House of Commons Hansard #313 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

Commissioner of Official LanguagesRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I have the honour, pursuant to section 66 of the Official Languages Act, to lay upon the table the annual report of the Commissioner of Official Languages, covering the period from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(f), this report is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

Conflict of Interest CodeRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Pursuant to paragraph 90(1)(a) of the Parliament of Canada Act, it is my duty to present to the House the annual report of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner in relation to the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(a), this document is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to five petitions.

Public Safety and National SecurityCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Liberal Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 21st report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security concerning Bill C-71, an act to amend certain acts and regulations in relation to firearms.

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendments.

Financial Administration ActRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-408, an act to amend the Financial Administration Act (composition of boards of directors).

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise today to introduce an important bill to Parliament. This legislation would amend the Financial Administration Act to require gender parity on the boards of directors of crown corporations and agencies.

I would like to thank the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith for seconding this bill, and for her tireless advocacy for gender equality in Canada.

This bill is the result of the vision of two bright high school students from my riding of Vancouver Kingsway, Ana Brinkerhoff and Nika Asgari from Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School. Ana and Nika are this year's winners of my annual Create Your Canada contest, held in high schools across Vancouver Kingsway.

Ana and Nika hope that this bill will help establish Canada as a global leader on the road to gender equality, and send a message that Canadians truly mean it when we say equality is important to us. I hope all parliamentarians will help them realize their vision for a better Canada.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Business of SupplyRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and if you were to seek it, you would find consent to adopt the following motion:

That, at the conclusion of today's debate on the opposition motion in the name of the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, all questions necessary to dispose of the motion be deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred to Wednesday, June 13, 2018, at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.

Business of SupplyRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to move the motion?

Business of SupplyRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of SupplyRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of SupplyRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of SupplyRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

(Motion agreed to)

Palliative CarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to present two petitions.

The first petition asks Parliament to establish a national palliative care strategy. It highlights that in the last Parliament, a motion was unanimously passed calling for the government to create a national palliative care strategy, and that in this, the 42nd Parliament, Bill C-277 passed unanimously, saying that it is impossible for a person to give informed consent on assisted suicide and euthanasia if palliative care is not available. The petitioners are calling on Parliament to establish a national palliative care strategy.

Impaired DrivingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on impaired driving. The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to strengthen the Criminal Code with regard to impaired driving.

They say, one, that the charge of impaired driving causing death should be called vehicular manslaughter; two, that a person arrested and convicted of impaired driving should automatically have a one-year driving prohibition; three, that if the impaired driving causes bodily harm, imprisonment should be for a minimum of two years; four, if it causes the death of another person, it should be for a minimum of five years; and five, if a person flees the scene of a crash while impaired, there should be additional two years of imprisonment added to their sentence.

PharmacarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I table yet another petition that hundreds of constituents of Winnipeg North have signed, asking the government to consider implementing a national pharmacare program by working with the different stakeholders, with the idea of having prescription medications covered under some form of a national pharmacare program.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:10 a.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

moved:

That, in the opinion of the House, being a global climate change leader and building a clean energy economy means: (a) investing in clean, renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal as well as investing in energy efficient technologies that create good quality, long-lasting jobs for today's workers and future generations; (b) putting workers and skills training at the heart of the transition to a clean energy economy so workers don't have to choose between a good job and a healthy environment for themselves and their families; and (c) not spending billions of public dollars on increasingly obsolete fossil fuel infrastructure and subsidies that increase greenhouse gas emissions and pollution and put Canadians' health and Canada's environment, coastlines, waterways, and wildlife, as well as Canada's marine and tourism jobs at risk.

Mr. Speaker, let me begin by saying that I will be sharing my time with my hon. colleague from Edmonton Strathcona. I look forward to hearing her remarks.

I join all my colleagues in the NDP caucus in being extremely proud of dedicating our time today to a fundamental debate and to a crucial societal choice that will have an effect on future generations for years to come. This debate cannot be taken lightly. I cannot stress enough what a big responsibility we have. I really want to emphasize the word “responsibility”. We have a responsibility to the world and to humankind with respect to our actions on environmental protections, global warming, and climate change in general.

Like many progressives and environmentalists, I believe that future generations will judge us on what we did or did not do to combat climate change, in order to prevent natural disasters, the emergence of climate migrants, and the destruction of a large part of our ecosystems and environment. It is our responsibility, and this the most important thing we can bequeath to our children and grandchildren.

For this reason, our debate must be sensible, reasonable, and calm, and we must all recognize the scope of the actions and decisions we may or may not take today and consider whether we are doing enough.

Our country engaged in a vital process to control our greenhouse gas emissions and prevent global warming. An increase of more than two degrees above the 1990 mean temperature would lead to extremely detrimental—and irreversible—situations for many countries, and quite likely for the entire planet.

That is why this motion moved by the NDP is asking all parliamentarians in the House to take action and send a message that we have to start engaging in this green shift now and creating jobs for today and for the future. We have to start right now and make appropriate and massive investments in training workers to ensure that they will have a good job in the future, perhaps not in the same energy sector as before, but in another energy sector or maybe in another industry. We must ensure they can continue to earn good wages, pay their rent, buy their groceries, and send their children to university. This is a comprehensive motion because it mentions the environment and also good jobs and the investments required.

I come back to the investments because there have been a few recently. Unfortunately, they are way off track from what the rest of the planet is doing to begin a green shift consistent with the objectives set at various summits held around the world, the last one being in Paris. Unfortunately, every independent observer sees that the Liberal government is clearly veering away from the targets set in the Paris Agreement. We will be unable to do our part to control or limit greenhouse gas emissions. It is our responsibility. I want to stress that.

I do not understand how the Liberal government can say one thing and do another, when there is so much at stake both for the Pacific peoples, whose entire countries, islands, could be swallowed up by the sea, and for us, who could see climate extremes that would cost us billions of dollars due to droughts, forest fires, and floods. These phenomena are on the rise and will become increasingly frequent if we do nothing. It will be very costly.

When it comes to the process, I come back to the Liberal government buying the old Trans Mountain pipeline that belonged to Kinder Morgan not so long ago. On the issue of process alone, there was no public debate to determine whether Canadians agreed, or not, with investing $4.5 billion to buy a 65-year old pipeline that is already leaking.

That is without counting the $7.4 billion that Kinder Morgan expected it would cost to triple its capacity to produce and transport raw bitumen, which is extremely hazardous to the environment and hard to recover in the event of a spill in a river or the ocean. There was no public debate, no commitments or promises from the Liberal government, or even any debate in the House. We, the 338 parliamentarians, were not consulted in any way, shape, or form about the merits of this investment.

I talked a little bit about our responsibility to our environment, our planet, and our ecosystems. I just want to come back to the business case of buying out oil sector infrastructure when just last weekend, a very interesting study was published by the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research, which is affiliated with the University of Cambridge in England. According to the study's findings, we are living in a carbon bubble right now, similar to the housing bubble of the past few years or the tech bubble in the stock market. We are in a carbon bubble right now because a decline in global demand for oil is inevitable. It is coming. From that point on, the value of oil-related infrastructure will crumble completely. The University of Cambridge study predicts that this carbon bubble will probably burst between 2030 and 2050. The resulting loss of investment would amount to trillions of dollars, a figure that is unfathomable to me and, I suspect, to most of us.

Is it reasonable to make an investment of at least $12 billion in public funds knowing that our purchase will be completely worthless in 10, 15, or 20 years? That pales in comparison to the more productive, job-creating investments that could be made in renewable energy, in a just transition for workers, and in skills training that would make our country a world leader. We are currently lagging behind. When we look at the global energy markets and the production of renewable energy, Canada is lagging behind the other OECD countries, and that gap is getting bigger and bigger. This investment, which goes against everything the Liberal Party said it would do during the election campaign, will widen that gap even further and increase our greenhouse gas emissions. Making this investment is tantamount to putting 3 million more cars on the road, and it will be practically worthless one generation from now.

When the world demand for oil plummets—and it will, because countries all over the world, including Germany, Spain, and Denmark, are making increased investments in renewable energy—there will be other options. There will be other more environmentally responsible options. When the demand drops and the demand for oil on the global market is very low, people will obviously go looking for the cheapest oil available. That is Saudi Arabia's oil or Venezuela's, not ours. Canadian oil is likely some of the priciest oil in the world. This investment does not many any sense. It does not hep to protect the environment. It does not help to protect British Columbia's Pacific coast. It does not constitute good use of public funds, and it is not a responsible vision for the future. It does not ensure that we are among the countries that can produce renewable energy and create good jobs in that field.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague will be thrilled to know that I agree wholeheartedly with the part of his speech where he talked about the unfortunate investment of $4.5 billion of taxpayer money to buy a 60-year-old pipeline with no input from members of Parliament at all.

There is no question that this is a travesty, but I understand as well that my colleague does support the Liberal government's policies on carbon tax. Up until now, we have not been able to ascertain what the cost of that carbon tax would be to the average Canadian family, nor have we been able to determine how much greenhouse gas emissions will actually be reduced by the implementation of a carbon tax.

Is there a dollar amount above which his party would refuse to support a carbon tax because of its detrimental effect of the Canadian economy and on Canadian families, or is he prepared simply to give the Liberals a blank cheque on that?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I know his party really cares about this issue, a topic that he raises regularly.

What matters to us is taking action on the environment so that we can meet our international obligations, particularly with regard to reducing greenhouse gases. We think pollution should have a price. We should be using market instruments to encourage businesses and consumers to make different, more responsible choices so that we can become leaders. Let us encourage companies to innovate, invest in the energy of the future, and create good jobs.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are here today to talk about the just transition. There are many things that Canada has promised to do under the Paris Agreement. There is an aspect the Liberals have completely forgotten, and that is that they have also committed to invest in providing decent work and quality jobs into the next energy transition, the transition to clean energy. All the unions of Canada that have come forward are calling on the government to step forward and give them assistance in getting people retrained for this transition. Could the member speak to that and tell us who in Canada is supporting investment in that transition?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona for her highly relevant question.

Our deliberations in the House today will serve as a values test for the Liberal government. We will see whether it can be consistent and take action in line with the principles and values it presented to voters in the last election. Many people support a fair energy transition.

I recently attended a summit in Montreal organized by people in the Quebec labour movement, including the FTQ and the CSN. Also in attendance were the Conseil du patronat du Québec, environmental groups, investment companies, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, and the Mouvement des caisses Desjardins. They are all well aware of the need to work together to make the energy transition, protect and create good jobs for workers, and invest in skills training so people can continue having an income while they take training courses to learn how to manufacture new products, such as wind turbines and solar panels.

Quite a lot could be done with $12 billion. I will let my colleagues dream about what we could do with that, but I think everyone in our society realizes that we have a responsibility. Unfortunately, the Liberal government is not listening at the moment.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:20 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my New Democratic friend. There are many aspects of the speech I would like to comment on, and I might be able to touch upon some of them throughout the day.

I would ask the member to recognize that one of the biggest expenditures and commitments this government has given is toward Canada's infrastructure, probably the largest single investment in Canada's infrastructure in the history of our country. A major component of that is looking at ways we can invest in green energy. We are going into the billions of dollars. I wonder if my colleague could provide his thoughts in regard to the general feeling that when we invest in Canada's infrastructure, that is a healthy thing to do. There is a very significant green component, for example the investment in public transit. What are his thoughts in regard to that?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his question. I hope the Liberal Party members will support this motion. I do not see why they would not. Public transit certainly is very important. I am just asking the government to restore the tax credit for people who buy metro tickets.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour and privilege to rise to speak to the motion brought forward by our party.

Why are we hearing increased calls for a just transition in energy, and what is the trigger? As my colleague clearly stated, this transition is being driven by a rapid-paced shift in energy investments away from non-renewable power to renewable power sources. IRENA, which I am happy to hear Canada has finally joined again after three years, reports that 60% of all new power generation capacity deployed worldwide has been in renewable power. That is the direction.

While investments have slightly fallen off recently, $263 billion U.S. was invested in renewable energy capacity in 2016, and the capacity continues to build. In fact, we need less investment because the costs are declining, and policy shifts toward cleaner energy are actually driving that. IRENA reports that the greatest investor in renewable power has been the east Asia-Pacific, with China as the main driver, as well as Japan, South Korea, and Israel.

Canada has also committed to deep carbon cuts, along with other nations, to address climate change and to reduce harmful pollution from burning fossil fuels. Along with its G20 partners, it promised to end perverse subsidies to fossil fuels. However, it is clearly failing to deliver, with the recent billions invested in a pipeline.

Some provinces have already committed to a substantial percentage of renewable energy generation, for example Alberta to 30% and Saskatchewan to 50% by 2030, which will mean a lot of deployment of renewable energy.

American think tanks are determining that a clean energy portfolio combining energy efficiency, reduced demand, storage, and renewables is the lowest-cost option to retire thermal electric, and is even better, cost-wise, than natural gas.

Globally, the renewable energy sector employed 8.1 million workers in 2015 alone, with an additional 1.3 million workers employed in large hydro power. The CLC has reported that, as early as 2013, 37% more Canadians were working in the renewable sector than in 2009, which amounts to over 2,000 jobs. Germany has just committed to a more fast-paced phase-out of its coal power and greater reliance on renewables, in parallel with a just transition strategy for its workers. Across the EU, renewable energy is on track to be 50% of the energy supply by 2030. As I suggested, this is the growing workforce of the world.

This is what sustainability looks like. How do we get there? Why is federal action for a just transition for workers necessary? Without foresight and action now, there is a real potential for stranded workers and stranded communities. A just transition will not happen by itself. Many are already being laid off with the downturn in world oil prices and divestment by major players. Workers, their families, and their communities are stressed. It is critical to commit to a transparent, inclusive planning process that includes measures to prevent fear, opposition, and intercommunity and generational conflict. People need to see a future that allows both security and genuine opportunity. With deeper investments in renewable power sources and energy efficiency measures, we need parallel investments in training and retraining.

As Samantha Smith of the Just Transition Centre said in a report to the OECD:

A just transition ensures environmental sustainability as well as decent work, social inclusion and poverty eradication. Indeed, this is what the Paris Agreement requires: National plans on climate change that include just transition measures with a centrality of decent work and quality jobs.

The ILO director general said:

Environmental sustainability is not a job killer, as it is sometimes claimed. On the contrary, if properly managed, it can lead to more and better jobs, poverty reduction and social inclusion.

As early as 2012, the International Energy Agency, in its “World Energy Outlook”, said:

Energy efficiency is widely recognised as a key option in the hands of policy makers but current efforts fall well short of tapping its full economic potential.... [T]ackling the barriers to energy efficiency investment can unleash this potential and realise huge gains for energy security, economic growth and the environment.

I might add, for job creation. Globally, the renewable energy sector employs millions of workers.

Who has been calling for action by the federal government on just transition? At the last two COP gatherings of world leaders on climate, the featured topic for workers and the public was a call for investment in a just transition for workers and communities.

At the eleventh hour, at the last COP in Berlin, Canada's environment minister was pressured to commit to action. The minister finally, in the third year of the government's mandate, created an advisory committee. The last three budgets have made zero reference to a just transition, and zero dollars have been committed specifically to targeted skills training for the new energy economy.

I will quote the Canadian Labour Congress. It said:

Climate change is real, and its impact on working people and their children will be immense. No amount of wishful thinking will make this challenge disappear, and we have limited time to adapt to changes and prevent further damage....Business-as-usual policies and relying on market incentives will simply not spur this transition with the speed and scale required to avoid catastrophic climate change. And they will certainly not deliver fairness for workers and their communities.

Who are these workers and what are their demands? They are oilfield and gas workers. They are coalfield workers. They work in coal-fired power plants. They are seeking job security in this evolving clean energy economy.

I will share just a couple of those stories, which have been compiled by Energy & Earth.

D. Lee, a unionized trades worker, said:

My work history involves field level oil extraction jobs on drilling rigs and other field services for those drilling rigs. I have become an electrician so that I can participate in the world's energy revolution.

Liam Hildebrand, a boilermaker, said:

I have been a boilermaker for over a decade and have proudly built a number of renewable energy projects with no retraining required. Give us the blueprints and steel and we will help Canada address climate change with our industrial trade skills!

These workers are demanding federal action, but they are not just sitting back, waiting for governments to act. Iron & Earth oil and gas workers partnered with members of the Louis Bull Tribe of Maskwacis in Alberta to train workers to install rooftop panels. Their goal is to up-skill over 1,000 oil, gas, and coal workers, as well as indigenous community members as solar specialists.

We have seen similar successes in T'Sou-ke Nation and other indigenous communities. Iron & Earth, in collaboration with Energy Futures Lab, Pembina Institute, CanGEA, and others have issued a Workers' Climate Plan: Blueprint for Sustainable Jobs and Economy, and have issued a detailed plan, calling on the federal government to revise the pan-Canadian climate strategy to address the needs of workers and to act on the unions' calls for a green economy and skills survey. ECO Canada has existed for decades and is funded at the federal level. It has been doing market analyses on environmental jobs. It would be perfect to lead this work.

In addition, they want research skills gaps filled. They want focused, short-term training programs. They want a workplace training fund. They want an energy manufacturing market analyses. They want support for incubator programs tailored to collaboration between contractors, developers, and unions seeking renewable solutions, like the Energy Futures Lab based in Calgary.

There are concerns that other nations will fill the void if Canada does not step up to the plate and finance this retraining. All of Canada's unions have shown the initiative and willingness to work for it.

Could the federal government at least finally release its regulations to speed up the shutdown of coal-fired power sector? Could the government please now release funds to fuel this workers' fund to transition them to the clean energy economy?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the government has recognized the importance of changing over to a greener economy and energy. We have seen that in budget announcements, in indications from both the Minister of Natural Resources and the parliamentary secretary, as well as other members. We have highlighted the many actions that the government has taken in regard to that transition.

What is a bit surprising and somewhat disappointing is that the NDP, at least in Ottawa, has made the decision that pipelines are an absolute, total no-go. The Premier of Alberta is fighting to protect those union jobs, and many others, by having that pipeline extension. The New Democrats are giving a strong message. I can understand the Green Party, but I do not necessarily understand the national NDP on this issue. It is saying no to pipelines. The excuse is that it wants more consulting and so forth.

The bottom line is that the NDP has given up on the province of Alberta. That is a very clear message. The member is an NDP MP from Alberta. Does she not appreciate that there is a national interest at stake, that supporting the NDP in the province of Alberta is a good thing, and that this is a good thing for Canada's environment and jobs?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am very proud of my province. I am very proud of my premier, Rachel Notley. Gosh darn it, Rachel Notley already issued the jobs transition plan and committed $50 million. The federal government has done nothing, not one cent has gone toward the jobs transition strategy. It is just another study, just another consultation.

Absolutely, we want to provide jobs for the future. I can read 100 quotes from oil field and coal and gas workers. They want retraining for the new economy when it comes. What happens after the pipeline is built? Then what? Where are they going to work? They are begging the government to invest in retraining.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:35 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for Edmonton Strathcona and the NDP for bringing this motion before the House today.

Given the member's long engagement in the climate issue, and we were together at the Paris negotiations and at the disaster in Copenhagen, she knows that climate action requires rapid reduction in fossil fuel emissions or we will go above the Paris target of 1.52°.

Does my hon. colleague believe we can expand production of greenhouse-emitting facilities like more oil sands production, new pipelines, and new oil wells, and still meet the Paris target?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, we certainly cannot if the federal government does not also invest in other alternatives. Everybody likes to beat up on my province of Alberta, but where is the federal government?

The Conservatives promised regulation in oil and gas, but did not deliver in 10 years. The Liberal government keeps promising that the rest of its pan-Canadian is coming, then it sits on the money that the provinces, territories, and indigenous communities have been waiting for to get off diesel and to transition their workers.

Therefore, I do not believe we will meet those targets unless we have considerable action by the federal government, not just sitting back and waiting for the provinces, municipalities, territories, and indigenous peoples to carry the load.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:35 a.m.

Conservative

Bev Shipley Conservative Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the things we heard earlier was the importance of meeting our international commitments. However, what we never hear, and what we have tried to find out from the Liberal government, is the cost of the carbon tax to families and small businesses, businesses that create jobs. The Liberals know the cost, but they do not want to share that with Canadians. It is a hypothetical case that we need to improve, without having any cost or knowing the degree of environmental improvement that will happen.

Therefore, knowing that Canada is such a small producer of greenhouse gases, does the member know what it will cost and what the benefits will be in a drop in greenhouse gases?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:35 a.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I find the Conservative Party's fixation on the carbon tax bizarre. What was the first jurisdiction in Canada that put a price on carbon? It was Alberta, under a Conservative government, working closely with the oil and gas sector.

The oil and gas sector of Alberta has been on board since day one, imposing the cost of protection and investing in cleaner technologies. However, it is divesting. Major corporations that formally invested in the oil sands are shifting to renewables, shifting to investing in other jurisdictions, because the federal government has not shown the signals that it would like them to invest in renewable energy in Canada for the future for Canadians.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:40 a.m.

Northumberland—Peterborough South Ontario

Liberal

Kim Rudd LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie for his motion. In many ways, I thought he did a great job in his opening comments and in his motion of summarizing our government's record to date, as well as our vision for Canada's future in this clean growth century.

Among other things, his motion acknowledges our commitment to making Canada a global climate change leader, and rightly so. After all, we did not just sign the Paris accord on climate change; we helped to shape it.

Then we took a leadership role in the creation of Mission Innovation, a new global partnership that is accelerating clean energy solutions like never before.

We sat down with the provinces and territories. We engaged with indigenous peoples. We consulted with Canadians on how best to reach our climate change targets. The result was the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, which lays out a path to the clean growth, low carbon economy, a blueprint for reducing emissions, spurring innovation, adapting to climate change, and creating good, sustainable jobs across the country, the very things the hon. member opposite prescribes in his motion. However, we have not stopped there.

We continue to make generational investments in clean technology and innovation as well as foundational science and research. We are making similar unprecedented investments in the green infrastructure that supports clean growth. At the same time, we are putting a price on carbon and accelerating the phase out of coal. All of this leads me to think the hon. member opposite wrote his motion by taking a page out of our policy book. That will become even clearer as this debate proceeds.

Over the course of today, a number of my colleagues will speak to specific elements of the motion, including our comprehensive efforts to combat climate change, such as our record investments develop clean and renewable sources of energy, our focus on promoting energy efficiency, and our plan to protect Canada's oceans and coastal communities.

I would like to begin as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources by setting the scene, explaining how the many moving parts fit together, and how Canada's abundant natural resources, including our vast supply of energy, are a key piece of the clean tech puzzle.

The world is in the midst of something that has only happened a few times in history, a fundamental shift in the types of energy that power our societies. The page of that transition may vary from country to country, but it is under way and it is irreversible.

Climate change is forcing all of us to think differently about how we power our factories, heat our homes, and fuel our vehicles, and about the importance of using both traditional and renewable energy more efficiently.

This is not just another issue. We are not talking about tinkering with a particular government policy or deciding whether to build a road somewhere. We are talking about the future of our planet. We are talking about creating an entirely new direction for our economy, redefining how we see our connectiveness to other nations, and about the importance of global action.

That is why our government is taking action. This year alone we have invested in smart electricity grids, electric and alternative fuel for charging stations, more energy efficient homes, and help for northern communities to move off diesel. Each of these takes us a step closer to the future we want, a country driven by clean technology and defined by innovation.

We are also reimagining carbon by turning otherwise harmful carbon dioxide emissions into valuable products, such as building materials, alternative fuels, and consumer goods.

Just last week we heard exciting news reports about a company on the west coast that had found a way to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and turn it into a low carbon fuel for vehicles at an economical price of less than U.S. $100 per tonne. That is where Canadians are taking us with their ingenuity and their imagination. This is the kind of innovation that will transform our economy and create great green jobs for years to come.

Then there is energy efficiency, an area that is too often overlooked. According to the International Energy Agency, improving energy efficiency could get us almost halfway to our Paris commitments. Just think of that: halfway. Thus is why we have proposed new building codes that will require our homes and offices to do more with less and transform the use of energy in the country for generations.

Canadians are helping to lead the way with innovative and novel ways to reduce our energy consumption. Our government is investing in those opportunities but there is still plenty of work to be done, which is why we continue to invest in our traditional sources of energy, and why we continue to develop our vast oil and gas reserves as a bridge to tomorrow's low-carbon economy.

There are two reasons for that. First, as the IEA also tells us, global demand for energy will increase by 30% by 2040. That is like adding another China in terms of energy demand. Even under the most optimistic scenarios for renewable energy, and even with our best efforts at enhancing energy efficiency, much of that increased demand identified by the IEA will have to be met by fossil fuels. The fact is the world will continue to rely on oil and gas for some time, meaning that our conventional energy is not “increasingly obsolete”, as the hon. member opposite would have us believe.

The second reason for developing our oil and gas resources is so Canada can leverage the revenues it generates to invest in our low-carbon future. I will have more to say on that in a moment, but first I would like us to return to the motion before us.

I presume the hon. member opposite's reference to fossil fuel infrastructure is a thinly veiled reference to our government's decision last month to secure the Trans Mountain pipeline and its expansion. Even on that score, I would argue that the hon. member is playing catch-up to our government. Let me explain.

As all members of this House know, our government approved the Trans Mountain expansion and Line 3 replacement pipelines based on the best science, the widest possible consultations, and Canada's national interest. Those decisions were made as part of a sensible policy that includes diversifying our energy markets, improving environmental safety, and creating thousands of good middle-class jobs, including in indigenous communities.

However, what the member opposite may have forgotten is that we made two other key decisions at the same time. First, we rejected the northern gateway project because the Great Bear Rainforest is no place for an oil pipeline. Second, we placed a moratorium on tanker traffic along the northern B.C. coastline, including around the Dixon Entrance, the Hecate Strait, and the Queen Charlotte Sound.

All of those decisions reflected balance, and our belief that economic prosperity and environmental protection can, and indeed must, go hand in hand, and that there must be a balance. The Trans Mountain expansion pipeline is part of that balance. It is part of the plan that I described earlier using this time of transition to Canada's advantage by building the infrastructure we need to get our resources to global markets and then using the revenues they generate to invest in cleaner forms of energy. By moving more of our energy to tidewater, our producers will have greater access to global markets and world prices, which according to analysts at Scotiabank and others, could add about $15 billion annually to the value of our oil exports.

In addition, the construction and operation of the pipeline is expected to generate as much as $4.5 billion in new federal and provincial government revenues. Those are new tax dollars to pay for our hospitals and schools, to build new roads and bridges, to fund our cherished social programs, and yes, to invest in clean technology and renewable energy.

The TMX pipeline will operate within Alberta's own 100-megatonne cap on greenhouse gas emissions, making the project consistent with Canada's climate plan. For all those reasons it was essential that our government take the necessary steps to protect the project from the political uncertainty caused by the Government of British Columbia. However, as the Minister of Finance has said, our plan is not to be the long-term owner of the TMX pipeline. We know that the TMX pipeline has real economic value and we fully expect that investors will want to be part of the project's future. In fact, we are already seeing that. A number of investors, including indigenous groups, have expressed interest in taking an ownership position.

This is all part of a well-begun journey to our clean energy future, a journey that started as soon as we formed government and set about restoring public confidence in the way major resource projects, such as the TMX pipeline, are reviewed.

One of the first ways we did that was by adopting an interim approach for major projects already in the queue. These principles include assessing direct and upstream greenhouse gas emissions associated with the project, expanding public consultations and indigenous engagement, and recognizing the importance of indigenous knowledge, all the while ensuring that no project proponent would have to return to the starting line.

This new approach led to a number of significant breakthroughs. For example, we led the single deepest indigenous engagement ever for a Canadian resource project in Canada, and we responded to what we heard from those consultations by co-developing an indigenous advisory and monitoring committee to oversee the lifespan of the TMX pipeline, as well as an economic pathways partnership to enable indigenous workers to reap the benefits of the projects. Both are Canadian firsts. Our government also appointed a special ministerial panel to hear from Canadians whose views may not have been considered when the National Energy Board concluded its review of the TMX project.

In the end, we approved the project and accepted the NEB's 157 binding conditions as part of our larger plan for clean growth. It is a plan that combats climate change, protects our oceans, invests in clean technology and energy, restores investor and public confidence, and advances indigenous reconciliation.

We introduced legislation, Bill C-69, as a permanent fix to the way environmental assessments and regulatory reviews are carried out in Canada. We have also launched a historic process to recognize and implement inherent indigenous rights, a new approach that will renew Canada's relationship with indigenous peoples, rebuild indigenous nations, and set a real path to indigenous self-determination based on mutual respect and partnership. We have tabled budget after budget that promotes clean growth, improves opportunities for indigenous communities, and supports fundamental science. Our budget this year builds on its predecessors by encouraging businesses to invest in clean energy and use more energy-efficient equipment. It also invests in cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, such as energy grids and information networks.

Budget 2018 recognizes that Canada will not get ahead if half of its population is held back, that investing in women is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do.

Our government has matched its words with actions, investing to build exactly the kind of future that the hon. member opposite envisions, one where science, curiosity, and innovation spur economic growth. All of these things I have talked about today are part of a solid plan, a balanced practical plan, one with many elements but a single goal: making Canada a leader in the global transition to a low-carbon future by creating the prosperity we all want while protecting the planet we all cherish.

I know the hon. member opposite shares those same goals. His motion speaks to our vision, and I hope he will continue to support our efforts.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:50 a.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her kind words and the principles she touched on. I just wish her government's actions were consistent with those principles. I have a specific question for her.

In its 2015 platform, the Liberal government made a clear commitment to ending fossil fuel subsidies, a commitment Canada had made at the G7 and again at the G20. Unfortunately, the Liberal government has not yet responded to Argentina's invitation to participate in the peer review process for the phased reduction of fossil fuel subsidies.

The Auditor General also reported that my colleague's government had not even defined oil company subsidies yet. The Liberals have been in power for nearly three years, and they still have not defined what constitutes a subsidy, which makes me wonder when they are going to start reducing those subsidies.

Not only are the Liberals not keeping their promises, but they are also behind on their deliverables and are not honouring the G20 process.

How can they say they will eliminate oil company subsidies and then turn around and say they are going to use $4.5 billion in public money to give the fossil fuel industry the biggest subsidy ever?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Kim Rudd Liberal Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member is bringing up the G20, which is happening this week in Argentina. Canada's membership in the G20 is one of the things that we believe is so important to move a number of the elements I referred to in my speech forward. The elimination of the fossil fuels, which are inefficient, is part of the G20 mandate and certainly something that our government has committed with our G20 partners to do.

On the theme of international engagement, I had the pleasure and opportunity to be at the clean air Mission Innovation ministerial a few weeks ago with 24 other countries talking about innovation around things like carbon capturing, storage, the work that is being done in biomass and bioenergy, and bio jet fuel among a number of other things.

Canada is seen as a leader on the world stage in these efforts. It is one of the areas where I am hoping that the NDP will support our work.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. parliamentary secretary made so many points that I wish I could agree with. I would point out where she says the government is concerned about energy efficiency, that is one place where they surprisingly have dropped the ball. Bringing in new building codes is great, but it only applies to new buildings. Where are the energy retrofit programs to overhaul existing buildings?

If we want to find a great precedent, look no further than the record of the government under the Right Hon. Paul Martin, the ecoENERGY retrofit program. The budget brought in in 2005 and the climate actions there brought forward by the finance minister who is now the Minister of Public Safety had more climate action than anything we have seen to date from the current government. You can pass him a note and ask for details. To buy a dirty, fossil fuel, bitumen pipeline instead of refining the product in Alberta so we can use it locally makes no sense to the economy and is absolutely sabotage to our Paris goals.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Kim Rudd Liberal Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I referred to in my remarks, the International Energy Agency tells us that indeed by 2040 there is going to be an increase of 30% in the requirement for energy. I talked about the transition and the work that is being done. The innovation that is happening in the oil and gas sector particularly is very profound and I have the pleasure of hearing more about it than the average member. I would encourage the member to get a briefing to learn more about what is happening in that sector.

Generation energy was, as the member will know, where 380,000 Canadians contributed to a conversation about Canada's energy future and what it looked like. Energy efficiency was a major part of that discussion. I am looking forward to the member opposite working with us as we move toward looking at energy efficiency, whether it be residential, commercial, industrial, or the like. As I said, I look forward to her working with us on that.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for the balanced and practical plan that she is commenting on that the Government of Canada is working on. I am looking at the transition speed of getting off fossil fuels. I know that the NDP and the Greens would like to see us get off fossil fuels immediately. The Conservatives would like us to let the market take its time to get off fossil fuels.

However, the reality is that in order to get off fossil fuels, we need to establish the supply chain for clean technology firms. We have as an example glass for solar panels made in North America instead of China. Guelph has goals to have 100% renewable energy from electricity by 2050 and in order to do that we need to develop supply chains. Could the parliamentary secretary talk about the encouragement of developing supply chains in Canada to support clean technology?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Liberal

Kim Rudd Liberal Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the supply chain and the opportunity for economic development that this transition and this clean energy economy present to the world is around $23 trillion. Canada is poised to be a part of that opportunity.

Supply chains across Canada for various sectors, whether it be the nuclear sector, the oil and gas sector, the forestry, or mining as it pertains to natural resources, are at the forefront of what those innovations in supply chains are.

The opportunity we are seeing within indigenous communities that are close to some of those resources is really quite dramatic and it is part of our reconciliation that we provide those opportunities to our indigenous communities to be part of this clean growth economy and be able to the extent possible to take advantage of every opportunity.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, interestingly, in 2015, the Prime Minister came to B.C. and told British Columbians specifically that he would not approve a Kinder Morgan pipeline until it actually went through a proper environmental assessment. He specifically rejected the Harper Conservatives' National Energy Board review and admitted that it was grossly deficient. After the election, he broke his promise.

Instead, Liberals conducted a ministerial review panel, which the panel itself admitted lacked the time, technical expertise, and resources to fill the gaps in the NEB process, and ended up with little more than questions that remained unanswered. It kept no public records of hearings, admitted meetings were hastily organized, and confirmed it heard a serious lack of public confidence in the NEB and its recommendations. This is the panel that the government says was the antidote to the Harper Conservatives' inadequate process. Canadians are not fooled. First nations have called the process paternalistic, unrealistic, and inadequate.

What would the member tell the people of British Columbia, who expected a brand new, proper environmental assessment of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, about her government's desire to purchase the pipeline and triple the exports of bitumen through the Port of Vancouver? Is that what she thinks the Liberals promised British Columbians in the last election?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Liberal

Kim Rudd Liberal Northumberland—Peterborough South, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I said in my remarks, this was the most comprehensive, robust consultation in Canada's history on any project.

It is interesting that the member opposite is cherry-picking his comments out of what people said. Based on my conversations and the Generation Energy consultation, there are many Canadians who, indeed, believe in and support this pipeline, which is clearly in the national interest. The fact that we have a natural resource right now that has one customer, being the United States, and 99% of that oil goes to the United States, and the opportunity to get this resource off the coast to international markets, looking at $15 billion to our economy, are elements that, as a government, we cannot ignore. Canadians expect us to do the right thing and, indeed, we have.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to stand and speak to the NDP's opposition motion.

Canada's Conservatives believe that to mitigate climate change we need to support investments in renewable and clean energy technologies. Canada's Conservatives believe that to become a global leader in clean tech and to ensure that future jobs will be located right here in Canada, we need to make the right choices in those investments. Canada's Conservatives believe that spending billions of taxpayer dollars to buy out the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline and sending that investment south into the United States is not one of those right choices.

Canada has a world-leading regulatory regime and an internationally renowned track record of environmentally and socially responsible oil and gas development, and we should be proud of that. We should not forfeit Canada's position as a natural resource superpower to grow the clean-tech sector. We should leverage it. The challenge for clean technology is to effect that transition by producing more energy while reducing CO2 emissions. This issue affects the entire global community, including consumers of energy. While government plays a role in spurring investment, we must not overlook the role that the private sector, and the energy sector specifically, play in driving innovation and clean technology advancements.

Andy Brown, the chief executive responsible for Shell Global's upstream business, had this to say on the energy transition and the role the sector has in achieving climate change goals:

A successful energy transition will require vision, urgency and realism: vision for a long-term approach to policy setting, business planning, and investment; urgency and realism about the scale and costs of orderly transformations, both for energy suppliers and consumers. Society has to be ambitious to achieve climate-change and development goals. Decisions must tackle the breadth and complexity of the challenge. Conversely, rapid, poorly considered, [poorly driven] changes could result in unexpected consequences and fail to achieve their intended goals.

Brown concludes, 'The energy industry must unlock the potential we have for new technology through collaboration and innovation....

Last week, Ontarians in my riding and across the province sent a strong message to Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government that they had had enough of unrealistic and poorly considered environmental policy. It has been nearly a decade since Ontario's Liberals passed the Green Energy Act. A key component of that plan, the FIT and microFIT program, saw billions of dollars in green energy contracts awarded to solar and wind companies. The provincial Liberals never provided details of public promises about how much that plan would cost Ontarians, like how their federal cousins will not tell Canadians how much their federal carbon tax scheme will cost Canadian families.

Experts advise the government that technologies such as solar power needed to be developed gradually to prevent renewable energy contracts from overwhelming the province's electricity system and sending hydro bills skyrocketing. Ignoring the experts, the province went ahead with unrealistic and poorly considered policies that it knew were going to be costly, ineffective, and inefficient, policies which cost Ontarians billions of dollars and ultimately cost the provincial Liberals official party status.

This is a lesson the current government would be wise to heed. As the Prime Minister shut down pipeline after pipeline and has ignored the growing uncertainty over the Trans Mountain expansion for over a year and a half, Canadian taxpayers, backed into a corner by the government, found themselves owning a pipeline Kinder Morgan did not need to sell. All that was needed was regulatory certainty for a pipeline project that had already met every possible criterion for approval and certainty that the government that had made those approvals would see them through. The ramifications of poorly considered policies like the nationalization of Trans Mountain, the oil tanker ban, the derailing of energy east and northern gateway, and the job-killing carbon tax are all too clear as investment flees south of the border to the United States and other international jurisdictions.

Royal Bank's president and CEO, Dave McKay, told the Canadian Press that a significant investment exodus to the U.S. is already under way, especially in the energy and clean technology sectors.

That is right, we know the investment climate in Canada is in distress when even investors in renewable energy, where subsidies abound and competing oil and gas face carbon taxes and regulatory excess, are leaving because they favour lower U.S. corporate taxes more.

In early April, NextEra Energy said that the sale of its wind and solar generation assets in Ontario for $582 million was specifically motivated by U.S. tax reform. Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer, stated, “we expect the sale of the Canadian portfolio to enable us to recycle capital back into U.S. assets, which benefit from a longer federal income tax shield and a lower effective corporate tax rate”.

The latest data from Statistics Canada shows foreign direct investment in the country dropped to $31.4 billion last year compared with $49.4 billion the year before. The rapidly declining investment climate has important and far-reaching consequences. If we want to ensure Canada becomes a global leader in clean tech and want to ensure future jobs will be located right here in Canada, industry investment will be critical.

In 2016, oil and gas business expenditures on research and design were nearly $1.5 million of the $2 billion that was invested in clean-tech R and D in the energy sector. Nearly 10% of all money spent on R and D in Canada was in the energy sector. Enbridge and TransCanada, the country's largest pipeline companies, both invest heavily in renewable energy.

CGA, ATCO, Enbridge, Énergir, FortisBC, Pacific Northern Gas, SaskEnergy, and Union Gas pool capital investment in the natural gas innovation fund to support clean-tech start-ups, which innovate in the natural gas value supply chain.

As the potential for renewable energy grows and the cost of the technology falls, experts anticipate a growing number of traditional oil and gas companies to invest in the renewable sector. Morgan Bazilian, former lead energy specialist at the World Bank, told an audience of Calgary oil executives in May that the industry has already seen some of the sector's largest companies such as Shell, Total, BP, and others, make billion-dollar investments in renewables. However, to get industry investment in clean tech, there must be industry in Canada to begin with.

Murphy Oil Corporation said it would repatriate Canadian retained earnings and that it sees the substantially lower tax rate in the U.S. as a big advantage for capital investments.

Dan Tsubouchi, chief market strategist at Stream Asset Financial Management LP in Calgary said, in an interview with the Financial Post, that oil and gas companies with assets in Canada waited for the Canadian government to respond to U.S. tax reforms in the federal budget but when “it offered nothing on tax competitiveness”, the next step was to look at redeploying their capital.

In its 2018 report entitled, “Competitive Climate Policy: Supporting Investment and Innovation”, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers makes the case succinctly:

The Canadian oil and natural gas sector is supportive of climate policies that are effective and efficient, and take into account cumulative impacts including taxation, market access, and regulatory review processes. With the right policies in place, the Canadian industry can be competitive, can attract investment and can reduce GHG emissions.

However, current climate and other policies are inefficient and duplicative, and are combining to create unintended consequences such as driving investment away from Canada into other countries that have less robust emissions-reduction policies. This emerging policy environment promotes carbon leakage and therefore does not lead to global emissions reduction.

Once again, unexpected consequences of poorly considered policies, which led to the demise of the Ontario Liberal Party, is leading to the demise of the energy sector in Canada, and with it, the unintended consequence of carbon leakage.

For those not aware, carbon leakage is the shift of greenhouse gas emissions from one part of the world to another, usually because of governments implementing uncompetitive policies. An example of carbon leakage can be seen in Canada as the Liberal government's tax policies increase cost to industry, and as a result, industry shifts its investments elsewhere. The implications of carbon leakage are both economic and emission related.

Economically, we are seeing reduced investment in Canada and the loss of good-paying jobs for Canadian families. Globally, as investment and jobs shift, we will see an increase in emissions, because that production is going to be moved to countries that do not have anywhere near Canada's world-leading regulatory regime. However, there is still time to reverse the course of declining investment in Canadian industry, time to stop carbon leakage, and time to support the growing but fragile clean-tech industry right here in Canada.

Canada's clean-tech energy industry now ranks fourth-highest globally and first in the G20. Canadian clean-tech businesses is already booming, accounting for 3.1% of our GDP, or $59.3 billion. According to the 2016 report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, “De-Risking the Adoption of Clean Technology in Canada's Natural Resources Sector”. There were 800 companies that employed 55,300 direct jobs, with $17 billion in revenue. Clean-tech firms paid 48% more than the Canadian average wage.

Eleven of the top 100 clean-tech companies are in Canada. Global clean-tech market value, by trade, is $1 trillion. Canada's share is 1.4%, or the 26th-largest in the world.

Canada has some great clean-tech stories to share, such as Montreal-based GHGSat, which can track global greenhouse gases from any industrial site in the world using a high-resolution satellite. This technology, more accurate and affordable than its alternatives, enables oil and gas companies to better understand, control, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

There is Manitoba-based HD-Petroleum, which has created small-scale waste-oil micro-refinery units that transform used oil into diesel fuel. The cost of implementing this technology is relatively inexpensive, and the recycling process substantially reduces GHG emissions when compared with more traditional oil-disposal methods.

There is lmaginea, which uses its clean hydrocarbon ecosystem to deliver energy produced with the use of zero freshwater and with no toxic emissions or air pollution; DarkVision, which developed a new ultrasound technology that allows companies to create 3D images of the inside of oil wells, enabling them to make more informed and cost-effective production decisions; and Unsist, a company that uses artificial intelligence to help oil and gas companies make better production and operational choices.

These are just a few of the success stories right here in Canada's clean-tech sector. However, as I have said, it is a fragile sector that needs more than subsidies to thrive.

If we are serious about mitigating climate change, if we are serious about becoming a global leader in clean tech and ensuring that future jobs will be in Canada, we need sound fiscal policies and a competitive tax regime in Canada. We need to support the industry, which in turn will support the growth of Canada's clean-tech sector. Industry leaders have told us that they will do this, because it makes sense, it is good for business, and it is good for the environment in which their families and the families of their employees live, work, and play.

Making policy decisions regarding the energy sector is difficult, because on the one hand, we must consider our environmental health and on the other, our wealth as a nation. Clean tech is not meant to make that decision easier. Clean tech is meant to remove the need to make this decision in the first place.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer—Mountain View, AB

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to my colleague's discussion, especially on clean tech. One of the issues is that there has been a great push to eliminate coal as an energy source. We have some of the cleanest coal operations in the world, and we have the technology that is reducing the greenhouse gases associated with it. However, now that the industry is under pressure, those who were innovative as far as greenhouse gas reductions are concerned they are going to take that technology and send it around the world. I wonder if the member could comment on that.

The other point is that within five or six miles of my place, there are a whole bunch of wind mills. The question is how long it is it going to take to get the cuts in greenhouse gases versus how much it cost to build them in the first place.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a very timely question. He is right when he says that the government picking winners and losers does not work. The more government funds this, that, or the other thing, the less innovation we are going to have.

There will always be some innovation. Someone is always going to innovate. However, there is more innovation, more rapid innovation, when there is competition in the marketplace. We have already seen that in the industry. Technology is advancing quickly. Companies are adopting this technology because it is the right thing to do, and that makes sense.

My friend pointed out some parts of the renewable energy sector. There is the other side of it, such as deep earth mining, where the GHGs are actually worse in the long term. This is where the government has a responsibility to let the market decide and let companies invest in technologies they see as winners, therefore creating innovation in the marketplace. We will get to our targets a lot more quickly if the government stays out of the way.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Kent Hehr Liberal Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I know the debate is just getting started, but it has quickly become clear that the New Democrats do not understand the economy, and my Conservative friends do not want to do anything about the environment.

My question for my good friend is twofold. People look at doing things for the environment efficiently, allowing companies in different jurisdictions to make their own decisions on carbon reductions. The member talked about experts in his speech. The experts overwhelmingly say that pricing carbon allows for market flexibility in order to reduce greenhouse gases. Why would the member not be supportive of a market-based system to reduce carbon, instead of just pointing to a regulatory system that is increasingly more expensive and does not do as efficient a job as carbon pricing?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, I addressed that in my speech. There are companies all across Canada that are using technological innovation to help reduce their footprints. Most mining companies are now using battery-operated vehicles instead of those that use fossil fuels. The list goes on and on. They are doing this because it is the right thing to do. They are doing this because they are using technology and innovation. They are adapting to this because this is what the market wants.

Pricing a company out of the marketplace only pushes jobs and investment elsewhere. We are seeing that in many sectors, especially in the oil and gas sectors. We are seeing company after company making multi-million and billion-dollar investments elsewhere, outside of our jurisdiction.

Our energy sector is something we should be proud of. We have some of the toughest environmental and labour standards anywhere in the world. We should be promoting this, not running away from it.

If the government wants to price a company out of the marketplace, if it wants to push investment out of the marketplace, I think that is totally the wrong way to go. We will not have this investment the Liberals are calling for and that my friend just mentioned. We need to use more of the carrot rather than the stick to ensure that companies continue to lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce their footprints.

As I have said, that is already happening. Companies do not need increased taxes, more regulation, and more red tape for this to happen. It is already happening, in real time. While the Liberals continue to increase taxes, rules, and regulations, investment is going elsewhere.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:20 a.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from the natural resources committee for his speech. I was very happy to hear him speak so enthusiastically about the clean-tech industry we have here in Canada that we need to nurture.

I just wanted to set the record straight about what the NDP thinks of the oil and gas industry. We have never said that we wanted to shut it down. We have never said that we wanted to shut it down now. We know that we will be using oil and gas for years to come. However, we think the government should be giving incentives and subsidies to the industries that will carry us into the future, the clean-tech industries the member talked about, as well as for energy efficiency.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I want to bring up the eco-energy retrofit program the Conservative government brought out in 2007. It was one of the most successful programs Canada has ever had to tackle energy efficiency. It invested, over a number of years, almost $1 billion and leveraged $5 billion in expenses the people across Canada spent. It had a huge effect on our carbon footprint and on the pocketbooks of Canadians.

Could the member comment, first, on why he thinks the Conservatives cancelled it, and second, on why the Liberals have not brought it back and instead have punted it off to the provinces, where nobody has picked it up?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is on the natural resources committee and is a valued member of the team. I want to talk as much as I can in the time allotted to his question on subsidies.

I have a few concerns about subsidies, especially when the money runs out. I will take this example from the southwestern town of Tillsonburg, Ontario, where the Siemens Wind Power plant recently closed. About 340 employees are out of work as a result of the provincial Liberal government in Ontario deciding to take away the subsidies for wind turbines and renewables, such as solar panels, and that type of thing. When the money ran out, the jobs ended. That is why I am very cautious about the use of subsidies. I would rather see tax credits going to individuals to put solar panels on the roofs of their homes to take them off the grid and giving them the choice and the decision-making power as to what works for them.

As we all know, most of the technology in the solar panels being used in Ontario cannot be recycled. It is old technology, and there is no incentive to innovative or use better technology, because the government is giving us the base rate no matter what. It does not have to be the best product. It does not have to be the best technology. When the government chooses winners and losers in the marketplace, it stops competition, and competition makes everything better.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:25 a.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for discussing the role of government in this discussion. When we look at Ontario in particular, it was important that we came off the coal plant in Nanticoke. We went from 53 smog days in 2005 to virtually no smog days since 2014. That was because of a government decision on the energy supply in Ontario.

Would the hon. member agree that the pipeline debate we are having, and the transition from subsidies to zero by 2025, will stimulate innovation in Canada in looking for new energy supplies and new ways of delivering energy to Canadians?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:25 a.m.

Conservative

Jamie Schmale Conservative Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, ON

Mr. Speaker, yes, I want to credit the former Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, which started the ball rolling on getting rid of the coal-fired power plants right here in Ontario. That is a good news story. I only caution that we all know the story of the Green Energy Act that followed in Ontario and the fact that we have some of the highest energy rates anywhere in North America. That is hurting competition in this once great province, which used to be the manufacturing hub of this country. We no longer hold that title, which is greatly unfortunate. Right now we see Ontario having power that we do not need and these extra Green Energy Act contracts that were given out.

All I will say is that we should not pick winners and losers in the marketplace. We should let the market decide. Competition makes things better. We will get to where we need to be if we do that.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the member of Parliament for South Okanagan—West Kootenay.

I graduated from Trent University in 1989, where I studied the Mackenzie Valley pipeline inquiry as well as renewable energy. For years I studied pipeline politics in environmental and resource studies. I really believed we were in a new time of understanding, that we understood that forcing projects on communities that did not want them and not recognizing indigenous rights and title was not good. I believed that time was behind us.

The year 1989 was also a politically powerful year. The Berlin Wall fell. It was the year of the velvet revolution and Tiananmen Square, a democracy uprising with a brutal police response. It was also the year of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, which hit the headlines in a phenomenal way. It was a time of great political imperative for change and activism, and a time of real hope.

However, I have spent my entire professional life since then fighting bad energy megaprojects: nuclear plants in Ontario, the GSX pipeline through the southern Salish Sea, and the Duke Point power plant off Mudge Island. It took our community four and a half years to fight off that pipeline and power plant.

I hear again and again from my home island of Gabriola, and also from constituents whom I am proud to represent in my riding of Nanaimo—Ladysmith, that people are hungry to implement a sustainable, renewable, locally based, worker-focused economy. They want to stop fighting off projects they do not want.

I honestly thought that getting elected to this Parliament and beating Stephen Harper and the Conservatives was what we needed to do to stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline. I am frankly astonished that we are still here two and a half years later, still debating last century's energy project that was approved for all of the wrong reasons.

It is deeply disappointing to people on B.C.'s coast to have the Liberal government, with all its goodwill, its sunny ways, and its innovation promises, invest $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money into an obsolete, 60-plus-year-old, leaky pipeline, let alone committing taxpayers and perhaps even Canada pension plan money to the expansion of the pipeline. It will increase sevenfold the number of bitumen-carrying oil tankers going through the ridings we represent.

I am astonished that we are here still discussing that, but I am delighted that our leader Jagmeet Singh and our party have brought this motion forward and taken over today's agenda to talk about our hope for a renewable and sustainable, worker-focused economy, and all the benefits that can come from that.

We have examples in my riding of great success stories, despite all the impediments that have been put up by the B.C. Liberal Party over the last 16 years and the federal Conservatives for 10 years. Despite these impediments, I am really proud of the local innovation.

Nanaimo's Harmac Pacific mill has a generation capacity of 55 megawatts of power, which it produces from biofuels and waste wood in its facility. The Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre captures methane, which would be a fairly calamitous greenhouse gas exaggerator, and converts it to electricity that powers 300 homes.

Nanaimo is home to Canadian Electric Vehicles Ltd., which for 25 years has been making industrial vehicles, including electric Zambonis and electric BobCats. That has been happening for some time in my riding.

People are now moving into a fantastic affordable housing facility that has just been built. It is a beautiful facility. It was built by the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre on Bowen Road. It has a passive energy design, which was started in Saskatchewan. Our federal government failed to keep the passive energy program going, and it moved to Europe, where it has expanded and become more innovative. The Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre affordable housing project uses 80% less energy than traditional home construction, so the residents have fewer expenses. Their cost of living is more affordable, but the homes are also clean, with wonderful air quality. We are really proud of the centre.

This is a Canada-wide phenomenon. Canada's green building sector has $128 billion in gross annual income, and the green building sector employs more direct full-time workers than forestry, mining, and oil and gas combined. That is not a story we tell every day, and we need to tell it again and again. This is where the jobs are now, and if we have the right priorities and support the right trend and direction, we can do even better with that.

The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance has an annual summit. A few years ago, I talked to energy entrepreneurs at that conference in Nanaimo. They said the provincial and federal governments put more barriers in front of their business than anywhere they have seen or experienced in the world. We have local entrepreneurs trying to manufacture and sell on Vancouver Island and across Canada, but they are having to move their manufacturing as well as their sales focus internationally, because they cannot do business at home. That is so discouraging. It is one of many things Canada should be able to do well but has not.

Another great example we are so proud of in Nanaimo is Vancouver Island University. It is right now building a geothermal project. It is inserting down into old coal mining shafts in our riding. Nanaimo was originally built on coal, so that coal history will now move to geothermal, where they are going to be able to pull from the natural heat of the ground to heat the whole university complex and new residences. It's going to be a real showcase, and it is going to be a way to show young people the possibilities in innovation and the jobs they can generate.

I have also met people out in the community, in Ladysmith in particular, where we have a lot of people who have been migrant workers within our own country, living on Vancouver Island and flying to Alberta for work. It is very dangerous and hard work. It is hard for them to be away from their families. Often, people come home with addictions or injuries.

I now bump into people who have returned, whether they learned vertical drilling in the oil and gas sector and are now bringing that back to our region to utilize that same technology and expertise for geothermal power, or whether they are simply doing residential solar installations. I hear these young men in particular tell their friends to come home, that it is safer, the work is steady, and they can sleep in their own bed and keep their family together. That is the work our government should be doing to encourage such a transition.

While I have the floor, I need to do a bit of myth busting on the Kinder Morgan investment. I keep hearing, including just now from the parliamentary secretary, that we need to find the Asian markets. Crude exports from Vancouver to China topped out in 2011. They were at that time only 28% of outbound shipments. By 2014, they had dropped to 6%. By 2016, they were essentially zero. Right now, we do not have Asian markets hungry for our unrefined bitumen. It is simply not borne out by the facts.

We also hear about the imperative for jobs. In fact, the experts say that every time Canada ships 400,000 barrels of unrefined bitumen abroad, it is exporting approximately 19,000 refining and upgrading jobs every year to other countries.

The $15 billion that we are apparently losing by not accessing foreign markets has been rebutted again and again. Robyn Allan has done this powerfully. The natural resources minister keeps saying it is a $15-billion differential. In fact, the original source was Scotiabank. It says $7 billion, and it is a deep investor in Kinder Morgan. Therefore, we must be extremely careful about agreeing with any of the Prime Minister's promises about economic output.

It is to the deep dismay of British Columbians that this investment would risk the $2.2-billion fishery and aquaculture sector. It risks tens of thousands of jobs that exist right now in British Columbia, whether they be in film, tourism, or fishing, and billions of dollars in economic activity that results from a clean coast.

I ask the government to please let us truly innovate with green jobs in the next century's work and energy, not the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:35 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, my colleague highlighted very well what is going on and the shift that is occurring, not just in our country but throughout the world, as it relates to moving toward renewable sources of energy, clean energy, and new ways of doing business.

The member brought up some interesting points about China that make a lot of sense. If we look at it, China is currently the world leader in renewable energies. A lot of people do not realize that China is outpacing even the U.S. in terms of bringing renewable energies online. She pointed out the numerous things going on in Canada in terms of renewable energies and putting measures in place to incentivize. I think she referenced a Globe and Mail article that I read recently, which said that for the first time, the renewable energy sector now employs more people than traditional fossil fuels.

I agree with much of what the member said, but I question why the motion is necessary. If we are already seeing all of this activity going on, and this shift is occurring not just here in Canada but throughout the world, why does the NDP think this motion is necessary?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, this motion is necessary because New Democrats are dismayed that the government is putting public money into an obsolete, old pipeline instead of removing the barriers to workers' success and expanding the renewable energy economy.

As an example, with the G7 having met just last weekend, Canada made a commitment along with its G7 partners to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. A report that came out last week says Canada has broken that promise. It is at the bottom of the list; it funds the fossil fuel industry more than any other G7 country, and the Auditor General's report last year concluded that the government has no plans to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. This was after a bunfight of about two and a half years of trying to force the government to reveal anything about its election promise and its G7 promise to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.

The government is talking out of both sides of its mouth. It says it is a climate leader, yet it has invested $4.5 billion in an old bitumen pipeline. It says it is for the workers and renewable energy, yet it funds the obsolete fossil fuel industry more than any other. This is the wrong direction for the environment and for the economy.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, given that the member opposite mentioned Kinder Morgan, I am wondering what she thinks of the prospect of using Canada pension plan funds to pay off the Kinder Morgan investors, especially in light of the fact that one of the major shareholders, BlackRock, is playing a key role in funding the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, many of my constituents have been concerned for a very long time about the Kinder Morgan pipeline. They supported people in northern B.C. to defeat the northern gateway project, but Kinder Morgan hits very close to home. We are right in the tanker traffic path, so we see what the impacts would be.

In the last couple of weeks in my riding, people have told me that the use of Canada pension plan money as well makes it that much worse. It is unfortunate that the Liberal Party has always listened very closely to the corporate interests, including those in the States. They are lining up, and apparently have the Prime Minister's ear more than people on the ground who are working and boosting our coastal economy right now.

That Canada pension plan money would even be a consideration for the Prime Minister's investment in his old pipeline is the final straw. People at home are furious.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:40 a.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to speak to the NDP motion today on what it means to be a global climate change leader and what it means to build a clean energy economy. The three points the motion puts forward to answer this question are investing in clean, renewable energy sources; putting workers at the heart of the transition; and putting an end to significant subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

I do not want to spent too much time on the background of this motion; suffice it to say that it is all about our response to the threat of climate change. Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that climate change is happening, and it is caused by human actions. We have to act quickly and decisively around the world to minimize its effects.

We have similar debates here in the House every time the Conservatives use their opposition days to speak against the price on carbon. When I speak in those debates, the Conservatives often ask me why forest fires and floods are still happening in British Columbia after a decade of carbon pricing in that province. It is obvious that it does not work so directly. We have to act globally, and we have to act boldly. Here in Canada, we have to do our part so that we can continue to encourage countries around the world to do the same.

In Canada, we are the most wasteful nation on earth on a per capita basis when it comes to energy, water, and other environmental indicators. We can do better and we must do better. If we do not act decisively now, we will be passing on to our children a civilization suffering from rising sea levels, droughts, storms, wildfires, and other highly disruptive pressures. These are already causing mass migrations and civil unrest, and that will only intensify in future decades.

Fortunately, it is not all doom and gloom. There is a bright side to this challenge: a clear opportunity for Canada that we must seize today if we are not to be left behind. The clean tech sector is a multi-billion dollar opportunity for Canada. We have some of the most innovative companies in the world, and we must nurture them through government procurement, mentorship programs, and direct investments. This is where we should be directing our subsidy programs. We can think of what a $4.5-billion investment in putting solar panels on roofs across Canada could accomplish in terms of our carbon footprint, and that investment would create good, high-paying jobs.

I recently met an electrician in my riding who had decided to leave the oil patch in Alberta and work in his hometown. He decided that the future was in clean energy, not in oil, so he started a business in solar panel installation. He was doing quite well because of the increasing popularity of domestic solar installations. However, he pointed out that Canada lags far behind the United States in this field because there are few, if any, incentives for homeowners and business owners across the country to make the switch. It is expensive to put 20 solar panels on the roof. He pleaded with me to make the case in Ottawa for significant incentives to get the industry really going across the country. He pointed out that there are hundreds of electricians and other tradespeople like him in the oil patch who would love to come home to work, if the jobs are there, and they could be there if we went all in on these renewable technologies.

Many people do not realize how cheap these renewable technologies have become. Solar and wind power now compete on an even level with other energy sources, and in many situations they are the cheapest power sources available. Saudi Arabia, the country with the cheapest oil in the world, has shifted all new energy production to solar. The countries that adopt these technologies early will be the big economic winners in the future world of energy.

A couple of years ago, I attended the clean energy ministerial meetings in San Francisco, and the German minister there gave an impassioned speech about the shift to clean energy. He said that it was expensive for Germany to make that transition, as the Germans adopted those new technologies when they were expensive, but their investments in renewable energy companies have put them at the head of the world in that regard, and they are now reaping the economic benefits many times over as they sell their products and their expertise around the world.

China is doing the same. The Conservatives often throw up their hands and say that Canada should give up on climate action because China is producing more pollution than we are. Meanwhile, China is going all in on renewable energy, shifting away from coal. It is clearly one of the world leaders in solar technologies, and the Chinese have openly boasted about ruling the world of electric vehicles in the near future. Canada could and should be doing all it can to get in on this global market for clean tech and renewable energy. I know the government has made some tentative moves in that regard, but we need significant investment. Again, we can just think of what a $4.5-billion investment in electric vehicle infrastructure would do across Canada.

I once heard an energy expert say that the best new fuel, the fuel that would save the world, is efficiency. Efficiency is the best new fuel. As I said earlier, Canada is one of the most wasteful countries in the world on a per capita basis. We could achieve most of our climate targets and create thousands of jobs in the process through energy efficiency.

I am going to mention the ecoENERGY retrofit program here again. This program ran, on and off, from 2007 to 2012. It was first envisioned by a previous Liberal government, but it was run by the Conservative government throughout that time, so I will give credit to both parties for such a good idea. This program gave significant incentives to homeowners across the country to undertake renovations and improvements to their homes to make them more energy-efficient. It was hugely successful.

Over the life of the program, the federal government gave $934 million in grants to 640,000 households. That is almost a billion dollars, a real investment. What did Canada get in return? The participants in the program spent four billion dollars on top of the rebate, so the investment leveraged almost five times that amount. On average, participants saved 20% on utility bills after their renovations, which is a reduction of three tonnes of carbon emissions per household per year. It is a reduction of $340 million in utility bills for those who took part, and the program created thousands of good jobs.

When I talk to people from the Canadian Home Builders' Association in my riding or here in Ottawa and ask them what we can do to help their industry, they say to bring back the ecoENERGY retrofit program. I did table a private member's bill to do just that, hoping the Liberal government would take up the program, but instead it passed it off to the provinces in the pan-Canadian framework, and very few have taken it on. A huge opportunity has slipped through our fingers. We need to revive it as part of a bold new clean energy vision for our country.

This is a pivotal time for clean energy. Ceres and Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimate that there will be $12 trillion U.S. in renewable energy spending up for grabs over the next 25 years. The countries that come out ahead will be those that first develop the technologies, the thinking, and the experience, and use them to compete and grow in the global market for clean energy solutions.

I am going to Argentina this afternoon with the Minister of Natural Resources to the G20 energy meeting. The focus of this year's meeting is energy transitions. I am very interested to hear what experts and leaders from around the world will have to say about clean energy transition, and I am very interested to hear what they think of Canada's present trajectory in that future and what it could be.

The transition is coming, whether we like it or not. It is coming like a freight train. Let us seize the day and be part of it. Let us make sure our workers have good skilled jobs across the country. The jobs in renewable energy infrastructure for welders, electricians, carpenters, and metal workers are all the same jobs that we now have in the oil patch. These are good, family-supporting jobs. We need to make sure those jobs are created so that our economy can grow through this transition.

The future of the Canadian energy sector could be bright, but we have to act now and make sure we are not left behind.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is always great to hear the hon. member, a fellow biking enthusiast, talking in the House about sustainability and energy. I was struck by one of his last comments, about how the transition is coming at us like a freight train, which is how we are moving oil right now. Something we would like to do is move oil to the coast through a pipeline that is environmentally friendly, under the caps set by the Alberta government.

I wonder if the member could speak to the motion around the pipeline. We are seeing it as an important part of our transition, one third of the world's oil reserves being in Canada, opening up some economic opportunity for us so that we can develop alternative energy in Canada by using revenue from the oil line coming from Alberta.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, first, we have to realize that this pipeline is an expansion project. It is a project that is designed to enable the expansion of Alberta oil production. Alberta oil production can go along at the present rate, more or less, now and into the future, with the pipeline infrastructure that we have. This is about expanding that. Yes, Alberta has a cap, a 100-megatonne cap. Right now, it is at 70 megatonnes, so the carbon emissions in Alberta are projected to increase by 30 megatonnes. That is going in the wrong direction, when we are desperately trying to get down to 100 megatonnes.

If we can spend $4.5 billion to buy an old pipeline, and then $10-15 billion or more to build a new pipeline, why not take that money and get Canada ready for this energy transition and move it along? A study just came out a few days ago in Nature, one of the most prestigious and respected science journals in the world. This is not the Fraser Institute. These are the top scientists in the world saying that Canada is the country most at risk for stranded assets in the fossil fuel industry.

We have to start moving very quickly away from fossil fuels and into renewables, and we have to do it now.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Don Davies NDP Vancouver Kingsway, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague on a superb speech, filled with facts, logic, and smart economics.

The Minister of Environment stands in the House day after day and says that the market for renewable energy is a $23-trillion industry. That is the sustainable energy market in wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, and all the other more environmentally sustainable forms of energy, yet the Liberal government has just announced an investment of probably about $15 billion, by the time all is done, in 20th-century technology to expand fossil fuel infrastructure.

Canada has signed on to the Paris accord, which commits us to reduce our greenhouse gas and carbon emissions below certain levels, and yet I have never heard the math by the government. With tripling the export of bitumen and expanding our fossil fuel infrastructure, which will no doubt raise the carbon emissions we are responsible for, where will the concomitant reductions come from, elsewhere in the Canadian economy, to not only balance that off but reduce our emissions? In the member's opinion, can Canada meet its obligations to the globe to reduce its carbon emissions and still expand its fossil fuel infrastructure?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:55 a.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I see a minister get up in the House every time and say that this pipeline will be built, and then the next minister says that the economy and the environment go hand in hand. If that is true, then I would love to see a minister get up in the House and say that we will meet our 2030 Paris targets. It has not happened. I have not heard it. I have not seen a plan of how we are going to get there.

The government talks about things that it is doing to try to reduce our carbon footprint, and yet it invests $4.5 billion in an oil pipeline. It does not make sense. It is going in the wrong direction. This will be a big project, a big task in front of us, so we have to take those big chunks of money with which, apparently, we are now willing to buy pipelines and build pipelines, and do the things necessary to build a renewable sector, to build energy efficiency across Canadian homes and businesses, and all the things we have to do to go in the other direction.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

11:55 a.m.

North Vancouver B.C.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Edmonton Mill Woods.

I am very pleased to stand in the House today to discuss the motion of my colleague, the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.

I appreciate the call for Canada to be a global climate change leader. I agree, and Canada is. However, this motion fails in a number of areas, including its failure to recognize the actions the government has taken in ensuring that the environment and the economy go together as we build a clean energy economy. Our government has been steadfast in its belief that a strong economy and a clean environment go hand in hand. The NDP motion completely ignores the historic investments that the government has made through successive federal budgets that specifically address Canada's environment, coastlines, waterways, and wildlife, as well as the introduction of government legislation such as Bill C-69, Bill C-68, Bill C-57, and Bill C-74, which would further strengthen our ability to protect the environment and grow the economy in sustainable ways.

Today, I will highlight the global market for clean technologies and the enormous opportunity Canadians are already taking advantage of that is estimated to be in the trillions of dollars, with demand only increasing, and at an incredibly rapid pace.

This is an area I personally know very well, having spent the past almost 20 years as a chief executive officer and senior executive in the clean technology and renewable sector. The clean technology industry presents significant opportunities for Canadian businesses from all sectors of the economy. That is why investing in clean technology is a key component of our government's approach to promoting sustainable growth and to addressing key environmental challenges.

Our government also recognizes that clean technology is a source of good, well-paying jobs for Canadians. Therefore, when it comes to clean technology, Canada has the opportunity to be a true global leader, creating good, well-paying jobs for Canadians, while helping to meet our climate change and other important environmental goals.

Clean technologies are central to Canada’s low-carbon, globally competitive economy that provides high-quality jobs and opportunities for our middle class and those working hard to join it.

Clean technologies are by definition innovative technologies. Our government understands that innovation is a key driver of economic success. That is why we developed an innovation skills plan that will assist in making Canada a world-leading centre for innovation.

Today, clean technology already employs over 170,000 Canadians, and we sell about $26 billion annually in goods and services. Of that $26 billion, about $8 billion is exported.

Clearly, there is a strong appetite for Canadian innovation, but we have only just scratched the surface and there is so much more room to grow. That is why our government set aside more than $2.3 billion for clean technology in budget 2017. For the record, that is Canada's largest-ever public investment in this field. Prior to making this historic investment, we worked closely with industry to develop a comprehensive strategy that will successfully accelerate the development of the sector.

This $2.3 billion will support clean technology research, development, demonstration, and adoption and the scaling up of our businesses.

We know that access to financing fuels the growth of companies and provides the capital needed to hire new staff, develop products, and support sales at home and abroad, which is why we have set aside $1.4 billion in new financing for clean-tech providers. This is in addition to the $21.9 billion investment in green infrastructure, which will create jobs and position Canada for the low-carbon economy of the future.

We have also allocated $400 million to recapitalize Sustainable Development Technology Canada. This fund is helping our Canadian businesses develop world-class expertise in clean technology engineering, design, marketing, and management. To date, the fund has invested $989 million in 381 Canadian companies, supporting projects across the entire country. The funding has helped these companies develop and demonstrate new clean technologies that promote sustainable development, including those that address environmental issues, such as climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil.

There is also the Business Development Bank of Canada with its $700 million commitment to help clean technology producers scale up and expand globally. Since mid-January, I am pleased to say that four investments worth $40 million have been made. Through our participation in mission innovation, the Government of Canada will work with the international community to double federal investment in clean energy research and development over five years.

These are very significant and substantive investments, and we will drive for strong results. The government will carefully monitor the results of its investments both in terms of economic growth and jobs, as well as the environment.

Through a new clean-tech growth hub within Innovation Canada, the government will streamline client services, improve federal program coordination, enable tracking and reporting of clean technology results across government, and connect stakeholders to international markets. The clean growth hub is the government's focal point for all federal government supporting clean technology. Since launching in mid-January, the hub has served over 450 companies. This one-stop shop is a major innovative win for government that industry is already recognizing as a key step forward.

The 2017 Global Cleantech Innovation Index, which investigates where entrepreneurial companies are most likely to emerge over the next 10 years, ranked Canada fourth, up from seventh in 2014. Further, in January of this year, the Cleantech Group released a Global Cleantech 100 list. The list recognizes the clean-tech companies that are most likely to have significant market impact over the next five to 10 years.

Under the Harper government, Canada's share of the global clean-tech market shrunk by half. In partnership with the clean-tech industry, we have successfully turned this around. This year, a record 13 Canadian clean technology firms comprised the top 100. All the winning companies are clients of the Canadian trade commissioner service, and seven of the 13 companies are Export Development Canada customers.

We know that is only a small sampling of the innovative clean technology companies that are doing amazing work every day across the country to create economic growth, and solve our most pressing environmental challenges.

For example, in Montreal, GHGSat has developed the technology to monitor industrial greenhouse gas emissions using satellite technology. They launched their first satellite in 2016. In my own province of British Columbia, Carbon Engineering is developing a process to turn carbon dioxide in the air into a clean fuel. I could go on and on, speaking about all of the fantastic and innovative clean technology companies working across the country in so many industries and sectors of the Canadian economy.

In order to ensure their continued success, we will continue to collaborate with all stakeholders and jurisdictions across Canada to meet our climate change commitments and bring innovative and competitive clean technologies to market.

We have developed strong international linkages that promote Canadian technology as solutions to global challenges and attract private sector investment. This government is focused on scaling our great Canadian clean technology success stories, and in the process, helping to solve the world's most pressing environmental challenges.

As we move forward, the Government of Canada will continue to be a strong partner for clean technology producers. Our government is incredibly proud and impressed by the innovative work being done by the entrepreneurial women and men working in this sphere and we will continue to support them and their work, and with their success, generate future wealth for Canadians, while safeguarding the environment for future generations.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Madam Speaker, next to hydroelectric power, nuclear energy is the next most economical greenhouse gas-free form of electrical power generation.

Given that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is presently known worldwide as the best nuclear agency to foster the generation of small modular reactors, together with the talent and skill of the people who work at the Chalk River Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, what amount of money will the Canadian government be investing to produce the first test small modular reactor in Canada?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, the discussion obviously revolves, in very large measure, around transitioning to energy technologies that are not greenhouse gas-polluting.

Most of the discussion relates to renewables, such as solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and others. Certainly in many countries nuclear options are part of the conversation. There are many countries in the world, including countries like France, which have been been active in the fight against climate change, that utilize nuclear energy as a significant source of their baseload power.

The government continues to be supportive of the development of small-scale nuclear reactors, their potential for commercialization, and their use in the context of fighting climate change.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Madam Speaker, several speakers have mentioned that we used to have the eco-energy program, which was launched to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. It was a renovation program, but it no longer exists. I have two questions for the member.

First, why has the Liberal government not reintroduced this program, which was very popular and helped improve the situation?

Second, why is there not a similar program for new construction? Not only would this create jobs and help the environment, but it would also help lower maintenance costs of buildings. It would be a win-win situation.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, the issue around buildings is an important one. It is recognized in the context of the pan-Canadian framework. Buildings account for about 10% or 11% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions presently.

In the context of the pan-Canadian framework, we have made a commitment to moving towards a building code for new buildings that will be net zero by 2030. We are working actively with the provinces and territories on that, as well as an enhanced retrofit building code that will enhance energy efficiency more generally.

We are making historic investments in green infrastructure, which relates to all kinds of infrastructure, including building infrastructure. Certainly in the context of the low-carbon economy fund, where we are partnering with the provinces, many of the provinces have chosen to actually utilize those funds to fund energy efficiency programs relating to buildings.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:10 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, it is always difficult to debate the climate issue with the Liberal government and its representatives, such as the parliamentary secretary, because I do not doubt their good intentions. What I do not see is leadership.

The measurement is not whether the Liberals are doing more than the previous government under Stephen Harper, because of course they are. The difficulty, and it is not their fault, is that the atmosphere, the chemistry of the atmosphere, and the physics of what we are experiencing now mean that incremental change, such as is acceptable to a political class that just thinks about getting through the next election, is inadequate to ensure that we avoid catastrophic levels of climate change. Canada is not pulling our fair share of the weight at all to hit a climate target that will hold to 1.5° Celsius.

When will Canada ratchet up our target and show that we really are leaders?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Jonathan Wilkinson Liberal North Vancouver, BC

Madam Speaker, Canada is focused on ensuring that it meets the obligations that it entered into under the Paris Agreement, which is a 30% reduction over 2005 levels by 2030. The focus for this government is ensuring that we actually have a plan to implement commitments that we make with respect to climate change. Historically, too many governments have made commitments to targets and have done nothing to actually implement them. The focus for us is on achieving that target and looking at ratcheting up the level of ambition over time, just as the hon. member said.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:10 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Madam Speaker, since taking office, our government has been clear that the economy and the environment can and must go hand in hand. It is a view that neither the federal NDP or the Conservative Party understand. We know this well from the Conservative Party's inaction on meaningful climate change policy as well as its inability to build a single metre of pipeline that would get our resources to new markets. I should clarify that I am talking about the federal NDP, not the Alberta NDP.

The federal NDP continues to fail to recognize that resource development has been, and will continue to be, part of our economy for the foreseeable future. The federal NDP fails to understand resource development can and does go together with our plan to meet the Paris targets and to implement the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change.

This is not an abstract exercise we are discussing. Our government is moving forward on the most comprehensive environmental policy our country has seen, while supporting nation-building resource projects that will benefit all of Canada.

Federal, provincial, and territorial governments have adopted and are working to implement the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. This framework includes more than 50 initiatives that together put us on the path to meet or exceed our greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. We are making investments in industries of the future by supporting innovation, clean technology, and sustainable infrastructure.

Under the infrastructure plan I oversee, we are investing more than $26 billion in green infrastructure over the next decade. On top of that, we are investing $29 billion in the public transportation system to make our communities more green and sustainable. Out of the $26 billion of green infrastructure, $8 billion is to support renewable energy. This level of investment in green infrastructure and in climate change mitigation and adaptation is unparalleled in our country's history.

Taken together with our investments in innovation and clean technology, we are positioning ourselves to be a world leader in the clean technology sector. Alongside these investments, we have been steadfast in our support for the resource sector, which continues to be such an important part of our country's prosperity.

When we took office, we recognized the previous government's approach to resource development was not working. Public trust was eroded, the constitutional obligations to consult indigenous peoples were ignored, and a meaningful and comprehensive plan for environmental protection remained absent.

Our government is demonstrating that resource development and environmental protection can work together to improve investor confidence, strengthen our economy, and create good middle-class jobs while protecting the environment. As an Albertan, this is deeply important and personal to me. I know many workers who were affected by the downturn in the price of oil. I have many friends and family whose livelihoods depend on our resource sector. As well, in my trips to Fort McMurray and other cities around the province, I see first-hand the importance of not just getting our resources to market, but getting them to new markets so we are not reliant on our neighbours to the south to buy our oil.

The decisive action we have taken will ensure that the TMX pipeline gets built. I want to be clear that this decision was made under an exceptional set of circumstances.

The project was moving forward as planned, and we had made the interventions necessary to ensure this remained the case. It was the obstructionist actions of Premier Horgan in British Columbia that led to the need for the federal government to take the measures we took. Projects like TMX create thousands of jobs, not just in Alberta but across the country.

It is in the interest of Canada to find more efficient and safer ways to transport our natural resources to market. It is in the interest of Canada to receive a fair price for those resources than is possible when we essentially have only one customer. It is in the interest of Canada to partner with indigenous communities, respect and recognize their rights, and ensure traditional knowledge is integrated into our decisions. It is in the interest of Canada to develop our resources in a way that does not compromise the environment.

Since coming to office, our government has been guided by a simple but profound belief: that the economy and the environment must go hand in hand. We also know that good projects such as TMX will not get built unless they carry the confidence of Canadians. That is why our government introduced the $1.5 billion oceans protection plan. This plan to safeguard the health and safety of coastal communities and the sensitive marine areas is the most significant investment Canada has ever made in protecting our oceans. It is also why Canadians can feel confident that the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will not jeopardize B.C.'s beautiful coastline.

Our government is demonstrating in real and tangible ways that growing the economy and protecting the environment can go hand in hand. We are supporting Canadian workers at every step to ensure that major resource projects move forward, while making the investment to ensure our workforce is well positioned for the technologies of the future.

In short, we made a promise to Canadians and we are delivering on it.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Madam Speaker, we heard at least three times during my colleague's speech, and more frequently from other members of his caucus, that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. It is a worn out phrase that we have heard since the 2015 campaign.

However, the problem with that statement is that the government is not being forthright with Canadians in showing how that happens. We have asked what the greenhouse gas emissions reductions will be as a result of the carbon tax. We get no answers. We have asked how much this new carbon tax will cost the average Canadian family. We know the Liberals know but they refuse to share it with us.

If the economy and the environment go hand in hand, will my colleague today stand in the House and tell Canadians what will the carbon tax cost the average Canadian family and how much greenhouse gas emissions reduction will result from the carbon tax imposition?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi Liberal Edmonton Mill Woods, AB

Madam Speaker, in all jurisdictions in Canada, Canadians understand that to get our resources to the international market, we need to take action on climate change. We are taking action on climate change, and pricing pollution is part of that.

I would urge my colleagues from the Conservative Party, as well as all of the Alberta MPs, to put aside their partisanship and really think of what is best for Alberta's workers. They have been asking us to take action on TMX. We have shown leadership by taking over this project to get it built. This is about Alberta's economy. This is about Canada's economy. This about ensuring we are creating jobs for the middle class, jobs that are needed in the energy sector.

I hope members will put aside their partisanship and support our government to get TMX built.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, with respect, I have to disagree with my colleague across the way. There is no consensus among Canadians that in order to defeat climate change, we have to build a pipeline. It is Orwellian logic and it does not make any sense.

I want to ask my colleague across the way about his government's commitment to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. This was a promise that Canada made to the G7 in recognition that subsidies for fossil fuels undermine efforts to deal with climate change, that they encourage wasteful energy consumption, that they reduce energy security, and that they impede investment in clean energy sources.

Because we are debating today the imperative for the government to shift its investment from a dirty old bitumen pipeline for $4.5 billion into clean energy jobs instead, when is the government going to act on its promise to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi Liberal Edmonton Mill Woods, AB

Madam Speaker, we are taking action in investing in new technology, $8 billion in new technology in renewable energy.

I would appreciate if the hon. member for the federal NDP would appreciate the actions being taken by the Alberta NDP on climate change. It has put a cap on overall emissions from the oil sands. It is phasing out coal. It has put a very effective price on pollution. I hope the federal NDP will support the provincial NDP to get that action going and get the resources to market so it can pay for all the steps that need to be taken in order to protect our environment.

It is so disheartening and disappointing to see the federal NDP completely ignore the needs of workers in Alberta, to completely ignore the comprehensive action the provincial NDP has taken.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to talk about the environment and the economy of the future as part of the debate on our motion today. I will be sharing my time with the excellent member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, who does a great job as the agriculture critic. He mentioned the potential risks and absurdity of the Liberal purchase of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline at a cost of $4.3 billion of taxpayers' and Drummond residents' money.

For the past few days, the people of Drummond have been outraged that their money is being used to buy a private company for purposes that are not clear and to invest in the energy of the past rather than that of the future. In today's opposition motion, my colleague from Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie is proposing that we invest in the future. He believes that a global environmental leaders do not invest in a pipeline, they invest in renewable energy such as sun, wind, clean hydroelectricity or smaller projects.

Studies show that investing $1 million in renewable energy and energy efficiency will create 10 times more jobs than investing in fossil fuels. If we want to build a strong and competitive economy and a forward-looking society, we should not be investing $4.3 billion of taxpayer money in an outdated resource. We must invest in the future. The Liberal government failed miserably on this one. It is very serious.

Our motion states that we should transition towards energies and the economy of the future. Countries and societies around the world are investing more and more in renewable energy. In Canada, the Liberal government is unfortunately lagging behind on such investments. This motion calls on the government to urgently change course. When the NDP comes to power in 2019, that is what we will do. We will change course to ensure that the money this government misspent will be invested in the economy of the future.

I want to take this opportunity to talk about two young women I met on the weekend at one of my town hall meetings. Rébecca Joyal and Méganne Joyal are two sisters who are very involved in their school community. They started by getting involved in their school's UNESCO program, and then joined Amnesty International. They are working to get composting at their school. They are just 17 years old and they are already working to improve their environment.

Rébecca was recently elected environment minister in the Quebec youth parliament. As you can see, these young women truly want to get involved. They told me that we need to combat climate change and that this was the biggest challenge of the future, but it is also the biggest challenge of today.

Those who think that climate change is a myth are clearly forgetting all of the extreme and severe weather events the world has experienced in recent years.

Extreme weather events are not only on the rise, but they are also getting worse. In Drummondville, we used to see torrential rains maybe once every 100 years. Now, we get them every three or four years. That has serious implications for our infrastructure. Basements get flooded, for example.

Just a few years ago, I had to help out at a community centre when its basement was flooded because of torrential rain. I received all sorts of email. People came to tell me that their basement had been flooded and asked me to do something about it. Something must be done. The Liberal government is dragging its feet in the fight against climate change and is not investing all its time and money in the right places.

Just recently, in spring 2018, there were devastating floods in New Brunswick and British Columbia, not to mention forest fires in Manitoba. We know that climate change is affecting us and has serious consequences.

We have to turn things around, but we have to do so in an intelligent manner that supports our economy and our workers who work in outdated industries. We cannot leave them behind. We have to support them in this transition.

Canadian municipalities are very vulnerable to the risks associated with climate change, especially when it comes to extreme weather. Floods are the most costly natural disaster in terms of damage to property and urban infrastructure. Some might say this is a new phenomenon, but it is not. This has been going on for a long time and the government knows it.

In fact, there was once a national round table on the environment and the economy, which was tasked with linking the environment with the economy. Is that not odd? We often hear the Liberals or the Conservatives say that this hurts the economy and so on, but that is not true. The national round table on the environment and the economy explained that if we fail to invest in the fight against climate change, there will be serious consequences that will be far more costly in the future. We are talking cost increases in the billions of dollars.

Unfortunately, the government is currently handing out $1.3 billion a year in fossil fuel subsidies. The Liberal government said that it would do away with those subsidies, but it has not yet done so. However, we will eliminate them in 2019. The government is always behind on that. We would take the $4.3 billion that the Liberals invested in a pipeline and invest it in the economy of the future and energy efficiency.

I did not talk about energy efficiency, but there are a lot of businesses in Drummond that do excellent work in that area. Venmar, Annexair, and Aéronergie, just to name a few, are energy efficiency experts that create local jobs. They also drive the local economy and help people save money by lowering their home heating costs. These businesses also help fight climate change.

What plan do the Liberals' have for energy efficiency and helping Canadian families? They do not have one. That is why we need to adopt today's motion. The Liberals need to understand that. If not, that is fine. The NDP will take office in 2019 and we will do what needs to be done.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, what the member has said is just not true. The Government of Canada will be investing hundreds of millions of dollars over the coming years in environmentally sound policy, green tech, and so much more. The minister himself just made reference to infrastructure.

I would like to be very clear with my New Democratic colleagues and emphasize the point today that the national New Democratic Party has given up on the province of Alberta. That party has made it very clear that it does not support any sort of pipeline expansion. As far as the NDP is concerned, I suspect the national interest is playing second fiddle as it says no to Albertans with respect to this important project. I am disappointed that the NDP has not recognized that the TMX going forward is in the national interest.

Why does the member believe that the NDP has put the national interest at such a low priority with respect to health transfers, education, even clean energy into the future that could be invested in with the proceeds and the jobs that will be saved?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to tell a short but relevant story.

Drummondville was completely dependent on the textile industry, which made up almost our entire economy. When it collapsed, so did Drummondville's economy, so we had to diversify.

Alberta currently depends on the oil industry. Rachel Notley's NDP government knows that and has said that Alberta needs to diversify its economy. What is the Liberal Government of Canada doing to help Rachel Notley and the NDP diversify Alberta's economy and create diversified jobs in sectors other than the oil industry? The Liberals are not doing anything to help with that.

If the NDP were in office at the federal level, it would support the Government of Alberta and give money to support workers, provide training, and diversify Alberta's economy because that would be in the best interests of all Canadians.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Madam Speaker, I had the privilege of working with my colleague on the environment committee a few years ago. I have always enjoyed working with him.

I totally agree with my NDP colleagues in their questions about the Trans Mountain pipeline. It is costing $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money to invest in a 60-year-old pipeline and who knows how much it is going to cost to do the expansion. It could be up to $10 billion. On that point we agree.

I also realize that the member for Drummond and his party are very supportive of the idea of a carbon tax, and yet we do not have any idea how much greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced as a result of the carbon tax, nor do we have any idea as to how much the carbon tax will cost the average Canadian family.

My question to my colleague is similar to a question asked to one of his former colleagues. Is the NDP prepared to support the carbon tax regardless of how much it will cost Canadian families? Is the sky the limit? Is the NDP going to just give the Liberal government a blank cheque to impose whatever it wants on the average Canadian family?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member has one minute to respond.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Madam Speaker, it will be hard to respond to all my colleague's comments in one minute. I really enjoyed going toe to toe with him when he was chairing the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. We had a great time.

We did not agree about everything, but there was one thing we are in full agreement on, which is that buying a pipeline with $4.3 billion of Canadians' money makes no sense. That is just throwing taxpayer money down the drain. The $4.3 billion will only buy the pipeline. We will have to double that number, again by taking money out of the pockets of Canadians, including the people of Drummond. I can say that the people of Drummond are all shocked and appalled by this move. One other thing that makes no sense is the $1.3 billion going to subsidize fossil fuels instead of helping Canadians. This senseless subsidy also needs to be fixed.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, it is really a great honour to stand here and take part in this debate on behalf of the constituents of Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, because the subject we are debating today is a big part of the reason I got into politics in the first place.

I see, and I think a lot of members in this House agree with me, climate change as the defining issue of the 21st century, not only in terms of the impacts we will feel as a country and as a world but in terms of what humankind's response to it will be. How we meet that challenge is going to determine, effectively, how life on this planet is going to go forward. Are we going to live in a sustainable manner? Are we going to live within our resources? Are we going to have a very altered landscape, where we have to drastically reduce how we live our day-to-day lives?

I believe the actions we take today, in the next few years, and in the next decades are going to be very telling for the generations that follow us.

I also stand here as a father of three children. I have twins who are almost six years old and a young eight-month-old. I constantly think about the world they are going to inherit. I realize that I, as a member of Parliament, occupy a very privileged position in Canadian society, because I have a voice in this chamber. I have the ability to speak out on behalf of almost 100,000 Canadians who live in my riding. That is a very privileged position.

I am constantly reminded of the great responsibility that comes with that and of the time I have in this House trying to contribute in some way to getting this country on a path towards a more sustainable future.

I think we can all agree that no other species on earth has had as much impact on this planet as humans have. We have effectively grown to straddle the globe. No part is untouched by our influence. Indeed, we are now in a unique position, for the first time in this planet's history, of actually having a determining role in its future. That has never happened in earth's history.

With that kind of power comes great responsibility. I look at the analogy of the frog sitting in a pot of water that is slowly heated to boiling. The frog is not quite aware. I feel that is somewhat similar to what we as humans are going through. We may not see, from moment to moment, the actual effects of climate change, but we have to look at this as a pattern over years and decades, and we will start to see the changes add up.

It is incumbent upon us to take the power we have in this House and the power the government has to influence policy to act and put us on a course of action. It will cost us if we do not.

I just want to read a quote referring to what economist Sir Nicholas Stern has said:

Failing to curb the impact of climate change could damage the global economy on the scale of the Great Depression or the world wars by spawning environmental devastation that could cost 5 to 20 percent of the world's annual gross domestic product....

We have a Liberal government that likes to say that the economy and the environment go hand in hand. I just read that quote that clearly explains what is at stake if we do not act on our environment. I feel that the economy is the junior partner in this. There are economic opportunities that lie before us if we take the correct course of action. However, if we do not, it is the economy that will suffer the greatest impact, because it very much relies on us having a clean environment and being able to survive in it.

That takes me to the next part, the elephant in the room, the reason we are here today. I heard some Liberal MPs questioning why we felt the need to bring this motion forward today. It is two words: Kinder Morgan.

Despite all the Liberals' promises and platitudes on the environment, no one in 2015 saw in their election platform a promise and a commitment to purchase a 60-year-old pipeline with a checkered history. That is $4.5 billion, and that is only the beginning. That will purchase the existing assets and does not take into account the billions more dollars that may have to be spent to expand it.

Canadians still have legitimate questions about where this money is actually going to come from, what crown corporation is going to take it over, and whether our pension plan funds are going to be part of it. It makes a mockery of our climate change commitments, if we have a government that is committed to meeting the Paris targets.

The initial National Energy Board review did not consider either the upstream or downstream greenhouse gas emissions from Trans Mountain, which is odd for a pipeline that is projected to add at least 13 to 15 megatonnes per year from increased oil sands production. If we look at the downstream emissions from the pipeline, if we were to expand it, it would be an estimated 71.1 megatonnes per year.

If we look at where we are trying to get in terms of keeping global temperatures stable, we can do some analytical modelling on how much carbon dioxide we can emit into the atmosphere to meet that and give every country in the world a carbon budget.

In a day and age when it is widely acknowledged that climate change is real and is happening and that we are the source of it, expanding a pipeline and expanding oil sands production flies in the face of our commitments. We cannot, in this case, walk and chew gum at the same time. It does not work. However, I acknowledge that we are going to continue using oil today, tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future, but what I would like to see is a transition plan so we can try to plateau and start minimizing our use.

The oil sands workers of Alberta have made a very valuable contribution to the Canadian economy, and they will continue to do so in the years ahead. However, we need to have that conversation with the workers of Alberta. I refute the misguided claims of the Liberal Party that we are not acknowledging the workers. We very much are. The member for Edmonton Strathcona, a proud Albertan, has been standing in this House repeatedly talking about the workers of Alberta, the electricians, welders, and people who have important transferable skills and can bring them to bear in other lines of work, if only we had a national government that was putting us on the correct course of action.

If we look at Canada's national emissions, fully 50% come from oil and gas and transportation. Those are two obvious targets we need to address if we are going to have any meaningful action on climate change.

When we look at the labour force, the Canadian Labour Congress, Unifor, and organizations like Blue Green Canada are all saying what the NDP is saying in the House. We have people who have the skills, but we need to have a national strategy. It becomes even more imperative, because there are literally trillions of dollars up for grabs if we position ourselves at this moment. If we look at the trend in the world in the 21st century and the fact that all of this money is there, we need to set ourselves on the right course of action. It does not mean investing in an old pipeline. It does not mean investing in a new one. It does mean looking after the current workers in the energy sector, retraining them, and positioning ourselves.

We can look at all the renewable energy sources and the possibilities of tidal power, geothermal, solar, and wind. Any one of these by itself cannot meet our needs. We have to look at a decentralized energy grid, where they are all working together. We can look at the advent of electric cars. They are going to be cheaper to buy, cheaper to maintain, and cheaper to operate. Market forces will have an effect, and people will start moving en masse.

I will conclude by repeating what we are debating today with our motion. We want this country to be a global climate change leader. We want to build a clean energy economy. That means that we have to make those investments. We have to put workers and skills training at the heart of this transition. It means, fundamentally, that we do not spend billions of dollars on a pipeline and its expansion. That money could have been better used elsewhere. I know that many Canadians today were expecting a lot different from the Liberal government, and I was as well.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:45 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, whether it is the NDP premier of Alberta or the workers of Alberta who recognize and appreciate the national interest and the jobs and opportunities, if the Government of Canada was not prepared to make that investment, we likely would not have the pipeline expansion. Maybe that fits the national NDP agenda and the narrative it wants, but we need to also factor in the national interest. What do members think in part finances things such as health care and education in the province of Manitoba, and even clean-tech jobs?

Does my colleague not recognize that the NDP in Alberta is right in fighting for the expansion, that the people of Alberta will benefit from this government investment, and that all Canadians will see a great deal of benefit into the future, including with respect to the environment? We will see more clean-tech jobs because of this government's actions.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:50 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, if the parliamentary secretary had been listening to my speech, he would have heard that I dedicated a good two minutes to three minutes talking about the workers in Alberta and making reference to the fact that we have benefited tremendously over the years from the oil economy. I acknowledge that we are not shutting that off today, tomorrow, or in the next few years. However, what I am saying to the hon. member is that we need to have a plan. If we get to a point where the world moves ahead and Canada is left behind, that would do a disservice to those workers, because we did not do the work today.

That is my main point of contention with the current Liberal government. It is not doing enough to look ahead to forecast which way we are actually going and to put that just transition in place. It can keep repeating that this project is in the national interest. That seems to be its strategy. However, it does not make it right. The government will not win arguments by repeating the same phrase over and over again.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:50 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Cowichan—Malahat—Langford for raising the Stern review again. It has been a while since we remembered in this chamber the cost of inaction. Just to fill out some details, Sir Nicholas Stern is not only a British economist, he was the chief economist for the World Bank and was commissioned by the chancellor of the exchequer in the U.K. to estimate the cost of the failure to take action on climate change. He estimated it as being an economic hit globally that would be the equivalent of the Great Depression and the world wars put together. That was in 2006. In 2016, he said, “I should have been much stronger.... I underplayed the dangers.”

We are at a cusp right now. We need to do the right thing for the climate before 2020. We cannot wait until 2030. Our current target is the leftover one from Stephen Harper. We have to actually ramp up and do much more.

I could not agree more with my colleague that just repeating that the Kinder Morgan pipeline is in our national interest does not make it so. My question to him is this: has he seen anything from the Liberal government that constitutes an independent report on the costs and benefits of the Kinder Morgan pipeline that would make the case that it is in our national interest?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:50 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, in a short answer, no, I have not.

I would like to thank my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands for raising a few points. What she touched on is that successive federal governments have been punting their climate change commitments down the road. They keep resetting the goal posts as to what benchmark year they are going to reduce their emissions by.

The other important thing she touched on is that the longer we wait, the more expensive this transition will be. It is in our economic interest to start on this now. If we punt it off to a few decades from now or to future generations, the costs will multiply by several factors. That is simply doing a disservice to my children and to everyone's children in this country. We have to take a leadership role and start doing the hard work now, because the problem is only going to get worse, and the costs are only going to get worse as well.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

12:50 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Madam Speaker, before I begin, I should mention that I will be sharing my time with the member for St. John's East.

Today, I want to talk about Canada's natural heritage, why it is important, and what our government is doing to protect it. Living in such a vast and beautiful country, I think Canadians have an intuitive connection to nature. Protecting nature and the environment is a principle embedded in our very DNA as Canadians. With summer just around the corner, Canadians are once again getting ready to enjoy the splendours of our country and our landscape.

Whenever we witness the beauty of the landscapes across this great land and spend time in nature, we reflect on how we must constantly do more to protect our environment and leave behind a worthy legacy for future generations.

Canadians know that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand and that their quality of life now and their future prosperity depend on our commitments to protecting our natural heritage and preserving the environment for future generations. That is why the government is investing heavily to protect Canada's air quality, water quality, and natural spaces for our children and grandchildren and to grow a world-class clean economy.

To combat climate change, the government has already allocated $5.7 billion over 12 years in support of the implementation of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. The plan, developed with the provinces and territories, and in consultation with indigenous peoples, will build a healthy environment for future generations while supporting a strong, clean economy, fostering innovation and creating good, well-paying jobs for the middle class.

The framework supports Canada's target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, while addressing the need to adapt and build resilience to climate change. It builds on provincial and territorial measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and identifies ways that governments, businesses, and civil society can seize the many economic opportunities afforded by the global clean growth economy.

As a first step in the framework, budget 2016 provided almost $2.9 billion over five years to address the effects of climate change and reduce air pollution. In November 2016, the government also launched the $1.5-billion national oceans protection plan to improve marine safety and responsible shipping, protect Canada's marine environment, and unlock new opportunities for indigenous and coastal communities.

In the 2017 budget, the government created a fund for its historic investments in green infrastructure and public transit and put forward new measures in support of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. Those measures include stimulating growth in the Canadian clean tech sector by providing the financing that innovative enterprises need to grow; supporting the research, development, demonstration, and adoption of clean technologies; and enhancing collaboration and establishing new ways of measuring success.

This new financing fuels the growth of companies. It provides the capital needed to hire new staff, develop products, and support sales both at home and internationally.

Budget 2017 made more financial support in the form of equity finance, working capital, and project finance available to promising clean technology firms.

Nearly $1.4 billion in new financing will be made available through the Business Development Bank of Canada, the BDC, and Export Development Canada to help Canadian clean tech companies grow and expand.

More recently, budget 2018 has proposed further investments to help grow a healthy and sustainable clean economy. To ensure that our children and grandchildren can continue to hike in our majestic forests and swim in our beautiful lakes, rivers, and streams, Canada has committed to conserving at least 17% of its land and inland waters by 2020, through networks of protected areas and other conservation measures. Both protected and conserved areas will ensure healthier habitats for species at risk and improve biodiversity.

To that end, budget 2018 announced historic investments of more than $1.3 billion over five years, one of the most significant investments in nature conservation in Canadian history. This investment will contribute $500 million from the federal government to create a new $1-billion nature fund, in partnership with corporate, not-for-profit, provincial, territorial, and other partners.

Through this collaboration, the nature fund will make it possible to secure private land, support provincial and territorial species protection efforts, and help build the capacity of indigenous peoples to conserve land and species for our benefit and the benefit of future generations. The government is also investing about $1 billion over five years to establish better rules for the review of major projects that will protect our environment, fish, and waterways, rebuild public trust, and help create new jobs and economic opportunities. This is an example of delivering on a promise to protect the environment, restore public trust in federal environmental assessment and regulatory processes, and provide predictability for businesses.

Budget 2018 proposed even further investments to help grow a healthy and sustainable clean economy. We are advancing efforts to better protect, preserve, and recover endangered marine life in Canada, with an investment of $167.4 million over five years. This includes funding for research to help us better understand the factors affecting the health of endangered whale species, as well as actions we can take now to help address threats arising from human activity.

These investments are good for the environment and good for the economy. Whales are vital to healthy marine ecosystems and an important part of eco tourism in Canada's Pacific and Atlantic coastal regions and, of course, in the St. Lawrence estuary.

To keep people and communities safe, we also need to improve the networks that collect data and monitor changes in weather, climate, air, water, and ice.

Budget 2018 proposes to improve Canada's weather and water services with $120 million over five years to help protect people and communities from the devastating impact of extreme weather events. These events, such as the wildfires and flooding we have unfortunately seen recently, can have a negative impact on our people, our economy, and our communities.

Another proposed measure our government is proud of is a plan to extend the existing accelerated deduction for clean energy generation and energy efficient equipment to property acquired before 2025. This proposal represents a five-year extension, as the existing accelerated deduction is scheduled to expire in 2020. The deferral of tax associated with this measure is expected to provide businesses with a benefit of approximately $123 million over five years. This renewed support will increase the after-tax income of about 900 businesses and can help us achieve the shared goal of encouraging investment in clean energy generation and promoting the use of energy efficient equipment.

Contrary to what the opposition party might like to believe, our government is making significant investments, like the ones I just mentioned, in order to ensure a healthy and sustainable low-carbon economy, an economy that generates growth and creates jobs for the benefit of all Canadians while preserving our natural heritage for future generations.

This is about ensuring a better future for generations to come, and to do that, our government has always been keenly aware that we must protect the environment and grow the economy at the same time and in a responsible manner.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

NDP

Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet NDP Hochelaga, QC

Madam Speaker, I asked this question to one of the member's colleagues earlier today, but I want to ask it again. Former governments had the eco-energy program, a practical program that helped homeowners renovate their homes. This program was designed to help owners improve energy efficiency in their homes, and it was very popular. This program was cancelled, so it no longer exists, but it could still be very useful if it were reintroduced.

First, why has the Liberal government not reintroduced this program? Second, why is there not a similar program for new home construction, which could be just as worthwhile for owners, the environment, and workers?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question. Our government decided to look at which measures would be most effective, aside from targeted tax credits, to ensure that we meet our greenhouse-gas and energy-consumption reduction targets. This is why we invested in infrastructure; for example, we invested to make public transportation easier to access. This is a $180-billion investment in infrastructure over 12 years, with a significant portion of that going towards public transportation. This will help us meet our targets, provide better quality service, and also encourage Canadians to make smart choices for the environment.

I come from the Quebec City region, and I can say that the ambitious tramway project submitted by mayor Labeaume would not have been possible without the financial support of the federal government and without the massive investments we are making in infrastructure, and in particular public transportation. This is how we chose to proceed, but our government will obviously always be looking at how we can better transition towards clean energy in the short and medium term.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, Jim MacNeill, who was one of Canada's leading environmental diplomats globally, the author of the Brundtland report “Our Common Future”, used to say that the federal budget is the single most environmental statement made by any government. There is so much missing in this budget to respond to climate change.

I am going to focus on just one thing and that is support for solar energy. It is taking off. Solar panels are now a cheaper source of electricity than coal and Canada's Department of Finance actually takes active measures to increase the cost of solar for Canadians. We not only do not help; we add large tariffs. I first raised this with former finance minister Joe Oliver. Why are we putting tariffs on solar panels? It makes it harder.

I hear from local companies that they are installing solar panels on people's homes without federal support. We should be doing everything possible to allow local communities, homeowners, and businesses to install their own renewable energy. We make it harder for them. Why are we putting tariffs on solar panels from China?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands and the Leader of the Green Party for her question.

I believe it is important to examine all opportunities to encourage the transition to energy and an economy that are greener, more responsible, and cleaner. With respect to the 2018 budget, I would say, reluctantly, that in the budget implementation bill, for example, we are putting a price on carbon that will apply across the country.

It is a first, because unlike the previous government, which may have had a greenhouse gas reduction target but never had a plan, this is part of our plan to reach the targets that we have set. That is what distinguishes our government from the previous one.

I believe that putting a price on carbon pollution is an important part of the budget implementation bill. We know that it works, and that it is good for the economy and for the environment.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, New Democrats share the concerns of the Auditor General and G7 countries that Canada has not kept its promise to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. Is there any way the government would pay for this 60-year-old Kinder Morgan pipeline with Canada pension plan money? Please say it is not so.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

Liberal

Joël Lightbound Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Madam Speaker, with regard to tax credits for fossil fuels, which we believe are ineffective subsidies, we have committed to reducing them by 2025. Measures were already announced in the 2016 and 2017 budgets. As I have little time left, I would invite my colleague to review the measures that are in place, including those for liquified natural gas and drilling, in the 2016 and 2017 budgets.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:05 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

0Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie for his important and timely motion today, and for his ongoing commitment to protecting the environment and moving Canada toward a clean energy future. It is a commitment that this government also shares.

It is not surprising, then, that as I consider the motion, I feel myself being inclined to agree with large parts of it. I agree that being a global climate leader and creating a clean energy economy means investing in clean renewable energy sources. I agree we must put workers at the heart of that and they should not have to choose between a good job and a healthy environment.

This is exactly what our government has been saying and doing since coming into office. In fact, we began from a very clear premise, that this would be the century of clean growth and that Canada must be among its leaders. We said from the outset that the environment and the economy must go hand in hand. This is not an empty slogan. It recognizes the fundamental truth that we can no longer talk about a thriving economy without regard for the environment.

Just as clearly, protecting the environment through new sources of energy, clean technology, and innovation is what will drive the economy for decades to come. The two are symbiotic, each strengthening and reinforcing the other, not working at odds.

That is why our government has planted its flag firmly in the clean growth economy by ratifying the Paris accord; putting a price on carbon; making generational investments in clean technology and green infrastructure, including a national network of recharging and refuelling stations; accelerating the phase out of coal; creating a clean fuel standard; regulating methane emissions; making unprecedented investments in foundational science; opening up, for the first time, Canada's offshore to marine renewables, such as wave and offshore wind; developing a $1.5 billion oceans protection plan; and together with our provincial and territorial colleagues, developing a national plan for combatting climate change and investing in clean growth. All told, our government is investing $8 billion in clean energy projects and renewable technologies.

We are doing all of this, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is the smart thing to do. We know incredible opportunities lie ahead for those nations that develop the technologies and drive innovation for a more sustainable future.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects that more than $5 trillion will be invested in new renewable energy capacity by 2030. The Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, a good Canadian, calls clean growth a $30 trillion economic opportunity. This is where Canada's economic future lies. This is what the global future demands.

Our government is determined to seize those opportunities by investing today in areas of invention and imagination.

We also know that because climate change is a global issue, global action is required. That is why we were proud to join Mission Innovation as one of its founding members. As the hon. members know, Mission Innovation is a global initiative, comprising 22 nations and the European Union, aimed at accelerating the clean energy revolution. Canada has committed to doubling its funding for clean energy research and development, from $387 million to $775 million by 2020.

One of the most interesting aspects of Mission Innovation is the involvement of the private sector. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition, led by Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and other leading entrepreneurs, is investing in early stage companies to promote cleaner energy, improve the environment, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By engaging the dynamism and enlisting the energy of the private sector, Mission Innovation will bring breakthrough technologies to scale, revolutionize our energy systems, create highly skilled, good-paying jobs, and drive change into every corner of our economy.

This is what Canadians expect of their government. They want us to focus on clean energy and clean technologies. We know that because we asked them through the largest conversation about our energy in our nation's history.

Led by the Minister of Natural Resources, Generation Energy invited Canadians to imagine their energy future, how they expected the world to look when their kids and grandkids had grown, and what we would do now to get us there. Canadians responded in an unprecedented way, with numbers that are eye opening: more than 380,000 participants, 31,000 hits on social media, 63 engagement sessions in every part of the country, and more than 650 people at a two-day Generation forum in Winnipeg last fall. That forum brought together, often for the first time, energy producers and suppliers, international experts, Indigenous leaders, environmental organizations, consumers, and all levels of government.

What emerged was an inspiring vision of how Canadians saw their energy future. They told us they wanted a thriving, low-carbon economy.

They want us to be a leader in clean technology. They want an affordable and reliable energy system, one that provides equal opportunities to Canadians without harming our environment. They want indigenous peoples to be at the heart of decision-making and benefit from these wonderful opportunities.

Canadians are looking for smart cities, with integrated energy systems, increased energy efficiency, and low-carbon transportation. They want rural and remote communities to have better options than diesel for generating electricity and heating their homes.

In fact, IceGrid, an organization out of my riding in St. John's East, recently participated in and won an Infrastructure Canada event in Toronto with its proposal for renewable energy-backed projects in isolated communities. I am really interested to see how that project moves forward.

From Generation Energy, it is also clear that Canadians understand that while a lower-carbon economy is the goal, and we are not there, we need to prepare for the future, but we need to live in the present by providing energy on which people can count, energy that can turn on the lights when they flick the switch. That means continuing to support our oil and gas resources even as we develop alternatives, including solar, wind, and tidal.

It is here that I part company with the motion before us. It fails to recognize the connection between providing the world with the oil and gas it needs and using the revenues from those resources to invest in clean energy and clean technology going forward. In order to get to the low-carbon future, we need to invest and in order to invest we need resources and revenues, revenues that can come from our traditional energy resources.

Therefore, while the government shares the goals of the hon. member, we differ on the way forward. We will continue to invest in clean technology, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green infrastructure, the growth areas of today and tomorrow, and we will leverage Canada's conventional energy sources, improve their environmental performance, and reduce their environmental footprint as we continue to invest in more clean energy. This is the responsible path forward. It is the path we are following. It is the path that will lead us to a clean energy future, which I know the hon. member seeks.

It is important to realize that today's global economy uses almost 100 million barrels of oil a day, and that oil needs to come from parts of the world where the environmental standards are high, where the carbon footprint of the overall development of the oil and gas is low, like Newfoundland and Labrador's offshore, which is one of the lowest carbon dioxide producers per barrel in the world. It is important to recognize that in addition to the carbon damage that might be caused by oil and gas, there are also human rights and other impacts that oil and gas development has on our global economy.

Canada is a leader in this. We ensure we have growth that works for everyone. It helps fund the hospitals, schools, and social programs that Canadians enjoy. The high standard of living that we enjoy is funded in large part from our traditional resources. Canada's market share in the decline should be maintained.

As the minister likes to say, we want the last barrel of oil that comes out of the ground and sold into the world economy to be a Canadian barrel that is the lowest cost to our environment and lowest social cost to our planet. I know this is an area of concern. Not all sides of the House will agree on this.

It is an interesting motion in that the three areas really highlight differences between the three parties.

The first part of the motion talks about investing in “clean, renewable energy”. I think we will see that members of the House, from the speeches and the debate, largely agree on this point. When we talk about “putting workers and skills training at the heart of the heart of the transition to a clean energy economy”, that is an area where I think we can also have some agreement.

However, when we talk about whether we will to defend, protect, and promote our existing important resources all across the country, certainly in the oil and gas sector, that is clearly where we will be at a division.

When we talk about the fossil fuel infrastructure that we need to meet those needs, there is a way to read part (c) of the motion where members might actually feel that they could support the TMX.

The TMX is a way to ensure we have less environmental impact by sending our oil through pipelines instead of by rail or by truck, which currently happens. We will ensure that the highest levels and standards of protections are available on new pipeline capacity, whereas previous pipeline capacity may very well be obsolete and certainly could be improved. Therefore, we will go to a better future.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, a lot of the reasoning behind the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion has to do with the proponents. They are saying that they are trying to reach new markets. The current Kinder Morgan pipeline exports about 99% of its product down to refineries in California because they are already tooled to deal with diluted bitumen. Where is the evidence of all the buyers who are lining up at the door to buy the product from an expanded pipeline?

Given the government's climate change commitments, I would also like to know how on earth this expansion and the greenhouse gas increases it represents will ever square with those commitments? Does the member not agree there is a very real disconnect? Instead of investing $4.5 billion in an old pipeline, plus the billions more that will have to be spent to build the expansion, does he not agree that money could have been better spent, here and now, in investing in the economy of tomorrow?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

Madam Speaker, we can look at the overall investments the government is making, and I listed numerous ones that related to clean energy and the environment, the innovation and infrastructure sides, and on our support for primary science. We have so many initiatives that relate to the reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions. Our framework includes more than 50 initiatives that put us on track to meeting our Paris commitments of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.

However, It is not just a one-shot deal. This problem will not be solved only through a carbon price or energy efficiency measures, and we will not be able to do it if we abandon our existing economic base. Canadians deserve and indeed should be proud of the work done and the revenues generated by our world-class oil and gas industry. Allowing them to meet new market demand in China from bitumen is one of those cases. If we sell it at top dollar to California, that is not bad either. However, the current situation has Alberta selling the vast majority of its bitumen through Oklahoma into the states at a depreciated cost. That just has to stop. It is a waste of our natural resources.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I know my hon. friend from St. John's East is on the other side of the country all together, so he can be forgiven for not knowing anything about dilbit. Bitumen is a solid. While he just said in the House that the safest and most environmentally-friendly way to ship it was by pipeline, unfortunately he has it exactly backward.

Bitumen is a solid shipped most safely by train. It only becomes dangerous when people stir diluent in order to make it flow through a pipeline, thus creating dilbit, which is both noxious to human health and cannot be cleaned up.

My question is to the point about the claim of great economic dependency of our country on oil and gas. Did he know that at the height of the oil sands production, it represented 2% of GDP, therefore, 2% of our schools, hospitals, and social services, not a dependency?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

Madam Speaker, I am happy to speak to that last point. I probably question the numbers because there is interrelation and collateral benefits to having such a strong industry, but I am sure it represents more than 2% to the Alberta economy. The MPs from Alberta would probably look at that last comment with a certain amount of trepidation and concern.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, depending on the price of oil, our oil and gas industry represents anywhere between 14% and 30% of our provincial GDP. It is a massively important part of the economy in the east coast. I am sure it is a massively important part of the economy in Alberta. Even if we just look at the losses of $50 million a day on average by selling our Alberta oil and gas resources through the U.S. rather than having more diversified markets, that amount pays for a lot of schools, hospitals, and additional opportunities to create a clean energy economy. To not do so is naive.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:20 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Madam Speaker, first of all, I would just like to thank the members for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie and for Edmonton Strathcona, who do so much work within our party around environmental issues.

I will be sharing my time with the member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke.

For the people I represent, I just want to be very clear that this is the motion we are discussing today:

That, in the opinion of the House, being a global climate change leader and building a clean energy economy means: (a) investing in clean, renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal as well as investing in energy efficient technologies that create good quality, long-lasting jobs for today’s workers and future generations; (b) putting workers and skills training at the heart of the transition to a clean energy economy so workers don’t have to choose between a good job and a healthy environment for themselves and their families; and (c) not spending billions of public dollars on increasingly obsolete fossil fuel infrastructure and subsidies that increase greenhouse gas emissions and pollution and put Canadians’ health and Canada’s environment, coastlines, waterways, and wildlife, as well as Canada’s marine and tourism jobs at risk.

That is what we are talking about today. It has been disheartening to hear some of the comments in the House. Some people do not believe that climate change is happening. They do not believe it is something that we can impact. I completely disagree. I hear, “Canada has low emissions compared to other countries.” We cannot negate responsibility if we say we are not as bad as someone else. These are the realities our country and our world are facing.

Today we are standing in the House and we are asking Canada to be a climate leader. This is an opportunity for us to lead the way, to invest in technology and industry that other people will use, another way for Canada to build its economy. In fact, we know that Ceres and Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates there will be $12 trillion U.S. in renewable energy spending up for grabs for the next 25 years. The countries that come out ahead will be those that develop the technologies, the thinking, and the experience first, and use it to compete and grow in a global market for clean energy solutions.

That is a plan for Canada that I can get really excited about. What we have now is the reality that we have a government that has bought a 65-year-old pipeline that will bring less than 3,000 jobs. These are going to be direct short-term jobs that are created from the building of this pipeline and will only last during its construction, with less than 100 jobs remaining in place once it is constructed.

The commitment from the government, another broken promise, was the ending of fossil fuel subsidies. This would have been a step in putting renewable alternatives on a level playing field with the oil and gas sector. The Auditor General's spring report of 2017 concluded that the government has no intention of stopping the subsidies to fossil fuels.

On June 1, 2017, the Columbia Institute's Centre for Civic Governance released a report card, which found the Liberal government had not kept 50% of its climate change promises. The report card found that Canada had not established scientific GHG targets aligned with the Paris Agreement, was not guaranteeing new infrastructure funding that would not lock Canadians into a high-carbon pathway, was delaying the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies, was not giving priority to community and indigenous-owned renewable energy projects, and was not developing a national thermal energy strategy.

This is very concerning for the people in my riding. In my riding of North Island—Powell River, we see a lot of people coming forward wanting to see a changing economy and wanting to see us moving towards an environmentally friendly economy. They want to be part of a strategy. They know where we are today. They know that oil and gas is an important part of our country, but it is something we need to look at, have more of a balanced approach, and move towards a more meaningful change in the future.

When I think of some of the specific challenges that have happened in my riding, I think of the Dzawada'enuxw First Nation in Kingcome Inlet. Over a year ago, unfortunately, a fish farm left diesel running all night. There was a huge diesel spill in their territory. They talked to me about going to that area and seeing, on top of the fish farm, some pads to absorb the diesel, but nothing else happening as the diesel was flowing in their waterways.

They asked to be a part of that. They wanted to have some training and some support to actually start implementing some of the things they needed to see happening. They waited hours for action. They are waiting now for more consultation and discussion. These are some of the important things that are happening.

Just recently, on Read Island and in Campbell River, we had forest fires in May. That is in my riding. That is something we do not usually see.

However, there are a lot of positive things happening. Recently, I participated in a “Forestry Proud” community event in Port McNeill. This event was showcasing the changing face of forestry, and talking about the history of forestry within our riding. We also took a look at green technology and how they are looking at new ways to harvest trees without such a large impact, while protecting some of those well-paying jobs that we have in our riding.

I think of the work that North Island College is doing. Right now it is working with several marine renewable energy companies in an effort to utilize the tidal currents we have in Campbell River, which are some of the best in all of the world, as well as looking at the wave energy available to south Vancouver Island. North Island College is working really hard and wanting to see investments so it can look at these initiatives that will support smaller communities and have a more impactful way around the environment.

I think of Jack Springer from Campbell River Whale Watching, who is working with Green Tourism Canada on an environmental certificate program in tourism and hospitality. Jack said it well. He said, “We've chosen to first clean up our own act.” Right now he has contributed about $5,000 to the Greenways Land Trust to maintain trails and the surrounding ecosystem. Greenways does so much good work in our area, and I am so proud of the investment it is seeing there.

I also think of another small business, Small Planet Energy, which is working across and outside the riding to help businesses and homeowners do more things for alternative energy so that they can be part of the change that so many Canadians want to see. What we have seen with that business is great growth, because so many people are interested in investing. They want to see that leadership and want to be part of it to see a more green economy, to make sure they are investing in things that will not harm the Earth for the future of their children.

Here we are today in the House asking the government to follow the leadership of so many members of communities across the country who are looking for a greener economy. They are investing in it themselves and want to see that reflected by their government.

I come from communities that have seen a lot of ups and downs. My riding has a strong resource-based economy in fisheries, forestry, and mining. One of the challenges is how boom and bust that is. We know that our small communities have paid a lot of taxes, and when those boom and bust cycles come we are often forgotten.

When I look at tackling climate change, it can actually allow us to make smart investments, to develop local communities, to look at small communities and see how we can support them. We can see the increase in energy efficiency. We can tackle pollution and promote Canadian entrepreneurship and skills building in the trillion-dollar global clean energy economy.

It is really important that we see the government take these steps. We are still waiting for that. We are still seeing significant investment in oil and gas sector subsidies. Where are the subsidies for those small businesses, like the one I talked about earlier, that are actively taking every step they can to educate people, to work with people, to find the most affordable way for people to look at alternative energy and become part of that cycle.

We are asking for leadership right now so that we can see actions that improve both our economy and the environmental outcomes for all of our country. We must put workers at the heart of this strategy. It is so important that we remember we do not have to set up that false choice of choosing between a good job and a healthy environment for workers, for their families, and for their communities.

I appreciate some of the hard work that is happening. I think of Iron & Earth. It is a worker-led non-profit. They are energy workers who are working to build renewable energy projects. They are strategizing around what a just transition would look like, and they are working very hard to provide that information. This is about knowing what the skill sets are and the opportunities are and making those things match so that we can have people move forward.

It is time for Canada to take a leadership approach on this. I hope the government will support the motion. It certainly does not sound like it will, but it is time that Canada step forward, start working together to be a leader across the world, and make sure we take this golden moment, this wonderful opportunity, to provide leadership in Canada and around the world. It is time for us to make a change, and I certainly hope that we see it soon.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer—Mountain View, AB

Madam Speaker, there was a piece of information in the PBO's April 2018 economic and fiscal outlook. It was looking at the impact of the carbon pricing levy as it rises to $50 per tonne in 2022, and the projection is that the real GDP would be about 0.5% lower in 2022 compared with a scenario that did not have a carbon pricing levy. The reason I mention that is that there was an analysis in that same article that talked about the cost of a carbon tax on farming. If we compare an average farm in Alberta, 855 seeded acres of cropland, the average cost per farm at $25 would be $6,631 a year. If we take P.E.I. as another example, it would be $5,400 per year. These are the things happening to farm operations, which do not have the opportunity to pass that cost on to the consumer. If we take it to the full $50, it is double those amounts. These are the concerns.

We have heard the Liberal minister talk about how farmers were not concerned about a carbon tax. I wonder if the hon. member would comment on the actual cost to our agricultural communities.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Madam Speaker, I appreciate that we need to work hard with all stakeholders to make sure that as we go into this new world, we face those challenges in a very meaningful way.

I talked about this in my speech, and it is really important to go back to it. I have a huge rose garden. That is the closest my household will get to farming. My roses were blooming in the middle of May and at the same time, there were forest fires on a little island not far from us, just up the hill from where I live. This is hugely concerning. We are seeing things happen in our environment that we have never seen before. This is something that we should all be standing up for. We need to make sure we have the resources available to deal with the impacts of climate change. We need to look after people and make sure there are jobs for them in the future.

I cannot help but say that if the rain does not come and the sun does not shine, these are huge issues for farmers. We need to make sure we are doing everything we can to stabilize the environment, and that we are leaders in this, so that other countries around world are also using our technology and we can protect farms long term. Those communities and families deserve to have farms that work and if there is a huge amount of climate change, they are going to face too many challenges.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Gatineau Québec

Liberal

Steven MacKinnon LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Madam Speaker, I take note of the NDP's motion today. Alberta's NDP government must be taking note of it as well. It must be concerned about the content of this motion.

The hon. member sits with some members from the Quebec regions, such as Abitibi-Témiscamingue and northern Quebec, that have benefited from investments in infrastructure, including the northern plan for developing the mining sector in northern Quebec. This sector employs many indigenous peoples and many Quebeckers. I wonder whether the hon. member also wants to talk about the government's assistance for developing Quebec's mining sector and resources.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Madam Speaker, what an interesting question from the member across the way.

I first want to point out that the Alberta NDP is doing some of the most amazing work across this country on climate change. It has perspectives that I may not always agree with, but the work it is doing to address this issue is significant and something we should all be looking at. We hope to see provinces and territories support and follow that very pathway.

The other reality is that we are talking about just transition. That is something that maybe the Liberal government does not really understand as well as it might. Just transition looks at where the industries are, where they are moving to, and how to make sure we support people in that transition so that we do not leave them behind. As a person who comes from a very resource-based economy in the riding that I represent, we have been left behind too many times. It is important that as we look at this, we provide leadership not only in Canada but across the world, because those investments will mean jobs for Canadians in the future. It is also about making sure that there is a just transition in the future for workers.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, BC

Madam Speaker, I am happy to rise today to speak in support of the NDP opposition day motion in the names of the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie and the member for Edmonton Strathcona.

This is a motion that sets out a clear path for Canada to walk the walk of a climate leader. For more than a decade, I have been advocating for a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. I have consistently opposed further investment in fossil fuels, especially in investments that would result in an increase in tanker traffic on B.C.'s coast.

My opposition to increased tanker traffic, as many people know, dates back to when I was first elected to Esquimalt's council in 2008. I went to my first emergency preparedness meeting as a councillor and found that we had no plan and no resources for an oil spill on our beaches. I moved a motion in council then to oppose an increase in tanker traffic, and that motion was unanimously adopted by my council and later by the Union of B.C. Municipalities, because municipalities understood that a lack of a plan to even deal with the current tanker traffic meant that we could not afford the risk of a seven-times increase in tanker traffic that would come with the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

This increase in tanker traffic presents a threat to the environment on our pristine coasts and our already stressed ecosystems. However, it presents a particular threat to the 76 southern resident killer whales. Even the National Energy Board admitted that these orcas will probably be extinct if the Kinder Morgan project goes ahead, although the National Energy Board said it was not in its jurisdiction, of course, to look at that question.

Also, an increase in tanker traffic threatens the existing economy in my riding where fishing, both recreational and sport fishing, and tourism are the backbone of the private sector. No one comes to Vancouver Island to see oil spills. They come to enjoy the pristine beaches, the coastline, to fish, and to see the iconic southern resident killer whales.

A 700% increase in tanker traffic means a 700% increase in the likelihood of a spill. Therefore, even if the current risks are fairly low, we know that a spill will eventually take place. Even Kinder Morgan admitted that in its submission to the National Energy Board.

When the government says that we have world-class measures in place, it is important to talk about what it means by world-class measures to deal with spills. As a newly elected MP in 2011, I talked to the chief operating officer of the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation, which is the oil and pipeline-owned non-profit responsible for spills. Of course, there is a little irony there when oil and pipeline companies own the company responsible for cleaning up the spills, but I digress. I asked what the standards are for a successful cleanup of a spill. He said that it is a 10% to 15% cleanup of the actual oil spilled and a response time of six to six and a half hours from my riding. I asked if that was because that is what science says is necessary or was it because that 15% cleanup and that six-hour response time is what would best limit the impacts in my riding. He said that, no, it was the best they could do and so that is the standard. This was the standard for cleaning up crude oil spills, not bitumen, which sinks, not floats.

As for the Liberals' vaunted $1.5-billion oceans protection plan, well, let us do the math. With $1.5 billion over 10 years, we are down to $150 million per year divided by three oceans. Let us say that the north gets cheated, as usual, and only gets $30 million of that. That then leaves about $60 million for each coast. Really, $60 million a year for each coast to improve our oil spill response capacity when we are going to have a seven-times increase in tanker traffic. Of course, the oceans protection plan really is not a plan. It is more a wish list, most of which consists of additional consultation and replacement of badly outdated equipment that is already needed on the coast.

Before the other side starts accusing me of hypocrisy or callousness to existing oil workers, or being a big spender for taking these actions, let me say three things before my hon. friends get started.

First, personal actions are necessary from all of us to meet the challenges of climate change. I do make best efforts personally, as those of us who are privileged can do. I have been driving an electric car for more than five years, and we have a heat pump and energy-efficient appliances in our home. I also buy carbon offsets for my flying as an MP. Individual action, however necessary, will never be sufficient to meet the challenges of climate change, and most Canadians lack the resources to make the changes in their lifestyle. Even if they were able to make those changes, they would not be enough without collective action.

Second, I have never suggested than an immediate shutdown of the oil sands is the solution, but I have called for a moratorium on the expansion of the oil sands, because we have to stop rushing headlong in the wrong direction.

Third, the question here of jobs is not one of making people unemployed. It is of making sure that they have high-quality, family-supporting, sustainable jobs in the long term.

Renewable technologies already exist. These technologies are proven and economic. In fact, as of this year there are more jobs in Canada already in the existing renewable energy industry than in the entire oil and gas industry.

Investment in renewable energy creates jobs in every community, not just in remote camps. These are skilled jobs, long-term jobs, not sunset jobs.

If we look at how much these jobs cost, it is very clear. Oil and gas investments per $1 million produce about one full-time job. Renewables do far better. Solar projects, just to take one example, generate more than six jobs for every $1 million invested. If we are going to make a straight economic argument as to where to invest for family-supporting, high-skilled jobs in the future, it is in renewable energy, not in oil and gas.

In some of the sectors of renewable energy the very skills that have been used in oil and gas are transferable. The best example of that is geothermal, mostly used for space heating and totally underutilized in Canada. This is the best example, because geothermal projects need civil and geological engineers. They need drillers, pipefitters, and welders. These are exactly the skills directly transferable from the oil and gas industry. What we need is support from government to get started on the transition for those workers.

Finally, I am often challenged to explain how we are actually going to pay for this necessary transition. Let us be clear. We must pay to act quickly or we will face catastrophic consequences and costs in trying to cope with climate change and perhaps even risk our future on this planet.

How do we pay? We could start by ending the federal subsidy on fossil fuels, estimated at nearly $3.3 billion per year. This is something that both the Liberals and the NDP promised in the last election, just a little difference in the timing. It would be immediately for us and by 2025 for the Liberals.

It is also interesting to note that a recent report from the Auditor General found that despite that promise, he could find no plan to phase out these subsidies, let alone any evidence that the government had started to do so.

There is $3.3 billion per year that we are putting into the old technology and into the climate-threatening technology in oil and gas.

In addition to that, I would argue, as I always have, that we should back away from wrong-headed decisions like buying out Kinder Morgan. Buying the old pipeline for $4.5 billion and then spending another $7 to 10 billion on its replacement is squandering up to $15 billion when we combine that with the subsidies that we could eliminate. This would give us an investment fund for renewable energy of over $10 billion in the first year, with another $3.3 billion available annually with the end of those subsidies. That is a lot of money to put into a solid renewable energy future and into jobs in every community across this country.

Now the government is telling us that the investment in Kinder Morgan is only temporary and the pipeline will be sold once it has been “de-risked”. However there was no private sector buyer for this pipeline when this guarantee by the government against delays was already in place, so it is hard to figure out who that future buyer would be, unless the Liberals plan on taking a big loss on behalf of the public. It is not clear yet from the government how it intends to pay for this big investment, both for buying Kinder Morgan and for building the new pipeline. There was obviously no provision in the last budget to do this, so where is the government going to find that money? It is very hard to figure that out.

It is very easy for some to try to blame the Horgan government for delay, easy perhaps rhetorically, but harder to make that case in reality. No permits applied for in British Columbia have been denied and going to court to protect provincial jurisdiction makes sense, because the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in the northern gateway case that the province had to do its own environmental assessment of that pipeline. How could that be the case if there is no provincial jurisdiction?

We face some stark choices ahead. We can continue down the path of investing in fossil fuels and we can continue to have increasingly harsh impacts of climate change that threaten all our jobs and all our families, or we can choose a path to a low-carbon economy, one that creates good, family-supporting jobs, sustainable jobs in all provinces and all communities, and one that avoids the looming catastrophe of climate change that will come with missing our Paris targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and that will come with the inevitable temperature increase beyond 2°.

I call for us to take that more progressive path.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, it is very clear that the NDP, at least on the national scene, does not support pipelines. Rachel Notley, an NDP premier, understands the value and importance in terms of national interest, in terms of jobs, and we all do that believing that there is a very positive outcome for clean tech companies into the future and in part will be subsidized by some of the proceeds that will come from this.

If it were up to the NDP members, they talk about the $4.5-billion investment, they know full well that without that investment, the pipeline would be gone. Do they not care about what is happening in the province of Alberta to the degree that they will write it off completely?

If Alberta is doing well, Canada does well. It is in the national interest to see this pipeline go through and the NDP are saying no to the Alberta NDP. Why are they saying no and are at odds with the NDP in Alberta?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his somewhat hostile question. It is very clear that the Alberta government is a climate leader in this country and that there is one thing that I do disagree with him on and that is the need for the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

There is some real question and I think it was the real reason there was no private sector buyer for this project. Once the Keystone pipeline is built, and it is approved and is proceeding now, and once the Louisiana superport is built for oil tankers, there is not enough oil for two pipelines and the price differential that would have made Kinder Morgan profitable disappears.

This is a false choice we have placed in front of us. This is something Kinder Morgan walked away from because it was not profitable in the future and it found a chump to buy it and that is the Canadian public.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, bravo to my colleague from Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke for knocking that last answer out of the park. We both have ridings adjacent to each other. Our constituents are of the same view as my dear friend, the late Arthur Black, who used to say, when they talk about getting bitumen to tidewater. “Tidewater? That is my front yard.” That is how we feel about the Salish Sea.

My hon. colleague mentioned the difficulties of cleaning up a dilbit spill. We recently had a session at the University of Victoria where we learned it is quite likely in the open ocean that not only will bitumen and diluent separate, but the bitumen will begin to sink and emulsify and form a lard-like substance that could wash ashore on our beaches and would require being heated to be removed. I ask my hon. colleague to comment on the prospect of a dilbit spill.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, BC

Madam Speaker, I thank my neighbouring MP for her tireless support in opposition to this pipeline. We know very clearly that we do not have the evidence that dilbit can be cleaned up successfully, but we do know that this pipeline and a spill of this kind would threaten the thousands of jobs on the Lower Island that already exist in sport fishing, recreational fishing, and in tourism. The very backbone of our private sector economy is put at risk by a 700% increase in tanker traffic with no real prospect that a spill could be cleaned up.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Madam Speaker, in my 14 years here, I have learned the Conservatives are at least honest. They know that oil and gas is a huge driver in our economy and they defend it. The Liberals tell us it is a huge driver and if we keep driving and driving we will somehow build a new economy that will replace it. This is what we heard today, that we need to keep expanding and expanding and will somehow get a new energy economy.

I would like to ask my hon. colleague about the insincerity and hypocrisy of the Liberal position to pretend that they are creating a new economy when they are not putting the investments into Alberta, not putting the investments into creating alternative energy. They are simply saying let us keep expanding the present one because it is very good for driving the economy, but it shows they have no plan to get us to the new economy they keep talking about.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, BC

Madam Speaker, the hon. member's question points out the very obvious thing that we in the NDP have all been talking about today and that is if we took that money that is being used to buy this pipeline, if we took the money that is being used to subsidize the oil and gas industry, and we put it into renewable energy projects in Alberta, it would create the jobs that are needed in Alberta now and for the future. One thing I disagree on with Alberta is this pipeline, but what we do not disagree with the Alberta government is on the need to transition to a renewable economy in the future. The government is doing very little, if anything, to make sure that happens.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Before we resume debate, I want to remind the next speaker that, unfortunately, we will have to interrupt to go to the rest of the orders of the day. However, the debate will continue after, and that individual will have time to continue her speech.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for King—Vaughan.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Deb Schulte Liberal King—Vaughan, ON

Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Winnipeg Centre, which will obviously happen after question period.

It is not every day that we have the privilege of having our policy so nicely summarized and advocated in a motion by an hon. member of the opposition. I would like to thank the hon. member for his motion and also for his membership on the environment and sustainable development committee. He is a new member. We very much enjoy his contributions on the committee.

We are already taking action. We are making investments that are empowering Canadians with the skills and technologies to transform their lives and their economy toward a greener, cleaner, and more prosperous future that benefits all.

We are supporting the transition to a cleaner economy by putting a price on carbon pollution and by putting an end to the counterproductive and obsolete fossil fuel subsidies. That is what I would like to talk about specifically in my speech today. This activity is already well under way.

In June of 2016, our government, along with the United States and Mexico, committed to phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 and called on other members of the G20 to do the same. We are working in a leadership capacity to make this goal a reality for Canada and our partners.

In recent years, Canada has made significant progress introducing measures to phase out a number of tax preferences that support the production of fossil fuels through the extraction of oil and gas and coal. This included the phase-out of the accelerated capital cost allowance for tangible assets in oil sands projects. That was in budget 2007, and its implementation was completed in 2015.

It included lowering the deduction rates for intangible capital expenses in oil sands projects to align with the rates for conventional oil and gas. That was in budget 2011, and its implementation was completed by 2016.

It included the phase-out of the Atlantic investment tax credit for investments in the oil and gas and mining sectors. That was in budget 2012 and was implemented and completed last year, in 2017.

It includes the phase-out of the accelerated capital cost allowance for tangible assets in mines, including coal mines. That was in budget 2013, and its implementation is to be completed by 2021.

It includes the lowering of the deduction rate for pre-production intangible mine development expenses, including for coal mines, to align with the rates for the oil and gas sector. That was in budget 2013, and implementation is to be completed in 2018.

It includes our government's action to allow the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance for liquefied natural gas at LNG facilities to expire, as scheduled, at the end of 2024.

It includes our budget 2017 decision to rationalize the tax treatment of expenses for successful oil and gas exploratory drilling. Its implementation is to be completed by 2021.

It includes our budget 2017 action to phase out the tax preferences that allow small oil and gas companies to reclassify certain development expenses as more favourably treated exploration expenses. That implementation is to be completed by 2020.

It is important to bear in mind that these actions are being taken gradually to avoid disruptive changes for the fossil fuel industry while supporting Canada's broader environmental objectives. At the same time, our government is currently evaluating non-tax measures to identify any that might be considered inefficient fossil fuel subsidies in the context of meeting our G20 commitments. While there is no commonly held definition, there has been a general understanding that fossil fuel subsidies can go beyond direct tax provisions to encompass things such as price controls, cash subsidies, and tax preferences.

Environment and Climate Change Canada officials are leading an interdepartmental review of federal non-tax measures. Our government will be acting on all findings in moving toward meeting our G20 commitment to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.

Like Canadians, we know that pollution is not free. Its costs are incurred through droughts, floods, smog, wildfires, and the effects it has on water, food, and the air we breathe. The price we pay is in our health and our future. The financial costs are also very real. Climate change alone is expected to cost our economy $5 billion by 2020.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member will have five minutes after question period to continue her speech.

Nunavut Arctic CollegeStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Independent

Hunter Tootoo Independent Nunavut, NU

Madam Speaker, qujannamiik uqaqti.

Education and health care are two important priorities in my riding of Nunavut. With respect to education, Nunavut has the lowest graduation rate in the country, an unfortunate reality that has been influenced by many factors, including the deeply ingrained mistrust of the system due to the residential school legacy. Regarding health care, Nunavummiut need access to quality health care. They want to receive treatment in Nunavut from people who are sensitive and understanding of their culture.

I am happy to say that youth in Nunavut are doing their part to address these priorities. Tomorrow I will be travelling to my riding to congratulate those who have recently graduated from education and nursing programs at Nunavut Arctic College. These programs have provided students with a culturally relevant education, one that will help shape education and health care policies for generations to come. I am truly honoured to be asked to speak at the ceremony, and I am very proud of these graduates and their accomplishments.

Stuttering Support Organization for Quebec YouthStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Yves Robillard Liberal Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, I recently had the chance to sit down with Chantale Baillargeon and Mélanie Paiement, who work at the Association des jeunes bègues du Québec, or AJBQ, an organization that supports young people who stutter.

AJBQ is a not-for-profit community organization that has been working in the health field for more than 25 years. Its members, made up of parents, professionals, and researchers, have made it their mission to provide young people who stutter with the hope, knowledge, and confidence they need to achieve their full potential.

On June 14 there will be a cocktail reception in Laval to celebrate the opening of the first francophone community clinic that specializes in stuttering.

I want to congratulate AJBQ on its contribution to creating a world where stuttering is not an obstacle preventing individuals from achieving their full potential.

Lévis—LotbinièreStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, as Lévis—Lotbinière prepares for a summer full of festivities, I would like to tell you what makes me so proud of my region.

First, I have the good fortune of living among friendly, dynamic people who work together to help those most in need. It takes more than physical infrastructure to make a community a great place to live. What really counts are the values of the people who live there.

I would like to commend all those involved in the many festivals taking place in my region this summer, whether they are focused on our community sports or local cultural activities. I look forward to seeing all my constituents at the many Canada Day activities and I hope they see the play I am acting in, entitled Comme dans le temps. I also hope to meet them at my MP dinner on August 10.

I look forward to seeing everyone.

2018 CFL DraftStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jati Sidhu Liberal Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Jacob Firlotte, of the Sts'ailes band, in my riding. Jacob was selected 58th overall for the 2018 CFL draft, one of the few B.C indigenous men ever drafted to the league.

Jacob started playing football with his older brother and played community tackle football before joining his middle school and high school teams. He went on to play for Queen's University while studying philosophy.

Jacob has a goal to be a great role model for other children in his community. He wants them to know that they too can be successful and encourages all indigenous youth to pursue their goals. Mission—Matsqui-—Fraser Canyon is cheering for Jacob.

Hamilton SupercrawlStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

David Christopherson NDP Hamilton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, in 2004, a group of local artists and gallery owners began a monthly event to highlight the developing arts scene along James Street North, in my riding of Hamilton Centre. Art Crawl, as it is known, quickly grew, and in 2009, Supercrawl was born.

This annual festival features an exciting lineup of art, music, fashion, and performances featuring local talent as well as artists from across Canada and around the world, drawing more than 200,000 attendees over the course of three days.

I would like to congratulate Tim Potocic, Dane Pedersen, Mark Furukawa, Mike Renaud, David Kuruc, Graham Crawford, Kieran Dickson, Gary Buttrum, and all those who have been involved with Supercrawl. A true celebration of art, music, and culture, it is also a celebration of our strong, diverse, and vibrant community. Supercrawl will celebrate its 10th anniversary this September 14 to September 16, and a great time will be had by all.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences CentreStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Rob Oliphant Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to mark the 70th anniversary of Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Founded in Don Valley West in 1948 as a hospital for veterans, Sunnybrook has a proud history and a distinguished legacy of caring for Canada's war heroes. Affiliated with the University of Toronto, it continues to stand as a symbol of our nation's gratitude to our armed forces. Over the past 70 years, Sunnybrook has grown into one of Canada's largest and most dynamic health care facilities and has become a leader in patient care, education, and research.

Sunnybrook's veterans centre, working in close partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada, remains the largest veterans care facility in the country. Today, it is home to some 475 veterans from World War II, the Korean War, and modern conflicts who receive state-of-the-art, specialized care.

We look forward to Sunnybrook's next 70 years and the lasting impact the hospital will continue to have on Canadian veterans, their families, as well as the wider community.

YouthStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Joël Godin Conservative Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, June is an important month for our young people. It marks the end of the school year. Elementary and junior high school students are celebrating their successes and the young adults at Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Donnacona, Saint-Marc-des-Carrières, Louis-Jobin, Mont-Saint-Sacrement, Des Pionniers, and Séminaire Saint-François high schools are preparing to leave the more structured school setting to begin their adult lives.

To all the young people out there, I encourage you to be proud of yourselves. You have all the tools you need to build a bright future and an even better society. Have a great summer.

On another related topic, because I care about our children, I participated in Leucan's shaved head fundraising challenge. I did it to help our children. I believe in the next generation.

I would like to thank my family, my staff, my friends, and many of my colleagues in the House of Commons. Members of the NDP, Québec Debout, the Liberal Party, and of course the Conservative Party sponsored me in this challenge. We are capable of rising above our political beliefs and work together for our young people. I sincerely thank all those who support children.

Nackawic Elementary SchoolStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

TJ Harvey Liberal Tobique—Mactaquac, NB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Nackawic Elementary School students on achieving recognition for officially becoming an earth school and logging 1,000 projects that pertain to the environment. Their commitment to do so, both at school and at home, through nature-based experiences in their outdoor garden and classroom, recycling, social awareness, problem-solving, community and many well-being practices, is admirable. This is an achievement that has been years in the making.

This week, NES joins hundreds of other schools across Canada and are setting a great example for others. They are now students that younger students coming behind them can look up to and continue their good work. Perhaps even the older students will look up to these younger leaders and stewards of the environment.

I am very proud of the students of Nackawic Elementary and their efforts and dedication to practising responsible environmental behaviours by being more connected and adventurous in nature along with their classmates. Congratulations to NES students and the enthusiastic mentors and teachers who have guided them.

Mining IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Yvonne Jones Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, history was made in my riding as nickel producer Vale announced the first underground mine for Labrador. The company started the open-pit mine 16 years ago and has two successful impact benefit agreements with the Innu Nation and the Nunatsiavut Government. They employ over 60% indigenous people and through the IBAs a tremendous amount of procurement is done with Newfoundland and Labrador-based businesses.

Construction will begin this summer and will peak at 4,800 jobs by 2020. The company is investing over $2 billion in the underground mine and direct employment, including the Long Harbour processing facility in Newfoundland, will see 1,700 new jobs created in Newfoundland and Labrador. It is a historic day for us and the success is linked to the IBAs with indigenous groups and a strong working relationship between the company and Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. This is reconciliation and resource development going hand in hand with environment and conservation. This—

Mining IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Lethbridge.

Child LabourStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, June 12 is World Day Against Child Labour. The term “child labour” is sometimes difficult for us to understand because in a country like Canada, we are extremely blessed. However, more than 168 million children worldwide do not enjoy the same protection that our children do. I am talking about child slavery. I am talking about children who are sold into debt bondage, children who are required to traffic drugs, children who are forced into armed conflict, and children who are prostituted.

In North Korea, elementary children are forced to work the farm and are beaten and starved if they refuse. In Iraq and Syria, children are captured by ISIS and forced to work in sweatshops. When the girls get a little older, they are sold into sex slavery. Across the Congo, young children are forced to dig through mud in order to mine for diamonds and other precious minerals. These are just a few examples of this abhorrent practice across the globe.

Today, I join with those who are working on the front lines to end child slavery and I call upon the Canadian government to stand up, speak out, and do a whole lot more.

Tibetan Canadian CommunityStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Arif Virani Liberal Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, tashi delek. The year 2018 is being celebrated worldwide by Tibetans as the year of gratitude.

Dr. Lobsang Sangay, Sikyong of the Central Tibetan Administration, along with Tibetan community members from across the country, are here with us today to thank Canada. They thank the government for making Tibetans the first non-European group of government-assisted refugees to be welcomed to Canada in 1971, and they thank Canada for our continued support of the Tibetan people and for bestowing honorary Canadian citizenship on His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2006. Today, I wear with pride in this chamber the khatak, or scarf, given to me by His Holiness.

As the MP for Parkdale—High Park, the home to the largest Tibetan diaspora in North America, I actually say that the thanks are all ours. To Tibetan Canadians, I say a heartfelt thuk-je-che. I thank them for teaching us about the Middle Way, for strengthening our understanding of Tibetan Buddhism, and most of all for contributing so much to the multicultural fabric of our diverse country.

Youth EntrepreneurshipStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Alaina Lockhart Liberal Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, in my role as Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Tourism, I have been fortunate to meet Canadian entrepreneurs from coast to coast to coast.

These entrepreneurs start with just an idea: an idea that they know can be innovative, one that can solve a problem, one that can tap into new markets, or one that can help breathe new life into a community. Over the last two days, I have been lucky to spend time with 25 youth from across Canada who have the drive and the passion to be entrepreneurs.

The Youth Can Do It! event, which wraps up today, brought them here to Ottawa to learn from Canadian business leaders. Their ideas, skills, dedication, and enthusiasm are inspiring.

I hope all hon. members in the House will join me in recognizing the outstanding Youth Can Do It! young entrepreneurs, including the participants who are here with us today on the Hill.

Definition of DemocracyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, what is the definition of democracy for the Prime Minister of Canada? For a Liberal, democracy is a system for getting Liberals elected, seizing power, and using that power to change the rules in order to cement their reign, by making it harder for others who want power to get it back.

If they are unable to change the rules or if the proposed changes turn out not to be to their advantage, what do they do? They start over, again and again, until they have enough power to silence anyone who does not think they should be in power forever.

The Liberals are trying to enforce their own definition of democracy by proposing new changes to the rules. Once again, they have used their power to pass a motion to prevent parliamentarians from expressing their views.

They have done away with voter ID requirements. They are planning to limit other parties' ability to invest in their campaigns, because Canadians do not want to pay for their Prime Minister. They are going to let foreigners meddle in our elections.

We are against the Liberals' idea of democracy. The Conservatives are going to stand up for fair rules for all Canadians.

Philippine Independence DayStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Frank Baylis Liberal Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, June is an important month in the history of the Philippines. Today, June 12, is the anniversary of Philippine independence from Spain.

The Filipino community is an integral part of Canada's multicultural society.

In the West Island of Montreal, we are very lucky to have two great Canadian Filipino associations: FCAWI and SWIS.

I applaud FCAWI, its president Ador Bolusan, and its executive committee for the wonderful activities that they put on in our community, including basketball, dancing, and more. I also applaud Roger Ajero and the officers and advisers of the SWIS organization for their social engagement with seniors in our community. I thank both of these societies because they make their activities inclusive and they welcome everyone.

I wish all Canadian Filipino associations and communities of Canada a happy national Independence Day.

Berthier—MaskinongéStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, on June 2, I had the opportunity to take part in the RCM of Maskinongé's citizen forum, which was organized by the CFDC at the Le Baluchon resort in Saint-Paulin.

The forum and its historic En route vers la carboneutralité initiative, which focuses on achieving carbon neutrality, bring together the region's various stakeholders to reflect on climate change and engage in a sustainable development movement together. Four committees—citizen, business, agriculture, and municipal—have been set up to take action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

We all have to work together to protect our environment by reducing plastics in our waterways, reducing food waste, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and more.

I am proud to be collaborating with the RCM and municipalities in my riding, Berthier—Maskinongé, to reduce our wonderful region's ecological footprint.

In closing, I would like to thank the teams at the CFDC and the RCM of Maskinongé for taking the lead on this excellent initiative.

Animal WelfareStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, next week, between 10,000 and 15,000 dogs, as well as cats, will be violently clubbed to death and eaten at the Yulin dog meat festival. The conditions under which the animals are kept, crammed in tiny cages and terrified, and then inhumanely killed is nothing short of tragic. Many of us have a visceral negative reaction to this, as we should. Animal rights activists do as well. Around the world, civil society groups have condemned this so-called festival.

I think the world is ready to have a broader conversation about animal welfare and the standards that we have. This is a multi-faceted issue with potential impacts on agricultural practices, traditional dietary practices, medical research, and more. This makes this topic a very difficult conversation to have, but Yulin and our reaction to it brings to light the worthiness of this discussion in terms of bringing our collective attention to it and taking action.

How we treat animals often reflects our broader capacity for compassion, and what is about to happen in Yulin is wrong.

Saint-Jean-Baptiste DayStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Leona Alleslev Liberal Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, our two official languages bring us together as Canadians and have shaped our identity as a nation.

On June 24, Canadians across the country celebrate Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, highlighting the important contributions francophones have made throughout history. I am especially proud of the Association des francophones de la région de York, which ensures that the 16,000 francophones in that region have access to high-quality services in French.

I invite everyone from the York region to come and celebrate Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day with the Association des francophones at Willowgrove Farm, starting at 4 p.m. on June 23.

We thank AFRY for leading us as we celebrate the vibrant fabric of our nation while remembering that at our foundation both French and English cultures are an essential part of our history.

Happy Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day to all.

International TradeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Conservative Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, there are reports that President Trump withdrew the five-year sunset clause negotiating tool within NAFTA negotiations. Can the Prime Minister indicate whether this is true?

International TradeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, allow me to begin by first thanking the members of the opposition, indeed all Canadians, for demonstrating that when the moment is right we all stand together firmly to support Canadians, across party lines, across the country, and across our provinces. We sent a very clear message and a testament to who we are as Canadians.

On this specific issue, I can say that we are continuing to discuss modernizing and improving NAFTA. We have continued to make it clear that a final sunset clause is unacceptable, and that we cannot sign any trade deal that automatically expires every five years. However, we continue to look for ways to move forward, to modernize, and to improve NAFTA for people on both sides of the border.

International TradeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Conservative Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, we understand Canada's position that it is very difficult to sign a trade deal that sunsets after five years, but the crux of the question is this: Did the President of the United States remove this demand from the negotiating table, yes or no?

International TradeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I had a meeting with the President on Friday afternoon, at which we had a very constructive conversation on a broad range of issues.

We have continued to impress upon him how important it is to modernize and improve NAFTA. We will continue to engage on a broad range of issues on which Canada is standing firm and the United States is looking for concessions. We are going to continue to work and demonstrate that, no, we will not accept a sunset clause in NAFTA.

International TradeOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Conservative Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am going to take that as a “yes”. Unfortunately, without the Prime Minister indicating to the Canadian people whether or not this was removed from the table, we have to understand that the answer is “yes”.

A protracted trade war with respect to this issue has a significant impact on Canadian families. Whirlpool, a company in my riding of Milton, Ontario, has indicated that it is going to increase the costs, not only in terms of household appliances but also to its own bottom line, putting jobs in my community in jeopardy.

There is an easy way for the government to deal with this, and that is recognizing the importance of affordability, shelving its carbon tax, and making sure payroll taxes are reduced. Will the government do that?

International TradeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, allow me to be crystal clear on the previous question. As far as we know, the U.S. has not removed its demand for some sort of sunset clause.

Our issue with tariffs, as we have said multiple times to the United States, is that if they move forward with punitive tariffs on trade in aluminum and steel, not only are they threatening Canadian workers and Canadian industry, but they are actually going to hurt American workers and American consumers as well. This is not in the interests of two countries that have the closest and best trading relationship and alliance in the history of the world. We are going to continue to stand for that.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, first of all, we have a Liberal government that increased the debt by $71 billion at a time when the economy was thriving.

Second, the president of the Royal Bank of Canada said that he is worried because since the Liberals came to power there has been a mass exodus of Canadian capital out of the country.

Third, foreign investments have dropped by more than a third since this Liberal Prime Minister was elected. I will not even get into how the carbon tax will affect our economy.

Given those facts, how can the Prime Minister claim that he supports our economy?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in the last election, Canadians had a choice between a Conservative government that was promising cuts and austerity and a Liberal government that promised to invest in Canadians, give more money to the middle class, and raise taxes on the rich.

Canadians made the right choice. We are creating economic growth. In fact, we enjoyed the highest rate of economic growth among all G7 countries in 2017. We continue to create hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country as we build a strong economy that works for everyone.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the truth of the matter is that we have a $71-billion deficit that our children and grandchildren will have to pay back; a carbon tax that is driving up the cost of living for Canadians; and a massive flight of capital and investment that is hurting our economy. According to the Fraser Institute, since this Liberal government and Prime Minister were elected, 81% of families are paying more taxes than they paid under former governments.

How can the Prime Minister say such things and what is he going to do to support workers?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, like the Fraser Institute, the Conservatives do not want to talk about the Canada child benefit. I think that it is important. What we did is give more money to nine out of 10 families across the country. To do that, we stopped sending benefits to the wealthiest families. We have lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty across the country. That is the approach we took with the Canada child benefit. That is an approach that the Conservatives not only did not want, but also voted against.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Upper Nicola Indian band will be building the largest solar project in British Columbia, yet with Kinder Morgan crossing their backyards they will soon have a clash of two visions of their land. On the one hand is a symbol of the future, chosen by their members, and on the other, the pipeline, imposed by the federal government. Global climate leaders do not spend billions on publicly funded pipelines. Will the government admit that this is a failure of leadership on its part?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Federal Court of Appeal was clear when it said that the Harper government had insufficiently consulted with indigenous peoples on energy projects. Our government has completed the deepest consultations with rights holders ever on a major project in this country, and established a co-developing monitoring committee with indigenous communities. Forty-three indigenous communities have signed benefit agreements.

We have listened, and we will continue to listen. For the first time in Canadian history, many indigenous peoples have been involved and will benefit as we share prosperity in our energy sector.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Guy Caron NDP Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister does not seem to realize that on the purchase of the pipeline, he is on the wrong side of history.

There is no shortage of energy transition projects, but workers must be the focus of this transition, which will create thousands of good, full-time jobs, known as the jobs of the future. In contrast, the government spent billions of dollars to buy a 65-year-old leaky pipeline without the consent of the indigenous communities affected; that is not our vision for the future.

How does the Prime Minister think he can help Canada meet its climate change commitments while buying a pipeline?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the New Democrats supported Rachel Notley's environmental plan but forgot what was in the plan itself: a cap on oil sands emissions, a price on pollution, and a pipeline to transport resources to markets other than the United States. That is what you call leadership on climate change. We are putting a price on pollution, we are phasing out coal, and we are investing in clean technologies. That is what progressive leaders like Rachel Notley understand, and it is unfortunate that the NDP is opposing it.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, saying that the environment and the economy go hand in hand while buying a pipeline is like saying that exercise and good nutrition are important while stuffing oneself with donuts and cake.

Why are the Liberals refusing to invest in a fair energy transition? The corporate sector is ready, and so are the workers. They need training to create the jobs of tomorrow.

How can the Liberals justify throwing $4.5 billion of our money at an old, leaky pipe instead of investing in clean energy?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the federal NDP, like the Conservatives, still believe that we have to choose between the environment and the economy. That is no longer the case and progressive leaders like Rachel Notley understand that. Thus, in addition to capped oil sands emissions and a price on pollution, her plan includes a pipeline to markets other than the U.S., something Canadians now understand is necessary. With respect to investing in renewable energy and a greener economy, we are investing $8 billion because we understand that it is important for Canadians.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister just does not get it, does he? Climate leaders do not spend billions of dollars to build new pipelines, and they certainly do not put Canadian pensions on the line to do it. We are now hearing that the Canada pension plan may invest in the Liberals' reckless pipeline. The CPP has never been used to backstop political projects. As one senior reporter puts it, “This is bad, bad, bad.”

Instead of investing in a clean energy economy, why are the Liberals putting Canadians' money and their pensions at risk?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Papineau Québec

Liberal

Justin Trudeau LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the NDP members applauded Premier Rachel Notley's environmental plan when she was elected, but it seems they forgot what that plan contained. Let me remind them. It contained a cap on oil sands emissions. It contained a price on pollution. It also contained a pipeline to get resources to markets other than the United States, which is something we can all agree is probably a good idea this week. That is what real leadership on climate change looks like.

As for the CPPIB, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board operates at arm's length, with a mandate to invest in the best interest of its members, and that is something we respect.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, Donald Trump has been clear that he wants to take our money and our jobs, and this government's taxes and red tape are helping him do it. To build a factory in Canada, one would have to pay a carbon tax and higher payroll taxes that one would not have to pay south of the border. Try to build a pipeline in Canada, and one would be blocked, just like northern gateway and energy east. That is another problem that does not exist south of the border.

We know why Donald Trump wants to take our jobs away. Why is this government helping him do it?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, let me be clear that when it comes to jobs, we absolutely stand with Canadians. When we came into office, we found that the previous government had left us with 7.1% unemployment. Where are we now? With about 600,000 new jobs in the last two and a half years, our unemployment rate is among the lowest we have seen in 40 years, at 5.8%.

Therefore, we will not listen to the Harper Conservatives when they talk about jobs. We will listen to Canadians, and what we are hearing is that they have good jobs. They have more optimism, because they see a better economy and a better future.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that this year, Canada has actually lost jobs. Since this government took office, Canadian investment in the United States is up two-thirds. American investment in Canada is down by half. When money leaves, jobs leave. This government's tax increases are driving both out of Canada.

Will the finance minister agree to suspend his new carbon tax, at least until we get through this crisis?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by recognizing Paul Dewar. We have all heard the very sad news about Paul Dewar, and we are thinking about him and his family. While we may sit on different sides of the aisle, we are all colleagues here together. I encourage everyone here to come together to support his new initiative, Youth Action Now.

Speaking of youth, they care about the environment. They also care about jobs. That is exactly what we are doing. We are going to continue to tackle climate change; we are going to continue to protect our environment, and we are going to continue to create jobs.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the entire Conservative caucus and my constituents in Paul Dewar's hometown, we offer him all of our prayers and all of our love at this time.

The reality is that the tax burden under this government has risen, and 80% of middle-class taxpayers are paying more than they were when the Prime Minister took office. Given that, will the Liberals indicate how much this new carbon tax will cost the average Canadian family?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we need to call out the member for Carleton on incorrect facts. He is not doing the analysis that he should do in order to look at what is really going on. The report he is referring to has two fundamental problems. One, it does not look at the Canada child benefit, which is helping nine out of 10 families. Two, it looks at the payments people make into the Canada pension plan and calls them a tax.

Therefore, we can say that we lowered taxes on middle-class Canadians. It is very clear. From our standpoint, we have helped our economy by putting more money in people's pockets. Nine out of 10 families are better off, and that has helped our economy.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, actually the finance minister has made two factual errors. One is with regard to the benefits he claims he is providing. The promise of the Liberals was not that they were going to raise taxes on middle-class families and give a bit of it back through government spending. They promised that taxes would go down for the middle class, but in fact they have gone up.

Second, the report to which I referred has nothing to do with CPP payroll taxes. It said that for middle-class Canadians, 80% are paying more income tax since this government took office.

How much more will these same families pay under the new proposed carbon tax?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, maybe where we can go with this is that we can think about what is happening on a riding-by-riding basis. For example, for the member for Carleton, what has happened is that there is about $48 million in Canada child benefits going to that riding. What does that mean? It means 18,000 children are better off. More than 10,000 families get, on average, more than $4,000 after tax. Perhaps the member should talk to people in his riding to understand how they are doing. They are doing better because we have helped Canadian families to raise their families for tomorrow.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, how lovely it is to hear the Liberals talk about the money they give to children. However, that is money we do not have, that we are borrowing, and that these children will have to repay later. That is the way things are under a Liberal government.

Since these people took office about two and a half years ago, Canada-U.S. trade relations have benefited the Americans and not the Canadians. For the past two and a half years, U.S. investments in Canada have decreased by 50%, while Canadian investments in the U.S. have increased by 66%.

How can the Liberal government be proud—

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. The hon. Minister of Finance.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are cherry-picking numbers. However, the important numbers are the ones that concern Canadians.

Every family is better off, and our economic growth leads the G7. It is also very important to remember that last year, business investment in Canada rose by 8%. Those are the real numbers.

We are better off thanks to our policies and the global economy.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, here are the real numbers.

Those people across the aisle got elected on a promise of very small deficits, but the deficit is now three times bigger than expected. They got elected by promising a zero deficit in 2019, but they actually have no idea when we can expect to see a balanced budget. Those are the facts. Those are the numbers. Worse still, 80% of Canadians are paying more taxes today than they did under our government.

How is it that the Liberal government can claim success from failure?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, that is not an accurate reflection of the situation. The numbers are clear. Thanks to the Canada child benefit, nine out of 10 families are better off. We also cut taxes for the middle class. Those are the real numbers.

Because of our policies, our economy is stronger. That means economic growth is higher, which is great for the families of today and tomorrow.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Linda Duncan NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, in signing the Paris climate agreement, the government committed to establishing a national climate change plan, including measures for quality jobs in a clean energy economy, yet its pan-Canadian strategy makes just one vague commitment to strengthening skills development in support of this transition. Only under pressure from workers and environmentalists was an advisory group finally struck this spring, but limited to coal workers.

When will the government actually make real investments in a just transition strategy for all Canadian energy workers?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, we agree that we need to grow our economy. We need to create good jobs with Canadians, and we also need to tackle climate change. That is exactly what we have been doing.

We have been making historic investments in clean technologies, and I would like to give a shout-out to all Canadians working in clean tech companies, because we have jumped from seventh place in 2014 to fourth place in the world as a clean technology innovator.

We are also making sure that we work with workers and with unions. We set up a just transition workforce so that we can support workers in the coal sector so they can transition. We are going to continue doing what we need to do, which is—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Drummond.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is fighting to create good jobs and protect the environment.

The Liberal government, on the other hand, is going to make a Texas-based company rich by using taxpayers' money to buy an old pipeline for $4.5 billion. According to Équiterre, every dollar invested in renewable energy will create six to eight times more jobs than a dollar invested in fossil fuels. Yes, you heard me right. I said six to eight times more.

When will the government stop investing in yesterday's energy and start investing in the energy of the future?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Winnipeg South Centre Manitoba

Liberal

Jim Carr LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. members of the House that we have invested $2 billion in the low-carbon economy fund, $200 million to support clean technology in the natural resource sectors, $220 million to get rural and remote communities off diesel, $20 billion for public transit, and $21.9 billion in green infrastructure to improve energy efficiency and to help Canadians save money.

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, egg, dairy, and poultry producers are on the Hill today. Let's be honest. That made for some good photo-ops for all the parties, but now it is time to get to work. The Liberals have been repeating the same talking points for two weeks now. They claim to support supply management, but the problem is that the Prime Minister is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He is saying one thing when he is in Chicoutimi and the opposite when he is in the United States.

What version of the Prime Minister will producers meet this afternoon? Can he tell us now what concessions have been made to the United States? What is his plan for producers who, unfortunately, feel as though they have been betrayed by the Prime Minister's doublespeak?

International TradeOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, despite all of the opposition leader's efforts to hide it, the Conservatives clearly do not support Canadian dairy producers and our supply management system.

Our government is proudly united in protecting and defending our dairy producers, unlike the member for Beauce, who reiterated his call to put an end to supply management by describing our hardworking dairy producers as dishonest millionaires.

Unlike the Conservatives, our government fully supports Canadian dairy farmers and our supply management system.

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, they are playing partisan political games while our producers await real answers and American farmers pocket billions in government subsidies. Canada does not subsidize its dairy, egg, and poultry producers at all, but for some reason, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture confirmed that the Prime Minister had made concessions on supply management.

Members of the House unanimously supported the Prime Minister in standing up to the President's threats. Now will he come clean with us and with Canadians? Did he or did he not make concessions? How much market share did he give up? How is he planning to compensate producers?

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec

Liberal

Diane Lebouthillier LiberalMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, in contrast to the members opposite who want to get rid of supply management, the Liberal government created supply management. We will continue to defend it, as we will defend the interests of Canadian farm families and all our dairy producers.

The Prime Minister, the Minister of Agriculture, the caucus, the Quebec caucus—in short, everyone—is behind supply management. We created the system, and we will defend it.

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

John Barlow Conservative Foothills, AB

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to U.S. demands on Canada's supply management system, when the Prime Minister is in the United States, he says he is flexible, and when he is back here in Canada, he says he supports the system.

We know that an offer was made to the Americans as part of the NAFTA negotiations. My question is, which version of the Prime Minister is going to be meeting with Canadian dairy farmers this afternoon? Is it going to be the one who is using farmers' livelihoods as a bargaining chip, or is it going to be the Prime Minister who simply recites Liberal talking points?

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, our government proudly supports our dairy farmers and the supply management system.

Unfortunately, the Conservative critic, the opposition critic for economic development, has indicated quite clearly that he called for the end of supply management. He called dairy farmers nefarious paper millionaires. Conservatives cannot have it both ways. They either support the dairy farmers or they do not. It is obvious that the Conservatives do not support supply management.

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada's farmers locally produce the highest-quality milk, eggs, and poultry in the world.

Maintaining Canada's system of supply management is critical to the farm families that make up the backbone of my community. These families were worried when the Prime Minister went on American television and said that he was willing to be flexible when negotiating with the United States on supply management.

Just how much access to the Canadian market was the Prime Minister prepared to give away in order to make a deal with Donald Trump?

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Cardigan P.E.I.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay LiberalMinister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I can assure my hon. colleague that on this side of the House, our government fully understands the importance of supply management. As I indicated quite clearly, we are the party that fought to implement it, and we are the government that is going to support it.

However, when we have the economic development critic in the Conservative Party indicating quite clearly that supply management is nefarious and dairy farmers are nefarious paper millionaires, that is inappropriate language.

As a government, we fully support supply management. We need the opposition's support.

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Karine Trudel NDP Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, softwood lumber, aerospace, pulp and paper, steel, and aluminium, and the list may well get longer.

The Trump administration is going after our industries one by one, under the pretext that we are needlessly and unfairly taxing American farmers. A fully intact supply management system is critical to our farmers, and especially to all those who work every day in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean.

Can the government confirm once and for all that it will protect supply management in its entirety, without making any compromises?

International TradeOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we have been clear. We will stand up for supply management. In fact, with the exception of a few members of the official opposition, including the member for Beauce, everyone in the House believes in supply management. Our position on this issue is unequivocal. We have always defended this system and we will do so every time, including in the NAFTA negotiations.

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was at the last NAFTA talks that the Liberal government sold out our auto industry, so there is no trust to be gained there. In fact, the industry and workers have been calling for a national auto strategy for over two decades, and that has fallen on the deaf ears of both Conservatives and Liberals.

What is clear about the situation now is that the Prime Minister has dedicated endless time and energy, and billions of dollars, to an idea nobody wanted, a 65-year-old leaky pipeline.

Now the Trump administration is threatening to put tariffs on our auto sector and manufacturers. What specifically is the Prime Minister going to do for our auto sector and its workers?

Automotive IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Mississauga—Malton Ontario

Liberal

Navdeep Bains LiberalMinister of Innovation

Mr. Speaker, make no mistake, we are going to back our auto workers 100%. We have always had their back.

Since we formed government, there has been a total investment of $5.6 billion in the automotive sector, and that is because we have stepped up in a big way to support the sector and to support the workers. We have a plan, and that plan is working.

We will always defend our auto workers.

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ramesh Sangha Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier today the government announced its great vision for a redesigned homelessness partnering strategy on the basis of consultations with our advisory committee, experts, and community stakeholders from coast to coast to coast. The government committed $2 billion toward this plan to tackle homelessness.

Could the minister responsible for housing tell the House how the redesigned homelessness partnering strategy will tackle homelessness in Canada?

HousingOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Brampton Centre for his support in the fight against homelessness.

I would also like to thank and congratulate the member for Spadina—Fort York and all members of the homelessness advisory committee for their hard work and excellent report.

Yesterday, we announced Reaching Home, the next federal plan to double investment in the fight against homelessness and reduce chronic homelessness by at least 50%. This is another sign that we are re-establishing federal leadership and federal partnership in providing safe and affordable homes to all Canadians.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the media reports that the finance minister's New York-based pipeline sales team is trying to sell the Trans Mountain pipeline to the Canada pension plan. Are these reports accurate?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board operates as an independent entity at arm's length from government. Should it decide to be involved in any potential acquisition of any equity, it is not something that we would be involved in as a government.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. The time to answer someone is when you have the floor, not when you do not have the floor.

The hon. member for Lakeland now has the floor.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, Kinder Morgan said that the existing pipeline was worth $2.5 billion, but the Prime Minister gave it $4.5 billion in tax dollars to walk away.

Now the finance minister is being reported as paying a U.S. investment firm to lobby the Canada pension plan to purchase Trans Mountain with Canadian tax dollars. The finance minister has said that pension plans would be a likely buyer for the pipeline, and he appoints the CPP board.

Having overpaid for this pipeline, does the minister expect Canadian pensioners to bail him and the Liberals out for all their failures?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we believe it is important that in our country we have the ability to get our resources to international markets. It is why we have moved forward on the decision to ensure that the Trans Mountain expansion project gets done. We know this is in the best interests of Canadians. It will help our economy. It will create thousands of jobs across our country.

We would certainly hope the members opposite would see the advantage this creates for workers in Alberta, British Columbia, and across the country.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, the problem at the border at Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle never had anything to do with the RCMP or the Canada Border Services Agency. Our officers have always done an impeccable job.

The problem is the Prime Minister and his misplaced priorities. He refuses to inform the House of his plan to resolve this crisis and just sends his minister on trips to other countries.

His government has to negotiate certain files with the U.S. administration, including the safe third country agreement.

When will the minister begin the negotiations?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am glad that my colleague recognizes the excellent work of the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency. I am very pleased that his leader went to Lacolle for the first time last week and that he acknowledged the excellent work of these two organizations, which have been working for over a year on ensuring that we can process asylum claims.

As far as our relations with the U.S. are concerned, we are in constant contact with our neighbours to the south.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, with our leader, I did indeed see the camp set up in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle. It is a comfortable setup for illegal migrants who come here.

The thing is that we need to resolve the problem.

Has the minister started the negotiations for amending the safe third country agreement or not?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we continue to discuss this important issue with the United States. We have initiated certain discussions, but there is nothing official. However, we are working very closely with them, as well as with Quebec and Ontario. Once the asylum seekers are in Canada, they have to be integrated into society.

HousingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, today, in Toronto. there is an inquest into the death of Grant Faulkner, who died homeless when his shelter caught on fire in January 2015.

For too many Canadians, a lack of housing is a matter of life or death. Despite yesterday's announcement, the national housing strategy does not invest money specifically for homeless Canadians.

We need permanent supportive housing, rent-geared-to-income housing, and a national housing benefit to help the most vulnerable. Will the government commit today to a national housing strategy that ensures housing for homeless Canadians?

HousingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the member for her interest in the fight against homelessness and in ensuring that every Canadian has a safe and affordable home. However, I would invite her to look very closely at the national housing strategy and the important announcement we made yesterday, which will have an immense impact on the fight against homelessness in the next 10 years.

We are going to work respectfully and effectively with a large number of stakeholders that have worked very hard with us in the last few months to ensure we not only have our first-ever national housing strategy, but we will invest the most significant resources ever in our history.

HousingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Brigitte Sansoucy NDP Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, over 100 organizations came to tell the committee that Canada needs a coordinated poverty reduction strategy. Even the minister wrote, in a document entitled “Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy--What We Heard About Poverty So Far”, that we need:

...a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy that is focused on achieving real results that can be measured....

The plan to fight homelessness that was announced yesterday is not enough. We need a real strategy, like the government promised, not a series of phoney strategies or piecemeal plans.

My question is simple. Where is the strategy?

HousingOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Québec Québec

Liberal

Jean-Yves Duclos LiberalMinister of Families

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her interest in this issue.

However, I invite her to take a close look at the content of the strategy we announced yesterday. I invite her to consult the stakeholders across Canada, especially those in Quebec, who were thrilled not only with the significant result we announced yesterday, but also with the incredibly inclusive process we have been following over the past few months. The reason so many homeless Canadians will be able to get off the streets over the next few years is that we have a solid plan in place in collaboration with many stakeholders across the country.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, this past weekend in Toronto, preacher Sheikh Shafiq Huda, from the Islamic Humanitarian Service, said some horrific, crazy things. He said that he wanted to see Israelis in body bags and that he was praying for a day when Israel would be eradicated. These hateful statements are illegal and completely unacceptable.

Why does the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons approve funding for this organization?

When will the Prime Minister unequivocally condemn these comments, which have no place in Canada or anywhere in the world?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, as I have said, our government is incredibly proud to support the Canada summer jobs program, in fact, double it as compared to the Conservative government. We believe youth deserve that very important first experience in employment.

As I said, all programs that receive approval through the Canada summer jobs program must adhere to the terms and conditions of the program. If the member has concerns, he can speak to my office afterward.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, hundreds of worthy Canada summer jobs employers were denied funding for thousands of young people this year because they refused to accept the Liberals' imposed values. Now, the Islamic Humanitarian Service of Kitchener ticked the box and funding was personally approved by the Liberal House leader. Well, Sheikh Shafiq Huda of this organization now calls for genocide, the eradication of Israelis, and says, “You will leave in body bags.”

Does the minister not believe those words clearly violate the Liberal values attestation?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, as I have said clearly time and again in the House, all recipients of Canada summer jobs funding must adhere to the terms and conditions of the program. That includes not undermining the rights of other Canadians and ensuring young people have quality jobs that will help them move forward in their future.

If the member is concerned about that organization, then he can bring it to my attention.

EmploymentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's rigid ideology is hurting Nova Scotians.

Last week the historic Bangor Sawmill Museum announced that it was closing its doors because it was refused Canada summer jobs funding. This is a loss of a tourist attraction and an employment opportunity for young people in that community, and all because this non-religious museum refused to sign the Prime Minister's attestation.

Does the Prime Minister not see that his thought policing of Nova Scotians is hurting communities?

EmploymentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Thunder Bay—Superior North Ontario

Liberal

Patty Hajdu LiberalMinister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, I want to put the member's mind at rest. In fact, our government has doubled the Canada summer jobs program. That means over 3,000 jobs to Nova Scotia this year compared to the 1,800 jobs that were improved under the Harper Conservatives.

Clearly, young people in Nova Scotia will have more opportunities than ever to have excellent job experiences this summer.

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

Borys Wrzesnewskyj Liberal Etobicoke Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has the responsibility to protect the private information of Canadians and the integrity of our critical infrastructure. Budget 2018 committed $155 million toward a new Canadian centre for cybersecurity for a unified government source of unique expertise and support.

Could the Minister of National Defence update the House on the government's next steps to ensure Canada is able to address the cyber-challenges of today and tomorrow?

Public SafetyOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Etobicoke Centre for his unwavering support to Ukraine.

Strong cybersecurity is critical to Canada's competitiveness, economic stability, and long-term prosperity. Today, along with the Minister of Public Safety, I announced our new national cybersecurity strategy, with the creation of the Canadian centre for cybersecurity as a key element. The new cyber-centre will provide Canadians and businesses with a trusted source for cybersecurity advice, and build on Canada's already world-class cybersecurity expertise.

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Mr. Speaker, the International Civil Aviation Organization is a UN agency that promotes international co-operation on air travel. Decades ago, ICAO established airport codes for each country. Unfortunately, due to international pressure from China, some companies, including Air Canada, have departed from the use of established ICAO codes and are now identifying Taiwan as China.

Will the Liberals respect the integrity of ICAO and make that a pillar of their bid for the UN Security Council seat?

Air TransportationOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud that ICAO is located in Canada, and has been since 1949. We have been very involved with ICAO in all of the good work it does to adopt international standards with respect to aviation.

We will continue to work with ICAO as we move forward. In fact, we have taken positions of leadership with respect to the question of carbon emissions from international flights and we will continue to do so.

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, on this 10th anniversary of the residential school apology, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs continues to fight the survivors of St. Anne's. She has instructed her officials to target their lawyer, Fay Brunning, the lawyer who exposed how justice officials suppressed evidence and had cases of child rape and torture thrown out of the hearings.

Here is the thing. I was in the meeting when the minister promised to their faces that she would end those intimidation tactics. She gave her word. I am asking her this. Will she tell the House why she told Angela Shisheesh that she would end these tactics, and yet she continues to attack the lawyers and representatives of survivors?

Indigenous AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Toronto—St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett LiberalMinister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to ensuring justice for the victims of this dark chapter in our history. Canada has not, and will not, seek costs against individual claimants. However, in exceptional circumstances, costs can be sought against lawyers who do not appear to be acting responsibly.

As Justice Perell noted in his recent direction, counsel's “repeated and deliberate attack on the integrity of this Court threatens to interfere with the administration of justice.” Counsel will be responsible for any costs awarded and they will be donated to a fund that supports former students.

VeteransOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Emmanuella Lambropoulos Liberal Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, we estimate that there are nearly 2,200 homeless veterans across the country. In talking with veterans and their families, we have learned that there are many factors contributing to veteran homelessness, including an unsuccessful transition and sudden changes to physical and mental health.

Organizations like Old Brewery Mission in Montreal, the RESPECT Campaign, and VETS Canada are working in our communities to bring those numbers down.

What is our government doing to bring those numbers down and to prevent veterans from ending up homeless in the future?

VeteransOral Questions

3 p.m.

St. John's South—Mount Pearl Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

Seamus O'Regan LiberalMinister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, the hon. member for Saint-Laurent, for her support for veterans and their families.

Veteran homelessness is unacceptable. One homeless veteran is too many. Last week, I met with organizations working to reduce veteran homelessness. This partnership will help us provide better services to homeless veterans and promote awareness of our services and programs.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, yesterday Hong Kong democracy activist Edward Leung was sentenced to six years in prison. This is basic dictatorship in action, in defiance of the one country, two systems framework to which China agreed.

The Liberal government claims to care about human rights around the world, so will it clearly condemn the imprisonment of Hong Kong's leading pro-democracy voices and join our allies in calling for Hong Kong's legal status to be respected?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, for our government, the promotion and protection of human rights are core priorities in our engagement with China, very much including Hong Kong, which has such close human connections with our country. We raise the human rights situation in China with Chinese officials at every opportunity. We will continue to encourage China to live up to its international commitments through frank dialogue.

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Québec debout

Gabriel Ste-Marie Québec debout Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec economy is being attacked on all sides by Donald Trump, who takes aim at everything that moves. He tried to kill our aerospace industry, he is threatening our agriculture, and he is imposing tariffs on our softwood lumber, paper, steel and aluminum which, let us remember, is the cleanest in the world.

In short, all of Quebec is being taken to the cleaners. It is fine for the Prime Minister to say that he is standing up to Trump, and we will support him as long as he does, but our businesses and our workers have been left to fend for themselves.

What is the government waiting for to announce support for aluminum SMEs?

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, our government is determined to modernize NAFTA in a way that benefits all parties.

With regard to the steel and aluminum industry, I want to point out once again that Canada knows that these surtaxes are illegal and unjustified. Our government will defend our workers and our industry.

Marine TransportationOral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Marilène Gill Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the people of La Romaine and Unamen Shipu on the lower north shore are cut off from the rest of Canada because the federal wharf no longer meets the minimum safety requirements. First the supply ship was unable to dock there and now the oil tanker will not be able to either. A month from now, the thermal plant will no longer even be able to provide electricity.

Because of the federal government's negligence, the fragile connections these communities have with the mainland are at constant risk of being severed.

Will the minister finally show a minimum of consideration for elected officials and local residents who are worried about their survival and agree to at least keep them informed? When do the Liberals intend to roll out an emergency plan?

Marine TransportationOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec

Liberal

Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question.

The residents of La Romaine remain our priority and we are monitoring recent developments very closely. I asked my department to act quickly on this file, while ensuring the safety of the public and marine workers. We are working in co-operation with the community and Relais Nordik, which serves the community.

We have learned that the community received all of its supplies last weekend, but we are actively working on a permanent solution to remedy this situation.

International TradeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Independent

Erin Weir Independent Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, everyone in the House supports the Prime Minister standing up to President Trump. The government has announced retaliatory tariffs targeting sensitive American electoral districts. Unlike previous American presidents, Trump has made himself vulnerable by not divesting his personal business interests. To apply further pressure, has the government considered retaliatory sanctions targeting the Trump organization rather than the American people?

International TradeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

University—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Chrystia Freeland LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, the tariffs imposed by the United States on steel and aluminum are illegal and unjustified, and the national security pretext is absurd and frankly insulting to Canadians. In putting together our retaliation list, we have been measured and we have created a perfectly reciprocal list. We are now in a consultation period, and we welcome ideas from all Canadians on what should and should not be in our retaliation list.

International TradeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie is rising on a point of order.

International TradeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Hélène Laverdière NDP Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleagues, both Liberal and Conservative, for their expressions of sympathy following the sad news we heard this morning about Paul Dewar. The whole NDP family is devastated, as are those who have had the pleasure of knowing him over the years.

Paul was an amazing colleague. He is still an amazing advocate on a range of issues. He is an amazing family person. He is an amazing human being. Our thoughts are with Paul and his family. I thank him for being him.

International TradeOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I thank the hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie. We obviously join together in offering our condolences to Paul’s family. He is a good friend to all of us.

The House resumed from June 11 consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—IranBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It being 3:09 p.m., pursuant to order made on Monday, June 11, 2018, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion relating to the business of supply.

Call in the members.

And the bells having rung:

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

Vote #754

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion carried.

The hon. member for Mégantic—L'Érable is rising on a point of order.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, during question period, the Minister of National Revenue misled the House by saying that the Conservative Party was against supply management. That is totally false.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

This would appear to be a matter of debate, but I thank the hon. member.

The hon. member for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis is rising on a point of order.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, during question period, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour invited me to provide her with data concerning irregularities in the Canada summer jobs program. I have here the documents to show that several organizations linked to anti-Semitism, homophobia and terrorism have received Canada summer jobs program funding. I seek unanimous consent to table these documents that have been requested by the minister.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to table these documents?

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Member for Saint-Léonard—Saint-MichelGovernment Orders

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

Nicola Di Iorio Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Mr. Speaker, every time I enter or leave this venerable Chamber, I greet you with reverence. I offer this greeting to you as a colleague, and as someone who has also become a friend. Most of all however, I offer it to my country, to its people, to my constituents, and to this institution; I trust you would not hold that against me.

This country, my country, is Canada. When compared to the history of humanity, Canada is a very recent project in which we all participate on a daily basis. In this sense, we are guided by the past to act in the present, to help build the future. Canada, my country, is also the motivation that led me to make one of the most painful decisions of my life: to sacrifice everything I hold dear to serve it. When I was asked to run, I thought it was the craziest idea ever.

I had everything. I was truly blessed. What else could I ask for?

The answer was provided by my loved ones, my family, my spouse, my friends, and my community. They suggested that it was not by seeking what more life could provide me that I would find the answer, but it was in searching for what I could provide to it. If the country is my prime motivation for coming into public life, my loved ones remain its inspiration.

Today, the irony remains that as they motivated me to serve here, they now reclaim me. The ultimate irony in joining this institution remains that if one does not have a life before coming here, he will soon have one. However, if one does have a life, he will quickly lose it.

I see another irony here. Two heads of state, one an elected official and the other a dictator, met today to try to avoid war. This clash between two types of governance underlies not only my decision to run for office but also my very existence. My father, Giovanni Di Iorio, was born in Casacalenda, as were both my grandfathers and all my other ancestors. All three were conscripted into the Italian army and suffered the horrors of conflict. For my grandfathers, it was the First World War, and for my father, it was the Second World War.

My father, my mother, my grandfathers, and my grandmothers were all traumatized by these horrendous events, but no one would ever know it. Their lives were the epitome of sacrifice and dedication.

What better inspiration could I have asked for to guide me following my decision to serve my country? I will share a recent example. Just two weeks ago, my grandmother, Giuseppina Ranellucci, was preparing a meal for 300 guests to raise money for children's hospitals. She worked for four days, from 7 a.m. to midnight, to organize everything. The fifth day she was not feeling well and decided to go to emergency.

Before she left, just in case she would not be coming back, she cleaned the house and mended some of her grandkids' clothing. After all that, she was too tired to go to the hospital, so she stayed home, and she felt better the next day. She did all of that and she is 86.

Mr. Speaker, with this background, all my colleagues will appreciate why I cannot stand here and say that I quit. In due time, I will submit a resignation. However, I will never, never quit. My devotion to my country, my family, my community, and this institution is such that I will forever be grateful, and I feel truly blessed for the extraordinary privilege of serving them.

[Member spoke in Italian]

[Translation]

The extension of the blue line, National Impaired Driving Prevention Week, the changes in the direction of the Supreme Court, the small business tax deal, and Italian heritage month in Canada are the highlights of my work in the House and in government.

For these successes, I want to thank my family first and foremost, but also my colleagues and constituents in the great riding of Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel for the extraordinary support and love that they have shown me. I will serve them and will always look after their well-being in recognition of the immense honour that they have given me.

I am the only one who knows the sacrifice that I made to get here. However, I want to share with the House the great benefit that I get from it. I arrived here, like most, alone. I will leave blessed to count my colleagues not only as comrades, but also as friends united forever by much stronger and lasting feelings, for like you, Mr. Speaker, whoever serves his country here comes out surrounded by sisters and brothers. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Resuming debate, the hon. member for King—Vaughan has five minutes remaining in her speech.

The hon. member for King—Vaughan.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Deb Schulte Liberal King—Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will go a back a little to set the context for my future comments. I was at the point where I was saying that pollution is not free. Its costs are incurred through droughts, floods, smog, wildfires, and the effect it has on water, food, and the air that we breathe. The price we pay is our health and our future. The financial costs are very real.

Climate change alone is expected to cost our economy $5 billion a year by 2020, which is why our government has taken action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions nationally with our pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. Our national target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. That is to 517 megatonnes. Pricing carbon pollution will make a significant contribution to reaching Canada's 2030 target. By driving innovation and discouraging pollution, we estimate that carbon pricing could reduce emissions across Canada by between 80 megatonnes and 90 megatonnes in 2022.

Emission reductions in 2030 would depend on decisions about the design of carbon pollution pricing systems, including the carbon price after 2022. We have committed to review carbon pricing in 2022 with the provinces and territories to determine the path forward.

Carbon pricing is just one of the actions being taken to reduce emissions.

The pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change includes many complementary measures to reduce emissions such as accelerating the phase-out of traditional coal-fired electricity, reducing methane, and energy efficiency measures. Some of them we have been discussing in our committee today.

Our approach is based on understanding that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. By investing in the former, we are spurring the latter: supporting clean economic growth, creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and helping everyone working hard to join it. This approach is good for business and it is good for Canadians. It is delivering long-term economic growth while giving people the support they need to succeed today. It is supporting a clean and healthy environment for future generations.

The results speak for themselves. Through innovation in clean technology and the production of cleaner fossil fuels, Canada's oil and gas sector is now a global leader in responsible energy production. I had the privilege to travel to the GLOBE conference this year with the committee and I was really impressed with all the innovation and technology that was going on in the industries to reduce emissions and greenhouse gases.

Other countries are now looking to Canada to share that expertise in more efficient and lower emission oil extraction and other green innovations. One of them we heard about at committee was the capture of carbon and putting it in concrete to make it stronger. We are solving two problems. A very carbon-intense industry is now looking to solve that problem so that we can feel good about using concrete again because it was not a good thing to do if we were looking green.

I am thankful for the opportunity to talk about what our government has been doing, the incredible work that is going on in reducing those incentives we had before that encouraged the oil and gas industry. We have been working very hard to have the economy and the environment go hand in hand. It is something that we have been talking about a lot in the House. I want to make sure that as we discuss this issue today, we keep in mind that the government is trying to do both at the same time and we are succeeding.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague, the member for King—Vaughan for the wonderful work she does as chair of the environment committee.

The problem is that the government is not, at all, meeting the goals of the environment and the economy going hand in hand, because that is only true when the actions taken for the environment and the actions taken for the economy are actually moving in the same direction, and that is to reduce greenhouse gases.

As Bill McKibben says, “The first rule of holes is...stop digging.” Announcing new oil drilling off Atlantic Canada and, I cannot get over how determined the government is, building a pipeline to British Columbia, these are not good economics. The pipeline does not have a market. That is why Kinder Morgan wanted to get away from it. It is all about selling, overseas, a product that we could be refining in Canada, and reducing or eliminating the imports of foreign oil that we have into Atlantic Canada.

We do not have a climate plan. The Auditor General made this point. I would just say to my hon. colleague, would it not be better if we determined what the global carbon budget is. In other words, what is the amount of carbon humanity can put in the atmosphere before we cross over the point of no return, in terms of self-accelerating, runaway global warming? What is that number? What is Canada's share of making sure we do not cross that threshold? We could work backwards from there. It certainly would not be the old Harper target, which was never the Paris target but to which we remain committed. Thirty per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 is too little, too late.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

Deb Schulte Liberal King—Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, the challenge would be very straightforward if we just needed to stop, everything needed to go in harmony together, and we would end up at some type of Utopia.

We can have the same goal at the end, but how we plan on getting there is different, obviously, from what my colleague on the other side has outlined. We believe that we need to proceed in a balanced way. We have to transition. We have to ensure that Canadian workers do not suffer as we make this transition to a low-carbon economy.

We have made significant investments in clean technology and innovation, science and research, in our workers and in our communities. We cannot abandon workers as we try to move forward on this with our international commitments to reduce carbon emissions. I know there is an urgency and a real worry that we are not going to get where we need to, and that things will become even more difficult to manage as we move on. However, we cannot abandon workers as we move forward with our international commitments.

This is an investment that we are making in Canada's future. We cannot just stop the use of fossil fuels and then continue to sell our resources at a discount because we cannot get it to world markets. We need the money to help fuel the transition that we are engaged in. That is why our plan is going to be successful.

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, MB

Mr. Speaker, one thing I learned as a biologist is that nothing in life is free; nothing in nature is free.

The government has been a very strong proponent of renewable energy, but has never once looked at the environmental impacts of renewable energy. Every energy source needs to be examined exactly and rigorously.

Here is a report from Nature Canada in 2014. Back in 2014, Canada had 5,500 wind turbines that resulted in 45,000 bird deaths and 10,000 hectares of bird habitat lost. That was in 2014. Nature Canada predicted, since 2014, that there would be a tenfold increase in wind turbines in Canada. That has come to pass. The estimate is 450,000 bird deaths per year, and hundreds of thousands of hectares of bird habitat lost. Some of the species that are suffering mortalities are endangered species, especially the swallows.

In July 2016, there was a report in the London Free Press that talked about bats, 18.5 bat deaths per turbine. In Ontario alone, 42,500 bat mortalities per year, and four of these bat species are on the species at risk list.

The government is not enforcing the Migratory Birds Convention Act against some of these renewable energy projects. Communities and municipalities, especially in Ontario, have voiced extreme opposition to wind turbines. I personally am not a fan of this source of energy.

Why does the government allow this wildlife carnage to occur while at the same time promoting renewable energy and not enforcing Canada's environmental laws?

Opposition Motion—Global Climate Change and Clean Energy LeadershipBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Deb Schulte Liberal King—Vaughan, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know how intently the member opposite follows the impacts to wildlife species. Yes, there is a challenge with wind, but if we site wind in the right places it will be a significant contribution to our future. Therefore, the choice is making sure we get the research right and we are learning a lot as we are starting to go forward with this plan. I understand the member's comments and I appreciate them. Obviously we want to try to do better. It is about siting and that is really where we are going in the future.

Standing Order 69.1—Bill C-59Points of OrderGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, just very briefly I rise today to respond to a point of order raised by the hon. member for Beloeil—Chambly on June 11, 2018, with respect to the application of Standing Order 69.1 with regard to Bill C-59, an act respecting national security matters.

My hon. colleague, in his statement, argued the legislation should be considered as an omnibus bill and that the bill should be split during votes at third reading. In his intervention, the hon. opposition member argued that since Bill C-59 covers matters under the purview of the public safety department as well as the Department of National Defence, it is omnibus legislation as defined by Standing Order 69.1.

These dispositions of the bill are linked together by a common thread that represents the enhancement of Canada's national security and the safeguard of Canadians' rights and freedoms. To fulfill this objective, it is perfectly reasonable to expect that Bill C-59 would touch upon multiple acts since, as the hon. member mentioned in his statement yesterday, the Communications Security Establishment of Canada falls under the umbrella of the Department of National Defence.

Modernizing and rebuilding our national security framework is a massive undertaking. To do so while enhancing accountability and transparency, strengthening security, and protecting rights, and fulfilling the government's commitments to address legislation passed under the previous government, is even more complex. To meet these objectives, the bill needs to be envisioned as a whole, with the working pieces that could not achieve the main objective on their own. This legislation works in harmony to ensure that the fundamental objective to keep Canadians safe while protecting their fundamental charter rights is in fact met.

Consequently, I respectfully submit that Standing Order 69.1 should not be applied to Bill C-59.

Standing Order 69.1—Bill C-59Points of OrderGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I want to thank the hon. member for the information. It is duly noted.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure for me to be here today in the House of Commons.

[Member spoke in aboriginal language]

I am very proud to bring greetings to all my relations and to speak on this motion put forward by the NDP.

As we know, in life it is always important to have balance. It is one of the things taught to us by indigenous elders, and I have been taught throughout my life to try to attempt to have balance. Often I do not have as much balance as I would like in my work, life, and personal spheres, but nonetheless, balance is important. I believe our government has really attempted and accomplished the balance we need in our economy and with the environment.

We know growing the economy goes hand in hand with protecting our environment. I believe there is no one in this chamber or anywhere in Canada who believes we should poison our waters or destroy the land on which we live. We are working very hard with provincial, federal, and territorial governments to adapt and ensure climate change does not impact Canadians and the world in a way that is too extreme.

We have developed the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. I thought I would spend a few moments listing all the environmental initiatives we have embarked upon with this government since 2015, which are numerous. In fact, it is actually quite a record and is something for all Canadians to be proud of.

For instance, we named Dr. Mona Nemer as Canada's new chief science adviser, ensuring the government's scientists are free to speak to Canadians about their work. Imagine, a scientist free to voice their opinion without government officials telling them that they can or cannot do so. We have empowered researchers to make discoveries that save lives, deal with climate change, and create jobs by investing $900 million through the Canada first research excellence fund, and $515 million through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canada's NSERC discovery grants.

We are providing financing to support Canadian entrepreneurs of clean technology firms and attracting new business investment in sectors like clean energy. This includes $700 million in clean technology financing through an agreement with the Business Development Bank of Canada, the BDC. We are investing in clean growth with $3.5 million to build the final phase of the Enerkem Alberta Biofuels facility, the first of its kind to convert non-recyclable, non-compostable solid waste into energy.

There is $25 million for the guardians program, which works with indigenous Canadians to ensure they have a role to play in protecting the land and that they are the land protectors. This is an incredible accomplishment because when we reviewed this program at the finance committee, it was not sure if the program would actually receive funding. However, in the end, the government saw the need to engage with indigenous peoples and ensure they have an important role in being protectors of the land.

We are supporting the development of the indigenous tourism industry, which is largely based in rural areas, with $8.6 million in funding. We are investing $100 million in agricultural science and research to address emerging priorities such as climate change and water conservation to help mitigate biological threats to agriculture. We are making big polluters pay and are driving innovation for green solutions by pricing carbon pollution. That is an important one, making sure that people who pollute actually pay for it.

There are 270,000 indigenous people living in 275 communities who are benefiting from water and waste water projects across the country. Nearly 350 such projects are going to be completed or are now under way. We have lifted 52 boil water advisories on public systems for indigenous communities, and they now have access to reliable, clean drinking water.

We are protecting the wildlife, especially at-risk species and Inuit harvesting rights guaranteed under the Nunavut agreement in Tallurutiup Imanga-Lancaster Sound in the Arctic. The agreement will create Canada's largest marine conservation area. We are creating the largest conservation area in Canada, the largest in our history.

We are protecting Canada's coast and waterways with the historic $1.5-billion oceans protection plan, which aims to strengthen partnership and launch co-management practices with indigenous communities as one of its priorities.

We are accelerating the progress on existing rights and recognition tables to identify priorities for individual indigenous communities, working with indigenous communities to ensure their voices are heard. We are implementing UNDRIP, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in full partnership with indigenous peoples.

We are empowering indigenous women to engage with their communities to address issues that affect them or hinder their advancement in many aspects of their lives through an investment of nearly $5 million in 12 organizations across the country.

We are investing billions of dollars in light rail transit in Ontario.

We are reviewing neonicotinoid pesticides, the ones put on seeds, to examine the potential risk to Canada's health and environment and to develop a plan to protect the safety of Canadians and aquatic insects, which are important sources of food for fish, birds, and other animals. This is important for our bees. I know that there are many farmers in the chamber who will support that.

We are also taking a leadership role in tackling climate change and proudly played a strong role in helping to negotiate an ambitious Paris Agreement. We helped do that. It was not done before 2015, but it was certainly done after 2015.

We negotiated Canada's first-ever national climate plan with the provinces and territories in December 2016, which is a plan to meet or exceed our Paris Agreement commitments. We have launched a $1.4-billion low-carbon economy leadership fund to help reduce emissions in provinces and territories, particularly with investments in using energy more efficiently, which saves people and businesses money.

We are playing a leading role in the global ratification of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, an agreement to phase out polluting hydrofluorocarbons that could reduce the world's warming by as much as half a degree.

We are phasing out traditional coal-fired power by 2030, with an ambitious goal of attaining 90% of electricity generation from clean sources by 2030. We are limiting air pollution and reducing health issues, such as asthma, by reducing methane emissions by 40% to 45% by 2025.

We are banning microbeads, a major source of plastic pollution and a threat to aquatic life.

We are providing scientists with funding for research at the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory in Nunavut to contribute to leading-edge monitoring and research in the Arctic, which is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world.

We are investing $2.65 billion to support climate action in developing countries, which are the hardest hit by climate change and have often limited capacity to prevent and cope with its consequences. We are told time and again that everyone has to contribute, but we in the western world have benefited more than those in the developing world by polluting. We are ensuring that those in the developing countries can also develop their economies but do so in a way that ensures that the environment is protected and that they can build jobs for their communities so that they are safer in the long term. It is like that here in Canada. There are many indigenous communities that could benefit from ensuring that they can develop the natural resources of this land, and we should not deny them that opportunity.

We have a new national park. Rouge National Urban Park became Canada's first national urban park when we passed Bill C-18. We increased the proportion of marine and coastal areas that are protected to 5%. We are moving forward to protect lands in the South Okanagan in British Columbia, with the possibility of creating a new national park reserve.

We are helping Canadians living in rural and remote communities reduce their reliance on diesel for electricity and heating by investing in affordable and clean energy solutions, such as hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, and bioenergy, through the clean energy innovation program. We are helping to build a clean economy and to reduce polluting greenhouse gases by launching the emerging renewable power program, which will fund projects on renewable energy technologies.

The list goes on and on. For instance, we are adding 1,200 green jobs for young people in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, in natural resource sectors. That is 10 times more opportunities in the science and technology internship program.

We are supporting over 70 communities across Canada through three programs managed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities: the municipalities for climate innovation program, the municipal asset management program, and the green municipal fund. The funding will help communities develop sustainable practices and local solutions to infrastructure management that respect a clean environment. We are investing in clean growth with $3.5 million in a biofuels facility, the first of its kind.

The list goes on for pages about all the things we are doing. I am very proud of what our government is doing to ensure balance, to ensure that we have not only a clean environment, a good environment for our children and our grandchildren, but also jobs to ensure that we have a good standard of living for today and into the future.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member referenced the Paris Agreement and its targets, which the Liberal government signed on to. One would expect that if the Liberals signed on to something and agreed to meet a certain target, they would meet it. It turns out that on the Paris Agreement target, which is about a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over 2005 levels by the year 2030, the Liberal government actually made filings at the United Nations that indicated that it was about 60 megatonnes short of meeting that goal. More recent reports indicate that it is actually closer to 90 megatonnes short of reaching its Paris Agreement target.

It is pretty clear that the government is not going to meet the target it put in place. Does he know how his government is actually going to make up that shortfall in greenhouse gas emissions reductions?

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, a lot of the environmental programs we see do not have to be a windmill or solar power panels we see outside buildings. In fact, they can actually be about energy efficiency and the things we do on a day-to-day level to ensure that we actually save energy and use the good types of energy.

For instance, our government is ensuring that we are a model for sustainability by greening our government. We are on track to reduce the government's own greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and by 80% by 2050. Even when I was in the Canadian Armed Forces, there were many times, 20 years ago, when someone would leave the door open. We would be heating the outdoors, because someone thought it was too hot, and we were not able to actually turn down the heat. The government today is actually reviewing a lot of the policies on how we conduct ourselves in our day-to-day operations to see if there are energy savings. It is listening to people on the ground, asking civil servants, and even our military personnel, what we can do to ensure that we can meet that target. That takes a lot of effort, because it is going to be an effort by all Canadians to ensure that we actually get there.

I am proud of our government. Not only are we committed to those agreements but we are intent on actually trying to achieve those targets. It is not simply empty rhetoric. It is actually something we hold in our hearts to be true that we will get there if we work day in and day out, and we are doing that.

We are passing a number of bills that are repairing the damage from the decade of darkness. We are engaging with our international counterparts to ensure that we are going to be meeting those targets. For instance, we are changing legislation through Bill C-69 and Bill C-68. We have also introduced Bill C-74, and the list goes on.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my friend and hon. colleague, the member for Winnipeg Centre, for outlining things we can do and are doing. However, I also want to follow up on the question my friend from Abbotsford just asked that was not answered. He stated clearly that the government is falling well below its target of reducing emissions by 30%. It was a commitment it made. In fact, it still has not told us its plan. It has not presented a plan on how it is going to achieve its target. In fact, it is going the other way. The Liberals made a promise that they were going to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, but instead, they bought a pipeline. It completely contradicts everything he just said.

My friend from Abbotsford outlined where we are going. We are going in the other direction. I appreciate the member's comments, but we still have not heard what the real plan is. My friend voted in support of my colleague, the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou's bill, Bill C-262, to protect the rights of indigenous peoples through UNDRIP, and still the government is picking and choosing the nations it wants to apply that to. Instead, it is running roughshod over nations that are against the pipeline.

Could the member explain how the government believes it is okay to run roughshod over the rights of individual nations that have opposed this project and how he can justify the government supporting Bill C-262 as well.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy with the role the people of Winnipeg Centre played in ensuring that Bill C-262 was actually passed in the chamber, because they were great advocates, advocating not only to me but to other members of the chamber.

We are spending $5.7 billion over 12 years on the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, including $2 billion for the low-carbon economy fund, ensuring that Canada's communities are healthy and productive places to live. It includes investments of over $5 billion over five years toward infrastructure projects that protect communities and support Canada's ongoing transition to a clean-growth economy. We are supporting clean technologies and accelerating clean technology company growth by providing over $2 billion—

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Before I resume debate, I want to point out that I know that this is a topic that really is difficult to keep short and brief, and members have been asking questions and providing answers that are a little longer. I have been rather lenient. However, if members do not mind, try to keep the questions to a reasonable length, and we will see if we can get as many questions as possible. Keep an eye on the Speaker. He is here to help members out. When I give members the signal, it is time to stop.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Courtenay—Alberni.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today to speak to the NDP motion regarding clean energy and a just transition.

I am also honoured to be splitting my time with my hon. colleague and friend from Kootenay—Columbia.

The NDP believe that Canada should be investing in clean renewable energy resources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal technologies, that create good-quality, long-lasting jobs for today's workers and future generations.

In my riding, there are some hard-working, innovative entrepreneurs and indigenous communities that are leading the field of clean energy solutions. I will spend most of my time speaking about their work and experiences.

Hakai Energy Solutions, in Cumberland, B.C., is owned and operated by entrepreneur Jason Jackson. His company focuses on advanced solar energy integration. The company builds and installs power generation, communications, and monitoring equipment in some of the most remote places imaginable.

Mr. Jackson has written to me a few times. I would like to quote from one of his messages. He writes:

Based on what we hear in our interaction with Canadians, our perspective is that most Canadians want the opportunity to generate their own clean energy...and they want to help the environment if they can....

Why doesn't the Government of Canada take advantage of this tremendous talent that sits in waiting to supply a market demand [that] is so clear and present? Why doesn't the Government of Canada appreciate that Canadians see climate change as a serious threat and that they are willing to put their money where their mouth is?

He underlines this:

Homeowners...[who are] ready to invest in renewable energy are immediately demotivated by the fact that unlike other regions of the world, Canada has no public strategy and provides no financial incentives directly to home and business owners that want to participate in the clean energy economy.

Another constituent of mine, Eduardo Uranga, has written to me many times. He is a renewable energy advocate and a proponent of solar energy. He has submitted a passive solar water heating project application to Natural Resources Canada. His project proposes to train solar hot water heater installers to install solar water heaters, to create an installation standard through video and quality-controlled inspections, and to create a viable green employment opportunity in the Comox Valley. Mr. Uranga's project is an example of clean energy innovation by creating sustainable economic growth and supporting the transition toward a low-carbon economy.

Another Vancouver Island resident in my riding, Dave Melrose, from Qualicum Beach, who works for Osprey Electric, met with me this year to discuss solar installation rebates and tax installations for solar technology. I will quote from its website:

Solar panels, wind turbines and micro-hydro...alternative energy being used more extensively every year. That’s because material costs are declining and hydro costs are rising, allowing companies and individuals to consider new and exciting alternative energy solutions.

This statement is true across the country. Everywhere we turn, Canadians want to invest in clean energy solutions so they can own their own power and help the environment at the same time. More and more Canadians are moving in this direction, because the cost of doing so is no longer as prohibitive.

A month ago, I was at a meeting of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources and had a chance to hear from experts in the renewable energy field.

One of them, Patrick Bateman, a director with the Canadian Solar Industry Association, said this:

When supply-mix planners, policy-makers, or regulators are considering what the future supply mix will look like, cost is obviously one of the primary considerations. The cost of solar electricity will have dropped by about 90% between 2010 and 2020. Wind is following a similar trajectory. With these new technologies, the costs are coming down so quickly that when investments with a lifespan of 30 or 40 years are being made, it's of critical importance that people are doing so with the current and best information. I think those cost trends are an example of data that's missing from an independent Canadian impartial basis, which we have to go elsewhere and Canadianize. If that cost information were available in Canada, that would be one example of something that would be of great benefit to the market.

I asked Mr. Bateman about comparisons to other countries. He offered this information:

In the United States, they've had an investment tax credit that covers 30% of capital costs for both wind and solar. For wind, there's also a production tax credit. I'm less familiar with the subsidies for hydro or for marine, but the...[investment tax credit] has been the single largest subsidy for renewables in the United States in comparison to Canada. We have not had anything comparable to date.

He cited well over a dozen states that are moving forward very quickly on this.

According to Clean Energy Canada's latest annual assessment, Canada spent 15% less on new clean energy development in 2015 than in 2014. We are going the wrong way. Future growth in this sector will depend largely on policies being developed, both federally and provincially, and on ending fossil fuel subsidies so that renewable alternatives are on a level playing field with oil and gas giants.

I asked the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in the House a year ago whether the government would end oil and gas subsidies, and she said that it was something the government was working toward. Instead, the Liberals turn around and make a commitment to spend $4.5 billion on a 65-year-old leaky pipeline that would create only 3,000 short-term jobs.

New Democrats would like to offer alternatives. We are talking today about our proposal to redirect fossil fuel subsidies to long-term clean energy jobs, which would be available to workers today as well as to the next generation.

Back on Vancouver Island, there are many examples of first nations communities embracing the potential of alternative power, whether it be the Huu-ay-aht or the Hesquiaht, which is a remote nation that is using diesel. It is still waiting for the government to approve its application. If it does not, the Hesquiaht will potentially lose millions of dollars. It desperately needs the government to approve its application.

I will cite some that are having success, like the T’Sou-ke First Nation, which is emerging as a leader in modern clean energy. It is a great example of traditional sustainable living, which its residents have embraced for generations. T'Sou-ke was the first aboriginal community in the world to be designated a solar community. Solar programs for Colwood, the capital regional district, and several first nations around B.C. are modelled on what T'Sou-ke has done.

Then there is the story of the Tla-o-qui-aht people in my home community, which is their traditional territory. The Tla-o-qui-aht people have a long history of innovation and trade. They are working on ensuring that they have strong energy security. They have a run-of-river project called Canoe Creek, which became operational in 2010. It is environmentally friendly, because it does not require them to dam the river. Run-of-river hydroelectricity is generated when water taken from a natural stream hits a turbine and activates a generator. That water is then returned back into the stream. Canoe Creek is a 6-megawatt hydro power facility that can provide electricity to 2,000 homes.

In an interview with the National Observer, Saya Masso, a good friend of mine and the Tla-o-qui-aht Nation's natural resources manager, said, “Nobody was going to give us money for the project, so we had to use that high value property to get this off the ground.”

Here is another really interesting part of this story. In order to build the project, the Tla-o-qui-aht used pipes from failed or outdated pipeline projects. They have said that if Kinder Morgan fails to be completed, the leftover pipes could be used for clean energy projects. The Tla-o-qui-aht people have a couple more hydro projects in their territory at different stages of development.

These are inspiring stories of Canadians who are bringing solutions to the table. I thank them for their dedication, their work, and their passion for the health of our environment and our economy.

We need a government that listens to Canada's indigenous people, scientists, and local communities. They have outlined many reasons why the Kinder Morgan pipeline is not worth the risk and the investment: it will increase greenhouse gas emissions; it threatens our waterways, coastlines, and wildlife; and it threatens the marine and tourism industries and jobs. There are over 100,000 jobs in tourism in British Columbia.

As a member of the G20, Canada officially recognized that inefficient subsidies for fossil fuels undermine efforts to deal with climate change, encourage wasteful energy consumption, reduce energy security, and impede investment in clean energy sources.

Nearly half of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions come from two sectors: oil and gas, and transportation. However, the Liberal government has become a huge investor in the oil and gas industry, instead of eliminating fossil fuel subsidies as it promised.

Global climate leaders do not spend billions of dollars of public funding on pipelines. With this one move, the Liberal government has failed as a climate change leader and shows no real vision for the future of Canada's energy economy.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is a member of a party that apparently champions the needs, interests, and concerns of the working class. I wonder what he would say to Alberta oil workers who are going to rely upon and are looking forward to the twinning of the pipeline.

The second point is, does he support oil travelling by rail?

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly the reason we tabled this motion today, to talk about jobs for middle-class Canadians, especially Albertans. I just outlined a number of projects happening in my riding alone that we could be doing in Alberta. When we look at Alberta, we could be investing in many different opportunities for clean energy, whether it be run-of-river hydroelectric power, wind power, or geothermal.

I cannot even imagine how much $4.5 billion could do in advancing Canada in terms of clean energy. We need only look to countries like Norway, which has done that. The Norwegians have been smart. They did not squander their profits from the oil and gas industry as we have here in Canada. In fact, they have $1 trillion in their prosperity fund, and they are earning $50 billion a year in interest alone from that prosperity fund. They are investing that money in clean energy and diversifying their economy so that they have jobs for middle-class people in their country, not just for today but also for tomorrow.

The motion today is exactly about that. It is about making sure that we have jobs for people today and for tomorrow. That is what young people in our country are asking us to do.

Building a pipeline with the amount of money that the Liberals are asking taxpayers to commit, and potentially even using pension funds to buy into it, does not make sense. When I talk to people in my riding or across the country, they agree that, if we are going to use taxpayers' money, they would rather see $15 billion invested in jobs for today and for the long term, to diversify our economy and create more energy security for Canada, and do we ever need that. We need that now more than ever before, when we look at our relations around the world.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I think the debate around jobs needs to bear in mind that the number one goal of the labour unions of northern Alberta, the Alberta Federation of Labour and Unifor, is to protect jobs. However, it should be noted that these organizations are against the Kinder Morgan expansion. We know they are against it because they recognize that, just like shipping raw logs off Vancouver Island while our sawmills need resources to process them at home, shipping raw bitumen out of Canada instead of having upgraders and refineries is shipping out the jobs.

I know there are some unions that want the jobs in construction, but those are short-term jobs. The long-term jobs are in following Peter Lougheed's original plan and having upgraders and refineries.

It is a mind-boggling reality that the jobs argument is so badly misunderstood in this country, because propaganda seems to get away with the aura of fact, and those of us who bring fact-based critique to it are somehow clinging to a sort of nirvana world. We would rather see Canada solve this problem by thinking like a country.

I wonder if my hon. colleague from Courtenay—Alberni wants to add anything to this issue of shipping out raw resources.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, as a Vancouver Islander, the member knows all too well that we have seen raw logs go up tenfold in 10 years, in the name of jobs, while we have seen mills close.

I live in a community that is deeply affected by this, a community with the highest unemployment rate in southwestern B.C., because we have chosen to ship raw logs out of our community in the name of jobs. Well, those jobs have not happened. In fact, it has been the biggest job-killing practice I have ever seen. We are also building ferries, because the government decided to remove a tariff to build ferries outside of our country, in the name of jobs, so that it would be cheaper for ferry users. That generated $118 million, which could be used in building port infrastructure, doing maintenance, and shipbuilding here in Canada.

We keep hearing that we need a pipeline, in the name of jobs, to ship raw bitumen to another country so that it can be refined there.

It is exactly this spin that is killing jobs in our country, and it is misleading people. What we need is to invest in clean energy, jobs for today and jobs for tomorrow, and stop shipping our raw resources. This rip-and-ship mentality has to end. This is an opportunity right now for the leadership and the courage that young people and people across our nation so desperately need and demand.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Courtenay—Alberni for his passion on the subject.

I am proud to rise today to speak to a motion that not only works to protect Canada's environment, but calls on the government to invest in green energy and green jobs. I have heard from many constituents in my riding, Kootenay—Columbia, on this issue. I will say up front that some of these constituents would like to see the pipeline built. They hope to see some jobs come out of this project.

Before we celebrate that, in my opinion that is not so much an indication of support for the pipeline as it is desperation to find good jobs in the construction sector. It is actually a condemnation of the lack of good jobs created by the federal government, but that is a debate for another day.

The Kinder Morgan pipeline, or pipe dream, as some are calling it, will not create the jobs they are hoping for. In fact, it is estimated that between 2,500 and 3,000 jobs will be created in the short-term construction phase. Maintaining the pipeline will employ fewer than 100 workers. That is not enough to make this project valuable to British Columbia workers, compared to the potential job loss from even one coastal oil spill. There are better ways to create jobs.

Last summer, my B.C. colleagues and I hired an economist to study the green energy economy in our province. We have not released the full report yet, but I would like to read some sections of it: “In developing an energy strategy, the first strategic focus should be on efficient buildings via green building codes and retrofit strategies. Efficient building are a low-cost option with high employment potential. Next, the focus should be on increasing the portion of renewable sources in electricity, heat, and transportation. There are feasible energy technologies across B.C. [such as] solar in the Kootenays”.

We have two examples already operating in the Kootenays. One is the 1.05-megawatt Kimberley solar mine, and the other is Nelson's solar garden. That is a great story. The Nelson power company sold the opportunity to residents to buy their own solar panels, and after purchasing the panels they got to reduce their electricity bills over time by the amount of their investment. It is a great story for everyone in the end.

According to the report, there is also lots of opportunity for run-of-river hydro power across the province, geothermal in the Lower Mainland and the interior, biomass energy production in Cariboo and Thompson-Okanagan, and wind on Vancouver Island and the north coast. The report also says that an energy strategy “should include provisions for multiple sources of energy tailored to the geography and strengths of each region.”

Let us imagine that, instead of throwing $4.5 billion at a leaky 65-year-old pipeline to support the carbon industry, and potentially $7 billion to $12 billion more at building a new pipeline, we invested that money in renewable technologies for the future. Canada could be a world leader in the green economy, rather than another follower of the time-tenured fossil fuel industry.

This is an important part of the motion we are debating today. Part (b) of the motion says, “putting workers and skills training at the heart of the transition to a clean energy economy so workers don’t have to choose between a good job and a healthy environment for themselves and their families”. Also, with local energy production, people do not have to leave home in order to make a living.

We call that a just transition. It would provide a fair plan for workers in the traditional energy sector to adapt to a new economy. There are many transferable skills between oil and gas and renewable energy occupations, as well as higher job creation potential in renewable energy streams.

It is important, no, essential, that Canada make the transition to a green economy as quickly as possible. Besides the fact that we are woefully behind in our international obligations to do our part to combat climate change, the environmental risks of completing this pipeline are tremendous. My colleagues who represent the coastal areas of B.C. have spoken very eloquently, on many occasions, about the risks to our fragile marine environment. We hear less about the problems the pipeline could present for B.C.'s interior.

The route of the Kinder Morgan pipeline passes through a national park and a B.C. provincial park. A bitumen leak in either of those places could be devastating for local wildlife, lakes and rivers, and for the people who enjoy those places we have committed to protecting.

However, we do not even need a leak to see harm to these natural areas. When construction equipment and crews move from one site to another, they commonly carry with them seeds and spores from previous sites. They can also carry harmful insects that have stowed away in heavy earth movers or other equipment. This cross-contamination from one site to another creates a very real opportunity to introduce invasive species into our parks. I am not aware of any program or system the government and its contractors plan to implement to prevent the transfer of invasive species from one site to another.

Let us return to the issue of bitumen leaks for a minute. The government and the corporations repeat the same refrain that these pipelines are built to accepted standards, and leaks cannot possibly happen. That is nonsense. Pipeline leaks can and do happen, and it is guaranteed that they will happen again.

Look at Kinder Morgan's record, for example. According to the website, The Sacred Trust, “Since the 1960s, the longest period of time the Trans Mountain Pipeline has gone without a spill is approximately four years.” On July 15, 2005, 210,000 litres of crude oil leaked. On June 4, 2007, 69,500 litres leaked. On July 24, 2007, 250,000 litres of crude oil leaked, contaminating a large portion of Burrard Inlet. On May 6, 2009, 200,000 litres leaked from Kinder Morgan's storage facility in Burnaby, B.C. On January 24, 2012, 110,000 litres of crude oil leaked in Abbotsford. On May 27, a mere two days before the government announced its poorly thought-out decision to buy the pipeline, a pumping station north of Kamloops leaked an estimated 4,800 litres of medium crude oil.

The pipeline is about as leakproof as the Titanic was unsinkable.

If the government and the company want to convince Canadians that these pipelines are safe, they should begin by improving the standards to which they are built. There should be an obligation on pipeline companies to fully pay for the cleanup of any spills, and the CEO any pipeline company should face criminal charges should leaks occur. Do that, and we will see one of two things happen. Either pipelines that do not leak will actually be built, or companies will decide that maybe the risk is greater than the reward, and they will stop doing what they are doing, including governments.

While the idea of corporate criminal liability may be new here, it has been the case in Europe for decades. Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Italy, and many others hold corporations as legal entities that may be criminally charged, and in many jurisdictions the corporate officers may be held liable.

Let me finish by quoting correspondence from my constituents in Kootenay—Columbia about the pipeline project.

Vikki in Revelstoke wrote:

Your government says this Texas oil company’s pipeline is in the national interest. We believe that having a safe climate is in our national interest, and the two are not compatible.

Do not throw our precious public money into the coffers of an oil giant, subsidizing the profits of a 19th century industry. Instead, act in the true national interest and invest in the future: a 21st century energy system, public services and clean infrastructure for all.

Stuart in Nelson wrote:

The reluctance of private enterprise to invest in this project is a clear signal that conditions have changed to make it an unwise investment. Yet you and your government continue to prop up the dying fossil fuel industry, this time with Canadian taxpayer taking the risks. This is completely unacceptable.

Lorna from Kaslo wrote:

Canada has unmet climate commitments. The fossil fuel industry is clearly changing global climate.

My hope is that Canada join other visionary countries by re-directing our investments toward renewable energy and toward reducing our energy consumption.

I agree with Vikki, Stuart, Lorna, and the many others from my riding of Kootenay—Columbia who have written to oppose the government's purchase of the pipeline, which Kinder Morgan was happy to get rid of. Canadians want jobs, but they want green jobs. They do not want to see their money wasted on another government buyout.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Northumberland—Peterborough South Ontario

Liberal

Kim Rudd LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the passion with which my colleagues opposite stated their positions. One of the things I have noticed in the debate over the past few days is how narrowly focused those comparisons are, that we are not looking at the broader picture, both in clean energy and the work that has been done in clean energy.

There is something called the NICE initiative, the nuclear innovation clean energy future initiative. Canada, the U.S. and Japan just signed onto it a few weeks ago. It looks at small modular reactors and their opportunity to provide a source of energy for rural or remote communities, and resource extraction, among other things.

I listened to the pipeline conversation, and I have a question. It sounds to me, as I continually hear this, that the third party opposite does not support any pipeline or resource development. How, as a natural resource-rich country, do we participate in the global market with those natural resources without getting them off the shores of Canada?

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada has a real opportunity to be a world leader in green energy, rather than just following along, behind other countries like Norway and Germany where green energy is now very much a part of their everyday lives and their energy systems and their communities. In fact, when we fly over Germany, as I did a while ago, we see wind turbines everywhere, providing local power to local communities.

The choice is really whether we want to stay in the past or whether we want to move into a more positive future. Shipping our raw resources out of Canada keeps us where we have been for many years.

I look at that $4.5 billion, as do my constituents, and I think of the many different ways that $4.5 billion could have been put to much better use for a better future in green energy. Even if people are not into energy, we can look at universal pharmacare and universal day care. There are so many different ways to use that $4.5 billion other than to buy an old pipeline.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I certainly agree with the hon. colleague that we should not build pipelines by nationalization and government bailouts. I regret very much that we have a business environment in Canada under the government where it is impossible for business to survive on its own and therefore it needs bailouts just to survive.

That said, the hon. member spoke about what often social democratic parties view as a Utopian jurisdiction, Norway. He spoke about how Norway was an ideal example of how we could get away from oil and gas and go toward, as the member put it, green energy. Is he aware that 25% of Norway's economy is based on petroleum?

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Absolutely, Mr. Speaker. When I use Norway as example, my mother's side of the family is Norwegian so I am always proud to quote what is happening there. That money reflects the past. Norwegians have collected a trillion dollars by keeping money rather than having it blown out the door in a variety of different ways. They have a great rainy-day fund that came from oil and gas.

However, Norwegians also have the future-thinking and the vision to know that is from the past and it is time to move into the future, which is why they are investing the amount they are in green energy. In fact, there is some talk about moving strictly to electrical vehicles within about 20 years or so in a number of countries around the world.

I find it disappointing that we are investing all of this money into an industry that absolutely was important to our past, but will play much less of a role in the future and, quite frankly, should play less of a role in our future.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am splitting my time with the member for Carleton.

We are dealing with an NDP motion. A lot of it is motherhood and apple pie. Let me just read it. It says:

That, in the opinion of the House, being a global climate change leader and building a clean energy economy means: (a) investing in clean, renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal as well as investing in energy efficient technologies that create good quality, long-lasting jobs for today’s workers and future generations...

There is not much to quibble with there, except, who is doing the investing? There is nothing in the motion that says who would be doing the investing. Given that this is coming from the NDP, a socialist party, we know that when it talks about investing, it is talking about governments investing in these areas. We know that when governments try to invest in the private sector, they try to pick winners and losers, and invariably governments get it wrong and it becomes a disaster. That is one of the shortcomings of the motion.

However, there is a (b) and (c). Let me read the (b):

....(b) putting workers and skills training at the heart of the transition to a clean energy economy so workers don’t have to choose between a good job and a healthy environment for themselves and their families....

Again, it is motherhood and apple pie. Who could disagree with that?

The kicker is the third one which says that if we want to be a global climate leader, if Canada wants to be a global climate change leader, we must:

....(c) not spending billions of public dollars on increasingly obsolete fossil fuel infrastructure and subsidies....

The first part of that “not spending billions of public dollars”, I think all of us on this side will agree with that. The Liberals will not, because they have already spent taxpayer dollars, $4.5 billion, on the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which was completely unnecessary. On this side of the House, we believe it is the private sector that should do resource extraction, build pipelines, and grow our economy.

When I see our Liberal friends agreeing to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline for $4.5 billion, when the declared book value of that pipeline is only $2.5 billion, it means Canadian taxpayers are on the hook for $2 billion that did not have to be spent, if in fact they are spending this in an open market.

What is worse is that the private sector had said that it was prepared to build the pipeline and that government did not have to put any money into it. The private sector just wanted a regulatory environment, a tax environment, and the predictability required to get this done. What happened? When it was up to the Prime Minister to show leadership by exercising his federal powers under the Constitution, his declaratory powers under the Constitution, he failed Canadians. He refused to do it. Behind closed doors, he cooked up this deal with Kinder Morgan to pay $2 billion more for the pipeline than the book value would warrant.

That is why government should not get into investing in the private sector. We should incent the private sector to do it on its own. We should not pick winners and losers, but rather provide an environment in which investment can flourish.

There is a suggestion in the motion that somehow fossil fuels are obsolete and that we should not build any more pipelines. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is very clear that countries around the world will use fossil fuels in their energy mix for many decades to come.

Therefore, the suggestion that building the Kinder Morgan pipeline is going to render that an obsolete or stranded asset is simply false. The private sector told us that there is a market for Canada's oil at a much higher price than the North American market will pay, but we need to get that oil to tidewater. That is what this pipeline would have done and that is what the Prime Minister failed to do. He had the power to do it, and he did not. Then, in a fit of failed leadership, he ended up buying this pipeline, basically placing all of the risk of this pipeline on the shoulders of Canadian taxpayers.

This is a pipeline that could have been built by the private sector without one penny of taxpayer dollars going into it. The suggestion that fossil fuels are obsolete is a canard perpetrated by those who have an ideological bent against Canada's prosperity.

This motion also talks about a global climate change leader not spending money on subsidies that increase greenhouse gas emissions. If we were to ask New Democrats in a private moment what is meant by “subsidies”, they would say tax incentives and tax credits that welcome and attract investment to Canada.

Do we want investment in our oil and gas industry? Yes, we do, because it drives a significant part of our prosperity. In fact, my colleague from Carleton will remind all of us that 6% of our economy is our oil and gas sector. That is a significant part of our national prosperity that we would undermine by accepting these myths about the fossil fuel industry disappearing overnight and we will be in this green Shangri-La, where no fossil fuels are required.

This motion talks about not spending billions of public dollars and putting Canadians' health, environment, coastlines, and waterways at risk. That is another myth perpetrated by those who have an ideological position against fossil fuels. I would ask my colleagues in the NDP if they can name one instance of a crude oil tanker spill in B.C. waters. That is the sort of myth that is perpetrated, that there is an imminent threat to our pristine coastal areas. The reality is that tankers have been plying our waters for many decades, and today, it is even safer for them to do so because there are double-hull tankers and what the Liberals call a world-class oceans protection plan.

Canada has adapted, and we understand how important it is to keep our pristine environment clean and pure, but it is not an all-or-nothing proposition. It is not that we have either resource development in Canada or a clean environment. The two can go hand in hand, as the environment minister often says in the House, but does not actually do in practice.

This motion is clearly ideologically driven. There is some motherhood and apple pie in it, but when we get down to the nub of it, it is this NDP hatred of our oil and gas industry and its commitment to shut down the improvement of our pipeline capacity so that we cannot maximize the dollars that we get for our oil.

It is estimated that we leave $15 billion on the table every year because we cannot get our oil to markets beyond North America. What a shame. Think of how many tax dollars that would generate, how many jobs that would generate, and how much prosperity that would generate in this country. We can do better and I hope common sense prevails and this motion does not pass.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have heard about the promise from the government to end subsidies to oil and gas. In fact, we saw the government now somehow magically come up with $4.5 billion for a leaky pipeline. I have to ask the member a question, because where I live, people are irate that the government can magically find $4.5 billion when we have so much other need. One need, which is something the member and I have in common, is around our salmon. When I look at the Somass River and Clayoquot, they have received nothing. The government promised $75 million for coastal restoration. It has only rolled out $38 million in Clayoquot and nothing for the Somass River, despite steep declines in the return of our salmon. We desperately need money for restoration, enhancement, and salmon protection, and we have not seen that money.

I wonder if the member can cite the needs in his community that could have been delivered, while the government has failed miserably to protect our salmon? People are livid that the government can magically find $4.5 billion but cannot find a nickel for our fish that are dying and on the edge of potential extinction. It is actually disturbing. Maybe the member can share some perspective on that.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Courtenay—Alberni for his work on the salmon file and his concern for the environment.

One of the challenges the Liberal government faces is that it tries to be all things to all people. When the Prime Minister is in British Columbia, he is promising them the moon. He is the great champion of the environment. When he comes to Alberta, of course, he is the great champion of the energy sector, unabashed champion of the energy sector. At the end of the day, one has to be principled. We cannot sit on the fence. Eventually we will have to make some tough decisions. As well, investments are going to have to be made in terms of protecting our economy, investments the current government has not made.

My colleague from Courtenay—Alberni is correct. There are virtually no investments in improving salmon habitat. My riding of Abbotsford is right on the Fraser River where these fish migrate, and there are super salmon fishing opportunities when those stocks are healthy, when those salmon runs are healthy. The fishing is usually in Chilliwack, the riding next to mine. I wish it were in Abbotsford, but it is actually just up the river. There are tremendous recreational opportunities, but it is a recreational and environmental opportunity we have to protect, and do so wisely in balance.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Schiefke Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, in his remarks, my colleague mentioned that he does believe the economy and the environment need to go hand in hand. The question I have is actually twofold. First, when he was in power, particularly as the Minister for International Trade, why did he fail? If he knows full well that we are losing $15 billion a year because we cannot get our resources to international market, why did his government fail time and time and time again to get our resources to market?

Second, during his time in office, why did his government do absolutely nothing to invest in green technology, green innovation, and the green economy when oil was at $150 a barrel, gas was $1.49 at the tank, and the coffers were full? I would like to know what his answers are to those questions.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for reminding the House of my role as trade minister for Canada for four and a half years.

I want to remind him of the record of the Conservative government: 98.5% of the value of all trade agreements negotiated by Canada were negotiated by a Conservative government. Did members know that? That is our Conservative government's record. It was that government that concluded the TPP negotiations in Atlanta during the last election. It was that government that concluded negotiations on our free trade agreement with the European Union. It was that government that negotiated the trade agreement with South Korea, Peru, Colombia, Honduras, Panama, and with Ukraine.

It was our Conservative government that renewed our trade agreement with Israel. It goes on and on. I am out of time, but the Liberals cannot hold a candle to this Conservative Party's record on trade.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Order. 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 Calgary Midnapore, Prime Minister’s Trip to India; the hon. member for Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, Infrastructure; the hon. member for Essex, International Trade.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:40 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, let me tell the story of a small man named Entrepreneur, carrying a heavy knapsack up a very steep hill. All of a sudden, a big fat man appears next to him and says, “My goodness, that bag on your back looks heavy. My name is Government. Let me take the load off for you.” The big fat man takes the knapsack and puts it on his own back, and the small man thinks how nice it is of him to offer to do that. As they begin walking up the hill, all of a sudden the big man jumps on the back of the little man. Now he is carrying not just the knapsack but the fat man who was carrying the knapsack. The little man looks over his shoulder and asks, “Why is it I have to carry you up the hill?” and Government replies, “It's only fair. After all, I'm carrying your knapsack.”

This is an allegory of whenever government claims to come to the assistance of business. Let me give a few examples where this exact experience has happened. I know members will appreciate this.

In downtown Toronto, Porter Airlines put together a group of investors to extend the runway so it could land more commercial flights right in the heart of the business district, so that business travellers could land in the business district, relieving traffic on the highway between Pearson airport and downtown Toronto. The by-product was that Porter would then buy two billion dollars' worth of planes from Bombardier. The government said, “No, there are some wealthy waterfront owners who don't like the noise, and despite the fact that they chose to live right next to an airport, we're going to protect their multi-million dollar property values at the expense of this multi-billion dollar private sector investment.” Now Bombardier has lost a $2 billion contract to provide an air fleet to a Canadian company, Porter.

What did the government do? It came to the rescue with a taxpayer-funded bailout.

We see the same pattern reproducing itself. We have a government in Ottawa that has blocked the northern gateway pipeline, the energy east pipeline, and has piled on so many regulations that Kinder Morgan, one of the largest diversified pipeline companies in the world, no longer believed it could make a risk-adjusted profit building an expansion of its 60-year-old pipeline between Alberta and the Pacific. This pipeline would otherwise have been a no-brainer. The expansion itself would have taken 600,000 barrels a day from where oil is cheap, in Alberta, to where it is expensive, the international market, allowing businesses to arbitrage the difference between the low western Canada select price and the high international WTI or Brent prices.

It is obviously an economic no-brainer, and clearly, an environmental no-brainer, given that in the exact same route Kinder Morgan has a pipeline that delivers 300,000 barrels per day already, without major incident, and that has been the case since 1953.

The government has prevented that from happening, but we should not worry, the government has come to the rescue. The big fat man called Government comes to the rescue to claim it is bailing out the private sector from problems that government created in the first place. Now, taxpayers have to pay $4.5 billion for a pipeline they already have, of which the book value, according to Kinder Morgan, is about $2.5 billion.

Therefore, government causes the problem and then claims to be the solution to that same problem. The small man, the taxpayer, carrying this big fat man, gets more and more exhausted as he tries to climb higher and higher up this hill. Eventually, the taxpayer becomes completely exhausted and the government walks off with the knapsack and all of its belongings.

Here we are today with a government that has become exponentially more expensive both in direct taxation and indirect costs of regulation. The Liberals are increasing the cost of government at three times the combined rate of inflation and population growth. They have grown spending by almost 25% in less than three budgets. The national debt was growing at twice, now three times, the rate that the Prime Minister promised during the last election. He has piled on regulation after regulation, delay after delay, rejection after rejection for any natural resource project that could liberate billions of dollars of investment in economic growth for our country. However, he says not to worry because he is going to come to the rescue with a bailout for all of those companies his government has so damaged. This is not unique to this socialist government.

Socialist governments across the country at all levels engage in the same practice all the time. We see big, costly, municipal regulations that make it impossible for businesses to build affordable housing for low-income people. Then they say that they need a national government program funded by taxpayers to subsidize more affordable housing, which is the same affordable housing that those municipalities prevent from being constructed in the very first place.

In Ontario, Kathleen Wynne's government, from whom we have been mercilessly liberated by the wise electors of Ontario, has piled on, over a 35-year period, $176 billion in overpayments for electricity provided by unreliable and overpriced suppliers that have made a grand fortune for the investors on Bay Street, while they have doubled the cost of electricity for working-class people and seniors on fixed incomes. That will go down, by the way, as is the single biggest wealth transfer from the low income and working class to the super rich ever exacted by any government in Canadian history. By the way, all of those numbers I just provided were calculated by the Liberal appointed auditor general of that province.

After they take all that money from the working poor and give it to the super rich, they say, “Inequality is out of control. We need a government program to do something about it.” It is like a doctor who administers a poison and then just before the patient falls to the floor, administers an antidote. The patient says, “Why, doctor, did you poison me in the first place?” The doctor says, “So I could save your life”. That is exactly the approach of these Liberals. They do so much damage and then they come to the rescue with other people's money in order to try to repair some of the damage that they have exacted.

The question this inspires is: Why do they not just get out of the way in the first place? Why not, for example, let the private sector build its pipelines in the first place instead of stopping it and then subsidizing it back to life? Why do governments at other levels not stop the red tape that prevents the construction of affordable housing instead of blocking it and then trying to subsidize it into existence later? Instead of taking money from the working poor and giving it to the super rich and then claiming we need a government program to reverse that wealth transfer, why do they not just leave the money in the pockets of those working people in the first place?

The answer is that if they just got out of the way, it would make the politician so much less important. It would be like airbrushing him out of the selfie. We know that the Prime Minister would never have that. It takes humility to rely on the free enterprise system, on self-reliance, on voluntary exchange, and that is the kind of humility we should have in government rather than the egotistical agenda that requires everything pass through the hands of politicians and bureaucrats.

After 2019, we will restore economic freedom, empower Canadians, and improve the future.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I really want to thank my friend from Carleton for his articulate speech.

I agree with him that government does not belong and should not be playing a role in investing in a leaky pipeline. It should be the private sector moving forward when it comes to energy, unless it is clean energy and moving us forward.

There is a place, sometimes, for the government to invest, especially when it comes to our fish. We have a billion dollar industry in British Columbia for our salmon. The government currently only invests about $50 million a year. As members can imagine, in any industry, that is not a lot of money. Right now, we are seeing record low returns in our fish. In fact, the government has announced a coastal restoration fund, and there are communities that are not seeing any of that money, despite our situation.

Here we are with an alarming problem with our salmon, and the government can somehow magically find $4.5 billion to buy a leaky pipeline while it cannot find money for the Somass River, for the Clayoquot, and for coastal communities from coast to coast to coast that are seeing serious declines in their salmon.

Does my friend from Carleton also find it appalling that the government can find money for the private sector, for industry, but it cannot find money for its responsibilities, where it is up to government to invest, to ensure that we have good jobs for our sport fishers, our commercial fishers, and our indigenous fishers that support small business in coastal communities, that solely rely on those government investments for enhancement, restoration, and for habitat protection?

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I agree that the government should focus narrowly on its responsibilities. One of those responsibilities, of course, is conservation and protecting the environment.

However, what the government has done instead is to get its hands into everything that is not the government's business. Parties and governments of the left are like the true economic busybody. We all know a busybody, that person who is always showing up uninvited, always trying to be helpful, but always causing more problems than he solves. That is the kind of economic interference we get from the government.

When politicians involve themselves in commerce, when they start to enter the boardrooms of the nation, what we have is a country where businesses get ahead, not by having the best product but by having the best lobbyists, where businesses, instead of obsessing about pleasing consumers, have to obsess about pleasing politicians. That is not the kind of economy we want to have.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have been listening to the member's fables. They are quite clever.

My question is, why is it the Conservative opposition always talks about book value and does not recognize that there is something called market value, which is a reflection of the profitability of an asset?

Is the member saying that he does not believe that a pipeline is a profitable enterprise, that he does not believe that the market value of the asset is greater, much greater sometimes, than the book value? Is the member completely opposed to the government ever taking an equity stake in a private sector firm?

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member asked me why I did not talk about market value. He suggests, rightly, that market value is different from book value.

We do not know the market value, because the market did not buy this pipeline. The government bought the pipeline, presumably paying more than anyone in the marketplace was prepared to pay for it. By necessity, the government bought a pipeline above market value. If Kinder Morgan had had someone in the marketplace prepared to buy the pipeline for a price equal to or higher than what the government paid, they would have sold it directly to that private sector investor, and they did not. That means we know the government overpaid for this project.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by saying that I am sharing my time with my esteemed colleague, the member for Timmins—James Bay.

I am trying at this late hour to not simply repeat some of the excellent points that have been made already. I know that the motion involves three things. The motion talks about the desire to invest in renewables rather than leaky pipelines. It talks about the just transition and making sure workers are not left behind as we move forward to a low-carbon economy. Last, it asks the government why it chooses to continue with fossil fuel subsidies when the rest of the world seems to be moving in a different direction.

I have to start with a bit of repetition, however, on some of the points made about the famous Kinder Morgan project. I guess we now call it the Government of Canada pipeline and tanker project and its impact, not only on climate change, but no surprise to you, Mr. Speaker, as someone from a coastal community, its potential for a devastating oil spill that needs never to be forgotten in this place. It is the government's choice to spend our tax dollars and indeed it seems even to have the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board consider putting our pension funds behind this leaky 65-year-old pipeline.

In my part of the world, that is not going over well. Not only because of climate change, but the thought that we would be subsidizing our potential destruction of the coastal economy is causing a lot of my constituents to be very concerned.

It is also the opportunity cost point. The passionate speech from my friend in Courtenay—Alberni a moment ago points that out. Here is a government that has let the coastal restoration funds essentially disappear in his part of Vancouver Island on the Somass River. The Conservatives were criticized for how little they spent. The Liberal government is spending nothing on that.

The chinook salmon stock is what we depend on for the orca whales that are also going to be endangered by this tanker project. The opportunity causes a lot of Canadians to wonder where the government's priorities are.

As I said in question period one day last week, I do not remember any mandate that the government had to buy a pipeline. I do not remember any Canadians who were consulted. The government consults on what time of day it is, but there was no consultation of which I am aware among voters in our part of the world that the Liberals would spend, everyone says $4.5 billion, but that is just for the leaky 65-year-old pipeline, not for the $8 billion more or whatever it is going to cost to do the additional 1,000 kilometres of pipe and to do what is required to expand this project almost threefold. That is another part of the expenditure.

This is a speech and a day devoted not to talking just about the lunacy of the decision to buy this pipeline with Canadian tax dollars and as I said earlier, potentially pension funds of Canadians as well. It is about why we are not moving like the rest of the world is so aggressively toward a low-carbon economy based on renewables. That is what I would like to spend some time on.

We not only have the climate crisis before us and the implications of that at stake, but also the positive benefit that would come from investment in some of the new technologies, the battery revolution that might be part of that and so on. This needs to be discussed up front.

An article about Sir Nicholas Stern, an economist in the U.K. who studied climate change, said:

Failing to curb the impact of climate change could damage the global economy on the scale of the Great Depression or world wars by spawning environmental devastation that could cost 5 to 20 percent of the world's annual gross domestic product....

The implication of not spending money on these things also needs to be taken into account.

Meanwhile, as I said earlier, the government seems to be full steam ahead with fossil fuel subsidies. According to one recent study, the government now is spending $3.3 billion on these fossil fuel subsidies, a massive public investment that means, because of the tax expenditure policy that it is based on, less money coming to build hospitals and the like. That seems to be often forgotten as the government pats itself on the back for its current fossil fuel lunacy.

As was said yesterday in debate, Canada is now number seven out of seven in the G7 for its fossil fuel expenditures, notwithstanding a promise in the 2015 campaign by the government to do away with fossil fuel subsidies. They are not being done away with whatsoever. One could argue that buying a pipeline is another subsidy ultimately to the fossil fuel industry. Therefore, it is a little hard for a lot of people to understand why that is the case. That is not just people outside of the province of Alberta. Of the Albertans who were polled, 48% disagreed with public subsidies for the oil and gas industry. The vast majority of Canadians agree that it is the wrong thing to do.

Another interesting wrinkle on this is in a study that was done not long ago by the International Institute for Sustainable Development and others, it was pointed out that Germany and the United States scored the highest on transparency about these fossil fuel subsidies among the G7 nations. Can members guess who is the worst? It is Italy and Canada.

We are number seven out of seven when it comes to fossil fuel subsidies. I guess we should take some solace in the fact that we are number six out of seven when it comes to transparency about what we are doing. According to an EKOS poll, 96% of Canadians believe the federal government should disclose how much it is spending on oil and gas subsidies. Thank goodness for our independent officer, the Auditor General, to be able to ferret out, with some great difficulty, exactly how much these fossil fuel subsidies are costing us as Canadians.

Canada has a lot of explaining to do at the international level. It is also remarkable how out of step we are with other countries in the world. I would like to contrast China and its record with that of Canada in this regard.

Last year, according to The New York Times, China aimed to spend at least $360 billion on renewable energy by the year 2020. Another study by Clean Energy Canada, citing McKinsey & Company, shows that China is building a new wind turbine every hour. It is spending $360 billion. It wants to dominate the world. It figures it has created 13 million jobs in China based on this solar, wind, and geothermal, and other things that it is doing, while Canada lags significantly behind. I think a lot of Canadians wonder why.

Members may remember the retrofit program for homes a while ago and how popular that was in small communities as jobs were generated. We were getting a handle on the climate change implications and the loss of our energy. Canada uses a massive amount of energy, which we waste.

Our energy consumption is five times the world average on a per capita basis. It is the same for natural gas. We are 5.8 times the global average, and so forth, yet we do so little with respect to renewables. A lot of Canadians wonder why we cannot get the jobs that this will create, the positive climate change impacts this will generate, and deal with the workers affected, who will be left behind if we do not have a serious adult conversation about the just transition that is required.

The government finally got around to doing something about the just transition with respect to the coal industry. We heard about that today. However, not so much has been done with respect to the oil and gas industry. Where is that after this many years, and the government bragging about it at the Paris talks as well? We see nothing except with respect to coal, which is obviously worthwhile. However, other workers are going to be affected as well.

In conclusion, this is an important opposition day motion. It is designed to not simply be critical of the government's decisions, although there is a lot to be critical of with respect to Kinder Morgan and fossil fuel subsidies, but to be propositional as well, and to try to drive Canadians to understand how many jobs would be created, how much better we would do for climate change, and how much the workers could be protected if we actually moved to a just transition to a low-carbon economy.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I enjoyed the member's thoughtful speech and, like him, I hope for a green future. Our government is working to expand the green sources of energy, but does he not realize there is no universally agreed to definition of what constitutes a fossil fuel subsidy? That is one of the problems. For example, the G20 and G7 do not have a definition of what constitutes a fossil fuel subsidy.

However, what we can all say with a lot of confidence is that when externalities are not integrated into the cost of fuel, for example, when the cost of polluting is not integrated into the cost of a fuel, that is a subsidy. Our government is acting, really, on a large scale, to eliminate that subsidy by imposing a price on carbon. Would the member comment on that move by this government to eliminate one of the biggest subsidies of all?

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:05 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, I agree entirely with the hon. member that it is critical that we internalize the cost of pollution, and that is, indeed, the intent of any pricing mechanism that most parties in the House appear to agree is inevitable and long overdue. The province of British Columbia has had a revenue-neutral carbon tax for many years and its economy leads the country, so it can be done.

I accept the other point the hon. member made that there is no universal definition of what constitutes a fossil fuel subsidy, but I would invite my colleague to look at the study that was co-authored by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and a number of others, which concludes very clearly, after an analysis of the definitional issues that he rightly points out, that Canada is dead last in the G7. Any way one cuts it, Canada is dead last. We should be ashamed.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting how socialist parties love to laud and praise dictatorships. The Prime Minister praised China and, indeed, my colleague just now praised China for its renewable energy, but I would point out, according to The Straits Times newspaper in 2017:

But new data on the world’s biggest developers of coal-fired power plants paints a very different picture: China’s energy companies will make up nearly half of the new coal generation expected to go online in the next decade.

These...corporations are building or planning to build more than 700 new coal plants....

My friend conveniently obfuscates when it comes to what the Chinese communist government is doing in terms of environmental protection, which is precious little. In fact, the air quality in China is so bad that it has become a social issue, and I gather there has been social unrest because of it.

Interestingly, the member like to trash Canada. I do not. As someone who has been in the environmental field his entire career, I have seen tremendous improvements in industry, whether it is pulp and paper or oil and gas, both industries I have worked in. In Canada, most environmental indicators are improving quite dramatically and much of that environmental improvement was done under the Conservative government.

Why is it that the NDP hates the private sector and our energy companies so much?

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:05 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

I will try to dignify that with an answer, Mr. Speaker.

Germany, last I looked, was one of the leading capitalist countries of the world. It is leading Canada by a country mile. It is way ahead on solar power, way ahead on wind, and last time I looked, it was not a communist government.

Second, China has had to grapple with this for the precise reason my friend pointed out, that coal is causing harm to people's health. The economy has begun to react with a massive investment in things like solar and wind precisely because it has to. That is the point that seems lost on my friend.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise and speak to this issue about the necessity of starting to talk about putting a plan in place to build a true green economy. It is about putting workers back, front, and centre in the discussion on climate change, something that they have been left out of deliberately by both the Conservatives and Liberals for years.

In a low-carbon future there will still be oil and gas. We need to start looking at a credible transition, and that transition is important because Canada should not be known as the country that threw a generation of workers under the bus. Margaret Thatcher's government did that. I know the hagiography of the Conservatives for worshipping old iron lady, but the devastation that did to England, to a generation, we still see.

How do we get a credible transition? We could listen to the Conservatives, who are proving us correct in that people still believe the earth is flat. I will give the Conservatives credit, because they understand how important the oil and gas sector is economically. It is a major driver of our economy.

Canada is a petrostate and has been for a long time. A decision in this country to benefit the advancement of the petrostate makes sense from an economic point of view. The problem with my Conservative colleagues is the fact that we are reaching, and maybe we are reaching beyond, the tipping point of catastrophic climate change. Anybody who has a credible vision of the future knows we have to deal with that. The Conservatives will simply look at the financial aspect of oil and gas and say, “Keep drilling baby, keep drilling.”

I compare that to the Liberals. I have seen them on this issue for 14 years. They believe if they say nice things about the environment that things will get better. They have been telling us that we have to massively expand oil and gas in order to create another economy. That does not make any sense at all. Creating a new economy would require making investments.

I come from a working-class, resource-based region. When I talk to the workers who work in the mines, many of whom work up in Fort St. John and Fort McMurray on the flying crews, they tell me they are concerned about the state of our world and where we are going.

I was so proud to be in Edmonton talking with the IBEW workers, who are building a transition economy. They are building and doing the retraining. They asked me where the federal government was on getting serious. One IBEW worker said something to me that I thought was fascinating. He said when Stephen Harper said that Canada was going to be an energy superpower, he was right but he was wrong about what source of energy.

The greatest opportunity for solar in the world, bar none, is in south central Alberta and Saskatchewan. My friends in Calgary told me that the moment to start building a new economy was when the oil boom went bust. When the price of oil tanks, that is when investments should be made. The federal Liberals at that time did not make any investments because they were counting on Rachel Notley to do the job. Rachel Notley has done an amazing job in trying to put the pieces in place for a new economy but in order to get there a strong federal component is needed.

The Liberals tell us to just let them keep expanding oil and gas, to let them keep expanding emissions, and somehow that money will be used to create a new economy. It is simply not a credible response.

Then we saw the Kinder Morgan debacle. When the Texas oil company threw down this arbitrary ultimatum, it was telling Canadians that it was not going to build the pipeline, it wanted to be paid off. People at the beginning of major resistance to a project never say they are thinking of leaving. By doing that, they are guaranteed to face major resistance.

Why was there major resistance? It was because the Liberals did not answer the fundamental question of concern about safety on the B.C. coastline, where there is a strong and economic issue in terms of preserving that coastline. They did not answer the legitimate questions from indigenous peoples.

The Prime Minister had an opportunity to show leadership then by saying his government should sit down with the Notley government and the Horgan government, and with affected indigenous people, and ask them how to address the very legitimate concerns about a bitumen spill. The government could ask them how it could show it is actually serious about building a transition economy. Whenever we hear just economy, any worker I know says it means they are going to get thrown under the bus. Where is the money?

The government did not have any money for that. However, suddenly to appease Kinder Morgan, the investors, the Liberals had $4.5 billion to buy a pipeline that was built in 1953.

In 1953, the prime minister was Louis St. Laurent. He went down to defeat in that term on the famous TransCanada pipeline debate. The Liberals were so arrogant and they blew it so badly that they were tossed out of office. Now that the Liberals have bought themselves a 65-year old pipeline that leaks, they also have maybe bought themselves some pipeline karma.

Where were those $4.5 billion that could have been used in the downturn, in the collapse of the oil sector in Alberta when so many thousands of families were being affected? In the downturn, the Liberals could have said that it was time to start to build the transition, so they would will still have people working in oil and gas, but they would start to take advantage of huge opportunities in the green sector.

All we heard from the Liberals was that the environment and energy “go hand in hand”. Their environment minister went to Paris. She brought a huge camera crew with her, got a lot of photos, and said wonderful things. The Prime Minister said that Canada was back and he showed off his Haida tattoo. The Liberals ignored their own reports that said they were nowhere close to meeting the targets of Paris. They will not meet them because they brought in the same energy plan that Stephen Harper had.

We need to talk about the importance of getting serious about what a new economy looks like. That new economy involves workers who will be paid decent wages. Building that new economy is a conversation we have had in Leap. Other organizations talk about the “Leap Manifesto”. Leap is the beginning of a conversation. It is a conversation that has to include working class people, blue collar workers, the people who are on the front lines. They understand how a transition should work. We have seen none of this from the government. All we have heard is spin. Now it tells us that it has spent $4.5 billion, and we are all investors in a 65-year old leaky pipeline.

I can give the House another prediction. There is no way that the pipeline will be built by the government. Why? Who will overpay to cover up the cost of the existing pipeline for which we paid $4.5 billion, a pipeline that is worth only $2 billion, as my Conservative colleague pointed out?

Can we really see the Prime Minister sitting on a bulldozer, running through indigenous country? The Liberals can talk and they have the bluster. However, if the government really thinks that it will con anyone into believing it will be leading that pipeline through British Columbia, I would certainly not bet a cent on it

That leaves us with a question. We bought an old pipeline. Kinder Morgan has left. Alberta is still looking for a partner to start building the transition economy. The spin from the Liberals is not going to get us there, unless we as a House say that it is time we get serious about the impacts of catastrophic climate change facing our planet now, that we say we are going to build a future for workers and children. If the government can find $4.5 billion to buy a pipeline that was built in 1953, they can find $4.5 billion to work in partnerships with communities across the country to start building that transition.

In that transition, where we still have the oil and gas sector, we can start to say to the world that we actually are credible, that Canada is back. Right now, we have a lot of a talk from the Prime Minister. Canadians are on the hook for $4.5 billion, and no other pipeline will get built.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, when I look at my years of involvement in politics, one of the things we have attempted to overcome in the province of Manitoba is being called a “have not province”. We receive more money through equalization as a direct result of that. A province like Alberta has always paid into equalization. The reason Manitoba has found it more difficult compared to Alberta is because we do not have the oil revenues.

