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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 Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:25 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, for 10 years, Stephen Harper tried building pipelines to new markets and failed. He failed because he did not understand that major projects like this one can only move forward if we work with indigenous peoples and protect the environment. The Conservatives still do not grasp this.
That is exactly how we chose to move forward with the Trans Mountain pipeline. We followed the court's directions, and I am pleased to announce that construction will begin this summer.
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 Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:26 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, for 10 years, Mr. Harper and his Conservatives failed to get one pipeline built to new markets. The Conservatives talk about the Kinder Morgan Anchor Loop, but that pipeline goes nowhere near a port.
The reality is that the Conservatives did not understand, and still do not understand, that the only way to build energy projects today and into the future is to protect the environment at the same time and to work in partnership with indigenous peoples. That is exactly what we have done with the Trans Mountain pipeline, moved forward in the right way.
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 Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:28 [p.29385]
Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives just will not take yes for an answer. The reality is that we approved this pipeline, and it seems to cause tremendous consternation on the side of the Conservatives that we are actually succeeding in doing what the Alberta energy sector has long been asking for, which is access to new markets other than the United States.
We know that accessing new markets and having the money to pay for the transition to a cleaner, greener economy is important for building our future. They, quite frankly, do not know what to do or what to say, because they are wrong.
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 Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:29 [p.29386]
Mr. Speaker, what is very clear to everyone in this House, and indeed to all Canadians, is that the Conservatives still do not understand why they failed for 10 years to give the support to the Canadian economy that was needed. In the 21st century, the only way to move forward on big projects is to have a real plan for the environment and to bring in and work with indigenous communities. They refused to do that for 10 years, and they still do not see that the way to move forward is in partnership.
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2019-06-19 14:31 [p.29386]
After a year of higher temperatures and more floods and forest fires, people across the country are feeling the effects of climate change. The decision to approve the Trans Mountain expansion is not going to help people deal with climate change.
The Liberals are spending more than $10 billion to expand a pipeline. Why are the Liberals not investing this money in green initiatives to build a secure future for generations to come?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:32 [p.29386]
Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what we are going to do.
Over the past four years, we have done more for the environment than any other government in Canada's history. We have put a price on pollution. We are safeguarding our oceans. We are investing in public transit. We are reducing plastic pollution. We have also listened to Canadians about their desire for a cleaner future. Therefore, every dollar from this project will be invested in Canada's clean energy transition. With this project, we are creating jobs, opening new markets, accelerating the clean energy transition and generating—
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2019-06-19 14:33 [p.29386]
Mr. Speaker, that is a ludicrous proposition, given that no profits are going to be made in this project.
The race to the bottom with this pipeline, between the Liberals and Conservatives, is taking us in the wrong direction. Instead of ending fossil fuel subsidies, the Prime Minister is buying pipelines. Instead of legally binding emissions targets, the Prime Minister is continuing with Stephen Harper's targets. Instead of building a new relationship with indigenous communities, the Prime Minister has stuck with grand symbolism. New Democrats are proposing a better way.
Why is the Prime Minister refusing to protect coastal communities, indigenous communities and our environment?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:34 [p.29386]
Mr. Speaker, during the last four years, we have done more for the environment than any other government in Canada's history. We have put a price on pollution, we are safeguarding our oceans, we are investing in public transit and we are reducing plastic pollution. We have also listened very carefully to Canadians about their desire for a cleaner future. Every dollar from this project will be invested in Canada's clean energy transition.
We are creating jobs, opening new markets, accelerating our clean energy transition and generating new avenues for indigenous economic prosperity.
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2019-06-19 14:34 [p.29386]
Mr. Speaker, I can summarize the Liberals' position on the environment. On one day, they pass a motion recognizing a climate emergency, and then on the very next day, they approve a pipeline. That is the government's track record.
The Liberals will dramatically increase our emissions, threaten coastlines and disrespect coastal and indigenous communities. The new hearings failed to look at the impact of climate, and they failed to meaningfully consult.
Why is the Prime Minister refusing to back up symbolic gestures with concrete actions to defend our environment?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:35 [p.29387]
Mr. Speaker, over the past four years, we have taken more concrete actions to protect our environment than any government in Canada's history. We are going to continue to move forward on that in partnership with indigenous communities and in respect of environmental concerns.
We on this side of the House recognize that not all indigenous communities support the way we are moving forward, even though we have consulted with them extensively.
My question for the leader of the NDP is, why will he not recognize that there are indigenous communities that actually support this pipeline expansion?
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2019-06-19 14:35 [p.29387]
Mr. Speaker, that is a pretty low bar to set when we have the Harper Conservatives to compare with.
Indigenous and coastal communities vehemently oppose this project. Tanker traffic will increase nearly sevenfold. The risk of spills will increase considerably for those living on our coasts. The Prime Minister is ignoring those very valid concerns. We need to take decisive action to protect our environment.
How can the Prime Minister tell people that approving this pipeline will protect our environment, when that is not the case?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:36 [p.29387]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are disturbed by the dramatic increase in the transportation of oil by rail over the last few years.
We know that transporting oil by rail is more polluting and more dangerous. We will still need to use oil for several years. By building a pipeline in a responsible manner, in partnership with indigenous peoples, and by committing to invest all tax revenues from the pipeline in the clean energy transition, we know that we are building a better and more prosperous future for Canadians.
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have suddenly realized that green-lighting the expansion of Trans Mountain will not wash, especially after declaring a climate emergency the day before. Now they are trying to create a diversion by saying that any profits from the pipeline will go into a green fund.
They are spending $15 billion to create more pollution. That is what I would call trading four quarters for a dollar, especially when that dollar is the equivalent of three million cars' worth of pollution.
Why not immediately invest that $15 billion in renewable energy and the good jobs of tomorrow, as the NDP is proposing?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:46 [p.29388]
Mr. Speaker, during the last four years, we have done more for the environment than any other government in Canada's history. We have put a price on pollution. We are safeguarding our oceans. We are investing in public transit. We are reducing plastic pollution.
We have also listened to Canadians about their desire for a cleaner future. Every dollar from this project will be invested in Canada's clean energy transition. We are creating jobs and opening new markets. We are accelerating our clean energy transition and generating new avenues for indigenous economic prosperity.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Peter Julian Profile
2019-06-19 14:46 [p.29389]
Mr. Speaker, there are no profits. It is losing $150 million a year. What an empty gesture. That is just our point. The Prime Minister asks Canadians to wait for pharmacare, affordable housing and so much else and then he splurges $15 billion on Trans Mountain. He says he respects reconciliation and then runs roughshod over indigenous rights. He pushes a climate emergency motion and then, within hours, is trying to ram through a raw bitumen pipeline that trashes the Paris Agreement.
Why did the Prime Minister choose oil lobbyists over a future generation?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:47 [p.29389]
Mr. Speaker, there was plenty wrong with the statements made by the member opposite, but I will focus on one.
There is a strong economic case for getting access to new markets and for investing in the clean energy transition, but we will all understand that New Democrats have always had challenges with economic plans and approaches. They think there is a choice to be made between protecting the environment and growing the economy. They do not understand that the only way to build a stronger future for all Canadians is to do them both together.
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 Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 14:57 [p.29390]
Mr. Speaker, this project will create thousands of good, middle-class jobs, and includes economic opportunities for indigenous peoples.
We have a plan to fight climate change and protect our oceans and respond to the concerns we heard in consultation. Every dollar earned through this project will be invested in clean energy.
We were elected to deliver real change. That is exactly what we are doing by moving forward on this project in the right way.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
View Monique Pauzé Profile
2019-06-19 15:16 [p.29394]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has no credibility when it comes to the environment. Just 24 hours after declaring a climate emergency, he gave the green light to the Trans Mountain pipeline, which will produce more greenhouse gas emissions than all of Quebec's industries combined.
He is apologizing by saying that he is going to invest $500 million in green energy, but he is investing $14 billion in pollution.
How is the Prime Minister going to fight climate change by investing our money in a project that creates more pollution than all of Quebec?
View Justin Trudeau Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Justin Trudeau Profile
2019-06-19 15:17 [p.29394]
Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, there are still politicians who believe that we have to choose between the environment and the economy.
The reality is that the only way to move forward as a society is to protect jobs and the environment at the same time. That is exactly what we are doing by safely accessing new markets for our resources while investing historic amounts in the transition to green energy. All the profits from this pipeline will be put toward the transition to green energy because Canadians know that we need to show leadership in that regard.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)

Question No. 2478--
Mr. Brad Trost:
With regard to the total number of registered guns and licensed gun owners for each year since 2001: (a) how many Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) holders have been charged with homicide; (b) how many registered firearms were used in a homicide; and (c) how many PAL holders have been charged with using a registered firearm to commit homicide?
Response
Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, RCMP systems do not capture the requested information at the level of detail requested. As a result, the information requested cannot be obtained without an extensive manual review of files. This manual review could not be completed within the established time frame.

Question No. 2479--
Mr. Brad Trost:
With regard to the total number of guns reported stolen for each year since 2001: (a) how many were registered; (b) how many were stolen from licensed gun owners; (c) how many were stolen from licensed gun dealers; and (d) of those guns stolen from licensed gun owners and dealers, how many were used in the commission of a violent offence?
Response
Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, illegal or stolen handguns seized or found at crime scenes are deemed to be in the custody of the police force of jurisdiction, and kept for evidentiary purposes. Processes and/or policies may differ from one agency to another, as well as reporting requirements. Currently, there is no national repository for this type of information in Canada.
The Canadian firearms program, CFP, is a national program within the RCMP. It administers the Firearms Act and regulations, provides support to law enforcement and promotes firearms safety.
The CFP does not collect or track statistics with regard to the origin of illegal or stolen handguns.

Question No. 2481--
Mr. Ron Liepert:
With regard to the impact of Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, on Alberta’s economy: did the government conduct an economic analysis of the impact of Bill C-69 on Alberta’s oil and gas sector and, if so, who conducted the analysis and what were the results?
Response
Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (Minister of Natural Resources, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, since coming to office, the government has made it clear that economic prosperity and environmental protection must go hand in hand. It has also been clear that it is a core responsibility of the federal government to help get Canada’s natural resources to market. The decision in 2012 to gut environmental laws eroded public trust, put Canada’s environment and economy at risk, and made it harder, not easier, for good projects to go ahead. These changes led to polarization and paralysis.
Bill C-69 was introduced to restore public confidence by better protecting the environment, fish and waterways, while also respecting indigenous rights. In addition, it would provide greater certainty to proponents, leading to the creation of good, middle-class jobs and enhancing economic opportunities.
Canada’s investment climate remains robust. According to the most recent “Major Projects Planned or Under Construction” report, there are 418 projects, worth some $585 billion, already under construction or planned over the next 10 years. This reflects Canada’s position as a destination of choice for resource investors.
Significantly, new projects have continued to come forward in all sectors since Bill C-69 was tabled in 2017, reflecting the continued confidence of the investment community.
In developing this legislation, the government undertook extensive consultations with Canadians. The bill reflects the feedback and advice from a broad range of stakeholders, including investors and project proponents, who indicated that they wanted a clear, predictable and timely project review process.
In addition, Natural Resources Canada routinely monitors market, financial and economic indicators to gauge the competitiveness of Canada’s oil and gas sector. These data inform all of the government’s policy decisions.

Question No. 2482--
Mr. Ron Liepert:
With regard to the Trans-Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project: (a) when is construction expected to resume on the pipeline; and (b) when will the expansion project be completed?
Response
Mr. Joël Lightbound (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the Trans Mountain Corporation is expected to update, publish and submit for regulatory consideration a revised construction schedule for the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, if approved. The Department of Finance anticipates the government will be in a position to make a decision on the proposed project on or before June 18, 2019.

Question No. 2484--
Ms. Lisa Raitt:
With regard to taxpayer-funded flights taken by David MacNaughton, Canadian Ambassador to the United States, since March 2, 2016: (a) what are the details of all flights, including (i) dates, (ii) city of origin, (iii) city of destination, (iv) cost; and (b) what is the total amount spent on flights by the Ambassador?
Response
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, the following reflects a consolidated response approved on behalf of Global Affairs Canada ministers.
In response to parts (a) and (b), the information requested is publically disclosed at https://open.canada.ca/en/proactive-disclosure.
View Dan Albas Profile
CPC (BC)
Madam Speaker, let me say, as I probably rise for the last time in this Parliament, how honoured I am to represent the good people of Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, how much I have learned from my colleagues here, but also how invigorated I am by the greatness of this country and my commitment to work hard for the people I represent.
As I join this debate today, I feel compelled to make a few observations. To be clear, Canada did not ask to be put in this position. However, as we know, the U.S. election resulted in a new administration, with a mandate, among other things, to renegotiate NAFTA. That is where all of this started.
I think we can all agree that this particular renegotiated agreement resulted in an outcome that is less than ideal, but of course, it could have been much worse. Many concessions were made, and we still have unresolved issues, such as the lack of a deal for Canadian softwood lumber, something that is critically important to my riding.
Ultimately, it is not a secret that the official opposition will be supporting this deal. Unlike the third party, we do believe it is better than no deal. However, that does not mean that there are not some lessons to be learned here.
To me, it is deeply troubling that the Prime Minister went into these negotiations with his usual theme of demanding things that are all about building his brand and appealing to his base of supporters. In other words, the Prime Minister thought he saw an opportunity to score some political points and feed the brand. This is not unlike what he tried to do when he approached China.
In both cases, he failed miserably. Why would he not fail miserably? Would we as Canadians accept another leader trying to push his or her own values onto us? We simply would not accept that. What nation would? However, that is precisely what the Prime Minister attempted to to. Some may call this arrogance. Whatever we call it, it was easily foreseeable that it was a path to failure.
However, the Prime Minister did not care and went about his virtue-signalling anyway, so we ended up on the sidelines: Canada, a world leader, on the sidelines. There we were, on the sidelines with our biggest trading partner, while Mexico was in the driver's seat, getting the deal done.
Here is the thing. Mexico did get it done. Let us look at its approach. Mexico did not use the trade negotiations as some sort of domestic political opportunity to score points. Mexico did not use this as an opportunity for virtue-signalling. Mexico did not have a lead minister giving a speech within the United States of America that took veiled potshots at the U.S. administration. Mexico discussed issues related to trade and did so professionally. It is easy to see why that approach worked so well for it.
Our approach, led by the Prime Minister, was a complete failure. It did not have to be that way. I can tell colleagues that, on this side of the House, we would have taken a much different approach. I am actually quite confident that there are members on the government side of the House, whom I have worked with at various committees, who I suspect would have also taken a much different approach. I believe it is important to reflect on these things so that we can learn from them.
Canada should never again be in a situation where we are sitting on the sidelines with our greatest trading partner, while Mexico is driving the bus. I hope that is one thing we can all agree on. Perhaps that is why we are now hearing the name of Mark Carney, because there are other Liberals who feel the same way.
Now we have a new deal. Whether it is called the new NAFTA, NAFTA 0.5, USMCA, CUSMA, or whatever, there is something we should all think about. Recently, Jack Mintz wrote a very good piece on investment fleeing Canada. Members who have read the article would know that it debunks some Liberal talking points that had been carefully cherry-picked.
As an example, yes, investment in Canada was up in 2018. However, that sounds good until we consider that it was up from 2017, and 2017 was an absolute disaster of a year. Even in 2018, it was still below where things were in 2015. Yes, I mean that 2015.
Yes, investment in the U.S.A. is down, but that is outside investment. There is a large increase in U.S. domestic capital now staying in the United States. This means it is not coming to Canada.
Why should we care about that? Let us look at our automotive sector. Yes, there is still some investment in Canada, but there is considerably more occurring in the United States and Mexico. Mexico, in particular, has been a hot spot for automotive investment. Let us think about that. Mexico has no carbon tax. It has no new and enhanced CPP causing premiums and payroll taxes to increase every month. Much of its industrial power is cheap, and I would even say it is dirty.
CUSMA does more to address some of those issues than the NAFTA deal it replaces, but we also have to recognize that foreign investment in Canada is not the rose garden the Liberals are trying to suggest it is. This is a deal among three countries. If we become the most expensive, most regulated and most inefficient country to do business in, we lose collectively as a country.
The Prime Minister can continue to be virtuous. He can continue to ask people to pay just a little bit more. He can continue to lecture others for not sharing his values. However, at the end of the day, none of those things are going to attract the investment we need to make the most of this deal.
