bill C-69 that indigenous communities and nine provinces and all territories want; and the West Coast Environmental Law Association that took foreign money to push the oil shipping ban in 2015 that led to Bill C-48 and has already promised new legal challenges to the Trans Mountain expansion.
MPs review and approve the funding. It is all in Liberal and NDP ridings. When it comes to Liberals' claims to support oil and gas workers, the Prime Minister is not as advertised.
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