House of Commons Hansard #315 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was pricing.


Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3:10 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It sounds like debate and not a point of order. Ministers are able, under the rules, to table documents and describe them.

The hon. member for Abbotsford is rising on another point of order.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3:10 p.m.


Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. As you know, all of us do our best to be truth-tellers in this House. Today in this House was a great disappointment for many of us, certainly on this side of the House, who believe in the truth. It was the Minister of Environment who today suggested that British Columbia has a revenue-neutral carbon tax. That is false. Under the—

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3:10 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Again, I am afraid we are into debate here.

The hon. member for Flamborough—Glanbrook is rising on what I suspect is a point of order.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.


David Sweet Conservative Flamborough—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, with the greatest of respect, I was wondering if I could ask you to review the tapes.

Earlier, the member for Vancouver Kingsway made a comment that was general to the Liberal bench, and you called him out for that. Just previous to that, the member for Fredericton made a very egregious remark, not through you, Mr. Speaker, but directly to the member for Thornhill. I feel if one is worthy of being called out, the other one should be as well.

With all due respect, Mr. Speaker, I wonder if you could review the video and peruse your decision there.

Oral QuestionsPoints of OrderOral Questions

3:10 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I thank the hon. member for raising this point. I will review the video.

Business of the HouseOral Questions

3:10 p.m.


Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, with the end of the parliamentary session approaching, can the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons tell us what business the government has for the rest of this week and next week?

Business of the HouseOral Questions

June 14th, 2018 / 3:10 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario


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

Mr. Speaker, this afternoon, we will finish debating the last opposition day motion in this supply cycle. Then, we will debate the main estimates.

Tomorrow morning, we will begin third reading of Bill C-68 on fisheries.

Next week will be a a busy one. Priority will be given to the following bills: Bill C-45 on cannabis, Bill C-59 on national security, Bill C-64 on abandoned vessels, Bill C-69 on environmental assessments, and Bill C-71 on firearms.

Hon. Member for OutremontOral Questions

3:10 p.m.


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

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to recognize the hard work of the member for Outremont, who will soon be leaving the House.

I met the member for Outremont for the first time in September 2007 during the Outremont byelection. Of course, I knew him by reputation since he had been the representative for Chomedey in the Quebec National Assembly and then the Quebec environment minister.

At that time, I was told that his personality reflected his Irish ancestry, and that is true. I was told that he had an innate sense of politics that he had inherited from his great-great grandfather, Honoré Mercier, the ninth premier of Quebec, and that is true too. I was also told that, like his mentor Claude Ryan, he could assimilate and synthesize the news and quickly determine what the political implications would be, and that is also true.

What I did find, canvassing with the member for Outremont in the streets of Outremont in 2007, was a man who had, and still has, the rare ability to connect with people in the street or at home and to make them feel totally that he understands them and that he will fight for them. Fight he did, first in winning a riding that pundits never tired of calling an unassailable Liberal fortress, then in confirming that win in the 2008 general election, proving that the by-election was not a fluke.

He spent the next three years advising Jack Layton in the context of a fragile minority government in which the NDP held the balance of power. During that time, he sowed the seeds that blossomed into the great orange wave of 2011.

Then came the tragic death of Jack Layton, and that changed everything.

The member for Outremont defied the odds to succeed him at the helm of the official opposition, providing the guidance, the stability, and the discipline we needed as the then government in waiting.

Many pundits dismissed us as a bunch of newcomers who were held together by Jack and said we would crumble after his passing, but under the leadership of the member for Outremont, we were often referred to as one of the most effective official oppositions. His prosecution day after day after day of the Stephen Harper government has been a hallmark in parliamentary history.

The 2015 general election results were a disappointment, and I know nobody was more disappointed than him. I also know he gave his all to the campaign and that, true to his Irish roots, his devotion to the NDP drove him to keep up the fight.

It was the end of an era that began in a restaurant in Hudson, where Jack and Olivia met with him and his wife, Catherine, and where, against all odds, Jack convinced him to join a party that did not have a single seat in Quebec at the time.

I would like to thank his wife, Catherine, his children, Matthew and Gregory, his daughters-in-law, Jasmyne and Catherine, and his grandchildren, Juliette, Raphaël, and Leonard, for being so patient and for sharing him with us.

I would also like to thank Chantale, Graham, Mathilde, and Miriam for their dedication and for playing such an important role in this saga.

All I can say to the member for Outremont is thank you and see you soon.

Hon. Member for OutremontOral Questions

3:15 p.m.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount Québec


Marc Garneau LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, today it is my privilege and, indeed, my pleasure to stand before the House and thank the member for Outremont for his profound dedication and service to our country.

I will say that this individual has made a remarkable impact on the lives of Canadians, particularly in Quebec, and has challenged governments to strive to ensure that every Canadian has an opportunity to succeed. There is no doubt that we are all the stronger for it.

