C-12 committee should be composed entirely of climate experts

Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
2021-05-03 16:22 [p.6543]

Mr. Speaker, I am going to say it out loud because I have not yet had the chance to. It is good to see this conversation about how we can reduce emissions and an attempt to get to a real plan.

It would be great to see Conservatives in this country join the Conservative leadership over decades, going back to Margaret Thatcher, in understanding that climate science requires a response. The concern I have is that the hon. member has suggested that carbon sequestration should be offset in the addition of our megatonnes of pollution.

We already know from our scientists that Canada’s boreal forests are a net source of carbon because of insects, diseases and fires. We already know that our permafrost is thawing, creating its role as a net source of carbon.

Going back to Bill C-12, I do have a question for my hon. colleague. While I agree that it is egregious that the minister skipped the parliamentary committee process in appointing a committee in advance of amendments, would she agree it would be far better to have the committee based entirely on experts who could actually hold the government as a whole to account, not merely advise the minister?

Marilyn Gladu (Sarnia—Lambton)
2021-05-03 16:23 [p.6543]

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is always passionate about this file.
It is very sad that the government, with a whole department of climate experts, does not have a plan. It has had six years in government, running on an agenda to do something to address climate change, and it has failed. What is important is to come up with a plan that all parties could agree to, so regardless of who is in the driver’s seat, it will happen.

The member for Saanich—Gulf Islands pointed out the boreal forest and the fact it is a net emitter. That is what it is. That is a fact. Gaming the system to try to not count things because we do not like what they say is not science. Net-zero is net emissions minus net absorptions, regardless of where they are. I know that makes finding solutions and reducing more complicated, but we cannot just play a game with this. It is real.