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.