An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (capture and utilization or storage of greenhouse gases)

Sponsor

Greg McLean  Conservative

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

Status

Defeated, as of June 9, 2021

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-262.

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 capture and utilization or storage of certain greenhouse gases.

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

June 9, 2021 Failed 2nd reading of Bill C-262, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (capture and utilization or storage of greenhouse gases)

Extension of Sitting Hours in JuneGovernment Orders

June 10th, 2021 / 3:15 p.m.
See context

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, before I get directly involved in the debate on Government Business Motion No. 8, I just want to take a minute to offer my sincere and personal congratulations to three first nations on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island for having come together to directly take ownership of their traditional territories when it comes to managing the resources. This has been a long journey in my riding, and there have certainly been some high emotions present on the subject of old-growth forestry. It is nice to see the first nations come together and really take ownership of this issue. I just want to offer my congratulations to them for taking this important step on this journey.

I will now turn my attention to the business at hand. As my colleagues in the House know, we are here today debating Government Business Motion No. 8. This motion comes before us under the authority granted under Standing Order 27(1).

The main government motion aims to make sure that the House can extend its sitting hours. The government side would like to see us continue to sit on Mondays and Wednesdays until midnight and have the Friday sitting extended until 4:30 in the afternoon. I believe my Conservative colleagues want to see the motion changed so that on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays we would only sit until 8:30 p.m.

I cannot continue to speak about Government Business Motion No. 8 without talking a little about the circumstances in which we find ourselves, which gives me sympathy for Shakespeare’s character Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet when he cried, “A plague o' both your houses!” However, in this case, I think we can substitute the Capulets and the Montagues for the Conservatives and the Liberals. Both of these parties are demonstrating no room for co-operation and no finding of a middle ground in order to move forward important pieces of legislation, which I think many Canadians would like to see us pass.

I will start with my Conservative friends, and because of what happened yesterday and what has already happened this morning in the House, we are not actually going to see a vote on the motion before us until Monday, and so we have lost a lot of very valuable time.

Yesterday, the Conservatives were successful at prolonging the Routine Proceedings of the House by forcing a vote to move to Orders of the Day, which, of course, we as a House rejected, and that then finally allowed the government to actually introduce the motion that is before us. However, this morning, they moved a motion to adjourn the House, then there was a debate on a random committee report, which was then followed by an extended debate on a question of privilege. These parliamentary shenanigans, members can see, are very naked attempts to try to delay, and quite successfully, a vote on the motion before us.

I have been a member of the House since 2015, and experienced members should know that this is a time of year when we usually find the time to come together and usually agree in some straightforward fashion that the House does need some extended sitting hours so that we, as members of Parliament, have the time to represent our constituents and to give voice to important polices and pieces of legislation that concern them. I will never not be in favour of allowing my colleagues to have extra time to do work, which is why I took strong umbrage against the motion to adjourn the House today. It is a Thursday, and unlike a Friday, it is a full sitting day. I think our voters would be shocked to see one party wanting to so blatantly quit the business of the House while there is so much important work to do.

I will leave aside the Conservatives and now turn my eye to the Liberals, because I think it is the height of irony and hypocrisy for the Liberals to stand before us and talk about the dysfunction of the House. When we look at what has been happening in several of the most prominent committees, the Liberals have actively filibustered to prevent those committees from arriving at a point where members can collectively make a decision on a motion that is before them.

I am very lucky to sit on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. I invite my colleagues to substitute on that committee to see what a well-run committee of the House is able to do. We have differing opinion on the agriculture committee, but the one thing that unites us all is the fact that every single one of our parties represents ridings with farmers and has strong agricultural basis. We usually find a way to work together by consensus to arrive at decisions in a respectful way. It does not mean to say that we do not have our debates and our points of disagreement, but it is probably the most ideal demonstration of how committees can work.

The actions of the Liberals at various committee by filibustering are adding to the situation in which we find ourselves. I would have preferred for us to have arrived at a place where we could get a vote on Government Business No. 8, but unfortunately we will have to delay that until Monday because of the special orders we are operating under in this current hybrid system.

Standing Order 27, I believe, dates back to 1982, but even predating that year, it does reflect a long-standing practice that has existed since Confederation for Parliament, and I am sure in the provincial legislatures, to seek the time necessary to advance important legislative agendas.

When we look at why we are where we are today, we also have to identify the fact that the government needs to bear a lot of responsibility for the mismanagement of its own legislative agenda. It has left a lot of very important bills in limbo. We are not very sure if the Liberals will have the runway left for them to arrive at the Governor General's doorstep for the all-important royal assent.

We seem to be operating right now under this sort of manufactured emergency. I use that term because if my colleagues look at the parliamentary calendar, we as a House are scheduled to return on Monday, September 20. Therefore, there really is no reason for this panicked rush to try to get these bills passed or sent to the Senate. We should, under normal circumstances, be planning to have a pleasant summer in our constituencies where we get to engage with our constituents and, hopefully, as the lockdowns lift, attend limited participation in community events. Then as the summer draws to an end, we should look forward to our return to Ottawa, to the House of Commons, on September 20, when we can resume this important business.

The reason we are operating under these circumstances right now, which is quite clear to anyone who has the slightest sense of political know-how and what is quite apparent to many skilled observers, is that the Liberals are very much putting everything into place to call an election. There is no matter of confidence coming up except, of course, the votes on the estimates. There is no motion before the House, no budget, except for Bill C-30, which I believe will pass because we do not want to have an election during this third wave, from which we are recovering. The only plausible reason we would be entering into an election is because the Prime Minister will take it upon himself to visit the Governor General unilaterally and recommend the dissolution of Parliament, as the Liberals seek a new mandate. All signs are pointing toward this.

We should have the time when we return on September 20 to effectively deal with a lot of this. We scheduled a take-note debate next week to give MPs who are not running again the opportunity to give their farewell speeches. The Liberal Party has implemented an emergency order so it can hand-pick preferred candidates instead of letting local riding associations democratically go through the process of selecting their own people. The signs are all there.

When I look at the House schedule for March and April, and the government's completely scattergun approach to how Government Orders were being scheduled at the time, there was really no rhyme, reason or logical pattern to the government bills that came before the House. The Liberals are paying the price for that right now. At the time, they should have identified maybe two or three key priority pieces of legislation and put all their efforts into seeing those across the finish line. Instead, they wasted a lot of time on bills that really were not going anywhere. This is why we see this rush right now.

The Liberals have to realize that this is a minority Parliament. Yes, they are the government, but they were elected to that position with only 33% of the vote in the 2019 election. By virtue of the quirks of our first past the post system, even though the Conservatives got more Canadians to vote for them, the Liberals still ended up with more seats. Therefore, they have to realize that if we are in fact going to have government legislation passed, they have to do so with the consent of another opposition party, and that is a good thing. As an opposition member who sat across the benches from a Liberal majority government, it is good policy and gets more Canadians involved when we have more voices at the table and we try to reach that kind of consensus.

I am proud of how the parties have worked during the worst of the pandemic. If we look back at the history of how we were able to work together in the 2020, I am really proud of the accomplishments that New Democrats were able to provide for Canadians. The major amendments we made to pandemic response programs, such as the Canada emergency response benefit, increasing the Canadian emergency wage subsidy from the initial 10% to 75%, getting those improvements to programs for students and persons with disabilities, putting pressure on the government to fix the much-maligned commercial rental assistance program and ensuring that it was turned into a subsidy that went directly to the tenants instead of having this complex process that involved landlords, are good accomplishments and really demonstrate how minority parliaments are able to work. Again, we are not scheduled to have an election until the year 2023, so theoretically we could have two more years of this, where more voices are at the table for important legislation.

I would like to turn my attention to some of those important bills that will be well served by the extra time we get as a Parliament to debate. I am very proud of the fact that Bill C-15 has made its way to the other place. I want to take the time to recognize Romeo Saganash who brought in Bill C-262, which served as the precursor to Bill C-15. I am glad to see that important legislation seems to be on its way to becoming one of the statutes of Canada and that we will finally have in place an important legislative framework to ensure that federal laws are brought into harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

However, there are two bills in particular that have not yet crossed the House of Commons' finish line, and those are Bill C-6 and Bill C-12.

