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View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
I have a point of order. I would prefer it, Mr. Chair, if you describe my role accurately. The motion says, independent or members of non-recognized parties.
I am not an independent member of Parliament.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
I am a Green Party member of Parliament.
I had thought, Mr. Chair, that the third part of the motion is quite affirmative that each member is allowed to speak.
I understand your ruling. I'm not challenging you, and I know we are rather pressed for time, but in previous committees at which I have been appearing since this motion was first brought forward under the fiction that each committee chose to draft a motion that was identical to everyone else's motion, I've been allowed to speak to each of my amendments deemed to have been put forward.
I don't mean to trespass on your time any further if you want to finish what you were going to say, Mr. Chair.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, I just wanted to briefly comment on this.
I've already raised many of the points specific to the amendments that Ms. May placed earlier, which you ruled inadmissible, so I won't go to that. I will talk about the future process.
As MP May referenced, she has gone to other committees and had different experiences. I don't want to undermine anyone's credibility, whether it be yourself or the law clerk, because I do believe that we're all trying to work together in good faith. One thing I would consider, Mr. Chair, is that I know there is a committee of all the chairs of committees, and this is something that perhaps you might want to bring three, because to have inconsistent rulings where you're making a judgment call and someone else is making a judgment call....
Perhaps the different House leaders who make these motions, compelling independent or non-recognized party members such as MP May to come to this process only to find out that she's not even able to speak in favour of it or to challenge a position.... To me, it's a principle of natural justice that if a ruling is given against your amendment, you would be able to speak to it.
Just for the sake of consistency, I would encourage you, Mr. Chair, to perhaps discuss this with other chairs and perhaps discuss it with the different House leaders, so that if a motion does come forward again perhaps there can be some clarity as to the admissibility or the ability of an independent or a non-recognized party member to be able to speak to it.
I believe that fundamentally we should be able to make reference to it, and it shouldn't be up to a member to make arguments on behalf of another member's rights. Those rights and privileges are something that we all should be looking out for in these kinds of cases.
I would ask you, Mr. Chair, just in the spirit of trying to make for a better process next time, to take this to your fellow chairs and discuss it perhaps with your—
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, before you seek unanimous consent, although I imagine you can ask for someone to do that, one of the things that I and other Conservative members have been arguing, and quite frankly, that I've also heard from MP May, is that this process has been rather—what's the word I'm looking for?—compressed. There has not been sufficient time to review and have proper discussion about these things.
Rather than have someone ask for unanimous consent and for us to deny it, right now, I'm a person who believes in good governance, but I also think there is a principle here. The Liberal members have been jamming and basically opposing any other amendments. The process, in this case, hasn't been clean. This is just another example of having to bend over backwards and to ask things that are outside the usual process because things were not followed.
Rather than asking for unanimous consent and us just saying no, I ask you to maybe leave it with us for a bit. My understanding is that we have a very long session today. Perhaps we can deal with it after we have a break, so that I can speak with my other members to see if they want to allow that.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, on that point, it is the right of every parliamentarian to express—
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
—opposition or to allow a process to go forward.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
If you would like to make that a political argument, I would say that would probably not be the position of the chair to be making, but I do want this committee to work well. Therefore, if you wouldn't mind following that process, we'll have that discussion.
I will say that Conservatives here have raised a number of concerns about this process. Again, whether it be having to bend over backwards to allow Mr. Bachrach's change for nine years and 366 days, because they voted down MP May's similar amendment, there have been issues here where the government seems to think it can get what it wants when it wants it, despite the usual rules and process. Therefore, I appreciate that.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Yes, Mr. Chair. I would appreciate that. That's a big courtesy.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
No, Mr. Chair. I'd like to respond to that, please.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Look, when we have a vote in the House of Commons and someone incorrectly hits yea or nay when they were supposed to vote for the opposite and then begs for the House to allow them to change it—because that's the process that's been laid out—that cuts both ways. That's applicable to all parties. That's to make sure that those members of Parliament can actually represent their constituents properly and have their vote accounted for. In a minority Parliament, I would hope that all members would realize that this is a fair process.
When it comes to raising concerns around the process, we had 72 briefs—plus—that came in afterwards. Through no fault of the legislative clerk, these things had to be translated so that all members, regardless of their language, would be able to read them in their preferred official language.
That was compromised because, Mr. Chair, we ended up having to submit amendments. Like all parties, we submitted our work, and the fact—
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I have one final point I'd like to make, Mr. Chair, because Mr. Bittle did throw these barbs at Conservative members.
I would just say that if the government cannot write proper English and French in its amendments to its own bill, they have larger problems than people like me.
(On clause 14)
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
No. I'd like a recorded division, please, Mr. Chair.
(Clause 14 as amended agreed to: yeas 7; nays 4)
(On clause 15)
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We had similar amendments the other day, in order to ensure that we have more frequent assessment reports. As noted, we now have a number of amendments that mean that the first part of my amendment that “the Minister must prepare at least two assessment reports before 2030” will appear to have been covered.
The critical last part of this amendment is, “and at least one assessment report per year between 2030 and 2050.” This is an attempt, of course, to fortify a bill that doesn't have carbon budgets in it, so annual reports will assist in remedying that deficiency.
Thank you. Mr. Chair.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'll ask Mr. Moffet or perhaps Mr. Ngan—whoever can best answer this.
In reference to Madam May's amendment, PV-24, she did say, on the second point, “at least one assessment report per year between 2030 and 2050.”
Mr. Ngan, earlier you said that the information that would be presented sometimes takes 18 months to gather. Could you tell me how that fits into this amendment?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Could I ask one other brief question in regard to that?
You mentioned that much of the same information is reported through other reports. Could you let the listeners tuning in at home know what is done already? Would this be more or less similar information supplied, or would this be something new?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
This is my last question.
When we do report to UNFCCC on our yearly updates, that information is also public. Is that correct?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I appreciate Mr. Ngan weighing in on that.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I appreciate MP Saks's putting forward her amendment. I have just a few questions for Mr. Ngan or perhaps Mr. Moffet, whoever deems themselves most capable of responding to it.
Let's just start with paragraph (a), “a summary of Canada's most recent official greenhouse gas emissions inventory and information, relevant to the report, that Canada submitted under its international commitments with respect to climate change”. This is very similar information to what we discussed about Canada sending its report to the UNFCCC. Is that correct?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Would this be on an annual basis or would this simply be when the minister deems it?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
This dovetails with what is already envisioned in the original version of Bill C-12. There's no extra work, other than just to embed the extra information into the minister's report. Is that correct?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
This might be a better question for Mr. Moffet.
Part (b) of MP Saks' amendment, again that's G-12, says it would add, after line 29 on page 6, the following:
(c.1) an assessment of how the key cooperative measures or agreements with provinces or other governments in Canada described in the relevant emissions reduction plan contributed to Canada's efforts to achieve the national greenhouse gas emissions target for that year;
This amendment refers to “cooperative measures or agreements”.
Mr. Moffet, could you please explain what is meant by that? I don't believe that's defined in the bill.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
When you say “key cooperative measures or agreements”, does that mean the government, through the minister, gets to choose which provinces or territories this might refer to and only the ones they want to report on?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
One of the things we've heard, which is also something stakeholders have raised with me privately, is that they're not always sure whether or not this particular bill has any kind of jurisdiction over provincial actions. This simply recognizes that if there is an agreement with a particular province on a particular measure, there can be reporting on that, but again, it's at the discretion of the minister. Is that correct?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Usually when we include the term “provinces”, it's a very broad term that includes the provinces and territories. Is that not the case?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
That was going to be.... You kind of jumped ahead. I'm glad that you're a bit ahead of me, because it shows that someone is on the ball here.
To ask again, though, does this not give the minister a bit of an arbitrary power to decide to report on provinces, territories, indigenous governments or municipalities that it is politically in alignment with or is in more of a co-operative stance with? Does giving such discretion to a minister not politicize the bill?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I'm glad you raised the pan-Canadian framework, because that's exactly what I had in mind when I was considering MP Saks's amendment. Saskatchewan did not join in with the consensus in Vancouver in 2016.
Have you been reporting on provincial actions of provinces that have elected not to participate in the framework?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Okay. I believe Ontario came into compliance later on, but there doesn't seem to be.... The pan-Canadian framework is an example that could be used with regard to this amendment. Is this amendment necessary? The pan-Canadian framework is already reported on.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, I'll finish my intervention today by thanking both officials for clarifying things for me. I know these questions can be difficult, because I struggle with them when stakeholders ask me whether or not this law applies to things under provincial jurisdiction. It wasn't entirely clear.
