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 StageFederal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 1:05 p.m.
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Liberal

Celina Caesar-Chavannes Liberal Whitby, ON

Mr. Speaker, we can look at Bill C-57 and the role Canada has to play in its leadership around sustainable development. Over the last couple of years, we have actively worked toward that.

As I said in my previous comments, our government introduced the Canada child benefit, which moves hundreds of thousands of kids out of poverty and reduces hunger. It meets the first two goals of sustainable development, or tries to achieve some of that.

With respect to gender equality, our government has taken a whole-of-government approach. We see it in our G7 presidency. We are taking a leadership role not just on what we do domestically. Women and girls are the centre of our feminist international assistance policy.

This legislation is an ongoing and continuous focus on ensuring Canada is a leader in achieving sustainable development goals both here and around the world.

Report StageFederal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 1:20 p.m.
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Liberal

Frank Baylis Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to support Bill C-57, which seeks to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act.

Before I begin, I would like to thank the members of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development for their excellent work, their positive approach, and their constructive suggestions. The committee's recommendations, which are set out in the report entitled “Federal Sustainability for Future Generations”, contributed to the development of Bill C-57, particularly with regard to the adoption of the sustainable development principles. Those principles were very well received.

The amendments to the Federal Sustainable Development Act reaffirm the government's ongoing commitment to strengthening Canada's relationship with indigenous people and enforcing their rights.

Bill C-57 includes a new set of sustainable development principles, one of which is the principle whereby indigenous people must be asked to contribute because of their traditional knowledge and their unique connection with and understanding of Canada's land and water. This principle reflects the important role traditional knowledge plays in supporting sustainable development, as well as the government's commitment to reconciliation based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.

However, there are certain environmental problems that disproportionately affect indigenous peoples. For example, climate change and resource development alter wildlife migration patterns and ranges. These changes have an impact on indigenous peoples' access to traditional food sources, as well as on their food security and culture.

Furthermore, persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals can migrate long distances to northern Canada. Scientists have observed high levels of these contaminants in Arctic wildlife, so there is a health risk for indigenous peoples who use these animals as a food source.

Indigenous peoples' relationship to the land is particularly crucial to the mandate of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, because her department is responsible for preserving, protecting, and improving the quality of the natural environment. At the same time, the government recognizes that indigenous peoples were the original stewards of the air, land, and water. Over many generations, they built up a vast store of knowledge about nature. That is why it is essential to continue to establish and maintain strong, positive relationships with indigenous communities and indigenous governing bodies. In the coming years, the government will continue to make use of all that knowledge, which is going to help shape our collective environmental future.

The Government of Canada committed to renewing the crown's relationship with indigenous people based on the recognition of their rights. We believe that adapting our work based on the recognition of rights is an important opportunity for us to build a relationship of trust with our indigenous partners; enhance the integrity of policies, research, and analysis; and obtain better environmental outcomes for all Canadians.

As part of our participation in the negotiation of various treaties and other conventions, we are working with indigenous partners to preserve and protect our wildlife and environmental resources. We are striving to implement transparent and rigorous consultation processes based on respect for the right of indigenous people to determine how land and resources will be used.

The government recognizes that there is still a lot of work to be done in this regard. We need to assess our contribution to the government's reconciliation agenda, including the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, on an ongoing basis.

We must also strengthen our commitment to our indigenous partners and look at opportunities for aligning programs, policies, and departmental rules and regulations with indigenous rights and interests. Like every federal department and agency, Environment and Climate Change Canada operates on the Principles respecting the Government of Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples, drafted by the Department of Justice to be used a guideline in shaping the work of the department in its relations with the indigenous peoples, including a rights-based approach.

At the heart of this change in culture and path to reconciliation is the recognition of the importance of our relationships with indigenous peoples. Consulting indigenous peoples is more than just a legal obligation, it is a way to make more informed decisions. Our government is determined to ensure that indigenous peoples have the opportunity to participate in, engage in, and contribute to this ongoing dialogue.

For the reasons I just mentioned, Environment and Climate Change Canada consults representative organizations and the governments of the first nations, the Inuit, and the Métis across the country. When the proposed changes were being drafted, indigenous peoples raised a few key themes. They told us that traditional indigenous knowledge is important for sustainable development and that indigenous peoples need to be heavily involved. They also mentioned that the government should implement measures that reflect respect for indigenous rights as a priority and recognize the role of governments in indigenous communities and societies.

The representative organizations and governments of the first nations, the Inuit, and the Métis also expressed the need to provide support to indigenous communities for activities such as implementing climate change adaptation plans and modernizing infrastructure. They also indicated that we need to set more ambitious objectives when it comes to the quality of drinking water for first nations.

The federal sustainable development strategy, which we introduced in October 2016, reflects what we heard. For example, we know that Canada's drinking water is among the safest in the world. In fact, 98% of Canadians have access to drinking water. However, access to drinking water remains a challenge in first nations communities living on reserve. The strategy contains a target to eliminate long-term drinking water advisories affecting public systems on reserve.

The Government of Canada is working with first nations communities to improve on-reserve water infrastructure, address drinking water advisories that are one or more years old, and prevent short-term advisories from becoming long-term ones.

All Canadians, including all levels of government, indigenous peoples, civil society, and the private sector have a role to play in advancing our sustainable development objectives and ensuring that no one is left behind. In 2016, our government undertook an extensive consultation process to review our international aid policy.

We also heard from indigenous peoples who want more say on environmental issues. Our bill proposes increasing the number of representatives of aboriginal peoples on the Sustainable Development Advisory Council from three to six, to ensure that the strategy reflects the rights and perspectives of indigenous peoples and the wide range of challenges they face across Canada.

Bill C-57 reflects what we heard from indigenous peoples. It also reflects the government's commitment to reconciliation based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.

Federal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 1:50 p.m.
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NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Pierrefonds—Dollard for his remarks earlier on Bill C-57.

This morning's announcement casts a pall over this bill to strengthen sustainable development laws. The government announced that it is prepared to spend $4.7 billion to help a Texas company transport Alberta oil west to Asian markets.

The government, the Prime Minister, and the Minister of Finance are ready to write a cheque for at least $4.5 billion to transport Alberta crude oil west to Asian markets. That oil will make its way to refineries in those markets by oil tanker.

