An Act to amend the Aeronautics Act, the Fishing and Recreational Harbours Act and other Acts (application of provincial law)

This bill was previously introduced in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session.

Sponsor

Mario Simard  Bloc

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

Status

Defeated, as of Feb. 24, 2021

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-225.

Summary

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

This enactment amends certain acts to subordinate the exercise of certain powers to the applicable provincial laws concerning land use and development and environmental protection.

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

Feb. 24, 2021 Failed 2nd reading of Bill C-225, An Act to amend the Aeronautics Act, the Fishing and Recreational Harbours Act and other Acts (application of provincial law)

Aeronautics ActPrivate Members' Business

February 23rd, 2021 / 5:30 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, Bill C-225 is a bill that causes a great deal of concern, as it would amend certain acts to subordinate the exercise of certain powers to the applicable provincial laws concerning land use, development and environmental protections. This concerns me greatly, and I suspect it concerns anyone who feels that the Government of Canada should play a strong role in land development or anything of that nature.

The off-loading of powers is what I find interesting. I believe it is a member from the Bloc who has brought the bill forward, and I think it embodies the principle of what the Bloc is trying to do in the House of Commons, which is to decentralize the national government. In essence, it would take away anything the government does with one exception, which is, of course, to give money. If the Bloc has to participate in Canadian Confederation, it would be quite happy if the only role for the Canadian government would be to provide money to individual provinces, or at the very least to the Province of Quebec. In fairness to the people who might want to follow this debate, that would give a sense of why the Bloc has proposed the legislation before us.

In essence, the federal government does play a role, and we saw that with Bill C-69, which we introduced a couple of years back. It shows that the federal government does have a role when it comes to issues such as land, our environment and the mutual benefits of ensuring that there is a proper process in place to protect the interests of the nation.

I believe that in essence it has been working quite well. We have seen provincial governments, municipal governments and the national government working together on numerous projects, and there is a great deal of consultation that takes place. I think in terms of things like projects that are proposed for funding by Canada's infrastructure programs and provisions to incorporate provincial legislation by reference in Canada. We could talk about the Canada Marine Act. There is also a good-neighbour policy for federal real property. All of this is critically important. We need to recognize, at least from my perspective, that the national government plays a role in a wide variety of areas of jurisdiction, and there is an expectation from Canadians that we live up to our jurisdictional responsibilities.

I have not heard anyone in my political career talk about what the Bloc would hope to accomplish with this piece of legislation. However, I often hear from constituents who talk to me about how the federal government should be fulfilling its responsibilities in the many areas where we have jurisdictional control, and the best example I can use is health care.

Often we will talk about the federal government having a role in health care. There is some irony here. If we take a look at it, the Bloc will say that it does not want Ottawa in this but the province, and yet it is Ottawa's jurisdictional responsibility. The Bloc will say that it does not want Ottawa there, but on the other hand, when it is a provincial jurisdiction, it will again say that it does not want Ottawa to interfere because it is a provincial jurisdiction.

There are areas of cooperation where Ottawa may have the primary jurisdiction but there still is an obligation, at least in part, to work with other jurisdictions, whether provincial, municipal or indigenous. There are all sorts of ways in which Ottawa can cooperate with the areas in which it ultimately has jurisdictional responsibility.

Equally, I think, the reverse applies, with the best example being health care. There are a couple of debates we have been having during the pandemic and the bill we just finished discussing. Both of them are related to health care and the importance of the national government playing a role. One of them was with regard to long-term standards, while the other was with regard to assisted dying legislation and that area of mental health. I can talk about what I believe the majority of my constituents would like to see: a national pharmacare program.

All of those things I just cited can only be done to the benefit of all Canadians, no matter where they live, if we have the two levels of government prepared to work together. It is important that we recognize jurisdictional responsibility, as this government has done. When it comes to health care, we will do that. When it comes to the issue of land usage and our environment, we do not tell the provinces or the municipalities that that aspect is completely or 100% federal jurisdiction and that we do not need to hear from them at all on it. We continue to work with the different levels of government because we are in a confederation. Canadians expect us to be working in partnership with the different levels of government.

I would not say that the Bloc has a hidden agenda, but it is an agenda that is not healthy for the Canadian confederation, for those who see the value of living in the best country in the world, and those who are so proud of the French factor that we really identify with and have a great deal of pride about, like I especially do. We are appealing for governments to work together on the important issues that Canadians want us to work cooperatively on. Even if a government has primary jurisdictional responsibility, it should still work with the different levels of government for the benefit of all Canadians.

Aeronautics ActPrivate Members' Business

February 23rd, 2021 / 5:50 p.m.
See context

NDP

Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today to Bill C-225, introduced by the member for Jonquière. A similar bill, Bill C-392, was put forward by the Bloc in a previous Parliament by the member for Repentigny.

Bill C-225 would amend seven acts to require infrastructure projects currently within federal jurisdiction to be subject to provincial laws and municipal bylaws concerning land use and environmental protection. This would affect infrastructure ranging from airports, ports and harbours through to telecommunications infrastructure such as radio masts and cell towers. It would also impact any project funded through the Canada Infrastructure Bank and federal property administered by the National Capital Commission in Ottawa and Gatineau.

The NDP supports co-operative federalism. We believe that decision-making should be multilateral, reflecting the unique values and perspectives of provinces and local communities. We made it clear to Canadians in the last election that we would work to limit the federal government's unilateralism and promote mutual respect between levels of government. When it comes to big infrastructure projects, we believe that social licence must be a key requirement before projects proceed. A co-operative approach between different levels of government would mean better policies. Canadians are better served when the federal government is listening and respecting provinces and municipalities.

This bill raises other important questions concerning federalism in Canada. While there will always be projects that are in the national interest, federal jurisdiction over areas such as airports, ports and communications towers too often means that local values and concerns are not given adequate weight in federal assessment and decision-making. At worst, these processes can be perceived as a rubber stamp for projects the federal government already intends to approve, projects that overlook the work of community leaders who seek to protect the environment or conserve important aspects of a community or region.

New Democrats believe in empowering local communities to have a stronger say concerning development that affects them. After all, communities and residents live with the long-term impacts of infrastructure projects. It is only right that we ensure their voices are heard in the decision-making process. By putting the onus on the federal government to meet the bar set by provincial laws and local bylaws, this bill would give a greater voice to the orders of government closest to the people and, as such, we believe it deserves further study at committee.

