House of Commons Hansard #294 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was tax.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, Consular Affairs; the hon. member for Saskatoon West, Public Transportation; and the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, Pensions.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to the motion today. I had occasion to reflect on it this morning. I had the honour for the third time since being elected to represent the NDP at the national prayer breakfast.

In the prayer for Canada and the nations offered up by the Right Hon. Chief Justice Richard Wagner, we were reminded of a call to people of faith within the Christian community to be good shepherds of the planet and the environment and that our duties extend beyond concern for our own souls and extend to the people we share the planet with and to the planet itself.

Financial implications are an important part of this question in any policy, but it was an important reminder that we had duties that extended beyond our pocketbooks. Our duty to the planet is one of those, but we are also fortunate in that there are a lot of solutions we can implement to do our part to help save the planet and the people on it. There is a lot of evidence that climate change is real, that it is happening, that there are real consequences from a practical point of with respect to costs, and they are projected to get worse.

One of those policies that we can implement is a price on carbon. We can have a debate about where exactly to put that price. The Conservatives have raised important points that we in the NDP are sensitive about the costs to low-income households. I find it odd that it would be a reason to not do anything when it comes to climate change. Absent in the comments today are real alternatives to take meaningful action on climate change.

NDP governments have shown, and my colleague from B.C. pointed out B.C. and Alberta, that what can accompany carbon pricing is a rebate program, not unlike the way we offer a rebate to low-income families with the GST. We can provide a rebate to help families that are struggling with that additional cost. That allows us to secure the benefit of a carbon tax for the environment, while at the same time responding to legitimate concerns of low-income households, whether they are pensioners on fixed incomes or single-parent families or families with two parents who are trying to hold down more than one job and are having a hard time making ends meet. Sometimes this is because of the cost of child care or the cost of housing or the cost of prescription drugs or the fact that real wages have not been rising to keep pace with the cost of the things for families to have a reasonable standard of life.

It is important for Canadians at home to resist the temptation of the dichotomy Conservatives are presenting today, that somehow it is not really doing anything when it comes to climate change in the face of a large amount of evidence to say that something is happening on the planet that is different. We are seeing some of the consequences of that simply because there are cost pressures on Canadian families.

There are all sorts of ways to try to address those cost pressures directly when we talk about a price on carbon, by having some sort of meaningful rebate system. That is where it would be important for the federal government to work with provinces, where that does not exist, to try to make that happen. It will be unfortunate if the federal government's position continues to be simply that it is just up to each province on its own because it has undertaken to implement this price on carbon.

The Liberals also need to be just as involved with the provinces when it comes to the question of how to ensure fairness for low-income families. There are ways of doing that without sacrificing the very idea of a price on carbon. More broadly, I would welcome Conservatives to the club of people who are concerned about costs for Canadian families.

We do not hear MPs on either side, not in the last election and not since, talk about the fact that the Canadian corporate income tax went from 28% in the year 2000 to just 15% today. People wonder why Canadian families are struggling. That money used to go to help fund programs and initiatives that made life more affordable for Canadians. When that income disappeared, it had a meaningful difference. It was around that time, it started a little earlier in 1995, that the federal government got out of funding new affordable housing. We are starting to see a bit of a return to that, and certainly any kind of federal investment is welcome.

I was listening to the Conservative member for York—Simcoe. He talked about the cost pressures on Canadian families as if it was simply taxes that made it impossible for Canadian families to get ahead. It was caused by a steep reduction in corporate income taxes and the holing out of government revenue that would support investments in new affordable housing or to sponsor a new national child care program that would make child care available and affordable to Canadian families that wanted to go to work and support their families.

The EI fund was raided by successive Liberal and Conservative governments. There has been a lack of meaningful reform to the EI program since the new government was elected. There was the lack of leadership from successive Liberal and Conservative governments in establishing a national pharmacare plan. New trade deals have entrenched intellectual property rights of pharmaceutical companies, which are milking Canadians who are beholden to them because of the state of their health, and the Liberals are doing this still in CETA and TPP. All of this has affected affordability for Canadians. Those cost pressures have come at a time when we have seen significant reductions in taxes for Canadian businesses, particularly the largest corporations. We do not hear anything from the government about closing the CEO stock option loophole in order to find ways to make life more affordable for Canadians, or to help fund a rebate on the carbon tax, although that would produce its own revenue, or to invest in child care or in new housing.

These are all options. We take the point about affordability, but we should not ask Canadians to continue to make do in an economy that has not been good to them, where Canadian household debt is at record levels because people do not make enough money at work to afford the very things they need. We see an ad on television about a Canadian family that is concerned because it has a dentist bill and a car repair. The financial institution suggests the family get a loan. The financial institution says “You're strapped and your credit cards are maxed out, but don't worry; we're here for you. We'll give you another loan.”

Canadians will not be able to overcome their cost pressures on their own. That is why we need collective solutions. That is why, on our benches, we continue to talk about a collective solution to the cost and availability of child care. That is why we talk about a collective solution to the costs of prescription drugs. That is why we talk about collective solutions to the lack of affordable housing. We know those things will help relieve those real cost pressures on Canadians. To accomplish those things, the largest Canadian corporations will have to pay their fair share, but they do not do that. They pay almost half as much as they did just 15 or 16 years ago.

It is no wonder those cost pressures have been mounting. It is no wonder Canadian households have been going further and further into personal debt in order to cover those costs. That money was in place when we had a fair corporate tax rate in Canada. Canadians are beginning to shoulder the burden of that debt.

We do not have to pit the environment against affordability for Canadians. We can work together to make life more affordable for Canadians, and we can do it while observe our sacred obligation to be good shepherds of the earth.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:45 p.m.

Spadina—Fort York Ontario

Liberal

Adam Vaughan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Madam Speaker, I listened with great interest to the all-of-government approach the NDP shared with us, that fighting climate change is not just putting a price on pollution. It is also how cities are built. It is how we support farmers. It is how we support low-income Canadians. It is how we support people in the north who have different energy consumption patterns than people in the south. We need to do everything we can.

Members opposite referenced Australia, which had a carbon tax. A government very similar to Stephen Harper's government came along and took it off. I think both prime ministers are good friends. Right now, the price of petrol, as it is called in Australia, is $1.41 a litre in Sydney. I just checked with my cousin, who works with an oil industry over there. Part of his job is to check the retail price. I asked him what happened to the price of petrol when the carbon tax was taken off it. He said that the price went up, that companies filled the gap. In other words, consumers did not get the difference; the corporations did. The price of gas in Sydney, even without a carbon tax, is higher than it is in Toronto.

Would the member opposite like to comment that?

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

There is a lot of truth to that, Madam Speaker. Canadians from their own experiences know that the price of gas fluctuates all the time for all sorts of reasons. It never seems to fluctuate down quite as much as it fluctuates up and it is usually not clear why it fluctuates up.

That is one of the reasons why I think my colleague from Windsor West had the great idea of establishing a commission and an ombudsman. They would have the responsibility of overseeing gas prices in Canada. They would have some power to get the information needed to understand where gas prices were going and why. They would able to do something about that so Canadians could be assured of a fair price at the pumps.

The idea that somehow a carbon tax will suddenly make gas pricing unfair in Canada, as if it had not been up to now, is just ridiculous.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to know what my colleague thinks of this Liberal tax grab. The Liberals have already lost control of the debt. They have increased taxes on Canadians and they have no control on our greenhouse gas emissions. They refuse to tell us what the impact of this tax will be.

Why does my colleague trust the Liberals, if he does, to take more money out of the pockets of Canadians without any real results? I am sure he wants real results for the environment as we do.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:45 p.m.

NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, I have been very clear on the record that I support a price on carbon. That does not mean we would not be interested in having the information on what the government projects the cost would be to Canadians. The Alberta government website shows a projected cost for Albertans each year. It is part of how the rebate is calculated, which helps low-income Albertans deal with that cost.

I have also said on the record that the Conservatives asking simply for the cost of the tax is only asking half the question. If they were interested in a real and informed debate, they would also be asking what the cost of not doing anything on climate change would be to Canadians. If the Conservatives could please just suggest some real meaningful alternatives on how to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we could ask for the costing on that too. Then we could have a real and informed debate.

Supporting a price on carbon does not mean supporting the government's secrecy about this. Alberta has shown that the government can be open and transparent. When the Conservatives ask for just one side of the equation, it feels politically motivated. If they are sincere in their desire to have a meaningful, well-informed debate, it has to include costing the price of doing nothing, as well as other meaningful alternatives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Madam Speaker, it is again a pleasure to rise and speak to this subject, which is now being spoken about all over the provinces due to the government's carbon tax. Before I begin, I will say that I will be sharing my time with the member for Prince Albert.

Throughout the day, my colleagues have outlined the dangers of the carbon tax, which is not very well thought out. The government has been saying that it will bring in a carbon tax, but we have a problem when it says that it is revenue neutral and we have found out time after time that it is not revenue neutral. The impact of a carbon tax on the economy is very strong, and we have seen what the PBO has said on the impact it would have on the Canadian economy. The issue here at the end of the day is that we all have an interest in meeting the greenhouse gas emissions targets. We all agree that climate change is happening and we that need to address this issue of climate change.

My colleague from the NDP talked just now about coming up with new solutions and new ideas. The question here is this: Why are we fixated on a carbon tax? Why do the government members think that a carbon tax is the only issue that we need to address to meet the greenhouse gas emissions target that the government signed in Paris? There are other options available in this country that we can look at without putting the burden on Canadian taxpayers.

During the leadership debate, I brought up the issue of recycling nuclear waste as fuel to be used in Canada. I laid down the advantages that this initiative would have. The research done by Professor Peter Ottensmeyer of the University of Toronto has clearly indicated that this is not only cost-effective but is also a carbon-free form of energy. Let me provide some figures.

Nuclear waste fuel could provide up to $1.5 billion to the Canadian economy, and then turn major industries like the oil sands in my province into a low-carbon-emitting industry, something that everybody is striving to do. This is the right solution from this new idea.

Recycling of nuclear waste fuel is a made-in-Canada solution. If we were to harness and recycle the nuclear waste fuel from existing CANDU nuclear plants in Ontario, we could reduce the emissions from industries that output high amounts of carbon as a result of their electricity needs, as in the example of the oil sands that I just pointed out.

Canadian technology and investment into fast neutron reactors, FNRs, has given us an alternative energy that we could use to help our industries in Canada, and not hurt them, while meeting our global carbon commitment.

Harnessing this fuel and recycling it into an energy source producing a high carbon output would also put more than $1.5 billion worth of electricity into our economy. Let me point out that right now the plan for this waste fuel is to bury it in the ground. It will be buried there for 1,000 years. We are burying it in the ground. Do members not think that it is common sense that we reuse this fuel?

By reusing the fuel, we would reduce the carbon output of this country without putting a major tax on Canadians. What is even more interesting is that the money that would be going toward this is already under the mandate of the federal Nuclear Fuel Waste Act under subsection 20(2), so there would be no new taxes and no new levies required by any government with this solution. A start-up fund already exists.

The fast neutron reactor employs incredible safety measures, and if this technology had been used in Japan, there would have been very little environmental impact during the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown.

From all levels this seems to be the right kind of a solution, and it is Canadian made. We have the nuclear fuel already available, the reused fuel rods that, as I mentioned, are to go into the ground. Recycling them would produce electricity for large users of electricity, reducing their carbon footprint. This could be a solution. The member who spoke before me talked about the Conservative Party coming up with solutions. Here is one of the solutions.

As another example, I had a chance to go to the Bay of Fundy, and I saw the tidal wave. The tidal wave is producing electricity. Although this is in its infancy stage, there is a great potential out there for us to reduce our carbon footprint.

Therefore, there are solutions that would not put a burden on the taxpayer. We keep hearing that the money will be given back to the poorer groups. We have programs to help them, and it is always great to see if we can assist them in any way through our social safety network, but we cannot just turn a blind eye and deny the impact to every sector right across the country from a carbon tax. It would be a major burden on the Canadian taxpayer.

We also have this problem of how high we are going to go with a carbon tax. The government has failed to look at other options or ways we could go. As for a plan to meet the Paris targets, all we hear from the environment minister is shouting and screaming that the world is falling apart or something.

There are solutions that are taking place. Solar energy is something else. Here in Canada, we do have this nuclear reactor technology for reusing our waste fuel. We have that technology, which is very safe, and if we employed it, our carbon footprint would be reduced. That is one of the options.

My colleague, my other leadership contender friend, brought that up during the leadership race. However, jokes aside, the fact of the matter is that we need to address climate change. Our leader has already said that he will be presenting a comprehensive policy that will take all solutions into account.

Therefore, let me again remind members that the NDP members gave the example of carbon tax in British Columbia, but what is the gas price today in British Columbia? It is pretty expensive. We just heard the Liberals talking about the prices in Australia. There are other factors in Australia that will make the price go up. It is not just taking away the carbon tax.

We are in a position in Canada to come up with innovative solutions. I have outlined one, and we can do it. Then everybody will come out here. Let us just say that while the Conservative Party is speaking out against the carbon tax, it is not saying that climate change is not be addressed. It definitely needs to be addressed, but options are there.

Once more I will say that there are other solutions. I have outlined one of the solutions, the recycling of nuclear waste and nuclear fuel rods. Thank you for this opportunity to discuss it.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Liberal

Anju Dhillon Liberal Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, QC

Madam Speaker, I listened with great interest to my colleague's debate. Does he not think a national price on carbon is a better idea than the current patchwork approach whereby some provinces have carbon pricing and others do not? Would a national carbon pricing program not be a better approach to improving the environment and combatting climate change?

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Madam Speaker, we are saying that a carbon tax is a heavy burden on Canadian taxpayers. That is why Conservatives are opposed to a carbon tax. We are not saying we need a national policy. We have already opposed that. What I said in my speech today is that there are alternatives we can use to ensure that we meet our goals. At the Paris conference we addressed solutions to climate change, one of which I have outlined very clearly, and that is to reuse nuclear waste fuel.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Madam Speaker, the member mentioned both nuclear power and tidal power as a way for us to get around a carbon tax and that this would solve our problems.

Ontario Power Generation, OPG, is refurbishing its Darlington plant, one of the big nuclear power plants in Canada. It is going to cost $13 billion, and I am wondering if he could tell us who is paying for that if it is not taxpayers.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Madam Speaker, I will gladly answer the question. The member probably did not listen to what I was saying. I am talking about reusing the nuclear waste that already exists and is going to go into the ground for 1,000 years. We are talking about reusing that. We are not talking about building new reactors but about reusing fuel with new technology that we have in Canada, which is very safe. That approach would provide electricity worth $1.5 billion. What is wrong with coming up with an innovative idea, reusing—let me repeat, instead of putting it in the ground, reusing—this nuclear waste to deal with 50,000 tonnes of highly toxic nuclear waste that is sitting out there?

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, I want to compliment the member on the innovative idea he is proposing, which is to reuse old nuclear waste. Of course, new technologies have to be developed, or are in the process of being developed, to do exactly that. Does he not understand that in order for companies to want to look at innovative ways to reuse an older product that is not as easily accessible as new nuclear power, it would require putting a price on using the new sources in order to drive companies to be innovative and to look at new and different approaches such as the one that he mentioned, which is using old nuclear waste and developing new technologies to do exactly that?

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary Forest Lawn, AB

Madam Speaker, I have already said that new technology and investment are available.