While he has seen governments change, he has continued to represent the strong beliefs and values of his party, and as we all know, they were well heard. I feel like it might even be a little quieter here after his departure.

During his tenure as the leader of the opposition, his unique style won him praise, as well as the ire of the former government. He was not afraid of holding their feet to the fire to get the answers Canadians demanded, and he also gave us a run for our money.

Although we do not always share the same values and beliefs, I must say that I respect them and hold them in high regard. I also respect his great integrity and, most of all, his unwavering dedication to Canadians.

My hon. colleague is to be admired for his many professional achievements and for being true to his principles throughout his very long political career. This member has honourably served the people of Canada, and on behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish to thank him for that.

His future students at the University of Montreal will be very lucky to have him as a professor. It will no doubt be very stimulating.

All jokes aside, it has been a great honour to serve this country with him. He has challenged me personally, as well as this government and former governments, to strive to ensure that Canadians live in a country that they can be proud to call home.

On behalf of the Liberal government and all Canadians, we thank him for his dedication. I know that he will move into his next role and help shape a generation of students to follow in his footsteps of asking tough questions, challenging beliefs, and making a difference.

Before I conclude, I would also like to thank his family for sharing him with Canadians for this very long period of time.

Hon. Member for OutremontOral Questions

3:20 p.m.


Lisa Raitt Conservative Milton, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I am so pleased to rise on behalf of the Conservative caucus to bid farewell to a colleague who has served the Canadian people in the House for over a decade, the hon. member for Outremont.

It is a privilege and an honour, but also an immense responsibility, to be elected here to the House. He has served his constituents and supporters across the country with dignity and respect, and we thank him for that.

While he has served here in the House of Commons, he has also served as Quebec's minister of sustainable development, environment and parks. On the federal level, he has served as the NDP House leader, Quebec lieutenant, and, finally, leader of the official opposition in the House of Commons.

However, his most lasting contribution, the moment at which he truly changed this Parliament for future generations, is when he had the courage to stand for what he believed in, speak truth to power, do politics differently, and refuse to shave, ever.

Dare I say that not since Abraham Lincoln have such wonderful whiskers become so entwined with a political personality. Legend has it that the moment he became the leader of Canada's New Democrats, Gillette's stock took a tumble.

Look how far we have come. We can see his legacy even in the room today, with the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie and the member for Honoré-Mercier, and I wish I had a nickel for every time I have caught the member for Chilliwack—Hope looking longingly at the full growth on the member's face.

Of course, the member is much more than a political trendsetter. While the member proved how skilled he was in the House of Commons, mainly at the expense of my former government, that is not my lasting memory. I will always remember the member for two things: his humour and his humanity. I say humour, because who else would dress up as an Angry Bird on Halloween? His appearances at the press gallery dinner were the best. As well, we knew he had that quick smile and the Irish twinkle.

I do remember one time when I wish I had been able to warn the member about something. He once appeared in a ball pit with presenter Mark Critch on This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Having cleaned ball pits for 17 years, I should have told him before then never to go into a ball pit. Parents in the House of Commons understand what I am talking about.

On the humanity side, in the 10 years I have been in the House with the member, we have shared grief, losing both Jack Layton and our dear friend Jim Flaherty.

I can also say that my first encounter with the member showed humanity as well. There was a story in the National Post about our humble beginnings. Indeed, the member started his first job at 14, working nine-hour days in a textile factory in Montreal. He approached me after the story appeared, because it had noted that I, as well, started at 14, working in a Dairy Queen for very long hours.

It made me have an instant connection with the member, and it reminds me that even though we had differences of opinion, and even though he called for my resignation many times, we do share many common bonds.

Throughout his career, he has had the support of his loving wife, Catherine, and of his sons, Matt and Greg.

Catherine has always been incredibly warm and kind to me. When we meet, either in airports or at events, we always share some words, which are always nicer than the words I share with her husband. For her kindness and generosity, and making new friends across the aisle, I will always be grateful. It is an absolute honour and pleasure to have made her acquaintance.

Catherine and his family will stay by his side as he leaves politics and joins the academic world. It is an exciting new chapter, and I am sure his future students will appreciate his humour, his humanity, and the wealth of knowledge and experience he will bring to the classroom.

On behalf of my Conservative colleagues, I wish the hon. member every success in his new career and the best of luck to him and his family.

Hon. Member for OutremontOral Questions

3:25 p.m.

Québec debout

Rhéal Fortin Québec debout Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have known the member for Outremont for many years. It has been quite a while since we were putting docks in the water, my goodness, but I have always appreciated this passionate and brilliant man. I am also grateful to him. Along with Gilles Duceppe, he was undoubtedly the politician who was the most help securing my victory in 2015, though perhaps somewhat unwittingly. I do not think that this was part of his plan.

Now that the Prime Minister has decided to buy a pipeline, the member for Outremont could surely tell him that a pipeline is expensive. It cost him the prime ministership.

The member for Outremont is politics' most faithful embodiment of the people of Quebec. Sometimes Liberal, sometimes Conservative, sometimes NDP, he is a Quebecker. I honestly believe that, with his departure today, Quebeckers are losing one of their greatest and most effective defenders in the House. Obviously, I mean from a federalist party.

Elected as an NDP member in 2007, he preceded the orange wave that swept through Quebec in 2011, a great win by his friend Jack Layton. He set himself apart as soon as he was elected. He appeared in every forum speaking intelligently on all kinds of topics, cracking jokes at the right times, expressing outrage for the right reasons, making insightful comments, and coming up with the killer line that would take out his opponent. He was the goon, the NDP’s own Claude Lemieux. None of the other teams can stand him, but everyone wants to have him on theirs.

I honestly and sincerely believe that the NDP is losing its best and most formidable debater today. He would have made his illustrious and legendary forefather Honoré Mercier proud. Formidable, incisive and hard-hitting, frankly, the man we salute today has been a stand-up Quebecker throughout his career, and we thank him for his contribution.

Hon. Member for OutremontOral Questions

3:25 p.m.


Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I also have the honour to rise today and join all my fellow MPs in paying tribute to our colleague, the distinguished member for Outremont.

It is hard, as members would recognize, to play a sort of backup hitter at the very last of many fine speeches. However, I want to acknowledge something that was not specifically mentioned.

The word “courage” was used. I would not attribute it to continuing to wear a beard, but it does have to with the face. I think it was the bravest thing I ever saw. We were all together in the leader's debate in Montreal. It was a tough thing to say that telling women what they can and cannot wear is not the proper role of federal leadership, and I want to thank the hon. member again for taking a strong stand on the very divisive niqab debate.

It can be said of every member that their family is always there, working side by side with them. If I am not mistaken, the member for Outremont was first elected in 1994 to the Quebec National Assembly, and already that was a tough job. It is an enormous sacrifice for a family. If there is one thing that appeared to me quite clearly, it is the very strong bond between the member and his extraordinary wife, Catherine.

Like the hon. member for Milton, I want to say how much I have enjoyed getting to know Catherine P. Mulcair, someone who has shown extraordinary presence in all situations at his side. It must be very handy for anyone leading a political party to be married to a psychologist, which I failed to do.

I also want to say that the relationship informed a lot of of who the member is today. The most moving speech I ever heard my friend, the member for Outremont, give was on the occasion of remembrance of the Shoah. It was a very emotional recollection of going back to the very barn in the fields of France where his wife's mother hid throughout the Holocaust, descendants of Sephardic Jews hiding in a barn from the Nazi regime of Vichy, France. I do not think I have ever heard any words on the occasion of remembrance of the Shoah that were more keenly felt and brought us back to the individual cases and enormous horrors and evil of that period.

With that, I join others here in thanking Catherine, Matt, Greg, the family as a whole, who have toiled alongside, in a very distinguished career, the hon. member for Outremont.

I thank them and wish them all the best in the future.

Hon. Member for OutremontOral Questions

3:30 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Before recognizing the hon. member for Outremont, I would like to add my comments to what the other members have said today. He is a well respected member, a distinguished member of the House of Commons. He is comfortable in the House and very effective, as the hon. member for Milton and other members said. He is also a gentleman outside the House, and I always found him to be very cordial. I extend my best wishes for the future to him and his family. I know that his students will be very lucky to have him.

The hon. member for Outremont.

Hon. Member for OutremontOral Questions

3:30 p.m.


Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, thank you and I thank my colleagues for giving me the opportunity to address you one last time before leaving this place for good this summer. What an honour it has been to serve here, the cradle of our democracy, and to represent the people of Outremont who honoured me by electing me four times.

Those who know me will not be surprised to hear me say that my first words are for my wife Catherine, who is here today with our son Matthew, his wife Jasmyne, and our grandchildren Juliette and Raphaël. Our son Greg and his wife Catherine are with their new baby, Leonard, the new light in our lives.

Catherine and I made a pact when we decided together that I would accept the invitation to go into politics. We promised that our relationship and our family would always come first, and we kept that promise.

Catherine advised and helped me and was by my side throughout my career in public service. Her strong values of generosity, respect for others, and kindness in the face of adversity have always inspired and guided me, even though I did not always manage to live by those values as well as she does.

Catherine has her own very demanding career as a psychologist in palliative and long-term care. She also works as a clinician in the private sector. Like many spouses of politicians, she did my work in addition to her own.

I want to share a real example of a long weekend we spent together. On the Friday, we left Montreal, picked up staff in Ottawa, went to the Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg, went on to Chinese New Year in Vancouver, switched out staff because they were tired, visited Yellowknife, gave a speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, then I returned to Ottawa and Catherine returned to Montreal, and it was just Monday.

The Prime Minister and the leader of the official opposition are familiar with this kind of schedule, but there are not many people, aside from our loved ones, who understand the sacrifices our noble profession demands.

Still, what memories. Our granddaughter Juliette hand-made buttons for my leadership race, our three-year-old grandson Raphaël discovered that Stornoway was a great place for building forts, Greg built and maintained the best leadership campaign website, and Matt and Jasmyne would regularly summarize the news for me because I did not have enough time to read it all.

I owe so much to my family, including my sisters and brothers, Colleen, Peter, Jeannie, Daniel, Deborah, Sheylagh, Maureen, Kelly, and Sean, not to mention my unconditional supporter, my mother, Jeanne Honorine.

We are truly blessed to live in Canada, and we in this place are truly fortunate to be given the chance to try to make it an even better place for all. I have been so lucky to live so many unforgettable experiences in this role.

I remember being on board former AFN national chief Shawn Atleo's boat near his home in Ahousaht when we spotted a pod of whales. Catherine and I were overwhelmed as we saw Shawn go to the side and begin to intone a beautiful song. We quietly asked what he was doing, and he said he was calling the whales with a song of his people. We watched in silent awe as the whale swam right to him. We do have a lot to learn from those who were here first, in particular our obligation to leave things better for generations to come.

My career in government began exactly 40 years ago. It was in Quebec City in the legislation branch of the justice department. It was there that I first learned the inspiring lesson my political mentor Claude Ryan would drive home time and again. Politics is an amazing way to help make people's lives better, and we should never allow anything to supercede that priority.

Here in this place there are so many wonderful people who dedicate themselves to making our lives easier. I want to thank all of the staff. The superb professionals at the table, the delightful pages, the brilliant library personnel, the support staff, and our incredible interpreters who somehow make sense of it all even when we are talking a mile a minute.

I have a special word of thanks for two people.

I want to thank Marguerite, from our restaurant, who always managed to find us a place, even whether there were none left, and she did it with a smile.

Samearn Son of our Parliamentary Protective Service, who courageously stood between a deranged man's bullet and us, represented the best of the best of a service that deserves all of our respect.

Politics is a contact sport, but our incredible colleagues and employees are always there to support and to advise, and to soften the blows. I had the good fortune to serve under two extraordinary leaders prior to the arrival of our new chief, the exceptional Jagmeet Singh.

Jack Layton was in a class apart. He contacted me in early 2006, a full year before I was to become his Quebec lieutenant. I had just left cabinet on a question of principle, having refused to sign an order in council transferring land in Mont-Orford Provincial Park to private developers. Jack was amazing, sans pareil, when it came to connecting with people and he proposed a supper with his wife, the extraordinary Olivia Chow, and Catherine and me at a restaurant in his old hometown of Hudson, Quebec.

As a Quebecker, he knew the progressive side of politics there. He also knew how tough it was for the NDP, but he was so sure that working together we could break through in our home province. Catherine was convinced, so was I, and an unlikely, hopeful, slightly mad political adventure began.

Many will recall the orange wave of May 2011, but fewer people will remember that it was preceded by five years of organized and relentless hard work from Lac-Saint-Jean to Trois-Rivières, from Rimouski to Gatineau, and from Sept-Îles to Montreal. Recruiting party supporters was not easy, but together, Layton and Mulcair, as we were often called, worked as a team that did not so much recruit candidates as it hunted them down. We were good. We recruited people like the extraordinary Nycole Turmel, who so brilliantly replaced Jack at a moment's notice upon his departure.

Jack knew that a breakthrough in Quebec was key to the NDP being considered a national party worthy of the name, and Jack would be so proud to know that we currently have such a strong and experienced team of 16 NDP members from Quebec here in the House. It is true that our goal of forming a progressive NDP government eluded us in 2015, but let us never forget that the 44 seats won by the outstanding members during the previous election was our second-best result in 18 federal elections since the NDP was created in 1961.

As I prepare to leave this place this summer, I look back with pride and try to keep only the happier memories in addition to our miraculous breakthrough in Quebec, such as zip lining with Rick Mercer or tailgate parties with the Rider Nation in Regina.

I remember the beers I had with Jack and Rebecca Blaikie on a beautiful patio in Trois-Rivières, with the nicest people ever. I remember a long journey by dogsled in Whitehorse, Yukon, where my great-grandparents Mercier were married.

There was also the annual regatta in St. John's and the evening on George Street that always followed, and knocking on then Supreme Court Chief Justice, and neighbour, Beverley McLachlin's door with my grandchildren on Halloween wearing my Angry Bird costume.

Mark Critch, bless his soul, called me right after the 2015 election, telling me he decided he was going to cheer me up. He brought me into a studio, dressed me up as Canadian music star Drake, and had me dance to Hotline Bling. Yes, that really was me lip-synching “You used to call me on my cell phone”. How appropriate.

I also had the good fortune to travel abroad with colleagues of all parties and to learn their stories. We have a lot more in common than anything that divides us.

The world around us has changed a great deal since I entered this place. While we can and should celebrate and cherish our democracy, our liberties, our rights, and our institutions, we are all keenly aware that no one can take anything for granted in today's world. Democracy needs champions, and Canada should be one of those champions.

Here, within these halls, we have the privilege and the duty to enact positive change. I will continue to try making a positive contribution after I leave this place. I will be teaching sustainable development in the most important research university in Quebec, the University of Montreal.

Since civil society also makes a remarkable contribution to progress, I will once again be very active in charitable organizations. I recently agreed to become the chair of the board of directors of Earth Day. There are so many different ways to contribute to the well-being of Canada, but the goal remains the same: to work together not only for the promise of a better society, but also to make it a reality for all.

Draft Appropriation Bill—Main Estimates, 2018-19Points of OrderOral Questions

3:50 p.m.


Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to address the comments made by the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader prior to question period regarding the point of order of the member for Edmonton West.

The parliamentary secretary made a comparison to the estimates being an order of the House to bring in an appropriation bill and a ways and means motion being an order of the House to bring in a tax bill to make his point that the supply bill was in order. While this comparison on this one point is true, it fails to consider the more stringent requirement applied by our rules to supply bills, which the member for Edmonton West referred to earlier.

On page 883 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, there is a more stringent requirement applied to supply bills. It states, “Supply bills must be based on the estimates or interim supply as concurred in by the House.” There is no such language for bills based on ways and means.

This is a very significant difference, Mr. Speaker, and I urge you to consider this as you determine whether this bill is in fact in order.

Draft Appropriation Bill—Main Estimates, 2018-19Points of OrderOral Questions

3:50 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I want to thank the hon. member. It is duly noted and we will take it under consideration.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.


John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Outremont. It is often difficult to stand after we hear these types of speeches to say goodbye. My experience with the hon. member has been nothing but professional and courteous. I remember, after being first elected, having a chance to meet him. In fact, everyone who visited me on the Hill would always want to meet the hon. member for Outremont. My wife just texted me and said that she would miss his smile. Certainly, she will miss in question period. I wish him and his family well.

Last week, the people of Ontario sent a warning shot across the Prime Minister's bow. It related to the carbon tax in particular. We are here on this opposition day with our motion to find out how much the carbon tax will cost the average Canadian family.

During question period, the minister tabled some documents from an April 30 report, basically propaganda from the government, talking about emissions and all kinds of things. However, nothing talked to the issue at hand, which is that the government knows how much a carbon tax will cost the average Canadian family and it refuses to tell Canadians and the House. In fact, I would guess that the question on how much the carbon tax will cost Canadians has been asked 200-plus times, and not just in the House but at various committees. The Liberals still refuse to answer that question.

Therefore, we are here today, once again, asking the question, and as the member for Carleton said, we are quite prepared to stay here most of the night to get the answers to the questions for which Canadians are looking.

We also know that just before the last election in Ontario, an Ipsos poll, specifically relating to the carbon tax was done. That poll found that 72% of people in Ontario saw the carbon tax as a tax grab, and 68% thought it would have no meaningful impact on the environment at all. The only poll that matters, quite frankly, was last Thursday when Ontarians sent a strong and clear message, not just to the Kathleen Wynn government but also to the federal government, that they would not to buy into this carbon tax scam.

This is a government that when first elected spoke about transparency and accountability. Oftentimes in the House I have thrown the Liberals' throne speech back at them. I heard the hon. member for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte throw the throne speech back at them as well. The Liberals talked about transparency and accountability several times in the throne speech. They said that they would be the most open and transparent government in the history of the country, yet their actions have shown nothing to that order. They are not being transparent and accountable on how much a carbon tax will cost the average Canadian family.

Here is what we do know, but they will not tell us this. It will to cost 11¢ a litre for fuel. For the residents of Barrie—Innisfail, who commute up and down the 400, and for all those families involved in sports, taking their kids to hockey and soccer, that means 11¢ more a litre to fill up their tanks. I have four children. My son played AAA hockey. I had other sons who played representative hockey. It costs a lot to travel all over Ontario and have to pay for fuel, and yet the government, through its carbon tax, is proposing 11¢ a litre more.

We also know it will cost $200 a year more to heat our homes, $200 more that people can least afford. Think of the impact that will have on seniors. Think of the impact that will have disproportionately on young families, or single-income families that have to heat their homes, take their kids to dance lessons, hockey, baseball, or soccer. Whatever it is, it will cost them a lot more to pay for the carbon tax.

In a report that recently came out, the PBO talked about $10 billion being taken out of the economy by 2022. However, that number could actually be higher. It could be $35 billion taken out of the economy.

We are talking about competitiveness in our economy, and in an era of being uncompetitive, at least on this side, with increasing taxes and increasing regulatory requirements, when our biggest trading partner in the south is going in the completely opposite direction, how it is going to impact families in a negative way. It is going to impact businesses in a negative way. It will, in fact, have a cascading effect on our economy, because the price of everything is going to go up, not just the price of fuel, as people in B.C. have seen, but also the price of everything that is manufactured, everything that is delivered, and everything people consume, including groceries. There will be an impact because of this carbon tax.

One thing that is not mentioned that often but that is quickly becoming apparent to Canadians is that the government intends to have the GST collected on top of the carbon tax. I know that the Liberals' narrative is that they are going to send all that money back to the provinces, but in fact, the GST that is going to be collected on top of the carbon tax will all be revenue that will come back to the federal government. It is revenue the Liberals will continue to spend on programs that they feel are important to them and not necessarily programs that are important to Canadians.

When we talk about the impact on families with respect to this carbon tax, there will be some who will be insulated from it. Those people sit on the other side. The Prime Minister will feel zero impact from this carbon tax. He has a taxpayer-subsidized home and a taxpayer-subsidized driver. He pays nothing, while middle-class families will be buried, and those who are disproportionately affected, lower-middle-income families, are going to be paying more for this tax. The finance minister, who comes from business and from means, will feel no impact as a result of this carbon tax, because again, he has a taxpayer-funded driver. He will not be paying 11¢ a litre. Of course, the environment minister, who we see often in this House stand up and talk about the calamity that is going to come if there is no carbon tax with respect to the environment, will be just fine as well. The ones who will not be fine are those middle-class families that will have to pay more, and disproportionately, those lower-income families.

It should be no surprise to any of us who live in Ontario that we are on a similar path. We saw last week, as I mentioned earlier, the Kathleen Wynne government, after 15 years, literally get booted out of office, reduced to non-party status. There is a reason for that. We find the current federal Liberal government, this Prime Minister, his cabinet, and his caucus on that same path. It is the same playbook of debt and deficits that was used in Ontario, with the scandals, including cash for access, the gas-plant scandal, which was similar to the pipeline purchase we just saw, and insiders making money from the government green energy program, and the list goes on and on. We are heading down the same path of debt and deficits that people can ill afford.

Again, what we are spending all day doing is asking one simple question on behalf of the Canadians who sent us here: what will the carbon tax cost the average Canadian family? The Liberals refuse to tell us. They have documents that have been blacked out. We know that the information has to be known to the government. The challenge for the Liberals right now is that they are fearful of releasing that information on just how much it is going to cost Canadian families, because they do not want Canadian families to know how much it is going to cost. The political implications for the current Liberal government are similar to the political implications we saw last week in Ontario, where the Liberal government lost an election, overwhelmingly, because of bad policies, both fiscal and social, and those that are affecting middle-income families, all families, for that matter, and we will not stand for it. We want that information, and Canadians deserve to see it.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4 p.m.


Francis Drouin Liberal Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, I find it appalling that this particular member attacks the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister, when he knows full well that the leader of the official opposition has practically stayed in subsidized housing for his entire parliamentary life. It is appalling that he would go this low with politics in this place.

However, I will ask if the member has read the document entitled “Estimated Results of the Federal Carbon Pollution Pricing System”. Has he read the document?

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4 p.m.


John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, actually, we have read the document, and we referred to it. I referred to it in my speech as propaganda of the government.

What we are talking about here today are internal documents as well that have been passed between departments, because the government knows how much it is going to cost Canadian families. The Liberals know, or they should know, because they are asking us, in the budget, to pass a carbon tax, and none of us know the actual cost of that carbon tax to the average Canadian family. We are asking the government to release that information.

There is no taxation without representation. We cannot make these types of decisions unless we and Canadians know what the cost is. They know what the cost is. Release that information.

On the issue of personal attacks, the member did a pretty good job of it as well.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4 p.m.


Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to congratulate my colleague from Barrie—Innisfil, whom I hold in high regard, for his speech and for providing a point of view definitely held by people elsewhere in the country. There is no doubt about that.

I truly appreciate his arguments and his approach to different issues. I understand that the figures must have come out, but I would still like to know what the environmental cost of doing nothing would be, if any. A carbon tax is an incentive that encourages businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and clean up emissions.

Is there something else we could do? For example, has the member heard of a cleaner way to develop the tar sands? Is that something he would like to see? I suppose I should use the term “oil sands” to eliminate the negative connotation.

Currently, this energy source is a monster emitter since domestic natural gas is used to heat the water, create steam, and extract the oil from the sand. Could he propose a solution other than this incentive, which is a proven solution?

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.


John Brassard Conservative Barrie—Innisfil, ON

Mr. Speaker, the issue of the oil sands comes up quite regularly. I know, in speaking with our shadow minister for natural resources, who has a tremendous amount of experience in the oil sands, that nowhere in the world is there a more sustainable or environmentally sustainable way of extracting oil from the ground than in the oil sands. That has been an issue that has been argued time and time again and has been proven to be the case.

To the point of an alternative, we hear the environment minister stand up and ask all the time, “where is their plan?” We are going to develop a plan. In fact, we are in the process of developing a plan. This is a plan that is not going to cost the average Canadian family for the basic necessities of life. It is going to be a sustainable plan. In fact, during the previous government, we saw emissions go down.

Those targets the government is now looking to implement are the same targets of the previous government. I do not know whether it was a faux pas on the part of the environment minister, but during question period, she said that they were not going to meet their targets either. Clearly, the government has no intention of reaching those targets. The only thing the Liberals plan to do is tax Canadians disproportionately, especially those who can least afford the carbon tax.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.


William Amos Liberal Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to have a chance to speak, and I will be sharing my time with the member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.

Canadians understand that polluting the air we breathe and the earth and the oceans that feed us must come at a cost to those who pollute. That is because they incur real costs for all Canadians. These costs are incurred through drought, smog, wild fires, and the effects pollution has on water, food, and the air we breathe. The price we pay is for our health and our future. The financial costs of pollution for Canadians are also very real. Last year in the Pontiac, my constituents felt it first-hand with the floods that ravaged our region.

Climate change alone is expected to cost Canadians $5 billion a year by 2020. We know that pricing pollution is the most effective way to reduce the emissions that bring about these costs, because it creates incentives for businesses and households to innovate and pollute less. That is why putting a price on carbon pollution is so central to our government's plan to fight climate change while at the same time growing the economy, creating jobs for the middle class and those working so hard to join it, and creating a better future for all Canadians.

The idea here is really simple, and the average Canadian does understand this. We are putting a price on what we do not want, which is carbon pollution, and we are fostering that which we do want, lower emissions and job creation through innovation in the clean economy. We are putting this plan into place through the greenhouse gas pollution pricing act. With this legislation, the carbon price will be fair and it will be effective. It is based on a practical approach to minimize the impact on the competitiveness of large industries that are emissions intensive.

I want to assure the hon. members on both sides of this House that this legislation was not developed in isolation. We know that it was developed through collaboration. We know that it was developed in consultation with the provinces, the territories, and indigenous people. Hand in hand, we have worked towards this plan, and it is an important part of our pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. I want to commend the environment minister for her hard work with colleagues across the country to achieve this.

This framework is our plan, developed to meet our emissions reduction targets, to grow the economy, and to build resilience to a changing climate. To support the implementation of this plan, our approach provides provinces and territories with the flexibility to choose between systems: an explicit price-based system, or a cap and trade system.

A price on carbon pollution, as we all know, is already in place in four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta. These provinces encompass over 80% of the Canadian population. In jurisdictions that do not have a pricing system that meets the federal standard, a federal pricing system will apply as of January 1, 2019, starting at a price of $20 per tonne of emissions.

It is important to note that the direct revenue from the carbon price on pollution under the federal system will go back to the province or territory of origin. I would like to point out to those who suggest that a price on carbon pollution will somehow negatively impact the financial health of Canadians that those provinces that already have a price on carbon pollution are, together, leading the rest of Canada in job growth. We are confident that we are going to see the same positive economic performance in other provinces and territories that have yet to implement carbon pricing systems.

I want to focus on the fact that the majority of Canadians understand this already, despite the misinformation from our colleagues in the Conservative Party. The majority of Canadians support this approach. My constituents in the Pontiac support it, and experts support it. There is a strong consensus among economists, scientists, governments around the world, and policy experts that a price on carbon is the single most important policy a government can put in place to deal with climate change.

I would like to take a moment to go to some of the comments I have heard from the Insurance Bureau of Canada, an obviously non-partisan institution that is an expert on the impacts climate change is presently having on our economy. The Insurance Bureau of Canada has publicly stated, repeatedly, that climate change is already costing Canadian taxpayers and home insurance policyholders billions of dollars every year. It has sounded the alarm. Climate change is not some future threat but is very real and a clear and present danger. It has stated publicly that the cost of pricing carbon is dwarfed by the future cost Canadians will face if we do nothing at all.

Here are its facts.

Residential property losses from severe weather have accelerated due to climate change and now total over $1 billion a year on average. Federal disaster relief losses also now average over $1 billion per year, and they continue to escalate, largely driven by climate change. Those are federal numbers only, and they do not even include the losses by provinces and municipalities. I can tell members that in the Pontiac last year, there were millions of dollars lost in property damage and public infrastructure damage due to flooding.

As a result of these rising losses, municipalities across the country are investing heavily in adaptation. The City of Toronto alone is investing $1.5 billion to upgrade its stormwater infrastructure to protect residents from the growing threat. Obviously, in the riding that I represent, in the City of Gatineau and over 40 municipalities in rural Pontiac, we are talking about millions of dollars of new investments to protect our communities.

At the end of the day, whether it is taxpayers or insured policyholders, it is the same Canadians who are now bearing the costs of our past inaction on climate change. When I say “our past inaction”, I also mean the party opposite's past inaction. The Conservative government did literally nothing to get our country moving on the right track on this file. That is one of the major reasons that I sought to become elected back in 2015.

