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Results: 1 - 100 of 16072
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-20 10:17 [p.29465]
Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to present a petition on behalf of my constituents in Calgary Nose Hill. I thank them deeply for the privilege and honour of serving them for the last four years.
The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to cancel Bill C-69 and launch a study into the economic impact of equalization, including examining the formula; examining how renewable and non-renewable resources, including energy resources, both developed and underdeveloped, are treated in the formula; and issuing a report to Canadians on the fairness, effectiveness and outcomes of the equalization program.
View Linda Duncan Profile
NDP (AB)
View Linda Duncan Profile
2019-06-20 10:18 [p.29465]
Mr. Speaker, this will be my last opportunity to table a petition on behalf of my constituents.
It is my honour to table yet another petition from my constituents calling on the government to enact a Canadian environmental bill of rights. The petitioners state that Canadians share a deep concern about the environment and recognize its inherent value; that it is important to safeguard the right of present and future generations to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment; and that it is the federal government's duty, a public trust duty, to protect the environment.
Therefore, citizens should be given the tools to hold the government accountable to protect their environment.
View Brad Trost Profile
CPC (SK)
View Brad Trost Profile
2019-06-19 14:05 [p.29381]
Mr. Speaker, this July 1, millions of Canadians will wish each other a happy Canada Day. I will join them by wishing them a happy Dominion Day.
Drawing its inspiration from Psalm 72:8, “And he shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth”, the term “dominion” has a distinctly Canadian origin. It was proposed by Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley of New Brunswick, and it is a beautiful term to describe this vast land we call Canada. The loss of Dominion Day, to quote former Senator Hartland Molson, was “another very small step in the process of obscuring our heritage.”
Dominion is a term of dignity, beauty and poetry. It signified that Canadian origins were different from the republics and kingdoms of the world. It is a term and a day that needs to be brought back.
Therefore, let me wish my fellow Canadians, this July 1, happy Dominion Day.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2019-06-19 14:14 [p.29383]
Mr. Speaker, it is a historic day. On June 19, the Hillcrest mine explosion in Alberta killed 189 miners. It was Canada's worst mining disaster.
lt was also the day that Hungarians threw out Soviet troops, thus ending Soviet occupation, restoring their democracy and restoring their freedoms.
June 19 was also the day that the comic strip Garfield appeared in print for the first time.
Today Canadians are also learning that according to the PBO, the Liberal carbon tax will need to increase to a minimum of $102 per tonne, adding 23 cents to a litre of gas, to meet the Paris targets. Canadians now see that the Liberal carbon tax is a revenue plan, not an environmental plan.
Another reason today is a historic day is that at 5:00 p.m., the leader of Canada's Conservatives will unveil the first credible environmental plan that has the best chance of achieving our Paris commitments, exposing the Liberal carbon tax plan as a fraud and that this Liberal Prime Minister is not as advertised.
View Sheri Benson Profile
NDP (SK)
View Sheri Benson Profile
2019-06-19 14:20 [p.29384]
Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to the wonderful, passionate Betsy Bury and to honour her 97 years of a life well lived. Betsy died in April.
Betsy fought for a world that was safe from nuclear weapons and war, a world safe for all women and children. She did this both as part of social movements and in the realm of partisan politics.
In 1962, when Saskatchewan doctors went on strike to oppose universal health care, Betsy, along with a small group of women, started the Saskatoon Community Clinic to provide free care to anyone who needed it. Those women are a big reason that we have universal health care today. She helped start the first planned parenthood organization in Saskatchewan and the first public kindergarten in Saskatoon, and the list goes on.
From Tommy Douglas's campaign to my own personal campaign, from the CCF to the NDP, Betsy was there volunteering, leading, advising and supporting.
In 2017, Betsy received the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case for her lifetime dedication to bringing about gender equality.
Losing Betsy is devastating, but our broken hearts are comforted by the lives she touched and the young leaders who will follow in her inspiring footsteps.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:24 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, it has been a year since the Prime Minister promised that construction on Trans Mountain would begin.
Not one ounce of dirt has been moved so far. Canada's entire economy is suffering as a result. Every day of delay is costing Canadians $40 million. The Prime Minister promised that Trans Mountain would be built and operational in 2019.
Why did he mislead Canadians by making a promise he could not keep?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:26 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, again, he keeps saying things that are just not true. The previous Conservative government saw the private sector build four major pipelines, including one to tidewater, increasing our capacity to foreign markets. It is under the Liberal government that major pipeline proponents have pulled out of Canada. In fact, the C.D. Howe Institute estimates that 100 billion dollars' worth of energy projects have been killed by the government.
The Prime Minister committed to Trans Mountain being completed and in operation this year, but it is over a year later, and there is still no start date. His failure is costing Canadians. Why did he not say so?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:27 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, all the Prime Minister has done is buy a pipeline with taxpayers' money that he still does not have a plan to build. It is a terrible indictment of his record that in Canada, under his prime ministership, the government must nationalize a project to get it built. Under the Conservatives, the private sector did that.
We should not be surprised. After all, this is the Prime Minister who wants to phase out the energy sector and who has a senior minister who tweeted that they want to landlock Alberta's energy.
Why does the Prime Minister keep hurting our energy sector and the thousands of Canadians who work in it?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:28 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, we know what to do to get these projects built, starting with replacing the Prime Minister, scrapping the carbon tax, repealing Bill C-69 and giving our investors certainty that when they meet those standards, they can actually get it built.
The Prime Minister is great at saying yes. He just cannot get it done. Yesterday was another approval without a plan. Canadians did not want to see a photo op yesterday. They wanted a date on which this project would start.
Why did he fail to do that?
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2019-06-19 14:30 [p.29386]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister can take great comfort in knowing that a real plan for the environment is coming at five o'clock. What it will not include is special deals for Liberal insiders.
Under the Prime Minister, well-connected friends of the Prime Minister have done very well. He rewards his well-connected billionaire friends with taxpayer handouts, like $12 million to Loblaws. He interfered in a criminal court case to help his corporate friends at SNC. He targeted entrepreneurs and small business owners while protecting his vast family fortune.
Why do the well-connected Liberals and the wealthy always get a better deal under Liberals?
View Randy Boissonnault Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Randy Boissonnault Profile
2019-06-19 14:57 [p.29390]
Mr. Speaker, Canada's energy sector is a key driver of our economy and an important source of good, middle-class jobs in my community.
Edmontonians and all Albertans want to see good projects move forward in the right way. They know first-hand what happens when they do not.
For 10 years, the Conservatives cut corners and failed to get a single inch of new pipeline built to non-U.S. markets. We were elected on a plan to do things differently, and we have delivered.
Could the Prime Minister please update the House on our government's decision on the Trans Mountain expansion project?
View Georgina Jolibois Profile
NDP (SK)
Mr. Speaker, the Denesuline of northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba were supposed to sign an agreement with the government after 18 years of negotiating for their land, harvesting and resource rights. A week ago, the minister backed away and now refuses to meet with them. She broke her promise and betrayed the Dene.
Meaningful reconciliation is about working with indigenous people and meeting in good faith. Will the minister meet with the Dene while they are in Ottawa and explain why she broke her promise, face to face?
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-19 15:08 [p.29392]
Mr. Speaker, a law firm that the member for Steveston—Richmond East owns had been implicated in a scheme that allegedly laundered money in the Vancouver area for a foreign drug lord. Today, the member is at the Prime Minister's right hand. He is front and centre. Compare that to another Vancouver area MP who got kicked out of his caucus simply for standing up to him and doing what was right.
This begs the question, if he is such a feminist, why the obvious, on display, double standard?
View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2019-06-19 15:11 [p.29393]
Mr. Speaker, right now in Cape Breton we are seeing a story as old as time. The Liberals are taking $18 million from taxpayers to fund a private airport at the elite Cabot Links golf resort for their millionaire friends to park their private jets. This Liberal decision is decimating the Allan J. MacEachen Port Hawkesbury Airport and small businesses like Celtic Air Services.
Will the Prime Minister put small businesses ahead of his millionaire Liberal golf buddies and stop any funding for a competing private airport in Inverness?
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 15:15 [p.29394]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister put a values test on the Canada summer jobs grants, targeting groups that do not agree with him. More than a week ago, it was brought to the attention of the Liberals that the member for Mississauga—Lakeshore awarded funding to a group with links to terrorism.
It has been more than a week since the minister said that she would do a so-called review of this matter. The CRA has already suspended this group's charitable status, and the government is well aware of its current links to terrorism.
My question is this. Since the minister cannot seem to get the job done, will the Prime Minister step in and do the job?
View Randy Boissonnault Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Randy Boissonnault Profile
2019-06-19 15:49 [p.29398]
Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, a report of the Canadian Section of ParlAmericas representing its participation at the bilateral visit to Brazil, held in Brasilia and São Paulo, Brazil, from April 23 to 26, 2019.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-19 15:52 [p.29399]
Mr. Speaker, we will be tabling a dissenting opinion. We do not feel the report that was issued by the government members adequately addresses the strain on resettlement services that has been created by well over 40,000 people who have been allowed to illegally enter the country and claim asylum status in Canada.
We know that many of these people do not have valid claims and yet are able to access language training services. We also do not feel that the report dealt with some of the recommendations coming out of the resettlement services communities to make these services more effective for people who need them to integrate into the Canadian economic and social fabric.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, these will be the last reports I ever table in Parliament, so I want to thank the public accounts committee for its good work in this Parliament. As well, I would like to thank our clerk, Angela, and our analysts, Dillan and Sara, for the work they have done.
I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the following two reports of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts: the 69th report, entitled “Processing of Asylum Claims, Report 2 of the 2019 Spring Reports of the Auditor General of Canada; and the 70th report, entitled “Call Centres, Report 1 of the 2019 Spring Reports of the Auditor General of Canada”.
Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to these two reports.
View Arnold Viersen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Arnold Viersen Profile
2019-06-19 15:59 [p.29400]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-463, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (orders of prohibition and orders restricting publication).
He said: Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to introduce Bill C-463, putting victims first. While the Criminal Code guides our justice system, sometimes it does not necessarily put victims at the heart of it.
With this bill, we would like to change section 161 to protect children up to age 17. Currently, it only protects them to age 15.
We would also like to establish a method to allow a victim to remove the publication ban on his or her own name. I am thinking in particular of the case of Rehtaeh Parsons, a young girl from the east coast who committed suicide and was subsequently the subject of an investigation. Later on, after it was cleared up, her family was unable to speak about the case because there was a publication ban. The bill would allow her family to lift the publication ban without having to go to court.
The last piece of the bill would put a reverse onus bail restriction on people who have trafficked other people.
I think all three proposals are common sense. I look forward to reintroducing the bill in the upcoming Parliament and to seeing it pass forthwith.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-06-19 16:14 [p.29402]
Mr. Speaker, I am presenting three petitions to the House today from the constituents of the Yorkton—Melville area, as today is the very last day I will be in the House to do so before the summer break and ensuing federal election.
The first petition is signed by 85 petitioners who are calling on the government to establish a national strategy on palliative care.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-06-19 16:15 [p.29403]
Mr. Speaker, the second petition holds 550 signatures of petitioners who are calling on the House of Commons to scrap Bill C-71, the firearms legislation that would do nothing to provide the resources to front-line police forces to tackle the true source of firearms violence, gangs and organized criminal enterprises, and instead targets law-abiding gun owners.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-06-19 16:15 [p.29403]
Mr. Speaker, the third petition I wish to present contains 75 signatures of petitioners who are calling on the government to condemn discrimination against girls occurring through sex-selected pregnancy termination and the use of ultrasound for this purpose.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, this will be the last time I ever present a petition in the House. I want to thank you for your services as Chair.
I rise today to present a number of petitions on behalf of my colleague, my seatmate and my friend, the member for Langley—Aldergrove.
In the first, the petitioners call upon Parliament to enshrine in the Criminal Code the protection of conscience for physicians and health care institutions from coercion or intimidation to provide or refer for assisted suicide or euthanasia.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, the third petition is signed by a group of petitioners who are calling on the House of Commons to specifically identify hospice palliative care as a defined medicinal service covered under the Canada Health Act.
In the speech given by the member for Langley—Aldergrove, he spoke a lot about palliative care.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2019-06-19 16:22 [p.29404]
Madam Speaker, I have a number of petitions on two subjects.
The first consists of eight petitions, including an electronic petition, with almost 4,000 signatures. The petitioners call on the government to ensure that conscience rights of medical personnel are protected by passing Bill C-418.
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2019-06-19 16:23 [p.29404]
Madam Speaker, the second petition references that on April 7, 2017, Arianna Goberdhan and her unborn child Assara were murdered in a brutal act of domestic violence. At the time of the murder, she was nine months pregnant with her soon-to-be-born daughter. Assara and other preborn children in similar circumstances deserve to be recognized as victims of a crime and should be entitled to justice and legal recourse. Therefore, petitioners call upon the House of Commons to pass legislation that recognizes that when an assailant in the commission of a crime attacks a pregnant woman and injures or kills her preborn child, the assailant may be charged with an offence on behalf of that child.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-19 16:23 [p.29404]
Madam Speaker, especially in light of the announcement yesterday by the Prime Minister on the Trans Mountain pipeline, which re-announced the project, which had absolutely no start date or any sort of plan to actually build the thing, I am presenting a petition on behalf of my constituents who would like Bill C-69, the “no more pipelines” bill, repealed, as well as for the government to review the equalization formula, given the punitive positions that the government has taken against Canada's energy sector. I support this petition.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to be tabling seven petitions in the House.
The first petition is in support of Bill S-240, currently before the Senate, dealing with the heinous practice of organ harvesting and trafficking. It seeks to end Canadian complicity in that practice.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, my second petition particularly highlights the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
The petitioners call for the Canadian Parliament to be actively engaged in defending the rights of Falun Gong practitioners and other minorities in China.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, the third petition highlights the fact that our concept of health care should include disease prevention and health promotion, not merely the management of disease. It highlights the importance of self-care options as part of health care.
The petitioners call on the Standing Committee on Health to undertake a comprehensive study of the impact of uninsured self-care products and wellness services and of the barriers that exist for those wishing to access them.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, the fourth petition highlights the persecution of and the challenges faced by Sikh and Hindu minority in Afghanistan.
The petitioners call on the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to use the powers granted to him to create a special program to help persecuted minorities in Afghanistan. They also call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to be actively engaged with her Afghan counterparts on this issue.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, the sixth petition highlights challenges and violence faced by the Coptic minority in Egypt.
The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to prioritize principles of universal human rights and religious freedom in their foreign policy and particularly to act in support of Copts.
The final petition I am going to present in this Parliament highlights the persecution and challenges faced by Pakistani Christians, and in particular Pakistani Christians asylum seekers who find themselves in Thailand.
The petitioners urge the Government of Canada to take up this matter urgently with the Government of Thailand and urge for the protection and humane treatment of Pakistani asylum seekers. They also say that these asylum seekers must be provided the opportunity to apply for refugee status with the UNHCR and for resettlement without being arrested, detained or deported.
View Randy Hoback Profile
CPC (SK)
View Randy Hoback Profile
2019-06-19 17:19 [p.29417]
Madam Speaker, I need to straighten out the record. The parliamentary secretary said that his government saved the TPP. The reality is that it was signed, and if we had passed it, we would not have had to renegotiate NAFTA. What happened? The government stalled. The Liberals dragged their feet. They kept hesitating. They kept making it impossible for the U.S. to move forward. If the Liberal government had embraced it and ratified it, we would not be talking about NAFTA today. That is the reality.
The Liberals have upset many of our trade partners around the world: China, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines. Which country has the Prime Minister travelled to where he has not upset someone?
The reality is that this agreement is not perfect, but it would provide stability, and business communities want stability.
Our structural steel is going to face tariffs in August. Our softwood lumber has tariffs right now. What are the Liberals going to do to solve those problems once they ratify this deal?
View Jim Eglinski Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2019-06-19 18:33 [p.29426]
Mr. Speaker, I am very alarmed that here we go again with the Liberal government, through an omnibus bill, Bill C-75, watering down criminal penalties for serious crimes. What really irks me terribly is that impaired driving causes bodily harm.
Statistics in Canada today state that impaired driving offences are going up. Impaired driving is a leading cause of death in Canada, whether from consuming alcohol or drugs, and here is that government trying to include a softening of the sentences for it through Bill C-75.
I wonder if the government could answer this. What is it really trying to do here? Statistics are going up and penalties are going to be reduced. How is that going to help make Canada safer for people driving on the roads?
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, we are in the last few days of Parliament, and it seems like every day the government is saying it is going to invoke closure and bring forward time allocation to shut down debate.
Contrary to what the minister has just said, the process we go through here is this: Our committees look at these justice bills, and then we debate them here and send them to the Senate. Sometimes the Senate will send a bill back to us with amendments. Indeed, the Senate has sent this bill back with a number of amendments, at least 13 or 14, from what we hear tonight. However, we are not given the ability to debate those amendments. Our constituents expect us to do our due diligence.
We debated the bill prior to this, but the Senate has sent it back, and now the Liberal government is going to invoke closure. This is not just about closure and time allocation; it is about another promise of an omnibus bill. Bill C-75 is a 300-page bill that is an omnibus bill. The government has thrown everything in here, and now we are asked to shut down debate and get ready to vote on it.
The question that came from the Liberal side hit the nail on the head. That member said that one of the things we are concerned about is long delays in the courts. This bill is not just hybridizing many offences, but showing the failure of the Liberals to appoint judges throughout this country so these cases can be heard in the court system. Therefore, the Liberals bring this forward to basically push things through quickly, like a revolving door.
This is how the Liberals drew this up. Originally, offences like leaving Canada to join a terrorist group were part of this bill. It is basically allowing them to water down serious offences, such as advocating genocide, using a date rape drug and human trafficking. Yes, some of those may not be in there now, but that is the Liberal philosophy of criminal justice reforms.
I am sorry, but we are skeptical of the kinds of measures the current government brings forward, and we are very skeptical of the closure the minister is invoking.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2019-06-19 18:56 [p.29430]
Mr. Speaker, what the minister did not say is that they never consulted the victims of crime in this country. On the second to last day of Parliament, Bill C-75 comes to us. It does not show that they are taking the safety and security of Canadians seriously. We have seen this. They are attempting to water down serious offences in this bill, such as impaired driving causing bodily harm. The province of Saskatchewan has the worst record in the Dominion of drunk driving charges. I have talked to many victims, and they are upset with this bill, because they have not had chance to address it. Many of them have lost loved ones. When they look at this flawed bill, it is all about criminal rights and nothing about the victims in this country.
I would like the minister to answer that. What is the government doing for the victims in this bill, because they are upset with this?
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 19:43 [p.29432]
Mr. Speaker, today in the House we are discussing Bill C-75. The bill is supposed to strengthen the justice system. It is meant to better protect Canadians. It is meant to reduce delays and it is meant to modernize the criminal justice system.
In part, it does this by facilitating the administration of justice down to the provinces. However, the reality is the bill is yet another example of the current government's dirty habit of saying one thing but doing another. It is known as Liberal hypocrisy, or sometimes people refer to it as Liberal logic.
At the end of the day, this will in fact severely damage Canadian society and our justice system as a whole. Despite the rhetoric from across the way and despite the current heckles, the Liberals decided that they would not properly consult with stakeholders. They rammed the bill through without giving it careful consideration, without paying attention to the call for further discussion and certainly without adequate debate in this place.
As a result, Canadians are stuck with a piece of legislation that has a number of flaws that are very significant in nature. One of the flaws has to do with hybridization. Putting aside the issue of reducing the penalty of very serious crimes for just a moment, which I will come back to, hybridization also results in many crimes being moved from Federal Court into provincial court.
The Canadian Bar Association had this to say with regard to hybridization. It said this“would likely mean more cases would be heard in provincial court. This could result in further delays in those courts”. In other words, we already have a backlog within our justice system and the Canadian Bar Association is saying that Bill C-75 would result in an even further backlog, which is problematic because these individuals do need to go to trial. These cases do need to proceed, so holding them up even further is actually an injustice to the victim.
Furthermore, it should be noted that it is the government's chief responsibility to care for the safety and well-being of its citizens, to defend the vulnerable, to create laws that put the rights of victims first, which is why it is extremely alarming to see that the Prime Minister is actually pandering more to criminals than standing up for victims.
Bill C-75 reduces penalties for some very heinous crimes including participating in a terrorist group, trafficking women and girls, committing violence against a clergy member, murdering a child within one year of birth, abducting a child, forced marriage, advocating for genocide or participating in organized crime.
The members opposite do not like it when I say those things, it is an inconvenient truth for them, so their heckling gets louder and louder, but the truth cannot be concealed. These heinous, unthinkable acts would have a reduced sentence under Bill C-75.
Conservatives believe in the safety of Canadians being put first. They believe that it should be the number one priority of any government. We will continue to speak up on behalf of victims and we will continue to advocate for them to come first in our justice system. It is very important for me to stand here today and to speak to this piece of legislation because the rights of victims and the rights of communities must come first.
We have a Prime Minister who is much more concerned about pursuing his own agenda than he is about acting in the best interests of Canadians. It is not just with Bill C-75, it is with other pieces of legislation and other decisions being made by the government as well.
Bill C-71, which is the firearms legislation, was rammed through by the government earlier this spring. This was an attack on law-abiding firearms owners. Bill C-71 was rammed through without the government taking concern for the advice of law enforcement agents. It was rammed through without them actually consulting with legislative experts. It was rammed through without the Liberals taking the time to consult with and listen to Canadians.
When those in power turn a deaf ear to the people that they represent, arrogance incapacitates any ability for them to exercise logical thought or common sense. That is exactly what has happened under the current government.
The irony in all of this is that while the Liberals are letting criminals off the hook for committing atrocious crimes such as forced marriage, trafficking, terrorist activity and genocide, they insist on demonizing those who hunt or use their rifles for sport shooting. It is absolutely ludicrous. In what world does this make sense?
From the start, the Liberals did not want to debate Bill C-71. They did not want to consult, because that would mean they would need to listen and then would be held accountable to act on the things that they heard. Instead, the Liberals decided to push Bill C-71, the firearms legislation, through the House. They told Canadians that the bill is for their safety and protection, but it does nothing of the sort. It fails to address gang violence, it fails to address illegal firearm acquisition and use and it fails to address rural crime and violence. Bill C-71 simply goes after those who are already following the law, while rewarding criminals with shorter sentences or allowing them to walk away altogether.
It is very clear that what the current government likes to do more than anything is deceive Canadians. It is less about the safety, well-being and security of our country and more about appearing to be doing something good. If the government took Canadians seriously and really took the position of honour that has been bestowed upon it seriously, then it would genuinely want to strengthen our justice system and our borders. It would genuinely want to invest in front-line responders and make sure that illegal firearms are taken off the street and that people are kept safe in this country, but the current government is not interested in actually governing well. The current government under the current Prime Minister is more interested in its appearance, its image.
The Prime Minister told veterans that they cost too much. Meanwhile, he handed $10 million over to a convicted terrorist, Omar Khadr.
An hon. member: Shame.
Ms. Rachael Harder: It is shameful. I'm glad you recognize it.
The Prime Minister insists consistently on putting criminals before victims. This is wrong, because Canadians elect a government to look after their safety, security and well-being, to ensure that this country is running on all cylinders, that Canadians have a vibrant future that they can dream for, work toward and step into and be excited about for their children and grandchildren. The bill we are discussing today, Bill C-75, which makes changes to the criminal justice system, actually puts this country at risk and victims in serious danger. It rewards criminals.
The role of every government is to keep citizens safe. It is to facilitate an environment of economic prosperity in which people are free to use their time, their talent and their energy to build wealth and achieve the financial outcomes they desire. This means protecting our borders, investing in necessary infrastructure, decreasing taxes, exercising fiscal restraint and scrapping unnecessary regulations. It means respecting the rights and freedoms of Canadians and celebrating the contributions of those who work hard, rather than turning them into criminals. I am talking about the retired widow who lives next door to me, the local business owner who serves coffee when I go there, the medical practitioners who look after our health, the students who dream for a vibrant future and the veterans who have faithfully served this country. These are the faces that government should be looking into when it makes decisions to rule this country.
During his time as prime minister, John Diefenbaker told party members, “I was criticized for being too much concerned with the average Canadians. I can't help that; I am one”, and so it is today. Just as the Right Hon. John Diefenbaker did all those years ago, my colleagues and I on this side of the House are committed to standing up for everyday Canadians, those who work hard and want a vibrant future not just for themselves but for their children and grandchildren.
When we mess around with the justice system with a bill like Bill C-75 and when we reward criminals who commit some of the most heinous crimes imaginable and allow them to go free or we diminish their sentence to a mere fine, we depreciate the value of our country and we fail to look after the well-being of Canadian citizens.
In this place, there are 338 of us who were elected to do far better than that. I would expect much more from the current Prime Minister and much more from the members who govern with him. There is no greater honour than to serve in this place, to be elected by the people of Canada and to have the opportunity to function as a voice on their behalf. I would call upon this House to steward that honour and to vote this bill down.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 19:54 [p.29433]
Mr. Speaker, I would invite that member to have her hearing checked, because there was clear heckling in this place.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 19:56 [p.29433]
Mr. Speaker, I respect the hon. member's question. Certainly any act that advocates on behalf of victims is noble. Any act that would put the well-being of women and children first and foremost is absolutely to be commended.
However, there are allowances made within this bill that would in fact allow people off with very small fines or penalties after committing extremely heinous crimes. I would also like to add that if the member opposite and his colleagues are interested in the well-being of victims, it probably would have been a good idea to consult with them in the creation of this bill. That was not adequately done.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 19:58 [p.29434]
Mr. Speaker, Conservatives have always had a policy of standing up for victims and placing them as our first priority. We have always had a policy of advocating for Canadians who live everyday lives. We have always had a policy of making sure that our justice system is strengthened and that the most vulnerable among us are advocated for. We will continue that legacy when we form government in October.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 19:59 [p.29434]
Mr. Speaker, certainly when this bill was first brought forward, terrorism and genocide were included within hybridization. However, due to pressure that was applied by the Conservative members in this House as well as by members of the Canadian public, the Liberals did walk those two back, so I will give them credit for that.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 20:00 [p.29434]
Mr. Speaker, I think the bottom line is this: Those who find themselves elected in this place find themselves in a very honoured position and have every responsibility to stand up for the rights of victims first and foremost. Bill C-75 fails to do that.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I chair the public accounts committee. There are some significant changes in this bill.
When we look at the supplementary estimates, $448 million were given to CSC. However, when we have tried to find out what the financial implications are, the cost of all the measures in the bill, we can not get an answer from the government.
The parliamentary secretary is privy to those briefings with the department. I know that typically those answers are given by the department.
If we have scanners, and the parliamentary secretary talked about limited, I wonder, and I think Canadians wonder as well, what the costs of the bill would be.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, before I begin, I would like to seek unanimous consent for this speaking slot to be a regular 20-and-10 speaking slot, rather than unlimited time, and to split the time with the member for Yellowhead. We have unlimited time slots and would ask for unanimous consent to split the time so my friend from Yellowhead can share some of his stories of the Correctional Service.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I thank the chamber for doing that.
This undoubtedly will be the last time I ever speak in this place. As I rise on this night, I want to thank the throng of people that have come out to hear this speech.
I rise this evening to speak to Bill C-83, an act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another act.
This legislation seeks to eliminate administrative segregation in correctional facilities; replace these facilities with new structured intervention units, or SIUs; introduce body scanners for inmates; set parameters for access to health care; and formalize exceptions for indigenous offenders, female offenders and offenders with diagnosed mental health issues.
Just as we fundamentally opposed the bill in its original form, we oppose the government's motion respecting the Senate amendments.
We on this side of the House believe that this legislation has the potential of making prisons more dangerous both for offenders and for correctional officers. I will get into that in a bit.
Drumheller Institution, a medium security facility, is located within my riding of Battle River—Crowfoot. Over the many years I have represented this riding, I have developed a very good rapport with many of the good people who work there.
Correctional officers contact my constituency office on a regular basis, asking for assistance in resolving cases and issues they have within and with their institution. I would never support a bill that could potentially endanger their lives any more than they already are, given that they are employed in an inherently hazardous occupation. Currently, my office has 20 active files and 50 inactive files, but also unresolved files from Drumheller correctional workers with respect to pay issues due to the Phoenix pay system, as well as other issues. They are not alone. Nearly two-thirds of public servants have unresolved pay issues more than three years after the Phoenix system was launched.
Now the national union president representing correctional officers is raising serious concerns about the very real possibility of some new measures taking place within the institution. One of them is the first supervised drug injection site for prisoners. The Correctional Service of Canada has neither confirmed nor denied this is about to happen by the end of the month.
As National President Jeff Wilkins told the National Post in an article that appeared on June 9, “The correctional officers are dead set against the prison needle-exchange and the current way it's being rolled out.” It is a program that he says is unsafe for guards, as they are responsible for distributing needles to prisoners in their cells, a scheme that has done nothing to stop needle sharing and defies reason in that people in prison should not have access to those drugs.
One of my constituents wrote me, “As a Correctional Officer, I am opposed to the proposed Needle Exchange program, which is definitely defeating the purpose of the whole anti-drug thing that we were shooting for in jail. Is there any way that I and other co-workers can express our concerns with our MP?”
l told him that I was definitely open to hearing and discussing these concerns with him and his colleagues. I could not assure him, however, that the Liberal government would listen. I did in fact tell him that I would bring his concerns to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness but was not at all confident that he would be receptive to those concerns.
After 19 years in this place and a number of years as our party's public safety critic for the official opposition in 2001 until about 2005, I have learned that when it comes to justice, under Liberal governments inmates and their rights take precedence over victims and correctional officers' rights.
For the 19 years that I have been in this place, I have repeatedly stood in the House fighting for victims' rights, fighting for changes to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to end such things as statutory release and promoting the idea of protection of society as a guiding principle in our justice system.
I oppose conditional sentences as originally prescribed by the Liberals, which saw rapists and other violent offenders serve their sentences at home. My constituents back me up on that.
I am equally opposed to needle exchange programs in our correctional institutions, and I am opposed to injection sites. I wholeheartedly agree with the union president that rather than providing needle exchanges and designated sites within prisons for inmates to shoot up, we should perhaps have medical facilities closer to these prisons to deal with the drug overdoses that may result.
So much more should and can be done to stop the drug trade within the correctional facilities, which is leading to overdose, to death and to the continued gang wars that take place within our prisons. Canadians would agree that it defies reason that drugs make their way into the prisons, not to mention the huge amount of drugs and number of needles that circulate.
This is certainly not a new phenomenon. This has been going on for years. The Liberals' only solution is to give the inmates what they want. I disagree.
I fully understand that many inmates are drug addicts and that many of them are in prison as a result of criminal behaviour related to their addiction. They need help. They do not need more drugs, especially drugs that are bought or bartered for within prison. The fact that drugs cannot be stopped from entering our prisons certainly is a blight on the reputation of the Correctional Service of Canada.
As I pointed out this year when I last spoke to this bill, the Correctional Service of Canada certainly has been the subject of much criticism over the last number of years. In that speech, I mentioned one of the fall reports of the Auditor General of Canada, in 2017. It was entitled “Preparing Women Offenders for Release”. The objective of the Auditor General's report was this:
[to determine] whether Correctional Service Canada assigned and delivered correctional programs, interventions, and mental health services to women offenders in federal custody—including Indigenous women offenders—that responded appropriately to their unique needs and helped them successfully reintegrate into the community.
We heard our parliamentary secretary talk about correctional programs tonight, and this bill also deals with indigenous women offenders.
As noted by the Auditor General:
Under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, Correctional Service Canada is required to provide programs and services that respond to the needs of women offenders.
The report states:
Overall, we found that Correctional Service Canada had not implemented an initial security classification process designed specifically for women offenders.... As a result, some women offenders risked being held at inappropriate security levels....
Furthermore, and most relevant to our debate here this evening, the Auditor General concluded:
We found that Correctional Service Canada had not confirmed whether its tools correctly identified women offenders with mental health issues or assigned them the appropriate level of care.
I also spoke about report 6 of the fall 2018 Auditor General report on community supervision of offenders, in which the Auditor General found that while the number of offenders released into community supervision had grown and was expected to keep growing, the Correctional Service of Canada had reached the limit of how many offenders it could house in the community. Despite the growing backlog and despite research that showed that a gradual supervised release gave offenders a better chance of successful reintegration, the Correctional Service of Canada did not have a long-term plan to respond to its housing pressures.
The Auditor General also found that the Correctional Service of Canada did not properly manage offenders under community supervision. Parole officers did not always meet with offenders as often as they should have, nor did parole officers always monitor offenders' compliance with special conditions imposed by the Parole Board of Canada.
I continue today to implore the Liberal government to focus on ensuring that the Correctional Service of Canada fully meets its mandate. The safety and security of Canadians depends on the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders into society upon their release. Given the findings of the Office of the Auditor General, I believe that uneasiness with respect to safety and security of Canadians extends well beyond Bill C-83.
I implore the current government to start thinking about those who find themselves in danger's way daily by implementing measures and policies to protect them. If it only took the time to consult them, I am confident their ideas, based on years of experience, would ensure Correctional Services Canada would be able to fulfill its mandate.
I am thankful for the opportunity to speak tonight. I look forward to any questions.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, with respect to the consultations, let me quote what Jason Godin, president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, said. This is partly involving the costing of the bill. He stated, “Unfortunately, due to cabinet confidentiality, as our commissioner often tells us, we weren't really consulted.” That is what the union said.
When I speak to my officers, they are not consulted about a whole host of issues.
A member of the committee said she spoke to a number of people. However, it should not just be a chat with someone on the sideline of a committee meeting, but deep consultations with not just the union but correctional officers.
Godin continues, “The bill was as much a surprise to us as it was to anybody. I don't see the bill before it comes onto the table, so we weren't officially consulted on Bill C-83.”
Here is our problem. I asked the parliamentary secretary tonight about the costing of the bill. She gave us a line item, but she did not specify what the costs would be for the scanners or the change to the integration system and no longer having the administrative segregation. We do not have those answers.
This is another one of these bills where we moved into tonight's last few hours of debate after the government invoked closure and time allocation.
I will go into some of what Senator Pate said. She stated, “If there have been no meaningful consultations to this point on this process, then I would not have faith that those mechanisms would be put in place within the prison setting”. Although the Senate has brought forth amendments, the senator is saying she recognizes there is a lack of consultation.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 22:39 [p.29451]
Mr. Speaker, talking about consultation, interestingly, two weeks ago there were several hundred correctional officers who gathered on the lawn here on Parliament Hill to protest the current government and its decision to introduce a needle exchange program within the federal prisons. Officers would say they were not consulted on this decision and that they very much feel they have been put in harm's way by the installation of this program.
I am wondering if the hon. member could comment on this further and highlight the importance of consulting with those who are on the front lines, day in and day out.
View Kevin Sorenson Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I served in government. I know consultations. For me, it was budget consultations across the country, meeting with as many as we could, meeting with people in every community and every chamber. There were consultations online, as well as in person.
The hon. member is correct. When I spoke to my correctional officers, they said they were not consulted. When we speak to the union, it said there was inadequate consultation.
In the case the member is referring to, which is a little different than what the scope of the bill is, on the needle exchanges the officers are very concerned about their safety. We know that the needle that was maybe used to shoot up a drug could also be used as a weapon in the hands of that offender against other offenders and against correctional officers. It is one thing to say they are employed in an inherently dangerous surrounding, and another for governments to say they had better consult and make sure that what they are doing is the right thing. Unfortunately, the current government fails on consultation every time.
View Jim Eglinski Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2019-06-19 22:41 [p.29451]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join my partner from Battle River—Crowfoot in speaking to Bill C-83. I have stood in the House a number of times to speak to it, and I was on the committee that studied Bill C-83, an act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another act.
This has been a bad bill right from the beginning. The Liberals did not listen to very many people. They wrote the bill, brought it before committee and forced it upon it, as they are doing today, forcing us in the second-to-last day Parliament is sitting to speak to the amendments that have been brought in by the Senate. The Liberals do not like the amendments, but they want to push this through.
