An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act

Sponsor

Status

Considering amendments (Senate), as of Feb. 21, 2019

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-57.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Federal Sustainable Development Act to make decision making related to sustainable development more transparent and subject to accountability to Parliament.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

Jan. 29, 2019 Passed Motion respecting Senate amendments to Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act
June 4, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act
May 31, 2018 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act
May 31, 2018 Failed Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act (report stage amendment)
May 29, 2018 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act
Oct. 19, 2017 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act

Report StageExport and Import Permits ActGovernment Orders

May 30th, 2018 / 7:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is an interesting debate in that there are rare occasions when I agree with the government. There are elements of Bill C-57 I am in agreement with, but I am going to talk about some concerns about the ideological creep of the Liberal Party into the legislation of Canada. By “ideological creep”, I do not refer to any hon. members. I refer to a creeping barrage of ideology that is actually not rooted in science. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change is seemingly unaware of global concerns with respect to some of the things being put in legislation.

Why I agree with elements of Bill C-57 is that they are rooted in the work of the last Conservative government. In 2008, as my colleague from Perth—Wellington mentioned, the Conservative government passed it. There was a lot of good work done by John Baird at that time, and it has been continued. That is the basis of the Federal Sustainable Development Act. It is based on the sustainable development goals the United Nations started with the Rio declaration, right through to the UN agenda 2030. We certainly see a benefit to many social and economic considerations going into the sustainable development goals of a country.

When looking at an environmental plan, considering economic aspects of that plan, the impact on communities, and social development is prudent as one is planning. There are many departments within the federal government planning to meet the sustainable development goals articulated by the UN, and they are coming up with plans to do that.

I would note that the government has appointed a commissioner, who I wish well in her role, Ms. Julie Gelfand. We all wish her well in terms of working with federal government departments, particularly the Department of National Defence, which has large tracts of green space and lands in Canada, to make sure that we minimize the impact on the environment, make our operations sustainable, and operate with the future in mind of handing over the country we inherited to our children. There is a lot of agreement on that, and I will agree with those goals in this legislation.

I have three areas of concern I am going to keep my remarks to, because I do not like spending too much time on agreement with Liberals in this place. My friends will start questioning my loyalty.

The first area is the typical Liberal approach. There has been concern expressed by my colleague, the member for Abbotsford, and others that it seems the minister is going to continue to expand the paid advisory councils the government will rely upon. We know, going back to the days explored by Justice Gomery, that when there are gatherings of advisers, on a range of issues, being paid and being dependent on contracts and the goodwill of the government, it actually breeds a lack of accountability. We have already seen that, with the Prime Minister being the first sitting prime minister in Canada to have been found to have violated ethics legislation that governs this case. The finance minister has two pending investigations.

We do not think there should be that approach, with these friends of the Liberals being paid advisers. That should be arm's length, and we should rely upon Ms. Gelfand and her department to provide that advice. We have exceptional civil servants, so I do not like the approach we see the Liberals resorting to too often.

I commented that there are elements I said I agree with in Bill C-57. They are certainly rooted in the work done by the Conservative government, such as instilling the polluters pay principle and a number of tangible things that will have benefits. They will show that everyone in our country, including corporations, will need to be good and responsible stewards, and those principles enshrine that.

However, there has been a lot of window dressing from the government when it comes to the environment. We almost groan when we hear the minister say that the environment and the economy go together. It has just become rote language. However, I want to show how it is now also window dressing.

The minister herself said, in debate on Bill C-57, that the bill “would shift focus in the Federal Sustainable Development Act from planning” to reporting results. If we are looking at reporting results when it comes to our environmental goals and sustainable development, what were the comments of Julie Gelfand in her first appearance at committee on Bill C-57, and later, her comments with respect to the government's environmental plan?

If we are trying to say reporting results is what the government wants through this legislation, what did the Commissioner for Sustainable Development report on the government's progress on the environment? Here is her report on results:

We concluded that Environment and Climate Change Canada...measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions contained in this plan had yet to be implemented.

