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Results: 1 - 18 of 18
View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2019-06-20 10:21 [p.29466]
Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to table this morning.
The first was drafted by grade-six students in Ms. Mylène Potvin's class at Harfand-des-neiges elementary school. These children showed great initiative in writing to their government. Together, they are calling on the government to curb the use of plastic bags and excess packaging.
I urge them to continue this fight. They will always be able to count on me.
View Christine Moore Profile
NDP (QC)
Madam Speaker, today I am presenting a petition calling for the creation of a national strategy to combat plastic pollution in our waterways.
This type of pollution is extremely worrisome, particularly because it affects aquatic fauna. I have been fishing for as long as I can remember and I am deeply concerned about the increasing number of fish that ingest plastic, which then ends up in our food chain.
This is a critical issue, especially if we consider the communities for which fishing is a traditional activity.
View Rachel Bendayan Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Rachel Bendayan Profile
2019-06-13 14:14 [p.29058]
Mr. Speaker, the disastrous effects of climate change demand immediate action. This is our generation's biggest challenge. My constituents in Outremont and Mile-End feel the same. I have listened to them and we responded. Our government just strengthened our plan for the environment.
We are banning single-use plastics in two years, including plastic cutlery and plastic food wrapping. Eighty-seven per cent of these plastics are not being recycled. They are instead found in our lakes, in our rivers and in our parks.
I know some think this is a very bold measure, but we need to be bold. It is our responsibility in this House to consider the future of our country and to protect the planet for our children and our grandchildren.
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
NDP (QC)
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
2019-05-16 12:10 [p.27925]
Madam Speaker, back in October, the scientific community gave us 12 years. Now, we have 11 left. We must take drastic action by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 45%. We will never get there if keep subsidizing fossil fuels.
There is no shortage of people ready to work in the renewable energy industry, which represents six to eight times more jobs. Alberta has the highest potential in the country for developing solar energy. Why are we not doing it? Why are billions of dollars not being invested there?
As previously mentioned, in recent years, the federal government has invested $62 billion in the oil sector, and only $5 billion in renewable energy. That is completely absurd given the fact that inaction costs us $1.6 billion per year, not to mention the impact on human and ecological health.
View Joël Godin Profile
CPC (QC)
View Joël Godin Profile
2019-05-16 13:40 [p.27939]
Madam Speaker, this is a very important subject that I care a lot about.
First, I would like to remind the House that the Conservatives get up every morning to try to protect our planet, unlike what the Liberals would have people believe. Climate change is unacceptable, but it does exist. I am a Conservative, and I am stating loud and clear that climate change is real.
Today, the Liberals are waking up after three and a half years in office. They are waking up as the election season approaches, but given their environmental track record, they will be embarrassed to go talk to their voters.
Today, we are debating Motion No. 29, which states:
That the House recognize that: (a) climate change is a real and urgent crisis....
I will not read the entire motion. I simply want to say that this was urgent 50 years ago, 20 years ago and 10 years ago. It was urgent three and a half years ago, it was urgent yesterday, it is urgent today and it will be urgent tomorrow, too. We need to act and we need to come together to protect our planet.
The Liberals falsely label us. I would like to talk about the fable of the ant and the grasshopper. The ant is a hard worker. She prepares for the harsh winter ahead by storing food. We could liken her to the farmer, who cultivates his land and knows the seasons well. The grasshopper is the complete opposite. She is lazy and spends her time singing without worrying about the coming cold. We could liken her to the artist, who lives in a dream without worrying too much about reality and the seasons. In our context, the ant represents the Conservatives, and the grasshopper obviously represents the Liberals. They whiled away their three and a half years in office, and now they are waking up. The environment is now an important issue for them. It took three and a half years. The government's attitude is rather appalling.
Earlier, it was said that this is urgent. On April 22, 2016, Canada signed the Paris Agreement, which was ratified on October 5, 2016.
Ms. Alexandra Mendès: Was it actually 2016?
Mr. Joël Godin: I would like my colleague opposite to listen to what I am saying. She has a mouth and two ears, and she should use those two ears.
As I was saying, the Paris Agreement was signed in April 2016, so this is nothing new. It was being worked on before it was signed. It was worked on globally, in other words, with other countries around the world. We can now say that Canada will not achieve its Paris targets. We will say it. We will rely on the credibility of our public servants, our qualified people. The Auditor General has said so. The United Nations, which must be credible, also said so. The commissioner of the environment said so as well. Unfortunately, the Liberals are blind to this.
I was talking about the grasshopper earlier. The Liberals would probably be represented by the grasshopper. Summer is coming to an end for the grasshopper, with the election right around the corner. Let this serve as a warning to them. Let me do them this favour, so they can present their mediocre environmental record.
I am a member of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. I had an opportunity to meet with the minister, who appeared before the committee. She is one of the grasshoppers. I asked her a very clear question.
I will read the question so I am not accused of twisting words. Hon. members and people at home can consult the record themselves. It is available to all Canadians. This was my question:
Minister, with respect to your much-touted environmental plan, I would like to know—and the question is simple—whether or not you will be meeting the targets of the Paris Agreement, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gases.
The minister said yes. Everyone can see her response for themselves in the transcripts, which are public. Earlier today, the Minister of Environment bragged about being the longest-serving environment minister. How can she say with a straight face that Canada will meet the Paris Agreement targets? There is a word that we cannot use in the House, and I will not say it, but it is unacceptable to not tell the truth.
What credibility do the Liberals and the Minister of Environment have on the world stage? The minister will not meet the Paris Agreement targets. Again, it is the Auditor General, the United Nations and the environment commissioner who say so.
On another subject, during her testimony, the minister took a swipe at me by remarking that she had been waiting 365 days for us, the Conservatives, to release our plan for the environment. My answer was that whether we do or do not release a plan, it does not change anything right now. We need to take action to fight climate change, and the Liberals have been sitting on their hands for 1,300 days.
Why did they draw on the Conservatives' expertise in the environment? Because we have credibility. That is why they used our targets. The Liberals called us incompetent and claimed our scientists had not done a good job, yet when they got to Paris, they realized the previous Conservative government had done an amazing job. They proved it by adopting our targets.
It is absurd that the government is counting on us to get it out of trouble again by handing over our environmental plan. I would remind the Liberals that our leader has pledged to release our plan by the end of the session. That is even ahead of schedule, since it should normally be presented during the election campaign. We are presenting it ahead of schedule to give the Liberals another chance to take action. Time is short, obviously, but we are going to meet their demands and present it, even though we do not have to. We need to be conscientious and rigorous. We have an environmental plan that will enable us to meet the Paris targets. Yes, the Conservatives can do that.
In committee, I also told the minister that the previous Conservative government was successful in lowering greenhouse gas emissions. It was under a Conservative government that Canada saw the most significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions in its history. The minister claimed that was because we were in a recession. However, just yesterday, when I asked her a question during oral question period, the minister said that she would create thousands of jobs and that she had a plan. She needs to be consistent. If she is creating jobs, her plan will not work. We implemented a plan that worked, but she said it was due to the recession. That does not add up. She is making conflicting statements.
Yes, we can encourage economic development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but her speeches are fraught with inconsistencies. How can we accept the arrogance of this minister and this government, who, much like the grasshopper, woke up one morning and suddenly realized that we need to look after the environment?
The environment is an everyday problem. It is a local, provincial, national and international problem that needs to be addressed holistically.
For example, not all of the plastic that washes up on our shores comes from Canadian production. It comes from all over the world. Here in Canada, we are lucky to have a lot of shoreline, but there are problems that go along with that. Because of ocean currents, plastics from other countries around the world are washing up on our shores. Are members aware that only 5% of the plastic that is cleaned up along our shores from east to west comes from Canadian consumption? That means that 95% comes from other countries. We need to look at this problem from a global perspective. When working on a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we need to realize that we are, unfortunately, not working in a silo. There is no way to remain separate. We cannot deal with this all on our own. We need to work with all those involved.
We, the Conservatives, have taken concrete action, and we will continue on that same path.
In Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, the riding I have the privilege of representing, I have taken some very solid, very targeted actions to improve our environmental footprint. I collaborated with local stakeholders to create a circular economy committee.
Yes, we, the Conservatives, are working for the environment. Yes, we, the Conservatives, are aware of climate change and taking concrete action.
In addition, a group of grade five students from a school in Stoneham in my riding presented me with a poem about the environment. They also prepared a petition that I will soon be presenting here. Together, we will succeed.
The strange thing about the Liberals across the aisle is that they are just now waking up and deciding this is urgent.
It is urgent every day. This is nothing new. We need to take charge and improve our environmental behaviour. Industries, citizens, governments and all stakeholders in a society need to row together to get results.
I want to come back to the fact that the Minister of the Environment does not tell the truth when she is asked the question.
I will be asking her this question again in a moment. I want to warn her that I will be asking the same question today about the Paris targets. I am giving her a hint, and I hope she will be able to tell us the truth.
I am not making this up. As I said earlier, the Auditor General, the United Nations, the environment commissioner, journalists and print media are all saying it. This is coming from specialists, journalists, the Conservatives. The Liberals are the only ones who do not see the truth.
I just want to read out a few headlines. One asks why Trudeau's climate plan is not working—
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
NDP (QC)
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
2019-02-01 12:11 [p.25159]
Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to table today, which were signed primarily by people in my riding.
The first petition has to do with a national strategy to combat plastic pollution. Plastics are ending up in our oceans, lakes, rivers and other waterways and are threatening sensitive ecosystems, wildlife and individuals. Plastics make their way into these bodies of water in a variety of ways, including stormwater outfalls, ocean tides and currents, and direct industrial and consumer waste disposal.
For all these reasons, the petitioners are calling on the government to work with the provinces, municipalities, communities and indigenous peoples to develop a national strategy to combat plastic pollution in aquatic environments.
View Karine Trudel Profile
NDP (QC)
View Karine Trudel Profile
2018-12-03 11:25 [p.24290]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to debate my colleague from Courtenay—Alberni's Motion No. 151, which proposes a national strategy to combat plastic pollution and was moved in response to the federal government's inaction when, in November 2016, a ship lost 35 containers in the Pacific Ocean that eventually washed up on the shores of British Columbia. That kind of ecological disaster should be a wake-up call for us all.
Around the world, oceans are drowning in plastic. Globally, a garbage truckload of plastic enters our oceans every minute. This year, 20 million tonnes of plastic waste will end up in our waterways. Ninety-five percent of the time, single-use plastics, such as straws, containers, utensils and grocery bags, are used just once and then tossed in the trash, where they take at least 200 years to decompose in the environment. These objects break down into tiny particles that marine animals, such as the fish we eat, end up consuming. Plastic pollution contaminates our coastlines, destroys our ecosystem and threatens the health of our fellow citizens.
The NDP is appalled at the federal government's failure to develop a plastic waste management strategy. Compared to many other countries, Canada looks pretty bad. Every year, our waterways spew tonnes of waste that is harmful to marine biodiversity, but the rest of the world understands the importance of addressing this crisis. Canada is lagging behind. Over 40 countries and states around the world, such as California, Australia, France, China, the United Kingdom, Kenya and Rwanda, have already adopted measures to ban or tax plastic packaging and other polluting plastics.
In Quebec, more than 500 artists, scientists, and community leaders have signed the Pact for the Transition, committing to do what they can as individuals to reduce their environmental footprint. They are calling on governments to match their efforts by also committing to act responsibly. One of the commitments is to reduce plastic consumption by choosing, among other things, products with the least packaging.
Some cities in Quebec, like Saguenay, in my riding of Jonquière, have already set up systems for recycling plastic bags. In the Saguenay region, many salvage and recycling depots have popped up to deal with plastic waste and other materials. The Saguenay sorting centre collects as much as four tonnes of plastic a week, diverting more than 500 tonnes of waste from the landfill. The City of Saguenay also does an agricultural plastics clean-up, which consists in gathering the plastic film used by the farmers who participate. More than a hundred farmers are registered for the agricultural plastics collection program run by the sorting centre.
These are the kinds of measures we need to support in order to start a movement that catches on at both the national and local levels. We currently recycle only 11% of our waste. Unless something changes, by 2050 the oceans could have more plastic than fish. We therefore need to do a lot more, and this motion lays out what to do.
Not only is this necessary, but it also presents an opportunity to innovate and create jobs as part of a green transition. Many volunteers across the country have decided to dedicate their time and effort to improving the environment. Last summer one of my constituents from Saguenay, Keaven Roberge, decided to clean up the banks of the Chicoutimi River, which is located in my riding, Jonquière. I am ashamed to have to tell him that his efforts will not be financially supported and that the federal government does not share his goals. Keaven takes a very realistic approach to this issue, which really sums up the situation. He says that the problem belongs to everyone and to no one at the same time. Everyone supports better waste management practices for the environment, but no one wants to take the lead.
Let me give another good example of environmental consciousness in Arvida in my riding. This week, Vanessa Gauthier is opening a new self-service shop called La Réserve, where customers can buy bulk products with zero waste, since they bring their own containers to fill. At the entrance, there will be a self-service scale where customers can weigh their containers so that they pay only for the product they buy.
La Réserve will be selling a variety of products in bulk, including dry and liquid food products and household and body care products. Ms. Gauthier plans to offer alternative solutions to disposables as well as cloth containers and bags for bulk items. There will also be a section with basic materials for making homemade cleaning products and cosmetics. The goal is to really minimize consumption as much as possible and to use as little plastic as possible.
The Liberal government's track record is troubling and shows that the government does not care enough about this major issue. Its $1.5-billion oceans protection plan does not include any funding to reduce plastic or debris in our oceans. In fact, the plan makes no mention of the word “plastic” at all. The current public policy for managing plastics is totally inadequate to deal with what our waterways are dumping into our oceans. Eight percent of the world's water flow passes through Canada, which means that any pollution we put into our rivers and waterways pollutes our oceans.
For a long time, waterways were seen as a practical way of getting rid of waste. Some waterways were used extensively and even excessively because of their ability to assimilate waste. The majority of industrial, municipal, farming and mining waste can be reduced at the source. Our country has the longest coastline in the world. It is our responsibility to take strict and effective measures to reduce plastic pollution in aquatic environments.
However, last June's ocean plastics charter did not include any binding measures. The Prime Minister may well brag about taking “an important step towards achieving a life cycle economy, in which all plastics would be recycled and repurposed”, but we need to engage and guide everyone. This has to be a general movement. Canadians are not so naive as to believe that a charter that is only three pages long will result in any action by polluting industries to help the environment. Motion No. 151 is exactly what the Prime Minister promised four years ago. This hypocrisy cannot continue. We desperately need political solutions and that is what Motion No. 151 proposes.
The first measure consists of regulations aimed at reducing consumer and industrial use of single use plastics, such as bags and plastic straws. Our plastics economy follows a linear model. We produce plastic, use it briefly and then throw it away. Approximately 95% of plastic objects are only used once and then are no longer of any use to the economy, taking several years, even centuries, to decompose in the environment. This pollution has already had catastrophic effects on our ecosystem. In fact, 85% of marine birds have already ingested plastic and this number will increase to 99% by 2050.
The Liberals are forcing taxpayers to pay for things that are harmful to the environment and health rather than funding less costly, alternative solutions.
People have been waiting too long for the proposed national strategy and partnerships with municipalities. No one here can deny that the situation is alarming. The IPCC forecasts released on October 8 are catastrophic. The Paris Agreement is also not enough. If we do not take any action, the impacts on health and food security, water supply and the economy will only increase.
Denying that this is urgent is denying our future generations a safe and prosperous future.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2018-12-03 11:35 [p.24291]
Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to rise in the House to discuss the motion this morning. As my colleague said, the government will support the motion.
Indeed, in the 1950s and 1960s, there was a major chapter of the industrial revolution, one could say, around the petrochemicals industry, as we began developing plastics technology and flooding the market with products made of plastic. In fact, as I think has been mentioned, the production of plastic products has outpaced that of almost every other material since then.
To quote Erik Solheim, the former head of UN Environment, “Plastic is a miracle material. Thanks to plastics, countless lives have been saved in the health sector, the growth of clean energy from wind turbines and solar panels has been greatly facilitated, and safe food storage has been revolutionized.”
However, there is a disturbing flip side to this, which has also been mentioned by others in this debate. I will give a few examples of my own. Roughly nine million tonnes of plastic are entering the Great Lakes annually. Plastic packaging accounts for nearly half of all plastic waste globally, much of it thrown away within just a few minutes of first use. America, Japan and the EU are the world's largest producers of plastic packaging waste per capita. Only 9% of the nine billion tonnes of plastic the world has ever produced has been recycled. Finally, if current consumption patterns and waste management practices continue, by 2050 there will be around 12 billion tonnes of plastic litter in landfills and the environment.
Plastic pollution is an environmental price we are paying for the miracle of petrochemicals. It is a monumental challenge for us all. This is nothing new, though. When it comes to the environment, all the challenges are monumental.
Still, there is hope. To paraphrase Erik Solheim, former executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, the good news is that a growing number of governments are taking action on plastics pollution and demonstrating that all countries, whether rich or poor, can do their part and become environmental leaders.
Take Rwanda, for example. Rwanda is obviously not a rich country, but it took the whole world by surprise in 2006 when it banned plastic bags.
All countries can take meaningful steps to help the environment.
Motion No. 151 brings attention to Canada's own commitment to, and progress in, addressing the scourge of plastics pollution. The motion calls on the government to combat plastic pollution in and around aquatic environments, specifically through regulations to reduce the industrial use of microplastics and consumer and industrial use of single-use plastics, including presumably though CEPA's priority substances list. Secondly, the motion calls for annual funding for community-led projects and education and outreach campaigns. Some of these community initiatives have been mentioned during this debate.
My rising today to speak to this motion is in large part because of my ongoing interest in water policy, an interest that goes back to when I was first elected. I believe that water is our overarching, overriding environmental priority. What I mean is that water encompasses two of the world's biggest headline environmental issues, namely climate change, which brings more frequent and intense flooding and drought; and secondly, chemical pollution, which impacts human as well as environmental health, and spreads with water flow. Taken together, these two issues relate to water quantity and quality, respectively.
When I think of water, two wise quotes come to mind. The first is “Water is the first principle of everything.” This is attributed to Thales of Miletus. The second is from Rachel Carson, who said, “In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference.”
Water policy is multi-faceted, and Motion No. 151 addresses one of the many important aspects of water policy. It is complex not only because it is multi-faceted, but also because it is multi-jurisdictional. The question of controlling plastic pollution points to this jurisdictional complexity, as so many levels of government must be involved, including at the international level, if we are to make meaningful progress on this issue.
Our government has already taken important steps to address the scourge of plastic pollution in water. At the most recent G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Canada was the force behind the ocean plastics charter. The charter commits Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the U.K. and the EU to broadly take a life-cycle management approach to plastics, including working toward increased recycling and related public education efforts, as well as investing in research to find alternatives to currently used plastics, like organic water bottles, that do not harm the environment. I recently saw an example of a water bottle that completely biodegrades, and maybe that is the future when it comes to bottled water. The charter commits the signatories to investing in research and developing, for example, technologies to remove plastics and microplastics from waste-water and sewage sludge.
Clearly, plastic pollution is not only about oceans. It is also about fresh water as fresh water carries pollution, including plastics, into the oceans. This realization has led to initiatives like NextWave, a non-governmental coalition founded by companies, including Dell, and an environmental group called Lonely Whale, which employs people living in coastal regions to collect discarded plastic within 30 miles of waterways to prevent it from making its way to the sea. So far, NextWave has focused on two types of plastic commonly found in marine environments, nylon 6 and polypropylene.
Recently, HP announced it would be joining the NextWave coalition. In fact, since 2016, HP has been working with locals in Haiti to collect a total 550,000 pounds of plastic, which the the company has since used to create ink cartridges.
Among other things, the ocean plastics charter calls for direct government action to reduce the use of microplastics. I think the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard has mentioned that our government has banned the manufacture, import and sale of most toiletries that contain microbeads. This ban took effect July 1, and all are banned, with the exception of those contained in natural health products and over-the-counter drugs. However, as of July 1, 2019, the ban will include natural health products and non-prescription drugs.
However, in our multi-jurisdictional nation, progress on many public policy issues requires collaboration among the federal, provincial and territorial governments. That is why two Fridays ago, Canada's federal, provincial and territorial environment ministers agreed to work collectively toward a common goal of zero plastic waste through a Canada-wide strategy on zero plastic waste that aligns with the ocean plastics charter. As stated in the joint communiqué of the ministers, “Protecting our terrestrial and aquatic environment from plastic pollution is imperative for the health of freshwater ecosystems, and is also important as the water and litter flow directly into oceans."
Finally, let us not forget the need for action at the grassroots level. Other speakers in this debate have mentioned the many initiatives involving citizens who voluntarily group together to clean up the shoreline. At this point, I would like to give a shout-out to members of the Lac-Saint-Louis youth council, and other young people, who came out with me this past September 8 to look for plastic debris along the shores of the St. Lawrence River in the southwest corner of my riding. I am speaking specifically of Harrison Kirshner, Malik Dahel, Melissa Potten and Philippe Guay.
Fortunately, our municipal governments are doing a good job of keeping the shoreline clean, but, nonetheless, we did find some items of plastic, such as plastic bags, plastic bottles, polystyrene and cigarette filters. If everyone works together, governments, NGOs, industry, and if citizens engage, I believe we will make some important progress tackling this terrible scourge.
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
NDP (QC)
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
2018-11-21 15:18 [p.23672]
Mr. Speaker, the last petition calls on the government to establish a national strategy to combat plastic pollution.
Whereas plastics in our oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, and other bodies of water pose a dire threat to ecosystems, wildlife, communities and individuals with sensitivities, the petitioners call on the government to work with the provinces, municipalities and indigenous communities to develop a national strategy to combat plastic pollution in aquatic environments.
View Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet Profile
NDP (QC)
View Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet Profile
2018-10-23 10:05 [p.22705]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by several hundred people, most of them from Quebec but also some from other places in Canada. According to the petitioners, there is far too much plastic in our lakes, rivers and oceans. They are asking the government to adopt a national strategy to combat plastic pollution in collaboration with first nations, the provinces and municipalities.
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Francis Scarpaleggia Profile
2018-10-04 15:01 [p.22236]
Mr. Speaker, last month, members of my youth council and I went to visit the shoreline of my riding, looking for plastic debris. Fortunately, owing to the vigilance of our local municipal authorities, our clean-up effort was a light one.
However, like all Canadians, my constituents are growing more and more concerned about plastics in waterways. Can the Minister of Environment and Climate Change tell us what she is doing to implement our commitment to reduce plastic waste in federal institutions, and also generally across the country, so that we do not have to worry about plastic pollution in our waterways?
View François Choquette Profile
NDP (QC)
View François Choquette Profile
2018-06-11 14:53 [p.20605]
Mr. Speaker, the plastics charter that the Prime Minister signed at the G7 disappointed almost everyone. The Prime Minister did not even mention a strategy for reducing plastic use or a ban on single-use plastics. Canadians want meaningful action and legislation that will reduce the use of plastics to protect our oceans, and they want them now.
