House of Commons Hansard #110 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was communities.


Opposition Motion—Action Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous PeoplesBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:35 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Accordingly, pursuant to order made Monday, January 25, the recorded division stands deferred until Monday, June 7, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.

The hon. Minister of Labour on a point or order.

Bill C-10—Notice of time allocation motionBroadcasting ActGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas Ontario


Filomena Tassi LiberalMinister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, it was not possible to reach an agreement pursuant to Standing Orders 78(1) and 78(2) with respect to the proceedings at committee stage of Bill C-10, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts.

Under the provisions of Standing Order 78(3), I give notice that a minister of the Crown will propose at the next sitting a motion to allot a specific number of days or hours for the consideration and disposal of proceedings at the said stage.

Message from the SenateGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I have the honour to inform the House that a message has been received from the Senate informing this House that the Senate has passed the following bill: Bill C-5, an act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act, the Interpretation Act and the Canada Labour Code with regard to a national day for truth and reconciliation.

It being 5:40 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper.

The House resumed from April 12 consideration of the motion that Bill C-262, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (capture and utilization or storage of greenhouse gases), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

5:40 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba


Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, having had the opportunity to capture the essence of Bill C-262, this is very difficult. In fact, I would not recommend members support the bill. I am not too sure if the sponsoring member thought of the legislation, as I suspect he did, prior to the reversal of the Conservative Party of Canada's positioning on the need for a price on pollution.

The essence of the bill that is being proposed is the idea to provide a tax credit in certain situations with respect to carbon output. There is no doubt that it would put it into potential conflict with the idea of having an equitable, fair price on pollution that we currently have in place. That is why I make the suggestion to my colleague across the way that I suspect there might be some discomfort within his own caucus in regard to this bill, given that the Conservative Party, at least its leadership, has made the decision to support a price on pollution, although its plan does not necessarily achieve what it thinks it will achieve. It is nowhere near the type of plan that we have put into place, which I think is far more equitable and fairer for all Canadians.

The government has, in fact, invested significantly in the idea that we have a climate plan that has been strengthened through multiple incentives for large emitters to lower their carbon output. To cite a couple of examples, members will recall the launching of the net-zero challenge for large emitters to support Canadian industries in developing and implementing plans to transition their facilities to net-zero emissions. Members will recall that we have that target date of 2050.

We have also been making significant investments to support decarbonization through the strategic innovation funds and the net-zero accelerator fund. In this area, we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars over a five-year period. I think we are going to see significant positive results from that program.

We take a look at those two programs, but we can also look at the over a billion dollars in the low-carbon and zero-emissions fuels fund. The idea behind that is to increase the production and use of low-carbon fuels, such as hydrogen, biocrude, renewable natural gas, diesel and ethanol. These are the types of programs that are going to help us, but there is no doubt that the price on pollution is one of those things to which all Canadians can relate.

More and more every year we seem to see Canadians wanting the government to be more proactive on the climate file. If we review the things that we have been able to put into place over the last number of years, I think we are doing a reasonably good job. Any government in the world should always look for ways to improve, as I am sure we are.

I am personally a very big fan of the commitment to plant two billions trees that the Government of Canada has made. This summer I hope to contribute personally to that plan. One of the things that we can do is plant more trees. There are other consumer-related issues, such as the single-use plastic ban and plastic bags; there are all sorts of things that are out there.

I look forward to more debate about the environment and things that we can all do in the coming months and years ahead.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

5:45 p.m.


Mario Simard Bloc Jonquière, QC

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.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

5:55 p.m.


Charlie Angus NDP Timmins—James Bay, ON

Madam Speaker, it is a great honour, as always, to rise on behalf of the people of Timmins—James Bay to discuss tonight yet another plan from the Conservatives for tax incentive support, financing the oil sector.

One of the things that concerns me is that there is a conspiracy being run by the Conservatives that this incredible sector is being attacked by Greta Thunberg, by young radical environmentalists and by the Prime Minister. The reality is that the economic investment sector of the world is pulling out of Alberta because of the absolute refusal of the Alberta government and the federal government to get serious about climate change.

This is a truth that needs to be told. I say that because I come from a resource region. I remember being at the Stanleigh uranium mine underground just before we lost 5,000 workers, and that devastated our communities. However, there was no point telling those workers that it was the big bad government that was trying to take their jobs away. Everyone knew the market had changed, and when the market changed, the best thing we could have done was be there to support the workers in the transition.

I remember when we lost the silver and iron mines in Cobalt, and it devastated our workers. The support for the transition never comes until it is too late, and that is what the damage is. We have a long line of this. We know the market is changing. We know we need to make changes.

Many friends from my region work in Fort McMurray and Fort St. John. They fly out and they fly back. They are very concerned, because they know the environment is changing. They talk to me about their fear of the future, and they fear the economic insecurity. There is no point in lying to them, pretending there is some conspiracy to deny them their future. We need to start saying that we cannot let any region of the country fall behind, and that means we have to put some plans in place

Under the Liberals and the Conservatives, $18 billion in subsidies went to the oil sector in 2020. Imagine what $18 billion would have done in any other sector. Would it have created jobs? It would have created enormous jobs, if we put $18 billion of subsidies into the arts, or into a national renovation program or into the plans that we need to meet the move to a new energy future. That $18 billion in subsidies would be transformative.