While we are on the subject of trade, I note that last week, during question period in this place, the Prime Minister vilified former prime minister Harper close to a dozen times. As the Liberals' good friend Warren Kinsella recently pointed out, the Prime Minister is looking “for an enemy to demonize”.
I mention that because the former Conservative government of Mr. Harper concluded more free trade agreements than any prime minister in the modern era. It is not as if the Liberals, or the Prime Minister, would be unaware of this, because they sat in this place during the last Parliament and voted in support of all those new trade agreements, yet the Prime Minister turns around and vilifies the former prime minister, who has a demonstrably more successful record on trade agreements.
However, perhaps that is preferable to talking about the lack of progress on Canadian softwood. I looked up on the Open Parliament website how many times the Prime Minister has even mentioned the word “softwood”. The answer is 18 times since 2016. The vast majority of those times were only because he was answering questions on softwood lumber asked by the opposition.
How many times has he referenced Stephen Harper? It is 190 times, and it will probably be more than 200 after today's question period. With the Prime Minister's priorities so focused on vilifying Mr. Harper instead of focusing on softwood lumber, is it any wonder he has made zero progress on this file?
Why do I point this out? I point this out because lumber mills are closing all across British Columbia at an alarming rate. My riding has lost lumber mills. I know first-hand what that does to a small rural community. It is devastating. However, there is complete silence from the Prime Minister regarding softwood lumber unless he is asked about it by the opposition in this place. Why? Maybe it is because he is too busy vilifying Mr. Harper.
In my view, that is not acceptable. B.C. forest workers deserve better. They deserve to know that they have a prime minister in Ottawa working to reach a softwood lumber deal.
I sometimes wonder whether, if Mexico had a vibrant softwood lumber sector, we would now have a deal done by extension as well. It is clear that Mexico has a more effective track record in these negotiations than the brand-first approach of the Prime Minister.
To summarize, we did not ask to be in this situation, clearly. However, I believe the approach taken by the Prime Minister to try to use this as a political opportunity was deeply flawed and made a bad situation worse.
Again, as evidence of that, I say to look no further than the approach taken by Mexico and the success that it had while we sat on the sidelines.
I have raised this point with ministers of the Crown. They told us that the meetings between the United States and Mexico were simply on bilateral issues that had nothing to do with Canada. However, they came out with a trilateral agreement, and Canada had a take-it-or-leave-it moment.
Despite the many concessions that the Prime Minister has made on this file, we can still make the most of it, but only if we recognize that we need to be more competitive. We have a regulatory environment in which things can get done in Canada. Many people have raised alarm bells, particularly the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and not just about the lack of investment but also the ability to get things done.
The Leader of the Opposition today clearly asked the Prime Minister several times for the date for the Trans Mountain pipeline. The Prime Minister promised the Trans Mountain pipeline, one of the most important projects on the deck and one of the only ones on the deck, would go forward to help build the national interest, but the Prime Minister cannot give a date.
Originally, the Liberals said that it would be operating this calendar year. Again, I would submit that one need to look no further than the Trans Mountain pipeline as evidence as to where the challenges are. It has been four years, and still there is not a shovel in the ground. The fact that the Liberal government had to buy the project to save Kinder Morgan from the embarrassment of not being able to build it in a timely manner is all part of the problem. The fact that today even the government has serious challenges in trying to navigate the process to get it done is telling. Does anyone seriously believe that Bill C-69 and Bill C-48 will make it easier to invest in Canada?
The Prime Minister says that tankers can operate totally safely in one part of British Columbia and in other parts of Canada, but are so dangerous in another part of British Columbia that they must be banned. Does anyone seriously think that makes sense? In fact, a number of the senators in the other place have commented on the lack of scientific evidence on Bill C-48. The committee that studied it in depth recommended that the bill not proceed.
The approaches of the current government do not reconcile. These are the types of mixed messages that are just not helpful. However, I remain hopeful that we can become more competitive and that as we move forward, we can ultimately try to fully capitalize on this agreement despite the many concessions.
I would like to close on a more positive note, and I will add a few positive observations.
As we have established many times and in many areas, Canada and Canadians can compete and succeed against the very best in the world. As legislators, it is our job to ensure that they have a level playing field and unrestricted market access to do so. Therefore, I will vote in favour of this agreement as, ultimately, it will provide these opportunities.
However, I must say one more time that until we have full, unfettered free trade within Canada's borders, we are, as a country, not owning up to the promise of Confederation, and that falls on us. It falls upon the provinces that have not allowed Canada to become not just a political union but an economic one.
This will be my last speech in the 42nd Parliament, and I would like to share a few words on a personal note.
We all share the collective honour of being elected members of this place, and our families all share the sacrifice for the many times that we cannot be there for them. It is my hope that our families, particularly our young ones, understand that in this place our collective desire to build a better country starts and ends with them. I would like thank all families of parliamentarians for their understanding and support.
I would also like to share a word with other members of this place. It is so unfortunate that much of the work we do here is often summarized by many Canadians as what transpires in question period. Much of the most important work that we do collectively happens at committee.
On that note, I would like to sincerely thank the many members I have worked with on various committees. Everyone I have worked with shares the same commitment to help ensure that the federal government provides the best level of governance possible. We may disagree on programs, projects and approaches, but I have found that we share a commitment to making these programs work best for Canadians.
A final point I would like to make should not be lost by any of us. The former Conservative government introduced a program to provide supports for kids directly to their parents. At the time, the Liberal opposition mocked it, ridiculed it, and suggested that parents would simply blow the money they received on beer and popcorn, but when the Liberals formed their majority government in 2015, they did not kill that program. Liberals saw the merits of it and saw that it was working so they made improvements to it, and now it is working even more effectively. I wish to commend them yet again for that.
That is an example of two very different governments coming up with a program and finding ways to improve it to ensure that it helps support Canadian families.
Trade is similar. After all, we are a nation of traders. We need to have these things that make us collectively prosper, that allow us to build stronger ties and relationships and provide the security and the sense of certainty that it takes for someone to start a business or for a country to get behind a new program. These are great examples of the work that we do when we are here on behalf of Canadians.
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the time you spend in the chair. I am sure there are many different ways you would rather spend your time than listening to me, but I do appreciate the work you do and I am sure my constituents do as well. I look forward to the challenges in the upcoming months and in the questions and comments I will hear from my fellow colleagues.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2019-06-19 20:45 [p.29435]
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to stand again to speak to the new NAFTA. I appreciate the Liberal Party giving me some time to speak about this.
When I left off, I was talking about investor-state dispute settlement and my appreciation that this part of NAFTA was removed. I know it will take three years for it to be completely removed and that some corporations will still be able to use that provision against Canadian laws and policies that get in the way of their profits.
I think it is time to get rid of investor-state provisions in all our trade agreements. It is undemocratic, and it undermines our sovereignty. As we have seen in many cases, such as in Bilcon v. Canada, three arbitration lawyers, whose only interest is keeping the system going, sit in a room and make decisions on our environmental assessment process.
In Bilcon v. Canada, there was a proposed quarry at Digby Neck. The community came out and experts came out and talked about the problems with the quarry. It was an area where the endangered North Atlantic right whales had their calving grounds. There was tourism for whale watching. There was lobster fishing. The community did not want the quarry. When the environmental assessment review panel ruled against Bilcon, after years of environmental assessments, Bilcon was able to take the dispute to a NAFTA panel. Bilcon wanted $470 million. It walked away with $7 million. That is outrageous. Using these kinds of processes to challenge our laws and policies is antithetical to democracy.
Investor-state provisions are being used in developing countries to force through extraction projects or to make developing countries pay through the nose.
A good example of this is Crystallex, a Canadian mining development company. It challenged Venezuela using investor-state provisions after Venezuela decided, on behalf of its indigenous population, that the Crystallex mine would not be in the interest of the indigenous population. It was a threat to the environment. Tenor Capital paid for the arbitration lawyers and invested $30 million. Crystallex ended up getting $1.2 billion in a settlement in this investor-state dispute, and Tenor Capital walked away with a 1,000% return, or $300 million. It is obscene.
I could give members example after example of these kinds of situations. I am glad this is out of NAFTA.
I am also glad to see that the proportionality clause is gone. Under this clause, we had to continue to export the same amount of energy to the United States, on average, as we had in the previous three years.
However, as I was saying earlier, there are a few things that disappoint me about the new NAFTA.
First is the extension of biological patents for pharmaceutical drugs. This is important for products like insulin and for people who have Crohn's disease. People are already struggling with the cost of pharmaceutical drugs. We need drug costs to come down. We must have a national pharmacare program rather than more money for big pharma.
Second is article 22, the carve-out for the Trans Mountain expansion. It looks to me as though it will continue to be a state-owned corporation, which is concerning.
Third is having bovine growth hormone in the American milk and dairy products we will import.
I am thankful for the opportunity to speak to the bill.
View Paul Manly Profile
GP (BC)
View Paul Manly Profile
2019-06-19 21:19 [p.29440]
Mr. Speaker, my question for the hon. member is about article 22 and annex IV, which gives a carve-out to the Trans Mountain expansion project.
When we are dealing with climate change, do we not think that perhaps it would be a good idea for other state-owned enterprises to be available to us in dealing with a climate emergency?
Also, I would like to know about this carve-out for the Trans Mountain expansion project. What is the plan? We have seen that it is not really economically feasible. I have read reports by Robyn Allan and others who say that this pipeline is not economically feasible.
What is the plan if the government cannot sell it to the private sector within the 10-year period, as outlined in article 22?
View Ali Ehsassi Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ali Ehsassi Profile
2019-06-19 21:20 [p.29440]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for raising a very good concern.
Of course, as with any other trade agreement, it is important to make sure that we are focused on the details as negotiations go on. The member will recall, for example, that when the original NAFTA was negotiated, Canadian negotiators made sure that there were all sorts of reservations for various things. In that particular instance, the big issue Canadians expected us to stand up for and preserve was culture.
In this particular case, it was quite obvious to our American friends and to the Mexicans that the environment is something we take very seriously as a country. However, as with all negotiations, there were some carve-outs, which is something that epitomizes the process of negotiations.
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2019-06-18 10:27 [p.29267]
Mr. Speaker, the second petition is titled “Let's Save Our Coast...Again”. The petitioners are calling on the government not to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline as it will increase the risk of bitumen oil spills, endangering Canada's environment and wildlife and putting thousands of marine and tourism jobs at risk, and as it disregards the right of indigenous peoples to say no to projects affecting their territories and resources. The petitioners state that the Trans Mountain pipeline will increase greenhouse gas emissions and make it impossible for Canada to meet its global climate targets.
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2019-06-18 11:04 [p.29272]
Mr. Speaker, as always it is an honour to rise in this House and speak about the topic of climate change, which is near and dear to my heart and something I consistently hear about from my constituents.
I am particularly inspired by the voices of the young Canadians I represent in Central Nova, who have brought this issue to the fore and insist that legislators at the municipal, provincial and federal levels take collective action to combat the existential threat that climate change represents.
For me, the starting point in this conversation is that climate change is not only real but primarily driven by humans' industrial activity. Sometimes, when we talk about climate change, we are guilty of causing apocalypse fatigue, which causes people to feel they cannot do anything meaningful about it. At other times, we dig into the technical details about CO2 concentration being at 415 parts per million, and we lose people's attention.
These are all important things to be addressing, but it is important to explain to Canadians that the consequences of climate change are very real. We are feeling them today, but we have an opportunity and, in my mind, an obligation to do something about it. We simply need to implement the solutions we already know exist, which can make a difference by bringing our emissions down and preventing the worst consequences of climate change from impacting our communities.
We are all familiar, of course, with the consequences of climate change. We see them in our own communities. On the east coast we have experienced more frequent and more severe storm surges and hurricanes. Recently my colleagues from New Brunswick have shown me pictures of their communities, which were literally under water. We can see the forest fires ravaging communities in western Canada, the heat waves in Quebec and Ontario that are taking the lives of Canadians, and the melting ice sheets in Canada's north. There is not a corner of this country that has not been impacted by the environmental effects of climate change.
I mentioned this during the debate yesterday as well, but the consequences are not purely environmental; they are social and economic as well. We see entire communities that have been displaced because we continue to build them in flood zones. Floods that used to take place every few hundred years are now taking place every few years.
We see indigenous communities that have traditionally practised a way of life that involved hunting cariboo, for example. That may no longer be an option because of the combined impacts of human activity and climate change on the species they have traditionally relied on to practise their way of life.
I do not have to look all across the country; I can see the economic impacts of climate change in my own backyard. We rely heavily on the lobster fishery in Nova Scotia. I represent both the eastern shore and the Northumberland Strait, which have vibrant lobster fisheries today that represent nearly $2 billion in exports for our provincial economy.
However, when we look a little south, to the state of Maine, we have seen a decrease of 22 million pounds in their catch over the past few years due to a combination of things like rising ocean temperatures, deoxygenation of the gulf region, and other environmental factors that are having a very real impact.
We are seeing a drop in industrial production and manufacturing in places that have been impacted by forest fires, and when we go for lengthy periods with droughts, we know that our agricultural sector suffers. There is a very real consequence to inaction on climate change in the prevention of economic activity. We know there are solutions. We have an obligation to implement the most effective ones that we know exist.
This brings me to the current motion, which attacks both the efficacy and affordability of our plan to put a price on pollution. I have good news for the members opposite. In fact, we know that putting a price on pollution is the most effective thing we can do to help reduce our emissions. We have identified a path forward on the advice of science, facts and evidence, including world-leading expertise, to ensure that as we put forward a plan that brings our emissions down, the affordability of life is not only not impacted but in fact made a little better for Canadian families.
Over the course of my remarks, I want to touch on the efficacy of carbon pricing. I will talk about some of its benefits and address the affordability, but also highlight some other measures we are implementing. We know that pricing alone is likely insufficient to get us where we need to be, but the attack built into the motion, that our government does not have a real plan, rings hollow from a party that has yet to produce a plan of its own.
I will take a step back and explain in broad strokes what carbon pricing really involves. There are more or less two different ways one can put a market mechanism to price pollution. One is a cap-and-trade system, where one sets an overall cap and industrial players that exceed their credits can buy credits from those that have reduced emissions, in order to bring emissions down across society over time. The other, perhaps simpler, way is to put a price on the thing one does not want, which is pollution, so that people buy less of it. If one puts a price on pollution and people buy less of it but the revenues are returned to households, life can be made more affordable for a majority of families. In a nutshell, that is how it works.
We know it works. We have seen other jurisdictions implement these solutions and have monumental successes. In the United Kingdom, which imposed a price on pollution over and above the European Union's cap-and-trade system, there was a rapid transition from coal-fired power plants to other, less-emitting sources. The United Kingdom has achieved magnificent reductions in recent history, in part because of the way it used a market-based mechanism with a price on pollution.
The example of British Columbia came up previously. One of the members who spoke earlier indicated that emissions have gone up to 1.5% and dismissed it as not possibly working. I commend my NDP colleague, who noted that one should not be cherry-picking data the way that member did. In fact, there has been a 2.2% reduction since the price on pollution came into place. More importantly, when we look at the example of British Columbia, despite population growth and serious economic development we can see that the per capita rate of consumption of greenhouse gases has actually come down significantly.
The report of the Ecofiscal Commission, which studied this in depth, estimates that emissions in British Columbia are 5% to 15% lower than they would have been had no price been put on pollution in the first place. Five per cent to 15% is a serious reduction from one policy tool alone, and we know we can do better by doing more.
However, it is not just the practical examples of which we have empirical evidence that show that this in fact works. We have seen support from folks who really know what they are talking about. Last year's Nobel Prize for economics went to Professor William Nordhaus for his development of the kind of approach we are now seeking to implement in Canada. In fact, he pointed specifically to the example in British Columbia of the kind of model that could work best.
Professor Nordhaus has identified a way to ensure a price is put on pollution, so that what we do not want becomes more expensive and people buy less of it, but affordability is maintained by returning the revenues to households. It is common sense when one thinks about it. It is quite straightforward, and it works.
Mark Cameron, Stephen Harper's former director of policy, has pointed to the fact that this is the right path forward. Even Doug Ford's chief budget adviser testified before the Senate, in 2016 I believe, saying something to the effect that the single most effective thing we can do to transition to a low-carbon economy is to put a price on pollution. Preston Manning has been arguing for this kind of approach for years.
When the partisan lens is removed, we see folks on different sides of the aisle who have a strong history with the Liberals, the Conservatives and the NDP, who all support this approach because they know it is the most effective thing we can do. In particular, I point to the recent Saskatchewan Court of Appeal decision that upheld the federal government's constitutional power to implement a price on pollution across Canada in provinces that would not come to the table with a serious plan. The court said that it was undisputed, based on the factual record before the court, that GHG pricing is not just part and parcel of an effective plan to combat climate change but also an essential aspect of the global effort to curb emissions.
This is why the court found it to be a national concern that some provinces would not have pricing, which gave rise to the federal government's authority to implement a plan. It is an essential aspect of the global effort to reduce emissions. That part was even put in italics, specifically so legislators would see that this is so important. We have to move forward with it if we are going to take our responsibilities seriously.
However, these are not the only voices; I can point to a number of others. The Parliamentary Budget Officer, whom the opposition members have quoted ad nauseam in this House, has said that putting a price on pollution is the most effective way to reduce our emissions. He also pointed out something I hope we will get into during questions and comments, which is that eight out of 10 families will be better off in jurisdictions in which the federal backstop applies. This is because we are returning the revenues directly to households. The only families who will pay more than they get back in the form of a rebate are the 20% in the highest-earning households in Canada. I believe it maxes out at $50 a year for the wealthiest families in Saskatchewan.
Meanwhile, in various provinces there will be rebates of between $250 and $609, depending on how much pollution is generated in those provinces. The bottom line is that eight out of 10 families, no matter which province they live in where the federal system applies, will receive more in the form of a rebate than their cost of living will go up. Therefore, the argument that this is about affordability rings hollow.
I point out in particular the comments this past weekend by Pope Francis, who has no political agenda. He is not a Liberal or Conservative when it comes to Canadian politics, but he has explained that carbon pricing is essential to combat climate change. He pointed to the fact that the world's poor and the next generations are going to be disproportionately impacted. There is a sense of injustice about it, that we are shoving this burden onto future generations, onto the world's poor and onto the world's developing nations. It is not right. Canada has an obligation to play a leadership role and take care of things at home as we help the world transition to a low-carbon economy.
If we move forward with a plan to put a price on pollution, there are also economic benefits. Again, citing the example of British Columbia, there has been a net job gain in that province as a result of its aggressive plan to tackle climate change. The Government of Saskatchewan, in an attempt to gain political support for its fight against the plan, commissioned a report that showed there would be a very limited economic impact. It then tried to bury the report; it did not want the evidence to get out because it conflicted with its ideological narrative that carbon pricing would somehow damage the economy. The reverse is true. It can help spur innovation and take advantage of the new green economy, which Mark Carney has flagged as representing a $26-trillion opportunity globally. If Canada is on the front end of that wave, we can expect to have more jobs in our communities as the world transitions to a global low-carbon economy.
I want to touch on affordability in particular, because this is front of mind for me. In my constituency office, the power company is on speed dial, because so many constituents come to my office not knowing where to turn. We know the cost of living has gone up over time. That is why we are trying to tackle those measures. Poverty has come down by 20%, which means 825,000 Canadians are not living in poverty today who were when we took office in 2015. The allegation that we are somehow seeking to make life more expensive is not true.
We understand the struggles of Canadian families who live in Pictou County, or Antigonish or on the eastern shore, places I represent. These are important issues that we need to tackle. That is why we are moving forward, not just with a plan to address climate change that can make life more affordable, but also by introducing measures like the Canada child benefit, which puts more money in the pockets of nine out of 10 Canadian families and stops sending child care cheques to millionaire families that, frankly, did not need it.
We have moved forward with a boost to the guaranteed income supplement, which puts more money in the pockets of low-income single seniors, some of the most vulnerable folk in the communities I represent, with up to $947 extra a year. That is why we moved forward with a tax cut for nine million middle-class Canadians and raised taxes on the wealthiest 1%.
Each of these measures was opposed by the official opposition. To hear them now criticize a plan based on the fact that it will make life more expensive creates some serious cognitive dissonance considering that they voted against all the measures that were making life more affordable.
In particular, this plan, as I have explained a number of times during these remarks, will also put more money in the pockets of eight out of 10 families in systems in which it applies. We worked with provinces for years leading up to the implementation of this system. In provinces like mine, Nova Scotia, there is in fact no federal price on carbon. It has come up with a cap-and-trade system that impacts about 20 major industrial polluters and places a modest surcharge on fuel. Nova Scotia's plan was accepted because it showed that it was taking seriously the threat that climate change constitutes.
It is only in provinces that would not come to the table with a serious plan that we are moving forward with it. We do not believe it should be free to pollute the atmosphere anywhere in Canada. The atmosphere belongs to all of us. When people operate industrial facilities that degrade that atmosphere, they should be liable to every Canadian for the damage they have done. That is why they are paying a price on pollution, and that is why citizens deserve the rebate that is paid out of these revenues.
None of this money is being kept by the federal government, contrary to what some of the Conservative members have suggested. If they have problems with the tax being kept by governments on the price of gas, I suggest they speak to some of the Conservative premiers who are currently railing against our plan to put a price on pollution. Those premiers have the ability to take the tax off gas and allow families to keep their hard-earned money. We are making polluters pay and giving that money directly to families.
The great thing is that we can see job growth when we move forward with an ambitious plan to fight climate change. In my community, there are examples like the Trinity group of companies, which is doing incredible work in energy efficiency. It started out with a couple of guys who were really good contractors. They realized an incentive was put in place by different governments, which we have since bolstered at the federal level over the past few years, to help homeowners reduce the costs of energy efficient products, whether smart thermostats, better doors and windows or more efficient heating systems. They use the products that have come down as a result of publicly funded rebates, which are helping homeowners bring their costs of living down by reducing their power bill each month. They have added dozens of positions to their organization.
In the community of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, companies like CarbonCure have developed carbon sequestration technologies that pull carbon out of the atmosphere to inject into concrete products to strengthen them for use in construction.
Speaking of construction, Canada's Building Trades Union has pointed out that as we upgrade our buildings and infrastructure, there is a potential opportunity to create four million new green jobs by embracing the green economy and fighting climate change. Those are serious numbers that will have a real impact on the GDP of Canadians. More important, for families, it is a job that people maybe could not get in the community they came from, so they may not have to move.
These are real, meaningful, human examples that are making a difference, not just for our economy but for families.
The motion on the floor suggests that we repeal our price on pollution and implement a real plan. I would like to draw to the attention of the House to the fact that there is so much more to our plan than this one policy onto which the Conservatives have latched. In fact, there are over 50 measures. I am happy to lay a few of them out for the House.
By 2030, and not many Canadians appreciate this, we are on track to have 90% of our electricity in the country generated from non-emitting resources. That is remarkable. We have made the single largest investment in public transit in the history of our country. This will encourage more Canadians to take public transit rather than drive their cars, so we can become more efficient and life can be made more convenient at the same time. We are phasing out coal. We are investing in energy efficiency. We are investing in green technology.
At St. Francis Xavier University, of which I am a proud alumnus, the flux lab, with Dr. David Risk, is developing instrumentation that is putting researchers to work. It has been commercialized because the oil and gas sector has realized that by using this instrumentation, it can detect gas leaks at a distance and increase its production without increasing its emissions. It is capturing gas that is currently leaking out of its infrastructure.
We are moving forward with these serious things.
In addition, we are implementing new regulations on methane to help reduce the fastest-growing contributor to global GHG emissions.
On the same piece, pursuant to the Montreal protocol, in Kigali, we have adopted a single new measure that will result in a reduction of methane emissions which will have the equivalent of a 0.5° reduction in emissions on its own. We are also adopting a clean fuel standard and vehicle emissions standards.
We are moving forward with the most ambitious plan in Canadian history to protect nature in Canada. This is serious. We need to take the opportunity before us to do something to protect our threatened ecosystems. With over $1.3 billion invested in protecting nature, we will more than double the protected spaces across our country.
Of course, we recently announced we would be moving forward with a ban on our harmful single-use plastics. At the same time, we are putting the responsibility of managing the life cycle of those products on manufacturers.
Most of these policies have a few things in common. They will help reduce our emissions and protect our environment, yet the Conservatives oppose them every step of the way. I have taken hundreds of questions in question period about our plan for the environment. Not once have I received a question from the Conservatives about what more we could do for the environment. It is always an attempt to do a less.
The fact is that we cannot turn back the clock. I look forward to seeing the Conservative plan tomorrow. When I hear the kind of commentary from members of Parliament on their side, it gives me great cause for concern. I doubt whether we can even start the conversation about what solutions are most appropriate when I hear comments that deny climate change is primarily due to human activity. This is not a time to be debating the reality of climate change; it is a time to be debating solutions and, more important, implementing solutions.
I want to encourage everyone at home to start pulling in the same direction. If people have children, they should talk to them at the dinner table. It is the most effective thing they can do to help change their minds about the importance of climate change. The kids are all right. They know what is going on and they want us to take action.
If people have the opportunity to take part in a community cleanup, to take part in a solo or co-operative cleanup, to take part in whatever is going on in their community, I urge them to embrace it. We are running out of time. We want to implement a solution to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. I only hope the Conservatives get on board.
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my fantastic colleague from Courtenay—Alberni. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate him on all the work he does to promote cycling in this country and help reduce plastic pollution. My colleague from British Columbia is doing an outstanding job.
I listened carefully to the parliamentary secretary's speech, and I want to come back to the final point he raised when responding to our Conservative colleague's question. Indeed, contrary to what the parliamentary secretary said, certain industrial sectors in Canada are getting free passes and handouts in terms of the price they will have to pay for their huge contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. This is all being given to them because of fears that businesses in certain highly competitive industrial sectors will want to move away or shut down their operations in Canada.
In his argument, the parliamentary secretary used the market argument to justify giving these companies a free pass allowing them to emit 10% more greenhouse gases before having to pay. What he fails to mention is that there is absolutely no verifiable objective criterion to justify this exemption, this gift being given to certain industrial sectors. In theory, the underlying logic to this exemption could be justified, but it is impossible to know what objective, rational, and independent criteria the Liberal government is basing its reasoning on. Several environmental activists have already asked this question. This approach lacks credibility. Again, it looks like the Liberals are handing out gifts to their corporate industry friends.
I find it interesting that we are having this discussion on the price of pollution. I have to hand it to the Conservatives, they are certainly consistent. When they sink their teeth into something, they do not let go. They do not like the idea of putting a price on pollution, and they are moving the same opposition motion that they presented a month or two ago, as though nothing else were going on in our society or our country. It seems to be the only thing they want to talk about until the election. Suits me. Let's talk about it.
I am the NDP environment critic. I am pleased to speak about our extraordinary platform called “The Courage to Do What's Right”, which the NDP leader recently presented in Montreal. It is an extraordinary and comprehensive document that includes a multitude of measures to address the challenges of tackling climate change. I will come back to that in a few minutes.
If there is one thing we can fault the Liberals for it is their lack of coherence. The government sheds crocodile tears and plays the violin while talking to us about future generations, the importance of the planet, nature, frogs and little birds, but it does nothing. It has been dragging its feet for years. The Liberals' environmental record does not live up to its promises of 2015 or the speeches it continues to give. What happened last night is proof of that. The Liberal government made us vote on a motion declaring a climate emergency. That is important. Canada is a G7 country. The government took the initiative to declare a climate emergency and to say that we must roll up our sleeves and take action. However, the Liberals had us vote on this motion the day before the announcement about the Trans Mountain expansion. That took some nerve. It does not make sense.
The Trans Mountain expansion will triple oil sands production, which will rise from 300,000 to 900,000 barrels a day. This project poses an extremely serious threat to British Columbia's coastline and has no social licence. Many indigenous communities oppose it, as does the Government of British Columbia. It is completely incompatible with the Liberal government's ambition to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. To increase oil production from 300,000 to 900,000 barrels a day is equivalent to putting another three million cars on the road.
The government's climate change plan involves putting three million more gas-guzzling vehicles on our roads. Someone pinch me; I must be imagining things. This is a nonsensical and wrong-headed plan.
It is no wonder that groups like ENvironnement JEUnesse are suing the Liberal government over its reckless disregard for future generations. Young people are concerned, they are protesting, they are organizing and they are taking the government to court because it is not fulfilling its responsibilities. It is not taking the courageous decisions needed to do our part to combat climate change, the greatest challenge of our generation. If we do not get greenhouse gas emissions under control and limit global warming to 1.5°C to 2°C, the consequences will be extremely costly. There will be social, human, financial and economic consequences. We cannot wash our hands of this. We cannot stand by. Unfortunately, the Liberal government is all talk and no action.
By contrast, the NDP, with our leader, the member for Burnaby South, has proposed an extremely ambitious and comprehensive plan. I am pleased to have the opportunity to talk about this plan today, because we are going after the biggest greenhouse gas emitters.
The government's mistake is thinking that taxing carbon or pricing pollution is a magic wand that will fix all problems. This is not the case. It is a necessary tool, sure, but it is not enough. I think this is very important to point out. This is why the NDP has proposed other measures to ensure that we take serious, responsible action. Our commitment is to cut emissions by 450 megatonnes by 2030. This is achievable and is consistent with scientific findings and the IPCC report.
First, we want to take action on housing. We want to complete energy efficiency retrofits on all existing buildings and homes in Canada by 2050. That will save Canadians money and also reduce our carbon footprint. We want to change the building code so that all new buildings are carbon neutral by 2030, meaning they produce no greenhouse gas emissions. This would be a regulatory requirement that would apply across the board. The government has not had the courage to do this, and it does not even seem to be interested in moving in this direction.
Second, there is transportation. The transportation sector is a major GHG emitter. There are two things we need to achieve. First, we want to electrify personal and freight transportation, and we want to make sure we do both, not just personal transportation. Second, we want to electrify transit.
Electrification of transportation is crucial. We are going much further than the current Liberal government. We pledge to waive the GST on all models of electric or zero-emissions vehicles made in Canada. Not only will this make it easier for consumers to own a zero-emissions electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, but it will also provide an important boost to help the automotive sector make this transition.
Our plan includes major investments in public transit totalling $6.5 billion over the course of the NDP's first term in office. We will work with municipalities to reduce the cost of using public transit. Ultimately, we want public transit to be free, as it is in other places around the world, because we want to encourage people to use public transit more as well as active transit, such as walking and cycling.
Third is renewable energy. This government continues to subsidize oil and gas companies to the tune of billions of dollars a year. That needs to stop. We will divert that money to the renewable energy sector, which is already creating far more jobs in Canada than the fossil fuel sector.
We will make that happen by setting up a climate bank that can issue loans and provide loan guarantees to businesses, investors and people who are building green energy projects and renewable energy developments.
That is the NDP's game plan. I think it is much more ambitious than what any other party in the House has to offer.
Canadians and Quebeckers will judge its merits on October 21.
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2019-06-18 11:50 [p.29279]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today as we talk about the most important issue that is facing our planet and humanity. The Conservative motion today is:
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.
I am going to speak about an environmental plan and how we can get to that conversation. However, before I do that, I want to read an important quote from Greta Thunberg. We all know that she is a leading climate activist globally. She says, “You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.”
I am going to target my speech to this motion and around the fiscal responsibilities of what is happening today. We know that the PBO did a report in 2014 and guesstimated that the cost of climate emergencies would be about $900 million a year to the Canadian economy. That has actually turned into $1.8 billion, so at the time he very much under-calculated the true cost of climate emergencies and how quickly we were going to see climate change happen. He also predicted that by 2050 we would see the cost escalate to $40 billion to $50 billion. When I think about Greta Thunberg, I think about my children and the children of our country. I think about ensuring that we do not leave them with a huge deficit and that we pay for pollution now instead of expecting Greta and other children around the world to inherit this huge economic deficit.
In our country, we are seeing skyrocketing temperatures that have never been seen before. Canada is the fastest-warming country in the world, now at 1.7° above 1948 temperatures, which is our baseline. We are looking at 2.3°C in the far north, where it is the fastest warming in the world. As I have raised here in the House, we are seeing changing weather patterns. We had the biggest windstorm in Vancouver Island's history in December. In February, we had the biggest snowstorm. In March, we had the biggest drought. We had forest fires that started in May and right now most communities in coastal British Columbia and certainly all over Vancouver Island are on water conservation orders. It is affecting our salmon, our economy, our food security and our way of life.
