House of Commons Hansard #435 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was change.

Topics

The House resumed from May 28 consideration of the motion.

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

11 a.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy to engage in this important discussion. In 2014, the Steno Diabetes Center in Copenhagen, along with the University College in London and Novo Nordisk, created the cities changing diabetes program. Its aim is to address the social and cultural factors that increase type 2 diabetes vulnerability among certain people in urban centres. The program now includes partnerships with 20 cities around the world. I am proud to say that Vancouver was Canada's first and only city to become involved, and was one of the first 10 cities globally to join the program.

It is estimated that about 9.4% of Vancouverites are living with diabetes, which is comparable to national incidence rates. However, this overall rate hides who is being most impacted. Vancouver is one of Canada's most socially, ethnically and economically diverse cities, and not all groups are affected by diabetes at the same rates. In Vancouver's more affluent neighbourhoods, diabetes rates are as low as 5%, but in the Downtown Eastside, in my riding of Vancouver East, it is 8%. We also know that indigenous people and people of Chinese and South Asian descent are at a disproportionate risk of developing diabetes.

In December 2017, I wrote to the Minister of National Revenue to express my serious concerns over the Liberal government's mishandling of the disability tax credit. Constituents were dismayed that the Canada Revenue Agency was denying the tax credits to those with insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes requires ongoing, expensive treatments. It is not uncommon for an individual to be forced to spend upwards of $10,000 a year on various medical devices and insulin. Often, private insurance plans have gaps that lead to it not being covered, or restrictive caps that leave individuals paying large amounts out of pocket.

It is no wonder that the Canadian Diabetes Association found that 57% of Canadians with diabetes say they do not comply with their therapy because they cannot afford the costs of the supplies, devices and medications. The impacts of this are far reaching. Unable to comply with their therapy, it puts people at increased risk of serious health complications. In addition to the human impact, this adds strain to our health care system, as it must deal with completely avoidable emergency interventions. It does not need to be this way.

New Democrats, since the time we won the fight for medicare in this country under Tommy Douglas, believe that our work will not be done until we also have a universal public pharmacare plan. The health and financial impacts of not having a universal public pharmacare plan are as clear as day when we look at the impacts of diabetes in this country. We must also keep in mind that prevention is cheaper than intervention. We know that there are other social policies we can engage in to reduce the risk of people developing diabetes in the first place. These policies will keep Canadians healthier and save our health care system's valuable resources.

Due to the cost of diabetes therapies, it is without question that those unable to comply due to costs are less financially secure. In Vancouver, much of this has to do with the lack of affordable housing. Whether it is kicking the can down the road on funding the national affordable housing plan instead of breaking ground on projects, or avoiding any action on money-laundering schemes that inflate real estate prices, the Liberal government is failing to address the national housing crisis that is acutely severe in Vancouver and in my riding of Vancouver East. Too often, my constituents are forced to choose between paying rent and paying for insulin. This is wrong.

My colleagues, the member for North Island—Powell River and the member for Hochelaga, have tabled bills in this House to take real action to affirm housing as a human right. It is shameful that the Liberal government does not agree. We also know that diet has a significant impact on increasing the risk of developing diabetes and worsening the condition if one is already living with it. Once again, Canadians struggling to make ends meet find themselves less able to have a healthy, well-balanced diet. Food insecurity in low-income areas leave lower-income Canadians struggling to eat well. This creates a third difficult choice for too many residents of Vancouver East, having to choose rent, medicine or food. Again, it does not need to be this way.

My colleague, the member for Berthier—Maskinongé, tabled a bill here to address food waste. Again, both the Liberals and Conservatives opposed our efforts. Another colleague, the member for Kootenay—Columbia, tabled a bill to recognize the importance of local food.

The NDP understands the vital role that food security plays in ensuring that Canadians are healthy and able to contribute to their fullest. We need to do more to both recognize and address the roles that housing and food security play in diabetes prevention and maintenance.

The Vancouver Second Mile Society provides health clinics each year which include diabetes testing. They also do great work with their health programs and preventing seniors from living in isolation and poverty. The Vancouver Native Health Society works to provide knowledge and support for food sustenance development and reducing barriers of access to the natural environment and nutritious traditional foods. They also run a medical clinic which offers a diabetes self-management program, a free learning program to help people with type 2 diabetes better manage their symptoms.

Then there is the Vancouver Chinese Diabetes Education Centre, which exists through partnerships with Vancouver Coastal Health and the Chinese Canadian Medical Society BC and is run out of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. The centre is a great resource for individuals with diabetes and their families to learn about diabetes management, its nature and causes, nutrition and meal planning, the role of exercise and medication and self-monitoring. There is also the kitchen program at the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre, and the Chinese Elders Community Kitchen with the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House.

REACH Community Health Centre uses a collaborative model that supports elder health and addresses social factors like loneliness and isolation, as these can be detrimental to overall health and wellness.

I would be remiss if I did not also acknowledge the incredible work that the neighbourhood houses play, whether it is food programs, cooking clubs or community lunches at the Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, or the Saige Food Bank and Community Kitchen at Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, to just name a few. Vancouver's neighbourhood houses are vital in efforts to improve the health and well-being of my constituents living with diabetes, and all of my constituents for that matter.

I am proud to stand in the House and support Motion No. 173. I also believe we need to act. We know many avenues where action can be taken; we just need the political will.

Diabetes impacts over three million Canadians every day. Its impacts are far ranging, because of the far range of factors that impact the disease itself. That is why I believe we need to be looking at diabetes through a holistic, intersectional lens. It is exercise, diet and food security, and it is housing security and affordability. It is access to health care, and it is access to affordable prescription drugs. So much of this ultimately comes back to income security and equality.

I think this provides a real launching point to examining big-picture changes to social policy and programming. The prevalence and impact of diabetes in our society is far reaching and requires far-reaching actions. One such action that I think we need to discuss is the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's call to justice 4.5, which states, “We call upon all governments to establish a guaranteed annual livable income..”.

Let us take the opportunity that Motion No. 173 provides us to recognize the interconnectedness of all of this, and let us think big about solutions.

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to have this opportunity today to rise and speak in favour of Motion No. 173 to create November as diabetes awareness month. People at home might be wondering why I have an opportunity to speak to this motion, given that it is close to the hearts of so many members of Parliament. I am sure they would be interested to know that my own private member's bill was preempted by work that was already being done by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

I have had the opportunity to share my private member's bill with a number of members in the House. The member for Surrey—Newton and I were able to work together to make sure that his Sikh Heritage Month bill made it to the Senate and was passed by both Houses in time for declaration prior to the rising of the House.

I was able to work with the member for Cumberland—Colchester, on a couple of occasions, to make sure that his private member's bill for the repatriation of indigenous artifacts was also able to get through the House and be called into law.

People might be aware that in the last few weeks, the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands was able to get Bill S-203, on preventing the captivity of whales and dolphins, through the House by my offering my slot to her on one occasion, and with one of the members from the New Democratic Party.

Therefore, when the member for Brampton South asked if I could help with providing an opportunity to get to second reading on her private member's bill, I was more than happy to help.

One of the reasons is that I have a close connection to diabetes in my family. Just over three years ago, my cousin Jimmy Grouchey passed away from complications of type 1 diabetes, alone in his home in Arizona. Both of my parents come from large post-World War II families. My mom had nine siblings growing up, and my dad had four siblings and two half siblings. The family we were closest to were the Groucheys, because we shared a summer home together. We would vacation together in the summertime, where Jimmy, Christina, David, Jennifer, Jon, Dan and I would have a really great time.

People with diabetes have to manage their disease, and certainly when they are living on their own, complications can result. Jimmy was always a go-getter, fun-loving and free-spirited. With the moratorium on the cod fishery, like many Newfoundlanders, he moved abroad to pursue his career. He had different careers, in sociology, as a patent agent, and in 2009, he became a nurse. He worked in North Carolina and then finally in Arizona.

Lack of awareness about this disease and the complications associated with it can be devastating for families. Jimmy passed away from that. He would have turned 50 on Monday of next week. I wanted an opportunity to tell Jimmy's story and share with the House that families can be affected by this. It is not just statistics; they are individuals and families like mine.

Our government recognizes the impact that diabetes has on roughly three million Canadians who live with it and the 200,000 new cases that are diagnosed each year. I would like to thank the member for Brampton South for her work in bringing this forward to the House. It is important to recognize and raise awareness about it.

By having awareness of diabetes front and centre, fewer people will succumb to the complications. Fewer people will allow themselves to get to the point where they develop type 2 diabetes. More people can have access to prevention methods. More people will have access to care. While friends may not be aware that they have type 1or type 2 diabetes, the month itself will provide an opportunity to have that discussion, to let people know some of the symptoms of someone who might be in an insulin crisis and how to provide them with the help they need.

Our government has been supporting various measures. In 2016-17 alone, we invested $47 million in diabetes research. We recently announced a $30-million partnership with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. There are various members in the House who have helped to coordinate the multi-party caucus that led to this. It is not just those on this side of the House who are in favour of diabetes research.

When the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation comes to the Hill, members from all parties are present to listen to the stories of the ambassadors selected for their work in their cause across the country. It is great to meet those 10-year-olds, eight-year-olds, children of all ages who come from our ridings across the country to Parliament Hill to advocate for their cause. I am happy to participate with members on this side of the House, and I am sure that members from all sides of the House are happy to do so as well.

Also, in partnership with organizations in the private and non-profit sectors, as well as other levels of government, we are testing and scaling up interventions in communities across the country to prevent chronic disease, including diabetes. These interventions focus on common risk factors such as unhealthy eating and on physical activity.

Our government will continue to strongly support healthy living and diabetes prevention, including healthy eating, physical activity and smoking cessation. In thinking about my own health, I remember when the member for Brampton South had an opportunity to encourage some special medical testing on the Hill last year for members of Parliament, through the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

I had the opportunity to go to this mobile trailer, which provided heart rate monitoring, blood glucose level monitoring and a survey questionnaire, and members of Parliament who had a chance to participate had a deep dive into their health. The results of that were very interesting, and I learned a lot about what I could do to make myself healthier, but also how I could help my kids lead healthier lives as well. They are both far fitter than I am, and when we go jogging they are often about a minute a kilometre ahead of me, but they get me out. We also try to make sure we maintain an appropriate balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in our diet. I would like to thank the member for Brampton South for the opportunity to have that extra teaching here on the Hill.

According to the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System, supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada, over three million Canadians, or 8.6% of the population, have diagnosed diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body loses its ability to produce or to properly use insulin, a hormone that controls blood glucose levels.

Canada is famous for its role in the early work on determining that lack of insulin is the cause of diabetes, as well as treatments to provide insulin to people who are suffering with diabetes so they can have that cure. Canada is the perfect place to recognize November as diabetes awareness month. It is probably long overdue; it probably should have happened at the same time when the cure was found.

I am thankful for the work of the member for Brampton South. I encourage all members of this House to support this private member's motion. It would provide Canada an opportunity to yet again raise public awareness, encourage additional research and funding for diabetes, and remember family members like Jimmy Grouchey, a family member of mine who passed away just over three years ago and who would be turning 50 next week.

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

11:20 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak to Motion No. 173, which seeks to declare November as diabetes awareness month.

Conservatives support the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Health that Canada implement a national strategy, like the diabetes 360° plan. The Liberals, on the other hand, have rejected the diabetes 360° plan put forward by Diabetes Canada. This is simply shameful. The Liberal government leaves the member's motion as nothing but another empty gesture. In just 10 years, this plan would have helped prevent more than one million cases of type 2 diabetes and saved Canada's health care system and economy billions of dollars.

Eleven million Canadians are currently living with or are at risk of diabetes and pre-diabetes. There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction that causes the body to kill its insulin-producing cells. This variation of the disease is still not fully understood. People with type 1 diabetes produce very little or no insulin, causing an abnormal amount of glucose to accumulate in the blood. To keep glucose levels under control, people with type 1 diabetes must administer insulin daily and carefully monitor their lifestyle habits. If those with type 1 diabetes do not have access to insulin, they will die. Between 5% and 10% of people with diabetes possess the type 1 variation.

About 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. It is most prevalent in adults, but alarmingly the incidence in children has been on the rise in recent years. Although individuals who develop type 2 diabetes are also genetically susceptible to this condition, it is largely the result of poor nutrition and a lack of physical activity, driven by environmental and socio-economic factors. Type 2 diabetes occurs when blood glucose levels increase because the body does not make enough insulin or cannot properly use the insulin that is produced. Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented by a high-quality diet and by regular physical activity. It can be treated with lifestyle measures with or without medications, including insulin.

Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. It affects approximately 2% to 4% of all pregnancies in the non-indigenous population. It involves an increased risk of developing diabetes for both mother and child. Poorly managed gestational diabetes can mean serious health consequences, again for both mother and child.

Many patients take between three and 12 prescription medications and find the cost of equipment and supplies to be in excess of $15,000 a year. For those who require insulin pumps or continuous glucose monitoring, that cost runs to $15,000, in addition to the cost of medicine. Every day, more than 20 Canadians die of complications from diabetes, and 14 have lower limb amputations.

The World Health Organization has called for all countries to implement a national diabetes strategy. Despite having one of the highest diabetes rates in the world, Canada is still without a national strategy.

This motion being brought forward by the member is undercut by Liberal hypocrisy on this issue. Diabetes Canada came up with the diabetes 360° plan to achieve what the World Health Organization was calling for. That plan would have called for 90% of Canadians living in an environment that prevents diabetes; 90% would have been aware of their diabetes status; 90% would have been engaged in preventing complications from their diabetes; and 90% would have had a very strong possibility of achieving improved health outcomes.

Despite committing to support Diabetes Canada, the Liberals again came up short, and they come up short again today, showing just how out of touch they are on issues affecting the health and well-being of Canadians. Not only did the Liberals not support the diabetes 360° plan, but Diabetes Canada asked for $150 million and was left with zero dollars from the current government in budget 2019. We send billions of dollars abroad, yet we refuse to help our own people.

Another failure of the Liberal government on the diabetes file was the rejection of 80% of people living with type 2 diabetes from collecting the disability tax credit to help pay for these costs. When this first came to light, in May 2017, the government maintained that it had not changed the criteria or the process of approval. For months, it denied that anything had changed. However, evidence was finally produced that it had misrepresented the facts. The process had indeed been changed to discount the time spent preparing food. The 80% of individuals who were receiving the credit became the 80% denied.

After repeated Conservative challenges in question period, 58% were subsequently reapproved. However, 42% of them were later denied again, and without notice. The reason the Liberals were so keen to refuse people with diabetes from getting the disability tax credit was that one needs to qualify for the tax credit before one can access the disability pension. Of the folks with type 2 diabetes who were denied the DTC, many had $150,000 accumulated in their pension plan that the Liberals were attempting to claw back. This is unacceptable. The Liberals' out-of-control spending caused them to attempt to victimize the disabled. It is important to support people living with diabetes by making their lives more affordable.

While Conservatives support the proposal to make November diabetes awareness month, we know that Canadians need more than the Liberals' proposed lip service that “a month of recognition” would provide. Canadians living with diabetes need tangible solutions and plans for themselves, their families and loved ones who are suffering from the various variations of this disease. Canadians expect us to be a leader in diabetes awareness, but this will not happen through photo ops and self-congratulation; it will happen only when real solutions, like the diabetes 360° plan, are implemented.

The $150 million requested by Diabetes Canada will save $20 billion in prevention alone, with 770,000 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes, 245,000 fewer hospitalizations for diabetes and an estimated 34,000 fewer lower limb amputations because of this terrible disease. That is a real-world solution that makes common sense.

In conclusion, I believe it is time that the government step up and do what is right and fully implement the plan, as the health committee recommended. Canadians expect the current government to do better. While we will support the motion before us today, we call on the Liberal government to stand up and do the right thing for the hundreds of thousands of Canadians suffering from diabetes.

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to speak today to Motion No. 173 that calls on the government to declare November of each year diabetes awareness month. I will say off the top that I will be supporting this motion.

Most Canadians are unaware of the diabetes crisis facing our country. Raising awareness of this disease is not only important for the health of Canadians, it is important for the fiscal health of our medical system.

I would also like, off the top, to thank my friend Brian Symonds, who, in his retirement, has become a passionate advocate for diabetes issues and has provided me with much of the material I will speak about today.

I want to speak first about the diabetes crisis facing Canada, how we need to reduce the number of Canadians with diabetes and how we can help Canadians suffering from diabetes deal with their medical issues. In particular, I want to mention how a public pharmacare system would not only save Canadians money but save the lives of hundreds of Canadians with diabetes and other diseases who die needlessly every year because they do not have full access to the treatments for this very treatable, but deadly, disease.

As has been mentioned by others, Canada has a strong history in the world of diabetes. It is very much a good news/bad news story. We all know the story of Frederick Banting and Charles Best, who, with their colleagues James Collip and James Macleod, discovered insulin in a University of Toronto lab in 1921. That discovery revolutionized the treatment of diabetes worldwide and remains among the most celebrated medical discoveries in Canadian, or even world, history. Diabetes was formerly a death sentence for young people who developed the disease, but with insulin treatments, now they can look forward to long, normal and productive lives.

We are on the eve of the centenary of that discovery, and you would think that we would be able to celebrate that centenary with pride. Unfortunately, the scourge of diabetes is in many ways far worse than it was 100 years ago. The number of Canadians with diabetes has doubled in the last 20 years. Right now, one in three Canadians either has diabetes or has a high risk of developing it. It is an epidemic. If someone is 20 years old in Canada, the chance of developing diabetes in one's lifetime is 50%. For first nations people, that risk is 80%.

The health care costs for diabetes will top $40 billion by 2029. That is in 10 years. Thirty percent of strokes in Canada are the direct result of diabetes. It is the leading cause of blindness in Canada. Forty percent of heart attacks in Canada are a direct result of diabetes. Fifty percent of kidney failures, resulting in a lifetime of dialysis, are directly related to diabetes complications, as are 70% of foot and leg amputations.

Diabetes reduces the lifespan of people by five to 15 years. About 7,000 Canadians die each year as a direct result of diabetes. They die needlessly. We know how to cure this. We invented it. It is a highly treatable disease. A friend of mine, a young indigenous man, died in his twenties because of the complications of diabetes. This does not need to happen, so what do we have to do?

I think, first of all, as the member for Thornhill just stated, we have to listen to Diabetes Canada, the organization that promotes awareness and research on diabetes in this country. They have a well-researched, detailed plan called diabetes 360° that could dramatically reduce our rates of diabetes and reduce the significant impacts it has on the health of Canadians. It will cost money, but that investment will repay itself a hundred times over in savings to our health care system.

The goals of diabetes 360° are that 90% of Canadians live in an environment that preserves wellness and prevents the development of diabetes, 90% of Canadians are aware of their diabetes status, 90% of Canadians living with diabetes are engaged in appropriate intervention, and 90% of Canadians engaged in interventions are achieving improved health outcomes.

I want to pause here for a moment and talk about the medical nature of diabetes.

There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes usually presents early in life. The pancreas stops producing insulin, and patients are unable to automatically manage the sugars in their system. With access to insulin and proper monitoring of blood sugar levels, patients can live normal, long, productive lives.

Type 2 diabetes usually presents later in life. It results from prolonged high blood sugar levels affecting the pancreas and suppressing the production of insulin. An individual who is overweight and has high blood pressure has an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It can often be treated effectively with better diet and more exercise, but it also requires careful monitoring of blood sugar levels and access to insulin.

Let me get back to what we can do. The obvious place to attack diabetes is to prevent people from getting type 2 diabetes. We need more community programs to coach Canadians to live healthier lives, to have healthy diets and to exercise regularly.

We also need to ensure that Canadians know their diabetes status. Many Canadians have diabetes today but do not know it. They are at a high risk of developing diabetes and do not know it. Early treatment, combined with a change in lifestyle, can prevent the medical complications of diabetes and allow many patients to control the condition without relying on insulin.

For those who need medication, we need to ensure that they have free access to insulin. As the member for Thornhill said, it costs thousands of dollars a year to access insulin.

Canadians need free access to the medical monitoring devices that help them manage their condition. That could prevent 35,000 hospitalizations each year in Canada. The truth is, many people simply cannot afford the ongoing monitoring costs faced by diabetics. Their doctors ask them to monitor their blood sugar levels twice a day, but their medical plan only covers one check a day, so they do only one check a day. That results in complications, medical problems and hospitalizations. That risk could see them falling unconscious due to low blood sugar. It could result in the loss of nerve function in their feet, or even amputation. They could lose their jobs. A friend of mine was an airline pilot, one of the most prestigious jobs in this country, and he lost that job for life when he developed type 2 diabetes.

Many other countries in the world have developed programs that tackle diabetes from all angles. They have been proven to be both medically effective and cost-effective. We could save lives and money at the same time.

That brings me to the issue of pharmacare: comprehensive, universal and public pharmacare.

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions produced a report that found that 57% of diabetics reported failing to adhere to their prescribed therapies due to the fact that they just could not afford them.

According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 830 young and middle-aged diabetics in Ontario die each year because of poor access to insulin. That could dramatically change if all Canadians had access to the medicines they need, but they do not. Canada is the only country with a universal health care plan that does not include free access to prescribed medications. Ten to 20% of Canadians report not filling their prescriptions because they simply cannot afford the cost.

Canada should be proud of its history in the treatment of diabetes, with the discovery of insulin, but right now, we are at the bottom of the pack when it comes to prevention and treatment and are at the bottom when it comes to hospitalizations and needless deaths. We need to turn this trend around.

Simple awareness of the depth of the diabetes crisis is a start. I support this motion wholeheartedly, but we need real government leadership and investment in community health programs and public pharmacare to make a real difference in the health of Canadians. We need the government to listen to Diabetes Canada and to implement diabetes 360°. We can do this. We must do this.

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

11:35 a.m.

Oakville North—Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Pam Damoff LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today to offer the government's support for Motion No. 173, brought forward by my colleague, the member for Brampton South. I would also like to commend the member for her dedicated work on this important public health issue. She has been a tireless advocate and has ensured that diabetes and the work that needs to be done remains top of mind for all of us. She introduced a motion at the Standing Committee on Health to study this issue, which resulted in a very substantial report from that committee, and now she has brought forward this motion.

Motion No. 173 would declare November of each year diabetes awareness month. This would be another example of Canada showing leadership in helping those with diabetes. This is leadership that dates back to the discovery of insulin almost 100 years ago by Dr. Frederick Banting, from my home town of London, Ontario, and Dr. Charles Best.

Support for Motion No. 173 would also complement the recognition of November 14 as World Diabetes Awareness Day, which already takes place in Canada. A diabetes awareness month would create more awareness and understanding among all Canadians about this disease, what it is, how is can be prevented and how it can be managed.

Diabetes is a serious chronic disease that can hamper a person's ability to fully participate in the economic and social life of Canada. If left uncontrolled, all three forms of diabetes can lead to serious complications, and for some, premature death.

There are three types of diabetes. Type 1 is not preventable. Gestational diabetes, which occurs in pregnant women, usually disappears after delivery, although it does lead to an increased risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Close to 90% of diabetes cases in Canada are type 2, which is preventable. It is why a diabetes awareness month could have a great impact from an awareness and education perspective. Through greater awareness, we could help stop type 2 in its tracks. This would include drawing greater attention to how Canadians can address the risk factors for diabetes, including physical activity, unhealthy eating, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol.

It is important to recognize that it can be challenging for some to address these risk factors for diabetes. They are often tied to issues such as income, education and the social and physical environments in which a person lives. These issues can result in a person having more difficulty accessing and affording healthy foods or undertaking regular physical activity.

The government support for Motion No. 173 aligns with recommendations from Diabetes Canada's diabetes 360° plan to promote healthier environments. It also complements this recommendation put forth by my colleagues on the Standing Committee on Health:

explore options to improve public awareness and education on diabetes, particularly through community programming, including public awareness of the relationship between nutrition and diabetes

Over three million Canadians, or 8.6% of the population, have diagnosed diabetes. Some population groups have higher rates of diabetes than others, including men, first nations and Métis people, people of African and South Asian descent and people with lower income and education levels.

Healthy eating has a significant impact on the health of Canadians and on the health care system. It contributes to obesity and to the onset of chronic diseases like diabetes.

Also challenging is that Canada's food environment can make it difficult for some Canadians to make healthy eating the easy choice. Less than half our teenagers report eating enough fruits and vegetables. First nations children living off reserve and Inuit and Métis children experience higher levels of food insecurity than non-indigenous children. Preliminary studies are also starting to show that the risk of Inuit developing type 2 diabetes has increased significantly in recent years.

The Government of Canada has been taking action through our healthy eating strategy. Led by Health Canada, the government has strengthened nutrition labelling on food products and has eliminated industrial-produced trans fats in foods.

The launch of the new Canada food guide, which is based on scientific evidence and facts, not only proposes a wide range of nutritious foods for Canadians but emphasises that healthy eating is more than just the foods one eats. It promotes lifelong healthy eating habits by encouraging people to prepare healthy foods at home and to eat together and it offers creative resources to help Canadians do so.

The government is also investing in promising community-based partnerships through the Public Health Agency of Canada's program called promoting healthy living and preventing chronic disease through the multi-sectoral partnerships. Funding delivered through this program has leveraged additional investment from non-taxpayer resources, which has enabled the government to increase the reach and impact of its funding. Funded projects, such as farm to school: Canada digs in; kid food nation; and APPLE schools are helping Canadian youth and children to eat better by building their food literacy skills and to have fun while learning.

The government is also investing in FoodFit, which provides low-income adults with hands-on food skills, tips for preparing affordable and nutritious meals, group physical activity and goal-setting to help participants eat well and lead healthier lifestyles.

Finally, our food policy for Canada sets out a vision that will help Canadians and the communities in which they live access food that is healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate and locally produced. This includes support for food security in northern and indigenous communities and support to reduce food waste.

Diabetes awareness month would also be an excellent opportunity to promote and reinforce efforts to get Canadians to move more and sit less. While Canadian adults report being more active now than in the previous decade, we know Canadians still are not getting enough physical activity. Only 18% of Canadian adults are meeting the 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity guideline per week, or the equivalent to biking for a little over 20 minutes a day. As well, only 40% of children and youth are meeting their recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. Of them, girls are less active than boys.

The government recognizes that we cannot solve the issue of getting Canadians more physically active alone. In June 2018, the government joined the provinces and territories in releasing a report entitled “A Common Vision for Increasing Physical Activity and Reducing Sedentary Living in Canada: Let's Get Moving”. Federal, provincial and territorial governments and a wide range of organizations and partners worked together to develop this policy framework. The common vision is catalyzing efforts across Canada at national, provincial, territorial and local levels to put in place actions to help Canadians get more physically active.

Through budget 2018, $25 million over five years is being invested to support Participaction to increase participation in daily physical activity among Canadians through the Let's Get Moving initiative. Participaction is working with governments, communities and organizations from other sectors to change social norms through long-term and coordinated public education and engagement to increase physical activity. I recently participated in the community better challenge, run by Participaction, to identify Canada's most physically active community.

Another project funded through this program, which will help get Canadian girls moving more, is FitSpirit Healthy Lifestyles for Teen Girls. This eight to-10-week training program for girls empowers them to adopt healthy lifestyle habits and to celebrate the completion of the program by collectively completing a five-kilometre running challenge.

In her 2017 report, entitled “Designing Healthy Living”, the chief public health officer of Canada highlighted that how we design and build where we live, work, study and play is key to improving physical and mental health for all.

With this objective in mind, the Public Health Agency of Canada has invested in projects such as Housing for Health. Housing for Health will combine improvements to neighbourhoods in cities with health promotion programming and encourage community engagement to increase physical activity, healthy eating and social interaction among residents in their communities. This project is an excellent example of how partners from diverse sectors can work together to encourage active and healthy living.

In closing, the government believes that recognizing diabetes awareness month would benefit all Canadians. It would help to increase awareness about this chronic disease, which can help reduce the stigma attached to those living with it.

I would like to again thank the member for Brampton South for sponsoring the motion in the House, and I am thankful for the opportunity to show the government's support for it today.

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

11:45 a.m.

Liberal

Eva Nassif Liberal Vimy, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today for the last time in the 42nd Parliament of Canada to speak to Motion No. 173, which was moved by my hon. colleague from Brampton South. The motion says that November should be diabetes awareness month. I would like to congratulate my colleague on her work.

Although Canada has always promoted health care and health care developments and worked hard to improve Canadians' health—which we are all proud of—there is still a lot of work to do. Diabetes is a chronic disease resulting from an individual's inability to produce enough insulin or use it properly. There is no known cure.

The two most common types of diabetes are type 1, which requires daily insulin injections, and type 2, which can be managed with proper diet, exercise and medication.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, 425 milion people around the world have diabetes. It is a veritable pandemic, as the incidence of the disease is increasing considerably. The World Health Organization estimates that 622 million people will have diabetes by 2040. In 2015, diabetes caused five million deaths worldwide. Furthermore, diabetes kills one person every six seconds globally, which is more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has put out the following statistics: every eight minutes, someone in Canada is diagnosed with diabetes; one in four Canadians lives with diabetes or prediabetes; and 200,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. What is even more frightening about these statistics is the fact that diabetes can lead to other health-related complications including cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, nerve damage, vision loss and depression. These are all conditions that present challenges for those living with diabetes as well as their families, their communities and our health care system. On top of that, most Canadians who have diabetes have no idea they have it.

It is also important to note that Canada has the highest prevalence of diabetes in the world for reasons that are yet unknown. If current trends hold, one in three Canadians will have diabetes by 2020. Given the growing concern about health in Canada and my many years of experience working as a nurse, I share the hon. member's vision and understand the importance of having a diabetes awareness month. This month will have a significant impact. It will help in detecting the first signs of diabetes, preventing its onset for millions of Canadians and, most importantly, it will reaffirm Canada's commitment to fighting the prevalence of this increasingly common disease.

Canada has always been a leader in the fight against diabetes. However, despite our efforts, strategies and policies, the quality of data on diabetes monitoring in Canada clearly show that more effective approaches are essential and needed, now more than ever. The prevalence of diabetes has increased considerably over the past decade, which further increases the threat of this chronic disease.

At a time when rapid strides are being made in science, medicine and health care, Canada has the financial, scientific and technological resources to fund and develop new strategies and carry out research that will lead to groundbreaking discoveries. We have the means to make more of those discoveries.

I strongly believe that one of the key strategies for fighting this disease is prevention through education. In other words, we need to invest more in raising awareness of how serious this disease is and how it is linked to unhealthy lifestyles, reflecting strong support for government measures. This would stop diabetes from spreading further in Canada.

The president of the International Diabetes Federation, Professor Nam Cho, says that the most economical, effective and efficient way to solve diabetes-related problems, from prevention to intervention, morbidity and mortality, is through education.

That is exactly what creating a diabetes awareness month would do. It would be a great way to continue the discussion and would provide a tool for educating Canadians, promoting awareness, helping diabetics manage their own condition effectively and highlighting the message that every person with diabetes deserves the best information and the best care.

As a former nurse, I know how powerful health education can be, and I strongly believe that raising awareness of diabetes, enhancing education and improving knowledge on how to control and treat it will minimize the risk of complications. That will reduce morbidity and mortality among diabetics.

Secondly, establishing a diabetes awareness month would not just help Canadians; it would help us as well. It would enable the federal government to give more thought to the areas where increased efforts are required and to identify sectors for which we could provide more effective programs and policies.

Establishing a diabetes awareness month would encourage all levels of government to work together to ensure that Canadians get the care they need and can enjoy a better quality of life because of what we have done. That is why the following message regarding Motion No. 173 is so important: in partnership with private sector organizations, non-profits and other levels of government, we are testing and broadening the scope of the measures being taken in communities across the country to prevent chronic illnesses, including diabetes.

Listening to communities and working with other levels of government, partners and stakeholders will result in improved information and data quality as well as relevant and accessible programs. This will ultimately improve the health of all Canadians.

Diabetes is a disease that can affect anyone, and I am very concerned that some 44% of Canadians with diabetes do not even realize they have it. This chronic disease can cause alarming symptoms, which vary from person to person and should never be ignored. Symptoms include anxiety, confusion, concentration problems and visual field anomalies.

It is nevertheless important to recognize that although diabetes is incurable, it is treatable. We will save lives by educating Canadians about diabetes, disease prevention and healthy lifestyle choices and by providing further education on the symptoms and long-term complications of diabetes.

In closing, I want to express my strong support for this motion, because I know that promoting a diabetes awareness month will have a significant impact and will help us improve the lives and health of many Canadians.

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Resuming debate. Accordingly, I invite the hon. member for Brampton South for her right of reply. The hon. member has up to five minutes.

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

Sonia Sidhu Liberal Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank the member from St. John's East for the support he has provided for this important motion, Motion No. 173. He is also a great advocate for this issue.

When I introduced Motion No. 173 to make November of every year diabetes awareness month, my goal was to raise national awareness of this disease and its complications as an important first step leading to its prevention and elimination.

I want to thank my hon. colleagues in the House for their support on this issue which affects so many Canadians. The numbers are staggering and I am saddened every time I repeat them, but it is important to summarize them.

