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Results: 1 - 60 of 48330
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2022-12-08 10:00 [p.10625]
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Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to six petitions. These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.
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View Karina Gould Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Karina Gould Profile
2022-12-08 10:01 [p.10625]
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moved for leave to introduce Bill C-35, An Act respecting early learning and child care in Canada.
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View Brenda Shanahan Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Brenda Shanahan Profile
2022-12-08 10:01 [p.10625]
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Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1), I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the Canada-Africa Parliamentary Association respecting its participation in the bilateral mission to Accra, Ghana, from May 21 to 27, 2022.
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View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2022-12-08 10:03 [p.10625]
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moved for leave to introduce Bill C-310, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (volunteer firefighting and search and rescue volunteer tax credit).
He said: Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege to rise today to table this bill. This bill calls on the Government of Canada to increase the tax credit for volunteer firefighters and search and rescue responders from $3,000 to $10,000 in the Income Tax Act.
We know that search and rescue responders and firefighters always show up—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
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View Anthony Rota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Anthony Rota Profile
2022-12-08 10:03 [p.10625]
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I will ask the hon. member to start over. I am sure we all want to hear about his bill. I ask the hon. members to keep it down so that we can hear what is going on.
The hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni, please start from the top. For the history books, this is the first time I have had to stop everyone so that we can hear a private member's bill start over from the top. Please, go ahead.
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View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2022-12-08 10:03 [p.10625]
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Mr. Speaker, I think firefighters would appreciate that.
It is a privilege to rise today to table this bill. This bill calls on the Government of Canada to increase the tax credit for volunteer firefighters and search and rescue responders from $3,000 to $10,000 in the Income Tax Act.
We know that search and rescue responders and firefighters always show up in difficult crises such as fires, floods and accidents in our local communities. Ninety thousand of Canada's 126,000 firefighters are volunteer firefighters. These essential first responders give their time, training and efforts to Canadians on a voluntary basis. They often put their lives at risk, while allowing local governments to keep property taxes lower than if paid services were required.
Increasing this tax credit would allow these essential volunteers to keep more of their hard-earned money, which is likely to be spent in the communities where they live. An increase in this tax credit could also assist with the volunteer recruitment and retention.
I previously tabled Bill C-201 on this issue, but I brought forward this bill today because it would define eligible volunteer firefighting services and would provide clarity on when this tax credit would apply.
I thank the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs for their work on this issue as well as thank the many Canadians who have signed petitions in support.
I hope all members in the House will show support for the bill and show respect for all those volunteer firefighters across Canada who put their lives at risk to serve their communities.
I thank my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith for seconding this bill.
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View Garnett Genuis Profile
CPC (AB)
View Garnett Genuis Profile
2022-12-08 10:05 [p.10626]
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Mr. Speaker, I have one petition to present today from Canadians who are in solidarity with the Hazara community and the violence it has experienced in Afghanistan over decades.
The petitioners call on the government to formally recognize the 1891-93 ethnic cleansing perpetrated against Hazaras as a genocide and to designate September 25 as Hazara genocide memorial day.
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View Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Profile
BQ (QC)
View Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Profile
2022-12-08 10:06 [p.10626]
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Mr. Speaker, I join my hon. Conservative Party colleague in tabling a petition. I have the honour to present today in the House a petition that was signed by citizens who, like us, want to stand up for the rights of the oppressed.
This petition seeks to have the government formally recognize the ethnic cleansing perpetrated against the Hazaras from 1891 to 1893 as a genocide and to designate September 25 as Hazara genocide memorial day.
If we do not speak on behalf of the oppressed, then who will?
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
View Heather McPherson Profile
2022-12-08 10:07 [p.10626]
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Mr. Speaker, I stand today to present a petition on behalf of Canadians across the country who are very concerned about the persecution and the genocide that has happened to the Hazara people, which goes all the way back to 1891. We know that Hazaras continue to face systematic and targeted persecution in Afghanistan, including the killing of newborn infants and the attacks on men, women, children and elders.
As Canada has a special relationship with Afghanistan, these citizens are calling on the Government of Canada to formally recognize the 1891-93 ethnic cleansing perpetrated against Hazaras as a genocide. They are asking us to designate September 25 as Hazara genocide memorial day.
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View Chandra Arya Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Chandra Arya Profile
2022-12-08 10:07 [p.10626]
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Mr. Speaker, with the growing number of senior Canadians comes an exponential increase in the onset of diseases of the brain and mind, which is creating a huge pressure on our health care system. It impacts our elderly, their families and their caregivers.
There is a need to bring together stakeholders with expertise to shape public policy on this issue. The petition calls for a national brain and mind health week beginning every first Monday of October.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2022-12-08 10:08 [p.10626]
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Mr. Speaker, Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that consists of meditation, exercise and moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. The petitioners are calling upon parliamentarians to do what they can with regard to organ harvesting and, in particular, to pass a resolution to establish measures to stop the Chinese communist regime's crime of systematically murdering Falun Gong practitioners for their organs.
I am presenting this petition because of what we will be voting on next Wednesday.
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View Dan Mazier Profile
CPC (MB)
View Dan Mazier Profile
2022-12-08 10:09 [p.10626]
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Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition on behalf of the good people of Winnipegosis who were forced to drive over 40 minutes to pick up their mail after Canada Post closed their local post office multiple times. These rural residents are feeling punished for simply living in rural Canada. These are valid concerns that are amplified by seniors, persons with disabilities and those who do not have the ability to travel.
The petitioners are calling on the Liberal government to provide a detailed explanation of why this essential service was closed despite the anticipated staffing shortages, and are calling on the government to work with Canada Post and the Minister of Rural Economic Development to ensure that these temporary post office closures in rural areas are not normalized. I support the people of Winnipegosis.
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View Rachel Blaney Profile
NDP (BC)
View Rachel Blaney Profile
2022-12-08 10:10 [p.10626]
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Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from people across my riding who are very concerned about expanded polystyrene, commonly known as styrofoam, and the impact it has on the marine environment. It is incredibly difficult to clean EPS off beaches and shorelines. We know that it is getting into the marine environment and causing a lot of challenges. We also know that the qathet Regional District and the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities have unanimously endorsed the prohibition of EPS in marine environments.
The petitioners are asking for the government to take action, and I hope it does so soon.
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View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2022-12-08 10:10 [p.10626]
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Mr. Speaker, I am tabling two petitions today on behalf of my constituents.
The first petition is on behalf of Canadians of Persian heritage, as well as Rojhelat Kurdish heritage who live in Calgary. It calls on the government to immediately implement a Conservative motion passed in 2018 and to list Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.
The petitioners remind the Government of Canada that Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752, which was shot down by the Iranian regime, claimed the lives of 176 people, including 57 Canadians and many permanent residents of Canada. They also remind the Government of Canada that the IRGC is responsible for terrorism across the Middle East. It is a huge part of the Iranian regime's forces, and it is being currently used to oppress the people of Iran who are fighting for their freedoms.
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View Tom Kmiec Profile
CPC (AB)
View Tom Kmiec Profile
2022-12-08 10:11 [p.10627]
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Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on behalf of constituents in my riding who are calling on the Minister of Finance to suspend the federal excise tax and carbon tax for Canadians until the cost of living crisis has been resolved.
