Evidence of meeting #22 for Environment and Sustainable Development in the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was amendment.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Clerk of the Committee  Ms. Isabelle Duford
Jacques Maziade  Legislative Clerk
Émilie Thivierge  Legislative Clerk
Helen Ryan  Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Protection Branch, Department of the Environment
Richard Tarasofsky  Deputy Director, Oceans and Environmental Law Division, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development
Nathalie Perron  Director, Waste Reduction and Management Division, Department of the Environment
Laura Farquharson  Director General, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, Department of the Environment
Dany Drouin  Director General, Plastics and Waste Management Directorate, Department of the Environment

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Okay.

Ms. Collins, are you moving NDP-1?

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

I am.

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Would you like to speak to that?

5:15 p.m.

NDP

Laurel Collins NDP Victoria, BC

The intent behind this motion is to align the language in the bill with the Basel Convention. Other countries have done this in line with our commitments in the Basel Convention. We want to ensure that we are not shipping waste to countries that do not have the infrastructure to deal with it.

Also, an important piece of this amendment is that it specifically talks about the amendment that Canada hasn't ratified—specifically, around the waste for “special consideration”—and that is an important gap in this bill that needs to be strengthened. I hope that I will have the support of the committee to move this forward.

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

I have Madam Pauzé and then Mr. Longfield.

5:15 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

May I present my amendment?

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

We're not there yet. We are debating the NDP's first amendment.

5:15 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

The NDP amendment affects clause 1, and so does mine. It would add subsection 1.4.

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

I think we need to do things in order.

5:15 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Okay.

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Go ahead, Mr. Longfield.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

I think this amendment really significantly changes Bill C-204 from its current form. I wonder whether the clerk could comment on whether this amendment is admissible, given the wide range of changes that it provides.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Could the legislative clerk speak to that?

March 29th, 2021 / 5:20 p.m.

Émilie Thivierge Legislative Clerk

Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The way we see it is that Bill C-204 is prohibiting the export of certain types of plastic waste to foreign countries for final disposal, and NDP-1 also seeks to prohibit the exportation of plastic waste, so that's why we believe it's receivable.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Okay.

Mr. Longfield, does that answer your question?

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

I can see the reasoning about that, but in terms of what this amendment is going to do, it's prohibiting something that already applies to the exports for final disposal. The recycling isn't defined in the bill or the act's regulations, so that's going to create some uncertainty.

If adopted, this term could be clarified in regulations that are already made under paragraph 191(a) of CEPA, so again, this is one of those things where we're already doing it. This isn't adding anything other than possibly introducing some confusion to what we've already agreed to internationally.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Mr. Bittle.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

Thank you so much, Mr. Chair.

Ms. Collins' amendment appears to be based on the jurisdictions that are exempt from the application of the Basel ban amendment under the Basel Convention.

My understanding is that government officials spoke to the reason Canada did not ratify the ban amendment, and I am wondering if I could ask the officials present if they could clarify whether this amendment would be necessary to control plastic waste exports, or if Canada's existing regulations already control this waste.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

That is a question for the officials. I don't know who wants to go on this.

5:20 p.m.

Helen Ryan Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Protection Branch, Department of the Environment

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

This amendment is not necessary to provide the authorities, as they do already exist and they are controlled through the regulatory regime that we have in place.

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Thank you.

Mr. Bittle, does that answer your question?

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Chris Bittle Liberal St. Catharines, ON

It does, and if I still have the floor and can have a follow-up question, I'm wondering if I could have clarification from the officials on a separate point. Would limiting the scope of a proposed prohibition to non-OECD countries be inconsistent with Canada's international trade obligations?

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Would that be Mr. Tarasofsky perhaps?

5:20 p.m.

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

Helen Ryan

Yes, it would.

5:20 p.m.

Richard Tarasofsky Deputy Director, Oceans and Environmental Law Division, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development

Thank you.

I'm afraid I can't provide a legal opinion on that.