Evidence of meeting #6 for Environment and Sustainable Development in the 43rd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was money.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Carol Najm  Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services and Finance Branch, Department of the Environment
Christine Hogan  Deputy Minister, Department of the Environment
Matt Jones  Assistant Deputy Minister, Pan-Canadian Framework Implementation Office, Department of the Environment
Niall O'Dea  Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Canadian Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment
John Moffet  Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Protection Branch, Department of the Environment
Annie Boyer  Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Resources Management Branch, Parks Canada Agency
Darlene Upton  Vice-President, Protected Areas Establishment and Conservation, Parks Canada Agency
Terence Hubbard  Vice-President, Operations Sector, Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
Nancy Hamzawi  Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology Branch, Department of the Environment
Diane Campbell  Assistant Deputy Minister, Meteorological Service of Canada, Department of the Environment
Michael Nadler  Vice-President, External Relations and Visitor Experience, Parks Canada Agency

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Raj Saini Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

We're talking about intellectual property, obviously.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Yasmin Ratansi

It's a philosophical question. There is no line item here that talks about it, but if you want to relate it to a line item like the climate action incentive fund perhaps, then go for it.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Raj Saini Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

How is that philosophical question going to relate to the climate action incentive fund?

10:25 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Protection Branch, Department of the Environment

John Moffet

Maybe I can respond.

As public servants, we implement decisions made by the government. It's up to elected members, such as you, to make those sorts of decisions.

Many of the programs we implement, ranging from basic science up to regulations and then programs that transfer money to private sector research, development and deployment activities, I think are all related to the government's overall emphasis on addressing climate change, not just as a domestic priority but as a global citizen.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Yasmin Ratansi

You have one minute.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Raj Saini Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

I have one minute. Okay.

Here comes a line item question. It's about transfers to other organizations.

We do a lot of work internationally and we also do a lot of work with the United Nations. What work are we doing with the United Nations, and what's our relevance with them?

10:25 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Protection Branch, Department of the Environment

John Moffet

I don't think we have anybody from international here, so I'll address the question.

I take it the question was primarily focused on international climate change activities. We have a range of international climate change activities. We are active participants in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is a forum for all countries to come together and basically exhort and create a framework for collective action and individual action. It also does important work on developing rules around such things as tradable emissions permits across countries.

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Yasmin Ratansi

Thank you.

10:30 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Protection Branch, Department of the Environment

John Moffet

I just wanted to emphasize that we also have direct transfer programs to support developing countries, and then we have our domestic R and D, much of which is focused on building Canadian export capacity.

March 12th, 2020 / 10:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Yasmin Ratansi

Thank you.

Mr. Redekopp, you have five minutes.

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

I want to follow on a few things that we've discussed here.

Mr. Mazier, you were talking about modelling and forecasting and all those things and you referred to some of the work that's being done. I'm asking if you could provide to the committee the work product related to the urban and rural work that's been done on the carbon pricing model.

You don't have to answer it now, but could you provide for us the work product related to the modelling and forecasting that you were speaking about, about rural and urban differences, and how you've accommodated that in the carbon pricing model?

10:30 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Protection Branch, Department of the Environment

John Moffet

We'll absolutely provide the material the department has developed related primarily to the design and impact of the federal carbon pricing system on the agricultural community.

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Madam Pauzé was asking about the grants and contributions of $4.3 million, and you spoke about what it was generally for. Could you provide us with a list of who it was provided to and the amounts?

10:30 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services and Finance Branch, Department of the Environment

Carol Najm

At this time these are moneys that come into the department in our budget and have not all been fully dispensed.

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

What would be an example of some of the organizations these will be paid to, of the ones that have been paid?

10:30 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services and Finance Branch, Department of the Environment

Carol Najm

I would be happy to provide that information. I don't have it with me.

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Okay. If you could provide that to the committee, that would great.

Also, Madam Collins was speaking about the concerns raised by the indigenous groups regarding the Trans Mountain expansion project. We were speaking about accommodation measures and that it was part of a larger program. I have the same question. Who is actually receiving that money? Is there a list we can have to see where this money is actually going?

10:30 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Protection Branch, Department of the Environment

John Moffet

Again, those programs are just starting, so very few decisions around disbursements have been made. However, we do have descriptions of the programs, which include descriptions of all of the first nation communities that are participating in the program, and we can provide those descriptions.

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

That would be great.

We talked about the operating pressures, which I thought was very interesting terminology. You said that was regarding litigation. Could you speak more about the type of litigation? Who and what are some examples there?

10:30 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services and Finance Branch, Department of the Environment

Carol Najm

The increased cost of litigation is directly related to challenges on carbon pricing, and the public prosecution costs are related to the Volkswagen case.

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Part of developing these numbers is the targets that you folks have in the department. I found those on the GC InfoBase website.

I noticed there was a target there on codevelopment of indicators with first nations, Inuit and Métis nations to ensure they are engaged in the implementation of the pan-Canadian framework.

In 2018-19, the targets were to be developed by March 2020. That apparently isn't happening because in the new plan, the new date is “N/A”.

I'm wondering if somebody could explain that. Has work been suspended with indigenous people? Where are we regarding that?

10:30 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Pan-Canadian Framework Implementation Office, Department of the Environment

Matt Jones

That's an ongoing process.

The progress has not been as rapid as we had originally anticipated. There has been an engagement process through a number of different programs that are all working with indigenous peoples to ensure that their participation is reflected in the design and implementation of programming. Those indicators are actively being developed by a number of people, but they are not yet complete.

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Is there any indication of when that new target will be set?

10:30 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Pan-Canadian Framework Implementation Office, Department of the Environment

Matt Jones

Our hope is that we'll be able to complete that work in the coming fiscal year.

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Okay.

More broadly on targets, there were 56 targets in total for the Environment department. I went through that. I found that 13 had been met, which is about 23%. Are you happy with that result?

These were probably out of the 2018-19 results in the GC InfoBase. Is that reflective of the departmental results that you're getting on indicators?