I will go to the motion. The Conservatives have been opposing the carbon tax. They have raised the carbon tax issue. I did a Library of Parliament research question. About two months ago, the Conservatives had asked 762 questions in question period opposing the carbon tax. Those are lost opportunities to bring solutions to the government and to call on the government to take action on a list of items that the Conservatives could be bringing forward. They are perhaps talking about some of that tomorrow. I am extremely disappointed that the Conservative Party of Canada did not roll out its platform yesterday so that today we could be debating its proposal. It would have been good for a healthy debate. We need to put partisan politics aside and have a healthy debate about this most important crisis that is happening in all of our planet's history.
I am extremely disappointed. The Conservatives point to the government, saying that the Liberals have no real plan, but we still have not heard the Conservatives' plan. This really affects the credibility of today's motion, which is just in opposition.
The Progressive Conservative Party of the past was willing to take action on climate leadership like with acid rain, putting a cost on polluters and ensuring that they paid the price. The Conservatives are not listening to some of their own leaders. Preston Manning is very much in support of a carbon tax, putting a price on pollution and ensuring it is carbon neutral. Therefore, when we look at the changes and evolution of the Conservative Party, I am concerned to see this motion come forward without the Conservatives' plan being presented to us.
We have heard from the Liberal Party about the importance of balancing the environment and the economy. We could not agree more.
However, we hear about the government purchasing a pipeline for $4.5 billion, and now, today, the Liberals are going to consider making a decision. If that decision has not already been announced while I am rising right now, it is to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline and invest $15 billion, which would be the largest purchase by the public in Canadian history in fossil fuel infrastructure, and at a time when we need to go in the other direction and invest in clean energy and renewal. Therefore, I am extremely disappointed to hear the government talk about balancing the environment and the economy when it could invest $15 billion into clean energy right now and into electrifying our country. There are so many opportunities and tools that the government has to bring our emissions down and take real climate action.
When I look at jurisdictions around the world, they certainly differ from the beliefs of my friend for Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola. He believes that the carbon tax in British Columbia and Quebec has not worked when, in fact, they have had the fastest growing economies in our country. In British Columbia, it has been an enormous success. When the member attacks the B.C. Liberal government of the past that brought it in and the B.C. NDP government that is carrying forward an important policy that is supported by the B.C. Green Party, he is taking a shot at all political parties in British Columbia that are united on one thing: knowing that we have to put a price on pollution and that polluters need to pay their fair share. That is just the reality.
We cannot leave it for Greta and other young people in our communities who we are hearing from. The youth climate action, as we have heard, is doing Friday walkouts, joining children from around the world demanding that we take action. By “we”, they mean right here in the House of Commons and leaders from across political parties standing united to take action. They are demanding it. I have children in my riding from G.P. Vanier and Mark R. Isfeld secondary schools in Courtenay who have walked out of school and called on us to bring their important message to Ottawa to be heard here in the House, and I am doing that today. Children in Port Alberni at Wood Elementary School are walking out of school, demanding we take action.
I have been privileged to sit on the climate caucus here in Ottawa, which is an all-party, multi-party caucus, with my good friend for Drummond from the NDP, my friend for Saanich—Gulf Islands from the Green Party, my friend for Repentigny from the Bloc Québécois and my friend for Wellington—Halton Hills from the Conservative Party. It is one opportunity where we actually put our partisan politics aside and become united on an important issue. Sadly, only about 10 or 12 of us show up on a regular basis, and we need more. We need to make it a party so that climate caucuses meet right here in the House of Commons and have a healthy debate about how we move forward and not go backward.
Today, I look at models around the world. California is an excellent model that has taken real action, such as curbing climate emissions on vehicles. Californians have taken a multi-tasked approach where they work with people who are facing real challenges in communities, who are facing huge economic hardship, and shifted that through cap and trade. They have improved their GDP by 37% since 2000 and have reduced emissions by 35%, and that is per capita. This is just another example of a jurisdiction that has taken leadership. Norway has invested in $1 trillion in oil and gas, while our country put $11 billion aside. In Norway, they are earning $50 billion in interest alone and investing in clean energy and strategies that will lower emissions. In fact, 53% of their vehicles are electrified in Norway. Therefore, it can be done. There are 45 countries around the world that have a price on pollution and a carbon tax, as well as an additional 25 jurisdictions, provincial or state, in various countries around the world.
We have heard from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or the IPCC, that we need to reduce emissions by 45% from 2005 levels, and our commitment in Paris, by 2030. We have to take drastic action.
I could speak all day about solutions and creating jobs, clean energy and investing in electrification, and ending subsidies to big oil and gas, which, again, could finance so many opportunities and solutions, such as retrofitting buildings. The number of things that we could do is endless. We could have a full debate about that, and I wish we were.
We are in a climate crisis, and I want to close on what Greta Thunberg had said, “I don't want your hope. I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic [and] act as if the house was on fire.”
We are in the House. Let us act like it is on fire.
View Robert Sopuck Profile
CPC (MB)
Mr. Speaker, I enjoyed working with my friend on biosphere reserve issues, but I disagree with pretty much everything he says. I find the NDP strangely hilarious. On one hand, it tries to defend the steel industry in Hamilton and talks about how important those jobs are, yet it works like crazy to stop pipelines that are made of steel.
I used to have a lot of time for the old NDP and members like Ed Schreyer, the party of the working person and so on. This new NDP is finished when it comes to dealing with the working person. The only party that cares about working people in this country is the Conservative Party.
Today's poll showed what working people have to say. They do not want to pay a carbon tax. The Conservative environmental plan to be released tomorrow will be a groundbreaking plan.
The member talked about electrifying this country. This country will be electrified when that man in that chair is the Prime Minister of this country.
I have two questions for my friend. One, how high does he want the carbon tax to go? I notice that he did not give a number. Two, given that the NDP rails away against the oil and gas industry all the time, will he put his money where his mouth is and recommend every union pension fund and the Canada pension plan divest themselves completely of every single oil and gas investment?
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2019-06-18 12:03 [p.29281]
Mr. Speaker, I could speak for a long time to answer that very long question. First of all, when it comes to standing up for workers, I will tell the House what it looks like in my riding. We had the B.C. Liberals in government and raw log exports went up tenfold in 10 years. They shipped jobs out of our province. Now they want to raw ship oil, raw bitumen, instead of refining it in our country and creating Canada's energy security here. They want to ship it out of our country.
Who is standing up for jobs? The only time British Columbians have had jobs stood up for is from New Democrats, who have always been there for labour and ensuring we have job security in our country.
When it comes to a carbon tax, again, this is when partisan politics get in the way. We are not listening to the experts or bureaucrats who know what we need to do. We need to listen to them and do what we need to do to ensure our children are not picking up the tab. There is nothing fiscally Conservative about this.
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2019-06-18 12:05 [p.29282]
Mr. Speaker, there were a lot of questions again. New Democrats do not support oil and gas subsidies, full stop. That is clear. I have no problem saying that right now. The federal NDP has made it very clear.
When it comes to a previous question about the Canada pension plan, no, we should not be investing Canadian pension funds in oil and gas infrastructure. My colleague from Cowichan—Malahat—Langford has a bill that he will hopefully be speaking to this week and the member will have an opportunity to speak to that.
I could talk a lot about how we need a bigger debate about this very important issue. This is not enough. With the Conservatives not rolling out their plan and having this discussion now, they totally lack credibility.
View Lloyd Longfield Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Lloyd Longfield Profile
2019-06-18 12:36 [p.29286]
Mr. Speaker, I am going to be sharing my time with the hon. member for Winnipeg North, and I look forward to his comments after I have had a chance to speak.
Our government is taking climate change seriously. We know that climate change is real and that we have a plan to tackle it. After the Paris Agreement negotiations in 2015, Canada set out a plan to tackle emissions to do its part to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C. We spent a year working with provinces and territories, engaging indigenous peoples and listening to Canadians from across the country. Two and a half years ago, we released our national climate plan, the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. I went through that plan last week. It is an 86-page document that says what we are going to do and how we are going to do it.
The plan is designed to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. It is going to help us to adapt to a changing climate and spur clean technology and innovation. Our plan includes putting a price on carbon pollution across Canada, something we are talking about today, because we know it is effective and puts money back in the pockets of Canadians. As part of an overall plan, 90% of the revenues that are collected are going straight back to families through their tax returns in provinces where pollution pricing does not exist, such as in Ontario.
The other 10% is going back to businesses to help them reduce their carbon footprints with the climate action incentive fund, which supports these types of projects and measures that are undertaken by SMEs, municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals as well as not-for-profit organizations. The recipients of these funds will benefit from funding projects to decrease their energy usage, save money and reduce carbon pollution. It is also an economic plan for these types of organizations.
Putting a price on carbon is going to reduce emissions by 50 million to 60 million tonnes by 2022. It will also promote innovation, providing incentives to reduce energy use through conservation and efficiency measures.
However, our plan is much more than pricing carbon pollution. Our plan includes over 50 concrete measures in policies, regulations, standards and investments to reduce Canada's emissions, drive clean growth and help Canadians adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The Government of Canada has also invested $28.7 billion to support improvements in public transit. Through this investment, we are making it easier for Canadians to choose lower-emission transit options. The Ontario government has put a freeze on some of these projects, but we are hopeful to see further investments in Guelph, including alternate-fuelled buses through the municipality, greening its fleet, and the incentives in place by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to create charging stations. We invested in 26 new buses a few years ago. Those buses were purchased in a way that is going to help our community to have more people on the bus.
Outside our community, we are looking at the ongoing concern of establishing an all-day, two-way GO train service to and from the GTA. We have a lot of commuters who are getting through traffic on the 401 to get to work and then facing delays getting home to their families. However, the multi-billion-dollar project to expand Ontario's GO Transit network has taken two major steps forward, on May 30 of this year, with the Canada Infrastructure Bank's announcing an investment of up to $2 billion and the province's short-listing four consortia to advance to the next stage of procurement on this project. That project is attracting international investment; it is not all being funded by Canadians through the infrastructure bank, which is one of the measures that our government has brought forward.
The rail expansion that we are talking about is officially known as the GO regional express rail on-corridor project. It involves significant construction work along the greater Toronto and Hamilton area rail corridor, as well as a new train maintenance facility and upgrades at Toronto's Union Station. The wide-reaching project also incorporates rail electrification, refurbishment and maintenance on trains, and oversight of train control and dispatch operations, among many other aspects, and introducing data as a way to help us move trains from point A to point B.
The overall approach that we are taking is strategic. It is something along the lines of what Guelph has developed, a community energy initiative. Now we are looking at the same types of principles nationally to see where the main contributors to climate change are. Industry is the largest, including oil and gas, but it is all industry, amounting to 37% of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada or 269 megatonnes.
We are looking at small business retrofits across the board. In Guelph, we have Canadian Solar that is doing great work on providing solar panels across Canada. Linamar in Guelph is developing the car of the future.
We are looking at new processes within our manufacturing industry. One of the members across the way mentioned VeriForm, which is just in Cambridge, southwest of Guelph, that is looking at how to reduce the climate change impact on businesses.
We have introduced an accelerated capital cost allowance to write down costs in the first year. Instead of paying taxes, people will pay for greening their businesses to reduce the cost of operations.
We have also looked at transportation. Twenty-three percent of greenhouse gases, 171 megatonnes, are emitted through transportation. We are looking at how we can reduce those through EV incentives that we have now introduced. We are also promoting EV within our communities through a not-for-profit organization called eMERGE that has held a couple of car shows to show the community how we can transition to electric vehicles. In fact, we have had many owners displaying their cars and saying what their challenges have been and how they are overcoming challenges to show that it really is not that hard to get into an EV.
We are looking at active transportation, increasing bike lanes, and as I mentioned, increasing the number of buses in our fleet, getting new buses in our fleet, providing fare boxes at bus stops and four special transit vehicles, all of which are funded through the federal government's support.
We are looking at our built environment, the buildings and the 12% of greenhouse gas emissions, or 87 megatonnes, that are emitted through building heating and cooling. FCM now has a green fund that we have doubled so that we can put climate action incentives in place to help people save money on the operation of their building and, at the same time, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
As well, 11% is coming from electricity. How do we provide a better way of getting electricity other than using fossil fuels? We are looking at research into cold-water aquifer development so that we can get geothermal working on our side to provide heating and cooling in urban buildings.
Forestry, agriculture and waste draw a lot of attention with 17% of greenhouse gas emissions, or 127 megatonnes. I am proud to say that Guelph and Wellington County were the recipients of a $10-million fund through the smart cities challenge to reduce food waste and promote clean technology companies that are focused on providing sustainable food and reducing food waste. We are looking at that developing and going into the future.
Beyond all of these, looking at the different areas of greenhouse gas emission opportunities, we are also looking at adaptation and climate resilience. We are looking at the floods and forest fires that are happening and how we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions through adaptation programs.
I was a member of the Rotary Club in Guelph. It just completed a 10-year program of planting 60,000 trees in our area. It is looking at how to sequester carbon and promote more oxygen into the atmosphere. Even though the Ontario government is cutting tree-planting programs, Guelph is looking at ways to increase its tree canopy to a 40% target within the municipality.
Flood resilience is another area. We all experience floods. Even though Guelph is not on a major river like the Ottawa River, we still get floods. The federal government has provided support for sewer upgrades and snow storage areas and flood resilience programs, all helped by federal funding.
Clean technology, innovation and jobs is where we are all heading. It is a new economy. We are looking at the opportunities that climate change provides for us to develop the technology of the future. I co-founded an organization I am so proud of, Innovation Guelph, that is working with Bioenterprise in Guelph. It received $5.6 million and is helping 135 new start-up companies to develop solutions around clean technologies.
Looking at this nationally, Sustainable Development Technology Canada is providing funding support for companies across Canada to develop these types of solutions. It has also launched joint funding opportunities in collaboration with Emissions Reduction Alberta and Alberta Innovates, which I also visited during my term here. It has partnered with the Ontario Centres of Excellence to enhance Ontario's greenhouse gas innovation initiative. SDTC estimates that its projects have reduced annual emissions by 6.3 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent, generated $1.4 billion in annual revenue and supported growth of more than 9,200 direct and indirect jobs since 2015.
We have also funded the upgrade of the community energy initiative in Guelph with $175,000, which is going into projects in Guelph to try to help us move forward into the future.
However, our work is not done. The transition to a low-carbon economy does not occur overnight. We recognize that evidence-informed policy requires ongoing support, so we established a new independent climate change and clean growth institute to provide trusted information and advice for years to come. We are going to review these findings to help us contribute to take strong action on climate change, which includes the price on carbon but does not exclude all these other things we are doing.
I am thankful for the time I had to talk about climate change as it relates to Guelph.
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I listened closely to my colleague's speech.
I feel that the Liberals are taking action at the last minute. Last night, they made us vote on a motion recognizing the climate emergency, but they have done practically nothing over the past four years when they were in power.
The vote on this motion was held on the eve of the announcement concerning the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which they bought with our money.
The Trans Mountain expansion will increase pollution and oil sands production. It will be equivalent to putting another three million cars on the road.
How can my Liberal colleague say that it makes sense to vote on a climate emergency motion one day and then authorize the increased production of the most polluting oil in the world the next day?
View Lloyd Longfield Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Lloyd Longfield Profile
2019-06-18 12:51 [p.29289]
Mr. Speaker, that was also part of the question from the hon. member for the Green Party across the way, which was how do we have sustainable development in terms of pipelines and getting oil to export markets? That is really the purpose of Bill C-69 and Bill C-48 working together. How do we measure greenhouse gas emissions upstream and downstream, working with indigenous people to make sure we also have the social licence to do what we need to do?
The pipeline we are going to be talking about later this week has 200 conditions against it. This is not a matter of creating a corridor and plowing through with no environmental or social review. We are following the new review processes, which take into account climate change and our impact on the world, hopefully getting our oil to market to take off dirty coal or other emitters that are worse than what we would be providing through our resources in Canada.
View Monique Pauzé Profile
BQ (QC)
View Monique Pauzé Profile
2019-06-18 13:06 [p.29290]
Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with the parliamentary secretary, who said that a price on pollution improves economic competitiveness. That is what OECD researchers are saying. That is a message for my Conservative colleagues.