When we talk about what is in the best interest of the country, one thing that comes up is how we benefit as a society from the billions of dollars of revenue that Manitoba gets. When I look at health care, education, and even some of the green technology we are advancing, a lot of that money has come through royalties.

The Premier of Alberta, a New Democratic premier, agrees with what we are doing. If we did not acquire that pipeline, there would have been no pipeline. The Alberta NDP agreed with that. Why does the NDP continue to say how wonderful the NDP Premier of Alberta is, but always sidesteps the issue of the pipeline? Does the member believe the NDP Premier of Alberta is wrong to support Albertans and the Alberta economy? All Canadians benefit from this because it is in the national best interest. Is the premier wrong by supporting this or is the premier doing the responsible thing like the Government of Canada is doing?

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague has been here a long time. I am always surprised he does not understand basic conversation. The basic conversation we are having is that the environment and the economy of Alberta is the national interest, because so many workers are there. However, to create a transition economy, Alberta is not going to be left to do it by itself. Where is that commitment to those jobs? Where was that commitment when the oil boom went bust and Calgary and Edmonton were left on their own? The government had nothing for them.

He is trying to say that the Government of Alberta talked the federal government into buying a leaky pipeline. The Government of Alberta said that it needed an energy plan. Part of that is environment. The federal government failed on that and refused to address the legitimate issues. Now we are stuck with a leaky pipeline. If the member thinks his Prime Minister has the wherewithal and the vision to build a new pipeline to go parallel to that, who would invest in that? No private sector would invest. Is someone going to invest in a son of Pierre Elliott pipeline project? I do not think so.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Timmins—James Bay made a lot of good points about this pipeline. I want to put something to the House that I do not think anyone has raised yet, and that is the financing around this, which is pretty dodgy. We have to remember that Kinder Morgan was founded by Richard Kinder who was a senior executive of Enron.

Kinder Morgan had to go out on the open market. At a National Energy Board hearing, it said that all the money for the project would be raised by the parent company out of Houston. It raised about $1.7 billion from investors. About a year and a half ago, Richard Kinder told his shareholders that he used that money to pay down debt. Then it changed the corporate structure of the organization and had Kinder Morgan Canada stand alone and not as part of Kinder Morgan of Houston. They are related as a subsidiary. However, it is a pretty clear tell that Kinder Morgan was backing off the whole idea of building the expansion.

Therefore, the reason we are paying so much for an existing pipeline, which was never part of the problem, was the blackmail note from Kinder Morgan, falling due May 31. It was not about getting the ransom; it was about shooting the hostage. What it really wanted to do was get out of it and blame someone for that.

Our poor beknighted front benches over there were terrified of a press conference on May 31, in which Kinder Morgan would announce that the Prime Minister of Canada could not get it done, that the Minister of Finance could not get it done. We had the problem of an unwilling vendor, and we know one pays through the nose when one has an unwilling vendor.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. When Kinder Morgan gave that ultimatum and said “If you don't give us a really safe environment, we're leaving”, that meant it was leaving. The potential for confrontation was very clear.

We saw the Prime Minister jump up and say, “Before you go, we'll pay off all your investors to the tune of $4.5 billion.” That is the best payout. If I were the CEO, I am sure my investors would be giving me a slap on the back for that. That is a heck of a lot of money to pay for such little effort.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Kent Hehr Liberal Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have had the pleasure of listening to the debate, and I am buoyed by the robust spirit of everyone who has been participating.

I have ever-more confidence in the government's position on how we move the economy forward, as well as leave a better planet for our kids down the road. We can truly walk and chew gum at the same time, unlike the Conservative opposition and many of the members in the New Democratic Party.

The real truth of the matter is that our government is moving forward in the only way possible, seeing these issues through the lens of what we need to do, both today and tomorrow, by supporting a strong economy.

We support a strong economy by doing exactly what we have done in regard to the Trans Mountain pipeline and by ensuring we get Alberta oil to tidewater. This has been very important. The former government, despite 10 years of trying, could not do that. It could not access new markets for our oil from that province, and the reason is clear. The former Conservative government did not understand climate change or the notion that people were looking at pricing pollution as being a responsible way forward.

My New Democratic friends simply do not understand that having access to tidewater allows us to get a fair price on the international markets. It will allow us to get prices to have that revenue of roughly $15 billion a year, allowing us to move forward.

We can use that money to not only to invest in public services, but also to invest in the transition from a fossil fuel economy to one that is cleaner, greener, and more vibrant. Without those investments, without a strong economy, we will not go anywhere. Let us also remember that the TMX project would have good-paying jobs, over 15,000 construction jobs. That is a lot, and they are good-paying jobs that will remain even after the pipeline is built. They will still be jobs be available for people.

I am very surprised at the NDP position, frankly, considering the New Democratic Government of Alberta, led by a good friend of mine, Rachel Notley, sees both the economy and environment in similar fashion to that of the national government. It knows that in order to have these two propositions, people need to work, we need to bring in revenue, and we need to have the economy grow. At the same point in time, it understands that putting a price on pollution is the only way forward. Alberta has done that through embracing carbon pricing, phasing out coal, through energy efficiencies and encouraging moving to a sustainable economy, while ensuring Alberta gets its oil to tidewater. It is remarkable how my New Democrat friends do not see that.

As for my Conservative friends, they want to hit the targets in the Paris agreement. The Conservatives have said that. The most efficient way to do this, if they truly want to do something about climate change, is through carbon pricing.

Preston Manning, a good to friend to many on that side of the House, has said that if the Conservatives want to do something about climate change, they should look at carbon pricing. The Conservatives can use Google. They can hit the computer screen and ask how they can do something about carbon, how they can move the private marketplace, which they are always talk about, and how they can do something about the environment, carbon emissions. That would be a market solution. I would suggest the Conservatives utilize Google. I have been trying it a little. I am getting a touch smarter, not in all cases but I am trying.

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

It being 5:30 p.m., pursuant to order made Tuesday, May 29, it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings.

Pursuant to an order made earlier today, all questions necessary to dispose of the opposition motion are deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred until Wednesday, June 13, at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.

It being 5:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of private members' business as listed on today's Order Paper.

[For continuation of proceedings see part B]

[ Continuation of proceedings from part A]

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ramesh Sangha Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

moved that Bill C-344, an act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act (community benefit), be read the third time and passed.

Mr. Speaker, today is a proud moment for me, because my private member's bill, Bill C-344, is now up for third reading.

The purpose of Bill C-344 is to amend section 20 of the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act. The bill would stand for community benefits, CBAs, and if passed, would give special power to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, with an authority to require assessment of the benefits that a community derives from a project in which federal investment is made.

I introduced the bill with the motivation that it would be beneficial for the community at large. The community benefit agreement is a new approach to development and growth in projects across Canada. CBAs would create community wealth, social values, quality jobs, and a healthier environment.

Bill C-344 would amend section 20 of the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act by providing the minister with the authority and flexibility to require successful bidders on federal construction maintenance and repair projects to provide information on community benefits. At the behest of the minister, a successful bidder would be required to outline the benefits a project is providing to the community, whether those benefits be through employment, social infrastructure, or other means.

The minister would collect the data from successful bidders and use the same to help update further procurement modernizations. The bill would ensure that the government is receiving best value for Canadians. CBAs would enable the minister to formulate agreements with federal infrastructure developers, with added input from community groups. It would also require the minister to annually report to Parliament as to what community benefits have been implemented.

The mandate letter to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement asks that the minister make procurement practices simpler and less administratively burdensome, deploy modern comptrollership, and include practices that support green and social procurement. As legislators, it is our duty to work for the benefit and betterment of communities, towards inclusiveness and their participation in projects.

We all know that acquiring skills is a prerequisite for meaningful employment, especially for women and youth within our communities. The main result of meaningful employment is restoration of dignity and meaningful development for individuals. In other words, when we strive to build physical infrastructure, at the same time we must aspire to look at the development of social infrastructure, which leads to inner well-being and can be called the inner infrastructure of an individual. Federal infrastructure investments, when shared with communities, will foster ownership of a project and as a result create a sense of pride for the individuals who participated.

I have looked into the primary arguments brought up by some members that this proposed legislation may create additional red tape. However, let us not forget that the major benefits of CBAs are not only that they allow local communities to benefit financially, but also that they give them an opportunity to provide their input and innovative ideas as to how delays, if any, can be minimized.

No one is suggesting that the rules and regulations must be optional or should be ignored, but the CBA concept will give the opportunity to provide services efficiently. Comprehensive consultations with communities will reduce the red tape for small and medium-sized businesses and further accelerate the approval process. Local communities will work to enhance the process of a project because it is for their own benefit. Thereby, CBAs can result in services being delivered without delay.

I'm certain that all of us are committed to strengthening our communities, and one way of realizing this vision is to enrich communities through collaboration and meaningful participation. For communities, the opportunities to apply their skills in local projects will ultimately generate a sense of pride and ownership.

Our government has committed billions of dollars over the next several years to infrastructure investments. The primary purpose of these infrastructure investments is for jobs and economic growth for the middle class and for those working hard to join it.

I am convinced, and I am sure that members will be with me in saying that meaningful employment is one method to achieve this. That is the way. Now it is time that we see the importance of inclusiveness through skills training, meaningful employment, and communities taking ownership of these infrastructure investments as a step towards the eradication of poverty and the promotion of social harmony.

Some of us may think that we have placed added constraints on contractors by addressing community inclusion during the bidding process. However, this is false because this process is very simple. The successful bidder will be bound to provide information to the minister, and the involvement of the minister will make the process simple.

Furthermore, there will be more accountability for Canadian tax dollars. The minister will not only have more involvement in the project, but will also be accountable to Parliament and taxpayers.

From the consultation process in my riding, what I have gathered by speaking to members of the community and to contractors is that CBAs will be welcomed by everyone, because they will ultimately promote socio-economic benefits for communities. Needless to say, this concept has been tried and successfully proven in many cities, provinces, and countries, like Ontario and the United States of America.

Bill C-344 would require the government to implement the modernization of the government procurement process. It would state to businesses and communities that we are managing procurement effectively to achieve broader socio-economic goals, while making it faster to do business with the federal government.

Let it remain clear that the purpose of Bill C-344 is to better our communities by creating a sense of community participation. Motivation in the communities will come by way of collaboration and ownership in the project. Skill training opportunities, employment, jobs, and additional benefits to communities are all reasons for the CBA. It is a win-win situation.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Darrell Samson Liberal Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook, NS

Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague and seatmate for his focus on benefits to support his community. That is the type of leadership that we look for, to identify projects that will not only benefit our local community, riding, or province, but the country. The bill does exactly that.

How will this CBA benefit communities across Canada?

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ramesh Sangha Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, as I said in my statement, the CBA is a matter that will allow the community to participate in the project. It will give an opportunity to every Canadian, every person or stakeholder to participate in the projects that are running in their local area and that will give them a sense of ownership and inclusiveness. They will also feel that they have accomplished something when the projects are over. That gives not only job opportunities and more valuable jobs and raises the socio-economic status of individuals, but also gives them inner strength.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Speaker, could my colleague provide the House with a definition of community benefit and perhaps a list of benefits that would be considered when awarding a project?

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Ramesh Sangha Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, these community benefits are the benefits that are going to be provided by the agreement that is going to be executed between the government, the successful bidder, and the community at large. They will all come into contact and see local communities will benefit. The type of benefit to the local communities could be an apprenticeship, training to local communities, or employment in local communities. These communities will be benefiting from the contracts and that is a win-win situation for communities locally.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Spadina—Fort York Ontario

Liberal

Adam Vaughan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families

Madam Speaker, we have a community housing project in our riding that is currently under construction and I am wondering if the member opposite would agree. We have managed to acquire 68 apprenticeships for young people in a marginalized community, racialized youth who are now working in the building trades, working toward getting their full papers. In one case, one of the young people, instead of renting a home in the neighbourhood, has now bought a house across the street from the project.

One of the problems we have encountered though is that the local civic union has opposed these apprenticeship programs as “free labour” even though they are being paid to private labour standards. Has the member opposite had conversations with the Canadian Labour Congress to try to get some of the unions involved in this process to make sure marginalized youth, youth who are having trouble accessing the job market and training, are embraced by the union movement and brought into the union movement through this apprenticeship and local benefits program?

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

5:45 p.m.

Liberal

Ramesh Sangha Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, my colleague is always very thoughtful on the file regarding the national housing strategy and all issues related to that.

Yes, during my consultations in my community and during the study of this bill, I had to go through different types of organizations and we have seen that the Vancouver board of trade and other boards of trade have accepted the benefits that are going to be derived from the CBAs. They are ready and they are with us.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

5:45 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Madam Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to speak to Bill C-344, an act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act regarding community benefit. While this bill has commendable intentions, it is my great concern that it will actually have a negative impact on our communities and the small and medium-sized construction businesses that employ so many Canadians. In my opinion, this private member's bill continues the Liberals' assault on SMEs by adding another layer of red tape to federal government contracts.

Just last week, I spoke on Bill C-69 and the Liberals' changes to the Navigation Protection Act contained within that bill. Like Bill C-344, the changes to the NPA would add more red tape and cost for project proponents and the construction companies that do the work. While this private member's bill may be smaller in scope and thereby seen as less problematic for small and medium-sized businesses than the government's omnibus bill, Bill C-69, it still reflects a worrying trend by the government.

The Liberals' mentality seems to be that they can add any amount of new taxes on businesses and that it will have no effect on their bottom line or the price they charge their customers or, on this occasion, that they can attach any amount of red tape on businesses' activities and they will happily absorb the administrative burden. This is not the case. There are consequences every time a government does this, just as there are benefits every time a government reduces taxes or cuts red tape for job-creating small and medium-sized businesses. If passed, this bill would pertain to those projects and the subsequent contracts awarded by the federal Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

I will talk about the substance of narrow scope of the bill in a minute, but for the moment, I will speculate about why the Liberals, through this private member's bill, have limited the application of the bill in such a way. It could be that the Liberals actually know that applying these principles more broadly would generate a larger backlash among the construction industry and the many partners that often work with the federal government to fund projects. It could be that Liberals want to use this private member's bill as a virtue-signalling talking point in order to win over a certain segment of the population. It could also be that some Liberals actually realize that slapping this requirement onto all federally funded projects would have a negative impact on the construction industry, as I have already identified, and as a result, they have decided to limit the damage to a more narrowly defined category of projects.

As I mentioned earlier, this private member's bill covers a limited number of projects and contracts of which the federal government is a partner. This private member's bill would amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act and would not apply to the projects that the federal government supports through the department of infrastructure. Still, the government's support of this bill is something that the construction industry and the federal government's partners should be aware of and concerned about.

Looking at the substance of the bill in a bit more detail, I find the level of ambiguity contained in Bill C-344 troubling. In clause 1 of the bill, the section creating new subclause 20.1(2) states, “The Minister may, before awarding a contract for the construction, maintenance or repair of public works, federal real property or federal immovables, require bidders on the proposal to provide information on the community benefits to be derived from the project.” First, this clause says, “The Minister may”. “May” is a small word, but it sure has huge implications. Right there, we have uncertainty. This rule will not be constant. How will bidders know if this requirement will be applied?

Next, the new subclause 20.1(3) states, “A contracting party shall, upon request by the Minister, provide the Minister with an assessment as to whether community benefits have derived from the project.” Here we have more ambiguity, particularly in the needlessly vague and nebulous term “community benefit”. How is a bidder to determine what constitutes “community benefit”?

As we heard from the question I asked the sponsor of this bill, he could provide no definition. How is a bidder to know whether said benefit will meet whatever subjective criterion the minister choses to employ? When the bill states, “upon request by the Minister”, there is no certainty for the bidders or ultimately the successful bidder. This means that if this bill were to pass, people bidding on a contract will have to price into their bid the risk of being required to do or produce what the minister wants without knowing what that may be.

As I said at the beginning of my speech, I think the intent behind Bill C-344 is commendable. However, it leaves me wondering how the Liberals feel about charity and social responsibility, and whether they have considered the law of unintended consequences.

I would like to quote from Michael Atkinson, President of the Canadian Construction Association, who appeared before the transport, infrastructure and communities committee when this bill was being studied.

Regarding corporate social responsibility, Mr. Atkinson stated:

Corporate social responsibility is becoming something that we are looking at very earnestly in our industry. It's a very important part of doing business today. We have a how-to guide coming out for our contracting members in the industry, but CSR is not social procurement. CSR is a voluntary program that a corporate entity takes on to ensure that what it does as a company meets environmental sensibilities, good HR practices, etc. Social procurement is a government coming out and saying, “If you want to do business with us, then you have to have a CSR policy.” I think that's a very important difference.

Mr. Atkinson highlights a very important distinction. Businesses in general, and many companies in the construction industry, already make investments in their local communities as part of their commitment to corporate social responsibility. I believe that it is important that in this conversation about community benefit, we do not minimize the benefit that communities are already receiving from businesses of all sizes. The picture painted by those in the Liberal Party and the NDP is that corporate Canada simply takes. Nothing could be further from the truth. Corporations, big and small, give back to their communities. They provide jobs to families in the communities in which they operate. However, beside this very basic economic support, small, medium and large businesses sponsor community events, support local infrastructure, and provide support to non-profit community groups like sports teams. They do this not out of obligation or necessity but out of an appreciation for the community they work and operate in, and sometimes live in, because they know they are part of the community. They do not need to be told how to be good corporate citizens. Most already are.

Of the reasons that I will not be supporting Bill C-344, the most notable are that I believe it minimizes the support and benefits that already accrue to communities when a project is undertaken in their backyard, that it is needlessly ambiguous, and that it fails to consider the unintended consequences that may arise from its implementation.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

5:55 p.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise and speak to Bill C-344 about amending the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act regarding the issue of putting in community benefit agreements.

I am very interested in the proposal. I want to speak to it from a rural perspective, from a northern industrial perspective, and then from an urban perspective. We are dealing with differing issues.

In terms of rural issues, and I represent a region that is bigger than Great Britain, infrastructure investments by the federal government are extremely important. Over the last number of years, our region has been left to fall behind, as the government has not kept up its commitments at the federal level.

I am very pleased that since 2015, my region of Timmins—James Bay was the third-largest in the country in terms of the number of projects that were approved. These are good investments. Whether it was Timmins Transit or investing in local bridges, these kinds of investments have a clear community benefit. In a rural region, in some of our small northern communities, putting another layer on an analysis coming forward on why a project is important could be difficult. These are legitimate questions, because many of our small municipalities have to outsource. They do not have the in-house engineering. This would be a question.

In terms of when we do development in the north, we have a number of major infrastructure projects that require government investment. An example is the four-laning of Highway 11-17, which is the major trucker route across Canada. All goods across this country travel through northern Ontario on winding two-lane roads that are often very dangerous, particularly in winter. The federal government treats this as local. They treat it as provincial. However, this is part of national infrastructure, and we need to see an investment there.

I represent regions that are very involved in the mining sector. In the last 12 years, there has been a complete transformation of how mining agreements are put together. The mining sector understands that if it is going to have development in the north, it needs social license. It needs to have a clear commitment to indigenous communities, so impact benefit agreements have become the norm.

When I was working for the Algonquin nation in Quebec, in 2001-02, companies refused to meet. There was a lot of confrontation in the forest, because the right of communities to benefit from the resources on their traditional territory was a principle that had to be understood. I can say that from my talks with the mining sector and indigenous communities now, these agreements are starting to transform, economically, many communities that had been left on the margins.

My good friend, Chief Walter Naveau, of the Mattagami First Nation, said that the government always talks about their sitting at the table, but for all their lives, they were not even allowed to look in the window. That has changed, but government is still not at the table most of the time. I will say that industry will come to the table much sooner than government will ever come to the table in terms of developing a coherent plan for the development of resources and the development of communities in the indigenous territories in my region of Treaty No. 9.

I want to talk about the benefit of this in larger urban areas. If we are looking at major investments, such as in public transit, a community benefit agreement should be fundamental to the discussion. We can talk about the Eglinton LRT. That is a massive investment in a city that has been choked with traffic, where people are being forced out of neighbourhoods because of high prices. Many of the people I know who grew up in Toronto cannot even afford to live in the city where they work anymore. They have to commute back to their own cites, because they cannot afford livable neighbourhoods. My old neighbourhood of Riverdale, which was a beautiful mixed working-class neighbourhood, has become a neighbourhood very much for the super-rich, particularly closer to the Don Valley.

When we are looking at the government putting $1 billion or $2 billion into an LRT or a subway in any city across Canada, we can ask who is going to benefit. Right off the bat, real estate speculators will be along that line, because they know that if they have real estate there, that real estate will dramatically bump in value, because there is good access to good urban transit. We could say to a city like Toronto that we will invest at the federal government level in a plan like the LRT. However, there will need to be some set aside so that we can have community housing and mixed-income housing.

That would be a fair trade-off for the massive investments the federal government makes to ensure that there is some kind of quid pro quo so that it is not just the speculators and the real estate developers who are going to make out from this infrastructure. Working families could still have access to neighbourhoods that are liveable and have access to good-quality public transit. That is where a community benefit agreement would be a very reasonable thing to bring to the table. It would not be onerous, because we are dealing with urban areas and a much larger size, where this kind of planning could be done in a coherent manner.

However, I have a number of concerns about the bill in terms of the lack of clarity and where we would need much clearer reporting mechanisms and transparency. If we are going to have a credible community benefit agreement plan, it cannot be just tick the box. Whenever a company just has to tick the box, or a large municipality just has to say that it did it and it is done, we do not know what that benefit is.

If we are looking at economies of scale, such as for a major investment in urban public transit, we are going to need clear accountability mechanisms to say that it is a credible community benefit agreement. Part of that requires consultation. I am very worried about the lack of obligation for consultation, because the consultation process would involve a community. An investment in, say, a major bridge in an urban area may have an impact on the community. Does the community have a credible response? Can we do this in a reasonable manner?

I think we would be looking at much more progressive notions of urban development if we had a strong, transparent, usable community benefit system in place. That being said, we would have to also look at the economies of scale in terms of smaller communities. For example, the federal government may invest in the community of Iroquois Falls in changing its sewage and water. Would we need to put an extra level of negotiation on that? We probably would not, because the benefit would be clear. Building that community infrastructure would benefit that community.

The other argument we could bring to this, of course, is the question of whether communities need more control over how they utilize federal investment. Federal investment can be very limited and very targeted to meet federal criteria but not necessarily municipal criteria.

For example, in the city of Timmins, there has been a plan to build an aquatic centre to serve the needs of people who will move to the city to meet a growing city need, but there is no federal program to deal with programs like building an aquatic centre. All that cost would be put on the ratepayers, which is an enormous cost for a mid-sized municipality to undertake. There would be a clear community benefit. In the case of the city of Timmins, if the city believed that it was in the city's interest to build that aquatic centre, and it could work with the feds and the province on it, there would be a long-term benefit for the community. This is something we should look at.

Having looked at the bill, there are some very interesting aspects of it. I think we need to look at it going forward. We need to have a little bit of flexibility between rural and mid-sized communities and large, urban municipalities. We need to be able to put a lens on it in terms of whether it is an indigenous community or not.

Public works has been an institution that has been very reluctant to apply a community lens to projects that would have a major community impact. There are a number of projects that could move forward with new kinds of partnerships, such as indigenous and municipal, working together to build community infrastructure.

When we talk about community benefits, that lens should be applied to those kinds of federal projects. If they were under the municipalities, I would leave mid-sized and smaller municipalities to handle what they know how to do. For larger urban municipalities, if we were doing major investments, we would talk about how it would benefit the whole region, because that would be a major financial investment. How would we do this with indigenous communities? It is possible. I am very interested in this bill going forward.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

6:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ruby Sahota Liberal Brampton North, ON

Madam Speaker, I am very honoured to be speaking to this private member's bill today, which is sponsored by the member for Brampton Centre. He is a neighbour of mine in the city of Brampton.

The member for York South—Weston first laid the groundwork for this very important piece of legislation.

I believe this legislation is a stepping stone. Public procurement spends about $15 billion a year in maintenance and upgrades, and that is a big chunk of money. The government should be thinking about how it is spent, where it goes, and what benefits end up coming to the community.

I have heard from a few members that the definition of a CBA, a community benefit agreement, is not clear. The Mowat Centre Atkinson Foundation defines community benefit agreements as:

...formal agreements between a real estate or infrastructure developer and a coalition that reflects and represents people who are affected by a large development project. The agreement outlines the benefits the community will enjoy from the project. These benefits usually include some combination of jobs, training or apprenticeships, business opportunities as well as neighbourhood improvements. Where the development includes residential construction, affordable housing can be a benefit negotiated through this process. Most agreements reflect the interests of people who are not already benefiting from economic growth, such as young workers, newcomers, foreign-trained professionals and low-income communities and send opportunities their way.

This is a fantastic step. It is not overly cumbersome, either, which I have been hearing as well. A lot of discretion would be given to the minister to ask any company taking over a bid about the benefits it foresaw for the community. There would be no required minimums or maximums. The minister could see what was fit for a rural area or an urban area, such as the one I live in, which has high growth. After assessing that, the minister could go back to the person who won the bid to see whether there was actually a benefit for that community. Parliament would learn of that benefit, because a report would be tabled in Parliament.

That is fantastic. The government should know the effects it is having in communities. At the end of the day, every dollar we spend should be benefiting Canadians.

I sometimes hear a lot of frustration in communities from people who feel that there is a lot of work going on, but it is not helping them. This frustration will continue to grow unless we think first about the people living in communities.

This is a wonderful step in thinking about those people first and for companies that are working on a bridge, or some kind of construction project, to factor in the area they are working in and to build relationships with the local communities.

We saw this relationship building in our government's supercluster program. When businesses are led to communities, research institutions, and academic institutions, they build relationships, not just for a given project but sometimes for the long term. The effects can be incredible.

We have not seem many CBAs in Canada, although there are some at the municipal level. Regent Park was involved in a CBA project. I have heard that there are quite a lot in U.S. Since the nineties, America has been entering into CBAs, and a lot of them have been quite successful.

One I would like to highlight today is a community benefit agreement signed by Hill District, in Pittsburgh, in 2008. Local Pittsburgh groups brokered the city's first CBA with the developers and operators of the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is hockey, which is something we can really understand here in Canada. In exchange for supporting a new arena for the hockey team, the agreement provided $8.3 million in neighbourhood improvements and set benchmarks for local hiring, liveable wages, and protections for workers to organize. The agreement also called for the development of a grocery store and a youth centre.

In that example of Pittsburgh, we can see the potential this private member's bill could have on communities in Canada, especially for a city like Brampton. It is the ninth largest city in the country and is experiencing exponential growth. The population is growing faster than we can keep up with infrastructure. I am hoping as we plant this seed, since this is just for Public Services and Procurement, that other departments and ministries also see the benefit of looking at projects through this lens and knowing where the money and the benefits will go.

There is frustration when we see money going into projects overseas or into the hands of big corporations and not necessarily trickling down to the little guy. That is when people feel a lot of pain and that they are not part of the decision-making process, and something like this would make them feel part of the process. Someone would have to consult the communities, find out what their needs are, and we would no longer just have somebody moving in and doing what they think is right. Rather, we would have a perspective and an understanding from that community. Whether the involvement is direct, through employment on that project, or through building a park or a youth centre, the options are limitless and it is heading us down a road that would be mutually beneficial to all Canadians.

That is the type of inclusive Canada we would like to build. The government is committed to making sure the money we spend benefits the people who put us in office.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

6:10 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise once again to speak to Bill C-344, an act to amend the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act.

This private member's bill reminds me of a proverb, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. The saying is thought to have originated with St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who wrote in 1150, “Hell is full of good wishes or desires.” An earlier saying occurs in Virgil's Aeneid. He wrote, “facilis descensus Averno” or “the descent into hell is easy.” This phrase has been used in the writings of Brontë, Lord Byron, Samuel Johnson, and Kierkegaard. For my NDP colleagues, Karl Marx used it in his writings. Even Ozzy Osbourne used it in his song Tonight and now we have it in Hansard.

I am sure the bill's author was well intended with this legislation. Who would not want a community benefit from government infrastructure or spending? In a way it is redundant. I want to read the definition as they have it listed: “For the purposes of this section, community benefit means a social, economic or environmental benefit that a community derives from a construction, maintenance or repair project, and includes job creation and training opportunities”, etc.

The very fact that government money is being spent in a community is obviously an economic benefit. The very fact maintenance or repair work is being done means that it is a benefit to the community. Government by its very nature does many things incorrectly but I am sure the government is not out there breaking up infrastructure, putting potholes in the road, or wrecking bridges with their spending.

Let us look at the two main problems of this legislation. Let me mention proposed subsection 20.1(2), under “Community benefit—requirement”:

The Minister may, before awarding a contract for the construction, maintenance or repair of public works, federal real property or federal immovables, require bidders on the proposal to provide information on the community benefits to be derived from the project.

It does not state the minister “will” or the minister “must” or the minister under these circumstances does it. It states “may”. Why would we allow a minister to interfere when there is no criteria? Why would we give a minister the power to decide when he or she wishes to require the community benefits? Why would we allow this?

Here is a good reason not to. Two words that we are hearing in the House right now are “clam scam”. The Minister of Fisheries is being investigated by the Ethics Commissioner. The finance minister has also been investigated as has the Prime Minister. The member for Calgary Centre has been investigated for using office resources for his father's municipal election, and the member for Brampton East was investigated for the scandal in India.

Let me get back to “clam scam”. The Minister of Fisheries interfered with the awarding of a very lucrative contract to a company owned by a brother of a sitting MP, and a former MP is on the leadership team of that company, as is a member of his family.

Here we are allowing a minister to interfere at will for no defined reason in awarding a government contract. I wonder if the fisheries minister is going to stand up and claim community benefits as an excuse for directing a contract to be awarded to a Liberal family member.

Here is another way we are on the path of good intentions taking us somewhere rather warmer and muggier than Ottawa in the summer. Under "Report to Minister”, the bill states, “A contracting party shall, upon request by the Minister, provide the Minister with an assessment as to whether community benefits have derived from the project.”

Again, there is no metrics attached at all here. There is no trigger for the minister to suddenly demand more work to be added to the contractor. Why is this a problem? It is the added burden of uncertainty for our contractors, the added burden of red tape. Why is this important? We are studying the effects of the government's procurement process on small and medium enterprises right now in the operations and estimates committee, also known as OGGO.

We have heard again and again from witnesses, from indigenous businesses, small businesses led by women, regular everyday businesses, that they are drowning under red tape, that the way the government sets up its procurement process excludes a large portion of our small and medium enterprises that just do not have the money to jump through all the hoops that the government requires for bidding on its contracts. They also say the same thing. The red tape and the bidding process makes it difficult and costly to participate, yet here we have a bill that will add random ministerial interference and random uncertainty.

This is what the procurement ombudsman has to say about our current process. This is from his annual report, “Reviews of supplier complaints”. One of the complaints is, “The methodology used for calculating the bid did not reflect the true scope of the project”. However, here we have, under Bill C-344, that the minister “may” decide to change the bidding requirements, not “will” but “may” at his or her whim.

Another complaint is, “The [system] used to evaluate bids had a negative impact on the Complainant's bid”. Again, we could have a bidder being required to submit information on undefined community benefits. What if someone puts through the community benefit as “I am hiring two extra people” but the minister decides that the point system is going to be “I want the community benefit to show a park added”? The uncertainty of the bill will hurt small and medium enterprises.

Another complaint is, “The federal organization did not provide enough time for the supplier to prepare and submit a bid”. Here we could have a person bidding on Buyandsell.gc.ca who has a small company and just enough resources to bid, and all of a sudden, out of the blue, the minister requires them to provide community benefit information, barring them from bidding.

“There was an inappropriate allocation of points regarding the scoring of a rated criterion”. We often use the point system for how we are awarding the bids. Sometimes it is based on low cost. Sometimes it is based on costs plus the amount of indigenous benefits. Sometimes it is costs plus work experience. This adds a completely unknown factor in.

These are all items brought up by the procurement ombudsman, and there are many more.

We had a visit from a parliamentary group from Vietnam to the OGGO committee. This committee that came and visited us from Vietnam was its version of the operations and estimates committee. We were chatting through interpreters, and one of them asked me if we had ever passed legislation without considering the cost on taxpayers because they had not. Members should keep in mind that Vietnam is a communist country. They were dumbfounded that we would be considering a law before we measured the impact on taxpayers. Can members imagine that a communist Vietnam is more concerned about our taxpayers than the current Liberal government?

We would think that surely the government would take a look and do a study of what the added costs would be, perhaps emulating what the communist Government of Vietnam would do. We did an ATIP request and asked the government if it studied the issue. We were told, “I regret to inform you that a search of the records under the control of ESDC has revealed that no records exist in response to your request.” Therefore, the official version is that the government did not study it.

We had the minister of procurement, PSPC, at committee. We asked her repeatedly, and her deputy, if they had studied the effects of Bill C-344 with respect to added costs to taxpayers, or added costs or difficulties with respect to the people bidding. Would it add costs? How it is going to affect small business people? How will it affect taxpayers? The deputy minister told us, with respect to Bill C-344, that it was merely info gathering.

Here we have a private member's bill trying to change how we actually procure from small businesses, which we know is a mess. It is bad enough that we have actually spent about three months studying the issue in operations. Here we have a bill that will allow the government, the minister, to interfere at will without any metrics on why. Then we have her deputy minister tell us that it was merely info gathering.

Why would we need a bill for info gathering? If it is just a bill for info gathering, why would we add this burden onto our small and medium enterprises, why are there added costs, and why would we even need this bill at all?

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Before I resume debate, I want to advise the next speaker that unfortunately I will have to interrupt him in a few minutes. Therefore, he will have about three minutes to speak on this bill.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Elmwood—Transcona.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise and use the little time I have to address Bill C-344 with respect to community benefit agreements for certain infrastructure projects embarked on by the federal government.

Why is that a good idea? If we were to canvass most Canadians, they would say that when public money is spent, they are interested in accruing the maximum benefits for communities in Canada, whether that has to do with a focus on hiring local people, or having some of the funding and investment of projects going to local communities, or ensuring that local suppliers receive the work or that members of disadvantaged communities provide goods and services in accordance with the needs of those public investments. Canadians would be interested in that public money going to communities and people as opposed to going to companies that would release that money to other parts of the country or, indeed, other parts of the world.

Canadians understand that when they invest their tax dollars in a way that improves communities and keeps the money in their communities so that the spinoff from public investment is even greater than it would otherwise be, that is money well spent and the most efficient way to spend public money.

This bill is good in that it sets us down that road, but it is the most minimal of steps that one could take in that direction.

The language of the bill talks about how the minister may require a community benefit assessment, but it is not actually required. If the minister chooses not to apply that rubric, and it is completely at the discretion of the minister, then we will not see the benefits. The discretion of the minister is an important weakness in the bill.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

6:20 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I apologize for having to cut the member's speech so short. Unfortunately, it is time for the right of reply by the hon. member for Brampton Centre, for five minutes.

The hon. member for Brampton Centre.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ramesh Sangha Liberal Brampton Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleagues for their broad analysis and support for this bill, except for the few who are not ready to agree. It is clear that Bill C-344 would strengthen federal community investments delivered to constituents throughout the country.

Community benefit agreements are an innovative approach to empowering local communities to partner with developers in order to counter local challenges. CBAs can be used to address economic development and growth and environmental sustainability in regions across Canada. This includes local job creation, apprenticeships, affordable housing, education, support for seniors, and other vital benefits that communities recognize.

Bill C-344 would allow for broad consultations with communities across Canada, thus strengthening local infrastructure investments. The bill also aims to reduce delays for small and medium-sized businesses and accelerate the approval process for federal repair and construction projects. Moreover, the idea of community benefit agreements is supported by numerous business groups and organizations across Canada, including the Toronto Region Board of Trade, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, etc.

Bill C-344 is about implementing community benefit agreements into the federal jurisdiction. This would ensure that the Government of Canada exercises leadership in implementing CBAs in communities across Canada. Ultimately, CBAs would create the foundation for communities to receive their fair share of federal infrastructure investments. This will ensure that communities have steady growth and meaningful employment. Furthermore, it is about ensuring that upcoming federal projects involving the construction, maintenance, or repair of projects will result in community benefits for all Canadians.

Bill C-344 would ensure communities across Canada can have access to enhanced infrastructure developments, thus creating opportunities for local economies to prosper. I therefore ask all hon. members of the House to let dignity take root. Let us work for the betterment of our communities. I humbly urge all hon. members to support Bill C-344.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 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?

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

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

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

All those opposed will please say nay.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Department of Public Works and Government Services ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Pursuant to order made Tuesday, May 29, 2018, the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, June 13, 2018, at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.

The House resumed from June 11 consideration of Bill C-68, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Fisheries ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB