Mr. Speaker, I want to thank our hon. colleague from Carleton. As a new father, I know that he considers this a very important debate. I know he takes this matter very seriously.
It is all about a better future for our children. The Minister of Environment has said that lots of times in this House, very loudly and very passionately. We all strive to leave our country better off for those who will come after us. This debate is about the future. It is about ensuring our children have a better future.
It has been interesting over the last three and a half years and indeed over the last couple weeks as we debate Bill C-48, Bill C-68, Bill C-69 and Bill C-88. Again, on the virtue-signalling motion that we had last night, Motion No. 29, everybody wants to know how everybody voted. I was travelling, I landed and all of a sudden the media wanted to know how we voted on it. Motion No. 29 does nothing. It declares that we all agree there is a climate emergency, but there is nothing behind it. There are no critical steps behind it to actually make things better. We have a carbon tax that the Liberal government implemented that does nothing but punish Canadians who live in rural communities.
I want to read something into the record.
“...to constrain the growth of...production by increasing the perception of financial risks by potential investors and by choking off the necessary infrastructure (inputs and outputs)...[the campaign’s original strategy states]. We will accomplish this by raising the visibility of the negatives associated with...[the production]; initiating legal challenges in order to force government and corporate decision-makers to take steps that raise the costs of production and block delivery infrastructure; and by generating support for federal and state legislation that pre-empts future demand for tar sands oil.
It also says this: How are we going to do that? Demarketing, raise the negatives, raise the costs, slow down and stop the infrastructure, enrol key decision-makers, goals, we want to influence debate, a moratorium, strategy, stop or limit pipelines, refineries, significantly reduce future demand for Canadian oil, leverage debate for policy victories in the U.S. and Canada, resources required, first nations and other legal challenges, public mobilization in Ontario and Quebec.
Members would be forgiven if they thought that was the mandate letter for the Minister of Environment. That is exactly what we are up against, the dogma that we hear, that is spread, the language that we hear time and again.
Bill C-68, Bill C-69, Bill C-48, Bill C-88, and Motion No. 29 are all aimed at our natural resources, and somehow Canada produces dirty products and our producers are going the way of just polluting our world.
It is interesting that the carbon tax targets soccer moms and small businesses, but does not go up against the very same polluters of the campaigns, Greenpeace, TIDES, the World Wildlife Fund and all these groups that now have executives or members who are former executives in the highest offices of the Liberal government. It does nothing. It gives those very same polluters a pass.
There is no denying that climate change is real. Humans contribute to the problem. We all must do our part to address the problem, but a carbon tax is not a climate plan. The Prime Minister does not have a climate plan, he has a tax plan.
Time and again it has been said that my province of British Columbia is seen as a success, yet we have had a carbon tax for over 10 years. When it was first introduced, it was supposed to be revenue-neutral, and now it is not. It goes in one hand and stays in the government coffers. It was supposed to lower emissions, and we know that that is not the case.
Over the last two summers, we have had some of the worst wildfires in our province's history. In my riding alone, we have had the worst fire season, the largest mass evacuation in our province's history.
I have stood in this House and asked how high the carbon tax has to be before we start to see those wildfires and natural disasters mitigated and lessened. I cannot seem to get an answer. As a matter of fact, I was laughed at when I asked that question.
The Liberals have pandered to the environmental lobbyists for the last four years. As a matter of fact, what we are seeing today with the legislation and all this virtue signalling they are doing with their hands on their hearts is payback for the 2015 election. Leading into this next election, they want to make sure that they are solidly behind them.
They have had four years to come out with a real plan, and the best they can do is a carbon tax. The Minister of Environment stands up here and shouts loudly so that we will all believe her, yet time and again, she has approved the dumping of millions of litres of raw sewage into our waterways.
A great Senate amendment came forward regarding third-party habitat banking, and I will go back to Bill C-68, where we talked about that. Where there is displacement of fish or fish habitat because of a project, it would allow the government to enlist people who are experts to create fish habitat. However, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and his department turned that down, and we heard testimony that they were the only people around the table who did not seem interested in creating fish habitat.
The Liberals like to stand up there, with all their environmental credits and their peeps behind them, saying that what they are doing is for the good of the country. We know that all they are doing is making things less affordable for those of us who live in rural communities.
I do not know if there is a fuel available that can power a logging truck or a freight truck. Our forestry sector has taken a massive hit since the current government has been in power, because we do not have a softwood lumber agreement. I will not put all the forestry downturn on the current government. However, it could have taken some major steps forward in assisting our forestry industry by securing a softwood lumber agreement.
We live in rural areas. Many of our first nations live off-grid. They have to power their communities with diesel. What has the government done to lift any of those first nations off their dependency on diesel and fossil fuels?
What about rural communities? At one point, we were a resource-driven economy. However, we know from the Prime Minister's very first speech that, under his government, our country has become known more for our resourcefulness than our natural resources. I guess that was a promise he has kept, because we have seen the government attack our natural resources sector time and again.
As we speak, there are forestry families who are receiving more layoff notices in my riding and in my home province of British Columbia. They do not have other projects or other opportunities to go to. What will they do? What is it that our Minister of Environment said? There is $500 million worth of opportunity. Where is it? It is not in our rural communities. In some of our northern climates, we cannot plug any of our school buses in. We cannot plug logging trucks or freight trucks in. We need them to get our goods to market.
Everything this carbon tax does makes the way of life in rural communities more expensive. This is not an environmental plan. It is a revenue plan, and it is on the backs of rural communities and rural Canadians. That is shameful.