Madam Speaker, I see that you just arrived. It was probably so that you could listen to me speak, and I really appreciate that.
I really like my colleague from Calgary Centre. He is a gentleman with whom I work on the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, and I truly appreciate him. He always makes an effort to speak to me in French, and I value my friendship with him.
With regard to Bill C-262, let us just say that first came the compliments and now come the criticisms. That is not surprising. I am sure he will understand that my party takes issue with this type of bill. The Bloc Québécois has always spoken out against any kind of subsidy for fossil fuels.
I would like to look back a little on the past four years to help members understand that the oil and gas industry represents a bottomless pit for public funds. In the past four years, $24 billion has been invested in oil and gas. Of that, $17 billion went toward the purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Today, we learned that the insurance provider for the Trans Mountain pipeline is pulling out. That is another debate, but I think this once again shows that many industries no longer support fossil fuels.
The government has invested $24 billion in this sector in recent years. I am still seeing support for fossil fuels in Canada's strategy. I do not want to impute motives to anyone, but it seems to me that people are trying to find ways to balance the oil and gas sector and the environment. I think these ideas are irreconcilable. There is a simple principle that I will come back to later: the oil and gas sector produces greenhouse gases and is the source of the problem.
Why does the government choose to give tax benefits to an industry that is the source of the problem? Personally, I do not see how any government that is truly serious about the environment could do that. Canada has shown in recent years that it is a petro-state, and its oil industry is a bottomless pit for public money.
With respect to Bill C-262, I would like to talk about a rather simple environmental principle on which everyone agrees. I am talking about the polluter pays principle, which, from a philosophical perspective, is the principle behind the carbon tax.
My Conservative friends had an epiphany in recent months and agreed to put in place carbon pricing that is basically a type of savings account. When I was young and in primary school, I could save money and buy a bike at the end of the year. It is like the savings account that we had as kids. It is a funny idea, but, in any case, the light went on and they understood that they had to put a price on carbon.
I am under the impression that, with this bill, the Conservatives are trying to put a price on carbon while also trying not to step on the toes of their friends, the big oil companies. That is quite something.
There is a first principle, the polluter pays principle, that includes what is known as the bonus-malus, which means that those who increase greenhouse gas emissions are penalized and those who decrease them are compensated. The main problem is that the government is looking to implement strategies with public money that will be used to reward polluters and gain acceptance for the economic activity of polluters.
Personally, I do not see how we can possibly present this to the public in a logical and coherent manner, especially since the International Energy Agency, which is not Greenpeace, said that we should not approve any new project that involves fossil fuels. However, in Canada, we seem determined to plow ahead with supporting the oil and gas industry.
With this bill, my colleague is proposing a tax credit for the oil and gas industry, and I cannot help but think back to what I heard this week at the Standing Committee on Natural Resources.
The minister appeared before the committee earlier this week. Going through the votes, I noticed there was a $560-million investment in the emissions reduction fund for 2021-22. That fund applies to the oil and gas sector only. It aims to ensure that the oil and gas sector implements carbon capture technologies.
I find this completely incongruous, and I will explain why. Earlier I said that the oil and gas sector emits greenhouse gases. It does produce emissions, but it is being rewarded with $560 million in funding to come up with ways to capture carbon. This is not exactly a light bulb moment.
I would now like to talk about another natural resource sector, the forestry sector, which also captures carbon. We are all well aware that the forest is a carbon sink. What has the forestry sector been given over the past four years? Mere peanuts. Barely $70 million has been invested in Quebec's forestry sector over the past four years. The most promising industry in terms of carbon sequestration received $70 million, 75% of which was in loans. That leaves a paltry $20 million. That is unacceptable.
The Liberals and the Conservatives are one and the same on this issue. On one hand, every proposed strategy seeks to support a sector of the economy that is set to disappear within the next 25 years. On the other hand, we have probably the most promising type of economic activity. An analysis of the forestry industry was commissioned. According to that analysis, over the next 10 years, 16,000 jobs could potentially be created in Quebec. The forestry industry is probably the most innovative economic sector. The entire petrochemical stream can be replaced with wood chemistry. This sector has been very innovative and has tremendous potential for job creation. However, the federal government is giving it barely any support.
My colleagues know that I was ready to pull my hair out on Monday when I saw the $560-million investment for one year. The forestry industry has not gotten that much in the past 10 years. I think it is completely unacceptable to invest $560 million over one year.
The green recovery strategy is one more example of how Canada is a petro-state, constantly throwing public money into that bottomless pit. The government has made two announcements about this strategy. The first was about support for the electrification of transportation. Ontario will come out on top with that one, since it is currently the only province that no longer offers a rebate for buyers of electric vehicles. Since I am a team player and a good person, I will leave it at that.
The second part that makes no sense is the federal government's hydrogen strategy for Canada. The idea is to get the oil and gas industry to produce grey hydrogen. This is yet another strategy to find new opportunities for the oil industry and invest massively in it. However, there is no support for the sector that is perfectly suited to combatting climate change.
I will conclude by saying that my Conservative and Liberal friends have some soul searching to do. The climate crisis will only get worse in the coming years. We can no longer use red herrings to garner political support in the west and in the provinces that rely on the oil and gas industry. This strategy is no longer viable.
I have a lot of sympathy for Albertans who earn a living in the oil and gas industry, but we need to start thinking about tax credits that help us get out of the oil industry, not credits that legitimize our dependence on it.