They are reminding the Government of Canada, in their petition, that the price of gasoline is way up all across the country, that the clean fuel standard will cost the average family over $1,300, that mortgages are going to be costing about $7,000 more in the new year, and that the average costs for a family, because of the inflationary spending of the government, will be another $3,000. Therefore, they are asking the government to cut the carbon tax and the excise tax on fuel, home heating and groceries.
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View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2022-12-08 10:12 [p.10627]
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Mr. Speaker, it is no surprise I am now tabling a petition on the firefighter tax credit. Firefighters, especially in rural communities, put their lives on the line. Petitioners from my riding of Courtenay—Alberni, from Courtenay, Cumberland, Royston, Dashwood, Parksville, Qualicum, Beaver Creek, Cherry Creek and Sproat Lake, have all signed this petition. The tax code of Canada currently allows volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers to claim a $3,000 tax credit if they do 200 hours of volunteer services in a calendar year. The petitioners want to move that to $10,000. They are calling for this action to take place. It is something hopefully all the House would support.
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View Matt Jeneroux Profile
CPC (AB)
View Matt Jeneroux Profile
2022-12-08 10:13 [p.10627]
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Mr. Speaker, I am presenting one petition today from 136 esteemed Canadians who have recognized there are a number of issues when Ukrainians come to Canada. They are calling on the federal government to do the four following things: develop a federal program to bring Ukrainian children to Canada for temporary shelter; ensure they have access to the necessary medical services via provincial insurance programs; ensure they have access to education, services and scholarships in Canada; and ensure necessary financial support for Canadian families hosting those children.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2022-12-08 10:14 [p.10627]
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Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all questions be allowed to stand at this time, please.
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View Chris d'Entremont Profile
CPC (NS)
View Chris d'Entremont Profile
2022-12-08 10:14 [p.10627]
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Is that agreed?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
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View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
View Luc Berthold Profile
2022-12-08 10:14 [p.10627]
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 moved:
That, given that, (i) Canada's Food Price Report 2023 states that a typical farm will pay $150,000 in carbon tax per year when the carbon tax is tripled, (ii) families will pay an additional $1,065 for groceries in 2023 for a total of $16,288 due to increased costs being passed on to consumers, (iii) food bank visits were at an all-time high reaching 1.5 million in March 2022, a 15% increase from the previous year according to Food Banks Canada, (iv) 20% of Canadians are skipping meals and grocery price inflation is at 11%, the House call on the government to cancel the carbon tax that is applied to all food inputs and production, including: (a) all farm fuels; (b) grain drying; (c) fertilizer; (d) transportation; and (e) other appropriate aspects of the food supply system.
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View Chris d'Entremont Profile
CPC (NS)
View Chris d'Entremont Profile
2022-12-08 10:14 [p.10627]
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Since today is the final allotted day for the supply period ending December 10, the House will now go through the usual procedures to consider and dispose of the supply bill.
In view of current recent practices, do hon. members agree that the bill be distributed now?
Some hon. members: Agreed.
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View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
View Luc Berthold Profile
2022-12-08 10:16 [p.10627]
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Mr. Speaker, Thursday, December 8, may go down in history. It is a great day for all Canadians, because today the House of Commons has a unique opportunity to give some relief to all Canadian consumers who are suffering the effects of inflation, the increase in the cost of living and the increase in the price of food by doing something that is only right.
I am very optimistic and fully hope that all of my colleagues here in the House will finally, this time, do the right thing and vote in favour of our motion, which will cancel the carbon tax applied to all food chain inputs and production.
We are giving all members of the House a unique opportunity to do what is only right to give some relief to all Canadians. This motion seeks to help get things back on track for Canadians who are suffering, those who are struggling to put food on the table.
We asked for this many times. Many times we begged the government and the other parties to support motions simply seeking to reduce the carbon tax, or at least to not increase it. This time we are going a step further. We are asking them to cancel the tax on an essential need, namely food.
This is a day that may go down in history or that Canadians may remember for a long time. In fact, some parties may decide to vote against the motion seeking to give Canadians a break.
I would like to say something right from the start. I know that some members will probably ask why the member for Mégantic—L’Érable has risen to demand that the carbon tax be cancelled when it does not apply to Quebec.
I would remind the members opposite that Quebec is not self-sufficient when it comes to oil, food and supplies. Quebec has to buy products from around the world and especially, we hope, from everywhere in Canada.
The food that comes from the western provinces, the potatoes that come from the Atlantic provinces, all of that has to be brought in by truck. Unfortunately, the carbon tax applies to all of it, and the tax will increase over the next few years. Those are the facts. To deny those facts is to deny the reality that, right now, Quebeckers live in the province most affected by increasing food prices, according to “Canada’s Food Price Report 2023”. This report was issued by Dalhousie University, the University of Guelph, the University of British Columbia and the University of Saskatchewan. We are talking about 11%. Quebec is the hardest-hit province. However, it is the only province that is not subject to the carbon tax. That is what the Liberals are going to say today, despite the fact that I just demonstrated that such arguments are totally ridiculous.
I would like to talk about something else. Who will the carbon tax hurt the most? It will hit agricultural producers and farmers in the western provinces hardest. They will have to pay much higher tax bills, and will probably have to cease production in the coming years if nothing is done, if the government does not do the right thing and eliminate the carbon tax.
What will happen if there are fewer producers in the western provinces to supply food to Quebec? We will have to get our food from farther away and pay more for the same product. If we purchase from farther away and pay more, it will take more fuel to transport the food to Quebec. That will completely offset any positive effects of the carbon tax, and we know full well that the carbon tax has not allowed the government to achieve any of its greenhouse gas reduction targets.
I will not speak any longer about everything happening in the west because my colleague from Foothills, with whom I will be sharing my time, will be happy to demonstrate the effects of the carbon tax on the western provinces.
Where are we today? The newspapers are publishing headlines like “The coming months will be really difficult” and “Multiple devastating effects”. Of course, we are talking about the interest rate hike announced yesterday by the Bank of Canada, combined with the increase in the price of food which I will address in a few minutes and which is clearly explained in Canada's Food Price Report 2023.
I will read a paragraph from an article by Michel Girard this morning in Le Journal de Montréal, in which he says that the coming months will be really difficult: “Who is responsible? According to economists Jean-François Perrault and René Lalonde of the Bank of Nova Scotia...federal government spending on COVID‑19 support programs forced the Bank of Canada to aggressively raise interest rates. They believe that federal support for COVID‑19 victims, which amounted to more than $200 billion, was 'welcome, but probably overdone'. This spending created excess demand, which the Bank of Canada is trying to curb by increasing the cost of borrowing.”
There you have it. As we said earlier, the government had to do something, but the Liberals were sloppy once again. That is what the Auditor General said this week in her report. The government was sloppy, it was wasteful, it spent too much, and that is why we are seeing skyrocketing inflation today. That is why the Bank of Canada had to raise interest rates. At the same time, if everything is going up, if inflation is increasing, if the interest rates are skyrocketing, it is not surprising that the price of food is going up as well.
