It seems like we were both wrong.
This amendment is to ensure that there actually is accountability in the legislation and it speaks to ensuring that the minister is ultimately accountable for coordinating the actions relating to the climate goals. You'll note the important use of the minister “must”. The amendment is:
The Minister must ensure that all measures and strategies within federal authority are implemented to ensure that the national greenhouse gas emissions target for each milestone year is met and that the national greenhouse gas emissions target for 2050 is met.
There are two important elements to this: ensuring that the minister has a responsibility for coordinating the various pieces that are required to achieve the goals of climate accountability and, by using obligatory language, the minister “must”.
Again, the amendment itself came forward in evidence from West Coast Environmental Law, but I also put it to one of our other witnesses, Professor Wright, from the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. You may recall that I asked him if it wouldn't improve the legislation if we had more language such as “the minister must”. You will recall the conversation about justiciability and the best way to ensure that we had some accountability and some potential for citizen enforcement in the act.
It's not likely this would ever get to a court—courts hate this kind of thing. However, that's why the language is as forceful as it is and includes things that I'm sure any minister will want to be sure they are coordinating: all measures and strategies within federal authority implemented to ensure that the national targets are met.
That's as briefly as I can put it, Mr. Chair, and I think it does a lot to strengthen the act.