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Results: 1 - 15 of 596
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2019-06-19 14:14 [p.29383]
Mr. Speaker, it is a historic day. On June 19, the Hillcrest mine explosion in Alberta killed 189 miners. It was Canada's worst mining disaster.
lt was also the day that Hungarians threw out Soviet troops, thus ending Soviet occupation, restoring their democracy and restoring their freedoms.
June 19 was also the day that the comic strip Garfield appeared in print for the first time.
Today Canadians are also learning that according to the PBO, the Liberal carbon tax will need to increase to a minimum of $102 per tonne, adding 23 cents to a litre of gas, to meet the Paris targets. Canadians now see that the Liberal carbon tax is a revenue plan, not an environmental plan.
Another reason today is a historic day is that at 5:00 p.m., the leader of Canada's Conservatives will unveil the first credible environmental plan that has the best chance of achieving our Paris commitments, exposing the Liberal carbon tax plan as a fraud and that this Liberal Prime Minister is not as advertised.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
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
CPC (AB)
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
CPC (AB)
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
CPC (AB)
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
CPC (AB)
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
CPC (SK)
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
CPC (AB)
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
CPC (AB)
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
CPC (SK)
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 Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-18 14:13 [p.29301]
Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister enjoys the life of being in the world's top 1%, and the use of taxpayer-funded carbon-spewing government jets, most Canadians have to budget to get by. It is no wonder there is a disconnect between the current Prime Minister's policies and the impacts they will have on middle-class Canadians.
A carbon tax raises the price of everything. Food, flights, gas and all household items are more expensive because of it. This week we learned that the Liberal carbon tax will fail in its alleged purpose of helping Canada reach its Paris Agreement targets. This is further evidence that the Liberal carbon tax is a tax plan, not an environmental plan. Canadians cannot afford this tax.
When something does not work, we replace it with something else that does. On October 21, Canadians will have the opportunity to exchange the current defective Liberal government for a Conservative government that will work for them.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
View Robert Kitchen Profile
2019-06-18 16:15 [p.29321]
Mr. Speaker, the member talked about helping the oil and gas industry reduce its emissions. Putting a carbon tax on small businesses is not going to help those people, but there is something that is. The member is probably well aware that in the Paris accord, three of the four recommendations on progressing were about using carbon capture and sequestration, which were talked about and signed off on. This innovation already exists in Canada. Not only does it exist in Canada, but it takes the emissions captured and puts them underground, which helps the enhanced oil recovery.
In fact, just the other week, Mr. Michal Kurtyka, from the Ministry of the Environment for Poland, stated, “Carbon capture and sequestration will be important to make an advance to carbon neutrality”. Mr. Pawel Leszczynski, the COP24 presidency bureau chief, was also there.
My question is very simple. Why are you not championing this?
View Dane Lloyd Profile
CPC (AB)
View Dane Lloyd Profile
2019-06-18 16:20 [p.29322]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with my colleague, the member for Red Deer—Mountain View.
Before I launch into debate today, I just want to recognize Bombardier Patrick Labrie, who died tragically this week while serving his country in Bulgaria. As a serving soldier in Canada's armed forces reserves and as a parliamentarian, I know that the thoughts and prayers of this House go out to the Labrie family. We thank Patrick for his service. I appreciate that we can all come together in this House to support the men and women of our armed forces. It is very important. It is not a partisan issue.
Getting into the debate, it is my pleasure to rise and talk about this opposition day motion on carbon taxes and the environment. It is not an issue that we as Conservatives are afraid to talk about, because we have a very strong record on this issue. At the beginning of the previous Conservative mandate in 2007, greenhouse gas emissions in this country were 744 million megatonnes. By the end of our mandate in 2015, we had brought that number down significantly, below the 744 million megatonnes, while also growing our economy. That is a significant feat that we should be very proud of.
It is all very clear that this was done without the imposition of a carbon tax on Canadians. The government has a clear framework, an example given to it by previous governments, of what can be done to lower greenhouse gas emissions while not putting taxes on hard-working families when they fill up at the pump, when they are heating homes in these cold Canadian winters and when they go to buy groceries or anything that gets trucked in.
I rose today because this debate is important for our country and for the world, but it is also very important for my constituency. The reason is that my constituency, along with the constituency of the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, is the home of Alberta's industrial heartland region. This is a hub in Canada for carbon capture and sequestration technology.
Under the previous government, significant investments were made to partner with industry to find ways to tangibly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. This technology has been recognized by the International Energy Agency as one of the key pillars in ensuring sustainable and meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
On the other side of my riding, it is an important issue because Parkland County is home to a significant number, I believe over one-third, of Canada's remaining coal-fired generation plants. Decisions by the federal Liberals and the previous provincial NDP government in Alberta on carbon taxes and red tape have had serious consequences in my community, including job losses in the thousands and the loss of tens of millions of dollars in assessed tax revenues for municipal and county governments.
My remarks today are going to highlight the consequences of these policies, but I also want to highlight the opportunities and tangible things we can do to bring down greenhouse gas emissions and support our industries.
Going over the history of this, in 2015 the NDP government came to power in Alberta, and subsequently there was a federal government decision to unilaterally end coal power by 2030. These events presented significant challenges to my community, as well as undermining the livelihoods of my constituents and putting into doubt our ability to supply affordable power.
Under the previous Conservative government, Canada took a responsible, continent-wide approach with our closest ally and neighbour, the United States, to begin phasing out coal power. I recognize that coal has high CO2 emissions and that we need significant action in order to meet our Paris climate change targets. However, I could not disagree more with the path the government has taken on this issue.