This bill would not render federal projects impossible. Rather, it would set a high standard for the government to prove that there was a true national interest required to override local laws. It is not reasonable to assume that, because the federal government is the proponent, a project is automatically in the national interest.

For projects that truly are essential to Canada's interests as a country, the well-established legal principle of paramountcy, which holds that when federal and provincial laws are found to be in conflict federal law prevails, could be used as a last resort. It should not be assumed that local people cannot understand or appreciate the national interest. After all, it is local people who make up our country. Likewise, both local and provincial governments have an interest in the well-being and prosperity of the nation as a whole and are able to consider these factors when crafting their laws and bylaws.

We have seen that the Liberal government's centralizing approach to major infrastructure decisions fails to account for regional perspectives and has furthered divisions between provinces. Too often we see federal decisions imposed on communities without giving them a say. From cellphone towers to new aerodromes on farm land, we need a government that engages with communities in a more meaningful way.

The Liberals keep saying that we need to respect the division of powers in Canada, but perhaps we should better think of federalism as a balance of powers and not a division, one in which the voices and ideas of local leaders are just as valid as the views of Ottawa. This bill could help resolve these tensions by ensuring that development plans and municipal regulations adopted by local authorities are better respected by the federal government.

I must say it is a bit unclear why this bill includes reference to all projects funded by the Canada Infrastructure Bank, since it seems that the vast majority of the projects funded by the CIB should already be subject to provincial and local legislation and regulations. Perhaps this is something that could be clarified should this bill make it to committee.

It is not that we do not have serious concerns about the Canada Infrastructure Bank. Of particular relevance to this discussion about respecting local needs is the CIB’s insistence on public-private partnerships that emphasize the returns of private investors over the long-term needs of communities. We support the notion that CIB-funded projects should respect local and provincial legislation; however, it is unclear why this would not otherwise be the case.

Just as the rationale for including CIB-funded projects is somewhat unclear in this Bill, so is the exclusion of pipelines, which were included in the bill’s previous iteration. Recent pipeline proposals clearly demonstrate the failure of the federal government to adequately address the concerns and values of other orders of government. The federal government can hardly claim that Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain were approved through a harmonious process that respected all three orders of government. The government approved Northern Gateway despite opposition from over a dozen local governments in British Columbia and many first nations up and down the B.C. coast.

The Trans Mountain Expansion project was thrown out by the Federal Court of Appeal, because it found that the federal government’s consultations were woefully inadequate and that it failed to consider the environmental impact of increased marine traffic in the Salish Sea. Not only did a second run at consultation fail to meet the expectations of many communities and first nations, the federal government then fought in court B.C.'s attempts to legislate environmental protections that would prevent oil spills from damaging the environment. It is indeed difficult for the government to claim it has satisfied local and provincial concerns regarding TMX.

In the cases of both Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain, the federal government announced its support for what it claimed were projects in the national interest before the assessment processes were finalized. With the federal government acting as both booster and arbiter, the concerns of communities, first nations and even provincial governments did not stand a chance of influencing the inevitable outcome.

To conclude, Bill C-225 poses interesting ideas that would help rebalance federalism to better reflect the perspectives of regions and provinces. It would empower local communities by giving them a say on infrastructure projects that would have been unilaterally imposed on them in the past, and it would force the federal government to do a better job of considering the environmental impacts of infrastructure projects before it approved them.

There remain some outstanding questions raised by this legislation that deserve further study. Analysis from the Library of Parliament suggests that this bill would be legally viable as the courts would likely interpret it as incorporating, by reference, provincial laws into federal statutes. This is a legislative technique that is frequently used and accepted in jurisprudence, and we believe this idea merits further study at committee.

I look forward to debating these ideas in the future, and I thank the member for Jonquière for bringing forward this bill.

Aeronautics ActPrivate Members' Business

February 23rd, 2021 / 6 p.m.
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Bloc

Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe Bloc Lac-Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am extremely pleased to speak in the House today to the bill introduced by my colleague and friend the hon. member for Jonquière.

Almost everyone thinks the environment is important. In fact, the environment means as much to people as apple pie. I think everyone likes apple pie, therefore everyone likes the environment.

Since we have limited time to debate I will get to the point. The environment is a jurisdiction that is exclusive to Quebec and the provinces. Again, I want to reiterate that time is limited because it seems clear to me that the government would rather waste time than take action while we still can. Our window of time to deal with the environment is getting smaller by the day. Instead of taking real action, the government is still wondering about the possibility of a pan-Canadian framework. In fact, however, the governments of Quebec and most of the provinces are already taking action.

The federal government, regardless of its political stripe, has a poor track record in this regard. For example, rather than analyzing the risks associated with offshore oil drilling, the Liberal government chose to approve such activity. The same is true of a large number of other projects. However, we are not fooled. If the Liberals really cared about the environment and thought it was important to act, they would have done so a long time ago.

It is crystal clear to me that we need to protect the environment, but the best way of doing that is not to greenwash the government's record with lip service. Instead, we need to take the tools that exist in Quebec and the provinces and apply them to federal projects. We also need to listen to scientists, the very people that the Liberals keep saying over and over that they rely on when making decisions.

It is 2021. We are past the point of asking all these questions that scientists have already asked and answered. My colleagues who are listening may have good intentions and may still believe their government's claims of environmentalism. However, I am telling the House that, if there were oil in Lac Saint-Jean, the government would surely come up with a good reason to extract it.

That is why it is especially true that no one is better placed than Quebec and the provinces to deal with environmental issues. Not only does each province have its own environmental ministry with competent expert scientists, but they are also responsible for managing natural resources, water resources and other resources within their borders. That is why the federal government should start by respecting Quebec and provincial environmental laws. It needs to respect the jurisdictions set out in our Constitution, which have been clear for over 150 years.

It is significant that a sovereignist is the one reminding the government of the basics of federalism.

With the House's permission, I would like to make a suggestion. A few weeks ago, during the debate on the Canada water agency, I pointed out that the Bloc Québécois introduced Bill C-225, sponsored by the eminent member for Jonquière, on Quebec's environmental sovereignty. What I am saying today is practically copy-paste, because instead of analyzing federal laws, Bill C-225 would amend them and make them more effective. I will therefore vote in favour.