I have met with energy workers in Edmonton who are training themselves for the energy future. Every one of them said that Stephen Harper said energy would be a superpower, but he just did not know what energy would be the superpower. The number one location in the world today to have a solar green economy is south central Alberta.

Germany has thousands and thousands of jobs, but it has nothing on the kind of clean energy potential we have in western Canada. We need to stop lying to the workers and blaming central Canada or Greta Thunberg. The market is changing.

The Swedish bank pulled out of Alberta. Its largest pension fund pulled out of Alberta. The Société Générale of France pulled its investment. The Norwegian sovereign wealth fund pulled out because it saw no action from the Alberta government and from the oil sector on getting serious about emissions. BNP Paribas group pulled out. Blackrock, the world's largest asset manager, pulled out. The Conservatives pretend it is some kind of conspiracy.

When the HSBC pulled out, Jason Kenney said he was going to boycott HSBC, just like he was going to boycott the Bigfoot cartoon. Remember how Jason Kenney's people held press conferences denouncing the technical inaccuracies of a cartoon about Bigfoot? It made Canada look like ridiculous, a laughing stock. When the New York Times reported on the investment houses that were pulling out of Alberta, Jason Kenney's people accused the New York Times of anti-Semitism. Nobody is taking that guy seriously anymore. He has become this angry international clown. He cannot just keep blaming all the big banks, all the investors, all the media and everybody for the fact that the market is changing.

The biggest insurance companies have laid it down; they are not going to invest. Again, I come from mining country. We cannot get a mining project off the ground unless we has investor confidence and it knows that project is good in the long term. If it does not have that confidence, it is walking. It will never be there.

AXA has pulled out. Zurich Insurance Group has pulled out. The Swiss Re Group has pulled out. ExxonMobil and Chevron have had a massive shareholder revolt. I think the Conservatives will pretend they were radical ministers from the United Church and a couple of hippy kids. However, the people who ran the shareholder revolt are the biggest capitalist investors. They are saying there is no future there. Unless companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron get serious, they are out.

Now the Dutch court has called out Shell, and the decision against Shell is the first of many.

Investors are pulling out. They are not hearing the Conservatives' vision to adapt and transition. They are hearing conspiracies and about another set of tax incentives on top of the $18 billion. The international community knows that the more the current government puts into the oil sector, the more the international funds will pull out of Canada, and it will affect us all.

The single biggest thing is with respect to the F-150. That truck brings in more money than all the sports teams in the United States put together. It brings in more money than McDonald's. The F-150 is going full electric. We know that when Ford is willing to make its number one vehicle electric, the big macho truck on the market, the market has already changed. We are well past the economic tipping point. Canada is falling behind.

As my colleague said earlier, we are a petro state; we just never say it. The Liberals and Conservatives, year in and year out, continue to subsidize it and hold it up without recognizing the market has already changed. Once the F-150 goes electric, the entire market will move very fast. Where is Canada?

When I look at my Conservative friends, they are angry factory of typewriters. They stand up with their typewriters, saying they will never give them up. I do not mind them because they do not destroy the planet. The International Energy Agency, which is no friend of environmentalists, is saying the taps are off, that no more new projects should come forward in coal, even though Jason Kenney figures he can still blow the tops off the Rocky Mountains to get at it. Mr. 19th century Jason Kenney has not entered into the 20th century with oil. We are in the 21st century. The International Energy Agency has said no more, so investors will not go there.

My Conservative colleagues can denounce cellphones and digital. They can hold up the typewriter. They can say we need to invest more in them. Imagine if we put $18 billion into typewriters. I am sure we would need to hire many people to make those typewriters, but there is no market for them. Once the market is gone, it is not coming back. The Conservatives do not understand that. They believe in big government spending. The Conservatives do not believe in the market; they believe the market has to be created for their friends.

The market has changed and we need to be truthful, because we cannot leave workers behind. We need a transition plan. Having seen it first-hand, if we do not have that in advance when it hits, it is going to be really brutal. To be fair to all the workers, my friends who work in that field, we need to be truthful. Enough with adding more tax incentives to support the industry. Let us start building the transition.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

6:05 p.m.


Robert Gordon Kitchen Conservative Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Madam Speaker, it is always an honour to rise on behalf of the constituents of Souris—Moose Mountain.

I am happy to speak today on Bill C-262, and I would like to thank my colleague, the member for Calgary Centre, for introducing it.

Carbon capture, utilization and storage, or CCUS, is something that I personally have been championing since I was first elected as an MP in 2015. To me, it is a clear way forward when it comes to protecting the environment while also ensuring that we are supporting Canada's economy.

My home town of Estevan in Saskatchewan is home to SaskPower's Boundary Dam, a CCUS facility. It is the world's first CCUS facility to be fully integrated with the coal-fired power plant. The development and implementation of CCUS on Unit #3 of Boundary Dam established Canada as a world leader in this emissions-reducing technology, and this bill would go a long way to expand CCUS into other regions and industries in this country.

I have been fortunate to tour the Boundary Dam facility a number of times throughout my time as an MP, and I am always thoroughly impressed by their hard work. Since the CCUS facility went online in October 2014, over four million tonnes of CO2 have been captured and sequestered, which is the equivalent of one million cars being taken off the road. Also, there is storage space for over 400 billion tonnes in the Alberta and Williston basins. Thanks to this incredible technology, these emissions have been captured and put to use in other industries, such as oil and gas with enhanced oil recovery.

Furthermore, the fly ash that is created as a by-product of the process is captured and sold as a necessary component for things like cement production. Modern's concrete contains about 25% fly ash, a cementitious content, reducing its emissions. We know that this technology is a proven solution to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

The International Energy Agency has listed CCUS as the third most important measure needed for the world to meet its Paris agreement targets. Therefore, the assertion that this is one of the best ways to reduce emissions going forward is valid and has been extensively researched. However, the issue that Canada faces now is a lack of incentive for private investment, but Bill C-262 aims to address this matter through the development of a tax credit.

As I stated earlier, Canada has always been seen as a world leader in the development and implementation of CCUS. However, that has started to shift over recent years. Our American neighbours to the south have a measure called the “45Q”, which allows the sharing of tax credits associated with the cost required for the successful capture, utilization and storage of CO2 emissions. This tax credit has been widely successful in the U.S. to the point that it has driven private investment away from Canada due to the lack of competitive policies on our end. This is unacceptable, especially considering the need to revitalize Canada's economy in every way we can following the COVID-19 pandemic. I am very pleased that my colleague has introduced the bill in an attempt to level the playing field and rectify this situation.

In its policy paper of July 2020, the Energy Future Forum stated the following with respect to Canada's involved in CCUS. It said:

It is critical that Canada maintain and advance its leadership position in carbon capture. It must be understood as part of a broader strategy to sustain our comparative advantage as a leading energy-exporting nation and reliable, responsible resource developer. Our commitment to the ongoing reduction of emissions and the attainment of the highest levels of the environment, social and governance standards and performance, must be evidenced in our industry activities. This carbon capture policy initiative points to a serious opportunity for government and industry collaboration.

I emphasize that the bill and the discussion surrounding it are a necessary and long overdue first step towards wider-scale use of CCUS technology across multiple industries. Again, it is a first step, and while much more will need to be done to fully integrate CCUS into the fabric of Canada's emissions reduction policies, we need to start somewhere.

Unlike the Liberals who just continue to introduce ineffective measures like their carbon tax, we Conservatives understand that Canada can, once again, become a world leader in CCUS so long as we can provide the proper incentives for investment.

I would like to summarize the recommendations that were made by the Energy Future Forum in its policy paper, which I mentioned earlier.

One, the federal government and provincial governments should clearly signal that CCUS is integral in Canada's climate change policy framework.

Two, the federal tax policies should meet or exceed the U.S. measures such as the aforementioned 45Q tax credit in order to attract private investment to Canada.

Three, that the federal and provincial governments work together to establish stackable tax credits with respect to CCUS.

Four, that the Canada Infrastructure Bank standards reward carbon reduction strategies in the allocation of capital.

Five, that all levels of government work together to implement a strong regulatory framework.

Six, that we create financing vehicles such as a green transition bond, public-private partnerships and equity investments by federal and provincial governments in the Canada Infrastructure Bank to help attract private investment into the CCS sector.

These recommendations provide a solid basis for encouraging and increasing private sector investment into CCS technology in Canada, and it is clear now is the time to act.

The Liberals have failed to show any meaningful leadership on this issue, despite industry stakeholders calling for it. To put it bluntly, they talk the talk, but they do not walk the walk. We see this when major companies continue to choose to do business in the U.S. rather than in Canada.

We know the landscape of Canadian and energy production and emissions reduction is always changing, and this is something I see in my riding day in and day out. As the world moves away from coal-fired power, we need to ensure there are viable options for those whose industries and jobs will be transitioning as well. This includes power plant workers, miners, geologists and many more. Unfortunately, they have received little or no help from the government, despite Liberals' promises to the contrary.

The Canada coal transition initiative committed to help with the transition through measures such as pension bridging, but we have yet to see any such program be implemented. This leaves many Canadians uncertain about their futures, something that could be at least partially offset by encouraging investment into CCUS technology.

The construction of a CCUS facility alone has the potential to create hundreds of jobs, with many continuing on a more permanent basis for the management and maintenance of such facilities. Not only is this creating good, high-paying, private industry jobs for those directly employed in CCUS, it also bolsters the local economies where these facilities are located.

We also know, thanks to “The Shand CCS Feasibility Study”, conducted by the International CCS Knowledge Centre, that CCUS is becoming more affordable. Implementing CCUS technology on the Shand Power Station in my riding, in comparison to the cost of the Boundary Dam facility, could be done at 67% less per tonne of CO2 capture, a significant reduction thanks to the lessons learned from the building and operation of CCUS unit 3.

The cost of capture of CO2 would be $45 U.S. per tonne, which is far less than the $170 per tonne the Liberals are implementing, regardless of the exchange rates. As mentioned, cement factories are some of the heaviest emitters worldwide. The CCUS byproduct of fly ash could reduce their emissions up to 25%.

CCUS can also be used to reduce emissions in steel production, another major Canadian resource. It is a simple fact that opportunities for sequestration in Canada are considered some of the best in the world, and we must take full advantage of that by incentivizing investment.

This bill and this tax credit would do just this that. Given the Liberals' assertion that the environment and the economy must go hand in hand, it would be logical that they support this important first step toward large-scale investment into CCUS projects.

According to an assessment provided by industry stakeholders, and modelling by Capital Power, the deployment of six CCS plants would result in roughly $1.4 billion in foregone tax revenue. At the same time, it would lead to approximately $5.5 billion of private sector investment, with six megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions being captured each year.

We know the economic impact is substantial, with projections stating that just a few CCS projects over four years would generate $2.7 billion in GDP across Canada and support 6,100 jobs. However, we, as the opposition, are unable to do this alone. Given the importance of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions to all the parties in this House, I would hope and encourage that we come together and make this initiative a real priority.

Canadians expect their government to do what is best for them, and Bill C-262 would help secure the future and health of our economy, while also addressing the issue of emissions reduction. I therefore call on members of the House to support this bill and help to move Canada's leadership in this technology forward.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

June 3rd, 2021 / 6:15 p.m.


Mark Gerretsen Liberal Kingston and the Islands, ON

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to take part in the debate on a private member's bill, Bill C-262. I would like to make to clear from the outset that our government fully recognizes the importance of deepening and accelerating the actions needed to fight climate change.

In this regard, we appreciate the intent of the proposed legislation that is the subject of our debate today. By capturing carbon dioxide emissions from large industrial facilities before they are released into the atmosphere, carbon capture, use and storage technologies will play an important role in helping Canada exceed its 2030 Paris Agreement emissions reductions target. They have the potential to significantly reduce emissions from heavy industrial processes where other emission-reducing alternatives may be limited.

That is why, as part of the strengthened climate plan we announced in December, our government is proposing to develop a comprehensive CCUS strategy and explore other opportunities to help keep Canada globally competitive in this growing industry. It is important that we do so in a way that is fair for all Canadians, takes into account the views of stakeholders and is effective in achieving its objectives. It is here, in this regard, that Bill C-262 falls short. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. I would like to take a moment to consider some of the troublesome details apparent in this bill.

The tax credit proposed in Bill C-262 would be equal to the amount of captured carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide emissions in tonnes, multiplied by the price of the excess emissions charged for a carbon dioxide equivalent under Canada's output-based pricing system. As we know, the OBPS is part of Canada's carbon pricing framework that applies to industrial emitters, with charges set at $40 per CO2 equivalent tonne in 2021 and $50 per CO2 equivalent tonne in 2022.

Unlike the carbon capture tax credits in the United States, Bill C-262 would not impose time limits on the availability of the tax credit. What does this mean? It means that, because the value of the proposed tax credit is linked to excessive emission targets, its value could increase significantly if the OBPS excess emissions charge under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act were to increase as anticipated under our proposed plan to strengthen Canada's carbon pricing framework beyond 2022.

If the excess emissions charge were to increase by $15 annually from $50 per tonne in 2022 to $170 per tonne in 2030, this would lead to a situation where the government is very heavily subsidizing, or even more than fully subsidizing, certain projects that employ CCUS. This is the point at which incentives, if not properly designed, can become perverse and encourage an unproductive gaming of the system by businesses at the taxpayers' expense.

The bill also appears to be open to accommodating the international trade of physical CO2, as it refers not only to Canadian federal and provincial laws in this respect, but also to U.S. laws. This suggests the measure would allow for the import into Canada of physical CO2 for storage or use in Canada without requiring the capture of that CO2 to have been in Canada. This would clearly undermine the credit's ability to meet our government's objective of reducing Canadian emissions.

Bill C-262 also proposes that multiple types of use would be eligible for the tax credit, including storage through conversion, and use for any other purpose for which a commercial market exists. It is not clear how the use of CO2 for any proposed commercial purpose would reduce Canadian emissions. In fact, some commercial uses could result in CO2 being reintroduced into the atmosphere. What is more, the bill's definitions of “utilization” and “qualifying corporation” suggest the credit would be accessible to all existing and operating facilities, and not just those that are developing and expanding their CCUS capacities.

By providing a windfall for existing operations, which may have already received significant federal and provincial support, the bill does not fully leverage our capacity to encourage the adoption of these technologies to meet our CO2 reduction goals.

As I said, while the bill is commemorable in its objectives, it is severely flawed in its execution. It is in this regard that our government can offer a better way forward. Canada's strengthened climate plan, a healthy environment and healthy economy, proposes measures to cut energy waste, provide clean and affordable transportation to power, build Canada's clean industrial advantage and support nature-based climate solutions.

It also proposes to put a price on pollution through to 2030. The plan is supported by an initial $15-billion investment, which will create jobs, grow the middle class and support workers in a stronger and cleaner economy. This is in addition to the Canada Infrastructure Bank's $6 billion for clean infrastructure that was announced in the fall.

Under our plan, CCUS projects would benefit from credits that are generated under carbon pricing regimes and the clean fuel standard if projects reduce the carbon intensity for fuel suppliers. The plan also provides direct support that may be available for CCUS investments through the new net-zero accelerator, which will provide $3 billion over five years via the strategic innovation fund. The fund is expected to face high demand as it aims to rapidly expedite decarbonization projects with large emitters, scale up clean technology, and accelerate Canada's industrial transformation across all sectors.

Certain projects could also be complemented by funding under the $1.5 billion low-carbon and zero emissions fuels fund to increase the production in use of low-carbon fuels. As well investments by Sustainable Development Technology Canada will support advancement of pre-commercial clean technologies.

In conclusion, it is important that governments continue to work with stakeholders to determine the best approach to leveraging CCUS technology in Canada. It is also important that these efforts are advanced through the budget process, which enables the government to fully consider trade-offs, balance priorities and undertake new fiscal commitments only to the extent that they are effective, fair and affordable, and when no better alternative is identified.

As I have made clear today, it is precisely in these regards that Bill C-262 falls short. That is why the government cannot support it.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

6:25 p.m.


Kristina Michaud Bloc Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, QC

Madam Speaker, I will not beat around the bush. The Bloc Québécois will be voting against Bill C-262. My colleague from Jonquière said as much before me.

We will vote against the bill for one very simple reason. We refuse to provide this type of subsidy for fossil fuels and non-renewable energy. That is what Bill C-262 is about. It is a new subsidy for fossil fuels disguised as a tax credit. Let us be clear. Some subsidies can be effective for fighting climate change. However, tax breaks for carbon capture and storage, which is what Bill C-262 provides, are not effective.

In this case, the captured carbon is actually being used to continue extracting oil and extend the lifespan of aging reservoirs. In addition to being ineffective in terms of protecting the environment, the proposed measure is unfair to taxpayers. Quebeckers' money should not be going to fill the coffers of Canadian oil companies. To encourage businesses to capture and store carbon, we must increase the price per tonne of carbon. It is no secret that there should be a financial cost to polluting for oil companies. Why else would they stop polluting?

If we increase the price per tonne of carbon, that upholds the polluter pays principle. That is the key to an effective environmental policy, but when it comes to the environment, Canada is behaving badly. It is on track to miss its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, and it is failing to reduce its fossil fuel subsidies.

Economic recovery and support for jobs must not come at the expense of climate action. It is high time we invested in a real transition focused on our renewable resources, our knowledge and our regions. That is what an independent Quebec would do, and Canada would be well advised to do the same. Let me get back to Bill C-262.

It is quite clear that the purpose of this bill is to weaken the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. It is no secret that the Conservatives oppose the carbon tax, even if they now claim the opposite.

The numbers speak volumes. The effects of climate change will cost Canada dearly. According to a new report released yesterday that was spearheaded by 20 or so researchers and funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada, in addition to multiple environmental threats, climate disruption will also have a major impact on Canadians' health, and that will result in huge costs to society.

In fact, the scientists estimate that the costs of death and lost quality of life will be $86 billion per year by 2050 and $250 billion per year by 2100. That is enormous. They also warn of the effects of the increasingly frequent and severe heat waves happening across the country. The report shows that this widespread increase in temperature will have “a large negative impact on productivity”. The researchers calculate that it could cause the loss of 128 million work hours annually by end of century, which is the equivalent of 62,000 full-time jobs, at a cost of almost $15 billion. Those are frightening numbers.

The climate crisis is not a myth. We must fight it and stop presenting bills like Bill C-262 that only serve to delay debate on tangible, effective solutions for reducing greenhouse gases. The worst part of all this is that we are lagging far behind.

Already, in 2019, a report produced by Environment and Climate Change Canada concluded that Canada's climate was warming twice as fast as the global average and that over the next 10 years, the whole country would be severely affected as the consequences of warming continued to intensify. It is clear that we have not a moment to lose.

The problem with moving forward with carbon capture and storage technologies as proposed in Bill C-262 is that they distract from the need to reduce sources of emissions and divert attention from the actions required to do so quickly and effectively.

The tax credit proposed in Bill C-262 is actually inconsistent with the logic of carbon pricing and the carbon tax. Setting a price on pollution will never be an incentive if the public absorbs the cost of managing emissions. The price on pollution must lead to changes in behaviour and to commitments to start working on an energy transition. Bill C-262 undermines that goal.

With Bill C-262, the Conservatives are once again proposing a solution that socializes the environmental costs of economic activity while retaining the profits and benefits in the private sector, namely the oil companies. What is appalling, not to say completely ridiculous, is that the Conservatives are trying to sell this as an ecological solution to fight climate change when they do not even recognize its existence. If they believed in it, they would bring forward credible, science-based solutions, not bills that seek to destroy the only serious, concrete tool Canada has implemented to reduce its emissions, namely carbon pricing.

Earlier I said that the economic recovery and support for employment must not happen at the expense of the climate, and I want to come back to that because it is a crucial point.

The Bloc Québécois believes that it is quite legitimate for the government to make public expenditures, including tax expenditures, to support employment and the economy. This obviously includes the energy sector, but is not limited to the western oil and gas industries. If Quebec already relies on the production of renewable energy for almost 99% of its needs, Canada also has potential renewable energy and can choose to end its dependency on fossil fuels.

If the government believes that the recovery is an opportunity to accelerate the energy transition, as the Bloc Québécois and Quebec do, federal investments must be made in sectors of the future. Oil is not one of them. Oil is not a renewable energy despite what certain members believe.

In the first months of the pandemic, the Bloc Québécois brainstormed about the type of economy we want for Quebec and how to launch a recovery that serves the transition to a green economy. After extensive consultation throughout Quebec, the Bloc Québécois presented a green recovery plan that includes transferring adequate financial resources to Quebec to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and at the same time prepare for an ambitious green recovery with a focus on the regions.

We are not fooled when a bill like Bill C-262 is introduced in the House. It pretends to be green, but in fact it serves those who oppose the fight against climate change and want to perpetuate Canada's dependence on fossil fuels. We are not fooled when the Liberal government promotes a green image in public, but in fact funds outdated energies to the tune of billions of dollars. I am thinking about Alberta oil. I am thinking about the Trans Mountain pipeline. I am thinking about the transfers to support the offshore oil industry in Newfoundland. These are all examples that clearly illustrate the inconsistency between the Liberals' environmentalist claims and their support for the fossil fuel industry.

The Bloc Québécois will do everything in its power to prevent even more of Quebeckers' money being spent at the expense of the planet, which is what is currently happening. Despite the Prime Minister's rhetoric about climate change and a green recovery, federal subsidies for fossil fuels reached $1.91 billion in 2020. That is an increase of 200% compared to 2019.

The other parties may like to apply a green sheen to their policies, but our support for public-funded environmental measures is based on the intrinsic value of each of those measures. Our challenge for the recovery, in addition to proposing bills that build on the strengths of Quebec and its regions, is to remain vigilant and to oppose false green economy solutions. As for the fossil fuel subsidies, we will oppose them vigorously, every time. We will storm the barricades every time the government tries to use the pandemic to justify them.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

6:30 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

For his right of reply, the hon. member for Calgary Centre.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

6:30 p.m.


Greg McLean Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to speak to my bill at second reading in the House of Commons. I will read some quotes that are very important to this debate, which state:

Carbon capture, utilization and storage is an important tool for reducing emissions in high emitting sectors.... CCUS is the only currently available technology with the potential to generate negative emissions....

We have the right building blocks in place, including infrastructure such as the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line, and innovative companies like CarbonCure in Nova Scotia, which developed a technology to inject captured carbon into concrete, making it stronger and less polluting. Alberta and Saskatchewan have the greatest near-term potential to become global leaders in CCUS by creating new ‘hubs’ where carbon from high-emitting facilities can be efficiently captured, transported, stored, or used.

Canadian innovators and engineers have developed some of the leading global technologies for CCUS technologies that are in demand as more countries take action to fight climate change. The government intends to take significant action to support and accelerate the adoption of these technologies. By providing incentives to adopt CCUS technologies, the proposed measure will be an important element in Canada’s plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This important new element of Canada’s tax system is also intended to accelerate the growth of related to carbon capture.

Budget 2021 proposes to introduce an investment tax credit for capital invested in CCUS projects with the goal of reducing emissions by at least 15 megatonnes of CO2 annually.

Enough said. I am happy for the deathbed conversion of my colleagues on the other side of the House that they actually acknowledge everything we have been saying on this side of the House since we introduced this bill. I recall how much they were fighting it before the budget came out. However, I am very pleased they are going to move forward with this and I really appreciated my colleague opposite tonight when he told me the little things that were wrong with the proposal that were put forward for him, that he could tweak around the edges and make it look a little different, smell a little different, seem a little different or maybe feel a little different. It is the carbon capture, utilization and storage bill that we put forward that recognizes this industry is going to contribute to the reduction in carbon in Canada and in the world going forward. We lead, and we intend to continue to lead.

Members may recall, when we first put it on the agenda, the intent of this bill was to continue to allow our energy sector in Canada to lead the world, like it does. It used to lead. It lost that lead in carbon capture, utilization and storage in 2018. How did it lose it? It lost it because the United States offered the 45Q, which allowed the split of the tax credit between those who were actually capturing the carbon and those who were storing the carbon. That is important because usually the people who can store the carbon are the hydrocarbon companies, but the people who need to capture the carbon are the other industries that are emitting carbon. This split tax credit moved investment from Canada to the United States very quickly.

Technology we developed here got moved down south in a heartbeat. We had to bring it back here. We have to have a competitive regime where we recognize the advantages that we bring to this world, that we bring to this technology and that we can continue to lead on going forward. The challenge, of course, is to provide a split tax credit, and we think we have accomplished that with the construction of this tax measure, as much as we can on the opposition side of the House. I would love it if the government tweaked it, as my colleague suggests he is going to, and make it just a little better.