Canada's Food Price Report shows that the price of fish has increased by 10%, and the price of butter, by 16%. Even the price of fresh and dried pasta has gone up. When we were students and did not have much money to spend on food, we bought pasta. We ate pasta five days a week and, on weekends, instead of eating spaghetti, we ate macaroni. The price of pasta has gone up 32%. It is not surprising that students can no longer afford an apartment and have to live in their parents' basement.
The problem is that the government caused this inflation. We could call it Liberal inflation. The price of everything is going up. For example, the report projected that food costs for a family of four would reach approximately $14,700 in 2022. Based on what was observed in 2022, it appears that there will be a $455 increase for 2022. Worse yet, next year, the increase for the same family will be $1,065. That is a lot of money.
As I was saying earlier, Quebec is the province hardest hit by rising food prices. According to the report, the price of food has increased by 11% in Quebec. The increase across Canada varies between 9.2% and 11% in a single year. I do not know many people who received salary increases that will allow them to offset these increases. Moreover, it is not just the cost of food. I have not said anything about the cost of rent, mortgages or the additional costs of car loans. All of these new costs Canadians will have to pay in the coming years are outrageous.
It gets worse. According to HungerCount 2022 published by Food Banks Canada, food bank usage increased by 15% this year. The report states that high food prices are limiting Canadians' access to food. It is estimated that 23% of Canadians eat less than they should. That is what is happening in Canada in 2022. Normally, during the summer, the demand on food banks drops. That was not the case this year. This year, food banks faced their most difficult summer in 41 years.
The government can do something, Parliament can do something, the House can do something. Every member can do something today by voting for the opposition's motion, which asks that the carbon tax on food inputs and production, including all farm fuels, grain drying, fertilizer, transportation and other aspects of the food supply system be eliminated to give Canadians a little respite and allow them to put more bread, butter and milk on the table.
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View Chris d'Entremont Profile
CPC (NS)
View Chris d'Entremont Profile
2022-12-08 10:25 [p.10629]
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I am not sure why, but I am craving Kraft Dinner.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Treasury Board.
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View Greg Fergus Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Greg Fergus Profile
2022-12-08 10:26 [p.10629]
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Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my opposition colleague for finally recognizing that there are at least some problems with the environment and the fact there is a price on pollution.
He talked about the price that businesses have to pay. Does he really believe that pollution should be free or does he believe that we should put a price on pollution? Should people be able to pollute without consequence or should we instead tell them that the more they pollute, the more they must pay?
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View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
View Luc Berthold Profile
2022-12-08 10:26 [p.10629]
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Mr. Speaker, the carbon tax does not work. The only thing it does is take money away from Canadians and put it in the government's coffers, but that does not help the government meet any of its targets.
A recent international conference recently took stock of how different countries are performing. With its carbon pricing, Canada ranks 58 out of 63 countries. Let us remember that number. We rank 58 out of 63 with the Liberal carbon tax. That is not doing much to help the environment.
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View Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Profile
BQ (QC)
View Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Profile
2022-12-08 10:27 [p.10629]
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Mr. Speaker, I used to eat ramen noodles when I was in CEGEP.
I would like to thank my hon colleague from Quebec, whom I hold in high esteem. It is always a pleasure to work with him.
Now, I agree that the federal government ranks near the bottom when it comes to protecting the environment and fighting greenhouse gas emissions. I think that is crystal clear. Statistics do not lie. Canada ranks 58th out of 63. That is not a great record. That being said, does that mean we should allow major polluters to pollute with impunity?
There is one thing that Conservatives never do when they talk about going after money. Have the Conservatives ever asked themselves why the big oil companies are making exorbitant profits, record profits, this year, and why the government does not go get that money and redistribute it to Canadians?
I have never heard the Conservatives wonder why the government is not going after big oil's huge profits. I would like my colleague to answer the question.
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View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
View Luc Berthold Profile
2022-12-08 10:28 [p.10629]
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Mr. Speaker, I went to do groceries with my wife last week, and I was walking up and down the aisles. When I saw that all the prices had gone up, I began to ask myself some serious questions. How can we help families deal with these price hikes?
The report said that the price of lettuce went up 12%. That is not correct. The price of lettuce actually jumped from 99¢ to seven dollars. Things are so bad that we can no longer even afford to eat vegetables. Imagine how much more expensive meat is these days. It is absolutely essential that we give Canadians a little breathing room. We need to focus on what Canadians need right now. They need to put enough food on the table to stave off hunger.
We could help them right now by putting an end to the carbon tax on everything up and down the food supply chain. I encourage my colleagues in the Bloc Québécois to think about that.
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View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
2022-12-08 10:29 [p.10629]
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Mr. Speaker, I would offer that the impact on food prices from the climate crisis and from the price gouging of the big box stores and big grocery retailers far outstrips the impact of carbon pricing.
My question is this. When farmers across this country are facing massive crop failures and the infrastructure needed to ship our food is being ripped out by climate disasters, why do the Conservatives not have a plan to tackle the climate crisis, the most significant crisis facing us as a population? Why do they refuse to come up with a credible plan?
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View Luc Berthold Profile
CPC (QC)
View Luc Berthold Profile
2022-12-08 10:30 [p.10629]
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Mr. Speaker, I think there is some information that my colleague is not aware of. This year, in Canada, we had the third best harvest on record. Usually, when more and more food is available on the market, prices are supposed to come down for consumers. That is not happening. Despite the third best harvest in history, prices are at a 40-year high.
There is a problem. The main cause is the Liberals' carbon tax. We are asking them to eliminate this tax to give Canadians and farmers across the country some relief.
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View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2022-12-08 10:31 [p.10630]
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Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Mégantic—L'Érable for tabling this opposition motion today as it shows our farmers, producers and ranchers, as well as consumers across Canada, that the Conservative Party certainly understands food security and their economic viability.
In my opinion, the Liberals have a stark decision to make in the next few months. The decision is either to continue on this activist, ideological agenda, increasing carbon taxes and taxes on producers, or to start to understand that food security and the cost of food should be a priority for all Canadians. For a government that prides itself on making science-based decisions, clearly the policies it is putting forward are not based on sound science.
What is stark and what is really the impetus for the motion is the new 2023 food price report. It showed that by 2030, when the carbon tax would be tripled by the Liberals, farmers of a 5,000-acre farm, not a large farm by any means but a typical one, would pay $150,000 a year in carbon tax. I would ask the government how it could possibly think a farm family is going to absorb that cost and still be able to produce affordable, nutritious food, not only for Canadians but to help feed the world.
How does the Liberal government possibly feel a farm family could absorb $150,000 a year in carbon taxes alone and still remain economically viable? It simply cannot. That is the stark reality the Liberal government needs to understand sooner rather than later. When it makes these extreme ideological policies, there are consequences.
Part of that food report also stated that the average family of four would see its grocery bill go up more than $1,000 a year to a total of close to $17,000 a year in one year alone. The consequence of that, as we saw in March, is that 1.5 million Canadians were accessing a food bank, the highest number in our history. I cannot believe this is happening in Canada, a G7 country, where we are unable to feed our own people and where food security is at risk.
As my colleague said in response to the Bloc question, we did have the third-best harvest in our history this year. Why, if we had such a great harvest, are we talking about food insecurity and the economic viability of our farms, which are at risk? When there is a large harvest, the issue is that if the input costs far exceed the value of that crop, then the farmer is further behind at the end of the year rather than being ahead.
At committee yesterday, we had Rebecca Lee, executive director of the Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada, say that 44% of its members are selling their products at a loss. Almost half of the produce growers in Canada are selling their products at a loss. They cannot afford the massive increases in fertilizer costs. They cannot afford the massive increases in fuel costs.
How long does the Liberal government expect these farmers are going to stay in business? If they go out of business, we have to import more of those foods from other countries around the world. What will that do to our GHG emissions? What will that do to the government's climate change philosophy and policies?
We had Dr. Sylvain Charlebois at committee, one of the most respected food scientists in the country, from Dalhousie University. I am paraphrasing a bit, but he basically said, and I quote this part, the carbon tax is a bad idea. The carbon tax is putting farms out of business and putting our food security at risk. That is one of the top food scientists in Canada. He is saying the carbon tax is a bad idea and we are losing farms as a result of it.
When we lose farms, food prices go up. When food prices go up, food security is an issue. As a result, we see what has happened with more Canadians having to use the food bank.
There is more to that as well. This is where I think the Liberals are missing the point when they make these decisions not based on sound science and data.
For example, we asked the Minister of Agriculture yesterday at committee why the Liberals are imposing these massive carbon tax increases on Canadian farmers when we are already more efficient than any other country on earth. The data show that out of Canada's total GHG emissions, which is about 2%, 8% of that comes from agriculture. That is 8% of 2%. That is infinitesimal on the global scale. The global average is 26%. That is a stark contrast when comparing where we are to the rest of the world. Why is the Liberal government not celebrating those achievements of Canadian agriculture?
Instead of punishing farmers with massive increases in the carbon tax, which is going to have a profound impact on food security in Canada, why is the government not saying to the rest of the world, “If you want to reduce your GHG emissions from agriculture, we are already there and we will show you how to get there. Use our technology and our practices, and we will export our manufacturing”?
We are already using zero till. We are already using cover crop. We are already using precision agriculture. We manufacture air drills in Canada that we are happy to export for other countries to use in their production. We use 4R nutrient stewardship. All of these things are already being used in Canada, but they seem to be ignored by the current government.
We asked the minister yesterday how she expects the family farm to absorb these types of costs. Her answer was that she does not understand what our definition of a family farm is. She is the Minister of Agriculture. If anyone should know what a family farm is, it is the Minister of Agriculture.
What makes it worse is the Liberals put forward Bill C-8, which included a rebate on the carbon tax for farms. We know from the Ontario grain farmers association that their members get back about 15% of what they spend on the carbon tax. Finance Canada said the average payback for a farm family is about $860. The government can compare that to the $150,000 that the farmers are going to be paying. They are going to get $1,000 back. Does the Minister of Agriculture not understand that? She was saying the families are going to get that back, but that the farm is a business. Ninety-five per cent of farms in Canada are family farms, owned by the family. Yes, they may be incorporated, but they are family farms. It is not possible to separate one from the other.
That is why we put forward our private member's bill, Bill C-234, which would remove the carbon tax from natural gas and propane to help with grain drying, heating of barns and those operations that are integral to the family farm. We have the support of all the opposition parties on that private member's bill, including the Bloc, the NDP and the Green Party. The opposition understands how important agriculture is to the Canadian economy and our food security not only here at home, but around the world.
I am hoping the opposition parties also will be supporting our opposition motion today. It reinforces the importance of Canadian agriculture, and that the decisions impacting our families must be based on sound science and sound data. Instead of apologizing for the incredible achievements of Canadian agriculture, a Canadian government should be going around the world, as proud as it can be, being a champion of what we do and not apologizing for it.
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View Ryan Turnbull Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ryan Turnbull Profile
2022-12-08 10:40 [p.10631]
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Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure to serve on the same committee as the member opposite, the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.
The member mentioned in his speech Sylvain Charlebois, who came before our committee. Just the other day when asked a question about whether the price on pollution is affecting food price inflation he, very explicitly, said no. Does the member opposite recollect that?
The other thing I will just add is that the recent report done by the Canadian Climate Institute shows there is going to be $25 billion in losses due to climate change by 2025, and that the number is going to rise to $100 billion over the next 10 to 15 years. This actually undermines the entire growth of our economy. How does the member reconcile that with the statements he has made today?
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View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2022-12-08 10:41 [p.10631]
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Mr. Speaker, at committee there are pushes to increase these carbon taxes to reach our climate change goals, but we will not have any farms left. There will be no farms and no food. If we tax them into bankruptcy, then what?
The most frustrating part is that the Liberals continue to ignore the accomplishments of Canadian farming, in terms of our standings with emissions, carbon sequestration, stewardship and conservation, but they increase these carbon taxes, and they have not met a single target. If they were increasing these carbon taxes, which they say is the best way to meet our GHG emission goals, they have not hit a single one. The proof is in the pudding.
They do not work and they are causing harm across Canada.
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View Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Profile
BQ (QC)
View Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Profile
2022-12-08 10:42 [p.10631]
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Mr. Speaker, I find that fascinating. Indeed, I am going to ask my Conservative friends the same question today and I think that not one will answer.
How is it that, in 2022, and probably in years to come, the oil companies, banks and major food chains are making record profits and that the Conservative Party, which professes to stand up for the middle-class and workers, is blaming the carbon tax rather than looking for the money in the excessive profits of the big corporations?
If Canada is ranked 58th out of 63 countries in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions, it is because it continues to subsidize oil companies, which are protected by the Conservative Party.
I would like someone from the Conservative Party to tell me when they are going to do something about the oil companies' excessive profits and give the money back to the people who are paying too much for gas.
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View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2022-12-08 10:43 [p.10631]
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Mr. Speaker, I should have been prepared that this question was coming. Obviously, speaking as an Albertan, those energy companies are critical to our economy. They pay for those middle-class jobs and they ensure our economies, not only across Alberta but across Canada, are operating.
I am not endorsing taking the carbon tax off large emitters. In fact Alberta was the first province in Canada that implemented a carbon tax on large emitters like the energy companies. We understand there are ways we can incentivize improvements and innovation in technology, and there are areas in which those taxes should not be imposed. Canadian agriculture and food production is certainly one of those.
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View Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2022-12-08 10:44 [p.10631]
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Mr. Speaker, I want to start by thanking my colleague for his excellent private member's bill. It would be an improvement for farmers.
I am surprised, though, that the Conservative motion did not mention the grocery store chains. First of all, we know we are plagued by lack of competition. We know some of these chains actually hedge some money overseas and had to pay a CRA fine for hiding money in Barbados. They fixed the price of bread; the Competition Bureau proved that was true. They have excessive profits from COVID-related policies because restaurants were closed and the chains lacked competition. They ended hero pay to their workers unilaterally, despite the fact they should not be working together behind the scenes. Their CEO bonuses and manager salaries would make a robber baron blush. Finally, they have predatory pricing for local produce on shelves that restricts some of the distribution by farmers.
How can the Conservatives not mention the situation with the grocery store chains?
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View John Barlow Profile
CPC (AB)
View John Barlow Profile
2022-12-08 10:45 [p.10632]
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Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague should remember the NDP has already put in a motion, which was passed in the House several weeks ago and is being studied at committee.
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View Terry Duguid Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Terry Duguid Profile
2022-12-08 10:45 [p.10632]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to split my time with my friend and colleague, the member for Hull—Aylmer, who will be up next.
I appreciate the opportunity to participate in a debate on the higher cost of living that Canadians and the world are experiencing. Let me reassure the hon. member that the government is well aware of these challenges, and that our priorities remain helping the most vulnerable in our society cope with the higher cost of living.
That is why the government has an affordability plan, a suite of targeted measures totalling $12.1 billion in new support in 2022. The affordability plan is designed to help address the needs of low-income Canadians who are most exposed to inflation. Because of investments the government has already made in the last two federal budgets, many of the measures in our affordability plan are in place right now to help Canadians.
In budget 2021, the government enhanced the Canada workers benefit, putting up to an additional $2,400 into the pockets of modest-income families, starting this year. I am pleased to say that most recipients have already received this increased support through their 2021 tax return.
This enhancement of the Canada workers benefit is extending support to about one million Canadians and helping to lift nearly 100,000 people out of poverty. The government also proposes to provide automatic advance payments of the Canada workers benefit to people who qualified for the benefit in the previous year, with these advance payments starting in July 2023. Workers would receive a minimum entitlement for the year through the advance payments, based on income reported in the prior year's tax return.
We are also fully aware that Canada and the rest of the world have been experiencing a period of higher inflation, including for food and groceries. This is part of a global phenomenon driven by the impacts of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has led to sharply higher food and energy prices, as has been described today, as well as persistent impacts from supply chain disruptions and the COVID pandemic. That is why we are also providing targeted support to roughly 11 million individuals and families by doubling the goods and services tax credit for six months. This is delivering $2.5 billion in additional support to those who already receive the tax credit, including more than half of Canadian seniors.
With the passage of Bill C-30, many Canadians have already received this additional payment. Single Canadians without children are receiving up to an extra $234, and couples with two children are receiving up to an extra $467 this year. Seniors are receiving an extra $225 on average. What is more is that the money is coming to them through a straightforward process. That is because the extra GST credit amounts are being paid to all current recipients through the existing GST credit system as a one-time, lump-sum payment. Recipients will not need to apply for the additional payment. They need only file their 2021 tax return, if they have not already done so, to receive both the current GST credit and the additional payment.
Finally, we know that the costs of climate change are significant. Climate change is real, and we know that carbon pollution pricing remains a pillar of Canada's climate plan as an efficient way to incent reductions and drive innovation. Carbon pricing lets industry, households and businesses choose the lowest-cost ways to reduce emissions and creates demand for low-carbon technologies, goods and services.
The pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution, announced in 2016, gives provinces and territories the flexibility to implement their own carbon pricing systems aligned with common minimum national stringency requirements, referred to as the “federal benchmark”. The federal carbon pricing system serves as a backstop in jurisdictions that requested or that do not implement a system aligned with minimum national requirements. All direct proceeds from the federal system will continue to be returned to the jurisdiction in which they were collected.
In order for a provincial or territorial government to receive these proceeds directly to use as they see fit, they were required to request the application of the federal system and commit to not using the proceeds to negate the carbon price signal.
More importantly, 90% of the projected fuel charge proceeds will be sent to households in the form of quarterly climate action incentive payments, administered by the Canada Revenue Agency. The majority of households will receive more back than they pay as a result of the federal system. This will help Canadians to pay for the food and basic necessities their families need.
Lower- and middle-income households will benefit the most. Also, there is a 10% supplementary amount for residents of small and rural communities. The other 10% of projected proceeds will be returned through federal programming, while 1% of the proceeds will be returned to indigenous recipients based on co-developed approaches and priorities; the remaining 9% of proceeds return through the environment and climate change programming for small and medium-sized enterprises in emissions-intensive, trade-exposed sectors.
Last month, the Minister of Finance specified climate action incentive payment amounts for the 2022 to 2024 fuel charge year. Those have been announced in the House. In provinces where climate action and incentive payments will continue to be paid, there will be four equal quarterly payments starting in April 2023, so that households will receive these ahead of costs incurred and are not out of pocket. A family of four will receive, each quarter, $386 four times a year in Alberta; $340 in Saskatchewan; $264 in my home province of Manitoba, so over $1,000 a year; and $244 in Ontario.
In provinces where the federal fuel charge will start to apply in July 1, 2023, and where climate action incentive payments will be paid for the first time, there will be three equal quarterly payments starting in July 2023, in the following amounts for a family of four: $248 in Nova Scotia, $240 in Prince Edward Island and $300 in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Overall, a price on carbon pollution reduces pollution at the lowest overall cost to businesses and consumers, and it provides an incentive for climate action and clean innovation, while protecting business competitiveness.
Just to conclude, the measures I have highlighted today are delivering timely, effective financial help to millions of Canadians. For our neighbours who need this support the most, this means more money for them this year to help make life more affordable. While putting a price on pollution remains the most effective way to fight climate change while making life more affordable for Canadians, not only does pollution pricing ensure it is no longer free to pollute anymore, but for the eight out of 10 Canadians who receive climate action incentive payments, the federal pollution pricing system actually puts more money back in their pockets.
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View Dave Epp Profile
CPC (ON)
View Dave Epp Profile
2022-12-08 10:54 [p.10633]
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Mr. Speaker, the hon. member lives in Winnipeg. Just south of Winnipeg, I am sure there are a number of those 5,000 typical family farms that would be very near where he lives. What does he have to say to those operators, those family farms that he just accused of polluting through the use of fertilizer?
What will he say to Canadians when those farmers are looking at a potential additional $150,000 by the time this tripling of the carbon tax takes effect? What is going to happen to Canada's emissions as those farmers go out of business and we are importing more food? What is the price of our food going to be when this carbon tax is tripled?
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View Terry Duguid Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Terry Duguid Profile
2022-12-08 10:54 [p.10633]
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Mr. Speaker, I invite the hon. member to Manitoba to see those beautiful landscapes. I toured that area this spring. It was under water. About a third of southern Manitoba was out of water. There was a late spring, so farmers could not plant their crops in a timely way.
However, in 2021, many of those farmers had to plow their canola fields under because we had the worst drought in 60 years. We had two one-in-300-year floods that cost $1 billion each and destroyed agriculture in many parts of the Assiniboine Valley.
The impacts of climate change are real, and I would ask the hon. member where his climate plan is, because the Conservative Party has no plan.
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View Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Profile
BQ (QC)
View Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Profile
2022-12-08 10:55 [p.10633]
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Mr. Speaker, I quite agree with my colleague that the Conservatives do not really have a climate plan, but maybe he should think about whether the Liberal plan is a good one.
The Liberals opened the door for the Conservative Party to criticize the carbon tax, because Canada ranks 58th out of 63 in the fight against GHGs. The problem is not the carbon tax itself, but the subsidies to the oil industry and the fact that the government is approving drilling off the coast of Newfoundland in areas where biodiversity is at risk.
The Liberal Party is great at controlling their image, but terrible at delivering results. I asked the Conservatives this question, but I did not get a response. Could my colleague tell me whether the Liberals have a different opinion? Are they going to go after the oil companies' excess profits? Are they going to go after the banks' excess profits? The big grocery chains are making excess profits. Are the Liberals going to go after that money and give it back to the middle class to address not only GHGs but also the cost of living?