I had the opportunity to speak to Bill C-6 earlier this week. It is incredibly important legislation. It is a very important use of federal criminal law power. It is high time the House of Commons, indeed the wider Parliament of Canada, made this very significant and important amendment to the Criminal Code to ban this practice. It has been rightly criticized by many professional organizations around the world and we know it has done incredible harm to people who have been forced through it.

It is sad to see members of the Conservative Party trying to hold up this legislation. They are clinging to the belief that the definition of conversion therapy in that bill is not specific enough. Those arguments have been discounted. They have been refuted effectively through debate in the House. I look forward to us having the required number of hours to get Bill C-6 passed so we can get it on its way to the Senate. It is incredibly important for us to get the bill passed into law.

The other bill that we hope will be affected in a positive way by the passage of government Motion No. 8 is Bill C-12. I would agree with some people that Bill C-12 still leaves a lot to be desired, but the important thing to remember is that this is a Liberal government bill and improvements have been made. The amendments made at committee have made it a stronger bill from what was initially on offer at the second reading stage. We need to see that bill brought back to the House. We need to see it passed at third reading and passed on to the Senate.

We are in a critical decade for properly addressing climate change and we need to have those legislative targets put in place. I think of all the years that we have lost since Jack Layton first attempted to pass a bill to put in place those legislative targets. I think about the damage that has been done by climate change since then, about how much further Canada would be ahead if we had taken the steps necessary all those years ago.

We see Bill C-12 as an absolute priority and we want to see it positively impacted by the extension of sitting hours. I want to take the time to acknowledge the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley and the member for Victoria for their incredible work on the bill, helping to shepherd its way through the committee process and for their sustained engagement with the Minister of Environment in laying out our priorities. I want to take the time to acknowledge that.

With Bill C-6, I would be remiss if I did not mention my hon. colleague and neighbour, the member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, for his incredible advocacy on this issue over the years. He has done yeoman's work on the bill during debate, standing and refuting some of the Conservative arguments against it. He deserves special recognition in attaching importance to that bill and in trying to get it through to the finish line.

I want to reiterate that I was elected to come to this place to work. We all knew when we signed up to be members of Parliament, when we were privileged enough to be elected, that this job would sometimes require us to sit extended hours, to work those long hours, to do the work on behalf of our constituents. We certainly have a lot of stuff pulling at our attention these days. It is a careful balancing act between our critic role, our constituency work and what goes on in the House. However, we all know that this is the time of year when we have to roll up our sleeves, get to work, find a way forward to identify the pieces of legislation that are important to us all and work together to get it done.

I appreciate this opportunity to weigh in on Government Business No. 8. I look forward to us having those extended hours next week so we can attach the priority to those bills I spoke about.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

June 9th, 2021 / 3:10 p.m.
See context

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

It being 3:14 p.m., pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-262 under Private Members' Business.

Call in the members.

The House resumed from June 3 consideration of the motion that Bill C-262, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (capture and utilization or storage of greenhouse gases), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

June 3rd, 2021 / 6:25 p.m.
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Bloc

Kristina Michaud Bloc Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Madam Speaker, I will not beat around the bush. The Bloc Québécois will be voting against Bill C-262. My colleague from Jonquière said as much before me.

We will vote against the bill for one very simple reason. We refuse to provide this type of subsidy for fossil fuels and non-renewable energy. That is what Bill C-262 is about. It is a new subsidy for fossil fuels disguised as a tax credit. Let us be clear. Some subsidies can be effective for fighting climate change. However, tax breaks for carbon capture and storage, which is what Bill C-262 provides, are not effective.

In this case, the captured carbon is actually being used to continue extracting oil and extend the lifespan of aging reservoirs. In addition to being ineffective in terms of protecting the environment, the proposed measure is unfair to taxpayers. Quebeckers' money should not be going to fill the coffers of Canadian oil companies. To encourage businesses to capture and store carbon, we must increase the price per tonne of carbon. It is no secret that there should be a financial cost to polluting for oil companies. Why else would they stop polluting?

If we increase the price per tonne of carbon, that upholds the polluter pays principle. That is the key to an effective environmental policy, but when it comes to the environment, Canada is behaving badly. It is on track to miss its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, and it is failing to reduce its fossil fuel subsidies.

Economic recovery and support for jobs must not come at the expense of climate action. It is high time we invested in a real transition focused on our renewable resources, our knowledge and our regions. That is what an independent Quebec would do, and Canada would be well advised to do the same. Let me get back to Bill C-262.

It is quite clear that the purpose of this bill is to weaken the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. It is no secret that the Conservatives oppose the carbon tax, even if they now claim the opposite.

The numbers speak volumes. The effects of climate change will cost Canada dearly. According to a new report released yesterday that was spearheaded by 20 or so researchers and funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada, in addition to multiple environmental threats, climate disruption will also have a major impact on Canadians' health, and that will result in huge costs to society.

In fact, the scientists estimate that the costs of death and lost quality of life will be $86 billion per year by 2050 and $250 billion per year by 2100. That is enormous. They also warn of the effects of the increasingly frequent and severe heat waves happening across the country. The report shows that this widespread increase in temperature will have “a large negative impact on productivity”. The researchers calculate that it could cause the loss of 128 million work hours annually by end of century, which is the equivalent of 62,000 full-time jobs, at a cost of almost $15 billion. Those are frightening numbers.

The climate crisis is not a myth. We must fight it and stop presenting bills like Bill C-262 that only serve to delay debate on tangible, effective solutions for reducing greenhouse gases. The worst part of all this is that we are lagging far behind.

Already, in 2019, a report produced by Environment and Climate Change Canada concluded that Canada's climate was warming twice as fast as the global average and that over the next 10 years, the whole country would be severely affected as the consequences of warming continued to intensify. It is clear that we have not a moment to lose.

The problem with moving forward with carbon capture and storage technologies as proposed in Bill C-262 is that they distract from the need to reduce sources of emissions and divert attention from the actions required to do so quickly and effectively.

The tax credit proposed in Bill C-262 is actually inconsistent with the logic of carbon pricing and the carbon tax. Setting a price on pollution will never be an incentive if the public absorbs the cost of managing emissions. The price on pollution must lead to changes in behaviour and to commitments to start working on an energy transition. Bill C-262 undermines that goal.

With Bill C-262, the Conservatives are once again proposing a solution that socializes the environmental costs of economic activity while retaining the profits and benefits in the private sector, namely the oil companies. What is appalling, not to say completely ridiculous, is that the Conservatives are trying to sell this as an ecological solution to fight climate change when they do not even recognize its existence. If they believed in it, they would bring forward credible, science-based solutions, not bills that seek to destroy the only serious, concrete tool Canada has implemented to reduce its emissions, namely carbon pricing.

Earlier I said that the economic recovery and support for employment must not happen at the expense of the climate, and I want to come back to that because it is a crucial point.

The Bloc Québécois believes that it is quite legitimate for the government to make public expenditures, including tax expenditures, to support employment and the economy. This obviously includes the energy sector, but is not limited to the western oil and gas industries. If Quebec already relies on the production of renewable energy for almost 99% of its needs, Canada also has potential renewable energy and can choose to end its dependency on fossil fuels.

If the government believes that the recovery is an opportunity to accelerate the energy transition, as the Bloc Québécois and Quebec do, federal investments must be made in sectors of the future. Oil is not one of them. Oil is not a renewable energy despite what certain members believe.

In the first months of the pandemic, the Bloc Québécois brainstormed about the type of economy we want for Quebec and how to launch a recovery that serves the transition to a green economy. After extensive consultation throughout Quebec, the Bloc Québécois presented a green recovery plan that includes transferring adequate financial resources to Quebec to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and at the same time prepare for an ambitious green recovery with a focus on the regions.