From the beginning, when we started studying Bill C-83 at committee, a number of witnesses came forward. The John Howard Society said it was bad. The Elizabeth Fry Society said it was bad. We had a 19-year prisoner who admitted to being a pretty bad guy, and he said parts of the bill were bad. He was the type of person who needed to be put into a segregation unit to protect the guards and other prisoners, and even himself. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association said it was a bad bill. The Native Women's Association said it was a bad bill. There were a number of organizations.
Now we have it brought before us, as I said, on the second-to-last day before the House rises for the summer.
My friend from Battle River—Crowfoot just mentioned the corrections union and that his union was not spoken to. Very much like the institution in his riding at Drumheller, which is medium-security, I have a medium-security facility in the town of Grande Cache, in the great riding of Yellowhead. It is probably one of the most beautiful jail settings in North America. It is on top of a mountain overlooking the Rocky Mountains. There are a large number of aboriginal prisoners there.
I know some of the guards there very well; some of them went to school with my daughter years ago. They are very concerned that they were not consulted properly and that Bill C-83, if enacted the way it is, will make it dangerous for the guards. That is totally unacceptable.
The change would make prisoners more dangerous for the guards, as they will have to deal with the worst of the worst and the most volatile being out and about from their cells for four hours a day.
I totally agree that things need to change and we need to be civil and human in how we treat prisoners. Many years ago, I had the privilege to be on what the RCMP called provost duty. I escorted prisoners throughout British Columbia and western Canada back and forth from remand centres and detachments to prisons, etc. I came to know many of these individuals on a personal basis and many times I travelled 200 or 300 miles with three prisoners by myself.
One could be a real dick and those guys would hate it by the time they got to the destination, or one could be a decent individual, have a conversation with them, treat them decently, with respect and dignity, and have a 200- or 300-mile drive with three prisoners.
View Jim Eglinski Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2019-06-19 22:46 [p.29452]
Mr. Speaker, it is my last speech, and I do apologize. It was just the terminology that slipped out.
Years ago we learned that we had to give respect to the prisoners. They had to be treated properly. That is no different today. I realize that Bill C-83 is trying to do that in a number of areas. As our colleagues in the Senate have said, there are some things that need to be corrected. I hate to say it, but the Liberals are not listening again.
My primary purpose in getting up today is to say that the women and men who work in our institutions do a great job for our country. They are a fantastic group of people. In many cases, maybe even more than police officers who are out on the street or our military who might be defending some country somewhere, these guys are right on the front lines.
A lot of our prisoners are everyday common people. We do not need to worry too much about them. They are civil. We can have great conversations with them. We can joke around with them. However, we do have some real bad apples there. Some have mental health problems. Some are just downright mean. Some can be rehabilitated. Some, and I am going back to 50 years of experience, cannot be rehabilitated or do not want to be rehabilitated, and that is where the problem comes with segregation.
I know that the Supreme Court has ruled that we need to change our policies. We need to give prisoners more rights, but that will come at a cost to the country. I guess we will have to accept that, because that is what it has ruled.
However, the primary thing is that I want my friends and my constituents who work at Grande Cache Institution to be safe. I want the average prisoner who is there, who maybe was picked up for impaired driving or maybe something minor, who is not really a bad person, to be very safe in our institutions. That is my primary concern.
My colleagues across have been given a number of recommendations from the Senate that I think need to be addressed and cannot be ignored. I did not pick up on all of them, and I am not going to deal with all of them. However there is one I thought I would spend a little time talking about.
The Senate said that the authority should be left with the institutions as to the movement of a prisoner to a provincial institution. That is only rational, good, common sense. I am not knocking professional health people. They do a great job for us, but we have some great con artists in our jails who could sweet talk the Speaker into letting them sit up there while the Speaker took their place. That is how good they are. I know that the Speaker would never be conned. However, that is where my fear comes in. The institution staff know these people. They are dealing with them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They know how slick the prisoners can be.
A medical professional coming in, maybe for an hour or two or maybe three hours a week, could be baffled. That is why I think it was a very wise decision that came back from the Senate. It was a common-sense correction, yet it is being ignored.
I appreciate being given the time to stand up here to defend the institutional guards at Grande Cache and others across the country. They are doing a great job for us.
Get rid of the needles. I am not going any further with that. It is the biggest mistake we ever made.
View Jim Eglinski Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2019-06-19 22:53 [p.29453]
Mr. Speaker, I hate to rush anything unless it is correct. The Senate has studied this bill, as has the committee, and we have heard from many witnesses. If we just bring it forward because we are threatened by the possibility that the courts might take action, we should have thought of that right off the bat and got at it a little more quickly than we did. We are here on the last day.
Again, the issue goes back to the safety of the people. Yes, I agree with a psychiatric review when a person comes in, but if we bring these measures forward, is that going to make it very difficult to correct them afterward, and is it going to put a guard's safety in jeopardy in the next month or two before we come back to help correct it in the fall?
View Jim Eglinski Profile
CPC (AB)
View Jim Eglinski Profile
2019-06-19 22:55 [p.29453]
Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely correct. None of the witnesses really agreed with this bill. We were given this bill as written by the senior management of Canada's institutional system, but with no consultation with the unions or stakeholders. The committee was to get it through as fast as possible and get it passed. The Senate saw the mistakes. We could see the mistakes. The witnesses could see the mistakes.
We are going to make a bigger mistake if we go and vote for it with the errors or with the Senate submissions being omitted.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her service in this place. I know we have disagreed from time to time on certain issues, but I do know she has the pleasure of representing my in-laws. I do not know that I can say they are Liberal supporters, but I am sure they appreciate her efforts in this place.
I want to pick up on something the member said at the end of her speech. She said that we need to recognize the rights of people, even those who have committed heinous crimes. I agree with that. I fundamentally agree that we need to affirm the rights and dignity of all people, regardless of what they have done in their life, at a fundamental level.
We often talk in this place about rights. We use the word “rights” very often. I do not think we are going to disagree on this. I wonder if the member could talk a bit more about how we explain the origins of those rights at a core level. In other words, how would the member explain this to somebody who disagrees? On what basis should we say definitively that all people have rights regardless of their circumstances?
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-19 23:51 [p.29461]
Mr. Speaker, currently, correctional officers do not even have enough resources to allow prisoners out of their cells for two hours a day. How is the government going to ensure that the monetary resources are in place to ensure that these inmates can come out of their cells for four hours a day?
Some of these individuals are what we might call the worst of the worst. They have committed some very atrocious crimes. These individuals, then, need to be monitored during their time out of their cells, and correctional officers need to be kept safe during this time. Their security is put at risk in the process of them doing their job. What is the government going to do to ensure their safety and well-being, and where is the monetary investment?
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I suspect that this will be my last speech in the 42nd Parliament. I hope to be able to continue after the next election, but, as Forrest Gump says, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.”
I will take advantage of this opportunity before I launch into my specific remarks on this bill to do a couple of things. One is to thank my colleagues, my constituents, my staff and especially my family for their support and the opportunity to serve.
I did want to make a point of paying particular tribute to my friend, the member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands, who is retiring. He is a champion of justice and human rights and someone who has been a great mentor to me as I have sought to engage on many of the same issues that he has been championing for years. I look forward to seeing the ways in which he will continue with these important issues in whatever role he takes on afterwards.
It has been a pleasure to work with members on all sides. I certainly wish my friends on the Liberal side well as they prepare to transition to the private sector. I do plan to campaign in their ridings and I hope they do not take it personally. Perhaps we will have an opportunity to go for a drink afterwards, and I will even bring the Solo cups.
This is the one other point that I wanted to make to honour a promise I made to a particular community. It is that I want to briefly highlight the Zoroastrian community in Canada.
The ancient Zoroastrian religion is one of the oldest religions in the world. Members of this community have been migrating to Canada for many decades, yet they still remain relatively unknown to Canadians, so I thought it would be important to acknowledge their community and their contributions.
The Zoroastrian religion is based on three key principles: good thoughts, good words and good deeds. These are principles that align with Canadian values and represent traits that all Canadians should aspire to have. These teachings were passed on by their prophet, Lord Zoroaster, and through the Zoroastrian religious text, the Avesta.
Zoroastrians believe there is one creator god. The primary symbol of Zoroastrianism is fire, which is seen as a conduit for wisdom and spiritual knowledge.
Zoroastrianism originated in what is now modern-day Iran, but because of persecution, the community had to emigrate to other parts of the world. Zoroastrians, like so many communities, have often come to Canada to escape persecution.
There are 100,000 Zoroastrians around the world and 7,000 of them reside in Canada. Zoroastrians are a peaceful and well-educated community, and we celebrate their work and their contributions.
I am speaking today on Bill C-83, which proposes to replace administrative segregation with so-called structured intervention units.
During its tenure in office, the government has put a big emphasis on the naming of things. “Foreign Affairs” became “Global Affairs”. The universal child care benefit became the Canadian child care benefit, and administrative segregation becomes structured intervention units.
When it comes to the name changes, to this bill, and to the record of the government in general, by this point in the mandate, people are asking that all-important question whenever they hear of a name change, “Where's the beef?”
As Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” In other words, would administrative segregation by any other name be of the same nature?
Parenthetically, Confucius speaks in The Analects about the importance of naming things correctly. He said the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name. He also said:
If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.
When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.
So much of politics, so much of what we have seen here in the last four years, involves effort by government to change the names of things and to re-engineer language. It becomes increasingly difficult to have dialogue and to know the difference between justice and injustice if things are not called by their proper names.
We often bemoan political polarization and the decline of meaningful dialogue. Perhaps we should consider how this is born out of the breakdown of meaning in language, how leaders and elites so often try to name things based on political objectives exogenous to the substance of the thing, rather than simply calling a thing what it is.
The vast majority of stakeholders oppose this legislation because they see it principally as a renaming exercise as opposed to a substantive one. In practical terms, the legislation requires a person in this new form of administrative segregation to have a minimum of four hours out per day, as well as legislated meaningful human contact. This raises questions about the capacity of the government to respond in terms of providing the resources necessary to operationalize this new framework.
In our judgment, the resources are not there to do this safely and effectively, and the distinctions made are not meaningful. This raises further questions in terms of the strength of the drafting of this legislation and the planning that went into it. We also have residual questions of what constitutes meaningful contact and how that can be defined.
On that basis, and recognizing that my time is running short, I will conclude.
I have greatly appreciated the opportunity to spend so much time with members in the House. I encourage members of the government caucus to get away, enjoy the summer, go on vacation, travel and spend time in the Caribbean islands.
I will of course be working hard in my riding. In particular, I hope to spend a lot of time in the beautiful riding of Spadina—Fort York. Maybe the member and I can start an Alasdair MacIntyre discussion group. The member can share with me from his reading of Ayn Rand and I can share more with him about Alasdair MacIntyre and Aristotle.
It has been a pleasure. I wish all members the best, including yourself, Mr. Speaker. I hope to be able to come back in the next Parliament.
View Tom Lukiwski Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the 19th report of Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, entitled “Veterans: A Valuable Resource for the Federal Public Service”.
Furthermore, pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.
Lastly, since this will be the final time I have an opportunity to speak on committee business before this Parliament dissolves, I want to thank, once again, all of those important people who assisted our committee over the last four years. In particular I want to point out one of analysts, as they say in Ottawa, who is with us today, Raphaëlle, who has been with this committee for four years and who has done an exemplary job. Frankly, without her assistance and her guidance, at times our committee would not have been able to perform the duties that it did.
Once again, I thank not only Raphaëlle but all those officials, translators, interpreters, clerks and others who made our committee as efficient as it was.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition in support of Bill S-240, on organ harvesting.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, the second petition is in support of vulnerable minorities in Afghanistan. It calls on the government to offer them support.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
The third petition, Mr. Speaker, raises the issue of the plight of Pakistani Christians, many of whom are stuck in Thailand. The petitioners call on the government to allow private sponsorships to help them respond to that situation.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, the fourth petition highlights the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-18 10:25 [p.29267]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of the hundreds of people who have signed this petition and are so frustrated with the government's policy to destroy Canada's energy sector through bills like Bill C-69 and Bill C-48. The petitioners are calling on the government to review the equalization formula, given the punitive policies against the Alberta energy sector. This is a petition that I support. They are also calling on the government to scrap Bill C-69. It is crazy.