Oil and gas is a very important industry in Canada. We lead the world in environmental production of power and energy, we lead the world in accountability to governments and the public, we lead the world as a rent payer and, contrary to what we have heard, this industry contributes $24 billion a year, on average, to Canadian taxpayers for all our services. Let us lead, let us continue to lead and let us allow our Canadian industry to lead again.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

6:35 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

It being 6:38 p.m., the time provided for debate has expired. The question is on the motion.

If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

The hon. member for Calgary Centre.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

6:35 p.m.


Greg McLean Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Madam Speaker, I request a recorded division.

Income Tax ActPrivate Members' Business

6:40 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

Pursuant to order made on Monday, January 25, the division stands deferred until Wednesday, June 9, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions

Pursuant to order made Tuesday, June 1, the House will now proceed to the consideration of Bill C-8, an act to amend the Citizenship Act with regard to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's call to action number 94, at third reading stage.

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

6:40 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence Ontario


Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

6:40 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

Pursuant to order made on Tuesday, June 1, a member of each recognized party and a member of the Green Party may speak to the motion for not more than 10 minutes followed by five minutes for questions and comments.

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

6:40 p.m.

Vaudreuil—Soulanges Québec


Peter Schiefke LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration

Madam Speaker, I would like to begin by acknowledging that I am addressing the House today from my riding of Vaudreuil—Soulanges, situated on land that has a shared history among the Huron-Wendat nation, the Mohawk, the Anishinabe Nation and the Six Nations. I feel it is also important and essential to acknowledge the long-standing heritage of the Métis in my community of Vaudreuil—Soulanges.

I have the privilege today of speaking to Bill C-8, an act to amend the Citizenship Act (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's call to action number 94).

If this bill is passed, it would change Canada's oath of citizenship to put the presence of indigenous people on this land at the heart of the solemn oath taken by newcomers when they become part of the Canadian family.

June is National Indigenous History Month. It is a time for all Canadians to learn about the history of indigenous peoples in Canada, to recognize and acknowledge past mistakes, and to move towards reconciliation.

However, this month our hearts are heavier than they normally are. Locating the remains of 215 children near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School is a painful reminder of a dark and shameful chapter of our country's recent history. Our hearts are with the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, as well as with all indigenous communities across the country.

It is our collective responsibility to acknowledge the legacy of residential schools and the devastating effects they have had, and continue to have, on indigenous peoples and their communities. As Canadians, we must commit to understanding the atrocities of residential schools and what we can do to address their legacy, and continue to move towards reconciliation with indigenous peoples in Canada.

The government is committed to fighting all forms of systemic racism. We have started a dialogue with racialized communities and indigenous people to hear their stories. We recognize that these conversations must inspire laws, policies and collaborative solutions to protect indigenous languages, traditions and institutions.

It is in this spirit that we put forward this bill to help new Canadians at the culmination of their journey to citizenship understand the fundamental, historical truths of their new country, beginning not with Confederation, but with the presence of first nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

Bill C-8 is one part of the government's comprehensive and ongoing commitment to implement all of the recommendations and calls to action contained in the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which marked it sixth anniversary yesterday.

Bill C-8 is a direct response to call to action 94, a call to amend the oath of citizenship. While there is so much more to be done, we hope that Bill C-8 can serve as a unanimous gesture of reconciliation by virtue of an all-party agreement to implement the proposed changes to the oath of citizenship.

While the changes proposed to the oath of citizenship may only amount to a small fragment of text, that text is enormously potent and rich in meaning. If adopted, the new oath of citizenship would read as follows:

I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada, including the Constitution, which recognizes and affirms the Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.

This wording reflects the input received from national indigenous organizations including the Assembly of First Nations, ITK and the Métis National Council. I want to thank them sincerely on behalf of the House for their contributions.

Thanks to the major contributions of these organizations, we have worked together to ensure that the proposed new oath of citizenship is even more inclusive and represents the rich history of indigenous, Inuit and Métis peoples across Canada.

Thanks to their important contributions, the government believes that the wording put forth in the bill is inclusive of first nations, Inuit and Métis peoples' input and experiences. It is, we believe, an authentic response to call to action 94.

The wording proposed in Bill C-8 invites new Canadians to faithfully observe the laws of Canada including the Constitution, which recognizes and affirms the aboriginal and treaty rights of first nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

This is a very important change because it emphasizes the fact that ancestral rights are collective rights that are protected by the Constitution under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. These rights are based on indigenous people's historic occupation and use of the lands now known as Canada.

Furthermore, this reference informs newcomers that these rights predate the Constitution and are reinforced and upheld by the highest law in the land. Henceforth a new Canadian's life as a citizen begins with affirming the principle of reconciliation with Canada's most ancient residents.