She went on to confirm that the government “did not make progress” with respect to any of its greenhouse gas emission targets. This is another case of the Liberals talking a very good game—whether in legislation, whether in debate outside of the chamber—but if we look at results, which is what the minister wants the bill to do for all departments of the federal government, we see they are failing. The commissioner actually reported a failing grade to the government.

If we combine that with the Auditor General's most recent report, which says that under this government there is basically no ability to implement projects, it should concern all Canadians. I know it concerns many of the civil servants who have had trouble getting paid and families having to help out their children, but it is a fundamental thing when the Auditor General in such strong language calls out the Liberals' inability to actually implement projects.

I hope the minister moves beyond the rhetoric of “the environment and the economy go together”, because we want to see results. Rhetoric we get enough of. We want to actually see some tangible results, and if Bill C-57 can do that, I am very happy that it will be part of our sustainable development discussion for the next number of years.

My final concern is the ideological creep that I see with the government, because in a similar fashion to Bill C-55 on the oceans act, this bill also creeps the precautionary principle into federal legislation. The old approach of the Conservative government enshrined the polluter pay model, and it is very obvious what that is: if there is an impact on our environment that is negative and it is clear who the polluter is, the polluter will pay to remediate that impact on our environment. The polluter pay principle is in this legislation, but Liberals are inserting the precautionary principle, and that is troubling because it is pseudoscience. The precautionary principle actually says, “Let us not wait until we have final scientific evidence to make public policy; let us just make it if we feel good.”

I will illustrate this with a quote. I know the front bench of the Liberal Party enjoyed their trip to see President Obama. They were downright giddy. What did Obama's chief scientific adviser say about the precautionary principle? He said that the precautionary principle, for all its rhetorical appeal, is deeply incoherent.

If we are talking about sustainable development and goals, we should be talking about science-based evidence. That was something the Liberals used to say in opposition a lot, but now in several pieces of federal legislation they are enshrining a policy principle that is not rooted in science. It is rooted in rhetorical appeal. It is rooted in feeling good. It is virtue-signalling, something we see every day from the government.

We should see a science-based approach. Whether it comes to sustainable development, our oceans, or marijuana, we should not be legislating and regulating because of an ideological view. While I support the goals of Bill C-57, it is this creeping barrage of Liberal ideology that they are secretly inserting into things. They have a condescension of the left that is troubling to people who have worked in the private sector, people who rely on science and evidence, as I do. Their attitude is that if we do not agree with them, we are somehow un-Canadian, or wrong, or as the Prime Minister says, we are being partisan. Is it partisan to ask for science before making decisions?

I would say in overall support that I am happy that there are elements to work together on, but I would like to alert Canadians to this ideological creep of the Liberal Party, which will set Canada back in the long term.

Report StageExport and Import Permits ActGovernment Orders

May 30th, 2018 / 8:10 p.m.
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NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to be joining the debate on Bill C-57, although I must agree with my Conservative colleagues that it is unfortunate to be doing it under the yoke of time allocation.

It is a strategy that the federal government seems to be employing quite a bit this week. I was having an exchange with the member for Perth—Wellington earlier today about this resembling a student who has missed the due date for his homework and has suddenly realized it is coming up and he had better rush things. We have been wasting time over February, March, April, and May, and now we are almost into June. If we look at the parliamentary calendar, we see that time is suddenly short, so the Liberals are feeling the need to engage in these draconian tactics to limit the ability of members to be here on behalf of their constituents. Every single one of these seats represents a unique geographic area of Canada, and the people of Canada deserve to have their voices and concerns raised in this House by the members who represent them.

That said, let us now turn to the bill before us, Bill C-57.

I want to compliment my friend and colleague, the member for the riding of Edmonton Strathcona. She has decades of experience in the field of environmental sustainability. When she speaks to our caucus or delivers speeches in this House or at committee, people listen, because they realize this member has the experience and the knowledge. Very rarely have I seen people contradict her, because they know that she is usually right. She has the experience to back it up.

I want to walk the House through a bit of the history of how we got to Bill C-57. We would have to go back to the spring of 2016, when the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development reviewed the current act. There is a mandate in the act that it has to be reviewed every certain number of years. I believe it is every three years. That is just to make sure that it is staying up to date with the changing nature of Canada, to see if we are meeting our goals or if anything needs to be tweaked, and to see if the government has been doing a good job in following the existing act. That is why it is important.