View Georgina Jolibois Profile
NDP (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I am happy to present a petition led by the Elizabeth Fry Society about children in irregular situations.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 11:32 [p.29277]
Mr. Speaker, one of the main concerns the Conservatives have raised is that if we have a carbon price, it could prompt a carbon-intensive industry to move to jurisdictions with weaker environmental standards, eliminating Canadian jobs and potentially increasing global emissions. The government is trying to address this problem of carbon leakage with output-based rebates to industry that keeps its production here. Another approach to this problem would be carbon border adjustments, extending the carbon price to the carbon content of imports and rebating it on Canadian-made exports.
I would like to invite the parliamentary secretary to comment a bit further on the importance of maintaining a level playing field between Canada and countries that do not price emissions.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-18 12:06 [p.29282]
Mr. Speaker, today we are debating the following motion that Conservatives have put forward:
That, given that the carbon tax will not reduce emissions at its current rate and it is already making life more expensive for Canadians, the House call on the government to repeal the carbon tax and replace it with a real environment plan.
As part of debate on this motion today, I would like to break down what climate change is, what causes it, and then show why the Liberals' carbon tax scheme, which is currently at $40 a tonne, will not reduce emissions in Canada, why it exacerbates global climate change and why it is harmful to our economy, but I will do so in the following context.
Earlier in debate today, the member for Kingston and the Islands said that by raising this motion, the Conservatives were “playing with the lives of future generations”. Recently, something awesome happened to me. I became a stepmom and a step-grandmother. To one tiny, very sticky human being, I am known as nana. My stepson Kepi is watching the debate today and my stepdaughter Tori really cares about this issue because she has a son. This one is for them, not for the member for Kingston and the Islands.
What is climate change and what causes it? Climate change can be broadly described by global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid- to late 20th century onward and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels. Climate change is caused by changes in greenhouse gas concentrations, for example industrial emissions, cars, volcanoes, forest fires; deforestation and land use changes; sulfate aerosols; and soot particles or black carbon. If that is what it is and what it is caused by, then how do we reduce it?
Let us start with the Liberal plan, which is the subject of the motion today. To the member for Kingston and the Islands and everyone who has mentioned children as the reason for debate on this issue, Liberals have staked their children's future on a $40-a-tonne price on carbon. If we know what the causes of climate change are, as I read them out, then the policy objective should be to put in place a policy instrument that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. That is what we are managing to, to save the planet for our children. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us as legislators to ask, given the severity and gravity of this, if the Liberals' purported plan would work.
Those who have a background in economics will know that there is a concept called price elasticity. I am oversimplifying this, but it means that if a price changes on a good, people will buy more or less of it. When the price changes on goods and people buy more or less of them, those are highly price-elastic goods. When the price of goods increases but people still have to buy them and their consumption does not change, those goods are called price-inelastic.
I am raising this because this concept is super important when we talk about whether a carbon tax would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If an additional price is put on carbon, and I mean things like gas in our tanks, what we use to heat our homes or electricity, if it is produced by fossil fuels, if the government is going to put a price on that and that is its purported way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in theory, Liberals are hoping and praying that people will buy less carbon because the price has increased.
The government has refused to table or make public any sort of data that it has from modelling the price elasticity of carbon. That is really unfortunate, because it does not allow us as legislators, given what is at stake for our kids, to look at whether this is actually going to work.
The reality is that, in Canada, where it is very cold and we have to use fossil fuels to heat our homes and to drive around, as we do not have the same sort of transit infrastructure that a small European country would have, there really is not a substitute good for carbon. In Canada, carbon is price-inelastic, which means that putting a price of $40 a tonne on carbon, as the Liberals have done, is not actually going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
The reason this motion is before the House today is that this is an important issue, but if we want to save the planet for our kids and we know that it is not going to work, then we have to talk about other solutions, not just cling to it out of political expediency.
Members do not have to take my word for it. This year, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, a non-partisan agent of Parliament whose job it is to do this type of modelling, said that the Liberals' carbon tax would need to be $102 per tonne in every province and territory in order to meet the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets set by the government, which it is purportedly managing to.
When asked if she would raise the tax to this level, the environment minister said no. Praise the Lord the answer was no. Essentially, the Liberals have said that they are setting a $40-per-tonne price on carbon. They know it is not going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and they are not going to raise it to a higher level.
What have we done in four years? The Liberals' own released report this year shows that Canada is actually further from the Paris target than last year. New numbers released by Environment Canada show that Canada is on track to fall 79 megatonnes short of its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions target, and that is up from 66 megatonnes last year.
These guys are standing here doing something that I like to call apocalypse porn. It is where people stand and talk about all the terrible things that are happening and focus on that to deflect any sort of legislative inquiry into the efficacy of their policies. We know it is not going to work. That is why the motion is in front of us today. Liberals shut down debate when any of their climate plans are questioned. If they know that their plan will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions and they will not raise the tax, then why have they put this forward?
I could speculate at length about that. I think this is a cash grab for the Liberals' out-of-control spending. This is a way for some of the senior cabinet ministers to get on speaking tours and perhaps position themselves for jobs in the industry of people who do not really have plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but make a lot as environmental consultants.
I think that is what they are managing to, and that is really unfortunate, given that the member for Kingston and the Islands appealed to the children. I do not want my kids to see a Liberal carbon plan where what the Liberals are managing to, instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, is jobs after politics, because they have said the right things but have done nothing.
I want to debunk some of the talking points that the Liberals have been throwing out today in opposition to the motion. First of all, they are citing the Nobel Prize-winning economist who said that this is the way to fight climate change. Let us go through some of the work that Dr. Nordhaus actually did. He acknowledges that the carbon tax raises many practical design and implementation questions. There are issues with cross-border taxes on carbon emissions and issues with administrative inefficiencies.
In fact, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said that the cost of administering the carbon tax in Canada, which, as I have shown, is ineffective and does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is $174 million, outside of the cost to Canadians in their pocketbooks. There is no price elasticity data by the Liberals to show that the $40 per tonne would actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
For comparison, the United Nations report the Liberals often cite actually estimates that the government would need to impose effective carbon prices of $135 to $5,500 per tonne of carbon dioxide by 2030. This does not take into account any sort of economic growth modelling or what would happen to the growth of the Canadian or global economy at this point in time.
There are other things that this professor talks about in terms of some of the inefficiencies and uncertainties that could be applied to the Liberals' ineffective plan.
In one of his books, he writes, “The exact pace and extent of future CO2-induced warming are highly uncertain, particularly beyond the next few decades.” Yes, there might be a consensus view, but he notes, “Science does not proceed by majority vote.”
He notes that costs are key:
People want to be assured...that [carbon emissions] targets are not simply the result of overly concerned environmentalists who are intent on saving their ecosystems at the expense of humans.... People want to compare costs and benefits.... It will not be sufficient to say: “Ecosystems are priceless”, or “We must pay any cost to save the polar bears.”
He also notes that modelling is hard. The Financial Post said:
Of his own computer exercises looking into the implications of climate tipping points, he emphasizes that the assumptions he makes “are at the outer limit of what seems plausible and have no solid basis in empirical estimates of damages”.
This is a complex issue with complex economic modelling, which the Liberals have not explained to Canadians. They have not talked about the fact that the $40-a-tonne price on carbon will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions, yet they are asking Canadians to pay a very high cost for that. It is morally bankrupt and it is wrong.
Nordhaus also notes that all countries, the poorest countries included, need to be included in globally binding emissions structures in order for this to have any effect. However, the Liberals are not doing any of the things cited by this economist, absolutely zero.
A few other things have been raised in debate today. The member for Vancouver Kingsway cited B.C.'s carbon tax. He cited this 2.2% emissions reduction as if it were a victory. However, he is looking at data in the context of the Lower Mainland, B.C. It is warmer there, and there is more public transit. The price elasticity for carbon there might be different from that in rural Saskatchewan. If we are looking for a solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, it has to be a solution that applies to the entire country without harming our economy.
Members opposite brought up Preston Manning. I think Preston Manning's approach on this is absolutely wrong. I question why Preston Manning is doing this. I would even go as far as to speculate that he is doing this to raise funds for his think tank, not to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I would be happy to debate Preston Manning, on any stage, on the same data I have put forward, because this is not right and it will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
Members opposite have also cited the Pope. Members cannot stand in the House of Commons and say that we need a science-based, empirical response to climate change, not produce their own data and then cite religion, from a man who would not even meet the litmus test to run as a Liberal candidate.
Members opposite have talked about revenue neutrality. I will explain this concept for those listening and for my stepson, Kepi. According to the government, and only a Liberal would say that, revenue neutrality means paying a tax and getting an equal amount of money for it. That is crazy, because, as members know, it costs money to take money away. People are paid from the $174-million administrative cost. People will not get the same amount of money back in a cascading tax that affects every single level of production. This has been borne out by data reports in British Columbia, which have shown that the tax has become regressive. It is not revenue-neutral anymore.
Furthermore, with respect to the purported rebate that is going to Canadians, which the government said was factually correct, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, in an announcement, showed that the average carbon tax rebate Canadians received in 2018 was significantly lower than the amount the Liberals claimed Canadians would receive.
If it is not reducing greenhouse gas emissions, people are paying more and it is not revenue-neutral, why would we accept this as the status quo when talking about what we are doing for the children? It is just crazy.
In addition, the Liberals, the NDP and the Greens all say that this will not affect the economy. That is bunk. I will tie this into the concept that the Liberal carbon tax actually exacerbates climate change globally, because when we tax goods that are produced under high environmental standards, such as we have in Canada, we actually displace them with goods coming from higher-carbon jurisdictions. A perfect example of this is steel production in Canada.
When our steel producers in Ontario were subject to a carbon tax and Chinese steel was not, and the Chinese government was able to dump steel in Canada at lower prices, that was actually displacing goods in Canada that were produced under lower emissions standards.
We, as a country, can put a carbon tax on greenhouse gas emissions until the cows come home, but as long as we are buying goods from China, India, Brazil and the United States, we are not going to tackle the issue of greenhouse gas emissions. There needs to be a globally binding system that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, with binding targets, for this to work.
What should we do? Tomorrow, my leader is going to announce a very comprehensive plan that addresses many of these issues. Again, I do not want to scoop him. We need a made-in-Canada solution that addresses the fact that we have a regionalized economy. It is cold here. There are not a lot of substitutes for our products. We have a wealth of technology that needs the right incentives to be adopted. We need energy efficiency standards. This is just me thinking up things.
Our global climate action cannot be the Minister of Environment going on a photo op tour where the most environmentally friendly thing she did was sit at a table covered in grass and drink cocktails. That was not Canada using its role on the world stage to incent climate action.
I want to speak to the Conservative record. The Liberals can say that the Conservatives do not have a plan until the cows come home, but there is one inconvenient truth: there is only one time in Canada's history when we saw a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions while the economy grew. It was under Stephen Harper's government, when we imposed regulations on passenger vehicles. I would also argue with the member for Vancouver Kingsway about any reductions they saw in B.C. What about the passenger vehicle reductions we put in place?
The coal-fired regulations on Canada's coal-fired sector came in under a Conservative government, because we believe, and here is the underlying point, that we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without undermining the Canadian economy. I am standing here as an Alberta MP, because these guys have used their apocalypse porn to put my riding out of work. The Liberals have done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They have stood here and railed, “What about the children?” The Liberals have done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and they have put my riding out of work. That is morally bankrupt. That is crass politics.
Members should be concerned about what political party they stand for after this debate. It is partisan. The Liberals stand here, apocalypse porn and all, behind policy instruments that do not work, and then they want me to look at my children and my grandchild and say, “Yeah, it was great. It was non-partisan. We did nothing.” That is wrong.
I was actually at an event with Al Gore, and I debated Al Gore. I wish that event had been public, because it was a lot of fun. There is a lot of inconvenient truth about the buzzwords that come out of these communities that do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We have a responsibility to take action in Canada. Conservatives have done that. In fact, the last Liberal government saw greenhouse gas emissions rise by 30% when it was in government. The Liberals are probably on track to do the same here.
This should be partisan, because these guys have made this all about falsehoods, all about policy, and have done nothing to materially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change said that it is time to be debating solutions and implementing those solutions. The kids are all right. They want us to take action. They do. However, a price on carbon that does nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and puts people out of work in this country, and allows countries like China to get away with producing goods in a high-carbon jurisdiction while we buy them, is not action. That is politics. That is morally bankrupt.