However, I do not agree with the Liberals, who keep repeating that the economy and the environment go hand in hand. That is not the case for Trans Mountain.
The more we increase oil sands development, the more we increase greenhouse gas emissions. Here are a few statistics. Since 2005, the oil sands have grown by 158%. Alberta is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, which rose by 28.7% between 2009 and 2016.
The economy and the environment do not always go hand in hand, when it comes to the extraction of dirty oil from the oil sands.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2019-06-18 13:07 [p.29290]
Mr. Speaker, on that particular point, we would have to agree to disagree. I believe an economy can in fact be managed while respecting the environment. We have seen that over the last three and a half years.
We have seen very progressive policies developed and implemented on the environment, while at the same time we have been able to generate, by working with Canadians, over one million jobs here in Canada. The economy does matter.
When we look at LNG, which is the largest single government-private working investment in Canadian history, we see it is going to provide cleaner energy. Parties will fall where they may. I know the NDP is having a very difficult time with that issue. The current leader at one time supported it, but now we do not know exactly where the NDP will fall on that particular issue.
If we look at it and just listen, the Conservatives will say that we are not building the pipelines fast enough. If we listen to the Green Party, it would be that we should not build any pipelines. If we listen to the NDP, it would depend on the day and how threatened it is by the Greens. That would determine their policy. In terms of the Liberals, I can say that we appreciate the fact that we can do it in such a fashion that it is still good for Canada's environment and good for Canada's economy.
That is why we would argue that at times it is important for us to recognize that the economy and the environment can in fact go hand in hand, if they are administered properly. That is something we have done in the last three and a half years. Hopefully, we will get a renewed mandate a little later this year.
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 Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-06-18 14:19 [p.29302]
Mr. Speaker, we know that the Prime Minister and his cabinet are going to approve the TMX pipeline project today. This is not a big surprise. However, what is very unclear is whether or not this pipeline will ever get built.
I have a very simple question for the Prime Minister. When will construction of the TMX pipeline commence in Burnaby this summer?
View Patty Hajdu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, we have been steadfast in our commitment to getting this right by following the Federal Court of Appeal's guidance. Over the last number of months, the Minister of Natural Resources has met with communities from all four regions of the proposed project, and our Crown consultation teams have been on the ground engaging in meaningful two-way dialogue. We have committed to delivering this process in the right way for all Canadians, and we will have more to say shortly.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-06-18 14:20 [p.29302]
Mr. Speaker, there is no comfort there. I spent this weekend in Milton talking to people on Main Street. I spent the last two days in Toronto talking to senior bankers and business people. The one thing they all have in common is that not a single one of them believes that the Prime Minister will get this pipeline built, and we will not believe it until we see shovels in the ground.
I ask again, what day will this pipeline commence construction in Burnaby, British Columbia?
View Patty Hajdu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, for 10 years, the previous government cut corners with its blatant disregard for the courts, no plans to protect the environment and coastal communities, and failure to respect the rights of indigenous communities. In the process, all the Conservatives managed to do was divide Canadians. We will take no lessons from the Conservatives. We committed to getting this process right for all Canadians, and we will have more to say shortly.
View Lisa Raitt Profile
CPC (ON)
View Lisa Raitt Profile
2019-06-18 14:21 [p.29303]
Mr. Speaker, one would think that a government that is seeking to be re-elected by the Canadian public would actually care about the fact that nobody believes it will build this pipeline. The Liberals can dredge up past stories of their own narratives, but the reality is that they have to live with their actions now. Nobody believes they will build the pipeline.
However, here is the thing. They can tell us now exactly when they are going to commence construction. When will they commence construction in Burnaby this summer?
View Patty Hajdu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, it is clear that the Conservatives continue to double down on their failed approach, with their disregard for the courts, with no plan to protect the environment, no plan to protect the coastal communities and no respect for consultation with indigenous communities. The only thing they ever achieved in their decade was to divide Canadians. They even voted to de-fund the TMX reconsideration process. We committed to getting this done right, and that is exactly what we are doing.
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
View Gérard Deltell Profile
2019-06-18 14:22 [p.29303]
Mr. Speaker, the Liberals have some nerve talking about lack of respect. The Liberal Party and the Liberal leader have little respect for Canadian energy and none at all for oil industry workers.
The Prime Minister has no respect for people who work on pipelines. He wants to eliminate oil and he wants it to be expensive, as well. That is what the Liberals want. We know that the government will be giving the Trans Mountain expansion the green light a few hours from now.
The question is, when will the shovels actually be in the ground?
View Patty Hajdu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, it is ironic that the party opposite would talk about respect for workers. For over a decade, it had a process that resulted in no pipeline getting built. In fact, we respect workers. We have respected workers through the legislation we introduced to strengthen workers' rights in this country, to protect workers' rights and to create good jobs. In fact, we have supported the creation of over a million jobs in this country since we were elected. That is standing up for workers. This government will always stand up for workers, always stand up for jobs, and that is exactly what we are doing today.
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
View Gérard Deltell Profile
2019-06-18 14:23 [p.29303]
Mr. Speaker, I just want to say to the member to be patient: four months and it will be done.
As everyone knows, the government has not done a single thing since announcing Trans Mountain. Not one spadeful of soil has been turned, not one inch of pipeline has been built. The government has not built a thing, but it has taken a 2,500 kilometre detour by sending Canadians' money to Houston, which is 2,500 kilometres away from here. That is the only thing the Liberals have done.
In a couple of hours, they will announce that Trans Mountain is going ahead. When will shovels be in the ground?
View Patty Hajdu Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, once again, the Conservatives had a decade to create things like pipelines and it did not result in any action. Why? Because they blatantly disregarded the courts. They blatantly disregarded the rights of Canadians. They blatantly disregarded the rights of communities to have input, to have consultation on these projects that affected all of us.
We continue to support the process of consultation. The minister has held numerous consultations with indigenous communities and with coastal communities. We continue to listen. We will have more to say shortly.
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2019-06-18 14:24 [p.29303]
Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister presents a symbolic motion on the environment one day and approves a pipeline expansion the next. This pipeline will only make climate change worse. This decision shows that the Liberals are not taking the emergency seriously and do not respect the rights of indigenous peoples.
What will the Prime Minister say to the young people who want to defend the environment and have sustainable employment in the future?
View Catherine McKenna Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Catherine McKenna Profile
2019-06-18 14:25 [p.29303]
Mr. Speaker, I am always pleased to stand and say how hard we are working to protect the environment and tackle climate change.
Yes, yesterday, we had a vote on the climate emergency motion. The Conservatives voted against it. I am pleased that the NDP voted for it, but why are they not in favour of the project supported by B.C. NDP? I am speaking of the LNG project, which creates thousands of jobs and is growing our economy. We are—
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jagmeet Singh Profile
2019-06-18 14:26 [p.29304]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are facing soaring temperatures, forest fires and flooding. Canada should be a leader on climate innovation. Canada should be ending our subsidies to fossil fuels. Instead, the Liberals are purchasing pipelines. They are continuing to maintain Harper's targets. They are continuing to subsidize fossil fuel sectors.
We believe there is a better way. The Liberals believe there is better symbolism. When will the Prime Minister finally respect indigenous communities, coastal communities and defend our environment?
View Catherine McKenna Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Catherine McKenna Profile
2019-06-18 14:26 [p.29304]
Mr. Speaker, we do not believe in symbolism; we believe in action.
That is why we have phased out coal and we are ensuring a just transition for communities. That is why we are making historic investments in public transportation, so people can get around faster, greener, cheaper. That is why we are investing in innovation and companies across the country that are providing the solutions we need and the world desperately needs. That is why we brought in Bill C-69, better rules to protect the environment.
Unfortunately, we have a Conservative Party that does not believe that we need to protect the environment, that we need to—
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Speaker, we already know that saying one thing and doing the opposite is the hallmark of the Liberal Party. However, declaring a climate emergency one day and approving the expansion of a pipeline that will emit as much pollution as three million cars the next day goes beyond mere hypocrisy. They just do not give a damn what Canadians want.
How can this government claim to be for the environment while betraying future generations with its fake green policies?
View Catherine McKenna Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Catherine McKenna Profile
2019-06-18 14:39 [p.29306]
Mr. Speaker, we are working very hard to fight climate change. We put a price on pollution across the country, we are phasing out coal, and we are investing in a just transition. We are investing in clean technology to create jobs across Canada. We are investing in public transit and green infrastructure. We are fighting plastic pollution.
I could say more, but what Canadians and I find really disappointing is the Conservative Party. The Conservatives refuse to join all members of the House in declaring a climate emergency and saying that we must take action.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Peter Julian Profile
2019-06-18 14:39 [p.29306]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are disappointed in the Liberals, because with this irresponsible rubber stamp, Liberals are trashing the Paris agreement forever and vandalizing our coastal environment and marine life.
Climate leaders do not try to ram through raw bitumen pipelines, and they do not run roughshod over indigenous rights. Just one spill will wipe out thousands of jobs in the fisheries and in tourism for a generation.
Liberals are throwing away $17 billion from taxpayers to threaten jobs in the environment in B.C. Why did they not say no to oil lobbyists? Why did they not say yes to future generations?
View Paul Lefebvre Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Paul Lefebvre Profile
2019-06-18 14:40 [p.29306]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians elected our government on a plan to grow the economy and protect the environment. That is exactly what we are delivering.
We have invested over $1.5 billion in the oceans protection plan. We have a national climate plan with more than 50 measures, investing over $50 billion in the green economy. We are also putting in place a process to make sure resource projects move forward in the right way.
If it were up to the NDP, there would be no new investments in any new natural resource sector. Let us look at LNG Canada. We are not sure where the NDP stands.
We are focused on getting the energy sector process to move forward in the right way.
View Jamie Schmale Profile
CPC (ON)
Mr. Speaker, nine provinces are opposed to the Prime Minister's attack on resource development in Canada. The Liberals stifled debate and rammed through bills that would block oil exports and kill energy projects. Twenty-one industry leaders announced that this is the end of future growth, and those investors have abandoned this important sector.
When will the Prime Minister finally admit that his no more pipelines bill and oil export ban bill are part of his plan to phase out Canada's energy sector?
View Paul Lefebvre Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Paul Lefebvre Profile
2019-06-18 14:43 [p.29307]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians expect a transparent assessment of major projects that they can trust, and businesses need assessments to be done in a timely and efficient way. The Harper Conservatives gutted this process. They made Canadians lose trust, and they hurt our economy and energy sector at the same time.
Our better rules will ensure that resource development is done in a way that protects the environment, grows our economy, properly consults indigenous peoples and creates good, middle-class jobs. That is what Canadians expect. That is what we will continue to deliver.
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 Catherine McKenna Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Catherine McKenna Profile
2019-06-18 14:44 [p.29307]
Mr. Speaker, Stephen Harper's failed system gutted environmental assessments. He rammed through a new process, without any consultation, through an omnibus budget bill.
What did that get us? It got us more polarization. It got us fights across the country. What did it not get us? Good projects were not able to go ahead in a timely way.
We built better rules that will ensure that we listen to indigenous peoples, that we protect the environment, that we listen to the concerns of Canadians. Yes, they will ensure that good projects are built in a timely way, because we have $500 billion of economic opportunity—
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 Paul Lefebvre Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Paul Lefebvre Profile
2019-06-18 14:45 [p.29307]
Mr. Speaker, we are putting in place better rules to protect the environment, respect indigenous rights, attract investment and create good, middle-class jobs. Hundreds of major resource projects worth over $500 billion in investments are planned across Canada over the next 10 years. A robust project list will ensure good projects can move forward in a timely, transparent way that protects the environment, rebuilds public trust and strengthens our economy.
View Alexandra Mendès Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, Canada and the world are facing a real climate emergency. This was made very clear with the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's special report on global warming.
Climate-related risks to our health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, safety and security and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5° and increase further if we surpass 1.5° Celsius.
Here at home, Canadians are already feeling the impacts of climate change. Communities in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick have once again suffered record-breaking flooding in the spring. Thousands of residents in northern Alberta were evacuated because of out-of-control wildfires. Last summer, in the province of Quebec, the deaths of more than 90 people were linked to the heat wave.
Extreme events are becoming more frequent, more devastating for Canadians and more expensive in terms of both disaster response and recovery.
My children and grandchildren have now lived through two severe floods and two tornadoes in the Ottawa region in the past four years. We now have to constantly worry about ticks that carry Lyme disease. These impacts have now become their normal, and it is not right.
The Government of Canada recognizes that the impacts of climate change will only continue to be more devastating if no action is taken.
We also recognize that Canada is one of the highest per capita emitters in the world and consistently ranks in the top 10 of the world's highest absolute GHG emitters. How could we expect other countries to reduce their emissions if we do not do the same?
In 2015, this government was involved in the negotiation of the Paris agreement with a delegation that included representatives from the three political parties as well as indigenous leaders. We all came together with the rest of the world, and for the first time ever, every country's representative said that they were going to act on climate change.
Canada pushed countries to limit temperature increases to 1.5°, because this is the only way to avoid catastrophic climate change impacts, such as increases in average temperature, heavy precipitation and severe droughts devastating local ecosystems and the Canadian way of life.
I will be splitting my time with the member for Kitchener Centre.
In 2016, we came together again to develop a national climate plan with concrete measures to reduce emissions, build resilience and grow the economy. Our plan includes more than 50 concrete measures, regulations, standards, programs and investments to achieve our goal, and pricing carbon pollution is an important and effective part of that.
Our plan includes putting a price on carbon pollution, because it is the most effective way to reduce emissions. It sends an important signal to the markets and provides an incentive for businesses to reduce energy use through conservation and efficiency measures. Hence, my mention of cars that consume less. We know it works.
Last year, the three provinces that already put in place their own carbon pollution pricing, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta, were also among the top performers in GDP growth across Canada.
This climate action is so effective that more than 74 jurisdictions around the world, representing about half of the world economy, have adopted it as part of their plans to reach the Paris agreement targets. Doctors, industry leaders and Nobel Prize-winning experts have all agreed that putting a price on pollution is effective and have demanded that governments take this action.
Pollution should not be free anywhere across this country. Based on analysis conducted by Environment and Climate Change Canada, putting a price on carbon pollution would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 million to 60 million tonnes in 2022. This is equivalent to shutting down about 30 to 35 coal-fired electricity-generating units for a year.
It is also important to note that all direct proceeds from the federal carbon pollution pricing system will be returned to the jurisdictions in which they were collected. Households receive a climate action incentive, which gives most families more than what they pay and creates incentives for cleaner choices. Funds will also be given to the province's schools, hospitals, businesses and indigenous communities to, for example, help them become more energy efficient and reduce emissions, helping Canadians save even more money and improve our local economies.
Again, putting a price on pollution is not the only action this government is taking to address climate change. As part of our climate plan, we are also regulating the oil and gas sector to reduce methane emissions by 40% to 45% by 2025, which will encourage companies to find cleaner, more efficient ways to run their operations.
We are phasing out the use of coal-fired electricity by 2030, as part of Canada's efforts to have 90% of electricity from non-emitting sources by 2030, while working with the affected families, communities and businesses to help them with the transition to a cleaner economy.
We are making a historic investment of $3 billion to spur innovation and bring clean technologies to market, such as funding to support technology to scrub carbon dioxide directly from the air, as well as $75 million to tackle challenges in clean technology.
We are developing net-zero energy ready building codes to be adopted by 2030 for new buildings, developing a model code to guide efficiency improvements for retrofitting existing buildings and establishing mandatory labelling to provide businesses and consumers with information on energy performance.
As we work to fight climate change, we know that Canadians are feeling the impacts of a changing climate. That is why we are taking action to help our communities adapt and prepare for the challenges that lie ahead.
I have only a few seconds left, so I will be happy to take questions.
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jenny Kwan Profile
2019-06-18 16:03 [p.29319]
Mr. Speaker, I know the Liberal government likes to see itself as a climate leader. However, we should all acknowledge the fact that climate leaders do not continue to subsidize big oil.
When will the government fully eliminate subsidies to the fossil fuel industry?
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jenny Kwan Profile
2019-06-18 16:04 [p.29320]
Mr. Speaker, I would be very happy to. I know the member was busy talking to the government House leader.
My question for the member is this. When will the Liberal government fully eliminate fossil fuel subsidies?
View Alexandra Mendès Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, it is part of the plan. It is definitely part of the transition we have been talking about. I do not have a date, but I absolutely can tell members it is part of the plan. It will eventually be something that we hope we will end in Canada.
View Jenny Kwan Profile
NDP (BC)
View Jenny Kwan Profile
2019-06-18 16:17 [p.29322]
Mr. Speaker, we are waiting momentarily for the final decision from the government on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. Of course, we have been hearing from the community over and over again that climate leaders do not buy pipelines and that it should not be part of our climate emergency plan.
My question for the member is this. How does he reconcile the contradiction of buying a 65-year-old pipeline in the face of a climate emergency?
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Raj Saini Profile
2019-06-18 16:18 [p.29322]
Mr. Speaker, there is no contradiction. It is very simple. The economy and the environment must go hand in hand. Both are important for the progress of our country. Both are important for the advancement of our society. To take one over the other is not a principled approach. The principled approach is to take both together, to make sure that the economy is functioning, not at the expense of the environment, and that the environment is respected, as it should be. There is no contradiction.
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
2019-06-18 16:30 [p.29324]
Mr. Speaker, my colleague mentioned Shell and talked about some of the work that Shell was doing as it relates to its carbon footprint. I am wondering if he is aware that there was a CBC report on April 3 of this year that talked about Shell and said, in particular, “Global energy giant Royal Dutch Shell is urging Canada's largest oil and gas organization to get off the fence and support both the Paris climate accord and the pricing of carbon to encourage greenhouse gas emission reductions.” Even the oil producers are talking about putting a price on pollution.
I will ask the member a much simpler question, a really direct one. The member for Milton, the deputy leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, said, “Bottom line is there’s no solid connection between climate change and the major indicators of extreme weather...The continual claim of such a link is misinformation employed for political and rhetorical purposes.” The member for Milton clearly does not believe in climate change. Does the member believe in climate change?
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 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 Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House in this final week of the 42nd Parliament on behalf of the constituents in Cowichan—Malahat—Langford to speak to the Conservatives' final opposition day 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.
I have some problems with the way the motion is worded and I will go over them. Number one, the motion asks us to basically take a major step of repealing a carbon tax and then putting our faith in a so-called real environment plan. With respect to my Conservative colleagues, if they had wanted us to put more substantive thought into the motion, perhaps they could have timed the release of their environment plan for today so that instead of waiting until tomorrow when debate on the motion will be well and truly finished, we would actually have something substantive to compare a carbon tax to and to see if it is actually going to achieve our goal of reducing Canada's emissions.
That is my first main criticism. If we are going to make the House debate a motion where something is going to be repealed that is already in existence and replace it with something else, it would be nice to know what that something else is.
A large amount of debate on the carbon tax has to do with the price and there are a few things I would like to say to address that. First of all, with respect to my Conservative colleagues, I think they are having a fairly visceral reaction to a carbon tax because it seems to be a policy that was introduced by a Liberal government and that is a problem. There seems to be sometimes a knee-jerk reaction from the official opposition to anything that the Liberals do. We want to examine these policies for the merits to see if they are actually going to do things. I think the basic premise of the argument over the costs of the carbon tax is based on an assumption that we can fight climate change without incurring costs.
Any politician who tells us that they can address this problem without costs to ourselves, to the government, to society as a whole, I am sorry, but they are simply not being truthful. This is going to require a major effort on all fronts. Furthermore, when we look at the proposed costs of a carbon tax, we know at $20 per tonne it is going to equal 4¢ per litre. By the time it goes up to $50 per tonne, which I believe is in three years, it would cost up to 11¢ per litre, so to put that in perspective, that means in three years we will be adding about $7 in cost to fill up of our gas tank. That is what we are arguing over and that is not even in effect now. That is in three years' time.
The reason why I want to underline the cost part of it is this. While we are quibbling about the cost of a carbon tax now, which most experts around the world acknowledge is far too low to have any meaningful action, I want to put that in the context of just what the costs of unmitigated climate change are going to be and how those are going to affect future tax revenues.
If we think that the climate change now is costly, just look what the costs will be when we hit 2°C, 3°C or 4°C of warming and we are already seeing the effects. In my home province of British Columbia, our budget for forest fire fighting is going to be completely blown out of the water. That is the long-term trend.
In my community of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, I live in a rainforest and in March we had 30% of our normal rainfall. The lakes and rivers were at 30% of where they should have been. In future years that is going to require is a hefty dose of infrastructure money to build a new weir so we can hold more lake supply back to make sure that the river flows at an adequate rate. These have very real costs.
This is not even speaking about the extension of the droughts we are going to have in many different parts of Canada, the flooding, the mitigation and adaptation measures we are going to have to employ.
Some of the most expensive real estate in the country is located in Vancouver, which is a flood plain.
Before I continue, Mr. Speaker, I am splitting my time with the hon. member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke.
The Vancouver International Airport is located on the flood plain of the Fraser River. What happens in future years when we have a flooding Fraser River meeting increased sea levels and we have to suddenly build all of that dike infrastructure to keep the waters at bay?
This is going to be a pattern that repeats itself again and again and again. I just really want to underline that fact that while we are quibbling about the costs in the present day, we are actually not doing justice to the issue for future generations and future Parliaments and the costs that those governments are going to have to deal with.
Furthermore, this effort that we are going to have to mount to properly address climate change is going to have to be on a scale of what our country did to fight the Great Depression and World War II. Let us use World War II as an example, because I keep on hearing the argument that Canada's efforts are not really going to amount to much. It has to be sort of a worldwide solution. There is some truth to that.
The fact of the matter is that in World War II, our relative contributions to the wartime effort were quite small vis-à-vis other countries, but did Canada shirk its duties? Did we say that by ourselves we are not going to win the war so we may as well pull back our effort? No, we did not. We mobilized a wartime economy. We put people to work. We got our factories up and running. We increased our armed forces and we sent people off to make sure that the effort was won. We did not shirk our duties. That is precisely the type of mobilization that we as a country are going to need to employ to properly address this problem. I want to use that as a historical context. We as a country have been able to punch above our weight and we have the ability to do so again.
The other thing is that I want to touch on Trans Mountain and the climate emergency motion that was debated yesterday. We just received news that the Liberal government has approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and that absolutely undercuts anything they said yesterday with regard to their support for a climate emergency because climate leaders do not build pipelines. The expansion of that pipeline means that the proponents, namely the Government of Canada because it owns the pipeline, are planning for it to be in operation for another 10, 20 or 30 years. Does that mean by the year 2050, with all of the evidence of climate change, we still want to be exporting diluted bitumen at three times the amount we currently are? Is that where we really want to invest our billions of dollars? No, we do not want to do that.
Think of what we could be kick-starting in the renewable energy economy in the future with that kind of money, if we made those kinds of investments and got rid of the oil and gas subsidies that we shamefully still continue to pay out year after year. The government can say all the right words but, looking at the details, it is sadly lacking.
I am very proud of the work that my party has done over the years. Going back to 2006 when Jack Layton brought in his Climate Change Accountability Act, we had Megan Leslie in 2009 talking about a green new deal and, of course the member for Edmonton Strathcona, who has been an environmental lawyer for decades, has brought in a bill to enshrine environmental rights into law. This is the legacy of our party.
We are a party that has proposed an oil and gas ombudsman to look at the price of gas at the pump so that consumers can actually know when oil and gas companies are gouging them. These price fluctuations are not the result of a carbon tax. They are the result of oil companies controlling the supply from the refinery to the pump and they are making billions of dollars of profit off our backs. If we had an ombudsman, we could have Canadian consumers looking up those prices and getting the certainty that they deserve.
Finally, I will just end on this. I am extremely proud of the proposal that we have put forward in our “Power to Change” document because we are not going to tackle this problem with a carbon tax alone. It is going to make a multi-faceted effort where we retrofit homes, and where we help that transition for people who are employed in oil and gas to get those skills so they can so they can transfer to the new renewable energy economy of the future.
It is going to take a Herculean effort, where everyone works together, puts aside partisanship and realizes that this problem is far above us all. We all need to work together to properly address it.
View Randall Garrison Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to speak against this Conservative motion. I will give Conservatives credit for one thing, though: they have made their position on climate change clear. We know with this motion that they are going to oppose one of the most effective ways of dealing with climate change, and that is by putting a price on carbon.
We also know, because we saw them do it, that they voted twice against motions to declare a climate emergency. That makes their position even clearer. They voted against the NDP motion and the government motion on climate change. They simply do not accept the urgency of the situation we are in. The fact that they have yet to announce any climate plans of their own really illustrates their failure to grasp the urgency of our situation.
This is surprising, as well as disappointing, because even business groups are now acknowledging that the costs of failing to act on climate change will be enormous. Earlier this year, the Insurance Bureau of Canada cited climate change as the primary factor in increasing insurance costs and noted that in 2018, severe weather caused $1.9 billion in insured damages in Canada.
Today a working group, chaired by the Insurance Bureau of Canada and Public Safety Canada, put out a report on how we might deal with the financial risks of the more frequent and severe flooding we are now seeing. It is not about how we can avoid those costs; it is about who is going to pay those costs. How are we going to take the risks off ordinary Canadians for things that are far out of their control?
For me personally, climate change is an issue that I have been engaged in for more than 30 years. In 1989, I was working for a small indigenous-led NGO based in Victoria, at that time called the South Pacific Peoples' Foundation and now called Pacific Peoples' Partnership. At the urging of our Pacific Island partners, we organized a public education program, including a tour of B.C. high schools, warning of the threat of global warming to coral reefs and the habitability of the Pacific Islands. Unfortunately, that warning is now becoming a reality with the sad news that in just two years, between 2016 and 2018, one-half of the coral that makes up Australia's Great Barrier Reef died. Coral reefs are dying all across the Pacific Ocean.
It is not the stereotype that Pacific Islanders will have to learn how to swim. What is happening is that the coral reefs, which are a main source of food supply, the main protection of the coasts against storm surges and a main protector of the freshwater lenses that human habitation depends on in the islands, are being destroyed by climate change here and now.
A second warning on climate change came from Australia this week with the release of a policy paper from an independent think tank called Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration, in Melbourne. This report is entitled “Existential Climate-Related Security Risk”. The report concludes that “Climate change now represents a near to mid-term existential threat to human civilization.” The authors note that current Paris Agreement targets are insufficient, and as they stand, would lock in global warming of at least 3°C if we achieve the Paris targets. The authors cite the conclusions of numerous reports that at a 3°C increase in temperatures around the world, governments will be overwhelmed by the scale of the changes and challenges they will have to face. These include the spread of new pandemic diseases, heat beyond human survivability in many regions, massive disruption of agriculture and food systems, flooding of coastal areas, where literally hundreds of millions of people live, and the disappearance of freshwater resources, all resulting in enormous human migrations.
There is a danger that focusing on these doomsday scenarios will cause many to reject them as far-fetched, despite the fact that these are no longer probabilities. They represent the real risk of the catastrophe we are facing. There is also the danger that the sheer scope of the challenge will cause many to despair of any action at all. To me, this motion in front of us today actually falls into one, if not both, of those categories.
Therefore, I will be voting against this motion, because it is really a head-in-the-sand reaction to the very real challenges we face and because focusing on the costs of carbon pricing ignores the far larger costs of failing to act. Those costs are here, and those costs are now.
New Democrats are voting against this motion because we do support putting a price on carbon. We say yes to a carbon tax, not one paid by individuals alone, as the Liberals have designed, but a carbon price that also applies to the big polluters. We would like to see an end to the Liberal carbon tax exemptions for their corporate friends.
Putting a price on carbon is of course an important tool in the fight against climate change, but it is only one tool in what needs to be a comprehensive package of measures. There is no question that no single measure will be sufficient to meet the scale of the challenges of this climate emergency. That is why New Democrats put forward our plan, a plan called Power to Change—A New Deal for Climate Action and Good Jobs.
The Liberals and their policy depend almost exclusively on one tool, just the carbon tax. This will not get us anywhere near where we need to be. The NDP has a comprehensive plan that recognizes that we are all in this together and that success in meeting the challenge of climate change will only be achieved if we leave no one behind. If we ignore the question of workers and their jobs, if we ignore the circumstances of seniors, we will not get the buy-in we need to succeed.
The goal of our plan is clear: to do what we must to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°. In other words, we will have science-based targets, not just arbitrary percentages of reductions. This is the same approach I put forward when Esquimalt council adopted my motion for science-based targets in 2010: measure our progress and adjust our target reductions as necessary to achieve the results we need.
We know now that this means a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 38% below 2005 levels by 2030. We know it means a reduction of at least 50% by 2050 if we are to reach a net-zero carbon economy, the one that is necessary to halt further rises in temperature.
Some have criticized our plan for being vague on targets for 2050, but I would say that the key to our plan is that our targets for 2050 are at least 40% to 50%. We are committed to whatever reductions science decrees are necessary to avoid catastrophe.
The NDP plan also calls for an independent climate accountability office, much like an auditor general in terms of our finance matters. This office would measure our progress and advise on the targets we need to meet to avoid the catastrophe that we really do face.
Unfortunately, the Liberals have kept the greenhouse gas reduction targets set by Harper, calling for a 30% reduction by 2030, targets that are clearly now inadequate. Even worse, the measures put in place by the Liberals will miss the reduction target for 2030 by 79 million tonnes, and if not adjusted, would only get us to the goal of a 30% reduction in another 100 years, yet the Liberals voted against our climate emergency motion, which called for a legislated requirement to act and a series of specific measures to adopt. Instead, yesterday we voted on their motion, which mandates little but hand-wringing. It says that we have an emergency; it mandates no action.
We have choices before us. We can put our heads in the sand. We can wait for someone else to act, arguing that Canada's share of emissions is too small for our efforts to make a difference, ignoring that we are among the world's highest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases, or we can make different choices.
We can end subsidies to fossil fuel industries right now, amounting to about $3 billion annually. We can avoid wasting money on buying and building projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline, which the Liberal government announced, just before I started speaking, it has approved once again.
The NDP has a real plan to create jobs in all communities across the country, jobs in renewable energy, in home retrofits and in restoration of what we would call the great environmental negative legacies left behind by the oil industry. Many of those jobs will use the same skills that workers in the oil industry already use. They will be good jobs, good family-supporting jobs, in every community.
It is time for the Conservatives to get on board and present their plan. It is time to stop pretending that climate change does not already come with a large price tag, which will only increase as time goes on. It is time to tell us what choices they would make about how we meet the challenge of mitigating climate change and avoiding climate disaster.
The Liberal action is both feeble and contradictory. Only New Democrats have put forward a clear plan to move forward together to meet the challenge of climate change.
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 Randall Garrison Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I was the first elected official anywhere in the country to move a motion against what was then the Kinder Morgan pipeline. I remain firmly opposed to it. There is no economic argument for this project, it has no consent from indigenous people and it puts under threat most of the local economy in my riding, which is based on ecotourism, fishing and the very clean shores we have that are a mecca for tourism.
This project would be nothing but a disaster were it to be built. However, the Prime Minister, in the short time I was able to see of his statement, said nothing other than a vague promise that there would be shovels in the ground. I do not know how he is going to build this pipeline with massive local opposition and without the consent of first nations.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-18 19:15 [p.29346]
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to rise to continue my response to the government's motion on the Senate amendments to Bill C-48.
As I said yesterday, I, along with millions of other Canadians, would rather that Bill C-48 be consigned to the dustbin of bad ideas. I read aloud the letter from six premiers that highlights the damage Bill C-48 and Bill C-69 are doing to our national unity. I left off quoting testimony from indigenous leaders and elected representatives on this and other bills, which underscored the hypocrisy of the government's claim to consult.
I will pick up there, considering the backdrop of Liberal attacks on the Canadian oil and gas industry, and share some of the testimony, much from first nations leaders, that the transport committee heard when we studied this bill. These are not my words. These are not the words of the Leader of the Opposition or any of my colleagues. These are the words of Canadians who, day in and day out, are working hard to provide good jobs and economic growth while maintaining a healthy environment.
Ms. Nancy Bérard-Brown, manager of oil markets and transportation with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said:
CAPP did not support the proposed moratorium because it is not based on facts or science. There were no science-based gaps identified in safety or environmental protection that might justify a moratorium.
Mr. Chris Bloomer, president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, said:
The proposed oil tanker moratorium act, Bill C-48, is yet another change that will compound uncertainty and negatively impact investor confidence in Canada....
In conclusion, the consequences of potentially drastic policy changes for future energy projects have instilled uncertainty within the regulatory system, adding additional risks, costs, and delays for a sector that the Prime Minister publicly acknowledged has built Canada's prosperity and directly employs more than 270,000 Canadians.
The approach to policy-making represented by the development of Bill C-48 contributes to this uncertainty and erodes Canada's competitiveness.
Commenting on the practical, or rather impractical, ramifications of this bill, Mr. Peter Xotta, vice-president of planning and operations for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, said the following on what this bill could mean for the west coast transportation corridor:
With regard to Bill C-48, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority assumes that government understands the potential economic impact for such a moratorium, given that there are very few suitable locations, particularly on the west coast, for movement of petroleum products, as was articulated by my associate from Prince Rupert.
Notwithstanding the fact that any future proposals would be subject to government's rigorous environmental and regulatory review process, this moratorium could create pressure on the southwest coast of British Columbia to develop capacity for future energy projects.
As I said earlier, there were many first nations representatives who gave testimony at committee. Ms. Eva Clayton, president of Nisga'a Lisims Government, said:
In the weeks that preceded the introduction of Bill C-48, we urged that the moratorium not be enforced before further consultation took place and that the moratorium should not cover our treaty area.
Much to our surprise, Bill C-48 was introduced before we had been offered an opportunity to review the detailed approach that the government decided to take, nor were we able to comment on the implications of the proposed legislation on the terms and shared objectives of our treaty even though the area subject to the moratorium includes all of Nisga'a Lands, all of the Nass area, and all coastal areas of our treaty....
We aspire to become a prosperous and self-sustaining nation that can provide meaningful economic opportunities for our people. This aspiration is reflected in our treaty, which sets out the parties' shared commitment to reduce the Nisga'a Nation's reliance on federal transfers over time. The Nisga'a Nation takes this goal very seriously. However, it stands to be undermined by Bill C-48.
Mr. Calvin Helin, chairman and president of Eagle Spirit Energy Holding Ltd., stated:
In that context, first nations people, particularly the 30-plus communities that have supported our project, have told us that they do not like outsiders, particularly those they view as trust-fund babies coming into the traditional territories they've governed and looked after for over 10,000 years and dictating government policy in their territory.
Mr. Dale Swampy, coordinator of Aboriginal Equity Partners, stated:
We are here to oppose the tanker ban. We have worked hard and diligently. Our 31 first nation chiefs and Métis leaders invested a lot of time and resources to negotiate with northern gateway with the prospect of being able to benefit from the project, to be able to get our communities out of poverty.
Please listen to how Mr. John Helin, mayor of the Lax Kw'alaams Band, identified those who support the oil tanker ban. He said:
What we're asking is, what is consultation? It has to be meaningful. It can't be a blanket moratorium.
If you look at our traditional territory and the Great Bear Rainforest, that was established without consultation with members from my community. The picture that was taken when they announced that, it was NGOs from America standing there trumpeting that accomplishment. We can't let people from outside our communities, NGOs and well-funded organizations that are against oil and gas or whatever they're against come in and dictate in our territories what we should and should not do.
In contrast to Mr. Helin's comments, Ms. Caitlyn Vernon, campaigns director for the Sierra Club of British Columbia, a witness who supports this bill, actually let the cat out of the bag in response to a question, when she said:
on the south coast, tankers pose a huge risk to the economy, communities, wildlife, the southern residents, and endangered orca whales that live in the Salish Sea.... Absolutely, I would support a full-coast moratorium.
Mr. Ken Veldman, director of public affairs for the Prince Rupert Port Authority put the views of Ms. Vernon, and others like her, including, I would point out, members of this House in the NDP, the Bloc, the Green Party and likely even the Liberal Party, in perspective when he said:
As you may imagine, there are a wide variety of opinions as to what's acceptable risk and what isn't. However, the reality is that risk can be quantified, and if you're looking to achieve zero risk, then you're correct that zero transportation is really the only way to achieve that.
That said, if our appetite for risk is zero, that has very broad ramifications for shipping off the coast in general.
When speaking to our committee this spring, Captain Sean Griffiths, chief executive officer of the Atlantic Pilotage Authority, also reflected on the impact of an oil tanker moratorium on the Atlantic Canadian economy. He stated:
Twelve of our 17 ports in Atlantic Canada ship large volumes of oil and petroleum products in and out of port. I can imagine it's a way of life back in the east, and it has been for quite some time. We move a lot of oil in and out of our ports. Placentia Bay alone, for instance, has 1,000 to 1,100 tanker movements every year on average, so a moratorium would, I'm sure, devastate the region.
Bill C-48, along with Bill C-88, and the “no more pipelines” bill, Bill C-69, paint a pattern of a government and a Prime Minister obsessed with politicizing and undermining our energy resources sector at every turn. Whether it be through legislation, the carbon tax, the cancellation of the northern gateway and energy east pipelines or the continued bungling of the Trans Mountain expansion, which we heard today the Liberals have approved yet again, the current Prime Minister has proven, at every turn, that he is an opponent of our natural resources sector. If the government was serious about the environment and the economy going hand in hand, it would implement real changes.
Hypothetically speaking, let us look at some the changes the government might make. It could use scientific independent studies to further strengthen our world-leading tanker safety system by making changes that would not only protect our domestic waters but the waters of any country with which we trade. It could require all large crude oil tankers operating in Canadian waters to have a double hull, since a double hull has two complete watertight layers of surface and is much safer. It could even go a step further and inspect every foreign tanker on its first visit to a Canadian port and annually thereafter, holding those tankers to the same standards as Canadian-flagged vessels.
This hypothetical government could also expand the national aerial surveillance program and extend long-term funding. It could increase surveillance efforts in coastal areas, including in northern British Columbia. It could ensure that the aerial surveillance program was given access to remote sensing equipment capable of identifying potential spills from satellite images.
This theoretical government could give more power to the Canadian Coast Guard to respond to incidents and establish an incident command system. It could amend legislation to provide alternate response measures, such as the use of chemical dispersants and burning spilled oil during emergencies, and could clarify the Canadian Coast Guard's authority to use and authorize these measures when there was likely to be a net environmental benefit.
It could create an independent tanker safety expert panel to receive input from provincial governments, aboriginal groups and marine stakeholders and then implement the changes recommended by this panel. It could focus on preventing spills in the first place and cleaning them up quickly if they did occur, while making sure that polluters pay.
Hypothetically, the government could modernize Canada's marine navigation system and have Canada take a leadership role in implementing e-navigation in our tankers while supporting its implementation worldwide. This is doubly important, since e-navigation reduces the risk of an oil spill by providing accurate real-time information on navigation hazards, weather and ocean conditions to vessel operators and marine authorities, thereby minimizing the potential for incidents.
It could establish new response planning partnerships for regions that have or are expected to have high levels of tanker traffic, such as the southern portion of British Columbia, Saint John and the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Port Hawkesbury in Nova Scotia, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Quebec. It could work to develop a close partnership with each of these regions, including with local aboriginal communities, to develop responses to the unique challenges facing their tanker traffic.
This theoretical government could strengthen the polluter pay regime by introducing legislative and regulatory amendments that would remove the ship-source oil pollution fund per incident liability limit and ensure that the full amount was available for any incident. It could ensure that compensation was provided to eligible claimants while recovering these costs from industry through a levy. As well, it could extend compensation so that those who lost earnings due to an oil spill would be compensated even if their property had not been directly affected.
All these changes could be done by a government that actually cared about protecting the environment and continuing to grow the economy. Wait a minute. We are not talking about a hypothetical government. Every single one of the changes I just mentioned was brought in by the previous Conservative government. Unlike the Liberal government, we listened to the experts, which empowered us to make real, practical changes that made a difference.
While Liberals vacillate between paralysis and empty, economically damaging, virtue-signalling legislation, Conservatives look for real solutions. Case in point, the Liberal government is so preoccupied with appearances that it just finished its third round of approving a pipeline supported by over 60% of British Columbia residents.
I read the quote earlier by some who support this legislation. Some would like to see a complete prohibition on oil movement.
This ideological oil tanker moratorium, as I have said, is not based on science. We know that. That is why, frankly, we did not propose any amendments when this bill was before the transport committee. We did not believe that this bill was redeemable, and I still do not. There was a brief moment of hope for me when the Senate committee recommended that the bill not proceed. Sadly, that hope was short-lived.
This brings us to today and the motion that is the basis of our debate. I will take a few minutes to outline my thoughts on the government's response to the Senate's amendments to the Liberals' terrible bill.
Last week, the Senate voted on three amendments to Bill C-48. One, by a Conservative senator, which would have given the Minister of Transport the authority to adjust the northern boundary of the tanker moratorium, would have been an improvement to the bill. Regrettably, it was narrowly defeated.
The amendment in the other place that did pass cannot be called an improvement to this bill. While somewhat noble in its intent, it is a thin attempt to mask the fact that this entire bill is an affront to indigenous people's rights. The inclusion of these clauses in the bill does not change that fact.
Regarding the second part of the amendment passed by the Senate, I acknowledge that it is at least an attempt to recognize that this bill is an assault on a particular region of the country, namely, the oil-producing prairie provinces. This second part of the amendment passed by the Senate calls for a statutory review of the act as well as a review of the regional impact this act would have. The government's motion, which we are debating today, amended certain elements of this Senate amendment.
No one will guess which section of this amendment the government kept and which section it rejected. Those who guessed that it rejected the section that, at the very least, acknowledged indirectly that this bill was an attack on western Canada, would be correct.
This further demonstrates that when the Prime Minister or one of his ministers claims that others are threatening national unity with their opposition to certain pieces of legislation by the government, it is the ultimate doublespeak. Hon. senators who support this bill had the decency to propose and pass an amendment that was at least a tip of the hat to the alienation felt by western Canadians brought on by the Liberal government's actions. The motion we are debating today has stripped these sections from the bill, proving once again that this is just another step in the Prime Minister's plan to phase out the oil sands, regardless of the impact on Canada's economic well-being.
It is for these reasons that my colleagues and I oppose the government's motion on the Senate amendments to Bill C-48. We on the Conservative side will always stand up for Canada. We support Canada's natural resource sector, which contributes billions to our economy and economic growth. We support Canada's environment with practical, science-based policies that have a real and positive impact on our country's, and indeed the whole world's, environment. We support Canadians in their hope and desire for sustainable, well-paying jobs so that they can support their families, support each other and contribute to a happy and healthy Canada.
Conservatives support legislation that is based on science, research and the facts, and this bill is none of the above.
View Nathan Cullen Profile
NDP (BC)
View Nathan Cullen Profile
2019-06-18 19:45 [p.29350]
Mr. Speaker, I think the time ahead of us is somewhat short. This bill is now under a measure to allow it to proceed at a certain pace. For some, it might seem like a bit of a rush, that this is happening at some accelerated pace, but for those of us who make our homes along the north coast and the northwest of British Columbia, this has been a conversation that has gone on for more than a generation. We have been talking specifically about the transit of oil across the northwest and off the north coast to some other ports for almost 50 years. It has been 47 years.
Going back through some of the history would be important to help colleagues and people watching this debate understand how much this has been studied by Parliament, the National Energy Board, people living in the northwest and industry. I am not sure there is another transit route anywhere in North America that has been looked at so often and so often rejected as a good or potential route to pass oil products through because of some of the inherent risks that make the transit of that oil difficult to do securely.
Fifteen years ago, I started my career in federal politics. One of our objectives in running for office and ultimately achieving success at the polls was to put Skeena back on the map, to have the conversation that we were having between and within our communities as part of a national dialogue, issues about the environment and resource exploitation, about indigenous rights and title, and the obligation of the Crown of this place to do a much better job than we have historically done through our colonial past. Fifteen years ago, when I first rose in Parliament, the issue that we talked about was this. We were talking about attempts to protect the north coast, which by anyone's estimation is deserving of our respect and protection.
In the most recent election in 2015, four of the five major federal parties campaigned on the promise to do exactly what we are doing here today. Of the people sitting in this House of Commons, representing over 12 million Canadian voters, 70% campaigned on this promise throughout that election. Making good on that promise is the least we can do for the people in the northwest, who have again been discussing this for more than a generation.
In 1970, a House of Commons committee first studied this question asking: is this a good idea or not; is there a port to the north of Vancouver that would make good sense to transit oil? That review came up negative.
In 1972, the declaration of a voluntary moratorium, an exclusion zone, was put in place. Also, in 1972, one of my predecessors, Frank Howard, the MP for Skeena, as it was known at the time, passed a unanimous motion confirming that exclusion zone. All parties in the House of Commons at that time understood the importance of this. It was multipartisan. It was not even partisan or bipartisan; it had all parties in agreement.
The federal commission was struck in 1978.
The voluntary agreement with the United States came in 1988, which has been reviewed many times since and confirmed each and every time.
In 2009, Stephen Harper decided to ignore this long-held moratorium. He simply called it a cabinet utterance, which it was. It had never been written down into law. Therefore, as the then prime minister, he said he did not need to abide by it and then opened up the conversation for a proposed project from the company known as Enbridge, which hived off to become Enbridge northern gateway, a subsidiary, which is a neat trick an oil and gas company sometimes does to protect itself. It creates a subsidiary to run a pipeline, which indemnifies it against legal action if ever there was an accident. This is the same company that spilled massive amounts of oil and diluted bitumen into the Kalamazoo River, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars. It is unable to clean up the Kalamazoo, by the way, in Michigan in the States. It is a very shallow, slow-moving, warm river. For anyone familiar with the circumstances of our rivers in British Columbia, particularly northern British Columbia, they are not shallow, slow-moving or warm. Every oil cleanup expert in the world, those based in British Columbia and throughout North America, has described a successful cleanup rate for a diluted bitumen spill on the north coast at less than 7% recovery.
Let me repeat that. What would be deemed as a successful, A-plus cleanup operation in the event of a spill from a pipeline or an oil tanker on the north coast in the waters that we know, is 7% recovery and 93% lost into the environment. As we know, diluted bitumen sinks and causes havoc in a place that relies on our rivers and our oceans for our very sustenance.
The great privilege that I have had for this decade and a half representing the people of the northwest is to come to know in some small way the ancient indigenous cultures that have resided there since time immemorial: the Tsimshian, the Haida, the Heiltsuk, the Nuxalk, the Tahltan, the Gitxsan and Wet'suwet'en, all the way through and to the coast.
The privilege that has been mine is learning from that leadership that the responsibilities of leaders are not simply to care for ourselves in the moment in which we exist, but in all of our best efforts to represent people, to speak on their behalf and to leave the place better than we found it.
In Kitimat, British Columbia, which would have been the terminus for the northern gateway pipeline, it was the Haisla leadership in particular, elected and hereditary leadership together, who spoke with such firmness and declaration. They rejected the idea of bringing diluted bitumen to the north coast and sailing it down the Douglas Channel in super tankers, trying to perform three 90-degree turns before getting into the Hecate Strait near Haida Gwaii, the fourth most dangerous body in the world, in an attempt to move oil safely hundreds and thousands of times over the course of the life of a pipeline. There is no reasonable person who can offer the people I represent the assurance that an accident will not happen.
The Exxon Valdez spill of 1989 was just north of us. To this day, we can go on the shorelines where the Exxon Valdez went down and where it spilled. All we have to do is dig half a foot into the gravel banks and the water that fills back in comes with an oil sheen that is detectable as spillage from the Exxon Valdez so many years ago.
Most Canadians approach these questions in a relatively straightforward way: What are the risks versus the benefits, not just to us as a community but to us as a province and a nation? The risks that are entertained in trying to move diluted bitumen and any oil product off the north coast in super tankers that are not designed for our waters through very narrow and treacherous passageways so far outweigh any imagined benefits that it is a no-brainer.
I can remember a letter that was issued by the then natural resources minister. I do not know if colleagues remember. It was directed by the prime minister's office, we found out later. It said that those who are opposed to northern gateway are enemies of the state and foreign-funded radicals. That is what they called us. Not only was that an incredibly offensive and ignorant thing to say about fellow Canadians from the prime minister's office and his minister, but it ended up having the reverse effect in the place I represent.
What the former Harper government had not learned was that sometimes those people who are concerned about the environment and worried about oil spilling into our oceans and into our rivers are not all wearing Birkenstocks. They are not all fully paid members of Greenpeace. In fact, in the place I live, some of the most conservative people I know take that word “conservative” seriously, to mean they want to be able to take their kids fishing and to the out of doors. I need to respect that place in order to have that privilege and for them to have that privilege for their children. The former government accused us of being radicals, of being foreign-funded stooges to some great, grand conspiracy theory, which continues on today, unfortunately, for law-abiding, proper-thinking Canadians who are simply saying they want a voice in this conversation and that the government has to listen to them.
It was so shameful for any government of any political persuasion to stoop to those tactics, and it had the opposite effect. People where I live, those from the right, the left, the middle and outside all of our conventional thinking said, “How dare you” to the former government. In fact, it may have in part contributed to the Conservatives' eventual downfall; that the arrogance and the bullying represented in that attitude toward citizens whom we seek to represent backfired completely and exposed that government to something else.
To former colleagues and current provincial premiers who are waving the national unity flag, one way to not do national unity is by threatening and bullying other Canadians. We do not bring this country together by yelling at each other. We do not represent the best interests of Canada when we talk to another province in a disrespectful and offensive way. Unfortunately, what we are seeing out of some of our provinces is to suggest to British Columbia, the place that I call home, “How dare you stand up for things you believe in? How dare you represent your views politically and socially?” We can see what is coming out of Edmonton these days, and it will not have the effect that I suppose they are hoping for.
To my friends and family in Alberta, whom I have spoken to many times over these long years, and we have been campaigning and talking about this for a long time: We absolutely understand the fear that is exhibited, particularly by those who are involved in the oil industry, because they have had a hard go. Oil went up to extremely high prices, $140 a barrel, money was easily made through hard work and focus, and then, steadily, prices collapsed. The economy of Alberta, in particular, and of Saskatchewan as well, are very reliant on that particular economy. They fell on incredibly hard times, and things got more and more tight and desperate. It felt as if the world was lined up against them. However, no one is controlling oil prices, last I checked, effectively. Not the current government and not past governments. This is a cycle that we have seen many times.
In the face of this, we are also collectively challenged with what we are seeing in our world. The predictions and thoughts we were getting in the 1980s and 1990s about the impacts of climate change were that forest fires would become more intense and broader, that floods and storm events would no longer be single-century events but many times over many years, and that we are seeing the impacts and the weather pattern changes that are directly attributable to dangerous climate change. Albertans know this. We saw the floods in Calgary. We saw the fires in Fort McMurray, and we saw them in my region as well.
I sat down with a forest firefighter just last season, which was another record and devastating year. For those who have ever experienced or been in proximity to an out-of-control forest fire, it is devastating. It is so shaking to our very understanding of home and security when we see the full rage and power of Mother Nature in effect. However, I was sitting across the lunch table from a firefighter who had blackened eyes and was completely covered in soot. He had just got off the line. He has been fighting fires for 30 years. I asked, “How are you doing?” He said, “It's different”. This guy is to the right of Attila the Hun and way out there in terms of his conservative views on the world and so I asked, “How is it different?” He said, “The impacts of climate. I'm watching it”. I said, “You're putting me on.” He replied, “Absolutely not. It's the way the fires are behaving; the way the things are conducting themselves is not the way that we know.”
Now, with the bill before us, many in the oil industry are seeking certainty. It is a common refrain: “We want certainty. We just want to be able to know what the landscape is”. I will offer this to those interested in certainty: We want certainty too.
For millennia, the people of the north coast have relied upon the oceans and rivers for our economy, our basic social fabric and the sustenance that builds the incredible cultures that we now celebrate and enjoy across the globe. The certainty that we require is that these moratoriums that were voluntary, that were utterances from the government, will no longer be uncertain; they will be certain, and that is what the bill would do. However, the bill would also bring certainty to the industry, because last I checked, and someone can correct me, there is no one knocking on the door to try to build a diluted bitumen pipeline to the north coast, because the risks so far outweigh the benefits. It is because the political and social environment of the northwest is so connected to the land, so connected to the oceans and the rivers, that the viability of anyone proposing to build a big old diluted bitumen pipeline and put all of that in supertankers with some faint promise to get it off to overseas markets is not a reality. So let us create that certainty.
I mentioned in a question earlier in the debate that I worked alongside Jim Prentice, who has left us, while he was environment minister for the former government. Jim had come to the north coast, unlike many people who speak with some sort of authority as to how the north coast works.
Jim came many times. He saw the splendour and the grandeur. He worked with us on bringing forward the Great Bear Rainforest initiative. It had started under a previous Liberal government but had never come to completion. I worked with Rona Ambrose and John Baird. It was all these folks who had not exactly hugged a tree every day, but who understood the importance of this part of the world. We funded that initiative, protecting the largest tract of temperate rainforest in the world, and protecting it in such a way that includes the people who live there. We did not draw a line on a map around people, saying that the local communities were not important. We included them in the creation of a global leading conservation effort.
We bought back some, and some companies just simply forgave the permits they had to drill for oil and gas in the Hecate Strait, a preposterous notion for anyone who has ever been across the Hecate Strait. It is incredibly shallow, prone to storms, and has some of the strongest winds in the world. It is a place that so relies on the ocean being intact for the survival of the people there.
It was through a Conservative, and I got in a lot of trouble for it. Some people said, “How dare you work with Conservatives to get something done?” There was a headline in the Toronto Star, claiming I had sold out. People wonder sometimes why we lose faith in politics. Something good was done, and I did not care who did it. I did not care who got the credit for it. I just cared that it got done. It was something people in the region wanted. It was through the Conservative government that we did it.
This is a strange, circular moment for me. When we came into this place, we were fighting to protect the north coast. As this parliamentary session winds down and my colleagues turn their eyes toward the next election, those who are re-offering, I think sometimes life offers us a little bit of a bookend to a story, that where one starts ends up being where one finishes.
For the people I represent, who have been engaged in this battle, indigenous and non-indigenous, right and left, rural and urban, for more than 40 years, to see this bill come to pass as one of the last acts of this Parliament, in which there have been disappointments, failures and mistakes as there always are, they can look to this piece of legislation, know that it is in fact founded in science, know that it is in fact founded in deep and profound consultations that have gone on for decades, and know for a fact that what we are doing as a Parliament here today is good.
What we are doing here as colleagues, as parliamentarians, who are called to serve, and in our best ways represent the people of this great country, is something right. There will be those who think it is wrong. I would invite them to come to the place where I live. I would invite them to see this place and meet the people who rely on this place for their very survival.
Allow me to end with this. I was in Bella Coola in Bella Bella, Heiltsuk and Nuxalk territory just last week. It was in the Heiltsuk territory where the Nathan E. Stewart went down. It is a relatively small, segregated barge. The world-class oil spill response that this country has claimed to have for 20 years was unable to handle a relatively small spill that took place on the clam beds and areas where salmon spawned, vital to the Heiltsuk Nation.
That experience was traumatizing for people there. It was traumatizing because they had been warning the federal government for many years that the clean-up for spills was insufficient, our navigational responses were insufficient, and what they were trying to protect was so precious to them. They could not go anywhere else. This was their home, this was where their ancestors were buried.
In watching the response, the brave response from that community, and knowing the risks posed by a much larger and more devastating spill, the least we can do is listen. Politicians are not always great at that. We like to talk. I have been talking for a bit here.
We have had many failures in this place. Parliament has failed rural people and indigenous people more often than not. Every once in a while, we can do something right and we can do something good. Passing this bill, enshrining what has existed for many decades into law, will be doing something right, and I believe doing our jobs on behalf of all Canadians.
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-06-17 14:18 [p.29178]
Mr. Speaker, when it comes to pipelines, four years have proven that no matter what side of the issue people are on, nobody can trust the Liberals.
We fully expect them to approve Trans Mountain later this week, just so they can say they did. Then we fully expect them to do absolutely nothing to get it built, because they do not want to upset voters in Burnaby.
Why will the Liberals not just admit that they do not want pipelines and that Trans Mountain will never actually get built under their watch?
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
2019-06-17 14:19 [p.29179]
Mr. Speaker, we have more confidence in Canada's energy sector than what is being portrayed by the members of the official opposition.
We gave approval to Enbridge Line 3, which is almost completed on the Canadian side. We are working with the U.S. on the Keystone XL pipeline. We are moving forward on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project in the right way, with meaningful consultation that has been concluded with indigenous communities.
We have full confidence in our energy sector.
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-06-17 14:20 [p.29179]
Mr. Speaker, a year ago the Prime Minister promised that construction would start on TMX, and a year later not an ounce of dirt has been moved. The Prime Minister says one thing in one part of the country, and he says something completely different in another part, because, just like on everything else, he speaks out of both sides of his mouth.
The Prime Minister does not support pipelines and the jobs that come with them. Now he could try to prove us wrong, so will he tell us right now when construction on TMX will start in Burnaby?
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
2019-06-17 14:20 [p.29179]
Mr. Speaker, it is quite known to Canadians that when Stephen Harper got into office in 2006, 99% of the oil from Alberta was sold to only a single customer, which was the United States. When he left office in 2015, that was still the case 10 years later: 99% of oil was still being sold to the United States.
The Conservatives' plan failed to build a single pipeline to diversify our market to non-U.S. markets. We are changing that.
View Candice Bergen Profile
CPC (MB)
View Candice Bergen Profile
2019-06-17 14:21 [p.29179]
Mr. Speaker, four major pipelines were built under the Conservatives' watch, with not one dollar of taxpayers' money used.
Over the last four years, though, the Prime Minister has done everything in his power to destroy jobs in Canada's energy sectors. He is forcing through devastating bills, like Bill C-48 and the no-more-pipelines bill, Bill C-69. Right now, he is playing political games with the TMX pipeline.
Will the Prime Minister finally be honest with our energy workers and admit he has no intention for construction to start in Burnaby?
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
2019-06-17 14:21 [p.29179]
Mr. Speaker, if the members of the official opposition were really serious about moving forward with the process on TMX in the right way, they would not have voted to shut down and kill that process. That shows their lack of sincerity about getting our resources to non-U.S. markets.
We are doing the hard work to ensure that meaningful consultation is taking place with indigenous communities and that we are taking action on the environment with protection of the environment.
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
View Gérard Deltell Profile
2019-06-17 14:22 [p.29179]
Mr. Speaker, the Trans Mountain project is essential to the economy of all Canadians, and above all, it is good for all of Canada. Unfortunately, since announcing the project a year ago, the Liberals have not done a single thing. Not a shovel has hit the ground. All they have done is take $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money and send it to Houston. They have also passed two bills, Bill C-48 and Bill C-69, that fly in the face of the principle of sound energy development.
Could the Liberals finally do what is right for Canadians by approving this project tomorrow and, most importantly, by announcing when Trans Mountain will be built?
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
2019-06-17 14:23 [p.29179]
Mr. Speaker, once again, Conservatives are demonstrating that they have no confidence in Canada's energy sector.
We have been moving forward on this project from day one. When the Federal Court of Appeal made its decision cancelling the TMX project, one of the reasons that project was stalled was that, when the review process was started in 2013, under Stephen Harper's government, Conservatives failed to include the impact of marine shipping on the marine environment.
We are changing that. We are engaging with indigenous communities in the right way to move forward on the project, which will make—
View Gérard Deltell Profile
CPC (QC)
View Gérard Deltell Profile
2019-06-17 14:23 [p.29179]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians all know full well whose side the Liberal Party is on. The Liberals have nothing but contempt for energy sector workers in western Canada. In fact, the is on the record as saying that he hopes to phase out oil and that high gas prices are exactly what he wants. What is worse, he has insulted pipeline workers. That is how the Liberal Party really thinks.
We, the Conservatives, are in favour of the Trans Mountain project because it is good for Canada and for all Canadians.
Could the Liberal government show the same respect for Canadians and tell us when it is going to build it?
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
2019-06-17 14:24 [p.29179]
Mr. Speaker, Conservative actions do not demonstrate their commitment to this project.
If they were really committed to getting this project right, then they would not have voted down the process we put in place for a meaningful consultation with indigenous communities to ensure that the impact of marine shipping on the marine environment was properly assessed, something that was excluded under Stephen Harper when their review took place.
We are changing the broken system.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Peter Julian Profile
2019-06-17 14:24 [p.29180]
Mr. Speaker, tomorrow Liberals are planning to announce their rubber-stamped approval on Trans Mountain, after pouring $5 billion of taxpayers' money into it.
The project will need at least another $10 billion from taxpayers, and former Liberal minister David Anderson and so many others say that this project has no business case. The project is not in the interest of our coast, indigenous communities, our planet or everyday Canadians. It is in the interest of shareholders of big oil and gas companies.
Instead of another rubber-stamped approval, why will Liberals not side with Canadians tomorrow and cancel the Trans Mountain expansion project?
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
2019-06-17 14:25 [p.29180]
Mr. Speaker, on the one hand, we have Conservatives who do not get the environment. On the other hand, we have the New Democrats who do not get the economy.
We are moving forward, building a strong economy, creating jobs for the middle class, and at the same time taking action on climate, ensuring that we are putting a price on pollution, ensuring that we are taking action by phasing out coal and making sure that we meaningfully engage with indigenous communities.
View Pierre-Luc Dusseault Profile
NDP (QC)
View Pierre-Luc Dusseault Profile
2019-06-17 14:26 [p.29180]
Mr. Speaker, it is a former Liberal minister who is saying that there is no business case for this project.
People are right to be discouraged with this Liberal government. Even a former Liberal minister is finding it hard to believe that the Liberals are going to approve the Trans Mountain project tomorrow. His concerns are not about the environment or indigenous peoples. He is concerned about the economic viability of the project. He thinks it makes no sense to move forward with this project.
If the Liberals do not want to listen to the people living on our coasts or the many young people protesting in the streets, will they listen to a former Liberal minister and cancel this project once and for all?
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
Lib. (AB)
View Amarjeet Sohi Profile
2019-06-17 14:26 [p.29180]
Mr. Speaker, we understand the diversity of opinions among indigenous communities on this project. We know that some do support this project and some do not support this project. It is our responsibility to engage with all of them, to listen to their concerns and then offer accommodations where accommodation is possible.
Also, we are taking unprecedented action to protect our coastal communities through the ambitious oceans protection plan we have put in place.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mark Strahl Profile
2019-06-17 14:40 [p.29183]
Mr. Speaker, when six premiers expressed their serious concerns about the Liberals ramming the anti-energy Bill C-69 through the House, the Prime Minister attacked them and accused them of threatening national unity. When respected economist Dr. Jack Mintz raised concerns with the damaging impact of the Liberals' energy policies, the Minister of Natural Resources attacked him and accused him of undermining Canada.
Why is it that whenever legitimate concerns about the energy sector are raised with the Liberals, their response is always “shut your mouth, Ottawa knows best”?
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2019-06-17 14:40 [p.29183]
Mr. Speaker, part of our commitment in 2015 was to put forward an agenda that would help us grow the economy and protect our environment at the same time. We noticed that after 10 years of government under Stephen Harper, where the Conservatives could not get major projects done, part of it had to do with the fact that they rammed through an environmental assessment process that did not gain the trust of Canadians.
We are advancing better rules that are going to enhance public participation, strengthen environmental protections and give certainty to industry. This is why the Mining Association of Canada is behind it, the industry that deals with these processes more than any other.
If the hon. member would like a tutor session with me, I would be happy to walk him through it afterwards.
View Mark Strahl Profile
CPC (BC)
View Mark Strahl Profile
2019-06-17 14:41 [p.29183]
Mr. Speaker, if he wanted to see Ottawa Liberal arrogance, there it was.
Nine provinces have expressed their concern about Bill C-69. Indigenous leaders from across the country have expressed their concerns about Bill C-69. The government has ignored them every step of the way, because the Liberals believe when it comes to energy, they are the only ones who know anything.
How can the government come off saying that it knows best when it has been the worst government in Canadian history when it comes to Canadian energy workers?
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2019-06-17 14:42 [p.29183]
Mr. Speaker, with great respect to the hon. member, it was the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada who said that Ottawa knew best. We are moving forward with an agenda that is going to strengthen environmental protection. It is going to provide certainty for industry. Importantly, it is going to allow the public greater opportunities to take part in the environmental assessments of projects that impact their communities. These are simple principles.
We went through an extensive period of consultations to understand the impact it would have on Canadians. We have come up with a process that will help grow our economy and protect our environment at the same time. I am proud to stand with this government as we move forward with this ambitious agenda.
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