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View Terry Duguid Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Terry Duguid Profile
2022-12-08 10:56 [p.10633]
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Mr. Speaker, I would agree with the hon. member that oil profits are at record levels. They need to put their shoulder to the wheel and help us reduce emissions. We are working hard with them to cap oil and gas emissions. We will be introducing a clean fuel standard, and we will be removing inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. We have already removed eight. We are on our way to completely eliminating them two years ahead of schedule.
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View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2022-12-08 10:57 [p.10634]
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Mr. Speaker, we also agree that putting a price on carbon is critical. In British Columbia it was actually the right-leaning BC Liberal party that brought in the carbon tax in 2009, but it is now supported by all provincial parties, because we understand the impacts of climate change. We have seen Lytton burn down. We have seen flooding. We have seen the impacts of climate change, which I have talked to my colleague about a number of times.
My concern here, and I share this concern with the Bloc, is that there is no excess profit tax on oil and gas companies right now. We have seen the U.K. take leadership, as well as other countries around the world. We have seen over $100 billion in record profits for the oil and gas companies, but we see Liberals and Conservatives standing side by side, letting them get a free ride.
It is unacceptable, because that money could be used for taking pressure off people today by removing the GST on home heating, which would apply to electric heating, something that Conservatives had in their platform but do not support today, as well as removing the unacceptable 39.5% surcharge on Canada Post.
Will my colleague finally charge oil and gas companies the excess profit tax that they should pay and take the pressure off everyday Canadians?
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View Terry Duguid Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Terry Duguid Profile
2022-12-08 10:58 [p.10634]
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Mr. Speaker, I find myself agreeing with the spirit of the questions my opposition colleagues are asking me. Oil profits are up. Emissions must come down. The oil and gas sector and the energy sector must put their shoulder to the wheel. They must work with us. Come hell or high water, we must meet those emissions targets of 40% to 45% reductions in emissions below 2005 levels. We have emissions targets. We will meet them.
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View Mike Morrice Profile
GP (ON)
View Mike Morrice Profile
2022-12-08 10:59 [p.10634]
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Mr. Speaker, I want to follow up on the wonderful questions being asked by our Bloc and NDP colleagues here as to the specific amounts. The PBO has done a report already. The windfall profits tax being called for by others would generate almost $4.4 billion a year at a time when Imperial Oil made profits of $6.2 billion in the first nine months of 2021 alone. They are making off like bandits in the midst of a climate crisis, and the federal government has already applied this to banks and life insurance companies.
Will the parliamentary secretary comment on the importance of applying the Canada recovery dividend to oil and gas companies in the midst of a climate crisis?
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View Terry Duguid Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Terry Duguid Profile
2022-12-08 10:59 [p.10634]
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Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague and friend from the Green Party and I talk often about the importance of action on climate change. He is indeed a devoted advocate.
Again, I would agree with the spirit of his comments, if not the actual content. We are going to be working hard to get those emissions down, and we are not going to be giving the energy sector a free pass, as has been implied by opposition members.
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View Greg Fergus Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Greg Fergus Profile
2022-12-08 11:00 [p.10634]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague from Winnipeg South for his excellent speech today and for his answers to the questions, because he really hit the nail on the head.
This opposition motion makes a brief reference to pollution pricing. Pollution pricing is a good thing, because pollution has a price. It is not free to pollute. My hon. colleague from Winnipeg South mentioned that in his province, floods that should only happen once every 100 years have occurred twice. It has happened twice.
In my own riding, the Ottawa River burst its banks and caused flooding in 2017 and 2019. Statistically speaking, such floods should happen once a century, but they happened twice in three years. The climate crisis is here, and we need to get rid of practices that are not working anymore. The days when individuals, businesses, organizations and governments could pollute with impunity have passed. That is why I am very proud to say that we are going to be putting a price on pollution.
I am a firm believer in capitalism. I think it is good for people to earn money. We applaud all those who want to make money by producing a good or providing a service. If they pollute while doing so, however, they must pay. I have confidence in the wisdom and ingenuity of Canadians, and certainly in our entrepreneurs, who will find ways to produce goods while reducing their carbon emissions. That means they will pay less, their product will be more efficient and cheaper, and people will buy it because it works. That is the idea behind pollution pricing.
However, the motion before us today attempts to link the inflation we are experiencing today, the increase in prices, with pollution pricing. There is no link. When my colleague from Whitby was asking a question, he referred to a witness who appeared before the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, on which my colleague sits. This witness is famous in Quebec and knows agriculture like the back of his hand. He was asked if the carbon tax was contributing to inflation and driving grocery prices up, and he said that it was not.
What is causing inflation is the global context. There are several factors. First of all, there was the pandemic. All the companies suddenly had to shut down to make sure that people were safe and that the COVID-19 virus did not spread. Eventually, thanks to the innovations that led to the development of vaccines, the economy started to reopen, following the advice of public health authorities.
All of a sudden, there were a lot of people all wanting to buy things at the same time. They wanted their freedom back. One or two people would have been okay, but when the whole world wants to buy things, it creates significant demand. Problems arose with supply chains around the world, especially in China because of its zero-COVID policy. That policy led to plant closures and disrupted supply chains worldwide. As if that were not enough, there is also Vladimir Putin's abhorrent war on Ukraine. It has hampered the flow of goods, creating product shortages and doubling price increases.
These are global trends that are happening, so what do we do? Canadians are facing price increases, but, unlike the official opposition, our government has an answer. Our answer is to help the most vulnerable Canadians. We are doing that in several different ways. Let me explain.
The first thing we want to do is make life more affordable for Canadians. With Bill C-30, we doubled the goods and services tax credit for a period of six months. The GST credit, which is in place to help the most vulnerable Canadians, is a tax-free payment to low- and modest-income individuals and families. Regardless of the circumstances, these people need a hand, especially these days. Our measure will put $2.5 billion in the pockets of around 11 million Canadians, and these individuals and families will be very happy to have this money for the next six months.
With Bill C-31, we created the Canada dental benefit. Once again, this benefit will put about $1,300 in Canadians' pockets to ensure that kids 12 and under have access to dental care. There is something else, too. We also paid $500 to 1.8 million low-income Canadian renters who are struggling to pay the rent. This is another targeted, non-inflationary support measure that will make a big difference for those in need.
Earlier this year, we increased old age security by 10% for people aged 75 and over. I can also talk about the Canada workers benefit, which is another way we are providing targeted assistance to support Canadians in need. This benefit is a refundable tax credit offered to Canadians and families who are working but earning a low or modest income.
All of these targeted and reasonable measures will help Canadians get through this global crisis. We can do all this while also fighting the climate crisis. That is what we have done in Canada. This will create a more sustainable economy, a healthier environment, and social cohesion. As parliamentarians, what are we good for if not bringing everyone together?
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View Terry Dowdall Profile
CPC (ON)
View Terry Dowdall Profile
2022-12-08 11:10 [p.10635]
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Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his speech today. There were certain words in it that I had a bit of a challenge with. It was mostly when he was talking about the Liberal carbon tax and inflation. He said that they are probably not related and that we are talking about two different things.