My question for my colleague is a simple one. How can he justify talking about sustainable development today when his government is doing the opposite?

Federal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 1:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will make the most of this opportunity. I was going to talk about something, but I will come back to it right after question period.

The recent exchange I just witnessed between my Liberal colleagues leads me to speak about another aspect of the issue before us today, namely the hypocrisy on this side that they claim to condemn.

I want to remind the House of something. Very recently, in his commencement speech before New York University grads at the iconic Yankee Stadium, the Prime Minister of Canada asked 10,000 young men and women to respect people who look or think differently and engage with people with whom they may not agree. What does this government do instead? It imposes a time allocation motion on an issue as important and Bill C-57. He says one thing on the world stage and does the opposite here in Ottawa. After that, the Liberals have the nerve to lecture us, to tell us what to do, what to say, what not to say, because that would be playing partisan politics.

In closing, before question period, the only partisan politics here are happening on the other side of the House.

Motion that debate be not further adjournedExtension of Sitting HoursGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 3:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Bardish Chagger Liberal Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the member for Abbotsford would stand up in this place, because he was at the committee when it was debating Bill C-57, and he chose to advance an amendment that members on this side of the House worked hard to find a way to support. They actually fought for that amendment. Not only did they fight for that amendment, but they supported it. When that legislation returned to the House, the very same member, the member for Abbotsford, who moved the amendment and got support from the Liberal government at committee, chose to come to this place and exactly undo that amendment.

My parents always told me when I was growing up that one has to look at where it is coming from. When I hear comments from that member, I am reminded of the Harper government and the nonsense the Conservatives played in the House to take away from democracy.

We will not take lessons from the Conservatives.

Federal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 10:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, since this is my first opportunity to rise in the House since the announcement of a rail bypass in Lac-Mégantic, I think my colleagues will allow me to say a few words about this very important project that was recently announced by the Prime Minister of Canada and the Premier of Quebec. This project was highly anticipated by the people of Lac-Mégantic.

On the Lac-Mégantic bypass file, I saw parliamentarians come together to work for a cause, to help the local population of Lac-Mégantic, which truly needed parliamentarians to send a message to the government and for that message to be heard by the government.

It was a long haul. We had to ensure that every parliamentarian from all the parties agreed because we were creating a precedent in Lac-Mégantic. This is something that had never been seen before anywhere. To all those who ask why we created a precedent in Lac-Mégantic, I say that something unprecedented happened in Lac-Mégantic. There was an absolutely disastrous tragedy that is still being felt today by the local population.

I must say that the people of Lac-Mégantic, who have been waiting for this announcement for quite some time, are obviously very pleased. I want to acknowledge the support of parliamentarians, especially the members of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, who travelled to Lac-Mégantic to hear from residents. That is where we began discussing this very important file among us, among parliamentarians from the various political parties. After that, the leaders of all the parties came out in favour of the bypass.

I must say that every time I had an opportunity to speak with a colleague, whether on the government side, from the second opposition party, or one of the independent members, I always sensed a great deal of compassion and openness with respect to this project.

I really want to thank everyone who opened their eyes, their ears, and their hearts to the people of Lac-Mégantic, for now we can finally start to look to the future. Now we can finally make sure that everyone in Lac-Mégantic who was directly or indirectly affected by this tragedy, whether it was themselves, their family, a friend, a parent, or a loved one, they can now start saying that they are finally rebuilding for the future.

The last few years have been spent demolishing and cleaning up the old downtown core. The rebuilding process has begun, but the whistling trains that roll through several times a day were a constant reminder of the tragedy.

Again, I want to thank all the parliamentarians who helped make this announcement possible. I want to thank former mayor Colette Roy Laroche, the mayor who was in office during the first years of my term, Jean-Guy Cloutier, and the current mayor, the very energetic Julie Morin, who knew just how to seize her opportunities and pick the right time to speak to the Minister of Transport and the Prime Minister, for making this announcement possible. There are many residents I also want to thank, like the reeve, Marielle Fecteau, who also worked very hard on this.

Again, this project was only made possible because all parliamentarians came together and co-operated to finally give some meaning to this tragedy and help the people of Lac-Mégantic get closure.

However, the real work is just beginning. This is where Bill C-57 comes in. Now, it is time to work on compensation, the environment, and the best way forward to minimize possible consequences for the people who will be getting this bypass. I am certain that we will again be able to do this work in a fair and prudent manner so that this project goes as smoothly as the other one did. Again, I thank all parliamentarians. This really showed the good side of our Parliament.

Now I want to come back to Bill C-57 and to everything that happened today with this bill. That is the not-so-good side of Parliament. Obviously, I do not just have praise to offer. There are some things that are good and some that are less good.

I was quite surprised today when the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons said one thing and did exactly the opposite not once, not twice, but three times.

Allow me to quote something the government House leader said: “There are a lot of bills to debate and, since we know that the opposition members want to participate in those debates, we are going to extend the sitting hours so that everyone can participate and work harder for Canadians.”

A little later, while answering questions, she said: “...we see that the hon. members across the way want to play games in the House and in committee. It is their choice, but we want to work very hard for Canadians. That is our way of doing things.”

What is their way of doing things? Today, they imposed three time allocation motions. Those three motions will limit parliamentarians' participation in the very important work of the House. How can anyone say something so many times yet do the opposite? Here is another quote from the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons:

“We know at this of the year most governments have extended hours so that we can do more work to ensure that we are representing Canadians and advancing good bills. This will provide an opportunity for more members to be part of an important debate to ensure that the voices of their constituents are heard right here as it is the House of the people.”

Then, they moved three motions to prevent opposition members from speaking. They did it three times. Here is another quote:

“This will provide an opportunity for more members to be part of an important debate...”

The government did the complete opposite today. We have been called in here three times to vote on the government's time allocation motions. This goes against the spirit of mutual understanding that the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons repeated as often as she could during the period for questions on Motion No. 22. Bill C-57 is one of the victims of this government's desire to limit speeches by opposition members.

The government is extending the sitting hours, but at the same time it is allocating fewer hours of debate. It says one thing, but ultimately, it will not be giving opposition members more opportunities to speak. I have another fine quote from the Leader of the government in the House of Commons. She said, “This is an opportunity to have more hours of debate in order to allow a greater number of hon. members to participate.” She continued as follows:

“Let us extend the hour, let us have more time to debate, so more members can have their voices heard. We can advance more legislation. It sounds like a win-win-win situation.”

Limiting the number of speeches and hours of debate, deciding how many members opposite will be allowed to speak, telling those who do not have time to speak that they must remain seated, and then moving on to another bill is not what I would call a win-win situation.

In summary, when parliamentarians are able to work together on a project like the one in Lac-Mégantic, that is good. Canadians want to see a lot more of that. However, when the government says one thing and does the opposite, as it did today, unfortunately, it is judged harshly by Canadians.

Federal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 10:25 p.m.
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NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Madam Speaker, I believe that it is important to debate the sustainable development bill. However, it is very disappointing that even though we support this bill, not all the committee's recommendations will be implemented. I am a member of the Standing Committee on Official Languages and when we prepare reports we are disappointed by the response from the government after making our recommendations. It is the same old story with Bill C-57. The committee agreed on several recommendations and the government came up with a bill that does not respect the spirit of all those recommendations.

For example, witnesses mentioned that despite the definition of sustainable development, this bill only refers to the environmental decision-making process and there is no vision for the environmental and social aspects that are the main pillars of sustainable development.

Does my colleague believe, as I do, that the government should pay careful attention to committee reports, including the one on this bill?

Federal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 10:30 p.m.
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NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to talk about the environment in the House of Commons. That is why I ran for politics, to defend the environment, to promote sustainable development. I remember it well. My wife Liliana and I were watching television and there were reports on the shale gas scandal at the time. My wife said that something needed to be done. I told her that she was right. We got involved and now I am in the House of Commons in the process of defending the environment and promoting sustainable development.

Bill C-57 before us now seeks to improve the sustainable development strategy; it is an act to amend the Federal Sustainable Development Act. We support this bill in principle, but we feel that the committee's recommendations should have been followed more closely. The government did not see the committee's recommendations through.

The Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development studied the legislation currently in effect. Many of the witnesses who spoke at the committee mentioned the gaps in the law. First, contrary to the definition of sustainable development, the legislation talks about the decision-making process with regard to the environment, but not the economic and social dimensions of sustainable development. That was a problem we needed to correct and that was not done. Second, it targets transparency and accountability instead of progress on sustainable development and those are also aspects that were not corrected in the legislation. The committee acknowledged the existence of these major flaws, then recommended amending the legislation accordingly. Unfortunately, Bill C-57 does not correct these flaws and considers only some of the recommendations. It does not consider the entirety of the recommendations made by the members of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

Once again, the Liberal Party unfortunately did not listen to its own members and refused to implement the recommendations received from the standing committee. Clearly, the government is not committed to honouring its commitments regarding the UN's general sustainable development goals, which include making sure that the government as a whole ensures that its laws and policies reflect environmental, social, and economic needs.

In that regard, it is rather ironic, in a negative sense, that we are debating sustainable development today, the same day that the Liberal government announced that it is buying the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. That company purchased the pipeline for $550 million, and the federal government is going to use $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money to buy it. That is outrageous. It is going to give that money to a company in Texas, so that money will be leaving Canada, not to mention that the government also gives $1.3 billion a year in fossil fuel subsidies to oil and gas companies. The Liberal government said that it would respect its commitment to Canada to eliminate those subsidies, but it did not do that. We in the NDP have been saying for quite some time that we will eliminate those subsidies. Those subsidies must be eliminated and that money must be invested instead in a just transition to a low-carbon economy, an economy based on renewable energy sources. That $4.5 billion would have been incredibly useful for developing renewable energy companies. As we know, the renewable energy sector is creating 10 times as many jobs as the fossil fuel sector.

Had the government done the right thing and invested that $4.5 billion in renewable energy, we would have created many more long-term jobs for now as well as for our children and grandchildren. That is another reason I am in politics. I want to leave our children and grandchildren a better world. Unfortunately, the Liberal government is making a mistake.

Buying a pipeline is not a step toward sustainable development; it is a step back. This is definitely not the right thing to do. It is a terrible idea, and I am certain Canadians will not accept it. The people will be very vocal in their opposition to buying the pipeline with taxpayer dollars. The Liberals certainly did not talk about this issue during the campaign.

Since we are talking about sustainable development, I would like to say a few words about what is going on in the Drummond region on that front. We have businesses in the renewable energy sector, in heat recovery, and in energy efficiency. Drummondville itself is fortunate to have a diversified economy and future-oriented businesses working in renewable energy and energy conservation. That is an important point to make. There are plenty of great businesses doing that in Drummond.

The City of Drummondville recently announced that it was going to establish a plan for sustainable mobility. I would like to thank John Husk, the municipal councillor for District 5 and chair of the Chantier sur le développement d’un plan de mobilité durable et le transport actif et collectif. That is a very good thing for Drummond because 85% of its citizens do not carpool. We have to fix that. Therefore it is a very good thing to have a plan for sustainable mobility.

What is meant by “sustainable mobility” in the vision that people want to develop for Drummondville? First, there is the economic component. Mobility must be efficient and foster economic vitality in trade corridors. Next, from the social point of view, it must be accessible to be good for the community, equitable, safe, and compatible with health. In terms of the environment, sustainable mobility limits the use of space and resources, is integrated into the environment, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. What I have just mentioned is the complete opposite of what the Liberal government is currently doing.

I now want to repeat an important point. Today is a sad day for Canada. The Liberal government announced that it will be diverting $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money to buy a pipeline that is worth just $550 million. The Liberals blindly spent this money on an obsolete energy source when we could have embraced the future and sustainable development. It just so happens that Bill C-57 is about sustainable development.

The government should have a vision and invest the $4.5 billion in the companies, like those in Drummond, working to improve energy efficiency, recover heat, and develop renewable energy, such as solar, wind and other energy. That is the Canada that we we want to leave our children and grandchildren.

Federal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 10:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to be speaking to this important piece of legislation about the environment and sustainability.

