As I said when I introduced amendment BQ‑18, there is a whole. Here, we are talking about the mandate of the famous advisory committee. We are adding important clarifications about the mandate of this committee, details that are essential and complementary to the mandate that would be given by the minister.
It was agreed that the mandate in Bill C‑12 are quite imprecise and changeable at will.
That's why we want to add some important clarifications. We want to make clear that the committee must have access to the information and analytical resources of the federal government. We need to make it easier for it to do its job and to access data and information so that it can be efficient and function optimally.
I told you earlier about the five elements that experts in the United Kingdom consider critical to the success of any climate legislation. Earlier, you voted against one of those elements, but I'm trying again with others.
Together, these elements are beneficial to the exercise. We are talking about the full independence of the committee, which you don't want. We're talking about the fact that the committee has to have a consistent budget that flows from its mission; it has to produce an annual report on the status of the targets. It's a question of democracy. Citizens need to know where we're going.
Other elements mentioned by the U.K. experts include the fact that the committee must receive a mandatory response from the government for each report it tables. It has to be involved in setting the carbon budget. So we're talking about targets that are set well in advance. Finally, it must also provide advice, and providing advice is not the same as making recommendations. I said this earlier about amendment NDP‑4.
We see how important words are. The “interim ... objective”, as the NDP called for, is not a target. A “summary of [the] ... most recent ... inventory” is not a report. These are words that weaken the bill, but they are the ones that were chosen.
Our amendment clearly sets out what is expected of this committee. Currently, clause 20 is worded far too flexibly. The minister has an entire department at his disposal and several competent officials to advise him. However, the committee in question must be—I repeat—independent. It isn't being asked to provide independent advice, but rather to be independent. It must have a mission and mandate that is directly applicable to the purpose of Bill C‑12. Every element of this amendment supports that need.
I would, of course, expect government members to keep their word about their repeated desire to improve the bill and, as Mr. Albas and Ms. May have noted, to work with “the” opposition parties. Collaborative approaches may speed up the process, but I want to remind NDP members of their strong positions, repeated in the House and before our committee by Ms. Collins.
We must be consistent in our political action. The government has been criticized for saying one thing and the opposite. I am asking the committee member, who no doubt recognizes himself, to support this amendment, which is consistent with what his party has said it wants in this bill. He has said it to his constituents, he has said it to the public, and he has said it in speeches in the House. I would like to know that this member isn't repeating the behaviour that he himself has criticized the government for.