House of Commons Hansard #131 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was money.

Topics

Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I suspect if you were to canvass the House you might find leave to call it seven o'clock so we could begin Adjournment Proceedings.

Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

Is it agreed?

Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2022Government Orders

6:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

Oil and Gas IndustryAdjournment Proceedings

6:45 p.m.

Green

Mike Morrice Green Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to come back to my question to the Prime Minister about the need to address the subsidies being given to the oil and gas industry.

I will start by sharing why this is important. The UN Secretary General recently shared with the world, “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.” He then said, “We are in the fight of our lives. And we are losing...And our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible.” He went on to say, “The global climate fight will be won or lost in this crucial decade – on our watch.”

We also heard from the co-chair of climate scientists making up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Jim Skea, who said, “It's now or never, if we want to limit global warning to 1.5°C. Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible.”

While we have those global calls being made, profits in the oil and gas industry are off the rails. Imperial Oil is one example I mentioned to the PM in my question. Its profits are up and now totalling $6.2 billion in the first nine months of 2022. That is compared to $1.7 billion the same period in 2021. It is four times higher. Why is that? It is obvious they are gouging Canadians at the pumps. In the same period of time, we know wholesale margins, or profits, are up 18¢ a litre.

I will turn to promises that are being made. The PM was in Glasgow last year at COP26, where he promised to end international financing of oil and gas. That has not happened yet. It is also promised in the supply and confidence agreement between the Liberals and the NDP, which provides them the confidence of the House, to phase out public financing of the fossil fuel sector, including early moves in 2022.

This would be a great time for those early moves. Instead, what we are seeing are new subsidies being added. One example is $8.6 billion more in a tax credit for so-called carbon capture and storage. This is a false solution being peddled by the oil and gas industry, study after study shows. In fact, in 32 out of 40 times this has been tried around the world, emissions have gone up and not down. It is the number one item in the so-called emissions reduction plan.

We could also turn to the $10-billion loan guarantee for the Trans Mountain pipeline. We know there are solutions. Number one is to end the subsidies now, all of them. Next is to introduce a windfall profits tax on these excess profits, as I asked the Prime Minister to do in my question, and use the funds to invest in proven climate solutions. The Green Budget Coalition, for example, points to deep energy retrofits in residential buildings that would return $2 to $5 in taxes to the public coffers for every dollar spent. For a just transition for workers, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is calling for a just transition benefit.

The fact is that our kids' futures are at stake. This is about the world they are going to grow up in. I understand the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance is with us tonight. I would love to hear him share more about when the government will stop dragging its heels on ending these subsidies.

Oil and Gas IndustryAdjournment Proceedings

November 21st, 2022 / 6:50 p.m.

Burnaby North—Seymour B.C.

Liberal

Terry Beech LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I will start by sharing the sentiment of my friend from Kitchener Centre with regard to the urgency of this issue and with regard to making sure that we get this right, for the sake of our children and all children across Canada and around the world.

Canada remains committed to phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. We have already taken action to phase out nine tax measures supporting the fossil fuel sector. We have also pledged to undertake a peer review of inefficient fossil fuel subsides under the G20 process. The reality is that Canada fought hard at COP27 so that the world did not backslide on the phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies. We reiterated our commitment to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2023, two years earlier than the G20 commitment.

Some have argued, including the member who just spoke, that our recent measures to support the emerging carbon capture, use and storage sector amount to an inefficient fossil fuel subsidy. This is not true. The fact is that CCUS is one of many tools in our tool box to meet our climate commitments. I would note that many respected global organizations support CCUS development. This includes the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Paris-based International Energy Agency.

In fact, the agency estimates that this technology could be responsible for about 15% of global emission reductions. It is part of the plan. It also gives us a tool to lower emissions outside of the oil and gas sector. Steel production, cement and other emission-intensive industries can benefit from this technology. This, in fact, builds on our world-leading climate plan, one that approaches reducing emissions and developing clean technology in all facets of our economy, and one that we further expanded on in the fall economic statement tabled earlier this month.

While we are removing tax credits from flow-through shares on oil, gas and coal, we are also creating new investment tax credits for clean tech and for clean hydrogen. We are also creating a sustainable jobs training centre that will prepare our workers for the high-paying sustainable jobs that will be created as new economic opportunities emerge as part of our climate plan. In addition, we are investing in a world-leading innovation and investment agency and a $15-billion clean growth fund that will help Canada further tap into the economic opportunities that the clean transition provides.

That being said, our government's priority, beyond fighting climate change and growing an economy that works for everyone, is to make life more affordable for Canadians who are currently struggling with global inflation.

Indeed, we are now moving forward with targeted measures, including new ones introduced in the fall economic statement. For example, Bill C-32 would make the federal portion of all Canada student loans and Canada apprenticeship loans permanently interest-free, including those currently being repaid.

We are expanding our efforts with regard to affordable housing and we are making sure that every child in Canada, no matter how wealthy their parents are, has access to affordable dental care. This is in addition to our investments that have lifted millions of children and seniors out of poverty, including an early learning and child care agreement that will make our kids smarter and allow hundreds of thousands of parents to rejoin the workforce, if they choose to do so.

Finally, we have doubled the GST benefit to help 11 million Canadian households, including more than 50% of seniors, better handle the impacts of global inflation.

Any responsible plan must tackle climate change in a way so that no one is left behind in our economy, and that is exactly what our government is doing.

Oil and Gas IndustryAdjournment Proceedings

6:55 p.m.

Green

Mike Morrice Green Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will pause just to say that, with regard to this word “inefficient”, I hope that the parliamentary secretary might move away from it. It is completely undefined. It lacks credibility when we are talking about these subsidies because it really does not mean anything at all. In fact, all of these subsidies are not helping us make progress at a time when we need to act urgently and immediately.

In terms of carbon capture and storage, I think the best analogy I can give the parliamentary secretary is that there are measures being taken, some of which he has mentioned, and those measures are kind of like after the snow has fallen and we start shovelling one bit at a time and we are making a little bit of progress here and there. The $8.6 billion to carbon capture is like when the snowplow then comes by and undoes all of our work.

As for that $8.6 billion, not one environmental group in the country has called for those funds. Do we know who has? The oil and gas lobbyists who were at COP27, unfortunately. Those are the ones calling for carbon capture.

When will the parliamentary secretary understand that we have to move away from exactly that?

Oil and Gas IndustryAdjournment Proceedings

6:55 p.m.

Liberal

Terry Beech Liberal Burnaby North—Seymour, BC

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. While my colleague may not like the definition around that particular word “inefficient”, that is a longer debate that I cannot explain in one minute. However, we are committed to undergoing a peer review of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies under the G20 process and we will build on the actions we have already taken.

There is a process that is under the G20. While that definition may not meet his standards today, there is a process under which this is specifically reviewed. If Canadians want to know more, I suggest that they read our emissions reduction plan, which lays out, in detail, how Canada will hit its targets right across every sector of the economy.

They can also tap into my own reports that I write at terrybeechmp.ca/reports. There is not just a report on climate change. There is one on affordability, seniors, housing, the economy and local projects that are important to all Canadians, but particularly those projects that have been delivered in both Burnaby and in North Vancouver.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

6:55 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a real honour to take this moment to review a question I asked back in June.

Particularly and unusually for Adjournment Proceedings, I am following my colleague, the hon. member for Kitchener Centre, who in debate just pointed out to the hon. parliamentary secretary the inadequacies of the current government's plan. At this point, I am taking up on a similar theme, but based on a different question, and I think I will be discussing and debating this matter with a different parliamentary secretary.

We are now days from the end of COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, which was disappointing. In fact, at this stage in the planet's trajectory towards what Secretary-General of the United Nations calls the “highway to climate hell”, when we fail to do what is needed, it is not just disappointing; it is criminal.

We are standing here on the very edge of “too late”, as we know. Back in June, the question I put to the Prime Minister was in relation to the most recent report we have from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which should be understood as the largest peer-reviewed system of science that humanity has ever constructed. It is a very cumbersome process. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reviews massive amounts of peer-reviewed science and reports roughly on a full assessment every six to seven years.

Inevitably, with a cumbersome process of that nature, its reports always overestimate how much time we have and underestimate the level of risk and danger in which we find ourselves. Therefore, it makes me particularly alarmed that on April 4, as I referenced in my question in June, the IPCC advanced the clock on “too late” and warned us that for humanity to have any chance of holding to what we agreed to do in the Paris agreement, we must hold the global average temperature increase to as far below 2°C as possible, and preferably to 1.5°C.

Last year, at COP26 in Glasgow, as we all headed home feeling that disappointment, the president of the COP, from the U.K., said that 1.5°C was on life support. Really, it is very hard to believe that we could possibly hold to 1.5°C at this point, and that is because the most recent information from the IPCC, which I referenced in my question in June, was that in order to hold to 1.5°C or 2°C, we must ensure that global emissions peak, that is, hit their highest point ever, and begin to fall between 2020 and at the latest 2025. The window on our having a livable world for our kids, to avoid a self-accelerating, unstoppable, irreversible climate breakdown, closes before our next election, thanks to the cozy deal the Liberals and the NDP have cooked up, with no further action.

