Environmental Restoration Incentive Act

An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (oil and gas wells)

This bill was last introduced in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2020.

Sponsor

Shannon Stubbs  Conservative

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Second reading (House), as of Feb. 27, 2020
(This bill did not become law.)

Summary

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

This enactment amends the Income Tax Act to establish a tax credit for the closure of oil and gas wells. It also sets out a requirement for the Minister of Finance to make an assessment respecting the implementation of possible tax incentives for the closure of oil and gas wells.

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.

COVID-19 PandemicGovernment Orders

April 20th, 2020 / 5:05 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Madam Chair, the government announced for the energy sector $1.72 billion for orphan well remediation, an emissions reduction fund and a business credit availability program. The first idea actually comes from Bill C-221, which is the MP for Lakeland's bill. A Conservative MP suggested it. The problem is the PBO's costing for that original private member's bill was $30 billion upwards of private sector investment. Seeing that WTI is trading today as low as minus $40.32, when can Albertans expect the rest of the energy subsidy help?

Alleged Premature Disclosure of Private Member's BillPrivilegeGovernment Orders

February 27th, 2020 / 4:45 p.m.
See context

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege respecting the premature disclosure of the contents of a bill between the notice and introduction period.

The member for Markham—Unionville gave notice of a bill entitled “an act to amend the Criminal Code (unlawfully imported firearms)”, on Friday, February 21. On February 24, the member for Markham—Unionville, in an article published on iPolitics, disclosed the contents of the bill.

The article in question revealed the following. It states:

[The member for Markham—Unionville] is introducing legislation that would amend the Criminal Code to increase the mandatory sentence to three years for someone found in possession of a gun illegally brought into Canada. If an offender were found guilty of owning a smuggled gun a second time, their prison sentence would be a minimum of five years.

The article continues to disclose the content of the bill. It states:

[The] proposed law changes would also see the maximum amount of prison time that could be awarded to somebody who owns a smuggled gun increased to 14 years, both the first time they break the law and in every offence that follows.

On Tuesday, February 25, the member for Markham—Unionville gave notice of a new bill entitled “an act to amend the Criminal Code (possession of unlawfully imported firearms)”. Today, February 27, the member introduced the bill as Bill C-238. While I would note that there was a slight change to the long title, Bill C-238 accords directly with the details of the bill that were published in the article by iPolitics on February 24.

Clause 2.1 of Bill C-238 states:

Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) when the object in question was obtained by the commission of an offence under subsection 103(1) is, if prosecuted by indictment, liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of

(a) in the case of a first offence, three years; and

(b) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, five years.

The provisions of Bill C-238, which I just quoted, accord directly with the characterization in the iPolitics article on February 24, which was provided earlier in my intervention. While I do not want to impute unworthy motives on the part of the member for Markham—Unionville with respect to his bill, it does raise certain questions.

I submit that the member for Markham—Unionville is attempting to do indirectly what he knows he cannot do directly. I submit that the practice of placing a bill on notice, making public the content of the bill, then placing another bill with a slightly different title to avoid a charge of premature disclosure of the content of a bill would set a dangerous precedent. In short, using this approach would subvert the principle that members should be the first to see the contents of a bill.

I would also like to draw the attention of members to the Speaker's ruling earlier this day concerning two bills that were substantially similar, despite a different long title.

The Speaker stated, “I would like to take a few minutes to inform members of an error on the Order Paper. Two private member's bills, which are substantially the same, are currently listed under Private Members' Business. Items outside of the Order of Precedence, specifically Bill C-221 on the Employment Insurance Act standing in the name of the member for Elmwood—Transcona was introduced and read the first time on Thursday, February 20, 2020, and Bill C-217 standing in the name of the member for Salaberry—Suroît was introduced and read a first time on Monday, February 24, 2020.

“Pursuant to Standing Order 86(4), the Speaker can refuse notice if he determines the two items as to be substantially the same. As a result, Bill C-217 is currently before the House in error. I therefore direct it that the order for the second reading of Bill C-217 be discharged and the bill be dropped from the Order Paper.”