Since this might be one of the last times I speak in this House in this Parliament, I want to thank all my constituents in Calgary Nose Hill for giving me the opportunity to fight for them. It is important. I would just say to them that we fought hard. We fought the Liberal government at every turn, and we have had great success in holding it to account and making it step back on some of the policies.
Now the time to fight goes to my constituents, so I ask them to join us.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-18 12:27 [p.29285]
Mr. Speaker, a price on carbon at $40 a tonne does not magically change the fact that the most efficient way of getting energy is from a carbon molecule. When we look at Canada, what the member is trying to spin here is that there is a substitute good for gas in a combine or for driving to work in a city that does not have public transit.
Let us talk about what a carbon tax will do to incent substitute goods and the adoption of clean tech. What that $40 a tonne would do is chase investment capital away from Canada in areas where we could be developing receptor capacity for these types of initiatives. For example, in the energy sector, we are seeing capital leave the country, when we should be putting regulations in place to ensure that there is adoption of that technology without pricing us out of competitiveness with the United States.
The member talks about this magical structure, which his own policy upends and uproots and makes impossible to achieve. That is why this is so damaging. That $40 a tonne puts Canada out of the game with respect to adopting clean tech and the development and adoption of substitute goods.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-18 12:30 [p.29285]
Mr. Speaker, this is the member who just stood up and said that it was a non-partisan issue, and now he is bringing up partisan politics.
I spent an entire component of my speech talking about the fact that B.C.'s carbon tax has been shown to be regressive. It is not revenue neutral. His own colleague cited that it only had a 2.2% impact.
I also went through the fact that Vancouver is not as cold as the rest of the country. It has trains that take people everywhere. That is not the same as rural Saskatchewan. That is why we need to look at a national policy that recognizes that we are a natural resources-based, agriculture-based, very large, cold country.
With respect to solutions, I literally spent the last half of my speech talking about that in very detailed terms. If my colleague wants some further reading to edify himself, I wrote a detailed article in the National Post in 2016 outlining this, which has been shared and re-tweeted many times.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-18 12:32 [p.29286]
Mr. Speaker, that guy treats this like a joke, and it is not. He is building his argument on a premise, which I completely debunked for over 20 minutes. A $40-a-tonne price on carbon is not going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Former premier Clark, in 2016, talked about the fact that B.C. might be paying the carbon tax twice under the Liberal government's scheme. That is inappropriate. The fact that so many premiers in this country won mandates to scrap carbon taxes underscores that a punitive tax like this is going to have disproportional effects in different regions of the country, because we have regional economies that have different needs in terms of energy use and energy profiles. That is why we need to move away from a unilateral tax that harms our economy and does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Notice how many times that man mentioned the names of different premiers. That is because we are going into a federal election, and the Liberals are desperately doing everything they can to try to get away from the fact that Canadians are calling them on their lies on this stuff.
Canadians are concerned about climate change. We have had enough. Canadians have had enough. I am more than proud to stand against a failed, do-nothing, empty, virtue-signalling, paper water-box sort of policy that will not reduce climate change in this country.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-06-18 12:34 [p.29286]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciated hearing my colleague's perspective on the answer given to me by the minister to a question I posed on behalf of an energy-efficient home builder in my riding who is concerned about the increased cost of his products as a result of the carbon tax.
Her response to me was about a company named VeriForm that is doing remarkable things. It reduced its greenhouse gases by 80% and increased its bottom line by $1 million. What she failed to mention was that this happened in 2014, under the Harper government.
View Michelle Rempel Profile
CPC (AB)
View Michelle Rempel Profile
2019-06-18 12:35 [p.29286]
Mr. Speaker, I am so glad that my colleague brought this up. We need to have an economic environment in which we are incenting the adoption and development of clean alternatives. When we have a high-price jurisdiction, where intellectual capital and actual fiscal capital leaves because of punitive policies that do not reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we are not going to see that sort of thing happen. The member is spot on.
I just want to build on the point of empty virtue signalling. The Liberal government dumped millions of litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. It has cut funding for lake cleanup.
My friend Sarah Fischer made a nine-second video last week mocking the Prime Minister's paper box water bottle thing. He could not even name what he was doing to reduce plastic waste in the country. I wonder when he last pumped a tank of gas or went grocery shopping. He is so out of touch. Her video closed with “doesn't work”. To me, there could not have been a more concise, accurate summary of the empty virtue-signalling, do-nothing, environmentally damaging, self-aggrandizing, self-promoting hogwash that we have seen from the Liberal government when it comes to the environment and the economy.
I am so proud to stand up to fight this and fight for better.
View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2019-06-18 13:04 [p.29290]
Mr. Speaker, I think the member opposite is following the advice of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, “if you say it louder...people will totally believe it.”
He should know that over the past year and a half, every single provincial government that has pushed headlong into this consumer-directed carbon tax has been defeated at the polls. Canadians are repeatedly saying that enough is enough. They are tired of being nickel-and-dimed.
The parliamentary secretary will know that the Alberta government got rid of its carbon tax, but it does have a price on the largest emitters in the province. The member just said that basically the federal backstop is only meant to impose a carbon tax on those jurisdictions that are not pricing it. Alberta is, and we have been told by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change that, as of January 1, we will be paying two taxes, one for the largest emitters based in Alberta, which is our jurisdiction, in our province, and now this revenue-generating carbon tax that Albertans have said they do not want.
What does the parliamentary secretary have to say to that?
Let us say goodbye to the member for Edmonton Centre, too.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
View Robert Kitchen Profile
2019-06-18 13:50 [p.29297]
Mr. Speaker, the member talked about how he did not want to call it a tax. However, what we do know is the government put a GST on the carbon tax.
In 2017, 43.6 billion litres of gasoline were used in Canada and $2.6 billion were collected in GST. The Liberals said that they would give 100% of this money back. Surprisingly, the GST money will not be given back. We found after the fact that actually only 90% would go be given back. Therefore, any way we look at it, this is a tax.
View Matt Jeneroux Profile
CPC (AB)
View Matt Jeneroux Profile
2019-06-18 14:02 [p.29299]
Mr. Speaker, two years ago, the Prime Minister forgot to mention Alberta in his Canada 150 speech. We were of course offended but did not think it was more than an innocent omission. However, the Prime Minister's actions have lived up to this omission, as it appears he wishes he could forget Alberta altogether.
His policies, like Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, are deliberate attempts to destroy our energy sector. Bill C-69 would impose onerous new regulations around pipeline construction. Bill C-48 would ban tankers from parts of B.C.'s coast. As a result of these bills, thousands of hard-working Canadians will continue to lose jobs in our province. The government also wants to impose a new carbon tax on Alberta on January 1. Talk about kicking us while we are down.
Approving the Trans Mountain expansion project is not enough. The Liberals must put forward a concrete plan to get the project built and tell Canadians when construction will start in Burnaby.
A Conservative government will stand up for Alberta, as a strong Alberta is a strong Canada.
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2019-06-18 14:06 [p.29300]
Mr. Speaker, last summer, the Liberals defended funding anti-oil and gas groups because of “free speech” while they shut down church-run summer camps because of their “values” test. The Liberals showed their values this year, once again using taxpayer dollars to fund groups that want to block the Trans Mountain expansion and shut down Canadian oil and gas.
The list includes Tides Canada running a decade-long, foreign-funded smear campaign against the oil sands; the Pembina Institute working with American groups to “landlock” Canadian oil; the Dogwood Initiative campaigning against politicians who support Canadian oil and gas, specifically against the Trans Mountain expansion; the Sierra Club running a campaign right now against the Senate amendments to Bill C-69 that indigenous communities and nine provinces and all territories want; and the West Coast Environmental Law Association that took foreign money to push the oil shipping ban in 2015 that led to Bill C-48 and has already promised new legal challenges to the Trans Mountain expansion.
MPs review and approve the funding. It is all in Liberal and NDP ridings. When it comes to Liberals' claims to support oil and gas workers, the Prime Minister is not as advertised.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-18 14:13 [p.29301]
Mr. Speaker, while the Prime Minister enjoys the life of being in the world's top 1%, and the use of taxpayer-funded carbon-spewing government jets, most Canadians have to budget to get by. It is no wonder there is a disconnect between the current Prime Minister's policies and the impacts they will have on middle-class Canadians.
A carbon tax raises the price of everything. Food, flights, gas and all household items are more expensive because of it. This week we learned that the Liberal carbon tax will fail in its alleged purpose of helping Canada reach its Paris Agreement targets. This is further evidence that the Liberal carbon tax is a tax plan, not an environmental plan. Canadians cannot afford this tax.
When something does not work, we replace it with something else that does. On October 21, Canadians will have the opportunity to exchange the current defective Liberal government for a Conservative government that will work for them.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-18 14:28 [p.29304]
Mr. Speaker, our government proudly introduced Canada's first-ever national housing strategy. We recognize that every Canadian deserves a safe, affordable place to call home.
The new report on housing from the Parliamentary Budget Officer highlights that without the national housing strategy, housing investments in the country would have been cut by more than 75% over this next decade. We are maintaining the momentum and the growth to ensure Canadians have the housing they need, deserve and can afford.
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-18 14:29 [p.29304]
Mr. Speaker, thanks to our unprecedented investments in housing since taking office in 2015, we have helped more than a million Canadians find a place to call home. The national housing strategy ensures that we will continue to be a full and active partner in Canada's housing sector for the decade to come.
I have had the honour in my constituency to help dig the foundations and open the new buildings that new citizens in my riding are able to enjoy.
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2019-06-18 14:43 [p.29307]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister dismissed six premiers' calls for changes to Bill C-69 as partisan, but he also rejected requests from the Liberal premiers of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador for offshore oil and gas. The Liberals have already killed over $100 billion in major projects, and the Bank of Canada predicts no new energy investment after 2019.
The Liberals' shipping ban bill, Bill C-48, blocks the west coast. Their poison pill in Bill C-86 would allow the same thing on every other coast. Bill C-69 would harm the whole country.
Will the Liberals kill these anti-energy bills before it is too late?
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
CPC (AB)
View Shannon Stubbs Profile
2019-06-18 14:44 [p.29307]
Mr. Speaker, businesses, municipalities and indigenous communities say the Liberals' anti-pipeline, anti-rail, anti-hydro, anti-business bill, Bill C-69, would hurt all of Canada.
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters said it will make it “in some cases, impossible...[for]...nationally significant natural resource development”. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce said “the impacts will be severe across Canada”. Nine provinces and all territories want major changes to Bill C-69. Quebec calls it a “veto” over economic development.
Will the Liberals stop Bill C-69?
View Sheri Benson Profile
NDP (SK)
View Sheri Benson Profile
2019-06-18 14:46 [p.29307]
Mr. Speaker, we have a housing crisis in Canada, and the Liberals are failing to address it. The PBO report shows that the Liberals are inflating their own figures while families in our communities are facing constant stress to find a place to call home. The report says the Liberals are doing even less to help people with immediate housing needs than the Harper government did. I find this shameful. Enough with the empty promises. Will the government act now to end homelessness and ensure families in Canada have a place to call home?
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
View Rachael Harder Profile
2019-06-18 14:58 [p.29310]
Mr. Speaker, the problem is that charter rights are granted to those who call Canada home. We are talking about terrorist activities that are taking place in Pakistan.
The question is simple. The number one responsibility of any government is to uphold the rule of law. It is particularly problematic then that the money in this case went to where it did.
Here is the thing. To receive Canada jobs funding, organizations have to pass the Liberals' autocratic values test. Did this organization in fact pass the Liberals' test on this?
View Ralph Goodale Profile
Lib. (SK)
View Ralph Goodale Profile
2019-06-18 15:06 [p.29311]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has been in touch with me many times about this matter. The safety of Nova Scotians is the top priority for the RCMP's H Division, which functions as Nova Scotia's provincial police force. In that capacity, it makes the necessary decisions about the most effective deployment of provincial assets and facilities, including the provincial operations and communications centre.
It is obtaining the counsel of an independent assessor to ensure that its provincial responsibilities are safely and properly discharged in the best interest of Nova Scotians.