As a part of this review, the committee, as committees usually do, brought forth witnesses to testify with respect to the current act and present some recommendations for ideas for reform. Witnesses at the committee found the current act lacking in two important ways. First, unlike the definition of “sustainable development”, it focuses on environmental decision-making and ignores the social and economic pillars of sustainable development; second, the purpose is about transparency and accountability for environmental decision-making, rather than about advancing sustainable development. The committee agreed with those significant shortcomings and recommended that the act be amended to require the development of an effective federal strategy that will inspire, in equal measure, environmental, social, and economic advancement toward a better future, something I think that all members in this House can very much agree to.

The unfortunate thing with the bill before us, Bill C-57, is that it only partially addresses these deficiencies and recommendations. It is important to note that the updated law should reflect the broader UN sustainable development goals, which have been endorsed by Canada.

I want to list some key things that came about after that study, because when Bill C-57 made it to the committee, the Liberal government did not even listen to its own members of Parliament on that committee. It did not even listen to the recommendations that had come from the environment committee. That is a real shame, because suddenly we have Liberals recommending something, only to see their government completely ignore it. That action shows that the government is not committed to delivering on its commitments under the broad UN sustainable development goal to ensure the whole of government ensures that its laws and policies reflect environmental, social, and economic needs.

I want to drill down on that, because the member for Edmonton Strathcona really was faced with a Herculean task. Many of my colleagues who sit on committees know this. Since the NDP has just one spot on a 10-member committee, that one member does not have the luxury of teamwork with other MPs. The work often falls upon us, so when it comes to the amending stage of a bill, the clause-by-clause part of a bill, it is a pretty big task.

I can remember doing that last year at the justice committee when I was the justice critic for our party, especially when it came to Bill C-46. That was a gargantuan justice bill, and my staff and I were pretty busy on that.

Going back to the matter at hand, Bill C-57, almost all of the amendments by the member for Edmonton Strathcona at committee were based on three things: recommendations from the Commissioner of the Environment, recommendations from expert witness testimony at the committee, and recommendations from the committee itself.

She had three very good arguments behind her recommendations. What did the Liberal-dominated committee do? It voted down those amendments, flying in the face of the evidence. The government likes to pride itself on evidence-based decision-making. I have yet to hear a coherent answer from the government side as to why the Liberals did that to the amendments of the hon. member for Edmonton Strathcona, when they knew she has years of experience and that her amendments were based on solid evidence. We have still not received any good reasons on that.

The House voted today, historically I might add, for Bill C-262, which was moved by my hon. colleague, the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou. It was a historic moment for the House of Commons, because that private member's bill passed third reading and commits the federal government to ensuring that all laws are in compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

One of the amendments by the hon. member for Edmonton Strathcona was to ensure that Bill C-57 actually included a reference to UNDRIP. However, that was voted down. Then the Liberals decided they would vote in favour of the bill that is now going to mandate adherence to UNDRIP. Canadians should try to work their way through the reasoning behind that. I am still having some problems doing it.

That said, UNDRIP has passed this House. It is going to the other place now. I wish senators well. I certainly hope they will look at the hard work we did here in the House of Commons that recognize that in 2018, we are at a place in this great country where we can no longer afford to play the role of a colonizer. We have to make sure that first nations in Canada are the full and equal partners they very much deserve to be. It is only when we make sure that all of our federal laws recognize that implicitly that we will be able to move beyond our past—never forgetting it, but moving beyond it—to a place where most people would like us to be.

I know that my time on this bill is short, so I just want to end with this. The day that the Minister of Environment moved time allocation on this bill was Tuesday, the very day the Liberal government announced it was purchasing the Kinder Morgan pipeline for $4.5 billion. That is just the price tag for the existing infrastructure. There is no word on the cost of expanding the pipeline. I just think that when the environment minister is moving to shut down debate on a bill that seeks to bring federal departments in compliance with sustainable development goals and yet buys a pipeline, which is infrastructure that rightly belongs in the 20th century, it makes a mockery of the government's real commitment to addressing climate change.

I would dearly like to know what federal department is going to be in control of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and how it can possibly justify its sustainable development when it is going to be operating something that makes a mockery of our climate change commitments.

This being 2018, with all of the evidence of climate change all around us, we certainly need this country to be taking a firm and strong direction in addressing climate change. I think everyone who looks to future generations knows that we owe them that at this moment in time.

I will conclude there. I have appreciated this opportunity to speak to Bill C-57. I welcome questions and comments from my colleagues and friends.

Report StageExport and Import Permits ActGovernment Orders

May 30th, 2018 / 8:25 p.m.
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NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is true that we in the NDP do have different views on why this is a bad idea.

What I will say to workers in Alberta, my brother being one of them involved in the industry, is that stopping the Kinder Morgan expansion will not stop the oil sands from working right now, and no one in the House wants that.

Furthermore, Kinder Morgan was devised at a time when oil prices were around $100 a barrel. It is exporting diluted bitumen, which is the rawest form of the product, and we are not getting any value for this. If we want our oil industry to be sustainable, then we should sell it for the most value possible, not bargain basement prices.

If we are going to talk about Canada's energy security as a country, it does not involve building a pipeline that will direct exports to China. This will not in any way lead to Canada's energy security. That makes a mockery of the government's sustainable development goals, especially in light of Bill C-57.

Report StageExport and Import Permits ActGovernment Orders

May 30th, 2018 / 8:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join the debate in this late hour on Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act. Of course, as other members have said, including the member for Abbotsford, we will be supporting this piece of legislation.

In preparing for the debate, I went through past commentary by other members, including the member for Abbotsford, and really, what else is there to add? He went over every single point and report that rebutted many of the talking points the Liberal government has put forward in defending its environmental record and so-called achievements. They are achievements in name, mostly. He went through it very well, so there is really nothing more I can contribute in illuminating the debate in that sense.

However, there is one part of it that I do want to delve into and spend more time on. It is the part where the member for Abbotsford referenced a report, which, in his words, “is supposed to marry the environment and the economy”. He questioned why the government had completely forgotten about the economic component. He said it was unbelievable, and I agree with him.

We have heard time and time again in the House this metaphor alluding to the economy and the environment going hand in hand. All I have seen so far is posturing by the Liberals when it comes to the environment, and very little focus on the economy. We have seen over the past two and a half years one thing happen, and one thing only, which is this two-handed concept. Why are both of those hands in my pockets? Both hands are in the pockets of taxpayers.

On one side are carbon taxes. On one side is a higher cost of living, so-called, to pay for environmental reasons and environmental targets, so-called. At the end of the day, it is always about more revenue. On the other side are higher small business taxes, higher payroll taxes, or higher taxes period, across the board, with a higher cost of living for most Canadians today. Think tanks have said this. Independent reports have said this, and I am sure every single member of the House could attest to the fact that they have received emails, letters, and phone calls from constituents who are saying that the cost of living has gone up significantly.

Why are both of those hands, supposedly the economy and the environment, when managed by the federal government, the Ottawa Liberals, in the pockets of taxpayers? They are in our pockets. Everyone in Canada is paying more because of the government's decision-making. There are job losses in the energy sector.

I know that members hear all the time that Statistics Canada is saying that the job numbers are better. However, the comparison is being made between the loss of an engineering job paying maybe $150,000 to $200,000 in Calgary and then maybe a job working in retail for $50,000.

What about underemployment? It is something that Statistics Canada and stats in general have a very difficult time catching. I can give example after example in my own riding in Calgary, and even wider than the Calgary area, of individuals who have been impacted by the drastic slowdown in the energy sector, which was initially caused by lower prices, and then prolonged by bad government policy, both provincially and federally, making things far worse for far longer than they needed to be.

I have heard the debate in the House thus far on Bill C-57, including an exchange earlier today. Members know that I like Yiddish proverbs. One of them is “What you don't see with your eyes, don't invent with your tongue”. I see this happening on that side of the House all the time. They make it up as they go along.

This brings me to the next point, which I will spend some more time on. The Trans Mountain pipeline is the perfect example of this. Supposedly, in the name of getting it right and finding the right balance between the economy and the environment, the only way the Liberals can do this is by expropriating Kinder Morgan and forcing the company. It would have been one of the most profitable portions of the energy sector to transport the goods to the market. The Liberals made it unprofitable by getting in the way at every single junction, and by undermining the legitimate process by which a company, shareholders, and members of the public can arrive at a reasonable decision. They can disagree without being disagreeable through a regulator, define approval, and move the project forward.

Instead, with the encouragement of the federal government, the Liberals on that side, protesters, third-party groups, many foreign-funded, then went out and undermined the rule of law and the legal process by which the pipeline was approved. Now we have a situation.

The economy and the environment supposedly go hand in hand. However, both of the government's federal hands are now taking Kinder Morgan's pipeline. The Liberals are saying that in the name of getting it built, the only thing they can do, the only way we can get it done is by taking on 100% of the risk for $4.5 billion, and that is just to buy the old pipeline. Now we are talking about building the actual pipeline expansion itself.

However, the court proceedings will still go ahead. The obstruction of a provincial government will still continue. The obstruction of a legally-approved pipeline will continue to go ahead, because nothing has changed. We have seen it in the media, with quote after quote from protester leaders, from certain but not all indigenous groups, and from civic leaders who say they will continue to oppose it, that it makes no difference. However, now every one of us is on the hook for cost overruns, for cost failures, for potential strikes, for workers' health and safety, and for the extra spending to ensure they can work in a safe environment while they build this pipeline, even if it goes ahead.

This $4.5 billion that the Canadian taxpayer is giving to the shareholders of Kinder Morgan Canada is going to do what? It is going to go and finance competitor pipelines. The state of Texas will become the largest producer of oil in the world. I always joke about the state of Texas. I call it “Alberta Junior”. That is what it is to me in my heart. Texas calls us in the reverse. So many Canadians who worked in the energy sector in Calgary, Edmonton, and Fort McMurray are working there today.

Where was that focus on getting the environment and the economy right? Did that involve the brain drain, the escape, the exile, of tens of thousands of Canadian energy workers to Dallas and Houston? Was that the purpose? Is that how we get the balance right? The Liberals failed miserably, despite this legislation, which we will support.

As I mentioned, what our eyes do not see, do not invent with our tongues, but they are inventing. The Liberals are inventing a narrative that simply does not exist, because they do not have the balance right. They did not get it right with the economy and the environment. If they did, they would not be getting into the business of owning and operating a pipeline.

Seven thousand kilometres of pipeline has been cancelled under the Liberals' watch, not our watch. They are the ones who failed to achieve it. They are the ones who did not get it to move forward. However, now they will be able to build their own pipeline. The future health of the Alberta government's finances now rest in the hands of the federal government, which is a position I guarantee 90% of Albertans will be against.

We are adamantly against it, because we have seen this type of behaviour before, 40 years ago with the national energy plan. This is the second version of it, getting it wrong again. The Liberals do not know where to find the balance between the two. They will continue to back their allies in the environmental movement, the activists, and those who they continuously back in illegal activities because they need their help to win elections.

We will support this proposed legislation. However, on the continuous use of the environment and the economy go hand in hand, the Liberals actually have to live it and they have to do it. Buying pipelines, expropriating pipelines, is not the way to achieve it. We should never have been in the position where the taxpayer of Canada would have to be on the hook for up to $12 billion of new spending.

Report StageExport and Import Permits ActGovernment Orders

May 30th, 2018 / 8:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Alupa Clarke Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, here we are in the House, on Wednesday, May 30, at 8:45. I should mention that that is 8:45 p.m., for the many residents of Beauport—Limoilou who I am sure are tuning in. To all my constituents, good evening.

We are debating this evening because the Liberal government tabled very few significant government bills over the winter. Instead, they tabled an astounding number of private members' bills on things like swallows' day and beauty month. Sometimes my colleagues and I can hardly help laughing at this pile of utterly trivial bills. I also think that this process of randomly selecting the members who get to table bills is a bit past its prime. Maybe it should be reviewed. At the same time, I understand that it is up to each member to decide what kind of bill is important to him or her.

