You heard Mr. Samray testify earlier that he had some concerns about the impact of Bill S‑222, An Act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act (use of wood).
I support this bill as written. I want to see more wood used, but I seriously doubt that the bill will have any effect on wood use when it comes into force. Will it have any real impact?
There is a fairly simple legal principle called presumption of effectiveness. People say that the legislator doesn't speak for the sake of speaking.
However, Bill S‑222 provides that the minister can “allow the use of wood” and “consider any potential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions”.
In my opinion, as it stands, the minister can already allow the use of wood and consider any potential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. No bill is needed to do that.
So my amendment goes along those lines.
I move the following:
That Bill S‑222, in Clause 1, be amended by replacing line 12 on page 1 with the following: “shall maximize the use of wood. The Minister may also allow the use of any other thing — including".
I'm adding the idea of maximizing the use of wood. Using “maximize” rather than “can allow” would, at the very least, ensure that more wood is used as a building material.
If the purpose of Bill S‑222 is to give our buildings a smaller carbon footprint, it sounds like wishful thinking in its current form.
As I said earlier, there is a primary legal principle called presumption of effectiveness; the legislator doesn't speak for the sake of speaking. I get the impression that the current bill has the legislator speaking for the sake of speaking.