Will the Prime Minister promise to work with the provinces, municipalities, and indigenous communities to implement a national strategy to combat plastic pollution?
View William Amos Profile
Lib. (QC)
View William Amos Profile
2018-06-08 11:45 [p.20546]
Mr. Speaker, on April 22, we celebrated Earth Day. That day, Canada joined the international community in focusing on the importance of protecting the environment.
Cleanup activities took place across the country. Vast quantities of discarded single-use plastics represent a huge waste of energy and resources and are threatening our marine species.
Can the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change tell the House about what the government has been doing lately to tackle plastic waste and marine litter?
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
NDP (QC)
View Anne Minh-Thu Quach Profile
2018-06-05 14:44 [p.20262]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals promised to be a leader on pollution and environmental protection. Clearly, they are not doing enough. People across Quebec and Canada demand that the government take action. My petition supporting the motion of my colleague from Courtenay—Alberni, which calls on the government to combat plastic pollution in our oceans, has been signed by 105,000 Canadians.
Will the parliamentary secretary support my colleague's motion so that we can finally take meaningful action against the scourge of plastic pollution?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2018-05-23 15:01 [p.19529]
Mr. Speaker, the protection of our oceans continues to be a priority for this government.
On top of the $1.5 billion oceans protection plan, which will bring world-class protection to our coasts, we are moving forward this year with a significant amount of leadership on protecting our oceans. From a round table on plastics at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland to the leadership shown at the Commonwealth a few weeks ago to our leadership at the G7 on moving forward on plastics to our leadership and co-hosting a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya on our oceans this fall, Canada continues to lead—
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2018-04-25 15:02 [p.18738]
Mr. Speaker, I look forward to continuing to have excellent conversations with the member about the oceans and their protection.
Unfortunately for the NDP members, though, nothing is ever as simple as they would like it to be. We are committed and moving forward to protect the oceans, particularly from plastics, as part of our G7 leadership.
We intend to look not just at macroplastics but also at microplastics and even nanoplastics. There are many issues facing our oceans, and we are going to get them right. That is what Canadians expect.
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2018-04-23 15:08 [p.18610]
Mr. Speaker, preventing plastics pollution is a pressing global issue that requires action at all levels of government, industry, and the public. We are pleased that we are taking it forward as one of our issues as leaders of the G7 this year.
We are already taking action on marine plastics. We have legislation and regulations in place to prevent pollution and protect habitat. Last year, we were among the first countries to phase out microbeads in toiletries. We invest in waste and wastewater infrastructure and research. We support national conservation initiatives like the great Canadian shoreline cleanup. We continue to work with provinces, territories, municipalities, industry, civil society, and consumers.
View François Choquette Profile
NDP (QC)
View François Choquette Profile
2017-04-06 18:08 [p.10302]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House to speak to the environment because the issue is extremely important to me.
I have already mentioned several times that I got into politics to protect the environment and to take concrete actions to improve the quality of our planet, our water and our land. I am not doing it just for myself, but mainly for my children.
I will speak to Motion No. 104 by my Liberal colleague from Ottawa South, which is on the Ottawa River watershed. The NDP has long worked on a number of fronts to promote the sustainable development of our communities. The quality of our waterways and the protection of our biodiversity are at the heart of our commitment.
I will read an excerpt of the motion so that we understand the context of our work. The motion asks:
That the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development be instructed to undertake a detailed study with regard to the creation of an Ottawa River Watershed Council, which would bring a comprehensive, inclusive, co-management approach to the Ottawa River Watershed…
The intention behind this motion is timely and laudable. No one can disagree with the desire to protect the Ottawa River watershed. However, there are a few little things that I will be talking about that explain why we question this motion.
