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View Bruce Stanton Profile
View Bruce Stanton Profile
2019-06-21 14:54 [p.29473]
I have the honour to inform the House that when this House did attend Her Excellency this day in the Senate chamber, Her Excellency the Governor General was pleased to give, in Her Majesty's name, the royal assent to the following bills:
C-71, An Act to amend certain Acts and Regulations in relation to firearms—Chapter 9.
C-81, An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada—Chapter 10.
S-203, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts (ending the captivity of whales and dolphins)—Chapter 11.
C-82, An Act to implement a multilateral convention to implement tax treaty related measures to prevent base erosion and profit shifting—Chapter 12.
C-59, An Act respecting national security matters—Chapter 13.
C-68, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence—Chapter 14.
C-77, An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 15.
C-78, An Act to amend the Divorce Act, the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act—Chapter 16.
C-84, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (bestiality and animal fighting)—Chapter 17.
C-58, An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 18.
C-88, An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 19.
C-93, An Act to provide no-cost, expedited record suspensions for simple possession of cannabis—Chapter 20.
C-102, An Act for granting to Her Majesty certain sums of money for the federal public administration for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020—Chapter 21.
C-101, An Act to amend the Customs Tariff and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act—Chapter 22.
C-91, An Act respecting Indigenous languages—Chapter 23.
C-92, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families—Chapter 24.
C-75, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts—Chapter 25.
C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast—Chapter 26.
C-83, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another Act—Chapter 27.
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—Chapter 28.
C-97, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019 and other measures—Chapter 29.
It being 2:55 p.m., the House stands adjourned until Monday, September 16, 2019, at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Orders 28(2) and 24(1).
(The House adjourned at 2:55 p.m.)
The 42nd Parliament was dissolved by Royal Proclamation on September 11, 2019.
Aboriginal languagesAboriginal peoplesAccess for disabled peopleAccess to informationAdjournmentAgriculture, environment and natural res ...British ColumbiaBudget 2019 (March 19, 2019)C-101, An Act to amend the Customs Tarif ...C-102, An Act for granting to Her Majest ...C-48, An Act respecting the regulation o ... ...Show all topics
View Kelly Block Profile
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-06-17 13:44 [p.29173]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to respond to the government's motion on the Senate amendments to Bill C-48. While I do appreciate the opportunity to speak to the motion, what I do not appreciate, what millions of other Canadians do not appreciate, is that we have to respond to the bill at all.
I want to recap what the bill would do.
First, this legislation was created as a result of a directive in the Prime Minister's mandate letter to the Minister of Transport dated November 2015.
If passed, this legislation would enact an oil tanker moratorium on B.C.'s northwest coast. The proposed moratorium would be in effect from the Canada-U.S. Alaska border to the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
The legislation would prohibit oil tankers carrying crude and persistent oil as cargo from stopping, loading and unloading at ports or marine installations in the moratorium area. Vessels carrying less than 12,500 metric tons of crude oil would be exempted from the moratorium.
I would suggest that this bill is an open, sneering attack on our oil and gas sector, an anti-pipeline bill poorly masquerading as an environment bill.
Environmental legislation is supposed to be based on science. Bill C-48 is not. It is not science but rather politics and ideology that inform this legislation: Liberal ideology that is as damaging to national unity as it is cynical.
Afer reviewing the bill, which included travelling across the country to hear from witnesses from coast to coast, the Senate transport committee recommended that it not proceed. While the Senate as a whole rescued Bill C-48, the Prime Minister should have taken the hint and withdrawn this anti-energy legislation.
Six premiers, including Premier Scott Moe from my province of Saskatchewan, wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister outlining their legitimate concerns about the anti-oil, anti-energy legislation pushed by the Liberal government here in Ottawa, in particular Bill C-69 and Bill C-48.
The premiers explained the damage that these two pieces of legislation would do to the economy, but more importantly, they warned of the damage this legislation has done and will continue to do to our national unity.
This was not a threat. This was not spiteful. These six premiers were pointing to a real and growing sense of alienation, alienation on a scale not seen since the Prime Minister's father was in office.
Rather than listening to their concerns, the Prime Minister lashed out at the premiers, calling them irresponsible and accusing them of threatening our national unity if they did not get their way.
The premiers are not threatening our national unity; it is in fact the Prime Minister's radical, anti-science, anti-energy agenda that is, but he is refusing to listen.
Since the Prime Minister is refusing to heed these warnings on Bill C-48 and Bill C-69, I am going to take this opportunity to read them into the record now:
Dear Prime Minister,
We are writing on behalf of the Governments of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Collectively, our five provinces and territory represent 59 per cent of the Canadian population and 63 per cent of Canada's GDP. We are central to Canada's economy and prosperity, and it is of the utmost importance that you consider our concerns with bills C-69 and C-48.
Canadians across the country are unified in their concern about the economic impacts of the legislation such as it was proposed by the House of Commons. In this form, the damage it would do to the economy, jobs and investment will echo from one coast to the other. Provincial and territorial jurisdiction must be respected. Provinces and territories have clear and sole jurisdiction over the development of their non-renewable natural resources, forestry resources, and the generation and production of electricity. Bill C-69 upsets the balance struck by the constitutional division of powers by ignoring the exclusive provincial powers over projects relating to these resources. The federal government must recognize the exclusive role provinces and territories have over the management of our non-renewable natural resource development or risk creating a Constitutional crisis.
Bill C-69, as originally drafted, would make it virtually impossible to develop critical infrastructure, depriving Canada of much needed investment. According to the C.D. Howe Institute, between 2017 and 2018, the planned investment value of major resource sector projects in Canada plunged by $100 billion – an amount equivalent to 4.5 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product. To protect Canada’s economic future, we, collectively, cannot afford to overlook the uncertainty and risk to future investment created by Bill C-69.