We are not fooled when a bill like Bill C-262 is introduced in the House. It pretends to be green, but in fact it serves those who oppose the fight against climate change and want to perpetuate Canada's dependence on fossil fuels. We are not fooled when the Liberal government promotes a green image in public, but in fact funds outdated energies to the tune of billions of dollars. I am thinking about Alberta oil. I am thinking about the Trans Mountain pipeline. I am thinking about the transfers to support the offshore oil industry in Newfoundland. These are all examples that clearly illustrate the inconsistency between the Liberals' environmentalist claims and their support for the fossil fuel industry.

The Bloc Québécois will do everything in its power to prevent even more of Quebeckers' money being spent at the expense of the planet, which is what is currently happening. Despite the Prime Minister's rhetoric about climate change and a green recovery, federal subsidies for fossil fuels reached $1.91 billion in 2020. That is an increase of 200% compared to 2019.

The other parties may like to apply a green sheen to their policies, but our support for public-funded environmental measures is based on the intrinsic value of each of those measures. Our challenge for the recovery, in addition to proposing bills that build on the strengths of Quebec and its regions, is to remain vigilant and to oppose false green economy solutions. As for the fossil fuel subsidies, we will oppose them vigorously, every time. We will storm the barricades every time the government tries to use the pandemic to justify them.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

June 3rd, 2021 / 6:15 p.m.
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Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to take part in the debate on a private member's bill, Bill C-262. I would like to make to clear from the outset that our government fully recognizes the importance of deepening and accelerating the actions needed to fight climate change.

In this regard, we appreciate the intent of the proposed legislation that is the subject of our debate today. By capturing carbon dioxide emissions from large industrial facilities before they are released into the atmosphere, carbon capture, use and storage technologies will play an important role in helping Canada exceed its 2030 Paris Agreement emissions reductions target. They have the potential to significantly reduce emissions from heavy industrial processes where other emission-reducing alternatives may be limited.

That is why, as part of the strengthened climate plan we announced in December, our government is proposing to develop a comprehensive CCUS strategy and explore other opportunities to help keep Canada globally competitive in this growing industry. It is important that we do so in a way that is fair for all Canadians, takes into account the views of stakeholders and is effective in achieving its objectives. It is here, in this regard, that Bill C-262 falls short. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. I would like to take a moment to consider some of the troublesome details apparent in this bill.

The tax credit proposed in Bill C-262 would be equal to the amount of captured carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide emissions in tonnes, multiplied by the price of the excess emissions charged for a carbon dioxide equivalent under Canada's output-based pricing system. As we know, the OBPS is part of Canada's carbon pricing framework that applies to industrial emitters, with charges set at $40 per CO2 equivalent tonne in 2021 and $50 per CO2 equivalent tonne in 2022.

Unlike the carbon capture tax credits in the United States, Bill C-262 would not impose time limits on the availability of the tax credit. What does this mean? It means that, because the value of the proposed tax credit is linked to excessive emission targets, its value could increase significantly if the OBPS excess emissions charge under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act were to increase as anticipated under our proposed plan to strengthen Canada's carbon pricing framework beyond 2022.

If the excess emissions charge were to increase by $15 annually from $50 per tonne in 2022 to $170 per tonne in 2030, this would lead to a situation where the government is very heavily subsidizing, or even more than fully subsidizing, certain projects that employ CCUS. This is the point at which incentives, if not properly designed, can become perverse and encourage an unproductive gaming of the system by businesses at the taxpayers' expense.

The bill also appears to be open to accommodating the international trade of physical CO2, as it refers not only to Canadian federal and provincial laws in this respect, but also to U.S. laws. This suggests the measure would allow for the import into Canada of physical CO2 for storage or use in Canada without requiring the capture of that CO2 to have been in Canada. This would clearly undermine the credit's ability to meet our government's objective of reducing Canadian emissions.

Bill C-262 also proposes that multiple types of use would be eligible for the tax credit, including storage through conversion, and use for any other purpose for which a commercial market exists. It is not clear how the use of CO2 for any proposed commercial purpose would reduce Canadian emissions. In fact, some commercial uses could result in CO2 being reintroduced into the atmosphere. What is more, the bill's definitions of “utilization” and “qualifying corporation” suggest the credit would be accessible to all existing and operating facilities, and not just those that are developing and expanding their CCUS capacities.

By providing a windfall for existing operations, which may have already received significant federal and provincial support, the bill does not fully leverage our capacity to encourage the adoption of these technologies to meet our CO2 reduction goals.

As I said, while the bill is commemorable in its objectives, it is severely flawed in its execution. It is in this regard that our government can offer a better way forward. Canada's strengthened climate plan, a healthy environment and healthy economy, proposes measures to cut energy waste, provide clean and affordable transportation to power, build Canada's clean industrial advantage and support nature-based climate solutions.

It also proposes to put a price on pollution through to 2030. The plan is supported by an initial $15-billion investment, which will create jobs, grow the middle class and support workers in a stronger and cleaner economy. This is in addition to the Canada Infrastructure Bank's $6 billion for clean infrastructure that was announced in the fall.

Under our plan, CCUS projects would benefit from credits that are generated under carbon pricing regimes and the clean fuel standard if projects reduce the carbon intensity for fuel suppliers. The plan also provides direct support that may be available for CCUS investments through the new net-zero accelerator, which will provide $3 billion over five years via the strategic innovation fund. The fund is expected to face high demand as it aims to rapidly expedite decarbonization projects with large emitters, scale up clean technology, and accelerate Canada's industrial transformation across all sectors.

Certain projects could also be complemented by funding under the $1.5 billion low-carbon and zero emissions fuels fund to increase the production in use of low-carbon fuels. As well investments by Sustainable Development Technology Canada will support advancement of pre-commercial clean technologies.

In conclusion, it is important that governments continue to work with stakeholders to determine the best approach to leveraging CCUS technology in Canada. It is also important that these efforts are advanced through the budget process, which enables the government to fully consider trade-offs, balance priorities and undertake new fiscal commitments only to the extent that they are effective, fair and affordable, and when no better alternative is identified.

As I have made clear today, it is precisely in these regards that Bill C-262 falls short. That is why the government cannot support it.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

June 3rd, 2021 / 6:05 p.m.
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Conservative

Robert Gordon Kitchen Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Madam Speaker, it is always an honour to rise on behalf of the constituents of Souris—Moose Mountain.

I am happy to speak today on Bill C-262, and I would like to thank my colleague, the member for Calgary Centre, for introducing it.

Carbon capture, utilization and storage, or CCUS, is something that I personally have been championing since I was first elected as an MP in 2015. To me, it is a clear way forward when it comes to protecting the environment while also ensuring that we are supporting Canada's economy.

My home town of Estevan in Saskatchewan is home to SaskPower's Boundary Dam, a CCUS facility. It is the world's first CCUS facility to be fully integrated with the coal-fired power plant. The development and implementation of CCUS on Unit #3 of Boundary Dam established Canada as a world leader in this emissions-reducing technology, and this bill would go a long way to expand CCUS into other regions and industries in this country.

I have been fortunate to tour the Boundary Dam facility a number of times throughout my time as an MP, and I am always thoroughly impressed by their hard work. Since the CCUS facility went online in October 2014, over four million tonnes of CO2 have been captured and sequestered, which is the equivalent of one million cars being taken off the road. Also, there is storage space for over 400 billion tonnes in the Alberta and Williston basins. Thanks to this incredible technology, these emissions have been captured and put to use in other industries, such as oil and gas with enhanced oil recovery.

Furthermore, the fly ash that is created as a by-product of the process is captured and sold as a necessary component for things like cement production. Modern's concrete contains about 25% fly ash, a cementitious content, reducing its emissions. We know that this technology is a proven solution to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

The International Energy Agency has listed CCUS as the third most important measure needed for the world to meet its Paris agreement targets. Therefore, the assertion that this is one of the best ways to reduce emissions going forward is valid and has been extensively researched. However, the issue that Canada faces now is a lack of incentive for private investment, but Bill C-262 aims to address this matter through the development of a tax credit.

As I stated earlier, Canada has always been seen as a world leader in the development and implementation of CCUS. However, that has started to shift over recent years. Our American neighbours to the south have a measure called the “45Q”, which allows the sharing of tax credits associated with the cost required for the successful capture, utilization and storage of CO2 emissions. This tax credit has been widely successful in the U.S. to the point that it has driven private investment away from Canada due to the lack of competitive policies on our end. This is unacceptable, especially considering the need to revitalize Canada's economy in every way we can following the COVID-19 pandemic. I am very pleased that my colleague has introduced the bill in an attempt to level the playing field and rectify this situation.

In its policy paper of July 2020, the Energy Future Forum stated the following with respect to Canada's involved in CCUS. It said:

It is critical that Canada maintain and advance its leadership position in carbon capture. It must be understood as part of a broader strategy to sustain our comparative advantage as a leading energy-exporting nation and reliable, responsible resource developer. Our commitment to the ongoing reduction of emissions and the attainment of the highest levels of the environment, social and governance standards and performance, must be evidenced in our industry activities. This carbon capture policy initiative points to a serious opportunity for government and industry collaboration.

I emphasize that the bill and the discussion surrounding it are a necessary and long overdue first step towards wider-scale use of CCUS technology across multiple industries. Again, it is a first step, and while much more will need to be done to fully integrate CCUS into the fabric of Canada's emissions reduction policies, we need to start somewhere.

Unlike the Liberals who just continue to introduce ineffective measures like their carbon tax, we Conservatives understand that Canada can, once again, become a world leader in CCUS so long as we can provide the proper incentives for investment.

I would like to summarize the recommendations that were made by the Energy Future Forum in its policy paper, which I mentioned earlier.

One, the federal government and provincial governments should clearly signal that CCUS is integral in Canada's climate change policy framework.

Two, the federal tax policies should meet or exceed the U.S. measures such as the aforementioned 45Q tax credit in order to attract private investment to Canada.

Three, that the federal and provincial governments work together to establish stackable tax credits with respect to CCUS.

Four, that the Canada Infrastructure Bank standards reward carbon reduction strategies in the allocation of capital.

Five, that all levels of government work together to implement a strong regulatory framework.

Six, that we create financing vehicles such as a green transition bond, public-private partnerships and equity investments by federal and provincial governments in the Canada Infrastructure Bank to help attract private investment into the CCS sector.

These recommendations provide a solid basis for encouraging and increasing private sector investment into CCS technology in Canada, and it is clear now is the time to act.

The Liberals have failed to show any meaningful leadership on this issue, despite industry stakeholders calling for it. To put it bluntly, they talk the talk, but they do not walk the walk. We see this when major companies continue to choose to do business in the U.S. rather than in Canada.

We know the landscape of Canadian and energy production and emissions reduction is always changing, and this is something I see in my riding day in and day out. As the world moves away from coal-fired power, we need to ensure there are viable options for those whose industries and jobs will be transitioning as well. This includes power plant workers, miners, geologists and many more. Unfortunately, they have received little or no help from the government, despite Liberals' promises to the contrary.

The Canada coal transition initiative committed to help with the transition through measures such as pension bridging, but we have yet to see any such program be implemented. This leaves many Canadians uncertain about their futures, something that could be at least partially offset by encouraging investment into CCUS technology.

The construction of a CCUS facility alone has the potential to create hundreds of jobs, with many continuing on a more permanent basis for the management and maintenance of such facilities. Not only is this creating good, high-paying, private industry jobs for those directly employed in CCUS, it also bolsters the local economies where these facilities are located.

We also know, thanks to “The Shand CCS Feasibility Study”, conducted by the International CCS Knowledge Centre, that CCUS is becoming more affordable. Implementing CCUS technology on the Shand Power Station in my riding, in comparison to the cost of the Boundary Dam facility, could be done at 67% less per tonne of CO2 capture, a significant reduction thanks to the lessons learned from the building and operation of CCUS unit 3.

The cost of capture of CO2 would be $45 U.S. per tonne, which is far less than the $170 per tonne the Liberals are implementing, regardless of the exchange rates. As mentioned, cement factories are some of the heaviest emitters worldwide. The CCUS byproduct of fly ash could reduce their emissions up to 25%.

CCUS can also be used to reduce emissions in steel production, another major Canadian resource. It is a simple fact that opportunities for sequestration in Canada are considered some of the best in the world, and we must take full advantage of that by incentivizing investment.

This bill and this tax credit would do just this that. Given the Liberals' assertion that the environment and the economy must go hand in hand, it would be logical that they support this important first step toward large-scale investment into CCUS projects.

According to an assessment provided by industry stakeholders, and modelling by Capital Power, the deployment of six CCS plants would result in roughly $1.4 billion in foregone tax revenue. At the same time, it would lead to approximately $5.5 billion of private sector investment, with six megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions being captured each year.

We know the economic impact is substantial, with projections stating that just a few CCS projects over four years would generate $2.7 billion in GDP across Canada and support 6,100 jobs. However, we, as the opposition, are unable to do this alone. Given the importance of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to all the parties in this House, I would hope and encourage that we come together and make this initiative a real priority.

Canadians expect their government to do what is best for them, and Bill C-262 would help secure the future and health of our economy, while also addressing the issue of emissions reduction. I therefore call on members of the House to support this bill and help to move Canada's leadership in this technology forward.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

June 3rd, 2021 / 5:45 p.m.
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Bloc

Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

Madam Speaker, I see that you just arrived. It was probably so that you could listen to me speak, and I really appreciate that.

I really like my colleague from Calgary Centre. He is a gentleman with whom I work on the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, and I truly appreciate him. He always makes an effort to speak to me in French, and I value my friendship with him.

With regard to Bill C-262, let us just say that first came the compliments and now come the criticisms. That is not surprising. I am sure he will understand that my party takes issue with this type of bill. The Bloc Québécois has always spoken out against any kind of subsidy for fossil fuels.

I would like to look back a little on the past four years to help members understand that the oil and gas industry represents a bottomless pit for public funds. In the past four years, $24 billion has been invested in oil and gas. Of that, $17 billion went toward the purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Today, we learned that the insurance provider for the Trans Mountain pipeline is pulling out. That is another debate, but I think this once again shows that many industries no longer support fossil fuels.

The government has invested $24 billion in this sector in recent years. I am still seeing support for fossil fuels in Canada's strategy. I do not want to impute motives to anyone, but it seems to me that people are trying to find ways to balance the oil and gas sector and the environment. I think these ideas are irreconcilable. There is a simple principle that I will come back to later: the oil and gas sector produces greenhouse gases and is the source of the problem.

Why does the government choose to give tax benefits to an industry that is the source of the problem? Personally, I do not see how any government that is truly serious about the environment could do that. Canada has shown in recent years that it is a petro-state, and its oil industry is a bottomless pit for public money.

With respect to Bill C-262, I would like to talk about a rather simple environmental principle on which everyone agrees. I am talking about the polluter pays principle, which, from a philosophical perspective, is the principle behind the carbon tax.

My Conservative friends had an epiphany in recent months and agreed to put in place carbon pricing that is basically a type of savings account. When I was young and in primary school, I could save money and buy a bike at the end of the year. It is like the savings account that we had as kids. It is a funny idea, but, in any case, the light went on and they understood that they had to put a price on carbon.

I am under the impression that, with this bill, the Conservatives are trying to put a price on carbon while also trying not to step on the toes of their friends, the big oil companies. That is quite something.

There is a first principle, the polluter pays principle, that includes what is known as the bonus-malus, which means that those who increase greenhouse gas emissions are penalized and those who decrease them are compensated. The main problem is that the government is looking to implement strategies with public money that will be used to reward polluters and gain acceptance for the economic activity of polluters.

Personally, I do not see how we can possibly present this to the public in a logical and coherent manner, especially since the International Energy Agency, which is not Greenpeace, said that we should not approve any new project that involves fossil fuels. However, in Canada, we seem determined to plow ahead with supporting the oil and gas industry.

With this bill, my colleague is proposing a tax credit for the oil and gas industry, and I cannot help but think back to what I heard this week at the Standing Committee on Natural Resources.

The minister appeared before the committee earlier this week. Going through the votes, I noticed there was a $560-million investment in the emissions reduction fund for 2021-22. That fund applies to the oil and gas sector only. It aims to ensure that the oil and gas sector implements carbon capture technologies.

I find this completely incongruous, and I will explain why. Earlier I said that the oil and gas sector emits greenhouse gases. It does produce emissions, but it is being rewarded with $560 million in funding to come up with ways to capture carbon. This is not exactly a light bulb moment.

I would now like to talk about another natural resource sector, the forestry sector, which also captures carbon. We are all well aware that the forest is a carbon sink. What has the forestry sector been given over the past four years? Mere peanuts. Barely $70 million has been invested in Quebec's forestry sector over the past four years. The most promising industry in terms of carbon sequestration received $70 million, 75% of which was in loans. That leaves a paltry $20 million. That is unacceptable.

The Liberals and the Conservatives are one and the same on this issue. On one hand, every proposed strategy seeks to support a sector of the economy that is set to disappear within the next 25 years. On the other hand, we have probably the most promising type of economic activity. An analysis of the forestry industry was commissioned. According to that analysis, over the next 10 years, 16,000 jobs could potentially be created in Quebec. The forestry industry is probably the most innovative economic sector. The entire petrochemical stream can be replaced with wood chemistry. This sector has been very innovative and has tremendous potential for job creation. However, the federal government is giving it barely any support.

My colleagues know that I was ready to pull my hair out on Monday when I saw the $560-million investment for one year. The forestry industry has not gotten that much in the past 10 years. I think it is completely unacceptable to invest $560 million over one year.

The green recovery strategy is one more example of how Canada is a petro-state, constantly throwing public money into that bottomless pit. The government has made two announcements about this strategy. The first was about support for the electrification of transportation. Ontario will come out on top with that one, since it is currently the only province that no longer offers a rebate for buyers of electric vehicles. Since I am a team player and a good person, I will leave it at that.

The second part that makes no sense is the federal government's hydrogen strategy for Canada. The idea is to get the oil and gas industry to produce grey hydrogen. This is yet another strategy to find new opportunities for the oil industry and invest massively in it. However, there is no support for the sector that is perfectly suited to combatting climate change.

I will conclude by saying that my Conservative and Liberal friends have some soul searching to do. The climate crisis will only get worse in the coming years. We can no longer use red herrings to garner political support in the west and in the provinces that rely on the oil and gas industry. This strategy is no longer viable.

I have a lot of sympathy for Albertans who earn a living in the oil and gas industry, but we need to start thinking about tax credits that help us get out of the oil industry, not credits that legitimize our dependence on it.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

June 3rd, 2021 / 5:40 p.m.
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Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, having had the opportunity to capture the essence of Bill C-262, this is very difficult. In fact, I would not recommend members support the bill. I am not too sure if the sponsoring member thought of the legislation, as I suspect he did, prior to the reversal of the Conservative Party of Canada's positioning on the need for a price on pollution.

The essence of the bill that is being proposed is the idea to provide a tax credit in certain situations with respect to carbon output. There is no doubt that it would put it into potential conflict with the idea of having an equitable, fair price on pollution that we currently have in place. That is why I make the suggestion to my colleague across the way that I suspect there might be some discomfort within his own caucus in regard to this bill, given that the Conservative Party, at least its leadership, has made the decision to support a price on pollution, although its plan does not necessarily achieve what it thinks it will achieve. It is nowhere near the type of plan that we have put into place, which I think is far more equitable and fairer for all Canadians.

The government has, in fact, invested significantly in the idea that we have a climate plan that has been strengthened through multiple incentives for large emitters to lower their carbon output. To cite a couple of examples, members will recall the launching of the net-zero challenge for large emitters to support Canadian industries in developing and implementing plans to transition their facilities to net-zero emissions. Members will recall that we have that target date of 2050.

We have also been making significant investments to support decarbonization through the strategic innovation funds and the net-zero accelerator fund. In this area, we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars over a five-year period. I think we are going to see significant positive results from that program.

We take a look at those two programs, but we can also look at the over a billion dollars in the low-carbon and zero-emissions fuels fund. The idea behind that is to increase the production and use of low-carbon fuels, such as hydrogen, biocrude, renewable natural gas, diesel and ethanol. These are the types of programs that are going to help us, but there is no doubt that the price on pollution is one of those things to which all Canadians can relate.

More and more every year we seem to see Canadians wanting the government to be more proactive on the climate file. If we review the things that we have been able to put into place over the last number of years, I think we are doing a reasonably good job. Any government in the world should always look for ways to improve, as I am sure we are.

I am personally a very big fan of the commitment to plant two billions trees that the Government of Canada has made. This summer I hope to contribute personally to that plan. One of the things that we can do is plant more trees. There are other consumer-related issues, such as the single-use plastic ban and plastic bags; there are all sorts of things that are out there.

I look forward to more debate about the environment and things that we can all do in the coming months and years ahead.

The House resumed from April 12 consideration of the motion that Bill C-262, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (capture and utilization or storage of greenhouse gases), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

May 14th, 2021 / 12:25 p.m.
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Independent

Jody Wilson-Raybould Independent Vancouver Granville, BC

Madam Speaker, speaking to the UNDRIP legislation today, the justice minister said that if Bill C-262 had not been delayed in the last Parliament, the government would be working on an action plan for its implementation.

Let us not kid ourselves. The fact is the government delayed the important work of true reconciliation due to political expediency. There have been over five years of promises, and very little action on rights recognition.

Bill C-15 is a small first step. Will the government stop making excuses, do its work, get its own house in order and change its laws, policies and operational practices to ensure indigenous peoples can be self-determining?

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

April 16th, 2021 / 11:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Greg McLean Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Madam Speaker, this week, the House of Commons got to finally debate Bill C-262, a bill that would provide a tax incentive for companies across Canada's economy to contribute to greenhouse gas reductions. Yes, in an era when the government's approach to an environmental problem is to nibble at the edges and tax Canadians, Conservatives have put forth a plan to incentivize the removal of these gases from the atmosphere. Canada has been, until lately, a leader in the approach to solving the world's growing emissions. Our initiative would put us back on track. Sadly, my colleagues in other parties spoke against solving global warming issues with Canadian technological solutions.

We have seen the results of the current government's approach to managing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, we saw another increase from Canada. The Liberal government needs to look beyond the non-solutions put forth by this Minister of Environment and Climate Change and consider this bill as part of a real climate plan, one that actually reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

April 12th, 2021 / 7:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Warren Steinley Conservative Regina—Lewvan, SK

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to my friend and colleague from Calgary Centre's private member's bill, Bill C-262, an act to amend the Income Tax Act, capture and utilization or storage of greenhouse gases.

I am so curious; why do we care about human atrocities and abuses when it comes to where our coffee is sourced, but not our oil and energy? I have listened to my friends and colleagues speak about the energy sector. I thank my NDP colleague for his speech. I am a proponent of the Canadian energy sector and the oil and gas that is produced in Canada because I believe it is done in a more environmentally friendly way than anywhere else in the world. I believe the workers in our energy sector are treated better than anywhere else in the world. I will continue to be a proponent of Canadian energy as long as I have the honour to represent the people of Regina—Lewvan because I believe that Canada and the world need more Canadian energy not less, despite what the NDP member just said.

Canada is a country where respectful laws have been enacted by the government, where human rights and dignity are enjoyed by all individuals. When oil is extracted in Canada, it removes a need for oil from other countries that have no environmental regulations and no respect for human rights. On a global scale, Canadian oil is the cleanest and most sustainably sourced oil available.

Saskatchewan is a leader is carbon capture and storage. In 2014, the Boundary dam carbon capture project located near Estevan was brought online and became the first power station in the world to successfully use carbon capture and storage, CCS, technology. My Conservative colleagues and I will continue to highlight the incredible work that is being done in our home province of Saskatchewan, as well as in the rest of Canada.

Bill C-262 would harness the ingenuity of Canadian individuals and companies. The positive economic and environmental impact will be felt for decades to come. Just one CCS project over four years would generate $2.7 billion in GDP across Canada and support over 6,100 jobs. At a time when we are looking at economic recovery and how we can create more jobs for Canadians, this is not the only answer, but one of the answers that could be used by the government.

When the Canadian energy industry succeeds, we all stand to benefit. I believe in green innovation and in technological solutions to fight against climate change. This private member's bill does exactly that. This bill would return Canada to the international stage as a leader and innovator in GHG reduction initiatives. It will simultaneously incentivize individuals and companies to explore ways to reduce their own emissions to make everyday life more affordable. This is a made-in-Canada solution to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

This bill incentivizes investment and gives due recognition to our companies that are making an effort in caring for the environment. These companies do not need government telling them what their environmental goals and targets should be. They realize how important it is to be environmental leaders and also how it affects their bottom line when taxes come into play, like the carbon tax, clean fuel standards and other regulations. These companies are making these moves on their own because it is the right thing to do, not because they are being punished by more and more taxes by the Liberal government.

As a member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, I have had the pleasure to meet with many stakeholders from the agriculture sector. On every occasion, the individuals, companies and associations I had the opportunity to meet with were already actively engaging in modernizing and innovating. Those in the agriculture industry are working hard to come up with transformative and technological solutions. This is not, nor should it ever be, an “Ottawa knows best” approach. Individuals, provincial governments and companies are working hard on their own to create solutions. The ranchers, farmers and dairy producers know their land and are the best caretakers of their environment

We need a government that will harness that knowledge and incentivize innovation. We need a government that will champion industry-driven solutions, a government that will use CCUS technology to lead the world without the economic burden. In other words, we need a Conservative government.

I am and always will be a champion and advocate for our energy sector. The carbon capture and storage of greenhouse gases will result in 30 million tonnes of CO2 being removed from our atmosphere. The technology is effective and will lead to real world emission reduction in the short term if we embrace it. Shell Canada has analyzed its quest project on carbon capture. It is using this new technology in the province of Alberta to build and grow its energy industry.

In Saskatchewan, an estimated nine million tonnes of carbon is sequestered each year. The boundary dam project does use CCUS technology and it leads the way in expanding the measures allowing the industry to increase the number of participants in carbon capture and utilization. This will, as I said before, create jobs and have a truly meaningful impact on our climate and our environment. It will keep our air cleaner, our water fresher and our environment more pristine.

These CCUS projects demonstrate Canadian leadership in technology and put Canada in a competitive position for future CCUS investments. It also addresses a specific barrier that may be hindering the private sector investment. This is in opposition to the Liberals' carbon tax plan. We cannot afford to be a country that self-sabotages ourselves on a global scale. We all know that the Liberal government's plan is to raise the carbon tax to $50 per tonne in 2022. By 2030, Canadians are looking at living with $170 a tonne of carbon tax. What is the result of this? It results in penalizing innovation and uses of technology of our businesses and individuals across the country.

The Province of Manitoba's Minister of Environment, Conservation and Climate, Sarah Guillemard, in a statement said:

The federal government’s high carbon tax plan will penalize Manitobans for having invested billions of dollars in clean hydro-electricity. We will continue to pursue our made-in-Manitoba climate and green plan with a low, flat carbon price — not a high and rising carbon tax...

That results in companies leaving and technologies being developed in other countries. Canadians, as a result of the federal government, will continue to be left behind by higher and higher taxes on companies and these companies will continue to leave our country.

We need a government that will recognize the work that continues to be done by our agriculture and energy industries. We need a government that will recognize the efforts of our farmers who are leading the way in solutions to reduce their environmental impact. This bill would allow co-operation from those entities that are unable to capture carbon dioxide and storage. The energy industry needs the support of their federal government.

Canada should be a country that others look to for viable green energy solutions and we can be that leader again on the world stage. Canada has a science-based solution that will help meet our environmental goals, a plan that will align our industries with those of our largest trading partner.

Canada has been a leader in countless green innovation projects before. I am proud that this bill would allow us as a country to continue to do so. This bill, utilizing CCUS technology, would build on Canadian strengths, increase economic growth and job opportunities.

I am happy to second the private member's bill of my colleague, the member for Calgary Centre. I ask all my hon. colleagues to support it. When it comes down to it, Canada and the world need more Canadian energy and this is one of the bills that would lead us to be even more innovative and use technology to reach our climate goals. One thing that needs to be said is that this shows that we can incentivize people to be even more environmentally friendly. We do not need punitive taxes that make life more costly for all Canadians like the carbon tax that has been implemented by the government.

Once again, the constituents of Regina—Lewvan cannot afford $170 carbon tax in 2030. It just makes life much too expensive.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

April 12th, 2021 / 7:05 p.m.
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NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Madam Speaker, I am happy to speak this afternoon on Bill C-262, a measure that proposes to provide tax credits for the capture, storage and use of carbon dioxide put forward by the member for Calgary Centre. Under this bill, companies that capture carbon, for instance, at a coal power plant or oil refinery would get a credit equal to the amount of carbon dioxide stored multiplied by the current carbon tax price.

Off the top, I will say that I am not against carbon capture and storage in general. Many experts, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, say that some form of carbon capture will be essential in the long run for the world to keep the global rise in temperature below 1.5°C, but the problem with carbon capture in this case is that it will almost entirely involve using that carbon dioxide storage for enhanced oil recovery. That is to say that the carbon dioxide that is captured will be stored by forcing it underground into underperforming oil wells, forcing oil to the surface that would otherwise not be recoverable.

Once again we are faced with the rather Orwellian view that we cannot fight climate change without subsidizing the oil industry. It is like the Liberal Party's line that the Trans Mountain pipeline is an essential part of a climate action plan, when it is a pipeline project designed to significantly increase oil production in Canada. We have to shake our heads because enhanced oil recovery is very profitable for the oil industry: more oil from the same well, more profits. On top of that, as I will expand on later, the oil produced through EOR will produce more carbon dioxide when it is burned than if it is stored underground to produce it. It is one step forward and two steps back.

The tax credits the bill proposes are similar to the 45Q tax credits given industry in the United States, so it is useful to look at their experience. First, I will point out that one difference between the U.S. credits and the proposal before us today is that the U.S. tax credits for carbon capture projects that do not involve enhanced oil recovery are $50 per ton, while those that involve enhanced oil recovery are given credits of $35 per ton. In Bill C-262, there is no difference for the two processes in the credits proposed.

Oil production in some parts of the U.S. oil patch have been using carbon dioxide for 50 years to get more oil out of the ground. Findings there show that these operations are carbon negative, i.e., that they store more carbon than they produce for the first few years of production, but within a few years go carbon positive. There is a good article in Vox online written by David Roberts in 2019 that I think presents all sides of the enhanced oil recovery debate very well and I will read a lengthy quote from it. It states:

...this kind of analysis depends on quantifying exactly how much new EOR oil will displace other, dirtier forms of oil — versus simply adding to the amount of oil consumed. Those kinds of predictions are notoriously dodgy; no one truly knows how much boosted oil supply from EOR might simply increase the world’s oil addiction.

Until [life cycle analysis] becomes more standardized and reliable, policy crediting EOR for [carbon dioxide] reductions involves a fair amount of hope and faith.

He goes on to say:

But the core of the climate case against EOR is simple: Climate change is an emergency. We need to bury lots of carbon, but it is crazy to let the oil and gas industry set the pace and the terms. EOR under certain rarified circumstances may be carbon negative, but you know what’s always carbon negative? Burying CO2 without digging up a bunch of oil to burn.

Sooner or later, we’re going to have more carbon to bury than EOR can handle anyway. We’re going to have to figure out how to bury it in saline aquifers. From a climate perspective, it makes sense to figure that out, and start doing it, as soon as possible.

Rather than slowly luring private capital into the enterprise by subsidizing oil and gas production—putting one foot on the accelerator and one on the brake—we should just cough up the public money necessary to do [carbon capture and storage] at scale, just like we did with public sewer systems to dispose of a different kind of waste.

Blending carbon capture and storage and enhanced oil recovery is basically another narrative that to fight climate change, we have to pump more oil out of the ground when actually that added oil will put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burned than the amount put underground. Let us look at that in more detail.

According to the International Energy Agency and other expert analysts, between 200 and 600 kilograms of carbon dioxide is stored in enhanced oil recovery per barrel of oil produced. In Canada, an average barrel of oil produced and burned results in roughly 600 to 750 kilograms of carbon dioxide in total emissions. If we consider that, it is clear that the full life-cycle budget of carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery will always be negative.

There is a strong opposition in Canada to any proposal that subsidizes enhanced oil recovery. Last month, 47 groups sent an open letter to the Minister of Finance asking the government not to subsidize this technology. The groups included Environmental Defence Canada, The Council of Canadians, the Canadian Public Health Association, Canadians for Tax Fairness, Équiterre, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Amnesty International, the Wilderness Committee, the West Coast Environmental Law Association and many more.

The letter cites an analysis of the impact of enhanced oil recovery tax credits on the environment and the cost to American taxpayers. It could result in at least an additional 400,000 barrels per day of carbon dioxide enhanced oil production in the United States in 2035, which would directly lead to as much as 50.7 million metric tons of net carbon dioxide emissions annually, and possibly far more. The portion of the bill that benefits the oil industry could alone cost American taxpayers as much as $2.8 billion U.S. every year.

Furthermore, the fossil fuel industry has attempted to gain the tax credit in the U.S., where 87% of the total credits claimed, amounting to nearly $1 billion U.S., were found not to be in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency, according to an investigation by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Meanwhile, oil companies in the U.S. have successfully pushed back against monitoring, reporting and verification, making it impossible to know which companies have claimed credits and to what extent.

Enhanced oil recovery is obviously a benefit for the oil and gas industry. More oil means more revenue. Using captured carbon dioxide in enhanced oil recovery is indeed a way to reduce the carbon intensity of Canadian oil. It works out to about 37% per barrel. However, do we need to subsidize the oil industry to accomplish this?

If we are going to spend Canadian taxpayer dollars to incentivize carbon capture and storage, we should stick to projects that simply put carbon dioxide into the ground and store it forever. There are projects in Canada that are doing this. Norway is planning to do this on a big scale with its Northern Lights long ship project. It will provide the infrastructure to take carbon dioxide from European industrial sources and store it safely underground. When asked whether enhanced oil recovery would be a similar solution, a proponent of the Norwegian project said that enhanced oil recovery is not carbon capture and storage; it is just oil business 101.

Canada's price on carbon dioxide pollution is scheduled to rise to $170 per tonne by 2030. With that significant price on carbon, industry will have real incentive to cut down on carbon emissions. We should not have to spend more taxpayer dollars to add to the profits of fossil fuel industries in an initiative that could easily simply delay our climate actions.

Successive federal governments have consistently failed to eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. The present government has yet to even define what an inefficient subsidy is. The proposal in the bill would be yet another taxpayer subsidy for the oil and gas industry. For that reason alone, I will not be supporting the bill.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

April 12th, 2021 / 6:55 p.m.
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Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Calgary Centre for his bill, C-262, which gives me another opportunity to talk about the environment and impress upon members that climate action is urgent.

On March 8, Natural Resources Canada announced the creation of an Alberta–Canada carbon capture, utilization and storage, or CCUS, steering committee. My colleagues who spoke before me have mentioned it. According to the news release, the steering committee “will leverage Alberta's early CCUS leadership to advance climate goals”. It goes on to say that “Canada's strengthened climate plan calls for the development of a comprehensive CCUS strategy”, a technology that was developed thanks to 20 years of federal support.

The minister is also quoted as follows: “Carbon capture technology creates jobs, lowers emissions and increases our competitiveness. It’s how we get to net zero.” I have to say, I have my doubts.

We will continue to be vigilant with respect to the government's official line, as the government continues to claim that it is green and supports the environment while it spends billions in public money to finance and support energies of the past. The Conservative bill we are debating is a positive response to the pressure of the oil and gas industry, which made no effort and took every possible step to maintain the influx of public money in its business model.

With Bill C-262, the Conservative Party is proposing to socialize the environmental costs of economic activity while retaining the profits and benefits in the private sector, and portraying this as fighting climate change, which the party does not acknowledge exists. The Bloc Québécois will not be fooled especially since the 47 signatory organizations represent two million Canadians and Quebeckers who wrote to federal ministers abut this issue the very day the steering committee was announced. They clearly signalled their opposition to the tax measures to expand access to subsidies for enhanced oil recovery, which is what this is really about.

Although certain subsidies can be an effective way to combat climate change, the tax benefits proposed in Bill C-262 are not. The bill would do three things, all with public money. It would make it easier for the oil industry to go back to its dirty, carbon-intensive processes; it would discourage the industries that produce CO2 from adopting clean technologies; and it would extend the lifespan of aging reservoirs.

Sad to say, if there is one area in which Canada is a leader, it is in promoting the oil industry in every way with all kinds of economic and regulatory measures. There is no shortage of unfortunate examples. The government needs to stop with these cynical anti-democracy practices, these public actions that hurt the environment, jeopardize climate action, compromise biodiversity, and are ultimately aimed at keeping the oil industry alive.

Bill C-262 contains four clauses, and I will speak specifically to clauses 2 and 4. Clause 2 reads as follows:

The greenhouse gas stored for the purposes of the storage project must be captured, transported and stored in accordance with the laws of Canada or a province or the laws of the United States or any of its states.

It is one thing for Canadian oil industry lobbyists to copy tactics first used in the United States, but it is quite another to propose a bill that would be enforced on the basis of the laws of another country. The Conservatives' enthusiasm for U.S.-style deregulation is concerning, especially since the climate crisis did not get nearly as much consideration as it deserved over the past few years of Republican rule.

We know that Bill C-262 is inspired by the U.S. 45Q tax credit, which the member spoke about. This tax credit could increase oil production in the United States by 400,000 barrels a day by 2035, which equates to an annual increase of 5.7 million tonnes of CO2. As if we needed more CO2 in the atmosphere.

The other clause, which establishes the tax credit and how it is calculated, speaks for itself. It would appear that what the credit actually does is cancel out the price of the carbon tax levy. If that is the case, this confirms the true intent of Bill C-262: to attack the carbon tax, which has now been declared constitutional, and render it ineffective.

The Conservative Party is openly opposed to the carbon tax and lacks the credibility to claim that Bill C-262 will help fight climate change. The green veneer is not convincing, I am sorry to say. The fact is, the majority of delegates at the Conservative Party convention voted down a resolution calling for the party to acknowledge the very existence of climate change.

I will never stop repeating that the Bloc Québécois supports the polluter pays principle, the cornerstone of environmental policies. Quebeckers should not have to bail out Canadian oil companies.

The Canada Energy Regulator's numbers do not lie. Six of the seven carbon capture and storage facilities are primarily used for enhanced oil recovery. Just one of these facilities is dedicated to permanent CO2 sequestration.

As with any technology, this one can be used as part of a plan to reduce emissions, but it does not have to be. Experts have not proven these technologies to be effective, nor is there a consensus in the scientific community. People say that they want to make decisions based on the science, but that is not the case here. These facilities are astronomically expensive. Furthermore, there are fewer than 30 such projects around the world, and more than 80% of them are designed to help increase oil production. To put that into perspective, the International Energy Agency estimates that it would ideally take 2,000 facilities to meet the Paris targets.

As though what I just said were not enough, we must not forget the biggest risk associated with promoting these facilities, that of diverting attention away from the most important part of the collective effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net-zero emissions. I will just mention the need to reduce sources of emissions, to affect demand, by reducing it, of course, and to promote a 100% renewable energy supply. In short, we must take the necessary action to quickly and significantly reduce emissions.

The World Health Organization has said that the climate crisis is the greatest threat to health in the 21st century. I will repeat that over and over again. That is what we should be introducing bills about.

I must admit that I am bothered by the way words are manipulated and certain phrases are repeated in press releases in an attempt to make Canadians believe that Canada is taking measures to fight climate change, when the reality is that the fossil fuel industry is guiding the actions of both the government and the official opposition.