There is a saying in politics that 24 hours is a long time. In the last day, we have had some seminal events with respect to the way the government is operating in terms of the economy and the environment, and also, by the way, in terms of this chamber. We have had closure brought forward three times in one day. That has to be a record. Certainly, if the government continues at this pace, it will far surpass the record of any previous administration with respect to closure. Three times in one day is quite something. It shows that it has no interest in meaningful dialogue on the legislation it has put forward. In many cases, it is doing this on omnibus bills, very long pieces of legislation that include many varied and different elements. For instance, it just brought forward closure on a bill dealing with criminal justice, with many different elements in it. It includes, as my colleagues have pointed out, reducing sentences, yet it tries to justify it by saying that there is something over here in the bill we might like. That is precisely the point when we have this omnibus legislation. That is part of the context. We are at close to 11 o'clock tonight debating Bill C-57, having had three different instances of closure brought forward today.

Speaking of the environment and sustainability, which is the core theme of this legislation, we also had the government announce today that the only way it can get a pipeline built is if it first buys a pipeline that is over 60 years old, and if it is able to work out all the legal wrangling through the courts and with the B.C. government, it will then go ahead and spend billions more of taxpayers' money to build that pipeline. That is not fiscally sustainable. If the government wants to establish a precedent that any time major economic development projects happen they will only happen if it is spending enormous amounts of taxpayers' money, that is not a fiscally sustainable model of economic growth.

Our approach, in the Conservative Party, is to establish the conditions that allow for private sector economic development. Under the previous government, there were four pipelines built. A fifth pipeline was approved. We hear the bizarre criticism from the government that the Conservatives did not build any pipelines to tidewater. Let us be clear. Up until now, at least, it has not been the government that has built pipelines. The government has evaluated and approved pipelines, or had the option of not approving them. However, in our case, we approved pipelines that had been proposed by the private sector. That included approving a pipeline to tidewater as well as approving and overseeing the construction of four pipelines.

From an environmental perspective, I think we should be very supportive of the development of pipelines, because transporting our energy resources through pipelines is a more environmentally sustainable way of proceeding. It is less costly, actually, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, to be transporting our energy resources by pipeline. Therefore, it is a win-win. It is a win economically and a win for the environment.

We often hear from the government that the economy and the environment go hand in hand. Sometimes they go hand in hand in the wrong direction, and sometimes they move hand in hand in the right direction. Under the current government, they are both moving in the wrong direction, I think. Under the previous government, we got pipelines built by creating conditions for the private sector to get that work done. That allowed for economic advancement for our country and also environmental improvements.

The previous Conservative government was the first government in Canadian history to oversee a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Our friends across the way are always very skeptical of this. They want to find reasons they cannot really credit it to us, and here are the arguments they use. They will try to say that the Conservatives cannot really take credit for the reduction in greenhouse emissions, because the reductions were the result of policies undertaken by the provinces. The response to that is that if we compare the record of the previous Conservative government to the Liberal government before it, we either had reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, or there was an increase that was lower than the increase in the previous period. In other words, there were improvements in terms of environmental performance in every jurisdiction, which suggests that it was not merely about things happening in individual jurisdictions, although there is obviously a role to be played there, but was a result of federal policy. That was the record of the previous government.

The current government will then say that it was only because of the recession. It is true that the Conservatives governed during a period when there was a global recession, yet at a time when global emissions went up, Canadian emissions went down, even though Canada was relatively less impacted by the global economic recession than many other countries. We were able to achieve environmental improvements at a time when the rest of the world did not, even though the rest of the world was more affected by the recession and therefore saw more constriction in terms of economic activity compared to what was happening in Canada.

If one puts those facts together and recognizes that the Conservatives undertook thoughtful, managed policies on environmental improvements, a regulatory sector-by-sector approach, one can see that we achieved real, substantial, and meaningful progress.

Here is the difference. We do not use the environment as an excuse to impose new taxes on low- and middle-income Canadians. We see the environment as an objective that can be pursued in concert with economic improvement. We can have a sustainable federal budget that does not involve massive deficits at the same time as concerning ourselves with sustainable environmental performance, in environmental terms.

If we look at the record of the previous Conservative government, we can see a strong economy as well as improvements in terms of the environment. I hate to be accused of plagiarism, but if we look at the record of the previous government, it does look like the environment and the economy were going hand in hand.

Under the current government, we see something quite different. We see a government totally unable to establish the conditions that allow for private sector investments in pipelines. In fact, what it is doing is buying out assets, which leads companies to then move that money and make those investments elsewhere. Kinder Morgan is going to spend the money it received from the Canadian government, but it is not going to spend it here in Canada. Very likely, it is going to spend it in other parts of the world.

The energy sector in other countries is doing very well, but we face continuing, significant challenges here in Canada as a result of the government's total inability to get these issues right. It is imposing more taxes on low- and middle-income Canadians through its carbon tax, and by the way, it is not telling people how much it will cost. We are still asking the government to come clean, end the carbon tax cover-up, and share with us the cost to individual Canadians of the carbon tax. It will not come clean with respect to that. It will not reveal the information and has only released severely redacted, blacked-out documents that prevent Canadians from actually seeing what the impact of that carbon tax will be.

The government thinks that imposing these new taxes on Canadians is somehow going to lead to solutions to our environmental challenges. If we want to see what sustainable development really looks like, we should look specifically at what happened in terms of economic performance and greenhouse gas reductions during the period of the previous government.

When we have this kind of big government intervention, the economy model the government has, it is not fiscally sustainable. It means leaving massive debt and deficits to the next generation, and it does not do much good for our environment, either.

Federal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 11 p.m.
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Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I rise tonight to present my thoughts on Bill C-57. I regret very much that we have time allocation on this bill, and even more so the hour of 11 p.m. that is now approaching. This important legislation deserves to be heard in a normal fashion with full debate.

Let me go back to when this bill originated. The Federal Sustainable Development Act was actually passed in the era of a Conservative government, and was one of those rare pieces of legislation that originated with the opposition. It was brought forward by a former Liberal MP, John Godfrey. It was one of his last contributions as a very diligent and thoughtful member of Parliament. He went on to leave Parliament and go back to his old stomping grounds of education.

Sustainable development and aspects of sustainable development had been in Canadian law before. This bill managed to get through Parliament in 2008, and the successor bill that we have before us tonight does improve some elements of sustainable development as originally put forward with a lot of co-operation in this place back in 2008. I was not yet a member of Parliament in that year, but I followed very closely the development of the Federal Sustainable Development Act because it was really a high-water mark for the minority-government years of former Prime Minister Harper, because opposition parties were willing to work together. The opposition parties had a majority, but very rarely used it. In this case, the Federal Sustainable Development Act was brought in. This act could have been improved and strengthened, but there is very little that I would say is wrong with it. I am disappointed that we will repeal the definition of the precautionary principle, but overall the bill will strengthen the application of sustainable development principles to more parts of the federal government, and I do like the creation of a sustainable development advisory council. The bill has real potential, but I do not think the government plans to do with it what I hope it will do.

Going back to the early 1960s, for decades the Canadian government benefited from well-researched, strong public policy advice from institutions that we no longer have. We used to have, starting in 1963, the Economic Council of Canada. We had as well the Science Council of Canada. In the early 1970s, we had the creation of the Canadian Environmental Advisory Council. In 1993, all three of those agencies were wound up and repealed. That meant we lost the Economic Council of Canada, the Science Council of Canada, and the Canadian Environmental Advisory Council. They were wound up and repealed because in 1993 the federal government brought in the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. This was our first substantial sustainable development tool. To quote the late Jim MacNeill, a brilliant Canadian diplomat and former deputy minister who really challenged the ideas of sustainable development, one of the core ideas was that “If we change the way we make decisions, we'll change the kind of decisions we make.”

The idea of the national round table was that by bringing together people from different perspectives, including trade unions, large corporate enterprises, academics, environmentalists, indigenous people, as well as government ministers and agencies and so on, the resulting give and take and shared learning would create decisions that met the challenge of sustainability, because sustainability is not the environment by itself. Sustainability has at least three legs to the stool. They are the environment, and social and economic concerns, but those are within a very clear mandate to ensure that the decisions we take today do not compromise the ability of future generations to make their own decisions and to meet their own needs. In other words, sustainability requires that we think about intergenerational equity.

Here I have to confess that I was a member and vice-chair for quite a while of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. Its work was substantial. I do not want to blow my own horn, but a lot of work was done by a lot of people over many years, and I served for only a relatively brief period.

In 2012, under omnibus budget Bill C-38, the national round table was eliminated. No one at that point said that we had better bring back all those other advisory bodies that we had eliminated in 1993 when we created the national round table. There is no longer the Economic Council, no longer the Science Council, no longer the Canadian Environmental Advisory Council, and there is no national round table.

This is the first time something has been created that could meet that need, namely a sustainable development advisory council. It is pretty thin gruel. It could do a lot. The Treasury Board within the act could establish policies or issue directives and could be adequately funding this new agency, which is quite modestly proposed in the act. That said, I certainly hope that the government will realize that we desperately need sound advice on what is sustainable and what is not.

Speaking of what is not sustainable, it includes today's announcement that the Government of Canada is going to form a crown corporation that will now be the management entity for a pipeline that the federal government proposes to buy with a closing date in August. I can only hope that something goes wrong with this sale because this is monstrous. We are proposing to spend $4.5 billion to buy the assets of what is called the Trans Mountain pipeline, but owned by Kinder Morgan of Houston, Texas.

The Trans Mountain pipeline was built in 1953 by a Canadian company with the goal of bring crude or synthetic crude to Burnaby, British Columbia, where over time they developed four refineries. The Trans Mountain pipeline was all about bringing Canadian crude from Alberta to Canadian refineries in the Lower Mainland for domestic use.

When Kinder Morgan bought the assets of Trans Mountain, which are now more than 60 years old, in its valuation to the National Energy Board, the company put the value of the Trans Mountain assets at $550 million. Those are the assets that today the Minister of Finance announced he would buy at a price of $4.5 billion. That is astonishing. Kinder Morgan has certainly achieved a very rich return on investment without having invested new infrastructure.

Kinder Morgan wanted to build a new pipeline, but I think it has lost interest in it. That is why it kidnapped its own project and said that if we did not have a solution by May 31, it would walk away. Clearly for political reasons, primarily for the impact in Alberta, the federal government decided that anything was preferable to having Kinder Morgan walk away, so it has done something astonishing. It is planning to spend $4.5 billion to buy the existing assets of the old pipeline and to take on, as yet undescribed by the Minister of Finance, but said by Kinder Morgan to be a $7.4 billion project to build the expansion. The government is taking on a project that has not yet cleared its conditions with the National Energy Board and is still before the courts in 15 different court cases for violation of indigenous rights, and is doing so with a completely scandalously inadequate environmental review before the National Energy Board within which evidence was put forward by Kinder Morgan and at which no intervenors were allowed to cross-examine.

We now find ourselves asking if the government understands sustainable development, because overarching all of this is the most fundamental and pressing question, what about the climate crisis? How can we possibly claim that Canada understands the pressing imperative of the transition away from fossil fuels, whether in 10, 20, or 30 years? We need to make plans. How can we understand the imperative of avoiding the kind of disaster that deprives not hypothetical future generations but our own children, children alive today that we tuck in at night? How can we possibly think we understand sustainability while building pipelines?

Federal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 11:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Madam Speaker, my colleague quite rightly referred to the fact that the original sustainable development act was actually a collaboration within this very House, but in a previous Parliament. It was a minority government and it produced an act that all members in this House could support, one that reflected the appropriate balance between our social objectives, our environmental objectives, and our economic imperatives. Then that went on to result in a study that took place at the environment committee.

We studied the act as it had been implemented over a number of years. We found a number of shortcomings. We suggested improvements. Some of those improvements were actually incorporated into the bill we have before us, Bill C-57.

However, at the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding. If a government does not want to apply the lens of sustainability, it will not, and quite frankly, I have serious reservations about the ability of the Liberal government to understand what sustainability means.

My colleague referenced that. She asked if the government actually understands sustainability. She referred to the Kinder Morgan sale, the purchase by the government of that pipeline, as a clear indicator that the government does not understand sustainability.

I would ask her if she has any other examples of the government failing to understand the true notion of sustainability.

Federal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 11:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to be here at 11:15 at night to talk about Bill C-57, a bill that seeks to make amendments to the Federal Sustainable Development Act.

Someone else was commenting about time allocation today, and there is something about the Gordie Howe hat trick, like a goal, an assist, and a fight. We almost had a government House leader hat trick here today with the closure motion and two time allocation motions.

The Federal Sustainable Development Act has been in place since 2008. It was introduced during the previous Conservative government. I am pleased to see steps are being taken to ensure that it remains relevant in our current landscape.

Jim Prentice, our colleague whom we sadly lost in an aviation accident, said it best: “We must balance environmental issues with economic and social considerations. By doing so, we can make long-term sustainable progress on the environment that is integrated with progress on the economic and social agenda for Canadians.” Most of us in this place, if not all of us, will agree with that.

The bigger point here, though, is making sure we have both environmental protection and economic success. Our previous government did that, which is why the current government kept our environmental plans. The biggest difference, arguably, is that it just slapped a new name on the department.

Suffice it to say that we agree that sustainability is a fiscally responsible decision, especially in a country where natural resources play such a substantial role in our economy. That is why this side of the House has been pushing so hard on Trans Mountain, on ensuring that the government takes action to ensure that this pipeline gets built.

Now we find ourselves in a bind, because apparently the only way the government could make this happen was to throw a bunch of money at Kinder Morgan. Perhaps this could be an indication that the Liberal approach to attracting and maintaining business partnerships is not working.

There was a story yesterday in Bloomberg entitled—and I will adjust the title so as not to name anyone—“[The Prime Minister]'s Hipster Economics Looked Great Until Trump Cut Taxes”. Many may think this judgment is a bit harsh, but I think the criticism is warranted, and here is why.

Canada needs Kinder Morgan and other energy investment. We have been saying this for months and years. Energy investment means thousands of jobs for Albertans and workers across Canada. It means growth for our provinces and increased revenues for the economy.

What has happened with Trans Mountain, a project that has been so ineptly handled by the government that taxpayers are now owners of a pipeline, is not surprising, given the attitude of the government toward business growth, and it will certainly not be the last time it happens.

As the Bloomberg article says:

Around the country, business owners and corporate executives are grumbling. Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia are also boosting minimum wages. The federal government is requiring provinces to put a price on carbon emissions to help fight climate change in a program that could push power bills up further. Railroad bottlenecks threaten Canada's standing as a major commodities exporter. There's insufficient pipeline capacity for the oil-sands boom.

On a continent where our neighbour is cutting corporate taxes, pumping the brakes on regulatory policy, and undoing much of the tangles of red tape, Canada has become the regulation-happy, carbon-tax-wielding, under-investment monster that businesses fear, and the ones we had managed to keep at least for a while are now fleeing the country.

What incentive is there for businesses like Kinder Morgan to stay? There is next to none, basically.

In the case of Trans Mountain, the government's response is not to address the problems stemming from the beast it has created but instead to dip a little more into the public purse and throw out more money borrowed from our kids, our grandkids, and our great-grandkids.

While I and my colleagues understand that the environment is important in considering federal policy, it must be done responsibly, not just to fight climate change but to protect economic prosperity as well, and that is something we have yet to see from the government.

The trend we have been seeing is that the government loves to say it is doing something, with absolutely zero follow-through. It is almost as if we see more apologies in the House than bills passed.

The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development tabled a report outlining how the government has fallen short in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change, something we have been saying would happen for years.

The Liberal government has pie-in-the-sky ideas with absolutely no ability to get anything done. It aims for the headline and walks back the actual policy when it comes time to get something done. The Liberals cannot even follow their own plan, and the environment commissioner agrees. Here is an example from the report.

Report 2 from the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development's 2018 Spring Report states:

Overall, we found that the Government of Canada had not developed a formal approach to implement the 2030 Agenda and the sustainable development goals.

It went on:

[D]espite some specific action at the departmental level, there was still no federal governance structure based on clearly articulated departmental roles and responsibilities by November 2017. We found no communication plan and no engagement strategy on how to include other levels of government and Canadians in a national dialogue on the 2030 Agenda.

Here is the commissioner's statement on the government's outstanding record on the environment so far:

First, the federal government does not regularly balance the three pillars of sustainable development [economic, environmental, and social].

Second, there is a lack of leadership for many sustainable development activities.

Third, the federal government has not implemented the tools it already has to assess the impacts of policy decisions on sustainable development.

This, in itself, is why we need the Federal Sustainable Development Act. We need to ensure that we are balancing all aspects of sustainability, not just the things that get a headline in the Toronto Star, and that we are doing more than just talk.

I want to look at the environment and climate change departmental plan, the annual departmental plan that gets released when the estimates come out. In the plan's introduction, the minister says that she is pleased to present it. I would be very embarrassed to present the plan that she has.

The former parliamentary budget officer, Kevin Page, said that departmental plans are mere communication devices, and this report is proof. The Treasury Board president, in his failed estimates reform, promised to address this but has not.

This is what the Treasury Board website says about the departmental plans:

The Policy on Results sets out the fundamental requirements for...departmental accountability for performance information...while highlighting the importance of results in management and expenditure decision making, as well as public reporting.

Basically, it is saying, “Here are our plans, and here is what the results are going to be. This is what we are going to spend, and this is what we are going to achieve.”

However, I want to look at the environment departmental plan. Yes, I have read them; I do not think many people have. I am going to read the planned results.

For departmental result indicators on GHG emissions from light-duty vehicles, the target is a 21% improvement, which is fair enough, “for manufacturer model year 2017 reporting relative to 2011 model year”. One would think that if we were going to reduce it from 2011 to 2017, this already being 2018, which is odd, we would have what the GHG emissions are right now. The target date to achieve it is 2018, but under “actual results” for last year and the years before to compare it against, the comment is “This is a new indicator. Results are not available from previous years.” Fair enough, we have nothing to compare it to.

The next is GHG emissions from heavy-duty vehicles: “Percentage improvement in GHG emissions performance for manufacturer model year 2018-2020 reporting relative to the 2010 model year”. The target is 13% lower by 2020. Again, if we are comparing it to previous years to see how we are doing, one would think that we would know what it is for 2016-17 and not just compared to eight years ago. What do they have? “This is a new indicator.” Results are not available from the previous year, or the year before that, oddly enough.

For HFC emissions, the target is a 10% reduction in consumption levels compared to 2017-18. The date to achieve this target is 2019. What did we do last year? We do not know: “This is a new indicator. Results are not available from previous years.” Fair enough.

The next goal is “Reduced methane emissions from the oil end gas sector”. The target is a 40% reduction relative to 2012, and we are going to achieve this by 2025. What is the base right now? “This is a new indicator. Results are not available from previous years.”

This goes back to what I have been saying about the current government. The Liberals talk a lot, but they are not getting anything done. In their own departmental plan, where the Treasury Board requires them to state reports and what they are trying to achieve, they have nothing.

The departmental result indicators go on with “Emissions reductions are being achieved under the Clean Fuel Standard building on the Renewable Fuels Regulations”. The target is “30 Mf annual GHG emissions reduction in 2030”. This is 30 Mf down from what? Well, it is down from previous years. What was it in previous year? “This is a new indicator. Results are not available from previous years.” Again, they are setting imaginary goals, almost aspirational goals, with nothing to actually compare them to. The departmental result indicators go on.

I have a lot of other stuff that I would love to go over, but I cannot. I would just say that we need to ensure that foreign investment and international business are attracted to Canada, and that Canadian businesses want to stay; that growth and responsibility happen together; and that innovation is championed across all sectors, not just the ones favourable to the government, but including oil and gas.

Federal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 11:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Madam Speaker, it is an honour to speak to Bill C-57.

I want to begin by addressing some comments made recently by a Liberal colleague about climate change. Statements that the previous government did not consider climate change a serious problem are absolutely false. The fact is that the targets we set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are the targets that the Liberals are using. The position of the previous government was that every country has to be part of the solution. That is what science tells us. If it is just Canada and a few select countries that are doing their fair share, we cannot address the issue of growing greenhouse gas emissions. The targets that the previous government set are the targets that are being used by the Liberal government.

In speaking to Bill C-57, my concern is not about the bill and the text of the bill. It is whether the government will act on the bill, and whether change is necessary.

Bill C-57 came about exactly 10 years ago. I was parliamentary secretary to the minister of the environment. The minister was John Baird. The Liberal member who was retiring and leaving this place was John Godfrey. As the parliamentary secretary in that structure, I was tasked with meeting with John. We talked. There was work with the David Suzuki Foundation and others. What was proposed was considered, and there was give-and-take. We ended up with a bill, Bill C-474, and the government, under the minister of the environment, John Baird, supported that. We ended up with a good piece of legislation that everyone could support, and we moved it forward as a Parliament in 2008.

That gives us a glimpse into what happened under a previous Conservative government. In the committee structures, how did things work back then? There was work between the government in power and the opposition members. Unfortunately, we do not see that in the current government. It is sad. That is one of the reasons why there is a lack of trust. The government says that it will work with the opposition, but that is not what happens.

In the committee, members are not even permitted to ask questions. It was last week that the ministers came to answer questions about how they were going to spend the $7 billion of discretionary funds in the main estimates. The ministers came and made their speeches, and then down came the gavel to end the meeting so that the opposition members could not ask any questions. It was so undemocratic and so shocking.

That is how the Liberal government runs the House. In one day, it brought closure three times, and in the committees it does not permit the opposition members to do their work, representing Canadians and keeping the government accountable. The government refuses to let that happen in committees. It is very sad.

That did not happen in 2008, when we worked with a Liberal member, John Godfrey, and permitted him to introduce his bill. There was give-and-take, and we came up with what we could both agree on. The David Suzuki Foundation was part of that consultation.

We ended up with a good bill, the Sustainable Development Act. There are three parts to it. What we said, and what the current government is saying, is that we can have a healthy environment and we can have a healthy economy. We can do it, but there has to be social buy-in. Canadians have to buy in. The key to that is having all three. There has to be trust. Unfortunately, what is missing in Bill C-57 is trust.

There is a third body. There is the Commissioner of the Environment, who will do an assessment of what is happening. Is the government doing what it needs to? The Commissioner of the Environment gives us a report card. How is Parliament doing? How is the government doing?

As was noted previously, the spring 2018 audit by the commissioner stated:

...we found that the federal government is not ready to implement its commitments on sustainable development....

First, the federal government does not regularly balance the three pillars of sustainable development.

That is one of the reasons why it is failing. It then states:

Second, there is a lack of leadership for many sustainable development activities.

With respect to the lack of leadership, where is that source? What is the commissioner talking about? It is the government. It is the Prime Minister. It is the minister. There is no leadership. If the problem with the lack of sustainable development is that lens, why is it not happening? The commissioner is saying it is because of a lack of leadership. The government is not using the tools it has. That is the third reason he cites as follows:

the federal government has not implemented the tools it already has to assess the impacts of policy decisions on sustainable development.

The minister and the Prime Minister need to do their job. The government needs to work with members of the opposition and all parties. There needs to be respect and trust. Then what we already have in place would be working.

Under Liberal governments, we have seen a legacy of disrespect for Parliament and not getting it done. I am looking at reports by the Commissioner of the Environment done year after year. I do not have the time to go through all of them.

The 2002 report stated, “The Liberal government's sustainable development deficiency continues to grow.”

The 2003 report noted, “There is a gap between what the Liberal government said it would do and what it is actually doing. Good intentions and great announcements are not enough.”

The 2004 report asked, “Why is progress so slow after all the mandates and commitments were there? I am left to conclude that the reason is that there is a lack of leadership, a lack of priority and a lack of will.” It sounds like what was announced just weeks ago.

The 2005 report stated, “When it comes to protecting the environment bold announcements are made and then forgotten as soon as the confetti hits the ground.”

We have a problem. Because of lack of leadership, we are missing a sustainable development lens that includes a healthy environment; a strong, growing economy; and social buy-in. That is what the Commissioner of the Environment is saying. Can members imagine for a moment what the economy, the environment, and the social buy-in for a healthy economy and environment would look like if we had a Conservative government or a minister of the environment like the member for Abbotsford? I can only imagine how good it would be.

We became government in 2006. In 2011, we had efficiencies, appliances, and vehicles in place that helped reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The fact is it was in 2008, 2009, and 2010 that emissions were going down because of efficiencies resulting from policies brought in by the previous Conservative government. I can only imagine that emissions would continue to go down when we get a change of government, when we get a Conservative government that respects Canadians, that works with Canadians, and uses common sense to create a growing environment and a growing economy. It is achievable and it will happen from 2019 onwards. I am excited because I know that with a Conservative government, we are going to get it done.

Federal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 29th, 2018 / 11:55 p.m.
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Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d’Orléans—Charlevoix, QC

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise to speak to Bill C-57. We are going to support this bill, but there are a lot of “buts”.

