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Results: 1 - 10 of 10
View Elizabeth May Profile
View Elizabeth May Profile
2019-06-19 16:33 [p.29406]
Madam Speaker, I rise to present a petition originated by a grade six student at the Royal Oak Middle School, Matthias Spalteholz, who has thought a lot about what we need to do to fight the climate crisis.
The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to put in an electrical vehicle fast charging network on all major highways to support the transition away from the internal combustion engine and to fight climate change.
The second petition is from residents throughout Saanich—Gulf Islands.
The petitioners call on the government to take the required action to avoid runaway global warming, to set ambitious targets to avoid going above 1.5°C global average temperature increase and a number of other measures that would achieve climate stability, including through arresting growth in oil sands expansion.
View Elizabeth May Profile
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-11-26 20:44 [p.23968]
Mr. Speaker, I agree with my friend from Carleton that this is a nonpartisan debate. The Speaker made reference a few moments ago to the fact that this emergency debate is supported by all three parties. The Green Party also very much supports having this emergency debate tonight. This is an emergency, and as the member for Carleton quite eloquently put it, it is a devastating blow to families where one or more of the partners is employed by GM in Oshawa.
I would like to ask the member if he could turn his mind to the fact that GM announced more than a year ago that it was going to discontinue manufacturing internal combustion engine cars and would be shifting to all-electric and potentially some diesel-powered cars. Was there not something we could have done through a recognition that the world is shifting from internal combustion engines? Could we not have done something to be prepared to talk to GM, to talk to the Ontario government, which is moving in the other direction, and to talk to the federal government, which has not yet put in place the kind of program that could entice any corporation to decide to get rid of the internal combustion engine and manufacture electric vehicles here?
View Elizabeth May Profile
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-11-26 21:00 [p.23971]
Mr. Speaker, I share that sense from Unifor leader Jerry Dias of “over my dead body”, but in concrete terms, we know GM has made a decision. We know it flagged and signalled that it would be making that decision more than a year ago because it was changing its product line.
We know the federal government is not supposed to dictate what product line a company manufactures. However, I remember the story of the response from FDR in the Second World War when he told the car manufacturers they needed to make tanks, because they were facing a real threat, and they refused to make them. The president of the United States said that by law, they were not allowed to makes cars anymore, that they were to make tanks.
In some ways, and not all ways, the climate crisis resembles preparation for war. It involves disruptive technology and it involves change. We want to protect workers through that change.
Would the member for Milton share what the government should do now to save those jobs and can we manufacture electric vehicles instead?
View Elizabeth May Profile
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-11-26 23:12 [p.23989]
Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. parliamentary secretary for splitting his time with me.
I want to start by saying how deeply distressing it is to lose jobs in any industry at any time, and we know that families are suffering and individuals are faced with great uncertainty. We have seen job losses in the past in industries or sectors where people suddenly lose their jobs and overnight a government has wanted to respond. Therefore, I want to talk about the things that governments have done in the past that did not work. I want to come to that later.
I want to focus first on the irony of something that we might generally call “disruptive technologies”. It brings us back to thinking about a 2006 documentary, which is ironic as we stand here tonight as the clock ticks toward midnight. There was a 2006 film that was enormously popular, a documentary called Who Killed the Electric Car? It documented efforts back in the mid-1990s by the State of California to pursue zero-emission vehicles, both because of the acute health impacts of smog in the Los Angeles area and the climate crisis, in order to move us away from the dependence on fossil fuels.
Who Killed the Electric Car? is a fascinating story of the development of the EV1, an electric car made available at the behest of government pressure. It was manufactured by General Motors, and the industry fought that electric car. General Motors bought back every EV1 to destroy it. Therefore, Who Killed the Electric Car? ironically dealt with an early effort to convince General Motors that the future lay with electric vehicles. This was pushed back by those in the big three who wanted to continue with the internal combustion engine.
Earlier in debate tonight, it was mentioned, when I put it in a question for one of my friends in the Conservative Party, that the Oshawa closure was anticipated, that more than year ago General Motors said that it would be moving away from the internal combustion engine, wanting to move toward zero-emission vehicles, electric vehicles, and that we did not prepare for that in Canada. We did not start thinking about how we would protect those jobs in Oshawa. The response by my Conservative colleague was to say that consumer choice would rule, that people would buy what they want to buy.