The reason we have had to sit until midnight for two days now is that, as my colleague from Perth—Wellington said, the government has been acting like a typical university student over the past three months. That comparison is a bit ridiculous, but it is true. The government is behaving like those students who wait until the last minute to do their assignments and are still working on them at 3 a.m. the day before they are due because they were too busy partying all semester. Members know what I mean, even though that paints a rather stereotypical picture of students; most of them do not do things like that.

In short, we have a government that, at the end of the session, has realized that time is running out and that it only has three weeks left to pass some of its legislative measures, some of which are rather lengthy bills that are key to the government's legislative agenda. One has to wonder about that.

The Liberals believe these bills to be important. However, because of their lack of responsibility over the past three months, we were unable to debate these major bills that will make significant changes to our society. Take for example, Bill C-76, which has to do with the electoral reforms that the Liberals want to make to the voting system, the way we vote, protection of the vote, and identification. There is also Bill C-49 on transportation in Canada, a very lengthy bill that we have not had time to examine properly.

Today we are debating Bill C-57 on sustainable development. This is an important topic, but for the past three years I have been getting sick and tired of seeing the Liberal government act as though it has a monopoly on environmental righteousness. I searched online to get an accurate picture of the record of Mr. Harper's Conservative government from 2006 to 2015, and I came across some fascinating results. I want to share this information very honestly with the House and my Liberal colleagues so that they understand that even though we did not talk incessantly about the environment, we achieved some excellent concrete results.

I want to read a quote from www.mediaterre.org, a perfectly legitimate site:

Stephen Harper's Canadian government released its 2007 budget on March 19. The budget allocated $4.5 billion in new investments to some 20 environmental projects. These measures include a $2,000 rebate for all electronic-vehicle or alternative-fuel purchases, and the creation of a $1.5-billion EcoTrust program to help provinces reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Liberals often criticize us for talking about the environment, but we did take action. For example, we set targets. We proposed reducing emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. The Liberals even retained these same targets as part of the Paris agreement.

They said we had targets, but no plan. That is not true. Not only did we have the $1.5-billion ecotrust program, but we also had a plan that involved federal co-operation.

Allow me to quote the premier of Quebec at the time, Jean Charest, who was praising the plan that was going to help Quebec—his province, my province—meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets. Jean Charest and Mr. Harper issued a joint press release.

Mr. Harper said, “Canada's New Government is investing to protect Canadians from the consequences of climate change, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.” He was already recognizing it in 2007.

Mr. Charest said, “In June 2006, our government adopted its plan to combat climate change. This plan has been hailed as one of the finest in North America. With Ottawa contributing financially to this Quebec initiative, we will be able to achieve our objectives.”

It was Mr. Charest who said that in 2007, at a press conference with the prime minister.

I will continue to read the joint press release from the two governments, “As a result of this federal funding, the Government of Quebec has indicated that it will be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide or equivalent below its anticipated 2012 level.”

What is more, the $1.5-billion ecotrust that was supposed to be allocated and was allocated to every province provided $339 million to Quebec alone. That was going to allow Quebec to engage in the following: investments to improve access to new technologies for the trucking sector; a program to develop renewable energy sources in rural regions; a pilot plant for production of cellulosic ethanol; promotion of geothermal heat pumps in the residential sector; support for technological research and innovation for the reduction and sequestration of greenhouse gases. This is probably one of those programs that is helping us make our oil sands increasingly environmentally friendly by allowing us to capture the carbon that comes from converting the sands to oil. There are also measures for the capture of biogas from landfill sites, for waste treatment and energy recovery, and finally for Canada ecotrust.

I invite our Liberal colleagues to listen to what I am going to say. In 2007, Steven Guilbeault of Greenpeace said the following: “We are pleased to see that after negotiating for more than a year, Quebec has finally obtained the money it needs to move towards meeting the Kyoto targets.”

Who made it possible for Quebec to move towards meeting its Kyoto objectives? It was the Harper government, a Conservative government, which established the $1.5-billion ecotrust fund in 2007 with monies from the budget surplus.

Not only did we have a plan to meet the targets we proposed, but this was also a plan that could only be implemented if the provinces agreed to the targets. It was a plan that was funded through the budget surplus, that did not further tax Canadians, and that provided money directly, without any conditions, other than the fundamental requirement that it had to help reduce climate change, which was philosophically important. Any and all measures taken to reach that goal were left entirely to the discretion of the provinces.

Mr. Harper, like a good Conservative who supported decentralization and like a true federalist leader, said that he was giving $400 million to each province so it could move forward with its plan.

By 2015, after 10 years of Conservative government, the country had not only weathered the worst economic crisis, the worst recession in history since the 1930s, but it had also reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2% and increased the gross domestic product for all Canadians while lopping three points off the GST and lowering income taxes for families with two children by an average of $2,000 per year.

If that is not co-operative federalism, if those are not real results, if that is not a concrete environmental plan, then I do not know what is. Add to that the fact that we achieved royal assent for no less than 25 to 35 bills every session.

In contrast, during this session, in between being forced to grapple with scandals involving the carbon tax, illegal border crossings, and the Trans Mountain project, this government has barely managed to come up with four genuinely important bills.

By contrast, we expanded parks and protected Canada's wetlands. Our environmental record is exceptional.

Furthermore, we allowed debate. For example, we debated Bill C-23 on electoral reform for four days. The Liberals' electoral reform was debated for two hours.

I am sad, but I am happy to debate until midnight because debating is my passion.

Bill C-57—Time Allocation MotionFederal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 10:20 a.m.
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Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

moved:

That in relation to Bill C-57, An Act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration of the report stage and one sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at third reading stage of the said bill; and

That, at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration at report stage and fifteen minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the third reading stage of the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and in turn every question necessary for the disposal of the stage of the bill then under consideration shall be put forthwith and successively without further debate or amendment.

Bill C-57—Time Allocation MotionFederal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 10:25 a.m.
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Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, it is great to hear that my hon. colleague is also a graduate of my alma mater. However, we clearly have a diversity of views coming out of that institution.

We are here to talk about Bill C-57. I can only surmise, based on the comments from the member opposite, that he supports Bill C-57, which I think is great. As I noted, it was supported by a vote of 244 to zero at second reading and was passed at committee.

We believe it is a very important step that we need in order to make sure that we make decisions about a sustainable future in Canada, focus on results, and increase the accountability of departments and agencies for setting and achieving ambitious sustainable development targets. The bill would modernize the Federal Sustainable Development Act and incorporate into legislation our government's strong focus on results. The bill also promotes close collaboration and coordinated action across government through a whole-of-government approach.

We are very pleased that we are moving forward on Bill C-57.

Bill C-57—Time Allocation MotionFederal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 10:30 a.m.
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Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I can only surmise that the other party opposite supports Bill C-57.

Once again, we understand that the environment and the economy go together. We have one party that is not concerned about the environment and one party that is not concerned about the economy. However, we need to do both.

Bill C-57 is extremely important, to make sure that we look at sustainable development. We know that Canadians want a sustainable future for Canada. This bill would increase the focus on results and increase the number of departments that are reporting. It would also provide a whole-of-government approach and set a higher bar for sustainable development. We believe that this is a very important thing. This is a very good step, and I am very proud to support it.

Bill C-57—Time Allocation MotionFederal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 10:30 a.m.
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Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I was not entirely sure where that question was going because the focus, of course, is on Bill C-57. I assume, once again, that the party opposite supports this important bill.

The proposed principles that we are looking at were guided by a number of factors. First of all, the very helpful input from the standing committee provided insights, which were clear on specific principles, and also on where improvements could be made. In addition, some of the principles are fundamental to sustainable development and are reflected in most major international initiatives, such as the Rio Declaration and the very important 2030 agenda for sustainable development, which are missing from the current act. We also identified principles whose inclusion, while absent from the current act, would codify several key elements of the intent of the act.

Overall, we understand that the principles make explicit many of the key principles of the Federal Sustainable Development Act, such as transparency, accountability, and public engagement.