The response I got from the hon. parliamentary secretary in question period was that the government's ambitious agenda would ensure “that we will...do what is needed to reach our emissions projections”. However, here is the problem: The government's targets are not aligned with the science. The government's targets will amount to too little, too late.

The government's proactive promotion of new fossil fuel infrastructure and new fossil fuel development, projects like having the Canadian people pay billions of dollars to build the Trans Mountain pipeline, putting in place fossil fuel infrastructure to take us to that climate hell and developing Baie du Nord in offshore Newfoundland, are unforgivable. I ask the hon. parliamentary secretary to clarify how we can claim to be a climate leader.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

7 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by saying I share the sense of urgency my friend was just speaking about, as a person who sees it in the natural disasters we are seeing in our country, as a mother and as someone who cares deeply about her community, about her country and about this world.

I share that. That is why I see the work and commitment to doing that hard work, and it is not easy. Anyone who says it is easy is actually missing the point, and I am not suggesting my friend is saying it is easy. I know she recognizes this is a big challenge we are facing, but we are taking that on.

We set an ambitious and achievable emissions reduction target of 40% to 45% below 2000 levels by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. That is backed by science. When we talk about the IPCC and the scientists who are doing that heavy lifting, we have on our net-zero advisory board people who are also working on those reports helping to guide the work we are doing.

Since 2016, the Government of Canada has been taking actions, and the most recent one members will have seen in the spring was the emissions reduction plan. That is a really important piece, because I really want to reiterate that this is not just about one sector in our economy. We need to take action across all sectors of our economy. This is a large transition we are in the middle of, and as we do that, we need to make sure we have an opportunity as well, and we do have an opportunity, to have a strong economy, to create sustainable jobs and to make sure our country is well placed to meet the challenge of the emissions we must reduce and at the same create those jobs.

When I am talking about that, in my home city of Toronto, the largest source of emissions is actually our buildings. People do not talk about the built sector very much, but right now part of the work we are doing is on a green building strategy. In fact just today there was an announcement about further funding to help support Canadians in making that transition off oil heating to heat pumps. That is part of how we can increase affordability and help Canadians who are trying to make those changes for the environment at the same time. That is just one piece.

Another part of it is how we reduce emissions from our transportation sector, which is also a very large sector for emissions. We are putting in place a sales mandate that would mean that by 2035 all new cars sold in Canada will be zero emissions. To back that up, because the whole thing is that this is across all sectors and it is about addressing these issues in a very holistic sense, we are also building the charging infrastructure that is required to support those vehicles.

It is part of a holistic plan, and that is what I would really like to emphasize. It is not just one thing. We can always pick at one thing and say that the carbon price alone will not do it. We recognize this is going to take many tools, and that is exactly what we are doing, and we have been putting in that hard work. We are putting a price on carbon pollution. There are methane regulations and sales mandates for zero-emission vehicles. I am not going to get through the whole list in the time I have, but there is the green building strategy, and at the same time battery manufacturing is happening here in our country to help support that transition right across North America.

We have invested in the Energy Transition Centre in Calgary, which is going to be helping to build out that renewable energy sector that is doing so well and thriving in Alberta. These are opportunities, and we need to seize them at the same time as we meet that challenge to reduce emissions across our country, because it is our obligation and we have undertaken to do it.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

7:05 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, as predicted, government spokespersons raise the good things they are doing, and they are good. Heat pumps are good. More charging stations for electric cars are good. We pile them up, and we have a drop in the bucket. Then we see the buckets of money going into violating indigenous rights and to forcing through the Trans Mountain pipeline, which is only halfway built and the most dangerous terrain is yet to come.

They spent $21 billion of public money on a project. The International Energy Agency, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and every international energy review has said not to put any more money into expanding fossil fuel infrastructure. It is, in the words of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, “moral and economic madness”, but the Canadian government is committed to madness.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

7:05 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I said in my opening remarks and will repeat once again, what we are focused on is reducing emissions. That is what we are doing, be it through reducing emissions from our buildings or our transportation sectors, or putting a cap on emissions from the oil and gas sector. All of these pieces come together. We are building out our renewable energies and making sure we have an electric grid that can support it all.

There are many pieces that have to come together. We are doing it. Members can see the tangible pieces that are coming together to make it happen. We will make sure that we do everything we can to reduce emissions across our country.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

7:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

Before we finish up, I want to offer my congratulations to the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands on taking on her new role as the co-leader of the Green Party, or her new old role.

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 7:07 p.m.)