Let us be pragmatic for a minute. If we admit that it is important to protect the environment, we also have to admit that it is urgent. If it is urgent, let us choose the fastest, most effective way possible. In our case, that is the rules made by Quebec and the provinces because they are the toughest and they already exist.

Logically, if my colleagues behave in accordance with their desire to protect the environment, they will agree with me that the federal government should make sure its own infrastructure and laws respect the provinces' and municipalities' rules instead of squabbling with them over jurisdiction and always trying to decide who should be making the laws. It is simple: Provincial legislators should be responsible for everything related to the environment because that is what they are there for.

There is another question we must ask ourselves: Who do we work for? I want to remind the House who I work for and why I am here. I work for my constituents, for the people of Lac-Saint-Jean. When it comes to the environment, I work for my children's generation in particular. I work for young people who, as recently as a few weeks ago, were telling me that they are sick of the bureaucratic quagmire and tired of the federal government stalling on everything and accomplishing nothing. What is the point of sitting around a table wondering how to put out a fire when the firefighters are outside with the hoses and nozzles?

Being responsible parliamentarians also means delegating certain aspects to our Quebec provincial counterparts when the time is right, instead of always ignoring their existence or considering them inferior. Now is the time.

Where is the federal government's credibility in relation to multinationals when it authorizes offshore drilling? Where is the federal government's credibility in relation to riverside communities when it allows pipelines and trains to spill into those rivers? Where is the federal government's credibility in relation to municipalities struggling to provide safe drinking water to their residents when the feds cannot provide safe drinking water to indigenous communities? Where is the federal government's credibility in relation to endangered marine mammals when it allows the marine industry to regulate itself? Where is the federal government's credibility, full stop? We are still looking for an answer.

In North America and around the world, there is only one government that is looking after its environment properly and that has credibility, and that is Quebec. Quebec is committed to preserving its collective treasures. It does not do so by waffling, but by taking action. For example, integrated watershed-based management allows Quebec to plan measures for the protection and use of water resources. The Government of Quebec achieved that by focusing on collaboration between all decision-makers, users and civil society. This did not happen by holding a brainstorming session 25 years later about how to delegate jurisdictions that do not belong to us.

The proof that Quebec and the provinces are managing very well without the federal government is that when watersheds straddle the Canada or U.S. border, Quebec collaborates and establishes agreements, such as the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement. The federal government should respect that.

To tackle climate change, Quebec includes measures to foster the conservation and protection of water resources and the resilience of ecosystems and associated species. The federal government should respect that.

When other countries want to build a dam, they turn to Hydro-Québec and its expertise. The federal government should respect that.

We should look to the provinces for inspiration. As federal legislators, we should be creating legislation that reinforces provincial jurisdictions.

If the House passes the bill introduced by my colleague from Jonquière, Quebec's laws concerning land development and environmental protection will apply across all of Quebec, regardless of jurisdiction. This means that airport developers' privileges will not be put ahead of Quebec's Act respecting the preservation of agricultural land and agricultural activities or municipal bylaws. It also means that telecommunications giants will have to come to an agreement with municipalities and respect the wishes of local residents when putting up their towers and antennas. As with all other similar projects, infrastructure under federal jurisdiction will be subject to the assessment process of the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement du Québec, or BAPE, and other provincial assessment processes. Developers will require a certificate of authorization from these governments before going ahead. Federal government property will have to comply with development plans and municipal bylaws adopted by local authorities, on top of providing better environmental protections and more cohesive land development.

Bill C-225 will establish legal certainty for developers, residents and environmental protection groups. It will settle the many legal disputes over shared jurisdictions. If the federal minister authorized a project that violated a provincial law, the minister would be violating a federal law. This would resolve the issue of jurisdictional disputes and it would save time and money.

I hope this helped clear things up for many a member of the House. Once again, I thank the member for Jonquière for this very important bill.

Aeronautics ActPrivate Members' Business

November 30th, 2020 / 11:05 a.m.
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Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

moved that Bill C-225, An Act to amend the Aeronautics Act, the Fishing and Recreational Harbours Act and other Acts (application of provincial law), be read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity this morning to talk to all my colleagues about Bill C-225, especially since this bill was introduced back in 2018 as Bill C-392 by my party's passionate environmental advocate, the charming member for Repentigny. This Bill C-225 is virtually the same as that one.

I will get into more of the details a little later, but first I would like to point out what the bill might represent. It fits perfectly with my political goals, since it implies more political autonomy for Quebec. Everyone seems to be aware of the path towards self-government that Quebec has taken.

We can go back as far as Jean Lesage's famous slogan “Maîtres chez nous”, when environmental matters were perhaps not as urgent as they are today. As for Lesage, he went even further than that slogan.

I remember the early days of what was known as the Quiet Revolution, when Lesage came up with the wonderful phrase, “the Quebec state as the primary instrument for the collective emancipation of Quebeckers”. That phrase, which is also quite famous, means that what we want, perhaps above all else, is to give political substance to the Quebec nation, and I think this can only be achieved through self-government.

We know that when the federal government takes action in areas of federal legislative jurisdiction, Quebec and the provinces cannot force it to respect their laws. In our Constitution, there is a type of hierarchy and we know that federal legislation subordinates provincial legislation.

In the meantime, federal Parliament can impose strict parameters on governments in the application of the legislation it passes. If federal legislation required compliance with Quebec law and provincial law, the federal government could no longer authorize plans that violate those laws. This circumvention strategy may be the purpose of Bill C-225, which would amend seven federal statutes.

Bill C-225 would amend the Aeronautics Act, which governs airports, and the Fishing and Recreational Harbours Act, which governs wharves and harbours for small watercraft. The bill also amends the National Capital Act, which governs the activities of the National Capital Commission in Ottawa and the Outaouais, and the Broadcasting Act, which governs telecommunications infrastructure, including cellular antennas.

The other laws that this bill amends include the Federal Real Property and Federal Immovables Act, which governs all federal properties; the Canada Marine Act, which, as we all know, governs ports; and the Canada Infrastructure Bank Act, which governs projects carried out through the bank. Such projects currently benefit from a form of federal immunity from provincial laws and municipal bylaws.

By passing Bill C-225, Parliament would force the federal government to ensure that it is respecting provincial laws and municipal bylaws before authorizing an activity or infrastructure project, so I believe that this bill is in keeping with Quebec's pursuit of self-government.

