Mr. Speaker, would members look at that? Two days ago, the Leader of the Opposition said that he was going to pull out every tool in the tool box to prevent the budget from being passed. I have been here since 2015, and I am pretty certain this is the earliest I have ever seen a budget get passed. I would encourage the member for Carleton, the Leader of the Opposition, to keep up his tactics, because it is certainly helping this side of the House get important pieces of legislation like the budget, which will help so many Canadians, through the House.
As we talk about this motion introduced by the Bloc today, I cannot help but reflect on what I was talking about prior to question period when I started my speech, and that is the absolute reluctance of Conservative members to agree that humans have caused climate change and that we have a role to play in addressing it.
I am reminded of a cartoon that I recently saw that was floating around on social media that shows forest fires burning and firefighters fighting those fires while a plane flies above with a banner off the back of it with the Conservative logo, “Scrap the carbon tax.” Conservatives are ready to burn the whole place down in the name of preserving our ability to extract fossil fuels from the ground. Even the Bloc Québécois, which they are partners with most of the time, the light blue, understands that climate change is a serious issue and we need to move quickly. We need to do more and push the government to do more at all times in order to properly combat the negative effects that we are seeing as a result of climate change and, quite frankly, prepare ourselves to be able to deal with them.
There is a lot that has already changed and a lot that we will not see reversed for generations to come. We have to understand that climate change is with us and that we have to be as prepared as we can be to deal with it in the best ways possible. However, that is not to say that we should throw up our hands and suggest that we should not be doing anything to prevent further disasters and further climate change from occurring. The Bloc Québécois, with this motion, is pushing the government, as it should, as a responsible opposition party, to do more and to do better.
I reference item (e) in its motion, which I am very much in support of. It states, “demand that the federal government stop investing in fossil fuels and develop incentives, while respecting the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces, to promote the use of renewable energy and public transit.” In response to that, I would say that we have done a significant amount, whether it is investing in public transit and, in particular, electric buses in transit systems throughout our country, investing in renewable energies or investing in electric vehicle technology and electric vehicle purchases by consumers. The federal government has been there, but that is not to say that we cannot do more; we must do more and we have to be asking the government at all times to do more about ensuring that we are taking this matter seriously.
When we talk about some of the specific investments, I am reminded of a company just outside of my riding of Kingston and the Islands, in the riding of Hastings—Lennox and Addington. The government formed a partnership with Umicore, a battery manufacturing facility, which will establish the largest battery manufacturing facility for electric vehicles in North America. This is a company that has a lot of history and has built similar facilities in other parts of the world. It is based out of Europe. It has expanded in Europe, and is now looking at markets outside Europe. It is looking at Canada.
One may ask why it is interested in Canada and not the United States. We are a relatively small economy compared to our neighbour, the United States, and there are other options in North America. Quite frankly, it chose Canada because it sees our commitment to sustainability. It sees our commitment to supporting the industry that it is part of. That is exactly what we need to be doing now.
Not only is the Bloc Québécois calling on the government to do more from an environmental perspective, but this motion is also asking the federal government to bolster the economy and have a stronger economy as it relates to renewable energy. This is absolutely critical at this point, as we heard the Minister of Environment say earlier. We are at the forefront of new technology. This is technology that is going to change not just Canada, but the world.
We have an option. We can either wait and let other countries develop it, import their technology and what they produce in years to come, or we can be at the forefront of it. We can develop those technologies here, we can harness the intellectual capability, intellectual patents and the ideas that come from people who are working on these projects. We can see them developed here, and then we become an exporter of that technology, selling it to the rest of the world.
Anybody who looks at macroeconomic policy would determine that the far superior way of approaching this is to become a leader in this. Of course, in order to do that, they have to believe that is the future. That is where the divide is in this House, at least as it relates to Conservatives versus every other party. Conservatives do not believe that the future is in those technologies. They believe that the future is in the continual extraction of oil and fossil fuels from underground so that they can be burned and used, and we would not have the opportunity to benefit from those incredible advancements that we are seeing in other parts of the world.
As I wrap up my speech, I again want to compliment the Bloc Québécois for bringing forward what I regard to be a substantive motion that is not light and fluffy and lacking a call to action, but indeed a motion that does call on the government to do more. That is what a responsible opposition party should be doing. I see that in this motion today and I am very happy to vote in favour of it when we ultimately vote on this next week.