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

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Would someone like to do that?

Mr. Longfield, do you propose a subamendment to add an “s” after “emission” in the amendment?

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Thank you, Chair.

I'm out of sequence in terms of whose hand was up first, but just for the purpose of this discussion, yes, I think we need a subamendment. I'll put that in for adding an “s”.

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Is there unanimous consent? I believe there is.

(Subamendment agreed to)

That problem is solved.

Go ahead, Mr. Redekopp.

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

I'd like to go back to this issue of the objective.

Mr. Moffet, I'm not sure if you were here when I asked a question about the word “objective” versus the word “target”. From your perspective, is there a difference in meaning, or would the legislation treat both words equally?

3:45 p.m.

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

John Moffet

I think they'd be treated differently. “Target” is already used in the act. As you know, there is a requirement for targets for every five years.

“Objective” is a different term, but I think it would nonetheless require a numerical outcome. It would require, in the context of this amendment, a plan to achieve it and progress reporting against it.

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

The way I understand the word “target” in this legislation is that it's a hard number. It's something that needs to be achieved. It needs to be reported against, etc.

Just to be clear, are you saying that “objective” in the context of this amendment would have the same weight and meaning as “target”?

3:50 p.m.

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

John Moffet

I think it's a slightly different meaning. Each target in the bill as currently written has to have its own plan. This amendment refers to an objective, which would be contained within a plan. I think the expectation would be that the 2030 plan would include measures to achieve the objective, but there wouldn't be a stand-alone document or plan that would be specifically associated with the objective.

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Just to be clear once more, what you are saying is that this isn't actually a 2026 target. It's just wrapped into the 2030 target, and it's going to be one of the interim paths along the way to get to the 2030 target. It is not a stand-alone 2026 target of any type.

3:50 p.m.

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

John Moffet

Just to be clear, that's not in the legal sense used in the act as a target.

It has its own independent plan. There would be a number that would need to be articulated. That number would be public, and government would be held accountable for it. There would be measures to achieve it, and there would be reporting against its achievement.

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

So it's a target then.

3:50 p.m.

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

John Moffet

I'm trying to distinguish what we might commonly refer to as target and the way in which “target” is used in this act, and the specific difference is that in this act each target has to have a stand-alone plan. In this case, there would be no stand-alone separate plan associated with this objective, but in the common sense of the word there would be a number, there would be measures to achieve it and there would be progress reporting against it.

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Redekopp Conservative Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Chair, I'm okay to let this drop. I just want to say that it seems like Mr. Bachrach talked about this deal that was made and how they worked hard to get it. It seems like this isn't what they aimed for and is somewhat lacking. I'll just leave it at that.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Thank you.

Ms. Michaud, you have the floor.

3:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

In light of what Mr. Moffet just explained, can I propose a subamendment to replace “interim … objective” with “target”?

That would be truly binding for 2026, and it wouldn't just be something that's part of the 2030 target, but that really has no force.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Okay.

Madam Clerk, I think we're entitled to a subamendment, right?

3:50 p.m.

Legislative Clerk

Émilie Thivierge

That's correct.

In fact, the first one has already been adopted by unanimous consent. So a second subamendment can be proposed.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Great.

The fact that Ms. Michaud made the subamendment verbally, is that sufficient or does she have to send it in writing to the clerk?

3:50 p.m.

Legislative Clerk

Émilie Thivierge

If she has it in writing, it would be good to send it to the clerk. If she has it in both official languages, that would be even better.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

I don’t think it's necessary for a subamendment to be proposed in both official languages. Is that correct?

May 31st, 2021 / 3:50 p.m.

Legislative Clerk

Émilie Thivierge

To propose it, it doesn't have to be. If she could at least repeat it, it would allow us to write it down accurately.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

I think that's fairly simple.

In the interest of time, Ms. Michaud, can you tell us again what words you want to change?

3:50 p.m.

Bloc

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

I would just replace “interim … objective” with “target”.

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Okay.

Just to be clear, instead of saying, “2030 must include an interim greenhouse gas emissions objective”, Madam Michaud wants to change it to say “must include a greenhouse gas emissions target for 2026”. I think it's pretty clear.

I have Mr. Albas.

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Chair, I'm not sure if this is the proper process or not. I'm just going to ask a few questions. Will I be debating the subamendment by Madam Michaud?

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

At this point it has to be related to the subamendment. If I'm mistaken, could one of the clerks tell me? It seems to make sense that we need to get rid of this subamendment before we go on.