Let us revisit this. In Canada and right now in the year 2018, the move toward electric vehicles is not a result of governments demanding it. If anything, the Trump administration is moving in a different direction. The move to electric vehicles is a result of a disruptive technology that is better than the one we now have. In the face of this, there were electric vehicle rebates put in place by the former government of Paul Martin. They were eliminated at the federal level by the government of Stephen Harper and, to my bafflement, they have not been brought back by the new Liberal government, which still needs to embrace every possible tool in the federal tool kit to have anything that looks like a plan to fight climate change. We have very little that has been done on electric vehicles by the current government federally, but it is true that disruptive technologies do not really need government help. It really helps if disruptive technologies are not obstructed by government efforts to prop up industries that are on their way out.
This is very similar to the problem we are facing in Canada right, where we want to pretend that there is a future for the oil sands. There may be a future for the oil sands, but not in mining bitumen for fuel. The future for the oil sands might be in mining bitumen for petrochemical industries for other products, but the reality is that disruptive technologies happen very fast and if we were not subsidizing fossil fuels as much as we are, we would be seeing much more uptake of renewable energy.
Let me just quickly describe historical examples of a couple of disruptive technologies, so they will resonate. When the automobile, the Model T Ford, came along—ironically again this is an automobile example—the horse and buggy disappeared. There were not organized lobbies in those days for people who made horse whips and buggies and people who drove the horse-drawn carriages. The disruptive technology was simply more attractive and better. There was an industrial revolution to take up the individual car and it took place within a decade.
There is an even earlier example, from the 1850s. In the 1850s, every household was lit by lamps burning whale oil. We were not yet running out of whales, although the damage done by the whaling industry was devastating on specific species. The whale oil industry did not end because of a public movement to stop the killing of whales for oil. After we had discovered coal, the whale oil industry was done in when a Nova Scotian, Gesner, figured out he could adapt that product into kerosene, which burned brighter, was cheaper and was a disruptive technology that ended the whaling industry.
There is an interesting thing about these disruptive technologies, which has been demonstrated by Amory Lovins out of Rocky Mountain Institute, who has written books on this that I recommend to members. He pointed out that the price falls for something before the demand falls. The current drop in oil prices has a lot to do with the fact that we are moving away from fossil fuels.
The larger context needs to be remembered when we look at these things. Amory Lovins actually has a classic photograph of the Easter parade in Manhattan, with a caption like “Can you see the car?”, and there is one Model T Ford somewhere in the background. Then 10 years later, he asks, “Can you spot the horse and buggy?”, because at that point, the streets are clogged with cars.
When we look at this, we have to recognize that General Motors is now making a decision, because the future is moving and General Motors does not want to be left behind. The future is moving to electric vehicles. The Canadian government should not want to be left behind. We need to assist individuals in moving to electric vehicles and insist on it. We need EV charging stations to be consistent across the country. I noticed that in the budget update we received last week there is a reference to one section of highway in Canada that is getting electric vehicle chargers.
The Government of Canada has the largest purchasing power of any purchaser in Canada. It should decide not to buy any cars with internal combustion engines and only buy electric vehicles. That drives the marketplace and that gives us a chance to compete. When we look at what is being manufactured in Oshawa, we should make sure those jobs are protected, but not through manufacturing internal combustion engines. Should workers be building windmill components there? Should they be building electric vehicles there?
We need to bear in mind the principle of just transition for workers. I turn to the situations I can remember in which lots of workers lost their jobs all at once in Canada, and to the really poor responses of government.
Certainly one of the worst I can recall involved Hawker Siddeley. Being from Nova Scotia, I remember it clearly, as my friend from Milton would, as she mentioned earlier in debate tonight that she is also from Cape Breton.
When Hawker Siddeley decided to close its steel mill in the late 1960s, the government panicked and decided it could not lose all those jobs and that it would buy the steel mill. I remember Gordon Ritchie telling me once that he had advised Allan MacEachen that it would be cheaper if every year the government had a helicopter hover over the doors of the steel plant to drop a bag with $60,000 for every worker, telling them all to go home for the year. That would save the taxpayers of Canada a lot of money. As I recall, Allan J. MacEachen told Gordon Ritchie, “That is probably true, but this is an election year.”
The result of that foolish decision was the creation of the largest toxic waste site in Canada, which took $400 million to bury. It was never cleaned up.
Another poor example of government response was when we lost our North Atlantic cod fishery, which was destroyed by bad Department of Fisheries and Oceans policies. I could go into that, but simply put, our fishery was destroyed by DFO mismanagement.
The response to the individual fishers was to give them new jobs. The department was going to train them up for something new. What did DFO think of? I remember the slogan, “Trade the fish net for the Internet”. A lot of these fishers, who were decent, hard-working people, had never completed high school. “Trade the fish net for the Internet” became such a cruel joke.
If we are serious about just transition for these workers, we should start figuring out what just transition is going to really look like. We have trained-up people who are some of the best workers in Canada. Can we train them up for other jobs, like the new clean-tech jobs? By the way, we have massive shortages of skilled people in many other sectors. Can they be retrained to work in the mining industry or to build different components right in Oshawa for things we really need?
We must not abandon these workers. We do not protect these workers by destroying their children's futures, just as we did in creating toxic waste in the Sydney tar ponds that killed not only the workers but their children. We do not support these workers by letting their grandchildren die by clinging to fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine. We move into the future.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2018-11-21 17:01 [p.23686]
Mr. Speaker, today's statement is somewhere between an economic statement and the Speech from the Throne. It is heavy on the blah-blah-blah, and light on anything tangible. We were treated to many lovely images, fine words and slogans, but that is about it. It is like an Easter egg: it is nice on the outside, but completely hollow on the inside.
People say that the federal government is out of touch and the Minister of Finance just gave us an excellent example of that. It is out of touch with Quebec, out of touch with Quebeckers, disconnected from the real world and unaware of the real needs. The statement is full of rhetoric and utterly meaningless. The needs and challenges remain. The truth is that Ottawa is completely disconnected.
An economic statement is supposed to do three things. First, it should provide an update on the actual state of our finances in terms of problems and solutions.
Second, it should complete the budget, fill the gaps and correct the omissions. There was no shortage of those. The government being out of touch is certainly nothing new.
Third, it should allow for adjustments when the situation has changed and requires realignment.
An economic statement is those three things. It is not complicated, but in this case the government is zero for three.
First, the economic statement does not tell the real story. A few weeks ago, $2 billion in expenditures magically appeared in the public accounts because the government wrote off a loan to Chrysler in Ontario. It will soon be GM's turn, to the tune of another $2 billion. Then, the loan to the Muskrat Falls dam of almost $10 billion will magically appear there as well, since everyone knows that Newfoundland will never be able to repay that debt.
We never see or vote on loans and guarantees, we just pay for them. That does not give us the real story. These three loans alone represent a charge to taxpayers of close to $15 billion. Quebeckers will pay their share but get nothing in return. The government is keeping quiet about this and is therefore not proposing any solutions to the problem. There was not one word about this in the economic statement. There was nothing about going looking for the money where it really is by cutting subsidies for fossil fuels.
It is high time the government honoured the promise made ten years ago to close the tax haven loophole, which has, in fact, become a sinkhole that is swallowing public funds.
The Conservatives are outraged by the deficit. Oddly enough, when they are told that eliminating tax havens and oil subsidies would cut the deficit in half, they no longer protest quite so loudly. Neither does the government.
Today's statement has no substance.
Second, the economic statement should have filled the gaps in the latest budget. Quebec just had an election. Poll after poll invariably concluded that health and education are the priorities, but neither is mentioned in the budget. Transfers have been capped at 3% since last year. However, in Quebec, health care costs and system costs continue to rise. Ottawa is simply reducing its share.
Our nurses, our patients and our health network end up paying the price. Wait lists are growing. When people opt for private care because the public system does not meet their needs, Ottawa threatens to make more cuts, which just makes things worse. Everyone knows this is not sustainable.
Everything I just mentioned about health care could be said about education. Teachers are also exhausted. This sector has the same problems, except education transfers have been capped at 3% for nearly 15 years. Health and education are where Quebeckers have a real need. These are the priorities, but this statement made no mention of either. The government seems to be too highfalutin to see the needs and understand the priorities.
Third, an economic statement is meant to allow the government to adapt throughout the year to changing situations. Once again, we all have reason to be disappointed.
I would now like to say a few words about the recent tax cuts made by Donald Trump. I am not bringing that up because it is important. The Parliamentary Budget Officer said that it would not have any impact. I am bringing it up because the Conservatives would have us believe otherwise. Let us be frank. Our corporate tax rates are already competitive.
Here is something no one ever talks about. In the United States, employers pay for medicare. In 2017, that accounted for a mere $14,900 U.S. per employee. The lack of social safety net in the U.S. is costing them a fortune, so no, we do not have any problems in that regard.
In any case, a race to the bottom approach is not the way to remain globally competitive. We need to develop the sectors in which we are strong. In Quebec that is the clean energy sector. If Ottawa would support our electrification of transportation efforts, we would have clean cars, but the government preferred to spend our money on a pipeline.
The government indicated in the economic statement that it is going to implement a tax credit with regard to the production of clean energy. I am not against that. It could be worthwhile for paper mills and biomass enterprises. However, we need to be aware of one thing. In a number of provinces, private companies produce electricity. If they start generating clean energy, then Ottawa would give them a tax writeoff, and Quebec would have to pay for part of that.
Quebec has Hydro-Québec. Since it is a government-owned corporation, it will not be entitled to the tax credit. If that is all Ottawa does, it will be subsidizing the “bad guys” so they are not quite as bad, and Quebec, a world leader in green energy, is back at square one, without a penny, for doing the right thing. What a great deal. Let's face it, that is an odd way to promote the green economy.
Our high-tech sectors could use some support, but Canada invests very little in business-led research and development. The innovation fund will not help our high-tech companies. Instead, that federal money will just make up for the lack of innovation elsewhere.
As for agriculture, the government signed a new trade agreement that creates another breach in supply management. We were expecting a firm commitment in terms of compensation, as the Prime Minister had promised, but once again, nothing.
Then there is Davie. Davie did not get anything from the naval strategy, and only a few crumbs after that. Whenever we asked the government when Davie would get a fair share of the contracts, we kept being told, “not now, later”. It should be now. That is what an economic statement should look like, but no, once again, Davie suffers. Soon the Liberals will be trying to woo workers before the election, but for now, they get nothing. They are just as predictable as the Conservatives.
There was nothing about how e-commerce is disrupting the economy, either. Nothing for businesses that are competing with Amazon, which does not have to charge sales tax on purchases under $40. How are our people supposed to compete against a giant with an unfair advantage? Our small businesses are going to take a beating, and Ottawa is not doing anything about it. Obviously, people are asleep at the switch.
Internet giants are another example. They are hurting our media, our artists and our culture, and they are competing unfairly. I applaud the government's initiative to support our media. Well, actually, it announced plans to support our media, but not until the next budget. Press freedom and information quality are essential in a democracy, so I welcome this initiative, but I am not getting too excited. As long as the government refuses to do something about Internet giants and their unfair competitive advantage over our media, it will not solve the problem. If it does not solve the problem, it is part of the problem. Ultimately, every one of us and democracy as a whole will pay the price. The government needs to take meaningful action to support our media.
To sum up, the Bloc Québécois is disappointed. If we were to grade the economic update on looks alone, I would give it a B, but the true yardstick is the measures themselves and whether they will meet people's real needs in terms of health, education, tax fairness, agriculture and support for strong economic sectors. On that score, this economic update is vacuous. The only real measure coming on line right away is accelerated depreciation. Something that minor could have been addressed with a planted question. All the rest is fluff.
We give the government's economic statement an F for failure.
View Elizabeth May Profile
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-11-21 17:12 [p.23688]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise to respond to the hon. Minister of Finance's presentation.
I will note that I have never seen a display as rude as the heckling of the Minister of Finance during his speech in this place. I wish that did not happen in this place, because it brings disrepute on us all. I disagreed with much of what the Minister of Finance said, but we owe respect to the officers of this place and to our executive in a government. We are here as members of Parliament to hold the Liberals to account, not to ridicule them as if we were in a school yard.
I apologize for taking a moment to act like a schoolmarm, but I just could not help myself.
To the matter in front of us, I want to say how disappointed I am that in an opportunity to respond to the intergovernmental panel on climate change report that we must hold global average temperatures to 1.5°, that the document apparently did not cross the Minister of Finance's desk. This is not an issue that can be pigeonholed, where the cabinet can afford to say that the Minister of Environment and Climate Change or the Minister of Natural Resources can worry about whether our children will have a livable planet, because that is just one of those other issues that is less important than its finances.
For every member in this place, particularly to the Prime Minister and his cabinet, no issue comes close to discussing whether this planet will be habitable for human beings in the lifetime of our children. It is a rather important issue and it is completely ignored in this document.
Let us look at what was discussed. We have to be serious about ensuring we change our plan so Canada is not be held up as it was recently in the scientific study and earlier referenced in this place. If every country on earth followed Canada's plans for climate, we would not hold to 1.5° and we would be in the worst category there is. We would be in with China and Russia, taking this planet to 5.1°, which is a level of danger that can only be described as an existential threat to the survival of humanity on this planet. That means it is important.
Let me put it very clearly. Climate change is not an environmental issue. Climate change is a security threat that eclipses all of the terrorists one could find on the planet. It is a security threat that should awaken in every responsible member in the House a determination to rise up and meet that challenge.
I am convinced Canadians from coast to coast want to be given the tools. They want to know what they can do. We should ask the Rotary clubs, the Lions clubs, the church groups, every volunteer organization in our country what they would like to do. If they want to start installing solar panels, we could help them. If they want to plant trees everywhere, we could help them with that. If they want young people to know what they can do so they to make a difference and to protect their future, we could be there for them. We need leadership.
We have to look at the advice we have had from serious studies of how we get to a place where we have security for our future, a planet that will not only sustain life but will allow us to thrive. We have had the benefit of a very hospitable planet ever since human beings first emerged as homo sapiens and left our monkey cousins behind. We have had the benefit of a very beneficial climate. We are at risk of losing it for good.
What would we do if we wanted to put ourselves on that good path? We know that because work has been done. The advice of the deep decarbonization project, which I will refer to quickly, is to first get all fossil fuels out of electricity, decarbonize our electricity grid, improve our east-west electricity grid so there is good connectivity for British Columbia to sell to Alberta, for Quebec to sell to all of the Maritimes and so on. The east-west grid needs work.
Then we want to get all the fossil fuels out of it and ensure we are able to go off fossil electricity entirely. That does not mean Alberta's plan of going off coal and going to fracked natural gas. That does not do it. It is about the same amount of greenhouse gas. Therefore, we do all of that and then we get rid of the internal combustion engine and go to electric vehicles. Then we ensure that every single building in the country is retrofitted to the highest energy efficiency standards, which will employ, according to the trade unions I have talked to about this, four million Canadians. That means jobs for more workers than we actually have needing jobs.
We take this apart and compare it to this document. What do we have on the priorities for removing barriers to trade within Canada? We have nothing on the barriers to selling electricity.
These are the four high profile areas identified by the government in a time of climate crisis. These are the four areas where there will be an opportunity to improve internal conduct of trade. It is going to improve the transporting of goods in the trucking industry. It is going to harmonize food regulations. It is going to align regulations in the construction sector. It is going to facilitate greater trade in alcohol between the provinces and territories across Canada.
I am not against any of those things. However, where is the east-west electricity grid anywhere in this discussion? Where is there any awareness of what needs to be done, how it could stimulate our economy, how it would create jobs and how it would protect our future?
As I look—
View Elizabeth May Profile
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-11-21 17:18 [p.23689]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the courtesy very much, so my friends in this place can hear me.
The east-west electricity grid is a very important part of putting together what we need to do to address the climate crisis. When I talk to groups in my riding, I say this to them. If they had a jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces on a table in front of them, but they had lost the lid of the box, it would be very hard to solve the puzzle. However, if they paint the top of the box, it looks like this: get carbon fuels out of electricity; move our vehicle fleet to electric vehicles; do fuel switching for everything else, tractors, fishing boats, forest equipment using biodiesel; ensure all our buildings are as energy efficient as possible; and stop exploring and developing any more fossil fuels than the level we have now and use it domestically instead of trying to put it in pipelines to ship it to places that are not interested.
Instead, there is a pipeline reference in this document. Page 93 tells us what we already know, that we have spent $4.5 billion on a 65-year-old pipeline, and it refers to the idea that we may expand and build an additional one, but it does not indicate the price tag. If anyone wants to know the price tag for expanding the now owned by the Government of Canada Kinder Morgan pipeline, it is an additional $10 billion to $13 billion on top of the $4.5 billion we already have spent for an existing pipeline. It is actually referred to in the following sentence:
Should construction of the Expansion Project be permitted to recommence prior to a sale of the Trans Mountain entities, the Government will record construction and other associated expenditures as adding to the book value of the asset.
However, the opportunity cost of spending $10 billion to $13 billion on an expansion of that pipeline is extraordinary. Not only in this document, but in any document of the Government of Canada or document of the prior owner, Kinder Morgan, will we find a cost benefit analysis of what it really costs just in economics to build a pipeline to ship bitumen offshore.
