Madam Speaker, it is once again an honour to rise in this place to debate another piece of legislation.
We are debating Bill C-12, which is one of the bills I have heard a significant amount of feedback on from constituents. Over the course of the next 10 minutes or so, I hope to be able to outline some of the specifics of what this bill is and is not, and to dispel some of the myths that the members opposite, especially, like to propagate, both about their so-called environmental plan and how they attempt to label Conservatives.
I plan to talk with great pride about some of the work being done within my constituency and the industries that I am proud to represent, and how some of my constituents are leading the way on ensuring that we have a strong environment for today and in the future.
First, I want to dispel some myths. I find it interesting that the members opposite will talk at length about how Conservatives somehow hate the environment, about how Conservatives refuse to take action, about Conservatives this and Conservatives that, yet as with so many aspects of what the government talks about, the talking points do not reflect reality.
If I had more time, I would highlight some of the significant achievements of past Conservative governments, but also the ways that Conservatives stand up for the environment. I can certainly speak to the fact that Alberta is a place that over the last half a century, except for four unfortunate years of Socialist intervention, has had largely Conservative governments and has led the way in ensuring both emissions reductions and environmental plans that have really created a framework for ensuring a strong environment for today and for future generations.
Quite often the Liberals will take a piece of a policy, yet forget the big picture. They will criticize the Conservatives for something, simply saying, “Oh, well, it is because Harper was so evil, and therefore Conservatives must hate everything to do with the environment and all of that.” It could not be further from the truth. One of the most telling aspects of the Liberals' narrative of trying to label Conservatives as somehow anti-environment is that, when they took over government, most of the targets and mandates were kept the same as the previous government had negotiated.
Somehow the Liberals think they own the narrative on the environment, when the reality could not be further from the truth. I am proud to represent 53,000 square kilometres of beautiful east central Alberta, where environmental stewardship has defined much of that region's legacy, and will continue to into the future.
I would just note that five generations of my family have worked the land in what is called Alberta's Special Areas. It is a testament to the stewardship of Albertans. “Special Areas” is a unique name in terms of a municipality, but let me give a quick history lesson. Back in the drought years of the 1930s, the government basically deemed that area unfit for habitation and was buying back land. My family was one of the few in the area to stick around. I would like to think that is where my family gets some of its tough nature from.
Over the last close to a century, we have seen the Special Areas go from being deemed almost unfit to becoming incredibly productive through successive generations of good agricultural practices and advancements in technology. The list goes on and on about the incredible advancements that ensured this region, which was largely misunderstood a century ago because of the challenges it faced during the drought, would have the strength it now does in terms of the environment. It leads as an example of good soil management, land management and agriculture.
We are truly the heart of the energy industry in Canada. I say this because in Hardisty, Alberta, billions of dollars of Canadian energy flow through the region. It is at the heart of the energy industry. Some incredible advancements in the environment have come about as a result of Canada's world-class oil and gas industry.
I note my time is quickly escaping. That happens when I talk with such pride about my constituency.
The hypocrisy of the Liberal agenda is highlighted so clearly in Bill C-12. Let me get into some of the specifics of that.
In laymen's terms, Bill C-12 is simply to bring forward a plan that will report on its plan and make changes if the plan does not go according to plan. I say that a bit facetiously, but that really is what Bill C-12 is about.
Further, there is a 15-member panel the minister plans to bring forward. It is interesting because all members of this House I think, certainly from the Conservative side, support a strong environment for our future, but we also believe that needs to go hand in hand with the economy, yet this panel has been pre-chosen by the minister opposite.
I would note some of the activism that defines the past, specifically I think of the minister of heritage who literally went to prison for breaking the law regarding environmental activism. That is the sort of agenda that in some cases is defining members who have been preselected, before Parliament has even passed this bill, to be on this 15-member panel that will present a plan to the plan that will evaluate the plan, and so on. It is rich that the government has said that somehow this will solve all the woes of the world, that it will accomplish its failures, when I know that, and this may surprise members opposite, the reality is this. Donald Trump had a better record for reducing emissions than the Prime Minister opposite. That may be surprising to some, but the numbers speak otherwise. The member opposite, specifically the Prime Minister, likes to contrast himself with the former president of the United States. That certainly is a contrast point, but I am not sure it is one the Prime Minister would be proud of, when Donald Trump has beaten his record on the environment and done so by a fairly substantial margin.
That highlights a few of the challenges I see with Bill C-12, the inconsistencies in the Liberal agenda and how the Liberals somehow think that, once again, punting something a bit further down the road releases them from accountability on this issue. I would suggest they have defined much of the conversation around it, but failed when it comes to actual action on the environment.
Let me get into a few examples of why I am proud to represent a region of the country that is really leading the world. I have talked a bit about energy. A few miles outside of the boundaries of Battle River—Crowfoot, in one of my neighbouring colleague's ridings, is an oil basin that a particular energy company works in and is able to produce net-zero oil. According to some of the most conservative estimates, energy demand is going to increase over the next couple of decades. Some estimates show it further than that. We are seeing a resurgence of demand, notably the price of oil has increased to much beyond pre-pandemic levels, and we are seeing demand for the actual volume of oil likely to surpass pre-pandemic levels at some point this year. Imagine net-zero oil. There should not be one member of this House who is opposed to the energy industry when we have demonstrated that we can, in the most environmental and ethical way, I would note, possible to ensure we have energy that can secure not only our country's future but the world's future.
We can look at biomass. I have a couple of biomass companies that are pioneering the way. We can secure carbon permanently from agricultural practices and building supplies, agricultural advancements that are absolutely incredible, such as carbon sequestration in the soil, and the list goes on.
There is a wide divide between what the Conservatives and the members opposite say on the environment, but I will say one thing. Canadians can count on the Conservatives to stand up for taking action on the environment, not just talk like the members opposite.