To answer his question, the funding would not be based on taxpayers. It is already mandated in the federal Nuclear Fuel Waste Act. It is already there. We are not putting anything new out there. What is wrong with reusing what is already there so that we can carry on with this new idea, for which we do have the technology? I suggest we look at the paper that has been published by Professor Peter Ottensmeyer of the University of Toronto.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Madam Speaker, it is great to be here to talk about the carbon tax. I come from Saskatchewan where this is a very controversial issue. Of course, everybody in this House is aware of the Saskatchewan government taking the government to court, based on the fact that the federal government has no jurisdiction to impose a tax like a carbon tax on the people of Saskatchewan.

The questions here are very clear, and there is something that has to be defined. Are the Liberals proposing this tax because they really care about reducing greenhouse gases and carbon, or is this tax being proposed just for that reason, that it is a way to tax people to get more money into the government coffers so that the government can spend it as it sees fit? I think the latter is true. The reality is that when we start looking at the carbon tax and on the Liberals' climate strategy to meet our Paris commitments, there is a proposal out of Saskatchewan that would actually meet those emissions targets, that would actually allow us to move forward without having a carbon tax.

There are provinces in Canada that actually meet their targets already. Why are we forcing them to have a carbon tax? Why would we not be embracing them? Why would we not say that is great they are not going to make their families pay all that money, that they actually found a way to meet their targets without doing that? One would think the government would embrace that, if that was truly the goal, to reduce emissions and really reduce carbon. One would think that the government would not want to do harm to the economy, similar to the harm it did in Ontario, and the harm that it wants to transfer to the rest of Canada.

I find it frustrating. The government should be looking at new technologies coming on stream, such as the use of carbon sequestration in Estevan in coal-fired power plants. That technology in those plants uses five times less greenhouse gases than natural gas. The government's reaction to that is to shut down coal. “Shut it down. We do not want it.” Why would the government not want it, if it is five times cleaner than natural gas? Is the government saying it is going to shut down the natural gas ones too? Is that the Liberals' goal? What will we do to heat our houses? How are we going to do our manufacturing processes?

Do not be ridiculous. This is not a reasonable solution. The government can embrace new technologies and meet its emission targets. That has been proven in Saskatchewan. However, what did the government do to Saskatchewan? There has been a loss of $60 million in transfers. The government put $110 million in the budget for carbon costs, and then the Liberals say it is revenue neutral. How can it be revenue neutral when they are already spending $110 million in carbon costs? It does not make sense.

Saskatchewan is an exporting province. We grow food. We have forestry products. We manufacture goods that we ship around the world. We have to be competitive on the global platform. Our prices and our cost structures have to be such that we can compete around the world. We know that if we bring in a carbon tax it takes that competitiveness away.

In the market, for example, selling wheat, I cannot price in a carbon tax. I cannot pass that on. I have to take the world price. Therefore, that is direct cost for me and my operation that my competitors in Australia and the U.S. do not have. In fact, Australia used to have a carbon tax and it was so bad that it got rid of it. Why did the Australians get rid of it? It was killing their economy. It was ruining their competitiveness, and it was not reducing their emissions. It was not getting the effect they thought it would have. Why would we go down the same path and not learn from Australia? Why would we not learn from other jurisdictions that looked at this and said, “No, this is crazy”?

The Liberals think that they know best. They have been telling us that for years. When the Liberals are in government they tell the west, “We know best. You are going to do it our way and, by the way, your ideas are stupid,” even though they are way better. That is what we are facing in western Canada and that is what we are facing from the government here. It is really frustrating.

The other thing I find really interesting when we talk to different companies and different committees is that we have companies, steel companies for example, that are meeting the highest regulations and emitting the lowest amounts of pollution, but they are shutting down because of the carbon tax and regulations that the federal government has brought in, and the Liberal provincial government in Ontario has brought in. They are shutting them down. What are they being replaced with? Companies in China, India, and other countries where these types of regulations are not in place and where they could not care two hoots about the environment.

We looked at that. Does it make sense that we have a wonderful facility here in Canada paying Canadians but we are going to shut it down, force it out of business, so that we can go get our products from somewhere else that does not care about the environment? That is what is happening when we embrace these types of policies.

Every organization, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the CME, we can talk to a variety of them and their biggest concern right now with the government in power is competitiveness, their ability to compete around the world on a platform that is equal or level to everywhere else. It is really frustrating when we try to sign trade deals to level the playing field on the tariffs and regulations and our guys come back and say that because of the carbon tax and other taxes imposed on them which their competitors do not have it will be tough for them to compete now. The Liberals did that in two years. They should take a step back and look at what they are doing. Who is going to work in Canada?

We had this situation in Saskatchewan under an NDP government. What happened is our best and brightest left. Where did they go? They went to Alberta. I know the guys from Alberta would thank us very much, because a lot of the leaders in Alberta, in the universities and businesses, come from Saskatchewan. What changed that was embracing the business community in Saskatchewan. It was Brad Wall saying that he wanted them to stay in Saskatchewan, that they could run an operation and be competitive on a global stage in Saskatchewan, and have a great quality of life. We have that. We continued doing that, and we achieved all of our goals when it comes to climate change doing it our way. What did Ottawa respond with? A loss of $60 million in transfer payments, $110 million in carbon costs, and a fight in the courts. The disrespect the Liberal government has shown our province is unimaginable. Then the Liberals wonder why people do not love them. It is truly amazing.

I was at the Canadian/American Border Trade Alliance conference. One of the issues that was brought up was the amount of traffic going across the line to the U.S. so people could fill up their gas tanks. The concern it is raising is that right now on a tank of gas, which let us say is 60 litres, one saves about $24 per tank by leaving Ontario to go across the line to get gas. Once the carbon tax is implemented to the higher levels, it will be $34. It is a problem because the lanes at the border are filling up with more cars which have to be processed.

Do the Liberals not see what is happening? Can they not understand that? We will become uncompetitive. They have noble goals but have gone about them in the wrong way. By doing that, they will force Canadians out of work. They will kill our business community. Why is that a good thing?

I come back to the question: Are the Liberals doing this because they want to lower emissions or because they want more taxes? If they wanted to lower emissions, they would embrace the plan in Saskatchewan or the plan in New Brunswick, but they are not. What are they doing? They are imposing taxes on them because they need the dollars. They want to decide who gets what. They want to be the kingmakers. That is just wrong.

Let the market decide. The market will decide as long as we give the players a fair and level playing field. If we trust the market, it will take care of us. However, the Liberals do not trust anybody. Because of what they will do to our economy with their ideas, it is truly a sad day. If they listened a little, it would be a lot better.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

May 8th, 2018 / 5:10 p.m.

Vaudreuil—Soulanges Québec

Liberal

Peter Schiefke LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth)

Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague mentioned the fact that gas prices are exceptionally high right now, that it is a travesty, and that it is very hard for families to pay for the rise in gas prices. I could feel the concern expressed from across the aisle. However, when the hon. member's government was in power for 11 years, what did he and his government do to help ensure that they empowered Canadians to get themselves off of their dependency on oil and gas to ensure that they would not be in a situation where they were at the will of gas prices going up and down, and putting that pressure on them? What did the Conservatives do, besides cut the subsidies that were available for hybrid and electrical vehicles, which is exactly what their government did?

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Randy Hoback Conservative Prince Albert, SK

Madam Speaker, that is a fair question if somebody from eastern Canada said we were going to get rid of all of the oil and gas sector in a minute, which is what the Prime Minister has promised. The member is just saying what the Prime Minister said.

The Saskatchewan government did a study of what the costs of a carbon tax would be per person. It would be $4.5 billion over the next five years, and $3,853 per person. I can see why the Liberals are not releasing the numbers now, because during the provincial election the last thing they want to put out there are these types of numbers. That is in Saskatchewan. What do members think it is in Ontario?

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

It being 5:15 p.m., it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the business of supply.

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

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

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

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

All those opposed will please say nay.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 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 #664

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:50 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion defeated.