Evidence of meeting #36 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 target.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Clerk of the Committee  Ms. Angela Crandall
Émilie Thivierge  Legislative Clerk
John Moffet  Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Protection Branch, Department of the Environment

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

There is other wording I would have preferred as well, but this exercise is about building enough agreement to get these changes through the committee, and that was the language that was agreed to that we feel will gain agreement from the majority of the committee members. I think the term “objective” is clear enough for most people to understand it to mean a specific reduction by 2026. That's certainly my understanding. My hope would be that the government would understand it similarly.

Mr. Chair, if I may, I neglected in my initial remarks to note that it appears there's an error in the amendment. I'm not sure on whose part this error took place. I've been notified that in the French version it should read “after line 17”, and apparently it has a different line number. Perhaps we could ask for a bit of assistance there to make sure that this is remedied.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Okay.

Ms. Thivierge, this seems to be an error.

May 31st, 2021 / 3:40 p.m.

Émilie Thivierge Legislative Clerk

Yes, that's the case.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Can the French version of the amendment be corrected easily?

3:40 p.m.

Legislative Clerk

Émilie Thivierge

Actually, the error is only in the instructions.

The amendment should therefore propose that Bill C-12, in clause 9, be amended by adding after line 17….

If the amendment is passed, when it is reprinted, it will be put in the correct place in French, that is, the place where the hon. member proposed it in the English version.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Okay.

I noticed that clause 2 is mentioned in the French wording of the amendment, but that it is not mentioned in the English wording.

Is that a problem?

3:40 p.m.

Legislative Clerk

Émilie Thivierge

No, since 2.1 refers to subclause 2. This is only because the legislative drafters agreed that it would be better to write it that way when they drafted it.

However, we would need Mr. Bachrach's consent for that small change to the instructions in the amendment.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Mr. Bachrach, do you agree to replace “line 14” with “line 17”?

I'm asking you because you're the one who brought it up.

3:40 p.m.

NDP

Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Yes, I do.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Okay, that's perfect.

Ms. Michaud, you have the floor.

3:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As the member mentioned, the NDP members have been calling for 2025 to be a milestone year from the beginning. Now they are backing down and proposing an interim target of 2026, which is unfortunate. I guess that's part of the deal they made with the Liberals to make the government look open to strengthening the legislation.

We will still accept this proposal. The year 2026 is better than nothing.

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Okay. Thank you.

Mr. Albas, you have the floor.

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Pardon me. For whatever reason, it seemed that I was muted. Hopefully, the second time's the charm.

I was hoping to see if Mr. Moffet or another official from the Government of Canada could be here so that I could ask a few questions about NDP-2.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Mr. Nevison is here. I don't know.... Is Mr. Moffet here too?

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Okay, there's Mr. Moffet. Good. I was looking because I want to carry on with some of the questions I had.

Again to Mr. Moffet, first of all, is there any significance in NDP-2? It refers to “emission” singular, versus “emissions” plural in the rest of the bill. Is there anything there that we should be aware of with regard to referring to “emissions” in most of the bill versus what's envisioned in NDP-2?

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Go ahead, Mr. Moffet.

3:45 p.m.

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

I'm going to apologize to the committee. I had trouble getting on. I'm just bringing the document up. I need to have a look at the provision. I apologize. I'm not quite ready to answer the question.

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Okay. Mr. Chair, we could either just go to another member who has questions, or perhaps Mr. Bachrach wants—

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Yes, we're at—

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

I know this wasn't originally his motion that he submitted, so I can't pester him for whether or not he meant to include an “s” or not.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

There are no other speakers.

I don't know, Mr. Moffet, how close you are to bringing up the document. Basically, Mr. Albas is saying that in English it says that the emissions reduction plan for 2030 must include an interim greenhouse gas “emission” objective. Should it be “emissions” objective?

3:45 p.m.

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

John Moffet

I can't speak for the intention of the person who wrote the amendment. I think it should have an “s” on it. That's the way the term has been used in the rest of the bill, so it would be consistent. I think there should be consistency throughout the bill.

Just to be clear, the terms are used interchangeably. The reason “emissions” is used is either because of a reference to emissions from multiple sources or because there are multiple different types of greenhouse gases, plural, which can be combined into emissions, plural.

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

I have a number of further questions, Mr. Chair, but I know that Mr. Bachrach did raise his hand. For process, did you want Mr. Bachrach to jump in and answer the question?

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Regarding the “s”, yes.

3:45 p.m.

NDP

Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I think we can chalk this up to a simple error. Certainly consistency is important. I'll look to other members to put forward a subamendment that can fix that and make it plural. I think that's probably the most logical thing to do.