With the ear of the official opposition, the industry set everything up so that such facilities are able to accommodate increased production at taxpayer expense. This bill is a case in point.

The government itself has been giving the industry what it wants with ongoing federal subsidies since 2015, including a 200% increase from 2019 to 2020. Subsidies also went up from 2018 to 2019, and, judging from its convention this weekend, the Liberal Party certainly does not want to reduce fossil fuel subsidies.

The Bloc Québécois stands with Canadians when proposed solutions are reasonable and transition-oriented. The Bloc Québécois will firmly and resolutely speak out against government power and public funds being used to protect private interests at the expense of the environment and climate action.

All of Canada clearly has the potential to develop renewable energy. Mixed messages and fossil fuel subsidies need to end, and climate action needs to start right now.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

April 12th, 2021 / 6:45 p.m.
See context

Liberal

Patrick Weiler Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to my colleague's bill on the important issue of carbon capture and utilization or storage. He is a fellow member of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources.

I would like to begin by recognizing the news from a few weeks that the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the challenge of Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Scott Moe in a clear ruling that it is within the ability of the federal government to put a backstop price on pollution if the provinces and territories fail to act. This is important because, as written in the decision, “The evidence clearly shows that establishing minimum national standards of GHG price stringency to reduce GHG emissions is of concern to Canada as a whole. This matter is critical to our response to an existential threat to human life in Canada and around the world.”

It is well settled by climate policy experts, and particularly economists, that any credible climate plan needs to price pollution. It is necessary, but alone it is not sufficient. Investing in technology alone is a gamble, at best a calculated gamble, the results of which can be speculative, while to rely on regulations alone is known to be a significantly more costly approach to achieving the same levels of emissions reductions.

Utilizing market-based mechanisms is a conservative idea by origin, one adopted by a Conservative-leaning government in my home province of B.C. over a decade ago and accepted by Conservative governments in places all around the world. It bears questioning why any party that believes in the free market and is honest in its commitment to addressing climate action would reject it.

I raise this because Bill C-262 lives within this policy context in seeking to provide a tax credit for carbon capture utilization storage, which I will refer to as CCUS henceforth. While a majority of focus of carbon pricing in Canada has been situated on a consumer-facing pollution fee and dividend model, industry faces a price on pollution through the output-based performance standard, which approximates a cap and trade model.

If companies exceed the level of emissions established for their sector, they need to buy credits from counterparts that have been able to reduce their emissions through offsets from the market more widely. Carbon leakage of emitting projects moving to jurisdictions without carbon pricing systems is mitigated by how these standards are set. These standards get stricter over time, providing an incentive to cut pollution in the most affordable way possible. The proceeds collected from industry are used to support industrial projects that cut emissions and use cleaner technologies and processes, so it reinforces this transition.

The clean fuel standard rounds out these market-based systems by requiring liquid fuel suppliers to gradually reduce the carbon intensity of the fuels in Canada by 2030 or else purchase carbon credits from the market. Given that the oil and gas industry is the largest source of Canada's emissions, at about 25%, with transport coming in at second, it is critical we have measures like these to have any hope in meeting our 2030 goals and to set ourselves on a path to get to net-zero emissions by 2050.

These market-based mechanisms are the stick, so to say, but they can also be the carrot. With the Supreme Court's affirmation a few weeks ago, businesses have the certainty there will be a steadily increasing cost associated with polluting in Canada, so they can plan appropriately to reduce their emissions through actions they can take within their own operations or by procuring more affordable emissions reductions elsewhere.

There are many ways emissions reductions can take place within our largest emitting sector such as switching to renewable energies to power operations, tightening leaks from facilities of methane and other pollution, and the subject matter of today, CCUS. We need to focus on the cheapest and best way of pursuing all of these angles and do so in a way that promotes Canadian ingenuity.

Innovation here can also create technologies and services we can sell to the world. This is why our government proposed to level the playing field for all technology by cutting corporate taxes in half for companies that make net-zero emissions technologies. Until these breakthrough technologies mature, commercialize and become cheaper, there is a role for Canada to support the most promising examples.

This is the approach in our government's strengthened climate plan, which is called “A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy”. This plan was released in December. In this plan, we reaffirmed our promise to develop a CCUS strategy and further reiterated our commitment to exploring every opportunity that will help keep Canada globally competitive in this growing industry.

Some of the actions will include launching a net-zero challenge for large emitters to support Canadian industries in developing and implementing plans to transition their facilities to net-zero emissions by 2050, making investments to support decarbonization through the strategic innovation fund's net-zero accelerator fund with an investment of $3 billion over five years, and investing $1.5 billion in a low-carbon and zero-emissions fuel fund to increase the production and use of low-carbon fuels.

More recently, on March 8, we announced a joint steering committee with Alberta on CCUS. Canada was an early mover in CCUS with the Boundary Dam carbon capture project, where many lessons were learned. Canada has made significant strides in this sector, which in part have been funded by Natural Resources Canada. The Alberta Carbon Trunk Line system, one of world's newest integrated large-scale CCUS systems, currently sequesters about 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year, and the Shell Quest facility has already sequestered over five million tonnes of CO2 to date.

The strategic innovation fund has funded Canadian clean tech companies that are world leading, most notably, Carbon Engineering, located in Squamish of my riding, which has been directly capturing CO2 from air since 2015. Carbon Engineering also recently partnered with Canada's largest company by market capitalization, which is Ottawa-based Shopify, to reduce its own emissions.

Carbon Engineering is now constructing the world's largest direct air capture plant in the Permian Basin of west Texas. Once operational, this plant will directly capture up to one million metric tonnes of atmospheric CO2 annually.

Other countries around the world are launching CCUS projects. In Norway, the $2.6-billion Northern Lights project will capture and sequester up to five million tonnes of CO2 per year, which was overwhelmingly funded by the Norwegian government. The U.K. is also investing about $100 million in its HyNet North West project, which will create hydrogen from natural gas and capture the carbon underground. I mention these projects to highlight that we are operating in a very competitive international environment.

It is important that we take advantage of the human capital from our existing projects, our infrastructure assets and the natural assets that we have. This is what informs the hydrogen strategy that we announced in December of last year. This strategy will pursue non-emitting, green hydrogen from renewable energy that can be produced from the 82% of our grid that is already non-emitting, and from future projects that will be built. For the purposes of today, it also seeks to leverage the natural gas resources we have throughout the west, the geology throughout sedimentary basins for capturing carbon, as well as the expertise of our energy sector workers to create low-carbon, blue hydrogen. In total, this sector could represent 350,000 jobs by 2050 and help ensure that Canada can provide the low-carbon energy resources that the world increasingly demands.

I believe the end goal in growing the economy and supporting innovation while cutting emissions is one that I share with the member for Calgary Centre. However, Bill C-262 is fundamentally flawed in its approach. As written, the bill would undermine Canada's pollution pricing regime and would therefore undermine the stated purpose of the bill, which is fighting climate change. This is because Bill C-262 would create a situation where the government is heavily and perhaps fully subsidizing a project by tying the rate of tax credit to the pollution price, and as our pollution price steadily rises and our industry pricing becomes more strict, the tax benefit would grow disproportionately.

The bill would give an unfair advantage to CCUS as the choice for emissions reductions, whereas there may be much cheaper ways of achieving the same emissions reductions. I do not believe that is the most responsible use of the public purse. Rather than prejudge what the most efficient solution is, our approach is to utilize the market to decide for us. It may be CCUS, and we are developing a plan for that, but it cannot and will not be the whole plan.

Our approach is utilizing the stick of increasing the cost of pollution to encourage business to invest in greening their operations or to invest in emissions reductions elsewhere, and we are using the carrot through the competitive challenges to find the best solutions to reduce emissions from our biggest point sources. We are making calculated investments through the most promising technologies, through the strategic innovation fund's net-zero accelerator program, and our approach will ensure that we achieve the greatest results in emissions reductions at the lowest cost, while supporting Canada's clean tech sector to continue to punch well above its weight domestically and internationally.

For that reason, Bill C-262 would undermine this system and economical climate action overall and, as a result, I will be voting against it.