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House of Commons Hansard #163 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was cbc.

Topics

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Madam Speaker, during the member's speech, he talked about the uncertainty that Bill C-17 would add to the natural resource sector in Yukon. My colleague from Yukon mentioned the mining exploration tax credit, which the Conservative government also put in place. However, he talked about it being a great advancement. The Liberals took away the Canada exploration expense, which eliminated tax credits for new exploratory oil and gas wells, and that has had an impact on the energy sector in Alberta. We have seen Statoil, Shell, and ConocoPhillips pull investment out of Alberta.

I am wondering if the member can talk about the impact that this could have in Yukon as well, as it loses investment because of these new regulations and policies.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

5:45 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Madam Speaker, absolutely. In my riding, I have heard from many smaller junior oil and gas companies, and even those technical services companies that provide assistance to the major companies say that that will have an immense impact. They are not going to be sending as many drills out into the field, and a good deal of this is the fault of the New Democratic provincial government.

However, this compounds the problem even further. I talked about it in my remarks. We always talk about the cumulative impacts on the environment, but we rarely, if ever, talk about the cumulative impacts on industry and on companies.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

5:45 p.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today on Bill C-17.

Listening to the debate thus far today, I am reminded of former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, who certainly had a love of the north. He also had a love of this place, a love of Parliament. I am reminded of one of his more famous quotations, in which he said, “Parliament is more than procedure - it is the custodian of the nation's freedom.”

I am reminded of this now more than ever. Last Friday, I raised an important point of privilege about two members who were denied their right to vote, and then the Liberal government shutting down the vote on a question of privilege, never allowing that question of privilege to come to a vote in this House.

As well, I think of the Standing Orders standoff that the Liberals have orchestrated in the procedure and House affairs committee. It is, unfortunately with a heavy heart, that we have to stand in here and debate, not the important rights of our members, as we ought to.

Therefore, I move:

That the House do now adjourn.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

5:45 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

5:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

5:45 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

5:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

5:45 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

All those opposed will please say nay.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

5:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

5:45 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #254

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion lost.

Bill C-17--Notice of time allocationYukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, an agreement could not be reached under the provisions of Standing Order 78(1) or 78(2) with respect to the second reading stage of Bill C-17, an act to amend the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act and to make a consequential amendment to another act.

Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the crown will propose at the next sitting a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings at the said stage.

Bill C-25--Notice of time allocationCanada Business Corporations ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

Mr. Speaker, I would also like to advise that an agreement could not be reached under the provisions of Standing Order 78(1) or 78(2) with respect to the report stage and third reading stage of C-25, an act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act, the Canada Cooperatives Act, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, and the Competition Act.

Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the crown will propose at the next sitting a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings at those stages.

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-17, an act to amend the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment, and of the amendment to the amendment.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order, please. There are 10 minutes remaining in the questions and comments from the speech of the hon. member for Perth—Wellington, although we are about three minutes from the end of government orders.

Questions and comments, the hon. member for Yukon.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to comment on three things that the member mentioned.

First, the delegation of authority is in the treaty and the treaty is constitutionally protected, the UFA, the umbrella final agreement, and of course we, as legislators, cannot change something that is constitutionally protected.

Second, as I have outlined a number of times, the reassessments do not necessarily have to hurry. The policy has been changed so that the initial assessment can go longer in the life of the project so reassessments may not be necessary and only done when necessary.

Finally, once again, the timelines are just as certain. They are done by regulations and gazetted. Therefore, the question of uncertainty is not valid.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know the member for Yukon is very proud of Yukon and proud of his riding and I thank him for his comments.

However, I want to comment on what we just saw from the government House leader. After only one day of debate on this bill, she has given notice of time allocation. She has given notice of time allocation at the same time on Bill C-25 after very little debate.

She said that an agreement could not be reached through the usual channels. Well, it is tough to reach agreement when the government is ramming changes to the Standing Orders down the throats of the opposition.

She said that she wants us to have a conversation on the Standing Orders, yet there is a motion before the procedure and House affairs committee to have the guillotine at the end. It is a forced change.

Our party believes that to have a real discussion we need consensus from all parties in this House, as has been the tradition in this House. I think it is unfortunate that she has given notice of time allocation on two bills which have had one day of debate.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment ActGovernment Orders

6:30 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member will have a little over seven and a half minutes for questions and comments the next time this matter is before the House.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

Rail TransportationAdjournment Proceedings

6:30 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to see so many of my colleagues on the Hill this evening for the late show. I will probably have the pleasure of debating tonight's topic with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, who knows the file very well.

I am pleased to be having this debate today, because the answer I got from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport during question period last week sparked quite a bit of concern.

Let me give a brief summary of the matter. I asked the Minister of Transport for a progress report on plans for a rail bypass in Lac-Mégantic. At the time, I pointed out that the federal government has a very important role to play in helping the people of Lac-Mégantic. More than three years after the tragedy, the wounds have yet to heal, and they are reopened every time a train passes through town.

The minister answered my question. I believe he is sincere when he says he really cares about this file. He has met with elected officials in Lac-Mégantic on several occasions and has discussed the matter with them. I very much appreciate that.

Last week, the mayor of Lac-Mégantic spoke with the Premier of Quebec, who reiterated his support for the rail bypass around downtown Lac-Mégantic. That in itself is excellent news. Indeed, what the people of Lac-Mégantic want is for all political parties to stand together to end the suffering of the local residents.

I will briefly go over the meeting as it was reported in La Tribune. The mayor of Lac-Mégantic, Jean-Guy Cloutier said:

We had a very good meeting. I am quite satisfied with Mr. Couillard's [the Premier of Quebec] openness and attentiveness. The people of Lac-Mégantic wanted us to be more transparent about our exchanges with the government. We have the premier's permission to make our conversations public. We were given very good news about Lac-Mégantic's requests for a bypass.

The premier also has great empathy for the people of Lac-Mégantic.

As I said, that is very good news. However, the article mentioned something that has me a bit concerned:

The Premier of Quebec, Philippe Couillard, reiterated his support for the project...promising to be a minority contributor to funding the project while at the same time asking the federal government to be the majority contributor to this project, which falls under its jurisdiction.

In the House last week, I asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport a question about the bypass. Naturally, she was empathetic, which I really appreciated. I know that the parliamentary secretary is very familiar with the file. I will quote her reply:

...The study is still under way and that is why the minister met with the Premier of Quebec a few weeks ago to discuss the bypass and the next steps in the process. We hope to participate as equal partners.

The two governments are talking. However, I sense that a fight is brewing with regard to jurisdiction and who will pay the most. What we want and what I am asking the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport is this: will the federal government do its part and not play the jurisdiction card, which would be extremely detrimental to the people of Lac-Mégantic?

Rail TransportationAdjournment Proceedings

April 10th, 2017 / 6:30 p.m.

Kanata—Carleton Ontario

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Mégantic—L'Érable for raising this issue.

Let me begin by saying that we share the concerns regarding the well-being of the Lac-Mégantic community. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims of the July 2013 disaster.

The Minister of Transport has had the honour of meeting with residents of Lac-Mégantic on several occasions to hear their concerns. Representatives of the Prime Minister's Office and the minister's office also met with a group of people from Lac-Mégantic when they were in Ottawa.

Let us be clear. Rail safety remains an absolute priority for the minister, and our government is fully committed to improving it.

We will continue to monitor railway safety in the region, and over the past few years, departmental officials have increased the number of inspections in the Lac-Mégantic region related to equipment and operations, tracks, and grade crossings. We will not hesitate to take action in any case of noncompliance with federal rules and regulations.

We have already taken many steps to make the rail system and the transportation of dangerous goods by rail safer. For example, the minister has accelerated the phase-out of the old DOT-111 tanker cars.

Furthermore, the minister was honoured to have Denis Lauzon, the Lac-Mégantic fire chief, join him for the announcement of Transportation 2030, a plan that includes speeding up the review of the Railway Safety Act to build on our actions to improve rail safety across Canada.

I would also like to mention that the minister is personally in contact with the Mayor of Lac-Mégantic with regard to the rail bypass. We are looking at options on how to accelerate the study.

The study is still under way and that is why the Minister of Transport met with the Premier of Quebec a few weeks ago to discuss the bypass and the next steps in the process. We hope to participate as equal partners.

Rail TransportationAdjournment Proceedings

6:35 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Madam Speaker, I would just like to congratulate my colleague on replying in French. It is very nice to get answers that the people of Lac-Mégantic can hear and understand right away.

However, there was no new information there. It was exactly the same as the answer we got last Friday. It was exactly the same as what the minister has been telling us for ages.

The parliamentary secretary repeated one thing that gives us cause for concern: the Premier of Quebec and the Minister of Transport may indeed have met, but a quarrel over the numbers seems to be brewing. Figuring out who is going to pay seems to be a real problem. The people of Lac-Mégantic went through Canada's worst rail disaster ever. Will we allow this jurisdictional debate to happen at their expense? Never.

Rail TransportationAdjournment Proceedings

6:35 p.m.

Liberal

Karen McCrimmon Liberal Kanata—Carleton, ON

Madam Speaker, our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims of the July 2013 disaster and with everyone in Lac-Mégantic.

As I said, rail safety is an absolute priority for the Minister of Transport.

The study is still under way, and that is why the minister met with the Premier of Quebec a few weeks ago to discuss the bypass and next steps in the process. We hope to participate as equal partners.

Foreign AffairsAdjournment Proceedings

6:35 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, back in December, I asked the government about its approach with respect to our armed forces, particularly with respect to so-called peace operations.

The government said upfront that it wanted to commit our Canadian troops to peacekeeping, peace operations somewhere, without articulating what the Canadian national interest was in this case and what impact we might have in that situation.

In the question that I asked previously, I particularly highlighted the fact that Canadian troops may find themselves, in some of the different conflicts contemplated, in a situation where they are confronting child soldiers. This is one of many questions either the government clearly has not thought through or has not developed a plan on, in the midst of desperately wanting to move forward in these so-called peace operations.

Many of the places where the government has contemplated sending our soldiers are not traditional peacekeeping operations as many people think of them. They are actually quite dangerous. There is real risk to our soldiers there, and there is no clear articulation of what our strategic interest would be.

Since I have asked that question, we have seen further just how much the government lacks a plan with respect to our military and how much it is willing to undermine the support that the government provides to the military, at the same time as seemingly expecting it to be able to do more. Of course, all of us in this House recognize how capable and how accomplished our armed forces are, but we also have to support them. We have to put our money where our mouth is. We cannot keep talking about capabilities while withdrawing support. We have to recognize the capabilities of our soldiers while properly supporting them as well.

While we hear the government talking about many different possible commitments of Canadian troops, they are facing the substantial cuts that come with budget 2017. In this last budget, the Liberals cut $8.48 billion, which had been earmarked for military equipment purchases. That, combined with last year's cuts from the first Liberal budget, means that our military faces a shortfall of $12 billion.

This is at a time when there are increasing risks in the world. We only need to think about events of the last week in Syria. We see that there is an escalating threat level in terms of the kinds of conflicts that are happening, things that clearly challenge us in terms of fundamental human rights but that also deal with Canada's strategic interests.

We have challenges in Ukraine and eastern Europe, with the threats presented by Russia. We have the situation in Syria where Bashar Al-Assad, backed by Russia and Iran, is threatening the lives of his own civilians. His policies have implications for global security.

There are a number of these different cases around the word which illustrate the need for Canadian vigilance and proper support for our Canadian soldiers. Instead, unfortunately, the Liberals are doing two things. Number one, they are cutting back our support for our military. Number two, they are simply looking for military proposals that would help with Canada's bid at the UN Security Council. That is why they are looking for some kind of peace accord operation. It is not about Canada's interest; it is about winning friends at the United Nations.

The focus should be on advancing Canada's national interest and supporting our soldiers in the process. I challenge the parliamentary secretary and the government to consider a new approach that actually supports our military and considers Canada's national interest.