The government obviously felt that Bill C-12 needed this amendment. Otherwise, they wouldn't be putting it forward. That being said, I believe that by allowing the minister—instead of having a whole-of-government approach—to arbitrarily pick which key examples will be selected.... Maybe this isn't such a bad thing. Maybe showing some positive examples could be good. However, it could be a punitive tool whereby you showcase provincial or territorial governments that are aligned with the government of the day, or municipalities it will perhaps want to recruit new candidates from to put them on a bit of a pedestal so the candidates can have a good news story. I think that having one minister make these decisions, rather than having a whole-of-government approach, doesn't make a lot of sense. As we know, much of the reporting is already being done right now through the pan-Canadian framework, and there is regular reporting.
This is too arbitrary and, again, doesn't necessarily add to the bill, so the Conservatives will be voting against it. However, if any of my Conservative colleagues want to ask a question or raise a concern, they should, because we do think that provinces are a key area here. We would like to see further reporting on the summaries of what provinces are doing, but not in an arbitrary, politically driven process.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I have just a couple of things I want to detail. Again, for those who are watching at home who may not have seen some of the previous amendments we have made, we think that, rather than giving all the ability to one minister, having some of the plans voted on by cabinet so that everyone can kind of break down silos and get a whole-of-government approach would make for a better bill.
We also believe that when Canadians think of their responsibility toward climate change, they think, “What is my government doing?”, whether it be federal, provincial or territorial.
Again, I just want to reinforce that the use of the term “provinces” here is a general term, so those in Nunavut, those in the Northwest Territories and those in Yukon can count themselves included in this particular amendment.
This is unlike the case of the previous amendment, in which the government—in that case, the individual minister designated, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change—got to decide which provinces to feature. That's not an all-hands-on-deck approach, Mr. Chair.
Canada is built on federalism, such that we have a field house of different methods. In Quebec we have a cap-and-trade system being used. British Columbia obviously has its own carbon tax, and in other provinces, such as Ontario, they use a combination; they regulate their emissions from industrial bases and there is the federal carbon tax.
Mr. Chair, there are different approaches being undertaken by different governments. A great example would be the tier regulations in Alberta, the structure of which is very different from perhaps that of the output-based pricing system.
This particular amendment would allow for a snapshot, a summary of the situation in all provinces and not just in the ones the government or an individual minister favours. There would be a summary of those so that people could be educated as to what their federal leadership was doing as well as their provincial leadership. This does not in any way, shape or form disrupt or intervene in provincial jurisdiction, so for the Bloc Québécois—we have a representative from the Bloc here—if that is a concern, certainly this is just a summary. I'm sure the Bloc member would agree that if we are to communicate that all governments are taking the threat of climate change seriously, there does need to be a place where people can look for it. Again, it should not be done on an arbitrary basis as described in the previous motion.
I would encourage all members to vote in favour of this amendment.
Mr. Chair, I think Canada can do more. Part of that is being fair and including everyone so that people will be better able to hold all levels of government—provincial, territorial or federal—to account on our climate change path.
Thank you.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
That would be me, Mr. Chair. Do I have the floor?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Colleagues, appreciate that this is something I asked a number of different groups because, as we know thanks to Madam Pauzé, electrification is going to be an important step.
Our current electrical grid, as we know, is not sufficient. Even the uptake that people expect for electric vehicles, as was said during Madam Pauzé's study on electric vehicles, would require the equivalent of 7.5 Site Cs. Obviously, that's just the aggregate amount of energy. There could be many different sources for it, such as nuclear or hydro. There are so many new ways that people are utilizing electricity, from various renewables to high-efficiency natural gas.
Quite honestly, Mr. Chair, the need for this bill to reference the state of Canada's electrical grid is important. This is something that I'm asked about by constituents on a regular basis. They say, with all these new electric cars—and we all drive in at five o'clock or 5:30—when we all plug them in, how will that work? That's a great question, and one that provincial and territorial governments are going to have to wrestle with as we move forward with some of these adoptions of new technology and a new emphasis on things like electric vehicles. Obviously there have been some investments that we've seen in hydrogen, and that's a plus, but there are going to be increasing questions about electrical loads.
