Evidence of meeting #96 for Natural Resources in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was independent.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Allan Fogwill  President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Energy Research Institute
Nichole Dusyk  Postdoctoral Fellow, Federal Policy, Pembina Institute
Benjamin Israël  Analyst, Pembina Institute
Bruce Lourie  President, Ivey Foundation (Toronto)
Donald Mustard  Researcher, As an Individual

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

There's the other thing with data coming in, having the expertise....

What is also important—and it's one of my concerns about a potential new agency—is that if it becomes a branch of NRCan, or something like that, the data can be manipulated, right? No matter what the topic, you will get two sides to every story. Science is changing, right? The data comes in, and I agree somewhat with what T.J. is saying about independence. Stats Canada would be my preferred option. My fear is the processing of the data, the reliability, and the confidence, I think.

10:20 a.m.

Researcher, As an Individual

Donald Mustard

It's an example of chaos theory. It's not one or two options; it's an infinite number. What really works in chaos theory, and what some of the machine learning and AI techniques are discovering, is that they're able to predict the patterns in chaos theory further down the line.

Everybody is going to have their own take on data. Everybody has their own newspaper and their own TV channel now. The reality is that in that milieu, if you're using the same data you are going to come to things that are a consensus, that are the same in everyone's. They may have come up with a different interpretation, but the raw material they're working with is the same, and we're a long way ahead now.

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

I have three minutes. I'll hopefully come back to you very shortly.

Sir, you mentioned, and we have had people come forward and say it many times at this committee, that there are a lot of gaps in the data around renewable energy. Here in Canada—in Ontario for sure—we are pouring billions into renewable energy, yet everyone says there is no data around that to prove its reliability or its worth, or whatever. I suppose you can't really answer why governments continue to go down this path even though we don't have the data, or do we?

10:20 a.m.

President, Ivey Foundation (Toronto)

Bruce Lourie

I was on the board of directors of the Ontario Power Authority for many years, so I might be able to answer that question.

I would disagree that we don't have data on that. There is a lot of data on that. The question is, who has access to that data and who uses it in the right way? Groups like the Independent Electricity System Operator in Ontario have all kinds of data. They have billions and billions of data points on everything in the system.

To comment on the last question and the idea of creating some kind of national organization, it would be some kind of hybrid, getting StatsCan involved because they have the legal ability to compel information, but also working with independent experts so that it's quasi-independent.

The issue is that we don't have a common set of, say, how renewable energy would be looked at in Alberta versus Ontario. We don't have a common understanding of how the systems, pricing, and subsidies are different. If we had some kind of centralized body in Canada, we could look at common information. How does Quebec do this? How does Alberta do this? How does Ontario do this? Right now we have very independent systems, with people using different definitions, measurements, and policy tools. That's the benefit of trying to get all this together under one roof, but that's also why it needs to have people from across the jurisdictions in this country, because we're a big, complex country, with a lot of autonomy within the provinces.

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

If I can, Chair, I just want to move this motion:

That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Standing Committee on Natural Resources recall the following witnesses, Greg Peterson, Director General, Agriculture, Energy, Environment and Transportation Statistics; René Beaudoin, Assistant Director, Environment, Energy and Transportation Statistics Division, Department of the Environment; Derek Hermanutz, Director General, Economic Analysis Directorate, Strategic Policy Branch; Jacqueline Gonçalves, Director General, Science and Risk Assessment; Tonja Leach, Managing Director and Bruce Cameron, Senior Advisor, at Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow, to provide additional testimony and clarity related to the study on the current state and future of national energy data.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal James Maloney

This is a new motion.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Yes, but it has to do with the business at hand.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal James Maloney

All right.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

It's basically to give additional testimony. I thought we were on a roll, there, and we were coming to some important points. It's just to bring them back and hopefully get their—

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal James Maloney

I'm just worried about the procedural business and a new motion. This isn't something we've had notice of before.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

That's correct. This is a new motion because it deals with business. It's my understanding that I can table it now, and we can have a vote on it—I do believe—being that it's of committee business at the time. I do have copies, if anyone wants one.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

TJ Harvey Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Chair, we're prepared to vote on it too.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal James Maloney

Okay.

I take it you're not sharing your time with Mr. Falk, then.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

How much time do I have?

Sorry, Ted.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal James Maloney

We'll call the vote right now.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Kim Rudd Liberal Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

May I just add something?

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal James Maloney

Yes.

May 8th, 2018 / 10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Kim Rudd Liberal Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Maybe we could amend it as time allows, because that's a long list, we have limited time before we rise, and technically, being able to get folks here by video just because of their schedules.... The way I heard the motion—and I could be wrong, because I don't have a—

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Do you have the copies?

10:25 a.m.

A voice

Yes.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Kim Rudd Liberal Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

I just heard that we were doing it, but maybe we could just recognize that all best efforts will be made to invite them back.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal James Maloney

T.J.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

TJ Harvey Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Can we suspend for just two minutes?

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Kim Rudd Liberal Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

So we can read it....

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal James Maloney

Yes. That's fine. I'll suspend.