This week, there has not been a lot of respect from members opposite toward the Auditor General's role, and I know the Governor of the Bank of Canada said, at FINA committee, that the carbon tax has increased inflation.
Does he agree with the comments from the Governor of the Bank of Canada?
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View Greg Fergus Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Greg Fergus Profile
2022-12-08 11:11 [p.10635]
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Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with the Governor of the Bank of Canada, but my colleague should not quote out of context. Quoting out of context is just a pretext for saying things that are not true. What he said is true in theory, but the effect is minimal, and that is what matters.
The real causes of inflation are the broken supply chains, which take time to fix; China's zero-COVID policy, which has disrupted all the supply chains; and Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, which has also thrown supply chains around the world into chaos.
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View Jean-Denis Garon Profile
BQ (QC)
View Jean-Denis Garon Profile
2022-12-08 11:12 [p.10635]
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Mr. Speaker, we are debating a motion on the carbon tax, which, according to the Conservatives, is the enemy of humankind.
What is more, we have before us Bill C-234, which will give our farmers some tax relief on farm fuels and the sales tax on propane used for drying grain. We have many farmers in my riding of Mirabel. I would like to know what the government thinks about that. We know that, previously, the government and even the Minister of Agriculture voted against farmers. I am wondering whether they have changed their minds in that regard. This is very important for farmers in Mirabel. They have talked to me about it many times.
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View Greg Fergus Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Greg Fergus Profile
2022-12-08 11:13 [p.10635]
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Mr. Speaker, I have to say that I am not completely familiar with that private member's bill. Nevertheless, I know that the government is always there to support our farmers.
We will support them by fighting against climate change. We are well aware that the climate crisis is something that we have to deal with today, tomorrow and in the coming years.
Farmers know in their gut that climate change is coming. We have to work on that, and that is why we always need to put a price on pollution and implement a number of policies that will help create a greener, more sustainable Canada.
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View Taylor Bachrach Profile
NDP (BC)
View Taylor Bachrach Profile
2022-12-08 11:14 [p.10636]
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Mr. Speaker, it is somewhat ironic that the Conservatives have raised the fact that Canada is number 58 when it comes to climate action and spoke to our ability to tackle the climate challenge and live up to our commitments. It is ironic because the Conservatives do not have a plan to address climate change, but it is also a problem because number 58 is not where we need to be as a country.
Despite having a carbon pricing system in this country, Canada continues to be laggard, to not live up to the commitments we have made and to not perform. We are not on track to meet the targets we have set. What needs to be done to improve Canada's approach to climate and to stop being such a laggard on this critical issue?
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View Chris d'Entremont Profile
CPC (NS)
View Chris d'Entremont Profile
2022-12-08 11:15 [p.10636]
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That is a big question, and we only have about 30 seconds to answer it.
The hon. parliamentary secretary, for a brief response.
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View Greg Fergus Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Greg Fergus Profile
2022-12-08 11:15 [p.10636]
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Mr. Speaker, it is impossible to give a brief response. That is a great question from my colleague from Skeena—Bulkley Valley.
The reason Canada has fallen behind is that, for too long, we felt the effects of the Harper government's non-plan for the environment.
Now we have a realistic plan in place, one that is recognized throughout the world and is one of the best plans because it is detailed. It includes very specific and very strong targets, as well as initiatives that, finally, are rigorous.
That is why I am very optimistic about the future.
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View Jean-Denis Garon Profile
BQ (QC)
View Jean-Denis Garon Profile
2022-12-08 11:15 [p.10636]
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Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform you that I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Beauport—Limoilou.
Mr. Speaker, I went to the cafeteria on the first floor yesterday to get a grilled cheese, and I was really hoping to see you there. You are very charming and I really appreciate you. In the end, upon reflection, it was just as well that you were not there, because I ran into a Conservative member who spilled a coffee on his pants and found a way to colourfully blame it on the carbon tax.
I thought to myself, yes, that is obviously the source of all evil. I knew today was going to be a Conservative opposition day, so I made a bet with myself that the Conservatives would move a motion to give the bogeyman a new name, the carbon-tax man.
I read the motion last night, and I am pleased to say I was right, because that is essentially what this is. This entirely predictable motion portrays the carbon tax as the source of all evil and its abolition the solution to every problem under the sun. This is not really a motion about buying power or the price of food. It is not really about helping our farmers. This motion is further evidence that the Conservatives are trapped in their ideological cage, an ideology that says abolishing the carbon tax is the only way to fight climate change and make a transition. It is an ideological cage, and they are imprisoned inside it. Public debate is also being held captive, but the premise is false. It is false to say that this is the only solution.
The Conservatives are talking about our farmers. I would like to talk about farmers in the Lower Laurentians. The Union des producteurs agricoles, the UPA, recently held a convention in the riding of Rivière-des-Mille-Îles. I went to the UPA convention and talked to farmers. They thanked the Bloc Québécois for supporting Bill C‑234, which gives them a little GST relief on fuel for their tractors, agricultural equipment, propane and grain drying. They applauded our responsiveness, our pragmatism and our openness. They recognize that and told me so. That is always good to hear.
Instead of proposing a targeted approach, they are engaging in a generalized attack against the infamous carbon tax, which does not apply directly to Quebec, because Quebec has a cap-and-trade system. The basic principle of these systems is to increase the price of inputs or goods that pollute, while at the same time returning the tax-generated revenues to households. The relative price of these goods will be higher because they pollute more, but, in return, people will get help with their purchasing power. In the long run, it means that people will choose inputs and goods that pollute less. However, for these changes to be made, we must be realistic. There also needs to be a vision for the long-term transition. We must give people more options. Neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals are offering that. That is why we are still stuck in our current situation. Bloc Québécois members are realists. We think it is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time without getting stuck like the Conservatives.
This is why we supported the part of their motion that deals with agricultural fuels and which is the object of Bill C‑234. That is why we support the elimination of the tax on propane used to dry grain. At the UPA central union in Sainte-Scholastique-Mirabel, they looked me in the eyes and told me that it was important. However, that is the object of Bill C‑234, so the Conservatives do not need to waste time with their motion.
With respect to fertilizer, I would like to commend the extraordinary work of the member for Berthier—Maskinongé. I myself participated in meetings where the member for Berthier—Maskinongé, our agriculture critic, had gathered everyone around the table, including farmers. There were meetings with firms to ensure that fertilizer supply contracts, which had been signed before the war in Ukraine, are not subject to sanctions. These honest farmers had the right to get their fertilizer at a predictable price. We were there for them.
The issue of transportation is important, because that is where we will have cut emissions the most over the next 10, 20 and 30 years, if we exclude electricity generation itself in most provinces. We have adopted a smart, focused and temporary approach that is compatible with the transition and shows compassion for the people who pay. This helps taxi drivers, truckers and those who are temporarily affected by the vagaries of the geopolitical tensions that we are currently experiencing.
I would remind our Conservative colleagues that the price of oil is currently determined by a cartel, by their friends in Saudi Arabia and their friends in Venezuela, who are communists. This is OPEC+, which includes Russia, which, again last week, decided to cut production to keep prices high, to the great delight of Alberta's public finances.
That is why we supported Bill C‑234. If we must point the finger at a party that does not support farmers, it is the Liberal Party. When we voted on Bill C‑234, I was there and the Bloc Québécois was there for farmers from Quebec and the whole country. I was the first of 338 members of the House to say on social media that even the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food had voted against farmers. The central unions of the Union des producteurs agricoles noticed that.
The reality is that we must embark on a transition; this was not decided on a whim. The Conservatives have never tabled a motion that would allow us to assess and appreciate how we can embark on a transition that would reflect the ambitions of the west. They are still fixated on the carbon tax.
The International Energy Agency, however, believes that demand in energy will drop by 7% by 2050 because some countries are making a effort, although Canada is not.
The European Union believes that energy demand will drop by 30% to 38% by 2050. Why? It is because some countries are doing their part. Canada is not among them.
France expects its energy demand to drop by 40% by 2050. Why? It is because France is a G7 country that is making an effort. Here in the House, whenever a Conservative motion is put forward, the substantive problems are forgotten in the rush to score partisan points. I have no interest in going down that road. We deserve better in the House.
When faced with the kinds of things I am saying now, the Conservatives attack Quebec. Just last week, Conservatives posted misleading statements on social media, saying that a metric tonne of carbon is cheaper in Quebec, with our cap-and-trade system, than in the rest of the country. The reason is simple: Our system is based on controlling quantity, and prices fluctuate. A metric tonne is cheaper in Quebec because there is less demand. There is less demand for allowances because we pollute less.
This system was the Western Climate Initiative, which originally included Canadian provinces and U.S. states. Some of them dropped out because they wanted to pay less, because they do not want to transition and because they knew it would cost them even more. Today, they refuse to consider possible solutions. That is what put us in the position we are in today.
Let us get back to the issue of inflation. All of this does not mean that no one is facing higher prices for groceries or fuel. The people I meet on a daily basis are experiencing these difficulties. We must address the weaknesses in our supply chain. It is not because of the Bank of Canada that we are having a hard time getting Japanese cars. There is just one Conservative telling us that. It is not the Bank of Canada's fault that lumber is in short supply. Last time I checked, the governor of the central bank was not out cutting down spruce trees in the Saguenay region. I did not hear anything of the kind.
It is not Canada's fault that we have seen record prices for resources such as wheat, rice or commodities. At the Chicago stock exchange, a few weeks ago, no one cared about Alberta's carbon tax. There is just one Conservative saying that and misleading the public.
Over the long term, global warming will cause even more disruption and instability in the supply chain. There is just one Conservative telling us it is a myth. This week, I heard a Conservative say that the holes in the ozone layer were a myth. They are the only ones who think that way.
When the Bloc Québécois moves motions on the prayer in the House or on the monarchy and the fact that we kneel before entering the House to pray to a foreign sovereign who is up to his ears in monarchy, the Conservatives lecture us about priorities.
I would have liked to see the Conservatives move a motion about our dependence on oil and how we can reduce it in a way that is fair to workers. I would have liked to see them present a targeted plan for low-income individuals or targeted support for our farmers. That is what our farmers are asking for, to deal with the structural weaknesses of our supply chains.
I would have liked to see them present a plan for building social housing for those who need it. Trickle-down economics does not work for housing. We must build housing for people who are living on the streets.
I would have liked to see a motion proposing solutions to address the weak links in the supply chain. Quebec's seaports are telling us they need help.
The next time the Conservatives call our priorities into question, I will tell them to buy a mirror, because they are on sale at Rona.
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View Jacques Gourde Profile
CPC (QC)
View Jacques Gourde Profile
2022-12-08 11:26 [p.10637]
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Mr. Speaker, I would like to reassure my colleague, who is also my office neighbour, about three things.
First of all, there will be no visits from our Saudi Arabian friends this holiday season in my riding because we have Valero Energy, the largest refinery in Quebec, which sources its crude oil from Canada and the United States.
Second, in his speech, my hon. colleague talked about the fact that, with the bill, farmers would get GST refunds. The GST is already refunded. It is an input. The GST and QST have been refunded for the past 30 years.
Here is my final point. I wonder if my colleague has ever seen a propane bill from one of the farmers in his riding that shows the carbon tax rate, which is increasing in line with the Liberal formula.
Has my colleague ever personally seen a real-life propane bill for drying grain in Quebec that includes the carbon tax rate?
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View Jean-Denis Garon Profile
BQ (QC)
View Jean-Denis Garon Profile
2022-12-08 11:27 [p.10638]
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Mr. Speaker, my colleague knows that I appreciate him.
I welcome the fact that Valero Energy refines Canadian oil for domestic use. This further confirms that we do not need to increase production for export. I thank him for pointing that out. The Conservatives do not seem to understand that most days.
Second, they need to understand that abolishing the carbon tax in provinces that are not environmentally responsible creates unfair competition with producers of various goods in other provinces that do pay their carbon tax. Conservatives love competition until it involves oil.
Third, I would like to say hello to Claude, a member of the Union des producteurs agricoles in Sainte‑Scholastique. At a meeting two weeks ago, he thanked me for our support for Bill C‑234, which addresses the cost of propane used for drying grain. I want to tell him that I am very much looking forward to visiting him at his farm.
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View Ken McDonald Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Ken McDonald Profile
2022-12-08 11:28 [p.10638]
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Mr. Speaker, the Conservative Party motion today proposes the elimination the carbon tax. I wonder how that would affect or come into force in provinces that have their own carbon tax plan, as well as the issuance of refunds or rebates that may be part of their plan. How would the federal government tell provinces not to implement the carbon tax when it is the province that is responsible for it?
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View Jean-Denis Garon Profile
BQ (QC)
View Jean-Denis Garon Profile
2022-12-08 11:28 [p.10638]
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Mr. Speaker, today I want to reiterate how proud I am to be a Quebecker.
When everyone was drawing back, pulling out of the Western Climate Initiative and reneging on their climate responsibilities. Quebec, as a nation, decided to take responsibility and set up its emissions trading system. Today, it is working so well that the Conservatives are jealous and are attacking it.
In politics, when you are attacked, it is often because you are right.
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View Richard Lehoux Profile
CPC (QC)
View Richard Lehoux Profile
2022-12-08 11:29 [p.10638]
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Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
I would like him to explain how this tax affects Canadian agriculture as a whole. We are pork, chicken and grain exporters.
What impact will this tax have if our farmers' prices go up compared to other countries? Will our farmers be able to sell their products? They will have to sell them at a loss on the international market. What is he going to tell people in his riding of Mirabel?
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View Jean-Denis Garon Profile
BQ (QC)
View Jean-Denis Garon Profile
2022-12-08 11:30 [p.10638]
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Mr. Speaker, many of our competitors that produce agricultural commodities are subject to similar tax measures in competing countries. What I tried to tell my colleague earlier in my speech, not my question, is that we recognize the impact on farmers, so we want targeted measures.
What my colleague forgot to mention is that the carbon tax applies to markets in general. We care about farmers, and we are sensitive to the problems they are dealing with, which is why my colleague is indirectly asking me whether we should abolish the tax for all industries, including western Canada's oil industry, which is the most polluting of all.
We need targeted measures. That is the problem with the Conservatives, and that is the problem with their motion. They are better at changing the subject than they are at identifying problems.
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