What would the impact of this bill be? If this bill passes, Quebec laws governing environmental protection and land management would apply to the entire province of Quebec. At the beginning of my speech, I mentioned Jean Lesage. In my opinion, this bill would be a way for Quebec to be the master of its own house when it comes to the environment.

The privileges of an airport developer would therefore cease to take precedence over the provisions of the Quebec Act Respecting the Preservation of Agricultural Land and Agricultural Activities or the municipal bylaws. Telecommunications companies would have to come to an agreement with the municipalities and respect the wishes of local residents when putting up their towers and antennas. Major federal infrastructure projects and any other similar projects would be subject to the assessment process of the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement du Québec. As a result, these projects would have to be given a certificate of authorization from the Government of Quebec before they could go forward.

Along the same lines, federal government property, including large tracts of the Gatineau urban area that belong to the National Capital Commission, will have to comply with development plans and municipal regulations adopted by local authorities.

In addition to providing better environmental protection and more cohesive land development, the bill will establish legal certainty in areas marked by numerous judicial disputes related to shared jurisdictions. By approving a project that contravenes a provincial law, the federal minister would be contravening a federal law. This would resolve the issue of conflicting jurisdictions once and for all.

We all know the Canadian constitutional context. Constitutionally, Quebec land belongs to Quebeckers. Its occupation, use, development and protection fall primarily under the laws and regulations of Quebec and its municipalities. The British North America Act of 1867, however, distributed legislative powers between the provinces and the federal government, which gives to Ottawa many powers that cover the environment and land.

The British North America Act was signed in 1867, at a time when telecommunications, for example, did not exist. As a result, anything that was not named directly in this legislation now falls under federal jurisdiction. Telecommunications are part of that. Other examples are navigation, wharves and ports. I could also mention public property, such as land and buildings that belong to Ottawa, as well as interprovincial transportation, including transportation infrastructure, such as pipelines.

This topic came up quite often during the last election campaign. Our Conservative colleagues had the unfortunate idea of developing an energy corridor that would have seen a pipeline built across Quebec. Judging by my colleagues' quick reaction and raised eyebrows, I can see that they are not happy about that comment, but this bill could provide a framework for similar excesses at the federal level. This is something that can be discussed later.

The Constitution does not classify environmental protection as a jurisdiction in itself. Either provincial or federal laws will apply, depending on the project. If a project is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government, the provincial laws will only be enforced if they do not prevent Ottawa from exercising its own powers. There are all kinds of examples in our past that demonstrate why this bill is necessary.

For instance, Quebec or a municipality could probably adopt regulations or bylaws allowing cell towers to be painted green. That would be entirely possible, and the courts would accept it. Conversely, any laws or regulations made regarding the location of towers would be struck down, which has happened on several occasions.

What does this actually mean? It means that a provincial government's power to act is significantly reduced by the federal government's power. Just between us, I do not think the colour of a telecommunications tower really matters, but where it is located is critical, and Quebec does not have the power to decide that.

As folks will see, I am a good sport. During the 2015 election campaign, which brought the Liberal Party to power, their party platform promised to ensure that projects have social licence. The term “social licence” is on everyone's lips these days. In 2015, the Liberal Party said that social licence should be a priority for projects to be accepted and authorized.

I take no pleasure in this, but I will quote from the 2015 Liberal Party platform: “While governments grant permits for resource development, only communities can grant permission.” Being a charitable man, I thought to myself, why not support my Liberal colleagues so they can fulfill one of the election promises they made in 2015?

I do so purely out of the goodness of my heart. We in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean are good people. Out of the goodness of my heart, I am willing to do this for my Liberal colleagues.

We live in a democracy. Our laws and regulations are passed by the representatives of the people and reflect a certain social licence. Bill C-225 will help deliver on a Liberal election promise, in a sense.

I gave some examples earlier illustrating how the federal government's prerogative over Quebec's environmental laws can sometimes lead to unfortunate circumstances. We can come back to that.

Over the years, we have adopted several laws, regulations and institutions that have helped us protect our land and ensure its harmonious use. Examples include Quebec's environmental protection legislation, the Act Respecting the Preservation of Agricultural Land and Agricultural Activities, and the Act Respecting Land Use Planning and Development, which governs development plans and zoning regulations, as well as the Government of Quebec's mechanism for ensuring social licence, the BAPE, our bureau of environmental public hearings. However, certain activities and infrastructure are only partly covered by our laws, because they fall under federal jurisdiction. Wharves, harbours, airports and telecommunications infrastructure, as I was saying earlier, are all federal property.

In these cases, even though Quebec laws and municipal bylaws are not completely squeezed out, they can apply only if they do not have a substantive effect on the activity that is the federal government's responsibility. Earlier I was talking about certain cases. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that the Act Respecting the Preservation of Agricultural Land and Agricultural Activities could not protect a parcel of agricultural land from a developer who wanted to turn it into an airport.

There was a similar case in 2016, when Rogers appealed to the Supreme Court to strike down Châteauguay's bylaw regulating the proliferation of cell towers. Also in 2016, the Quebec Superior Court ruled that a private business, IMTT-Québec Inc., which was blanketing the Limoilou neighbourhood of Quebec City with red dust, was exempt from Quebec's Environment Quality Act because the business was located on Port of Quebec land, which is under federal jurisdiction. That makes absolutely no sense.

The Alberta company behind the whole energy east saga did not feel that its ridiculous plan to build a pipeline across Quebec had to comply with Quebec laws. This piecemeal enforcement of Quebec's laws and regulations is an affront to democracy. These laws were passed by the Quebec National Assembly, which represents all Quebeckers, and these regulations were duly adopted by the representatives of the people. Furthermore, this arrangement deprives residents of the ability to make decisions about their own land. Earlier I mentioned the famous slogan “Maîtres chez nous”.

Some have pointed out that the bill does not mention municipalities, but they are included indirectly. Constitutionally, there are two levels of government: federal and provincial. Municipalities, which are not part of the constitution, are included by virtue of Government of Quebec legislation.

