Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join the debate on behalf of my constituents of Red Deer—Mountain View.
The motion before us today states:
That, given that the carbon tax will not reduce emissions at its current rate and it is already making life more expensive for Canadians, the House call on the government to repeal the carbon tax and replace it with a real environment plan.
How do we know that the carbon tax is not reducing emissions at its current rate? That information comes from the most recent report of the Parliamentary Budget Officer. The PBO chose a figure of $102 per tonne, which is five times the current rate. If one is to believe the numbers being thrown around by the government, the projections are that the figure would need to be even higher. Apparently, this does not matter to the Liberal government. Nor does it matter to the Liberals that Australia has realized that introducing a carbon tax is a failed plan and has repealed its tax.
If we are going to be competitive in the North American market, we should be working in harmony with the U.S. on environmental policies, not saddling ourselves with yet another barrier to our economic well-being. This is not what is happening today.
The U.S. has no such plan and has lowered its taxes for businesses, and their total emissions have fallen. In Canada, the Liberal government is forging ahead with its ill-conceived tax increases, while emissions are continuing to rise.
This leads me to the next point, which speaks to making life more expensive for Canadians.
The shell game the Liberal government is playing with carbon tax dollars and refunds is simply not logical. For starters, the plan itself is certainly not revenue neutral. Those numbers have been widely discredited as well. However, that is just part of the story.
Canadian farmers will be especially hard hit with this plan. Statistics Canada estimates that the average costs per farm will be in the tens of thousands of dollars as the tax goes from $10 to $50 per tonne. The worst part is that farmers do not have the chance to pass those costs on to their customers.
The second part of the motion before us asks all Canadians to look ahead. We need to look ahead to a brighter future, a future without the Liberal government's carbon tax grab. We need to look ahead to a future with a real plan for the environment, one based on Canadian know-how and Canadian expertise.
We are already moving in the right direction. Look at the dairy sector as one case in point. Today in Canada it takes 65% fewer dairy cows to produce the same volume of milk as it did 50 years ago. Improvements to cow comfort and feed efficiency have also helped to make our dairy industry more sustainable.
By embracing innovation and new ideas, furthering research and infusing old wisdom into modern practices, Canada's agricultural sector is continually reducing its environmental impact, while looking for ways to improve its practices on a national scale.
There is a lot of work to do to set the record straight about the cattle industry and about farming in general. We have all heard the story that cattle farming is a major source of greenhouse gases. However, at the Alberta Beef Conference in my home town of Red Deer, we heard from experts such as Dr. Frank Mitloehner who debunked this myth and noted that new processes, new efficiencies and proper management meant that beef cattle methane emissions were effectively zero.
On this and many other issues, it is our challenge to ensure that Canadians have science-based information and science-based facts about cattle farming and about farming in general.
We need to continue to use our Canadian expertise to ensure that all our products get to the global market in the safest and most environmentally responsible way possible. We need a government that will enable industry to do more to help the environment, not a government that will hobble businesses and burden Canadians with huge tax increases.
Canadians have so many things of which to be proud. We are proud of our amazing Olympic athletes, our talented artists and the NBA trophy coming home to basketball's birthplace. These are a few highlights, but there are so many others.
We can be proud of Canada's world-class oil and gas industry, which is the best regulated and the most environmentally friendly in the world. Canadians can be proud of our dynamic forestry industry, which has state-of-the-art rejuvenation projects. How about our farmers and our ranchers? Canadian agriculture produces the safest, most environmentally-friendly products in the world. However, even in this case, vested interests are doing their very best to knock us down.
However, a true environmental plan will do the opposite. It will build us up and it will enhance our efforts to protect and preserve the environment.
Let us look at this as far as the Liberal track record is concerned.
In 2016, Canada was 44 megatons of CO2 over its Paris target. In 2017, that number rose to 66. Last year, it was 103 megatons. The Liberal approach just is not getting the results as advertised.
The same is true for the Liberals' arguments about social license. Three pipeline projects, northern gateway, the west to east pipeline and Kinder Morgan, all to be built by the private sector, never got a fair hearing from the Liberal government. We all paid the bill, but got nothing in return.
However, enough about the failures of the Liberal government.
When we talk about an environmental plan, the Conservatives want to talk about things that matter, things like the amazing carbon sequestration projects that have been developed, whether it be in coal technology, oil and gas development or natural gas processing. These are major breakthroughs that Canada's business leaders and their research teams are gearing up to export around the world. Would members not say that championing our expertise on the world stage is better than wringing our hands and apologizing for the fact that Canada has abundant resources in order to score points with the environmental elites?
Of course we will develop our resources and we will do it in a manner that investors will see as the new global industry environmental standard. It will be our energy that will replace foreign tankers coming to our shores. If we proudly embrace our innovations, it will be our oil demanded by climate-conscious nations around the world.
We will also be championing our other major resource sector, agriculture. As I said before, Canadian beef and dairy producers are the most efficient managers of greenhouse gases in the world. By using technologies developed by amazing Canadian minds, we will not only be helping our soil and producing world-class products, but we will be managing greenhouse emissions in a way well above the global standard.
For the last four years, Canada has had a leader who grandstands around the world and uses every opportunity to apologize for what Canada is and for what we do. Under a Conservative government, we will have a leader who is proud not just to be a Canadian, but also proud to stand up for all of us and to champion our successes.
The incompetence of the Liberal government was plain for all of us to see last week. Just a few nights ago, Canadians witnessed the spectacle of their own government choosing to support the interest of competing oil-producing nations over the interests of Canadians. As many editorials noted, the Liberal government is the only one in the world trying to shut down its own resource sector.
The government ignored the pleas of nine provincial premiers, first nation leaders, territorial governments as well as millions of Canadians by shutting down debate on Bill C-69, the no more pipelines bill. Now, by ignoring further pleas to not move forward with Bill C-48, the Liberal government is creating even more uncertainty in the energy sector. It is a shame when the government's only fallback plan, the TMX pipeline expansion project, is only going forward thanks to billions of taxpayer dollars transferred to pipeline builders in the United States.
With the Liberal government, we know that the whole process is a crass political one, not a responsible financial one. How many hospitals will be built in Canada through our purchase of Saudi oil? How many social programs will be financed from our friends in Nigeria? How many environmental causes and human rights efforts that Canadians hold dear will be jeopardized by the Liberals shutting in the resource expertise of the world's most responsible energy producers?
By following the misguided dogma of the Prime Minister, the Liberals will be following him into the political abyss. The only way to truly protect our environment, to give certainty to job creators and to ensure Canadians' strong social fabric is to make the divisive Liberal leader is a single-use prime minister.