Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I certainly appreciate Mr. Jeneroux thinking so generously of Minister Wilkinson, wanting to give him a bit more time. North Vancouver is lovely at this time of year when it isn't raining, and that's not often.
That being said, I will point out that there has been a lot of discussion about the need to have more independence of the committee.
One of the ways you can do that is by putting a bit of distance between who appoints them. When you make all the committee members.... They have to receive their appointment from one minister. Again, for the purposes of this bill, by default, it designates the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, thus, why Mr. Jeneroux was fixated on helping Minister Wilkinson.
By creating several different roles, or by appointing to this advisory board, that creates more independence, because the further away.... You have multiple different ministers that would make suggestions. As I've said earlier, each minister, typically, has a rolodex. Again, asking for six members, I'm sure Minister Wilkinson wouldn't have any difficulty with that as he's already come up with 15.
We should make sure we include indigenous persons by amending paragraph 21(1)(c) with “three, on the recommendation of the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations”. This is something that I will give MP McLeod 100% credit for. She asked a number of questions. We didn't have any indigenous witnesses, though my understanding is that there are some briefs alluding to it. This would ensure that indigenous persons across the country, who are known specifically to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, would be able to nominate those imminent persons. They would contribute indigenous knowledge as laid out by the act in the definitions.
We have a thriving clean-tech sector that oftentimes doesn't necessarily run in lockstep with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. In fact, the Minister of Industry probably has more discussions with clean-tech firms in places like Waterloo and other innovation centres that are just starting up. That minister would also be able to put forward other people.
There is other expertise. It's been cited that some people believe there should be economists on this. I'm sure the Minister of Finance also has, in her rolodex, very worthy persons that would be able to contribute.
We believe this is an all-hands-on-deck issue dealing with climate change. We think there would be more independence by lightening the load of Minister Wilkinson , in this case, as Mr. Jeneroux has pointed out.
As he said, we had witnesses who came to committee and asked for this. Of course, the way the Governor in Council works, as you are probably well aware, Mr. Chair, is that the Governor in Council meets but it does need a recommendation from a minister to start a discussion.
That's why we believe in naming, specifically, not just theMinister of Environment, who would get six members, but the Minister of Industry, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and the Minister of Finance. We believe you would end up with a much more diverse panel. It would create a sense of more independence. As I've said, it breaks down those silos. It brings different people to the fore. It would make for a much more diverse panel. In that case, they would be more cross-disciplinary, which is important in dealing with a multi-faceted issue such as climate change.
I would ask all honourable members to contribute to making the bill stronger. This is one of the best recommendations that we've brought forward. For those who call themselves business Liberals or blue Liberals, I would hope they would say that having one minister with one perspective, through their own personal rolodex or that of their staff, is too limiting.
The bill could be seriously improved by having other ministers, who are also capable and run into these distinguished Canadians when they do their round tables and consultations, find the right people to fit this important role.
With that, I would ask all honourable members to consider this. Again, I think that one of the biggest challenges in our politics is that it is not so much a matter of whether an idea is good or not, but of who proposes it. That is something we see in Ottawa too much. If a Conservative raises an idea, it might be good or bad based on who is watching and vice versa. If a minister of the Crown rises with a particular idea, then the opposition might oppose it just because it's that person.
I'm really counting on the committee work we do, Mr. Chair, which is far less partisan than, let's say, the average question period. We can actually dig down into the process or into our committee. I grant it that this committee process has been rather truncated and I don't think it has led to the best outcome. One way we can actually prove me wrong is by supporting Mr. Jeneroux and his motion, with the added benefit of a little bit more family time for Minister Wilkinson.