With respect, politicians who say that they believe that we have to do something about climate change but not by using a carbon price are no better than those who deny that humans cause climate change or that gravity exists. Frankly, Canadians have no time for one-sided populist rhetoric, the kind of rhetoric that we are hearing from the opposite side right now, and they have no time for the lame partisanship that dumbs down a very serious and important policy debate.

Climate change is the single most important threat that we are facing in the world today and the science is clear that humans are causing it. If the Conservative Party of Canada has a real alternative to carbon pricing that would be effective, I would love to hear it. However, we know from experience that vague promises and ineffective voluntary actions are going to do nothing to reduce greenhouse gases. The Conservative Party opposite has no plan. It has no plan apart from some specious attempt to score political points on the backs of Canadians. It has no plan apart from a desire to divide and misinform Canadians.

I would like to point to the Globe and Mail editorial from a couple of months ago. It inspired me, and I thank this publication for stating this. It states:

...Canadians like carbon pricing when it does precisely what it is meant to do. But they tune out and focus on other priorities when carbon pricing is portrayed as...[a] costly, anti-oil and job-killing by populist politicians.

It’s all too easy to turn carbon pricing into a populist wedge issue, when in fact it is a sensible and centrist....carbon strategy, under which the...[federal government] will impose a $10 per tonne obligation later this year (rising to $50 in 2022) on jurisdictions that don’t come up with an equivalent policy.

It also said that the federal government, with respect to its national carbon strategy, under which the feds will impose this $10 per tonne obligation, will be returning the money collected to the province from where it came.

It further stated:

More than anything, what Canada needs is for politicians who understand and believe in carbon pricing to defend it vigorously and fearlessly. It’s tough to do battle with populists who sloganize about “job-killing” carbon taxes. But they are wrong, and this is a fight worth winning.

That is from the Globe and Mail editorial. I thank it for saying that because it is an adult voice in the room. We, the Liberal Party, this government, has a plan. We have a plan to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, to 517 megatonnes. Along with all the other measures in Canada's clean growth and climate action plan, the pan-Canadian framework for carbon pricing will put Canada on track to meet our 2030 emissions targets, which will help meet our commitments to the global community. This is so fundamental, because greenhouse gases know no national boundaries. By putting a price on carbon, we are going to join 67 other jurisdictions that have already taken this important step. According to the World Bank, those overseas jurisdictions together represent half of the global economy and more than a quarter of global GHG emissions. Therefore, together we are going to make the world a better place. To act otherwise would be a total dereliction of our duty as federal lawmakers.

It would be a dereliction of my duty as the representative of Pontiac, and as a father of two children. It would be a betrayal of our children, our grandchildren, and of generations to come.

In closing, I would simply like to say that with our climate plan we are building on these successes for a cleaner environment and a more prosperous future for all Canadians. I appreciate the opportunity to deliver these views from Pontiac.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:15 p.m.


Earl Dreeshen Conservative Red Deer—Mountain View, AB

Mr. Speaker, it was interesting that the hon. member did talk about the $10 carbon tax that is coming now as it goes up to $50. Of course, the PBO's April 2018 economic outlook talked about that. It also talked about the cost as far as agriculture was concerned.

With the information that had actually come from the ag census 2016, as well as the national inventory report of 2017, where they took an average farm. I have the information on an average farm for Alberta and one for Prince Edward Island. Basically, the costs for a farm in Alberta of about 855 acres and a farm in P.E.I. of about 323 acres, starts off in 2018 in Alberta that it will cost $3,464, and it continues up to 2022 to $17, 321 that it will cost that farm. In P.E.I. it goes from $2,500 this coming year up to $12,446.

The Liberals always say there is an opportunity for that to then go to the consumer. However, that is not exactly how agriculture works. It is going to stay on the farm. They are the ones who are going to be dealing with that. I am sure if a person did a little extra work, they could probably figure out what the actual costs will be for every family as well, but these are usually farm families who are associated with this. They will also have the added numbers that we are not able to get from the government.

I wonder if the member could talk about the damage that is going to happen to farm families and farmers in general, without talking about some of the other talking points that they have, and how they are helping out in the farming industry by dealing with environmental issues.

Opposition Motion—Carbon PricingBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.


William Amos Liberal Pontiac, QC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. It is always a pleasure as the member for Pontiac to speak about farmers. The single largest economic group of contributors to our region is the agricultural sector. I know that they are sensible people, and they know full well the damage that is being wrought by climate change right now. Everyone understands when floods ravage crops. Last year was a very difficult year for Pontiac farmers. It was very difficult to get the crops seeded and have a successful year. That is a direct result of changing weather patterns.

We need to be responsible about this. The federal government with its pricing system has made it very clear that all direct revenues will be going right back to the provinces, and the provinces are free to give the farmers what they need in order to deal with different costs associated with the price on carbon.

It is absolutely possible for farmers to be treated justly and fairly, and that is part of our plan.