I am going to pick up the pace here and just say that Bill C-225 has a lot of support. Let me go back to my colleague's Bill C-392, which is essentially a copy of what is before us today. At the time, my colleague from Repentigny had the support of twenty or so municipalities whose bylaws applied to federal projects within their city limits, including airports, ports and telecommunications infrastructure. The City of Gatineau also supported the bill because it wanted the National Capital Commission to stop acting like a separate enclave outside the City's purview. The Union des producteurs agricoles wrote to all Quebec MPs, asking them to support the bill and ensure that the Act Respecting the Preservation of Agricultural Land and Agricultural Activities applies at all times.

Quebec's three major unions also supported the bill, as did the Quebec Environmental Law Centre. The Government of Quebec is constantly lobbying for Quebec's land use and environmental laws to apply to federal projects. When Bill C-69 was before the House, the intergovernmental affairs minister, Jean-Marc Fournier—a confirmed sovereignist, no point in denying it—published an open letter in La Presse seeking an amendment to ensure respect for Quebec's laws and assessment processes. Bill C-225 ensures that.

Lastly, the Quebec National Assembly unanimously adopted 11 resolutions to that effect for various federal projects.

If both my Liberal and Conservative colleagues are serious when they say that they want greater recognition for Quebec, their only option is to accept this bill and vote in favour of it.

Aeronautics ActPrivate Members' Business

November 30th, 2020 / 11:25 a.m.
See context

St. Catharines Ontario

Liberal

Chris Bittle LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to speak to Bill C-225. The bill touches upon intergovernmental relations, federalism and the paramountcy principle: matters that have been debated in both Houses of Parliament on a wide range of subjects. In essence, this bill seeks to subordinate the exercise of federal power in certain areas of provincial law and to allow provincial governments to impose restrictions on environmental protection activities and land use for projects the federal government undertakes across the country.

These same topics came up when this bill was discussed in the House on June 19, 2018, when Bill C-392 proposed similar amendments during the last Parliament. At the time, Bill C-392 sought to strengthen environmental protection and scrutiny of land use. Since then, Bill C-69, introduced by this government, positively strengthened consultation mechanisms and consideration of the environmental impact of projects under federal jurisdiction.

I congratulate the hon. member for his initiative to heighten the consideration given to land use and development, as well as to environmental protection, when projects and activities under federal jurisdiction are being considered. The government is also invested in protecting Canada's environment, and in ensuring effective consultation that accounts for local concerns related to land use and development and the environment. Canadians should know that all levels of government work in the interests of their well-being.

Every day, millions of Canadians go about their lives in an orderly and predictable way. They routinely use safe roads, drink clean water, consume food free of contaminants, rely on safe transportation systems and know that their safety and security are guarded by police, fire departments, paramedics and military personnel. Even today, while the world is facing COVID-19, Canadians can count on federal, provincial and municipal governments to continue to collaborate until the end of this challenging time so they can maintain as many of their routines as possible.

Our society depends on laws and rules to function, and each level of government is responsible for those things that fall into its jurisdiction. Education, building codes and highways, for example, are primarily provincial responsibilities. Matters such as defence, aeronautics and radio communications, for example, extend beyond provincial borders and impact the country as a whole. In these areas, it falls to the federal government to implement a nationally consistent approach that serves Canada and its people.

Over the last several years, the Liberal government has sought to promote co-operative federalism as a way to face challenges concerning more than one level of government. As we all know, there are many issues that transcend municipal and provincial boundaries, and many others where the federal government may be unaware of a local concern. For this reason, taking a co-operative approach achieves the best possible outcome for Canadians. With a country as large and diverse as Canada, we must all act in good faith and work together to achieve the best possible results for our economy and our environment.

There have been, and will continue to be, times when differences arise despite our best efforts to work together. However, there are already numerous federal statutes, particularly those implicated in Bill C-225, and regulations that accommodate provincial laws concerning land use and development and environmental protection. Efforts are ongoing to encourage co-operative federalism in ways that do not restrict core federal operation.

In order to build on its desire for co-operative federalism, the Liberal government demonstrated its commitment to consulting Canadians when it introduced Bill C-69, which strengthens Canada's environmental assessments and regulatory reviews through legislative changes and amendments. This bill explicitly reflects the consideration of environmental, social, safety, health and socio-economic issues, including gender-based impacts and economics as well as impacts on indigenous peoples. Bill C-69 also includes several provisions that enhance public participation and transparency, which provides members of the public with an opportunity to express their views during the review process.

The changes we made in Bill C-69 exceed the amendments proposed in Bill C-225. As we know, the division of powers in Canada is defined by the Constitution Act, but we also know that the division presents some ambiguity.

There are many areas and many issues where interests cross jurisdictional lines. Two or even three levels of government have stakes in issues such as the environment, health, safety and employment. Our different levels of government need to work together to discuss problems, develop strategies, leverage resources and find solutions.

To reinforce the importance of collaboration, the Supreme Court of Canada encourages all levels of government to work co-operatively. In recent decisions, the Court has indicated that provincial and municipal legislation cannot impair core matters of federal jurisdiction over aeronautics or radio communication infrastructure.

In addition, where possible, it prefers to allow valid provincial laws to apply, if they are not in conflict. While these decisions quite clearly establish federal authority on matters such as aerodromes and cellphone towers, the federal government does not rely on court decisions to impose projects on Canadian communities. Instead, it chooses to use processes for consultation, and the consideration of environmental laws and land use, to ensure that local concerns are taken into consideration regarding activities and projects that fall under federal jurisdiction. A division of powers is essential to maintaining order and predictability in our society and ensures that we avoid the scenario of too many leaders in one situation, or a leadership void when no one wants to take responsibility in another. In Canada, all jurisdictions must work together on certain issues to promote and protect the interests of all Canadians. Even when we agree to work together, we must still respect jurisdictional boundaries.

I would like to provide the House with examples of three areas of federal jurisdiction in which a co-operative approach and consultations play an essential role. First, in January of 2017, following a regulatory consultation process, Transport Canada implemented a new regulation requiring proponents of certain aerodrome projects to consult with the municipalities, citizens or other concerned stakeholders before starting work, so that local concerns could be identified and mitigated. I add that many of these projects do not move forward if there are serious doubts expressed regarding the quality of the consultations carried out by their proponents, or if these projects are deemed not to be in the public interest.

Another example under the Canada Marine Act is that there currently exist provisions for the Governor in Council to make regulations situated on a port, whether a Canadian port authority or public port facility, or on use of the seaway and its property. These provisions include development, use and environmental protections that incorporate provincial legislation by reference.

My third and final example is the Canada Infrastructure Bank, which acts as a partner in delivering federal support to infrastructure projects in the public interest alongside co-investment by the private sector, institutional investors and sponsoring governments. Projects supported by the infrastructure bank must respect all applicable laws in their relevant jurisdictions, including any applicable environmental or labour laws. Project sponsors provide assurance to the bank and other investors that applicable laws in a province have been respected.

These three specific examples were chosen because these initiatives all require consultation and consideration of local issues related to land use and the environment. These would be taken away from the very acts the private member's bill seeks to amend. There are countless other examples, in the same act and elsewhere, that demonstrate the government's commitment to hearing the concerns of Canadians, and advancing the health, safety and economic well-being of our citizens and the stewardship of our natural resources, such as our forests and waters. These duties are the responsibility of all governments, whether municipal, federal or provincial. Our best successes occur when we come together, listen to one another and work together to support policy development, new programs and effective enforcement that serves all Canadians. We have every intention of continuing to listen to and work with other levels of government.

The federal government has worked effectively with provinces, territories and municipalities over many years in response to the requirements of the communities they serve and to the needs of the country as a whole. Like our provincial and municipal partners, we take that responsibility very seriously. The Liberal government will continue to prioritize co-operative federalism and consultation with its citizens. Bill C-225 would represent a major shift in federal-provincial dynamics in Canada and would undermine the co-operative federal relationship we worked so hard to establish.

It is for these reasons the government strongly opposes Bill C-225.

Aeronautics ActPrivate Members' Business

November 30th, 2020 / 11:30 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank the Bloc Québécois member. I am sure he worked hard to draft and introduce Bill C-225.

We should ask ourselves two very important things every time we look at a piece of legislation at this point in history. First, this is a time to come together as one nation. When we review legislation, we have to consider whether the legislation promotes the good of Canada. Second, and this is very important with the fall economic statement coming out later today, this is a time to build the economy.

Every time we review a piece of legislation in the House we should be asking if it brings Canada together and if it will further Canada's economy. This is not just because of the fall economic statement, but as we emerge from the pandemic and start to consider how we will do vaccine procurement and distribution, we have to think about these things.

I want to go over Bill C-225 briefly for those listening who may not be aware of what it proposes.

The bill would amend six federal acts. It would change legislation regarding land use and development and environmental protection. The Bloc is very motivated to put forward this legislation for two reasons. First, the Supreme Court sided with the federal government in numerous court cases where federal jurisdiction overrode provincial jurisdiction. The Bloc is looking for more provincial power. Second, several of these cases actually originated in the Province of Quebec. For these two reasons, Bloc members are very motivated to change this legislation.

In my observation, Conservatives are concerned because of potential jurisdictional disputes. We think that more cases would have to go before the courts. It is not good to tie up the courts because of discrepancies between two pieces of legislation or determining which one takes precedence in which situation.

As well, we are very concerned that some sections of the bill could be considered unconstitutional. It is surprising to me that the Bloc would put something forward that would be deemed unconstitutional, considering how hard the party fights for the principle of the two founding peoples of the nation and, in particular, the province of Quebec. However, I would say how good both my leader and my colleagues from Quebec have been regarding the modernization of the Official Languages Act. I had the pleasure of sitting on the official languages committee for a brief period of time. When it comes to the Constitution, I would expect the Bloc to consider it.

For those who are not aware, my leader was on Tout le monde en parle yesterday. If members did not have an opportunity to see him, I would suggest they watch it.

Going back to my main points, it is time to come together as a nation and build the economy.

There are concerns that the bill before us could have negative economic implications, as it may deter private investment and infrastructure projects because of additional red tape. Provinces could amend their legislation on land use and environmental protection to block federal projects. Also, and this is very relevant to me as a member of Parliament from Alberta, the bill could block federal economic development projects, such as the Trans Mountain pipeline or other infrastructure projects.

In a time when we are looking to come out of the pandemic united, we really need to think about legislation that will be nation-building. I would certainly count on my colleagues from Quebec to support infrastructure projects all across Canada, as I would, as a member of Parliament from Alberta, support any projects that are in the national interest of Canada. I think it is very important that we all take this into consideration as parliamentarians for Canada. We really have to think about the effects of legislation such as Bill C-69 and Bill C-48 and the way they so negatively impacted the natural resources sector here in Alberta.

People have to put themselves in other people's shoes. If legislation such as this bill were to come across that another province could potentially have the possibility to impact an infrastructure project that would be of benefit to Quebec, I do not think that they would like to see that any more than we do, as members of Parliament from Alberta who see the potential of this happening to us. More importantly, at this time, I think we really have to question what legislation like this would do.

This is the time to build this economy. This bill would create more insecurity around investment in Canada at this time. I will hand it to the Prime Minister and his cabinet, who have done a masterful job of driving away investment from Alberta, the Prairies and the entire energy sector to the detriment of Canada. We are all suffering as we come out of this pandemic with the trillion-dollar debt that we have in front of us; the hundreds of billions of dollars of deficit that we have. We really need to come together as a nation to think about how we are economically going to respond to this. The Prime Minister and his cabinet just do not seem to get that when one part of the nation benefits, the entire nation benefits. I would ask my Bloc colleague to consider this at this time as well.

With that, I ask Canadians to really listen to the fall economic statement today. I really hope we do not see what we saw in the Speech from the Throne, which was a complete disappointment with more poor ideas based upon ideology as opposed to real, solid ideas to build the economy going forward. That is what I am expecting more of today.

When Canadians are listening to the fall economic statement today, I want them to ask themselves three questions:

Number one, will this improve the economy? Listen to what they are saying. Will it improve the economy for Canada? Goodness knows, we need that coming out of this pandemic.

Number two, will this protect my job if I have a job? Is there anything in the fall economic statement to protect my job? I am in a place where I have seen so many people lose their jobs. There is another round of layoffs coming from a major employer, Imperial, this week here in Alberta. It is terrible to hear about. Again, I completely blame the Liberal government for this, for its investment-destroying legislation. I do believe this bill will add to that.

Number three, will this fall economic statement create more jobs?

Will this improve the economy? Will this protect my job? Will this create more jobs? Those are the three things that Canadians have to be asking themselves. At the end of the day, I believe that Canadians have to ask their parliamentarian and government if they are taking actions and passing legislation to support the country and economy or taking actions and passing legislation that is destroying the economy, which is essentially destroying Canada. That is what is happening bit by bit.

This is the time to come together as a nation. This is the time to build the economy. The Liberal government has not done this and Bill C-225 does not do this either.

Aeronautics ActPrivate Members' Business

November 30th, 2020 / 11:45 a.m.
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NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to have this opportunity to participate in the debate on a bill that we have already seen in virtually the same form, as the member for Jonquière noted. It is almost identical to the bill introduced by the member for Repentigny in the previous Parliament. I will come back to the “almost” part because there is something important hidden here.

I would stress that the NDP was among those who supported that bill. We certainly intend to continue doing so because we recognize that Quebec is a nation, which should have a direct and practical impact on the decision-making process. Moreover, we believe that this bill will support a better decision-making process and greater respect for local communities, regional perspectives and decisions that have already been made by democratic institutions and organizations, such as the provinces and municipalities too.

As we have seen in the past, when a project does not have social licence—the Liberals talked about this in 2015 but have never done anything about it—it causes tremendous tensions within certain regions and certain communities, which end up quite angry that they did not have a say on a tower being erected, the use of an airport, or the activities of a company in a fishing harbour or a commercial harbour, for example.

We want a process that is more harmonious and respectful of all the players in the regions and that is why we in the NDP fully support the spirit of the bill introduced today. We represent people at the federal level, but these very people are also citizens of the provinces and municipalities.

Today's bill would ensure that the federal government complies with provincial legislation and, accordingly, with municipal regulations. We think this co-operative approach between the different levels of government will bring about better decisions that will better serve people instead of steamrolling over them. We call that multilateral decision-making.

I think that this bill needs to be seen from the perspective of working together, of having a dialogue and listening. The parliamentary secretary to the government House leader was also talking about listening, dialogue and collaboration. However, he then said that the Liberals are completely against this bill. That is entirely contradictory of the Liberals.

The Conservatives also opposed a similar bill in the last Parliament. I am close to falling off my chair here because it appears that the Conservatives, who claim to champion respect for the provinces and autonomy, once again oppose this bill. I do not understand. The Leader of the Opposition will have to explain to Quebeckers why he refuses to take into account provincial legislation or decisions made by certain municipalities. It is too bad, because doing so would reduce a lot of the tension we have seen in the past in relation to certain decisions and projects.

There are still some things about the bill I want to explain, so I will talk quickly. Incorporating provincial laws into federal laws can be done through the technique of incorporation by reference. This has been used in the past, so it can be done. There is a real possibility that this bill could be used and applied, but how this incorporation will be interpreted is not yet clear. What will be the actual consequences? If this bill is studied in committee, as we hope it will be, those are the kinds of questions we in the NDP would want clarification on, as there are still some grey areas.

That said, the member for Jonquière is quite right to point out that this bill is almost identical to the previous bill introduced by his colleague from Repentigny.

I am shocked by that because it goes completely against the Bloc Québécois's claims that they are champions of the environment, as the member for Jonquière said in his speech a few minutes ago.

The previous bill, which was introduced by the member for Repentigny, made very clear reference to the National Energy Board Act. That law was amended and is now called the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, but there is no mention of it in Bill C-225, which was introduced by the member for Jonquière. Why, all of a sudden, does the Bloc Québécois no longer seem to want provincial laws or municipal decisions to apply to oil and gas pipelines?

People in British Columbia and Quebec are very concerned about various projects. I am thinking of Trans Mountain, Energy East and GNL Québec's gas pipeline project in Saguenay.

I would like to know whether the member for Jonquière simply forgot about GNL Québec's project. I, too, will be very generous. Either the Bloc members did not copy and paste properly and dropped the ball, or they left that part out on purpose because it is in their interest to not say too much about GNL Québec's gas pipeline project. Is this a way for the Bloc Québécois to dismiss this issue and continue to quietly support a gas pipeline project like GNL Québec's while giving the company a little wink and a nod?

The NDP is extremely concerned about this. We do not think that this was an oversight. We believe that this might have been intentional for various reasons and that is worrisome because GNL Québec's gas pipeline project will produce massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and methane, which is 83 or 84 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. That is extremely problematic.

Over the past five to 10 years, we have seen that there is a consensus against shale gas production in Quebec. When development projects were proposed in Quebec, there was a public outcry against them.

In short, this bill proposes greater citizen engagement in granting projects social licence, except for anything to do with oil and gas pipelines. The NDP finds that a little troubling, because we feel that the Bloc Québécois is talking out of both sides of its mouth and is double-dealing.

Shale gas extraction in the west or northern Ontario contributes to our production of carbon and our collective carbon footprint, and this runs counter to our Paris Agreement targets.

If the bill goes to committee, I hope we will be able to make this amendment and go back to the bill introduced by the member for Repentigny, which included all regulations concerning pipelines. These regulations have now suddenly disappeared. I also hope that the Bloc Québécois will admit that the GNL Québec project is a bad project. It is smoke and mirrors. It would increase our carbon footprint and also create a tremendous amount of marine traffic in the Saguenay River Fjord, a habitat of the belugas, which is currently an endangered species. This will have very important repercussions for their ability to continue to survive in this environment.

I think we need structuring projects that create jobs, but in light of the crisis we have been facing for many years, we must ensure that everything is done through a climate accountability lens. Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise in spite of the pandemic. This was reported in Le Devoir this week or recently.

The right thing to do is to make job-creating investments, but in renewable energy projects. I think there is huge potential there, in Quebec, or in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, especially with respect to forestry waste. Biomass can have many uses, and these are some very exciting projects.

We find this very exciting and we will support Bill C-225 at second reading. However, we have a lot of questions about the disappearance of the pipeline provision.

Aeronautics ActPrivate Members' Business

November 30th, 2020 / 11:55 a.m.
See context

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie should not worry. The Bloc Québécois is still against the pipelines that are being shoved down our throats. We were unable to do so in January, so we are waiting for committee stage to insert that missing part back into Bill C-225.

This bill is close to my heart, and I thank the member for Jonquière for introducing it.

The Bloc Québécois has introduced this bill, which is at the heart of our political commitments here, because we believe it is imperative that Quebeckers feel at home on the land that is historically and constitutionally ours. Sovereignty certainly does factor into our objective as a nation, as a people, but it also refers to a power that trumps all others.

When federal laws contradict Quebec's legislative provisions and run counter to our collective interests, to the detriment of the population and the environment we need to protect, we have the duty to act. Quebec belongs to its citizens. Land occupancy, use, development and protection are essentially governed by Quebec and municipal laws and regulations. No one can argue that, and it applies to both Quebec and the other provinces. We, the elected members of the Bloc Québécois, represent Quebecers’ interests, and that is why we are debating Bill C-225 today.

The current legal structure gives the federal government precedence over the legal and regulatory framework of Quebec and its municipalities. This precedence is unjustified, and it undermines the legal powers and responsibilities of the Quebec government, which is working tirelessly to support land development and environmental issues. There is a great deal of infrastructure and many activities under federal jurisdiction. As my colleague said, those include wharves, ports, airports, telecommunications, federal properties and railways. The Department of Transport is anything but a model in this respect. They would be unable to deal with any of these sectors without the help of the Quebec government.

Our body of laws and regulations is being undermined in these sectors, and our people truly understand why Bill C-225 is so important. What it addresses has an impact on their quality of life, their physical environment and their perception of what it means to live together in a democratic space such as ours, and that is what is so sorely lacking. Companies under federal jurisdiction encounter few obstacles. In the last Parliament, I took a good look at the projects that people were unhappy with, and the situation is no better now. By maintaining its provisions, the federal legislator is showing its contempt for the people of Quebec and their laws, through which they want to have a say on what happens in Quebec.

Although the Quebec Act Respecting the Preservation of Agricultural Land and Agricultural Activities, the Union des producteurs agricoles and the municipalities were against the construction of aerodromes, the Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that such projects could go ahead. We could also talk about the construction of telecommunications towers in some municipalities. No one can make me believe that mayors and other elected officials did not contact several members of the House to tell them that building a telecommunications tower in such a location was ridiculous and to ask them to intervene. I am certain that almost everyone here got a call like that.

There are also projects, including the one in the Port of Quebec, that pollute and have a measurable negative impact on air quality. That impact is being felt by the population of Limoilou. These projects can go ahead. In every case, a superior or supreme court rules in favour of federal legislation. In the case of IMTT-Québec, the company in the Port of Quebec, the Superior Court ruled that Quebec's environmental protection act did not apply. When a company runs afoul of Quebec law, it does not worry too much about the fine because the courts are there to protect it. In every case, the rulings are handed down in federal courts by judges appointed by the federal government.

Given everything surrounding the appointment of federal judges, I will simply say that it is not enough to render a decision under the law. There must be the appearance of justice.

With respect to the provisions addressed in Bill C-225, it is clear that the shared jurisdiction over environment and land development is never even considered by federal courts.

The Quebec government has fought a number of battles over the years, because every citizens group that tried to mobilize was stonewalled by the federal government. We need to put a stop to companies under federal jurisdiction being allowed to do whatever they want without complying with Quebec's laws and regulations. Land development is an arduous task. It does not always turn out perfectly, but the people who devote their time to it do so within a framework that takes our population and our laws into account. Quebec has all the necessary mechanisms to oversee, guide and evaluate every aspect of a given project.

However, when these mechanisms are treated with contempt, when municipal bylaws, for example, become ineffective and legislation is called into question, people can become cynical, disinterested and even angry. Yes, people get angry. Fortunately, this anger is often channelled into mobilization, where protest becomes a force for change. In different regions of Canada, especially in Quebec, people have protested against many projects that threatened and are still threatening their land and their environment.

We are close enough to the people to know what affects them the most, and the laws are miles away from what the people want. The federal government needs to review the imposed hierarchy so that activities under its jurisdiction take into account what Quebeckers want and need. Quebeckers certainly do not need to see Ottawa's imperialist policy giving carte blanche to projects that break our laws and regulations.

On this subject, as spokesperson for the environment, I must point out that the Quebec government believes that its environmental and land development laws must apply at all times. Quebec's National Assembly has unanimously called for this many times. In Quebec, this issue is not only a political one. Municipalities, environmental groups, unions, the Union des producteurs agricoles and many more want the same thing: projects that obey the laws at every level. This will strengthen our democracy, and certainly better protect the environment.

This is 2020. The climate emergency motion was voted on in the last Parliament. The motion was tabled by the Liberal government. I think we need to review the order of priorities. We spoke earlier of 1867 and 1982. I will say it again: This is the 21st century and the climate emergency requires that we change our focus.

Land management and development and environmental protection must become the factors on which decisions to authorize projects under federal jurisdiction are based. I have often said that environmental protection is a cross-cutting issue. It affects all sectors.

The government with the most stringent legislation should have precedence. This should satisfy the parliamentary secretary, who was saying that federal laws would no longer hold. Effectively, the toughest law would prevail. In this case, Quebec's environmental protection laws are stricter than those of the federal government. In fact, federal laws are too permissive. Restrictive legislation can protect the common good.

Instead of strengthening its legislation, the federal government is catering to the private sector, and these companies can do whatever they want. There is no community building, and corporate individualism is encouraged.

We want to protect our people, our land, our living environments, our industrial, social and cultural fabric, and our environment. Members from Quebec, regardless of their affiliation, will see that there is a consensus on Bill C-225.

Aeronautics ActRoutine Proceedings

February 25th, 2020 / 10:20 a.m.
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Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-225, An Act to amend the Aeronautics Act, the Fishing and Recreational Harbours Act and other Acts (application of provincial law).

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to introduce my first bill in the House. I am particularly excited about this bill because it builds on what motivates my commitment to politics, namely, the self-government of my nation. I am therefore honoured to introduce my bill on land use and development and environmental protection. Under this legislation, a number of existing laws would be subject to Quebec's laws going forward.

Let us keep in mind that the protection of Quebec's territory essentially falls under the laws and regulations of Quebec and its municipalities. While Quebec cannot force the federal government to obey its laws, the federal Parliament can set strict parameters on the Government of Quebec in the enforcement of its own legislation. We have the ability to regulate matters pertaining to the environment and the development of our territory. It is inconceivable to me that Quebec should have to defer to the federal government on these matters, because what happens within our borders should be decided by us.

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