It would be interesting to see if the first bill that the member for Markham—Unionville had placed on notice, if introduced, would be determined to be substantially similar to Bill C-238. While I cannot confirm this to be the case, it certainly gives rise to the assumption that the bills would be substantially similar.

I further submit that if this practice was determined to be an acceptable practice, I can only assume that this approach could become common practice. Imagine the government placing a bill on notice, then making a public statement which comprehensively discloses the content of a bill, then make a slight change to the long title and place this new bill on notice followed by its introduction. This would be seen by members and perhaps by you, Mr. Speaker, as a clear departure from the long-standing principle that members should be the first to see the contents of a bill.

I will not waste the precious time of the House reciting the numerous precedents that support the conclusion that the premature disclosure of the contents of a bill between the notice and introduction period has been determined to be a bonafide question of privilege.

I do not begrudge the member for Markham—Unionville for his attempt to get out his message about what his bill would accomplish and to provide the details of his bill to solicit the public's support for the bill. The fact remains that it is an affront to the privileges of the House to disclose a bill's contents before members of the House have had the opportunity to see the bill once introduced.

I understand that there was a very similar issue raised on February 25, with respect to the unfortunate premature disclosure of the medical assistance in dying legislation. As a result, if you determine, Mr. Speaker, that this matter is a prima facie question of privilege, I would suggest that both matters be heard together at the procedure and house affairs committee.

Mr. Speaker, I await your decision, and if you agree, I would be prepared to move the appropriate motion at the said time.

Private Members' BillsRoutine Proceedings

February 27th, 2020 / 10:15 a.m.
See context

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I would like to take a few minutes to inform members of an error on the Order Paper. Two private members bills, which are substantially the same, are currently listed under Private Members' Business, items outside the order of precedence. Specifically, Bill C-221 on the Employment Insurance Act, standing in the name of the member for Elmwood—Transcona, was introduced and read the first time on Thursday, February 20, 2020, and Bill C-217, standing in the name of the member for Salaberry—Suroît was introduced and read the first time on Monday, February 24, 2020.

Pursuant to Standing Order 86(4), the Speaker can refuse a notice when he determines that the two items are so similar as to be substantially the same.

In this case, only the first of the two bills should have been put on the Notice Paper. As a result, Bill C-217 is currently before the House in error. I therefore order that the order for the second reading of Bill C-217 be revoked and that the bill be dropped from the Order Paper.

I am sorry for any inconvenience that this error may have caused members. I thank members for their attention.

(Order discharged and bill withdrawn)

Environmental Restoration Incentive ActRoutine Proceedings

February 25th, 2020 / 10:10 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-221, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (oil and gas wells).

Mr. Speaker, today I introduce the environmental restoration incentive act. I thank many members and colleagues for their support.

Canadian energy producers lead the world in remediation and reclamation but struggling small and medium-sized oil and gas producers are collapsing in real time, leaving fiscal and environmental liabilities.

The 2019 Redwater decision means at-risk small companies now cannot raise money for that purpose. Municipalities lose major revenue and facilities are left in different conditions. It is not evasion nor neglect by small gas producers, but a stark reality of their precarious economic positions. The number of orphan wells rose more than 300% since 2015. There are more than 130,000 inactive wells in Canada. Cleanup costs are estimated between $30 billion and $70 billion. The current orphan well system is overwhelmed and risks are costing taxpayers 100% of those costs.

My bill would enable small producers to raise money from investors exclusively for decommissioning oil and gas wells. It would incentivize and ensure private sector proponents can fulfill environmental responsibilities at the lowest public cost.

My bill is not a perfect remedy for this complex challenge that requires co-operation and ongoing action from federal and provincial governments. I ask all members to partner and prioritize real solutions for all Canadians.

We can make a real difference right away with a tax credit that can only be used the year a well is decommissioned, will only exist for six years, and will only be for small and medium-sized producers that need it the most, with further measures later on.

My bill would help the environment, create immediate jobs for oil and gas workers, and protect taxpayers.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)