Our five provinces and territory stand united and strongly urge the government to accept Bill C69 as amended by the Senate, in order to minimize the damage to the Canadian economy. We would encourage the Government of Canada and all members of the House of Commons to accept the full slate of amendments to the bill. The Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment, and Natural Resources heard 38 days of testimony from 277 witnesses including indigenous communities, industry, Premiers, and independent experts. Based on that comprehensive testimony, the committee recommended significant amendments to the bill, which were accepted by the Senate as a whole. We urge you to respect that process, the committee’s expertise, and the Senate’s vote.
If the Senate’s amendments are not respected, the bill should be rejected, as it will present insurmountable roadblocks for major infrastructure projects across the country and will further jeopardize jobs, growth and investor confidence.
Similarly, Bill C-48 threatens investor confidence, and the tanker moratorium discriminates against western Canadian crude products. We were very disappointed that the Senate did not accept the recommendation to the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications that the bill not be reported. We would urge the government to stop pressing for the passage of this bill which will have detrimental effects on national unity and for the Canadian economy as a whole.
Our governments are deeply concerned with the federal government’s disregard, so far, of the concerns raised by our provinces and territory related to these bills. As it stands, the federal government appears indifferent to the economic hardships faced by provinces and territories. Immediate action to refine or eliminate these bills is needed to avoid further alienating provinces and territories and their citizens and focus on uniting the country in support of Canada’s economic prosperity.
Perhaps having heard the letter read aloud, the Prime Minister will acknowledge that it contains no threats, but rather it is an appeal from leaders who have listened to their constituents. The Prime Minister needs to understand that simply saying things louder is not going to make them go away. Shouting will not put food in the stomachs of the laid-off construction workers' children. Chanting talking points will not pay the gas bill in the middle of winter.
If this were the only piece of legislation that the government had introduced, one might argue that this is an overreaction, but it is not just one piece of legislation, it is a targeted, cynical, ongoing political attack of our resource sector. The Prime Minister has filled his cabinet with vocal opponents of the oil sands. In 2012, the now Minister of Democratic Institutions posted a tweet that read, “It's time to landlock Alberta's tar sands - call on BC Premier @christyclarkbc to reject the #Enbridge pipeline now!”
Then there is the President of the Treasury Board, who said publicly that the approval of the Trans Mountain extension was deeply disappointing and who celebrated when the Prime Minister killed the northern gateway pipeline project. Here I should pause and point out the ridiculous theatrics surrounding the TMX project.
In 2016, the government approved TMX, yet tomorrow, we are told, the government will decide on whether to approve the project all over again. It is like we are in a terrible remake of Groundhog Day. Meanwhile, not an inch of pipeline has been built since the government nationalized Trans Mountain.
However, it is not only the cabinet that the Prime Minister has filled with anti-oil activists, but senior staff positions as well. Here I quote an article from the March 14 edition of the Financial Post:
Prior to ascending to the most powerful post in the Prime Minister’s Office, from 2008 to 2012 Gerald Butts was president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada...an important Tides campaign partner. Butts would use his new powerful position to bring other former campaigners with him: Marlo Reynolds, chief of staff to the Environment Minister...is past executive director of the Tides-backed Pembina Institute. Zoë Caron, chief of staff to Natural Resource Minister...is also a former WWF Canada official. Sarah Goodman, on the prime minister’s staff, is a former vice-president of Tides Canada. With these anti-oil activists at the epicentre of federal power, it’s no wonder the oil industry, and hundreds of thousands of workers, have plummeted into political and policy purgatory.
Why should we be surprised? The Prime Minister is no friend of the oil sands. The Prime Minister stated that he wants to phase out the oil sands and during the election loudly proclaimed, “If I am elected Prime Minister, the Northern Gateway Pipeline won't become a reality”.
The Prime Minister has spent his time in office attempting to do just that and he has been willing to trample on not only the rights of the provinces, but the rights of aboriginal peoples as well to get his way. When the Prime Minister used an order in council to cancel the northern gateway pipeline, he stole the future of 30 first nations that would have benefited enormously from it. This very bill is facing a lawsuit from Laxkw'alaams Indian band for unjustly infringing on their rights and titles.
Bill C-48 will prevent the proposed first nations-owned and operated Eagle Spirit pipeline project from being built as the proposed route to tidewater ends within the area wherein this bill bans tanker traffic. It was done without any consultation with first nations communities. Again, this should come as no surprise.
Just last week I spoke against another anti-energy bill, Bill C-88. As I said then, C-88 makes a mockery of the government's claim to seriously consult with indigenous and Inuit peoples. Without any consultation with Inuit peoples or the territorial governments, the Prime Minister unilaterally announced a five-year ban on offshore oil and gas development. Not only did the Prime Minister refuse to consult the premiers of the territories, he gave some of them less than an hour's notice that he would be making that announcement.
Does that sound like a Prime Minister who wants to listen, consult and work with aboriginal Canadians? Does it reflect the Prime Minister's declaration that his government's relationship with indigenous peoples is their most important relationship or does it sound like a Prime Minister who says what he believes people want to hear and then does the exact opposite by imposing his own will on them? If he had consulted, this is what he would have heard:
Minister Wally Schumann of the Northwest Territories, on how they found out about the ban and the impact it will have on our north, stated:
When it first came out, we never got very much notice on the whole issue of the moratorium and the potential that was in the Beaufort Sea. There were millions and millions, if not billions, of dollars in bid deposits and land leases up there. That took away any hope we had of developing the Beaufort Sea.
Councillor Jackie Jacobson of Tuktoyaktuk said:
It’s so easy to sit down here and make judgments on people and lives that are 3,500 klicks away, and make decisions on our behalf, especially with that moratorium on the Beaufort. That should be taken away, lifted, please and thank you. That is going to open up and give jobs to our people – training and all the stuff we’re wishing for.
Then premier of Nunavut, Peter Taptuna stated, “ We do want to be getting to a state where we can make our own determination of our priorities, and the way to do that is gain meaningful revenue from resource development.”
