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—