Over 11 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes, a new case is diagnosed every three minutes and 90% of these cases are type 2, which means it can be prevented through better awareness, education and lifestyle changes.

I know this first-hand from my many years as a health care professional before I got into politics in my hometown of Brampton, Ontario; from the many experts I have heard from in Parliament, serving on the Standing Committee on Health; and as a chair of the all-party diabetes caucus.

Diabetes is the cause of 30% of strokes, 40% of heart attacks, 50% of kidney failure requiring dialysis and 70% of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations. This is the harsh reality. In the Peel region alone, the rate of diabetes more than doubled between 1996 and 2015.

The general public remains unaware that elevated levels of blood glucose are associated with long-term damage to the body and the failure of various organs and tissues. Diabetes can result in short-term and long-term complications, many of which, if not prevented and left untreated, can be fatal. All have the potential to reduce the quality of life of people with diabetes and their families. This condition has a number of long-term complications that have serious consequences.

It is very possible to control certain risk factors for type 2 diabetes, including making healthy lifestyle choices like eating well, exercising and reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. For individuals with prediabetes, medication can also help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and avoid long-term complications.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a healthy weight, together with medication to control blood sugar levels and vascular risk factors, are common cornerstones of diabetes management. It is possible to reduce human suffering from this disease, such as amputation through prevention, aggressive management of existing diabetes and the provision of the right education for people with diabetes and health care professionals.

Diabetes awareness month in November would serve as an important reminder of the increasing national incidence of diabetes and the significant human, social and economic costs of billions of dollars that it brings. It would be a time to alert Canadians to the fact that diabetes is a serious condition that is presently underestimated with respect to its frequency, cost and impact on quality of life. That is why I am proposing Motion No. 173 to make November of every year diabetes awareness month.

In recent years, the OECD has ranked Canada 15th out of 17 peer countries on diabetes mortality. We can and must do better.

I have had the chance to visit Banting House, the former home of the great Canadian physician and researcher Sir Frederick Banting, whose discovery of insulin was a game-changer in the treatment of diabetes for patients in Canada and around the world. Outside of Banting House, there is a flame that burns in recognition of the ongoing challenges that face each one of us. Until this disease is defeated, the flame will not be extinguished.

I know this is possible only if we work together in a non-partisan manner. I respectfully ask each and every one of my hon. colleagues from all parties to support Motion No. 173 to help defeat diabetes through awareness.

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

Noon

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

Noon

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

Noon

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

Noon

Some hon. members

Yea.

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

Noon

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

Noon

Some hon. members

Nay.

Diabetes Awareness MonthPrivate Members' Business

Noon

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Pursuant to an order made on Tuesday, May 28 the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, June 19, at the expiry of the time provided for oral questions.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

Noon

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

moved:

That, in relation to Bill C-83, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and another Act, not more than five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration of the Senate amendments stage of the said bill; and

That, at the expiry of the five hours provided for the consideration of the Senate amendments to the said bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will be a 30-minute question period. I ask hon. members who wish to participate in the 30 minutes to rise to get an indication of how many want to speak.

As is the usual case, I ask hon. members to keep their interventions to approximately one minute. That will allow all members who wish to speak the opportunity to do so. Members can be recognized more than once. I remind hon. members that most of the question time in the 30 minutes is reserved for opposition members. However, members from the government side are certainly welcome to participate as well.

We will begin now with questions. The hon. member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:05 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 2015, the government said that it would do things differently, that it would respect Parliament and would move away from motions that did not allow appropriate time for debate.

I want to point out something very unique and interesting about this bill. It took you, Mr. Speaker, approximately 11 minutes to read the amendments to the bill. Within four minutes of debate, the government gave notice of a motion of closure. Not many speakers had the opportunity to debate the bill before that.

How is this consistent with the promises the minister made in 2015 to do things differently?

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:05 p.m.

Regina—Wascana Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale LiberalMinister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Mr. Speaker, we have arrived at the stage of debate where there is now an opportunity for the House to respond to the work that was done in relation to this legislation by the Senate. In other words, the bill has had a thorough debate in the House. It has passed through all the stages in the House. It has had extensive committee hearings. It has gone to the Senate and has been reviewed there. The Senate has considered the legislation, made a number of amendments and sent the bill back to the House with those amendments.

The point is that this is a very advanced stage of debate. We are not beginning with the bill in its raw form; we are beginning with the bill at a very advanced stage. Therefore, members have had extensive opportunity to debate, consider and in fact make amendments.

The point of contention between the House and the Senate is the independent review process that was crafted by the House. Therefore, we are defending the position that was taken by the House on the very important question of how there could be proper review and oversight of the correctional system.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am so saddened, as I think most Canadians are, that every day the Liberals continue to repudiate all the commitments they made back in 2015 to work with members of the House of Commons, to stop omnibus legislation and to stop the abuse of the use of closure.

As the House knows, the government has gone far beyond the previous government's abuse of closure by bringing in a new “gag” closure that allows only 20 minutes of discussion after it is moved and only one member of the government gets to speak. Members of the opposition do not get to ask questions, make comments or anything of that nature. It shows how toxic the government has become with respect to trying to move legislation through the House and get it improved so the legislation does what it purports to do.

In the case of Bill C-83, the NDP offered dozens of amendments, because the bill has been largely criticized by the Elizabeth Fry Societies and many other intervenors. We brought forward the witness testimony and said it would improve the bill. The government refused all of that.

Is that not the reason why the government is ramming it through today, because it is a controversial bill that has been much criticized and the government refused to listen to all the witnesses and members of the opposition who tried to make improvements?

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, with the greatest respect, I have to disagree with the hon. gentleman.

First, he was critical of omnibus legislation. This is not omnibus legislation. It is legislation pertaining specifically to the correctional service and is focused upon one piece of legislation, not a number of different bills.

Second, he was concerned about what he called a “gag” order or the closure procedure. This is not a closure procedure. This is time allocation, which is qualitatively different from what he was criticizing.

Third, I would point out that amendments to the legislation have been welcomed and accepted from all parties in the House and indeed by the Senate as well.

Therefore, this is not a peremptory approach. There has been a huge amount of debate and a lot of input. That input has been weighed very carefully and a great deal of it has been accepted.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:10 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, this morning proves that the Liberals will do anything and say anything to get elected. In the last election, they promised they were not going to use closure motions as often as we had in the last parliament. They are also saying that they are not going to raise taxes after the next election, even though their spending is way out of control.

There has only been four minutes of debate on this bill prior to this closure motion being moved. Does the minister think that is appropriate?

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, there have been many hours and days of debate in consideration of the legislation through all the stages in the House of Commons and in the Senate. We are now at the point of responding to the Senate's recommendations. It is not as if the debate was just beginning today or four minutes ago. In fact, the motion that was moved by the House leader provided for five more hours of debate on the specific question of how the House would respond to the recommendations made by the Senate.

This is not a closure motion, it is time allocation and it follows the full length of parliamentary procedure through both the House of Commons and the Senate, where many worthy suggestions have been made, a lot of very well-informed debate has taken place and many amendments have been accepted. We are now into the final stages of that discussion where it is appropriate for the House to take a decision and to vote.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:10 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, there seems to be a great deal of concern in regard to the process of things. We have seen member after member stand up on a wide variety of pieces of legislation. Even when I was in opposition, at times we need to use this tool in order to advance legislation. We could see opposition members debating things indefinitely, unless either the tool of time allocation is used or the opposition is prepared to allow the debate to come to an end.

I wonder if my colleague can provide his thoughts on the matter that time allocation is a tool that is necessary at times, that we have seen New Democrats and Conservatives support time allocation, and that this is not outside the norm.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary is quite right. There are occasions when such procedures are perfectly appropriate, and that is especially the case when we are into the final days of a Parliament. We all know what the parliamentary calendar is, and it is important for key measures to be approved by Parliament while the time remains for that work to get done.

I would point out that the matters at issue in this legislation are also before a number of courts in this country where the courts have set a deadline. They have indicated that Parliament has an obligation to take certain decisions one way or the other, to make up their minds and vote, so that certain situations pertaining in the correctional system can be corrected. If Parliament is not able to take those decisions in a timely way, that could in fact throw the system into chaos. Therefore, because of the court proceedings, it is also important for Parliament to be timely in bringing this legislation to a conclusion.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:15 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately here we go again. We see time allocation being moved by the current government. The Liberals have been lax throughout this Parliament. They are coming down to the last few days of Parliament and we see this modus operandi of the government to start pushing debates and halting debate to get this legislation through regardless.

Again, it is not simply that the Liberals are invoking this measure; this is the measure they said they would not be invoking. This is the measure on which the current Prime Minister stood and said it is the kind of thing that Canadians lose confidence in a government on, and that the Liberals would not do this kind of thing. It is exactly what we have seen more and more, especially in the last few weeks.

The parliamentary secretary said that this prevents a filibuster by the government, and debate and debate and debate. We have had four minutes at this stage to even talk about this. Canadians expect that when issues like this come through, good healthy debate takes place here and it has not. Neither has consultation. I have a penitentiary in my riding. Not only is it the well-being and safety of offenders that Canadians question, but also of the guards and the correctional officers.

There are two points. We have legislation that needs to be debated and we have another promise broken by the current government as to time allocation.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am glad the hon. gentleman brought up the issue of consultation because, as always, we try our very best to consult with all of those who have a stake in the decisions that are made with respect to our public safety systems in this country.

A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to attend the triennial meeting of the major union that represents correctional officers who work at the various institutions across this country, including the one in the hon. gentleman's riding. That national meeting of the union was held in Calgary. It was very well attended by correctional officers all over the country. We had the opportunity to discuss this specific legislation. It was clear from that discussion that the union representatives were anxious to see legislation of this nature proceed because it is needed for the safety of the officers, the inmates and the other members of the public who attend from time to time within the correctional system. Indeed, that consultation has taken place.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the minister, I do understand the difference between a closure motion and time allocation. I realize that the government is allocating time for this.

The major issue, though, is the fact that on Friday Bill C-83 had proceeded with only four minutes of debate when the government House leader rose in the House to give notice that time allocation was going to be moved. I understand that this bill is at a relatively advanced stage, however, it is tradition that this House, the people's House, the representatives of each of these ridings get to have the time to carefully consider what the other place has done.

When I put what the government's actions are with respect to Bill C-83 within the context of what it did on Thursday with all of the other government bills, I think the pretense of any respect for Parliament has completely evaporated. Right now, the government is quite obvious. It has a week left, it has a checklist, and is it going to use its majority to simply ram through every piece of legislation, no matter what members of the opposition might have to say on it, despite the fact that on this side of the House, our parties, collectively, represent roughly 60% of the Canadian populace.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, once the discussion about time allocation has concluded, members will have five additional hours of debate to consider this stage, which is on top of all of the stages in the Senate, which was on top of all of the previous stages in the House of Commons.

There has been extensive opportunity to examine the details of this legislation. In particular, the portions of the legislation that are subject to the advice and recommendations coming from the Senate are the portions of the legislation which this House and the committee examined in detail, and made extensive changes and improvements to during the course of the parliamentary committee's work.

It is not as if this is a new subject that suddenly has been sprung upon the House of Commons or upon the public safety and national security committee of the House. The House examined this in detail, and in fact renovated these provisions in detail. It was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, who was not in that role at that time but who was a member of the public safety committee who moved those extensive amendments, which were then debated in the House and adopted in detail by the House.

There has been very careful, conscientious attention given to this issue by members of the House of Commons.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Mr. Speaker, here we go again. It is over 100 times now that the government has used closure or has limited the amount of debate we can have any time on these bills.

This stands in stark contrast to what the minister used to say when he was in the third party. The member for Winnipeg North used to stand and holler every time there was a closure motion or anything to limit the debate we were having on any motions before the House.

We only had four minutes on Friday to start the debate on the amendments that were proposed by the Senate. I still have to go back and talk to my UCCO members who work at Stony Mountain Institution in my riding to ensure that the health and safety provisions that are in the bill are going to be properly enforced and how that is going to occur. They still have those questions.

However, because the Liberals are stifling debate here in the House, I will not have the time to go and consult, and discuss this with UCCO members and with penitentiary staff on how this will impact our riding and how it is going to impact the care and incarceration of those who are currently serving sentences.

There are still so many questions out there. The hypocrisy that we are seeing from the Liberals continues to amaze all of us, because when they were in the third party, they used to scream and holler at the top of their lungs every time the previous government tried to do this.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, while I may have spoken vigorously when I was a member of the opposition on issues of this kind, I do not think it is fair to describe it as screaming and hollering. It was passion.

In relation to this legislation and the important question the hon. gentleman makes with respect to the UCCO union, the point that they made was really twofold in the consultation. Number one, there needed to be a system whereby when it was necessary, inmates could be separated from one another in the interests of public safety. They wanted to ensure that that kind of a system would be available to maintain safety within the institution. This legislation does that.

Secondly, they wanted to be sure that the resources would be there for the mental health services and the other correctional services that would be necessary to make this legislation effective. I am pleased to confirm that the Minister of Finance has made that funding available in the last fall update and in the spring budget. A total of $450 million has been made available for the implementation of this legislation to meet what the UCCO union suggested was absolutely essential for success.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I too am disturbed about the fact that the government is using this tactic bringing either time allocation or closure to this House on government bills. This would be the 76th time that the government has embarked on this since I have been here.

This is the end of our term but I am still a new member of Parliament. I still recall that in the 2015 election the Liberal members advocated for and promised Canadians that they would not embark on a process like the Harper government of shutting down debate in this House to put in time allocation or closure. Here we are, yet again, doing exactly that. Last week, the government moved a similar motion twice in one day on different bills.

I would say this to the minister. Will the Liberals not follow up on what they promised Canadians in the 2015 election and stand down on this motion?

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, let me once again point out that what we are beginning here is not the end of the debate but another five hours of debate on this very topic. There will be five more hours of debate, in addition to all of the debate that has taken place in the Senate, in addition to all three stages that were dealt with earlier in the House, plus extensive committee hearings by both the Senate and the House of Commons.

The opportunity to discuss in detail has, in fact, been very considerable. I congratulate all members on this side, on the opposition side and in the other place, who have participated in this discussion about Bill C-83 in a very fulsome way.

I would also point out this timing consideration. As I said earlier, there are several outstanding court cases pertaining to the use of administrative segregation in the Canadian correctional system. Those court cases date back to 2015. They have come to decisions in the last number of months, which have imposed upon the government and Parliament an obligation to consider the matters and make decisions in a timely way. We are up against those deadlines now, so it is simply not possible and it certainly would not be responsible to ignore the deadlines that have been imposed by the courts. Otherwise, we are inviting chaos in the correctional system.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Conservative

Mel Arnold Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to pose a couple of questions to the minister on this time allocation motion.

He has stated numerous times in the last few minutes of debate that there will be another five hours of debate.

I would like to ask the minister this. Has he confirmed with his government House leader that there will be no closure declared on that debate, similar to what the government did on Bill C-69 last week? It closed off debate on that. It closed off discussion on Bill C-69 at the committee stage when there were hundreds of amendments, hundreds even from their own Liberal Party on their own poorly drafted bill. The government closed off debate. It does it time and time again, because it simply does not want to hear the truth.

Will the minister confirm again that there will be no closure and there will be five hours of debate on this bill?

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, those are indeed the terms of the motion put before the House by the government House leader, and as soon as we adopt that motion, the five hours are written into the procedures of the House.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Oakville North—Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Pam Damoff LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, my question is with regard to the bill and its importance for the corrections system. We had rigorous debate during committee hearings. A number of significant, not minor, changes were made at committee. The Senate has also made some changes to it. My understanding is that the only thing we are debating when the bill comes back is the Senate amendments. We have had rigorous debate on the bill itself. It has received support from the parole officers union and from the correctional officers union, which recognize the importance of getting this legislation done due to court challenges.

Could the minister speak about the importance of this legislation and what we are actually debating here?

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member, as well as all members who served on SECU and all the senators in the other place who have been debating this legislation. It has been given very conscientious attention, amended many times and improved in the process. We are now in the final stages of sorting out the last of the amendments to finalize the bill.

The issue is simply this. When we abolish the long-standing practice of administrative segregation, as this legislation does, and replace that with specific units within the correctional system that can provide the capacity to separate people when necessary but ensure that their programming, mental health services, counselling and other treatments continue nonetheless, when we establish that new system to replace administrative segregation, the question is what kind of oversight we need to ensure that all the rules are being properly followed by the Correctional Service of Canada.

The Senate has made one set of proposals. The legislation includes a different set of proposals. Indeed, we believe that the procedures in the legislation, with proposals put forward by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, are the correct ones. Our response to the Senate is to thank senators very much for their very hard work, but to defend the amendments that were made by the House.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is terminology that the hon. gentleman likes to use quite often in the House. I count eight substantive amendments that the government is accepting or has modified from the Senate. The minister said that the government has considered this and is satisfied with it, and therefore it is moving time allocation, which provides us with only five hours.

Several members who have penitentiaries in their ridings have risen on our side of the House. They would like to go back to their constituents and get their opinion on this, and I would like to go back to former prison guards who live in my riding. However, today we are being told there are five more hours and that is it.

The member for Peace River—Westlock mentioned this was four minutes at this stage of debate. How many members can speak in four minutes? Very few could provide substantive feedback. The time allocation being moved today by the government is shutting down debate. I have seen this time and again, both at standing committees of the House and on other legislation.

I spoke to Bill C-83 before and mentioned all my concerns and worries that constituents had explained to me over the distinct sections and technicalities of the bill. The issue now is that, with only five hours left, it gives us literally no time to return to our constituents to get their feedback on these eight substantive amendments.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

Mr. Speaker, if this were a brand new topic that had never been introduced in the House before, it would present a challenge to deal with all of the detail within five hours, but this is a topic that has been amply debated in the House, in the Senate and now back in the House again.

It is time, in light of the very pressing court decisions that are outstanding, for the House to conclude the debate and take a final vote, knowing very clearly, already on the record, what the important views are, for example, of the correctional officers union, which has been very clear in its position, wanting to see Bill C-83 accepted by the government and by Parliament.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier and will say again, the government has repudiated all the promises it made back in 2015.

The minister was being a bit disingenuous a few minutes ago, when he said that this is not omnibus legislation. A point that opposition members have been making is that the government said it would end the practice of omnibus legislation, but instead it has accelerated it.

In terms of the gag closure, the government said that it would reduce the number of times it would impose closure, but instead it has accelerated it. The gag closure, which is a new measure, never before seen in Canadian history, eliminates the right of opposition members to even speak to a bill once closure is moved. The 20-minute government speech is all that is permitted on the floor of the House of Commons.

We have before us legislation that is deeply flawed, and, for the 76th time, the government is imposing closure. The nitpicking about it being a different category of closure, TA closure as opposed to standard closure or gag closure, does not make the harm that this does to Parliament any less. The Liberal government has used closure 76 times, proportionally more than the Harper government.

The bill itself is deeply flawed. There is no limit on the number of days that somebody can be put in solitary confinement. Is that not the reason why the government is trying to ram the bill through the House?

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Liberal Regina—Wascana, SK

No, Mr. Speaker, and let me help the hon. gentleman with some further information.

All of his criticism in the statement he has just given is directed toward the procedure of closure. This is not closure. It is a different procedure under the House. I appreciate the passion with which he opposes closure, but he should direct that toward another target, because this is not closure.

The member is obviously very opposed to solitary confinement. So am I. That is why, in this legislation, we abolish it.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings at this time and put forthwith the question on the motion now before the House.

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Bill C-83—Time Allocation MotionCorrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

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

Vote #1360

Corrections and Conditional Release ActGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion carried.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.

South Shore—St. Margarets Nova Scotia

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberalfor the Minister of Transport

moved:

That a message be sent to the Senate to acquaint their Honours that, in relation to Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast, the House:

agrees with amendment 1 made by the Senate;

proposes that, as a consequence of Senate amendment 1, the following amendment be added:

“1. Clause 2, page 1: Add the following after line 15:

Indigenous peoples of Canada has the meaning assigned by the definition aboriginal peoples of Canada in subsection 35(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982. (peuples autochtones du Canada)”;

proposes that amendment 2 be amended by replacing the text of the amendment with the following:

“32 (1) During the fifth year after the day on which this section comes into force, a review of the provisions and operation of this Act must be undertaken by any committee of the Senate, of the House of Commons or of both Houses of Parliament that is designated or established for that purpose, including a review of the impact of this Act on the environment, on social and economic conditions and on the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

(2) The committee referred to in subsection (1) must submit a report of the results of the review to the Senate, the House of Commons or both Houses of Parliament, as the case may be, on any of the first 15 days on which the Senate or the House of Commons, as the case may be, is sitting after the report is completed.”.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:15 p.m.

Burnaby North—Seymour B.C.

Liberal

Terry Beech LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, on what is likely the last sitting week of the 42nd Parliament, I appreciate the opportunity to outline both the necessity and benefits of Bill C-48, otherwise known as the oil tanker moratorium act. Let me begin by reminding members that Bill C-48 is the fulfillment of an election promise made in 2015. It was later included in both the minister's mandate letter and the Speech from the Throne.

Bill C-48 would provide an unprecedented level of environmental protection for the northern coast of British Columbia and the adjoining Great Bear Rainforest, one of the most pristine and unspoiled places left in Canada, and indeed the world. The Great Bear Rainforest represents approximately one-quarter of the world's remaining temperate rainforest. It is an extraordinarily rich and productive ecosystem that is often described as one of the lungs of the world because of its high oxygen production. The forest is largely intact due to special measures taken by both the federal and provincial governments over many years and by the relentless efforts of local people, including indigenous communities, to protect this extremely valuable ecosystem.

Bill C-48 would be complementary to these efforts, as well as the long-standing and well-respected voluntary tanker exclusion zone agreement between Canada and the United States that keeps Alaskan tankers like the Exxon Valdez far from our coast. Bill C-48 would effectively formalize into legislation a long-standing federal policy dating back to at least the 1970s not to allow large tanker traffic off of the northern coast of British Columbia. In fact, on my first trip to Haidi Gwaii, as the parliamentary secretary to the minister of fisheries and oceans at the time, I procured three posters that were used as fundraisers to campaign for this initial tanker ban in the 1970s, one of which is hanging in my constituency office in Burnaby.

Speaking to local residents, they are concerned about their environment and their way of life. A 2012 study reviewing offshore oil and gas development in British Columbia estimates the total annual benefits of marine-dependent activities in the traditional territories of coastal first nations at more than $30 billion. Unlike other regions in Canada, this policy legacy ensures that there is no existing tanker traffic near this coast. This means that formalizing the moratorium will not disrupt any current jobs or economic activity in the region. In fact, it would help protect existing industries, including fisheries, aquaculture and ecotourism.

Bill C-48 would continue to allow for the shipment of non-persistent oils. What this means is that communities along the north coast of British Columbia would continue to be open to economic development opportunities, including the recently announced $40-billion infrastructure project in Kitimat, B.C. Bill C-48 would not affect the estimated 10,000 jobs that are attached to that particular project. Very importantly, Bill C-48 would help to preserve the cultural and spiritual way of life of coastal first nations. As such, it is part of the Government of Canada's larger commitment to reconciliation with indigenous peoples. As we know, this is something that our government and our Prime Minister consider to be of the highest priority.

Members will recall that Bill C-48 was debated and studied in the House in 2017 and 2018. It was ultimately passed by the elected members of the House of Commons in May 2018, by a vote of 204 to 85. With the support of the Liberal Party of Canada, the NDP, the Green Party and the Groupe parlementaire du Parti québécois, only the Conservatives voted against it.

I would like to take a moment to thank the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley, whose riding largely overlaps with the proposed moratorium zone and who has been a long-time advocate of formalizing the tanker ban into legislation. Along with our colleague from Vancouver Quadra, he has introduced private member's bills in previous Parliaments proposing a tanker ban, albeit through a different mechanism. He has been working with our government to secure support for this important bill in the other place, and his co-operation is greatly appreciated.

This bill was referred to the other place on May 9, 2018, and has been studied and debated there until just last week, more than a year before it was passed with an amendment and sent back to this chamber. I am grateful for the work undertaken in the other chamber, particularly during report stage and third reading. If colleagues have not had an opportunity to read or listen to some of these debates, I would encourage them to do so. They will be impressed by the high level and seriousness of the debate. Those debates ultimately led to the amendment that is before us today.

The Senate is proposing to modify Bill C-48 in a number of ways, most substantively by requiring a two-stage review. First would be a regional assessment that would be led by the Minister of Environment under authorities that would be established once Bill C-69 came into force.

The Minister of Environment would be required to invite the provincial governments of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as indigenous communities in the moratorium area, to enter into an agreement or arrangement respecting the joint establishment of a committee to conduct the regional assessment and the manner in which the assessment is to be carried out. This body would then have up to four years after coming into force to complete the report.

This would then feed into the second stage, a parliamentary review, which would take place five years after coming into force, and which would consider evidence gathered by the regional assessment and conduct further study and hearings before presenting its report to Parliament.

Let me begin by first stating we acknowledge that this is a thoughtful, creative and substantive amendment. We also recognize that the Senate's amendment, including the regional assessment component, is a well-intentioned and honourable attempt to find a compromise between supporters and opponents of the moratorium, as well as an attempt to depoliticize what has turned into a very contentious debate on this bill by requiring a more technical, evidence-based study.

In terms of the government's response, we support the Senate's call for a parliamentary review of Bill C-48 after five years. During report stage debate in the other place, Senator Sinclair remarked:

I too have concerns about the bill because it does constitute what appears to be an absolute ban on tanker traffic in an area, for good reason that might be applicable today, but I’m not so sure it will be applicable in the future.

He went on to state:

When it comes to how we can improve the bill, one of the options I want to talk to the chamber about is whether we might consider allowing for communities to change their minds at some point in the future and if they all agree that the ban should be lifted, then we would allow the bill to say so.

A parliamentary review after five years would allow such a conversation to take place. Committees could look at scientific evidence and new developments, hold meetings outside of Ottawa and provide an opportunity for all interested indigenous communities, provinces and other stakeholders to express their views.

However, for a number of reasons, we respectfully disagree with the Senate's recommendation to undertake a regional assessment. First, we feel this is unnecessary, given the requirement for a parliamentary review, as I just discussed. Secondly, there is consultation fatigue, particularly among communities living in northern B.C. and with coastal first nations, after many years of reviews and studies.

A non-comprehensive list of these reviews include the Senate transport committee study of Bill C-48 in 2019, Transport Canada consultations with communities and stakeholders held in 2016 and 2017 prior to the introduction of Bill C-48, the Canadian environmental assessment and National Energy Board review panel of Enbridge's northern gateway pipeline proposal held between 2010 and 2012, the Natural Resources Canada “Public Review Panel on the Government of Canada Moratorium on Offshore Oil and Gas Activities in the Queen Charlotte Region British Columbia” in 2004, the B.C. scientific review of offshore oil and gas moratorium in 2002, the joint Canada-B.C. “West Coast Offshore Exploration Environmental Assessment Panel” in 1986, the federal West Coast Oil Ports Inquiry in 1977 and last, but not least, the House of Commons special committee on environmental pollution in 1970-1971. I was almost tired going through the whole list, never mind the actual reports themselves.

It is important to note that many of the reviews I mentioned were led by regulators and bureaucrats, not politicians. They looked in detail at scientific evidence in a more technical way than parliamentary committees typically do. However, none of them led to a resolution of the fundamental political disagreements over this issue. At the end of the day, many of the scientific questions about whether or not it is safe or advisable to move crude oil in tankers off this particular coast are endlessly debatable. There is no reason to believe that yet another lengthy and expensive study would bridge these differences of opinion, especially one starting so soon after the coming into force of Bill C-48.

To be clear, the amendment proposes to start yet another review only 180 days after Bill C-48 comes into force. At some point, a decision needs to be taken based on the best evidence available and using the best judgment of parliamentarians about what is fair and reasonable, taking into account the wider Government of Canada approach on energy and the environment and on reconciliation with first nations.

Furthermore, there is, in our view, a need for a cooling-off period and a break to allow passions to settle and to take a breath. Coastal first nations have been fighting for a bill like this for almost 50 years. They deserve a break and some peace of mind.

Finally, the proposed approach would result in a lack of clarity over whether the authority provided to the Minister of Environment in Bill C-48 would be inconsistent or in conflict with the authority provided to the Minister of Environment in Bill C-69.

For all of these reasons, the government is proposing to accept the Senate amendment but in a modified form. We accept the adding of a parliamentary review in five years would come into force, but respectfully disagree with the requirement to hold a regional assessment. We feel this is a fair compromise with our colleagues in the other place and will allow them to achieve much, if not all, of what they intended, namely an opportunity to re-evaluate the law after a number of years.

Turning back to the bill itself, much of the debate on Bill C-48 so far has revolved around the question of why legislation is being proposed that effectively bans oil tankers from operating off the coast of northern British Columbia and not elsewhere in the country. Critics of the bill contend that this is arbitrary and unjustified, but I would argue that nothing could be further from the truth.

As the Minister of Transport explained when he appeared before the Senate transport committee, there are a number of factors that, when combined together, account for the uniqueness of the situation in northern British Columbia and the need for special measures to protect it.

The most obvious unique attribute of British Columbia's pristine north coast is the ecological significance of the area. The coastline runs along one of the last temperate rainforests left in the world and, even more rare, one of the very few to remain largely intact. These kinds of forests are unusually productive and support an extraordinarily rich web of biodiversity. The interface between the marine, coastal and terrestrial environments in this part of B.C. is seamless.

The Senate transport committee heard from experts who testified both to the unusually pristine nature of this ecosystem and to its vulnerability to the effects of a major oil spill. Canada has a kind of jewel in the Great Bear Rainforest which needs to be treasured and preserved for future generations. This is a responsibility we owe not only to ourselves but to the world. The precautionary principle, a principle I debated often within my previous role in fisheries and oceans, is fully justified in this case.

A second distinguishing factor is the long-standing policy legacy, at both the federal and provincial levels, of extending special protections to this part of the country. In essence, Bill C-48 would simply formalize an already well-established policy of barring oil tankers from this coast. As such, it would not be disruptive to any existing industries or employment, very much unlike the case if we were to propose such a moratorium off the coast of Newfoundland or Nova Scotia, or for the St. Lawrence for example.

A third factor that differentiates the northern coast of British Columbia is its shear size and remoteness and the navigational hazards of operating in these waters.

Environment Canada classifies the Hecate Strait as the fourth most dangerous body of water in the world for shipping. Winds of 100 kilometres per hour and waves between eight and 10 metres are not uncommon in both the Hecate Strait and the Dixon Entrance. These combine to make spill response more challenging than in more populated, built-up areas like the south coast, the St. Lawrence or the east coast. Although our government is dramatically boosting our capacity to respond to accidents through our $1.5 billion oceans protection plan, resources cannot be unlimited. It will continue to be the case that northern B.C. will present special challenges, particularly during bad weather which is common on these seas.

Last, Bill C-48 is responding to a more than 40-year campaign by local people, and especially indigenous communities, who live along the coast to formalize the moratorium banning oil tankers. While it is true that opinion among indigenous communities is not universal, a clear majority of these communities that are situated in the proposed moratorium area want to pass this law. Most important, the communities that would be most vulnerable to the impacts of an oil spill, such as the Haida and the Heiltsuk, have campaigned persistently for this bill. As such, it is part of our government's larger commitment to reconciliation with the first nations.

While I am sympathetic to the voices of indigenous groups further inland, which might like to participate in the economic benefits of a future, yet highly notional, pipeline that would go to the northern coast of B.C., I cannot disregard what a major oil spill would mean economically, culturally and spiritually to those who would bear the brunt of its effects. They deserve the peace of mind that Bill C-48 would bring them.

I note as well that coastal first nations have been joined by their neighbours in communities such as the city of Prince Rupert, the village of Queen Charlotte, the district of Kitimat, the city of Terrace, the town of Smithers, and the Skeena-Queen Charlotte regional district, which have all passed resolutions or written letters in support of the moratorium. There is also support by the Province of British Columbia.

In the short time that I have been in the House, I have had the opportunity to work on the government's $1.5 billion oceans protection plan, revisions to the Oceans Act in Bill C-55, restoring protections and introducing modern safeguards to the Fisheries Act via Bill C-68 and working to restore our whale population with our $167 million action plan.

We have expanded our marine protected areas from less than 1% under the previous government to over 8%. At the same time, we have reduced unemployment to historic lows, lifted 825,000 Canadians from poverty and Canadians have created more than a million new jobs.

It is the responsibility of any government to work hard to protect and restore the environment while growing the economy and creating more opportunities for Canadians. To do this successfully, we must balance competing demands and constraints, and I believe Bill C-48 would help us accomplish this balance.

I would like to quote a colleague from the other place, Senator Harder, who recently remarked:

...I hope that, one day, the people of the coast will tell the story of when their grandparents came to Ottawa to pass Bill C-48. I hope [we]...tell the story of how Canadians worked together to save the environment at this testing time.

It is time this bill was passed. I hope our colleagues in the other place will join our government in at long last making this a reality.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would note that this bill actually was created as a result of a directive that was given by the Prime Minister to the Minister of Transport through a mandate letter. When we were studying the bill in committee, to a witness, none of the witnesses were consulted when it came to it, especially when it came to first nations communities.

Would the member care to comment on why no first nations communities were consulted before the bill was introduced?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to discussing, during this question and answer period, our government's approach to balancing the environment and the economy, versus the Conservatives' previous approach, and what is proposed for the future.

There were over 75 consultations with indigenous peoples with regard to the legislation. I listed an extensive number of consultations that happened in previous studies as well. We have studied this issue and this is the appropriate action to take. We hope everyone in the House will support us in passing this amendment and passing the overall legislation in Bill C-48.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I note there is a lot of people standing for questions and comments. I will ask members to keep their comments and input concise, so we can get to everyone who wishes to speak.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, we certainly welcome the legislation for a tanker ban on the north coast. However, we have concerns. There are enough loopholes in the bill that a tanker could drive through it. In fact, the one thing the government has not done is put forward an amendment to limit the minister's power. Right now, the minister could override this whole legislation and make an exemption for tanker traffic on the north coast.

We also wonder why the government did not listen to ENGOs and concerns raised in coastal British Columbia about the maximum fuel-carrying capacity, which they recommended to be between 2,000 and 3,000 tonnes, and the government set that measure at 12,500 tonnes.

Maybe the member could speak to those important concerns.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, Vancouver Island is my previous home town. My friend and I have had the opportunity to work on several pieces of legislation, including in my previous role in fisheries.

It is important to bring to the attention of the House the extraordinary history that has led to the creation of Bill C-48. In 1971, a House committee suggested we oppose tanker traffic off the north coast of British Columbia. This was also backed by a unanimous motion by the B.C. legislature, also in 1971, opposing crude oil tankers on the north coast.

Some actions went all the way to 1985, when the first voluntary tanker exclusion zone was negotiated and then formalized in 1988. Of course, this happened just before the major incident in 1989 of the Exxon Valdez spill off the coast of Alaska, just showing how important this measure is.

With regard to the question of the limit of 12,500 metric tonnes, that was done in consultation with industry, environmental organizations, local governments and indigenous people. We think we got the number right.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Independent

Erin Weir Independent Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, while this legislation has been making its way through Parliament to ban oil tankers on the north coast of B.C., the government has approved the LNG Canada project, which would entail a significant number of liquefied natural gas tankers on the north coast of B.C.

I congratulate the government for putting in place safeguards to ensure that liquefied natural gas tankers can safely navigate the north coast of B.C. However, I would ask the member for Burnaby North—Seymour this. Why does he not believe those safeguards that would be adequate for liquefied natural gas would not be adequate to enable oil tankers to safely navigate those same waters?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Saskatchewan is my previous neighbour on the same floor in the Confederation Building. We have had many opportunities to talk about various issues.

With regard to the defining difference the member raised, we are looking at banning persistent oils under a definition that is internationally recognized. These are oils that once they enter a marine or terrestrial environment, are very difficult to dissipate. If there is an incident with respect to non-persistent oils, such as the natural gas he has stated, there is a greater rate of evaporation, which makes it easier to minimize the environmental impacts.

Therefore, as we do with all our legislation in the House, this balances both the economic opportunities for the region with the environmental protections, which are also the backbone of the economic activities in the region today.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

June 17th, 2019 / 1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, my constituents in Guelph are concerned about the environmental impacts of oil shipments off our west coast and what Bill C-48 would do to try to mitigate some of those concerns. It is interesting to see the amendments coming back from the Senate, especially to see the independence of the Senate in doing its studies.

Could the hon. member comment on the five-year review process being recommended, that Parliament look at this again in five years to see how things are working, working with all stakeholders and people who have given us input, either through the other place or through the House of Commons, and to see how effective the legislation is?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, what is being proposed in the amendment is a two-stage approach, a regional assessment and a five-year parliamentary review. We are respectively opposing the regional assessment. However, the five-year review is a good opportunity to look at things that might have changed in either the biodiversity or the economic or political landscapes of the region.

Something that might be important to my colleague is to talk about just how important the ecological biodiversity is in this area. The Great Bear Rainforest is regularly describe as the “lungs of the planet”. Ninety-five per cent of the total breeding seabird populations breed in this area off the north coast of British Columbia. There are kelp forests 50 metres high that provide nourishment not just to the marine environment but produce oxygen to clean our atmosphere. Two-thirds of mammals and subspecies participate on the coast. Thirty-nine endangered or threatened species call this place home. It is a unique place in the world. It is our duty to protect it.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mel Arnold Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the parliamentary secretary why his government has chosen to cause a division across the country. The bill does not ban the transit of tankers, as the government would like the headlines to read. It really just bans the loading and unloading of those tankers in Canadian waters, which limits our western oil producers from getting their product to market. It is basically regional discrimination against one region of the country over another. Why would his government choose to divide the country in the way it has?

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, I completely reject the premise of that question. This type of legislation, along with our larger approach for environmental protections and growing the economy, is designed to help bring the country together.

I am not surprised to get those kinds of comments from the Conservative opposition. It is the only party in the House that voted against the legislation in the first place. The opposition has opposed Bill C-55, Bill C-68 and changes that protect by increasing our MPAs.

The opposition has also failed with respect to the economy. The last two Conservative governments have accrued over 72% of the total debt of the entire history of the debt in Canada. We cannot afford to have those guys back in power again.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to respond to the government's motion on the Senate amendments to Bill C-48. While I do appreciate the opportunity to speak to the motion, what I do not appreciate, what millions of other Canadians do not appreciate, is that we have to respond to the bill at all.

I want to recap what the bill would do.

First, this legislation was created as a result of a directive in the Prime Minister's mandate letter to the Minister of Transport dated November 2015.

If passed, this legislation would enact an oil tanker moratorium on B.C.'s northwest coast. The proposed moratorium would be in effect from the Canada-U.S. Alaska border to the northern tip of Vancouver Island.

The legislation would prohibit oil tankers carrying crude and persistent oil as cargo from stopping, loading and unloading at ports or marine installations in the moratorium area. Vessels carrying less than 12,500 metric tons of crude oil would be exempted from the moratorium.

I would suggest that this bill is an open, sneering attack on our oil and gas sector, an anti-pipeline bill poorly masquerading as an environment bill.

Environmental legislation is supposed to be based on science. Bill C-48 is not. It is not science but rather politics and ideology that inform this legislation; Liberal ideology that is as damaging to national unity as it is cynical.

Afer reviewing the bill, which included travelling across the country to hear from witnesses from coast to coast, the Senate transport committee recommended that it not proceed. While the Senate as a whole rescued Bill C-48, the Prime Minister should have taken the hint and withdrawn this anti-energy legislation.

Six premiers, including Premier Scott Moe from my province of Saskatchewan, wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister outlining their legitimate concerns about the anti-oil, anti-energy legislation pushed by the Liberal government here in Ottawa, in particular, Bill C-69 and Bill C-48.

The premiers explained the damage that these two pieces of legislation would do to the economy, but more importantly, they warned of the damage this legislation has done and will continue to do to our national unity.

This was not a threat. This was not spiteful. These six premiers were pointing to a real and growing sense of alienation, alienation on a scale not seen since the Prime Minister's father was in office.

Rather than listening to their concerns, the Prime Minister lashed out at the premiers, calling them irresponsible and accusing them of threatening our national unity if they did not get their way.

The premiers are not threatening our national unity. It is in fact the Prime Minister's radical, anti-science, anti-energy agenda that is; but he is refusing to listen.

Since the Prime Minister is refusing to heed these warnings on Bill C-48 and Bill C-69, I am going to take this opportunity to read them into the record now:

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing on behalf of the Governments of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Collectively, our five provinces and territory represent 59 per cent of the Canadian population and 63 per cent of Canada's GDP. We are central to Canada's economy and prosperity, and it is of the utmost importance that you consider our concerns with bills C-69 and C-48.

Canadians across the country are unified in their concern about the economic impacts of the legislation such as it was proposed by the House of Commons. In this form, the damage it would do to the economy, jobs and investment will echo from one coast to the other. Provincial and territorial jurisdiction must be respected. Provinces and territories have clear and sole jurisdiction over the development of their non-renewable natural resources, forestry resources, and the generation and production of electricity. Bill C-69 upsets the balance struck by the constitutional division of powers by ignoring the exclusive provincial powers over projects relating to these resources. The federal government must recognize the exclusive role provinces and territories have over the management of our non-renewable natural resource development or risk creating a Constitutional crisis.

Bill C-69, as originally drafted, would make it virtually impossible to develop critical infrastructure, depriving Canada of much needed investment. According to the C.D. Howe Institute, between 2017 and 2018, the planned investment value of major resource sector projects in Canada plunged by $100 billion – an amount equivalent to 4.5 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product. To protect Canada’s economic future, we, collectively, cannot afford to overlook the uncertainty and risk to future investment created by Bill C-69.

Our five provinces and territory stand united and strongly urge the government to accept Bill C69 as amended by the Senate, in order to minimize the damage to the Canadian economy. We would encourage the Government of Canada and all members of the House of Commons to accept the full slate of amendments to the bill. The Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment, and Natural Resources heard 38 days of testimony from 277 witnesses including indigenous communities, industry, Premiers, and independent experts. Based on that comprehensive testimony, the committee recommended significant amendments to the bill, which were accepted by the Senate as a whole. We urge you to respect that process, the committee’s expertise, and the Senate’s vote.

If the Senate’s amendments are not respected, the bill should be rejected, as it will present insurmountable roadblocks for major infrastructure projects across the country and will further jeopardize jobs, growth and investor confidence.

Similarly, Bill C-48 threatens investor confidence, and the tanker moratorium discriminates against western Canadian crude products. We were very disappointed that the Senate did not accept the recommendation to the Senate Committee on Transport and Communications that the bill not be reported. We would urge the government to stop pressing for the passage of this bill which will have detrimental effects on national unity and for the Canadian economy as a whole.

Our governments are deeply concerned with the federal government’s disregard, so far, of the concerns raised by our provinces and territory related to these bills. As it stands, the federal government appears indifferent to the economic hardships faced by provinces and territories. Immediate action to refine or eliminate these bills is needed to avoid further alienating provinces and territories and their citizens and focus on uniting the country in support of Canada’s economic prosperity.

Perhaps having heard the letter read aloud, the Prime Minister will acknowledge that it contains no threats, but rather it is an appeal from leaders who have listened to their constituents. The Prime Minister needs to understand that simply saying things louder is not going to make them go away. Shouting will not put food in the stomachs of the laid-off construction workers' children. Chanting talking points will not pay the gas bill in the middle of winter.

If this were the only piece of legislation that the government had introduced, one might argue that this is an overreaction, but it is not just one piece of legislation, it is a targeted, cynical, ongoing political attack of our resource sector. The Prime Minister has filled his cabinet with vocal opponents of the oil sands. In 2012, the now Minister of Democratic Institutions posted a tweet that read: “It's time to landlock Alberta's tar sands - call on BC Premier @christyclarkbc to reject the #Enbridge pipeline now!”

Then there is the President of the Treasury Board who said publicly that the approval of the Trans Mountain extension was deeply disappointing and who celebrated when the Prime Minister killed the northern gateway pipeline project. Here I should pause and point out the ridiculous theatrics surrounding the TMX project.

In 2016, the government approved TMX, yet tomorrow, we are told, the government will decide on whether to approve the project all over again. It is like we are in a terrible remake of Groundhog Day. Meanwhile, not an inch of pipeline has been built since the government nationalized Trans Mountain.

However, it is not only the cabinet that the Prime Minister has filled with anti-oil activists, but senior staff positions as well. Here I quote an article from the March 14 edition of the Financial Post:

Prior to ascending to the most powerful post in the Prime Minister’s Office, from 2008 to 2012 Gerald Butts was president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada...an important Tides campaign partner. Butts would use his new powerful position to bring other former campaigners with him: Marlo Reynolds, chief of staff to the Environment Minister...is past executive director of the Tides-backed Pembina Institute. Zoë Caron, chief of staff to Natural Resource Minister...is also a former WWF Canada official. Sarah Goodman, on the prime minister’s staff, is a former vice-president of Tides Canada. With these anti-oil activists at the epicentre of federal power, it’s no wonder the oil industry, and hundreds of thousands of workers, have plummeted into political and policy purgatory.

Why should we be surprised? The Prime Minister is no friend of the oil sands. The Prime Minister stated that he wants to phase out the oil sands and during the election loudly proclaimed that, “If I am elected Prime Minister, the Northern Gateway Pipeline won't become a reality”.

The Prime Minister has spent his time in office attempting to do just that and he has been willing to trample on not only the rights of the provinces, but the rights of aboriginal peoples as well to get his way. When the Prime Minister used an order in council to cancel the northern gateway pipeline, he stole the future of 30 first nations that would have benefited enormously from it. This very bill is facing a lawsuit from Laxkw'alaams Indian band for unjustly infringing on their rights and titles.

Bill C-48 will prevent the proposed first nations-owned and -operated eagle spirit pipeline project from being built as the proposed route to tidewater ends within the area wherein this bill bans tanker traffic. It was done without any consultation with first nations communities. Again, this should come as no surprise.

Just last week I spoke against another anti-energy bill, Bill C-88. As I said then, C-88 makes a mockery of the government's claim to seriously consult with indigenous and Inuit peoples. Without any consultation with Inuit peoples or the territorial governments, the Prime Minister unilaterally announced a five-year ban on offshore oil and gas development. Not only did the Prime Minister refuse to consult the premiers of the territories, he gave some of them less than an hour's notice that he would be making that announcement.

Does that sound like a Prime Minister who wants to listen, consult and work with aboriginal Canadians? Does it reflect the Prime Minister's declaration that his government's relationship with indigenous peoples is their most important relationship or does it sound like a Prime Minister who says what he believes people want to hear and then does the exact opposite by imposing his own will on them? If he had consulted, this is what he would have heard:

Minister Wally Schumann of the Northwest Territories, on how they found out about the ban and the impact it will have on our north, stated:

When it first came out, we never got very much notice on the whole issue of the moratorium and the potential that was in the Beaufort Sea. There were millions and millions, if not billions, of dollars in bid deposits and land leases up there. That took away any hope we had of developing the Beaufort Sea.

Councillor Jackie Jacobson of Tuktoyaktuk said:

It’s so easy to sit down here and make judgments on people and lives that are 3,500 klicks away, and make decisions on our behalf, especially with that moratorium on the Beaufort. That should be taken away, lifted, please and thank you. That is going to open up and give jobs to our people – training and all the stuff we’re wishing for.

Then premier of Nunavut, Peter Taptuna stated, “ We do want to be getting to a state where we can make our own determination of our priorities, and the way to do that is gain meaningful revenue from resource development.”

Mr. Speaker, I note that you are indicating that my time is up. I assume that I will be able to continue at another time.

Oil Tanker Moratorium ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I thank the hon. member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek. The time signal is to signal that we are going to switch into another mode for Statements by Members. Indeed, she will be able to resume her remarks when the House next debates the question before the House.

Now we will move to Statements by Members.

The hon. member for Montcalm.

ImmigrationStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Thériault Bloc Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' immigration policy is a complete failure.

After four years, hundreds of irregular migrants are still crossing the border into Quebec every day. No progress has been made at Roxham Road or in Ottawa on the processing of applications, and the Canada-U.S. safe third country agreement is still in force.

Our farmers are still concerned that they will lose their crops because their temporary foreign workers are not arriving in time. Applications have been stalled for months in Ottawa, and every summer the federal government seems somehow surprised when the problem comes up again.

Ottawa still wants to force Quebec to accept more refugees while it is deporting the Haitian refugees we want to keep. Ottawa is still opposed to requiring newcomers to demonstrate a sufficient knowledge of French before they can become Quebeckers.

The Liberals' record shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Quebec should handle its own immigration without Ottawa's involvement.

Guru Nanak Dev JiStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sonia Sidhu Liberal Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise in the House today to shed light on an important milestone for Sikhs around the world. This year, in November, marks the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

The teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji are based on the fundamental beliefs of faith and meditation on the name of one creator and the divine unity and equality of all humankind. These are not only Sikh values; they are Canadian values.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all my constituents for the honour they have given me to serve my community of Brampton South. We know that there is more to be done, and when Canadians re-elect us in October, we will finish what we began.

Barrie—Springwater—Oro—MedonteStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Alex Nuttall Conservative Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte, ON

Mr. Speaker, after eight years on Barrie city council, a year of campaigning and a three-week re-count, I was afforded what will forever be one of the greatest honours of my life, being elected the member of Parliament for Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte.

I want to thank my staff; my wife, Erica; my children; all my extended family; supporters; and especially the incredible people of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte for this incredible honour.

As a Conservative, I know that I have fought for freedom, hope and opportunity, and that will never ever cease. It is the reason, even after this election, we will continue to partner with PIE restaurant providing backpacks to children in central Ontario through PIE Education and with the newly announced Boots and Hearts Barn Burner hockey game on August 7 to raise money for the RVH and many other local charities.

I look forward to seeing everyone there, and I am so very thankful for the honour.

LabourStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Long Liberal Saint John—Rothesay, NB

Mr. Speaker, unions built the middle class in Saint John—Rothesay, and today, unions like IBEW, CUPW, CUPE, PSAC, ILA, Unifor, IAFF, and SJPA, and union leaders like Darlene Bembridge, Duane Squires, Craig Melvin, Erin Howell-Sharpe, Tammy Nadeau, Pat Riley, Kevin Suttie, and Jean Marc Ringuette are pillars of my community.

In 2015, the people of Saint John—Rothesay sent me here to stand up for them. One of the ways I have done just that since taking office is by standing up for my constituents' collective bargaining rights, both in this House and at HUMA, where I was tremendously proud to stand up for Bill C-4 and Bill C-62 to repeal of Conservative anti-union legislation in both places.

I will always stand up for the rights of workers in my riding, and I will always stand up for good middle-class jobs for the people of Saint John—Rothesay.

Indigenous AffairsStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, MB

Mr. Speaker, four years ago, people in our north held out hope when it came to the Liberal government's commitments with words like “reconciliation”, “nation-to-nation relationships”, “support for the middle class” and “champion on climate change”. However, fast forward four years, and the shine is off.

The housing crisis on first nations is worse than it was. Health care continues to be underfunded and inadequate, and when it comes to middle-class jobs, our north has lost hundreds of them, and the federal government has not lifted a finger.

As for climate change, not only has Canada failed, but first nations and northern communities are paying the price. The disappearing ice roads point to the urgent need for all-weather roads, and as wildlife is impacted, so are people. There must be immediate action.

Enough of the talk. First nations, Métis and northern people deserve a federal government on their side, one that works with them to take on climate change and crushing inequality. The Liberals are not the answer, and we cannot go back to the Conservatives. Only the NDP will fight for our north and our Canada.

Breast CancerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Fragiskatos Liberal London North Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise for the final time in this session of Parliament to highlight a remarkable community leader. In 2007, Londoner Theresa Carriere was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was a battle she faced head on, beginning treatment almost immediately, which included having a double mastectomy. Theresa ultimately beat the disease and turned her personal ordeal into a public service.

This past Friday, Theresa embarked on her fifth ONERUN, a 100-kilometre run that took her from London to the nearly community of Strathroy and back again. Five times over the past nine years, Theresa has run 100 kilometres in a single day to support cancer care programs that assist patients and their families. Supporters were asked to run a single kilometre alongside her, and I was honoured to take part.

Since being established in 2010, ONERUN has raised more than $1 million. Theresa's strength, resilience and dedication to the cause is commendable. She is an outstanding Canadian, an example to all of us.

Member for Dauphin—Swan River—NeepawaStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Robert Sopuck Conservative Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, MB

Mr. Speaker, this is clearly a bittersweet moment as I rise to give the last member's statement of my political career as a member of Parliament for the great constituency of Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa. For three elections, the voters of this wonderful constituency have returned me to Ottawa to work on their behalf. The trust they have placed in me is truly humbling, and I hope that I have lived up to their expectations. My passion to do what I can to protect and defend our rural way of life remains undiminished.

I would be remiss if I did not mention my political idol, the great Duff Roblin, former premier of Manitoba. His achievements on behalf of all Manitobans have stood the test of time, and he inspired me with his vision and accomplishments. He proved to me that government can be a force for good.

To my beloved wife, Caroline, and my beautiful family, I thank them for the love, support and guidance over these years. All I can say is that I love them all. To my beautiful grandchildren, Eden, Esmee and Senon, who love nature, our farm and the outdoors as much as I do, all I can say is Papa's coming home.

Kayge FowlerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Sheehan Liberal Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, just four months ago, I spoke in this House about little Kayge Fowler from Sault Ste. Marie. I spoke about his diagnosis of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, a highly aggressive brain tumour, found in the brainstem, with a 0% survival rate.

It is with great sadness I share that little Kayge has passed away. Kayge died surrounded by loved ones. His last words were, “I love you, too.” His life was powerful, but short. His battle with DIPG has had a profound effect on the riding of Sault Ste. Marie. Our wonderful community rallied around his family with countless fundraising initiatives to assist with medical and transportation costs. Words of encouragement and support flooded the Superhero's Kayge Fighters Against DIPG Foundation on Facebook.

Today I will be tabling the petition his family created to establish May 25 of every year as national day for DIPG awareness, as May 25, 2018, was the date of Kayge's diagnosis.

This childhood cancer is the most fatal, and as such, we need to immensely increase awareness. Awareness is key for research and support, and research is desperately needed.

Community VolunteerStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am rising today to recognize an extraordinary woman who has been an incredible force in my community of Oakville. Fiona Fraser has been active throughout her life in charitable causes. She co-led a grassroots effort that saved the pediatrics department at her local hospital, served on the Bronte District Advisory Committee to shape the Bronte Outer Harbour, led Habitat for Humanity's campaign for property and has been an active member of the United Way for over a decade.

A member of the Oakville Federal Liberal Association, Fiona is a tireless fundraiser, events organizer and volunteer coordinator. She has directed successful campaigns municipally, provincially and federally. Fiona led the team through my nomination, was my campaign manager in 2015 and has served as my director of operations ever since.

I am so grateful for Fiona's incredible energy, huge support and wise counsel. I am delighted that Fiona has joined me in Ottawa today so I can thank her.

Carbon PricingStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister pretends he has a plan for the environment. He says his carbon tax will achieve the carbon emissions reduction targets under the Paris accord. However, his own government figures confirm that this is simply not true.

Just last week, the Parliamentary Budget Officer released a new report, which found that the Liberal carbon tax would have to increase to $102 per tonne to achieve Canada's Paris accord climate targets. That is five times more expensive than it is today. This means that Canadians would pay more for groceries and home heating, and it would add 23¢ per litre to the cost of gas.

Saying things louder about carbon tax does not make them true, despite what the Minister of Environment says. The fact is that the Liberal carbon tax is simply not a plan to lower emissions; it is just another cash grab that is hurting already overtaxed Canadians. Let us make no mistake: A Conservative government will scrap the carbon tax, leave more money in the pockets of Canadians and help all Canadians get ahead.

Vaudreuil—SoulangesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Schiefke Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Mr. Speaker, not quite four years ago, the people of Vaudreuil—Soulanges chose to trust me to speak on their behalf here in Ottawa, where decisions are made. We have made a lot of progress, and we have done so by working together. That is why I wanted to thank all my community leaders for championing progress.

I am thankful for the ideas and suggestions from my youth council, seniors committee, environmental committee and countless engaged citizens. They allowed me to better represent our community's perspective on a wide range of issues here in Ottawa.

I would also like to thank my team— Jennifer, Ramy, Raphaël, Nina, Meet, Celine, Tamara, Patricia, Miled, Sarah, Lynda and Martin—as well as the volunteers and interns for their hard work in service of our community.

Lastly, I would like to thank the people of Vaudreuil—Soulanges for placing their trust in me. Serving them and working for them and their families has been a great honour.

Let's keep working together to build an even stronger Vaudreuil—Soulanges for us all.

Winnipeg General StrikeStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

MaryAnn Mihychuk Liberal Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, 100 years ago, the Winnipeg General Strike was the largest labour action ever seen, lasting six weeks as thousands walked off the job demanding better working conditions. Thirty thousand civilians left their jobs on May 15, including veterans who six months earlier had fought in World War I. First out were the 500 telephone operators known as the “Hello Girls”.

A courageous young woman named Helen Armstrong played a big role in the movement. She held soup kitchens for strikers and their families, free for women. For her involvement, she was imprisoned three times and called a female Bolshevik. In commemoration, we held a soup kitchen in the Ukrainian Labour Temple to honour the strong women and men who took part in fighting for workers' rights.

It is because of these courageous strikers that the next prime minister, a Liberal, brought in major labour reforms. One hundred years later, I am proud to stand here today to celebrate what they achieved for women and Canadian workers across the nation.

2019 General ElectionStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Conservative Lévis—Lotbinière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government's plan for the environment is an unprecedented failure.

The Prime Minister claims to have a plan to combat climate change and that the carbon tax will allow us to meet our emission targets under the Paris Agreement, even though his government's own figures show that such is not the case.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed that the Liberal carbon tax would have to be $102 per tonne in every province and territory in order for Canada to meet the Paris targets. The carbon tax would have to be five times higher than it is now, which means that Canadians would have to pay more for groceries, transported goods and home heating and gas would cost them 23¢ more a litre.

On October 21, Canadians will choose the most credible, rational and achievable plan that will benefit everyone. They will vote for the Conservative Party.

Laurentides—LabelleStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

David Graham Liberal Laurentides—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, after years of counterproductive efforts by political parties that only wanted to prove that federalism does not work, or that the federal government is the adversary, we have been an unrivalled federal partner in Laurentides—Labelle.

Half of the 43 municipalities will soon have access to modern high-speed Internet across their territory, and we are well on the way to getting full coverage throughout the riding. Les Pays-d'en-Haut, the only RCM in Quebec without an arena, will finally get its sports centre. Poverty and unemployment are declining. There are more opportunities for families to remain in the region.

In under four years, we have made a difference that has benefited the people of the Laurentians. This fall, we will have to decide whether the federal government is an adversary or a partner of our region. I believe the answer is clear. Together, we will succeed.

Cumberland Community Forest SocietyStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, the citizens of Cumberland, B.C., are taking forest and watershed protection into their own hands, buying up lands from forest companies under the leadership of the Cumberland Community Forest Society.

This small community of less than 4,000 has already purchased over 275 acres and raised over $3 million to protect its forests for future generations. The whole community gets involved, from plant sales and trail runs to trivia nights and local arts events.

However, the stakes are getting higher. Climate change is impacting the Comox Lake watershed, and protection is increasingly critical to the whole Comox Valley. The Cumberland Community Forest Society is working hard to buy an entire creek system, Perseverance Creek, for $2.6 million.

The people of Cumberland are leading, and all levels of government need to follow.

Carbon PricingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals insist on making life more expensive for Canadians from coast to coast.

The PBO just confirmed that the carbon tax will need to be $102 per tonne in order to reach the Paris accord targets. Now, that is five times what the current carbon tax costs. This will increase the cost of groceries and the cost of home heating, and it will increase the cost of gasoline by 23¢ per litre. Canadians cannot afford this.

The Prime Minister makes the false claim that this is an environmental plan, but it has nothing to do with the environment. It has everything to do with lining his pockets. If it truly were an environmental plan, then he would go after the biggest emitters, but they get let off the hook. Meanwhile, soccer moms are left paying the bill.

British Columbia has the longest-standing carbon tax, and we see the amount of emission actually going up rather than coming down. The carbon tax will not reduce pollution, but it will certainly cost Canadians a whole lot of money.

It is time for a real environmental plan, and that environmental plan is on this side of the House. It will be announced on June 19. We look forward to bringing that—

Carbon PricingStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The member for Spadina—Fort York.

Toronto RaptorsStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Adam Vaughan Liberal Spadina—Fort York, ON

Mr. Speaker, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, game.

There were so many memorable moments as the Raptors won the historic championship they captured last week, and the riding I represent is quite literally today the absolute guaranteed centre of the universe, as millions of Toronto sports fans and sports fans across the country are celebrating.

The city is celebrating a team that means the world to us, but it is also a team that we can see the world in, and this is critical about this beautiful team that won. The six is sweet. Our city is not only where the best come to play; it is also a city where the best come to live, love, work, learn and invest.

The last names say it all: from Lin to Gasol, from Siakam to Leonard, from Nurse to Magloire and Masai, and of course Aubrey, Bhatia and Lowry, with those two beautiful kids.

Spicy P summed it up best when he said, “No French questions?”

Toronto's team is an international team because all the world has a home in TO. It is the Canadian way. Nous sommes le Nord. We the North. We won it all.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to pipelines, four years have proven that no matter what side of the issue people are on, nobody can trust the Liberals.

We fully expect them to approve Trans Mountain later this week, just so they can say they did. Then we fully expect them to do absolutely nothing to get it built, because they do not want to upset voters in Burnaby.

Why will the Liberals not just admit that they do not want pipelines and that Trans Mountain will never actually get built under their watch?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we have more confidence in Canada's energy sector than what is being portrayed by the members of the official opposition.

We gave approval to Enbridge Line 3, which is almost completed on the Canadian side. We are working with the U.S. on the Keystone XL pipeline. We are moving forward on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project in the right way, with meaningful consultation that has been concluded with indigenous communities.

We have full confidence in our energy sector.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, a year ago the Prime Minister promised that construction would start on TMX, and a year later not an ounce of dirt has been moved. The Prime Minister says one thing in one part of the country, and he says something completely different in another part, because, just like on everything else, he speaks out of both sides of his mouth.

The Prime Minister does not support pipelines and the jobs that come with them. Now he could try to prove us wrong, so will he tell us right now when construction on TMX will start in Burnaby?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is quite known to Canadians that when Stephen Harper got into office in 2006, 99% of the oil from Alberta was sold to only a single customer, which was the United States. When he left office in 2015, that was still the case 10 years later: 99% of oil was still being sold to the United States.

The Conservatives' plan failed to build a single pipeline to diversify our market to non-U.S. markets. We are changing that.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Candice Bergen Conservative Portage—Lisgar, MB

Mr. Speaker, four major pipelines were built under the Conservatives' watch, with not one dollar of taxpayers' money used.

Over the last four years, though, the Prime Minister has done everything in his power to destroy jobs in Canada's energy sectors. He is forcing through devastating bills, like Bill C-48 and the no-more-pipelines bill, Bill C-69. Right now, he is playing political games with the TMX pipeline.

Will the Prime Minister finally be honest with our energy workers and admit he has no intention for construction to start in Burnaby?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, if the members of the official opposition were really serious about moving forward with the process on TMX in the right way, they would not have voted to shut down and kill that process. That shows their lack of sincerity about getting our resources to non-U.S. markets.

We are doing the hard work to ensure that meaningful consultation is taking place with indigenous communities and that we are taking action on the environment with protection of the environment.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Trans Mountain project is essential to the economy of all Canadians, and above all, it is good for all of Canada. Unfortunately, since announcing the project a year ago, the Liberals have not done a single thing. Not a shovel has hit the ground. All they have done is take $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money and send it to Houston. They have also passed two bills, Bill C-48 and Bill C-69, that fly in the face of the principle of sound energy development.

Could the Liberals finally do what is right for Canadians by approving this project tomorrow and, most importantly, by announcing when Trans Mountain will be built?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, once again, Conservatives are demonstrating that they have no confidence in Canada's energy sector.

We have been moving forward on this project from day one. When the Federal Court of Appeal made its decision cancelling the TMX project, one of the reasons that project was stalled was that, when the review process was started in 2013, under Stephen Harper's government, Conservatives failed to include the impact of marine shipping on the marine environment.

We are changing that. We are engaging with indigenous communities in the right way to move forward on the project, which will make—

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The hon. member for Louis-Saint-Laurent.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians all know full well whose side the Liberal Party is on. The Liberals have nothing but contempt for energy sector workers in western Canada. In fact, the is on the record as saying that he hopes to phase out oil and that high gas prices are exactly what he wants. What is worse, he has insulted pipeline workers. That is how the Liberal Party really thinks.

We, the Conservatives, are in favour of the Trans Mountain project because it is good for Canada and for all Canadians.

Could the Liberal government show the same respect for Canadians and tell us when it is going to build it?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, Conservative actions do not demonstrate their commitment to this project.

If they were really committed to getting this project right, then they would not have voted down the process we put in place for a meaningful consultation with indigenous communities to ensure that the impact of marine shipping on the marine environment was properly assessed, something that was excluded under Stephen Harper when their review took place.

We are changing the broken system.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow Liberals are planning to announce their rubber-stamped approval on Trans Mountain, after pouring $5 billion of taxpayers' money into it.

The project will need at least another $10 billion from taxpayers, and former Liberal minister David Anderson and so many others say that this project has no business case. The project is not in the interest of our coast, indigenous communities, our planet or everyday Canadians. It is in the interest of shareholders of big oil and gas companies.

Instead of another rubber-stamped approval, why will Liberals not side with Canadians tomorrow and cancel the Trans Mountain expansion project?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, on the one hand, we have Conservatives who do not get the environment. On the other hand, we have the New Democrats who do not get the economy.

We are moving forward, building a strong economy, creating jobs for the middle class, and at the same time taking action on climate, ensuring that we are putting a price on pollution, ensuring that we are taking action by phasing out coal and making sure that we meaningfully engage with indigenous communities.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a former Liberal minister who is saying that there is no business case for this project.

People are right to be discouraged with this Liberal government. Even a former Liberal minister is finding it hard to believe that the Liberals are going to approve the Trans Mountain project tomorrow. His concerns are not about the environment or indigenous peoples. He is concerned about the economic viability of the project. He thinks it makes no sense to move forward with this project.

If the Liberals do not want to listen to the people living on our coasts or the many young people protesting in the streets, will they listen to a former Liberal minister and cancel this project once and for all?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we understand the diversity of opinions among indigenous communities on this project. We know that some do support this project and some do not support this project. It is our responsibility to engage with all of them, to listen to their concerns and then offer accommodations where accommodation is possible.

Also, we are taking unprecedented action to protect our coastal communities through the ambitious oceans protection plan we have put in place.

FinanceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, will we really be surprised if tomorrow they put the interests of big oil ahead of the interests of Canadians? I do not think so.

Canada has never seen such a huge inequality. The Liberals brag about having lowered taxes for the middle class, but the wealthiest middle-class Canadians are the ones who benefit.

Yesterday our leader presented an ambitious plan to finally reduce inequality that would make the richest 1% pay a 1% wealth tax on wealth over $20 million. We would reinvest these billions of dollars in the services that people truly need.

When will the Liberals make ultra-rich Canadians pay their fair share?

FinanceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, a fully functional tax system is very important.

We started by cutting taxes for the middle class. This was very important. At the same time, we changed the tax rates for the wealthiest Canadians.

What are we seeing now? Middle-class Canadians are better off, and for four years now, the average family has been pocketing $2,000 more.

We will continue to make life easier for the middle class in the future.

FinanceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is the folks right behind the minister who gained the most from the Liberal tax cut, because people would have to earn an MP's salary in order to get the maximum benefit.

If we want to tackle inequalities in this country, we need to take bold action. We need to make the richest of the 1% of Canadians pay a 1% tax on their wealth above $20 million. That would mean we could invest in solutions that Canadians need, like pharmacare, dental care and an affordable place to call home.

When will the Liberals stop siding with the ultra-rich of our country and put everyday Canadians first for a change?

FinanceOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite might not have been paying attention to what we really did.

It was the $45,000 to $90,000 tax bracket that we reduced by 7%. We also put in place the Canada child benefit, which was means-tested, which means significant benefits went to families at lower and middle income. It was means-tested after $150,000 of family income.

At the same time, though, we raised taxes on the top 1%. These measures together have led us to be in a very positive economic situation, with the lowest rate of unemployment in history in our country, which is a positive situation. We are going to keep working in the future for the middle class.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed last week that the Liberal government's plan just does not cut it. He has proven that under their plan, the Liberals will have to increase fuel prices by more than 23¢ per litre, because of their carbon tax. Only the Liberals believe that raising taxes could be an effective plan.

My question for the Prime Minister is simple. Why do he and his colleagues here in the House want to increase fuel prices by 23¢ per litre on the backs of Canadians?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, the question that the hon. member put on the floor of the House of Commons is grossly misleading. He knows that the PBO report presumes that no action will be taken beyond measures that are currently in place in order to hit our targets. We will hit our targets. To date, we have put forward a price on pollution. We are going to make sure that 90% of our electricity comes from non-emitting resources from 2030. We have made the largest investment in the history of public transit.

I have taken hundreds of questions in this chamber, and not one of them from a Conservative MP asking us to do more. When it comes to the environment, the Conservative Party of Canada cannot be trusted.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, since this Liberal government came to power, the cost of living for Canadians has skyrocketed. That is quite the coincidence, much like the deficit. Eighty per cent of Canadian families started paying more taxes since the Liberal government came to power. Every year, $800 more is coming out of their pockets.

I would therefore like to repeat my question to the Prime Minister. Why does he want to burden Canadians even more and increase fuel prices by 23¢ per litre?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, with respect, when it comes to affordability, we have no lessons to learn from the Conservatives, who opposed the Canada child benefit which put more money in the pockets of 9 out of ten low- and middle-income families. They voted against cutting taxes for middle-class Canadians and voted for keeping them low for the richest 1%.

I have answered so many questions when it comes to climate, but the Conservatives do not seem to listen. They will not listen to Conservative stalwarts like Preston Manning. They will not listen to the Nobel Prize winner in economics. I would urge them to listen to the Pope, who this past weekend said, “For too long we have collectively failed to listen to the fruits of scientific analysis” and called carbon pricing essential.

It is time to get with the program.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the facts speak for themselves: the Liberals cut the public transit tax credit and the children's fitness and arts tax credit. What is more, the Prime Minister created a deficit on the backs of our grandchildren, who will end up paying the bill one day.

Once again Canadians, honest workers, will end up paying more taxes because of this government.

Why is this Prime Minister increasing the price of gas by another 23¢ with his lousy carbon tax?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, they want to talk about adding costs for the next generations. Inaction on climate change is the thing that is going to lead to the greatest cost for future generations. Every time we propose a measure to deal with the environment, the Conservatives oppose it. They opposed our price on pollution. They opposed our largest investment in history on public transit. For God's sake, when we announced we were going to be banning harmful single-use plastics and gave them an opportunity to support the environment or garbage, they chose garbage.

The Conservatives cannot be trusted when it comes to the environment.

It is time to get with the 21st century. Climate change is real, and we have found a way to make life more affordable for families at the same time.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I think the hon. parliamentary secretary meant “for goodness' sake”. He has gone from the pope to a higher power.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, speaking of the pope, it is time that they made a confession over there.

They have been keeping a deep dark secret. If the Liberal government is re-elected, as the PBO has pointed out, the carbon tax will add a full 23¢ to the cost of gas. This is the PBO, whose word is much more reliable than that of a government that is missing its day to balance the budget by two decades.

Will the member unburden his soul and confess to Canadians the real price that he will add to a litre of gas if re-elected?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the recent PBO report, the hon. member knows that it presumes no further action will be taken on climate change. I suggest that the hon. member is projecting what we should expect to see in the Conservative plan due to come out this week. I would also invite the hon. member to review the prior report of the Parliamentary Budget Officer, which indicated that 8 out of ten families in his province will be left better off as a result of our plan.

We are following the advice of the leading experts in the world, including last year's winner of the Nobel Prize in economics. If the member will not believe me, not believe the Pope and not believe the Nobel Prize winner, I suggest that there is no convincing him.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member still would not answer the simple question of how much gas prices will go up when the Liberal carbon tax is fully and finally implemented.

The PBO went on CTV last week and said that the Liberals' plan for the carbon tax would have to be twice as high as they now admit and five times as high as it now is, leading to gas prices that would rise 23¢ a litre. If the PBO is wrong, then how much will gas prices go up under the Liberal plan?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member had actually read the PBO report, he would have noticed that he pointed out this was the least expensive option. I expect that the Conservatives' plan will mirror that of Doug Ford's, and I am curious that their strategy is to cozy up to the Premier of Ontario. However, we know that it is going to lead to a worse record in terms of emissions reduction and a greater cost for families. We have been transparent about our plan. The price will increase to $50 a tonne by 2020. I will show him the website afterward. Until then, I will assume that their plan will mirror Doug Ford's and will make life more expensive for families.

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, there we have it: 23¢ a litre is the minimum cost that the Liberals would impose on Canadian motorists. I think Canadians would like to know the maximum cost of the Liberal carbon tax. He is right. The PBO did say that the Liberal carbon tax could actually be higher than the $100 a tonne. It speaks about provincial politics. We know that Kathleen Wynne is their model. She lied in four elections about coming tax increases. She increased the cost of energy. If they are following that model, why will they not come clean before the election and tell us how much it will cost in higher gas prices if the Liberals are re-elected?

Carbon PricingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the opportunity to clarify. As the Parliamentary Budget Officer pointed out, the climate action incentive makes life more affordable for his constituents. The whole system works by returning the rebates directly to households. A typical family of four, in the hon. member's own constituency, would have received $307 off of their taxes this year. I am curious that the Conservative Party of Canada has now adopted an approach towards politics that would see families pay more tax. It comes as no surprise to me after a number of years of watching its members vote against the Canada child benefit, the middle-class tax cut and now against a price on pollution that will reduce emissions and make life more affordable.

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Karine Trudel NDP Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the health care system is no longer responsive to Canadians' needs.

It is not okay that some people are covered for dental and vision care and others are not. The Liberals' targeted approach simply does not provide the desired results. The NDP is proposing extending health care coverage to protect people from head to toe, while offering Quebec and the other provinces the chance to opt out with full compensation.

Can the government follow the NDP's example and commit to extending medical coverage to include dental and vision care?

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to be part of a government that makes historic investments in health in order to respond to the needs of Canadians today and in the future. We have invested more than $11 million in mental health care and home care.

We will continue to work with the provinces and territories to ensure that Canadians continue to be proud of their health care system.

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

NDP

Daniel Blaikie NDP Elmwood—Transcona, MB

Mr. Speaker, that was not really an answer to the question. It was over 20 years ago that the Liberals first promised pharmacare. They have had three majority governments since then, and their common criticism of the NDP is that we are in too big of a hurry. We are in a hurry. We think it should not have taken 20 years for Canadians to get affordable access to drugs. We are not prepared to apologize for that in the least. We also know, because the science tells us, that preventative access to things like dental care and eye care are less expensive in the long term and improve quality of life. Will they commit today to moving forward on that?

HealthOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to be part of a government that has made historic investments in the areas of mental care and home care. To make sure that we could meet the needs of Canadians today and also tomorrow, we have invested more than $11 billion in the areas of home care and mental health. From there, we continue to work with the provinces and territories, as we want to make sure that our health care system remains a point of pride for all Canadians.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, when six premiers expressed their serious concerns about the Liberals ramming the anti-energy Bill C-69 through the House, the Prime Minister attacked them and accused them of threatening national unity. When respected economist Dr. Jack Mintz raised concerns with the damaging impact of the Liberals' energy policies, the Minister of Natural Resources attacked him and accused him of undermining Canada.

Why is it that whenever legitimate concerns about the energy sector are raised with the Liberals, their response is always “shut your mouth, Ottawa knows best”?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, part of our commitment in 2015 was to put forward an agenda that would help us grow the economy and protect our environment at the same time. We noticed that after 10 years of government under Stephen Harper, where the Conservatives could not get major projects done, part of it had to do with the fact that they rammed through an environmental assessment process that did not gain the trust of Canadians.

We are advancing better rules that are going to enhance public participation, strengthen environmental protections and give certainty to industry. This is why the Mining Association of Canada is behind it, the industry that deals with these processes more than any other.

If the hon. member would like a tutor session with me, I would be happy to walk him through it afterwards.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I encourage members to be judicious in their choice of words.

The hon. member for Chilliwack—Hope.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mark Strahl Conservative Chilliwack—Hope, BC

Mr. Speaker, if he wanted to see Ottawa Liberal arrogance, there it was.

Nine provinces have expressed their concern about Bill C-69. Indigenous leaders from across the country have expressed their concerns about Bill C-69. The government has ignored them every step of the way, because the Liberals believe when it comes to energy, they are the only ones who know anything.

How can the government come off saying that it knows best when it has been the worst government in Canadian history when it comes to Canadian energy workers?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, with great respect to the hon. member, it was the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada who said that Ottawa knew best. We are moving forward with an agenda that is going to strengthen environmental protection. It is going to provide certainty for industry. Importantly, it is going to allow the public greater opportunities to take part in the environmental assessments of projects that impact their communities. These are simple principles.

We went through an extensive period of consultations to understand the impact it would have on Canadians. We have come up with a process that will help grow our economy and protect our environment at the same time. I am proud to stand with this government as we move forward with this ambitious agenda.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals must approve the Trans Mountain expansion tomorrow, which they already did before in 2016, except now this time it actually has to get built. The Liberals are blocking all new pipelines with their anti-energy, anti-business Bill C-69, which nine out of 10 provinces and all three territories oppose this.

The Nisga'a, Lax Kw'alaams and hundreds of other indigenous communities are against the Liberals shipping ban, Bill C-48, and they have been against it from day one. Instead of cancelling it, the Liberals are steamrolling opposition and indigenous communities to force it through before summer.

Will the Liberals kill these anti-energy bills before it is too late?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Burnaby North—Seymour B.C.

Liberal

Terry Beech LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this government remains committed to delivering on its promise to Canadians to put forward this oil tanker moratorium and to formalize it in legislation.

I stood in the House this morning, addressing the Senate amendments that came over. We are hoping to work with all parliamentarians here. It is important for Canadians to understand that when it comes to Bill C-48, every single party in the House was in favour of it. The only party that did not vote in favour of it was the Conservative Party.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order, please. I would remind members that those singing can do so outside.

The hon. member for Lakeland.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Shannon Stubbs Conservative Lakeland, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is ironic that member would answer the question. He is the one from Burnaby who opposes the Trans Mountain expansion.

However, other changes to the Liberals' no more pipelines Bill C-69 would actually have increased the voices of locally impacted indigenous communities in resource reviews, but the Liberals rejected them.

Manufacturers, chambers, economists, provinces and municipalities are outraged too. Quebec warns, “C-69 gives the federal government the equivalent of a veto over Quebec's economic development”. Ontario says that it is the worst possible news at the worst possible time which “hinders natural resource related economic development” in Canada.

Again, will the Liberals kill Bill C-69 before it is too late?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, with great respect to the hon. member, we know that the mining sector, as an example, is the sector that deals with environmental assessments more than any other industrial sector in the Canadian economy. It supports the process that is outlined in Bill C-69, because it understands that we are putting forward better rules than were put forward under the previous government.

We have better rules that are going to enhance environmental protection. It is going to increase the ability of the public to take part in the projects that affect them. It is going to engage indigenous voices at the same time we bring certainty to industry.

This is not complicated. This is common sense, straightforward proposals that will help improve our ability to get major projects done in the right way.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, Amin was deployed seven times as a language and cultural adviser for the Canadian mission in Afghanistan. Like many Canadians, Amin brought the war home with him in the form of PTSD.

When he reached out to the government, he was told he was ineligible because he had not applied for civilian benefits on time. Civilians share the risk, but they do not get the support. That is wrong. Surely the government can support this gentleman in his desperate time of need, and all the other civilians who put their lives on the line for Canada.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, we are proud of the work of the women and men in uniform and civilians who have served in Afghanistan. I want to thank Mr. Ayubi for his work and dedication to helping our Canadian Armed Forces members.

For privacy reasons, I cannot speak to the specifics of the case, but I have directed officials to look into this case and find a solution.

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, abortion is legal in Canada, yet some struggle to access this service in a timely fashion. It is not enough for the Liberals and the Conservatives to say that they will not reopen the abortion debate.

Under the Canada Health Act, abortion services are insured, yet only one in six hospitals actually offers these services. Some provinces will not cover the cost of surgical abortion in health clinics. Access is even worse for people in rural areas, the north and the Atlantic provinces.

Will the Liberals enforce the Canada Health Act to ensure medical and surgical abortion is available and covered in all parts of the country?

HealthOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe New Brunswick

Liberal

Ginette Petitpas Taylor LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, unlike the Harper Conservatives, we know abortion rights are protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and we will always defend those rights.

We believe all Canadian women should have access to safe abortion services. That is why we stood up for reproductive health options in all parts of Canada, including expanding access to Mifegymiso in different parts of the country, including rural areas, to ensure that everyone would have access to abortion services.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Liberal

Alexandra Mendes Liberal Brossard—Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, the residents of Brossard—Saint-Lambert and I were delighted to learn that the new Samuel De Champlain Bridge will be opening soon. Our government was clear in 2015. We wanted to make it easier for families to commute so that they could spend more time together rather than stuck in traffic.

Could my hon. colleague, the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, give us some highlights and updates on the opening of the new Samuel De Champlain Bridge?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Saint-Maurice—Champlain Québec

Liberal

François-Philippe Champagne LiberalMinister of Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to thank my colleague from Brossard—Saint-Lambert for her unwavering support while this work was being carried out.

We are proud to be able to give people on the south shore and in Montreal a modern and iconic toll-free bridge.

There are three important dates to remember. The northbound lanes will open on June 24, the official opening ceremony will take place on June 28, and the southbound lanes will open on July 1.

The real heroes in all of this are the 1,600-plus workers who worked tirelessly to give Canada this iconic bridge.

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, in the past few weeks, the communities of Vavenby and 100 Mile House have been devastated by sawmill closures. We have an industry in crisis and it is moving en masse to the United States. Despite this urgency, the government failed to even consider it as part of the NAFTA negotiations.

The Prime Minister is heading to Washington next week to meet with the U.S. President. Will he commit to addressing the softwood lumber dispute with President Trump?

Forestry IndustryOral Questions

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

Rob Oliphant LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, we strongly disagree with U.S. tariffs on softwood lumber. These are punitive duties. They are unfair. They are deeply troubling. Our government will take every opportunity to vigorously defend our forestry industry and its workers against protectionist trade measures.

My father is a professional forester. I grew up in that industry. We are committed to it. We will continue to work constantly to ensure our industry is successful and our workers are employed.

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Paul-Hus Conservative Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have been asking the Prime Minister for two years to take appropriate action to deal with the border crisis. For two years, he has been spending millions of dollars to welcome illegal migrants but has done nothing to put an end to that migration.

On Thursday, the Prime Minister will be meeting with President Trump. Will he have the courage to stand up and address the subject of the illegal migrants who are entering Canada through the United States?

Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction

Mr. Speaker, from the outset, we have been very clear that our government is committed to a fair and compassionate system which does, in fact, provide protection to those who need it while ensuring the safety all Canadians. We have achieved an extraordinary reduction in the number of people who have been crossing our borders irregularly as a direct result of our work with the United States and our other partners right across Canada and around the world.

We will continue to work hard for Canadians to ensure our system remains fair and safe.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

James Bezan Conservative Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman, MB

Mr. Speaker, Canada's Arctic sovereignty is under threat. The United States refuses to recognize our sovereignty over our Arctic waters.

Last month, U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, called our claim to the Northwest Passage “illegitimate”. The Arctic has never been a priority to the Liberals, and the Prime Minister has never stood up for our Arctic sovereignty.

The Prime Minister is meeting with President Trump on Thursday. Does the Prime Minister plan to continue his policy of giving away our sovereignty to Trump or will he finally fight for Arctic?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

Rob Oliphant LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada's Arctic sovereignty is long-standing, it is well-established, and we have taken every opportunity to express that. We know that the north is an extremely important region of our country. It is more than photo ops. It is more than taking a picture and going to the Arctic once a summer. It is about real people, sustainable environmental protection and ensuring that Canada's sovereignty is protected.

We will stand firm. Canada's Arctic is Canada's Arctic.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Conservative

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

Mr. Speaker, when will we see the Prime Minister stand for our sovereignty?

Canadians are concerned about the Prime Minister's ability to convince the U.S. President when he meets with him this week to act with Canada to free two Canadians from a Chinese prison. The Prime Minister consistently fails Canadians in our global relationships and, in particular, with China to the point where the Chinese President has said that he will not meet with the Prime Minister during the G20.

With lives hanging in the balance, will the Prime Minister secure the support of the U.S. President to help release our imprisoned Canadians in China?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

Rob Oliphant LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, indeed, Canadian lives do hang in the balance. This is not about political grandstanding. It is not about rhetoric. It is about doing the work patiently and persistently and continuing to not try to score political points but to bring Canadians home safely.

We have rallied an unprecedented number of partners around the world in support of Canada's position: NATO, Australia, the EU, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the United States Senate.

We will continue to stand up for Canadians. We ask all members of the House to do the same.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, I wish I could believe that the government will eventually rise above partisanship.

A month ago, the NDP tabled a motion in Parliament declaring a climate emergency, but the Conservatives and the Liberals voted against it. The government chose to adopt its own emergency declaration by moving a motion that will not stop pipelines from being built or stop the flow of subsidies to oil companies. They chose to play political games rather than work with all the parties to tackle the emergency head-on.

Can the government stop making this existential crisis political and work with the rest of us to revise the greenhouse gas reduction targets? Can it stop subsidizing oil companies and embark on the climate transition an entire generation is calling for, yes or no?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, I would be honoured to work alongside the member any day to advance a climate agenda that actually makes sense.

One of the problems with the NDP's climate motion is that it called for the immediate end to all subsidies no matter what, which included subsidies that provided electricity to northern, remote indigenous communities. It included subsidies for research that would actually help some of our biggest polluters bring their emissions down. It included subsidies that would help with the transition toward electric vehicles.

As always, when it comes to climate change, the NDP members have their heart in the right place, but their heads simply have not caught up.

International TradeOral Questions

2:50 p.m.

NDP

Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister goes to meet with Donald Trump in the U.S., he has shut down debate on a trade deal that will impact Canadians for generations to come.

The Liberals' promise of a full debate on the new NAFTA is now just another broken promise. The cost of medication, copyright extension, corporate powers over our regulatory bodies, dairy farmers losing out and jobs are all at stake.

On the TPP, the trade committee had over 400 witnesses on a cross-country tour. How many witnesses will we have at the prestudy on the new NAFTA tomorrow? There will be 12.

Why are Liberals trying to silence stakeholders and keep Canadians in the dark?

International TradeOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

Rob Oliphant LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, that member in particular should know that the new NAFTA is a great deal for labour and for auto workers, especially those in her own riding. The then president of Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, Janice Forsyth, said that the new deal was “a great step forward”. Flavio Volpe, the president of Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association of Canada said that “Windsor is perfectly positioned to take advantage.”

Why will the member not support the workers of her own riding instead of trying to score some political points?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are falling far short of their Paris targets, yet the minister continues to pretend that she is on track, trying to distract from her own climate failures.

Now she asks Canadians to believe that the Liberals will not hike the carbon tax past $50 per tonne. Right. The Parliamentary Budget Officer has said that, for the carbon tax to have any effect, it would need to be doubled to meet the Paris targets. The Liberals cannot have it both ways.

When will the minister admit she will not meet the Paris targets?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, with respect, we are going to meet our Paris Agreement targets because, quite frankly, failure is not an option.

With respect to the PBO report, I have pointed out a number of times on the floor today that it assumes that no further steps will be taken on climate change. Perhaps this is foreshadowing what the Conservative plan is going to look like.

We know that climate change is real, and we know that we have an obligation and an opportunity to do something about it. In fact, I think we have an obligation to do the most effective solutions that we know exist today. That includes putting a price on pollution that is going to bring emissions down. By working with folks like the Nobel Prize winner in economics last year, we have found a way to do it that makes life more affordable for Canadian households.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Mr. Speaker, can someone tell me why the Liberals are giving more than $25,000 to an organization the CRA banned because of its links to terrorist entities?

The Islamic Society of North America is on the CRA's blacklist. An audit revealed that funds supposedly meant for charitable works were making their way to extremist entities that India, the United States and the EU consider to be terrorist organizations.

Terrorism and extremism. Why did the minister and the member for Mississauga—Lakeshore approve this funding?

What further proof does the minister need to revoke the funding immediately instead of conducting bogus reviews?

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, my colleague knows we unequivocally condemn violence and extremism of any kind. It is unacceptable and is not tolerated.

We understand and share the member's concerns about this organization. ESDC is conducting a review of this matter through Service Canada Ontario. The member has long served in this House. He knows how this program works and that money will not be flowing if in fact this group is not compliant.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals cannot stand up and say that they do not support terrorism and then give funding to an organization that was proven to have given money to terrorists. It is ridiculous.

The Liberals rejected funding to organizations that do things like support women who are single moms and support poverty reductions in our community, because these organizations would not sign their others' values test.

When are the Liberals going to do the right thing and revoke the funding to this organization? This is a no-brainer.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Cape Breton—Canso Nova Scotia

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives like to say that politics are being played with the Canada summer jobs program, but politics are being played by them. We know the Conservatives have continued to mislead Canadians with regard to the Canada summer jobs program. They say that we are not funding any faith-based groups anymore.

Even in their leader's riding, the Raymore Baptist Church, Avonhurst Pentecostal Assembly and Echo Lake Bible Camp have received funding, if Conservatives check their list. That would be another aspect of this program they continue to play politics with.

Canada Summer Jobs ProgramOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Order. I would remind the hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill that after she poses her question, someone else gets to speak. She should not be interrupting when someone else is speaking, nor should anybody else. We should all keep that in mind, that each side gets its turn.

National DefenceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Yves Robillard Liberal Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, in recent years I have had the privilege of being a member of the Standing Committee on National Defence as our government was putting together its new defence policy, “Strong, Secure, Engaged”. This policy puts our men and women in uniform first, including Canadian civilians who choose to join the reserves.

Can the Minister of National Defence tell us about the recent changes made to support our reservists across the country?

National DefenceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Vancouver South B.C.

Liberal

Harjit S. Sajjan LiberalMinister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Marc-Aurèle-Fortin for his support of the reservists.

Last week, I was in Laval to announce changes to the reserve force pay. The reservists will now be paid the same as the regular force for the valuable work they do. This important initiative, laid out in our defence policy “Strong, Secure, Engaged”, is a clear demonstration of how we value the dedication of all members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Our reservists make us proud.

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Kent Conservative Thornhill, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Prime Minister claimed the Liberal member for Steveston—Richmond East had addressed allegations that the MP's law firm was used by a notorious Chinese drug boss to launder money. We now learn that the B.C. inquiry into money laundering has discovered that the same member was directly involved in another suspicious deal. The purported deal involved a wealthy gambler, hidden investors and an unexplained $1-million transfer in and out of the MP's law firm.

Will the Prime Minister act, or is this just another case of one set of rules for Liberals and another for everyone else?

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Scarborough Southwest Ontario

Liberal

Bill Blair LiberalMinister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction

Mr. Speaker, we are working very hard with the provincial governments right across the country and, in particular, in British Columbia on the issue of money laundering. I am not going to comment on any unproven allegation at this point, but what I will say is that our government has been working very diligently to address all of the sector vulnerabilities, including working with law societies from across Canada to address the concerns that are being addressed.

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Niki Ashton NDP Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, MB

Mr. Speaker, a Vale tailings dam by my community of Thompson has been flagged by outside investigators for stability concerns. Vale told its shareholders of this, but not people living on the ground. In fact, it took an investigative report from The Wall Street Journal for this to come to light. No one wants another Mount Polley disaster, but this is a company that has shown repeatedly that it does not take these kinds of safety concerns seriously.

What is the government doing to ensure the protection of the people and the environment around Thompson and in our north?

Natural ResourcesOral Questions

3 p.m.

Edmonton Mill Woods Alberta

Liberal

Amarjeet Sohi LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we take the safety of communities very seriously. I will absolutely follow up with the hon. member to ensure that we are listening to her concerns, as well as the concerns of the community.

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Francesco Sorbara Liberal Vaughan—Woodbridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, the steel sector directly employs over 20,000 Canadians across the country and is vital to manufacturing companies in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge. In the face of the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, Canadians stood together and firm to defend these important industries and our workers.

Now that we have succeeded in having the U.S. tariffs fully lifted, can the Minister of Finance update the House on how our government is working to continue to protect the industry and workers from unfair trade practices?

International TradeOral Questions

3 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, while we accept these challenges around the world, we need to continue to take actions to protect our steel industry against the potential of import surges. We introduced Bill C-101 in order to make sure that we have the flexibility to stabilize our market, to protect workers and to protect the industry in the case of steel surges that might come because of those protectionist issues.

I want to thank the member for Vaughan—Woodbridge and the finance committee for their work, and I want to ask all members in the House to bring forth their unanimous support so we can move this bill forward quickly to protect steel workers and to protect our steel industry.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

Mr. Speaker, nearly two million people in Hong Kong have taken to the streets to protest the draconian new extradition law that would have seen residents and visitors, including Canadians, sent to China to face trial in communist-controlled courts. They are on the streets to defend their hard-earned democracy. The extradition law is a clear assault on Hong Kong's autonomy. There is mounting pressure for Hong Kong's PRC-controlled leader, Carrie Lam, to resign after trying to ram through this law and silence peaceful protestors with violence.

What action is the government taking to support the people of Hong Kong and the 300,000 Canadians living there?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Don Valley West Ontario

Liberal

Rob Oliphant LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his concern about this topic, which I think is shared throughout this House.

We have expressed serious concerns about the proposed amendments to Hong Kong's extradition laws. They have been delayed; they have not yet been cancelled. The Hong Kong government must listen to the voices of its citizens. Last week, we issued another public statement expressing our concern about the impact of these changes. We are very aware that there are, indeed, 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong. That is of special concern to all of us.

I took this topic up with legislators when I met with them in Hong Kong. We will continue to advocate for human rights in our world.

Intergovernmental RelationsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Marilène Gill Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, last night Quebec passed its secularism bill. Finally.

Will the Prime Minister now undertake to respect the will of Quebeckers and their National Assembly and neither challenge the new Quebec bill in court nor fund legal challenges?

Intergovernmental RelationsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, our position has always been clear. It is not up to politicians to tell people what to wear or what not to wear.

Canada is already a secular country and that is reflected in our institutions. No one should have to choose between their religion and their job. This new law violates fundamental rights and individual freedoms.

We will always defend the charter for all Canadian citizens.

Intergovernmental RelationsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Marilène Gill Bloc Manicouagan, QC

Mr. Speaker, the chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, completely out of touch with Quebeckers, has already dragged out his “it is a sad day for Quebec”. It took less than 24 hours.

Whether he likes it or not, it is a good day for Quebec. This is a great day, and the culmination of over 10 years of debate on secularism in Quebec. The fight is not over, however. We still have to make sure that Ottawa will not drag this matter before the courts.

Will Quebeckers get a solemn commitment that the federal government will respect their will and not challenge this secularism legislation either directly or indirectly?

Intergovernmental RelationsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec

Liberal

David Lametti LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I have known the chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights for many years. He is a proud Quebecker. He is a proud Canadian. He is entitled to his opinion on an issue that is so fundamental to Quebec.

We as a government have always defended the charter. It is not up to the government to tell Canadians what to wear or what not to wear.

Canada is already a secular country, and as I just said, we will defend the charter.

Northern AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Independent

Hunter Tootoo Independent Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister. It was one of the proudest moments of my life when I was elected to the first Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. There was such hope and promise.

However, fast-forward 20 years, and life is not better for Nunavummiut. For many, it is worse. Nunavut only works if we can build a sustainable economy, and we can only do that with the support that was promised by the federal government. It will take massive investments in infrastructure, housing, roads, ports and connectivity.

Will the Prime Minister finally work with the Government of Nunavut and fulfill the commitment Canada made 20 years ago, or do we have to wait another 20?

Northern AffairsOral Questions

3:05 p.m.

Toronto—St. Paul's Ontario

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett LiberalMinister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Mr. Speaker, it is with pride that Canada is working with the Government of Nunavut and all our northern partners to develop and implement the new Arctic and northern policy framework, which will be done based on the principles that were determined by northerners around infrastructure, investing in people and investing in our sovereignty.

I look forward to working and being able to announce that very quickly.

The House resumed from June 13 consideration of the motion that Bill C-88, An Act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the third time and passed.

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

It being 3:08 p.m., pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 28, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion at third reading stage of Bill C-88.

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

Vote #1361

Mackenzie Valley Resource Management ActGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

The House resumed from June 14 consideration of the motion in relation to the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-68, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence, and of the amendment.

Fisheries ActGovernment Orders

3:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment to the motion to concur in the Senate amendments to Bill C-68.

The question is on the amendment.

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

Vote #1362

Fisheries ActGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the amendment defeated.

The next question is on the main motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Fisheries ActGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Fisheries ActGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Fisheries ActGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Fisheries ActGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

All those opposed will please say nay.

Fisheries ActGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Fisheries ActGovernment Orders

3:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

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

Vote #1363

Fisheries ActGovernment Orders

3:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion carried.

(Motion agreed to)

Notice of MotionWays and MeansRoutine Proceedings

3:30 p.m.

Toronto Centre Ontario

Liberal

Bill Morneau LiberalMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 83(1), I wish to table a notice of a ways and means motion to amend the Income Tax Act.

Pursuant to Standing Order 83(2), I ask that an order of the day be designated for consideration of the motion.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

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, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's responses to nine petitions.

Interparliamentary DelegationsRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, NL

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34(1) I have the honour to present in the House, in both official languages, a report of the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association reflecting its participation at the 40th annual interparliamentary meeting between the European Parliament and the Parliament of Canada in Brussels, Belgium and Strasbourg, France from March 12 to 14, 2019.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Nick Whalen Liberal St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today to present, in both official languages, the 25th report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, entitled “Adapting Canada's Immigration Policies to Today's Realities”. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

I would also like to thank the member for Don Valley West, the parliamentary secretary, for his work chairing this committee to help develop this report; and all the members, including the vice-chairs from the Conservative Party and the NDP who travelled to Tanzania and Uganda in order to obtain witness testimony for this comprehensive report.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives find this response to be wholly inadequate. We have appended a supplementary report, given the government's failures to manage a fair and orderly and compassionate immigration system during the course of this Parliament.

Industry, Science and TechnologyCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Dan Ruimy Liberal Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, entitled “Rural Wireless Digital Infrastructure: A Critical Role”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to the report.

Fisheries and OceansCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Ken McDonald Liberal Avalon, NL

Mr. Speaker, I have the the honour to present, in both official languages, the following two reports of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.

The first is the 25th report, entitled “Aquatic Invasive Species: A National Priority". I want to recognize the member who put this forward for study, the member for North Okanagan—Shuswap and thank him for that.

The second is the 26th report, entitled “In Hot Water—Lobster and Snow Crab in Eastern Canada”. I want to thank the members for West Nova and Egmont for putting that study forward.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to each of these two reports.

I will take this opportunity to thank all the members for their work over the past few months as we get ready to rise for the summer. I also want to thank the table staff, translators and everybody involved in making the committee work so efficiently.

Foreign Affairs and International DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Levitt Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 28th report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, entitled “Renewing Canada's Role in International Support for Democratic Development”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

Anthony Housefather Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have two reports to present.

I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 28th report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, entitled “The Criminalization of HIV Non-Disclosure in Canada”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report. However, notwithstanding the deadline of 120 days stipulated in Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the comprehensive response be tabled within 60 days of the presentation of the report to the House.

I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 29th report of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights entitled “Taking Action to End Online Hate”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to the report; however, notwithstanding the deadline of 120 days stipulated in Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the comprehensive response to this report be tabled within 60 days of the presentation of the report to the House.

Justice and Human RightsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Barrett Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Mr. Speaker, while Conservatives accept testimony that deliberately attempting to infect one's partner is infrequent, it still occurs. Victims must have recourse and law enforcement must have tools in these situations. Repealing criminal consequences for the deliberate, negligent or reckless attempts to spread HIV is not something that we can support. I am pleased to table our dissenting report and recommendations.

While I am on my feet, I would like to thank all those who appeared before the committee to give a wide range of diverse views on the important topic of online hate. While tackling the proliferation of extremist violence is of the utmost importance, it cannot come at the expense of fundamental freedoms of Canadians. The report tabled by the Liberal majority on this committee does not strike an appropriate balance. Measures like the restoration of section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act are an unacceptable violation of the freedom of speech of Canadians. Therefore, I am proud to table the Conservative Party's dissenting report and recommendations.

HealthCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bill Casey Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the following two reports of the Standing Committee on Health.

The first is the 27th report entitled “Get Canada's Youth Moving!”

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

The second is the 28th report entitled “The Health of LGBTQIA2 Communities in Canada”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report. However, notwithstanding the deadline of 120 days stipulated in Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the comprehensive response to this report be tabled within 60 days of the presentation of the report to the House.

With respect to the report entitled “The Health of the LGBTQIA2 Communities in Canada”, I would like to thank the member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam for bringing this critically important study forward. It is also quite appropriate that we are tabling this historic report in the middle of Pride Month. We had very comprehensive and emotional testimony throughout that was very educational.

On Motion No. 206 on physical activity of youth, I want to thank the member for Newmarket—Aurora for his tireless work over the last four years to make this study possible. We have heard from experts in the field of physical activity, including Participaction and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.

Public AccountsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the following two reports of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts: the 67th report, entitled “Report 5, Equipping Officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, of the 2019 Spring Reports of the Auditor General of Canada”; and the 68th report, entitled “Do Service Well: the Standing Committee on Public Accounts of the Forty-Second Parliament”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to these two reports.

Government Operations and EstimatesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 18th report of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, entitled “An Even Greener Government: Improving the Greening Government Strategy to Maximize its Impact”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Also, since this may be my last opportunity in this Parliament to say a few words on behalf of our committee, I want to congratulate and thank all our clerks, analysts, interpreters and translators, who helped our committee achieve, I think, some very worthy and laudatory work on a number of reports. I also want to thank all the members of the committee. As members know, many times in committee, discussions can get quite heated and quite partisan. I was fortunate enough to chair a committee on which all the members acted with great professionalism and respect for one another. I look forward to once again returning to Parliament in the fall, hopefully to have the same response from future committees.

Government Operations and EstimatesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly McCauley Conservative Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are pleased to present a supplementary report on a green government.

While the OGGO report highlighted many failures of the Liberal government in greening government, the biggest oversight was that we did not, in this report, look at national defence emissions, which account for 50% of the entire government's emissions. It is because of this, unfortunately, that the report issued by OGGO has little value.

Indigenous and Northern AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

MaryAnn Mihychuk Liberal Kildonan—St. Paul, MB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 22nd report of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, entitled “Summary of Evidence of Capacity Building on Reserves”.

I take this opportunity to recognize my colleague, Kevin Waugh, a former school trustee, who understands education and carried the passion of that to this study.

However, it is a study that we did not have an opportunity to complete. All members of our committee would encourage the next government and the next INAN committee to consider continuing this important work, which deals with the training and employment of indigenous people on reserve.

Natural ResourcesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Liberal

James Maloney Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, two reports of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources: the 12th report, entitled “Energy Efficiency Benefits in Canada: Maximizing Opportunities for a Competitive Economy”; and the 13th report, entitled “International Best Practices for Indigenous Engagement in Major Energy Projects: Building Partnerships on the Path to Reconciliation”.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to both reports.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow committee members, some of whom are here today. I have been working with them for four years now, and they have made the committee run incredibly smoothly. It has been a pleasure working with these individuals. I would especially like to thank our clerk and analysts, who have made working with the committee particularly smooth. Everything ran incredibly well, and it is because of them that this was able to happen.

Status of WomenCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, two reports of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women. The first is the 17th report, entitled “A Lifetime of Dedication: Helping Senior Women Benefit from their Lifelong Contributions to Canadian Society today”. The committee was able to hear from 54 witnesses, including 11 from departments, 10 individuals and 18 organizations. Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to the report.

The second is the 18th report, entitled “A Force for Change: Creating a Culture of Equality for Women in the Canadian Armed Forces”. The committee heard from nine independent witnesses, four organizations and seven individuals from DND. This was a fantastic opportunity for us to do the work. I want to mention the work done by our analysts, Dominique and Clare, and our fantastic clerk, Kenza, who were able to get all of this done in the last few weeks. We were able to get a report done and tabled.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

Status of WomenCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:45 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, we submitted two dissenting reports, the first having to do with seniors. The focus was seniors who find themselves in financially vulnerable situations. Interestingly, under the Liberal government, there are more seniors who live in poverty now than there were up to 15 years ago, according to Statistics Canada data that came out within the last couple of weeks. When Conservatives were in power, the rate of female seniors living in poverty was about 11%. Under the current government, it is over 16%, so that number has increased drastically.

The reason I raise this is that one of the concerns we heard from women who appeared at committee was that not enough is being done to support them, in particular those who choose to spend part or all of their working years at home looking after children and the well-being of the home as a whole. The government does not respect that choice, so in our report, we call on it to respect a woman's autonomy and economic choice in life.

The other dissenting report I am tabling has to do with women in the Canadian Armed Forces. The reason this study was initiated was that the government promised that 25% of those in the Canadian Armed Forces would be women. It has not reached that target. It has also failed to respond to problems taking place within Operation Honour. Liberals also made a campaign promise that they would not take veterans to court, but they have. It is important for us to highlight the places where they have failed to meet their promises to Canadians and to make sure that we act as a voice advocating for these women who are part of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Controlled Drugs and Substances ActRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Nathaniel Erskine-Smith Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-460, an act to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and to make consequential amendments to other acts.

He said: Mr. Speaker, thousands of Canadians continue to die because of the ongoing opioid crisis. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, its most recent numbers indicate that since January 2016, over 11,000 Canadians have died. For the first time in decades, our life expectancy in Canada has stalled, and it is because of the opioid crisis. It is a public health crisis, and public health experts across the country are unanimous in calling for drug use to be treated as a health issue. That means expanding harm reduction and treatment options, which this government has done, but it also means removing the criminal sanction for low-level possession, because we know that the number one stigma associated with seeking treatment is the criminal sanction.

It does not mean removing the criminal sanction for producing or trafficking, but for personal use by the very people we want to help, it means treating patients as patients and not as criminals. That is exactly what this bill seeks to do by removing the criminal sanction for low-level possession. It is a necessary next step in following the evidence to save lives. If I am re-elected, it will be the first bill I reintroduce.

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

Criminal CodeRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-461, an act to amend the Criminal Code and the Judges Act (trafficking in persons).

Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by thanking the many advocates and community partners that helped us in the creation of this bill. The issue was brought to my attention by a constituent of mine, Darla, who, as a survivor of human trafficking herself, notes how dire the situation is. As my colleague, the member for Peace River—Westlock, has stated before, human trafficking is happening within 10 blocks of where one lives.

This private member's bill is a product of meaningful consultation with many of our community partners from Oshawa, including the Durham Region Human Trafficking Coalition, Durham Regional Police and its human trafficking unit, Victim Services of Durham Region and many more.

I want to introduce this to my fellow colleagues as an non-partisan issue. Many ridings along the border and our highways are facing a rise in human trafficking. This is an issue on which we all agree we can do better as a country. Human trafficking does not discriminate, and as a father, I want to ensure that our country is a safer place for our children.

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

Human RightsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:50 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have four petitions to present today. I will keep them brief.

The first petition is signed by 67 members of my community from the Christian Cultural Association of South Asians and the community at large. The petitioners are bringing to the attention of the government minority groups from Pakistan who have been subjected to human rights violations, discrimination and fear of prosecution. These asylum seekers are living in miserable conditions, including children, who are deprived of education and treatment. Further, these members of the Christian Cultural Association of South Asians are willing to help. They are calling on the Government of Canada to show compassion and bring these asylum seekers to Canada.

Animal WelfarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, the next petition is signed by 25 members of my community. The petitioners are bringing to the attention of the government the need for Canada's animal cruelty laws to be addressed due to an incident that happened to Ms. Krista Brown, of Kingston, when she suffered the loss of two dogs who were killed by her partner. She is requesting that the legislation be changed so that here is a differentiation between pets and farm animals.

AgriculturePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, the third petition is signed by 42 members of my community who are calling on the Government of Canada to recognize and enshrine the rights of farmers and other Canadians to freely save, reuse, select, exchange, condition, store and sell seeds. The petitioners are further calling on the government to refrain from making any regulations under the Plant Breeders' Rights Act.

CyclingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, the final petition is signed by 75 members of my community who are calling to the attention of the government the fact that public health and safety, traffic flow, air quality and CO2 emissions are all improved by the greater use of bicycles and that bicycle use is encouraged by bicycle boulevards. They are asking the House of Commons and Parliament to assemble the appropriate funds to subsidize the cost of creating bicycle boulevards in Canadian cities and municipalities, dependent on local assessment needs and feasibility.

Physician-Assisted DyingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have the privilege of tabling two petitions today.

The first petition is on behalf of hundreds of Canadians who believe that the conscience rights of health care workers are not being protected when they are forced or coerced to become parties in assisted suicide. Section 2 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects the freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, yet the current government has done nothing to defend these rights in its euthanasia legislation. These citizens are calling on the Government of Canada to enshrine in the Criminal Code protection of conscience for physicians and health care workers. I trust that the government will urgently deal with these concerns and defend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Canada Summer JobsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek, SK

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on behalf of hundreds of Saskatchewan residents who believe that the Government of Canada must defend the rights of all Canadians, regardless of whether the Liberal Party of Canada agrees with their individual views. Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms identifies freedom of conscience, freedom of thought and freedom of belief as fundamental freedoms. These citizens believe that the current government requiring Canada summer jobs program applicants to hold the same views as the Liberal government is in contravention of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The petitioners call upon the Prime Minister to defend the charter and withdraw this requirement from the Canada summer jobs program. I hope the government will deal with the concerns of these citizens.

PensionsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to present a petition on behalf of many residents of Toronto, Hamilton, Guelph and Brantford, Ontario, joining their voices to the thousands of Canadians who have signed similar petitions. I would like to thank the B.C. Retired Teachers Association and the National Association of Federal Retirees for their advocacy in this work. All these petitioners point out that before the 2015 federal election, Canadians were clearly promised, in writing, that defined benefit plans would not be retroactively changed to target benefit plans. As the House knows, Bill C-27, tabled by the Minister of Finance, precisely permits this change. Therefore, the petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to withdraw Bill C-27, an act to amend the Pension Benefits Standards Act of 1985.

Carbon PricingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present two petitions today.

The first is signed by Canadians requesting that Parliament collaborate with all provincial and territorial governments to reduce climate change through putting a price on pollution. The petitioners support the adoption of a price on carbon as the focal point of a Canadian climate action plan and urge the implementation of carbon reduction strategies from around the world.

PharmacarePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Liberal

John Oliver Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is signed by Canadians who request that the federal, provincial and territorial governments work together to deliver a publicly funded and financially sustainable drug plan that would cover all medically necessary prescription drugs for all Canadians. The current patchwork of providing prescription drugs to Canadians is neither adequate nor sustainable. Canadians should not be denied access to essential medicines because they cannot afford them.

EqualizationPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

3:55 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, there is frustration among members of my community who have watched the government present draconian legislation against the energy sector. Members of my community are calling upon the government to immediately scrap Bill C-69, as well as to examine the equalization formula, which petitioners believe has been made untenable and unfair given the Prime Minister's ideological opposition to jobs in our community.

HealthPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Sheehan Liberal Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to present e-petition 2046 on behalf of my constituent Mandy Fowler and her son Kayge. The petition has been signed by 8,712 Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

The petitioners are asking that May 25 be declared as national DIPG day of awareness. It would help to educate the public about the prevalence and severity of this disease, encourage funding to support ongoing research, increase dialogue in the professional medical community, further publicize and promote Canada's involvement in the fight against DIPG and honour the victims of this terrible disease.

Public SafetyPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, many Canadians from coast to coast are calling on the government to put the safety and well-being of children first and foremost. They call on the federal government to consider the placement of three-point seat belts within school buses across the country. I am tabling a petition on this today.

Genetically Modified FoodsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions that were signed at the Guelph Farmers' Market by local advocates.

The first one is signed by 312 Canadians and calls for an immediate moratorium on the licensing and release of new GMOs and for an independent review of existing GMOs already released in the market.

AgriculturePetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition, signed by 540 Canadians, calls on Parliament to enshrine in legislation the inalienable rights of farmers and other Canadians to save, reuse, select, exchange and sell seeds.

Genetically Modified AlfalfaPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, the final petition, signed by 300 Canadians, calls for a moratorium on the release of genetically modified alfalfa in order to allow proper review of the impact of it on farmers in Canada.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, the following questions will be answered today: Questions Nos. 2458, 2469 and 2470.

Question No. 2458Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Colin Carrie Conservative Oshawa, ON

With regard to Health Canada’s regulation of natural health products and non-prescription drugs: (a) what specific regulatory changes have been proposed or are currently under consideration by Health Canada; (b) for each proposed change, what is the stage, status, and timeline of the proposed change; and (c) is Health Canada proposing or considering bringing natural health products under direct regulation and, if so, what are the details, including timeline of such a proposal?

Question No. 2458Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Oakville North—Burlington Ontario

Liberal

Pam Damoff LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, in response to parts (a), (b) and (c), natural health products have been regulated under the natural health products regulations since 2004, and Canadians now have access to more than 150,000 licensed natural health products. The government is committed to preserving access to a wide range of health products, while making sure that Canadians have the information they need on the product labels to make informed health choices. Health Canada is dedicated to being reasonable, thoughtful and deliberate in how it develops its policy proposals and how it implements any changes.

Since fall 2016, departmental officials have conducted extensive consultations with a diverse range of stakeholders to gain their perspectives and concerns on proposed changes to the natural health products regulations to improve the labelling of natural health products, and the food and drug regulations to modernize the oversight approach for non-prescription drugs. Health Canada has received input from over 4,500 consumers, industry, health care professionals, academia and many other interested stakeholders. This engagement will continue as proposals advance over the coming months to further seek stakeholders’ perspectives and collaboratively work with them on potential solutions.

With regard to the natural health products regulations, Health Canada is proposing changes to improve the labelling of natural health products to make labels easier to read and understand, help consumers make informed decisions about their health and the health of their families, and reduce avoidable harms associated with confusing or illegible labels. Under this new proposal, labels would require a standardized product facts table, a minimum font size and appropriate colour contrast. This proposal is targeting spring 2020 for pre-publication in the Canada Gazette, part I. To support this proposal and its implementation, Health Canada has been engaging stakeholders extensively and has been meeting individual companies representing tens of thousands of natural health products on the Canadian market, to identify any challenges with implementing the proposed labelling changes and working in collaboration with stakeholders to identify potential solutions. Furthermore, Health Canada will publish its proposed guidance on labelling changes in June 2019 to seek additional feedback on the proposed changes prior to formal consultation in Canada Gazette, part I.

In April 2019, Health Canada published its findings from public opinion research on improving self-care product labelling during in-person public consultations held across Canada in 2018: “Consulting Consumers on Self-Care Product Labelling: A Report on What We Heard”, https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/topics/self-care-products/what-we-heard-product-labelling.html.

With regard to the food and drug regulations, Health Canada is proposing changes to modernize the oversight approach for non-prescription drugs, which range from cosmetic-like topical products to higher-risk products such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. This proposal would introduce simplified market access pathways for lower-risk products and reduce regulatory burden for industry. This proposal is targeting spring 2020 for pre-publication in Canada Gazette, part I.

The regulatory modernization proposals, as described above, are outlined in Health Canada’s “Forward Regulatory Plan 2019-2021”: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/corporate/about-health-canada/legislation-guidelines/acts-regulations/forward-regulatory-plan/plan/self-care-framework.html.

More information on the proposed regulatory changes and how stakeholders can get involved can be found in “Next steps on the self-care products initiative”, at https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/self-care-framework.html.

Health Canada remains committed to continue to engage stakeholders throughout the regulatory modernization process.

Question No. 2469Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Kmiec Conservative Calgary Shepard, AB

With regard to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, since January 1, 2016: (a) how many Canadian businesses are investing in projects in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, broken down by year; (b) how much Canadian money is spent on projects in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, broken down by year; and (c) of the projects listed in (a), how many of these businesses are operating through, either directly or indirectly, the Canadian government?

Question No. 2469Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Louis-Hébert Québec

Liberal

Joël Lightbound LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, in response to part (a), the Department of Finance has been informed that one Canadian firm, Hatch, is providing consulting services on an AIIB-financed project. In addition, the Department of Finance understands that Canadian firms and consultants are engaged with core functions of the bank. For example, TD Securities helped manage AIIB’s first bond issuance in May 2019, among other financial services firms.

The AIIB publishes details of investors who invest alongside the AIIB in a project. This information can be found on the AIIB website in project documents of both proposed and approved projects, at the following links: https://www.aiib.org/en/projects/approved/index.html and https://www.aiib.org/en/projects/proposed/index.html.

In response to part (b), Canada purchased a 0.995% shareholding in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank at a cost of $199 million U.S. This amount, which is payable over a five-year period in equal proportions, starting in 2017-18, is pooled with that of other member countries and used to finance AIIB projects over multiple years.

In response to part (c), businesses win procurement contracts independently and do not operate through the Government of Canada.

Question No. 2470Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Lisa Raitt Conservative Milton, ON

With regard to the 2016 compliance agreement signed by SNC-Lavalin and Elections Canada: did Elections Canada receive any communication from the government, including from any minister’s office, about SNC-Lavalin since November 4, 2015, and, if so, what are the details of all communication, including (i) date, (ii) sender, (iii) recipient, (iv) form (email, letter, telephone, etc.), (v) subject matter, (vi) summary of contents?

Question No. 2470Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Parkdale—High Park Ontario

Liberal

Arif Virani LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Democratic Institutions

Mr. Speaker, the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada has not received any communication from the government, including from any minister’s office, about the 2016 compliance agreement signed by SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. and the Commissioner of Canada Elections, CCE.

The CCE is responsible to ensure that the Canada Elections Act and the Referendum Act are complied with and enforced, including the negotiation of compliance agreements. In the exercise of that role, he acts independently of the Chief Electoral Officer.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, if the government's responses to Questions Nos. 2454 to 2457, 2459 to 2468 and 2471 to 2476 could be made orders for returns, these returns would be tabled immediately.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 2454Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

NDP

Murray Rankin NDP Victoria, BC

With regard to the case of Abousfian Abdelrazik and his claims that Canada violated his rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, since June 1, 2018: how much has it cost the government to litigate the case, broken down by (i) the value of all legal services, (ii) disbursements and costs awards for Federal Court file numbers T-727-08 and T-1580-09?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2455Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

With regard to the restrictions announced in April 2019 by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on Chinook salmon fishing in British Columbia: (a) did the government do an economic analysis of the impact of the recreational fishery restrictions on the fishing tourism industry for 2019, and, if so, what were the findings of the analysis; and (b) did the government do an economic analysis of the impact of the restrictions, both recreational and commercial, on the various communities and regions of British Columbia impacted by the restrictions and, if so, what were the findings of the analysis?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2456Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Larry Maguire Conservative Brandon—Souris, MB

With regard to the procurement, deployment, usage and maintenance of all new and existing information and communications techonolgies (ICT) and all related costs incurred by the government in fiscal year 2018-19: (a) what was the total level of overall spending by each federal department, agency, Crown corporation, and other governement entities; (b) what are the details of all these expenditures and related costs, including salaries and commercial purchases; (c) how many full-time employees, part-time employees, indeterminate appointments, term employees, contractors and consultants were employed to manage, maintain and improve ICT systems and infrasturcture in each federal department, agency, Crown corporation or other government entities; and (d) what is the ratio of all ICT support workers (full-time, part-time, indeterminate, term employees, contractors and consultants) to non-ICT employees in each federal department, agency, Crown corporation, and other government entities?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2457Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

With regard to the caribou recovery agreements negotiated, proposed, or entered into by the government since November 4, 2015, including those currently under negotiation or consultation: (a) for each agreement, has an economic impact study been conducted and, if so, what are the details, including findings of each study; (b) for each agreement, what is the total projected economic impact, broken down by (i) industry (tourism, logging, transportation, etc.), (ii) region or municipality; and (c) what are the details of all organizations consulted in relation to the economic impact of such agreements, including (i) name of organization, (ii) date, (iii) form of consultation?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2459Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

NDP

Pierre-Luc Dusseault NDP Sherbrooke, QC

With regard to the Canada Infrastructure Bank, since its creation: (a) what is the number of meetings held with Canadian and foreign investors, broken down by (i) month, (ii) country, (iii) investor class; (b) what is the complete list of investors met; (c) what are the details of the contracts awarded by the Canada Infrastructure Bank, including (i) date of contract, (ii) value of contract, (iii) vendor name, (iv) file number, (v) description of services provided; (d) what are the details of all travel expenses incurred, including for each expenditure the (i) traveller’s name, (ii) purpose of the travel, (iii) travel dates, (iv) airfare, (v) other transportation costs, (vi) accommodation costs, (vii) meals and incidentals, (viii) other expenses, (ix) total amount; and (e) what are the details of all hospitality expenses incurred by the Bank, including for each expenditure the (i) guest’s name, (ii) event location, (iii) service vendor, (iv) total amount, (v) event description, (vi) date, (vii) number of attendees, (viii) number of government employees in attendance, (ix) number of guests?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2460Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

With regard to ongoing or planned government IT projects over $1 million: (a) what is the list of each project, including a brief description; and (b) for each project listed in (a), what is the (i) total budget, (ii) estimated completion date?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2461Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

With regard to international trips taken by the Prime Minister since January 1, 2016: (a) what are the details of each trip, including (i) dates, (ii) destination, (iii) purpose; (b) for each trip in (a), how many guests who were not members of the Prime Minister’s family, employees of the government, or elected officials, were on each trip; and (c) what are the details of each guest in (b), including (i) name, (ii) title, (iii) reason for being on the trip, (iv) dates individual was on the trip?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2462Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

With regard to government expenditures on gala, concert or sporting event tickets since January 1, 2018: what was the (i) date, (ii) location, (iii) total cost, (iv) cost per ticket, (v) number of tickets, (vi) title of persons using the tickets, (vii) name or title of event for tickets purchased by, or billed to, any department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2463Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Conservative Chatham-Kent—Leamington, ON

With regard to Minister’s regional offices (MROs): (a) what are the current locations of each MRO; (b) how many government employees, excluding Ministerial exempt staff, are currently working in each office; and (c) how many Ministerial exempt staff are currently working in each office?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2464Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

With regard to the statement by the Minister of Indigenous Services on April 30, 2019, that “Kashechewan will be relocated”: (a) where will the community be located; and (b) what is the projected timeline for the relocation?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2465Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Luc Berthold Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

With regard to the government’s response to the outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in certain parts of the world: (a) what specific new measures has the government taken since January 1, 2019, in order to prevent ASF from coming to Canada; and (b) what new restrictions have been put in place on imports in order to prevent ASF from coming to Canada, broken down by country?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2466Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West, ON

With regard to usage of the government's fleet of Challenger aircraft, since January 1, 2019: what are the details of the legs of each flight, including (i) date, (ii) point of departure, (iii) destination, (iv) number of passengers, (v) names and titles of passengers, excluding security or Canadian Armed Forces members, (vi) total catering bill related to the flight?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2467Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Dave MacKenzie Conservative Oxford, ON

With regard to all government contracts awarded for public relation services since January 1, 2018, broken down by department, agency, Crown corporation, or other government entity: what are the details of these contracts, including (i) date of contract, (ii) value of contract, (iii) vendor name, (iv) file number, (v) description of services provided, (vi) start and end dates of services provided?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2468Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Conservative Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan, SK

With regard to Service Canada’s national in-person service delivery network, for each Service Canada Centre: (a) how many centres were operational as of November 4, 2015; (b) what were the locations and number of full-time employees (FTEs) at each location, as of November 4, 2015; (c) how many centres are currently operational; (d) what are the current locations and number of FTEs at each location; (e) which offices have changed their hours of service between November 4, 2015, and present; and (f) for each office which has changed their hours, what were the hours of service as of (i) November 4, 2015, (ii) May 1, 2019?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2471Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

With regard to the government’s Connect to Innovate Program first announced in the 2016 Budget: (a) what is the total of all expenditures to date under the program; (b) what are the details of all projects funded to date under the program, including (i) recipient of funding, (ii) name of the project, (iii) location, (iv) project start date, (v) projected completion date, (vi) amount of funding pledged, (vii) amount of funding actually provided to date, (viii) description of the project; (c) which of the projected listed in (b) have agreements signed, and which ones do not yet have a signed agreement; and (d) which of the details in (a) through (c) are available on the Connect to Innovate section of Industry Canada’s website and what is the specific website location where each such detail is located, broken down by detail requested in (a) through (c), including the subparts of each question?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2472Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

With regard to concerns that infrastructure funding has been announced, but not delivered, in Kelowna, British Columbia, since November 4, 2015: (a) what is the total amount of funding committed in Kelowna; (b) what is the total amount of funding paid out in relation to the funding committed in (a); and (c) what are the details of all projects, including (i) date of announcement, (ii) amount committed, (iii) amount actually paid out to date, (iv) project description?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2473Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

With regard to the Connect to Innovate Program and specifically the project to close the Canadian North Fibre Loop between Dawson City and Inuvik: (a) what is the current status of the project; (b) what are the details of any contracts signed in relation to the project, including the date each contract was signed; (c) what amount has the government committed to the project; (d) of the funding commitment in (c), what amount has been delivered; (e) what is the start date of the project; (f) what is the projected completion date of the project; (g) what are the details of any tender issued in relation to the project; (h) has a contractor been selected for the project and, if so, which contractor was selected and when was the selection made; and (i) which of the details in (a) through (h) are available on the Connect to Innovate section of Industry Canada’s website and what is the specific website location where each such detail is located, broken down by detail requested in (a) through (h)?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2474Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

Kerry Diotte Conservative Edmonton Griesbach, AB

With regard to all expenditures on hospitality since January 1, 2019, broken down by department or agency: what are the details of all expenditures, including (i) vendor, (ii) amount, (iii) date of expenditure, (iv) start and end date of contract, (v) description of goods or services provided, including quantity, if applicable, (vi) file number, (vii) number of government employees in attendance, (viii) number of other attendees, (ix) location?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2475Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

NDP

Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

With regard to the Non-Insured Health Benefit (NIHB) Program, and the provision of medical transportation benefits in Saskatchewan for each fiscal year from 2012-13 to the current : (a) what is the number of clients served; (b) what is the number of approved trips; (c) what were the approved transportation service providers and the number of trips approved for each; (d) what were the approved modes of transportation and the number of trips per mode; (e) what was the average wait time for approval of applications; (f) what was the number of trips that required lodging, accommodations, or other expenses unrelated to the provision of the treatment being sought; (g) what were the reasons why additional expenses in (f) were approved and the number of applications or trips approved for each; and (h) what was the number of appeals launched as a result of rejected applications, the average length of the appeals process, and the aggregate results?

(Return tabled)

Question No. 2476Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

NDP

Sheri Benson NDP Saskatoon West, SK

With regard to the 2019-20 federal budget presentation of March 19, 2019, and issues related to the Phoenix pay system for public servants, as of today: (a) what is the total number of affected clients; and (b) what is the total number of affected clients in each electoral district?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

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

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

Waterloo Ontario

Liberal

Bardish Chagger LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, in relation to the consideration of Government Business No. 29, I move:

That the debate be not further adjourned.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

In accordance with Standing Order 67.1, we will now proceed to a 30-minute question period.

Members will recall that the preference for questions during the 30 minutes is provided to the opposition, but not to the exclusion of some members from the government side. I ask all members who wish to participate in the 30 minutes to now rise, to indicate how much time will be afforded.

If members could keep their interventions to approximately one and a half minutes, that will get through the members who wish to participate.

A final reminder is that members can speak more than once, should the need arise or it be necessary in the course of the 30 minutes.

We will now proceed to questions, with the hon. member for Calgary Nose Hill.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to take note of the fact that the government introduced this motion over a month ago. The government House leader has not put this back on the agenda, which, for one, kind of belies what the Liberal government actually thinks constitutes an emergency.

Two, the Parliamentary Budget Officer this week panned the government's carbon tax, saying that it would not work. Then the environment minister said that the Liberals were not going to increase the price of carbon, so they admitted that their carbon tax is a cash grab. She is responsible for dumping millions of litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence. As well, the Prime Minister could not even answer to Canadians what he was doing to reduce plastics use.

If it is such an emergency, why is the Prime Minister jetting back and forth today from the Raptors parade, creating a big carbon footprint?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Ottawa Centre Ontario

Liberal

Catherine McKenna LiberalMinister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, it is really important that the House comes together to vote on the increasing climate emergency that we are seeing here in Canada and around the world.

Scientists did a report on the science behind climate change here in Canada. It found that Canada is warming at twice the global average, and three times or more in our north. We know we need to take action on climate change. We know that the science is clear, including the science around extreme weather and the links we have seen already this year, with floods in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. They were supposed to be once in a hundred-year floods and are now happening every several years. That is having a real impact on people's lives, property and on the economy.

When it comes to Alberta, we are already seeing wildfires. We know the science behind climate change. The changing climate report shows we can expect that wildfires will start earlier, will burn longer and will have a greater impact. We need to take action on climate change. I am hoping that the whole House comes together to show Canadians from coast to coast to coast that we understand there is an increasing climate emergency. We understand the science behind climate change, and we understand the need to do work here at home to meet our international obligations.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly the point. The science says that pushing through TMX, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, will massively increase greenhouse gas emissions for Canada. The science says, as well, that if we continue to massively subsidize billions of dollars a year to the fossil fuel industry, we are going to simply accelerate climate change. The science says all of those things.

The NDP brought forward a climate emergency motion over a month ago. The Liberals voted it down, because we called for what science calls for exactly, which is stopping the fossil fuel subsidies that the Liberals love to lavish on the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and stopping the Trans Mountain pipeline.

A month later, after this motion simply languishing, all of sudden, on the eve of the Trans Mountain rubber-stamp, the Liberals are bringing it back. They are bringing it back with a vicious type of closure that basically shuts down debate completely. Is the reason that they are bringing in this toxic type of closure today, after letting this motion languish for weeks, not because tomorrow they are going to rubber-stamp and ram through Trans Mountain and they are embarrassed about the consequences on climate change?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I hope the member opposite and his party will support our motion that we have an increasing climate emergency.

I know the NDP cares greatly about taking action on climate change, but we also have to make sure we grow the economy and create good jobs. That has always been our focus. Affordability is something that Canadians care about. That is why we put a price on pollution. However, we are giving the money back to people, such that 80% of people will be better off, especially low- and middle-income people.

That is why we are also making investments in clean innovation. That is creating jobs across the country. I have been in British Columbia and have seen amazing companies, like Carbon Engineering, in Squamish, B.C. They are taking CO2 out of the air and then using it to create clean fuels. That is the kind of innovation that is going to create good jobs.

We have made historic investments in public transportation so that people can get around cheaper, faster, cleaner. We are working across the board. We understand that we need to tackle climate change; we need to protect to environment. We can do that at the same time as growing the economy and making sure that life is affordable for Canadians.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, as has been mentioned, this motion was first introduced just over a week ago. Here we are today, and it is being pushed through.

There is some hypocrisy entangled within the motion that is being brought forward by the Liberals. I will comment a little on that. The government says that its so-called climate action plan is to impose a carbon tax on Canadians, but then it is allowing the largest emitters in Canada to get off scot-free. They are off the hook. Meanwhile, everyday Canadians, small business owners, moms and dads who are driving their kids around to sports games, are paying top dollar on the fuel that they use as well as the natural gas they use to heat their homes in Canada. That is not really an option, especially for those in my constituency, Lethbridge, where our winters are -30°, -35° C.

The idea of a carbon tax is a theory, but it does not work in reality. Instead, we should be focusing on looking after our rivers and waterways, on conserving our land and making sure that wildlife is protected. We should be making sure that we are making investments in green technologies.

Let us talk about the hypocrisy with regard to the St. Lawrence River, the waste that is being dumped in it and the government having done absolutely nothing to stop that.

If we are going to talk about the environment, then let us have a real conversation about the environment, and let us make real changes for it, rather than speaking out of one side of our mouth and doing something different, which is exactly what the Liberals are doing.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased to see last week that Pope Francis met with major energy companies. He said that carbon pricing was essential to combatting climate change. He appealed to climate change deniers to listen to the science. He said, “For too long we have collectively failed to listen to the fruits of scientific analysis and “doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain..”.

Pope Francis is so focused on this, because the most vulnerable, the poorest among us are the most impacted by climate change. We need to take action. He was very clear that there needs to be price on pollution, that it can no longer be free to pollute, because we are paying the price. The people who are paying the price are the most vulnerable among us. That is a basic teaching of the church, that we need to be standing up for the most vulnerable, that we need to be working together to protect what he has called “our common home”.

Laudato Si, the encyclical of the Pope, is very clear about the need for us all to come together, which I hope this House will do. We need to come together to tackle climate change, to realize it can no longer be free to pollute, to understand that we need to do the hard work at home to meet our international obligations. We are all going to need to do more.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

King—Vaughan Ontario

Liberal

Deb Schulte LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, some people in my riding are questioning why we need to declare a climate emergency.

While climate impacts are being felt around the globe, in my riding, we are seeing impacts, with irregular weather, hotter summers, invasive species killing our trees, and affecting our health, for instance with Lyme disease and the West Nile virus.

However, there are those who are questioning the need to declare this a climate emergency. Can the Minister of Environment and Climate Change please share with the House the purpose of declaring a climate emergency?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for all the work that she has done to protect the environment, to tackle climate change, including previously as head of the House of Commons committee on the environment.

The reason we need to recognize that we have an increasing climate emergency is because that is what the science tells us. The science says that Canada is warming at twice the global average, three times more in our north. If we are to take serious action on climate change, we need to understand the science, we need to recognize the science and we need to act on the science.

We hope that everyone in the House will come together and we will show Canadians from coast to coast to coast that we understand the science behind climate change, including the impacts that the member spoke about in her own riding.

We recognize that extreme weather is linked to climate change. We recognize that we need to take action and we need to take it now. We recognize that we need to take action at home to meet our international obligations. We all need to do more.

It is important to show Canadians and the world that Canada understands. It is time for us to act. It is good for our economy, it is good for our environment and we owe it to our kids.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think we can all agree that when it comes to addressing climate change, we need policy that is based on fact and scientific evidence. When we hear the Parliamentary Budget Officer say that the $40 per tonne price on carbon is not going to allow the government to meet its Paris targets, that is something we should digest, internalize and perhaps change course on.

For the minister to now go from saying we need a scientific-based approach to making this about religion, is hypocritical. Is she going to quote religion on other areas of policy? We have to get away from zealotry and dogma, which is what the minister has made her whole career on. It is the church of climate change and policies that will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

If the minister really cares about climate, why is she making this about religious dogma as opposed to putting forward a plan that would actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Why is the government invoking closure on a debate where we could be discussing these exact things and sussing out a policy that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change in a meaningful way?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my point was that people around the world, including the Pope, understood that climate change was having an impact and that we needed to act. In fact, that meeting was between the Pope and major energy companies.

The member opposite cares greatly about jobs and about getting our resources to market. Those companies met with the Pope to say that a price needed to be put on pollution.

Let us talk about our climate plan. We have a climate plan and we are committed to meeting our targets. We have noted that we are not just doing a price on pollution, but we have other measures.

What are we doing as part of our climate plan? We are making historic investments in public transportation. We are phasing out coal and investing in renewable energy and a just transition for workers, because we need to ensure people are at the heart of it. We are investing in clean innovation and energy efficiency. We are working with provinces on electric vehicles to ensure people have more affordable and cleaner options. We are making investments in affordable housing, but ensuring that those investments are the most energy efficient, so that people with the least amount of money can save money.

We are going to continue acting on climate change. I hope the party opposite is going to present its climate plan. We really hope it will show how the Conservatives will meet the target right in Canada through clear action.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:15 p.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I find it very troubling that we are talking about moving closure on a motion to declare the climate issue in Canada a crisis. As the minister said, Canadians are concerned, above anything else, about climate change. All I hear is about the forest fires and the floods.

Yesterday I was in my home in Penticton and at one o'clock in the morning, my neighbour banged on my door to tell me to get out of the house because there was a big forest brush fire 200 metres from our houses. We had to get out. Luckily, three fire departments came and put the fire out.

People are very concerned about this, yet the Liberal government tries to stand behind its targets, which the IPCC says are inadequate. Climate action tracking websites say that our actions are highly insufficient. We should be debating this in the House for as long as it takes to get across to everybody here. We have to work across party lines and across provincial borders to get this done. Moving closure on this sends a very bad signal to the Canadian people.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:15 p.m.

Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I know how much my hon. colleague cares about taking action on the environment. It sounds like it was a terrible situation last night. This is, unfortunately, what we are seeing across the country. Wildfires are now starting earlier in the season because it is much drier. They are burning longer and they are more destructive. We see clear links to climate change and we will continue to see this.

The reason we need to have this discussion and the reason it is important that we have this vote before the session ends is because Canadians deserve to see whether everyone in the House understands the science behind climate change, understands that we increasingly are in a climate emergency and understands that we need to do our part at home. We need to meet our international obligations and then, like everyone in the world, we need to do more. This is a critical discussion. I am very hopeful. I believe the NDP will support this motion.

However, the big question is this. Will the Conservatives support the motion? Do they understand that Canadians expect us to act right here at home? Do they understand that we need to take the measures to reduce emissions, that we can do it in a way that makes life affordable the same way we have done with putting a price on pollution and giving the money back to Canadians, that we need to move forward as a country, that we should not be fighting in court, that we should not be having sticker campaigns like Premier Ford and that we should be taking serious action on climate change?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

John Nater Conservative Perth—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, according to the Prime Minister's itinerary today, he started the morning in Ottawa. He then flew to Toronto. He will then fly to Ottawa. After that, he will fly to Montreal. After he is done in Montreal, he will fly back to Ottawa for the climate emergency vote tonight.

What does the Challenger jet fly on? Does it fly on good intentions or is it just that the Prime Minister is a high-carbon hypocrite?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Order, please. I would ask the hon. member for Perth—Wellington to consider the use of those kinds of characterizations. As the members have seen, they lead to disorder. I really ask hon. members to think about how they phrase things, especially when they are talking about characterizing or assigning adjectives to other hon. members in the House.

The hon. Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, what Canadians want to know is whether Conservative politicians understand that climate change is an increasing emergency. There is a real question out there. There has been a number of cases where the Conservatives have openly questioned the links between extreme weather and climate change.

Jason Kenney, the Premier of Alberta, says that climate change is like the flavour of the month. There are forest fires burning such that he cannot do a press conference to talk about how he killed a price on pollution, because it is so smoky in the legislative building.

Doug Ford is cutting programs for flood management and forest fire management, while there are floods and forest fires. He is funding sticker campaigns so small-business owners will have to pay fines if they do not mislead Ontarians about the cost of a price on pollution and the money that goes directly back to people, that this is shameful that we need to take action on climate change.

Young people are striking every Friday. They are looking for leadership from everyone in the House to stand and say that we have an increasing climate emergency. We need to take action, we need to make decisions based on science and we need to come together to meet our international obligations and then, like the world, we all need to do more.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago, the students in Guelph from the community environmental leadership program and the Headwater Group had a town hall where they had the mayor, the MPP and me, as the MP, being challenged to recognize the climate emergency.

At the beginning of the session, I was not sure what they meant by that. By the end of the session, it was very clear that they were asking us to look at our policies, look at our budgeting and look at how we were protecting the natural environment as an emergency, as something that needed to have action now. They also asked about our alignment with international partners and what Canada was doing to lead in the international stadium. I had a follow-up meeting last week on Skype with those same students, who were calling on us to take action as a federal government.

Could the minister update us on our international obligations as well as how we develop policy, budgets and protection of natural habitat with respect to managing this crisis and emergency we are facing?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:20 p.m.

Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have had a chance to visit the member's riding to see what the university is doing, to see what local businesses are doing in the community and how much they care about the environment and are taking action on climate change.

We started in Paris with the Paris agreement. We played an active role at the negotiating table. People were happy that Canada was there saying that we recognized the science, that we needed an ambitious agreement. For the first time ever, the whole world came together and agreed that we all needed to take action on climate change.

Then we came home. We did the hard work. We developed a national climate plan that has over 50 measures, from phasing out coal, to putting a price on pollution, to making historic investments in public transportation and clean innovation. However, we have not stopped. We are doubling the amount of nature we are protecting because that is natural sinks. It is also good for species at risk, which I know are a concern in the member's riding as well. We just announced incentives for zero emission vehicles. We are tackling plastic pollution. We are not going to stop because we know we have an opportunity to do a lot better.

We did not get it out of the stone age because we ran out of stones. We got smarter. This is progress and we will continue to move forward for Canadians.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the debate in the House of Commons does not do justice to the crisis we are in. For my Conservatives friends, when we arguing over the costs of the carbon tax, the costs of unmitigated climate change are going to completely dwarf anything we are arguing about now in future generations.

With respect to the minister, I know her heart is in the right place and I know many of my Liberal colleagues are as well. However, with respect to this motion, I look at what the government has done, spending $4.5 billion of our tax dollars on an export pipeline. Is this the economic future in which we want to be investing? How long is the pipeline going to operate for, another 10 years, maybe 20 years or 30 years? In 2050, are we still going to be exporting three times as much bitumen as we are presently? Is that where we want to be?

To use an analogy, the reason Wayne Gretzky was such a great hockey player was because he was always going to be where the puck was going to be, not where it was currently. That is what we need to do as a country. We have to look at where we want to be in 2050, 2060 and put ourselves on a projection toward that. It does not involve purchasing an oil pipeline, tripling its capacity and investing in fossil fuels that rightly belong in the past.

We have to do the just transition. We have to be faithful to our workers, use their skill sets and get them in the new energy economy of the future. I do not see actions with respect to the government paying attention to the seriousness of the motion before us today.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I totally agree. We need to move to the economy of the future. That does not happen overnight, but we are working extraordinarily hard. We have invested over $40 billion in everything from public transportation, to green infrastructure, to clean innovation to investments in science and research. That is critically important, but it is also critically important we still create jobs.

When we look at the LNG Canada, it is the largest foreign direct investment in Canada's history that will create tens of thousands of jobs. The NDP members initially supported this project, which is supported by the NDP government in British Columbia, but now they have flip-flopped and are against this project. That is not how we will transition to a cleaner future. We need to figure this out.

Transitions take time. They require thoughtfulness and they require a great ambition. That is what we are doing. We are doing what we need to on climate change at the same time ensuring that when we phase out coal, there is a just transition for workers and communities. We put a price on pollution to give the money back to people so life is more affordable for 80% of families, especially low and middle-income.

We are going to continue to do that because we need to figure this out together. When I talk to Canadians, they want us to take serious action on climate change. They also want good jobs and they want life to be affordable.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, talking about thoughtful transitioning, it would be interesting to see if the Prime Minister would show some leadership on this issue. It is interesting to note his itinerary for today. He started out his morning in Ottawa. He is now in Toronto and he is coming back to Ottawa. He is going to end his day in Montreal and we expect him to be back in Ottawa for tomorrow. How does he propose to tour around the country in this manner without a carbon economy?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, sometimes I really wonder about the debate. Is this really the biggest issue? We are talking about a climate emergency.

I noted that the Leader of the Opposition was also celebrating the Raptors. That is a great thing. We the North. I am really happy the Raptors won. I bet probably everyone in the House is happy the Raptors won, but they still want a serious climate plan. That is what we have. We have a serious climate plan, a plan that will phase out coal, that will invest in clean innovation, that will invest in energy efficiency, that will make sure we are looking at biofuels for planes and that we are investing in the economy of the future, but we continue to hear things from Conservatives that are not in the big picture.

We need to take action on the climate change, we need to figure out this transition, and I really hope Conservatives will show Canadians that they are serious about climate change. I hope they will vote for this motion, recognizing we have an increasing climate emergency, that we need to meet our international obligations through actions right here at home, and that the science between climate change and extreme weather is clear. I hope they will have a serious climate plan.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have heard from Conservatives on the other side of the House on a number of occasions talking about the Prime Minister flying from here to there and his carbon footprint. The reality of the situation is that every member in this House has a larger carbon footprint than probably the average person in our communities based on the fact that we have to travel to get here. They say it as though any one particular individual has the ability to change everything, as though if only one person wanted to drive an electric car, suddenly the entire industry would boom.

What they are missing, and I want the minister to comment on this, is how this is a solution that can only be achieved if we work together toward a common goal. Calling individual people out is not going to help us move in the right direction. How do we do this collectively in a way that moves societies forward when it comes to real change for our carbon footprint?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent point. This is about how we all move together collectively. There are so many things we can do and that is why we are making investments. We can help and work with Canadians so they get around faster, cleaner and cheaper by investing in public transportation. Light rail transit in Ottawa will be the largest greenhouse gas reduction in the city's history, but it is also good for families. They can get around faster and cheaper. When we invest in affordable housing, that is great because we have a shortage of affordable housing, but we can also make sure it is energy efficient so folks can save money, so that people who can least afford it pay the least. This is the point.

The problem with Conservatives is that they do not even seem to understand the $26-trillion economic opportunity. We have the opportunity to provide the solutions that the world so greatly needs, and we are already doing that. Let us take CarbonCure out of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It is injecting CO2 emissions into concrete, so there is cheaper, stronger concrete. These are the solutions the world needs. This is about bringing everyone together and I really hope that everyone will support the climate emergency motion today.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

David Yurdiga Conservative Fort McMurray—Cold Lake, AB

Mr. Speaker, it was interesting to hear the minister mention that she wants to phase out coal. Does that include our exports? As she is aware, Vancouver exports 36.8 million tonnes of coal a year. Are we going to phase out coal exports also?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are phasing out coal here and we are working with communities. We know that we need to phase out coal. In fact, the whole world needs to phase out coal, because right now we have a challenge that is called climate change, and coal is the most polluting. When we talk about how we heat our homes, there are ways we could do this a lot better. We know that. Renewables are now cost-competitive in many cases, but, of course, we are focused on communities and workers, so we need to ensure a just transition for workers and communities. We have been working with labour and business to do exactly that.

I guess the question is: Will the Conservative Party put out a serious climate plan? Will they say that they are committed to phasing out coal? Will they recognize that a price on pollution is the most efficient way to tackle climate change and that it can be done in a way that makes life affordable?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kevin Sorenson Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, there are really two points we are looking at, the environment package and the closure motion. This is the second time I have been up. The first time was for time allocation. Here we go again. The government is saying it is going to shut down debate on a very important topic.

However, over and over, the minister slams the Conservatives by saying she hopes we do this and she hopes we do that. Then she says that the Liberals have a very serious environmental plan. We know their plan. It is the Kathleen Wynne plan. It is the plan that saw much of our manufacturing leave Canada. It is the plan that saw high energy prices here in Ontario going through the roof so that jobs were lost. That is the plan.

Who else did the minister attack? She attacked the premiers of Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan. She has attacked everyone who does not believe in her points as she sees them. That is why we need more debate, but the government is closing it down again.

It is unfortunate that we have a minister who lives in her own little bubble, in her own little circle, and everyone else is demonized. She brings in the Pope's comments to support her, but she demonizes everybody else.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Catherine McKenna Liberal Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am here speaking on behalf of Canadians. I talk to Canadians every day. What do they say to me? That we need to take action on climate change and we need to do it in a way that is affordable and grows the economy.

I know how much the member cares about growing the economy, so let me tell him some facts. We have created over a million jobs with Canadians. We have the lowest unemployment rate in four decades. We have raised over 800,000 Canadians and 300,000 children out of poverty. We have done that at the same time we are taking action on climate change, because we can do both, because we need to do both.

Let us talk about the costs we are paying, because the Conservatives seem to care so much about costs. We are paying 500% more than over a decade ago when it comes to the costs of insurance related to climate change. That is only going to go up. I would encourage them to read our Canada's changing climate report, which was written by scientists in Canada. It talks about what we can expect if we do not take serious action on climate change. Whether or not we take action, we are going to see the impacts, but we have a choice right now. I am hoping everyone in the House chooses serious climate action, chooses for us to make decisions based on science and chooses that we will meet our international obligations by doing the hard work at home.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the motion before the House.

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Motion That Debate Be Not Further AdjournedThe EnvironmentGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

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

Vote #1364

The EnvironmentGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I declare the motion carried.

The House resumed from May 27 consideration of the motion, and of the amendment.

The EnvironmentGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Liberal

Sean Fraser LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, climate change is real. It is primarily driven by human activity, and we are experiencing very serious consequences as a result today.

There is no doubt in my mind that the challenge relating to climate change constitutes an emergency here in Canada. I am so proud to lend my support to the motion on the floor of the House of Commons to declare an emergency in respect of climate change in our country. We need not panic, because we can be optimistic. We know that the solutions to this existential threat are before us, if we can simply muster the political will to implement the solutions that we know very well exist today.

Over the course of my remarks, I hope to offer some insight into the nature of the consequences we are experiencing, to give some of my insights on the opportunity that could be garnered if we embrace climate change as an economic growth strategy, and to perhaps provide some additional insight, for any of those listening, into the political dynamic that we are facing today as we approach the next election with climate change being a central issue of importance to the campaign.

To begin, I do want to address some of the consequences that we are facing, but perhaps before, although it seems trite to say so, it is important to explain the science behind how we know climate change is real. The recent report from Environment Canada, “Canada's Changing Climate Report”, signals that Canada is experiencing warming at twice the rate of the global average. In some parts of our country, it is five times that rate.

The consequences that we are seeing are apparent in our communities. This science has been corroborated for decades by groups like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A majority of the world scientists who are studying climate change acknowledge not only that it is happening, but a primary driver of what is happening is human industrial activity. It is incumbent upon us to take action if we are going to avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change that we are seeing.

Though I probably do not have to explain to many in this room, we can observe these consequences in our community. If we look at my home province of Nova Scotia, we deal with increased storm surges and hurricanes. The report I mentioned, “Canada's Changing Climate Report”, flags that the city of Halifax in my home province of Nova Scotia in the next few decades is going to experience floods at four times the rate it does today.

We look at our colleagues from New Brunswick, who I have had numerous conversations with about the floods that their province has been experiencing. We have seen pictures circulating on social media of highway signs that are completely submerged under water. We can look at a few years ago in Quebec and Ontario, and we see the heat waves that took dozens of lives. We can see the forest fires in western Canada. We can see the melting of our glaciers in northern Canada. There is not a community in our country that has not been impacted by the environmental consequences of climate change.

It is important to acknowledge that it is not just environmental consequences that we are experiencing as a result of climate change, there are social, health and economic consequences as well. When I see communities next to coal plants, we can observe a higher rate of childhood asthma. There is increased lung and heart disease in communities. In fact, there is a physical threat to many folks, like those who had to flee the fires in Fort McMurray.

The fact is we know that these consequences are having an impact. In addition, we can point to the changing patterns and migration of infectious diseases. I know ticks have become a much bigger problem in Nova Scotia. They were not when I was a kid. With them, we are seeing a similarly rising level of Lyme disease in my home province.

The fact is, we can observe these changes. There are social consequences, like communities physically being displaced, the impact on wildlife that communities have traditionally hunted, indigenous and non-indigenous alike. We are seeing consequences that are changing our weather patterns, our climate systems that are changing the way that we have to live and forcing us out of the habits and traditions we have practised for generations.

If the environmental, social or health consequences are not enough to inspire action, we can see the economic losses that we are experiencing today. If we look at the data from the insurance sector in Canada, we see that they are starting to change the way that they assess the risk of climate change. I take it that most people here would accept that the insurance sector is doing what it is in the best interests of its bottom line.

From the time of the mid-1980s until 2008 or so, the average payout in the insurance sector for severe weather events in Canada was between $250 million and $450 million. Since that time, the average has climbed to about $1.8 billion, exceeding $2 billion most recently. That number is projected to grow. This is having an impact on the cost of insurance.

There are some homes that simply will not be able to be insured. There are provinces and communities in Canada that are spending taxpayer dollars to help relocate families from homes that are no longer in a safe area, places that used to have 100-year floods once every 100 years are now having them every few years.

The fact is there is something happening, and those who are watching their pocketbooks very closely are changing their behaviour. They are reflecting a new reality.

It is not just the insurance sector. Members should look at the costs to municipalities paid for by by local ratepayers of building out flood mitigation infrastructure, for example. That cost is borne by taxpayers. The cost of inaction is simply too great to ignore.

However, it is not all bad news because we actually see an enormous opportunity to invest in the measures that are going to help deal with the consequences of climate change. Canada's Building Trades' projection is that as many as four million jobs for the Canadian economy could be added if we embrace new building codes that would actually bring us up to a standard that can help us reduce our emissions.

I have companies in my own community like the Trinity Group of Companies that have embraced energy efficiency as an economic growth strategy. It started out with a couple of great guys from home who were pretty handy and were able to do some local contracting work. Due to investments of successive provincial governments, we have actually seen energy efficiency take hold and homeowners who want to save on their power bills hire a company to come in, conduct an energy audit and make their home more efficient. It has grown from an operation with just a couple of guys into an organization that has dozens of employees and is present across the entire Atlantic region.

There are incredible world-leading companies like CarbonCure in Dartmouth that are delivering incredible products when it comes to carbon sequestration, pulling the carbon emissions out of our atmosphere and using it to strengthen products we need like concrete. Another company, just five minutes from where I live today, is MacKay Meters. It has secured a patent to build electric vehicle charging stations into their parking meters. This is truly innovative stuff that is going to help change the world that we live in.

Of course, the value that we gain from researchers who are working in our communities, researchers like Dr. David Risk at the FluxLab at StFX University in Antigonish, is actually developing instrumentation that can help detect gas and methane leaks in oil and gas infrastructure across Canada. He is commercializing this technology, not only to make a profit but to continue doing more research, keeping young people employed in a rural community that has a university that I represent.

There is also a missed economic opportunity if we do not address the worst consequences of climate change. I represent a province that relies heavily on the fishery in order to sustain the smaller communities that dot the coast of Nova Scotia. What we have seen take place in Maine over the past few years, a loss of 22 million pounds in their lobster catch, would be devastating if and when it comes to Nova Scotia, and if we continue to see the acidification and warming of our oceans off Nova Scotia. We can only expect that the lobsters will either move or suffocate inside the waters where they traditionally live and sustain a local economy.

In western Canada, we saw an enormous dip in production in the energy sector when forest fires that are linked to climate change ravaged parts of western Canada. The fact is that we can look at any province and see that.

In the Prairie region, the agricultural sector is under threat. I met with a young researcher, who did a master's thesis on the impact of climate change on agriculture in the Prairie provinces, recognizing that the Prairies are in the rain shadow of the Rockies and do not benefit from some of the weather that helps make our soil fertile, essentially large amounts of rain. They rely heavily instead on the spring melt that comes from our glaciers. When they finally disappear, there may be insufficient water and increased droughts that prevent our agricultural sector from growing.

These are very real and obvious risks, if we just take the time to speak with people who have been studying them. Frankly, we need to take this opportunity because the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, a Canadian, has identified that there is a $26-trillion opportunity in clean growth and Canada should be on the front end of that wave so that we can capitalize on not just the growth but the jobs that come with that growth. We can do the right thing and do the smart thing at the same time.

However, it is difficult to have discussions in this chamber and in Ottawa when it comes to climate policy, because the starting point is not only that we need to address the problem and do something about it. Sometimes we have to turn back the clock and prove the science to one another before we can have a meaningful debate. To me this is completely unacceptable.

What Canadians are going to face come October is a choice between a Liberal government that is advancing an ambitious agenda, trying their best to fight climate change and making a meaningful difference, not only to reduce our emissions but to capitalize on clean growth opportunities, and a Conservative Party that has refused to put forward a plan on climate change to date, despite their leader saying more than a year ago that he was going to find a plan that would comply with the Paris Agreement targets.

With respect, the Conservative Party has said it is going to be releasing their plan later this week. I do not have much hope that it will be worth the paper that it is written on. When I look at some of the Conservative members who would have informed that plan, it gives me great trepidation. We have seen members identify piles of snow in western Canada in February to suggest that that is evidence that global warming is not taking place.

Some Conservatives have indicated that the phenomenon of rising global temperatures is simply like folks walking into a room and their bodies giving off heat. We have seen other members suggest to school children in Alberta that CO2 is not pollution but plant food. Just recently, one of the caucus member sitting in the Senate indicated that a recent power outage was due to the Prime Minister of Canada's anti-energy policies.

The Conservatives are saying we should retreat from the global conversation on climate change by withdrawing from the Paris agreement. Even the the leader of the Conservatives and deputy leader have recently tweeted articles, suggesting that the link between climate change and severe weather events has not been proven.

If this is the kind of information feeding into the plans that are developing, I have great disappointment in advance of the plan being released if these are the kinds of conversations that are taking place behind the scenes.

We know that the Conservatives' provincial counterparts are pushing forward the same kind of laissez-faire attitude when it comes to climate change. The Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, has advanced a policy dismantling flood protection and then has shown up at flood zones and said, “I wonder what could possibly be going on.” He has set aside $30 million to fight climate action, rather than take action on climate change. That money could make a difference. He has launched a frivolous campaign to post stickers on gas stations. At the same time, he purports to support free speech. This makes no sense.

The climate economists who have been covering this issue are suggesting that his plan is not only going to slow down our reduction in emissions, but it is going to be more expensive for households as well.

With respect to my NDP colleagues, I have a lot time for their ideas, because I know they care about climate change and protecting the environment. However, I do have reservations about the policy suggestions they have advanced. I think we can work together to accomplish certain ideas, but others have very serious problems that need to be addressed.

In some of the commentary I have heard around our plan to put a price on pollution, NDP members have indicated that big emitters are exempt. This demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what is going on. The NDP has advanced a plan that would put a price on big emitters, but, as the Ecofiscal Commission has pointed out, it would not lead to a reduction in emissions globally, because it would simply encourage polluters to leave Canada and pollute elsewhere even more. This would hurt the Canadian economy and would not contribute to our emissions reduction efforts.

Other examples from the NDP include the declaration that we need to immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies. We need to take action on fossil fuel subsidies, do not get me wrong. In fact, to date, we have phased out eight that were embedded in the tax code. However, the blanket ban the NDP proposed on this specific issue would lead to fundamental consequences, which are certainly unintended, because the plan was not very well thought through.

Examples include the denial of subsidies that support diesel to northern and remote indigenous communities, which rely on diesel for electricity, and the denial of subsidies for the potential research I mentioned at the flux lab at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish. Some of the products being developed with those research funds are going to reduce emissions in the oil and gas sector. Similarly, the NDP plans would deny the opportunity for us to invest in certain infrastructure that is helping us transition from gas and diesel-powered vehicles toward alternative fuelled vehicles.

I am happy to work with my colleagues in different parties to advance ideas that make sense. However, we cannot make statements that they will work before we have actually thought them through.

I would like to take some time to mention some of the actions we have taken to date.

We are facing a climate emergency, and a lot of attention has been given to our plan in this place with respect to putting a price on pollution. However, we are not a one-trick pony. Our plan has over 50 measures that would help to bring emissions down.

I want to take a moment to discuss our plan to put a price on pollution to educate the public on how it works. It is pretty simple. If something is more expensive, people buy less of it. When it comes to carbon pricing, every penny generated from revenues related to the price on pollution is kept within the province where the pollution is generated. Those revenues are directly returned to residents living within those provinces.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer has stated in a public report that because of the structure of this kind of a plan, eight out of 10 families can expect to be better off. They will receive more money than the price on pollution costs them. The number of families that will be out of pocket will be a modest amount, but they will be among the 20% wealthiest Canadians living in provinces where our plan applies.

This is not some hare-brained idea born simply out of the Liberal caucus in Ottawa. It has broad-based support among anyone who has any expertise in the conversation about climate change and economics. In fact, last year's Nobel Prize winner in economics won the Nobel Prize for developing an approach to climate change that would do exactly what the federal government's plan is doing: put a price on pollution and return the rebates directly to households so the majority of folks are left better off.

It is not just Nobel laureates and Liberal politicians who support this plan. Mark Cameron, the former director of policy for Prime Minister Harper, is behind this kind of an approach. In fact, Doug Ford's chief budget adviser testified in the Senate in this Parliament that the number one thing we could do to transition to a low-carbon economy was to put a price on pollution.

Most recently, the Pope made statements, just this last weekend, indicating that carbon pricing was essential. He said, “For too long we have collectively failed to listen to the fruits of scientific analysis, and doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain.”

When I talk to people in my community, particularly young people, I see them advocating for the kind of change that all of these different folks have been suggesting we should be taking for so long.

Let us look at the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal case that recently dealt with the constitutionality of the federal government's backstop that implemented a price on pollution. The court said that carbon pricing was not just part and parcel of an effective plan to reduce emissions; it said it was “an essential aspect...of the global effort to limit GHG emissions.” It put the word “essential” in italics so folks like us who are sitting in this chamber would pay extra close attention to the importance of advancing this important mechanism, which we know to be the most effective thing we can do to bring down our emissions.

However, we are not a one-trick pony. We are advancing measures to phase out coal. By 2030, 90% of the electricity in our country will be generated from non-emitting resources. We are making the single largest investment in the history of public transit. We are making record investments in energy efficiency to support companies that are advancing green technology. We are changing methane regulations to reduce the fastest-growing sources of GHG emissions that are driving climate change today. We have adopted new vehicle emissions standards. We are working on a clean fuel standard.

We are also taking steps to protect nature. I know Canadians, the ones who I represent in Central Nova, have demanded that we take action to protect nature and to eliminate plastics from our marine environment. We put forward a $1.5 billion oceans protection plan early in our mandate.

More recent, we announced that we were moving forward with a ban on harmful single-use plastics. We are putting the responsibility to deal with the life cycle of those plastic products on the manufacturers rather than on the end user. We expect that this is going to create economic opportunities in the plastics industry. At the same time, we prevent the discharge of harmful materials into our environment and in particular into our marine environment.

I want to spend a minute of the few I have left talking briefly about the impact that climate change and human activity have had on nature.

Since the 1970s, the earth has lost about 60% of its wildlife. This should shock the conscience of every Canadian. Let us look at the largest countries in the world. Canada is one of five countries that represents about three-quarters of the world's remaining wilderness. We have an opportunity and an obligation to address this issue. We are seeing the impacts today with some of our most iconic species.

Caribou herds across Canada are suffering because of immense deforestation. We have seen the southern resident killer whale population dwindle in recent history. We have a number of other species at risk. Globally, it is expected that one million of eight million species in the world are at serious threat of extinction if we do not change direction.

I have spent a lot of time dealing with the southern mountain caribou. In British Columbia right now, there are population units that have just a handful of animals left. They have been there for thousands of years but will disappear. We have made the single largest investment in the history of Canada to protect nature by more than doubling our protected spaces.

However, we know that it is not enough and we know we need help to get there. We need every Canadian to be pulling in the same direction. The time to come together is now. People who are living in a community that has a solar co-op can figure out how they can take part. If they want to take part in a community cleanup, they are doing something. Through collective global action, we can make a difference. Quite frankly, we do not have a choice. It is the smart thing to do and it is in our self-interest.

I am proud to speak in favour of this motion to recognize that we face a climate emergency. I am even prouder to work as part of a government that is doing its best to do something about it.

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5:35 p.m.

Conservative

Dan Albas Conservative Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member's government in its first two years exempted places like Nova Scotia from having to phase out coal. The government exempted it a full 10 years further into the future and then it brought in its carbon tax.

The member talked about needing to understand something before acting upon it. The Premier of Nunavut said at finance committee that 80% of the diesel fuel that was burned in his communities for home heating and whatnot was subsidized by the government. The national carbon tax the Liberal government has implemented basically increases the price of living.

I would like the member to explain to us how does a community innovate using the so-called price on carbon when 80% of it is being paid for by the same taxpayer? How does that work?

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5:35 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the member's question gives me the opportunity to point out that where regional realities differ, we have to take those realities into account.

In my home province of Nova Scotia, the member quite rightly pointed out that there has been work toward equivalence agreements because we have traditionally relied so heavily on coal. I am going to be meeting with groups from my province to talk about how we can accelerate the phase out of coal.

We simply do not give a pass to provinces that just want to continue on with the way they have always continued on. It comes with a commitment to change their behaviour in other ways to achieve at least an equivalent amount of emissions reductions through other mechanisms.

In Nova Scotia, for example, by partnering with the province and federal government, we have been able to advance a serious agenda that will result in major efficiency upgrades for homeowners.

On the issue of folks living in the territories that rely heavily on diesel, the pricing mechanism can still make a difference even if the cost is being borne by the same taxpayer. People can make their homes more efficient and have savings. There is a rebate for everyone who pays into this that is greater than the cost of the plan itself.

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5:35 p.m.

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for bringing this motion forward. We have worked together. I have a lot of respect for him. We are friends.

I have some concerns. Here we are, debating the issue of the government declaring a climate emergency, but we are on the eve of it deciding about the largest fossil fuel investment in Canadian history. It just does not make sense.

The government has already bought a pipeline for $4.5 billion and if the government twins it, we are looking at a cost of $15 billion. The Liberals talk about balancing the environment and the economy. What did they do? They invested $300 million in a home energy retrofit program, something we called for. However, spending $15 billion and $300 million is not balancing the environment and the economy. We need real action.

I hope the government will make the right decision tomorrow and not expand tanker traffic in the Strait of Georgia by sevenfold, going against what it is doing here by calling it a climate crisis.

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5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member and I are friends. I want to thank him in particular for his advocacy on the reduction of plastic pollution in our environment through his private member's motion, Motion No. 151.

With respect to the decision on the Trans Mountain pipeline, I do not want to prejudge the outcome of the process. I have no information suggesting it is going to go in one direction or the other. We took seriously the advice of the Federal Court, insisting that the environmental assessment be done in the right way, particularly that we consider the potential impacts on the marine environment and do a better job of bringing the voices of indigenous peoples into the process.

We have sought to correct some of the shortcomings that existed with the previous process by implementing a new form of environmental assessment through Bill C-69, which would do a better job on the front end to air out these concerns.

We have to turn our mind to the fact that we live in a country that has traditionally been heavily dependent on the energy sector for its economic growth. As we grow our economy, we have to rely less on traditional sectors that continue to use fossil fuels and move toward clean energy.

I expect the decision will be a reasoned one based on science, facts and evidence. If the member has questions about investments in major energy products, I encourage him to clarify the position of his own leader on the LNG Canada project, which is the largest private sector investment in the history of Canada.

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5:40 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is a moment of extreme cognitive dissonance. We have before us a motion that there is a climate emergency that was tabled on May 16 and then adjourned for a month. For an emergency, we should not be adjourning debate, nor should we have closure on debate.

I think the hon. parliamentary secretary will probably try to find some way to agree with me on this. The motion calls for us to declare a climate emergency, and then the motion calls for us to ignore it. The motion says we should commit to meeting the national emissions target tabled under the Paris Agreement, which is the one left behind by Stephen Harper, which was developed in a complete void. It had nothing to do with the negotiations, which had not yet happened.

If we are going to hold to 1.5°C, I would ask the parliamentary secretary to please explain and put on record when his party and his government will update the Harper target under which we are still operating, such that it can be consistent with what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned us in October last year must be done, which is approximately doubling current efforts.

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5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, with respect, I do not think that we are seeking to ignore the nature of the emergency that we are declaring by virtue of this motion. In fact, we tried to use broad-based language that removed most of the politics from it by avoiding discussions of our specific efforts in the hope that we could just address the issue.

The target that is most important to me is the one that would get us to 1.5°C. We know that is where we need to be. With respect to the target the hon. member referred to, the target the government has used, it is a starting point, in my mind, that was negotiated with the provinces and territories as we were arriving at the pan-Canadian framework.

We know we need to continue to aim for deeper and deeper reductions to get where we need to be, and I look forward to the upcoming campaign, when we are going to be not only canvassing the ideas that we have already implemented, but identifying a path forward so Canadians can see how we can get there to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

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5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we all love Pope Francis because he is such a defender of social justice. I would like to quote from the National Post:

Pope Francis said on Friday that carbon pricing is “essential” to stem global warming—his clearest statement yet in support of penalizing polluters—and appealed to climate change deniers to listen to science.

This is extremely important, because we actually have a credible plan, which is before Parliament and before the Canadian public, and we need to do something. I call on good Catholics and on all Canadians to get behind the Pope and get behind this plan to make sure that we actually do something so we have a good environment for future generations.

Is this plan really the only plan that we have before Canadians? It is a very good plan, but we need to get started and not wait and wait and wait and listen to those deniers who would deny us the opportunity, like Doug Ford, or those in Alberta, or those across the country who deny continually, those Conservatives—

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5:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment.

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5:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, of course, the Pope's comments over the weekend have come up a number of times today, including in my remarks. They are significant, not just because of who they come from, but because of the content of the message that was being delivered.

He quite correctly highlighted that climate change disproportionately impacts the world's poor and leaves future generations worse off than the generations that are alive today. There is a sense of injustice about it that we all need to recognize. The fact is that the call to obey science is just common sense. We need to be implementing the solutions that we do know exist. It is the right thing to do.

We have perspectives, including some that are represented in this chamber, of folks who will not start the debate on what solutions we need to implement, but on whether the problem is real in the first place and whether people can do anything about it. It is not a healthy starting point.

We are going to continue to implement a plan that is going to get us where we need to be, whether we have to bring folks with us or leave them behind.

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5:45 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, QC

Mr. Speaker, about six months ago, on December 6, on behalf of the NDP, I joined forces with a group of about 50 MPs from the Green Party, the Bloc Québécois and the NDP to call on this government to work with all parties and hold a kind of summit where everyone could agree on the importance of meeting these targets.

Sadly, six months on, I have yet to receive an answer from either the Conservatives or the Liberals.

How can that be, when my colleague just said we all need to work together?

He was perfectly right in saying that, but the government has a responsibility to bring people together to tackle a crisis that is like a major war.

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5:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, when it comes to climate change, my view is that the primary responsibility of the government is to implement measures we know exist that will get us where we need to be. To the extent that we can find common ground among different parties, that is a wonderful thing, but quite honestly it is an incredibly frustrating experience.

There are members from every party in this House who care deeply about this issue. However, bringing all parties together, when some so staunchly oppose every environmental measure we have advanced to date, is going to be a task that gets in the way of winning the war.

What we need to do is move forward with solutions like putting a price on pollution. We cannot even have a conversation about it that does not turn into a yelling match in this chamber. We need to implement solutions like this.

With respect to my hon. colleague, I would be pleased to have conversations with him about what ideas he and his party have to help inform our agenda. However, I expect that getting the unanimous consent of members of this House, and even all parties of this House, is a task that one would spend more energy pursuing when one could put that energy toward implementing solutions.

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5:45 p.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for the beautiful riding of Kootenay—Columbia.

I am happy to rise today to talk about government business no. 29. This is the third time we have debated climate emergency in the House since October. I share the feelings of the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands that if this is an emergency, we should actually be doing something instead of just talking about it.

The motion begins by asking, “That the House recognize that: (a) climate change is a real and urgent crisis, driven by human activity, that impacts the environment, biodiversity, Canadians' health, and the Canadian economy; (b) Canadians are feeling the impacts of climate change today, from flooding, wildfires, heat waves and other extreme weather events which are projected to intensify in the future”.

Right off the top, I want to comment on the fact that Canadians are really feeling the effects of climate change. This year, B.C. is experiencing a very hot and dry June. Usually, it is the wettest month of the year in my region, but this year the hot, dry weather we normally experience in late July and August has come a month early.

Yesterday morning, I was awoken at 1 a.m. by a loud banging on my door in Penticton. I threw on my robe and stumbled to the door to find my neighbour there, who was shouting that there was a big fire across the fence and I should get ready to leave. I grabbed the big box of important papers and photos that we keep on hand in case of sudden evacuation, as do many British Columbians now, because of all the evacuations that have been happening. I threw on some clothes and headed out the door.

I live on the edge of a big area of grassland, sagebrush and pines, and there was a big fire only 200 metres away, with towering flames headed uphill toward my house. Fortunately, there was no wind and three fire halls responded quickly. Over the next hour, we were relieved the see the flames shrink and the crackling roar of the full-tilt forest fire change to the hissing sound of fire hoses and steam. This fire was not lit by climate change, but its rapid spread was fuelled by the grasses and dry brush, dried by weeks of unseasonably hot weather.

We are seeing this all across the country and around the world. Canada is warming faster than the rest of the world, and the Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the country.

This year, the Bering Sea was virtually ice-free in March. That is a time of year when the Bering Sea is supposed to be gaining ice, not losing it all. This loss continues, particularly in the western Arctic waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. It is quite possible, and even likely, that 2019 will represent another year of record loss of Arctic sea ice, topping the record set in 2012. This loss of ice will disrupt weather systems across the northern parts of the world, and once that white ice is gone, ice that reflects heat and light, it is replaced by dark water that absorbs heat. Wind patterns change, delaying the freezing of the oceans in autumn. Ocean currents that mediate the climate of continents can dramatically fail or intensify.

Rick Thoman of the University of Alaska recently stated, “The Arctic is a regulator of Northern Hemisphere climate, and while the ice that is melting now isn't going to affect whether you get a thunderstorm tomorrow, in the long term, these are going to have profound effects on your weather and climate down the road”. We are heading for a cliff with our foot on the accelerator.

I would point out that this motion appeared magically the day after we debated an NDP motion on exactly the same subject, and the Liberals and the Conservatives voted against that motion. Why? It actually called for meaningful action, like taking our foot off the accelerator.

The motion before us today implies that current targets set out by the Liberal government are adequate. Climate scientists around the world tell us that they are not adequate. Not only that, the government's action will not allow us to meet even those inadequate targets.

On the Climate Action Tracker website, which assesses all countries of the world, Canada's actions and commitments are listed as “highly insufficient”, on par with China and behind India. Scientists tell us that we have already added 1°C to the world's mean temperature and we must keep that increase below 1.5°C. Based on Canada's progress to date, we are headed for more than a 4°C rise. If members think that forest fires and floods are catastrophic at 1°C increase, we can imagine what we are going to face at 4°C.

The NDP motion called for an accountability office to keep track of the government's actions toward its international commitments. Jack Layton called for this years ago in his climate accountability private member's bill. Other countries, such as the U.K., have legislated accountability as a central part of their climate action and have actually shown meaningful improvements because of it. The Liberals and Conservatives voted against this accountability. The Liberals did not include it in their motion, so I can only assume that they do not like it.

The NDP motion also called for an end to fossil fuel subsidies. This is a promise Canada made to the G20 years ago under the Harper government, and it still has not happened. We give billions of dollars to the fossil fuel sector every year, $10 billion through Export Development Canada alone. We should be spending that money on renewable energy and the electrification of the energy sector, including infrastructure and incentives for the shift to electric vehicles, which are meaningful incentives and meaningful investments. Instead, we bought an old pipeline, and tomorrow, the government will officially okay the permits for the Trans Mountain expansion, despite the fact that the oil sands expansion, which the pipeline depends on, is anathema to reducing our carbon emissions.

If we are serious about reducing our emissions and the world is serious about reducing its emissions, then adding long-term, multi-billion-dollar fossil fuel infrastructure is an exercise in abject failure. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report tells us that we are at a critical moment. We must act now, and we must act boldly. Again, we debated this when that report came out in October. Here we are talking about it again.

We cannot talk about a generations-long period of transition. We have to cut our emissions by 40% in the next decade. We have to cut them to zero by 2050, which is in 30 years. The good news is that we can do this while creating hundreds of thousands of good jobs. The NDP's plan, power to change, would meet the climate targets set out by the IPCC. It would promote indigenous reconciliation, and it would create 300,000 jobs over the next four years.

There are already more people working in good jobs in the clean-tech sector than there are working in the fossil fuel sector. I was just at a Clean Energy BC conference in Trail, British Columbia, and part of that conference dealt with the good jobs a clean energy plan would produce, such as battery recycling.

Retriev Technologies, in Trail, is the only company in the world that will recycle any kind of battery, and it is the only one that recycles large pure lithium batteries. If we hear complaints that the nickel hydride batteries used in hybrid cars or the lithium ion batteries used in electric vehicles will pollute the planet, look no further than Trail, B.C., for how we can create jobs, reduce pollution and help the world reduce carbon emissions at the same time. Also located in Trail is Fenix Advanced Materials, world leaders in the purification of rare metals used in solar panels and other modern electronics.

The electrification of our energy systems would mean an increased demand for copper, so there would be good jobs created in our mining sector, thanks to the plentiful deposits of copper across this country.

We can do this together. However, it is disappointing when the government's answer to our reasonable motion for meaningful action in the face of a climate emergency is to vote against our motion and present this one, which praises the status quo. This is no time for the status quo. It is a time when we all have to face the climate crisis for what it is, a crisis, and work together across party lines and across provincial borders to ensure that Canada does its share of the hard work the world must do to tackle this issue. It is the issue of our time.

It is getting close to midnight for action on climate change. Climate scientists, like good neighbours, are banging on our door. We should wake up and take action right now before it is too late.

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5:55 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, if we were to take a look at what has taken place over the last couple of years, we would see a very clear indication of a government that understands that we need to have the environment working hand in hand with the economy. That is the expectation a vast majority of Canadians have of government. On the one hand, we have the Conservatives saying that we are not doing enough on the economy side, and on the other, we have the New Democrats saying that we are not doing enough on the environment side.

I think this is a healthy debate. We want to move forward. We recognize the emergency nature of our environment. In particular, it has been encouraging to hear the parliamentary secretary and the minister responsible for Canada's environment file enunciate some of the policies we have.

With respect to much of NDP policy, and I will use the TMX pipeline as an example, it seems that the NDP is in opposition to any sort of pipeline expansion whatsoever. I wonder if my colleague across the way can make that very clear statement on behalf of the New Democrats regarding their position today. Does the NDP support any form of pipeline expansion?

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5:55 p.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, the mantra of the current government has always been that the economy and the environment go together. However, it seems to take that to mean that if it puts a price on carbon, it can okay three pipelines, and that will be okay. That is not how it works. I think the mantra should be that we cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment. The healthy environment has to come first. I think the Liberals have it all wrong. They seem to think that if they can do this one thing, they can do one or two of those things.

As for pipelines, these are expansion projects. These are pipelines that are being used to expand the output of the oil sands in Alberta. We are at a time when we have to think the other way. We have to move away from that expansion and move to a different world of energy.

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6 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I put this question to my friend from South Okanagan—West Kootenay, recognizing the depth of his commitment and the depth of his understanding of the science. I would like to focus on what we can do together by recognizing that it is a climate emergency. My hon. colleague just used a figure that is close to what the IPCC said. Its report released on October 8 of last year said that to avoid going above a 1.5° global average temperature increase, and it identified that going above that represented extreme danger, with catastrophic impacts that could wipe out human civilization, we really have no choice but to try to hold to 1.5°. It said that the world, overall, must reduce emissions by 45% of 2010 levels by 2030.

When I crunch the numbers and look at Canada, because we are so far behind everyone else and are still dealing with people who think it is okay to build new pipelines and expand the emission of greenhouse gases, we should be reducing to 60% below 2005 levels by 2030. We have to get our target right and our trajectory right, or we will never achieve what must be done.

I wonder if the member has any thoughts on what the appropriate target is for Canada, given, as the hon. member said, quite rightly, that we are running out of time.

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6 p.m.

NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for that question and for her commitment to this issue.

On the issue of what is the right target, I think the really important target is that we have to get to net zero, and if we have to get there by the middle of the century, then we have to do that. Right now, I think the government has said that we would be at 80% by then. However, that is the important target. Whether we get the targets of 40% by 2030, 60% by 2040 or 100% by 2050 exactly right I do not think it so important. However, if we are not going to get to the target we are going for right now of 30% by 2030, that is where I think the big failure is. That is where I think the current government has to change its targets to better targets and then change its plan to meet these targets to make a difference.

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6 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to speak to this motion, as the climate crisis is the greatest challenge of our time.

We recognize it as an emergency and accept that we have an imperative to act. The most recent report by the international Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that we have about 11 years to dramatically reduce fossil fuel consumption or face catastrophic climate change.

A recent report commissioned by Environment and Climate Change Canada found that Canada is warming at twice the global average. Another recent report found that one million species of plants and animals around the world are at risk, and one of the reasons is climate change. We heard from some excellent witnesses this afternoon at the environment committee on this really important but distressing topic.

It is clear that we are facing an urgent ecological crisis. For too long, governments and corporations have delayed taking meaningful action on climate change, and now we find ourselves with the floods and fires at our door. We have a moral responsibility to take rapid, ambitious action that will set us down the path to a more sustainable and equitable future.

This spring, many students in my riding of Kootenay—Columbia participated in school strikes as part of a global movement started by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. At the World Economic Forum, Ms. Thunberg said:

I often hear adults say: ‘We need to give the next generation hope’. But I don’t want your hope. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I do. Every day. And want you to act. I want you to behave like our house is on fire. Because it is.

I know that in my riding, many young people share this fear for the future. I have received passionate letters from grades 5 and 6 Ktunaxa students worried about polar bears and the environment. My granddaughter, Lalita, who is graduating from high school this month, at times worries about whether her generation will have a future at all.

In addition to these fears, I have also heard from young people that they are confused and frustrated by the lack of action to address climate change. They feel let down by adults who have ignored the problem for decades. I recently attended a panel on climate change at Salmo Elementary School, where two students played an original song, part of which goes like this:

Why can't we just do it right, change the way we live our lives?
People always say we're fine. Why can't they just see the signs?

It is not just young people who are recognizing that there is an urgent need to act. Local governments are on the front lines and recognize the need to make our communities more resilient to a changing climate. Many local governments have already had discussions on the climate emergency, but we need all levels of government to recognize the scale of the problem and to commit to acting collaboratively.

ln my riding of Kootenay-Columbia, Nelson city councillor Rik Logtenberg established the Climate Leadership Caucus to join local councillors and mayors across the country together to advance climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts at the municipal level.

While there are many solutions that can be implemented by local governments, from waste to transportation, municipalities often lack adequate funding to do so. It is critical that the federal government work with municipal partners so that they have the capacity to be climate leaders. I want to thank Rik for his leadership. He is truly making a difference in convincing mayors and councillors across the country that everyone must play a part in fighting the climate change war.

Also in my riding of Kootenay-Columbia, the Regional District of Central Kootenay has recognized the urgent need for action and collaboration on climate change. The RDCK is a collection of mayors and rural representatives who come together on important issues. Recently, they put forward a motion recognizing that climate change is “an urgent reality requiring rapid decarbonisation of energy” and that “[p]reparing for increased resilience and adaptability is critical.” They went on to say that the RDCK “recognizes that the world is in a global state of climate crisis” and requires an imperative that all orders of government undertake “rapid and far-reaching' changes to building construction, energy systems, land use, and transportation.”

While the Liberals have brought this motion to recognize climate change as an emergency, over the course of this Parliament, they have failed to treat it as such. The Liberal climate change plan shelters the biggest polluters and fails to meet even Stephen Harper's weak targets. Earlier this month, the Liberal member for Beaches—East York tabled a private member's bill that acknowledges that the Liberal's targets are not enough. The member stated, “greater ambition is now required to meet our national, intergenerational and our moral obligations. Science demands greater action”.

Recent media reports suggest that the Minister of Environment and Climate Change has said that the upcoming election is a chance to toughen Canada's climate change targets. While I welcome more ambitious GHG targets, the government has had the chance for nearly four years to adopt them. Further, the government has taken actions over the course of this Parliament that actively hinder effective climate action, such as the continued subsidization of the fossil fuel industry.

This spring, the commissioner of the environment and sustainable development found that the government failed to do a fulsome inventory of fossil fuel subsidies and did not consider long-term environmental and social impacts on an equal basis with economic factors in evaluating subsidies. The NDP is calling to immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies, so we can focus investment on renewable energy, public transit and energy efficiency, as well as ensuring a just transition for affected workers and communities.

While today we are debating the Liberals' motion to declare climate change an emergency, tomorrow the government will quite likely announce its approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, despite the National Energy Board's failure to consider the project's climate change impacts. This is not climate leadership. Quite frankly, it is climate hypocrisy. It is unconscionable that the Liberal government spent $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money on an old pipeline, with plans for expansion, at a time when we need to get serious about a rapid transition off of fossil fuels.

This bailout was a bad investment for Canadians, and the government should not pour more money into this project. Earlier this month, the hon. David Anderson, a former federal Liberal minister of the environment, wrote to members of cabinet, arguing that there is no economic justification for the project. He said that building a new pipeline will not change the market.

Instead of spending taxpayers' money on a pipeline expansion in the face of a climate emergency, we need a bold plan that reduces emissions while creating sustainable jobs for workers. The NDP's “Power to Change: A New Deal for Climate Action and Good Jobs” is a plan to do just that, by investing in priorities like renewable energy, public transit, energy efficiency and research and development. The United Steelworkers has said that this plan protects the planet and jobs, and I encourage all parties to have a close look at it.

As a vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, I am also pleased that the committee tabled two reports this spring, one entitled “Clean Growth and Climate Change: How Canada Can Lead Internationally”, along with a second report on forestry, agriculture and waste, with a total of 34 recommendations on how the government can and must do better in addressing climate change. Instead of partisan bickering over carbon pricing, we need all parties to agree to work together on implementing comprehensive solutions.

I look forward to reviewing the Conservatives' environment plan this week, and I hope it will acknowledge the serious imperative we have to act on climate change. One of the largest motivators I had to becoming a member of this House was the gutting of environmental regulations by the Harper government and its inaction on climate change. I sincerely hope that the Conservatives realize it is time for a new path forward. It is critical that fighting climate change becomes a non-political, non-partisan issue.

With increasingly urgent warnings from experts and more frequent and severe extreme weather events, it is clear that climate change is no longer a distant threat and that the cost of inaction is too great. I look forward to engaging with my constituents this summer in a series of town halls regarding climate change, as I know that addressing this challenge will require everyone getting on board. We must accept that climate change is an emergency for our planet and begin to act with a sense of urgency. Our children and grandchildren deserve no less.

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6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ken McDonald Liberal Avalon, NL

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague across the way for his commitment to getting it right. I listened to his speech quite intently, and he was talking about the continued investment in the fossil fuel industry.

Let us say that we stop production on any fossil fuels within the next year, two years or five years. What would the member say to all of the workers involved in that industry? I am not saying that it should not be looked at, but there are thousands and thousands of people across the country employed in that industry, who maybe cannot be retrained into a tech or green type of industry.

What does the member say to those tradespeople? For me in Newfoundland and Labrador, my riding is a large riding. We talk about using electric cars. I use a gas vehicle. An electric car is no good to me; I have too far to go and nowhere to plug it in.

How do you justify saying that you have to do better? End all these subsidies right away. Let us get away from fossil fuels.

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6:10 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I remind the member that he is to address all his questions and comments to the Chair.

The hon. member for Kootenay—Columbia.

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6:10 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Madam Speaker, the member's question is absolutely fair.

Two or three years ago, there was an oil and gas convention here in Ottawa. I stayed afterward and met with a CEO for Suncor and asked her how difficult it was to transition their engineers from oil and gas into renewable energy. She said that some of them they can do it fairly easily while other ones require a bit more effort and training. Then just before Christmas, I heard a statistic for the first time, that 37% of the oil and gas workers have no post-secondary education. We absolutely need to have a transition that respects the jobs of all of the people who are currently working in the oil and gas industry, while moving to a new future.

When I speak with classes about pipelines, for example, I tell all of them that the pipe is not the problem; pipe is not bad in itself. However, when building a pipeline, it must be filled with something, and then it must be kept going for decades to pay for itself.

The question is, what kind of future do we want to see in Canada? The future that I see is a green energy future, not an oil and gas future. The pipe is not a bad thing, but it sets up a future that I do not think most Canadians would support in the long run.

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6:10 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, to my hon. friend from Kootenay—Columbia, I think that those of us who understand the climate science, which I know he does, have something of a sense of despair when we are debating the climate emergency motion from the government. If we take seriously that this is an emergency and we understand the science, then the inevitable consequence is that we must plan a carbon budget in which we systematically reduce and ultimately stop using fossil fuels altogether. We must, in that process, include a transition for the skills of workers.

One great example that I will give are the orphan oil wells. There are thousands of them throughout Alberta and northern B.C., which have tremendous potential for geothermal energy production. The biggest cost for geothermal is drilling down deep below the earth's surface. The same people who drill an oil well can help manage it as a geothermal facility. However, we are paralyzed by the notion that if we want to save ourselves, someone might be out of work. Saving ourselves and ensuring that our children have a liveable world must be our number one consideration.

I ask the hon. member for his sense of this disconnect in which we find ourselves.

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6:15 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Madam Speaker, there is a sense of urgency among our youth. I have to give all credit to the youth who are really driving this question and making all politicians around the world pay attention to climate change. They are concerned about their future.

The member is absolutely right about the opportunity around green energy. Looking at the possibilities for geothermal, solar and wind and, in the ocean areas, tidal energy, it is amazing. What it means is that people do not have to travel from Newfoundland or other parts of the country, like from my riding of Kootenay—Columbia, to Alberta for gainful employment.

If we move to a green energy economy, those jobs will stay right at home. A person would not have to leave home, but could have a good job and a better future for their family, as well as for the economy. It is there; we just have to make sure that we do the transition properly.

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6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Darren Fisher Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my good friend, the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands.

I am pleased to rise in the House today to tell members more about what the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are doing to address the growing threats posed by a changing climate.

Last October, the Pentagon released a report, stating unequivocally that climate change effects are a national security issue, with potential impacts to U.S. Department of Defense missions, operational plans and installations. We are well aware that, in Canada, those same effects also impact our own national security.

That is why this government has prioritized Canada's response to climate change. All departments are working to advance our federal sustainable development strategy. Canada's defence policy, “Strong, Secure, Engaged”, goes a long way to supporting those sustainability goals and mitigating emerging security risks posed by climate change.

The defence team understands that the impact of a changing environment and their impact on it should not be underestimated. By building environment and climate change considerations into all of their planning, procurement and operations, the defence team ensures they are doing their part to safeguard the environment and citizens of the planet. There can be no doubt that climate change poses a real threat to security, whether national, hemispheric or global.

The Americas are also seeing an increase in the severity of natural disasters, and this is something that Canada is working with regional partners to address. Last year, the defence minister hosted a working group on environmental protection and climate resilience in advance of the biennial Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas. CDMA is the only forum that brings together defence ministers from across the hemispheres to discuss regional security issues at a strategic level. In fact, climate has been on that agenda for several years now.

At the same conference in 2014, then U.S. defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, said: “Climate change is a 'threat multiplier' because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we already confront today-from infectious disease to armed insurgencies-and to produce new challenges in the future.” That is exactly what we have been seeing.

Over the past few years, the Canadian Armed Force's role in domestic disaster response has increased dramatically. Last December, the chief of defence staff, General Vance, told reporter Mercedes Stephenson that there are very few large military threats to Canada. By contrast, he said this of Canada's disaster response, “We face a significant threat almost every year now with natural disasters, forest fires and floods and so on that affect Canadians. So in our role to defend Canada and protect Canadians, that's been significant.”

Climate change has resulted in more extreme weather, which in turn produces more severe storms and natural disasters. The Canadian Armed Forces tracks these storms, floods and fires carefully to ensure they are ready to help Canadians whenever they are called upon, through Operation LENTUS. The reserve units play an important role in this and have responded rapidly in their local communities on many occasions.

In 2018 alone, the Canadian Armed Forces were called in to assist provincial partners in responding to six natural disasters, including floods, forest fires and winter storms. More pointedly, in the last five years, the Canadian Armed Forces responded to 20 natural disasters in contrast to the four years prior when they were called upon only to help out with five. The recent flooding in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick saw another 2,500 sailors, soldiers and aviators step in once more to help protect people, homes and critical infrastructure in those communities. In other words, at the peak of these floods, the number of Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed on Operation LENTUS actually surpassed the number of Canadian Armed Forces members currently deployed around the world.

Looking to the north, climate change has made the Arctic more accessible, and it is being increasingly used for transit. The region also holds vast natural resources, which give it great strategic value for Canada and a number of international actors. All this translates into the risk of sovereignty challenges, environmental problems, accidents giving rise to search and rescue requirements, and possibly criminal activity. The Canadian Rangers are Canada's eyes and ears of the north. Their presence in communities across the north is instrumental in the conduct of Arctic sovereignty operations, as well as search and rescue activities.

As climate change continues to influence the Canadian Armed Forces' operating space, the defence team is acutely aware of the need to mitigate the causes of environmental degradation. The Department of National Defence has already reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its buildings and the commercial vehicle fleet by 31% from 2005 levels. The department is on track to reduce its emissions by 40% by 2030 and is moving toward meeting the new federal target of 80% by 2050. As the largest infrastructure portfolio with over 20,000 buildings, the Department of National Defence produces nearly half of the federal government's greenhouse gas emissions, so it knows it has an important role to play in enabling Canada to meet its climate objectives.

In terms of powering the military fleet, reliable, low-carbon and renewable fuels are not broadly available. Fighter jets and other aircraft, ships and armoured vehicles rely on carbon-intense fuels for power and using those fuels produces a significant amount of greenhouse gases. This equipment is essential to military operations and keeping Canadians safe. That is why the military fleet remains exempt from federal GHG emissions reduction targets, but the defence team does not interpret this as a free pass from achieving a more sustainable fleet. On the contrary, the department is tracking fleet emissions and partnering with industry on research into the sustainable fuels of the future. More importantly, it is testing sustainable energy solutions and new technologies in the field, working to limit energy use at deployed camps.

Since 2017, the Department of National Defence has also invested more than $165 million in infrastructure projects aimed at reducing its carbon footprint. In the past year alone, the department has built armouries at Halifax, Saint-Hubert and Sainte-Foy to ensure Canadian Armed Forces members have the modern, green facilities they need. All new construction and major recapitalization projects must meet industry-recognized standards for high-performing buildings, such as the LEED silver standard or equivalent.

The Department of National Defence also uses energy performance contracts to improve energy efficiency and awarded four new contracts at bases and wings across Canada since 2018. These kinds of investments have a significant impact. DND and the Canadian Armed Forces have made progress in minimizing the environmental impact of defence activities and will continue to act as responsible stewards of Canada's land, air and sea.

We cannot deny that climate change has become a daily reality for all of us. Each day, we see more evidence of its impact on our collective safety and security. As I mentioned earlier, the Canadian Armed Forces have responded to nearly four times as many natural disasters since 2014 as they had in the previous four years. That is why they are working so hard to contribute to a greener world. Like most Canadians, they know that our efforts must start now, so that in 50 years our children and grandchildren can enjoy a cleaner and brighter future.

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6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Lloyd Longfield Liberal Guelph, ON

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member down the way for bringing in a different part of the discussion that has to do with the military and the effects of climate change on people who are in drought-stricken areas. We have deployed people across Canada. Guelph's 11th Field Regiment has been out combatting floods across Canada. However, we are also in Mali and other parts of the world where people have to leave due to droughts.

Today, June 17, is the United Nations world day to combat desertification, which looks at how we can combat deserts being created. It really is a war against climate change. It is a war against people losing the land where they grow their food, live and raise their families.

Could the hon. member comment on the social impacts of climate change on developing worlds?

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6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Darren Fisher Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Madam Speaker, the speech, as it pertains to what the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are doing to green their fleets, is to realize and understand they are big contributors to the greenhouse gas emissions of our country. Militaries around the world are huge contributors to the greenhouse gas emissions of the entire world. The recognition, through “Strong, Secure, Engaged”, is that they have to play an important part and a very important role in ensuring they take part in this global desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by understanding that it is absolutely necessary and imperative in the climate crisis that we take this action. I commend the Canadian Armed Forces for understanding and recognizing the importance of having to take those steps and having to green their fleets.

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6:25 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Madam Speaker, the Liberals have said that climate change is an emergency. Therefore, I am wondering why, in the dying days of this Parliament, we have not heard anything about the specific and immediate actions the government is going to take if it thinks it is an emergency. Perhaps the member could elaborate.

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6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Darren Fisher Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Madam Speaker, since before we formed government, we talked about the environment in our platform. We have been doing climate action since we started campaigning and knocking on doors in 2015. With the conversations we have had in this House on a price on pollution, one of the only 50 or so measures we are enabling in order to impact the mitigation effects of climate change, it is ludicrous to think that we are doing this in the dying days. We have been in a major fight with the opposition because we want to go here and they push back. Every single day it is a push-back, with misinformation, when we want to move forward on climate change. It is very frustrating when we are in this House each day and we know where we need to get to and we have somebody pushing us in the wrong direction every day.

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6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Vance Badawey Liberal Niagara Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, throughout the past years, the current and well-into-the-future local governments, as well as the property taxpayers and water and waste water ratepayers have been experiencing higher rates in taxes due to climate change. With that, the government has taken on a very disciplined approach to look through a triple bottom-line lens that takes into consideration environment as well as economic and social issues. The question to the presenter is this. In his opinion, does this lens determine the discipline, ultimately, of all the decisions that we are taking with respect to climate change and the effects that climate change has on local government?

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6:30 p.m.

Liberal

Darren Fisher Liberal Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Madam Speaker, what is really interesting is this. Whether it be planning, procurement or operations, our government is looking at every move and every decision we make through a climate lens. That is absolutely imperative. We must do that and continue to do that. As a government, we cannot make a decision from this point forward without looking at how it positively or negatively impacts the environment. We talked about transition in this House a lot. I think it is very important, and others may disagree, that we consider the jobs of today while we are transitioning to the jobs of tomorrow. It is important that we get there quickly, but we have to find that balance.

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6:30 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague from Dartmouth—Cole Harbour for graciously sharing his time with me.

This emergency debate is now under time allocation. It started over a month ago and this is my first occasion to be able to speak to the various reasons that I want to support both the Liberal motion that this is a climate emergency and the Conservative amendment that would require that we do something more rigorous about it. I have already voted in favour of the NDP motion to similar effect that called this a climate emergency.

I want to back up and set this in a context that is indeed global. I am going to attempt to do this in as non-partisan a fashion as possible.

Clearly, we are in a global climate emergency. The greatest threat to our future comes not from some foreign foe but from our very own human nature. The problem is that partisan politics in every democracy stand in the way of the scientific community, which knows without a doubt that we must take action.

In every country around the world the same circumstance prevails that there is a very large obstacle for people in elected office to do what needs to be done, because in one country after another they face domestic obstacles of what is politically possible.

We are in a very serious crisis now. The words “climate emergency” apply because we have been told by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that we have, at most, 10 years and likely less to ensure that we hit the required target for 2030, and to ensure that we can hit the targets required by 2050.

I want to underscore that these are not political targets. They are non-negotiable. Political targets can be missed, though we can try. Goodness knows how often Canada has missed targets to end child poverty. It is not a good thing, not at all. We have missed targets to provide safe drinking water on first nations reserves. We take targets in this place and we name them.

The targets around climate action in a climate emergency are essentially scientists telling us as elected people that we only have one chance. I have been working on this issue, by the way, since 1986, when I was in the former minister of environment's office. We had a lot of chances then.

Procrastination has left us where we are right now. There is no time for incrementalism any more. We have run out of time for small tweaks. We actually are in a place where, if we are going to ensure our children have a livable world and human civilization does not break down in their lifetimes, and nothing is more serious than that, we have to accept that we are in a climate emergency that means status quo behaviour is over.

That also means, in our political context, that we have to do things differently. We are on the verge of an election in Canada. I look around this room. How likely is it that we can set aside partisanship to do the right thing?

Currently, the term “climate emergency” has been accepted by two countries. The U.K. and Ireland have accepted that this is a climate emergency. I think it is very important and historic that Canada do the same. We need mobilization and increased effort from all countries on earth. I should also say that the level of government in Canada that has already done the most is the municipal order of government where we have seen many cities and towns declare climate emergencies, from Ottawa to Vancouver, Victoria and Halifax. We are seeing many communities stand up and say that this is a climate emergency.

The point of this is not just to hear ourselves talk. The point of it is to say, and I repeat, that status quo behaviour is over. We cannot continue to talk about whether a carbon tax is a good wedge issue in politics. We cannot have people talking about this election campaign as if we are just going to duke it out over whether the Liberal carbon tax plan is a good or a bad idea. That is not a relevant question, honestly. In a climate emergency, the only question that matters is if the plans we have in place avoid climate breakdown and preserve human civilization.

The answer to that is, tragically, no. We know the target we are currently operating under as a country, what is called a nationally determined contribution at the United Nations, is wholly inadequate to hold to 1.5°C.

This is a climate emergency. What if every party and leader in this place understood what it meant? First, we would have to agree that we would go off fossil fuels as quickly as possible. We would start where we need to be. By 2050, we need to have zero emissions globally. Then we need to respond to global calls for action.

I want to put on the table that this is a place where we could really co-operate as parties. UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for an emergency gathering to face the climate crisis and to call on countries around the world to improve their targets and respond appropriately. This emergency climate summit is scheduled for September 23 of this year, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly. The next climate negotiations, COP25, begin in Santiago, Chile, in December.

All elected members here are thinking that on September 23, they will be in the middle of a campaign. What if we decided to take a page out of Greta Thunberg's, who is from Sweden, actions for a climate strike? What if we decided that the climate emergency was so serious, we would have a campaign strike, that we would all go to New York. We would tell the Prime Minister it really mattered that he be there, that we knew we were in an election campaign, but he should not worry, the Conservative leader, the New Democrat leader, the Green Party leader, the Bloc leader and the People's Party leader would go to New York together to a UN summit, where we would declare that Canada was committed to going off fossil fuels 100% by 2050, that this was the timeline by which we would do it and that we would cut our emissions in Canada by 60% below 2005 levels by 2030.

If we do not set an ambitious target, we cannot get to it ever. It is like saying our current target is as if we had a four-storey building on fire and we say we have meaningful action because we have erected a step ladder that gets to the first storey. We have to get to four storeys and rescue people who are on the roof surrounded by flames. In that context, incrementalism is not enough. The climate emergency is just such a context in which more is required of us. Even in this election year, I put before members that we need to stop our status quo behaviour.

Central to the Green Party's “Mission: Possible” is that we put ourselves on war-like footing, which, again, is not an external enemy but our conduct and behaviour, and we have the opportunity to save our children from an unthinkable world. The opportunity to achieve that, the window of opportunity, will close on us before the 2023 election. The trajectory to get to where we need to be by 2030 needs to begin rather quickly, rather sharply. Canada right now has a poorer record than the rest of the world.

Most of the countries that signed onto the Kyoto protocol are well below 1990 levels of emissions by now. Scotland is at 40% below 1990 levels. In Canada, we are still well above 1990 levels. If we hit the Harper target under which we are still functioning, we would be a bit below 1990 levels. However, as we have heard recently from anyone who studies it, the cumulative actions yet announced by the current government fall far short of that target. However, that target itself is the one-storey ladder when we need to get to the four storeys and rescue people from the roof.

I want to emphasize that if it is an emergency, then we change the way we behave. If it is an emergency, we set aside the partisanship and say we have to do this together as Canadians. We have to tell Canadians from coast to coast to coast that this is something we do together, all hands on deck.

Let's get on with it. This is an emergency, and we must work together.

It is in that hope, despite all the obvious nastiness of partisan politics, that I ask us not to think about poll results and seat counts, but our children's future. We need to work together.

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6:40 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, I always appreciate the comments of the leader of the Green Party on a variety of different issues, particularly those that deal with the environment.

We have seen some significant budgetary and legislative measures on how we can improve the conditions in Canada, whether it is the price on pollution, which is a fairly significant program that originated out of the Paris agreement, to some of the incentives that are provided through the budget to try to get individuals to purchase more electric vehicles, to many of the different departments, like the Department of National Defence, about which the previous speaker talked, a small but important one, going from a C-130 for search and rescue to a C-295, which is healthy on the environment.

I wonder if the leader of the Green Party would provide some thoughts on it not only being important for us to look at the bigger picture, but for all ministers to look at ways in which they can also make a difference from within their departments.

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6:40 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, there is a list of things that can be done and should be done by every minister and every citizen. The list is long because our opportunities are endless.

As long as we keep operating in the status quo world with blinders on, where we can say the Liberals' climate policy is that they are way better than the Conservatives, and we will see what the Conservatives offer later this week, and until and unless we accept our responsibilities to have the right targets to mobilize action with the cumulative small efforts, we still lose our chances for human survival a bit more slowly than with parties that say climate change does not exist.

It is really going to be harder for politicians on this issue than on most because the issue is unforgiving and there is no negotiating with the atmosphere.

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6:40 p.m.

Conservative

Marilyn Gladu Conservative Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Madam Speaker, I want to be clear on what the Green Party would do in this light.

My understanding is that the Green Party is opposed to fossil fuels, that it would oppose building additional pipelines, that it is in favour of the carbon tax and against the use of plastics. Is that correct?

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6:40 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Correct up to a point, Madam Speaker. My hon. friend from Sarnia will find our policies both in “Vision Green”, which is on our website in deep detail, and “Mission: Possible”, which is intended to be that ambitious rally call for Canadians to go off fossil fuels. Any fossil fuel infrastructure expansion is inconsistent with our own planetary survival and continuation of human civilization.

We are not against the use of all plastics. That is the one place where I would disagree with my colleague. We think that bitumen production can be changed from fossil fuel production to feedstock for petrochemicals, particularly for durable plastics, not single-use plastics.

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6:45 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, I share many of the concerns of the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands on this file.

One of the things I find troubling in the current atmosphere is that we seem to be debating the current costs of the carbon tax. I am just wondering if the member could illuminate for the House what the future projections are for the costs of unmitigated climate change and how those will absolutely dwarf any kind of figure we are talking about presently.

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6:45 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Speaker, one of the frustrating things about this debate is that it is not about what it costs to take action on climate, but what it saves, and what it saves is human life and our communities. We are looking at a situation within Canada where people died from a heat wave in Montreal.

Last year in Montreal, the heat wave killed seven people, I believe. That happened because of climate change.

Canadians are threatened with respect to infrastructure loss in the many billons of dollars. That is where we are now, at 1°C global average temperature increase.

If even holding to 1.5 as hard as it is will imply billions of dollars more loss every year, then developing countries will need our help. There will be environmental refugees coming here. The costs of inaction far exceed the opportunities that are created to actually revitalize and modernize our economy.

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6:45 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Barrett Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis.

“It is an emergency”, the government realized on May 6, the day the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith was elected, doubling the Green Party caucus. “It is an emergency”, the Liberal government said on May 16, over a month ago. In that month, have all the business items the House has dealt with been an emergency? Suddenly, it is an emergency today. The Liberals have moved closure on it and we will vote on the emergency motion introduced four years into their mandate. Only now do they suddenly realize this is an emergency.

If there is an emergency, is it that the Liberals did not realize they would not meet their Paris targets? Is it that they are not in a position to be calling for more ambitious targets?

I remember very well that in 2015, the Liberal government said that the targets of the Conservatives were the floor, not the ceiling, and they were not even on the same story of the building; they were in the basement. The Liberals have declared a climate emergency, but the Conservatives see it for what it is. It is a cynical ploy by the Liberals, who are desperate to distract from not only their own climate failures, but from their many scandals.

This spring has been a rough one for Canadians and for the trust and confidence we have in our institutions. We have the SNC-Lavalin scandal. We have the coordinated and sustained attempt to interfere in the judicial process in Canada. We have the undermining of the rule of law with the concerted effort to destroy Vice-Admiral Mark Norman and his reputation as a way to protect Liberal insiders, which is a trend in both the SNC and the shipbuilding gerrymandering we have seen.

There are a lot of emergencies the Liberals are faced with, but the climate is not one. Certainly their actions demonstrate that to us. We know that real efforts need to be made. We know we need an environmental plan. However, that is not what we got from the Liberal government. We got a tax plan from it.

We know the Liberals will put an unmanageable burden on Canadians. We know from the Parliamentary Budget Officer that this burden is going to increase greatly. We know that the price of gas we see at pumps today, which Canadians are struggling to pay, will need to go up almost another 25¢ a litre for the Liberals to hit the Paris targets, which they said were the floor not the ceiling, even though they cannot even come close to them.

There is a lot of flailing coming from the government side of the House, but Canadians should fear not, as help is on the way. A credible environmental plan will be put forward by the Leader of the Opposition this Wednesday. We are very excited. Canadians will be able to see what a credible plan on the environment looks like. They will be able to see what real leadership looks like, not virtue signalling and jet setting. It is an emergency.

The Toronto Raptors won the NBA finals. Carbon footprint aside, the Prime Minister is going to address the emergency in person this very day while we debate the emergency motion? He flew by chartered aircraft to Toronto. Then he flew back. I think he is also flying to Montreal today and then he is going to fly back.

I hear from the government side—

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6:50 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The Prime Minister is a busy man, connecting with Canadians and doing all sorts of wonderful things. However, the member opposite should know that he is not to make reference to the presence of a member inside the House.

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6:50 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The hon. member cannot say indirectly what he cannot say directly, so I want to remind him to be mindful as he is giving his speech to ensure that he is not indicating who is or is not in the House.

The hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.

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6:50 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Barrett Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Madam Speaker, it is very unfortunate that the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader drew to your attention that the Prime Minister was absent. I was in my riding this morning and not here, but here I am now.

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6:50 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Once again, I remind the member to go back to his points and ensure that he does not do indirectly what he should not be doing directly.

The hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.

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6:50 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Barrett Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Madam Speaker, as I said, I was in my riding this morning; I am back. We can be in more than one place over the course of a day.

Let us talk about a different day for the parliamentary secretary to the government House leader. Let us talk about the Prime Minister's famed trip, his illegal vacation to the island of the Aga Khan. The Prime Minister travelled there by private aircraft, and if that was not enough, he took a private helicopter too. I am pretty sure he is not allowed to do that. It might be more egregious than a frivolous point of order in the House. It is actually against the law.

We have a Prime Minister who, in one vacation, emitted more CO2 and his carbon footprint was bigger than that of the average Canadian in a whole year. We have two sets of rules with the Prime Minister. We have one set of rules for him, and we have one set of rules for everybody else. We have a Prime Minister who took a vacation, which is great, because who does not deserve a vacation? However, instead of enjoying something a little closer to home and doing his part to reduce his carbon footprint, he flew to Florida. That is great, beautiful, and I hope the weather was nice. However, there was a photo op in Ottawa, so he flew back by private aircraft. When the photo op was complete, he flew back to Florida. What does one do at the end of a trip? One flies back home again.

He is entitled to one vacation a year. However, I hear the waves were pretty gnarly in B.C., so off to Tofino the Prime Minister goes, on a surfing vacation across the country, and then he flies back to Ottawa. We have two sets of rules, and we deserve better than that.

As I mentioned, Canadians can look forward to the credible plan that our Conservative leader will put forward this Wednesday, one that does not have two sets of rules, one that Canadians can count on and one where Canadians know they are not going to be taxed for heating their homes and driving their kids to soccer. It is a plan where Canadians who are within $200 of insolvency are not going to have to look at tax after successive tax after tax, as they do with the current government.

Now, the Liberals have said they are not going to raise the carbon tax. However, this is from the same government that promised, when the Prime Minister looked Canadians right in the eye, that the government was going to balance the budget in 2019. The government's own documents now say that the budget will not be balanced until after 2040.

Canadians deserve better, and they will get that. They will get a credible plan from the Conservatives, and they will be able to see real leadership in action when they elect a Conservative government in October. Action is required, but we do not have an emergency, except the political emergency that has come from the failures of the Liberal government.

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6:55 p.m.

Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Madam Speaker, I listened carefully to my colleague.

I wonder how the Conservatives plan to combat climate change and when they will release this plan. It has been more than 400 days since their leader said he would release it.

Do the member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes and his Conservative colleagues believe that we are in a climate emergency?

Will you support the motion?

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6:55 p.m.

NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I remind the member that she must address the Chair and not the member himself.

The hon. member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.

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6:55 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Barrett Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague will note that, as I mentioned more than once in my speech, on Wednesday of this week we are going to hear the plan that a Conservative government will implement to protect our environment. It will be real vision and real leadership.

Will I support a motion that there is an emergency? If the motion were that there is a political emergency that the government is facing, I could agree with that. That is what I will say.

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6:55 p.m.

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, I was curious about the part of the speech where the member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes was talking about the carbon tax. I do acknowledge that, by itself, it is not going to produce results and that it has to be part of a whole suite of options.

However, it seems to me that the Conservative position is based on the premise that people's behaviour will not change, when in my own riding I am seeing a lot more electric vehicles come out. If we have those eco-energy retrofits of homes and if we electrify our energy grid, we are going to create opportunities for people to use less carbon and therefore pay less of a price on pollution.

I say this with the greatest respect. I am simply curious. People's behaviour is going to change. Would the member not agree that eventually this is going to lead them to pay less of a price on pollution in the future?

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6:55 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Barrett Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Madam Speaker, members will recall that it was a Conservative government that put forward great incentives for Canadians to be able to make changes in their life, invest in their home and use more sustainable and innovative ways of heating their homes, for example. I owned a home that had a geothermal system in it, and it was fantastic. It was the best heat. On the Internet, we see charts of which type of heat is hottest in a house. The most consistent heat we had in our home was geothermal.

The Conservatives were able to put forward this plan through which Canadians were able to invest and receive a rebate from government, but they did not get taxed, and we saw a positive outcome as a result of it.

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7 p.m.

Vaudreuil—Soulanges Québec

Liberal

Peter Schiefke LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth) and to the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction

Madam Speaker, first I would like to clarify one thing for my hon. colleague. It was the Conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, who came into power and cut subsidies for hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles. I remember that because I bought one of those vehicles and was not able to benefit.

During the member's speech, he mentioned many times that this is not a climate emergency. He did not speak about the fact that his party has no plan. I understand that, so he had nothing really to talk about.

However, if he is not going to read the literature around the world that proves climate change is happening and is having an effect on us all, then perhaps the hon. member would like to come to my riding, where, in the last two years, we have seen two once-in-a-century storms. Perhaps, he would even come and help me fill some sandbags to help protect the people in my community. Maybe that will help to convince him that climate change is real and it is an emergency.

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7 p.m.

Conservative

Michael Barrett Conservative Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, ON

Madam Speaker, I would love the opportunity to knock on some doors for a strong Conservative candidate in the member opposite's riding, where we can share with residents the strong Conservative vision on how we can protect our environment without taxing Canadians. I would love the opportunity to do just that.

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7 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Madam Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to commend my colleague from Ontario, who embraced the think globally, act locally movement by installing a geothermal system in his home. That is an excellent way to heat a home and reduce our carbon footprint. He took advantage of financial support from the previous government through the eco-energy retrofit program.

I will have a hard time staying within my speaking time for such an important and critical issue that affects the environment, sustainable development and, of course, climate change.

I want to tell those watching that in 2015, Canada made a commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30%, relative to 2005 levels, by 2030.

I will start with some very good news. Between 2005 and 2015, Canada reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 2.2%. This shows that when the provinces, federal government, municipalities and citizens work together, we can achieve real results and make progress towards achieving our target.

Indeed, this target was reached back then by Stephen Harper's government. I have a story about this that I would like to share. When I was elected in 2006, the previous environment minister, Stéphane Dion—I would like to say hello to him, if he is listening—and the provincial environment minister at the time, Thomas Mulcair, were at loggerheads. Quebec was unable to get federal money to implement its green plan. What did our Conservative government do? It put in place the EcoTrust fund. Not only did Quebec receive the money it requested, but $1.5 billion was allocated to the provinces so they could implement their green plans. The result was, as I mentioned earlier, a 2.2% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions during that decade.

This work requires collaboration, partnerships and investments in technologies.

I would remind my colleague who spoke about measures earlier, that it was a Conservative government that gradually brought to an end the accelerated capital cost allowance for the oil sands. It also encouraged natural resource businesses by giving them tax incentives to operate in an environmentally friendly way and to reduce their carbon footprint.

That is just one example among many others. Unfortunately, this stands in sharp contrast to our situation since 2015.

According to all the experts, including Mr. Suzuki, the commissioner of the environment and the Parliamentary Budget Officer, Canada is going to miss the targets. What is unfortunate is that the Liberals currently have no structure or tools in place to reach our targets. On the contrary, there are mechanisms in place to make it look like the targets will be met. What is the best way of making it look like you are doing something? Obviously, it is to tax the middle class. That is exactly what the Liberals are doing.

Whenever we ask them about the repercussions of the tax they are going to impose on taxpayers, the carbon tax, as they call it, they refuse to answer. They are incapable of telling us how effective their tax will be. They cannot even tell us how much it will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

What we do know, however, and what all the experts are saying, is that they are off the mark. It is unfortunate, because the people listening to us want effective action.

Before they get even more depressed over the disaster that the Liberals are steering us into, I want to talk about an initiative in my riding called the Coop FA. For those who like a little more background, I can add that the full name of this well-known organization is Coopérative Forêt d'Arden. This social economy enterprise won a Pléiades award of excellence in 2018. I want to commend this organization for realizing that what was needed was local action. This co-operative carries out environmental outreach with students, members of the public and organizations to inspire environmentally responsible behaviour.

To date, it has educated over 5,000 young people on the importance of being environmentally responsible and shrinking their carbon footprint. Statistics show that actions taken by children aged six to nine can be equivalent to taking several hundred cars off the road. That shows that the Coop FA is planting the right seed, because the next generation will be keenly aware of these issues and the importance of individual and collective action.

I also want to note that the Paris Agreement is based on targets that were set by our government. We could even go back as far as the first Rio Summit, in 1992, where we were represented by former Conservative minister Jean Charest. I think it has been clearly demonstrated that the Liberals' record is abysmal. The carbon tax is a failure, they are going to miss the targets and the middle class is going to pay the price. The Parliamentary Budget Officer says that 92% of the total revenue from the carbon tax will come from middle-class families, leaving just 8% for big polluters, who also have access to mechanisms for reducing their taxes.

I would like to quote something Mr. Charest said at the Rio summit. At the time, Mr. Mulroney's Conservative government was in power and the Progressive Conservatives had a very good environmental record, just as we do. In retrospect, Mr. Charest realized we needed to act faster because climate phenomena were intensifying. Here is what he said:

I think we have made major progress, but we have not reached the goal we set for ourselves in 1992, which was to help the economy shift toward truly sustainable development.... That's the kind of development we want, development that will enable us to construct policies that really push us toward better choices. Plus, that work has to be sustained for many years.

There is no denying the climate emergency has been around for decades. As far back as 1972, the Club of Rome and the Brundtland report sounded the alarm. This issue is too important to let politicians use it as a bargaining chip. That is why we plan to keep going in the same direction, which means implementing concrete, proven measures that have enabled Canada to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions without burdening the middle class. That is the plan we will put forward, and it will have three pillars.

First, we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Second, we need to adapt to climate change and implement mitigation measures. Third, we need to make our communities more resilient to potential disasters, which we did when I was public safety minister. We made investments in that regard.

In closing, I want to say that we have a responsible approach to climate change, unlike some political parties that are hiding their heads in the sand. We need oil to make the transition to renewable energy. We believe that it is better to use Canadian energy sources ethically and responsibly than to use foreign energy sources that are not developed safely and responsibly from countries whose values are often the complete opposite of Canada's.

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7:10 p.m.

Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, the Conservatives are finally supposed to table the environmental plan that they promised to provide over 400 days ago. I would like to know whether the member for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis and his Conservative colleagues believe that there is a climate emergency.

If so, will they support our motion?

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7:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question.

The issue is so important that we cannot allow the Liberals to squander Canada's opportunities to take a leadership role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Canada's emissions represent less than 2% of global emissions. That is why it is important to be a leader by taking an international approach. The Liberals, however, are failing miserably, both on the domestic and international fronts.

I would tell my colleague to stay tuned because the plan is coming. I can assure her that it will be based on our many success stories. She need only look at the Conservatives' budgets during the Harper decade. She will see many measures that were put in place and were successful in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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7:10 p.m.

NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Madam Speaker, I am the vice-chair on the environment committee, and last week we heard from the Parliamentary Budget Officer on the relationship between carbon taxes and the reduction of GHG and also the backstop plan, as it is called, that is being put forward by the federal government. The PBO said there is a direct relationship between having a carbon tax and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and he said that very clearly.

Second, I believe it is important to not always park truth at the door here. I do not often support what the Liberals are saying, but the PBO also said that 80% of Canadians would get a bigger rebate than the price in carbon tax was going to cost them. The wealthiest 20% would probably pay more than they would get in a rebate.

I would like to hear the member's comments on what the PBO presented at the environment committee last week on those two aspects.

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7:10 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. As the saying goes, the proof is in the pudding.

The carbon tax has been tried, and it is not working. Actually, it is a tax grab. The only one to benefit is the government, which gets more money in its pocket. Unfortunately, in a province like mine, we see some of the initiatives being put forward with this tax grab as a total failure, and the Liberals have just given us an example. They were subsidizing fridges for a national company, while our small grocery retailers have to pay for this themselves and have to pay the same carbon tax.

We agree on the goal. Obviously, the Liberal plan is a failure. It has been demonstrated in the past that we can get there without a tax grab. That is what we have done in the past and what we intend to continue to do.

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7:15 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Madam Speaker, at the beginning of his speech, my colleague talked about young people being environmentally responsible, saying that that is the way to go. I would just remind him that a network called the Établissements verts Brundtland, comprising several green schools in Quebec, was created in the 1990s. People have already started adopting environmentally responsible behaviour. However, that is not going to solve the climate crisis. The elephant in the room is oil and gas, fossil fuels, the oil sands.

What could the Conservatives propose when they want to develop the oil sands at all costs? What could a Conservative government propose to resolve the climate crisis or, at least, to start working on it?

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7:15 p.m.

Conservative

Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague for having a fully electric vehicle. Based on my recent conversations with her, it is working really well.

Unfortunately, we still need oil. The best-selling vehicle in Quebec is the Ford F-150. It is all well and good to attack the oil sands, but gas use is the primary source of greenhouse gas emissions. I prefer to use Canadian oil rather than unethical oil from another country. This allows us to reinvest in our social services and in our community.

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7:15 p.m.

Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague from Abitibi—Témiscamingue.

Climate change and its impacts are global in nature and complex. Advancing our understanding of climate change in Canada is a key priority for our government, and we believe that a rigorous evidence base is foundational to make sound policy decisions and to take action on climate change.

This past April, we released Canada’s Changing Climate Report, which lays out a comprehensive look into how Canada’s climate has changed in the past and how it may change in the future. The assessment confirms, through overwhelming evidence, that Canada’s climate has warmed in the past and will continue to warm in the future as a result of carbon emissions from human activity. On average, this warming has been double the global rate, with even faster rates of warming in the Arctic.

The effects of this rapid warming are widespread and alarming. Extreme weather events, such as flooding, are expected to become more frequent and intense in the future. In 2017, Rivière-des-Mille-Îles experienced the flood of the century. In 2019, flooding hit Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, which is right next to my riding. Everyone could see what was happening on the news. These extreme events will be increasingly common in the future.

The availability of fresh water is changing, leading to increased risk of droughts in the summer. Sea level rise will put our coastal communities at risk. We are already seeing profound impacts in Canada on human health and well-being, the environment and all sectors of the economy. Recent extreme weather events, like the 2019 floods in Ontario and Quebec I just mentioned, wildfires in British Columbia in 2017 and the Fort McMurray wildfires in 2016, underscore this urgent need for action to better prepare Canadians to adapt to climate change.

The emotional and financial shock of losing homes and businesses to fire, flooding and storm surges is having lasting impacts on Canadians' lives and well-being.

Through the findings of Canada's Changing Climate Report, we know that the need to act is undeniable. Mobilizing action on adaptation will help protect Canadians from climate change risks, build resilience and ensure that society continues to thrive in a changing climate. The scope of the challenge we are facing requires co-operation, leadership, creativity and commitment.

To meet this challenge, the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, adopted on December 9, 2016, sets out our national plan for meeting Canada's GHG emissions reduction target, building resilience to the impacts of climate change and enabling clean growth and jobs through investments in technology, innovation and infrastructure.

Recognizing that climate resilience is a long-term challenge, adaptation and climate resilience is one of the four pillars of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change.

Under the adaptation and climate resilience pillar of the pan-Canadian framework, federal, provincial and territorial governments made commitments to address the significant risks posed by climate change, particularly in Canada’s northern and coastal regions and for indigenous peoples.

It represents the first time that federal, provincial, and territorial governments have identified priority areas for collaboration to build resilience to a changing climate across the country. To support the pan-Canadian framework, the federal government has launched a broad suite of adaptation programming.

In Budget 2017, our government announced $260 million for federal adaptation programs related to information and capacity, climate-resilient infrastructure, human health and well-being, vulnerable regions and climate-related hazards and disaster risks.

Building on these commitments, we are also investing $22 billion in green and resilient infrastructure to both boost economic growth and build resilient communities.

These investments include $9.2 billion for bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories, with funding specifically allocated for adaptation and climate-resilient infrastructure.

This also includes $2 billion for a disaster mitigation and adaptation fund for built and natural, large-scale infrastructure projects that build the resilience of our infrastructure to natural disasters, extreme weather events and climate change.

This $2-billion fund is very important, as it will help us to adapt. This is particularly important in the Mille-Îles and Montreal regions, where we have experienced significant climate change resulting in the recent flooding.

Since the disaster mitigation and adaptation fund launched in 2018, our government has announced funding for 26 projects that will help communities across the country cope, adapt to, prepare for and withstand extreme storms, flooding and fire.

We are also ensuring that our future infrastructure investments are taking climate change and its impacts into account. Under Canada’s infrastructure plan, applicants who seek federal funding for major infrastructure projects, from transit projects to community centres, are asked to assess the risks they face as a result of climate change and how these risks can be mitigated. This initiative is helping us build climate-smart infrastructure and ensuring that we are not locking in climate risks for decades to come.

Adaptation is not just about building the biggest and strongest infrastructure. It is also about how we build communities that are sustainable and resilient in every sense. It is about the decisions we make on where and how to live, how we run our businesses, and how we support our neighbours. Promoting social resilience means that we support vulnerable populations through times of change.

We also strongly believe that adaptation decisions should be based on the best available science and information. Again, it is very important to have the scientific data available, and this science has to be available to the people making adaptation decisions in a format that they can use.

This is why our government established the Canadian Centre for Climate Services, which was launched last year. This new and innovative service has consolidated data, tools and information onto an interactive website that supports Canadians in understanding and adapting to the impacts of climate change.

From globally accepted models, the Centre has derived an interactive map of climate conditions. Canadians can find out how the climate is changing in their city. For example, how much hotter will my summers be over the next 20 years? Will there be more rain, more or less snow?

If Canadians cannot find the information they are looking for, or need help to understand it, they can call or email to reach a climate expert.

As the federal government, we play a crucial role. We generate climate change information, guidance and tools to help Canadians adapt at all levels. We help build capacity in other orders of government, in communities and in the private sector to assess and respond to risks. We can also lead by example, by building resilience into federal assets, programs and services against the impacts of climate change.

While we continue to do great work at home, it is also important to recognize that Canada is not alone. Climate change is a global challenge that requires global solutions. This is why Canada has joined together with the Netherlands and other nations to show leadership on climate change and the environment through the work of the Global Commission on Adaptation.

The Global Commission on Adaptation was convened to elevate the visibility of climate change adaptation with a focus on identifying and encouraging solutions. Adapting to climate change is a challenge, but also an opportunity, an opportunity to create and expand into new markets with Canadian technologies and know-how, like growing food in cold climates.

There is so much to say about climate change and everything we are doing to tackle it.

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Conservative

Harold Albrecht Conservative Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Madam Speaker, at the beginning of my colleague's speech she talked about preserving our water. In my riding, we have great programs, a very small incentive, to help farmers and agricultural workers preserve our streams. By putting a buffer alongside the streams, keeping cattle and other livestock out of the streams, the streams are new being unbelievably renewed. We have trees starting to grow in the buffer stream, shading and cooling the water, and now we have fish stocks returning to streams that were empty for years. However, it is very discouraging when farmers in my area and other areas of Canada are taking these initiatives on their own to improve our water quality and at the same time to have the Liberal government authorize the dumping of billions of litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. In November 2015, just shortly after the government was elected, it authorized the dumping of eight billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence. That is very discouraging to individual Canadians who are trying to do their part.

Here we have what the Liberals are calling an environmental plan and all it is is a tax plan. It sounds great, a price on pollution, it is a catchy phrase, it is a great sound bite, but it is not doing anything to preserve the environment.

Does my colleague not agree—

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NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

I have to allow for other questions.

The hon. member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.

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Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

He was talking about water. We are investing in infrastructure to make sure we have clean drinking water. Infrastructure is needed to protect against flooding. Investments are needed to save Canada's coastlines. That all relates to water.

All polluters are contributing to the drought in the Prairies and the flooding in Quebec and Ontario. They have to pay for polluting. It is not free. We need to ensure that all Canadians realize that pollution has a price. Quebec realized that a long time ago.

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NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Madam Speaker, for months now, youth around the world have been marching on climate change and really leading the way for many leaders and many people in many countries. I am trying to understand, if this has been of such significance and so important to the Liberal government, why is it just now that we are debating this with two days left in the 42nd Parliament? How does that constitute a climate change emergency?

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Liberal

Linda Lapointe Liberal Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to answer that question.

We on this side are working very hard on this. It is very urgent. In my riding, people are very aware of climate change, and not just because of the flooding we had in 2017 and 2019. It is an ever-increas