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
View Robert Kitchen Profile
2019-06-18 16:15 [p.29321]
Mr. Speaker, the member talked about helping the oil and gas industry reduce its emissions. Putting a carbon tax on small businesses is not going to help those people, but there is something that is. The member is probably well aware that in the Paris accord, three of the four recommendations on progressing were about using carbon capture and sequestration, which were talked about and signed off on. This innovation already exists in Canada. Not only does it exist in Canada, but it takes the emissions captured and puts them underground, which helps the enhanced oil recovery.
In fact, just the other week, Mr. Michal Kurtyka, from the Ministry of the Environment for Poland, stated, “Carbon capture and sequestration will be important to make an advance to carbon neutrality”. Mr. Pawel Leszczynski, the COP24 presidency bureau chief, was also there.
My question is very simple. Why are you not championing this?
View Dane Lloyd Profile
CPC (AB)
View Dane Lloyd Profile
2019-06-18 16:20 [p.29322]
Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with my colleague, the member for Red Deer—Mountain View.
Before I launch into debate today, I just want to recognize Bombardier Patrick Labrie, who died tragically this week while serving his country in Bulgaria. As a serving soldier in Canada's armed forces reserves and as a parliamentarian, I know that the thoughts and prayers of this House go out to the Labrie family. We thank Patrick for his service. I appreciate that we can all come together in this House to support the men and women of our armed forces. It is very important. It is not a partisan issue.
Getting into the debate, it is my pleasure to rise and talk about this opposition day motion on carbon taxes and the environment. It is not an issue that we as Conservatives are afraid to talk about, because we have a very strong record on this issue. At the beginning of the previous Conservative mandate in 2007, greenhouse gas emissions in this country were 744 million megatonnes. By the end of our mandate in 2015, we had brought that number down significantly, below the 744 million megatonnes, while also growing our economy. That is a significant feat that we should be very proud of.
It is all very clear that this was done without the imposition of a carbon tax on Canadians. The government has a clear framework, an example given to it by previous governments, of what can be done to lower greenhouse gas emissions while not putting taxes on hard-working families when they fill up at the pump, when they are heating homes in these cold Canadian winters and when they go to buy groceries or anything that gets trucked in.
I rose today because this debate is important for our country and for the world, but it is also very important for my constituency. The reason is that my constituency, along with the constituency of the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, is the home of Alberta's industrial heartland region. This is a hub in Canada for carbon capture and sequestration technology.
Under the previous government, significant investments were made to partner with industry to find ways to tangibly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. This technology has been recognized by the International Energy Agency as one of the key pillars in ensuring sustainable and meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
On the other side of my riding, it is an important issue because Parkland County is home to a significant number, I believe over one-third, of Canada's remaining coal-fired generation plants. Decisions by the federal Liberals and the previous provincial NDP government in Alberta on carbon taxes and red tape have had serious consequences in my community, including job losses in the thousands and the loss of tens of millions of dollars in assessed tax revenues for municipal and county governments.
My remarks today are going to highlight the consequences of these policies, but I also want to highlight the opportunities and tangible things we can do to bring down greenhouse gas emissions and support our industries.
Going over the history of this, in 2015 the NDP government came to power in Alberta, and subsequently there was a federal government decision to unilaterally end coal power by 2030. These events presented significant challenges to my community, as well as undermining the livelihoods of my constituents and putting into doubt our ability to supply affordable power.
Under the previous Conservative government, Canada took a responsible, continent-wide approach with our closest ally and neighbour, the United States, to begin phasing out coal power. I recognize that coal has high CO2 emissions and that we need significant action in order to meet our Paris climate change targets. However, I could not disagree more with the path the government has taken on this issue.
Going back to the previous Conservative policy, we would have phased out most coal-fired power plants in this country before 2030. Now, not a lot of that is different from the current government's policies, but this is where the bulk of greenhouse gas emission reductions are going to take place, mostly from plants that were already ending their life cycle before 2030 anyway. There would have been no major cost to taxpayers, no unexpected job losses, and no unexpected revenue losses for communities.
We also allowed for some of the newest and latest coal facilities, one of which was built as recently as 2012, to run through their life cycles, up until 2045. This would have resulted in significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions, while ensuring that taxpayers would not be put on the line for billions of dollars to bail out companies for transitioning from coal to natural gas, which is what many were doing anyways. I will talk about the specific penalties later.
I am proud of the investments of the previous Conservative government, to the tune of billions of dollars, to support industries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through carbon capture and sequestration. I want to highlight a couple of projects in this country.
We have Shell's Quest refinery, which has just celebrated its fourth megatonne. Four million tonnes of CO2 have been sequestered at its facility and put into deep saline aquifers. That is four million tonnes of CO2 that is not in our atmosphere today because of an investment by the previous, Conservative government. We also have the North West Redwater refinery project, which is in my riding of Sturgeon River—Parkland. When this, the newest refinery in Canada, becomes fully operational, it will sequester an estimated 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 a year. These are tangible emissions levels.
As the government is falling short of its Paris climate change agreement by 79 million tonnes, facilities in my riding are, on their own, processing over a million tonnes, with facilities next to my riding already achieving four million tonnes. These are not just chump change numbers. These are significant numbers that, if replicated across the country and across industries, can have a massive effect on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This can be done with very little support from the government and without imposing a carbon tax on hard-working families.
These projects were the result of partnerships with the federal government. They were expensive when they were first implemented, but we have to remember that with technology there are often high barriers to entry. We certainly saw this with a lot of our renewable industries, including with solar and wind power. We know that the consequences of government decisions have raised the cost of power for everyone in the province of Ontario.
There are high costs to doing this, but we know that once this technology is put in place and we learn from it, it will come down significantly in price. Comments from Shell have indicated that it could replicate the Quest refinery project for 30% less than Quest cost. It was about a $700-million project, and Shell could do it for 30% cheaper. This is an investment that we should be replicating in this country moving forward.
That is why I find it disappointing that with respect to CCS in this country, we have not really seen a lot of progress over the last four years. I just checked out the National Energy Board website today. It indicated that there are four major projects in this country. We have the Redwater refinery; Shell's Quest project, which I mentioned; the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line, which is also in my riding; and a project in Fort Nelson, northern B.C., which, at full capacity, could sequester an estimated 2.2 million tonnes of CO2. However, since 2015, we have heard nothing about this project. There was previous government support of about $30 million from the B.C. government and the federal Conservative government, but the current government has taken no action.
How can the government be leaving a project like this on the shelf? We are talking about 2.2 million tonnes of CO2. That is over 2% of what we need in this country to achieve our climate change goals, yet the government, which I believe is ideologically opposed to carbon capture and sequestration, has refused to support projects like this.
I am going to be pushing for the next Conservative government to take up these opportunities and increase Canada's investment in carbon capture and sequestration so we can come up with tangible results on greenhouse gas emissions. I feel very strongly that this will be the case.
I also want to quickly talk about carbon pricing. The government has talked about increasing gas by 23¢ a litre after the election, but Canadians already pay. Up to 30% of the price of a litre of gas is federal levy, provincial levy, the GST and, in some provinces, the HST. We are already paying carbon taxes, and we are talking about 23¢ more per litre. That is going to be nearly 50% of the cost of a litre of fuel. It is just a tax plan; it is not an environment plan, plain and simple.
View Dane Lloyd Profile
CPC (AB)
View Dane Lloyd Profile
2019-06-18 16:31 [p.29324]
That is an extremely easy question to answer, Mr. Speaker. I do believe in climate change; it is obvious. However, it is quite funny to hear the member across the way talking about political and rhetorical ways, because his question was completely political and rhetorical. However, I will try to get to one of the most substantial answers.
Of course large oil companies are looking into these things, because when taxes get put on all businesses, it is often the large companies that are the most capable of absorbing the taxes and the small companies that suffer. We saw this in Alberta. When the NDP government imposed carbon taxes, it was the small and medium-sized enterprises that went out of business, and it was the large companies that bought those companies for pennies on the dollar.
When we talk about these carbon taxes, they are going after small and medium-sized enterprises. Some of these large multinational organizations that do not pay carbon taxes in their home countries are more than happy to let these companies suffer and reap the benefits.
View Dane Lloyd Profile
CPC (AB)
View Dane Lloyd Profile
2019-06-18 16:34 [p.29324]
Mr. Speaker, the member obviously has a very strong viewpoint on this matter, and we disagree on the approach we need to take, but in the end we want to achieve the same goal.
In terms of our positive Conservative vision, I just need to point to our previous 10 years in government, when we implemented significant reforms for tailpipe emissions for automobiles. This meant that all new vehicles used in Canada had to be cleaner and have lower emissions, and this has had a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
It is ironic, because the NDP would probably, and I think has, called the government's investments in carbon capture and sequestration a subsidy for fossil fuel industries. When money is given to fossil fuel industries to lower their greenhouse gas emissions, there is a really big benefit to the economy and the environment. When we talk about investing in CCS, we should not be labelling it as a bad thing. We should be labelling it as an opportunity to grow our economy and significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
2019-06-18 16:36 [p.29324]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join the debate on behalf of my constituents of Red Deer—Mountain View.
The motion before us today states:
That, given that the carbon tax will not reduce emissions at its current rate and it is already making life more expensive for Canadians, the House call on the government to repeal the carbon tax and replace it with a real environment plan.
How do we know that the carbon tax is not reducing emissions at its current rate? That information comes from the most recent report of the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The PBO chose a figure of $102 per tonne, which is five times the current rate. If one is to believe the numbers being thrown around by the government, the projections are that the figure would need to be even higher. Apparently, this does not matter to the Liberal government. Nor does it matter to the Liberals that Australia has realized that introducing a carbon tax is a failed plan and has repealed its tax.
If we are going to be competitive in the North American market, we should be working in harmony with the U.S. on environmental policies, not saddling ourselves with yet another barrier to our economic well-being. This is not what is happening today.
The U.S. has no such plan and has lowered its taxes for businesses, and their total emissions have fallen. In Canada, the Liberal government is forging ahead with its ill-conceived tax increases, while emissions are continuing to rise.
This leads me to the next point, which speaks to making life more expensive for Canadians.
The shell game the Liberal government is playing with carbon tax dollars and refunds is simply not logical. For starters, the plan itself is certainly not revenue neutral. Those numbers have been widely discredited as well. However, that is just part of the story.
Canadian farmers will be especially hard hit with this plan. Statistics Canada estimates that the average costs per farm will be in the tens of thousands of dollars as the tax goes from $10 to $50 per tonne. The worst part is that farmers do not have the chance to pass those costs on to their customers.
The second part of the motion before us asks all Canadians to look ahead. We need to look ahead to a brighter future, a future without the Liberal government's carbon tax grab. We need to look ahead to a future with a real plan for the environment, one based on Canadian know-how and Canadian expertise.
We are already moving in the right direction. Look at the dairy sector as one case in point. Today in Canada it takes 65% fewer dairy cows to produce the same volume of milk as it did 50 years ago. Improvements to cow comfort and feed efficiency have also helped to make our dairy industry more sustainable.
By embracing innovation and new ideas, furthering research and infusing old wisdom into modern practices, Canada's agricultural sector is continually reducing its environmental impact, while looking for ways to improve its practices on a national scale.
There is a lot of work to do to set the record straight about the cattle industry and about farming in general. We have all heard the story that cattle farming is a major source of greenhouse gases. However, at the Alberta Beef Conference in my home town of Red Deer, we heard from experts such as Dr. Frank Mitloehner who debunked this myth and noted that new processes, new efficiencies and proper management meant that beef cattle methane emissions were effectively zero.
On this and many other issues, it is our challenge to ensure that Canadians have science-based information and science-based facts about cattle farming and about farming in general.
We need to continue to use our Canadian expertise to ensure that all our products get to the global market in the safest and most environmentally responsible way possible. We need a government that will enable industry to do more to help the environment, not a government that will hobble businesses and burden Canadians with huge tax increases.
Canadians have so many things of which to be proud. We are proud of our amazing Olympic athletes, our talented artists and the NBA trophy coming home to basketball's birthplace. These are a few highlights, but there are so many others.
We can be proud of Canada's world-class oil and gas industry, which is the best regulated and the most environmentally friendly in the world. Canadians can be proud of our dynamic forestry industry, which has state-of-the-art rejuvenation projects. How about our farmers and our ranchers? Canadian agriculture produces the safest, most environmentally friendly products in the world. However, even in this case, vested interests are doing their very best to knock us down.
