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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-06-18 12:54 [p.29289]
Mr. Speaker, when I think of our environment, virtually from day one, this government has had a developing climate action plan that is healthy for the environment and the economy at the same time. We often talk about Canada's middle class, those aspiring to be a part of it and helping them through different measures. We recognize that we can do both at the same time. We can continue to develop the economy and ensure we have a healthier planet for future generations.
I want to highlight a few thoughts and then provide a little more detail on some of the politics.
When we look at the budgets and legislative measures, it is fairly impressive. We have committed hundreds of millions of dollars through budgetary measures over the last few years, such as over $2.3 billion in funding to support clean technology in one form or another; $21.9 billion in green infrastructure funding, which will support things like electricity infrastructure, renewable energy and so forth; and $2 billion for disaster mitigation and adaptation funding.
Along with these budgetary measures, we have legislative measures, such Bill C-48, the oil tanker ban; Bill C-69, the environmental assessment legislation; our fisheries in Bill C-68.
From day one, this government has been on track to bring forward positive legislation and budgetary measures. This demonstrates very clearly that we understand how important the environment is not only to Canadians but to the world. These types of actions put Canada in a good place with respect to strong international leadership on this very important file. I believe Canadians want us to do this as a government.
We can look at some of the initiatives that government can take, and we hear a great deal about the price on pollution. For years now, the Conservative Party has been a lone voice in the House of Commons. The New Democrats, the Greens and, to the best of my knowledge, the Bloc understand that a price on pollution is the best way to go. It is not only the parties in the chamber, but it is very well received in many provincial and territorial jurisdictions. In fact, the majority of them already had some form of a price on pollution in place.
When we are talking about the national price on pollution, we are talking about areas where there is no plan in place, where there is no price on pollution and the federal government is imposing one. The good new is that 80%-plus of constituents I represent as the member of Parliament for Winnipeg North will be better off financially as a direct result of the price on pollution. However, the Conservatives in their spin and misinformation that they funnel out of their Conservative war room virtually on a daily basis are telling Canadians something that is vastly different from reality and truth. This is not a cash grab.
The Conservatives ask about the GST on fuel at the pumps. I remind them that they put the cascading tax on the pump price. I remind the Conservatives that their Party ignored the environment to the degree that it now demands the type of attention it has been given over the last few years. We just voted last night on the emergency facing our environment. Once again, the Liberals, the Greens, the Bloc and the CCF all voted yes that we did need to take the environment far more seriously. They recognized that it as an emergency. Only the Conservative Party voted against that motion.
The Conservatives say they have a plan. They have been saying that for a long time now. For the last 400-plus days, all they have been doing is criticizing the price on pollution, even though it is widely respected and acknowledged as the best way to deal the reduction of emissions.
However, now Doug Ford has apparently met with the federal Conservative leader and hammered out a plan. Tomorrow, Mr. Ford will share his plan with the rest of Canada. He took Ontario out of the old plan,. Now he will present a national plan, worked on with the federal Conservative Party. I look forward to seeing that plan. A little more transparency on the environment is long overdue when it comes to the Conservative Party of Canada.
It would be nice to compare our plan with the Conservative plan. Our plan talks about hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in clean energy and working with the different stakeholders. I will provide some tangible examples. In the last budget, there was an incentive for individuals to buy electric vehicles. Other provinces, like the beautiful province of Quebec, had a complementary program that would give the residents of Quebec a more substantial discount. Tesla reduced the price on a vehicle in order to get under the threshold. The biggest winner in this is the consumer, followed by the environment.
Governments can make a difference. To get a better appreciation of that, look at what happened in the taxi industry in the province of Manitoba with the Prius car. It was through government action. Government actions can make a difference. We came in with a plan after working with indigenous communities, provincial governments, municipalities, school boards and the private sector in developing ways to reduce emissions in every region of our country.
Through this debate, I have learned that the Conservative Party opposes supporting private sector initiatives with public dollars. That became very clear in the last number of weeks. I am anxious to see how the Conservatives might spin on that dime as they try to convince Canadians they care about the environment. In reality, there has been no indication that is the case.
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