Yes, I will, Mr. Chair.
First of all, colleagues, as you know, I've been a big fan of a slightly different approach than the government has taken in regard to Bill C-12. For those who are watching, Bill C-12 takes a particular path where the individual minister is designated. In this case, it's the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. We think that a better response is to have that designated minister bring it to cabinet, so that there can be a full debate at the cabinet table where relevant ministers and departments—in fact, all of them, Mr. Chair, the Governor in Council, as it's called—would have an opportunity to debate and to refine exactly what is being debated. That would achieve more buy-in.
As you know, Mr. Chair, a criticism of government is often that it exists in silos. Sometimes people will ask me,“You know, Dan”—they usually call me Dan; they don't usually call me Mr. Albas like they do here—“why isn't one department speaking to another?”
We've seen multiple cases of this during the COVID crisis, where it seems that one department is doing something without coordinating with another one. It can be very confusing to the public. We, as Conservatives, believe that climate change is real. It's a serious issue that requires a serious response. There's no better way to get a whole-of-government and “all hands on deck” scenario going than by having all the cabinet ministers debate, refine and then stand behind it.
Right now, Mr. Chair, whether a minister wants to or not, they have to because of cabinet solidarity support for Minister Wilkinson, who is the designated minister. We want to have it so that every minister can have their say at the cabinet table, not simply defend a plan that was made by a sole, isolated minister who perhaps went and discussed with other departments. It doesn't necessarily dictate that it's a whole-of-government approach or that those conversations are complete and represent all parts of the country. Instead, Mr. Chair, we're relying on a minister who.... As we know, it's very difficult to get a memorandum of cabinet through. Without having that buy-in from the Governor in Council, we don't think you'll get as good of a result.
We believe, as Conservatives, that a different approach is necessary, which is having a full discussion at the cabinet table and a ratification that every minister can stand by. They would probably be better informed when they speak to their constituents. They won't be left saying that they don't necessarily support something, but because of cabinet solidarity they just simply say they support what the Minister of Environment or in this case, the designated minister, says on this.
Mr. Chair, we heard from witnesses like the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, an eminent national stakeholder representing hundreds, if not thousands of chambers. Even in the small District of Summerland, all of the businesses in the district are members of that Chamber of Commerce. Probably, Mr. Chair, they would want to know that the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is being heard. It is their voice here in Ottawa. They came and did a very thorough discussion, as did many other stakeholders, including the Cattlemen's Association, Pulse Canada and others.
I hope that this particular argument I'm making today will not fall on deaf ears once more.
Mr. Chair, perhaps Mr. Saini, who is so thoughtful and considerate, might decide that today is the day he will side with Dan, as my constituents call me.