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Results: 1 - 22 of 22
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2019-06-18 10:19 [p.29266]
Mr. Speaker, I am presenting a petition today that is timely, given the resolution last night that Canada is in a climate emergency. Youth petitioners and those who describe themselves as caring deeply about youth are calling on the Government of Canada to take meaningful actions to hit the obligations under the Paris Agreement, which are not the current 30% below 2005 by 2030 target, but in fact, a target designed to hit 1.5°C global average temperature increase and well below 2°C.
Petitioners call on the government to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, place a comprehensive and steadily rising national carbon price, and redirect investments into renewable energy, energy efficiency, low-carbon transportation and job training.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2019-06-03 15:39 [p.28421]
Mr. Speaker, the second petition comes from youth, asking for more to be done to avert disastrous climate change.
Young petitioners and those who care deeply about youth call upon the House of Commons to take meaningful steps to support the future of young Canadians and to fulfill Canada's obligation under the Paris agreement by adopting a detailed climate action strategy that includes science-based targets for greenhouse gas reduction, with a plan to meet them, including but not limited to eliminating fossil fuel subsidies; implementing a comprehensive and steadily rising national carbon price beyond 2022 that rises to $150 a tonne by 2030; and redirecting investments into renewable energy systems, energy efficiency, low-carbon transportation and job training.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
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
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-09-27 10:05 [p.21891]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise in the House to present a petition from Canadian youth. These young Canadians ask the House of Commons to give serious consideration to the facts relating to the climate crisis, that Canada has endorsed the Paris Agreement but does not yet have a target consistent with it.
These youth petitioners and those who care deeply about youth, call the House of Commons to develop urgently a meaningful plan for a response to the climate crisis. They provide further details within the petition.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-06-18 15:37 [p.21154]
Mr. Speaker, I have a second petition. This was put together by citizens of Canada. Some people do not recognize that our petition process can accept signatures from those under 18 years of age. This petition comes from Salt Spring Elementary School.
The petitioners ask the government to reconsider spending $7.4 billion on an expanded pipeline. They specifically advocate that the Government of Canada instead build 2,600 wind turbines, thus creating 268,600 jobs; construct 15,600 acres of solar panels; and fund alternative uses for a transition to a renewable energy economy.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-06-12 10:36 [p.20696]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for Edmonton Strathcona and the NDP for bringing this motion before the House today.
Given the member's long engagement in the climate issue, and we were together at the Paris negotiations and at the disaster in Copenhagen, she knows that climate action requires rapid reduction in fossil fuel emissions or we will go above the Paris target of 1.52°.
Does my hon. colleague believe we can expand production of greenhouse-emitting facilities like more oil sands production, new pipelines, and new oil wells, and still meet the Paris target?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-06-12 10:57 [p.20699]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. parliamentary secretary made so many points that I wish I could agree with. I would point out where she says the government is concerned about energy efficiency, that is one place where they surprisingly have dropped the ball. Bringing in new building codes is great, but it only applies to new buildings. Where are the energy retrofit programs to overhaul existing buildings?
If we want to find a great precedent, look no further than the record of the government under the Right Hon. Paul Martin, the ecoENERGY retrofit program. The budget brought in in 2005 and the climate actions there brought forward by the finance minister who is now the Minister of Public Safety had more climate action than anything we have seen to date from the current government. You can pass him a note and ask for details. To buy a dirty, fossil fuel, bitumen pipeline instead of refining the product in Alberta so we can use it locally makes no sense to the economy and is absolutely sabotage to our Paris goals.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-06-12 12:10 [p.20710]
Madam Speaker, it is always difficult to debate the climate issue with the Liberal government and its representatives, such as the parliamentary secretary, because I do not doubt their good intentions. What I do not see is leadership.
The measurement is not whether the Liberals are doing more than the previous government under Stephen Harper, because of course they are. The difficulty, and it is not their fault, is that the atmosphere, the chemistry of the atmosphere, and the physics of what we are experiencing now mean that incremental change, such as is acceptable to a political class that just thinks about getting through the next election, is inadequate to ensure that we avoid catastrophic levels of climate change. Canada is not pulling our fair share of the weight at all to hit a climate target that will hold to 1.5° Celsius.
When will Canada ratchet up our target and show that we really are leaders?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-06-12 12:51 [p.20715]
Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Cowichan—Malahat—Langford for raising the Stern review again. It has been a while since we remembered in this chamber the cost of inaction. Just to fill out some details, Sir Nicholas Stern is not only a British economist, he was the chief economist for the World Bank and was commissioned by the chancellor of the exchequer in the U.K. to estimate the cost of the failure to take action on climate change. He estimated it as being an economic hit globally that would be the equivalent of the Great Depression and the world wars put together. That was in 2006. In 2016, he said, “I should have been much stronger.... I underplayed the dangers.”
We are at a cusp right now. We need to do the right thing for the climate before 2020. We cannot wait until 2030. Our current target is the leftover one from Stephen Harper. We have to actually ramp up and do much more.
I could not agree more with my colleague that just repeating that the Kinder Morgan pipeline is in our national interest does not make it so. My question to him is this: has he seen anything from the Liberal government that constitutes an independent report on the costs and benefits of the Kinder Morgan pipeline that would make the case that it is in our national interest?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-06-12 13:04 [p.20717]
Madam Speaker, Jim MacNeill, who was one of Canada's leading environmental diplomats globally, the author of the Brundtland report “Our Common Future”, used to say that the federal budget is the single most environmental statement made by any government. There is so much missing in this budget to respond to climate change.
I am going to focus on just one thing and that is support for solar energy. It is taking off. Solar panels are now a cheaper source of electricity than coal and Canada's Department of Finance actually takes active measures to increase the cost of solar for Canadians. We not only do not help; we add large tariffs. I first raised this with former finance minister Joe Oliver. Why are we putting tariffs on solar panels? It makes it harder.
I hear from local companies that they are installing solar panels on people's homes without federal support. We should be doing everything possible to allow local communities, homeowners, and businesses to install their own renewable energy. We make it harder for them. Why are we putting tariffs on solar panels from China?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-06-12 13:20 [p.20720]
Madam Speaker, I know my hon. friend from St. John's East is on the other side of the country all together, so he can be forgiven for not knowing anything about dilbit. Bitumen is a solid. While he just said in the House that the safest and most environmentally-friendly way to ship it was by pipeline, unfortunately he has it exactly backward.
Bitumen is a solid shipped most safely by train. It only becomes dangerous when people stir diluent in order to make it flow through a pipeline, thus creating dilbit, which is both noxious to human health and cannot be cleaned up.
My question is to the point about the claim of great economic dependency of our country on oil and gas. Did he know that at the height of the oil sands production, it represented 2% of GDP, therefore, 2% of our schools, hospitals, and social services, not a dependency?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-06-12 13:49 [p.20725]
Madam Speaker, bravo to my colleague from Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke for knocking that last answer out of the park. We both have ridings adjacent to each other. Our constituents are of the same view as my dear friend, the late Arthur Black, who used to say, when they talk about getting bitumen to tidewater. “Tidewater? That is my front yard.” That is how we feel about the Salish Sea.
My hon. colleague mentioned the difficulties of cleaning up a dilbit spill. We recently had a session at the University of Victoria where we learned it is quite likely in the open ocean that not only will bitumen and diluent separate, but the bitumen will begin to sink and emulsify and form a lard-like substance that could wash ashore on our beaches and would require being heated to be removed. I ask my hon. colleague to comment on the prospect of a dilbit spill.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-06-12 15:31 [p.20742]
Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague, the member for King—Vaughan for the wonderful work she does as chair of the environment committee.
The problem is that the government is not, at all, meeting the goals of the environment and the economy going hand in hand, because that is only true when the actions taken for the environment and the actions taken for the economy are actually moving in the same direction, and that is to reduce greenhouse gases.
As Bill McKibben says, “The first rule of holes is...stop digging.” Announcing new oil drilling off Atlantic Canada and, I cannot get over how determined the government is, building a pipeline to British Columbia, these are not good economics. The pipeline does not have a market. That is why Kinder Morgan wanted to get away from it. It is all about selling, overseas, a product that we could be refining in Canada, and reducing or eliminating the imports of foreign oil that we have into Atlantic Canada.
We do not have a climate plan. The Auditor General made this point. I would just say to my hon. colleague, would it not be better if we determined what the global carbon budget is. In other words, what is the amount of carbon humanity can put in the atmosphere before we cross over the point of no return, in terms of self-accelerating, runaway global warming? What is that number? What is Canada's share of making sure we do not cross that threshold? We could work backwards from there. It certainly would not be the old Harper target, which was never the Paris target but to which we remain committed. Thirty per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 is too little, too late.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-06-12 16:08 [p.20748]
Mr. Speaker, I think the debate around jobs needs to bear in mind that the number one goal of the labour unions of northern Alberta, the Alberta Federation of Labour and Unifor, is to protect jobs. However, it should be noted that these organizations are against the Kinder Morgan expansion. We know they are against it because they recognize that, just like shipping raw logs off Vancouver Island while our sawmills need resources to process them at home, shipping raw bitumen out of Canada instead of having upgraders and refineries is shipping out the jobs.
I know there are some unions that want the jobs in construction, but those are short-term jobs. The long-term jobs are in following Peter Lougheed's original plan and having upgraders and refineries.
It is a mind-boggling reality that the jobs argument is so badly misunderstood in this country, because propaganda seems to get away with the aura of fact, and those of us who bring fact-based critique to it are somehow clinging to a sort of nirvana world. We would rather see Canada solve this problem by thinking like a country.
I wonder if my hon. colleague from Courtenay—Alberni wants to add anything to this issue of shipping out raw resources.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2018-06-12 17:22 [p.20758]
Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Timmins—James Bay made a lot of good points about this pipeline. I want to put something to the House that I do not think anyone has raised yet, and that is the financing around this, which is pretty dodgy. We have to remember that Kinder Morgan was founded by Richard Kinder who was a senior executive of Enron.
Kinder Morgan had to go out on the open market. At a National Energy Board hearing, it said that all the money for the project would be raised by the parent company out of Houston. It raised about $1.7 billion from investors. About a year and a half ago, Richard Kinder told his shareholders that he used that money to pay down debt. Then it changed the corporate structure of the organization and had Kinder Morgan Canada stand alone and not as part of Kinder Morgan of Houston. They are related as a subsidiary. However, it is a pretty clear tell that Kinder Morgan was backing off the whole idea of building the expansion.
Therefore, the reason we are paying so much for an existing pipeline, which was never part of the problem, was the blackmail note from Kinder Morgan, falling due May 31. It was not about getting the ransom; it was about shooting the hostage. What it really wanted to do was get out of it and blame someone for that.
Our poor beknighted front benches over there were terrified of a press conference on May 31, in which Kinder Morgan would announce that the Prime Minister of Canada could not get it done, that the Minister of Finance could not get it done. We had the problem of an unwilling vendor, and we know one pays through the nose when one has an unwilling vendor.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2017-12-13 16:00 [p.16379]
Mr. Speaker, as many in this House know, but I do not know how many Canadians are aware, the petition process does not begin with petitioners at the age of 18. Any Canadian citizen can sign a petition.
This is the first time have had occasion to rise in this House to present a petition prepared by constituents in my riding, in particular from Salt Spring Island. The youngest petitioner is 11. As a mother, this chokes me up. It is from youth petitioners and those who care deeply about youth. The oldest petitioners are in their nineties. They are calling for action on climate change as an intergenerational threat.
The petitioners note that the Paris agreement was agreed to two years ago, that chances of hitting the Paris targets are vanishing, and that current government actions are not sufficient to meet the Paris targets. These youth call on the House of Commons to ensure that meaningful steps are put in place, and very soon, to ensure that they have a future.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2017-11-08 15:22 [p.15139]
Mr. Speaker, I rise to present three petitions today.
The first petition deals with the pressure to live up to the Paris accord targets and to ensure that the global average temperature does not exceed 1.5°C, and certainly stays below 2°C.
The petitioners call for reductions in greenhouse gases as well as support for the developing world to the global south that is hardest hit and least to blame.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
View Monique Pauzé Profile
2017-10-16 16:26 [p.14113]
Mr. Speaker, 45 seconds is not very long, considering the number of “alternative facts” in my colleague's speech.
Specifically, I would like to talk about his claim that, in Quebec, or in eastern Canada anyway, we get our oil from Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Not one drop of oil from Venezuela has come into Quebec since 2010. Some 64% of Quebec's oil imports come from the United States.
If you believe in Canadian institutions, those figures can be found in the Statistics Canada data provided by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Perhaps the member needs to check his facts.
I would also like to remind him that the International Labour Organization has said that, if we focused our efforts on the sustainable and renewable energy sector, millions of jobs could be created.
China is currently ahead of the curve when it comes to jobs in the renewable energy sector. Meanwhile, we are lagging behind because we are stuck in our oil-based mindset.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
View Monique Pauzé Profile
2017-03-09 13:59 [p.9596]
Mr. Speaker, this evening, the Prime Minister is in cowboy country. He is in Texas to receive a big award for his leadership in promoting fossil fuels. Many admirers and partners will be there with him: ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Enbridge, TransCanada. It will make for some great selfies!
This prestigious award tells us that this Prime Minister is the prime minister of oil companies. He is the prime minister of oil sands, dirty energy and pipelines.
While the polluters are paying tribute to the Prime Minister, I would like to point out that Quebec has chosen green energy and sustainable development. While the Prime Minister gets praised by the magnates that represent last century's energy source, we have chosen to move forward with 21st-century energy.
The future is Quebec, and that is well worth the top awards.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2017-02-23 16:28 [p.9301]
Madam Speaker, I want to begin by thanking the preceding speaker, the member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay, and in fact, the whole NDP caucus for allowing me 10 minutes to speak in this very important debate.
I have been struggling today. I keep thinking to myself that people who live in glass houses should not keep an abundance of stones. Every time a Conservative speaks, I find myself thinking, “Do you not remember the last 10 years of cancelling all the carbon plans?” There was a very decent, workable plan in place in 2005 and 2006 that was cancelled within weeks of Stephen Harper becoming prime minister. Three different times, Canada's carbon target was weakened. It has been referenced already that Stephen Harper put a cap and trade program into a plan that he never really intended to execute.
I do feel enormous empathy for the parade of environment ministers who suffered under that regime. I think they were all told that they would be able to deliver the plan. The current leader of the official opposition, who was the first minister of environment, said they were intending to reach Kyoto, and the rug was pulled out from under her. John Baird came along and said he had a turning-the-corner plan, that there would be regulations sector by sector. Nothing ever happened, except that we shamed ourselves in the world over and over again by obstructing global negotiations. That is something Canadians do not understand: how much, under the previous government, we did not just stand back, but we got in the way. Those are a few glass houses and stone moments that I wanted to get rid of before proceeding to a review of carbon pricing and what it means.
I did not get the chance to put this to the hon. member for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa in questions and comments, but he said he had not heard anything about the Great Lakes. I remember distinctly that one of the Harper government budgets spent more money on barbed wire and fencing to go around the Great Lakes to make sure that terrorists were not getting access into Canada across the Great Lakes than for water quality. I just picked up the 2016 budget, and if we go to page 162, and several pages therein, we see there is finally a return to some Great Lakes policy; not enough, I have to say. I was part of the government back in 1986 to 1988 that put together the Great Lakes water quality strategy and a St. Lawrence cleanup plan, but at least there are some millions of dollars for the Great Lakes now.
It is really a rhetorical trick to have framed today's opposition day motion around the idea that electricity prices in Ontario are what we can expect everywhere if we adopt carbon pricing. Electricity prices in Ontario currently are very high, but they have nothing to do with carbon pricing. The only way we could replicate it across Canada is if we could somehow impose on every province the bad energy decisions made by Ontario Hydro for generations in building nuclear plants that created billions of dollars of stranded debt.
If we look at the breakdown of electricity prices for Ontario, and I urge everyone to google it and have a look, the number one price is the cost of generation, of course. Then there is the cost of distribution. The next biggest price, over $1 billion a year, is retiring the debt. This is related not to green energy but to nuclear energy.
There has also been a great deal of nonsense about the B.C. carbon prices and the carbon tax there. I want to put that to bed. The hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill did not cite a reference on this one. She was referring to the Fraser Institute report, which claims, falsely, that the B.C. carbon tax is not revenue neutral. For those listening who do not know the term “revenue neutral”, it means that for every $1 of tax taken in on carbon, $1 of tax is reduced on small business and individual British Columbians.
It is working very well, and the B.C. finance department has completely rebutted the Fraser Institute, but of course, the Fraser Institute is funded by the fossil fuel industry, the Koch brothers, ExxonMobil. We can examine the source and not be surprised. The finance ministry of B.C. says that the carbon tax has actually not been revenue neutral recently. It is giving more tax cuts than it is getting in revenue. In terms of how British Columbians receive it, it is a very positive thing.
Let me turn to what a price on carbon is and is not. It needs to be said really clearly that a price on carbon is not the magic silver bullet. We put a price on carbon in Canada and we have not reached our Paris targets magically. We have not averted the climate crisis magically. We need a whole range of measures, a whole suite of measures. What a carbon price attempts to do is correct market failure, because in that perfect world on the blackboard of economics 101, everything has an input cost.
We have materials and labour. Pollution is free. It is an externality to the economic equation, but it is not external to real life. It piles up. Whether it is the Sydney tar ponds and toxic waste that had to be cleaned up at a cost of $400 million, or whether it is the future cost of cleaning up the oil sands tailings ponds, or whether it is overloading our global atmosphere with warming gases that threaten, and I am not using hyperbole here as this is actually what is at risk, human civilization itself, this is not a free good, so we have to put a price on it so our free market system can actually pay attention to it. It almost does not matter, in response to the member for Calgary Nose Hill, whether we have elasticity of price or not. There is such a demand for gasoline that we would have to put a huge carbon price on to affect the demand for gasoline.
That is not the point of a carbon price. A carbon price is to make sure there is a signal at almost any level that this will cost something. It is to try to create some incentive, but on its own it is not enough. We need regulations and we need other plans. We need to bring on renewable energy so that we can decarbonize all of our electricity. That is a top priority. Ontario did it first, but others need to do it.
What kind of institutions favour a carbon tax? Looney left-wing ones? No. The International Monetary Fund says that every country needs to put in place a carbon price and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. This was a promise in the Liberal platform that we need to see executed. It has not happened yet. We still have fossil fuel subsidies for liquefied natural gas and dwindling but still in the oil sands. The World Bank also favours carbon pricing and the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies. It is the same for the International Energy Agency.
The first carbon price that was applied by any nation was by Finland in 1990, followed by Sweden in 1991. By the way, the carbon price in Sweden is now hovering at around $150 a tonne. Norway applied its carbon price as it began to develop its North Sea oil resources. It was at the point of becoming potentially a petro-state but decided not to go that route. It decided not to let its currency be linked to the money that it was taking in. Norway took in royalties. It also applied a carbon tax. It now has a sovereign wealth fund, so as North Sea oil dwindles, it will have a $900-billion sovereign wealth fund.
Guess whose advice Norway followed when it did that? That was the advice of former Alberta premier Peter Lougheed. If only Albertans had followed the advice of former premier Peter Lougheed, there would be a huge amount of money to adapt to transitions. They would not have put all of their money into the bitumen basket, all of their eggs into the bitumen basket, of shipping out raw bitumen but would have followed Peter Lougheed's plan and had ancillary infrastructure for refining and upgrading.
Today's debate is about the Liberals revealing numbers. Guess what, folks? I do not think there are any numbers, because no one can know yet. In the absence of any federal role on carbon pricing or carbon action under the Harper era, we have a patchwork, because provinces began to take action on their own. Frankly, I am no fan of cap and trade. It is open to fraud and it is a difficult system. But they had nothing else going on, so Ontario and Quebec decided to work with California.
British Columbia brought in the best architecture of a carbon price with returning every dollar collected to reduce taxes across the province. Gordon Campbell would not have been re-elected without having brought in a carbon tax. He fell later on because he never told anyone he was going to bring in a harmonized sales tax, but that is another issue. Carbon tax saved him. HST took him down.
Here we are in a situation where we have a patchwork. The federal government has stepped up and I think the architecture of what it is proposing is very good. It is backfill and infill. The federal government is saying it is not going to tax on top of what B.C. is already taxing, which is already at $30 a tonne, or Ontario and Quebec and California. It wants to make sure there is an even playing field for business certainty to send out that carbon signal.
We need a carbon price that is uniform across Canada, but we do not know that every province is going to design a revenue neutral tax. I wish they would. We do know that the federal government will return to every province all the money it collects from that province if by the time the carbon tax rolls around that province has not designed its own system.
Frankly, all the people in the Conservative caucus who are suddenly concerned that there is going to be an impact by doing something need to think about the situation. There is no hidden report. The report they want was prepared under the Harper administration. If they want transparency, they should help everyone work together to deliver a carbon price that is effective, reduces pollution, and helps us move into a 21st century green economy.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2017-02-08 17:00 [p.8648]
Madam Speaker, as things stand, the Bloc Québécois will not be supporting Bill C-30 at third reading. It is with heavy hearts that we will vote against it. As everyone knows, we supported the Canada-Europe agreement in principle. The agreement will benefit Quebec in many important ways.
Right now, our neighbour to the south is fairly unpredictable. Some would even say erratic. The election of Donald Trump reminds us that hitching our wagon to the American star is not good enough. We need more than one partner. Europe is perfectly suited to be that partner.
The Minister of Canadian Heritage was absolutely right when she said yesterday that Quebec is the high-tech heart of Canada. We have an international reputation for the cutting-edge sectors such as aeronautics and artificial intelligence that are part of our economy. Thanks to our creative people, we are considered world leaders in sectors such as video games.
Quebec is also at the head of the pack in research and development despite inadequate federal government support. We have the most highly rated shipyard in North America. Quebec is a world leader in green energy production. In contrast to Canada, which is mired in tar, we will emerge victorious from fossil fuel dependency. Quebec's future is bright.
However, developing a leading-edge product is a long and expensive process. Our high-tech companies, our industries of the future, could not possibly be profitable based on domestic markets alone. We need access to the world. Our high-tech sectors depend on it. Our future depends on it.
The Canada-Europe agreement could have been a great agreement. It had the potential to be tailor-made for Quebec, which in some ways already serves as a bridge between North America and Europe. Approximately 40% of the trade between Canada and Europe is done with Quebec. On top of that, about 40% of European investments in Canada are made in my province of Quebec. The strength of the Quebec economy speaks for itself. Our development model is a little different than that in the rest of North America, but this does not frighten European investors. After all, Germany is much more unionized than we are, and it is doing very well, thank you. Europeans do not mind that our employees are more unionized than anywhere else in North America. The exact opposite is true of American investors, who fear the differences in Quebec, in part because Canada is doing a terrible job promoting and selling Quebec's strengths.
Considering the growing protectionism in the United States, Europe will be looking more and more to Quebec to act as a gateway to North America.
Yes, this agreement presented its share of opportunities, but we cannot support just any old thing. We see what happens all around the world when governments fail to support those on the losing side of trade agreements. The Canada-Europe agreement has its share of victims in Quebec, and Ottawa is neglecting to compensate them. Quebec is a trading nation and we have always played our cards right, despite the fact that Quebec is not independent and must continually fight to ensure that Ottawa takes Quebec's differences into account in trade agreements.
Unlike the government, we will not leave our people behind. We have a very stable dairy and cheese sector thanks to supply management. The Canadian government has chosen to favour the western beef industry at the expense of Quebec's cheese producers. The reality of the European market is quite different from that of Quebec's market. In Europe, producers are highly subsidized, which is not the case in Quebec. They can easily sell their cheese here in Quebec below cost. That is not possible in a system where supply meets demand in order to avoid waste and where farmers are ensured stability. More often than not, Quebec's cheese producers are small artisanal businesses, fragile businesses. The Canada-Europe agreement will open the Canadian market, including the Quebec market, to European cheese products, but the reverse is not true. Under WTO rules, the supply management system does not allow us to export our products. The cheese producers are in a lose-lose situation.
European businesses that receive very large subsidies will be able to sell cheese in Quebec at a very low price. That will put tremendous pressure on our producers. Given that Quebec produces half of Canada's cheese and more than 60% of its fine cheeses, Quebec is most affected by this agreement.
The agreement will give 7% of the Canadian market to Europe, specifically 18,000 tons of cheese. Almost all future imports will consist of fine cheeses. I will repeat that Quebec produces over 60% of Canada's fine cheeses and it will be the first victim of the agreement. It is estimated that cheese producers will lose more than $300 million year after year.
The government has never committed to compensating producers for all their losses. In fact, it offered the dairy and cheese industry a total of $350 million over five years. It did not provide any details about the criteria or the allocation. Moreover, it gave no guarantees for the future. All we were asking the government to do was to make a firm commitment to fully compensate producers for their losses. It never wanted to do that.
Quebec's cheese producers are resigned to the fact that the government is implementing the Canada-Europe agreement and is opening up our market to European cheese. Consequently, UPA is requesting financial compensation for the losses that dairy and cheese producers will inevitably incur. The Government of Quebec is also asking for compensation for these producers.
Our cheese producers are concerned, and the Canadian government has not done what is necessary to reassure them by giving them the guarantees they have asked for. Diversifying our markets is a good thing because having more trade partners will make our economy more stable. However, unfortunately, the Government of Canada has once again failed to consider the Quebec market.
Since Quebec is not a country, Canada speaks on its behalf, even though Canada does not understand the Quebec model. Often, the Quebec model is not compatible with the Canadian model. Of course, in those types of situations, the federal government does what is best for the rest of Canada, simply because it is more politically expedient to do so. It is a matter of numbers. That is what is happening again with the Canada-Europe agreement.
If the government had done its homework, it could have proposed innovative solutions, such as allowing artisans and small businesses to get import licences for European cheese. That way, they could have profited from selling European cheese and compensated for any losses incurred because of this agreement. If nothing is done, the large chains will get licences and they will be the ones to profit. That will be even more harmful to our producers. To date, the government has not given any indication that it is sensitive to the plight of our cheese producers.
In short, for all of these reasons, we cannot support this bill. The Bloc Québécois will not abandon Quebec's dairy and cheese producers. We made a firm commitment during the last election. We promised that we would support the Canada-Europe agreement only if the government promised to fully compensate the dairy and cheese industry. Since the government has not made a clear commitment in that regard, we will oppose the bill. The Bloc Québécois keeps its promises, and it condemns the government's insensitivity toward producers. We stand with producers.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2016-05-05 12:44 [p.2931]
Mr. Speaker, I commend the Minister of Natural Resources on his inspiring speech. I especially enjoyed the first part of his speech when he talked about his family history, starting with his grandparents' immigration story. I did not know that story. I was very moved by it.
I also appreciated the part where he said that the government supported renewable energy development. I would like him to give the House a concrete example of a measure in the budget through which the government will support the production of renewable energy in Quebec.
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