Interventions in Committee
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View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-17 16:20
I think that my questions will be directed mostly to Mr. Chan.
It's nice to hear that you're from my alma mater. I don't know if you studied there, but you're teaching there, I assume, and researching there.
On the issue of efficient versus inefficient subsidies, you touched on the issue of fossil fuel subsidies and making sure that, if there are going to be subsidies, they actually lead in a direction of improved sustainability. At one of our last meetings, we had the environment commissioner here, and the Department of Finance was questioned about whether we are actually delivering on the commitments we've made internationally at the G20, I believe—commitments to move away from inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
I'd be interested to hear your take on whether the term “inefficient” has any meaning within that dialogue and whether there's a definition of efficient versus inefficient that you can provide us with.
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-17 16:23
Mostly you're right. The commissioner pointed out that how you define efficient and inefficient is going to determine the degree to which government defends the subsidies it continues to provide for the fossil fuel industry. She rightly pointed out that if you don't have a proper definition nailed down, you're likely not going to achieve the goals you had committed to at the G20.
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-17 16:24
Thank you.
I believe it was Mr. Kraus who referred to a continental approach. Was that you or was it Mr. Kerr—
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-17 16:24
—in one of the responses.
We can have a parochial approach here and assume that Canada is an island unto itself and try to address our species challenges here. We can look at a global approach and maybe escape some accountability for what we're doing at home. However, you had mentioned a continental approach.
It does make sense, because our species are migrating across our borders; they don't recognize borders. Have you found the United States in any way receptive to a continental approach?
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-10 16:06
Thank you, Commissioner. It's great to see you here again. I wish you well in the next season of your life, wherever that will take you.
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-10 16:06
What I have appreciated about you is your willingness to be frank. You don't pull any punches. I do note that you're surrounded by departmental officials and you're still pretty brutally honest in your comments.
Voices: Oh, oh!
Hon. Ed Fast: I do want to get into that.
The first issue I want to touch on is invasive species. This is not a new issue in Canada. We've had this issue for decades, yet from what I see in your report, on the face of it, if you look at your statement, it's pretty damning.
DFO and CBSA “had not taken the steps required to prevent” invading “species...from becoming established in” Canadian “waters”. I mean, seriously? It's not like this is a new problem. Also, they didn't know “which species and pathways posed the greatest threats to Canada’s environment”. Honestly, folks, that's a pretty shocking statement.
I didn't hear a mea culpa from our DFO folks here. I'm concerned. Is it an issue of resources? Were you able to identify what's driving these shortcomings?
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-10 16:08
That's what I will do, then, because there's also an issue here of not enforcing, right? There's a lot of meat here—things that the department's going to have to fix, and fix quickly. I did hear the department suggest that they're just now getting to a point where they have the resources to get this done.
On the west coast, where I'm from, I have also heard that our enforcement resources over the last few years have been completely depleted, and I mean completely. We don't even have enforcement officers to go to court to provide testimony when we're going after scofflaws.
For the departmental officials, can you assure us that the required resources are being deployed to make sure that the shortcomings identified in the commissioner's report are going to be addressed?
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-10 16:11
All right.
Ms. Gelfand, you have heard that they have accepted all of the recommendations. As far as you know, are they actually following through on the recommendations?
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-10 16:12
I'm glad you're confident.
I have one last question and it has to do with the subsidies, both the tax and non-tax fossil fuel subsidies. When I go door to door, I don't hear questions about this, quite frankly. It may be different in Julie's riding, but in my riding it's not.... However, it is an important issue because we've made commitments to the G20 and UN and Canada should be living by its commitments.
I want to get back to the issue of “inefficient”. I will go to Mr. Marsland, again. How do you define “inefficient”? It's pretty clear that there is some confusion over whether we're actually addressing the issue in accordance with the commitments we've made internationally.
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-03 16:27
Is there any time to ask...?
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-03 16:27
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to all of our witnesses for appearing here.
I noticed my colleague over here, Mr. Amos, tried to draw you into a political comment. I'm not going to do that. I think this is too important to politicize.
I'd like to talk a bit about the wetland restoration and expansion opportunities that we have to address some of our flooding challenges across Canada.
Mr. Amos already referenced some of the funding that is available federally for infrastructure development. Could you comment on the programs as you see them right now at the federal level that provide support for wetlands management and expansion, especially in the local communities, which is where I see a lot of it happening?
In my community of Abbotsford in British Columbia, there are a number of different urban wetlands that were preserved and that protected against urban sprawl, and today they're serving us very well in addressing flood challenges that occur from time to time.
I'd be interested in any of your comments, and I have one question for Ms. Lindsay.
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