While the pandemic has temporarily put a stop to in-person ceremonies, we continue to hold ceremonies virtually. It is truly moving and joyful to know that virtual ceremonies can now be witnessed by families and friends outside of Canada. This means an even wider audience learning about the history of Canada, while putting a spotlight on the important history of indigenous peoples in Canada on the global stage.

Furthermore, the participation of indigenous elders enriches these ceremonies. It is truly remarkable to see the coming together of this land's oldest and newest communities celebrating what it means to live together in equality and harmony. At the very centre of that occasion is indeed the oath of citizenship, a pledge to uphold the values for which we strive as a nation: equality, diversity and respect within an open and free society. This bill ensures that new Canadians now embrace and affirm the rights and treaties of indigenous peoples and know that they are an integral part of Canada's history and future.

While we are also working in partnership with first nations, Inuit and Métis nations on many other components of the calls to action, we are also working on call to action 93, which is a new citizenship guide and supporting educational tools that will include more information on indigenous history, something that has been called for now for quite some time.

Once completed, the revised citizenship study guide, the new citizenship test and the oath will be mutually supportive of these lessons. Furthermore, educational resources will be provided to classrooms across Canada so all students can learn these lessons. I hope all members will join us in these steps on the path to reconciliation. We call on all parties to support the historic and symbolic meaning of the new oath of citizenship.

I want to take a moment to thank all parties for agreeing to move this forward as quickly as possible and ensure that we are able to deliver on yet another call to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recommendations.

It is one more step toward transforming a relationship between the Crown and indigenous peoples, one of many more important steps to come. We must continue in steadfast determination to move forward in mutual respect and co-operation. This means listening to and learning from indigenous partners, communities and youth, and acting decisively on what we have heard to continue building trust and bring about healing.

I look forward to working with all members in support of this bill.

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

6:45 p.m.


Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Madam Speaker, as the member knows, we are supportive of this bill. We only have an opportunity, as opposition, to vote on bills that the government puts in front of us. I will note that these kinds of very important changes around recognition symbols are not the full picture. In pursuing broader reconciliation, we need action that really allows us to move away from the framework of the so-called Indian Act and pursue opportunities for meaningful self-determination, development and the full realization of that vision of reconciliation and a nation-to-nation relationship. It is not going to come about just through bills like this. It is going to require really delving into the challenging issues around how we replace the Indian Act.

Can the member explain why the government has only focused on these kinds of measures and when can we expect the substantive action that many people are looking for?

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

6:50 p.m.


Peter Schiefke Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Madam Speaker, my colleague is 100% right. The calls to action are only a part of the work that needs to be done, albeit a very important part of the work that needs to be done, to reconcile with indigenous Canadians.

We are very proud of the work that is being done. We fully understand the importance of the calls to action and we will continue to accelerate our work with our partners to advance implementation. In fact, over 80% of the calls to action under the sole responsibility of the federal government, or shared responsibility with provincial/territorial partners, are completed or well under way. We are going to continue to move forward.

Once again, I want to thank all members in this House for agreeing to move forward so quickly on call to action 94 today.

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6:50 p.m.


Sébastien Lemire Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Madam Speaker, I have a question for my colleague. It is also a special request from my friend Alexis Wawanoloath and his partner Myriam Dufresne-Manassé, who have a little girl named Sacha-8zali.

In Alexis's language, Abenaki, 8zali means angel. Alexis wanted it written with an indigenous symbol, the number eight, which is pronounced as a nasalized “ohn”. Although this could be registered on her birth certificate, it could not be input into the federal computer system for social insurance numbers.

This is a debate about the oath of citizenship and reconciliation with indigenous peoples. Could the parliamentary secretary commit to influencing his government to make this change to our computer systems?

This would allow Alexis and Myriam to properly record their daughter's name, Sacha-8zali, in Canada's computer system.

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

6:50 p.m.


Peter Schiefke Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his question and for sharing that family's story.

Unfortunately, I am unable to comment on that specific situation.

However, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my hon. colleague, as well as those of the other parties, for allowing this debate here this evening so we can move forward with Bill C-8. This will allow us to implement call to action 94, which is very important and will amend the oath of citizenship in this country.

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6:50 p.m.


Jenny Kwan NDP Vancouver East, BC

Madam Speaker, the parliamentary secretary spoke about the importance of newcomers knowing about our history. He referenced the new citizenship guidebook that has been under development for five years now. Of course, one of the important components of this history is the fact that Canada committed genocide against indigenous peoples and, in fact, continues to do so under the UN convention's definition of genocide.

Does the member agree that Canada needs to incorporate the fact that it committed genocide against indigenous peoples and continues to do so in the new Canadian citizenship study guide?

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

6:50 p.m.


Peter Schiefke Liberal Vaudreuil—Soulanges, QC

Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague not only for her question but for her wonderful work on the immigration committee. I have had the pleasure of working with her for quite some time now on that committee and she is doing some really great work there.

With respect to the hon. member's question, many more consultations need to take place over the summer. As she knows, we take very seriously our consultations and our work directly with indigenous partners across the country's provinces and territories to make sure we get this right. It may take a little longer, but at the end of the day we want to make sure that we do not—

Citizenship ActGovernment Orders

6:50 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

We have to proceed.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry.