Mr. Speaker, I will share my time with the member for Saint-Jean.
As much as I enjoy debating in the House, and I am really starting to like it, I have to say that this emergency debate took me by surprise.
On one side, we have the Bloc Québécois, which recognizes the climate emergency, believes in energy transition and ending fossil fuel subsidies, and wants to invest in clean, green energy. On the other, we have the Conservatives, who ignore the climate emergency and refuse to even acknowledge it because they see the world through an economic lens.
If we carry on like this, we are going to hit a wall. Do I really need to remind everyone that Canada's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is one of the worst in the G20? Simply put, this government does not have a real plan, at least not a credible one. Its plan involves nothing more than flowery speeches by the Prime Minister and a $12.6-billion pipeline expansion to export oil. Except that there will be nothing to export because the Frontier mine turned out not to be economically viable and will not be going ahead.
Basically, the Frontier project and Trans Mountain expansion have this in common: There is no money to be made. The Conservatives summoned us here tonight because Alberta is upset. They care only about the economy, and not at all about our planet or those who live on it.
We in the Bloc Québécois are thrilled about Teck Resources' decision to withdraw its application for its oil sands development project. We are pleased and relieved, but we are still worried. We are pleased because we are thinking that if a company like Teck Resources has finally seen the light and can acknowledge the urgent need to reduce global carbon emissions and support measures to fight climate change, perhaps the Conservatives could see the light.
We are also relieved, but perhaps not as relieved as the government, which was really saved by the bell. Teck Resources made the decision that the government probably would never have had the courage to make. It is all very convenient. We in the Bloc Québécois are relieved because, as it turns out, the project will not be going forward.
The Bloc Québécois was the first party to call out the government on the approval of the Frontier mine and to denounce the Prime Minister's doublespeak on the fight against climate change and his insistence on paying for dirty projects with taxpayers' money. I rose several times in the House and called on this government to drop the project because it was the right thing to do.
Even if this project had been economically viable, it certainly was not environmentally sustainable. I said “even if” because, from what I understood from Teck Resources' decision, this project was far from being economically viable. However, that is not what I want to discuss here tonight.
The letter Teck Resources sent to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change states that Teck Resources firmly believes in the need to address the issue of climate change. It also believes that Canada has an important role to play globally as a supplier of natural resources.
The Bloc Québécois thinks that the debate on the Frontier project withdrawal is an opportunity for Canada to clarify its position and policies on non-renewable energy development as part of the fight against climate change. The government should launch a public conversation and establish an official dialogue with partners from the provinces and Quebec on a fair transition and an exit plan for oil and gas. That is what we should be debating this evening, not the economic impact on only one part of the Canadian population. Greenhouse gas emissions know no borders. This concerns much more than a single province.
I think it is important to make the point that although we completely support Alberta's workers, we think the current issue is far more political than people are letting on right now. Instead of focusing on resentment, we should be working together on finding solutions for the future, to ensure a fair transition that will provide Albertans truly viable and sustainable economic prosperity.
I also wonder about the relevance of this emergency debate because this was a decision made by a private company. Even the government, which seems to be rather divided among its own benches, did not debate the issue. As parliamentarians, should we debate every decision made by private Canadian companies? Since that is what led us here this evening, we will indulge in the debate, but in our own way.
Rather than seeing this decision as an economic defeat, we are seeing it as an opportunity to develop an Albertan and Canadian economy that is no longer dependent on fossil fuels, because, with all due respect, we believe that a healthy economy is a diversified economy.
It is time to think of the future. There is nothing to indicate that the price of oil will significantly increase in the short- or medium-term. In any case, oil from the oil sands is among the mostly costly to produce.
Teck came to its own conclusions and made its decision. Perhaps the Conservatives and the Premier of Alberta could also come to some conclusions. They could start by recognizing that their economic model, their resource extraction model, is outdated. They could also start thinking of forward-looking solutions for their own people.
There is something rather ironic happening in the House this evening. While members of the House were getting all worked up defending projects that pollute, I attended a conference given earlier by Guy Dauncey on the climate emergency. What party had the most representatives at that conference? That was the Conservative Party. I am therefore wondering whether there are more Conservative members than we think who are more interested in the fight against climate change than in debates on non-existent projects that are the subject of non-decisions on the part of the government.
Mr. Dauncey believes that we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030 and by 100% by 2040. That is much more ambitious than the government's proposal.
For that to happen, we need to change our behaviour, our habits and our investments. If Teck's Frontier project had gone ahead, it would have released between 4.1 megatonnes and 6 megatonnes of CO2 per year for 40 years. The year 2067 is 17 years past Canada's net zero deadline. Those emission levels are clearly not compatible with Canada's GHG reduction targets.
Other people always have to pay the price. Quebec's efforts to reduce GHG emissions are constantly being negated by the carbon footprint and environmentally irresponsible behaviour of western provinces such as Alberta. Canada would have to reduce its emissions by 77 megatonnes just to meet the Harper government's targets. Once again, Quebec is always having to pick up the slack for Alberta's increasing emissions.
Earlier, I had an opportunity to remind my colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent about this, and I will remind everyone now: Between 1990 and 2017, Quebec's emissions fell by 8.7% while Alberta's rose by 58%. In 2017, Quebec's GHG emissions totalled 78.6 megatonnes.
The oil sands alone account for 87 megatonnes in 2020. That is more than Quebec's total emissions. The oil sands, a single industry, generate more pollution than every sector in Quebec, which has Canada's second-highest population. Nevertheless, some complain that we are not doing enough.
By comparison, Ontario produces 158.7 megatonnes of GHG emissions, which is 22.1% of Canada's total emissions. Quebec is not alone. Ontario is making a real effort to reduce emissions. Nova Scotia, the Yukon, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island have also reduced their emissions.
The figures show who is doing their part in Canada. I will certainly not win any friends by saying this, but I am not here to make friends. I am here to protect my constituents. They are worried about the future of their planet. I am here to stand up for them, and that is why they elected me. I will continue to stand up for them as long as someone is trying to force polluting projects like Frontier down our throats, in the midst of a climate crisis.