Bill C-57—Time Allocation MotionFederal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 10:30 a.m.
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Liberal

John Aldag Liberal Cloverdale—Langley City, BC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for recognizing the work that the environment and sustainable development committee did on Bill C-57. We did a study and made some recommendations to the government, and I am really pleased to see that this bill captures the essence of those recommendations. I believe it is very strong legislation that responds to much of the testimony that we heard from Canadians.

I wonder if the minister would have a moment to provide a comment respecting the scope of Bill C-57. Could the minister perhaps give us an idea of how Bill C-57 would provide a whole-of-government approach? As well, I wonder if she could provide a comment on how the bill would apply to federal entities, because that is an important piece of the Federal Sustainable Development Act. If the minister could comment on the whole-of-government approach and federal entities, it would be appreciated.

Bill C-57—Time Allocation MotionFederal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 10:40 a.m.
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Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, once again, we are here to talk about Bill C-57, an incredibly important piece of legislation. It responds to recommendations in the second report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. As I said, these were unanimous recommendations. It was great to see all parties come together to support the committee report.

Part of the recommendations would shift the focus in the Federal Sustainable Development Act from planning and reporting to results. This is extremely important. We want to see results. We need to show that government departments understand the importance of sustainable development.

As we look at what is going on in the world, we see that countries around the world have come together around the sustainable development goals in the 2030 agenda. It is very important that Canada show leadership, and that is exactly what we are doing through the bill.

Bill C-57—Time Allocation MotionFederal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 10:40 a.m.
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NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, Bill C-57 would amend the way in which designated federal entities develop their own sustainable development strategies.

The minister's government is now the proud owner of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. It has shelled out over $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money to this economically suspect project.

What I want to know from the minister is which federal entity is now going to be the proud manager of this project, and how on earth will that entity ever develop a sustainable development strategy when the Kinder Morgan project makes a mockery of our climate change commitments and presents a very real threat to the coastal environment of British Columbia upon which the B.C. economy depends?

Bill C-57—Time Allocation MotionFederal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 10:40 a.m.
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Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Once again, Madam Speaker, we are here to talk about Bill C-57.

Let me start by emphasizing that we understand that the environment and the economy go together and that we are committed to our international obligations.

Under the Federal Sustainable Development Act, we are focusing on our climate actions. We have shown leadership both internationally and at home. We know that we need to move to a low-carbon future, and that is why we have an all-of-government approach to this. The transition will not happen overnight.

The federal sustainable development strategy will be an important tool as we move forward. It will provide guidance and it will ensure that we have a whole-of-government approach, and that is extraordinarily important.

The good news is that I work with all ministers. I work with the Minister of Finance. I work with the Minister of Natural Resources. I work with the ministers responsible for working with indigenous peoples. We need to work together, and that is exactly our approach.

I am pleased that we are championing Bill C-57.

Bill C-57—Time Allocation MotionFederal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 10:45 a.m.
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Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I have never heard anyone accuse me of wearing rose-tinted glasses. In fact, I live in the real world, where one has to make hard decisions about the environment and the economy.

I am very happy to talk about the federal sustainable development goals and the 2030 agenda. It is critical for the world that we move forward on the 2030 agenda, and that means that every country needs to do its part and that we need to do our hard work at home. We need to look at how we advance the federal sustainable development goals. Bill C-57 plays a huge role in that effort. It is focused on how we implement our commitments to the environmental dimensions of the global sustainable development goals.

As I said, our government is committed to fully implementing the international sustainable development goals. We are working across government. We will be reporting on this. It is a really important piece. We are committed to making sure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed and prosper in our country.

Bill C-57—Time Allocation MotionFederal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 10:45 a.m.
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NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Madam Speaker, again, as the government goes ahead with purchasing a private pipeline, we are limiting debate and discussion on Bill C-57 on sustainable development. It makes a mockery of many things. The sheer notion in the speaking points that the Liberals are the only ones who understand that the economy and the environment go together is such a childish approach to such a serious matter. We understand that sustainable development and the economy have always been integrated in terms of what we want to see for progress and for research and development.

How can the minister come here today and profess that Bill C-57 and the efforts that they are making are not undermined by her own cabinet and herself?