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Results: 1 - 15 of 2734
View Christine Normandin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christine Normandin Profile
2021-04-16 10:51 [p.5736]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
I understand his concerns about the clarity of the bill's wording, but I wonder if he might take comfort in the fact that, when judges are called to interpret it, in order to exclude good faith conversations, they will also refer to parliamentary work and the debates for context.
Does my colleague take comfort in that?
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2021-04-16 11:14 [p.5740]
Madam Speaker, today I am proud to take a moment to say a few words about a woman who is the pride of the North Shore.
Originally from Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam, Anouk St-Onge recently became a certified ship's captain, making her the first female Innu fishing boat captain.
It was with her family and children in mind—and in her heart—that she decided to pursue her studies on the other side of the river, in the Gaspé. She chose a traditionally male occupation and she is a model of perseverance. She has also become a pioneer for women who might want to follow in her footsteps by working in the fishing industry. Anouk St-Onge was not afraid to forge ahead and was determined to live her lifelong dream. Inspiring people like her prove that having ambition pays off.
Congratulations, Captain St-Onge, on your certification. I wish you much success.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2021-04-16 11:23 [p.5742]
Madam Speaker, once again, the federal government's management of the quarantine for temporary foreign workers is a fiasco.
This year, the new testing has added to the burden on businesses. The federal government has contracted the testing out to a unilingual anglophone company in Ontario that cannot serve Quebec.
As a result, workers are being forced to isolate for 25 days while awaiting their results, and business owners are wasting whole days dealing with the red tape.
When will the government take action so that the workers we need can get to work when we need them?
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2021-04-16 11:24 [p.5742]
Madam Speaker, temporary foreign workers are being forced to isolate for a month because of the federal government's mismanagement.
For a fish processing plant, it makes no sense to go without workers for a month when the fishing season is only a few weeks long. For an asparagus farmer who is just days away from harvest, it makes no sense to have to pick the whole crop on their own while their workers wait for their test results.
These are huge losses for our businesses. When will the government take action?
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
View Yves Perron Profile
2021-04-16 11:34 [p.5745]
Madam Speaker, pyrrhotite is destroying homes in the Mauricie region, and the federal government needs to do its part.
In its recent budget, Quebec invested an additional $26 million to help affected homeowners, for a total contribution of $80 million. The federal government has contributed only $30 million, and that was five years ago. The Government of Quebec has said, and I quote: “Québec expects the federal government to contribute financially to broadening and enhancing assistance for homes damaged by pyrrhotite”.
To become an equal partner, Ottawa needs to contribute an additional $50 million—
View Yves Perron Profile
BQ (QC)
View Yves Perron Profile
2021-04-16 11:36 [p.5745]
Madam Speaker, from that answer, one would think that this is the first time we have brought the pyrrhotite problem to the federal government's attention.
A house is a lifetime investment. Pyrrhotite victims are experiencing personal and financial distress. The entire region has rallied together. The government cannot claim that it did not know about the problem. One of the government ministers, the member for Saint-Maurice—Champlain sits at the consultation table. The time for excuses is over. The Mauricie region needs leadership and co-operation.
To become an equal partner, Ottawa needs to contribute an additional $50 million. The budget will be announced on Monday. Will the federal government be there for these victims?
View Christine Normandin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christine Normandin Profile
2021-04-16 11:50 [p.5748]
Madam Speaker, neonicotinoid pesticides are threatening the survival of bees.
Bees are essential to the food chain. Without them, there is no pollination, no plants and no biodiversity.
Three years ago, Ottawa committed to following Europe's lead and prohibiting these pesticides, but it is now backtracking without offering a solution.
The Bloc Québécois has, for years, been urging the government to invest heavily in searching for alternatives and to support farmers during the transition, but Ottawa has not done a thing for farmers or for the environment. We are back to square one.
When will the government take action?
View Christine Normandin Profile
BQ (QC)
View Christine Normandin Profile
2021-04-16 11:51 [p.5748]
Madam Speaker, transitioning away from neonicotinoids is also essential for public health.
