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44th PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION

EDITED HANSARD • No. 273

CONTENTS

Thursday, February 1, 2024




Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 273
1st SESSION
44th PARLIAMENT

OFFICIAL REPORT (HANSARD)

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Speaker: The Honourable Greg Fergus

    The House met at 10 a.m.

Prayer


  (1000)  

[Translation]

Vacancy

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun 

     It is my duty to inform the House that a vacancy has occurred in the representation, namely Mr. Lametti, member for the electoral district of LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, by resignation effective Wednesday, January 31, 2024.
     Pursuant to paragraph 25(1)(b) of the Parliament of Canada Act, I have addressed a warrant to the Chief Electoral Officer for the issue of a writ for the election of a member to fill this vacancy.

[English]

Board of Internal Economy

    It is my duty to inform the House, for the purposes under the provisions of section 50 of the Parliament of Canada Act, the following members have been appointed members of the Board of Internal Economy, namely: the Hon. Ruby Sahota, the member for Brampton North, in place of the Hon. Karina Gould, the member for Burlington, as a member of the King's Privy Council; and the Hon. Mona Fortier, the member for Ottawa—Vanier, in place of the Hon. Ruby Sahota, the member for Brampton North, as a representative of the government.

Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]

[English]

Finance

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 32(2), and consistent with the policy on the tabling of treaties in Parliament, I have the honour to table, in both official languages, a treaty entitled “Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Bank for International Settlements on the Establishment of an Office of the Bank of Canada for the Operation of the BIS Innovation Hub Toronto Centre”, done at Ottawa on January 31.

Criminal Code

     (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

  (1005)  

Petitions

Natural Health Products  

    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise on behalf of constituents in Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon today to present two very important petitions.
    The first petition is in relation to Red Tape Awareness Week and the attack by the Canadian government on producers and manufacturers of natural health supplements.
    Constituents in my riding are calling on the government to stop over-regulating and let Canadians use the natural health supplements and Chinese medicine that are a very big part of their daily regimen.

Needle Exchange Program  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition I am presenting today comes from the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers in Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, and it relates to the needle exchange program the government is about to implement in federal institutions.
    Drugs and drug paraphernalia are considered contraband in prison, yet the government is forcing our correctional officers to simply turn a blind eye and allow dangerous drugs to be used inside our institutions. These correctional officers are calling on the government to cancel the prison needle exchange program, to stop permitting the use of illegal drugs in Canadian prisons and to focus their efforts on helping inmates recover from their addictions in a compassionate way.

Justice  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition signed by Canadians calling on the government to take all necessary measures at its disposal to overturn an unjust decision of the Supreme Court of Canada that struck down a just law passed by the Harper government. The law would apply consecutive parole ineligibility periods to criminals convicted of multiple murders, taking into account each life lost.
    The petitioners call for the government, among other things, to invoke the notwithstanding clause to override this decision.

Basic Income Guarantee Program  

    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise and present this petition on behalf of folks who note that a guaranteed livable income would, first of all, establish an income floor below which no Canadian could fall and reflect regional differences in the cost of living.
    The petitioners go on to note that it could replace the current patchwork of federal and provincial income assistance programs with a single, universal cash benefit. They note that it could be administered through the existing tax system and require no means testing, thereby dramatically reducing federal and provincial administrative costs.
     The petitioners go on to note that it could reduce poverty, thereby reducing the demand on social services, law enforcement and health care, resulting in additional cost savings for government and taxpayers. Most importantly, it would provide a financial safety net for all Canadians, especially through major economic shifts, pandemics, natural disasters and industry automation.
    As a result, the petitioners call on the Government of Canada to implement a guaranteed livable income for all Canadians.

Religious Heritage  

    Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to present, which says that preserving the petitioners' Christian heritage, rooted in the Canadian Bill of Rights and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is vital. They seek to celebrate December as Christian heritage month annually, promoting love, equality and peace. They say that their Christian foundations, recognized globally, shape their identity.
    The undersigned residents of Canada call upon the Government of Canada to celebrate December as Christian heritage month annually.

Ukraine  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition signed by constituents who are calling upon all members of Parliament to actually stand and support the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement.
    The petitioners recognize that it is coming up for debate, and they hope that every member of every political party will in fact vote in favour of this particular trade agreement.

Freedom of Expression  

    Mr. Speaker, I have four petitions to present today.
    The first one specifically calls to the attention that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 2(b), protects freedom of thought, belief and opinion. It further goes on to discuss how the Canadian Bill of Rights, section 1, protects the rights of individual life, liberty and personal security, and enjoyment of property.
    The undersigned members of my community are calling on the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice to protect Canadians' right to advocate without fear of reprisal for Palestinians to live in peace and security.

  (1010)  

Climate Change  

    Mr. Speaker, the second petition actually had good news, because the government announced measures with respect to it towards the end of last year.
    This petition specifically talks about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and says that we have been warned repeatedly that rising temperatures over the next two decades will bring widespread devastation and extreme weather, that addressing climate change requires a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and that, in 2021, the federal government committed to cap and cut emissions from the oil and gas sector to achieve net zero by 2050.
    The petitioners call upon the Government of Canada to move forward immediately with bold emissions caps for the oil and gas sector that are comprehensive in scope and realistic in achieving the necessary targets that Canada has.
    Mr. Speaker, I have presented a lot of petitions in my day. I have never had the Leader of the Opposition or the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman heckle me while doing that. I will just jump straight to the petition.

Ukraine  

    Mr. Speaker, this petition is meant for the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman. This comes—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I will ask the hon. member to rephrase his statement so that we could just talk about the subject of the petition. As members know, the Speaker has made a ruling in this respect, not to make comments about where these have come from.
    Will the hon. member please withdraw his comment?
    Mr. Speaker, I withdraw the comment singling out the member for Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman.
    This petition calls on all members of Parliament. It states that, back in September 2022—
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order with respect to consistency. The member just did again what you asked him to withdraw about a minute before. This was a big deal this week with my colleague from Battle River—Crowfoot.
     Indeed, Mr. Speaker, you made me apologize for doing something similar; you are not being consistent. This has been the accusation all along. You pick your battles, and we lose most of them, Mr. Speaker, while the Liberals are allowed to just keep doing what they are doing. I wish you would be consistent, Mr. Speaker.
    I would like to thank the hon. member for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies for raising this point. Indeed, as the Chair had made clear in a ruling late on Monday, the idea is an apology and a withdrawal. Members are first asked to withdraw a comment, and that opportunity was offered to the member for Battle River—Crowfoot. It went to a second round, involving an apology and a withdrawal. I asked the hon. member for Kingston and the Islands to withdraw the comment, and he did. If he had—
    Some hon. members: And then he did it again.

  (1015)  

    Members will forgive me if I review Hansard to see if that is the case. I was occupied with another issue.
     However, I am glad that the member for Kingston and the Islands withdrew the comment. We do not want disorder in this House. I hope, given the current controversy, that he will stay far away from causing disorder.
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just so there is no ambiguity on this, I apologize and withdraw that comment.
    Now, what I was saying was that this petition specifically calls on all members of Parliament to immediately and swiftly enact Bill C-57, which would put into law the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement. This would assist Ukraine in rebuilding after it defeats the illegal invasion of Vladimir Putin. It actually says in the petition that misinformation regarding the effect of Canada's carbon pricing scheme on this agreement has been widely debunked. The petition states, therefore, that the undersigned citizens of Canada call upon the House of Commons and all parliamentarians to reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Ukraine by swiftly adopting the updated free trade agreement.

Food Security  

    Mr. Speaker, the last petition that I have today comes specifically from members of the Nexus and Bayridge Secondary School community in my riding. The petitioners are calling upon the Minister of Finance; the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development; and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to prioritize a national school food program through budget 2024 for implementation by the fall of 2024.
    As petitioners specifically draw to the attention of the government and the House, Statistics Canada indicates that one in four children in Canada lives in a food-insecure household—
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is heckling me. I am just trying to present this on behalf of my constituents.
    Finally, the petitioners state that school food programs are recognized around the world as essential to the health, well-being and education of students, with over 388 million children in at least 168 countries receiving free and subsidized school meals.
    I really want to thank the community at Bayridge Secondary School in my riding of Kingston and the Islands for—
    The member for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies is rising on a point of order, but he is not in his seat. I will just give him a bit of time to go to his seat.
    Mr. Speaker, a bit of the ruling yesterday was with respect to how long these were taking, and we were told that there are tight rules about how petitions should be presented in this House. We were not to mention members, and it was supposed to be a brief statement, which I had brought to you, Mr. Speaker. Where is the brief statement in this case? Again, we are seeking consistency. I wish you, Mr. Speaker, would be consistent in this case.
    I thank the hon. member for Prince George—Peace River—Northern Rockies. What was also mentioned in that ruling is that, although the Standing Orders have been very clear about terms, if we were to strictly interpret that, it has been the habit of this House through all Chairs and people who have assumed the presidency here to allow a bit of latitude in terms of the length. However, we ask members not to offer opinions as to whether they agree, but just present the points of view of the petitioners to the House.
    The hon. member for Kingston and the Islands.
    Mr. Speaker, in conclusion to that petition, I was just saying that I wanted to thank the incredible school community of Bayridge Secondary School in Kingston for its advocacy on this issue and for using its voice in Parliament.

The Environment  

    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to rise here today on the traditional territories of the Algonquin Anishinabe nation. To them, we say “meegwetch”.
    I am presenting a petition that speaks to an issue that has seized this House in a number of different ways in terms of pending legislation. The petitioners are asking the government to take account of the degradation of Canada's waterways and watersheds. The current laws do not adequately protect Canada's waterways and watersheds from irresponsible industrial practice. The petitioners call on Canada to update our water laws to ensure that no industry or single corporation can take precedence over the health of Canada's waterways and watersheds and, by extension, over the health of the people of Canada and the very species that also rely on the health of these waterways. We must ensure that Canada's water laws are updated under the guidance of professionals and specialists in the field of water conservation.

  (1020)  

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all questions be allowed to stand at this time.
    The Speaker: Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[Translation]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Carbon Tax  

    That, given that the carbon tax has proven to be a tax plan, not an environmental plan, the House call on the Liberal government to cancel the April 1, 2024, carbon tax increase.
    He said: Mr. Speaker, after eight years in office, this Prime Minister is not worth the cost. That is why Canada needs a common-sense government that will axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop crime.

[English]

    After eight years, the Prime Minister is not worth the cost. That is why we need a common-sense Conservative government that will axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime. Today, I rise on the first of those Conservative priorities. I think members across the way are becoming more and more convinced that we might be onto something with this four-point plan to axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime.
    Why do we want to axe the tax? Let me start with yesterday's debate with the Prime Minister.
     I highlighted, once again, the Medeiros family farm. It produces mushrooms for all the city of Ottawa but has been facing tens of thousands of dollars in monthly carbon tax bills alone. Now, the Prime Minister claimed that I told the farm to stand on its own two feet when it was trying to bring natural gas to the farm and that I could not possibly understand what he was referring to because, of course, I helped the farm. I dug up the quote, and I said, in response to high energy prices, that the goal was “to find a commercially viable way that this kind of...project”, natural gas for farms, “can stand on its own two feet, pay for itself and create some jobs”.
    From that moment, I went to Enbridge, which, being a large multinational pipeline company, had been hard for an individual farmer to contact on the phone. I got the executives on the phone. I told them the pipeline was needed to take gas to the mushroom farm in order to generate the steam and the other power that is needed to produce mushrooms. Ultimately, the project got done without any tax dollars and paid for itself, because natural gas is significantly cheaper and less polluting than propane and oil. That is an example of how we can do great things for our farm families without costing Canadian taxpayers money and without creating new federal bureaucracy.
    The Prime Minister's comments do speak to his patronizing view of all Canadians. He believes that Canadians can never stand on their own two feet. In fact, the only reason Canadians are struggling to do so is that he is on their backs. It is like the Canadian people are carrying a backpack, and he comes along and asks: “Can I help you with that? It looks heavy.” He puts the backpack on his shoulders, and then he piggybacks on the Canadian who was carrying it in the first place. Now, they are not only carrying the bag but also carrying him. In this case, the analogy refers to his carbon tax.
    That same family farm, which was thriving through intelligent investments, including in natural gas that he and his radical environment minister want to eliminate, was thriving and employing dozens of people in our community. Now, it is paying carbon taxes of $10,000 to $20,000 per month, an amount the Prime Minister wants to quadruple to 61¢ a litre and place an equivalent charge on natural gas. On April 1, the Prime Minister, with the full support of the NDP, intends to raise the carbon tax by 23%. This is at a time when Canadians cannot afford to eat.
    Moments ago, the Prime Minister had one of his parliamentary secretaries, the member for Kingston and the Islands, get up and say that one in four school children is not able to eat. That is quite an admission by a government that has been in power for eight years. It used it as a justification to create a new federal bureaucracy. The Liberals say that it is a school food program, except there is no food in the program. In fact, it is not even in the schools; it is in Ottawa. In downtown Ottawa, the Liberals propose to create a series of meetings, bureaucracies and organizations that will collect yet more money from the rest of the population in order to talk about creating agreements and frameworks for discussions and consultations about an eventual program that supposedly will feed the one in four kids who is hungry because the government is taxing their food. Why not skip all those steps and just stop taxing the food?

  (1025)  

    Like everything the Prime Minister does, he doubles housing costs, and then he says we need a new government housing program. He doubles the number of shootings in Canada with his catch-and-release policies, and then he says we need new government programs to combat the gun violence the government unleashed with its Criminal Code changes. He causes these problems, and then the problems he causes are a pretext for him to have more power and more money. We all know that the Prime Minister is not the solution. He is the problem. The last thing we need is to take more money from our working-class families, our farmers and our seniors and to put it in his hands.
    We stand in the House of Commons as the only party that opposes the carbon tax hike. The NDP has betrayed working-class people in places like Vancouver Island, northern British Columbia and northern Ontario where its constituents rely on pickup trucks, where the rural people and the farmers use energy to power their combines, their tractors, their farm drying equipment and their barns. The NDP raises taxes on all those people. The NDP wants to shut down Canada's resource sector. Just the other day, the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie cheered at the prospect of shutting down the entire natural gas economy, which would devastate the people in the NDP riding of Skeena—Bulkley Valley.
    What we have is a radical agenda by the Prime Minister and his NDP allies, coalition partners, to quadruple the carbon tax to 61¢ a litre, all while shutting down our resource sector so that we can import from dirty dictatorships.
    What we have from the Prime Minister is a pro-Russia energy policy that shuts down our energy industry to give more and more business to power Putin's war machine. All of that is supported by the NDP.
    These facts build a firm and final case that only common-sense Conservatives stand on the side of working-class people, who need their pickup trucks to do their jobs and to build the country; seniors, who need to heat their homes in Edmonton in -50°C weather; single mothers, who are putting water in their children's milk because the cost of produce has risen under the Liberal-NDP carbon tax; children, one in four of whom, by the government's own admission today, are going hungry in our schools. This is the misery that Canadians are living after eight years of the Prime Minister.
    The definition of insanity is when one does the same thing over and over again and expects a different result. Raising taxes and shutting down industries has sent two million people to the food bank. It has doubled housing costs. It has led to homeless encampments that we never had before in cities across this country. There are 30 homeless encampments in Halifax alone. There is the re-emergence of illnesses that were long ago banished, like scurvy, because people have become malnourished under the Prime Minister's impoverishing policies.
    We, as common-sense Conservatives, will undo this damage. We will axe the tax to lower the cost of gas, heat and groceries so that our seniors can heat their homes, and our families can feed their kids. Our farmers can, once again, repatriate production of food to this country and can use the best environmental stewardship on planet earth. Our energy and resource companies can harvest the cornucopia of bounty that our country has beneath its feet and can use those resources to lift the world out of poverty in the most environmentally friendly way that could possibly be imagined.
    We are the best. Our workers are the best. Our inventors are the best. Our businesses are the best. If we could get the government out of the way, then we could have the best. We will have that, and we will do it not by big powerful government dictating from on high, but we will do it by the great Canadian people standing on their own two feet and by the common sense of the common people united for our common home: their home, my home, our home. Let us bring it home.

  (1030)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives make it sound like using tax policies to fight climate change is never a good idea.
    We disagree with some of the measures the Liberals have in place because we think they are unnecessary. I am talking about measures like the tax credit for carbon capture, utilization and storage, the clean tech tax credit and the hydrogen tax credit. I would like the member for Carleton to tell us about his vision for these tax credits.
     Do they actually work, or does using tax policy to fight climate change only work when the money does not end up lining the pockets of oil companies?
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, we are not lining any industry's pockets. Furthermore, our energy industry is capable of increasing its own revenues in a free market. It is the barriers put in place by the Liberal government that prevent these companies from doing business properly. It is not that we do not want to subsidize anything. Rather, we want to allow free enterprise.
     When it comes to green energy, we have to green-light green projects. We have to green-light hydroelectric dams in Quebec, not tie them up for years, as the federal government wants to do with the Bloc Québécois's support. We are the ones who want to allow lithium, cobalt and graphite mines to open quickly, within 18 months instead of 18 years, so we can produce electric batteries here in Canada. We are the ones who want to allow nuclear energy that will provide zero-emission electricity. We are going to green-light green projects.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, last week the Leader of the Opposition referred to two Quebec mayors as being incompetent. I wonder whether he has had an opportunity to reflect on that and whether he still feels that way, or whether he would like to apologize for having called two mayors in Quebec incompetent.
    Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely false. I referred to far more than two mayors as being incompetent. The former mayor of Vancouver, who made it $1.3 million in government costs for every newly built home, is incompetent. The current mayor and council in Toronto, bringing in a 10% tax increase on their people, are absolutely incompetent.
    There are many competent mayors across the country: in Victoriaville, in Saguenay, in Trois-Rivières and in other places. The former mayor of Langley was very competent. They got out of the way and accelerated construction.
    Conservatives believe that we should reward those mayors and councils that get out of the way and let builders build. Let us incentivize local municipalities to speed up and lower the cost of construction so that we can put roofs overhead after the Prime Minister doubled housing costs.
    Mr. Speaker, Canadians have been witnessing flooding, extreme weather and droughts, and experts have been clear that what is raising costs on food is far more the climate crisis than carbon pricing.
    Over a decade ago, when the Leader of the Opposition was a minister, the Harper government cut the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, which collected information on the costs of the climate crisis. He says he wants to cut taxes, but we know he wants to cut child care and the school food programs. He wants to cut the experts who would—

  (1035)  

    The hon. member for Winnipeg Centre is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, I know it is really hard for the Conservative men to control their toxic masculinity. They do support “men gotta go their own way”. My colleague is trying to ask a question, and—
    I am going to ask all members to please allow questions to be asked and comments to be made without interruption so we can hear.
    The hon. member for Victoria.
    Mr. Speaker, he says he wants to cut taxes, but what we know is he wants to cut child care. He wants to cut school food programs, and he wants to cut the experts who will refute his misinformation.
    Mr. Speaker, first of all, let us go through this point by point. She says that natural disasters would be stopped by a carbon tax. The carbon tax has now been in place for five years, and, as she points out, these events continue to happen. Clearly the carbon tax is not solving the problem; in fact, it has not even reduced emissions. The government has missed its own targets in all but one year, and that was when we were locked down for COVID. Its own environment commissioner says the government will not hit its targets by 2030.
    Second, she just revealed what she wants to spend money on: a national round table of a bunch of activists, lobbyists and bureaucrats in Ottawa. She refers to a food program she claims I want to cut; there is no food program. What the government has is a program to bring a bunch of bureaucrats and activists to Ottawa to talk about food. This is exactly the kind of waste and mismanagement we will get rid of so we can bring home affordable food.
    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to follow up on our leader's speech about our opposition day motion today, which is calling on the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc Québécois to support common sense.
    After eight years of the Prime Minister and the NDP-Liberal coalition, Canadians by the millions are getting increasingly frustrated at the out-of-control tax increases under the Prime Minister. Let me give an example: $27,571.29 on an invoice from Rutters Elevators. I was speaking to Michael Aube in Chesterville yesterday and again this morning. That is the carbon tax bill, the line on the bill, for drying at their elevator for one farm in Chesterville, Ontario, last year.
    Canadians believe that this is getting absurd. The worst is yet to come. On April 1, the carbon tax is going to increase by 23%, and the Prime Minister and the NDP, coalition partners together, are going to quadruple the carbon tax in the coming years. This means Canadians are dumbfounded at the fact that the Prime Minister, the finance minister and their government believe that putting a $100,000 carbon tax bill for one farm alone is not going to increase the cost of food and inflation in this country. Nobody believes it. Again, just this week, the finance minister and Deputy Prime Minister went out and said that the carbon tax is revenue-neutral. It is no wonder we cannot balance the budget in this country under their watch. They cannot do basic math and economics to understand that.
    The Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed the impact the tax is going to have on farmers; $1 billion in carbon taxes is coming under the current plan and the continued carbon tax increases to farmers in the coming years. Nobody believes that one can add a billion dollars in taxes to the bills of Canadian farmers and not expect food prices, the cost of living and the cost of doing business in this country to go up. That does not even include the carbon tax on trucking.
    In my family, I am proud of my father, Ed, now happily retired from JED Express in South Mountain, Ontario. We were in the trucking business for years. One cannot put 61¢ a litre on the price of gas in the transportation business and not have it drive up the cost of food and of everything that Canadians buy. Everything has to be shipped and trucked in this country, driving up the cost. Canadians are tired and have had enough of these tax increases.
    We have our common-sense Conservative motion here today that builds on our four priorities: axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime. That is resonating because it is what Conservative members heard in every part of the country once again over the Christmas recess and holidays, out and about in our community.
    Let us talk about being out of touch. I want people to picture this for a second if they can. We went home to our ridings, to Christmas open houses and to public events, and we were dropping by. I want people to picture a Liberal MP and just how out of touch they are. Apparently they went home and went to the local Tim Hortons coffee shop to grab a coffee and shoot the breeze with people in Avalon, rural Newfoundland. They came back to Ottawa and, after weeks of feedback, the Prime Minister had a great idea this week.
    They said they heard the message about the carbon tax loud and clear: People do not like the name of it. The Liberals' idea, after going back and hearing from Canadians, apparently, was that it was not the fact that the carbon tax was going to quadruple. It was not the fact that it is driving up costs, and it was not the fact that we are adding a billion dollars in taxes to Canadian farmers in the coming years. It was the fact that maybe Canadians just do not like the name of the carbon tax. The Liberals are out of touch.
    On this side of the aisle, the motion is clear. On April 1 the carbon tax is going to increase by 23% as part of the plan to quadruple it from its current rate. If Canadians think it is bad now, just wait until, year after year, it gets to the totals in their plans. They may not even be done after that.

  (1040)  

    There is no part of this country that is not impacted negatively by the failed carbon tax, and it has been a failure. Emissions are not going down; they are going up. The cost of living and the cost of doing business are skyrocketing at rates like we have never seen before.
    I want to point out a couple of things in this country. Just this week, CTV News had an article headline that said, “40 per cent of N.S. households struggle to pay their electricity bill”. The Liberals still plan to quadruple the carbon tax and drive bills up even further.
    The part of the country I would like to highlight today are the good people in northern Ontario, who, for years, have overwhelmingly elected Liberal and NDP MPs to go to Ottawa. They are now seeing week by week, month by month, and budget by budget, just how out of touch their Liberal and NDP MPs have been.
    It was very interesting here, and I want to call out the hypocrisy particularly of the NDP members. They always talk a big, tough game. They yell and do all their things, whether it be at committee or in question period, and they always claim they have these great ideas. They vote and do all these things that make it look like they are fighting on behalf of folks, particularly in northern Ontario. At the end of the day, when the budget comes, the NDP are just as complicit as the Liberals in driving up the carbon tax.
    On hypocrisy, I have to call out the member for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing, an NDP MP who goes on record about the carbon tax and says, “I think it's a black eye for the Liberals for what they have done.” Excuse me to the NDP members, but they have voted with the Liberals every single time, and they are going to quadruple it. The only reason Canadians do not have a choice right now is that the NDP keeps propping the Liberals up time and time again.
    I think what is important here is that the NDP members say one thing back in their ridings, but then they come to Ottawa and vote a completely different way. What we say is that rent is up, gas is up, the carbon tax is up, housing costs are up, and for the NDP, time is up. Canadians, particularly in northern Ontario, are not buying it anymore.
    One of my favourite parts is the NDP member for Timmins—James Bay, who gets triggered. I am glad he is here this morning. I am glad that at the—

  (1045)  

    We cannot refer to whether someone is here or not. I think the hon. member knows that.
    The hon. member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry.
    Mr. Speaker, what I can say is that when I visited Timmins last year, and when our Conservative leader has visited Timmins time and time again, the constituents said they never see or hear from their NDP MP. They say just how out of touch the NDP has become. It has sold out working families, particularly in northern Ontario, in Timmins—James Bay, and continues to prop up the Liberal government.
    It was just in the news last week, in The Daily Press, up in Timmins. The airport manager of the Victor M. Power Airport said he has a serious concern about the rising cost of living in this country. I am going to quote him. He said:
    We’re burning hundreds and hundreds of litres of fuel and that price is going to go up a huge amount. That cost gets passed onto the traveling public right out of Timmins. So my budget is going to go through the roof in the next couple of years.
    My focus is running the business of the airport. I need to do something to make sure...people can afford to fly, and not have [to pay] $800 seats to [go to] Toronto.
    That is because carbon taxes are driving up the cost of living in northern Ontario. It gets cold in northern Ontario. To heat their homes, people need to have heat. They should not be penalized for doing that.
    They have to drive. If they are going from Timmins to Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, North Bay, Kapuskasing, Hearst or any point in between, there is no subway. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance just hops on the subway. I have been up there a few times in northern Ontario. I found a Subway restaurant, but I have not found the subway that she suggests people in northern Ontario can just use.
    The motion we have is clear. Our position, as Canadian Conservatives, is clear as well. We will axe the tax entirely, on everything, for good. The Prime Minister is playing games with Bill C-234 and giving an exemption or carve-out to farmers to save $1 billion. They will not go for that. They are playing games in the Senate and now here in the House. They now have the opportunity to go on the record. They do not have to increase the carbon tax again on April 1.
    It is time to cancel the increase and give Canadians some much-needed relief after eight years of the Prime Minister and his NDP partners.
    Mr. Speaker, Conservatives, and that member in particular, want to talk a lot about the price on pollution but do not want to talk about the other things the government is doing, in particular for the agriculture sector.
    There is one riding in Ontario that receives $6.8 million through the agriculture sector emissions reductions and clean-tech funding. This is money that is actually given to the agricultural sector to help it reduce its emissions and find clean technology.
    Do members know whose riding receives $6.8 million a year from the federal government for that? It is that member's riding. That member's riding receives $6.8 million of federal money to help the agricultural industry move away from emissions and in the direction of clean tech.
    I am wondering, in the interest of axing everything, whether the member would comment on whether the Conservative government would axe this clean-tech funding and this $6.8 million to his riding.
    Mr. Speaker, the member for Kingston and the Islands talks about six-point-some million dollars. I just went through and told him that the millions of dollars in carbon tax that is being paid by farmers is going to be quadrupled in the coming years. They are getting tax increases like they have never seen before.
    A billion dollars is what Canadian farmers are going to pay in the coming years. The arrogance of the Liberal government, and that Liberal member in particular, says that the government knows best. It is driving up their taxes and giving it back. We have a common-sense solution. It is to get green technology red tape out of the way, like on tidal energy in New Brunswick. There are numerous hydroelectric projects in Quebec that are being stalled because of federal red tape. The Liberals' answer is to tax them, jack up their taxes and carbon tax, and try to cut a cheque for some of it back. The provinces do not believe it. It has failed, and it is not working.
    I encourage the member to come and visit a farmer in Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry; he would get an earful about the Liberal record on everything.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to preface my question with how disappointed I am in the member opposite. The member speaks about being out of touch, while we see, in my home province of Alberta, children and trans kids being attacked. That member has the power and should have the courage to stand in this place and condemn that violence.
    Will the member now, as I give him the opportunity, stand to protect trans rights in this country and stand against Conservative premiers who, as we speak, are attacking children's rights? Will he have the courage to do it now?

  (1050)  

    Mr. Speaker, that does not have anything to do with the motion and the debate here at hand on the carbon tax, but I will say, as a proud gay man, that he should not question my integrity or my commitment on anything. I have been proud, as an example, to stand up to end the discriminatory blood ban that the NDP and Liberals propped up for far too long. I will not take any lessons from him trying to lecture me about anything.
    Back to the matter at hand, talking about out of touch and talking about aloof, we have that member from Edmonton. Temperatures in Edmonton reached -50°C or -45°C only about a week or two ago, and that member does not like the inconvenience of it. He is going to have to go doorknocking in the next election and explain to people in Edmonton why he wants to quadruple the carbon tax and their home heating bill when temperatures hit -45°C.
    The reason people are using food banks, the reason people are struggling, the reason housing costs and the economy are out of control is the constant tax increases that the member keeps voting for. I know he does not like talking about it, but it is about time he smartened up and did.
    Mr. Speaker, last week a dairy farmer in my riding called me. He was calling in reference to one of these federal government grants, and he said that it is almost as if the government is forcing him to spend money on something. He said that what the Liberal government does not seem to understand is that he wants to lower his input costs and make his barn as efficient as possible, but he does not want to be cajoled into a single program by a bureaucrat in Ottawa about what he should be doing with his business and his family farm.
    Maybe the member from Ontario can comment on what a Conservative approach would be to letting farmers produce the food we need and not letting government get in the way all the time.
    Mr. Speaker, I agree wholeheartedly. I hear the same thing from farmers. I mentioned before about the elevators, about Rutters Elevators in Chesterville. I talked to Mike Aube about the carbon tax bill and the massive increases they are seeing there. Mike was telling me that they want to build greenhouses and expand their operations, but whenever they see their bills go up by the hundreds and thousands of dollars and look at their overall cash flow, it creates a serious problem. The increases they are forced to pass on to everybody else do not allow new projects for Canadian-grown food to be expanded. Chesterville is a perfect example.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Lac-Saint-Louis.
    Here we are once again, talking about the same motion based on the same red herrings we have seen time and time again coming from the Conservatives. I listened to the question from the member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon just moments ago, where he tried to imply that the federal funding toward the reduction of emissions and toward clean technology was only one particular program. It is clear the member has no concept whatsoever of what the federal government is doing for farmers, in that there are so many programs.
    When I said $6.8 million, I was giving the total number over a whole vast array of various different programs. It is not a single program, but it is not new and not unique to me to hear Conservatives talking like this. It is what they want to do repeatedly. They want to take an issue like global inflation and try to apply it to Canada and say that it is a problem only in Canada. They say that this is a problem that has been created by the price on pollution, which is ludicrous.
    We know, according to the Governor of the Bank of Canada, that the price on pollution contributes to 0.15% as it relates to inflation. It is literally negligible and could be chalked up to a rounding error, yet Conservatives jump on it as though this is what is making life unaffordable for many Canadians right now. They do not want to talk about the realities. They do not want to talk about what is actually going on throughout the world and how Canada is positioning itself to be at the forefront when it comes to these new technologies.
    I heard the Leader of the Opposition talk about building car batteries in Canada. Is he not aware that the member for Hastings—Lennox and Addington, one of his Conservative members, had the largest investment, not in Canada but in North America, for building batteries to go into vehicles? That is all happening a 20-kilometre drive from where I live, in Hastings—Lennox and Addington. This is setting the course for the future in terms of the industry being at the forefront, so that we will not be importing technology and so that we will be the ones actually creating the technology and developing those products right here in Canada. That particular facility, Umicore, will produce 800,000 batteries to go into vehicles each and every year. It is a multi-billion dollar investment from Umicore, not just into Canada but into Ontario, into Hastings—Lennox and Addington, into the Kingston region.
    This is huge, but it is only one example. We are well aware of Stellantis and the other various different players emerging in Canada as it relates to environmental technologies and the green technologies of tomorrow. People look toward Canada. Companies and businesses look toward Canada because they know we have the resources and the political will to push toward this new and emerging technology. This is why we are seeing people come and invest here.
    While I am on the topic, do members know why Umicore even picked Ontario? The president of Umicore said, in his press conference, and the member for Hastings—Lennox and Addington was there with a big smile on her face when it happened at Queen's University two summers ago, that Umicore chose Ontario because it is producing environmentally sustainable products and it wants to know that what goes into those products is environmentally sustainable. A vast majority of the resources that go into building those batteries comes from electricity, and he recognized that Ontario does not burn coal to produce electricity. That is thanks to a previous provincial Liberal government, by the way. He recognized that Ontario has taken great strides toward ensuring that we have renewable, sustainable electricity produced in a responsible way. That is why companies are choosing to invest in Canada. That is why they are choosing Ontario. That is why they are choosing Hastings—Lennox and Addington.
    The mayors in the surrounding area, including in Kingston, are thrilled about this. The city councils are thrilled about this. The economic opportunities that are being produced as a result of investments like this, because of the initiatives of the Liberal government, will last for generations, quite frankly.

  (1055)  

    I get real kick out of it when I see Conservative members being super excited about these things when they are back in there ridings, but when they come to the House of Commons, they toe the line of the Leader of the Opposition, that the only solution forward is to go back to burning as much fossil fuel as we possibly can.
    When we talk about the price on pollution and what Conservatives are proposing today, it is really important that we actually talk about what they are proposing. They talk about axing a lot of stuff. What they are going to be axing are rebates to families. It might not be the families that they are interested in, because lower-income families receive more through the climate action incentive rebate than higher-income families. However, the reality is that what Conservatives would be axing, is a family of four, in the spring of this year, will receive $244 for one quarter; in Manitoba, $264; in Saskatchewan, $340. The same family living in Alberta, for one quarter, would receive, and currently receives, $386.
    We hear the Conservatives routinely say that we are going to double it or triple the tax, but of course they do not tell us the timeline, because some of the timelines are a decade out. However, what they forget to say is that the rebate doubles and triples as well. We recognize that in order to transition away from fossil fuels, which I want to do, and I know many members of the House of Commons, the Canadian population and a majority of our constituents want to do, we have to incentivize people to make change.
     In an economic model that is built on capitalism, that is built on supply and demand, the way to incentivize people is by putting a price on things on which we want to change behaviour. We would think that the Conservatives before anybody else would know this. The same thing happens with taxes on tobacco. The same thing happens with taxes on other products where we are looking to change behaviour. However, the key difference to any other tax, and what the Conservatives never want to mention, is that in order to accomplish this, but still be reasonable for families to absorb those prices, is to return all the money to them.
     The natural question is, “Why do it in the first place?” I just assumed that Conservatives could understand how market mechanisms work to incentivize and change behaviour in the market. Apparently they do not.
    The good news is that we know that it is working, and we are starting to see it. The projections are showing that by 2030 over a third of the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions will be attributed specifically to pricing pollution.
     We are not the only ones that price pollution. Countless jurisdictions throughout the world price pollution. Ukraine prices pollution. Ukraine, a country that is literally at war right now, prices pollution, and it has since 2011. It was the only way that the European economy was going to let it participate in the economy. Most, if not all, European economies have a price on pollution in one form or another, whether that is a direct price, or cap and trade or one of the various different models.
    The Conservatives never miss an opportunity to try to conflate and confuse Canadians as to what the realities are when it comes to the price on pollution and how it works, generally speaking.
     Once again, we find ourselves in a position where the Conservatives have brought forward motion after motion on the same issue, not just the issue of pricing pollution and the fact that they are against it but on an issue that they ran on in the last election. All Conservative members in here, whether they say they agree with it or not, ran under a policy that included pricing pollution. Now they have such buyers' remorse over their last leader that they have used just about every opposition day in this session of Parliament on this issue.
    I am looking forward to answering questions that my colleagues might have. I am quite certain that this is not the last time the Conservatives will bring forward this motion, but it is certainly a policy that will be to the benefit of our environment in the future.

  (1100)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is my first opportunity to rise today to explain the many reasons why the Green Party will be voting against today's opposition motion, but I would like to ask my friend from Kingston and the Islands to comment on this. We had an earlier exchange about whether enforcing the carbon tax or raising the carbon tax could stop fires and floods. The answer from science is clear that it cannot.
    We cannot turn back what has happened to the atmosphere with respect to atmospheric chemistry and physics, but we can avoid runaway global warming, the kind that self-accelerates and becomes unstoppable. We must not stoke the furnace further on future warming to destroy the lives of our children, which is why we need carbon pricing, and we need more to reduce emissions much more quickly.
    Does my my hon. colleague have any comments on that?
    Mr. Speaker, I certainly agree with my colleague from the Green Party on this. The reality is that this false narrative or red herring reminds me a lot of the one that we hear quite often from Conservatives about Canada's fossil fuels being the cleanest in the world, as though that is some reason why we should not seek to do better. Rather than doing something about a problem, their solution is to exploit our resources because they are slightly more cleaner than other jurisdictions.
    We know that what it really comes down to is that Canada is a leader. We are a G7 country. We benefited from the industrial revolution immensely. It is to the benefit of every citizen in our country, like all our other G7 partners. We have an obligation to the world to be at the forefront, to lead the charge in terms of changing our environmental practices throughout the globe.
    This idea that we can somehow dismiss the issue away because we are a bit better than some other countries is a huge red herring. It is what we hear time and time again from Conservatives and it is getting pretty stale.

  (1105)  

    Mr. Speaker, in December, the Atlantic caucus of the Liberal Party came together with the Prime Minister to make an announcement on heat pumps. It just so happened that the announcement was taking place at the same time as the carbon price was about to go up. For all the rhetoric we are hearing from the member from Kingston today, when push came to shove, when the government was faced with a price increase that people in Atlantic Canada could not afford to stomach, it backed down.
    Does the member think it is okay for Canadians to pay more in carbon taxes than heating like natural gas, which is very commonly found on bills in Canada today?
    Mr. Speaker, eight out of 10 Canadians get back more than they put in. Yes, some Canadians who have very large homes and multiple vehicles probably end up spending more than they get back. In particular, individuals who are on the lower end of the economic spectrum are certainly getting much more back than they are paying.
    I find it really interesting that he accuses me of all this rhetoric. Conservatives continually miss the point of explaining to Canadians that they are going to get back more than they are paying. They would rather seek an opportunity to capitalize from a political narrative that suits them right now because it will benefit them politically. However, it will do nothing for the environment and nothing for our country.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I wish we had started the year the same way you did, with a new look and new priorities. I wish the Conservatives would do the same and let us move on to something other than the carbon tax. That said, it is the topic of the day, and we will respect that.
     In his speech, my colleague said something about the energy transition that I find very interesting. He talked about the Stellantis investments and the spin-offs for Ontario.
     Not only is the government spending billions of dollars to shift one of Quebec's flagship economic sectors, transport electrification, to Ontario, but it is doing so by trying to one-up the U.S. with investments and subsidies. That is what it is doing instead of developing the industry from the mine up and building up the entire supply chain for our mines, our regions. The government should be thinking about how it can ensure that economic development and a green economy are created at each stage. If it had done that, it could have saved money and jump-started a sustainable energy transition.
     Right now, the government is subsidizing the top without building the base, and it is buying Chinese lithium. This is the result. What are this government's priorities when it comes to transport electrification? Electrification is the way to avoid the carbon tax.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the priority is to build in Canada. I spent five minutes of my 10-minute speech talking about Umicore, a multi-billion dollar plant that is being built right outside my riding, in the Conservative member's riding of Hastings—Lennox and Addington. It will build 800,000 car batteries per year.
    There is also a lot of rhetoric. I got a kick out of the member for Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon when, in the previous question, he talked about Atlantic Canada, again trying to pigeonhole this as though it is something just about Atlantic Canada. Twice as many people in Ontario will benefit from the three-year cap on heating with oil than in Atlantic Canada. Does that change the narrative of the Conservatives? No, of course not, because it does not suit them right now. It would be better to make it seem as though there was some big deal that contributed to that announcement.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, before I begin my speech, I would like to point out that I believe there is an error in the wording of the motion. The motion calls on the Liberal government to cancel the April 1, 2024, carbon tax increase.
     However, there is no carbon tax. It is actually a price on pollution. I believe that both the House and Canadians are being misled on this issue.
     Why is it not a tax? For it to be a tax, the government would have to put the money into its coffers with a view to spending it on programs or investing it in the future of Canadians.
     That is not what the price on pollution does. With the price on pollution, the government is only an intermediary, because the proceeds are returned to Canadians. It is a price mechanism, something that the Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman endorsed as an economic measure for fighting pollution.
     How does this mechanism work in terms of carbon pricing? It is very interesting. It involves a little bit of magic. When a consumer goes to spend money and sees that the price is perhaps a little higher, they are not thinking about the quarterly deposit they will receive from the Government of Canada in their chequing account as compensation. They just look at the price and decide that, since it is a bit more expensive, they will consume a little less. That saves them money in the short term, and then, on January 1, April 1 and so forth, they realize that money has been deposited in their bank account.
     They will feel doubly lucky, because they saved money at the pump and also got money from the government. That is how carbon pricing works, and it is the key to its effectiveness as a measure for fighting pollution, especially greenhouse gas emissions.

  (1110)  

[English]

    What is very frustrating about this debate, in addition to the fact that it is the same debate over and over again based on a very symbolic and superficial understanding of what the price on pollution is, are these flimsy conclusions that the official opposition wishes to draw about the impact of the price on pollution on inflation and, more specifically, on food prices. However, rigorous academic study after rigorous academic study has pointed to the fact that the impact of the price on pollution on food prices is extremely small.
    Now, we know that the official opposition has no respect for the Bank of Canada and that it would like to take the Bank of Canada under its wing and dictate monetary policy, but it is an incredibly credible institution filled with some of the best economists in this country. What does the Bank of Canada say about the supposed link between the price on carbon and inflation? It says that the price on carbon contributes about 0.15 % to inflation overall.
    The University of Calgary, is not, I might add for anyone who does not follow schools of thought and academic life in this country, what I would call a hotbed of socialism. What did the University of Calgary say about the supposed link between the price on carbon and food inflation? University of Calgary economist Trevor Tombe estimates that the price on carbon I will call it, because I do not want to mislead people as it is not a tax, is responsible for less than 1% of grocery price increases. How did Professor Tombe come to that conclusion? Did he just pull a number out of the air the way the official opposition likes to do? No. He used a Statistics Canada modelling program. Again, we have some of the country's greatest econometric experts working at Statistics Canada, like we do at the Bank of Canada. I do not know if the official opposition members are calling into question the integrity and expertise of Statistics Canada, maybe they are, but I would say that the Statistics Canada modelling program is a credible instrument and that is what Professor Tombe was using.
    He goes on to say that in Alberta, because this is very much focused in many ways on Alberta and the oil industry, the price on carbon has increased prices by about 0.3%, which is 30¢ on a $100 bill, in Manitoba it is 0.9% and in Ontario it is 0.4%. These are credible, rigorous academic studies. However, we do not get any of that from the official opposition; rather, we get this kind of false logic, like the shin bone is attached to the knee bone and the knee bone is attached to the thigh bone, etc. It starts with the idea that there is a price on carbon, which means it is going to cost more to drive a truck, or this and that, and eventually it is going to show up on the shelves. The fact of the matter is that is not real logic founded on a rigorous analysis.
    The other point I would like to make is that the price of food has gone up. However, according to credible news media like CTV News, and an article posted on its website, there are a number of factors that are contributing to the high price of food.
    The first is climate change. Devastating wildfires continue to rage across Canada, destroying forests and farmland. Let us use a bit of simplistic logic that maybe the official opposition can understand. If farmland is destroyed, what happens to the supply of food? It goes down. The Leader of the Opposition thinks of himself as a wonderful and great economist, but what happens when the supply of food goes down and the demand stays the same? What happens to the price? It goes up. That is the number one cause of rising food prices. It is basic logic.
    The really interesting thing is that greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector are not regulated. There is no price on carbon on greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector. As a matter of fact, a lot of people have been writing to me saying that we have to price greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural lands, but we have not done that.
    What is another aspect that is causing challenges to the supply of food? Can members guess what Ukraine has been called? It has been called the breadbasket of Europe. I think it is going through some tough times, which may be limiting the supply of wheat from that part of the world. Again, if we constrain supply in the face of a demand that is stable or even increasing, we get higher prices.
     I do not know why the leader of the official opposition does not click into that. It is basic economics 101. Therefore, we have to look at these other causes. The price on carbon is not the cause of all the woes around the world and we have to stop saying that.
    What the members of the official opposition like to do, over and again, through these opposition day motions is build straw men, which they then demolish on social media while pretending to be heroes. That is all this is about. It is all about social media hits.

  (1115)  

    Mr. Speaker, it is always a pleasure to rise on behalf of the people of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo.
    Before I begin, I want to recognize the life of a very significant individual in my riding, Bob Gieselman, who passed away recently. Bob devoted a lot to the people of Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo and around in service to the community. My condolences to his family. May perpetual light shine upon him.
    My hon. colleague said that we are having the same debate and that it is superficial and symbolic. What is not superficial and symbolic are the people who are writing me letters saying that they have to choose between heating and eating or that they cannot afford a $6 bag of lettuce. What are we supposed to be doing here if not talking about the issue of Canadian affordability?
     I really take issue with the Liberals framing this as if there is nothing to see here. There is something to see here, which is that people cannot afford to live in Canada. The Liberals should be ashamed for ignoring that.

  (1120)  

    Mr. Speaker, my condolences to the hon. member on the loss of his constituent. I am glad that he took the opportunity to mention that. I am sure the constituent's family will appreciate that deeply.
    The member was just not listening. We do not deny that the price of food is high. We are just reminding the member and his party that it is not because of the price on carbon. There is a war in Ukraine. There are wildfires and floods that are destroying farmland in Canada. These are the factors that are driving the price of food. Fortunately, food inflation is coming down to match general inflation. That is a good sign, but let us hope that continues.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, it is funny that we are talking about the carbon tax today, because just this morning, the Parliamentary Budget Officer released the costing of the tax credit for carbon capture, utilization and storage.
     How much will this measure cost over the next five years? It will cost approximately $5.5 billion.
     I would like to know if my colleague agrees with me that it would be a far better idea to invest this money in true green energy than to try to convince us that oil can be environmentally friendly.
    Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, I have not seen the report my colleague is talking about.
    The Liberal government is obviously not trying to eliminate fossil fuels. We are going to have to live with that for a while yet.
    Yes, there are clean energy sources. The member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry was talking about green tidal energy. We have to invest, and the government is investing. There are technologies that are still in development, like what my colleague from Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry was talking about.
    The Bay of Fundy project did not fail because of federal government regulations. The problem is that it is very hard to reap the benefits of that kind of technology at this point in time. There are limits, but we have to keep investing. Unfortunately, we have to deal with fossil fuels for a while yet.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I have great respect for my hon. colleague, but I was a little frustrated this morning because in trying to use logic on a party leader who bases everything on a bumper sticker slogan, my colleague is wasting his efforts.
    The issue at hand here is that the Leader of the Opposition is accusing the Liberals of not having an environmental plan, which I might agree with on most days, but there is no Conservative environmental plan other than letting the planet burn. What are the Conservatives willing to throw under the bus to let the planet burn right now in Alberta? Not a single member of the Alberta or Saskatchewan MPs have stood up about the climate disaster that is unfolding. Thirteen counties have declared environmental disasters from the drought. This is four years into a drought. There is no snow in Edmonton. The climate crisis and a burning planet are affecting farmers and not a single one of them would ever stand up and defend farmers from climate change. They would rather throw them under the bus so that Rich Kruger and Suncor can make more money. That is the Conservatives' environmental plan.
    Mr. Speaker, the member is totally correct. There was an article on the CBC website last night about how Alberta farmers are very worried about the loss of groundwater. Therefore, at some point, the Alberta farmers are going to go to see the Alberta government and say, “Look, we have a problem here. We know that the oil industry is important in our province, but think of us for a change.”

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the incomparable member for Mirabel.
     Today I would like to address a serious problem. Canadians are being legally robbed of their savings as they struggle to make ends meet, pay all their bills and find housing. This legalized robbery in the context of the soaring cost of living and the affordability crisis involves the price of energy, the main cause of inflation.
     We have to face the fact that carbon use is expensive. While exhausted and financially strapped Canadians are paying high prices, an elite group out of touch with the people is reaping the benefits and enjoying a privileged life. As citizens struggle to make ends meet, the oil and gas sector is making record profits. In 2020, 2021 and 2022, they raked in several billion dollars in profits, half of it in 2022 alone. Profits for 2022 are estimated at $270 billion. We should think about what this figure means.
     These $270 billion went into the pockets of major companies, 70% of whose shareholders are foreign. Of course, these companies need the oil monarchy in Ottawa to provide them with lavish guarantees and hefty direct and indirect subsidies, which they could easily do without.
     Of course, the Conservatives do not talk about this, since they have an incestuous relationship with the oil companies, which are awash in profits. Despite their rhetoric of common sense, the Conservatives, who have no plan to end our dependence on fossil fuels, prefer to blather on for the umpteenth time about the carbon tax, which does not apply in Quebec.
     Let us be serious for a moment. If we want to talk about the real problem, we can talk about the six tax credits, worth a total of $83 billion by 2025, granted in the last two Liberal-NDP government budgets. In particular, two of these tax credits stand out. First, there is the clean technology investment tax credit, which, despite its name, will encourage increased bitumen extraction and gas exports. Then there is the carbon capture, utilization and storage investment tax credit, which helps oil companies pump out every last drop of oil by supporting an experimental technique that shows all the signs of being a greenwashing scheme.
    This is not to mention the fact that the federal government nationalized the Trans Mountain pipeline, whose expansion will cost $30.9 billion, most of which will be paid for by taxpayers. This is nothing new. According to a report by Equiterre, in April 2019, Finance Canada and Environment Canada failed to keep their promise to cancel subsidies for fossil energies. According to Equiterre, they gave the oil companies $1.6 billion. In November 2018, the same group estimated that, between 2012 and 2017, Export Development Canada gave 12 times more money to fossil fuels than to clean energies.
     Some people believe that Equiterre is an environmental group. Let us see what the International Monetary Fund has to say. In 2019, the IMF estimated that direct subsidies and indirect support to fossil fuels in Canada amounted to $54 billion in 2017. The problem is clear. It should jump out at anyone who has eyes to see.
     While our fellow citizens are suffering from rampant inflation, wealthy oil and gas companies are benefiting, with the aid of the Liberals and Conservatives. All this is happening while scientists are saying that, if we want to be serious about it, if we want to be responsible, we should be leaving 80% of our oil underground. Moreover, more than 95% of Canadian oil comes from the tar sands, one of the most polluting oils on earth.
     Climate change, which the Conservatives never speak of, is costing everyone. In 2025, it could cost Canada's and Quebec's economies $25 billion. In addition to being unfair and ecocidal, Canada's “everything for oil” religion is not even a good economic choice. It hampers the diversification of the Canadian economy. The exploitation of natural resources is closely linked to the decline in the manufacturing sector. Members might remember that there were hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in Quebec, jobs related to the increase in the value of the Canadian dollar, which was itself linked to the increase in bitumen exports.
     The question that arises is, how can we ease the financial burden on our fellow citizens?

  (1125)  

     Of course, we can listen to the Conservatives propose eliminating the so-called carbon tax in a motion that does not even define what that means. Let us not forget that the carbon tax does not apply to Quebec, which has its own carbon exchange system. In 2013, Quebec partnered with California, with which it shares a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system, and there has been no negative impact so far. The measure was adopted under Jean Charest, aspiring leader of the Conservative Party. Because of this system, Quebec is not affected by the tax.
    The other carbon policy, which some on that side of the House call a second tax on carbon, is not a tax at all because none of it goes to the government. Not a penny from the clean fuel regulations finds its way into government coffers. These regulations are nothing more than an update of the regulations adopted in 2010 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, under whom the current Conservative leader served as a parliamentary secretary.
    There is only one difference between the two versions of the regulations. Instead of imposing an average, namely, the 5% ethanol content of the gasoline prescribed in the former Conservative version, the government is imposing an outcome. In practical terms, the new regulations require that each litre of gasoline produced in 2030 must generate 15% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than in 2019. That is all.
    Unlike the previous version adopted under the Conservatives, the government is not telling the oil companies how to reduce their emissions. They can reduce the emissions they generate during their crude oil extraction or refining activities, use a cleaner type of oil that generates less pollution than oil sands during the refinery process, or mix more biofuels, like ethanol, in with the gasoline to reduce its oil content. All options are on the table. The choice is up to them.
    The regulations have minimal, if any effect in Quebec. The Quebec government has already passed its Regulation respecting the integration of low-carbon-intensity fuel content into gasoline and diesel fuel, which already stipulates that fuel sold in Quebec must contain 15% biofuels. Just as they seem to do every single day, the Conservatives are once again proposing a measure that will increase pollution. This measure offers a bonus to those who heat with dirty fuels and offers nothing to those who do not pollute, such as people who heat with electricity or renewable sources.
    That is unfair, because, on some level, it is primarily lower-income households that benefit from the carbon tax. The government has committed to returning fuel charge proceeds directly to individuals and families through climate action incentive payments. This fuel charge therefore benefits low-income households, since they get back more than they pay. In other words, suspending the carbon tax does not serve the most vulnerable.
    Making up problems is not going to solve anything. Quebeckers have been relatively spared from the high cost of heating not because the federal carbon tax does not apply in Quebec, but because they chose renewable energy, including for heating, a long time ago.
    Canadian taxes are not the problem. It is the billions of dollars of taxpayer money that Ottawa is giving in direct or indirect subsidies to the oil and gas companies in western Canada that is the problem. Let us put an end to that. Let us come up with a serious energy transition plan. The economy and our planet will benefit from that. We will all come out ahead. That is what real common sense looks like.

  (1130)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I admire the way in which the hon. member presented his case. He is really quite concerned about the effect of climate change on the country.
    If, in fact, he thinks that the revenues from oil sands are, shall we say, problematic, is it his position that the transfer payments that go to Quebec under the revenues of the federal government should be reduced accordingly so that the position the hon. member is taking would have some consistency?

  (1135)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, I would simply like to remind my colleague that equalization payments are largely a myth. I would also like to invite him to read an excellent document that was released a few months ago on the finances of an independent Quebec, which shows that we would have more than enough money. What is more, our finances would not have to be administered by a state whose priorities are different from ours. For example, our money could be put toward the aerospace industry, renewable energy or the many other sectors that are completely ignored and neglected by Ottawa, unlike western Canada's oil industry and Ontario's auto industry.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, the hon. member talks about wanting to solve the environmental issues, but only from lens of what suits Quebec. It does not suit other places, such as Alberta, where the temperature was -50°C a few weeks ago. The carbon tax is not working. Emissions are not being reduced, and Canadians are paying more than they receive.
    If the system is not working, does the member believe that we should continue with it, or should we halt it to move to another way of dealing with the environment?

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, we have to be careful. I have repeatedly talked about the impact on the Canadian economy. It goes without saying that climate change is a global and therefore international issue, and that can pose a problem when one country's decisions impact all the others. That goes without saying.
    I spent a lot of my speech explaining that the system does not work. The problem I have with this carbon tax is that it is a small measure with little or no impact. If there is an impact, it is not particularly negative. There is not much to it. In fact, the crux of the problem is the billions of dollars in funding that go to the oil and gas companies, which are raking in the profits. That is the problem. There are no real programs or real plans for energy transition. That is the crux of the problem.
    The system does not work. Of course, for some it works very well. It is a system that favours only the wealthiest, an elite group. Unfortunately, the Conservatives do not challenge that.
    Mr. Speaker, as my colleague knows, people find it frustrating to pay higher bills when big oil CEOs are raking in the profits at their expense. Why does he think the Liberals and the Conservatives are refusing to make these CEOs pay their fair share and help put money back in people's pockets?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to start by congratulating my colleague on her excellent French. I was genuinely impressed. I think we should applaud her efforts. I do not know if she is currently learning French, and we will talk about that after, but kudos to her.
    With that praise comes criticism, however. Unfortunately, I have to remind my colleague that she voted in favour of Liberal budgets full of even more goodies for oil companies. Nonetheless, I do agree that we need to be able to demand more of them and redistribute that to the people.
    Mr. Speaker, I felt a little uncomfortable giving a speech today. The House leader of the Bloc Québécois called me yesterday to tell me that the Conservatives would be moving a super original motion today on the carbon tax. I read the motion and told the House leader that the speech should be given by the member for Montarville, because he is the foreign affairs critic.
    As we know, this whole issue does not really apply to Quebec. One day we will be our own country, and we will discuss this at the UN. For the time being, we have to debate it in other people's parliaments, but this does not apply to Quebec. I see it as a diplomatic issue, and anyone who knows me well knows that I am probably not the best person to engage in diplomacy; yet here I am, rising in the House today.
     We are here to debate a motion that is, as usual, ridiculous. To be frank, the motion is utterly ridiculous. It is patently false. We do not know whether this motion stems from bad faith, incompetence or a combination of the two, as is often the case. The reason the Conservatives write these motions is to create an echo. It is so they can once again say that the Bloc Québécois voted in favour of the carbon tax. They are trying to create an echo, but the echo that comes from these Conservative motions is like any other echo. It is hollow. When someone stands on the edge of the Grand Canyon and shouts “hello”, it comes back as “hello, -o, -o, -o”. When we look at the Conservatives' motions, they talk about a first, second, third, fifth carbon tax. It is an echo, and it is hollow.
     The Conservatives started with the first one. The first one was the real carbon tax. They fell on it like rabid animals. They did not know that it did not apply to Quebec. I guess they did not have the expertise. Mistakes happen. They began to backpedal. In politics, it can be hard to admit to being wrong. In time, they came to the conclusion that it was true that it did not apply to Quebec, so there would have to be a second carbon tax.
     That was when they invented the second carbon tax, referring to the clean fuel regulations. Then they realized that Quebec already had its own regulations, that its regulations were already in effect, and that the federal regulations were for 2030. Nevertheless, they began saying that the price of gas would jump by 13¢ or 14¢ a litre. The price of gas did go up. Then they said that people would no longer be able to afford turkeys, so Thanksgiving would be ruined. The price of gas has dropped 20¢ since then. It even dropped on Thanksgiving. The Conservative leader and the members from Quebec were not there to say so, so the price went down. They looked silly, but they are resilient. We like them, really. They are resilient. Conservatives are tough.
     They figured there must be a third carbon tax coming down the pike. To hear the Conservatives talk, when I buy a piece of furniture at Ikea, it must have been made in Alberta. Everything comes from Alberta. It is transportation, it is this, it is that, only now we have the figures for inflation. Now they are interested. They talk about it all the time. Inflation is one point higher in Quebec than in Alberta, but the federal carbon tax hurts Albertans more than anyone else.
    Then they decided that they needed to come up with a fourth one. The fourth one was a good one. It did not last long, because we took care of it. We are onto them now. We have become experts at nipping this in the bud. The member for Charlesbourg—Haute‑Saint‑Charles is the Conservative envoy to Quebec, a future minister if ever there were one. He is the opposition leader's Louis XIV in Quebec. He is the king. He told the House that it is true that Quebec has its own emissions permit system, but it is the federal government's fault that the cost of the permits has gone up in Quebec. We want to table a document to prove that this is not true, but he is opposing that. The member for Charlesbourg—Haute‑Saint‑Charles, the Quebec lieutenant, thinks there is a correlation. To him, there are more drownings in the summer because of ice-cream sales; the two go hand in hand. That is how it works, in his mind. We explained to him that emissions permits in Quebec are issued under a government order that predates the federal carbon tax. It is a government order. It was done with California, which is 10 times bigger than we are. It is consistent with our goal of reducing our emissions by 37.5% below 1990 levels. The biggest factor driving the price of permits is demand from California.
    It is not that I do not like Canada, but Californians could not care less about the federal government. It is the least of their problems. They buy permits, and that has an effect on the price. That is where things stand now. The next step, the sixth carbon tax, will be a world economic forum for Freemasons.

  (1140)  

    That is where things stand now. We are on the fifth or sixth carbon tax. I have lost track. I am not sure what number carbon tax we are up to. Now the carbon tax is no longer an environmental plan, but a tax plan. Incidentally, the translation is bad because the French version of the motion uses “mesure fiscale”, or tax measure, but the English one uses “tax plan”. “Tax measure” sounds milder in Quebec, whereas a “tax plan” sounds like something worth ranting about.
    The Conservatives are saying that the carbon tax is a tax plan. That is what the motion says. The Conservatives seem to have forgotten about the “environmental” part of environmental taxation. That is understandable because they do not see any connection between the economy and the environment, innovation, the development of new technologies and collective prosperity. The Conservatives only understand the connection between two things: extraction and extraction. They can understand that one equals one. That is easy.
    However, the Conservatives think taxation has no place in an environmental plan, except when they find themselves in a situation where they need tax credits for their buddies in Alberta. That, Quebeckers pay for. When the time comes for a carbon capture tax credit, when businesses need a tax credit from us, suddenly taxation is important. However, that is not a tax plan, no matter how much they rant and rave that it is.
    When the conversation turns to a clean technology tax credit, when the Conservatives tell us that they would like Quebeckers' taxes to be used to fund small nuclear reactors so that we can stop using gas to process oil sands and instead take that gas, pump it through new pipelines to the port in British Columbia that is nearing completion, and then sell that gas, all with the support of taxation, they do not see that as a tax plan at all.
    When it comes to tax credits for dirty hydrogen, which plan is it? All of a sudden, they see a connection between the environment and taxation.
    However, when it comes to acknowledging the science that clearly links emissions reductions with carbon pricing in other provinces, when it comes to the system we have in Quebec, which uses very robust empirical evaluations, when it comes to the regime in British Columbia, when we know that trading emissions permits with Europe and the United States works, when it is time to acknowledge the science, the Conservatives absolutely never agree.
    They say it is a tax plan. These are Conservatives who supposedly have faith in the market. The people on the right say the market works. The market sets a price, and people react to that price, until the environment is involved, that is. Then, suddenly, economics 101 goes by the board.
    What do the Conservatives support time after time, especially the ones from Quebec whom we never see talking about this? Maybe it is because they are too embarrassed. Maybe it is because they are working on the eighth, ninth or tenth carbon tax, working ahead so they can give us all of them at once. What they support is a plan to help oil companies by taxing Quebeckers. As I have said, they are compulsive taxers.
    We are talking $83 billion in subsidies for Alberta oil companies, paid for by Quebeckers through their taxes. Meanwhile, we have people waiting in hospital hallways and we are asking for way less than that in health transfers, but where are the Quebec Conservatives? They are nowhere to be seen. They are hiding. We do not see them.
    Immigration and taking care of irregular migrants has cost Quebec $470 million, and the feds are supposed to cover that, yet they say they are going to give Quebec a mere $100 million and will not be paying Quebec's debt. None of the Quebec Conservatives are standing up because no expense is too great for oil companies, but any expense is too great when it comes to taking care of Quebeckers.
    The Quebec Conservatives all think that they are going to become ministers. I do not know what they will be ministers of, and I would not want to be the one who has to make those decisions, but I will say that Quebeckers will have to pay dearly for those members' cabinet seats. The Conservatives have already started to abandon Quebeckers. They are good at that. I want to remind the House of a deadline that is coming up, when we will have to explain our platforms to Quebeckers and justify our actions to them. The Bloc Québécois will be able to say that we have been completely trustworthy.

  (1145)  

    Quebeckers are going to listen to what I just said about the Conservatives because they are a lot smarter than the members on this side of the House think.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member when he said that Canadians as a whole are smarter than what the Conservatives are giving them credit for. In fact, what we are seeing is a great con job by the Conservative Party on the issue of its so-called “first priority”, that being getting rid of the carbon tax.
    The type of misinformation that is out there is quite significant. One of them is tying the price on carbon to inflation. Interestingly enough, when the issue was brought up with the Bank of Canada, Governor Macklem indicated, when referring to the carbon tax, that the “contribution that's making to inflation one year to the next is relatively small. If you want me to put a number on it, it's in the range of 0.15 per cent, so quite small.” That is incredible.
    If we listen to the Conservatives' spin, one would think that it is the driving force of inflation in Canada. I wonder if the member would attempt to dispel that particular untruth that is being spread by the Conservative Party of Canada.

  (1150)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, the Conservative leader is obsessed with the carbon tax. I would not dare to speculate on how many times a day he thinks about it. He even blames the carbon tax for inflation.
    Now, it is true that studies have been done. The Parliamentary Budget Officer and the Bank of Canada have concluded that the carbon tax had very little effect.
    There are other factors in Quebec that are driving up prices, such as the housing crisis. During question period yesterday, the Liberals were bragging about having paid Quebec so much money, saying that they had matched Quebec's investment. We had to fight for the money that Ottawa owed Quebec. No housing has been built for years. Negotiations dragged on. When it comes to housing, the Liberals refuse to give Quebec City any money. They would rather squabble and see the Liberal logo in front of construction sites. It has an impact.
    I realize that the parliamentary secretary wants us to turn on the Conservatives and criticize them. Sooner or later, the Liberals will have to admit that they, too, have made mistakes and that they, too, often underestimate Quebeckers' intelligence by saying that they are building housing.
    As far as immigration targets are concerned, Quebec wants to be consulted. The Minister of Immigration is literally telling us that Ottawa is not an ATM, as though Quebeckers are no more than freeloaders who are not paying their fair share into the federal treasury. The parliamentary secretary can criticize the Conservatives if he wants to, but I think that the Liberal government has lot to account for too. I think he should reflect carefully on that.
    Mr. Speaker, I am going to try to ask another question in French.
    Quebeckers are fortunate to be able to rely on an electrical grid powered primarily by hydroelectricity. Can my colleague explain his vision of a more equitable carbon pricing system for Canadians across the country?
    Mr. Speaker, I do not want to seem like I am sidestepping the question, but that is none of our concern. The federal carbon tax is none of our concern. The taxation of carbon in the other provinces is none of our concern. It does not apply in Quebec.
    Quebec decided to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 37.5% below 1990 levels by 2030. It came up with the means and found partners to achieve its goal. Some Canadian provinces were initially involved, but they left this system. They did not want to participate, and now they are stuck with the federal government meddling in their own affairs.
    In Quebec, we are proud of this system because we do not have to deal with these issues. We have a system that reflects who we are, that is based on the quantity of emissions instead of on the price. It is consistent with the way we produce our electricity and how we heat our buildings. I will let the nine other provinces deal with their own problems.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Timmins—James Bay.
    Canadians across the country are feeling the squeeze. After years of successive Conservative and Liberal governments, Canadians are left with being priced out of home ownership. They are skipping meals to save money. They are unable to afford to pay for their home heating and unable to afford their medication. At the same time, they are witnessing extreme weather events: flooding, droughts and record-breaking heat waves.
    However, the Liberal government continues to delay, downplay the crises and disappoint Canadians. We are living in an affordability crisis and a climate crisis, and it seems like the government is comfortable just sticking its head in the sand.
     While the Conservatives love to talk about affordability, the truth is that they want to cut the services Canadians depend on. They have no plan when it comes to tackling the climate crisis. Conservative members refuse to actually acknowledge the impacts of the climate crisis. They are not sure whether the climate crisis is real. Their party’s national governing body is made up of about 50% lobbyists from the corporations that are gouging Canadians, in big oil and gas, big pharma and real estate development. These are the wealthy people who profit at the expense of everyday Canadians.
    We have had this debate in the House several times, and every time, Conservative members are showing Canadians that they think big oil should get away with polluting in obscene amounts. The Conservatives believe that megacorporations should be able to pollute and have Canadians pick up the tab. Corporations like Imperial Oil feel they can operate with impunity. They do not feel they have any responsibility to Canadians to keep the environment healthy. I urge my Conservative colleagues to listen to the first nations and Métis people in northern Alberta, who have been shouting from the rooftops for decades that corporations like Imperial Oil have no regard for human health, the environment or the future of our planet.
     Every summer, crops are failing because conditions are too dry and too hot, or because there is flooding. Food cannot grow effectively in these conditions. Do my Conservative colleagues not understand the connection between the climate crisis and the cost of groceries, or are they willing to ignore this reality? Having no plan is not an option.
    On the other hand, the Liberal government is also failing Canadians. While Canadians are struggling with the cost of living, the Liberals have refused to implement a windfall profit tax on the record-breaking profits of the oil and gas industry. The Liberals keep giving huge handouts to oil and gas giants to fund false climate solutions like carbon capture and storage. Now it has come out that the Trans Mountain pipeline has cost taxpayers $35 billion. That is $35 billion that increases oil and gas pollution, increases our national debt and operates at a loss. This is $35 billion that could have gone into green infrastructure, renewable energy and home retrofitting. It is $35 billion that could have gone into sustainable jobs and supporting communities impacted by the climate crisis.
     It is bewildering to me that when there is the opportunity for creating high-quality union jobs in the clean energy sector, the government continues to pour money into supporting the corporations that are making record-breaking profits, all while wildfires rage and ravage our forests every summer.
     We need to take real climate action. Currently, buildings are the third-highest source of emissions in Canada, so retrofitting buildings is essential if we want to achieve our climate targets. It is essential if we want to achieve net zero, and it is essential if we want to make life more affordable for Canadians.
     If the government can make taxpayers pay for a $35-billion pipeline, surely it can afford to fix and expand the greener homes program. Surely it can provide heat pumps for Canadians who need them, not only to heat their homes but also to cool them when we are having record-breaking heat waves that take the lives of hundreds of British Columbians.
    We are also living in a cost of living crisis. Tackling the climate crisis can actually make life more affordable for Canadians. In fact, there are so many ways the government can help Canadians save money and fight the climate crisis at the same time.

  (1155)  

    Unlike the Conservatives and the Liberals, New Democrats have a plan to tackle the climate crisis and the affordability crisis. Last fall, the NDP presented a motion to make heat pumps free for low- and middle-income Canadians, as well as to take the GST off all forms of home heating. Instead of providing Canadians with real solutions to fight the climate crisis and the affordability crisis by voting with the NDP, the Liberals and the Conservatives teamed up to vote our motion down.
    Heat pumps are such an easy solution for making home heating more efficient. They use up less energy, reduce electricity and heating bills, and will play an important role in decarbonizing buildings. They also save lives in heat domes. An average family would save $700 to $1,900 per year if they were supported to switch to a heat pump, but the current government grants for heat pumps are difficult to apply for, require folks to pay up front and wait months to get their money back, and are inaccessible for so many, especially low-income Canadians. Instead of fixing these problems for this very popular program, the Liberals have decided to cut funding.
    There are simple, cost-effective solutions out there. Renewable energy and installing heat pumps will make the cost of electricity cheaper, but the Liberals and Conservatives show time and time again that they are not looking out for the best interests of Canadians; they are looking out for the best interests of CEOs of oil and gas companies. These parties show their true colours and will always take the side of corporate elites and billionaires over everyday Canadians.
    Canadians are tired of watching the government fail to take action when we are living through a cost of living crisis and a climate crisis. People should not have to choose between a party with no plan and a party that continues to drag its feet.
    New Democrats have a plan to tackle the climate crisis and the affordability crisis, and we will keep fighting for everyday Canadians.

  (1200)  

    Mr. Speaker, in many ways, I think it is important for us to look at the contrast on the table today in regard to what the Conservative Party of Canada continues to propose, and which will no doubt become a major election platform. It is determined to get rid of a price on pollution. That policy is in contrast with what other opposition parties are saying and what the government is saying. The amount of misinformation that the Conservative Party is spreading through social media and in other ways is, I believe, to the detriment of sound policy.
    Could the member provide her thoughts on the damage caused by the misinformation that is out there today about the price on pollution?
    Mr. Speaker, I think the misinformation is incredibly concerning. The Conservatives have come to British Columbia, my home province, with a campaign to axe the tax. The federal carbon tax does not apply in British Columbia. British Columbia has its own carbon tax that was put in by a small-c conservative premier years ago, yet this Conservative caucus and its leader seem shameless in promoting this kind of misinformation.
    Canadians also do not realize that the current carbon pricing system that the government has put in place really allows big corporations to pay a small fraction of the carbon price. Suncor pays 1/14th of what Canadians pay. This is appalling. We need to fix the loopholes in the output-based pricing system that let big corporations off the hook.
    Mr. Speaker, I know that the member is part of a party whose members are always up on their feet talking about unaffordability and the way that Canadians are struggling. However, does she not realize that the carbon tax is part of the problem, because farmers are being taxed, as are the shipping of food, the processing of food, grocery stores, and people's heating bills? This is part of the affordability problem.
    Other G7 countries have just decided to cut taxes because they know that will help people. Does she not see that this is the right approach and that we should axe the tax?
    Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate that the Conservatives continue to ignore the fact that what is causing the increases in the cost of food and in so many costs along our supply chain is the climate crisis. The climate crisis has a huge impact on farmers. When I speak to farmers, they talk about the droughts, heat waves and flooding, and how these impact the work they do. Experts have been very clear about what disproportionately impacts food prices in Canada.
    Why does the Conservative Party still have no plan to tackle the climate crisis?
    The member also raised the issue of other countries. Because other countries are also seeing the need to implement carbon pricing, the borders are soon going to have carbon adjustments. If we do not have a real plan, we will be paying higher prices.

  (1205)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, that last answer was very good.
    I often say the same thing because I come from a very agricultural riding. Many people assume that farmers are polluters, but that is completely false. If anyone can understand or if anyone is experiencing the effects of climate change, it is farmers.
    To come back to the member's speech, I agreed with many of the points that she made and with the main idea of her speech, but I want to ask her a question. In the Liberal government's last two budgets, there were at least six tax credits that will give billions more dollars in gifts to the oil and gas industry. I would like to know why the member voted in favour of those budgets.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, I agree wholeheartedly. Farmers understand the climate crisis, are speaking out and are also doing incredible work to combat the climate crisis at the same time.
    With respect to his question about the fact that the Liberal government continues to hand out billions of dollars to carbon capture and storage and to other false climate solutions, it is shameful that we have a government that seems more interested in taking care of the rich oil and gas CEOs than everyday Canadians. This is part of the reason I am part of the New Democrat Party, which is pushing the government to do better.
    Without our pushing the government, it would not have implemented dental care to support millions of Canadians. It would not have implemented a sustainable jobs act. It would not be doing the things that actually help everyday Canadians and fight the climate crisis. We will keep pushing the government because it seems unwilling to do it on its own.
    Mr. Speaker, I am honoured, as always, to rise in this House. I have been here 20 years, and I have never seen a time when I feel that our country and our planet are at risk as much as they are now. This is a time when people should be looking to parliamentarians to come together to deal with solutions. Instead, we are dealing with yet another Conservative motion, which shows that the Conservative Party leader's entire economic plan could fit on a lapel button.
    I think what is missing in the discussion today is the fact that we are in the midst of a global crisis. Europe is worried that it could be dealing with a massive expansion of a potential war with Putin. There is the need for Canada to be a strong ally. Contrary to what the member who lives at Stornoway says, Ukraine is not some faraway land, as he quotes Neville Chamberlain, but it is the front line in the fight for democracy. This is something we should be coming together on.
    We are seeing a mass humanitarian disaster unfolding in Gaza, with Canada cutting off supplies at a time when people are facing starvation. This is a humanitarian disaster that Canadians could step up for. Instead, we are siding with Benjamin Netanyahu. We are dealing with the fact that every hour 30 million tonnes of ice melt from the Greenland ice floes; that is 30 million tonnes an hour. Last year, 200,000 Canadians were forced out of their homes because of climate fires, yet the Conservative leader flew into the fire zones to brag that he would make burning fossil fuels free.
    The Liberals do not really have an environmental plan. That is something we should be arguing; they do not. However, the Conservatives refuse to put forward a climate plan, other than to let the planet burn. That is the sum total of what I have heard from the Conservatives for the last three years: let the planet burn. At a time when our young people are facing a future that is increasingly unstable, we are left with yet another dismal debate in the House of Commons on slogans and bumper-sticker excuses.
    When Kelowna was facing a potential catastrophic disaster with fires, the member for Kelowna—Lake Country was bragging that if her party formed the government, it would make fossil fuel burning free. In Alberta, when I was there last week, there was just a little powder of snow on the ground in January. It is above freezing now. It is now coming into the fourth year of a serious drought.
    There are 13 counties in Alberta that have declared environmental disasters because they cannot get their crops out. In 2021, the cattle farmers were talking about how only 36% of their crops were in good condition; that was in 2021. They made it through that year by getting the holdover pay from 2020.
    Now, coming into 2024 with no snow on the ground, we are seeing rivers drying up, and not a single Conservative from Alberta or Saskatchewan has ever bothered to stand up to defend their farmers in the face of the biggest climate crisis since the dirty thirties. They would throw them under the bus to satisfy their leader, who lives in a 19-room mansion, because it is about letting the planet burn.
    The Conservatives from British Columbia will get up and falsely try to mislead their own citizens that they are paying a federal carbon tax when there is not one. Not a single Conservative from British Columbia has dared to stand up in the House to talk about the fact that the rising hydro prices in B.C. are from the depleted reservoirs from the droughts. British Columbia, a hydro superpower, had to import 20% of its energy capacity last year because it could not keep the lights on because of the droughts and the low reservoirs. That is the effect of the climate crisis.
    We are dealing with real-time planetary breakdown of the disappearance of the ice shelves and of unprecedented fires, where much of last summer, across from Chicago and across North America, children could not go outside without getting sick. What did we hear from the Conservatives? Let the planet burn.

  (1210)  

    In all my years, there were times we came together on simple things, like jobs. However, that is not in the Conservative agenda because the Conservatives tell people that Canada is broken, even though we were voted number one in the world. If Canada is not broken, the Conservatives will make it broken.
     Bill C-49 is a bill so that Canada could get in the game with the clean energy projects that are taking off in the United States, right now. Since 2021, under the Biden administration, $360 billion in clean energy projects got off the ground, and they are not getting off the ground here for two reasons. While the Liberals are trying to get their tax credits and work it all out, Biden is getting that money out the door. We are also seeing the Conservatives blocking sustainable jobs legislation and doing every kind of monkey-wrenching, idiotic stunt to stop workers from having a seat at the table.
     Even more astounding is Bill C-49 where the Newfoundland and Labrador premier and the Nova Scotia premier have called for Ottawa to come to the table because the United States is moving ahead so rapidly on offshore wind development that would set up projects for construction and long-term jobs in the hundreds of thousands of homes that are getting clean energy. However, the Conservatives from Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia are determined to block jobs because that is what their leaders said: Make Canada broken. If it is not broken, they are going to break it. Their plan is to let the planet burn.
    Here is the thing. The Premier of Nova Scotia said that Bill C-49 is the necessary first step in unlocking our energy potential, yet the member for Cumberland—Colchester, a guy who has just been elected for two or three years, is announcing that he is going to oppose offshore development and jobs in Nova Scotia. The member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame said that he thought the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador had been hoodwinked and that the premier was not bright enough to negotiate good construction and permanent jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador. There was a time when we all would have worked to get those jobs off the ground because we know sustainability in every part of Canada is important. However, these are clean-energy jobs, and that is something that the leader of the Conservative Party does not want to have happen, because his environmental plan is to let the planet burn.
    The Conservatives talk about affordability. It was the Conservatives who led the fight against taking the HST off home heating. This is not about making it easier for people; it is about making people angrier. That is his one plan.
     However, what really concerns me now is that we are in the midst of a climate catastrophe that is unfolding in real time, and we need to bring our plans to the table. We need to debate them. We need to find out how Canada can, number one, get in the clean-energy market that is taking off in China, in Europe and in the United States while we are sitting at the side of the road. Even more, there is the need to reassure this young generation that we will have their backs in trying to address the catastrophic collapse of the ice shelves and the unimaginable burning that we saw last year. We still have fires burning in northern Alberta today. That is unprecedented. The northern boreal forest burned at an unprecedented rate. What do we hear from the Conservatives? They do not have an environmental plan. They have a bumper-sticker slogan and if people push them hard, it is “let the planet burn”.
    I did not come here to tell my kids and their next generation of kids, “Guess what. We let the planet burn because it was easy.” Yes, it is easy to let the planet burn and, yes, it is going to be hard to make sure that we stand up for our kids. Yes, it is going to be hard to stand up to Putin. Yes, it is going to be hard to come together, but we need to do that as a nation right now. This is a nation that will be judged on the absolute failure to put forward a plan in the midst of the biggest existential crisis the human race has faced, and it needs something better than a bumper sticker and a toxic lapel-pin slogan.

  (1215)  

     Madam Speaker, when I was listening to the member from Timmins, Ontario, speak about the floods and fires that happened in Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, I could not help but remember the Order Paper question I received this week, which outlined that the government came to my riding on multiple occasions and said that it was giving billions of dollars to help rebuild British Columbia and to help rebuild the climate infrastructure we need for the future. Barely a penny of it has arrived.
    Just this week, the Sumas River is on flood warning again. Just this week, we are about to have another flood. The government could have fixed that, but it cannot because the NDP backs up everything this irresponsible, slogan government does. My community is suffering because it is not taking action on the very things it talks about day in and day out.
    When will the money for the DFAA to fix British Columbia actually be allocated to the communities that need it the most?
    Madam Speaker, we finally see someone from British Columbia stand up and actually speak for his community that is facing a climate disaster.
    What have we heard? We have heard “get that tax off”, “let us burn the planet” and “all the people in British Columbia who are not paying a federal carbon tax, we have to get them all stoked”.
    I would like to say to the member that, yes, he is ground zero in the climate catastrophe, and his leader's response is to let them burn. He has done nothing. Does that member have a climate plan? No, he does not. He has a bumper-sticker slogan and some toxic little lapel pin that says, “Let them burn”. That is their only response. They are leaving their people behind. We will stand up.
    Madam Speaker, at the beginning of the member's comments, he made reference to Ukraine. I want to pick up on that point because it is somewhat profound.
    We had the President of Ukraine come to Canada last year. We have a trade agreement, which has the support of Liberals, the New Democrats, the Bloc and, as I understand, the Green Party, too.
    For the Conservative Party, one of the red herrings, the reason Conservatives say they do not support it is due to the fact that there is a reference to a carbon tax or a price on pollution. We then find out that Ukraine actually has had a price on pollution since 2011.
    I am wondering if he could provide his thoughts in regard to the degree to which the Conservative Party is prepared to go in order to have the bumper sticker he is talking about.
    Madam Speaker, I would interpret it slightly differently. What we have seen online is the far right is a Putin troll machine. We see that Tucker Carlson, a white supremacist who is a Putin propaganda puppet, was vetted and treated by the great leader, the great visionary of the Conservative movement, Danielle Smith. Then, the leader of the Conservative Party gets up and quotes Neville Chamberlain, of all people, about Ukraine.
    As for the leader of the Conservative Party, his defence critic and his foreign affairs critic, I watched them stand up and vote against Operation Unifier.
    They are sending a message to Putin and to Europe that the Conservative Party is against us standing the gaff with Ukraine. They are willing to let President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people fall to Putin, because they said they do not like the carbon tax. How on God's earth can one go into the—

  (1220)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I will take the liberty of asking my colleague, the member for Timmins—James Bay, who is also my neighbour, about a climate change issue that directly affects his riding, as well as mine. I am talking about the forest fires we have seen happening.
    He talked about this when he discussed the impact on farmers. The carbon tax has a very small impact, we agree on that. However, I am wondering how we can actually help our farmers. I would have liked to hear more about that today. There are problems caused by drought, which I am sure has been an issue in his riding, as it has in mine. There is also the winter freeze, which must have affected his riding, since it affected our region. This has an impact on hay and all the other seedlings that are failing to grow. The AgriStability and AgriInvest programs have not been rolled out in our region.
    What were the consequences for the member's riding? Has the federal government stepped up to help the farmers he represents?
    I would like to hear my colleague's comments on this.
    Madam Speaker, it was very important to set up a plan to address the climate crisis in the Far North. The massive fires were an unprecedented disaster in our region. In the James Bay area, many huge fires affected indigenous communities. The federal government did not have a plan and provided no support. Canadians and Quebeckers need us to address the climate crisis to protect the future of our region.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, unfortunately, we are in a cost of living crisis. Inflation, tax hikes and rising prices are emptying people's pockets. Seniors' pensions are quickly losing their purchasing power. People are drowning in debt and barely staying afloat. What has the Prime Minister done? He has thrown them an anvil with this heartless plan to hike the carbon tax once again on April 1.
    I should mention that I will be sharing my time with the great member for Peterborough—Kawartha.
    Families and seniors are struggling to put food on the table. Everybody who goes to a grocery store knows exactly what I am talking about, and there is simply no end in sight. The latest food price report is deeply troubling. It shows that food costs will continue to climb, with the prices of meat and vegetables being the highest.
    We only have to look at the skyrocketing numbers of people visiting food banks to get a clear picture of what is happening in our great country. Almost two million people are now using a food bank at least once a month. This is not just a statistic. We are talking about our fellow Canadians, many of whom have full-time jobs, who still cannot afford groceries. The problem is that their paycheques can no longer pay the bills and feed their families. It pains me to know that parents are cutting back on healthy foods for their kids because they simply cannot afford it.
    My amazing wife Cailey and I were blessed with a beautiful baby girl just a few weeks ago, and it has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be responsible for and to care for others. My heart goes out to the families who are feeling the weight of the unpaid bills and their maxed-out credit cards. I know that moms and dads are having to make incredibly difficult decisions about how to feed their kids and how to give them the best lives possible. That should not include watering down baby formula just to be able to afford it. Even if they do that, many can still barely pay to heat their home or keep a roof over their head.
    The cost to rent a place in Canada has hit another record high, going up another 8.6% in the last 12 months alone. For those looking to purchase a home, under the Prime Minister, we have now become a country where millions, particularly young people, will forever be shut out of the housing market. This is so disappointing to millions of Canadians. In the province of Manitoba, the average price of a home shot up 6.7% in the last three months alone. To make matters worse, the number of homes on the market plummeted 71% in the last couple of months, and the total properties sold is down 35%.
    The one thing about the Liberal government that boggles my mind is that it always blames its communications for why people do not like its policies. In interview after interview, Liberal MPs say that, if they just found better words to explain their carbon tax, they could convince families living off their lines of credit that they are actually better off. If they could just hire a new wordsmith in the Prime Minister's Office, preferably one who does not use incredibly crude language on Twitter, they would figure out a better way to gaslight Canadians. At this rate, it will not be too long until there is a ministry of truth, where war is peace, ignorance is strength and the carbon tax is good for people's wallets.
    When the carbon tax is applied to almost every aspect of our economy, it does not matter how many millions of tax dollars are spent on fancy commercials promoting it, people will still not buy it. Of course, the latest plan is to rebrand the Liberals' climate change incentive payments. This rebranding exercise explains a lot about how the government thinks and responds to issues. It is not about getting results or solving problems. Liberals think their words and wonderful symbolism will somehow fix people's problems.
    The Liberal insiders and their consultant buddies are not going to like this, but I can save the government some time, effort and money that will be spent on rebranding the carbon tax. It will not work, so do not do it. Stop it. It is time to axe the tax.
    It is a tax plan. It drives up the price of everything. It contributes to inflation, and it is making life harder for families to make ends meet. It does not matter what we call it. People cannot afford it. Families cannot pay their rent or mortgages using Liberal talking points. Houses do not get built at the photo ops of announcements, and press conferences threatening tax hikes on our grocery stores has not reduced food prices one bit.

  (1225)  

    I get that governing is difficult, and when one is out of ideas and out of touch, it gets a lot harder, so maybe it is time for that carbon tax election the Prime Minister clearly wants so badly. Everyone knows the hardships being caused by the ever-increasing carbon tax. Even the Prime Minister acknowledged that fact when, under heavy political pressure from his Atlantic Canadian members of Parliament, he gave one group of Canadians a carbon tax exemption. To quell his internal caucus revolt, he gave 3% of Canadians a temporary carbon tax exemption on their heating bills, lasting just past the next election to hopefully get their votes, but he left 97% of Canadians out in the cold.
    The one lesson we did learn from the Prime Minister is that he has no shame in giving special treatment to one group of Canadians he thinks might vote for him. Here is my advice to the Prime Minister: Give all Canadians the same deal. Stop dividing Canadians. Stop pitting one region against one another and stop picking winners and losers. Heating one's home in this country is not a luxury. It is a necessity.
    Not only should the Prime Minister exempt all home heating for all Canadians, but he should immediately cancel the upcoming tax hike on April 1.
    I represent a rural riding made up of small towns and small cities, and the reality is that people must drive long distances to get where they are going. It seems like every hockey game or baseball game we play is about an hour away, each way. This is part of our way of life and our quality of life, and it is how we live our lives.
    Some folks commute to the next town over for work. They could be commuting 50, 60, 80 or 100 kilometres each way to work to pay to put food on the table and a roof over the head for their families.
    Portage—Lisgar is not unique in this sense, and many of my colleagues on this side of the House represent rural constituencies. What we all have in common is that there are no LRTs. There are no subways and no busses to take us from one town to the next. There are no bike lanes on our highways, and even if there were, it would not be very pleasant riding for six months on snow-packed roads with cold, wintery weather.
    While the Minister of Finance can proudly claim she does need to own a car in her constituency, in my riding, we do not have a limo service that can shuttle us around from town to town.
    A good example of how widely out of touch the Liberal government has become is how it has mishandled Bill C-234. Almost every single Liberal MP, including the Minister of Agriculture, voted against this common-sense legislation. The bill would have finally exempted farmers from the carbon tax on drying their grain or heating and cooling their livestock barns.
    As someone who grew up on a farm, has worked for farmers and now represents the voices of farmers, I find it a bit rich when I hear Liberal and NDP MPs who have never stepped onto farm have the audacity to tell farmers they should just be quiet, shut up and take the carbon tax. It is offensive to farmers, and I am not surprised at how angry they are with this tax, but now they are going to have to brace for the upcoming increase on April 1, too.
    Where does that leave the rest of my constituents, who live and work and play on the land? As it stands, the carbon tax is about $65 a tonne, and for every litre of gas they put in their car or truck, they are paying 14¢ a litre more. If someone is one of the countless people who drives a pickup truck and has a 90-litre gas tank, that is close to $12.60 every time one fills it up. The average rural person who is driving a pickup truck is paying at least $360 a year more in carbon taxes. That does not include the carbon tax on their home heating or that is baked into the cost of everything they buy in their day-to-day lives. Imagine when that $65 a tonne will go up to $170 a tonne in just six years.
    In closing, I would urge Liberal MPs across the way to stand up for their constituents who cannot afford to pay their bills and put food on their tables. I urge them to vote in favour of the Conservative motion to scrap the carbon tax by April 1 to stop the unnecessary suffering people in this country are facing right now. I urge them to be honest with themselves and acknowledge the last thing people can afford right now is another tax.
    It is time to axe the tax. It is time to build the homes. It is time to fix the budget, and it is time to stop the crime. To my colleagues across the way, they should give their constituents hope that their MP will stop making their lives more unaffordable because it is never too late to do the right thing.

  (1230)  

    Madam Speaker, it is interesting how Conservative members stand in their places and have no problems whatsoever giving misinformation. Let me give an example. The member talked about inflation and tried to give the false impression that inflation is being caused by a carbon tax, even though a majority of the constituents I represent will get more back in the carbon rebate than they will pay in carbon tax. That is a fact.
    The Bank of Canada has been very clear that the impact of the carbon tax, as the Conservatives call it, is less than 1%. It is 0.15% on inflation. When one listens to the Conservatives, one would think it is an 8% increase. It is ridiculous the type of false information the Conservative Party is giving to Canadians. Why do they do it?
    Madam Speaker, I agree that the government's policies are ridiculous.
    I think it is important to highlight that the carbon tax is not the only thing driving inflation in this country. I agree. There are a whole host of terrible Liberal government policies that are driving up the cost of living. The fact is that we have foreign investment fleeing this country, a number of businesses are closing in this country, and the number of businesses starting in this country is lowering.
    The holistic view of the government is what we should be looking at. It is not just the carbon tax—
    Madam Speaker, on a point of order, with respect to the principle of not intentionally misleading the House, the member said that foreign investment is fleeing the country, yet Canada is number one—
    That is a point of debate, and I would rather we leave that for the discussion.
    The hon. member for Portage—Lisgar.
    Madam Speaker, I would say that, while the member may have convinced his constituents that they are better off, my constituents have the common sense to know that this country so badly needs to know that it is getting ripped off with this tax plan, which is doing nothing for the environment. It is time to bring home—
    Continuing with questions and comments, the hon. member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou has the floor.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I want to clarify a few things for the member.
    First, they keep talking about the carbon tax, so apparently we have not said this enough, but there is no carbon tax in Quebec.
    Second, according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, fuel charge proceeds go to households and provincial governments in return for increased program spending. They have zero impact on balancing the budget.
    Third, the Conservatives talk about the carbon tax and only the carbon tax. We are not getting anywhere. We are constantly going backward. This is 2024. They do not have an environmental vision or a transition plan. We are talking about forest fires and floods. My region has had both. They want to abolish abortion rights. They do not talk about economic realities. None—

  (1235)  

    I have to give the hon. member for Portage—Lisgar a chance to respond.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, yes, there is a carbon tax in Quebec, called the clean fuel regulations, and it is adding extra costs to Quebeckers and people right across this country.
    I mentioned during my speech how the other parties love to divide and distract, but I can tell members that, when I and many of my colleagues are back in our ridings talking to our constituents, they are talking about the fact that they cannot afford food for their children, that their mortgages have doubled or that they are being evicted because of the policies and inflationary spending of the government. They are mad, and rightfully so.
    Madam Speaker, that was an interesting speech from the member. I would like to congratulate him on the birth of a child. I think that is an important thing.
    First of all, I want to say how much I love rain. I am lucky to like rain because I live in a rain forest. Right now, in my riding, we are in a moderate to severe drought across that area. At the same time, we are seeing extreme storms and rain in our area that are washing away so much because we do not have the normal amount of water being absorbed into the land. We are seeing forest fires in my area, and we have never seen that before.
    Therefore, I feel so confused that Conservatives continue to mislead, especially British Columbians, who do not pay any federal pricing, that somehow their plan is going to work. Can the member tell us what their environmental plan is?
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the kind wishes on the birth of my daughter.
    As a farm kid, I am well aware because we have been dealing with a number of droughts and floods for decades, but obviously there is some concern regarding the frequency of those. That is why I think it is important that we rely on technology and not taxes. I will use the case of agriculture as an example, in which we can use genetic improvements to improve drought and moisture resistance.
    The reality is that punishing Canadians with this punitive carbon tax is not going to do anything to stop the pollution coming out of major economies such as China and India, which are a bigger cause of this. Driving Canadians into poverty is not going to help—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Peterborough—Kawartha has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, it is always a true honour to rise in the House of Commons and speak on behalf of the folks of Peterborough—Kawartha.
    Today, it is a real honour, because we get to present our opposition motion, a common-sense opposition motion that would make life more affordable for Canadians, and I will read it into the record for folks at home. It reads:
    That, given that the carbon tax has proven to be a tax plan, not an environmental plan, the House call on the Liberal government to cancel the April 1, 2024, carbon tax increase.
    Just so folks at home know, that planned tax increase on April 1 by the Liberal Prime Minister is 23%. Now, I do not know who they are speaking with, but I do not know anyone right now who can afford that, and that is the reality of it. People are really struggling after eight years of this Prime Minister, and it is a sad reality.
    How does the carbon tax contribute to the cost of living? I will share the story of Jen Wight, this amazing, charismatic woman who may not be so young but looks young. She has freckles, and she is just this dynamic woman who is talented.
    Eight years ago, Jen started her business, Emily Mae's Cookies & Sweets. Her grandma gave her her recipes, and she is so talented and community-minded. In fact, for those who are watching, they should follow this woman on all social media. They will love it and not regret it. If there is a television producer watching, please pick this woman up and give her a show.
     I saw Jen just before Christmas, and she looked more desperate than I had ever seen her look in my life. She is a not a dramatic person by any means, but she said, “Michelle, the carbon tax is crippling me,” and she kept talking about butter. Members can imagine how critical butter is to someone running a bakery and making cookies. She would buy upwards of 40 pounds of butter a week. She said, “Michelle, when I started my business eight years ago, butter was $2.49. Today, you can expect to pay upwards of $10 for a pound of butter.” In most communities, it is about $7.49; $10 is on the extreme end, but today it is about $7.49, which is a 200% increase.
    Shortly after the new year, I was scrolling through social media, and Jen had made a post on Emily Mae's Cookies. She said, “This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. I have to close down my business.” I asked her if I could come and talk to her. She is just so polite, and it is hard for her to get political. People do not want to get political. They like to be congenial and get along with people, but the reality is that every single thing comes back to politics; everything comes back to policy.
    Today, in the House, I heard a Liberal member say that the carbon tax is so minuscule that it does not matter. From $2.49 to $7.49 for butter is just a couple of bucks. However, it is cents that add up to dollars. Butter was the demise of this woman's heart and soul, and it is so simple. It is a household item that everyone should be able to afford. That is the reality of the carbon tax, and I challenge that Liberal member who thinks it is so minuscule and does not understand it to go and speak with Jen and to go to the farmer who has to pay the extra carbon tax to heat his farm, pay the extra carbon tax to feed the cows the grain and pay the extra carbon tax to ship the milk to the trucker. The trucker then is going to ship the milk to the factory where they make the butter, where they will have to pay extra carbon tax to heat the building to make the butter, and then to the trucker who has to ship it from the factory that makes the butter to the grocery store. It is really common sense that this is going to be catastrophic for people.
    Jade phoned me this week, and she said, “Michelle, I'm a single mom with two kids. I've worked really, really hard. I make $62,500 a year, and for the first time in my life, bill collectors are calling me.”

  (1240)  

    Politically, I do not even understand how the Liberals and NDP can stand here today and say they want to increase the carbon tax. Nobody wants that, not the premiers of this country and not constituents. It is actually political suicide as well. It makes no sense.
    I want to read these into the record. I asked folks to send me their heating bills.
     Michelle, I am just sending a snapshot of our Enbridge bill that contains the carbon tax. This is for a family of three in a brick bungalow approximately 1,000 square feet, heated by natural gas.
     The gas supply charge is $38.96; the federal carbon charge, $39.15, and wait: There is a tax on the tax. They can expect to pay $20.38 in HST.
     Hello, Michelle. I am a resident of Ennismore and a widow who is trying her best to make ends meet since my husband's passing. Yesterday I received my gas bill. I was shocked to see the total carbon tax applied to my bill. This is absolutely criminal!
    The federal carbon charge is $104.33; the gas supply charge is $106.42, and the tax on the tax, let us not forget that, is $49.59.
     Michelle, if the federal government wants to charge us the carbon tax, it should be on the gas used, not other fees like delivery or transportation. It's like charging someone the carbon tax on buying a coffee in the gas station on the same bill. I used $28 in gas [and] the carbon price is $28. Sounds like a 100% tax to me.
    It should be removed. I'm for supporting the reduction of carbon but alternatives are too expensive to implement. We're all struggling to get by. And this isn't helping. Food or heat, right?
    This one has the federal carbon charge, $94.91; gas supply charge, $101.27; and HST, $53.28.
    Every member in this House should be asking their constituents to do the same thing. We were elected to create policy to help Canadians. This is genuinely hurting them. Full stop. There have been members of the opposite party, and good for them for having the courage to stand up. I am looking at one right now who says that this does not work. I thank him. He lives in Newfoundland and Labrador. He knows. He clearly listens to his constituents.
    Not one emissions target has been met. What is wild is that there are commonalities between us in this House, and for them to sit and say that the Conservatives want the planet to burn, what? The ideology and the belief system in this place is so deep that I cannot even believe it.
    The Conservatives have put forward a four-pronged approach in this session. We do have the solutions. The reality is that life was not this hard before this Prime Minister and it does not have to be this hard after him. It is going to be a lot of work to get out of this; I understand that. There are incredible people with incredible ideas that really truly innovate and are going to revolutionize our world, but carbon tax is not it. We need to axe the tax. We need to build more houses. We need to fix the budget. We need to stop crime.
    The first piece of that, axing the tax, is the simplest and most common-sense thing to do. Everybody who is watching at home is so frustrated by this place. I want them to know that we are, too. They ask what we are doing. We are in opposition, and the NDP and the Liberals signed a coalition, which they call a supply agreement. They can call it whatever they want, tomayto-tomahto, but the reality is they are going to work together for a majority.
    However, Conservatives know that the majority of people watching at home do not want this tax. We know that. We will not stop. We will continue to fight for this. I urge every member to do the right thing and vote for this motion to axe the tax.

  (1245)  

    Madam Speaker, how things change for a bumper sticker. In 2021, the member who just spoke actually campaigned on an election platform that had a price on pollution. There are actually 19 members who not only campaigned on it in 2021 but also campaigned on it in 2008. There are 19 Conservative members, including the leader of the Conservative Party. How things have changed.
    As other countries in Europe are accepting the need for a price on pollution, and even many American states, places south of Canada, we recognize that the environment matters.
    Why is the Conservative Party today, that far right MAGA party, in so much disagreement in recognizing that climate issues need to be addressed? When will the Conservative Party come out with a climate—
    The hon. member for Peterborough—Kawartha has the floor.
    Madam Speaker, I think what the member opposite is talking about is listening, gathering data and, as a real leader would do, recognizing when something they are doing does not work. That is actually what we are asking the Liberals to do today. Instead of doubling down on something that they just believe is great, we are saying the data is in and the carbon tax is not helping anyone. It is not an environmental plan. There have been no targets met. A true leader listens, pivots and changes according to the needs of the people they are elected to serve. That is exactly what leadership is, and that is exactly not what the Liberals are doing.

  (1250)  

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, at the beginning of her speech, the member read the motion. I would like to do the same. The motion reads as follows:
     That, given that the carbon tax has proven to be a tax plan, not an environmental plan, the House call on the Liberal government to cancel the...carbon tax increase.
    I would suggest to the member that the tax credits being offered to oil companies for carbon capture are also more of a tax measure than an environmental measure. I just want to know, in the interest of consistency, if the member is also proposing to abolish the tax credits for carbon capture.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the reality is that we have to axe the tax. People and Canadians are taxed into oblivion. Those bills I read into the record are asinine. We are being taxed on a tax. I go back to the butter. If we take away anything, it is the butter effect. It is melting away businesses and families. When butter goes from $2.49 to $7.49 in eight years, that is catastrophic. It is the one example of how the carbon tax does not work. We must get rid of the tax.
    Madam Speaker, I care about the price of butter. I am a cook, and I admit that I tend to go the Julia Child route: If there is more butter in the recipe, it never hurt anybody.
    I know the price of butter has gone really sky-high, but I just googled to check. The price of butter in both Canada and the U.S., in both countries, has increased dramatically.
    There is a reason, which I have dug into a bit because I was prompted.
    I wish Emily Mae's Cookies the very best. I double-checked, and we are not related. Her name is spelled “Mae” and I am “May”. Anyway, I wish her the best, but the price of butter in Canada and the U.S., where they do not have a carbon price, has gone sky-high.
    The explanation, when we look for it, is that the heat waves through the summer meant that cows produced less milk at the same time that consumer demand for dairy products like ice cream, because it was hot, went sky-high, so we ended up having a double whammy for dairy producers.
    I am meeting with dairy producers next week. I can ask them about it, but the price of butter in the U.S. ranges in U.S. dollars from $2.92 a pound to $8.76 a pound, which converts to Canadian dollars from $3.92 a pound to $11.57—
    I have to give the hon. member for Peterborough—Kawartha a few seconds to answer.
    Madam Speaker, I think if people have any conversation with these dairy farmers, they will say, without a doubt, that this carbon tax is crippling them. That is across the board. Bill C-234 is about that. That is what I would push back on. I would—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Vancouver Centre.
    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Vaughan—Woodbridge.
    I am standing here to speak against this motion. It is a motion that is so based on ideology. It would do great harm to Canadians. A carbon tax is regarded by a majority of economists and policy researchers to be the most simple and powerful tool to limit carbon dioxide emissions. It is based on a premise that the polluter pays, which is the basis for most of our just systems, that people who do harm pay for that harm. It taxes polluters.
    A price on pollution is not a new idea. Norway initiated a carbon tax in 1991, taxing 80% of all its fuel emissions. In fact, since then, its fuel consumption and greenhouse gases emissions have gone down by 25%. Sweden and other Scandinavian countries did this in 1997. In 1991, Sweden brought in a $177 Canadian per tonne carbon tax. That is six times what we pay now in Canada. Other countries like Denmark and Finland all initiated carbon taxes in 1991. Their greenhouse gas emissions have fallen considerably and their economies and jobs have improved and increased.
    I do not want to just talk about other countries globally. I want to talk about our own backyard. I want to talk about my province of British Columbia and the fact the it initiated a carbon tax in 2007. Since then, greenhouse gas emissions have gone down by 15%, and it has not harmed the economy. In fact, the British Columbia economy is one of the most vibrant in all of Canada. After seven years of having a carbon tax, B.C.'s GDP increased by 12.4%.
    During the 2008 recession, when the Conservatives were in government, B.C. outperformed the Canadian average, increasing its GDP by 12.4%. In fact, it is now one of the lowest GHG emitters in Canada. It is now thriving in its economy and moving upward.
     It has created 123,000 new jobs in the green tech sector. Those jobs are paying an average of $90,000 per capita. That is pretty good money. It is attracting a lot of young people to British Columbia to work in green tech. At the moment, it has attracted 300 new companies from around the world to invest in British Columbia. Why? Because of the premise of a carbon tax, which is a federal premise that is revenue-neutral that goes back in rebates. The rebates and the revenue neutrality has given British Columbia the ability to lower taxes on some economies and industries; the ability to lower personal income taxes; and the ability to pass on money to low and middle-income Canadians, who get back more money than they pay in their fuel consumption tax.
     What it is finding is that because of a low commercial and personal income taxes, 300 companies have invested in British Columbia.
     British Columbia has also invested in green technology, which is what the federal government is doing as well, which has created new, well-paying jobs. Lower and middle-income people, farmers and businesses benefit from that low tax rate and from rebates. They help families, businesses and farmers.

  (1255)  

    I know that the World Bank and the United Nations have cited British Columbia as having the best tax in the world and is a model to follow. However, I know that party does not think well of the World Bank and would like to leave the United Nations. I hear that this is one of its plans. Therefore, I am going to cite somebody else whom the Conservatives might find more credible, which is the OECD. It says that the B.C. carbon tax is a “textbook” example of how to get it right.
    Let us balance that with what the tax is doing, how it is helping people and what it has done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with what the Senate committee said in its report called “Treading Water: The impact of and response to the 2021 British Columbia floods”.
     What is the cost of doing nothing? What is the cost of climate change to us? Apparently, climate-change damage cost every Canadian $700 each year because of the money spent to remediate the problems we had with the fires and floods. In fact, we have had wildfires now for six years in British Columbia and two of those wildfires cost $720 million in insured losses last year, making it the most costly insured extreme-weather event the province has ever seen.
     Over the past 50 years, the costs of storms, floods and wildfires in Canada have risen from tens of millions of dollars to billions of dollars annually. Who pays that? Who helps out? It is the federal government. Therefore, that is costing us money. It is billions of dollars. In fact, in 2019 and 2010, the insured losses for catastrophic events were over $18 billion. With respect to the health costs, in Ontario alone, the health costs were shown to be $770 million last year because of the fires in Ontario.
    In British Columbia, when the floods occurred, the farmers, whom the Conservative Party says it cares about, lost millions and millions of dollars in farmland and in livestock, and the government had to help them. Both the B.C. and federal governments had to put money in to help these farmers out of their problems. A thousand farms in British Columbia were impacted in the floods last year, 15,000 hectares of land and $2.5 million in livestock in one flood.
     The Province of B.C. is still trying to calculate the loss of tourism due to the fires. I am not hearing anything from the Conservatives about what they would do about the extreme costs that governments have to bear and all the problems we face when we do this.
    Professor Tombe, an economist and public policy professor at the University of Calgary, said that if we were to axe the tax, as we have been hearing repeatedly from those people, it would benefit the highest-income bracket in Canada and be hardest on a “large fraction of low- and middle-income” families, and businesses.
    I want to end by quoting Mark Twain. He said, “Never let the [facts stand] in the way of a good story” or, in this case, a good bumper sticker. Let us talk about facts, and I brought facts to the table. Let us do away with the ideology, really do the math and clearly see that B.C. is the best example in the world as to what a carbon tax can do.

  (1300)  

    Madam Speaker, I will bring facts to the table. BCBC is a very reputable industry representative and it has been very concerned about where CleanBC is going. I will get to my question, but this is from BCBC's article, entitled “BCBC warns CleanBC will lead to ‘serious job losses’ on path to 2030”. The article states, “That data suggested that B.C.’s economy would be $28.1 billion smaller in 2030 due to the impact of CleanBC policies.”
    The member across the way swears that everything is going to be grand in B.C. Our economy is going to contract by almost $30 billion because of policies like this. Could the member please explain that?
    Madam Speaker, I think I said it all in my speech, but I will reiterate it. BC Stats and Statistics Canada say that the B.C. economy rose by 12.4% when other economies in Canada were going down. They said that 300 new companies, since the tax took effect, are now moving into B.C. to work in green technology. We are looking at about 130,000 new jobs in B.C. and about $90,000 per capita.
    I have no idea what the member is talking about. The statistics prove it.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I found some aspects of my colleague's speech really interesting. She has done a great deal of research on this to justify the carbon tax, and I commend her for that. However, I would like to hear her thoughts on the following fact. In the last two federal budgets, the government introduced six tax credits that will total $83 billion by 2035. These tax credits are primarily intended for oil companies.
    What does she think of that? Is that okay? Should that money not be invested somewhere else? She was talking about climate change. Should investments not target climate action?

  (1305)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it is very clear that we do not just have a price on pollution. As we can clearly see, we are investing in green technologies across the country. In Quebec, B.C. and across the country, we are helping to build new industries. We are giving them start-up funds, we are moving them forward and they are growing extremely well. That is one of the things we are doing.
    At the same time, some of that money has to go to paying the costs. I just read the amounts out from the Senate report. The costs of fires and floods, the damage to farmers and livestock and the damage to families have to be reimbursed somehow. There is a cost of not having a carbon tax. There is a cost of climate change.
    Madam Speaker, I want to reiterate that I agree with much of what was said around the impacts and costs of the climate crisis being experienced by people across the country and in my home province of British Columbia.
    One thing I noted was when the member talked about how if we use it, we should pay for it. I have one observation that contradicts that. Suncor, with carbon loopholes, paid one-fourteenth of what it should have paid last year in taxes. In fact, Canada's five biggest oil and gas companies had $38 billion in combined profits last year at the expense of Canadians. This is why my NDP colleagues have been calling on big oil to pay what it owes.
    I am wondering what the member can share around why the Liberals are continuing to protect the profits of big corporations instead of finally calling out big oil and gas to pay what they owe.
    Madam Speaker, I do not think the Liberals are doing that anymore. They have moved to stop helping oil and gas companies. When I talked about British Columbia, one of the things that happened was that fuel usage went down by 16%, so it is not using as much fuel. We are investing in electric cars. Across the country, there is a whole highway that allows for the use of electric cars. We are putting money into the electric car industry and we are bringing down all the causes of pollution at the same time.
    It is not a one-shot deal. We cannot just poke at one thing. There are multiple factors that go into changing greenhouse emissions. It is something that this government is addressing. It is something that the British Columbian government addressed.
    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise in this most esteemed House and to see many of my colleagues here this afternoon.
    On this opposition day, and in reference to the opposition motion, I have much to say. First off, as I stated yesterday in the House, the IMF has put out its economic forecasts for the year, for 2024-25. With our economic policies in 2024, we will be the top quartile for economic growth in the G7 and, for 2025, we will actually lead the G7 in the economic growth rate, in real GDP.
    As a very competitive person, whether it is through sports, working on Bay Street or Wall Street, or in all my experiences, I like to win. When we compete globally, with our economy, we need to win. Canada is winning.
    Through the many economic policies and pillars that we have put forward, we will continue to win. We will continue to grow a strong economy from the middle out and from the bottom up, not from the top down. We will grow an economy that works for all Canadians, with inclusive economic growth.
    It is February 1. February is my favourite month in many ways, although I prefer summer over winter. We know that, as of today, the Canadian dental program is going to be hitting another milestone. Seniors aged 72 to 76 in this country will be able to enrol in the Canadian dental program. Amazingly, 400,000 seniors had already signed up. Now we will get several hundred thousand more signing up.
    This will deliver real savings to seniors, both in the riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge and across this country. It is a very exciting thing that we are implementing, the way that it is being implemented, with the provider, Sun Life, working with the Canadian Dental Association. Day in and day out, Canadians expect us to do this: to work for them, strengthen our economy, make sure life is affordable and deal with the issues at hand.
    Another issue I would like to raise is that I was really happy to see that the European Union has reached a unanimous agreement to provide Ukraine, the brave Ukrainian people fighting for freedom and democracy, with a €50-billion package as they fight against the tyranny of Russia, the unjustified invasion by Russia into Ukraine's sovereignty.
    I would hope that, when this House again addresses the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement, the opposition party stands with the brave Ukrainian soldiers and the brave Ukrainian people, who are fighting for their freedom and democracy. This would be much like what our allies, our friends and our NATO partners in the European Union are doing. It would be a real shame if the Conservative Party of Canada voted against the Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement.
    Another measure that we have introduced is the first home savings account. Over 500,000 Canadians have opened an account. This combines the great features of a TFSA and an RRSP. Making a contribution is tax deductible. It grows tax-free. When one pulls it out to buy one's first home in the years down the road, the withdrawals are tax-free. Again, this is another major measure that we have put in place.
    I could talk about the Canada child benefit, which has lifted hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. I could talk about two middle-class income tax cuts that are literally providing nearly $10 billion of annual tax savings to Canadians.
    I could talk about a national early learning and child care plan. By September 2025, here in the province of Ontario, on average, day care fees will be $10 per day. My family is quite blessed in many ways, and our little one, Leia, goes to day care. The annual amount a family was paying at Leia's day care went from nearly $1,600 to $1,700 a month to, now, just a couple hundred bucks. This is in after-tax funds, so we can think about the before-tax calculation. Those are real savings.

  (1310)  

    This is in collaboration with the Province of Ontario. Ontario's minister of education, who is my neighbour and a good friend, touts this plan and how great it is probably every other day. That is what Canadians expect.
    When I turn to pure economic policy, we have a AAA credit rating, of course. We have the lowest deficit-to-GDP ratio. We will have the strongest economic growth. What does that translate into for Canadians? It means strong and real wage growth, strong incomes and strong job growth. This is where we are going. We are going to the economy of tomorrow, and it is happening today. This is what we need to embrace.
    This is what climate change is pushing countries to do. It is leading countries to do this, not only here in Canada but also in the United States. Countries like China, Australia and the European Union are all going in that direction. When one thinks about climate change, one thinks about artificial intelligence. Canada is a leader. We are leading and will continue to do so.
    We have a great country filled with over 40 million wonderful people; every morning, whether in my riding of Vaughan—Woodbridge or across the country, these folks get up and want the best for their families and their kids. They want to make sure we keep this country on a track where inclusivity and economic growth are paramount, where every child has an opportunity to succeed and put the best foot forward in life.
    The following is with regard to the motion and so forth.

[Translation]

    Yes, I am pleased to take part in today's debate. My opposition colleagues want us to once again make it free to pollute in Canada. I wonder, though, how allowing people to pollute without cost would really make life more affordable for Canadians.

[English]

    How are we helping Canadians? With the carbon rebate, we know that eight out of 10 Canadians are better off. We know that businesses continue to grow and 84% of the electricity generated in Canada is carbon-free. We know we are putting forward investment tax credits that will boost economic growth and generate clean electricity.
    I see some of my colleagues here from the east coast on the opposite side. There is Bill C-49 for such measures, which the Premier of Nova Scotia and the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador want to see put into law, that would generate economic activity. As I have said many times in this place, I love capitalism, growth and wealth creation. That is how one lifts all boats. I love free trade. Canada is a signatory to so many trade agreements.
    Up to a point in time, members opposite were in favour of free trade agreements, such as CETA, CUSMA and CPTPP. Now the world is dealing with climate change. In reality, I am not sure most of the members opposite believe in climate change or even in science anymore, unfortunately. Vaccines for polio and measles—
    An hon. member: Oh, oh!

  (1315)  

    Madam Speaker, I hear some heckling on the other side.
    Vaccines are required, and kids get them when they go to school. This is much like what we needed to do to fight COVID.
    This is where we are at today; this is the debate, so let us have a debate. We put forward a plan to fight climate change, as well as many measures in this House that are leading us in the right direction. We see the investments in the auto sector here in Ontario, such as the one announced by the Premier of Ontario and the Prime Minister in St. Thomas, a Conservative member's riding, with the Conservative MP cheering on this massive investment. However, the official opposition does not comment.
    It is the same thing with Bill C-49, so let us have a debate.
    In terms of putting a price on carbon, when one has an externality, one needs to internalize it and put a cost on it. We need to do that in a way that moves the economy forward and makes life more affordable for Canadians. This is exactly what leadership means.
    I look forward to answering some questions from the opposite side. It is always a pleasure to rise in this House. I want to wish the residents back home a wonderful day. To my wife and my three daughters, daddy will see them tomorrow night and we will have dinner together.
    Madam Speaker, my question for the hon. member is simple and straightforward. All indications tell us that the carbon tax is not working, and it is not reducing emissions. That is a very fundamental reason to scrap the tax and axe it.
    Does he believe the carbon tax is working?
    Madam Speaker, it is really nice to see the hon. member for Edmonton Manning. He is a gentleman, and I consider him a dear friend in this House.
    I will say this: When we put forward a full plan to fight climate change, whether it is with innovation or putting a price on carbon, the parts are all interlinked. They all work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are leading the way with strong economic policies and internalizing the cost of an externality, according to Coase's theorem, if I go back to my graduate days in economics at university. That is exactly what we are doing. That is exactly what we will continue to do.
    It is always great to see the hon. member for Edmonton Manning.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, we know full well that the Liberal government and the Conservatives get along just fine when it comes to doling out billions of dollars and tax breaks to Canadian oil companies. We know that the Minister of the Environment said that this government had abolished subsidies when in fact they never were abolished. The government nationalized the Trans Mountain pipeline, which has cost $30.9 billion to expand. Most of that cost will be passed on to taxpayers.
    I would like the member to explain to me what the government is going to do to improve the environment and the cost of living.

  (1320)  

    Madam Speaker, first, let me say that I support the oil sector across the country.

[English]

    I fully support the energy sector here in Canada and the over 800,000 workers who work in the sector. They are and will continue to be a crucial part of our economy as the experts of oil and gas, natural gas and so forth. The usage of these fuels will be critical for our economy for years to come, as the world adopts new sources of energy and electricity. It is very important.
    On the affordability front, the $10 day care and other benefits for Canadians, such as the child care benefit, are long-lasting measures that are going to be in place well after all of us have gone on to retirement in some shape or form. They will continue to benefit Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
    Madam Speaker, I had an important question, but then I got caught up, when the member was talking about how much he loved capitalism, in reflecting on the fact that we are here talking about solutions around the climate crisis. It is a little concerning to me that, when we are talking about a system that focuses on growth and profit at the expense of everything else, we are continuing to promote the reproduction of the system that is creating the climate crisis that we are in. I could go down a whole rabbit hole on that one.
    I wanted to ask about the greener homes grant. My colleague was talking about the emissions coming from residential buildings. Will there be further investment into the greener homes grant? What will be happening to ensure accessibility of this funding? We know that there were huge issues with people being unable to access the funds. Having to pay ahead, for example, is a barrier for people living on low incomes.
    Can you please tell me what the Liberals are committed to when ensuring that everybody has access—
    I will not be able to tell the hon. member anything.
    The hon. member for Vaughan—Woodbridge.
    Madam Speaker, I thank the member from Vancouver Island for their question.
    As we know in this world that we live in, and from economic history and world history, capitalism works. It has lifted billions of people out of poverty and raised standards of living for people across this world on any measure. We know it is a system we are blessed to have. Communism, socialism and all the other forms people want to think and talk about have failed; look at other countries. I do not need to say more.
    On the greener homes grant, it is imperative, as a government, that we continue to support Canadians, particularly low- and middle-income Canadians and folks who are on heating sources such as oil. I remember growing up in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. My grandmother's house had an oil tank in the back. We got rid of it in the 1970s and 1980s, but we need to get rid of them all and put heat pumps in and—
    We have to resume debate.
    Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my hon. colleague, the member for Kootenay—Columbia, which is such a pleasure. British Columbia will always have a dear spot in my heart because I lived there myself.
    On behalf of the great people of Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame who have entrusted me to come here and bring their thoughts to this place, I stand today to beg the Liberal-NDP coalition to not increase the carbon tax by 23% on April 1.
    After eight long years of the Liberal government, people of Newfoundland and Labrador are tired. They say it is has gone past its expiry date. People are hurting; they have had enough, yet the Prime Minister jets off to the Caribbean and has an $89,000 vacation passed on to him for free by one of his rich friends. However, that is not the sad part. While he is taxing Canadians with the carbon tax to slow us down on our burning of fossil fuels, in one week he puts 100 tonnes of emissions into the atmosphere, while the average Canadian puts out just 15 tonnes of emissions per year.
    People are hurting. The inflationary carbon tax hits the farmers who grow the food, the truckers who truck the food, the grocers who sell the food and the consumers who simply drive to the grocery store to buy the food. This is why the Conservative Party put forward Bill C-234, which would take the tax off farmers who grow the food.
    We have heard some rhetoric from the NDP-Liberal coalition. My hon. colleague for St. John's South—Mount Pearl, with his famous words last year, said he was sick and tired of people's talking about a cold winter and what they are doing. Then there is my colleague, the member for Avalon, who sometimes does not know whether he is coming or going when it comes to the carbon tax. We will see, I guess, where he stands on Monday. We hope that he does not just turn into a quicker flipper-flopper-upper and that he hangs in there and supports his constituents. I know where I stand; I stand with the people.
    Last week, the CBC interviewed me and wanted some comments about the statement from my colleague, the member for Avalon, about the desire for a leadership review. I told them that I understood the member's frustration after seeing his leader being involved in the Aga Khan scandal, SNC Lavalin and the WE scandal. After all, his leader is the son of the guy who brought home the Constitution. It is unbelievable to see the Prime Minister continuously working against the Constitution, which his dad was so proud of. For example, there was the unconstitutional use of the Emergencies Act, the single-use plastics ban, the oil and gas emissions cap, the unconstitutional Bill C-69, the environmental impact assessment bill. Now we are being face with Bill C-49 in committee, which references, 73 times, the unconstitutional Bill C-69.
    The Liberals want to stop the production of oil off Newfoundland and Labrador, and in fact in all of Canada. They want to tax us and surrender the production of our clean, environmentally soundly produced oil with good labour standards and turn that production over to dictators with bad human rights records who produce dirty oil, under no environmental regulations for the most part.
    If the NDP-Liberal coalition wanted to do something about cutting world emissions, it would be turning its attention to coal. In 2023, coal usage in the world set a record. Next year, it is going to go to new record heights.

  (1325)  

    Meanwhile, Canadians are being punished with a carbon tax. Coal produces 40% of the world's emissions. Natural gas produces half of the emissions coal does. The Chancellor of Germany came last year, begging us to supply Germany with liquefied natural gas to get it off dictator Putin's natural gas and to support the people of Ukraine. The Prime Minister said there was no business case for producing liquefied natural gas on Canada's east coast. Newfoundland and Labrador is the closest point to Europe in North America. We have trillions of cubic feet of natural gas sitting there, being reinjected, which we could bring ashore—
    Can I interrupt the hon. member, please? There is a lot of noise in the courtyard.
    The hon. member.
    Madam Speaker, what is Germany doing right now? It is building three new ports to take liquefied natural gas, predominantly from the U.S., which last year exported 90 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas.
    Newfoundland and Labrador is half the distance to Europe as the Gulf of Mexico is. Is that not something? Another country, Argentina, is right now building a $10-billion LNG production facility. There is nowhere in the world farther from Europe than Argentina is. Maybe the South Pole is.
    People might ask what the big deal is. Why can we not produce more liquefied natural gas, and use technology, not taxes, to get the world's emissions down? We do not understand it. It is mind boggling for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and for all those across this great country of Canada who understand the dilemma the world is facing. However, we have a big part of the solution right here in Canada. We can export to China and to Japan from British Columbia, which is the closest point in North America to Asia.
    The big question is how, on Monday, the member for Labrador, the member for Long Range Mountains, the member for Bonavista—Burin—Trinity, the member for St. John's South—Mount Pearl and the member for St. John's East will vote. I think I know how the member for St. John's South—Mount Pearl will vote.
    About the member for Avalon, I am not so sure. I see him over there contemplating, and I think he is going to vote with us. He is a great fellow; all in all, I really have a soft spot in my heart for him, but we are taking bets on the member for Avalon. In the last two votes, one time he voted for axing the tax and the next time he voted against it. What will it be this time? I do not know. It is 50/50, and two out of three is not bad. I know he is listening. Two Out of Three Ain't Bad is a famous song by Meat Loaf. We will see how he goes.
    I will tell the House one thing for sure: I am going to vote to stop the tax increase on April 1. There is another thing that is certain: When Conservatives are elected, we will axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime. Let us bring it home.

  (1330)  

    Madam Speaker, we just witnessed the four bumper stickers in the last five seconds of the member's comments.
    It is interesting that he makes reference to flip-flopping. If we want to talk about a fish out of water, we can take a look at what the Conservative Party's approach has been with the price on pollution, as it has flip-flopped over the last number of years, dating all the way back to 2008, when 19 Conservative MPs who still sit in the House, including the leader of the Conservative Party, said they supported a price on pollution. However, that does not comply with the need for the bumper sticker, I guess.
    A question for the member is this: Why is the Conservative Party being so selective in what it is telling Canadians, when there is a carbon rebate that more than compensates for the so-called carbon tax for more than 80% of the constituents I represent and in fact for 80% of Canadians as a whole? Why is the Conservative Party manipulating Canadians?
    Madam Speaker, the member stands here constantly flapping his gums and contradicting the Parliamentary Budget Officer, who said that 60% of Canadians are going to be worse off. The government has had eight years and is putting a carbon tax on Canadians with no results.
    Our message is straight: We are going to axe the tax, and bring it home.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I commend my colleague from Newfoundland for his passion. I serve with him on the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. We heard a very strong plea in favour of oil and oil-related prosperity.
    Apparently, we need to stop putting a price on carbon. We need to invest in oil and create greenhouse gases. That will give us plenty of money to clean up the mess caused by climate change, so that is great. I would like my colleague to tell me what his arguments will be when people become victims of climate change. More and more people are becoming victims of climate change right now.
    What do the Conservatives have to say to the people of Baie‑Saint‑Paul who are still waiting to find out whether their homes can be salvaged after the flooding this summer?
    Climate change is going to continue to happen. What does my colleague have to say to the victims? Will the oil industry generate enough money to support all the victims of climate change?

  (1335)  

[English]

    Madam Speaker, in my speech I laid out pretty clearly that coal usage last year was at an all-time high. It is going to be at another high next year. A new record is going to be set in 2024 and in 2025. Therefore, while the people of la belle province are being hammered by carbon tax 2, emissions continue to skyrocket.
    We want to produce natural gas and supply it to China, India and Germany, which brought back online new coal plants last year, to bring down coal emissions.
    We need technology, not taxes. Let us bring it home.
    Madam Speaker, there are thousands of jobs being created offshore in the United States because of Biden's investments into clean energy.
    The member said that the Premier of Newfoundland is just not very bright and has somehow been hoodwinked by the nasty Liberals because he wanted to create clean energy jobs in Newfoundland. He also said that the Premier of Nova Scotia got the wool pulled over his eyes. My family is from Nova Scotia, and they are not dummies there. However, when they want to create thousands of offshore jobs, Conservatives, including the member, have to vote against it because their only plan is to burn the planet. He is outraged that the leaders of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland are pushing for a clean energy Atlantic accord. He is going to vote against it. He is going to tell his people he is going to vote against those jobs and that his own premier is some kind of dummy for supporting jobs. I think he should look in the mirror because he has it all flipped.
    Madam Speaker, the people of Timmins are just disgusted with their MP. They are being carbon taxed to death. The people of the member's riding have to put up with the cold and their energy bills this winter, as well as the cost of food, which is being driven by the carbon tax. They cannot stand this—
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Kootenay—Columbia.
    Madam Speaker, right now every generation is giving up the dream, the dream of owning a home, the dream of warm holidays, the dream of a secure retirement, the dream of not living paycheque to paycheque and the dream of being able to afford heat and groceries for their family.
    The actions of the Liberal-NDP coalition with this carbon tax has caused significant harm to Canadian farmers and consumers alike. The government has been making every effort to prevent farmers from receiving a carbon tax exemption for drying grain, barn heating and other farm operations, as well as hard-working Canadians from heating their homes. A carbon tax on all forms of home heating has already been voted down by the Liberal-Bloc coalition, and the Liberals and NDP still plan to quadruple the carbon tax on farmers. This increase of 23% will only lead to a further increase in the cost of food for Canadians.
     It is clear that taxing the farmers who grow the food, as well as the truckers who transport it, will inevitably lead to higher prices for consumers. The Liberal-NDP coalition's actions have completely left Canadians out in the cold. It is critical that steps are taken to support our farmers and ensure affordable food and heat for all Canadians.
    I am not sure if the government fully understands the financial pinch that the majority of our country is in right now. Any of my constituents who can fly around on a private jet know what it costs when they see the bill. When was the last time our Prime Minister saw, read or paid a bill for private flights? I believe he is too far removed to keep this country going and feel the financial pressure that even a small percentage increase in grocery prices can bear.
    Furthermore, Liberal-appointed senators voted significantly to change Bill C-234, which aims to provide relief to farmers from this carbon tax. This will only make the situation worse for farmers who are already struggling to keep up with the rising costs of production. These appointed senators gutted the bill before sending it back to the House of Commons, which means that it will have to go through further amendments before it can be passed into law. More red tape, more stopgaps, while the government fails to come up with solutions that do not just benefit themselves. We need to take action and ensure we can provide much-needed support to our farmers.
    The Parliamentary Budget Officer has released a report estimating that Bill C-234 will save Canadian farmers $1 billion by 2030. This would result in a reduction of food costs for Canadian families, many of whom are currently struggling to afford groceries. The report highlights the importance of passing this bill to support the agricultural industry and improve the financial well-being of Canadians. It is concerning to me, and should be a concern to everyone, that with this report, the Liberals are still against it. I would question the motive behind not wanting to reduce financial stress on Canadian citizens.
    It is time to stand up for our hard-working farmers and families. I have heard from many of my constituents in Kootenay—Columbia about the effect of the carbon tax on their everyday life. We are experiencing a 52% increase in monthly visits to the food banks and have also had reports of previous donors now becoming clients. This level of increase is something I never imagined we would be experiencing in Canada.
    Theresa in Wasa has recently moved into her car due to the continuous prices increases. Alex in Cranbrook has three jobs to make ends meet for him and his wife. Richard in Creston was charged $39.25 for his natural gas with a $57.00 carbon tax fee, and then that tax was taxed.
     Why is the Liberal-NDP government implementing a tax and also taxing that tax? It looks like another way for it to line its pockets with our constituents' money so that it can continue to overspend with its off-balance budget. The government's goal seems to be testing how hard it can push Canadians to their financial breaking point. I can tell this House that we are already there. Families are feeling the financial strain and it is spilling into all areas of their lives.
    Julie, a senior, called me and said that she had a piece of toast and half an apple for breakfast. Why only half an apple? She said she saves the other half for lunch. She could not remember the last time she had eaten meat. It is critical that the government fully understands the appalling financial state it has put this country in. Our seniors have worked their younger adult lives to contribute to society and better this country, and their reward? Taxes upon taxes, and deciding which half of an apple to eat for their meal. The government's legacy is going to be its citizens choosing between heat or food to make ends meet.

  (1340)  

    ATCO Wood Products, a third-generation sawmill in my riding, produces wood veneer, wood chips, biomass, wood gardening supplies, posts and landscape ties. It has reported it paid $400,000 in 2023 for carbon tax. In 2030, it will be $1.2 million.
    The family-owned and run business gives back and provides excellent resources to our community and the country. It is successful in sustainable forest management on both Crown and private lands by thorough planning and responsible practices. It is hard to fathom that the tax that was meant to be an incentive to cut emissions has now become a noose for businesses providing essential products to our citizens.
    What is really interesting is the tax on the carbon tax. This year that is $500 million, rising to $1 billion in 2030, and a total tax grab of $6.23 billion over the next eight years.
    It is concerning to see the failure of the NDP-Liberal government in promoting Canadian LNG to the European Union. Instead, the EU had to fund Russia's war machine, which is not a sustainable solution. As a country with the most ethical leader in production energy, it is disappointing to see no action being taken. That is a missed opportunity for Canada to promote its clean energy resources on the global stage. We urge the government to take immediate action in promoting Canadian LNG to the European Union.
    I am deeply concerned about the rising unaffordability in Canada, which is causing many Canadians to lose their homes and contributing to homelessness. This crisis is having a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities across this country.
    Further to that, the homelessness crisis is directly contributing to the ever-expanding opioid crisis, as many individuals who are homeless are turning to drugs to cope. Due the increase of opioid users, business owners are reporting damages to their stores and property, resulting in them no longer contributing to the community in the ways they need to. We need to stop the crime. This trickle effect directly takes away from the community, since business owners are now putting money back into repairs and not into the community.
    As I have mentioned, our food banks are seeing the results of this effect. This is a complex issue that requires attention from all levels of government, and the Liberal government needs to take immediate action to address the root causes of this unaffordability: overtaxing.
    Conservatives believe that it is critical to support our farmers and our families by ensuring that they are not burdened with additional taxes. Adding a frivolous tax to make up for the government's budgetary mismanagement is downright shameful and it needs to stop. We need to fix the budget.
    We will continue to fight for the elimination of the tax on everything, for everyone, for good. We believe Canadians should be able to keep more of their hard-earned money and not be burdened by unnecessary taxes.
    We believe the red tape on the housing industry, preventing homes from being built, needs to stop. We need to fix homes.
     We believe that the dream of owning a home, going on a warm holiday, having a secure retirement and not living paycheque to paycheque should not be a dream at all, it should be a reality. Overtaxing is taking away from our Canadian citizens. Our hard-working constituents should not be weighed down by the necessity of having multiple jobs or choosing heat or food.
    We need to axe the tax.

  (1345)  

    Madam Speaker, the Bank of Canada has made it very clear that the impact of the price on pollution or the carbon tax is actually having on inflation is less than 1%. It is actually .15.
    Canadians have a choice. They can listen to what the independent Bank of Canada is saying the impact on inflation is, or they can listen to the Conservative propaganda and spin that is an attempt to provide misinformation and give the impression that the impact on inflation is 4% or higher because of the carbon tax.
    Can the member indicate to the House what he believes? Does he believe the Bank of Canada is right, or his leader?
    Madam Speaker, I believe the actual answer is .6. It is massive. I do not think the parliamentary secretary has the facts correct.
    Madam Speaker, I share the concerns of the member for Kootenay—Columbia with respect to food bank lines. The fact is, though, in my community, the lowest income folks get more back in rebates than they pay in a carbon tax, because they do not have multiple homes and multiple cars.
    The carbon tax went up 2¢ a litre last year. Do members know what does not have a rebate attached to it? The gouging of oil and gas companies across the country, and the reason why gas prices have gone up 18¢ a litre. What does the member think should be done about the gouging of the oil and gas industry, if he claims to care about affordability?
    Madam Speaker, the reality is that a senior called me to say she does not remember the last time she ate meat. When we talk rebates, where is the rebate in that case if she cannot afford to eat? She eats half an apple. That is absolutely unacceptable.
    We need to quit taxing our citizens, especially seniors and those on limited incomes. Single-parent families are being taxed and they cannot afford to eat.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I find it interesting that the Conservatives have started sharing their election platform this week.
    I have a very specific question for my colleague. Good intentions are all well and good, but what is the cost of doing away with the carbon tax? How much less money will be in the government coffers?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, it comes down to affordability. When the carbon tax costs a small family business $400,000 and going up to $1.2 million, how can we expect businesses to be successful? How do we expect our grocery stores to sell affordable products when we are taxing the farmers, the truckers and the stores? The rubber will hit the road when Conservatives remove the taxes.

  (1350)  

    Madam Speaker, I am a little confused about the speech by the member today, who is also from B.C., specifically because, since 2007, B.C. has created its own carbon pricing mechanism and people in British Columbia do not pay a federal carbon tax.
    Could the member clarify for the House exactly what he is talking about?
    Madam Speaker, how about this? If the federal government axes the carbon tax, I think the B.C. provincial government will as well, as I believe it was pressured into creating a carbon tax when it was told if it did not, the government would.
    Madam Speaker, I will read a quote by the Governor of the Bank of Canada. It states, “The contribution that's making to inflation one year to the next is relatively small. If you want me to put a number on it, it's in the range of 0.15 per cent”. It is not 0.6% and definitely not what the Conservative Party says. That is from the Bank of Canada.
    Will the member now apologize for saying it was 0.6%? It would be a bonus to hear him apologize on behalf of the leader of the Conservative Party for continuously misleading Canadians.
    Madam Speaker, I would ask the member about the $6.23 billion that is being grabbed due to the tax on the tax, the GST on the carbon tax.
    Madam Speaker, we are here today to talk about the opposition day motion that is being brought forward by the Conservative Party. Members know that I love to have the opportunity to speak to this and to have some good back and forth with my Conservative colleagues across the way, but I have a little work to do before I get there.
    This place is always an opportunity for us to bring together Canadians of great excellence and people who are doing extraordinary stuff. The hon. member for Waterloo and I, and indeed the member for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, were just in the Speaker's salon to celebrate U Sports' top eight athletes in the country, and those athletes may be here in Ottawa. I know we have rules around highlighting those individuals in the House, so I will not flirt too closely with that, but members should perhaps be observant of where there might be some young, athletic-looking individuals here in Ottawa who do tremendous things in sport. However, the hon. member for Waterloo and I want to do two things, specifically.
    We are proud of all our athletes, and as a former varsity athlete myself, I was named an Academic All-Canadian. I was told today that, on average, there are about 4,900 students out of approximately 20,000 in the country. Therefore, I am proud of that accomplishment, and I talk about it, but this is not about me. What I want to highlight is that we then take the top eight of those and celebrate them.
    I am very fortunate to have a constituent of mine here today. Haley McDonald from Port Williams was an excellent basketball player in her fifth year at Acadia, and she graduated last year. She is now giving back to the community in tremendous ways, not only through volunteering her time to coach the varsity team but also through community programs. She is here in Ottawa today, and I want to make sure her name is on the record. I am very proud of her.
    The second name that I agreed to say, and again, I would love to say all eight, but I do not have all the details, is Hannah Blair who is an athlete from Waterloo. She did not stray far from home. She went to the University of Waterloo to continue her education. She mastered in kinesiology, and she is a heptathlete, which means that she competes in multiple disciplines in track and field.
    As I look around at the potential athletic ability of the House, there are some great people who would be good at shot put and some skinny, athletic-looking MPs who I am sure would be good in the 100 metres. There are heftier people like me who might be good at the pole vault, or whatever. However, the beauty of a heptathlete is that they can do it all. They are the five-tool athlete in the sense of track and field. I know that Hannah is here in Ottawa, and my hon. colleague for Waterloo wanted to make sure that was put on the record, and I am happy to help her out and to assist her in that. Enough with the nice sentiment. We are very proud of athletes.
    I will now talk about the opposition day motion. The motion is about the Conservative opposition proposal to pause the carbon price altogether this year. Of course, this is one of the many opposition day motions we have seen from the Conservatives about either eliminating the carbon price altogether or pausing it and doing anything they can do denigrate a policy that is actually one of the most important we have in our fight against climate change. There are a variety of policies the government has brought forward. The Conservatives love to focus on carbon pricing. In the 15 minutes I have left and after question period as well, I will talk a little about that.
    I like to think I bring a certain level of credibility to this debate, because I have been both supportive of carbon pricing and calling for adjustments to the national program. I am proud to see that the government made adjustments before Christmas, which I think is going to create more equity across the country. Those are a higher rural rebate and exemptions in home heating oil, and they are making sure the policy fits for all Canadians.
    I know that I have drawn the ire of my Conservative colleagues, and I look forward to a time when we are able to have that conversation. I know the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan will stick around after QP, and I cannot wait until we have that back and forth.
    However, the opposition would ask: Why do we even have a carbon price? It is that climate change is real, and the science is real. We need to have policies that work to reduce GHG emissions.

  (1355)  

    Might I remind members in the House that 2023 was the hottest year on record? Climate change is no longer some distant challenge and something we have to work toward as a collective society; it is on our doorsteps today. We saw it this past summer, and indeed we saw it in Kings—Hants with the worst forest fires in Nova Scotia's history and some of the worst flooding we have seen in decades. Sadly, it resulted in the deaths of four of my constituents in the terrible flooding we saw. We saw infrastructure impacted. We saw houses destroyed. This is no longer something we can just talk about as a future challenge; it is on our doorstep today. It is here. It is now. It is present.
    Members of Parliament in the House who want to see action in this regard also have to be realistic about how we talk about the policies. I have heard some members of Parliament, particularly in the opposition benches, ask question like these: How is a carbon price going to stop the next hurricane? How are environmental policies going to stop the next forest fire? They are not wrong to point that out, but they are missing the point that the carbon price today is not about stopping the hurricane next summer. It is about fighting for our kids and our grandkids years down the line. Therefore, it is an oversimplification where they try to suggest that environmental policy and affordability cannot go hand in hand. I look forward to talking about how we are doing just that.
    Let us also recognize that there are real affordability challenges today. Many of us who sit in the House are quite privileged. We have opportunities, and perhaps the affordability crisis is not hitting our shores in the same way it is for other Canadians. We have to remember that. Most Canadians, including many of my constituents, are thinking about getting through to the next day. They are thinking about getting to next week, in terms of their paycheques and in terms of their ability to pay rent.
     It is disappointing the way that the Conservative Party has positioned environmental action as contrary or somehow mutually exclusive to affordability. I do not see that as being the case. The Conservatives never talk about the fact that money is rebated to Canadians. They never talk about the fact that climate change itself has huge impacts. Whether it be insurance premiums or whether it be the way governments at all three levels have to step up and to help support and rebuild communities, it has a cost to all of us. The Conservatives never talk about the fact that there are 77 jurisdictions around the world that have a form of carbon pricing. They never talk about the fact that there is the ability to walk that line between environmental action and affordability.
    I cannot wait until the next part, and I look forward to engaging with my colleagues on this matter.

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Statements by Members]

  (1400)  

[Translation]

François Tardif

    Madam Speaker, today, I would like to pay tribute to a great man, a great soccer coach in my region, but above all an exceptional human being with a huge heart who left us far too soon.
    Everyone called him Frank. He was a man with a zest for life, a loving husband, an exceptional father, a generous friend and an outstanding soccer coach who devoted more than 40 years of his life to teaching others and sharing his passion for soccer and life. He was a pioneer and a model to us all. His passion, joie de vivre and sense of humour left a positive mark on the careers and lives of many a young athlete.
    In a book on the history of soccer, François Tardif was quoted as saying, “Soccer, what a great sport! You chase after a ball, but it is so much more than that. This sport is also about living together, respecting others, learning to put your shoulder to the wheel; it is a way of socializing. Without teamwork, we would just be kicking a ball!”
    My condolences go to his wife, Micheline, his children, Audrey and Alex, his grandchildren, his friends, and all the players he coached. Thank you, Frank.

[English]

Stanley Boyd Joseph Upper

    Madam Speaker, today, I rise with a heavy heart to acknowledge the passing of a valued community leader, Dr. Boyd Upper. We pay tribute to the life of a champion of many charities. Throughout his long and illustrious career, Boyd was involved in Canadian politics and contributed to key elements of national unity. In the early 1960s, Lester B. Pearson enlisted him to help plan the basis for universal public health.
    Boyd also served for 30 years as president and chief medical officer for Associated Medical Services. In honour of his contributions to Canadian medicine, Queen's University created the annual Associated Medical Services/Boyd Upper Award for deserving students. As president of the Clear the Air Coalition, he also helped to develop a national air quality management system.
    Above all, Boyd was a loving husband to Eva and a father to John. He was a mentor to many of us, and we are grateful for his sage advice and leadership. We thank and honour Dr. Boyd Upper for his years of dedicated service to Canada.

Blake Spiller

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Portage's very own Blake Spiller, the head coach of our Portage Terriers, who recently broke the Manitoba Junior Hockey League's record for the most regular season wins, which was previously set at 670 games. He not only smashed the league's win record but also is now one of just four MJHL coaches to have been behind the bench for over 1,000 games. As a young man, Coach Spiller played for the Terriers, and then he went on to become their assistant coach before becoming their head coach in 2006.
    Coach Spiller is a role model to so many in our community and has mentored countless players throughout the years. We are so incredibly proud of his achievements, such as winning multiple MJHL championships and the Royal Bank Cup.
    I also want to thank his family and the Terrier organization for supporting Coach Spiller all these years. Success would not be possible without the love and support of the entire team. Let us keep bringing home those wins, Blake.
    Go Terriers, go.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, over the past several weeks, my colleague and I have had many productive conversations with Brampton residents about the importance of keeping our community safe. This is why this government responded to the request from law enforcement agencies and municipalities to organize a summit on combatting auto theft on February 8, to define real actions and implement impactful solutions with partners in policing, government and industry across Ontario.
    This week, the Minister of Public Safety made a federal investment of $121 million to help prevent gang violence and auto theft in Ontario. This is yet another step to continue supporting law enforcement agencies on the ground, resulting in criminals behind bars and more successful operations. We are also strengthening Canada's Criminal Code, keeping repeat violent offenders in prison with Bill C-48 and supporting the—

  (1405)  

    The hon. member for Salaberry—Suroît

[Translation]

Donna Nichilo Bigras

    Mr. Speaker, it is with great sorrow that I rise today to share news of the passing of Donna Nichilo Bigras, a wonderful resident of Saint-Chrysostome. Ms. Bigras was a beloved mother, wife, friend, valued community leader, force of nature and model of positivity. The luckier among us would also say that she was a generous culinary genius.
    Ms. Bigras actively lobbied elected officials in the Huntingdon riding. I remember this woman of conviction for her deep respect for others, her warm personality and her absolutely remarkable dedication. Life for Ms. Bigras had its trials, but each time she emerged stronger, more loving and more radiant.
    I offer my sincere condolences to her husband, Gilles, who has lost his loving companion of the past 53 years, to her daughters, Michelle, Tammy and Joanna, and to her loved ones in Quebec, Texas and Italy.
    Donna, we will remember you.

[English]

Data Privacy Week

    Mr. Speaker, January 22 marked the start of Data Privacy Week, which is an important time to discuss how we can strengthen privacy and security for Canadians. Findings from a recent survey by Interac revealed that nearly eight in 10 Canadians believe their data is more exposed than ever, with six in 10 saying they lack the confidence to protect their personal information.
    The government is taking action here by moving forward with a framework for consumer-driven banking. This framework will eliminate the need for the dangerous practice of screen scraping, whereby consumers are forced to share their banking credentials. Not only will this give Canadians more control of their financial data; it will also keep them and their data safer.

Hon. Noël Kinsella

    Mr. Speaker, today I reflect on the Hon. Dr. Noël Kinsella, 42nd Speaker of the Senate, who passed away last December.
    Dr. Kinsella was a human rights advocate, scholar and parliamentarian. With his passing, New Brunswick has lost one of its greatest sons. Dr. Kinsella was renowned for his brilliance, decency and fairness. He spent 41 years as a faculty member at my alma mater, St. Thomas University.
    Prime Minister Mulroney nominated Dr. Kinsella for the Senate in 1990. He was selected by Prime Minister Harper to serve as Speaker of the Senate in 2006, a role he held until his retirement in 2014.
    While he is well known for his work, the love he and his wife shared was remarkable. Our hearts are with Ann.
    Noël Kinsella has earned his rest. He was a champion of human rights and principled public policy, a staunch adherent to parliamentary procedure and the rule of law and a man whose quiet dignity spoke volumes.

Conservative Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, earlier this week we found out the Conservatives have four priorities. One of those priorities is budget cuts. That, to me, speaks volumes. It is about the hidden Conservative agenda. When people think of that agenda, I want them to think about the vulnerability of health care. I want them to think about the vulnerability of child care. What about the dental care program?
    One of the things we also found out this week is that the Conservative Party is going to cut the Canada Infrastructure Bank. That is hundreds of millions of dollars for every region of this country and taps into additional billions of dollars of other forms of investment. Building our infrastructure is building a healthier Canadian economy. It creates jobs. It creates opportunities for all Canadians.
    I ask them to tell us more about their hidden agenda.

Tourism in Halifax

    Mr. Speaker, tourism is an economic anchor in Nova Scotia, and in Halifax the sector is recovering faster from COVID than expected. This is not surprising, perhaps, as we were the only Canadian city on Forbes' top 24 places to visit in 2024 list.
    People want to visit us, and now, with the grand opening of the very first Marriott brand Moxy hotel in Canada, they are going to have a fabulous new option for their stays. The hotel is scattered with thoughtful accents of Halifax history and references to its present and future.
    Inside, one will find decor from Pier 21, our bridges and the Port of Halifax, as well as a hidden room adorned with stained glass and pipe organ installations to invoke Trinity Anglican Church.
    I want to congratulate Joe Metlege, Norman Nahas and the entire team at Moxy Halifax Downtown on their recent grand opening.

  (1410)  

Black History Month

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today on this first day of Black History Month 2024 to honour the rich tapestry of our great nation and the contributions Black Canadians have made to the fabric of Canadian society.
    From Mathieu Da Costa's pivotal role as a translator in the 1600s to when we revel in Oscar Peterson's timeless music, watch our children's hockey games and remember the innovative Colored Hockey League in Halifax, founded in 1895 and where the first slap shot was pioneered, African Canadians have made substantial contributions to Canadian society, including in academia, arts, sciences, sports, business and politics.
    As we observe Black History Month, let us cherish and unite in our shared Canadian past and our common future.

Harness Racing

    Mr. Speaker, this upcoming weekend, Prince Edward Island will be the proud host of the prestigious 35th annual Joe O'Brien Awards. Standardbred Canada is thrilled to be returning to P.E.I., where the famous Joe O'Brien had his start, just like many other Islanders who are finalists in several harness racing categories this year.
    The harness racing industry has deep roots in P.E.I. as part of our culture and community fabric. For many, it is generational. It also provides employment and economic opportunities for Canadians and rural communities across this country.,
    A huge thanks to organizers, volunteers and Standardbred Canada for hosting this event. I wish all finalists, particularly those with Island roots, good luck this weekend. I congratulate everyone for their contributions to this industry.
    As the legendary harness racing announcer Vance Cameron has said, we will be at it and to it on P.E.I. this weekend. It is showtime.

Liberal Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the Liberal-NDP government, everything in Canada feels broken. The costly coalition continues to raise the carbon tax every year, making it more difficult for Canadians to fill their cars up with gas or pay their home heating bills. Many Canadians cannot find a place to live, and those who can are struggling with rent and mortgage payments.
    The debt goes up every year as the Liberals and NDP continue to mortgage our children's future by running deficits. Crime rates continue to rise because of the Liberal and NDP's catch-and-release policies toward criminals. Clearly, this Prime Minister is not worth the cost.
     Whether the election comes this year or next year, a new Conservative government would axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime. Those are the priorities of Canadians, and those are the priorities of our Conservative team. That is what we would do in government.

Innovation, Science and Industry

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday at the industry committee, the former CEO of the Liberals' billion-dollar green slush fund revealed that the Liberals were aware of corruption and self-dealing at the fund for years. As early as 2019, the then industry minister, Navdeep Bains, was informed that the company of the Liberal-appointed chair was receiving millions of dollars from the fund. Despite this outrageous conflict of interest, the Liberals allowed the chair to remain in charge.
    This new evidence completely shreds the credibility of the current minister, who claims that the Liberals only recently learned of corruption at the fund, corruption involving the misappropriation of tens of millions of taxpayers' dollars. The minister knew about the corruption. He turned a blind eye to it, and when he got caught, he tried to cover it up. It speaks to the utter rot and corruption on the part of the Liberals. Canadians deserve so much better.

[Translation]

Anne-Marie Philippe

    Mr. Speaker, I would like to pay tribute to Anne-Marie Philippe, a caring woman and outstanding volunteer who dedicated her life to her community here, in Ottawa-Vanier. She left us far too soon and too suddenly in early January.
    Anne-Marie Philippe was not only a familiar face in our area, she was also known for her community involvement and dedication to volunteering. She was a fixture at every community event, and the yellow Optimist Club jacket that she wore with pride made her easy to pick out of a crowd. For more than 30 years, she worked alongside her second family, generously giving her time to the Optimist Club's many community activities and contributing to Perspectives Vanier. To top it off, she channelled her contagious energy into her work with children affected by cancer through her involvement with the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Foundation.
    It has been a true honour and a gift to have known her all these years. I thank her for her volunteer work and for the tremendous difference she has made in our community.

  (1415)  

[English]

Klyde Broox

    Mr. Speaker, as we celebrate Black History Month, let us honour the legacy of our recently departed brother, Klyde Broox, who ascended to our ancestors on January 20, 2024. Klyde Broox, a.k.a. Durm-1, was a beacon of literary brilliance and activism. Born in Jamaica and making Hamilton his home, Broox's journey from an award-winning dub poet to an international literary figure is a testament to the power of words to inspire change.
    His accolades, including the Nathan Brissett Poetry Prize, the James Michener Fellowship and the Hamilton Arts Award, barely scratch the surface of his impact. Through works like Poemstorm and My Best Friend Is White, he challenged us to confront complex racial dynamics with honesty and empathy, and he did so by bridging divides and celebrating our shared humanity. In fact, more laudable than all of his formal accolades in life, Klyde's contribution was capturing contemporary oral Black history.
    Rest in power, my brother.

[Translation]

     Happy Black History Month.
    The hon. member for Manicouagan.

Bernard Descôteaux

    Mr. Speaker, the former director of Le Devoir, Bernard Descôteaux, passed away on January 13, and people's reactions to this sad news say a lot about the kind of man he was.
    Mr. Descôteaux, who worked in just about every job there is at Le Devoir, including that of parliamentary correspondent here in Ottawa, was a boss who was well-loved by everyone. He deserves much of the credit for the survival of this veritable Quebec media institution, which he successfully guided through the print media crisis.
    This soft-spoken man was a powerful force who always stood up for the independence of his journalists. At a time when the winds of polarization had already begun to blow on our social debates, he remained moderate and objective. Honest, caring, calm and inclusive, this quiet nationalist's intellectual rigour and kindness made a lasting impression on everyone he met.
    Our thoughts are with his family and friends, as well as his entire extended Le Devoir family, who just lost a great man.

[English]

Liberal Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, the government remains in denial that its punitive carbon tax causes inflation. Who says the carbon tax is inflationary? It is the Parliamentary Budget Officer; the Governor of the Bank of Canada; every farmer, manufacturer, producer, distributor and retailer in Canada; and Canadians who buy food. Maybe Canadians are just experiencing this differently. The Prime Minister is just not worth the cost.
    After eight years of the Liberal-NDP government, food inflation is out of control. When we tax the farmer, food gets more expensive, yet the costly coalition keeps its head in the sand. Inflation will get worse when the Prime Minister increases the carbon tax on April Fool's.
    In contrast, common-sense Conservatives brought forward a solution to address high food costs with Bill C-234, exempting farmers from the carbon tax, but Liberal-appointed senators were whipped to gut the bill.
    A Conservative government would axe the tax, fix the budget, build homes and stop the crime.

Student Athletes

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the top eight Academic All-Canadian student athletes, who were recognized last night by U Sports and the Governor General for their outstanding achievements: Madisson Lawrence, Jordan Canham, Hannah Blair, Ashton Miller-Melançon, Yoan David, Haley McDonald and Aiden Goslett.
    Finally, I give a special shout-out to Emmy Fecteau, captain of the Concordia Stingers women's varsity hockey team, who call NDG's Ed Meagher Arena home. In addition to stellar grades and many athletic accolades, Emmy is active in our community, coaching girls' hockey and as the lead instructor at the Stinger hockey school.

  (1420)  

[Translation]

    I thank Emmy for having such a positive impact on our community and for inspiring future generations of young girls to play field hockey. I congratulate her and all the student athletes. I encourage them to continue their exceptional work.

ORAL QUESTIONS

[Oral Questions]

[Translation]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years, this Prime Minister is not worth the chaos.
    His Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship admits that Quebec's housing and services are under intense pressure as a result of the refugee crisis. This crisis followed the Prime Minister's decision to remove visa requirements for Mexicans, increasing the number of refugee applicants from 250 to 17,000. Only 11% of them are accepted as genuine refugees.
    Will the Prime Minister reverse his decision, do an about-face and restore order to our system?
    Mr. Speaker, as you well know, this kind of decision must be taken seriously. We must first take very important diplomatic steps with Mexico. We will not be making any rushed statements in the House of Commons.

Public Safety

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is not worth the chaos, nor is he worth the crime.
     Auto theft is a federal crisis. The decision to amend the Criminal Code to release car thieves was a federal one. Mismanagement of federal ports makes it possible for thieves to send our vehicles off to terrorists and organized crime. The RCMP, which is responsible for fighting organized crime, is federal, too.
    Will the Prime Minister reverse course on his mismanagement and his changes to the federal Criminal Code in order to fight the crisis he caused?
    Mr. Speaker, I know the opposition leader likes coming up with reasons to blame everyone.
    I would like to set the record straight by saying that we are working with provincial partners in both Ontario and Quebec on this very important issue. We have invited provincial ministers, police forces, the manufacturing industry and insurance companies to meet with us next week. I myself had an excellent meeting with the Conservative Premier of Ontario, and we are going to do even more to tackle this problem.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, lots of meetings, lots of photo ops, lots of spending and lots of car theft, after eight years, the Prime Minister is not worth the car theft crime, which is up 300% in Toronto and 100% in Montreal. This is a federal problem. It is his mismanagement of federal ports that allows our cars to be stolen and sent abroad. His quick release of criminals on catch-and-release who steal our cars is a federal matter and it is mismanagement of our federal police force, which is responsible for organized crime.
     Will the Prime Minister reverse his failures, so we can stop the car theft?
    Again, Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition forgets one important thing that this government did in collaboration with the provinces from coast to coast. We strengthened bail conditions to ensure that precisely the circumstance that my hon. friend continues to repeat, inaccurately, is not the case.
     I was very pleased that Premier Ford thanked our government at the event yesterday for working with them constructively to put these auto thieves behind bars and do everything we can to bring an end to this unacceptable practice.
    Mr. Speaker, here are the facts. The Liberals brought in catch-and-release bail. They reversed part of it, but guess where catch-and-release remains in place, even after their most recent bill, car theft. Therefore, car thieves can still get catch-and-release, same day bail because of the Prime Minister's amendment to the federal Criminal Code.
     Ports are federal; he mismanaged them. The RCMP is federal; he mismanaged that. The Criminal Code is federal; he brought in catch-and-release. Will he not own up to his failures and reverse these decisions so we can keep our cars?

  (1425)  

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, when the Minister of Public Safety and I were with the Premier of Ontario, we announced $121 million of funding to help with attacking crime in places like Ontario. That will help to stop this flow of what we see in terms of auto theft.
     The other thing we heard from the premier, and what we have heard from the law enforcement officials who were there, is that if we want to tackle this we have to tackle organized crime. Interestingly, the Leader of the Opposition is directing his caucus to vote against anti-money laundering initiatives that are contained in the fall economic statement to address exactly that.

Finance

    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has accomplished something only he could do. Our central bank, which can create cash, is actually losing money. How did this happen? He forced the central bank to create $600 billion in cash to fund his overspending over the last three years. To pay for it, the bank makes deposits into the accounts of large financial institutions. Interest rates on those deposits, of course, have gone through the roof, meaning that taxpayers are now forced to bail out those losses.
    Will he admit that his incompetence now forces Canadians to pay twice: once for the inflation the money printing caused and twice to bail out the bank, which is failing?
    Mr. Speaker, I am not sure if the Leader of the Opposition is aware, but Canada has the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio and the lowest deficit in the G7. What we do on this side of the House is maintain prudent fiscal responsibility, while investing in Canadians, especially vulnerable Canadians.
    Let us look at the Canada child benefit, let us look at $10-a-day child care and let us look at the Canada dental benefit. On this side of the House, we actually have compassion for Canada.

[Translation]

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, the CMHC report confirms that the housing crisis is worse than ever. The vacancy rate is the lowest it has been in 20 years. Rents are up 8%, and finding a new home in Quebec is 17% more expensive.
    Why is this happening? It is because the population is growing too quickly. To be clear, immigrants are not responsible for the housing crisis. The Liberals are to blame, thanks to their out-of-touch immigration policy. They got everyone into trouble, starting with immigrants.
    Will they amend their immigration policy and bring it in line with our integration capacity?
    Mr. Speaker, this is interesting. The Bloc does not want to blame immigrants, yet they are telling us to amend our plans.
    I would like to ask the Bloc members from rural ridings to go and visit the farmers in their ridings to see where they are finding workers. Would they want to reduce the number of temporary workers?
    The Bloc members need to answer the question, because it is a very important one that needs an answer.
    Mr. Speaker, there is a shortfall of 3.5 million housing units according to the CMHC. Meanwhile, the Liberals are increasing immigration levels again in 2024 and 2025. They refuse to spread out asylum seekers among the provinces to alleviate the burden on Quebec. As a result, a heartbroken asylum seeker anonymously told the Journal de Montréal, “I'm scared because I am with my daughter. She is only nine. I do not want to end up on the street.”
    When will the Liberals realize that their irresponsible policy is affecting real people?
    Mr. Speaker, it is true that this affects real people. People should not be treated like cattle. They need to be treated with respect and compassion. It is true that we are making efforts to send asylum seekers to other provinces when they request it, but people need to be treated with respect.
    That is why I announced yesterday more than $300 million to house asylum seekers. Canada is not exempt from the historic influx facing the west.

Grocery Industry

    Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers never get a break when it comes to buying groceries. Metro's CEO, Eric La Flèche, is telling people to brace themselves because, starting today, eating is going get even more expensive.
    What is the Minister of Industry doing? He tells us to keep an eye on the flyers. Then he tells us that he wants to stabilize prices that are already too high. Now he wants another inquiry. That is classic Liberal dithering. We know what the problem is. People are getting pummelled at the cash.
    When will this government stand up for people instead of millionaire bosses?

  (1430)  

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, every day, we are going to do our work to make life more affordable for Canadians, including addressing the issue of food prices in our country.
    Of course, members will recall the introduction of the grocery rebate recently, but we are also putting forward new measures to strengthen our competition laws and are launching recruitment efforts to bring more international grocery chains into Canada, which will create competition in the market place, creating better prices for families.
    We are going to continue to do what we can to help people who are struggling, including implementing reforms that will help address the cost of food.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, Manulife just cut a deal with Galen Weston that forces Canadians to fill their prescriptions at Loblaws. This robs patients of their choice of pharmacist and hurts local community pharmacies. Experts say that this will restrict Canadians' access to over 250 medications. This is not only anti-competitive, but once again shows Liberals putting corporate greed ahead of people's health, while the Conservatives say nothing.
    Will the government protect patients and block this corporate collusion, as Quebec has done?
    Mr. Speaker, we are deeply committed to ensuring that Canadians have access to the drugs they need for their health and well-being. We have worked hard to make hundreds of millions of dollars in savings, nearly $300 million in savings, through bulk purchasing.
    We are working with provinces and territories through our bilateral agreements to continue to find ways to improve health care across the country and to ensure that Canadians have access to the health care they need.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years, the Prime Minister is not worth the cost. The carbon tax is going to drive up food prices again on April 1, when he drives it up by 23%. What is that going to do for food prices?
     The Keilstra poultry farm in Okotoks has said it is going to go from paying $180,000 this year to $480,000 when the carbon tax is fully quadrupled. These are hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra taxes that all get passed on to the shoppers in the grocery aisles, and the rebate does not cover any of it.
    If the Prime Minister will not axe the tax, will he at least cancel his April 1 increase so food prices do not go up even further?
    Mr. Speaker, families in my community do raise the cost of food as a very real concern. That is why we put forward measures like the grocery rebate. That is why we are introducing new reforms that will increase competition.
    If the Conservatives would like to help, there is something the opposition leader can do. He can pick up the phone. As I am sure he knows, his chief adviser, Jenni Byrne, is actually a registered lobbyist for Loblaws in Ontario.
    Before the Conservatives sling arrows at this side of the House, I would invite the opposition leader to do what we all know is one of his favourite things: take a look in the mirror.
    Mr. Speaker, this from a government that literally wrote a cheque on taxpayer dollars to give Loblaws millions of dollars for new fridges.
    I would like to correct the record. It is not families that are raising grocery prices in stores; it is the government with its carbon tax.
    The principle of the carbon tax is to make everyday things in life more expensive and more punishing. The Prime Minister does not care because he never has to deal with those costs. He does not have to pay the carbon tax on his flights or put packages of beef back on the shelf.
    Will he finally have some mercy on Canadian families and axe the tax?
    Mr. Speaker, I am sure members will agree with me that it is hard to accept criticism from Conservatives when the person responsible for running their campaign is getting paid on the side to lobby to government Loblaws, the giant grocery chain, which is causing families to pay so much more for groceries than they were previously.
    On this side of the House, we are going to put measures on the table that are going to help families put food on the table.
     The Conservatives will align themselves with big grocery chains. We are going to do everything we can to make life more affordable.

  (1435)  

    Mr. Speaker, today the Conservatives tabled a motion asking the NDP-Liberal carbon tax coalition to cancel its plans to increase the carbon tax on April 1.
    After eight years, the Prime Minister is not worth the cost, and farmers' tax bills prove that. The numbers are staggering.
    Prairie Gold Produce in southern Alberta is paying $1,500 in carbon taxes every single day. That is unsustainable. It has no option but to pass that onto consumers.
    Will the Prime Minister finally axe his plan to increase the carbon tax on April 1 and make food and farming more affordable?
    Mr. Speaker, the impacts of climate change on our agricultural sector are incredible, which is why we have put in place measures to help our farmers diminish their greenhouse gas emissions.
     Let us talk about how much the farmers in the ridings of our colleagues have received: in the riding of the member for Carleton, $2.4 million; in the riding of the member for Dufferin—Caledon, $3.7 million; in the riding of the member for Haldimand—Norfolk, $22 million.
    Mr. Speaker, the environment minister is struggling to find some positive numbers.
    I will tell him the number. When the Liberals quadruple the carbon tax, it will cost Canadian farmers $1 billion a year. That does not include the GST, also $1 billion, that the Liberals are charging on top of the carbon tax. Higher carbon taxes and more GST will mean higher food costs for Canadians.
    When two million Canadians rely on a food bank every single month, the Prime Minister is clearly not worth the cost. How many Canadians need to rely on a food bank before the Prime Minister cancels his plan to increase the carbon tax on April 1?
    Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that Conservative members of Parliament should stop misleading Canadians.
    The carbon price is a thoughtful approach that addresses climate change and affordability. Eight out of 10 Canadian families get more money back. The Leader of the Opposition's plan to address the climate issue is to take rebates—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Colleagues, some members are having great difficulty hearing the response over the furor. I ask members to allow the answer to be given, so that all members can understand what is being said.
    The hon. minister, from the top.
    Mr. Speaker, I would just say that the Conservative Party needs to stop misleading people.
    The carbon price is an appropriate and thoughtful way to address climate change in a manner that actually addresses affordability. Eight out of 10 Canadian families get more money back. The Leader of the Conservative Party's plan to address climate change is to take rebates away from Canadian families. It is to let the planet burn. It is to actually ensure that Canada's economic competitiveness will be eroded going forward. He should be ashamed of his thoughtless policy on climate change and the Canadian economy.

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, what the Liberals should be ashamed of is the fact that, after eight years of this Prime Minister, food banks are stretched to the limit because too many Canadians can no longer afford to put food on the table. Things are only going to get worse on April 1 because the Prime Minister is going to further impoverish families with a new carbon tax hike. We can also count on the Bloc Québécois to support that new tax hike because the Bloc Québécois wants to drastically increase the carbon tax.
    Rather than carrying out the Bloc Québécois's political will, which will punish families, will the Prime Minister give Canadians a break instead of a bill to pay on April 1?
    Mr. Speaker, unlike the Conservatives, we are here to support the agricultural industry in the energy transition so that it can produce the food that Canadians need while reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.
    In our colleague from Louis-Saint-Laurent's riding, farmers received over $5 million to help them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and farmers in the riding of Portneuf—Jacques‑Cartier received $1.2 million. We gave farmers across the country $1.5 billion.
    What has the Conservative Party done? It voted against all of these measures to support the agricultural industry.

  (1440)  

    Mr. Speaker, we will always vote against. These taxes will drive up the price of food and make it impossible for Canadians to feed themselves. They will force two million Canadians to use food banks every month. Of course we will vote against these measures.
    I highly doubt the Prime Minister visited a food bank during his $84,000 one-week trip to Jamaica. Surely he has seen how many Canadians go to food banks because they can no longer afford to put food on the table.
    Will the Prime Minister cut taxes so that families do not have to cut back on the amount of food they put on the table, yes or no?
    Mr. Speaker, the member opposite says that he will vote against. I am going to talk about what the Conservatives voted against.
    They voted against the climate action fund to support sustainable agriculture. Last month, they voted against the dairy innovation and investment fund and funding to help supply-managed dairy, poultry and egg producers. That is what they have voted against.
    What do they vote for? We are not sure, but it is certainly not for farmers.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

    Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers have spent $470 million on asylum seekers. Rather than reimbursing them, the minister is instead announcing $100 million for temporary accommodation for future claimants.
    That is fine if it means lower accommodation costs in the future, but he has yet to reimburse the costs that have been piling up since 2021. It is as though the minister has not paid his rent for two years and now he is showing up with part of his February rent, saying we are even. Most people would kick out a roommate like that pretty quick.
    When will he pay Quebeckers back?
    Mr. Speaker, we can hear the members laughing, but yesterday in the House, the leader of the Bloc Québécois compared immigrants to heat pumps. Then, during my announcement of more than $300 million to help house refugees, he was talking about social housing. They are not taking this seriously. It is an issue that needs to be taken seriously.
    We are not negotiating with the federal member for Beloeil—Chambly, the leader of the Bloc Québécois. We are negotiating with a serious government, the Quebec government.
    Mr. Speaker, if he cannot bring himself to answer questions in the House of Commons, he might as well stop coming.
    There is nothing there to reimburse Quebeckers for taking in asylum seekers over the past two years; there is nothing for education, nothing for francization, nothing for health, nothing for last resort assistance, nothing for sharing intake among the provinces, nothing for reinstating visas for Mexicans, nothing for supporting our overwhelmed community organizations, nothing to speed up the file processing for asylum seekers, and nothing for work permits. That is supposed to be his job.
    When it comes right down to it, what tangible difference does that announcement make to Quebeckers?
    Mr. Speaker, as people heard yesterday, we are providing the money. Quebec has done more than its share, and we applaud its efforts.
    There is still work to be done to speed up the work permit process, and we are doing that. We are working with Quebec to speed up the process so that asylum seekers can work in the health care sector.
    That is very important, but the starting point is working collaboratively with the Government of Quebec.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to talk about math. Quebec takes in 45% of all asylum seekers in Canada but receives just under 28% of new investments in temporary housing. Quebec continues to contribute far more than its share of the effort and continues to receive far less than the financial share it deserves. This is one more injustice on top of a bunch of others.
    Frankly, at this point, does the minister realize that we Quebeckers are starting to feel like we are being laughed at?
    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois is not doing anything. Apart from asking questions in the House, Bloc members are doing absolutely nothing while the minister works, collaborates and holds discussions with Quebec.
    We started by contributing $50 million. That is a huge amount. Next we paid close to $70 million, and yesterday, $100 million. That is a lot of money. The Bloc should not ridicule these financial efforts. We commend the Quebec government for the enormous amount of work it has done. We applaud the work done by the Government of Canada, which has been also enormous.
    We will continue to work collaboratively despite what the Bloc wants, which is bickering. There are no quarrels here. We are working together.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians are having a tough time. Two million of them are relying on food banks to feed their families. Meanwhile, the out-of-touch Prime Minister wants to increase the carbon tax again on April 1. Together with their partners in the Bloc Québécois, the Liberals keep making matters worse for Canadians with their so-called environmental plan, which in reality is just a tax plan.
    Will the Prime Minister use some common sense for once and cancel the April 1 tax increase?

  (1445)  

    Mr. Speaker, what the Conservative Party does not seem to realize is that farmers are among the first to be affected by the impacts of climate change.
    Look at the droughts in the Prairies. Alberta thinks it may need to ration potable water this summer for all residents and for farms. What is the Conservative Party doing while this is happening? It is saying that climate change is not a problem and that we can just let the planet burn.
    Our plan is working. We have already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of more than 30 million tonnes, and it is certainly not thanks to the Conservatives. We will continue to be there to fight climate change and work with our farmers.
    Mr. Speaker, that is just further proof of how out of touch this government, including the environment minister, is with reality.
    Canadians across the country are suffering. In Quebec, the carbon tax is having a direct and indirect effect on the cost of groceries, regardless of what the Liberals and the Bloc Québécois are saying. The second carbon tax adds another 20¢ per litre of gas, which has a direct impact on people in Beauce. Unlike the Bloc Québécois, I understand that what is good for Canadians is also good for Quebeckers. We need to reduce the cost of producing and transporting food so that Canadians can put food on their tables.
    I will ask the same question again. I hope that the Liberals will understand it. Will the Prime Minister cancel the April 1 tax—
    The hon. Minister of Transport.
    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to being out of touch with reality, I think the member is leading the pack. He knows very well that the tax, the price on pollution, does not apply in Quebec. He should know that.
    What I would like to know is whether he understands the impact that climate change is having on our farmers.
    Where was he during the floods and forest fires? Where was he when people were displaced? He was asleep at the switch.

[English]

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the NDP-Liberals, my constituents are hurting. Edmund from Whitewater is a senior who lives on $20,000 a year. Since November, he has paid $200 in carbon tax on home heating alone. His quarterly climate bribe was $118, yet the Prime Minister says that Canadians are somehow getting ahead.
    The Prime Minister is not worth the cost. Will the Liberals stop the April 1 carbon tax hike so groceries, gas and home heating do not get more expensive for Edmund?
    Mr. Speaker, folks are entitled to their opinions, but not their own facts. The hon. member knows very well that 80% of Canadian families get more money back, and it works in reverse order of income, so the most vulnerable and poorest people in this country are actually much better off. The Conservative Party would take away the rebate. The Conservative leader's climate plan is to let the planet burn. In fact, when the member for Calgary Forest Lawn was recently asked on television what the Conservative Party's climate plan is, he said it was to build more pipelines and produce more oil. However, they are upset when people call them climate deniers. My goodness.

Housing

    Mr. Speaker, rent is due today. For workers in Port Moody—Coquitlam, that rent will cost over 50% of their monthly paycheque. Some seniors are facing renoviction and homelessness because corporate investors are buying up their affordable homes. The out-of-touch Liberals created this mess alongside the cut-and-gut Conservatives, who work for greedy corporations. Why are the Liberals dragging their feet when Canadians desperately need affordable rental homes now?

  (1450)  

    Mr. Speaker, I sincerely thank my hon. colleague for her advocacy for vulnerable people who are struggling with the cost of finding a place to live. The fact that people are in dire need of housing is why we have significantly increased the pace of introducing policies to build more homes in this country. We have removed taxes from new apartment construction so more apartments will be built, committed an additional $1 billion through the affordable housing fund to get more affordable homes built for low-income families and put federal money on the table to incentivize cities to change their ways, to increase their ambition and to speed up the process of homebuilding. We are going to continue to do what it takes to end the national housing crisis.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that response, but it is just not good enough. Today, rent is due. A new report just came out telling Edmontonians what we already know: Rent is going up while the number of available affordable homes is going down. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister turns a blind eye as Danielle Smith sells off affordable housing just to make her rich CEO friends happy. When will the government stop catering to rich CEOs and put forward a plan to build non-market and co-op housing, so working people can afford a home?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his advocacy. We are committed to building more homes, including affordable housing for low-income families. In fact, in the member's own community, a Métis-led project is going ahead that will provide affordable homes for community residents and support for women and children fleeing violence. We have increased funding for co-operative housing for the first time in decades, with a program to be launched soon that is backed by $1.5 billion. We have increased funding for affordable housing in the recent fall economic statement, with an additional $1 billion. We have constructed or renovated hundreds of thousands of affordable housing units. We care about the most vulnerable and know that they deserve to have a roof over their heads.

Indigenous Affairs

    Mr. Speaker, supporting the growth and future of indigenous communities is critical in advancing reconciliation. This includes land.
    Last weekend, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations was in Nanaimo for the signing of a historic land reconciliation agreement.
    Can the minister elaborate on how this historic agreement with the Snuneymuxw First Nation aligns with Canada's broader commitments to reconciliation and the protection of indigenous rights?
    Mr. Speaker, the history of Canada is built on displacement of indigenous peoples from their lands, which they hold very sacred. This landmark agreement with the Snuneymuxw First Nation, involving the return of Camp Nanaimo lands, represents a significant step in honouring our commitments to reconciliation.
    By returning these lands and supporting the nation's vision for development, we are rectifying past injustices and walking the path of reconciliation. I want to thank the tireless advocacy of generations of people who have advocated for this.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of this NDP-Liberal coalition, Canadians cannot afford to eat. Forcing those who grow the food we need to pay the carbon tax is nonsensical policy. In fact, Vermeer's Dairy, a farm near Camrose, paid $1,700 in the carbon tax alone in December. They expect that to double when the bill comes for this past January.
    The Liberals will, once again, increase the carbon tax on April 1.
    Can someone over there please stand up and admit that it is time to finally lower the cost of food by axing the tax so Canadians can afford to eat?
    Mr. Speaker, being a farmer and being a former dairy farmer, it is hard to imagine what farmers had to deal with with hurricane Fiona. Farmers woke up and went out to their barn. The barn was destroyed. The cattle were killed. It killed the dairy cattle. That is a great cost to the cost of food.
    I am so proud to be part of a government that has an environmental plan, that will make sure that we will continue to work with farmers and to make sure that they are able to deal with the climate issues that they have to deal with in this country. We have and will continue to—
    The hon. member for King—Vaughan.
    Mr. Speaker, today is the birthday of Vishal, the founder of Sai Dham Food Bank, which serves 3.17 million meals per month and delivers groceries to 3,000 seniors.
    The carbon tax has made life and food unaffordable for our seniors. The carbon tax is not an environmental plan. It is a tax plan.
     Vishal's birthday wish today is to donate to Sai Dham Food Bank so that he can provide more food for our seniors.
    Will these Liberals support the motion to stop the April 1 increase of their costly carbon tax—

  (1455)  

    The hon. Minister of Labour and Seniors.
    Mr. Speaker, let me emphasize, once again, that with this carbon plan, eight out of 10 Canadian households do better than they would otherwise.
    The question is: unless they revert to their platform commitment of the Erin O'Toole Christmas wish book, where government will decide what they will do with their money, what will they do with the cash that Canadians currently get, that seniors get every month, that seniors know that they can rely on, that they put toward food, that they put toward rent?
    Where will that money go?
    Mr. Speaker, 40% of Nova Scotians are struggling to pay their electricity bills. Rates have jumped 14% in the last two years and Nova Scotians have to choose between heating and eating. After eight long years, this Prime Minister is just not worth the cost.
    This NDP-Liberal government is going to make things worse on April 1, when its next tax hike comes into effect, when it quadruples the carbon tax.
    Will this costly coalition show some common decency and cancel the tax hike, so Nova Scotians can feed themselves, keep a roof over their heads and keep the heat on?
    Mr. Speaker, the price on pollution is an affordability measure. The vast majority of Canadians receive more money through the carbon price than what they pay. Research from the University of Calgary shows that the Conservatives' plan to cut the carbon price would only benefit the richest 1% and hurt the other 99%.
    While the Conservatives are fighting to give money to the rich and take money away from those who are most vulnerable, we are building a climate plan that addresses climate change in a manner that—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I would please ask all members to keep their comments to themselves. I would ask the hon. member for Cypress Hills—Grasslands to please allow the minister to answer without interruption.
    The hon. minister has 10 seconds on the clock.
    Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, we have the reverse Robin Hoods over here who want to take money out of the pockets of the most vulnerable in Canada and give it to the wealthy in a manner that actually has nothing to do—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!

[Translation]

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of this government, people are running out of money. Food banks were emptied over the holidays.
    We have found out that the Bloc Québécois fully supports the Liberals' policies and wants to hike the infamous carbon tax yet again. Voting for the Bloc Québécois is costly for people in the regions, because the Bloc Québécois has lost touch with regional realities, as we know.
    Could the Liberals come back down to Earth and support our common-sense motion by at least refraining from raising the tax on April 1?
    Mr. Speaker, I have lost count of the number of times I have risen in the House to explain to members of the Conservative Party of Canada that federal carbon pricing does not apply in Quebec.
    It is not complicated. It does not apply. The Government of Quebec introduced its cap-and-trade program over a decade ago, long before the federal program. If the member opposite has a problem with carbon pricing in Quebec, he can call the Premier of Quebec, François Legault. I would be pleased to give him the premier's telephone number.

CBC/Radio-Canada

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Minister of Canadian Heritage opened the door to additional federal funding for Radio-Canada, even though the public broadcaster is about to announce the elimination of 600 positions.
    A number of analysts believe that the cuts planned by CEO Catherine Tait were premature, possibly even excessive, and clearly unfair to the francophone side of the network.
    Will the minister insist that CBC/Radio-Canada cancel these ill-timed layoffs before it receives any additional funding?
    Mr. Speaker, I think the president of CBC/Radio-Canada made it clear that the announcements she made took into account the public broadcaster's current financial situation.
    We know how important Radio-Canada is to Quebec. That is why we are currently assessing how we can better support CBC/Radio-Canada and ensure its survival not just for this fiscal year, but for the long term. Obviously, my goal is to protect jobs at both Radio-Canada and CBC.

  (1500)  

    Mr. Speaker, I like that. That is a good answer. We share the same objective of protecting jobs.
    Demanding that CBC maintain the 600 jobs it has decided to cut is the least they can do before doling out any part of the public federal budget, any amount of money.
    There is also the question of fairness to our private broadcasters, who are struggling even more. Both Bell and TVA have cut hundreds of jobs, and then with Meta blocking news stories, the entire news sector is hurting. So we are all for supporting the CBC, as long as the jobs are protected.
    However, is the minister also going to do her job to help all our broadcasters, all our written online news media, as much as the public broadcaster?
    Mr. Speaker, we are going to continue to work to make sure that we have news media, whether that is private media, our public broadcaster or community media, which play an essential role in every community in Canada.
    We have been there by increasing the payroll tax credit for newsrooms. We are currently looking at all the other measures we can take to better support the sector because we know it is essential to have quality information, particularly in order to fight misinformation and propaganda.
    We are still convinced that this is the right thing to do, and we are going to be there for our media.

[English]

Innovation, Science and Industry

    Mr. Speaker, the past president of the billion-dollar green slush fund shocked committee last night when she revealed that the government was warned of blatant conflicts of interest. The Prime Minister is not worth the cost of his corrupted billion-dollar green slush fund.
    The minister claimed that he learned in 2023, but we now know that the ministry was informed in 2019. After eight years, Canadians cannot believe a word from this NDP-Liberal government. So, why is it that this minister chose to mislead Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. As soon as we found out about these allegations, the Department of ISED acted quickly. The Minister of Innovation has already accepted the resignation of the CEO and Chair.
    We take these allegations extremely seriously, which is why we are doing proper due diligence. Our government is committed to ensuring that organizations that receive federal funding adhere to the highest standards of government. We are committed to get to the bottom of these allegations.
    Mr. Speaker, the former CEO of the Liberal green slush fund revealed that she warned Liberals that the Prime Minister's hand-picked chair, Annette Verschuren, should not be appointed because of her conflict of interest and that green slush fund staff also told the minister of this conflict, but Liberals appointed her anyway. Then, Liberal board members went on award to their own companies more than $20 million of green slush fund money. Liberals had officials in every meeting, but did nothing about this corruption until it was in the media.
    Why did it take a media story for the Liberals to act on this corruption?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives will say anything to oppose fighting climate change, including saying they want to slash an organization that was voted in by this Parliament two decades ago. We are sticking to the facts and due process. We will continue fighting to get to the bottom of this.

Public Services and Procurement

    Mr. Speaker, the NDP-Liberal government has built the worst imaginable system for government contracting. The arrive scam watchdog report found that the government built a system where companies that charge the least are penalized. They actually built a system in which people are rewarded for charging a high price and punished for charging a lower price. “Please sir, we want to pay even more.” It is no wonder the Prime Minister is so out of touch and is not worth the cost.
    After eight years, the only explanation for this is complete insanity or outright corruption. Which is it?
    Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the report from the ombudsman yesterday that released all the issues we have been talking about in our committee over this very issue, and we have taken those recommendations. We have already started to act upon them, and we have already made some inclusions that the ombudsman has identified.
    The member opposite uses that committee to do his TikTok videos, and he is very good at it, but what is really important is that we ensure that we improve procurement, and we are doing so.

[Translation]

Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, Telefilm Canada has always played an essential role in the creation of films and television shows. Its productions reflect our cultural diversity and put Canadian talent on the world stage. Recent years have brought major challenges.
    Can the Minister of Canadian Heritage tell the House about measures in place to support the sector, promote Canadian French-language content and support our very own content creators?

  (1505)  

    Mr. Speaker, my colleague is absolutely right. Quebeckers and Canadians are deeply attached to our culture. We like watching our films and television shows because we are so proud of who we are and of our stories.
    That is why I was so pleased to announce yesterday that we are boosting Telefilm Canada's budget by $50 million so it can keep producing quality content here in Canada.
    We know the Conservatives will make cuts to culture and our public broadcaster, just as they did under the Harper government. Here on this side of the House, we will continue to support the industry because it provides 180,000 jobs and it is very important.

[English]

National Defence

    Mr. Speaker, after eight years of the Liberal-NDP government, our troops are being forced to use food banks and live in tents. According to the Halifax emergency manager, young soldiers are coming to work hungry. The Royal Canadian Legion in Nova Scotia said actively serving members are living rough in tents, living in their vehicles, couch surfing and even entering into relationships that have put them at risk of domestic violence to secure housing.
    Why is the Liberal defence minister allowing this to happen under his watch? Why is he failing our troops?
    Mr. Speaker, of course, the member opposite is once again badly misinformed. In fact, when this was reported in the press, the Canadian Armed Forces in Nova Scotia canvassed all of the members of the armed forces and determined that all of them were properly housed and that the reporting was false.
    Mr. Speaker, those are actually not the facts. Nearly 4,500 serving military members are currently awaiting housing, but the Liberals are building fewer than 20 homes per year for our troops. To add insult to injury, that Liberal minister just cut a billion dollars from the defence budget, and a leaked report confirmed that the minister is hiking the rents for our armed forces members.
    Our military heroes know that those Liberals are just not worth the cost, so why does the Prime Minister always shovel money into the pockets of consultants and Liberal insiders, but cut spending on the backs of our troops?
    Mr. Speaker, it is an extraordinary question coming from the member, inasmuch as he voted against the pay raise we recently gave to Canadian Armed Forces members. He should also be aware that Canadian Armed Forces policy caps rents for all members using armed forces military housing at 25% of their gross income.
    We will continue to make investments in Canadian Armed Forces housing and all of the supports that he keeps voting against.

Government Priorities

    Mr. Speaker, auto thefts are up a striking 34.1% after eight years of the Liberal-NDP government. In my home community of Kamloops, there was recently a car chase that ended with an RCMP cruiser getting rammed, and everyone can imagine our shock when the car was stolen. The NDP-Liberal government just is not worth the cost when it was comes to one's own property and safety.
    When will the NDP-Liberal government start putting Canadians and their property first ahead of fancy vacations and meaningless meetings?
    Mr. Speaker, our government takes the alarming issue of auto theft very seriously. That is precisely why we invested, for example, with the Government of Ontario and local and provincial police forces, and increased resources yesterday to ensure that we are collaboratively doing everything we can do. We are going to add resources for the Canada Border Services Agency. We are going to ensure that the RCMP can continue to partner in the work that it is doing against organized crime.
    We take this seriously and are going to bring this alarming level down very quickly.

Dental Care

    Mr. Speaker, over 400,000 seniors aged 77 and over have successfully applied to the Canadian dental care plan since the government launched the plan in December. These numbers, which include seniors in my riding of Kitchener—Conestoga, demonstrate strong support for the plan. Conservatives voted against funding for the dental plan, despite one in four Canadians having reported they could not afford the cost of their dental care.
    Can the Minister of Health please update the House on our work to provide accessible and affordable dental care for Canadians?

  (1510)  

    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Kitchener—Conestoga for his advocacy to make sure that oral health is available for all Canadians.
    It is now available for those who are 72 years of age and older, and it is going to be rolling out to nine million Canadians. That is 3.5 million seniors and more than a million kids under 18. It is deeply disappointing that the Conservatives are voting against this and looking to get rid of dental care. It is essential not only as preventive medicine but also for the dignity of seniors who are finally being able to replace their dentures and get the oral health care they need.

Health

    Mr. Speaker, the government says it respects reproductive rights, but the closure of Clinic 554 means that Fredericton is without a single provider for safe, trauma-informed abortion care. Despite the Prime Minister campaigning on keeping this clinic open, he has failed to protect the charter right to abortion, and Conservatives are actively threatening this right through backdoor legislation. Abortion rights are human rights.
    Will the minister enforce the Canada Health Act and protect abortion rights in New Brunswick?
    Mr. Speaker, ensuring that women across this country have access to the health care they need in order to protect their reproductive and sexual health is absolutely essential. Of course, we did withhold funding from New Brunswick because of the lack of funding for Clinic 554. It made the decision on its own to shut down, but we are deeply concerned with the impact that this is going to have on the ability of women to get access to an abortion.
    I have already reached out to the Government of New Brunswick. We are continuing a conversation because it is essential that those services be kept open to women across the country, and certainly in New Brunswick.

International Development

    Mr. Speaker, some UNRWA personnel are said to have participated in the October 7 Hamas terror attack. However, Canada had sent UNRWA $48 million by the time the government got around to suspending its funding. Aside from transparency, timing and creative accounting, International Development, Global Affairs, is now shocked to learn taxpayer dollars have been going to an agency joined at the fanatical hip with Hamas.
    Does the Minister of International Development still think UNRWA is a “trusted” agency, or is he finally going to recognize that taxpayers do not like funding an agency linked to a listed terror group?
    Mr. Speaker, these allegations are very disturbing. We have expressed our concerns to the head of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini. We are encouraged by the fact that the United Nations has launched an investigation. While we wait for the results of that investigation, we are increasing our support to the tune of $40 million to support trusted international partners on the ground that are delivering much-needed life-saving supplies.
    What we will not do is jump to conclusions and smear a UN body, like the leader of the official opposition. If the hon. member wants to do that—
    That is the end of question period for today.
    The hon. member for Battle River—Crowfoot is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, a number of times in question period, the Parliamentary Budget Officer's—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I ask all members to take their conversations outside the House so I can hear the point of order.
    All those who can hear my voice, please say “sh”. Thank you.
    The hon. member for Battle River—Crowfoot, from the top, please.
    Mr. Speaker, since this was brought up a number of times in question period, I am hoping that if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent to table the Parliamentary Budget Officer's report that says very clearly that—
    I am hearing many “no”s.
    I encourage all members seeking unanimous support to please negotiate it in advance with the different House leaders.

  (1515)  

[Translation]

Business of the House

[Business of the House]
    Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to welcome the minister of state in the House of Commons, who will take on the role of Leader of the Government in the House of Commons for the next few weeks and months.
    I would like to ask him if the government has planned to put anything of interest to Canadians on the agenda tomorrow, and what the plan is for next week.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Quebec. I assure him that the House of Commons is in for a good time. There will always be interesting things to debate because we keep introducing good bills in the House.

[English]

    Tomorrow, Bill C-57, an act to implement the 2023 free trade agreement between Canada and Ukraine, will be the subject of debate.
    When we return on Monday, we will call Bill C-59, the fall economic statement implementation act, 2023.

[Translation]

    I would also like to inform the House that Tuesday and Thursday will be allotted days. On Wednesday we will begin debate on Bill C‑62 on medical assistance in dying, which was introduced earlier today by my hon. colleague the Minister of Health.

Government Orders

[Business of Supply]

[Translation]

Business of Supply

Opposition Motion—Carbon Tax  

    The House resumed consideration of the motion.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to come back to the points I was raising just before question period. The Conservatives never talk about the rebates that are given to families and businesses in Canada, nor do they talk about the fact that 100% of the revenue collected from the price on pollution is given back to families and businesses.
    There are also costs associated with climate change. Climate change is costing all three levels of government exorbitant amounts and it is also affecting the cost of insurance coverage for individuals and households in Canada. Let us also not forget that 77 jurisdictions around the world have some type of price on pollution or carbon. Canada is not the only one.
    Finally, the reality is that it is possible to address climate change and to make life more affordable. The Conservatives do not think that is possible, but we think that it is very important to do both of those things.

[English]

    I want to bring it back to Kings—Hants, my riding in Nova Scotia, and I want to talk about affordability and environmental action at the same time. We introduced a heat pump program in 2022. It was called, simply, the oil to heat pump program, and it is to help individuals who were on home heating oil to make a transition.
    There are one million Canadian households that still use heating oil in this country, and 286,000 of them are in Atlantic Canada, but they are spread all across this country. The evidence would suggest that the majority of people who still use heating oil are people who are lower income and who do not have the ability to transition off that fuel source. That is exactly why the government introduced a $10,000 program to help people be able to make that transition.
    When I went out in my riding this past summer, I talked to seniors. They would tell me that this is a great program, but the project cost is about $15,000 or $16,000. By the time they would put the heat pump into their home, get the electricity and upgrade things in their house, it would cost a bit more than the $10,000. They told me that they could really not afford that and that they did not have the money to make the transition.
    Because of the leadership of members of Parliament on this side, and because the government listened, we introduced a program that is going to help provide up to $20,000 to households that are below the provincial median income in Nova Scotia. This will also be in New Brunswick, if New Brunswick wants to sign on with Premier Higgs, and certainly in Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. I know conversations are happening with the Government of Manitoba and the Government of British Columbia. This is a program that would be open across the country, where three-quarters, or $15,000, of the money would be paid by the Government of Canada, and $5,000 would be coming in from the provinces.
    I remember having a conversation with the member for South Shore—St. Margarets a few weeks before Christmas, and I compared it to this. Our affordability plan is that we paused the carbon price on home heating oil for three years to help people utilize the program I just talked about to be able to make a transition. I said to the member for South Shore—St. Margarets that his party's affordability plan is to take 17¢ off a litre of home heating oil. Make no mistake, that is extremely important in today's context, but what we are offering is not only that 17¢ a litre right now but also a long-term savings where people can save up to thousands of dollars a year by being able to move over to a heat pump, which is more affordable than home heating oil.
    It is not slogans; it is solutions. That is what we are focused on. That is good for the environment and good for affordability, and what I am focused on is affordability for my constituents. Of course, the Conservatives are opposed to that.
    How about the fact that we have increased the rural rebate? I represent the type of riding in Atlantic Canada where my constituents do not have the same public transit options available to other Canadians, particularly those in more urban areas. I was very pleased to see the government make changes that help ensure greater equity under this system to ensure that, as we return the proceeds of the carbon price, which of course eight out of 10 families receive more money back, we are being mindful of how rural families are impacted.
    That is something this government has done. Liberal members of Parliament have been able to adjust policies because we have asked important and intelligent questions. We have not just stood up and said that we want to get rid of carbon pricing altogether in the country. We achieved more, in terms of the adjustments, than the Conservatives had in eight years, just as they denigrated the policy.

  (1520)  

    Conservatives do not just oppose carbon pricing. They oppose all forms of what this government is doing on climate change, and I will give a few examples.
    This is on Bill C-49, and I will give the Conservatives their due in that, in a world of communications, we have to be slick in how we communicate to the public. Not everyone watches the House of Commons, of course, so they have the line “technology, not taxes”, which is the idea that we will look to focusing on renewable energy, I presume, or different types of technology to help drive down emissions. This is great. I believe in that too. I think the price signal is important, and they actually support one another. However, we then have an example in Atlantic Canada.
     Bill C-49 would amend the Atlantic accord, which is the agreement between Nova Scotia and the federal government, and between Newfoundland and Labrador and the federal government. The reason it is a joint partnership is that it was tied to the oil and gas development that happened in the 1980s. This is extremely important to Atlantic Canada, and we take the Atlantic accord seriously. I remember when the legislation was introduced before Christmas, and it is just as simple as allowing those accord provisions to extend to the regulation of offshore wind, which plays into green hydrogen, and we all know that is a technology that could help bring down emissions. It is also really good for jobs. I thought this was going to get unanimous approval. I did not think there would be any issue. However, the Conservatives gave us a gift because they stepped up and basically went against their own slogan. They do not even support the type of technology that can help bring down emissions and drive really good jobs to Atlantic Canada.
    My job is not only to talk about why that is important to the region I represent, but also to highlight and parse out what it is that the Conservatives do not like about this bill. I sat at the natural resources committee for two hours this week, and the Minister for Natural Resources appeared, but two hours later, I still had not heard a credible idea from the Conservatives about why they are against the bill.
    This is part of a continuing trend because, under the Harper government, members will remember that the member for Cumberland—Colchester at the time, Bill Casey, left the Conservative caucus. Why did he leave the Conservative caucus? It was because Harper was trying to impact and denigrate the Atlantic accords.
    Let us not forget that the last Conservative prime minister—
    Order. I would ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to quell the noise that is in the hallway.
    The hon. member for Kings—Hants may continue.
    Madam Speaker, thank you for trying to keep the decorum. I think members are probably cheering so loudly in the back benches, but that is good. We will get them calmed down in here for interpretation.
    Let us remember, the last Conservative prime minister in this country said that Atlantic Canadians had a “culture of defeat”. That was Stephen Harper. I have not heard that from the member for Carleton, but he was part of that government.
    However, as we try to drive economic opportunities in Atlantic Canada, the Conservative Party suggests that it knows better than the duly elected Conservative Premier of Nova Scotia and the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. These provinces want to agree to these provisions. They want to move quickly. We are in a global race. To listen to the way in which the Conservative Party suggests it knows better than the governments of my region is unbelievable. I do not have words for it. However, I am going to make sure that Atlantic Canadians know, and we are going to make sure that Nova Scotians know.
    The last bit I will say is that the Conservatives do not believe in the price signal for carbon pricing, which could actually help drive economic models. They talk about technology, not taxes, but how do we get it? How do we incentivize companies to want to invest in the technologies that are going to drive emissions down? We hear the member for Carleton talking about that all the time. The member for South Shore—St. Margarets made it very clear at the natural resources committee that he does not believe there is a role for public funding in these types of technologies. He was talking about projects such as EverWind, which could mean billions of dollars to Nova Scotia. He was running that project down, and it was disappointing to hear. I think it symbolizes where the Conservative Party is at right now in this conversation.
    Conservatives are against clean fuel regulations. I can appreciate that the oil and gas emissions cap has particular sensitivities in western Canada, and perhaps in Newfoundland and Labrador. I have stood in the House and said that I believe in the Canadian oil and gas sector, but I have also said that we need to make sure that we can find ways to use things such as nuclear technology and green hydrogen to help bring down the emission intensity of the barrel of Canadian oil. In a world where we become more constrained on demand, Canadian oil is not only competitive on price but is also competitive on carbon intensity. Again, that is what this cap could help do, by working with industry, and Conservatives oppose it.
    I also want to talk about how the environmental policies of the government could actually lead to positive outcomes for farmers and foresters, particularly through offset protocols. This is something that I will say in the House, which is that I would like to give a nudge to the ministry at Environment and Climate Change Canada. I think they have done some good work, but I would like to see more on offset protocols around farming practices and forestry. How can we change the conversation that the carbon price? Notwithstanding that the Conservatives are not helping on that, but about the economic ability, how do we turn that into the environmental policies of the government and create huge economic opportunities for our farmers to support the good, sustainable practices they are doing and also make sure our forestry sector is supported? I would like to see a little more on that.
    We also have to give some context to what is happening around the world. The European Union, the United Kingdom, and the Biden administration in the U.S. are all talking about carbon pricing adjustments at their borders. They are talking about putting carbon pricing as part of our economic trading model. I have to ask my Conservative colleagues a question: If we are going to cut carbon pricing altogether in this country, what could that mean for our industries that are then otherwise going to face tariff barriers at those potential borders as we start to line this up?
    Canada has a tremendous opportunity. Our industries are sustainable. They are world class, and they are innovative. With the existing carbon price right now, we could have a global advantage, as that is the way in which the world is potentially heading. We should be focused on that. Why would the Conservatives want to mess with that? Why would they talk about eliminating it altogether? If Conservatives have good, thoughtful ideas on adjustments, they should be bringing those forward, but I am not hearing a whole lot.

  (1525)  

    Madam Speaker, I am happy that the member opposite likes our idea about technology, not taxes.
    I would inform him that the U.S. is the only country in the world that met its Paris targets, and it did that by providing capital incentives to industry to reduce emissions and by implementing more nuclear technology and more green technology. That is the right direction.
    Would the member admit that, since the carbon tax is not helping the Liberals meet any of their emissions target, it is time to abandon that, cap the increase planned for April 1 and focus, instead, on the same kind of incentives that were successful for the U.S.?

  (1530)  

    Madam Speaker, I will reject part of the question. I would agree with the hon. member that nuclear technology is extremely important and it will be part of where we have to get in terms of net neutrality. I am proud to continue being a member of Parliament calling for the government to do more on this, and we have done more. I am very proud of the fact that nuclear is now part of green bonds. I agree with the approach that the government is taking on the investment tax credits in this domain with respect to trying to match and line up with what the United States is doing.
    Make no mistake, though, if we talk to CEOs and leaders of companies, whether in the clean energy sector or not, the carbon price is an important signal to help justify investments. I would encourage the member to speak to companies and businesses that actually believe the carbon price is an important signal and they want some certainty about whether it will stay, because it is driving billions of dollars of investment in clean energy right now the country, in her province, in my province and provinces across the country.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, my colleague and I agree on several points. I wonder if he could talk about what we can do to recognize what is being done on the ground in the agricultural sector. Should farmers who adopt good practices not be rewarded for that? My colleague is very familiar with this idea because I often explain it to him.
    The idea is to recognize good practices and create a decentralized fund that does not depend on the goodwill of the big, fat government in Ottawa, but rather on the will of entrepreneurs whenever they are ready to invest, so that they can go on to the next environmentally positive investment.
    Madam Speaker, I support Bill C‑234. I also agree on the importance of acknowledging our farmers' relentless work in support of sustainable agriculture and having a certain tool to achieve it.
    That is exactly why I spoke about offset credits and their recognition by the Government of Canada in relation to the clean fuel regulations and the clean electricity regulations.
    Some companies could pay our farmers for their hard work. Of course, in addition to the government, big companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi should be making the same kinds of contributions.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, could the member bring some reality to this chamber? I know we have had conversations back and forth between the Conservatives and the Liberals. The Conservatives keep going with their slogans, but they seem to be out of touch with reality.
    Could the Liberals talk about how rebates and income back to families matters?
    Madam Speaker, I mentioned this in my remarks that it is unfortunate that the Conservative Party has sought to denigrate the idea of carbon pricing so much that it is all that ills Canadians, that what we see in challenges around affordability is tied to one policy. That is not the case. There are many other external factors.
    One of the things that is perhaps the most unfortunate is that there has not been a recognition from the opposition benches on the way in which the government went about establishing the policy, that more money goes back to families than they pay into it. That has been established by the Parliamentary Budget Officer.
    If the Conservatives are talking about eliminating the carbon price, I have concerns about what that means economically with respect to where the world is headed and what it means for those businesses, as I said when I took the question from the member for Sarnia—Lambton. It also means that we are taking money away from vulnerable households that genuinely receive more money back than they pay.
    That is where we have to take this conversation so that Canadians understand the way the policy works, the fact that there are rebates, because if we listened to the opposition benches they would never know that, and the fact that if they were to cut that policy, it would hurt many vulnerable Canadian families.
    Madam Speaker, one debate we have never had in this place is on whether any of the claims about nuclear energy are remotely true; they are not. Nuclear energy is expensive. It is not a solution to the climate crisis. Solar and wind costs have plummeted from 2009 to 2021. Solar has dropped by 90% and onshore wind has dropped by 72%, but nuclear energy has increased by 36%. It is in the way of replacing carbon electricity. It is not helping us. I would like to have that debate in this place.
    Would he be prepared to ensure that the government put forward a reasonable debate on the evidence to assess whether nuclear is an asset or in the way of climate action?

  (1535)  

    Madam Speaker, the hon. member knows that I do not necessarily have the power to persuade the government to do anything in this House, but I can certainly be a voice.
    There are a couple of things I would say. The hon. member and I have some shared things I would want to focus on; yes, these are solar, wind and renewable electricity. I presume, or at least hope, that she will support Bill C-49, which is the Atlantic accords act, which would drive the opportunity for green hydrogen.
    However, the member and I would differ on the importance of nuclear. The lights in this building right now are generated by 60% of nuclear energy in Ontario. Yes, there are important considerations in each jurisdiction about the cost mechanism and how best to move forward. However, I think it is a technology, among the many she mentioned, that is going to help drive our zero-emissions future. We can have that debate if the House allows us to have it; if not, we can have a nice drink outside and talk about it.
    Madam Speaker, I want to congratulate my friend and colleague from Kings—Hants for his leadership as chair of the Atlantic caucus and for advocating for the pause on the carbon price for home heating fuel and the doubling of the rural rebate to our government.
    We often hear across the aisle about axing the tax and the carbon price being tripled, but never do we hear about the climate cheque that comes back to Canadians four times a year. Many constituents in my riding appreciate that very much. Eight out of 10 houses get more back than they actually spend with the increase.
    Would my colleague comment on that?
    Madam Speaker, the good people of Saint John—Rothesay have a real champion here in Ottawa. He gave me a compliment, but let me say this: I believe the hon. member has indicated that he will not be re-offering in this place in the next election. That will be a great loss to Parliament, because he is one of the best constituency advocates in Ottawa for his people. When I watch him on social media, he never forgets where he comes from. He is always out on the go.
    I would say what I have said to other colleagues here today: For Conservatives, the entire conversation is about the price signal, but they never talk about the rebates that come back to Canadian families. In the member's riding, eight out of 10 families receive more money back. Conservatives are not talking about what it would mean for families in Saint John—Rothesay and, indeed, across the country if they were to cut that.
     I think it is important for him and all of us here to make sure we remind our colleagues about that.
    Madam Speaker, I have been around this place long enough to recall the carve-out that was implemented in Atlantic Canada, which was as a result of bad polling numbers and the fact that the carbon tax is not well received in Atlantic Canada. That is why the Atlantic caucus forced the Prime Minister to do this carve-out.
    With a quadrupling of the carbon tax, everything is going to cost his constituents more by the time it is fully implemented. Can the hon. member honestly stand here and tell this House that his constituents approve of and support that?
    Madam Speaker, what drove that policy was a focus on vulnerable households. The member knows this policy applies across the country. I will not apologize for fighting for my region, which is energy insecure. We had to make some adjustments to a national policy that has made a difference across the country, including in his own riding. This was driven by equity in a national policy.
    I also want to say that, when he talks about quadrupling, the whole goal here is to be able to reduce the actual reliance on carbon. Eventually, people will not be paying the price, because we have been able to help them move over. I will provide the one quick example of heat pumps, where the goal is to help people reduce their use of home heating oil. It is a good affordability measure.
    Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with my colleague from Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte. I am proud to rise on behalf of my constituents in the common-sense riding of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke.
    After eight years of the NDP-Liberal government, Canadians are hurting. They are hurting because of bad policies—
    I want to remind members that, if they want to have conversations, they should take them outside.
    The hon. member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke.

  (1540)  

    Madam Speaker, common-sense Conservatives have a real plan to turn that hurt into hope. It starts with axing the carbon tax, which is pushing up the cost of everything. Canadians understand that, when a government has an official policy to increase the cost of energy, it increases the cost of everything that requires energy, which is everything. However, the socialist coalition members think Canadians are stupid. They think all they need to do is slap a new label on their carbon tax and Canadians will just forgive them for increasing the cost of living.
     Unfortunately, the Liberals are not the only ones who think Canadians can be fooled. The far left media allies are already hard at work, rebranding the carbon tax. It is no longer called a tax. Now they call it a “carbon price”. How long will it be before the CBC starts to rebrand income tax as a “price on earnings”? They can rebrand GST as a “price on shopping”. They can call it whatever they want, but Canadians know that a tax is a tax.
    It does not matter how much carbon the Liberals burn to keep their gaslights burning bright; the truth outshines it all. The truth is this: Their carbon tax is going up in April. Therefore, as long as these proud socialists hold on to power, it will go up year after year. It will keep going up until they have redistributed every last dollar from hard-working Canadians in small towns without transit to the wealthy urban elite, such as the finance minister, who brags about how easy it is for her to get around without a car. Of course, most Canadians would find it a lot easier with a personal chauffeur, a six-figure salary and a taxpayer-funded luxury SUV.
    What about Canadians like Edmund? Edmund lives on a fixed income. His after-tax income is $20,000. He just received his climate bribe for this fiscal quarter. He also received his natural gas bill for December. The carbon tax on that bill was $72.36. That means he paid $9.41 in HST on the carbon tax. That is for just one month of winter. One month eats up half the quarterly rebate, and that is before Edmund has driven a single kilometre.
     I would seek unanimous consent to table his tax statement and gas bills, but I already know the Liberals are too cowardly to face the truth. They would prefer to stay in their nostalgia-infused fever dream, where everything is awesome. They desperately want to take Canada back to the 1960s, when the CBC was popular, the UN was relevant and Canadians loved a prime minister named Trudeau. They really believe they can control the weather with a tax. They just wave their Liberal wand and say “zap, you are frozen”. Only a Liberal could summon the level of arrogance required to believe that, if they just tax Canadians hard enough, it will stop flooding.
    The carbon tax is about punishing the types of Canadians these Liberals call “unacceptable” and rewarding the ones who vote for them. It is a tax plan, not an environmental plan. The fact is that it is generous to even call it a plan. The Liberals' agenda is little more than a string of slogans, such as “30 by 30” or “net zero”. Now, they have gone all-in on expensive, dirty electric batteries, just as the oil and gas industry is discovering vast reserves of clean hydrogen. That is why the Liberals are adopting Soviet-style car sales mandates. The only way their battery subsidies will not bankrupt us is if they force people to buy cars that do not work in the cold weather. Before any of my colleagues jump up and shout about what all those electric cars in Norway are doing, I would remind them that the average temperature in January in Ottawa is three times colder than that in Oslo.
     Even the Liberals' net-zero promise is a fantasy. The only way to reach net zero is with direct carbon capture. Carbon dioxide molecules make up only .04% of the atmosphere. It takes a lot of energy to remove carbon dioxide molecules, but these proud socialists oppose cheap electricity. Many of these radical environmentalists even oppose carbon capture. They claim it is a way of keeping on using oil and gas, but if all the emissions are captured, why would they still oppose it? Maybe this was never about reducing emissions in the most economically sensible way but about reducing capitalism and increasing the size and the scope of the state.

  (1545)  

    Last month, I reached out to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Minister of Environment. I asked if they could provide technical experts to explain the government's proposed protocol to reduce enteric emissions from beef cattle to farmers in my riding. After watching this train wreck of a government mishandle the communications about reducing nitrogen emissions on farms, I wanted to make sure my constituents knew exactly what the government was proposing.
    I naively thought the government would jump at the chance to prevent misinformation or promote its protocol. Instead, both offices took a pass on the offer. Considering the massive farm protests in Europe, a competent government would have jumped at the chance to engage with farmers. Therefore, it was up to me to explain to farmers what this socialist coalition government was proposing.
    Reducing enteric emissions is bureaucratic language for reducing cow burps. The proposal is that farmers could undertake measures to reduce methane emitted from belching beef cattle. In return, they would receive offset credits for every tonne of methane they reduce from a set baseline. Several farmers in my riding are pioneers in the field of capturing emissions. I wanted to ensure they would earn the credits for the innovations they are already undertaking. They are farmers like the Klaesi brothers, who built Canada's first biodigester to turn manure into electricity that they could sell back into the grid, and farmers like Don Russell, whose patented technology eliminates methane from manure.
    As the member of Parliament for these leading-edge farmers, I wanted to make sure they knew what was coming. While they had many questions, everything always circled back to the bottom line: How much will it cost? How much will they earn? They are basic questions everyone operating a business will ask. Unfortunately, the government does not have those answers, and not just because members could not be bothered to drive out to the Ottawa Valley. The government does not have the answer because it does not know.
    It even admitted it on its website. Here is what the government says about the price of the carbon offset credit: “The price of offset credits is primarily influenced by supply and demand. If there are many offset credits available with little demand, prices will be low. If there are few offset credits available and a large demand, prices will be higher.” There it is, in digital black and white. The offset credit is the real carbon price, a price that emerges from the intersection of supply and demand. A tax is set by government decree. The carbon tax is not a price on pollution. It is a tax on energy. It is a tax on mobility. It is a tax on life.
    The government knows what the tax on carbon is, and Canadians know the tax on carbon is going up on April 1. That is why Conservatives are calling on the government to cancel the tax hike. Canadians know we are going to axe the tax, just like Canadians know that we will build more homes, fix the budget and stop the crime. The longer the tired, flailing NDP-Liberal socialist coalition ignores the will of Canadians, the bigger the reckoning will be.
    To increase the tax when everyone knows it is not long for this world is to rub salt in the wounds of high inflation. No amount of rebranding, gaslighting or fearmongering will work. It is time for the Liberals to listen to Canadians struggling with the cost of living fuelled by reckless Liberal spending. It is time for them to stop punishing Canadians for heating their homes. It is time for common sense.
    Madam Speaker, Conservative members, including the member who just spoke, often talk about the impact of the carbon tax and how it is increasing inflation. They try to give the false impression that we are talking about 4%, 5% or even higher, in terms of percentages.
    I am going to quote the Governor of the Bank of Canada, who states, “The contribution that's making to inflation one year to the next is relatively small. If you want me to put a number on it, it's in the range of 0.15 per cent, so quite small.” What is interesting is that Statistics Canada suggests the carbon tax increases the average cost of food by about 0.33% relative to what it would be in the absence of the carbon tax.
    Can the member explain why the Conservative Party of Canada today continues to mislead Canadians on the important issue of inflation?

  (1550)  

    Madam Speaker, I will say that getting rid of the carbon tax will decrease inflation immediately by 20%.
    Let me give a real-life example of what their carbon tax is doing. It takes energy to cut the trees that—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I am not sure what is going on here, but there seem to be more than a couple of people wanting to chime in on this response or make comments. I would just ask them to please hold off.
    The hon. member for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke.
    Madam Speaker, let us talk about how the carbon tax is exacerbating one of the most critical pieces of Canadian life right now, our housing crisis.
    To cut the lumber, they need a machine to take down the trees. That machine takes energy. They then need a machine to drag those logs out of the forest and another picker to pick them up and put them on the truck. That takes energy. The truck has to go to the sawmill. That takes energy and carbon tax on the fuel for the truck. It gets to the sawmill and is taken off, and then the people who work at the lumber mill have to saw those logs so that they can be in the right shape to make homes. That sawing takes energy, and there is a tax on that. Finally, it gets shipped to the lumber yard, and the lumber yard brings it to the job site, and that costs carbon tax.
    All those taxes at each step along the way are one of the reasons their carbon tax is—
    I have to allow for other questions.
    The hon. member for Mirabel.

[Translation]

    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her speech. Her speeches are always very interesting.
    My colleague said that, to her, a carbon tax is not a price on pollution. When I go to the grocery store, I buy oranges. I use a resource, the oranges, and I pay the price. When I buy paper, I use a resource, the paper. In exchange, I give an amount of money. That is the price. In the other provinces, except Quebec, when I use a resource such as CO2, I pay—

[English]

    I just want to remind members, if they want to have cross-conversations, to please take it outside. I am sure that when they are standing and answering questions or delivering their speeches, they do not appreciate when other people are interrupting them. I would ask all members to please be respectful.

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Mirabel.
    Madam Speaker, I was simply saying that when we go to the store to buy oranges or paper, or when we use resources, we pay a price. It is a specific amount. When we create pollution and there is a tax per volume of pollution emitted, that is a price and it takes the form of a tax. My colleague seems to think that it is not a price on pollution. I am just going to ask her very simply to clarify something.
    Can she give me the definition of what she believes a price is?

[English]

    Madam Speaker, I explained that in terms of supply and demand.
    Just because a carbon tax is not itemized on one's grocery bill does not mean it is not there. It is insidious. It is hidden.
    Let us talk about groceries. They want to get rid of all one-use plastics. How are we going to get our fresh oranges that the member just talked about? They have to be put in plastic to protect them. Anyone who goes to Florida and picks them up will know they are in the plastic netting.
    What is worse is that a study came out today, and to get the value and the benefit of any reduction in the use of petroleum products out of a reusable grocery bag, that bag has to be used 710 times. A person can get more uses out of a plastic grocery bag that they can line their wastepaper basket with.
    Madam Speaker, I want to start with the fact that the hon. member started her intervention talking about the socialist coalition, which makes me think she does not understand what socialism is or what a coalition is.
    I also want to say that from my perspective, what I see is both the Liberals and the Conservatives supporting big oil time and time again. I thought of a few other names. We have the “corporate coalition”, the “corrupt coalition”, the “co-opted by big oil coalition”, which, in fact, is CBC. We could use CBC as an acronym.
    Why does the member always side with big oil and never with the people in Canada who expect our oil and gas companies to pay their fair share?

  (1555)  

    Madam Speaker, perhaps the member does not realize I am from Ontario, but what I do support is the ability for my constituents and all Canadians to live a good life, to have a house to live in, to have food to eat, and to have hope for the future and a peaceful retirement where they do not need to worry about money when they go to sleep at night.
    Madam Speaker, it is an honour to be here today and partake in this important discussion. It is a tough act to follow; my colleague from Renfrew did a great job.
    It is an honour to take part in this very important and timely debate on behalf of the great people of Barrie—Springwater—Oro-Medonte.
    I have received countless communications from residents in my community who are concerned about the inflationary pressures they are facing due to the government's reckless policies.
    Under the Liberal government, there have been a record two million food bank visits in a single month, housing costs have doubled, mortgage payments are 150% higher than in 2015, violent crime is up 39%, tent cities exist in almost every major city, and over 50% of Canadians are $200 or less away from going broke.
    Just when it feels like it has all become too much, on top of the 30-year inflation highs that Canadians are facing just to live, the Prime Minister will increase the cost of the carbon tax on April 1 to reach $75 a metric ton. The impact will continue to increase, as the per tonne rate will rise to $170 by 2030. This will send families in my community further into economic despair.
    Despite being given every opportunity to make life more affordable for Canadians by removing the tax on their gas, home heating and groceries, the Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc all vote time and time again to raise taxes on the backs of hard-working Canadians who are struggling to feed their families.
    At the centre of this crisis are our hard-working Canadian farmers who work day in, day out to grow and raise the food we eat and who are disproportionately impacted by the carbon tax.
    The Conservative private member's bill, Bill C-234, has returned to the House and, if passed in its original form, would bring down both the cost of groceries and the tax burden on hard-working farmers by giving farmers a carbon tax carve-out for grain drying, barn heating and other operations.
    This bill would make the cost of food more affordable for everyone by saving farmers almost $1 billion between now and 2030, according to the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer. However, while Bill C-234 passed in the House, the Prime Minister's Senate appointees gutted our common-sense bill under pressure from the environment minister, who threatened to quit if the bill was passed.
    The Liberal, NDP and Bloc members who represent farmers, rural Canadians and any Canadian who is struggling to afford their grocery bill have this opportunity to reject the gutting of this legislation and bring home lower food prices for all Canadians. I sincerely hope they do the right thing.
    Farmers in my riding are counting on legislation like Bill C-234, and I wish to highlight a few of their stories. I have here with me, which I will use as reference, a bill from Enbridge Gas for a chicken farmer in my area. This is a large poultry operation. The bill in my hand shows a carbon tax of $2,700 on the cost of fuel used to dry their grains. The overall bill was just over $9,000, so one-third of that, not including the HST put on the bill, is the carbon tax. Shockingly, the carbon tax is actually more than the value of the gas before delivery and global adjustment.
    Moving on to the poultry side of the operation, this farm pays a comparable tax on the cost to heat its barns. Every 24 weeks it places over 3,000 day-old breeder chicks in the barns. These barns need to be heated to 32°C, as the chicks are so small they cannot heat themselves. This temperature is slowly reduced as the chicks grow stronger. The cost to heat the barns during this placement is approximately $7,000, with approximately a third of that cost being the carbon tax.
    It appears some of my colleagues from places like Toronto and Vancouver are not aware of how essential it is for farmers to dry their grain and heat their barns. It is a necessity, not a luxury, and there is no alternative. The burden this misguided tax places on farmers has a direct impact on the cost of food for Canadians.
    Farmers in my riding know better than anyone that when we tax the farmer who grows the food and tax the trucker who transports the food, we tax the Canadians who buy the food, making everything more expensive. This is especially true for families in my community who are struggling to put food on their tables.
    Food bank usage is at an all-time high. Between April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, over 800,000 people in Ontario alone accessed a food bank. In total, there were 5.9 million visits to a food bank in this time period.

  (1600)  

    The Barrie Food Bank, which is located in my riding, is currently seeing an incredibly high demand for services. In October, the Barrie Food Bank assisted nearly 7,000 clients, including 731 first-time visitors, which amounts to a 94% increase from last year alone.
    Sharon Palmer, the executive director of the Barrie Food Bank, told CTV News that “We are seeing more employed people than ever before, more large families, seniors, and more people on government support programs”.
    The crisis is getting worse. Projections show that, in 2024, there will be a 2.5% to 4.5% increase in food prices, with meat, vegetables and bakery items rising from 5% to 7%. Due to these rapidly rising prices, the “Canada Food Price Report 2024” says the following:
    It is important to note that Canadians are spending less on food...despite inflation. Food retail sales data indicates a decline from a monthly spend of $261.24 per capita in August 2022 to a monthly spend of $252.89 per capita in August 2023, indicating that Canadians are reducing their expenditures on groceries, either by reducing the quantity...of food they ...[buy] or by substituting less expensive alternatives.
    That means Canadians are skipping meals. They are buying lower-quality food. This is unacceptable in a G7 country, and the costly carbon tax is only making these inflationary pressures worse for Canadians who are struggling.
    For reference, I have another bill from Enbridge. It is from a senior in my area. Diane is in her 80s and lives off a pension. She intentionally reduces the heat in her apartment, keeping it low. Nonetheless, her bill is over $22 for the gas alone, and the carbon tax is $21. She is paying almost as much in carbon tax, not including the HST, as she is for the gas itself, just to heat her apartment. This is unacceptable. We know Diane is struggling, but we are here to try to help her by reducing the tax. The total cost of her bill for a month was $108.
    Seniors, especially those like Diane on fixed incomes, cannot afford yet another carbon tax increase. They are choosing between putting food on the table and heating their homes, and the Liberal government simply does not care.
    The Prime Minister and his environment minister have touted this costly tax program as being a great deal for Canadians. When it was first announced, they made it sound too good to be true. First, it would fight climate change and second, it would not cost Canadians a cent because the government would rebate whatever they spent.
     We know now that is not the case. In fact, the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer confirmed what many common-sense Canadians already knew; they pay more in carbon tax than they get in rebates. The Parliamentary Budget Officer shows that the carbon tax cost the average family between $402 and $847 in 2023, and that is before the increase, even after the rebates. By 2030, the Prime Minister's two carbon taxes could add 50¢ per litre to the price of gasoline, according to the same source.
     Let me be very clear. The carbon tax is not a climate plan. It is a tax plan that places an undue burden on families, small businesses and farmers. Meanwhile, the Liberal government has failed to meet a single solitary emissions target after eight years in power. In fact, Canada's environment commissioner has made it clear, once again, that Canada will not meet its climate targets, despite the Liberals' punitive taxes on Canadians.
     The government is not bothering to set implementation deadlines for 49% of its measures. It has also admitted that only 43% of their so-called “climate measures”, many of which are actually just taxation measures, will have any direct impact on emissions. The government's plan did not even bother to include a target or expected emission reductions for 95% of its measures.
     Conservatives have a real plan to bring home lower prices for Canadians. We would cap costs and stop wasteful government spending to bring down inflation and interest rates.
    A Conservative government would introduce a dollar-for-dollar law so that every dollar of new spending would be matched with a dollar of savings. Instead of creating more cash, we would create more of what cash buys. That means growing more food, building more homes and creating more energy right here at home through technology, not taxes. We will cancel the Prime Minister's tripling of the carbon tax that punishes hard-working Canadians just for buying food, filling up their cars and heating their homes. These things are not luxuries. They are necessities.
     Canadians should not be forced to choose between putting food on the table and heating their homes. The only way to reverse the damage the Liberal government has caused is by reversing the course and doing the opposite. Canadians want change. They want lower taxes, more homes, a balanced budget, safe streets and, most of all, they want a change in government.
     The common-sense Conservative promise is simple: We will axe the tax, build the homes, fix the budget and stop the crime. We will restore hope to our country and put Canadians back in control of their lives.

  (1605)  

[Translation]

    The hon. member for Salaberry—Suroît on a point of order.
    Madam Speaker, during question period today, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship misled the House by insinuating that the leader of the Bloc Québécois compared immigrants to heat pumps. That is not what he did. I think we need to listen closely to what the leader of the Bloc Québécois said because he was actually condemning the minister's refusal to reimburse Quebeckers for the costs they have incurred by generously welcoming asylum seekers to Quebec. Serious questions deserve serious answers from the minister, not contempt.
    Madam Speaker, I would ask that you have a listen and direct the member for Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs to withdraw his remarks and apologize.
    I will consult Hansard to see what was said. The Chair will ask for an apology if necessary after watching what happened during question period.
    Questions and comments, the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

[English]

    Madam Speaker, the member asserts to conclude his remarks by again emphasizing the four priori