Let me explain. I have to say that what the Prime Minister did today with the Trans Mountain pipeline really bothered me. He is alienating all of the provinces. Everyone objected to the way he handled Kinder Morgan. The provinces are all realizing that they elected a prime minister who is all about appearances. He never takes any real action. He is someone who does things too quickly without ever listening to anyone. Canada is a democratic country, and ever since the Liberals took office the Prime Minister has been saying that he wants to hear our suggestions, but as soon as someone says something or disagrees with him, he throws a bit of a tantrum and stops being sensible. It is rather odd. He had allies in many of the provinces, but he is losing them because of his uninformed decisions.

That is too bad because we could have worked as a team here in the House.

Motions in amendmentFederal Sustainable Development ActGovernment Orders

May 24th, 2018 / 10:20 a.m.
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Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

moved:

That Bill C-57 be amended by deleting Clause 5.

Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to speak to Bill C-57 again. This bill, effectively, would amend the current Federal Sustainable Development Act. Members may recall that in a previous Parliament, it was John Baird and the Conservative Party that strongly supported the original legislation, brought forward under a private member's bill, to establish the Federal Sustainable Development Act. That act requires that all government decision-making be reviewed through an environmental, economic, and social lens in the appropriate balance. That is the rub, “in the appropriate balance”.

The bill before us today aims to make decision-making related to sustainable development more transparent, first; more certain, second; and subject to greater accountability, third, especially within government. This bill would require more departments and agencies of government—in other words, additional departments and agencies—to contribute to the federal sustainable development strategy, bringing the total to more than 90 departments and agencies from the current 26. The bill would also require these departments and agencies to prepare specific strategies to ensure sustainability and to table progress reports on their implementation.

Bill C-57 would also increase from three to six the number of indigenous representatives sitting on the Sustainable Development Advisory Council. Government, of course, relies heavily on these advisory councils to provide it with strategic advice on the implementation of that legislation. The bill would expand the council's mandate and provide that representatives appointed to the council may be compensated for expenses. We just heard the Speaker mention that a motion was being tabled that addresses the issue of remuneration. It has been my party's position that although the members of this advisory council should be compensated and reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses such as travel and lodging, they should not be remunerated. This should not be a job they do, but their contribution to society in making sure that Canada has an effective sustainable development plan.

The act would be subject to a mandatory review every five years. It has already been studied at the environment committee, on which I sit, where the Conservative members strongly supported it, subject to the amendments that have been brought forward this morning. We strongly believe that any decision government makes should always be reviewed through the lens of sustainability and should ensure that social, environmental, and economic factors are in the appropriate balance. This act also supports a whole-of-government approach to sustainable development.

As I mentioned earlier, the challenge, the real rub, is finding the appropriate balance among those three: social, environmental, and economic considerations, especially the balance between the environment and the economy. Our friends in the Liberal Party are fond of saying that the environment and the economy go hand in hand, which is a nice platitude, but the implementation of that intent is a different matter altogether. We see major failures in the Liberal Party's efforts to implement sustainability in Canada. Despite the fact that the Liberals brought forward this legislation, which is supposed to strengthen sustainability in Canada, their performance reflects quite a different approach. It is one that pits Canadian against Canadian, province against province, and the federal government against province and territory. While in government, the Liberals have not found it as easy as it may seem to implement sustainability.

I will begin by highlighting the relationship among the provinces, the territories, and the federal government. Members may recall that the Prime Minister, when running for election in 2015, made a host of promises, most of which have been broken.

One promise the Prime Minister made, which is now broken, was to usher in a new era of co-operative federalism. Nobody understood exactly what he meant, but everybody took him at his word. They assumed he was a man of his word and had every intention of doing this. In fact, he then began to interpret sustainability as having one's cake and eating it too.

When the Prime Minister was in British Columbia, he would pretend he was the champion of the environment. He would talk about the oceans protection plan and how we have to move off fossil fuels. However, when the Prime Minister was in Alberta to appease the residents there, whose livelihoods depend on our oil and gas, our resource sector, he would claim he was the great champion of the energy sector, again wanting to have his cake and eat it too and trying to be all things to all people. Those of us who have been involved in business, who have had to pay salaries and make important decisions within our businesses, know that we cannot be all things to all people. Tough decisions have to be made that serve the greater interests of Canadians.

There was our Prime Minister travelling across the country and pretending to be all things to all people, and suddenly the Trans Mountain pipeline comes along. He tells our friends in Alberta that if they implement a massive carbon tax, Albertans will win the social licence to be able to build the Trans Mountain pipeline to get their crude oil to foreign markets, get their crude oil to tidewater, where ships can then take that oil to foreign markets where it will fetch the highest price.

Trusting the Prime Minister, the Government of Alberta moves ahead with this massive carbon tax, which is hurting Albertans right across that province. I know some of my colleagues will share the pain being suffered by Albertans.

Now the Trans Mountain pipeline wants to move forward. Kinder Morgan wants to start building that project, but British Columbia steps up and says it opposes a pipeline coming through British Columbia. Even though there is an existing one there and all we are doing is twinning it, British Columbia is opposed. Now we have a war between the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, a fight between the provinces and the federal government, and there is an appalling lack of leadership on the part of the Prime Minister, who had made a promise that if Alberta implemented this heavy-handed carbon tax, at least it would get a social licence out of it. Now it turns out there is no social licence. In fact, there never will be a social licence.

Canadians have been misled by the Prime Minister, but it gets worse. We are talking about sustainability, finding the appropriate balance for our economic prosperity as a country, using our resources wisely, getting the maximum dollar for them, getting them to markets, and then a report comes out from the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. Actually, it emanates out of the Auditor General's office. In this report, dated March of 2018, we read that in Canada greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, which the government committed to reduce, are expected to be nearly 20% above target. This whole report from the commissioner is riddled with criticism of the government's performance on the environment file.

Then we have Bill C-69, which is the impact assessment act revisions, which were intended to shorten timelines and provide more predictability and certainty for approvals of resource projects and pipelines. In fact, we are now hearing from industry that these timelines are much longer than they were before and that there are many additional criteria that are going to make it even more difficult for resource projects to be approved in Canada. As a result, what we are finding is that on the economic side, we are losing out.

We have a Prime Minister who pretends he is the defender of our economy, but who in fact is completely pandering to the environmental movement and those who are on the extreme left.

I would suggest that this legislation, although it does reflect the consensus of the parties within this House, has not been implemented by the Liberals in their actions and in their legislation.