I asked a number of different groups who responded very positively that it would be helpful to have this. As you know, Mr. Chair, when you cross an interprovincial boundary or an international boundary, it is under the federal government's jurisdiction.
I'll read out the amendment, which is that Bill C-12 in clause 15 be amended by adding, after line 29 on page 6, the following:
(c.1) an assessment of electric grids in Canada and the steps needed to ensure that they can manage an increase in electricity demand due to transportation electrification;
Mr. Chair, we heard from the Canadian Electricity Association, and in their brief, they said they support the aim of Bill C-12 and believe that a clear and focused plan is essential for Canada's ability to achieve net zero by 2050, and that holding ourselves collectively accountable for meeting targets is important, but those targets must be matched with focused policy so that we can achieve them.
As I said earlier, one of the areas we are going to be looking to achieve in is further electrification. This would offer an update so that people can understand the grid. Again, it does not interfere with any provincial jurisdiction. What it does do, though, is create a summary, so that for the average citizen—all of our constituents—if they asked you the question, you could refer to that and give them an up-to-date answer.
This is part of good governance. This information is already publicly available to some extent, but nothing that I'm aware of actually includes it in a Government of Canada report. This would allow for greater transparency, which is one of the stated goals of Bill C-12.
I would ask all honourable members to support the amendment, because we need to have a greater understanding of the state of our electrical grid. I think this would be welcomed by groups like the Canadian Electricity Association, knowing that this is going to be an area that a lot of money—a lot of potentially private investment as well as public investment—is going to be needed for us to achieve our goals of electrifying the transportation network and making Canada a greener and more environmentally friendly country as a whole.
Again, I would ask all honourable members to support this particular amendment. It's an easy one for the Liberals to support, because I think this is one of those good governance provisions that we all can rally behind.
Again, just to make sure that Madam Michaud knows I'm thinking of the Bloc and of their constant quest to make Quebec as strong a province as possible, this would not interfere with that. Hydro-Quebec is a very respected organization and does a lot of good work, both interprovincially as well as internationally. I would hope that the Bloc members would be supportive of that.
I know that I referenced Site C. I just would say to MP Bachrach that obviously the provincial government is supportive of Site C, but I hope that by utilizing Site C he did not mean that he would somehow tie himself to be voting in favour of 7.5 more Site Cs. It was just an example that I was using.
I hope to get every committee member to support this particular amendment to Bill C-12 today, Mr. Chair.
Thank you very much.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I have just one additional point. I'll try to keep it as brief as possible.
The federal government has made investments in Muskrat Falls, for example, because we know that is a key feature in that province's future. If you don't have energy, then it's difficult to industrialize in a way that is efficient and that can also reduce emissions. I know there are problems with that project, but that is all the more reason, to my mind, we should be giving a summary of our electrical grid.
Again, from Muskrat Falls to Site C to much of SaskPower's infrastructure, what we haven't discussed are the lines. Someone said to me that if Tesla came to Canada today—if he were alive—he would note that much of the technology we rely on for the transmission of power, whether between communities, within communities, between provinces or between countries, is very old. In fact, members have made many references to how they would like to see things like a smart grid that would be able to deal with many of the concerns about people plugging in their vehicles all at the same time.
There are ways we can deal with these things, Mr. Chair, but unfortunately if we just leave this as an issue, then we're going to see a patchwork. Quite honestly, Mr. Chair, I don't know about you, but in my riding people just refer to the government. They don't refer to the provincial government or the federal government. I know that's a distinction that we make, and we must make, because we believe—
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, are you saying that there is an intelligence level difference?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I don't think that's a fair statement to make, Mr. Chair.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, I'd like just to finish, if you wouldn't mind.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Okay. Thank you very much.
Perhaps I was a little agitated, Mr. Chair, because it seemed that you were saying that somehow your constituents are a little different from mine.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I would say that most citizens right now, especially during COVID, are trying to make their lives work as best they can with all the different things that are going on.
I will tell you, because I share an office in Summerland with an MLA, a member of the Legislative Assembly, Dan Ashton, that we often have people who come in and don't know who they're supposed to speak to. Are they supposed to speak to their MLA or their MP? That's where we see this a lot, Mr. Chair.
