Madam Speaker, when I first presented this motion in the House I spoke about a climate crisis, and the profound threat it represents to our children and our grandchildren. The alarm bells have rung. The United Nations has been adamant about our need to cut our carbon footprint in half globally within 10 years.
The scientific evidence is clear. Poll after poll clearly shows that Canadians understand this, and we must all do our part to combat climate change. We have struggled together through an unprecedented global pandemic. We have witnessed first-hand how vulnerable humanity is to germs, pathogens and diseases. In many ways, this pandemic is a dark preview of the looming environmental crisis, which some have argued has already begun. Now is the time for environmental reconciliation.
Netukulimk, a Mi'kmaq concept for enviro-sustainability, is something that I have been taught. Indigenous teachings share that all things are interconnected and humanity must be stewards of our environment. When we nurture and respect our environment it will nurture and heal us. Unfortunately, we have allowed greed and profit to contaminate our relationship with our environment. However, as a country, we are waking up to a brand new reality where we can work to mitigate the impacts of climate change. We can all do our part, and Canada can lead the way.
During COVID-19, we have each shouldered burdens economically and emotionally, all for the greater good of survival, but we need guidance. We need to be armed with the scientific knowledge of how we can effect change in our day-to-day actions. I would tell colleagues that is what environmental grading labelling, if done right, can do. It can give Canadians the ability to make better choices every day that will fight climate change and work toward a better, more sustainable future for generations to come.
We need to transition to an economic model that is sustainable, that is just and that works within our planet's social and ecological boundaries. Environmental grading would not only enable Canadians to make environmentally conscious choices, but would encourage them to support local industry and agriculture. When it comes to environmental impacts, local would have an advantage over the larger footprint of international alternatives. Environmental grading labelling would also give Canadian industries, which often exceed environmental and ethical standards, a way to demonstrate those commitments clearly and concisely to Canadian consumers.
Before I conclude my remarks, I would like to address some of the concerns and comments made by my colleagues during the debate. There have been a number of interesting points raised. Many were already addressed in the proposed amendments. I would ask my opposition colleagues to see if the amendments already proposed and accepted address some of the issues raised, especially that of reducing study meetings to seven, as raised by my colleague, the MP for Windsor West. I believe committee would be a fantastic venue to study it and explore all these issues that have been raised.
I thank my colleague, the member for Victoria, for her comments in the first hour. I appreciate that she saw the potential for an environmental grading label and incentivizing positive choices that could drive a shift to sustainable green economies. However, I would also like to acknowledge her concerns; namely, that there are some questions as to how effective eco-labelling would be in practice. This concern highlights the need for a federal approach to green labelling.
Simply seeing the difference in calories between two items on a menu can be enough to change what one orders at a restaurant. Inconsistent eco-labels, however, designed independently by different companies, lack the ability to be cross-referenced and compared, which is confusing to an average consumer. With a uniform federal approach, consumers, even those who lack expertise or specialized knowledge, would be able to quickly compare products and alter their purchasing decisions with ease, thereby making informed decisions that would encourage more sustainable and environmental choices, which in turn would encourage companies to make sustainable and environmentally friendly products.
Colleagues should think about the art of the possible. Canada can be a global leader on this front. I humbly ask members to join with me and allow this motion to be studied for the process to move forward.
Finally, I will end with an indigenous—