Tuesday: Carbon Price Motion, Goodale Questioned on C-71

Tuesday: Carbon Price Motion, Goodale Questioned on C-71

UPDATED May 8, 2018 9:16amET

Opposition Day

The Conservatives have an opposition day in the House of Commons. Finance critic Pierre Poilievre is expected to introduce this motion on carbon pricing:

That, given the government’s carbon tax will impose higher gas prices, and making “better choices”, as the Prime Minister suggested, will not help most Canadians heat their homes and buy groceries, the House call on the government to cancel plans for new taxes that would further raise prices on consumers.

Watch live:

The federal government included the 217-page Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act in this spring’s budget implementation bill. Ottawa calls it a “backstop” to implement in provinces and territories that fails to meet certain benchmarks in the 2016 Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

The requirements include:

  • carbon pricing in place by 2018 that addresses greenhouse gas emissions across a common set of sectors and sources (i.e. energy, transportation);
  • a system that uses either a carbon tax (as in British Columbia) starting at $10 per tonne and rising to $50 per tonne by 2022, or;
  • a cap-and-trade system (as in Ontario and Quebec) that matches or exceeds the federal government’s 2030 target for reduced emissions;
  • a five-year review and regular reporting requirements.

Included is this language to justify the pricing plan:

The absence of greenhouse gas emissions pricing in some provinces and a lack of stringency in some provincial greenhouse gas emissions pricing systems could contribute to significant deleterious effects on the environment, including its biological diversity, on human health and safety and on economic prosperity … it is necessary to create a federal greenhouse gas emissions pricing scheme to ensure that, taking provincial greenhouse gas emissions pricing systems into account, greenhouse gas emissions pricing applies broadly in Canada.

The Saskatchewan government has asked a provincial court for a constitutional reference on Ottawa’s plan, arguing it doesn’t respect the principles of federalism.


Firearms bill at committee

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale answers questions on the government’s firearms bill (C-71). WATCH the public safety committee LLIVE ONLINE at 11am ET / 8am PT

The bill includes:

  • RCMP licence background checks considering a person’s entire lifetime, not just the previous five years;
  • Requiring sellers to confirm a buyer’s valid licence;
  • Requiring commercial retailers to keep complete sales records, which police could access via warrant. The previous government made this record-keeping voluntary;
  • Returning the RCMP’s power to classify firearms (non-restricted, restricted, prohibited) without a cabinet override. A government to make changes would need legislation to amend the Criminal Code;
  • Requiring permits for the transport of all restricted and prohibited firearms — except to and from a shooting club or range.

As for an outright ban on assault weapons as requested by victims of the 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters this morning that:

What we had promised to do is ensure that it’s experts from the police who get to classify weapons.  We don’t think politicians should be the ones determining what weapons are restricted, what weapons are prohibited.  We think that that needs to be the experts who are doing it and that’s why we changed back from what the Harper government had done to allow politicians to classify arms.  We trust the experts making decisions on the basis of facts and evidence. 

Timeline: Bill C-71 and Firearm Regulation


Voting on C-48

MPs vote at third reading on the bill to ban oil tankers along B.C.’s north coast.

Bill C-48 would ban “oil tankers that are carrying more than 12 500 metric tons of crude oil or persistent oil as cargo from stopping, or unloading crude oil or persistent oil, at ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to the Alaska border. The Act prohibits loading if it would result in the oil tanker carrying more than 12 500 metric tons of those oils as cargo.


In Committee

More on the committee front:

  • The federal lobbying and information commissioners discuss their offices’ estimates at the ethics committee. LIVE ONLINE at 8:45am ET / 5:45am PT
  • The subcommittee on the Code of Conduct for MPs meets in camera with parliamentary law clerk Philippe Dufresne and Pierre Parent, the House of Commons chief human resources officer.
  • The environment committee considers amendments to the environmental assessment bill (C-69).
  • The human rights subcommittee speaks via video link with Pariya Kohandel, who fled Iran last year. Her father remains imprisoned as a political dissident. LIVE ONLINE at 1pm ET / 10am PT
  • The Senate transport committee continues to look at Bill S-245 — a move to declare Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion a work for the “general advantage of Canada” as defined by Section 92(10) of the Constitution Act, and thereby giving control to the federal government. LIVE ONLINE at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT