House of Commons Hansard #412 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was animals.

Topics

Rural Digital InfrastructurePrivate Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion carried.

The House resumed from May 6 consideration of the motion that Bill C-406, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (foreign contributions), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Canada Elections ActPrivate Members' Business

6:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at second reading stage of Bill C-406 under Private Members' Business.

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #1314

Canada Elections ActPrivate Members' Business

7:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion defeated.

I wish to inform the House that, because it is getting late, the period provided for private members' business is cancelled. The order is therefore deferred to a future sitting.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

TransportationAdjournment Proceedings

May 8th, 2019 / 7:05 p.m.

NDP

Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, it was a week ago that I asked, for the sixth time, how the Liberal government planned to ensure safe and equitable access to transportation for people in Saskatchewan who had been affected by the end of STC and the pull out of the Greyhound service in the province. I have asked six questions and still no answers. I certainly hope I will get some answers tonight for the people of Saskatchewan.

Many people, particularly in rural, remote and indigenous communities are unable to travel to see family, get to work, do business in nearby communities, go to school or even access medical care due the end of STC and the Greyhound service in the province. Many indigenous women are unable to travel safely between communities.

I know the Prime Minister has not forgotten about the Highway of Tears and I know the Prime Minister does not think that indigenous women and girls should be walking on highways, hitchhiking or finding rides online from strangers instead of taking safe, reliable and affordable public transportation. Therefore, I am confused as to why the Prime Minister and his government are doing nothing to prevent this in my province.

ln his response to my latest question, the Prime Minister acknowledged the gaps in coverage that private transportation companies had left. He said, “We would encourage the member opposite to encourage the Saskatchewan government to partner with us...” l found that a bit of an odd response.

The Prime Minister seems to think that a partnership consists of simply splitting the cost. If there is no agreement on the cost, then there can be no agreement and therefore no partnership.

My response to that is that a partnership already exists. Both the federal and provincial governments are responsible for the safety and well-being of all Canadians, even ones who live in Saskatchewan. This partnership is permanent and cannot be dissolved because one of the partners is failing to live up to its own responsibility. However, the government does not seem to agree.

Instead of living up to its own responsibility to the people Saskatchewan, the federal Liberal government is content to do nothing and wait for leadership from its Conservative provincial counterparts before acting.

I have no confidence whatsoever that this leadership is going to come from the Saskatchewan Party in my province. Premier Moe and his Conservative government saw fit to actually get rid of a valuable Crown asset and leave people literally stranded in indigenous communities and rural communities.

However, this does not mean the Prime Minister of Canada has to do the same. Many people had hope that the Prime Minister and his Liberal government would rise above their Conservative counterparts and protect indigenous women and girls and seniors and those without the ability to travel independently.

The provincial government must answer for its bad decisions and it will, but why is the federal Liberal government abdicating its responsibility to the people of Saskatchewan? Why is the government failing to ensure that safe and affordable public transportation is available to the people of Saskatchewan as it has for Canadians living in other provinces?

TransportationAdjournment Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Burnaby North—Seymour B.C.

Liberal

Terry Beech LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my friend, the hon. member, and I hope her ear is feeling better after her incident.

Last year, Greyhound announced it would be discontinuing services in western Canada and northern Ontario on October 31, 2018. The federal government recognizes the effects these service reductions would have on communities, especially rural, remote and indigenous communities.

For decades, since the 1950s in fact, provinces have had a lead role in governing intercity bus services. As such, the provinces also have a lead role in determining solutions to Greyhound's withdrawal. However, given the scale, impacts and interprovincial nature of these reductions, the federal government decided to work collaboratively with the provinces and territories through a federal, provincial and territorial working group to determine the best path forward.

The deliberations from this working group were built into the federal government's plan, which was announced to the public on October 31, 2018. As part of this plan, the federal government announced that it would be willing to cost-share with the affected provinces in filling the service gaps left behind by Greyhound on a temporary and transitional basis. The federal government remains willing to cost-share with the affected provinces, including Saskatchewan, to restore these services. Federal money is on the table, and the member opposite' s provincial Conservative government is refusing to use it to help the people of Saskatchewan.

Although the funding announced on October 31 was mostly related to addressing the short-term service needs following Greyhound's withdrawal, the federal government also recognizes that intercity bus reductions have been occurring for decades. That is why the federal government will also continue working with provinces and territories to develop longer-term and more innovative solutions to address the surface mobility needs of Canadians. In the meantime, the federal government is encouraged by the number of private sector operators coming in to fill these gaps. We will continue to encourage their entry and to facilitate more coverage for Canadians.

TransportationAdjournment Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

NDP

Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

Mr. Speaker, I must acknowledge that the government has indeed offered something to address this crisis, but the fact that it is short-term and of minimal dollars concerns me. I think the federal government knows that the provincial government in Saskatchewan sees no value in accessible and affordable public transit, nor in protecting the vulnerable in our society. Therefore, I do not see how the federal government thought its temporary, half-hearted cost-sharing proposal would solve this crisis, or it would understand that when it was offered it was simply rejected.

I want the government to offer a real and lasting solution. I think it has a responsibility and a leadership opportunity here to help the people of Saskatchewan. Therefore, I want to see the federal government step up on the transportation crisis facing my constituents and all the people in Saskatchewan.

TransportationAdjournment Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, there is federal money on the table to help address the gap left by Greyhound service cuts in western Canada. However, given the lead role of provinces in governing the industry, any funding offered to the provinces would have to be cost-shared. Some provinces are interested in cost-sharing and others are not. The Conservative Saskatchewan government cut STC routes, and it is not coming to the table on Greyhound service gaps.

The federal Liberal government is doing everything it can to help Canadians maintain access to intercity transportation options, including the long-term options that I mentioned in my previous speech.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

7:15 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, I have the honour to rise in the House to talk about an extremely important issue: the fight against climate change and climate disruption.

On December 12, world leaders met in Poland for the 24th conference of the parties on climate change. Back then, I asked the Prime Minister a question about the leadership the government needs to show on climate change.

We see more and more young people protesting around the world, even here at home in Quebec and Ottawa. Last week, I was with young people who were protesting on Friday, demanding that the government do more to fight dangerous climate change.

According to a climate change performance report released at COP24, Canada ranks 54th out of 60. It does not get much lower than that. That is unbelievable. It is really appalling, and it shows that we are performing very poorly. Our record is nothing short of disastrous.

In 2015, the Prime Minister said that Canada was back. He was very proud of that. However, he kept the same weak targets as Stephen Harper's Conservatives. It was the same weak reduction target of 30% by 2030. That is not enough. Scientists are saying that we need a reduction target of at least 45% by 2030 to limit the global temperature increase to no more than 1.5°C to 2°C.

Still, lots of good things happened while the Liberal government was busy buying billions of dollars worth of pipelines with taxpayers' money. For example, the young people of Drummond are becoming increasingly vocal about the environment. We must listen to them. Students at Collège Saint-Bernard in Drummondville organized activities for students at their secondary school to raise awareness about how important water is for us. Water is a limited natural resource that we cannot take for granted. I would like to congratulate Eloyse Marcotte, Laurence Bélanger, Danika Ouelette, Ambre Bérenger, Élianne Simard and Marie-Soleil Desrosiers for their fine project. I congratulate them for their civic engagement on the environment. The environment is increasingly top of mind for our youth, and we must listen to them. I congratulate these young people for this great project. These are the types of initiatives we must carry out.

As I was saying, on Monday, a report from a group of UN biodiversity experts was published. This report highlighted once again the decline of our biodiversity. One of the five drivers of the massive decline in biodiversity and species on this planet is climate change. This is yet another example of why we must take much more action on climate change. The government must show some leadership and take all the necessary measures.

This is why we are asking whether the government will finally adopt our plan to bring back the ecoENERGY retrofit homes program and renovate homes across Canada.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

7:15 p.m.

Burnaby North—Seymour B.C.

Liberal

Terry Beech LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, Canadians see the impacts of climate change in our country: floods, droughts and forest fires. We understand the need to take action to ensure a sustainable planet for future generations. In fact, it is one of the core reasons I ran for office in the first place.

With regard to the rankings stated in the member's speech, he knows that those rankings were in place before a number of initiatives were implemented, including carbon pricing nationally. We have definitely gone up, but we have a lot more work to do. That is why Canada is committed to being a global leader in addressing climate change.

We joined other countries in developing the Paris Agreement. Canada was also one of the first countries to sign and ratify the agreement.

For the past two years, we have been working with our provincial and territorial partners to implement actions under the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, which is Canada's plan to meet our Paris Agreement greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.

A key pillar of the framework is putting a price on carbon pollution. When carbon pollution is not free, people and businesses are motivated to pollute less. Our analysis found that pricing carbon pollution in Canada will reduce Canada's greenhouse gas emissions by 50 million to 60 million tonnes by 2022. That is equivalent to closing more than 30 coal-fired electricity plants.

In the provinces of Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick, the federal backstop carbon pricing system will be in place to protect the environment and spur innovation. Any direct proceeds collected will go directly back to the people in these provinces. Households will receive a climate action incentive, which will give most families more than they pay under the new system. Funds will also be given to the provinces' schools, hospitals, businesses and indigenous communities to, for example, help them become more energy efficient and reduce emissions, helping Canadians save even more money and improve our local economies.

The framework also contains important additional actions to reduce emissions across all sectors of the economy, including phasing out coal-fired power plants, developing new building codes and regulating methane emissions. We are also protecting and enhancing carbon sequestration in our forest and agricultural sectors and are supporting clean technology and innovation.

A great deal of effort continues to be devoted to implementing this plan, and the plan is working. As reported in Canada' s 2018 greenhouse gas emissions projections, Canada' s GHG emissions in 2030 are expected to be 223 million tonnes lower than projected prior to the adoption and implementation of Canada' s climate plan.

While this improvement reflects the breadth and depth of our plan, we expect additional reductions from actions such as our investments in public transit, clean tech and innovation, carbon stored in forests, soils and wetlands and measures taken by provinces and territories.

We are committed to being transparent with Canadians on our climate action. Canada submits annual reports to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on its greenhouse gas emissions levels. It also publishes annual greenhouse gas emissions projections toward 2030.

We have also established robust reporting and oversight mechanisms to track and drive the implementation of the pan-Canadian framework, including annual reports to first ministers and Canadians. The “Second Annual Synthesis Report on the Status of Implementation” was published in December 2018.

Our government is committed to transparency for Canadians as we continue to take steps toward meeting our Paris Agreement targets and protecting this planet for our children and future generations.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

7:20 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, the members opposite are deliberately turning a blind eye, unfortunately.

The Liberals say they are going to put a price on carbon, but they forget to say that they exempted Canada's major greenhouse gas emitters from their carbon tax plan. This cannot work. Furthermore, the Liberal government continues to give the fossil fuel industry some $3 billion a year in subsidies. It also spent $4.5 billion to buy a pipeline and another $10 billion or so to expand it.

The Liberals then throw hundreds of millions of dollars here and there to combat climate change and they think they are doing a lot. They are not putting their energy into the right places. It is shameful. They are sticking their heads in the sand, unfortunately. They need to do something.

When will they stop sticking their heads in the sand and demand that the major greenhouse gas emitters also pay the carbon tax?

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

7:20 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, while other countries are starting to talk about a green new deal, Canada is already working hard to implement one. We are putting a national price on pollution, we are banning the use of coal power and we are moving to have 90% of our electricity come from non-emitting sources. We are making historic investments in transit and green infrastructure, as well as in electric charging stations and zero-emissions vehicles.

We are also investing in the green jobs of the future, especially in my riding of Burnaby North—Seymour. Since I have been a member of Parliament, we have announced more than 3,000 well-paying, green new jobs.

We know we have to act quickly. The IPCC gives us only 11 more years to take drastic action for the sake of future generations.

Canadians can be proud of the work our government is doing, but I know we have much more work to do. To get the whole story, I would encourage members of the House and the member opposite to read my report, entitled “Our Government's Work on Climate Change and the Environment”. A copy is available on my website, at terrybeechmp.ca/policy.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

7:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 7:25 p.m.)