Mr. Speaker, I note that you are indicating that my time is up. I assume that I will be able to continue at another time.
View Sean Fraser Profile
Lib. (NS)
View Sean Fraser Profile
2019-06-17 17:17 [p.29206]
Mr. Speaker, climate change is real. It is primarily driven by human activity, and we are experiencing very serious consequences as a result today.
There is no doubt in my mind that the challenge relating to climate change constitutes an emergency here in Canada. I am so proud to lend my support to the motion on the floor of the House of Commons to declare an emergency in respect of climate change in our country. We need not panic, because we can be optimistic. We know that the solutions to this existential threat are before us, if we can simply muster the political will to implement the solutions that we know very well exist today.
Over the course of my remarks, I hope to offer some insight into the nature of the consequences we are experiencing, to give some of my insights on the opportunity that could be garnered if we embrace climate change as an economic growth strategy, and to perhaps provide some additional insight, for any of those listening, into the political dynamic that we are facing today as we approach the next election with climate change being a central issue of importance to the campaign.
To begin, I do want to address some of the consequences that we are facing, but perhaps before, although it seems trite to say so, it is important to explain the science behind how we know climate change is real. The recent report from Environment Canada, “Canada's Changing Climate Report”, signals that Canada is experiencing warming at twice the rate of the global average. In some parts of our country, it is five times that rate.
The consequences that we are seeing are apparent in our communities. This science has been corroborated for decades by groups like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A majority of the world scientists who are studying climate change acknowledge not only that it is happening, but a primary driver of what is happening is human industrial activity. It is incumbent upon us to take action if we are going to avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change that we are seeing.
Though I probably do not have to explain to many in this room, we can observe these consequences in our community. If we look at my home province of Nova Scotia, we deal with increased storm surges and hurricanes. The report I mentioned, “Canada's Changing Climate Report”, flags that the city of Halifax in my home province of Nova Scotia in the next few decades is going to experience floods at four times the rate it does today.
We look at our colleagues from New Brunswick, who I have had numerous conversations with about the floods that their province has been experiencing. We have seen pictures circulating on social media of highway signs that are completely submerged under water. We can look at a few years ago in Quebec and Ontario, and we see the heat waves that took dozens of lives. We can see the forest fires in western Canada. We can see the melting of our glaciers in northern Canada. There is not a community in our country that has not been impacted by the environmental consequences of climate change.
It is important to acknowledge that it is not just environmental consequences that we are experiencing as a result of climate change, there are social, health and economic consequences as well. When I see communities next to coal plants, we can observe a higher rate of childhood asthma. There is increased lung and heart disease in communities. In fact, there is a physical threat to many folks, like those who had to flee the fires in Fort McMurray.
The fact is we know that these consequences are having an impact. In addition, we can point to the changing patterns and migration of infectious diseases. I know ticks have become a much bigger problem in Nova Scotia. They were not when I was a kid. With them, we are seeing a similarly rising level of Lyme disease in my home province.
The fact is, we can observe these changes. There are social consequences, like communities physically being displaced, the impact on wildlife that communities have traditionally hunted, indigenous and non-indigenous alike. We are seeing consequences that are changing our weather patterns, our climate systems that are changing the way that we have to live and forcing us out of the habits and traditions we have practised for generations.
If the environmental, social or health consequences are not enough to inspire action, we can see the economic losses that we are experiencing today. If we look at the data from the insurance sector in Canada, we see that they are starting to change the way that they assess the risk of climate change. I take it that most people here would accept that the insurance sector is doing what it is in the best interests of its bottom line.
From the time of the mid-1980s until 2008 or so, the average payout in the insurance sector for severe weather events in Canada was between $250 million and $450 million. Since that time, the average has climbed to about $1.8 billion, exceeding $2 billion most recently. That number is projected to grow. This is having an impact on the cost of insurance.
There are some homes that simply will not be able to be insured. There are provinces and communities in Canada that are spending taxpayer dollars to help relocate families from homes that are no longer in a safe area, places that used to have 100-year floods once every 100 years are now having them every few years.
The fact is there is something happening, and those who are watching their pocketbooks very closely are changing their behaviour. They are reflecting a new reality.
It is not just the insurance sector. Members should look at the costs to municipalities paid for by by local ratepayers of building out flood mitigation infrastructure, for example. That cost is borne by taxpayers. The cost of inaction is simply too great to ignore.
However, it is not all bad news because we actually see an enormous opportunity to invest in the measures that are going to help deal with the consequences of climate change. Canada's Building Trades' projection is that as many as four million jobs for the Canadian economy could be added if we embrace new building codes that would actually bring us up to a standard that can help us reduce our emissions.
I have companies in my own community like the Trinity Group of Companies that have embraced energy efficiency as an economic growth strategy. It started out with a couple of great guys from home who were pretty handy and were able to do some local contracting work. Due to investments of successive provincial governments, we have actually seen energy efficiency take hold and homeowners who want to save on their power bills hire a company to come in, conduct an energy audit and make their home more efficient. It has grown from an operation with just a couple of guys into an organization that has dozens of employees and is present across the entire Atlantic region.
There are incredible world-leading companies like CarbonCure in Dartmouth that are delivering incredible products when it comes to carbon sequestration, pulling the carbon emissions out of our atmosphere and using it to strengthen products we need like concrete. Another company, just five minutes from where I live today, is MacKay Meters. It has secured a patent to build electric vehicle charging stations into their parking meters. This is truly innovative stuff that is going to help change the world that we live in.
Of course, the value that we gain from researchers who are working in our communities, researchers like Dr. David Risk at the FluxLab at StFX University in Antigonish, is actually developing instrumentation that can help detect gas and methane leaks in oil and gas infrastructure across Canada. He is commercializing this technology, not only to make a profit but to continue doing more research, keeping young people employed in a rural community that has a university that I represent.
There is also a missed economic opportunity if we do not address the worst consequences of climate change. I represent a province that relies heavily on the fishery in order to sustain the smaller communities that dot the coast of Nova Scotia. What we have seen take place in Maine over the past few years, a loss of 22 million pounds in their lobster catch, would be devastating if and when it comes to Nova Scotia, and if we continue to see the acidification and warming of our oceans off Nova Scotia. We can only expect that the lobsters will either move or suffocate inside the waters where they traditionally live and sustain a local economy.
In western Canada, we saw an enormous dip in production in the energy sector when forest fires that are linked to climate change ravaged parts of western Canada. The fact is that we can look at any province and see that.
In the Prairie region, the agricultural sector is under threat. I met with a young researcher, who did a master's thesis on the impact of climate change on agriculture in the Prairie provinces, recognizing that the Prairies are in the rain shadow of the Rockies and do not benefit from some of the weather that helps make our soil fertile, essentially large amounts of rain. They rely heavily instead on the spring melt that comes from our glaciers. When they finally disappear, there may be insufficient water and increased droughts that prevent our agricultural sector from growing.
These are very real and obvious risks, if we just take the time to speak with people who have been studying them. Frankly, we need to take this opportunity because the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, a Canadian, has identified that there is a $26-trillion opportunity in clean growth and Canada should be on the front end of that wave so that we can capitalize on not just the growth but the jobs that come with that growth. We can do the right thing and do the smart thing at the same time.
However, it is difficult to have discussions in this chamber and in Ottawa when it comes to climate policy, because the starting point is not only that we need to address the problem and do something about it. Sometimes we have to turn back the clock and prove the science to one another before we can have a meaningful debate. To me this is completely unacceptable.
What Canadians are going to face come October is a choice between a Liberal government that is advancing an ambitious agenda, trying their best to fight climate change and making a meaningful difference, not only to reduce our emissions but to capitalize on clean growth opportunities, and a Conservative Party that has refused to put forward a plan on climate change to date, despite their leader saying more than a year ago that he was going to find a plan that would comply with the Paris Agreement targets.
With respect, the Conservative Party has said it is going to be releasing their plan later this week. I do not have much hope that it will be worth the paper that it is written on. When I look at some of the Conservative members who would have informed that plan, it gives me great trepidation. We have seen members identify piles of snow in western Canada in February to suggest that that is evidence that global warming is not taking place.
Some Conservatives have indicated that the phenomenon of rising global temperatures is simply like folks walking into a room and their bodies giving off heat. We have seen other members suggest to school children in Alberta that CO2 is not pollution but plant food. Just recently, one of the caucus member sitting in the Senate indicated that a recent power outage was due to the Prime Minister of Canada's anti-energy policies.
The Conservatives are saying we should retreat from the global conversation on climate change by withdrawing from the Paris agreement. Even the the leader of the Conservatives and deputy leader have recently tweeted articles, suggesting that the link between climate change and severe weather events has not been proven.
If this is the kind of information feeding into the plans that are developing, I have great disappointment in advance of the plan being released if these are the kinds of conversations that are taking place behind the scenes.
We know that the Conservatives' provincial counterparts are pushing forward the same kind of laissez-faire attitude when it comes to climate change. The Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, has advanced a policy dismantling flood protection and then has shown up at flood zones and said, “I wonder what could possibly be going on.” He has set aside $30 million to fight climate action, rather than take action on climate change. That money could make a difference. He has launched a frivolous campaign to post stickers on gas stations. At the same time, he purports to support free speech. This makes no sense.
The climate economists who have been covering this issue are suggesting that his plan is not only going to slow down our reduction in emissions, but it is going to be more expensive for households as well.
With respect to my NDP colleagues, I have a lot time for their ideas, because I know they care about climate change and protecting the environment. However, I do have reservations about the policy suggestions they have advanced. I think we can work together to accomplish certain ideas, but others have very serious problems that need to be addressed.
In some of the commentary I have heard around our plan to put a price on pollution, NDP members have indicated that big emitters are exempt. This demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what is going on. The NDP has advanced a plan that would put a price on big emitters, but, as the Ecofiscal Commission has pointed out, it would not lead to a reduction in emissions globally, because it would simply encourage polluters to leave Canada and pollute elsewhere even more. This would hurt the Canadian economy and would not contribute to our emissions reduction efforts.
Other examples from the NDP include the declaration that we need to immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies. We need to take action on fossil fuel subsidies, do not get me wrong. In fact, to date, we have phased out eight that were embedded in the tax code. However, the blanket ban the NDP proposed on this specific issue would lead to fundamental consequences, which are certainly unintended, because the plan was not very well thought through.
Examples include the denial of subsidies that support diesel to northern and remote indigenous communities, which rely on diesel for electricity, and the denial of subsidies for the potential research I mentioned at the flux lab at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish. Some of the products being developed with those research funds are going to reduce emissions in the oil and gas sector. Similarly, the NDP plans would deny the opportunity for us to invest in certain infrastructure that is helping us transition from gas and diesel-powered vehicles toward alternative fuelled vehicles.
I am happy to work with my colleagues in different parties to advance ideas that make sense. However, we cannot make statements that they will work before we have actually thought them through.
I would like to take some time to mention some of the actions we have taken to date.
We are facing a climate emergency, and a lot of attention has been given to our plan in this place with respect to putting a price on pollution. However, we are not a one-trick pony. Our plan has over 50 measures that would help to bring emissions down.
I want to take a moment to discuss our plan to put a price on pollution to educate the public on how it works. It is pretty simple. If something is more expensive, people buy less of it. When it comes to carbon pricing, every penny generated from revenues related to the price on pollution is kept within the province where the pollution is generated. Those revenues are directly returned to residents living within those provinces.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer has stated in a public report that because of the structure of this kind of a plan, eight out of 10 families can expect to be better off. They will receive more money than the price on pollution costs them. The number of families that will be out of pocket will be a modest amount, but they will be among the 20% wealthiest Canadians living in provinces where our plan applies.
This is not some hare-brained idea born simply out of the Liberal caucus in Ottawa. It has broad-based support among anyone who has any expertise in the conversation about climate change and economics. In fact, last year's Nobel Prize winner in economics won the Nobel Prize for developing an approach to climate change that would do exactly what the federal government's plan is doing: put a price on pollution and return the rebates directly to households so the majority of folks are left better off.
It is not just Nobel laureates and Liberal politicians who support this plan. Mark Cameron, the former director of policy for Prime Minister Harper, is behind this kind of an approach. In fact, Doug Ford's chief budget adviser testified in the Senate in this Parliament that the number one thing we could do to transition to a low-carbon economy was to put a price on pollution.
Most recently, the Pope made statements, just this last weekend, indicating that carbon pricing was essential. He said, “For too long we have collectively failed to listen to the fruits of scientific analysis, and doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain.”
When I talk to people in my community, particularly young people, I see them advocating for the kind of change that all of these different folks have been suggesting we should be taking for so long.
Let us look at the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal case that recently dealt with the constitutionality of the federal government's backstop that implemented a price on pollution. The court said that carbon pricing was not just part and parcel of an effective plan to reduce emissions; it said it was “an essential aspect...of the global effort to limit GHG emissions.” It put the word “essential” in italics so folks like us who are sitting in this chamber would pay extra close attention to the importance of advancing this important mechanism, which we know to be the most effective thing we can do to bring down our emissions.
However, we are not a one-trick pony. We are advancing measures to phase out coal. By 2030, 90% of the electricity in our country will be generated from non-emitting resources. We are making the single largest investment in the history of public transit. We are making record investments in energy efficiency to support companies that are advancing green technology. We are changing methane regulations to reduce the fastest-growing sources of GHG emissions that are driving climate change today. We have adopted new vehicle emissions standards. We are working on a clean fuel standard.
We are also taking steps to protect nature. I know Canadians, the ones who I represent in Central Nova, have demanded that we take action to protect nature and to eliminate plastics from our marine environment. We put forward a $1.5-billion oceans protection plan early in our mandate.
More recent, we announced that we were moving forward with a ban on harmful single-use plastics. We are putting the responsibility to deal with the life cycle of those plastic products on the manufacturers rather than on the end user. We expect that this is going to create economic opportunities in the plastics industry. At the same time, we prevent the discharge of harmful materials into our environment and in particular into our marine environment.
I want to spend a minute of the few I have left talking briefly about the impact that climate change and human activity have had on nature.
Since the 1970s, the earth has lost about 60% of its wildlife. This should shock the conscience of every Canadian. Let us look at the largest countries in the world. Canada is one of five countries that represents about three-quarters of the world's remaining wilderness. We have an opportunity and an obligation to address this issue. We are seeing the impacts today with some of our most iconic species.
Caribou herds across Canada are suffering because of immense deforestation. We have seen the southern resident killer whale population dwindle in recent history. We have a number of other species at risk. Globally, it is expected that one million of eight million species in the world are at serious threat of extinction if we do not change direction.
I have spent a lot of time dealing with the southern mountain caribou. In British Columbia right now, there are population units that have just a handful of animals left. They have been there for thousands of years but will disappear. We have made the single largest investment in the history of Canada to protect nature by more than doubling our protected spaces.
However, we know that it is not enough and we know we need help to get there. We need every Canadian to be pulling in the same direction. The time to come together is now. People who are living in a community that has a solar co-op can figure out how they can take part. If they want to take part in a community cleanup, they are doing something. Through collective global action, we can make a difference. Quite frankly, we do not have a choice. It is the smart thing to do and it is in our self-interest.
I am proud to speak in favour of this motion to recognize that we face a climate emergency. I am even prouder to work as part of a government that is doing its best to do something about it.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-06-13 13:15 [p.29050]
Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House and speak in support of the third reading of Bill C-88. This bill would amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act. These changes have been long awaited by governments, both indigenous and territorial, in the Northwest Territories.
On Monday, we heard colleagues in the House speak to this bill, including the member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, who worked very closely with indigenous governments, treaty and land claim owners and the Government of the Northwest Territories to ensure that this bill would be in the best interests of the constituents he represents and would meet the standards they have been requesting from the Government of Canada.
I want to applaud the member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories for the great work he has done on Bill C-88 and for ensuring that members in this House on both sides fully understand this bill and the need for the changes being proposed.
Bill C-88 is based on a simple but wise idea, which is that the best way to regulate development along the Mackenzie Valley and in Arctic waters is to balance the interests of industry, the rights of indigenous governments and organizations, and environmental protection. The proposed legislation before us aims to achieve this balance in three ways.
First would be by foster certainty, which is required by industry. As we know, the Northwest Territories is no stranger to industry. It has been home to some of the largest mining developments in Canada and to some substantial energy, oil and gas developments. It is a region of our country that has been very active in engaging with industry.
Second would be by reinstating a mechanism to recognize the rights of indigenous communities to meaningfully influence development decisions. This would allow indigenous communities to have full input, full insight and full decision-making in industry and resource developments that are occurring within their land claim areas. This would allow them to be part of development, to look at the impacts and benefits of development initiatives, and to be true partners in decisions and outcomes.
Third would be by ensuring that scientific evidence on the state of the environment would inform development decisions. The indigenous governments of the Northwest Territories have set up a model that allows them to look at individual projects and their impact on the environment, not just today but for generations to come, and to make decisions based on scientific information. Scientific evidence ensures that decisions are informed, not just from an economic perspective but from an environmental perspective.
As it stands today, the regulatory regime fails to strike this balance. In particular, the regime currently in place fails to provide clarity, predictability for proponents who are investing, and respect for the rights of indigenous communities in that region and in the north. In large part, that is because of the Northwest Territories Devolution Act, which was endorsed by this House in 2015, and which I, too, voted for. However, it was subsequently challenged by a court order, which led the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories to effectively suspend key provisions of the act. This ruling caused uncertainty in the regulatory regime for the Mackenzie Valley, and as many of my colleagues have already stated, that uncertainty has not been good for business.
I voted for the bill in 2015, even though it contained clauses that would eradicate the treaty rights of indigenous people in the Northwest Territories. We knew it was wrong. We fought hard to change the bill. We proposed amendment after amendment, but the Harper government would have none of it. It accepted no amendments to the bill that would ensure the rights of indigenous people.
We were left to make a choice. Do we support the devolution of the Northwest Territories, which needed to happen and was long overdue, or do we not support it because of these clauses? We supported the bill but said that when we formed government, we would reverse the negative legislation in the bill that eradicated the rights of indigenous people and did not uphold the environmental and economic responsibilities that should be upheld in any major development. We made a commitment to the people of the Northwest Territories that when we formed government, we would change the legislation to reflect what they wanted. That is what we are doing today.
Over the last couple of years, we have worked very closely with indigenous governments in the Northwest Territories, its member of Parliament and the Government of the Northwest Territories to get this legislation right and change the injustices caused by the Harper government and imposed on people in the Northwest Territories. Today we are removing them.
We would be allowing companies that want to invest in the Northwest Territories through major resource development projects to have certainty. This would ensure that there would be no unforseen impacts for them and would ensure that they would know the climate in which they are investing and the process expected of them.
We would allow indigenous governments, which have had land claims, treaty rights and self-government agreements for many decades, to take back control of their own lands and to make decisions in the best interests of their people for generations to come, and to do so in a systematic and scientific way that looks at all the impacts and benefits. This would allow these indigenous governments to not only have a choice about whether a project went forward but to have the opportunity to partner with investors and resource development companies. Everyone can benefit when they work together.
That is the kind of relationship we have promoted right across Canada with indigenous groups, territorial and provincial governments, investors, resource development agencies and others.
Today we would legislate the changes we committed to in 2015 regarding the Northwest Territories. We know that the legislation would achieve the balance we are trying to establish in three ways. I have already outlined them in my speech.
I want to take a few minutes to talk about how Bill C-88 would restore certainty in the regulatory regime, which was a key aspect of the Northwest Territories Devolution Act. The act eliminated regional boards mandated to review proposed development projects that were likely to impact the traditional lands of three particular indigenous groups: the Tlicho, the Gwich’in and the Sahtu. Their rights were eradicated, and the impact on their lands and treaty agreements forced on them, by the Harper government.
Today we would be giving the Tlicho, the Gwich’in and the Sahtu the right to make decisions about their own lands. They could look at the impact on their traditional lands, their way of life and their environmental footprint and at how their people can benefit from development projects.
It is just common sense, so why would any government want to take that away from indigenous groups in Canada? We saw only a few years ago that the former Harper government had no shame when removing rights from indigenous groups and indigenous governments. That is exactly what it did to the Tlicho, the Gwich'in and the Sahtu in the Northwest Territories. They had spent years working and negotiating with the federal government and territorial government. Generations of elders never lived to see the day they reached self-government agreements in their own lands.
When they finally did, it was an opportunity for them. That opportunity was eroded by the Harper government overnight with one piece of legislation that said that it would now tell them how they were going to regulate resource development in their traditional lands and in the Northwest Territories.
We made a commitment then that if we ever formed government, we would reverse those changes, and that is exactly what we are doing today. Each of those communities concluded comprehensive land claim agreements. Doing so in this country guaranteed them a role on land and water boards and a mandate to review and make decisions on development projects on or near traditional lands. Parliament reviewed and endorsed each one of these agreements and authorized the establishment of the regional boards.
Bill C-88 proposes to reverse the board restructuring and reintroduce the other provisions that were suspended by the Supreme Court decision. These indigenous groups in the Northwest Territories knew that their rights were violated by the Harper government. They knew that what was happening was the epitome of colonization. That is why they fought in the courts. They went to the Supreme Court to argue their case, to say that they had negotiated these rights, that they were inherent rights, that they had treaty agreements and that no government should have the right to impose upon them the way the former government did.
The Supreme Court decision outlined several things that needed to happen to restore confidence in the regime, particularly among indigenous people and proponents and investors in resource development in the Northwest Territories.
The proposed legislation would build confidence in another way. It would clarify the processes and expectations for all parties involved in the regulatory regime. I happen to live in the north, and I represent a riding that is very engaged in resource development, the mining industry and the energy sector in particular. I also know that with every one of those development projects, there are major investments and major commitments. There is nothing better in moving forward on a project than knowing what all the expectations are of all the parties involved and knowing what the process is and what is expected of companies before they put a shovel in the ground. Those things are important.
The party opposite will say that Liberals are too engaged in regulating, restricting and putting too many demands around the environmental component. However, large-scale industries that care about the people where they want to develop want to do what is right. They want to ensure that their environmental footprint is as small as it can be. They want to have the support of the indigenous people and the communities in which they are investing. They want to have strong partnerships to ensure that their development projects are not interrupted by protests or by unforeseen regulations and can move forward and are sustainable. That is why many of these companies, and many I have known personally over the years, are happy to sign impact benefit agreements.
These companies are happy to work with indigenous governments to hire indigenous workers, to ensure that benefits accrue to their communities and to ensure that environmental concerns that indigenous and non-indigenous people have with development in their areas are going to be listened to and dealt with. These companies want to address those issues up front. They do not want to plow into communities and put pressure on them to do things. They do not want to rule what is going to happen. They want to operate in partnership, too.
It is the party opposite that has the idea that these companies are not interested because they have to follow regulatory regimes or look at what the environmental implications are. Very few companies would take that approach, and I am so proud that in this country there are companies investing heavily in resource development that really care about the footprint they leave behind for the environment and the people who live there. Those are the companies that are successful and that Canadians hold up as examples of how resource development partnerships work with communities and indigenous people in Canada. We should be very proud of that. We should not be trying to change how we do that through legislation and impose regulations on people because we think they should do it this way or that way.
