I'm going to move CPC‑14, and I'll just read it into the record here. It's that Bill C‑12, in clause 15, be amended by adding, after line 21 on page 6, the following:
(a.1) a summary of the measures undertaken by the governments of the provinces to contribute to Canada's efforts to achieve the national greenhouse gas emissions target for that year and of their impacts on those efforts;
This kind of carries on with what we were just speaking about, and I think it expands upon it quite nicely.
The government has already proposed in G‑11, and just now in G‑12, that we would add some key co-operative measures or agreements with the provinces. It's very critical that we have provincial buy-in to the plan. That's why I'd like to propose this amendment, to deepen this a little bit more.
Ultimately, the vast majority of the reductions that are going to occur in Canada are going to come from measures that are under provincial jurisdiction. It's the provinces that control our natural resources and our electrical grids, and they also regulate a large portion of the transportation industry. We absolutely need the provinces on board or this isn't going to work.
Now, unlike the Liberals and the NDP, which have tended to be more combative with the provincial governments in Canada, Conservatives believe that we need to work together with the provinces. For example, under Liberals, we've seen lawsuits, such as the carbon tax lawsuit we recently saw, and it went all the way to the Supreme Court. It tied up a lot of time and energy and created some animosity between governments. We don't want to do that. We want to be more co-operative.
Also, I think it's the people on the ground who know what they need to do to reduce emissions. They don't need Ottawa to tell them what to do. In Saskatchewan, for example, our environment has always been a very high priority, because our agricultural-based economy depends on a healthy environment.
I'll give you an example. For many years, I was involved in an agricultural company based in Saskatoon that brought a new innovation to farming, and it brought this new farming technique right into the mainstream. That technique was called “zero tillage”. In a nutshell, it's essentially allowing stubble to stand over the winter and then using an air seeder and air drill to seed directly into the stubble. Farmers are able to retain carbon in the ground and minimize fuel use by reducing the number of passes they have to take over the ground.
In Saskatchewan, when it comes to the environment, our farmers were doing what they should long before being told what they have to do.
We've heard testimony after testimony from pulse farmers, cattlemen, CAPP and the Chamber of Commerce about the need for provincial co-operation. I know that the federal government should work with the provinces, but the reality is that this act says very little about the provinces. In fact, it seems to me that it goes out of its way to avoid talking about the provinces. It seems that the government is being very careful to create a situation where it can work in isolation if it feels that it needs to. My fear, too, is that if we don't achieve our targets as set out in the legislation, then we're setting it up for finger pointing, where the federal government can accuse the provinces of not doing their part, because they weren't a part of this initially.
I believe that we need to modify this legislation and bring the provinces into this discussion in a more formal way. Instead of generating laws and fighting each other in court, the federal and provincial governments should be working together. This legislation should set the foundation for the provinces and the federal government to work together. It should set things up for a co-operative arrangement where everybody is pulling in the same direction.
I'll just end with a reference back to Ecojustice, from their joint submission to the committee. I believe it's one of the ones we didn't have a chance to hear from in testimony, but their submission called for regional and provincial jurisdiction to be respected. This amendment does exactly that.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.