The reason the Alberta Federation of Labour and Unifor, the biggest union representing oil sands workers, intervened at the National Energy Board to oppose the Kinder Morgan pipeline was because it cost jobs and it did not diversify markets either. If anyone wants to track the real-life examples of where the dilbit goes that reaches the port in Burnaby now, it mostly goes to California. It is not diversified markets; it is just moving our oil, solid bitumen, not even crude, to the same places it can go over land.
If we are serious about this, if we want to be serious about a climate crisis, which is real, and we want to respond to the needs of Canadian society, this is not the document to produce.
We do have other critical issues in the country and while the climate crisis is an existential threat, I really do agree with the New Democratic Party's response, which is this would have been a good time to start getting pharmacare going, to give us that commitment, maybe in the spring budget, but we need pharmacare in the country.
I also know Jim. The hon. member mentioned him earlier. He is a veteran and he sits outside by the bridge next to the Chateau Laurier. He cannot afford his medications without people giving him money. We are the only country with universal health care that does not provide universal pharmacare. While we are at it, why are we not implementing Vanessa's Law, which was passed in the 41st Parliament, to take big pharma to task and make it publish its drug results? There is a lot we need to do in our country and this document does not say that we are committed to doing those things.
There many nice words in the document, I am not saying there are not. I welcome any document that says it is time we take the charitable sector seriously. However, there is nothing about when we will pull up our socks and live up to our commitments to make poverty history by increasing our overseas development assistance to 0.7% of our GNP. That commitment was made years ago, and we are falling backward compared to where we were under former prime minister Brian Mulroney. That was the highest it ever was with respect to our charitable sector, 0.45%, in 1992.
To wrap up, the late Jim MacNeill, a great Canadian who wrote the Brundtland report, said that the single most important environmental document prepared by any government was its budget.
This fall mini-budget fails entirely to respond to the single largest threat to our children's future. Let us hope that before we go to COP24 in Poland, we will see the government step up and say that it wants to be the climate leader it promised Canadians it would be.
View Elizabeth May Profile
View Elizabeth May Profile
2017-02-23 16:41 [p.9303]
Madam Speaker, I have been astonished by how popular it is. Regarding the carbon tax in British Columbia, and I do not want to make a political comment because it is only through the good graces of the NDP that I am standing here, it was a fatal mistake of the NDP provincially to run an “ax the tax” campaign against the B.C. Liberals when they first brought it in, because British Columbians actually liked it. Because it was revenue neutral, there was more money in our own pocketbooks to decide, “I know the price of gas will go up, so the next car I get will be a gas miser, not a gas guzzler.”
My local airport is the Victoria International Airport, a very well-run and friendly airport, by the way. I parked my Prius in long-term parking on Monday to come back to Ottawa, and I was thrilled to see that there are brand new plug-in electric vehicle chargers for free in the airport parking lot.
We see electric chargers all over the place. I think Salt Spring Island may have the highest per capita ownership of electric vehicles, and it is not people who can afford to buy a Tesla, by the way. They are increasingly affordable cars because people do not have to put gas in their cars at all.
View Elizabeth May Profile
View Elizabeth May Profile
2017-02-22 15:28 [p.9210]
Mr. Speaker, I rise to present two petitions today. The first is primarily from people in the area of Salmon Arm, British Columbia.
The petitioners call upon this Parliament to establish a tax rebate. One way they suggest to establish it would be to eliminate the goods and services tax to encourage the purchase of new hybrid and electric vehicles. A big transformation is happening in our vehicle fleet, and the more we get internal combustion engines off the roads, the more greenhouse gases we will reduce.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
View Monique Pauzé Profile
2016-10-04 12:47 [p.5449]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question.
Canada must indeed begin by respecting provincial jurisdiction. That is step one. It must also respect the efforts made by Quebec, such as using 1990 instead of 2005 and investing billions in industries that have invested in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.
Another thing Canada can do is halt oil sands development. Not everyone is going to like that. It should leave the oil sands in the ground. It could also provide major incentives for people to buy electric vehicles. I myself just bought an electric car, made more affordable by the Government of Quebec's generous subsidies. If Canada had a similar program for electric vehicles, more people could buy them.
Canada could even buy some. Why not? It could replace the government fleet, including all of those little buses that do such a good job of bringing us here. That might be a good idea. It could also invest heavily in environmental research and development. It could support the development of ethanol plants, which use forestry, agricultural, and household waste. Do my colleagues require any more ideas? We can talk about it.
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