People should understand that in the previous legislation by the Harper government, Conservatives wanted to get rid of the regulatory boards of the Gwich'in, the Sahtu and the other groups in the Northwest Territories. They wanted one megaboard to deal with all these issues. They even hired a consultant by the name of McCrank. When Mr. McCrank testified at committee, I sat in that day. One of the questions asked of him was where he came up with the idea that we should get rid of the regulatory boards in the Northwest Territories, that indigenous groups should no longer have control over what is happening on their own lands, their own regulatory boards or negotiating their own deals, and that we would infringe upon them and implement a super regulatory board in the Northwest Territories for the Mackenzie Valley.
When he was asked where that idea came from, he did not know. He did not know where that idea came from or who suggested it to him, but he wrote it in a report as a strong recommendation, and the Harper government at the time said it would run with it, yet everyone in the Northwest Territories, including the three aboriginal groups and the territorial government, knew this was not the right approach and wanted to stop it. This is what is happening today.
We are restoring confidence to the people in the Northwest Territories. Under this act, we would also make changes to the petroleum regulatory board. A moratorium would be implemented that would allow the reissuing of licences for oil and gas development in the Northwest Territories. This moratorium would be revisited every five years. As we know, there were no new applications for licences, no investment was being made. There was no projection for oil and gas, and there was no body to manage oil and gas development in the Northwest Territories to ensure there would be benefits to that region.
It is not like Atlantic Canada, which has oil and gas agreements that pay royalties to the provinces. There are agreements in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Quebec. When the Northwest Territories asked the former government for that agreement, the answer was no. It did not want to pay royalties to the indigenous groups or the territorial government on oil and gas. We are working with them to get it right, and that is why this bill is important today.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
View Cathy McLeod Profile
2019-06-13 13:35 [p.29052]
Madam Speaker, I have a few comments, and then I will have a question.
My first comment is, here we are. Four years ago, the Liberals said they had a problem, and the bill has been sitting in the House for months and months. Finally, with their lack of proper House planning, the Liberals deem it an emergency to get this through. Quite frankly, it has been the inadequate planning of the Liberals' legislative agenda that has created this challenge.
Second, in spite of all the criticisms we might have heard of the former bill, I would like to point out that the Liberals actually voted for it. If they thought it was that bad, they certainly did not exhibit that in their vote.
The third point, which will lead to a question, is this. The Liberals do not talk much about the moratorium built into this in the national interest. The last time they did that, the Premier of the Northwest Territories called it the result of eco-terrorism. The mayor of Tuktoyaktuk had many comments, such as “They shut down our offshore gasification and put a moratorium right across the whole freaking Arctic without even consulting us.”
The Liberals have embedded in this legislation the ability to do that again. How does the parliamentary secretary align that with her talk of consultation?
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-06-13 13:36 [p.29053]
Madam Speaker, first of all, with the legislative agenda, we would not be here doing this today if the member opposite and her government had gotten it right in the first place.
If the Conservatives had listened to the Sahtu, the Gwich'in and other governments of the Northwest Territories at the time, we would not be here today making those amendments. That is the first point.
The Conservatives say that we voted for it in 2015. We voted for the devolution agreement of the Northwest Territories, and these other amendments were tied into the bill, which was eroding the rights of indigenous governments. We had to make a difficult choice, and our choice was to support the bill at the time, which was the devolution of land claims in the Northwest Territories, but with a commitment to the people that we would make these changes and revert the amendments the Harper government made, and that is what we are doing today.
View Linda Duncan Profile
View Linda Duncan Profile
2019-06-13 13:37 [p.29053]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member. I am a great admirer. She clearly stands up for the rights of the people of Labrador, and definitely the indigenous people of Labrador.
I, too, am deeply concerned that it has taken the government so long to bring forward this bill. It was a reprehensible move by the Conservatives in the last Parliament. Indeed, all parties were forced for vote for it, because the Conservatives tied it to the devolution vote. It was reprehensible. My former colleague Dennis Bevington, then the member for Northwest Territories, spoke strongly against this move. It was clearly unconstitutional.
I had the privilege of being the assistant deputy minister for renewable resources in the Yukon, and I played a part in the negotiation of first nations final agreements and self-governance agreements. I was well aware of what was being done to the Tlicho, the Gwich'in and the Dehcho, who finally had final agreements.
If the hon. member and her party are so dedicated to respecting the rights of indigenous people, will she speak up, speak to the senators and tell them to finally bring forward Bill C-262 and finally put in place, as Liberals had promised, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples? Will they finally—
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-06-13 13:39 [p.29053]
Madam Speaker, the member spoke about her former colleague and his representation on this issue back in 2015. I remember he was very strong on this issue and advocating for it.
With regard to Bill C-262, like many others in this House, I want to see the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples implemented in Canada. We have supported it. We strongly believe in it. We believe in the fundamental principles of UNDRIP. We believe that it is important in guiding future governments in Canada in how we deal with indigenous people. I, too, would support the member in encouraging the Senate to move forward with its amendments and bring it back to the House of Commons.
View Robert-Falcon Ouellette Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Robert-Falcon Ouellette Profile
2019-06-13 13:40 [p.29053]
Madam Speaker, I wonder if the member knows that in the Conservative-run province of Manitoba, two agreements had been signed with the Métis people for hydro development. Under that government in Manitoba, the Conservatives started cancelling those treaties, I mean agreements. Agreements do sound a lot like treaties. Where is the respect in Manitoba for indigenous rights under a Conservative government?
As we approach the 150th anniversary of the Province of Manitoba, when we say those words at the beginning of every speech, “We are here on the traditional lands of the Métis nation”, we must recognize that this province was founded by the Métis people under their leader Louis Riel.
I would like to quote David Chartrand, president of the Manitoba Metis Federation, who said, “Do you want to get revenge on the Métis people?”
I would like to ask the parliamentary secretary, should we be respecting indigenous rights right across this country, not only by Liberal or NDP governments but also by Conservative governments?
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-06-13 13:41 [p.29053]
Madam Speaker, we can only hope that one day Conservatives will see that indigenous rights are in the best interests of all people who live in this country.
For many generations, we have seen the violation of indigenous rights, of well-constituted treaties and agreements that have never been followed and implemented. As a government, we have taken a different decision. We have worked closely with indigenous governments, with provinces and territories to do what is in the best interests, in the right interests, of indigenous people in Canada.
It is unfortunate to see what is happening in Manitoba. It is unfortunate to see what is happening in Ontario, with funding being cut to indigenous groups and organizations. We sit in a Parliament today where the Harper government for 10 years did not invest in indigenous people and communities in this country. In the four years we have been here, we have invested more than $17 billion in additional revenue into indigenous governments and communities in Canada.
View Robert Sopuck Profile
View Robert Sopuck Profile
2019-06-13 13:42 [p.29053]
Madam Speaker, I would remind the member opposite that this was a great concern of John Diefenbaker, who gave indigenous people the vote. Most of the ugly residential school experiences were under the Liberal government of Mackenzie King. Let us not point fingers when it is not required.
I should also make a point for my colleague from Manitoba. The agreement he referred to was by Manitoba Hydro, not by the Manitoba government.
The crocodile tears of all the members opposite crying for indigenous people are truly sickening. All they talk about is process, process, process. There has not been a single major development in this country that has helped aboriginal people, ever.
I am going to make a prediction right now. If all the socio-economic indicators of indigenous communities were measured when the Liberal government took office and when it is going to leave office on October 21, I absolutely guarantee that not a single socio-economic indicator will have improved.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-06-13 13:43 [p.29054]
Madam Speaker, I do not think there was a question there, but I would certainly like to respond to the member's comments. If he wants to talk about the colonization of indigenous people in Canada over the generations, there is enough blame to go around for everyone in this country, whether Conservative, NDP, Green or Liberal.
I really believe that reconciliation is about finding a new path forward. It is about working together to ensure that indigenous people in Canada have their proper place and the ability to have some control and say about the traditional lands which they founded and formed. As hard as it may be to swallow, it is the right thing to do. I would suggest that the Conservatives get on board and make reconciliation real in Canada for all Canadians.
View Todd Doherty Profile
View Todd Doherty Profile
2019-06-13 13:44 [p.29054]
Madam Speaker, what is sad is that the term “reconciliation” has become a buzzword under the government. I take this to heart.
Many members know I have stood in the House, time and again, and have said that my wife and children are first nations. It is troubling for me when some members stand in the House, put their hands on their hearts and say that it is in the best interests of reconciliation, not just with respect to Bill C-88 but also Bills C-69, C-48, C-68 as well as the surf clam scam that took place earlier in this session.
The only part I will agree with in the hon. parliamentary secretary's intervention was when at she said there was enough blame to go around. Nobody should be pointing fingers, saying one group is better than another group. Reconciliation is about creating a path forward. It is not about pitting a first nation against a first nation or a first nation against a non-first nation. It is about how we walk together moving forward.
What I am about to say is not related to all members on both sides of the House. Some members truly understand this. However, time and again some Liberals will stand in the House and say that they support reconciliation or that this is all about reconciliation. Then a heavy-handed policy comes down or words are said, which we call “bozo eruptions”, and there is regret afterward.
I will go back to how we started the spring session. The first female indigenous Attorney General in our country spoke truth to power, and we saw what happened to her.
Bill C-88 is interesting, because it looks to reverse the incredible work our previous government did in putting together Bill C-15.
I will read a quote from our hon. colleague across the way when she voted for Bill C-15. She stated:
As Liberals, we want to see the Northwest Territories have the kind of independence it has sought. We want it to have the ability to make decisions regarding the environment, resource development, business management, growth, and opportunity, which arise within their own lands.
The parliamentary secretary has offered a lot of excuses today as to why she voted for it, such as she was tricked or voted for it for a specific reason. It is easy for members to stand after the fact and say, “I could have, would have, should have” or “This is the reason; my arm was twisted.” However, if we do not stand for something, we will fall for anything. That is what we have seen with the government taking up the eco-warrior agenda to pay back for the 2015 election. That is why we have Bills C-68, C-69, C-48 and C-88.
The parliamentary secretary wants to talk about how Bill C-88 would empower our first nations. Let me offer the House a few quotes.
Mr. Merven Gruben, the mayor of the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, stated:
Tuk has long been an oil and gas town. Since the first oil boom, or the whalers hunting whales in the late 1800 and early 1900s, we have grown up side by side with industry. We have not had any bad environmental effects from the oil and gas work in our region, and we have benefited from the jobs, training and business opportunities that have been available when the industry has worked in Tuk and throughout the north, the entire region.
Never in 100-plus years has the economy of our region, and the whole north, looked so bleak for the oil and gas industry, and for economic development, generally. All the tree huggers and green people are happy, but come and take a look. Come and see what you're doing to our people. The government has turned our region into a social assistance state. We are Inuvialuit who are proud people and who like to work and look after ourselves, not depend on welfare.
I thank God we worked very closely with the Harper government and had the all-weather highway built into Tuk. It opened in November 2017, if some of you haven't heard, and now we are learning to work with tourism. We all know that's not the money and work that we were used to in the oil and gas days that we liked.
View Todd Doherty Profile
He further states:
Nobody's going to be going up and doing any exploration or work up there.
We were really looking forward to this. There was a $1.2-billion deal here that Imperial Oil and BP did not that far out of Tuk, and we were looking forward to them exploring that and possibly drilling, because we have the all-weather highway there. What better place to be located?
The Hon. Bob McLeod, the premier from the Northwest Territories, said that the moratorium was “result of eco-colonialism”.
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