House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was sector.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Liberal MP for Sudbury (Ontario)

Won his last election, in 2019, with 41% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Indigenous Affairs December 4th, 2020

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by acknowledging that I am on Robinson-Huron treaty territory in the traditional lands of the Atikameksheng Anishinabe.

Access to clean and safe drinking water is a basic human right. Since 2015, this government has worked in partnership with first nations communities to end over 97 long-term drinking water advisories across Canada. We know there are many more to go.

Sadly, the fact that this government will not be able to meet its March 2021 deadline to end all boiled water advisories speaks more to the immense scale of the task than it does to the government's commitment to it.

On Wednesday, this government announced more than $1.5 billion in additional investments to accelerate our commitment to ensuring clean drinking water in first nations reserves.

In my riding, I want to thank Jordan Cheff and his group, “Cold Water for Clean Water”, who plunge every day into the frigid waters of Lake Nepahwin in solidarity with this cause. Their efforts are not going unnoticed.

We know that a lot of work remains, and the progress we have made shows our commitment to meet this important challenge. From day one, our work has been in partnership with first nations communities. It will remain so to ensure clean water for all.

The Environment December 3rd, 2020

Madam Speaker, to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, global greenhouse gas emissions need to decline rapidly over the next three decades according to scientific experts.

The Paris Agreement calls for governments around the world to take urgent and ambitious action on climate change to keep global warming well below 2 degrees and to pursue efforts to keep it below 1.5 degrees in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its special report on global warming of 1.5 degrees in 2018. That report concluded that global emissions need to reach net zero around mid-century for there to be a reasonable chance of meeting the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees.

On November 19, 2020, the minister tabled the Canadian net-zero emissions accountability bill, which, if passed, would legally bind the government to a process to achieve net zero by 2050. It would make our 2030 target legally binding, and set five-year emission reduction targets to 2050 to improve accountability and transparency. We look forward to working with all the parties to pass this important legislation and strengthen our 2030 targets.

The Environment December 3rd, 2020

Madam Speaker, the immediate priority of the government is to support Canadians through the pandemic. However, we are also planning strategically for how to promote economic prosperity while also addressing the global crisis of climate change.

Canadians are experiencing the impacts of climate change and the government understands the urgent need to take action and ensure that sustainability is built into all aspects of our economy. This is critical for Canadians today and for our future generations.

We are making progress through Canada's current climate plan, the pan-Canadian framework. This plan is projected to achieve a historic level of emissions reductions, but we know we need to do more. That is why the government has committed to exceeding its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions targets, and putting the country on a path to prosper in a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

We have also committed to bringing forward a new NDC emission reduction target by 2030, prior to COP26 in November 2021.

To reach these targets, we are strengthening existing measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and introduce new ones. The 2020 fall economic statement announced some of these new measures, and our work to build back better will make the economy greener, more inclusive, more resilient and more competitive.

Investments include putting climate action at the centre of our plan to create a million new jobs; bolstering training support for those hit hardest by the pandemic, including marginalized and racialized women, indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, and new Canadians; and proposing to provide up to 700,000 grants to homeowners to help them make energy efficient improvements to their homes.

We are committed to investing in Canada's clean power supply and working to connect Canadians with clean electricity across the country. We are investing in zero-emission vehicles, including charging and refuelling infrastructure. The Government of Canada is also working to develop a well-functioning, sustainable finance market in Canada. We are also prioritizing investments in nature-based solutions, including plans to plant two billion trees over 10 years.

We are investing in climate-smart, natural solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to ecosystem loss, and we are committing new funding to support climate solutions for agriculture. In the coming weeks, the government will bring these and other elements together in a coherent, enhanced climate plan, providing Canadians with transparency as to how Canada will exceed its current 2030 Paris Agreement targets.

After the proposed plan is released, we will be consulting with our partners, indigenous peoples, provinces and territories, municipalities, industry and civil society. These consultations will inform the development of Canada's updated 2030 target.

I would like to thank the hon. member for her commitment to increased climate action. I look forward to working with the member, our colleagues and Canadians as we work towards bringing forward a plan that will enable Canada to exceed our 2030 targets and help set Canada on a path to achieving a prosperous net-zero emissions future.

Natural Resources December 3rd, 2020

Madam Speaker, the provinces, territories and municipalities are leaders in the recovery and recycling of plastic waste. The Government of Canada is continuing to work with them to strengthen existing programs and increase Canada's capacity to reuse and recover more plastics. This will include collaborating with them to ensure that the rules are consistent and transparent across the country and that producers and sellers of plastic products are made responsible for collecting these plastics.

Natural Resources December 3rd, 2020

Madam Speaker, I want to first congratulate the Alberta government and all Albertans for their support of Canada's goal to reach zero plastic waste by 2030. Alberta is a key partner in implementing the Canada-wide strategy on zero plastic waste and we welcome the province's recently announced goal to become the western North America centre of excellence for plastics recycling by 2030. We can only reach these goals by working together.

Congratulations are also in order for Alberta's agricultural plastic recycling pilot program, which aims to help address the issue of agricultural plastic waste. Across Canada and across economic sectors, there is an emerging consensus that a circular economic approach is core to addressing the problem of plastic waste and pollution. When plastic waste is reused in new products through enhanced recycling techniques and technologies, there is a significant opportunity to recapture the value of materials, including products such as agricultural plastics used in Alberta.

We are also encouraged by the unanimous support of a recent motion in the Alberta legislature to examine the opportunities afforded by implementing extended producer responsibility. With it, Alberta has the opportunity to move into the ranks of the leading provinces in plastic recycling, such as Ontario, Quebec and B.C.

On the question of the proposal to add plastic manufactured items to schedule 1 of the CEPA, this is an important step to allow us to manage the waste and pollution caused by plastic products. We conducted a science assessment of plastic pollution. Its core findings are that microplastics are ubiquitous in the environment and harmful to wildlife and habitat. Canadians see the effects of plastic pollution in their communities and waterways. They see the volumes of plastic waste being discarded and they expect the government to take action.

The proposal to list plastic manufactured items on schedule 1 of CEPA would enable the government to take measures to address the pollution and waste along the life cycle of plastics and protect our environment, while also moving Canada to a more circular resource-efficient economy.

The government does not believe that this action hurts Albertans or any other Canadians. On the contrary, acting to better manage plastic waste will keep plastics in the economy and out of Canada's environment.

Minister Wilkinson, the minister of environment, recently released, for consultation, a discussion paper that provides an overview of the government's proposed next steps. It contains a framework to address single-use plastics along with a proposed list of six single-use items to either ban or restrict as well as a proposal for the establishment of recycled content requirements in products and packaging. This latter action aims to drive investment in recycling infrastructure and spur innovation in technology and product design.

We want to support the growth of the Canadian recycling industry, boost overall economic growth and create new jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. All of these proposed actions have the potential to complement and accelerate progress toward Alberta's goal to become a centre of excellence for plastics recycling.

The government wants to hear from Canadians and stakeholders on its proposed approach to address plastic pollution and waste. The comments received will help shape the choices on the path forward to a more circular economy for plastics.

Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act November 26th, 2020

Madam Speaker, as I was saying, we are addressing it today with Bill C-12. We put a price on pollution. We are investing heavily in green transit across the country. We have made a lot of progress in our first mandate, but we know we need to continue.

One of the issues, quite frankly, is that the technology needs to be created as well as we go down this road. We need to work with industry and all stakeholders to make this happen. This will not just happen tomorrow, because the technology does not exist to get to net zero tomorrow. We are working toward that.

Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act November 26th, 2020

Madam Speaker, that is precisely why are proposing this plan and introducing Bill C-12.

This is about framing the discussion. The member said the government needs a plan. The first part of the plan was of course the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change introduced in 2016.

Now it is a matter of providing a framework for the regulations to be followed. When we achieve—

Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act November 26th, 2020

Madam Speaker, one of the points the member raised was the price on pollution. In my role as the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, I get to represent Canada among other countries around the world, and we are the envy. They look at Canada and cannot believe that the Canadian government was able to put this forward. A lot of my my Green friends also gave us kudos for putting it in and starting this process, which is so key for us in reaching our goals.

The fact is that at every point, the Conservatives tried to stop us. They basically tried to stop any coherent and proper plan to move on the environment and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It is quite clear that, as we move forward with this plan, certainly with the framework of net zero, we know that a price on pollution is key to all of this as well as many other investments that we need to—

Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act November 26th, 2020

Yes, Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the member of Parliament for Guelph.

As I was saying, the mining sector produces the minerals and metals essential to clean technologies. Our forests are the most sustainably managed in the world and provide the foundation of the emerging bio-economy. Our oil and gas sectors are on their way to placing among the lowest-emitting producers in the world, and major players like Cenovus have committed to achieving net-zero emissions in their operations. They understand that achieving net zero is not a regulatory burden, but an economic necessity at a time when our government is making historic investments in renewables such as wind, solar, tidal and geothermal energies.

Natural Resources Canada is supporting all these efforts, with over 900 clean technology projects across the country. In total, we are investing nearly $1 billion in Canadian clean-tech innovations. The total value of these projects is in fact more than four times that of private sector investments.

Climate change is real. It is an existential threat to our planet, our homes and our way of life. It is a moment that calls for action. The only question is how? How do we continue to meet our needs, power our cities, heat our homes and grow our economy while producing fewer emissions. In particular, with C-12, how do we enure we are pushing forward all the time toward reading our goal of net zero emissions.

Right now, our electricity grid is currently 82% non-emitting. We need to get that to 100% and then rapidly expand the clean supply as we electrify our economy. We do that by promoting transmission connections like the Atlantic loop; continuing to invest in renewables like solar, wind, geothermal and storage; supporting the development of new energy sources; and helping remote communities move off diesel.

We also understand the need to improve the energy efficiency of our homes and offices, factories, schools and hospitals. That means building an inclusive retrofit economy that hires thousands of Canadians across the country, creating a made-in-Canada low-carbon building supply chain and implementing net zero building codes for new homes.

Finally, we are also investing in emerging areas of energy production. Let me take a few minutes to talk about just one: hydrogen.

Global production in hydrogen is expected to increase at least tenfold in the coming decades, accounting for close to a quarter of all the energy used around the world by 2050, and creating an industry valued at as much as $11.7 trillion. Canada can and must capture its share. We are ideally positioned to do so. In fact, name any country where hydrogen is being developed and deployed in a significant way, and the odds are that Canadian technology is at the centre of it. The opportunities are as diverse as the country itself.

In Alberta and Saskatchewan, we can capitalize on our natural gas sectors to produce clean hydrogen with the help of world-leading carbon capture used in storage technologies, lowering the emissions of every ounce of oil we produce. In Newfoundland and Labrador, we can leverage the extra electricity we produce alongside wind and other renewables for clean hydrogen production.

British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec will be able to use waste diversion for increased renewable natural gas production and leverage low-cost hydro power for large-scale clean hydrogen production.

Hydrogen and other low-carbon fuels also offer opportunities to reduce diesel dependency in Canada's north, giving largely indigenous remote and northern communities access to clean energy.

To capture the full range of hydrogen's potential, we are finalizing a national hydrogen strategy, a strategy that will serve as a catalyst for investments and strategic partnerships and make us a top three producer of hydrogen. That is just one example of the incredible opportunities out there.

We could talk about geothermal, tidal, biomass heating, SMRs, but I only have 10 minutes. Therefore, I will leave it at this.

Net zero is an economic opportunity for new jobs with new technologies and energy sources. The market is changing. Investors are making clear choices and putting their money into jurisdictions taking action on climate change. Canadian industry understands the direction markets are moving in and that our industries are following the money. They are already skating to where the puck is going.

Canada as a whole needs to get to net zero. To do that, we need a method for reporting and transparency, so we can achieve a net-zero economy by 2050, a national economy that continues to grow and a clean energy future that leaves no one behind. Canada's natural resources will be central to all of it.

Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act November 26th, 2020

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to join the House from my home in Canada's mining capital to talk about a bill that is so important to the future of our region and our economy.

As the member for Sudbury and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, I get to work with all kinds of incredible people in our resource sector. I have heard about the hard days they have gone through and the long hours they work, not just to put food on the table but to benefit all Canadians. I am very proud of the work they are doing in the community and across the country.

I have never heard a worker tell me they were worried about the environment. I wanted to mention that because, in the course of my work with Natural Resources Canada, I have also heard one myth in particular over and over again.

There is a myth that a resource-rich country like Canada cannot be a leader in the fight against climate change, that industries such as mining, forestry and energy hold us back, that they stand in the way of reaching our goal of net-zero emissions, that trying to achieve net zero will kill our industries.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, these are the very industries leading the way. They are investing in innovation and developing new technologies to cut emissions, producing the raw materials for this clean-growth century, and proving to the world that the environment and the economy can indeed go hand in hand, all while creating good, middle-class jobs and advancing indigenous reconciliation.

The mining sector, for example—