Again, this is an area where we could give people that information in one summary, so I hope that all members will vote in favour of this. This is a good and particular amendment. This won't be difficult in terms of time.
I guess I could ask a question of the government representatives here, but you know what? I think I've made a pretty good case, Mr. Chair, so rather than prolonging this, I think I'll just let people vote for it.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, I'd like to speak a little bit to—
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, we've seen a number of suggestions brought to this table—or this virtual table—and unfortunately, the government, supported by the NDP, has voted against every single one of them.
I want to relay my thanks to Madam Michaud for her support on the last motion. I think her Province of Quebec—
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Again, the only amendments that were accepted by this committee were the ones coming from the government. Let's be mindful, Mr. Chair. It seems that they are continuing the path they have taken with the NDP.
Again, I don't want to belabour the point, because I think Mr. Bachrach has done an able job on other issues with this committee. I just find it strange because a lot of the information that is here, or the amendments that have come forward, really don't expand the nature of the bill or make it more accountable. In fact, in some cases, the bill allows the minister to have sole discretion as to which provinces, which territories, which first nations and which municipalities seem to be aligned with the government and can use this as a political communications tool.
I would just say that we tried, as Conservatives, to put forward amendments that we felt would make the bill better. One was in reference to including a summary of all provinces. As I said earlier, when people come into my joint office in Summerland, and even to some extent in Westbank, where I also have an office at the Westbank Towne Centre, they don't always know the difference between us. They just want to share their opinion on what government should be doing. Sometimes they come in with different needs.
It's important, first of all, that there should be a proper summary, where a minister doesn't get to check that. Our particular amendment would have done that. Also, then, there's just the growing consciousness of the need for action on climate change and more interest that people have on how they can do that—purchasing an electric car, for example, or some sort of variation of an electric vehicle. I hear that the F-150 Lightning is impressing a lot of people. Maybe it will impress people in my riding. I haven't heard that yet, but people have been asking about the status of our electrical grid and its ability to deal with this. I am sure, Mr. Chair, that some of the witnesses I asked about this felt that would have been a good change to clause 15.
Clause 15 as it stands right now, as amended, I feel is not the best clause that could go forward. Conservatives will be voting against this particular provision. We think it's a bit of a shame, Mr. Chair, because there was an offer to work together to spotlight all provinces and territories as they try to meet their climate targets, which is incredibly important. If we do not have all provinces and territories working towards this, what will end up happening, Mr. Chair, is that the federal government, with its own jurisdiction, will not be enough.
In most provincial jurisdictions, you have housing policies such as building codes. You also have transportation. You also have energy systems and their regulation. If we cannot give people a snapshot of how their provinces are doing.... This particular clause, as amended, will not do that. In fact, like I said, it allows the minister to isolate or only report on the provinces, municipalities or indigenous first nations communities that best....
Conservatives will be voting a big no against this, Mr. Chair. Again, like I said, it's a shame. We came to this table with amendments, feeling that we were offering things that were not very political—not political at all—but actually were things that would help build better understanding and better governance for this country. Without information, Mr. Chair, without having these things in front of people, people can't judge whether or not their government is being effective. That could be provincial or that could be federal. This particular clause as amended unfortunately does not leap over the bar. I think we could have done better.
As we go forward with other amendments, Mr. Chair, I hope that perhaps the government or perhaps the NDP will change their minds and we'll see maybe some creativity or maybe some willingness to be flexible, to allow for other voices and for amendments to come to the bill, or else this is really just going to be a bill that has just the bare democratic mandate.
That's important to have in our system, but it's not the only way that the government could choose. It could choose to be a little more open and to work with all parties. That's something that Minister Wilkinson has said time and time again.
Unfortunately, Mr. Chair, with all the times that the minister said he wanted to work in good faith with all parties on the back end, it seems that isn't the case in this bill...in this clause as amended today.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, I have a question that I want to ask the officials.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
In regard to clause...and I believe we're on clause 17.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair, for the confirmation of that. I want to make sure we're not wasting anyone's time.
I would ask the question of either Mr. Ngan or Mr. Moffet.
It says, under "Publication of target”:
The Minister may publish the national greenhouse gas emissions target for the milestone year to which an emissions reduction plan relates before that plan is tabled in each House of Parliament.
On the question, we've had a number of different amendments that have come through. Do any of those amendments change anything that is in here. or what information is presented in this clause?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
All right. I'd like to thank Mr. Ngan for that intervention.
If you want to go to a vote...unless there's another member who has a question.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I'm sorry, Mr. Chair, but there seems to be an issue with interpretation. It's lagging a bit more than usual.
Please accommodate members when that happens, if you could.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I appreciate that, Mr. Chair.
In regard to the intervention by Madam Michaud, it's also the Conservatives. We had 19 amendments that we've brought forward—
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, you gave me the floor.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Yes, Mr. Chair, but you recognized me, and there may have been some interpretation lag. To preserve all rights of members here, if someone puts their hand up.... I did raise my voice earlier, flagging to you that I wished to speak to it.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, as I said earlier, I believe members deserve to be able to have an up or down. I realize that you have ruled on consequentialness, so I'm certainly not going to be putting forward a challenge at this point because you are correct. When we said no to earlier Bloc amendments, that basically made these consequential amendments not possible or else we would end up with a mishmash of a bill.
That being said, I just want to add my voice to Madam Michaud's, and she, by the way, has shown a fair bit of decorum here. It's not always, I would imagine, a fun process when you're told on the floor that something you have worked very hard for won't be allowed to be debated and perhaps that's something we need to look at.
I also have to point out, Mr. Chair, that perhaps before you call the vote for future ones, you might want to ask to see if there are any other speakers first. I'm not telling you what to do. I'm just simply suggesting that with the translation and the fact that we're virtual and it can't always be relied on, it's helpful to make sure that all members who want to be able to have their say can say it.
Now let's get back to the actual issue of clause 18.
18(1) The Minister must cause each emissions reduction plan to be tabled in each House of Parliament on any of the first 15 days on which that House is sitting after the day on which the plan is established.
Again, Mr. Chair, I will just simply say that Conservatives are opposed to this bill. We will be voting against this, but I really hope that other members do not just simply call a point of order and try to squeeze other members out, because I don't believe, in this case, Mr. Chair, there was a clear indication that you could move forward.
Maybe, again, Mr. Chair, by asking to see if any other speakers would want to go forward, then when we hit that point.... I promise you, Mr. Chair, we will end up with a better outcome rather than having points of order and then long stalls as you try to seek in the transcripts as to whether or not you called it.
It's a very difficult position, being a virtual chair, so I applaud you in your efforts to try to make sure that it's a fair process for everyone. I can understand how some MPs may be a bit frustrated, but again, we all have to adhere to the translation services and have the official languages requirements met.
Thank you.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, I had my hand up, and I even called out earlier.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Again, Mr. Chair, there was no translation. The translation—
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
We have to have a fair process.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, I have to protest. I'm not challenging you in any way, but there has to be a process that we all agree to. I'm fine with—
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I will apologize to you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Bittle is exactly right. I didn't have my hand up. Also, with regard to his point of order, I believe you didn't recognize him, so what I would simply suggest, Mr. Chair, is that the lag in this case was about five seconds, not the usual two or three seconds. I did have my hand up. I was prepared to speak to it, Mr. Chair, and unfortunately, because the translation didn't come in, that's a problem.
I think the onus—
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, if you don't mind my finishing my statement, and then I'm happy to hear what you have to say.
To say that the onus is on the individual member, when we simply.... When I had my hand up, and when I voiced earlier that I wanted to speak, I can't understand how it could be done any differently.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I would just hope though, Mr. Chair, that we would avoid these kinds of problems—
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
—by listening to one another. However, I appreciate that this is a difficult thing to chair when you have it virtual.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I have to say that this is the most dispiriting process of clause-by-clause that I've experienced in many years. Usually amendments are actually considered, people actually debate them and there is a good-faith process. I'm going to make a short statement and then I'm going to ask, because I cannot remove my own amendments, in the interest of time and in an effort to have this bill get to the Senate, where perhaps there will be a good-faith effort to amend it....
I condemn this government for what it has done: for telling people like me, who believed in good faith that there would be an actual appetite for change to improve the bill and who accepted it and prepared amendments, only to show up here and watch Liberals stay mute, the NDP stay mute and march through their amendments, passing them in force, and not listening and not caring about the possibility that other amendments might work.
I urge you to change your conduct. I urge you to consider Madam Pauzé's amendments.
Because I don't have the power to remove my own amendments, I will remove my amendments if you will do the job for me, Mr. Chair, in the interest of time and under protest against the process this committee has entered into—not the committee but the backroom deal that no amendments shall pass unless they're Liberal or NDP and do nothing but tweak the bill with small improvements. I don't want to stand in the way of getting this thing done, and I now ask the chair to support the Bloc amendments and remove PV-25, PV-26, PV-27, PV-28, PV-29, PV-30 and PV-31.
Shame on you.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I have a point of order.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
Mr. Chair, it has been the case that in the past in other committees when I suggested that the amendment that is deemed moved can be deemed by the chair to have been removed, I've never heard before that it required unanimous consent. I think Mr. Albas's suggestion earlier that the various backroom people who've engineered this motion that I have to observe in every committee....
In this case, since it would be all in one go, because these are all amendments that relate to the process of the advisory committee becoming independent and expert, again, it would certainly save the committee a lot of time if you accept my word for it that you can deem these amendments removed—PV-25, PV-26, PV-27, PV-28, PV-29, PV-30 and PV-31—rather than seeking unanimous consent each time, but that's for you to determine.
I will wait for PV-32 before taking the floor again.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
I will repeat again: It comes to seven amendments that I am removing in one go.
If you want to seek unanimous consent, then I would be asking for all of my amendments that relate to what is now a not independent, appointed-by-the-minister multi-stakeholder committee..... My attempts are not identical, by any means, but sufficiently similar to the Bloc Québécois' attempts, that I would prefer, in order to save time and help this committee along, that Madam Pauze's amendments be accepted.
However, my amendments are from PV-25 through PV-31 inclusive. That's seven amendments.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, I have had my hand up for—
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, I was going to say how we proceed with this. As I said earlier, there is a process that we have done, and you may want to take this feedback to other committee chairs to make sure that if this does happen again in another case. Perhaps there could be a motion so that it can changed and ratified.
I believe we can have a very brief discussion on each one, but I think it's important for people to feel heard. There were many people who came forward who expressed their support for something like Madam May's amendments, and I think that she deserves an up or down....
We will not tie that process up, but I think it's important for this committee to be able to stand and be accountable to the Canadian public in this, because many people who came to the committee asked for much of what Ms. May said.
I may disagree with elements of it, but I believe in accountability and I believe that people need to be heard. That would be the best way for us to carry forward in this case.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
I think I've been very clear.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
I wish to have all seven amendments withdrawn.
My previous experience in other committees is, once I suggest that, they were deemed moved and then they're deemed not moved by the same imaginary hand.
I appreciate Mr. Albas's support, but the amendments being put to a vote for Madam Pauzé.... Maybe some of them will pass. Just to disprove for those who might be watching, what we are witnessing here, which is a very anti-democratic decision in advance to fail to actually consider amendments. That's not what clause-by-clause is supposed to be like.
Mr. Chair, if you can help me here, my Green Party amendments, PV-25 to PV-31, should just be removed from the package.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
I think the legislative clerks.... I'm surprised by their ruling. I'll put it that way.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
I'm surprised by their ruling.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
I do not wish to speak to any of these amendments, and I urge you not to vote on them. I urge you to set them aside and move on.
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
I'm wondering if I could ask for clarification, Mr. Chair.
Along the lines of what Ms. May has mentioned, could you indicate to us if it would be in order for a member of the committee to bring forward a motion that would remove those amendments from consideration?
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
Mr. Chair, before you do, I miscounted. I have eight amendments. I want to speak to PV-32, but PV-33 is also about the panel.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, I'll just keep my hand up.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
It's a little bit of both.
First, Mr. Chair, thank you for the break. I had the ability to go back and speak with some of my members. As you might remember, you had asked specifically about G-8, I believe.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I was hoping to see if we could maybe resolve that. I would just need a little help and guidance from you or the clerk, or perhaps the legislative clerk, on where exactly the error is on G-8.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
All right. Then let me just spin over to PV-25.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Chair, I certainly concur with your assessment. Once something has been moved, it becomes the committee's and it no longer can simply be withdrawn unless there's unanimous consent. As I said earlier, it's not my intention to do anything other than to allow those witnesses and truly those Canadians who believe in much of what has been placed here to simply....
I will read this out, and perhaps the Liberals and the NDP, all parties, can stand and be counted on each one. Then we can proceed in that regard.
Again, PV-25 amends Bill C-12 in clause 20 by replacing lines 6 to 8 on page 8 with the following:
20(1) There is established an expert advisory body whose mandate is to provide the Minister with expert advice with respect to achieving emissions reductions that are consistent with the conclusion drawn in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C of the need to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, including expert
Mr. Chair, maybe I will make a quick ask here of either Mr. Moffet or Mr. Ngan.
I believe the main thrust of this amendment is not just the adoption of the 1.5°C but the term “expert”. Right now, the way the advisory board is set up, it's not necessarily derived just on expertise. Is that the case?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
What the minister has set up is different from what is here in PV-25, clearly.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Okay. Thank you, Mr. Moffet.
Out of respect for the process, Mr. Chair, unless anyone else wants to go, you can maybe seek a roll call.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. Again, there was a bit of a lag there. I certainly appreciate the opportunity to speak on this and to ask a few questions.
First of all, I'd like thank Madam Pauzé for giving a full explanation of what the legislation is trying to do.
I'd like to ask Mr. Moffet.... I believe you'd be the best person to answer the question.
Again, if you look at subclause 20(1) on the establishment and mandate of an advisory body, it doesn't mention the word “independent”. What would the change be if BQ-18 was adopted to include in this subsection, “There is established an independent expert committee whose mandate is to provide the Minister with advice”?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Does it change...?
The next subclause—again, if I'm going a little too far ahead, that's fine; we can address it later—says:
(2) The Minister may determine and amend the terms of reference of the advisory body.
That, to me, seems to say that the minister can, given his mandate, do whatever he wants. Does adding the word “independent” really change any of that? Usually when something's independent, the minister just can't switch the terms of reference around.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Let me ask this so that I'm abundantly clear: By adding the word “independent”, as Madam Pauzé has done, does that change the committee whatsoever?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
However, does it actually do anything that's different from subclause 20(1) as it's read in Bill C-12 currently?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I think the terms of reference can change what kind of advice the minister wants to hear—by just changing the terms of reference—but that's debate on another area.
Mr. Chair, I will just hang back and listen to see what other members have to ask about Madam Pauzé's amendment. Thank you.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Perhaps I have failed to do this over the time we've spent together at clause-by-clause. Hopefully, I can ask for the indulgence of Madam Pauzé.
I clearly understand (a) and I've asked Mr. Moffet for his views on (a).
In regard to your changes to (b), by replacing line 13 on page 8 with the following.... It really is just activities “related to achieving the targets set under subsection 7(2)”. Can I ask why you feel that is a better fit than what is currently envisioned in the bill, where it states, “activities related to achieving net-zero emissions”?
Could you tell us the difference, please?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
The question I would then have, Mr. Moffet, is based on what Madam Pauzé said, because when I read subclause 7(2) in the bill, it states:
(2) The Minister must set the national greenhouse gas emissions target for 2030 within six months of the day on which this Act comes into force.
What is the difference between what Madam Pauzé wants to do, and what the government has already put in Bill C-12, or this one that's already been made in an amendment, and I'm operating off the old copy?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Yes, I think Mr. Moffet seems to be well versed in it.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
It basically talks about “activities related to achieving the target set under subsection 7(2)”, but it actually talks about net-zero emissions. The original subclause 20(1) says “achieving net-zero emissions”.
What effectively changes here by Madam Pauzé's amendment?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Moffet. I was talking more about part (b) of BQ-18 rather than part (a).
Mr. Chair, maybe it's just me that's having the issue of understanding exactly what this is meant to do, and what would change under BQ-18.
I will just leave it at that.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I'm sorry, Mr. Chair, but I have to clarify.
Did Madam Pauzé only move part (a) of BQ-18 and not part (b)?
I know she has chosen to do that before. I want to make sure I understand what I'm voting on. Is it just part (a) by itself that she's proposing as an amendment, or is it parts (a) and (b) of BQ-18?
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
I have it on page 42 in the English copy.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Yes. I think that's reasonable, Mr. Chair.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Let's not discourage her.
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