Madam Speaker, I would like to tell my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona that I truly appreciate her and that I will miss her. She has been here for many years. She was elected in 2008, re-elected in 2011 and again in 2015. She is unfortunately leaving us at the end of this term. She is the NDP's critic for international development and the deputy critic for the environment.
I had the opportunity to work with her on the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, and in writing my speech I learned that she had a lot of experience and knowledge about the exciting world of the environment. I am unfortunately discovering this now, but I did notice it when we worked together on the committee.
I want to give an overview of her career. She worked for the Environmental Law Centre in Edmonton, she was an international law consultant, she was chief of enforcement at Environment Canada and she was the assistant deputy minister for renewable resources for the Yukon government. She clearly knows her stuff. Hats off to her, once again. I want to express my heartfelt congratulations and love for her.
With respect to the bill, my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona recently wrote to us about it. She explained that the bill would enshrine the right of all Canadians to a healthy, ecologically balanced environment. She added that, some years ago, Canada accepted the principle endorsed by the World Commission on Environment and Development that all human beings have the fundamental right to an environment adequate for their health and well-being. This principle is reiterated in many environmental conventions and agreements signed and ratified by Canada.
It is important to mention this because I support this principle. In fact, I support this principle as a Conservative member. That is not all. I am also wearing a Blue Dot lapel pin, which I was given on Monday night when I participated in an activity with my colleague and the chair of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. Three members from three different political parties attended this event hosted by the David Suzuki Foundation.
Last fall, Blue Dot asked me to sign a pledge. When they invited me to speak on Monday evening, I was obviously pleased to do so and to say that the Conservatives believe in the environment and will take the necessary steps to meet the Paris targets. Here is the pledge that I signed and proudly hung up in my office:
The Pledge for Environmental Rights responds to the growing movement in Canada and around the world for legal recognition of the human right to a healthy environment.
Environmental rights are based on the simple yet powerful belief that everyone has the right to clean air and water. It is one of the fastest-growing fields of human rights internationally. More than 150 countries now recognize the legal right to a healthy environment, but not Canada.
More than 170 Canadian municipalities have passed resolutions recognizing their citizens' right to a healthy environment, and 9 out of 10 Canadians agree that Canada should recognize environmental rights in law.
I hereby pledge that, as a Member of Parliament, I will support the recognition in law of the right to a healthy environment for all people in Canada.
Members from other parties have also signed this pledge.
Bill C-438 features a number of poorly designed provisions that could very well put a lot of stakeholders in a tough spot. Not to mention that financial adjustments would have to be made. The legislative process will give us the opportunity to fine-tune the bill so that it can pass. However, with the current Parliament coming to an end, I have some doubt as to whether we will be able to get it across the finish line before then; my colleague has certainly been through this before.
That said, I would like her to know that I am committed to doing what needs to be done to effectively represent Canadians and to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to protect the environment.
I understand why the NDP has concerns about the government and cares so much about the environment.
In 2015, when the Liberals were campaigning, they promised to be thorough and respectful, to bring in measures to protect the environment, and to do everything in their power to reduce their carbon footprint.
In 2019, nearly four years later, they have little to show for it. They did take one tangible action when they invested $4.5 billion in an existing pipeline that belonged to Americans. That money went to the country of Uncle Sam. It was supposed to help move another pipeline project forward, but nothing is working. We are not making any progress.
What was the point of investing $4.5 billion in an existing pipeline?
If I were the government, I would have invested $4.5 billion in innovative projects on green technologies. What I am saying is that the government should have invested that $4.5 billion in reducing our footprint and doing research and development. Many businesses that appeared before the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development showed that they had the technology to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Furthermore, the Liberal government added a tax. It is using the environment as an excuse to take more money out of the pockets of Canadians. History has already proven in Quebec and British Columbia that this does not work.
This is not a carbon tax or an environmental tax. It is a tax to try to recover some of the money they spent so recklessly.
The Liberals are not telling the truth about the environment. As I said earlier, they refuse to admit that they will not be able to meet the Paris targets. If they cannot even admit that, they cannot bring in a plan to fix the situation.
As far as we are concerned, unfortunately, this is a governance problem on the part of the Liberal government. That said, fortunately for Canadians, it will last only a few more months, until the election on October 21.
There is so much more I would like to say, but I must wind up. I want to assure all Canadians and the people of Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, as well as my colleague who is leaving us, that I will be here to take all the necessary steps to protect our environment for us, for our children and for our grandchildren.