The Institut national de la recherche scientifique found that these pesticides act as endocrine disruptors in humans and may have consequences, especially for women's health.
It is clear that these pesticides are harmful to the environment and to health, but we cannot leave farmers in the lurch by banning them without offering an alternative. We have to invest in research and support farmers through the transition.
When will the government pull its head out of the sand?
View Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to this bill.
One thing is very clear. Climate change is truly the greatest challenge of this century, if not this millennium. The Bloc Québécois examined this bill carefully, and we support it in principle simply because we cannot be against doing the right thing. However, we think that the bill needs improvement. We need to give it some teeth.
Like most environmental protection agencies, the Bloc Québécois was pleased that the Minister of Environment and Climate Change introduced this long-awaited bill.
However, we are somewhat disappointed with how weak it is in its current form. The overall goal of climate legislation should be to make current and future governments responsible for their climate action in order to prevent a perpetual failure to reduce emissions. Targets were set a long time ago, but unfortunately, we sometimes see them being changed along the way. Changes have been made several times over the past 30 years, leading us to believe that we had lowered our emissions when they had actually increased compared to when we first started setting targets.
Unlike Bill C-215, an act respecting Canada’s fulfillment of its greenhouse gas emissions reduction obligations, which was introduced in the House by the Bloc Québécois, Bill C-12 as drafted will not help achieve that objective.
Major changes would be needed for Bill C-12 to have any real impact on ensuring that Canada fulfills its obligations under the Paris Agreement. Also, unlike the Bloc Québécois bill, this bill does nothing to enshrine the Paris Agreement into Canadian law, even though it ought to be. The fact that the Paris targets are not even included in Bill C-12 only confirms that Canada is not serious about its commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Furthermore, the Bloc Québécois believes that the bill should include a binding target of a 30% reduction below Canada's 2005 levels by 2030. The bill should also set an interim target for 2025.
Also, one of the major problems with Bill C-12 is that it does not set out any credible accountability mechanisms for reductions. The only obligation that Bill C-12 imposes on the minister is to prepare a report. Ultimately, the minister will get to assess his own progress and share his findings with the public. Under Bill C-12, the role of the commissioner of the environment and sustainable development is almost non-existent, when the commissioner actually needs a bigger operating budget.
The government should enlist neutral, objective, independent institutions and authorities to ensure that these measures really have teeth and to hold the minister to account. Under the bill as it stands now, the minister is accountable only to himself. That is why we also think that there should be an action plan and that the measures taken by the government should be examined by this authority—
View Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Profile
BQ (QC)
I believe that—
View Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Profile
BQ (QC)
Madam Speaker, certainly, I will gladly pick up where I left off. I was a little surprised by the interruption, as I did not think we were there yet.
Bill C-12 needs to include an action plan, measures and a review by an independent body that will assess whether the targets are being met and whether Canada is fulfilling its obligations under the Paris Agreement. The bill is missing that aspect. The Paris Agreement is more than just a declaration of intent. As we have said before, the government needs to walk the talk. It needs to listen to the major environmental groups, which have all pointed out the significant flaws with Bill C-12.
That is what the Green Party member pointed out in her question when she said that this bill is one of the weakest in the world, which is is true, unfortunately.
The best approach would be to take inspiration from Bill C-215, the bill on climate change accountability that was introduced by the Bloc Québécois. Our bill set out binding reduction targets and introduced real accountability mechanisms, and that is what really matters.
The goal of Bill C-12 is not to ensure that Canada fulfills its international commitments, but rather to enshrine into law the existence of a target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. However, the Paris Agreement is quite clear. In order to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the middle of this century, we must first cap greenhouse gas emissions around the world as soon as possible.
The purpose of any climate legislation is not to support the government's efforts—which is exactly how this bill is being presented—but rather to force the government to fulfill its commitments and keep it from failing again.
At the beginning of the House debate on Bill C-215, I remember being told that we needed to preserve policy space. However, since a bill can be repealed, policy space does not disappear. Of course, it is much more difficult to repeal legislation than it is to just leave policy space, as the current bill does. Still, I think it is only right for a government that wants to adjust its actual greenhouse gas emission targets downward to be required to follow a much more rigorous process, rather than being able to make such changes lightly.
With our Bill C-215, we wanted the interim emissions reduction target for 2030 to be a reduction of at least 30% below the level of Canadian greenhouse gas emissions in 2005, which is consistent with the Paris Agreement. In comparison, the Liberal Party's Bill C-12 states that the minister will set the greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2030 within six months of the day on which the act comes into force. The bill does not actually contain any binding reduction targets. It merely states that it will be up to the minister to announce the new targets.
In the throne speech, the government states that it will bring forward a plan to exceed Canada's 2030 climate goal, and the Prime Minister keeps saying that it will be exceeded. If the government is so sure that it will exceed its reduction target for 2030, why did it not include it in the bill? If the government is so confident, I think it should have nothing to fear from including the targets in the bill. Even if it has concerns about not being able to meet the targets, they should still be written into law.
There is also a problem with the reports. According to the bill, the minister must set targets for the milestone years, but these years are not specified. The targets are established one by one over time, five years before the milestone year. The first target, which should be the one for 2035, will be set in 2030. One question we could ask ourselves is the following: If the progress report is already evaluating whether the interim targets are being met, why would the assessment not be done on an annual basis, after the national inventory report is submitted in accordance with the United Nations framework convention?
In my introduction earlier, I spoke about the role of the commissioner of the environment and sustainable development. The bill does not expressly state that the measures must be assessed based on Canada's ability to adhere to the Paris Agreement. However, for the law to truly ensure that the government's actions enable Canada to meet its targets and honour its international commitments, the commissioner's role must be to assess whether the planned measures will allow Canada to meet its targets and how meeting them would enable Canada to honour its obligations under the Paris Agreement.
In addition, Parliament needs to be able to ensure that the government is honouring Canada's international commitments. The legislation must include a mandatory target for 2030. If the Liberal government's good faith were a valid and satisfactory guarantee of Canada's climate success, why would we need climate framework legislation? This is a valid question.
The government cannot say that Bill C-12 contains restrictive measures while at the same time saying that the only real restriction is the outcome of the election. The Bloc Québécois is fully prepared to work with the government, the opposition parties, environmental groups and the public to amend Bill C-12 to ensure that Canada's international climate commitments will actually be honoured.
However, it is a problem that the minister is the one who establishes the body's mandate and that the minister can change this mandate at any time. As the bill stands now, the advisory body is restricted to providing advice with respect to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The fact that experts are not being asked to provide advice on the short-term targets, the interim targets and the 2030 target is yet another example of how the government does not understand that this is a climate emergency. It is not prioritizing the rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
BQ (QC)
View Gabriel Ste-Marie Profile
2021-04-16 12:40 [p.5756]
We now move to questions and comments. I would ask the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands to repeat her question.
View Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, at their recent convention, the Liberals voted against the proposal of their party's Quebec wing to promote green energy and to put an end to fossil fuel subsidies. Despite all the good intentions and fine speeches, the Liberal Party rejected this proposal.
We cannot transition to clean energy while increasing fossil fuel subsidies, as is currently happening. Unfortunately, Canadian governments, no matter which ones, often only pay lip service. As the member said so well, we have not really studied what is being done well elsewhere.
Let us now hope that the detailed study in committee will amend and improve the bill.
View Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, we completely agree that Ottawa must work with Quebec, the provinces and the different levels of government. That is not the issue, and promoting this collaboration is part of our DNA.
We really want environmental matters to be an exclusive jurisdiction of Quebec. In my view, collaborating with the provinces means, for example, not imposing an oil project when the provinces do not want it.
View Simon-Pierre Savard-Tremblay Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I will simply say that most of the useful ideas can be found in the bill that the Bloc Québécois introduced, such as the need for real accountability, a recognized monitoring and oversight body, and 2030 targets.
In other words, we cannot simply rely on good intentions and let the minister assess his own performance. We need an independent oversight body and we need much more binding targets.
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