Mr. Speaker, today I will be sharing my time with the member for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.
I would like to pick up on a point the member for Perth—Wellington discussed in his speech a few moments ago. He talked about his constituent, the unintentional environmentalist, who had only taken one flight and is continuing to do a number of things that are environmentally friendly to protect our world.
The irony is that the member did not bother to tell his constituent the full story. The fact is that although there is a price on pollution, there is also the climate action incentive rebate. The fact is that because the member's constituent lives in a rural riding, he will even get a top-up to the normal rebate. As a result of being so environmentally conscious, the member's constituent is going to be further ahead than the vast majority of Canadians. Of course, the member did not bother to inform his constituent of that very important information.
The Conservatives will stand here and accuse this side of the House of playing politics. This is fascinating to me, because over the last three and a half years, I have listened to Conservatives talk about CO2 being plant food. I have heard Conservatives talk about how we are demonizing CO2. I have never heard them reference anything about climate change, yet suddenly, within the last month, we have started to hear Conservatives utter the words “climate change.”
I would love to ask the Library of Parliament to do a summary of the number of times the Conservatives said “climate change” during the last month versus the preceding three and a half years. I bet they have said it more in the last month. Do members know why? It is because they have started to do the polling, and they are starting to think they might have had it wrong on this one and had better start talking about climate change now.
What are they relying on? I will tell the House what they are doing. Tomorrow they will make their big announcement. They know that they have to thread the needle very tightly, because they also know that they represent Canadians who do not believe in climate change. They need to be careful. They need to make sure that they bring forward a plan that does not offend those people either.
What we are going to hear tomorrow is a whole bunch of rhetoric from the Conservatives about how we have to do more for our environment and that the Liberal plan is a horrible plan and at the same time, we are hoping that they bring forward something that is meaningful that we can have a real and honest debate about.
At the same time as they are starting to change this messaging, someone forgot to tell the member for Milton, the deputy leader of the Conservative Party. In a tweet, she said:
Bottom line is there's no solid connection between climate change and the major indicators of extreme weather. The continual claim of such a link is misinformation employed for political and rhetorical purposes.
She must have received the message right after she tweeted that out, because it did not take long for them to pull that message off the Internet, because it did not fit the new narrative the Conservatives have suddenly adopted.
Tomorrow we will see this “plan” that will somehow try to appease those who do not believe in climate change, because that is their base. We will also see them try to put it just enough over the fence so they can pull in some of those people who do not quite know where they stand. How am I doing? How is that for the war room? I am pretty sure that is bang on with how the Conservatives are trying to play this one out.
Of course, they will scare people by claiming that this is a tax and will not tell them the full story, which is that there is a rebate back-ended on this. All the money that is collected through the price on pollution goes right back into the pockets of Canadians. The Conservatives do not want to tell Canadians that part.
This is not a tax. This is a market incentive tool, a tool used to change market behaviour. That came out in the conversation and the questions I had earlier with the member for Calgary Nose Hill when she proceeded to educate us on economic models and price elasticity. She said that fuel is an inelastic demand, and therefore, it is impossible to change the price elasticity of it or to change demand for it. The reality of the situation is that after time, the price elasticity will change as new options come into the marketplace.
That is why, while putting a price on pollution, this government has also been doing a number of things to help change that price elasticity, such as putting in a rebate for electric vehicles, investing in green technology to change the way business looks at things and making large emitters pay more.
Did members know that globally, money is gushing into any kind of fund that has a green infrastructure or green asset attached to it? There is $31 trillion currently available in anything that is labelled green, because even the marketplace knows this. Even economists know this. We are seeing world-renowned, Nobel Prize-winning economists saying that this is the solution. We are seeing religious leaders saying that this is the solution. Former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper said, in 2008, that a price on pollution is the way to go. It is what is going to make changes and make us make different choices in the marketplace. Preston Manning, another famous Conservative, said the same thing.
The bottom line is that while we continue to listen to the rhetoric from the other side of the House, we know that having a plan that incentivizes our market to make people make different choices is the right way to go. It is a fundamental principle of any economic model. The Conservative Party of Canada, which says that it is the saviour and the only party that understands how the economy works, is somehow the only party in this House that is fighting against putting a price on pollution. Every single other party in this House recognizes and knows that putting a price on pollution is the way to go.
I stand by this decision. I stand by this policy. I know it is the only way to go. I know it is the right way to go. I know that Canada and the world will be better off when we listen to these renowned individuals, as opposed to the Conservative Party of Canada.