Mr. Speaker, the Government of Canada acknowledges the importance of, and the need for, a global clean energy transition. While this transformation will take time, the government is committed to the bold action required to decarbonize Canada’s energy and natural resources sectors while creating unprecedented economic opportunities and good jobs for Canadians in every region of the country.
This global shift to a low-carbon future can be accomplished without phasing out Canada’s oil and gas sector. The cause of climate change is not fossil fuels themselves but the carbon emissions associated with producing and burning them. Canada’s challenge is to aggressively reduce those emissions, because hydrocarbons will continue to have a role to play in a net-zero economy.
Canada’s oil and gas sector is part of this shift. For example, the Pathways Alliance, which is composed of companies accounting for more than 90% of the oil sands’ annual production, has committed to being net zero by 2050. The government is working with the industry to cap its emissions as outlined in Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction plan, which indicates that the government is developing measures to cap oil and gas sector emissions at current levels and ensure that the sector makes an ambitious and achievable contribution to the country’s 2030 climate goals while reducing emissions at a pace and scale needed to align with net-zero emissions by 2050.
In addition, the government is establishing joint partnerships with each province and territory, through regional energy and resource tables, to identify and accelerate opportunities to transform their traditional resource industries and advance emerging ones. Through these regional tables, the government will also engage with indigenous partners and enlist the expertise and input of union partners, municipalities, industry, workers, experts and civil society, to advance the top economic priorities by aligning resources, timelines and regulatory approaches.
Central to seizing this moment is ensuring that Canadians are at the centre of everything the government does to achieve a net-zero future. After all, there is no low-carbon economy without skilled and well-trained workers.
This people-centred approach goes to the heart of a just transition: an equitable, inclusive and sustainable transformation of every sector of the economy and every region of the country to make sure all Canadians have what they need to succeed in the rapid shift to a net-zero world.
This is why the government is committed to moving forward with comprehensive action, including sustainable jobs legislation, to support workers and communities as Canada transitions to a low-carbon economy.
The government has released a discussion paper and encouraged Canadians to provide their feedback. These public consultations were launched in July 2021 and included 17 three-hour virtual round table sessions with stakeholders from across the country, including labour organizations, industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, youth and experts in skills, training, and diversity and inclusion. While those consultations have concluded, the government is still compiling input from the provinces and territories and Indigenous partners.
Regarding part (a) of the question, the Just Transition inbox received approximately 30,000 email submissions as of September 27, 2022, of which approximately 29,000 originated from five letter-writing campaigns.
Regarding parts (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f), the purpose of these consultations was to gather feedback from Canadians on proposed elements of sustainable jobs legislation, including guiding principles and a proposed sustainable jobs advisory body. Submissions were received via email as opposed to a contact form and Canadians were not asked to provide any personal or professional details with their specific feedback.
Feedback from the written submissions was summarized and aggregated. Therefore, producing a comprehensive response is not possible in the time allotted and could lead to the disclosure of incomplete and misleading information.