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View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
This is a point of privilege, Mr. Chair.
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I appreciate it.
I wanted to bring this to the committee today. It's a point of privilege with regard to the order of witnesses.
I give all due respect to the witnesses who are lined up today. Thank you for taking the time. We look forward to hearing your testimony at some point.
The concern and point of privilege I raise, Mr. Chair, is with regard to.... It's been a long-standing tradition and long-practised tradition of committees within the House of Commons and Parliament to ensure that there's proportionality of witnesses and that the witnesses from each of the parties are definitely considered, approached and added so that the witnesses who are heard in any committee, any hearing or any study properly represent the representation within the House and the structure of the committee.
When we look at the makeup of this particular study we've done and the witnesses we've heard from—
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
It is a point of privilege.
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
I believe it is a point of privilege, because we're dealing with a very important matter and a very important study, Mr. Chair, and there are very important witnesses who have yet to be heard by this committee. They have not had the opportunity yet and have not, to my knowledge, been approached, or they haven't had the opportunity to speak. I know for a fact that they want to speak before the committee. Some of them are pretty significant.
We're dealing with first ministers. We're dealing with premiers of provinces who are willing and want to appear before this committee, and they have not yet been approached, to my knowledge. This is supposedly our last day of hearing testimony. We've had some key witnesses.
I have an email here, sir, from Premier Blaine Higgs of New Brunswick, and I think this is relevant to the committee. He wrote this—
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
I have a point of order.
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
To the witnesses, thank you for your testimony today. We really appreciate your taking the time to share your valuable insights with us as a committee.
At this time, Mr. Chair, I would also like to move a motion. It does pertain to the nature of the business.
That motion is as follows:
That, before moving to finish the study “Creating a Fair and Equitable Canadian Energy Transformation” the committee invite as witnesses: the Government of Saskatchewan, the Government of Alberta, and the Government of New Brunswick.
I have also received, Mr. Chair, in relation to this, a letter from the Premier of New Brunswick—
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
In reference to this motion, Premier Higgs, the Premier of New Brunswick, submitted a letter to me as of last night, saying:
Members of The Standing Committee on Natural Resources (RNNR),
I want to express my disappointment at not being called upon to participate as a witness in relation to your study on “Creating a Fair and Equitable Canadian Energy Transformation.”
It is more evident than ever that the reality of energy security, both domestically and internationally, is in peril. We need national policies that allow for a transition to requirements that will reduce our emissions while ensuring reliable and affordable energy supplies.
This is of crucial importance to New Brunswick, the Atlantic Region, and Canada.
A variety of voices should be part of the conversation to ensure that all factors are considered as we move toward a net zero carbon energy source, while at the same time, identifying clearly the shortfall to meet current and forecast energy supply demands.
Sincerely,
Blaine Higgs
Premier of New Brunswick
We have first ministers, and we also have letters here from the Government of Saskatchewan and the Government of Alberta that I can read as well. I don't mind. I'll just continue to read what they're saying as to the importance of hearing their perspectives on this very important study. I find it somewhat shocking that those governments have not been invited to this committee to give testimony on such an important study for the future pathway of energy transformation in this country.
Then when you look at the proportionality of witnesses, we see that my honourable colleague from the NDP and others have had the same number of witnesses called before the committee as we have as His Majesty's official opposition. That breaks the convention of committees and of Parliament. I think that at the least, the committee could consider inviting these important witnesses.
The broad strokes of responsibility for implementing and carrying out this just transition and this transformation of our energy sector is going to be borne by our provinces; therefore, given the fact that first ministers who want to appear before this committee have not yet been invited and have not had the ability to get in front of this committee to share their perspectives, Mr. Chair, I think it behooves us as a committee to act upon this and take them up on their willingness to appear before the committee and be heard. It's going to be very important information for us to have in taking a holistic, balanced approach as it relates to the full study that's being composed.
I think we've received a lot of input. When we go back to Confederation and how we were founded, we see that we obviously recognized there was a role for the federal government, but there were also distinct roles for provincial governments. We have to respect those jurisdictions. A lot of the implications of this study and what we're researching fall upon, and become the burden of, our provincial governments.
They want to speak into this matter. They want to have their voices heard. I think we as a committee can at least do our best to make sure that this desire is facilitated and make sure that those voices are brought to the table.
I will read from the Government of Saskatchewan. It is addressed to the committee and the chair, and it says:
I am writing in response to the Government of Canada's study on the “Just Transition.” As global events have notably caused energy crises in European countries, it is incumbent that all Canadian governments focus our efforts on advancing the conversation around energy security instead of an approach that seeks to phase-out our oil and gas industry and move to arbitrary electricity emissions targets that do not take into account the reality in individual jurisdictions. This misguided federal focuses on prematurely shutting down critical industries in Canada — some of the most sustainable in the world — would have significant and severe consequences for Saskatchewan workers and families and miss a critical opportunity to support our international allies.
Our government remains deeply concerned by the Government of Canada's approach to a Just Transition for coal workers and communities. The unilateral approach to phase-out a sector of the economy without a plan to transition displaced workers to comparable jobs within their communities has left workers, many of whom are unionized employees in Estevan, Coronach and surrounding areas, understandably concerned about their futures and livelihoods.
It is our government's every intention to grow our economy, to provide a better quality of life for our residents. Saskatchewan has a unique opportunity to provide the world with sustainably and ethically produced critical minerals, food, fertilizers and fuel that the world needs for energy security, food security and climate security.
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
Mr. Chair, the fact that the honourable member would refer to the concerns of provinces and first ministers of this country as a farce is beyond—
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
It's not appropriate. This committee—
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
Climate security and energy security go hand in hand.
In a world where nations want products sourced from stable, democratic regions you will find no other jurisdiction better positioned to deliver results. Saskatchewan's oil and gas industry directly and indirectly employees over 30,000 people, and through our Growth Plan, we will continue to support these important segments of our economy.
It was unfortunate that, despite having vast supplies of energy and energy potential, we did not further assist our European allies, namely Germany, when Chancellor Olaf Scholz requested assistance with receiving natural gas in the face of Russian aggression and threats of limited energy supplies for this coming winter. Canada and Saskatchewan have the enormous potential to be part of the solution when it comes to supporting continental and global energy security for our partners with sustainably sourced resources.
Now more than ever, it is important for nations to consider where one gets their energy products. As the Saskatchewan Industrial and Mining Suppliers Association once asked, “you care about where your coffee is sourced from — why not your oil?” I would argue that the best place to buy one's energy from is Saskatchewan. If all oil-producing countries in the world adopted environmental regulations similar to Saskatchewan's, greenhouse gas emissions from oil production would be cut by 25%. Given factors like this it makes sense that the last barrel of oil ever used should come from Saskatchewan.
We recognize the need to reduce emissions and our province has undertaken many measures to further improve our emissions intensity. For instance, SaskPower has committed to achieving net-zero by 2050, is developing small modular nuclear reactor technology for clean energy generation and is reducing emissions by 50 percent from 2005 levels by developing renewable power. Our province also continues to pioneer carbon capture utilization and storage technology, which in Saskatchewan, produces 82 percent fewer emissions compared to conventional oil production. However, the federal government, the NDP-Liberal Coalition government, and the committee need to recognize that phasing-out energy, mining and agriculture sectors will only shift activity to jurisdictions with lower environmental standards and lead to higher emissions globally.
Recently, I had the privilege of attending the Lloydminster Heavy Oil Show. At the trade show, many exhibits showcased the emerging technological and practical innovations the energy sector is using to curb hazards, spills and emissions. The show was a great example of how our western Canadian oil companies and service workers continuously strive to be the most sustainable energy producers in the world.
CAPP noted that many Canada's clean technology solutions will continue to come from the oil and gas sector, as they have heavily invested in research and development. It is vitally important therefore that the federal government recognize, acknowledge and support the oil and gas industry in these efforts.
Any form of “Just Transition” should be about ensuring energy security and supporting our existing wealth generating growth sectors. As industry adopts new technologies, it is unrealistic to believe that all displaced workers can be retrained to work in green jobs. It is important that the federal government offer adequate supports for any displaced workers and to hear their perspectives.
I would invite the House of Commons Natural Resources Committee to travel to and visit Saskatchewan and hear from our community members in Lloydminster and other oil producing regions about their thoughts on the federal government's push for a “Just Transition.” I would also urge the committee to invite the Government and Province of Saskatchewan to present as a witness and testify before the committee.
As the policy of a just transition would have disproportionate impact on our province, it is critically important that Saskatchewan's unique perspective be heard and receive due consideration.
Sincerely,
Jim Reiter
Minister of Energy and Resources
I also have here, Mr. Chair, a letter from the Government of Alberta.
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I will continue.
I believe this is so important that we need to hear it. I think this further substantiates the point we've been making in this motion, which is that the first ministers and the provinces want to have input into this vital and important study that the government has undertaken, that this Parliament has undertaken, and right now, obviously, they feel their voices have not been heard yet and have not been brought to the table.
When provinces within our Confederation are not being welcomed to this committee or are not able to present their viewpoints, their concerns, their thoughts, their suggestions on a subject of such absolute importance as we move towards the future, I think it really is troubling for us as members. We have a responsibility to make sure the voices from our region and around the country are heard, including the provinces. When first ministers are reaching out to us and ministers responsible for various areas want to make sure their voices are heard before this committee, we have a responsibility as committee members, I would think, to want to hear their voices, as we have from other great witnesses all throughout this time. I think we want to make sure that these voices are included.
The minister goes on in his address to the ministers responsible, as well as to the committee:
Dear Ministers:
Below is the Government of Alberta's response to the Federal People-Centred Just Transition Initiative.
Alberta's energy sector is a key source of revenue and employment for Canadians, underpinning the quality of life enjoyed by citizens across the country. As skyrocketing energy costs and other recent global energy challenges have shown, there is a growing demand for energy that is developed responsibly and that is affordable. It should come from us. Alberta and Canada are among the most responsible energy producers in the world. However, federal overreach into Alberta's jurisdiction over its energy and natural resources jeopardizes the province's ability to drive prosperity through a robust oil and gas sector while balancing the need to reduce emissions.
In the name of centralized planning, the federal Just Transition initiative for oil and gas workers threatens to undermine the economic future and livelihoods of Albertans and Canadians by prematurely signalling the end of Alberta's oil and gas sector. It implies that Canada is moving away from oil and gas, and essentially Canadian workers. However, all credible forecasts show oil and gas will continue to be integral to the global energy mix.
The Just Transition initiative erodes investor confidence in the sector, discouraging the investments needed to provide the energy the world needs at a time when energy affordability can no longer be taken for granted. The result is counterproductive to Canada's climate and social goals. If energy production does not come from Alberta, it will come from jurisdictions with much lower environmental human rights standards, at no net-zero emission benefit to the world and at no benefit to Canada's jobs and economy. To be clear, no change in our supply of oil and gas will affect the world's demand for energy.
The federal government's poor track record on its previous transition initiatives for coal workers and fishery workers is cause for serious concern given that many federal promises were made with no coherent follow through or fundamental understanding of the economics, with those workers left unemployed and their communities left behind.
Alberta urges the federal government to listen to the concerns raised by industry and provinces and end the Just Transition initiative. Federal efforts would be better spend continuing to work with Alberta to develop and deploy clean technology, such as Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS), and enhance provinces' capacity to target emissions directly. Creating an attractive and stable investment environment that encourages industry—
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
The letter continues:
The oil and gas industry recognizes the need to reduce emissions and several companies have already adopted net-zero commitments — with the right federal supports, they will drive the creation of future positions in clean tech and ensure workers have the skills they need.
We have outlined our key concerns with the Just Transition initiative below. We have also proposed a partnership that underscores our shared commitment to addressing climate change while providing affordable and reliable energy to Canada and the world.
Here are Alberta's concerns.
1. The Just Transition initiative is out of touch from economic realities, as Canada's oil and gas sector is seeing and responding to real, robust demand for its energy. It is basic supply and demand.
2. Skyrocketing energy prices are a serious challenge for Canadians and people around the world. Limiting Canadian oil and gas at this crucial time will make essential fuel and utilities even more unaffordable.
3. The federal government is prematurely signalling the end of a vibrant oil and gas industry that is a key source of revenue, employment, and prosperity for Canada at a time when the world clearly needs more democratic and reliable Canadian energy, not less.
4. The Just Transition initiative undermines investor confidence in the sector, undercutting our industry's ability to meet increasing demand to the benefit of energy producers with much lower environmental, labour, and human rights standards.
5. Undermining the oil and gas industry will actually harm Canada's ability to meet ambitious climate change targets, given the industry is the key funder and developer of the technologies that will be required to transition to a low-carbon economy. Without the oil and gas sector, Canada will not be able to deliver this transition.
6. Oil and gas companies representing the majority of production in Canada have already adopted net-zero commitments and the jobs of tomorrow will be created as companies adapt to new technology and fuel sources like hydrogen. It is impossible for the federal government to transition workers to jobs that do not exist or that the private sector will not support. 7. The Just Transition initiative discourages Canadians away from high paying jobs in the oil and gas sector, where companies are experiencing labour shortages and hiring demand continues to grow. Alberta has already heard from industry that the announcement is harming their ability to attract, hire, and retain workers.
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Next is “Implications for the Economy and Energy Security”—
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
We were at "Implications for the Economy and Energy Security”:
Signalling a transition away from oil and gas without any affordable and reliable alternatives for transportation or heating homes is impractical, with significant economic ramifications for the entire country. The federal Just Transition initiative is taking place as oil, gas and electricity prices have jumped to record highs not seen in years, while Canadians are struggling with spiking inflation. This energy crunch is squeezing households and companies alike, posing risks to livelihoods. The increase in natural gas prices has also prompted jurisdictions in the United States, Europe and Asia to switch from natural gas electricity generation to coal, driving up global emissions, particularly as European countries reduce their reliance on Russian energy.
Recent geopolitical events have highlighted long-term global and North American energy security issues, as well as Canada's unique position as a democratic and reliable global energy player with high environmental standards. Alberta oil and gas can reduce Canadian, American and European dependence on imported crude oil and natural gas from countries with low environmental standards or dictatorial regimes committing human rights abuses. However, unless the federal government addresses the constraints and hurdles that impede market access, Alberta will be unable to fulfill its potential to contribute to global energy security. The federal government can play a strong role in supporting energy infrastructure within Canada and advocate for Alberta energy as the responsible solution to energy needs worldwide.
The current energy crunch may be the first of many on the way to a lower-carbon economy. Recent price increases have played out against the backdrop of a multi-year global decline in investments in hydrocarbon production. Declining investment has made global supply more vulnerable to the kinds of exceptional circumstances we are seeing today. As the world moves to lower carbon economies, prematurely choking off investment in hydrocarbons could pave the way for future price shocks.
The Just Transition initiative is counterproductive to Canada's domestic and international policy objectives. To investors and stakeholders, it signals a declining oil and gas industry and an uncertain investment environment. To allies, it indicates that Canada may no longer be the reliable supplier they know and trust. They may have to source oil and gas from sanctioned suppliers or state actors with lower environmental standards.
Furthermore, the initiative fuels speculation that the federal government is actively trying to phase out oil and gas in the same way as it announced a coal phase-out in electricity generation in 2018.
There are no current alternatives that can sufficiently bridge the gap. A reduced role for Canada in oil and gas development would result in a larger role for oil and gas producers in unstable regions or with despotic regimes. Not only does this further heighten the risk of future energy crises, but it also moves Canadian jobs and capital offshore.
To help achieve climate ambitions and emission reductions, the federal government needs to remove regulatory bottlenecks, approve new energy corridors, and support this critical industry while it simultaneously works to reduce emissions.
Next is “Canada's Prosperity is tied to the Vitality of Alberta's Oil and Gas Sector”.
The oil and gas sector's significant economic contributions underpin the quality of life and services all Canadians have enjoyed for decades. Canada exported nearly $126 billion worth of energy products to the rest of the world, representing more than 20 per cent of the value of all goods exported from Canada in 2019. In other years, such as 2008 and 2014, this reached over 27 per cent, indicative of the vital role that energy production and exports play in Canada's economy in this post-pandemic recovery.
Oil and gas sector salaries are higher than the Canadian average, which translates to strong business and community support across the country. In 2019, the sector directly employed more than 282,000 Canadians and indirectly supported over 550,500 jobs, with 138,372 of them located in Alberta. Signalling a move away from this type of employment, without equivalent replacement positions, threatens the national economy, and the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of workers across the country at a time when good jobs are needed the most.
The energy sources and associated energy jobs of the future will be in new fuel opportunities such as hydrogen. Canada risks missing out on being a leader in these opportunities if the federal government prematurely shuts down the oil and gas sector. Opportunities in emerging sectors are not only dependent on our resources, expertise and technology, but also on the revenue from Alberta's oil and gas sector. Revenue generated by this sector has enabled economic diversification in Alberta, spurring technological innovation and investment attraction across many sectors. A strong oil and gas industry supports the development of technologies and human capital that leverages the growth and development of alternative energy and emerging non-energy sectors. Oil and gas development has been essential for driving activity in a number of other industries, including construction and manufacturing, which benefits communities across Alberta and Canada.
The energy sector is also a significant source of government revenues. Government revenues collected from the oil and gas industry averaged $14 billion over the last five years, including $11 billion from upstream oil and gas extraction and its supported activities. In 2018 government revenues from the energy sector reached $17.9 billion. In addition, the energy sector's share of total taxes paid by all industries averaged 7.4 per cent between 2014 and 2018, and brought in over 10 per cent of all operating revenues earned by governments in Canada. These revenues fund important federal and provincial priorities, including the development of clean technologies, fuels, and projects that are critical to Canada's emissions reduction.
Finally, capital expenditures in Canada's energy sector stood at $72 billion in 2019, accounting for more than a quarter of total business sector investment. Oil and gas extraction was the largest contributor at $33.9 billion, followed by electric power generation and transmission at $22.2 billion. The stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) in mining, oil and gas extraction sector stood at nearly $198 billion in 2019, making up close to 20 per cent of Canada's total stock of FDI. Investment attraction in the oil and gas sector will continue to be crucial as Canada moves forward with economic recovery. Improving investor confidence in Canada as an attractive place to do business with a solid and predictable regulatory regime will be critical for the country's future prosperity.
Alberta is focused on continuing to build an attractive investment environment. On this front, the federal government should prioritize working with Alberta rather than launching initiatives that undermine investor confidence and drive investment from the country to our competitors.
Next is “Canada's oil and gas industry funds and supports clean tech: an essential in the fight against climate change”.
In forecasts of future world energy consumption, oil and gas will continue to dominate the supply mix for decades, even in lower-carbon futures. According to the International Energy Agency's “2021 World Energy Outlook”, oil and natural gas is projected to account for more than half of the world energy supply through 2050. The International Energy Agency's Sustainable Development Scenario — which aligns with the Paris Agreement — predicts global demand at 66 million barrels/day in 2040 (compared to 98 million barrels/day in 2019). In this scenario, approximately US$6.9 trillion would be needed to offset declines from existing oil and gas fields worldwide to 2030, and an additional US$4.6 trillion would be required to 2040.
Further, the current geo-political realities should highlight that the need for energy should be responded to by democratic energy suppliers who seek to achieve responsible climate action. The alternative is to seek to be beholden to autocrats and non-democratic providers of energy. Proceeding with the just transition would be tone deaf at best and underline Canada's fall from a responsible, reliable world participant at worst.
Against the backdrop of strong global demand for oil and gas, Canada is well-positioned to meet demand as one of the most credible and responsible global suppliers of energy products. Alberta continues to develop its resources under stringent environmental standards while continually reducing emissions per barrel. In fact, Alberta was the first jurisdiction in North America to place a price on carbon for all large emitters across all sectors, and the first regional government in North America to commit to a methane emissions reduction target for the oil and gas sector.
The province has also invested billions in technologies that reduce emissions, such as CCUS. In addition to carbon emissions, the province has made tremendous progress on other issues, from water reduction policies to Indigenous participation in resource development. Alberta will continue to build on its progress by further expanding environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies, identifying areas of performance and potential investment.
Based on third-party assessments, Canada tops global ESG scores across the full spectrum of factors, from environmental policy to social progress/welfare, political stability, regulatory oversight, and corporate governance. In 2018, the oil and gas extraction industry in Canada spent $3.6 billion on environmental protection. This exceeded all other industries by a significant margin and represented 37 per cent of total environmental protection spending by businesses in Canada. The largest portion of industry investment went toward wastewater management, followed by protection and remediation of soil and water, and air pollution management. Given that most oil and gas extraction businesses are in Alberta, the province contributed the largest share of national spending at 39 per cent.
Canada's oil and gas industry is committed to being part of the solution on emissions reductions. For example, the Oil Sands Pathways to Net-Zero Alliance — which accounts for 95 per cent of oil sands production in Canada — has committed to net-zero by 2050. Canada's oil and natural gas companies are also spending more on clean technology than all other industries in Canada combined, accounting for 75 per cent of clean tech spending in Canada. The industry is achieving real results: Alberta's oil sands producers have reduced emissions per barrel by 36 per cent since 2000 (22% over the past decade), and leading producers are on track for another 16-to-23 per cent reduction over the next 10 years.
Producers in the oil and gas sector are the key funders of the clean technology that will be essential for meeting emissions reductions goals in Canada. There will be no clean tech to enable the transition without investments from a healthy oil and gas industry, as governments simply cannot fund the transition alone. Resource-rich provinces are diversifying into new, low-carbon energy opportunities — such as hydrogen, geothermal and small modular reactors — thanks to the strength and innovation of Canada's oil and gas sector. The resources and skills of the industry play a vital role in helping to tackle emissions from some of the hardest-to-abate sectors, including the development of CCUS, low-carbon hydrogen, and biofuels. Scaling up these technologies and bringing down their cost will require large-scale engineering and project management capabilities — qualities that are a good match to those of large oil and gas companies.
Furthermore, Canadian resources can play a key role in helping to reduce global emissions while meeting rising demand for energy in places like China and India. Canadian liquefied natural gas (LNG) is well-positioned to displace coal in the growing Asian market, thanks to an abundant resource base in Western Canada and shorter shipping routes compared to the Gulf Coast. The LNG Canada project on Canada's west coast, for example, is expected to provide enough energy to displace between 20 and 40 coal-fired power plants in Asia, reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 60 to 90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Given the emergent need in Europe, more work could also be done to explore moving LNG via the Port of Churchill.
Ultimately, governments and industry must agree that the shared goal is to reduce emissions, not pick winners and losers. Alberta and other provinces are working with their industries to improve Canada's environmental performance. Alberta needs the federal government to work with provinces, not against them. This means helping Canada's oil and gas sector thrive in a lower-carbon future via supports for emissions reductions that align with federal climate ambitions (like CCUS and low-carbon hydrogen) or for alternate hydrocarbon uses (such as plastics or carbon fibres), instead of planning for the sector's demise at immense cost to the country. It is essential that the federal government works with Alberta to develop a coordinated messaging that demonstrates our shared commitment to emissions reductions, cleaner energy, and responsible energy development, and positions Canada as the optimal solution to global energy needs.
Next is "Conclusion".
Alberta is in an excellent position to be a global leader in a lower-carbon energy future by meeting global security needs for sustainable and stable energy, while sharing our technological innovations that will make real reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. Alberta urges the federal government to end the Just Transition initiative for oil and gas workers and acknowledge the role that the sector plays in supporting the Canadian economy — and can play in providing responsible energy the world desperately needs. Instead, the federal government should focus on collaborating and funding efforts to reduce emissions and diversify the energy mix.
Strong economic recovery and growth start with the recognition of the need to stand up for the oil and gas sector given its ability to create jobs, generate revenues, and grow the economy. Accordingly, the focus should be on helping the sector thrive in a lower-carbon economy and working with Alberta to meet growing demand for affordable and responsibly produced energy, instead of planning for the sector's demise.
Canada has the opportunity to play a real leadership role in the global challenge before us — to end the power and the threats that despotic regimes hold over the world because global need for their energy supply. Canada must not continue to sideline itself on the world economic and energy stage when we have the resources to play a determining role in a safer world where all can access the energy they need.
Working together with Alberta, we propose that Canada take up the challenge of providing the world with sustainable, affordable, and secure energy.
Sincerely,
Sonya Savage
Minister
That was copied to several of you.
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
With regard to this, Mr. Chair, it's so important that the provinces and first ministers who desire to be heard are heard in a study such as this, which has such ramifications and potential.
The strength of our Confederation is the effective work between the federal and provincial governments. A committee of this nature is going to have some major ramifications. The outcomes of this study could find their way into various sources of legislation.
It could have massive ramifications for provincial governments that are going to bear a disproportionate weight of the responsibility of implementation. They need to be heard from; they should be heard from; and they should be welcomed here at this committee, whether they're from Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick or Newfoundland. We want to make sure that whatever their province may be, they have a voice at this table and they know that when this committee is doing its work, it's valuing their perspectives.
Yes, we need to hear from all sectors, and we have been hearing from them, but I think our provinces and especially our first ministers and those responsible for carrying out a lot of the implementation of whatever recommendations find their way into legislation have their voices heard at this committee.
It's of paramount importance that we consider this. I ask that you support this motion and make every effort to ensure that we are able to hear from the governments of those provinces, whether it be the premiers or ministers of natural resources, so that they are able to have a voice at this committee and so that those voices are given consideration when it comes to the findings of this study. It's absolutely important.
If we go back to our founding.... I'll quote our first prime minister, John A. Macdonald, who said:
It is our desire to do so. I hope that we will be enabled to work out a constitution that will have a strong central Government, able to offer a powerful resistance to any foe whatever, and at the same time will preserve for each Province its own identity – and will protect every local ambition; and if we cannot do this we shall not be able to carry out the object we have now in view.
Our first prime minister understood the absolute importance of making sure that there's adequate consideration for our provinces and their perspectives and the burden they're going to have to bear. When we have representatives from those provincial governments reaching out to us as members of this committee, saying, “We want our voices heard”, I feel it is part of our responsibility to make sure that their voices get heard and that we bring their concerns forward—
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
—and that we have this come to this table here.
View Richard Bragdon Profile
CPC (NB)
What we have here, Mr. Chair, is that we are moving to make sure that voices are being heard at this table. We absolutely value the voices of our indigenous communities and indigenous leaders who spoke, but I would like to also submit that we have seen first-hand in this committee that when indigenous representation was made at this committee, some of their voices were disrespected by other members of this committee. That was totally inappropriate.
When we talk about having indigenous voices heard, we want to make sure that all indigenous voices are heard and respected, not just those that align with one particular ideology or perspective. All voices and perspectives of indigenous peoples are welcome at this committee and need to be heard and respected, but the voices of our first ministers also need to be heard and respected. The voices of our provinces and provincial governments need to be heard and respected. The weight of the decisions or the recommendations that get put into legislation as a result of the work of this committee is going to fall on them disproportionately. They have concerns. They want those concerns to be expressed. They want to be able to have their voices heard. I believe we as a committee have a responsibility to ensure that those voices are heard at this table.
Mr. Chair, I really appreciate the ability and the opportunity to bring this motion forward. I thank you for that. I appreciate your effort. I get along with you very well. I respect you as an individual. I just really feel like we're missing a major opportunity by not hearing from our provinces on a study of such consequence. We need to make sure that their voices are here at this table. It is key to national unity.
We're hearing from our people—every one of us here at this table is hearing from our constituents from across the country—that their cost of living is going up. They're seeing energy prices soar. They want to make sure their representatives on these committees are bringing those concerns forward. Those who are hearing that every day are also our provincial governments. They have people who are worried about their livelihoods and their future employment, or whether they'll have to move or relocate as a result of any kind of transition that comes into place. If we don't take into adequate consideration those perspectives, those fears, those sincere concerns, then we have not done our full job as a committee.
That's why I moved this motion here today. I ask my fellow committee members to give this due consideration and make sure that we have adequate representation from the first ministers and provinces that want to speak before this committee. I think all of us would want to hear from the provinces that want to make sure their voices are heard here, so I trust that we'll have good support for this motion going through.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
I call this meeting to order.
Welcome to meeting number 30 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages.
Pursuant to the order of reference of Monday, May 30, 2022, the committee is resuming its study of Bill C-13, An Act to amend the Official Languages Act, to enact the Use of French in Federally Regulated Private Businesses Act and to make related amendments to other Acts.
Today's meeting is in a hybrid format, pursuant to the House Order of Thursday, June 23, 2022. Members will attend in person or with the Zoom application, as we are now used to doing.
To ensure an orderly meeting, I would like to outline a few rules to follow.
Before speaking, please wait until I recognize you by name. If you're on the videoconference, please click on the microphone icon to unmute yourself. When you're not speaking, your mike should be on mute.
Interpretation is available for those of you joining us on Zoom. You have the choice at the bottom of your screen of floor, English or French audio. For those in the room, you can use your earpiece and select the desired channel.
As a reminder, all comments should be addressed through the chair.
For members in the room, if you wish to speak, please raise your hand. For members on Zoom, please use the raise hand function. The clerk and I will manage the speaking order as best we can, and we appreciate your patience and understanding in this regard.
Before we hear from our first witnesses, I would like to welcome, via Zoom, our clerk, Ms. Legault, and her assistant, Ms. Labelle.
I would now like to welcome our valiant witnesses.
Appearing in the first hour, we have the Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne, represented by Lynn Brouillette, Chief Executive Officer, and Martin Normand, Director, Strategic Research and International Relations.
We also have the Public Service Alliance of Canada, represented by Alex Silas, Regional Executive Vice-President, National Capital Region, and Rosane Doré Lefebvre, Communications Officer. They are also joining us via videoconference. Mr. Silas comes from one of the most beautiful regions in Canada, although I won't tell you what region that is.
With that said, we will begin with Mr. Normand, who will be discussing issues important to the people he represents regarding the modernization of Bill C-13.
We are listening, Mr. Normand.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Normand.
Pardon me, but I forgot to inform the witnesses that they had five minutes each for their presentations. However, you didn't exceed your five minutes, Mr. Normand.
Mr. Silas, you come from a magnificent region, and you have the floor for five minutes.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Silas.
We will now begin a first round of questions, in which every intervention will be six minutes, with the vice-chair of this committee.
Mr. Godin, you have six minutes.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Godin.
Mr. Serré, you have the floor for six minutes.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Silas and Mr. Serré.
The second vice-chair of our committee will ask the next questions.
Mr. Beaulieu, you have six minutes.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Silas.
We will end this final six-minute round of questions with Ms. Ashton, who is speaking to us from Manitoba.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you very much Mr. Normand.
That's it, Ms. Ashton.
We'll begin the second round of questions with Mr. Gourde.
Over to you for five minutes Mr. Gourde.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you Mr. Silas and Mr. Gourde.
Ms. Patricia Lattanzio, You have six minutes.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Ms. Lattanzio. That's all the time you have.
Mr. Beaulieu will be asking the next questions.
Mr. Beaulieu, you have two and a half minutes.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
You have 15 seconds left, Mr. Beaulieu.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Silas.
We have now got to the final round of questions.
Ms. Ashton, you have the floor for two and a half minutes.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Normand and Ms. Ashton.
On behalf of the committee, I'd like to thank the representatives of the Association des collèges et universités de la francophonie canadienne and the Public Service Alliance of Canada for having taken the time to come and testify today.
If you believe that there is other important information that would be useful to us, please don't hesitate to send it in writing. It would be given the same level of consideration as your testimony here today. If so, please send this additional information to our clerk, who will then distribute it to all members of the committee.
Thank you very much.
We will now suspend the meeting to prepare for the second hour with the next group of witnesses.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
We are now reconvening the meeting.
Unfortunately, the second hour of the meeting will be shorter than expected because of some technical problems we have been experiencing.
We will now welcome Ms. Marie-Nicole Dubois, the Vice-President of the Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique, who will be joining us by videoconference.
Ms. Dubois, You're going to have five minutes for your presentation. After that, committee members will in turn be able to ask you questions to which you can reply.
You now have the floor.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you very much, Ms. Dubois.
We are beginning the first round of questions. The time available might only allow one round of questions, with six minutes for each speaker.
We'll begin with the first vice-chair of the committee, Mr. Joël Godin.
Go ahead, Mr. Godin.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you Mr  Godin.
Thank you Ms. Dubois.
It's now over to Mr. Drouin for six minutes.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Drouin.
Ms. Dubois, the next questions for you will be coming from Mr. Mario Beaulieu, the second vice-chair of the committee.
Mr. Beaulieu, you have the floor for six minutes.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Ms. Dubois and Mr. Beaulieu.
We'll continue with more questions, this time from Ms. Ashton, from Manitoba, who has six minutes.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Ms. Dubois.
We're going to do another round of questions with reduced speaking times. The Liberal Party and the Conservative Party will have four minutes each. The Bloc Québécois and the NDP will have two.
Mr. Généreux, you have four minutes.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
You have 30 seconds left, Mr. Généreux.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Généreux and Ms. Dubois.
The next questions will be asked by Mr. Angelo Iacono, who has four minutes.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
You have 30 minutes left, Mr. Iacono.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Very well.
Mr. Beaulieu, you have the floor for two minutes.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Ms. Dubois and Mr. Beaulieu.
Ms. Dubois, here is a final question from Ms. Ashton, who has two minutes.
View René Arseneault Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Ms. Dubois. If there is any other information that the committee could benefit from, please feel free to put it in writing for us. It is as important as your oral testimony. If you feel this additional information is important, please forward it to our clerk, who will distribute it to all committee members.
Before adjourning, I would like to remind committee members that we meet next Tuesday. Next Thursday, the Board of Internal Economy will be using our space, so there will be no meeting of the Standing Committee on Official Languages.
Thanks again, Ms. Dubois.
I also thank all the other witnesses we heard today.
The meeting is adjourned.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. It's good to see you again.
Minister, as well as Wade MacLauchlan, it's good to see both of you. I hope you're doing well. Thank you for your contributions to this process, which has resulted in the nomination of Justice O'Bonsawin.
Minister, I want to echo your remarks around the retirement of Justice Moldaver. I wish him well in his retirement.
Wade MacLaughlan mentioned the various individuals involved in the process, some of whom are former judges, former premiers, former prime ministers, individuals who have “honourable” or “right honourable” in front of their names. It's important to have the views of individuals with deep experience in the process.
I was listening to the remarks by Justice O'Bonsawin about having access to justice and Canadians feeling that they are a part of our system. I think it's important, too, that everyday Canadians have the ability to give input through this process. One of the ways they do that is through us, members of the House of Commons. It's our job to represent the views of everyday Canadians, our constituents. Later today we have been invited to what is called an informal moderated Q and A session. It's not an actual committee of the House of Commons or the Senate, but a Q and A session moderated by someone who is not a parliamentarian.
I want to ask, Minister, for your thoughts. I have faith that our chair of the justice committee could have easily conducted this meeting and had a more formalized parliamentary committee rather than an informal chat, while still respecting the individual, the nomination and the process. I have every bit of faith that he and our committee members could have done that and maintained that stronger link, I feel, back to our constituents by doing our role as members of Parliament, not by an informal Q and A session.
I want to get your thoughts on that. That's something that struck me when the invitation came out.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Minister. I thought that is what you would say.
I don't share the concern around hyper-partisanship. I have every bit of faith, having worked with members on our justice committee, that they would be able to engage in this process in a parliamentary committee. I participated in the one on the appointment of Justice Rothstein, an ad hoc parliamentary committee. They would be able to conduct themselves in a way that respects the gravity of the process. We are all well aware of the impact of decisions that come from our Supreme Court, the weight of the types of decisions that are being contemplated as well as the very real impact they have on our day-to-day lives.
I heard from Justice O'Bonsawin a commentary around access to justice. This is an important appointment. A vacancy was created and your government is acting to fill it, as it should, and I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity while you're here at our justice committee to remind you, as I've done over the months, of the vacancy in the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, and ask that every effort be made to have that position filled as quickly as possible.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to all of our witnesses for appearing today. This is a really important study that we're doing on how we can improve laws in Canada and services as they pertain to victims.
I want to turn it over to you, Holly. I know you have prepared some remarks, and I know you're here with a strong message to tell. I met with you in the past, and you told me that you had written three victim impact statements in just the last two years on behalf of your daughter.
It has already come up in the discussion from panellists about revictimization through the process for family members. I will turn it over to you to answer that question, and maybe elaborate on how the process currently revictimizes families. If you want to present a bit from your prepared remarks, feel free to do so at this time as well.
View Rob Moore Profile
CPC (NB)
Thank you, Holly.
I met with both you and Markita in the past. I'll turn this over to either one of you to answer.
You mentioned some of the supports that victims need and how you've found that these were totally lacking. That led you to become part of the organization you're with now to help other families who are going through similar things.
How should the system, which you already recognize provides a lot to offenders.... What types of services do you think victims' families are most in need of right now in Canada?
View Jenica Atwin Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Jenica Atwin Profile
2022-06-21 17:01
Thank you so much, Mr. Chair. I'd like to wish everybody a happy National Indigenous Peoples Day.
To anybody celebrating across Turtle Island and of course right here in unceded Wolastoqiyik territory, as my stepfather, Spasaqsit Possesom, grand chief, would say, it's a good day to be indigenous, and it's a good day for us allies to be reminded that we are all treaty people.
Of course, I would like to also mention to my fellow committee members that it's an honour to serve with all of you on this important committee.
Thank you so much to our witnesses for joining us today. I think what I'll do for my short time is start with Minister Mostyn.
You focused in on an issue that is very close to my heart, which is climate change, so I'd like to talk about the need for climate-resilient infrastructure. I'm wondering if you could give us a bit of insight into some of the conversations and planning that's happening around this, and more importantly, I think, how indigenous knowledge is informing that process.
Thank you.
View Jenica Atwin Profile
Lib. (NB)
View Jenica Atwin Profile
2022-06-21 17:07
Thank you so much.
I know my time is very limited, so I will ask a question really quickly to Vice-Chief Tsannie.
You mentioned something else that's close to my heart, and that's youth engagement. It is the most important resource.
How can we best engage this fastest-growing demographic as far as emergency preparedness and stepping up to what's needed in the north is concerned?
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you.
I'll ask my question in English or French, so just make sure your translation button is on.
The first question is for Mr. Bonnell.
In your remarks you said that 90% of your harvest is covered by MSC sustainable certification. I have known about this certification since 2017, when we were impacted by the right whale measure in my area.
What will be the impact on your industry, on your business and on the market, if we lose some of those certifications?
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
On top of that, as you're probably aware, there is the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The U.S. is monitoring closely what we're doing with our fisheries. We're talking a lot about seals lately. We all understand we need to do something about the seal population. It has some effects on our other species. If we do it wrong with seals, if we just go there and harvest seals, can this also have an impact on our crab and lobster market, for example, in the U.S.? As you know, that is where we export almost everything.
What are your thoughts on that? What is your take on that?
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
Just quickly, I'm pretty sure you're aware of the right whale measure. You see the map of the gulf almost shut down. Do you think those measures can be revised a bit, so that we can still retain MSC certification and, at the same time, ensure the Marine Mammal Protection Act is met in the U.S.?
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
I wanted to go to Mr. Prevost, but you have me there. You're saying the MSC certification is very important. As you know, it's been suspended. I think it's still suspended. The price has never been so high.
To put it in perspective, you tell fishers it's very important, but at the same time, they're having wonderful prices. They're saying, “Maybe the MSC certification doesn't matter that much, at the end of the day.”
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
Mr. Prevost, when I have a little time, I'll get back to you.
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
Thank you, Mr. Kelloway.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Prevost, my dad was also a fisherman all his life. I went out fishing with him a lot. He's retired now, but I still enjoy it, every time I have a chance to go with my cousin, who now owns the boat.
I want to go back to what Mr. Arnold was saying. You said that 694 million pounds is the estimate for bait needed in Atlantic Canada, including Quebec. Do you know what percentage of that amount—just an estimate—comes only from herring and mackerel from our waters? Do you know what I mean?
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
You mean that 300 million pounds of this bait comes from our area waters. Is that right?
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
You said the recordings are not accurate. Can you elaborate on that, please?
View Serge Cormier Profile
Lib. (NB)
They're recording when the fishermen arrive at the wharf and what is reported.
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