However, a true environmental plan will do the opposite. It will build us up and it will enhance our efforts to protect and preserve the environment.
Let us look at this as far as the Liberal track record is concerned.
In 2016, Canada was 44 megatonnes of CO2 over its Paris target. In 2017, that number rose to 66. Last year, it was 103 megatonnes. The Liberal approach just is not getting the results as advertised.
The same is true for the Liberals' arguments about social license. Three pipeline projects, northern gateway, the west to east pipeline and Kinder Morgan, all to be built by the private sector, never got a fair hearing from the Liberal government. We all paid the bill, but got nothing in return.
However, enough about the failures of the Liberal government.
When we talk about an environmental plan, the Conservatives want to talk about things that matter, things like the amazing carbon sequestration projects that have been developed, whether it be in coal technology, oil and gas development or natural gas processing. These are major breakthroughs that Canada's business leaders and their research teams are gearing up to export around the world. Would members not say that championing our expertise on the world stage is better than wringing our hands and apologizing for the fact that Canada has abundant resources in order to score points with the environmental elites?
Of course we will develop our resources and we will do it in a manner that investors will see as the new global industry environmental standard. It will be our energy that will replace foreign tankers coming to our shores. If we proudly embrace our innovations, it will be our oil demanded by climate-conscious nations around the world.
We will also be championing our other major resource sector, agriculture. As I said before, Canadian beef and dairy producers are the most efficient managers of greenhouse gases in the world. By using technologies developed by amazing Canadian minds, we will not only be helping our soil and producing world-class products, but we will be managing greenhouse emissions in a way well above the global standard.
For the last four years, Canada has had a leader who grandstands around the world and uses every opportunity to apologize for what Canada is and for what we do. Under a Conservative government, we will have a leader who is proud not just to be a Canadian, but also proud to stand up for all of us and to champion our successes.
The incompetence of the Liberal government was plain for all of us to see last week. Just a few nights ago, Canadians witnessed the spectacle of their own government choosing to support the interest of competing oil-producing nations over the interests of Canadians. As many editorials noted, the Liberal government is the only one in the world trying to shut down its own resource sector.
The government ignored the pleas of nine provincial premiers, first nation leaders, territorial governments as well as millions of Canadians by shutting down debate on Bill C-69, the no more pipelines bill. Now, by ignoring further pleas to not move forward with Bill C-48, the Liberal government is creating even more uncertainty in the energy sector. It is a shame when the government's only fallback plan, the TMX pipeline expansion project, is only going forward thanks to billions of taxpayer dollars transferred to pipeline builders in the United States.
With the Liberal government, we know that the whole process is a crass political one, not a responsible financial one. How many hospitals will be built in Canada through our purchase of Saudi oil? How many social programs will be financed from our friends in Nigeria? How many environmental causes and human rights efforts that Canadians hold dear will be jeopardized by the Liberals shutting in the resource expertise of the world's most responsible energy producers?
By following the misguided dogma of the Prime Minister, the Liberals will be following him into the political abyss. The only way to truly protect our environment, to give certainty to job creators and to ensure Canadians' strong social fabric is to make the divisive Liberal leader is a single-use prime minister.
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
2019-06-18 16:47 [p.29326]
Mr. Speaker, I think everybody understands that the climate emergency was a political emergency for the Liberal government, which is obvious when we look at what is happening around the country right now.
Let us talk about some of the things the Liberals talk about, such as subsidies for Tesla cars—
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
2019-06-18 16:48 [p.29326]
Mr. Speaker, let me go back to a different point.
I remember a number of years ago when the neighbouring kids came to the farm. They said they were selling compact florescent light bulbs on behalf of the school to replace the incandescent ones. These were projects that helped the school. The kids were advocating for this because the environmental activists promoted this green energy product, something for which we should be so happy. We did our thing and bought a whole bunch of them. Then we realized there were five milligrams of mercury in every one of them, and about 15 million of them were sold. Therefore, we now have an environmental crisis because of those types of activities.
When the member talked about science-based ideas and the like, sometimes the science and the arguments are more related to money in somebody else's pocket than they are about really doing something to help the environment.
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Earl Dreeshen Profile
2019-06-18 16:50 [p.29327]
Mr. Speaker, the hon. member from B.C. and I have had some great conversations. Although we look at things sometimes from a different perspective, nevertheless we have learned a lot from each other, and for that I am thankful.
When I look at the situation as far as agriculture is concerned, there are amazing new technologies there. We have amazing tools that can make Canadian farmers and world farmers do a much better job. The key thing for us in the future is to ensure we do not allow outside forces to take those tools away from our farmers so they can do an amazing job with respect to the environment.
View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I will work to make more frequent interventions in the future. There is no doubt there.
I want to ask my colleague about questions of social justice, in particular for low-income people, in the context of a climate plan. When we have a carbon tax that imposes particular costs on those who do not have a choice, who do not have the capital necessary to adapt, they end up paying the cost without being able to adapt their lifestyles in any way. Meanwhile, there are large emitters that get a break from this.
Of course, there are a range of different programs to provide direct government support to people in these situations, but it remains the case that the way the carbon tax applies, it imposes a particular burden on those who do not have the capital or the ability or the circumstances that would allow them to adapt.
Would the member agree, in principle at least, that a better alternative, a more just alternative, is one that provides the support and the mechanisms for people who want to do things like retrofits to ensure that they have the capital and resources, rather than punishing them for what may be their inability to make the kinds of changes that ostensibly this is supposed to incentivize?
View Arnold Viersen Profile
CPC (AB)
View Arnold Viersen Profile
2019-06-18 17:18 [p.29331]
Mr. Speaker, I am surrounded by skeptics here. The Prime Minister just announced that TMX is going to be built this summer, or at least shovels will be in the ground. That is what he is saying, and none of my colleagues seem to believe that.
What does my hon. colleague think about the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline?
View Robert Kitchen Profile
CPC (SK)
View Robert Kitchen Profile
2019-06-18 17:23 [p.29331]
Mr. Speaker, as we prepare to leave the House and the 42nd Parliament for the summer, I am happy to have a chance to speak to today's motion, which reads as follows:
That, given that the carbon tax will not reduce emissions at its current rate and it is already making life more expensive for Canadians, the House call on the government to repeal the carbon tax and replace it with a real environment plan.
This is an initiative that I am passionate about, which I have spoken about here many times. In fact, when I am back in the riding, my constituents continually talk to me about the carbon tax, how we are going to get rid of it and how quickly can can get rid of it. The carbon tax is something that has resonated particularly strongly with the people in my riding, and not in a positive way.
I have been privileged to serve the people of Souris—Moose Mountain for the last four years, and part of why I am speaking to today's motion is due to the commitment I made upon becoming an MP. I promised that I would represent the interests of all my constituents at every possible opportunity, and I am proud to stand here today to denounce the ineffective Liberal carbon tax and the negative impact it is having on Canadians across the country.
The fact of the matter, as stated in today's motion, is that the Liberals' carbon tax is not effective in reducing emissions, and it makes life more expensive for hard-working Canadians. The Liberals seem to think that all of Canada is urban. I say this because the majority of their policies, and especially those tied to reducing emissions, are targeted toward urban areas, with almost nothing for those living in rural Canada. When a major city gets new environmentally friendly buses, how does that benefit the people in my riding? Guess what: it does not.
Furthermore, Canadians living in rural areas are going to be hit hard by the carbon tax and in some ways more so than those who are living in urban areas. It is a normal and acceptable thing for people in southeast Saskatchewan to drive 30-plus miles just to get groceries. Driving 50 miles or more to see a doctor is the status quo, and nobody complains about it, because that is just the way it has always been done. Small businesses have no avenue to rebate the carbon tax. They end up eating it or increasing their overhead or passing it on to their customers, and risk losing their customers.
What does make people frustrated and angry is when a government swoops in and unilaterally decides that Canadians now have to pay more to go about their usual day-to-day lives, and with none of the benefits that those living in urban areas receive. The Liberal carbon tax is not helping the environment, but rather it is hurting Canadians through the increased price on things like gasoline, groceries and home heating.
I would like to share the experiences of some of my constituents that touch on how ill thought out and ineffective the carbon tax really is.
As members know, under the carbon tax, fuel used for farm purposes is meant to be exempt, but this is not the case here. Due to the Liberals leaving a loophole in their legislation, farmers who obtain their fuel at pump locations and not designated cardlocks are paying the carbon tax when they should not be. There is no mechanism to rectify this, and it is creating some big issues for farmers. While I have written letters to the minister, I have not heard one response.
Many farmers are not able to have fuel delivered directly to their farms, because they do not have the ability to store it, and so pump locations are necessary for them to do their jobs. There are huge increases in cost to secure storage areas and to protect storage areas from environmental issues, not to mention the security and protection of this resource. Furthermore, there is no cardlock station within a reasonable distance of these farmers, and a pump location is their only option.
For example, farmers on acreages that are 20 miles east of a pump location have to travel to fill up their vehicles and their equipment, and they are not even getting the promised exemption. They may farm acreages another 30 kilometres in the other direction or west of where they are coming from. We are now at the end of the spring seeding season, and farmers are still having to fight for their government to make good on the commitments it made to not charge farmers a carbon tax. It is yet another example of how the Liberal carbon tax continues to fail Canadians time and time again.
Unfortunately, Canadians have become accustomed to the Liberals misleading them and providing them with misinformation, especially when it comes to the carbon tax. When it was introduced, the minister said that 100% of the revenues from the carbon tax would go back to Canadians and that it would end up being revenue neutral. When asked specifically if that figure included the GST, the Liberals said no, that the GST would stay in our pockets. We have now found out that this is patently untrue and that the GST is being charged on top of the carbon tax, essentially a tax on a tax.
Here are some simple figures when it comes to the carbon tax and the GST on that. In 2017, the number of litres of gasoline used in Canada was 43.6 billion litres. The carbon tax at 4¢ per litre amounts to $1.7 billion that is collected. The Liberals are refusing to tell Canadians how high this tax will go as we move forward. This means that people living in this country are unable to make concrete plans for their future.
According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the Liberals would need to hike the carbon tax up to at least $100 per tonne to meet the Paris targets that they committed to. The PBO has also stated that in order to meet the Paris targets, gasoline prices would need to increase by 23¢ per litre. Despite their claims that they are on track to meet these targets, there is clear evidence to the contrary. It is yet another example of the Liberals attempting to mislead Canadians so that they can save face when it comes to their failed and ineffective carbon tax that has done nothing to reduce emissions.
I would like to highlight some of the innovative work that is happening right here in Canada with respect to reducing emissions. That is the utilization of CCS, carbon capture and storage, technology. The CCS technology is installed on unit 3 of Boundary Dam, the power station in my riding. CCS allows for the CO2 emissions of that unit to be captured and stored three to four kilometres underground, preventing these emissions from being released into the atmosphere. The stored CO2 is then used by the oil industry for things like EOR, which is enhanced oil recovery. The by-product of this process is also fly ash, which is a saleable product that is used in the production of cement. The EOR helps the oil industry reduce its emissions, and the fly ash helps the cement-production companies in reducing their carbon emissions.
While retrofitting power plants with CCS can be expensive, a recent study done by the International CCS Knowledge Centre found that the cost of retrofitting the Shand Power Station would be 67% cheaper per tonne of CO2 captured, compared to the Boundary Dam that is built today.
According to the Paris agreement, CCS is mentioned in three or four potential pathways to reducing emissions. In fact, the secretary of state in the ministry of the environment of Poland, Mr. Michal Kurtyka, and the COP24 presidency bureau director, Mr. Pawel Leszczynski, were visiting the Boundary Dam and they basically said that carbon capture and sequestration will be important and make an advance to carbon neutrality.
View Darshan Singh Kang Profile
Ind. (AB)
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 18:23 [p.29336]
Mr. Speaker, the CCF agrees to apply and, like the rest of the independent caucus, will be voting yes.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 18:30 [p.29338]
Mr. Speaker, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation agrees to apply and will be voting in favour.
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 18:32 [p.29339]
Mr. Speaker, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the election of our first government in Saskatchewan, agrees to apply and votes yes.
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