I would note, first of all, that the Ottawa River is also called Kitchissippi or great river by the Algonquin. It is very important, and we must not forget that the first nations should be part of every discussion held within all our consultation processes and environmental assessments. On that point, I would like to note that the Canada Water Act does not say anything about an obligation to consult the first nations. That might be a first point to improve.
Second, it must be noted that the Ottawa River has been designated as a Canadian heritage river. That is a good thing, because during their reign, the Conservatives eliminated protection for almost 90% of the rivers that were previously protected. Unfortunately, that has had many negative consequences. Fortunately, the Ottawa River has stayed protected, thanks to the fact that it was designated as a Canadian heritage river.
On that point, the NDP was at the forefront of the fight to protect watercourses. In fact, when the Conservatives included that bill in their mammoth bill in 2012-13, when they removed practically every watercourse that enjoyed protection under the Navigable Waters Protection Act from the list, we introduced dozens of bills, for example in 2013, to have 27 rivers across Canada protected under the Canadian heritage river designation.
In fact, I introduced a bill myself to have important rivers designated as heritage rivers. Unfortunately, that has still not been done. That would be a concrete action the Liberal government could take to restore protection to a number of important watercourses in Canada. They could designate them as Canadian heritage rivers. That would protect them under the Navigable Waters Protection Act.
I am going to talk about something else that is very important and that I am very proud of. I was there when the former member for Halifax, Megan Leslie, who did a very good job and worked very hard on environmental issues, introduced a motion to ban microbeads from our products and from our environment. Fortunately, all representatives in the House of Commons voted in favour of that motion.
A process is currently in place to gradually ban all microbeads from our environment. Once again, I would like to congratulate Megan Leslie and commend the NDP for its work on this file, which enabled us to undertake the gradual and ongoing process of getting rid of microbeads that cause so much harm everywhere, including in the Ottawa River watershed, which is suffering as a result. Thanks to the NDP's work, we have been making progress, and we will be able to improve water quality in this watershed and others. This is extremely important. In my riding, the RCM of Drummond supports calls to ban plastic microbeads from our environment.
Paul Dewar is another NDP colleague who worked very hard to protect the Ottawa River watershed. He was inspired by citizen groups such as Ottawa Riverkeeper and Waterlution, another group that is very involved in the watershed file. Mr. Dewar repeatedly called for federal government measures to protect the Ottawa River. He lobbied for an action plan and a motion to adopt rules to protect and preserve the river's integrity.
Here are some examples of concrete action that the NDP has taken in recent years to improve the situation.
I spoke about the Drummond RCM, which recently did an excellent job protecting watersheds. Very recently, the City of Drummondville, together with partners, created a 2017-21 action plan to protect the Saint-Germain River and its watershed. I would like to acknowledge the regional work done in the greater Drummond area to implement this action plan to protect the Saint-Germain River. It is very important for our region.
The Conseil de gouvernance de l’eau des bassins versants de la rivière Saint-François, commonly known as COGESAF, is at the forefront of this initiative, which led to the development of the Saint-Germain River watershed charter, the first within the Saint-François River watershed. It is an extremely important initiative that needs to be recognized.
In the face of climate change, here are the objectives to be achieved through this initiative: monitoring water quality, protecting shorelines, conserving fish habitat, and improving communication with local stakeholders.
I want to thank all the local stakeholders in the greater Drummond area who helped develop the 2017-21 action plan to protect the Saint-Germain River watershed and who will help implement it in the years to come. It is extremely important.
My colleague from Edmonton Strathcona, our party's environment critic, gave a speech on this subject as part of our study of Motion No. 104. She brought forward an amendment in order to move this important motion forward. Unfortunately, her amendment was not adopted. The amendment called for the Mackenzie River Basin and the North Saskatchewan River to also be included in the study, instead of focusing only on the Ottawa River watershed. It was a matter of expanding the scope of the study being done by the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. It is an independent committee and it should have a better overall idea of all the major steps the federal government can take, not only to improve water quality, but also to achieve other things like banning microbeads.
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