Going back to the previous Conservative policy, we would have phased out most coal-fired power plants in this country before 2030. Now, not a lot of that is different from the current government's policies, but this is where the bulk of greenhouse gas emission reductions are going to take place, mostly from plants that were already ending their life cycle before 2030 anyway. There would have been no major cost to taxpayers, no unexpected job losses, and no unexpected revenue losses for communities.
We also allowed for some of the newest and latest coal facilities, one of which was built as recently as 2012, to run through their life cycles, up until 2045. This would have resulted in significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions, while ensuring that taxpayers would not be put on the line for billions of dollars to bail out companies for transitioning from coal to natural gas, which is what many were doing anyways. I will talk about the specific penalties later.
I am proud of the investments of the previous Conservative government, to the tune of billions of dollars, to support industries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through carbon capture and sequestration. I want to highlight a couple of projects in this country.
We have Shell's Quest refinery, which has just celebrated its fourth megatonne. Four million tonnes of CO2 have been sequestered at its facility and put into deep saline aquifers. That is four million tonnes of CO2 that is not in our atmosphere today because of an investment by the previous, Conservative government. We also have the North West Redwater refinery project, which is in my riding of Sturgeon River—Parkland. When this, the newest refinery in Canada, becomes fully operational, it will sequester an estimated 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 a year. These are tangible emissions levels.
As the government is falling short of its Paris climate change agreement by 79 million tonnes, facilities in my riding are, on their own, processing over a million tonnes, with facilities next to my riding already achieving four million tonnes. These are not just chump change numbers. These are significant numbers that, if replicated across the country and across industries, can have a massive effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This can be done with very little support from the government and without imposing a carbon tax on hard-working families.
These projects were the result of partnerships with the federal government. They were expensive when they were first implemented, but we have to remember that with technology there are often high barriers to entry. We certainly saw this with a lot of our renewable industries, including with solar and wind power. We know that the consequences of government decisions have raised the cost of power for everyone in the province of Ontario.
There are high costs to doing this, but we know that once this technology is put in place and we learn from it, it will come down significantly in price. Comments from Shell have indicated that it could replicate the Quest refinery project for 30% less than Quest cost. It was about a $700-million project, and Shell could do it for 30% cheaper. This is an investment that we should be replicating in this country moving forward.
That is why I find it disappointing that with respect to CCS in this country, we have not really seen a lot of progress over the last four years. I just checked out the National Energy Board website today. It indicated that there are four major projects in this country. We have the Redwater refinery; Shell's Quest project, which I mentioned; the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line, which is also in my riding; and a project in Fort Nelson, northern B.C., which, at full capacity, could sequester an estimated 2.2 million tonnes of CO2. However, since 2015, we have heard nothing about this project. There was previous government support of about $30 million from the B.C. government and the federal Conservative government, but the current government has taken no action.
How can the government be leaving a project like this on the shelf? We are talking about 2.2 million tonnes of CO2. That is over 2% of what we need in this country to achieve our climate change goals, yet the government, which I believe is ideologically opposed to carbon capture and sequestration, has refused to support projects like this.
I am going to be pushing for the next Conservative government to take up these opportunities and increase Canada's investment in carbon capture and sequestration so we can come up with tangible results on greenhouse gas emissions. I feel very strongly that this will be the case.
I also want to quickly talk about carbon pricing. The government has talked about increasing gas by 23¢ a litre after the election, but Canadians already pay. Up to 30% of the price of a litre of gas is federal levy, provincial levy, the GST and, in some provinces, the HST. We are already paying carbon taxes, and we are talking about 23¢ more per litre. That is going to be nearly 50% of the cost of a litre of fuel. It is just a tax plan; it is not an environment plan, plain and simple.
View Dane Lloyd Profile
CPC (AB)
View Dane Lloyd Profile
2019-06-18 16:31 [p.29324]
That is an extremely easy question to answer, Mr. Speaker. I do believe in climate change; it is obvious. However, it is quite funny to hear the member across the way talking about political and rhetorical ways, because his question was completely political and rhetorical. However, I will try to get to one of the most substantial answers.
Of course large oil companies are looking into these things, because when taxes get put on all businesses, it is often the large companies that are the most capable of absorbing the taxes and the small companies that suffer. We saw this in Alberta. When the NDP government imposed carbon taxes, it was the small and medium-sized enterprises that went out of business, and it was the large companies that bought those companies for pennies on the dollar.
When we talk about these carbon taxes, they are going after small and medium-sized enterprises. Some of these large multinational organizations that do not pay carbon taxes in their home countries are more than happy to let these companies suffer and reap the benefits.
View Dane Lloyd Profile
CPC (AB)
View Dane Lloyd Profile
2019-06-18 16:34 [p.29324]
Mr. Speaker, the member obviously has a very strong viewpoint on this matter, and we disagree on the approach we need to take, but in the end we want to achieve the same goal.
In terms of our positive Conservative vision, I just need to point to our previous 10 years in government, when we implemented significant reforms for tailpipe emissions for automobiles. This meant that all new vehicles used in Canada had to be cleaner and have lower emissions, and this has had a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
It is ironic, because the NDP would probably, and I think has, called the government's investments in carbon capture and sequestration a subsidy for fossil fuel industries. When money is given to fossil fuel industries to lower their greenhouse gas emissions, there is a really big benefit to the economy and the environment. When we talk about investing in CCS, we should not be labelling it as a bad thing. We should be labelling it as an opportunity to grow our economy and significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
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