Madam Speaker, my colleague from Northumberland—Peterborough South claims to have heard from her minister that the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development discovered that many people were interested in the matter and wanted to get involved in this environmental issue. As a member of that committee, that is not what I saw.
I hope that we will be able to improve this bill, which is at third reading tonight, and that the government will listen to reason. In all sincerity, the goal of our interventions is to improve the bill, in order to make it more rigorous and more effective at improving our actions as citizens when it comes to the environment. I am speaking specifically about the act to enact the impact assessment act and the Canadian energy regulator act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act, and to make consequential amendments to other acts.
Yes, I am a little out of breath after reading the bill's title. This government promised not to use omnibus or mammoth bills. The Liberals have proven once again that they do not keep their word. They are not fulfilling the campaign promises they made in 2015, and Canadians are realizing that more and more.
We will be talking about part 1 of the bill, which enacts the impact assessment act and repeals the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
Part 2 enacts the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, which establishes the Canadian Energy Regulator and sets out its composition, mandate and powers. The role of the Regulator is to regulate the exploitation, development and transportation of energy within Parliament’s jurisdiction.
Part 3 amends the Navigation Protection Act. At 400 pages, the bill is very complex. Introducing a bill like this one undermines parliamentarians by preventing us from doing effective and rigorous work to ensure that Canadian legislation is well crafted.
The Liberals are determined to label us as the “big bad Conservatives” and the “anti-environment Conservatives”. Even though it is late, I would like to repeat in the House that no member of the official opposition gets up in the morning intent on destroying our planet. Quite the contrary.
I would like to review some of the concrete measures the previous Conservative government took. I would like to remind the House that we created the clean air regulatory agenda. We instituted new regulations to reduce emissions from cars and light trucks. We instituted new regulations to reduce emissions from heavy vehicles and their engines, and we announced our plans for stricter regulations for that sector. We proposed regulations to align ourselves with the U.S. Tier 3 standards for vehicle emissions and sulphur in gasoline. Our relationship with the United States was a good one. We set targets for hydrofluorocarbons, black carbon, and methane. We established new regulations to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants. We put in place measures to support the development of carbon capture technologies and alternative energy sources. We enhanced the annual report to government on main environmental indicators, including GHGs.
I would call the members' attention to my next point. We, the Conservatives, got rid of tax breaks related to the oil sands. Anyone who thinks we did nothing for the nine years the Conservative Party was in power before the Liberals took office is absolutely wrong. The Liberals are spreading misinformation. Those were just some of our government's actions. Taken together, our measures secured a positive environmental record for Canada and led to a proven reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2014, the last full year of our government, we managed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada by 15%. Yes, the Conservative government did that. We worked so hard, that when the Liberal government came to power and went parading about in Paris, it used the greenhouse gas reduction targets set by the big scary Conservatives, those anti-environmentalists who could not work with scientists. We set greenhouse gas reduction targets and this government used them. This confirms that we did a good job. The government should shut up and stop saying that the Conservatives are working against the environment.
More specifically, the environment is important within the Conservative Party's Quebec caucus, as it is to all Conservatives in the House. I would like to share some of specific actions that Conservative caucus members from Quebec have taken.
I hear one of my colleagues in the House laughing. I was trying to copy him by participating in the Shaved Head Challenge. It probably suits him better, but it is temporary in my case.
The member for Lévis—Lotbinière planted over 500 trees on his property. The member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, meanwhile, has a cottage. He is lucky, but he is an entrepreneur who worked very hard and added this cottage to his property before he was elected to the House of Commons. Guess what his cottage has? It has solar panels. Yes, he is a Conservative who is not polluting and who cares about the environment. He also has a wind turbine to produce energy.
Let us also not forget that our political lieutenant for Quebec gets around in an electric car. Well done. We are proud to show that we are fully aware of the importance of the environment. I would also like to add that, for my part, I formed a committee on the circular economy. We are people of action, and the environment is important to us.
I will now get back to the bill. The May 31 edition of Le Devoir ran an article by Louis-Gilles Francoeur under the headline “Political appointments undermine environmental assessment process”. Mr. Francoeur is a former vice-president of the Quebec Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement and former journalist at Le Devoir. Here is what he said:
Bill C-69, which will govern federal environmental assessment in coming years, has been proceeding through Parliament with striking media indifference.... One issue is the process of appointing members to the review panels responsible for assessing large projects under federal authority, like the recent Energy East oil pipeline project. Politics can be a main factor in choosing review panel members, as the proposed bill now stands. That is hardly compatible with the independence required in this function.
The Liberals said that they would govern without interference and that they would implement a system and take the necessary steps to ensure that everything was done in an impartial manner. However, clause 33 of the bill says:
The Minister may only approve a substitution if he or she is satisfied...
This is a privilege that is being given to the minister.
Subclause 39(1) says:
...he or she may enter into an agreement or arrangement with any jurisdiction referred to...
Subclause 75(2) mentions an exception:
The obligation does not apply with respect to any designated project for which the Minister has approved the substitution of a process...
Lastly, subclause 183(6) says:
The Minister may, by order, grant one or more extensions of the time limit specified under subsection (4).
I am not making this up. These are real clauses from the bill. In light of these provisions, how can the Liberals claim to have implemented transparent, impartial measures that will lead to a reputable process and restore public trust?