Mr. Speaker, on March 15, young people took to the streets of Saint-Hyacinthe to alert the government to the climate emergency. In Montreal, 150,000 people marched. Around the world, millions of people, primarily young people, took part in the climate march. I was in Montreal that Friday, and I want to congratulate everyone who took part in the movement, and those who continue to do so, on their engagement.
Conversely, I have nothing to congratulate this government on, except perhaps its incredible investment in greenwashing rather than effective ecological measures. Giving millions of dollars to support the Keystone XL project and purchasing the Trans Mountain pipeline, for example, both point to the fact that the government is all talk and no action when it comes to preserving the environment.
The situation is critical now. We need greener and more sustainable infrastructure. The Liberals make lofty promises but are doing absolutely nothing about this. Speaking of promises, after three years of inaction, the Liberals say they are completely focused on infrastructure. It was about time. However, this is an election year. Is that a coincidence? What a shame.
From now on, we need to design and build all our infrastructure based on sustainable development criteria, and that includes the environmental, economic and social cost as much as it includes the cost of maintenance, restoration or partial replacement as needed.
There are local initiatives, such as roller-compacted concrete, or RCC, produced by Carrières de St-Dominique, a company in my riding. I invite the minister to come meet Jacques Sylvestre Sr., the president of the Carrières de St-Dominique board of directors, Jean Dubreuil, the R&D director, and David Jodoin, project manager. This is a perfect example of sustainable innovation.
Infrastructure developed with RCC is an example of an innovative process that everyone should be on board with, including the federal government. It needs to support such ideas. As I have already said, sustainable development must be a criterion in the awarding of federal contracts. We must stop seeing infrastructure as an expense and start seeing it as a real investment. I should add that the Parliamentary Budget Officer agreed. Infrastructure that is more environmentally friendly, more social and longer lasting will offset the cost of the investment.
As critic for infrastructure and communities, I am calling on this government to review its infrastructure policy. We must plan for the future. Young people in Saint-Hyacinthe and Montreal are worried about the future. It is not difficult to see why, when you look at the government's inaction on the environment. My youth committee has made the environment a priority, as have thousands of young people across the country. However, the committee is worried by this government's inaction, the purchase of a polluting, leaky pipeline, and the plastics that are polluting our oceans, lakes and rivers.
The NDP already tabled a motion to do away with single-use plastics by 2022. We want more investments in the creation of greener jobs and large-scale building renovations. We need to be bold because we are leaving an enormous economic and environmental debt for future generations.
My question is simple. When will the government start walking the talk and finally make the transition to a green economy?