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Bill C 221 Short Title VideoMy Bill C-221 Environmental Restoration Incentive Act - I need your support
Madam Speaker, it is interesting to look at the reality of the situation. We have a national government today that is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in orphaned wells in an attempt to work with our prairie provinces to actually make a difference for the environment and industry as a whole.
Does the member not recognize or believe that Ottawa and Alberta need to work together to achieve good results? Madam Speaker, I do, which is exactly why I am bringing forward this legislation.
I look forward to the member working with this Albertan to help get the private sector funding into the industry that is required for full remediation and reclamation of oil and gas wells in Canada, and to protect taxpayers.
However, the member is not correct. The reality is that oil and gas investment, because of the government's policies in this country, is plummeting, and companies can no longer get private sector investment to meet their environmental responsibilities while they develop the resource.
It is the government's job to help fix that. See context Liberal. Julie Dzerowicz Liberal Davenport, ON.
Madam Speaker, it is an absolute pleasure for me to rise in this venerable House to speak to Bill C , an act to amend the Income Tax Act, a private member's bill sponsored by the hon.
Not only do I appreciate the opportunity to participate in today's debate, but I would like to thank the hon. The federal government knows that COVID has been a profound shock to our economy and has dramatically changed the way we go about our daily lives, especially for those working in Canada's energy sector.
Right now, oil and gas workers and their families are struggling because of things that are beyond their control.
Both the devastating effects of the pandemic and the low prices caused by a surge in global crude oil supplies are a challenge.
As a result, companies have had to slow down or pause their operations, leaving far too many people out of work. These wells, which are no longer in use, can be detrimental not only to our environment, but also to people's health.
Think of the farmer whose family cannot grow anything on their land because of an abandoned well a few steps away from their home.
Think of the small towns or indigenous communities struggling with this issue, which has been festering for years and even in some cases for decades.
Cleaning them up will bring people back to work and help many landowners who have had these wells on their property for years but have not been able to get them cleaned up and get their lands restored.
By investing in the remediation of inactive oil and gas wells, our goal is to create immediate jobs in these provinces while helping companies avoid bankruptcy and supporting our environmental targets.
As part of the funding agreement, the Governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan have committed to implementing strengthened regulatory systems to significantly reduce the future prospects of new orphan wells.
The goal is that these improvements will lead to sustainably funded systems that ensure companies are bearing the costs of their environmental responsibilities.
Federal-provincial monitoring committees have been established to track the progress of provincial programs as part of these agreements, and these committees will work with local governments and indigenous organizations to ensure that important stakeholders are engaged in each process.
We also heard from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which echoed positive sentiments. I also hope the UCP will ensure landowners and municipalities are compensated for wells on their land.
As we can tell, there is widespread support for this. It is a really wonderful example of federal and provincial co-operation.
It is also important to mention that the provinces, as well as the Alberta Orphan Well Association, are responsible for the detailed design and implementation of inactive and orphan-well cleanup programming.
Detailed information on these programs will be provided by the recipients. Since April, Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan have all announced programs to clean up orphan and inactive oil and gas wells.
It may also interest the hon. The OWA has a good track record of generating employment in the service sector by cleaning up orphan wells.
The OWA estimates that the loan has supported the cleanup of approximately wells and created jobs. This proves that federal support to help clean up orphan and inactive wells is helping to stimulate employment and economic activity in the energy sector, and ensures that it can continue to support middle-class families and communities.
We have listened to the concerns of landowners, municipalities and indigenous communities that want to make sure that the polluter-pay principle is strengthened and that their voices are heard.
I want to thank the Government of Alberta for working with us and for listening to their concerns. Appropriately cleaning up well sites will prevent methane leakage and ensure that the sites are remediated and returned to their original state.
This fund will primarily provide repayable contributions to firms to make them more competitive, reduce waste and pollution and, most importantly, protect jobs.
Right now, many energy firms are experiencing a cash crunch, so they do not have the funds to invest in technologies to reduce emissions or fix methane leaks.
The fund will allow for this kind of work to be done and create jobs that people need during this difficult time. Through the wells and the methane initiative, we estimate that we will maintain more than 8, jobs across the country.
Just because we are in a health crisis does not mean we can neglect the environmental crisis. When the Prime Minister announced support to help clean up orphan and inactive wells in April, he also announced that Export Development Canada was increasing its financial capacity to support Canada's small and medium-sized oil and gas companies.
This added capacity is available to eligible companies so they can access the liquidity they need to keep their operations running and support their employees during this crisis.
Many businesses have already taken advantage of the program. The added business support is being provided through various financing and insurance solutions, including risk-bearing guarantees for loans obtained through the company's bank and guaranteed by the EDC, and through EDC's bonding and accounts receivable insurance products.
This commercial support is aimed at bringing liquidity into the market and helping Canadian companies during the crisis.
We know that the second wave is even harder for those who get hit, and that is why our response needs to be targeted and effective.
Small and large businesses create jobs, drive our economy and make our communities stronger. The government will continue to do whatever it takes to support them.
These measures are part of the Government of Canada's comprehensive economic plan to help Canadians and businesses through this period of uncertainty.
We will continue to monitor this evolving situation closely, and we will take additional actions as needed to protect our health and safety and stabilize the economy.
I want to thank you, Madam Speaker, and I thank again the hon. Madam Speaker, this will come as no surprise, but I do not see how my party can support this bill, especially since it flies in the face of one of the guiding principles of environmental policy, namely the polluter pays principle.
This is miles away from that principle. Before I begin, I want to set the record straight. My colleague argued that this is not support for the oil industry because it is not a subsidy but rather a tax credit.
It amounts to six of one and half a dozen of the other, since this provides more financial support to one of the industries that already receives the most in Canada.
Getting back to what I was saying, it would be difficult for us to support this bill because it flies in the face of one of the guiding principles of environmental policy, namely the polluter pays principle.
As everyone knows, it is up to businesses to cover these kinds of costs. The forestry industry did so in Quebec by paying for the remediation of sites where it operates.
I do not see why it should be any different for the oil and gas industry. There is something about this bill that surprises me. It seems to me that a typical Conservative would think that businesses must be the ones to bear the risk.
It seems like that is part of the Conservatives' ideology. However, in this bill, they are trying to socialize the risks without socializing the profits.
Businesses do not want to assume the environmental risk because it would cost too much, so it would be up to the government to do so; yet, it is the businesses that would benefit from the profits.
I think there is a contradiction there. A red light should have gone off for a typical Conservative. Simply put, this bill would fund what is likely the most environmentally damaging industry in Canada rather than funding the energy transition.
We need to take the energy transition into account in today's discussion, and I think that massive support for the oil industry harkens back to another era, especially today.
That is a lot of money. I would like to maybe come back to that and say what bothers me the most about this bill.
There is a number that I like to quote and that keeps coming up. I therefore do not see why Quebeckers should have to take responsibility for the environmental fiasco currently happening in Alberta.
My colleague told the Liberals that they have done nothing for the oil sector. That is amazing. Just for fun, I asked research services to find out how much was invested in oil and gas between and If they did any more it would be obscene.
Allow me to make a comparison. In my opinion, these are not direct investments. My colleague tells us that it is not Alberta's responsibility to cover the entirety of the cost of capping the wells.
However, it should be noted that the oil sands are causing other types of adverse consequences that some of our Conservative friends might not want to hear about.
As an example, let's talk about the famous Dutch disease that is well documented by many economists. When the Canadian dollar rises, Quebec's manufacturing industry completely falls apart.
From to , that industry lost 55, jobs with the currency rise caused by the Canadian extractive industry. I am told that Alberta takes on the lion's share of the risk and that Quebec and the other provinces should take a bite out of it.
However, if I add up everything I just mentioned, it seems like we have already taken more than a bite and we are starting to get full.
We are losing out to this very troublesome industry. We could propose solutions, since orphan wells are a significant environmental concern. However, before we come up with a solution, we must set the conditions for its implementation.
If the government adopts a policy of closing wells, the first condition must focus on an energy transition. This policy must not become a type of subsidy for an industry that has already gotten too much.
We need to focus on the polluter pays principle, and nothing will convince me that tax credits would help us achieve this.
That is certainly not the case. We also need clear regulatory measures that do not perpetuate the problem we are seeing now.
Ultimately, this policy must be consistent with Canada's greenhouse gas reduction targets. In my opinion, companies should be responsible, in all cases.
I do not see why oil companies should not have to pay a security deposit before embarking on an oil sands extraction project, as is the case in the mining sector.
Let me touch on what I think is the major issue. Members will recall Teck Resources' Frontier mine project. Why would we continue to invest in this lame duck?
It would be completely irresponsible, especially from an environmental perspective. In conclusion, orphan wells are obviously a real problem, but it is not up to taxpayers to foot the bill.
It is certainly not up to Quebec taxpayers to do so, because they have paid the price in past years. I think we can justify spending public money to deal with the orphan well problem, but only if certain conditions are met, as I said earlier.
I do not think a bill like this one will put us on that path. Madam Speaker, I am happy to rise today to speak to Bill C , a private member's bill tabled by my colleague for Lakeland.
Bill C would provide a tax credit to qualifying corporations for expenses incurred for the closure of an oil or gas well. The bill would also require the Minister of Finance to assess whether the implementation of a flow-through share program would increase private sector funds available to close oil or gas wells.
I will cut to the chase and say that I do not think that the bill before us is the way forward. The NDP believes in the polluter pays principle, and that is theoretically the way the well drilling system is set up right now.
Companies are obliged to clean up their wells when they become inactive. Providing incentives for companies to not break the law is a waste of taxpayers' money.
Despite what the member said, it is a textbook case of an inefficient subsidy. It flies in the face of government promises that date back to the Harper era to end subsidies to the fossil fuel sector.
However, I would also admit that the bill does have the good intention of dealing with the significant problem of inactive wells across Canada, especially in western Canada.
Right now, there are 91, inactive oil and gas wells in Alberta, 36, in Saskatchewan and 12, in British Columbia, and these are the wells that Bill C is seeking to address.
These wells are not cleaned up. When the companies that own them become insolvent, they become orphan wells and the taxpayer is on the hook to pay for the cleanup.
That scenario has played out again and again. There are more than 2, orphan wells in Alberta right now, in B. Members can do the math: It is a big bill for taxpayers to deal with orphan wells, and the bill could get bigger.
The Alberta Energy Regulator has predicted that the number of inactive wells in Alberta could easily rise, could easily double, to , over the next 10 years, and so it is a serious problem.
I would agree with the member on that. We cannot leave these wells and do nothing. There are impacts on the environment, as they will leak methane into the air and contaminants into the ground.
There is an impact for landowners and farmers who receive lease payments while these wells are active and even when they are inactive.
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Senate House of Commons. Bill C First Reading. LEGIS info. Bilingual view XML PDF. ENGLISH SUMMARY SUMMARY 1 Short Title 1 Short Title 2 Income Tax Act 2 Income Tax Act 3 Report to Parliament 3 Report to Parliament.
First Session, Forty-third Parliament,. There has been a shift in how betting laws are regulated in Canada. The federal government has decentralized a lot of this control to the provinces over the years.
Provinces are currently responsible for operating, licensing, and regulating all legal forms of gambling, including the lottery schemes.
This is really because each region, each province, has individual needs and, of course, different cultures for gambling and related events.
Perhaps there are different views among the populations that have to be reflected in provincial laws, which makes sense. It is not as if we do not have unregulated betting at all.
It is handled by the provinces. There was too much regulation at one point, and now we are kind of reaching a point that we have decided that the provinces will take care of all of this.
Therefore, each province determines the type, amount, and location of gaming activity that is available in their jurisdiction, which seems right to me.
Since , gaming facilities have been established in most provinces, offering a diverse range of options, including slot and video machines, card games, and games of chance such as Roulette and Craps.
In greater Vancouver, we have seen a kind of flourishing of the gaming industry, but a moderate flourishing.
When this started, a lot of people thought it would be a very bad and intrusive industry that would change the very nature of our communities.
However, it does not seem to have had that impact, although it has had both positive and negative impacts. The key is that at least it is regulated now.
At least the provincial governments get a significant amount of revenue from these industries. Not only provincial governments but municipalities and charities also receive a significant benefit from gambling.
Gaming is one of the oldest activities in the world. It is proper to regulate it, again, much like marijuana. It is something that happens, and government involvement is important.
Also, it would lead us to recover some of the revenue so we could help support things like addiction services and counselling when people have trouble with these activities.
Oversight in this industry has been decentralized to the provinces, but the Criminal Code still applies to some aspects of the gaming industry, including single-event sports betting.
Therefore, if this proposed law were in place and single-event sports wagering were permitted, each province would determine how and if it would be implemented.
It is not like passing this law would all of a sudden open up single sports betting right across Canada. It would still be up to the provinces to decide if they were going to allow it and what the laws would look like in each province.
The public is not losing control of this industry or oversight of this industry, it is just being decentralized to the provinces, who, I would say, are in better shape to make decisions about those more localized communities.
We heard some arguments today about the economics of this industry. Gaming is an important contributor to the Canadian economy.
It is the largest segment of the entertainment industry, and supports more than , full-time jobs, with another , indirect jobs. It is nothing to sneeze at, and it is something to take very seriously.
I am glad my colleague from Windsor West has brought the bill forward. It allows us to have these kinds of debates.
Again, it puts pressure on the government to consider if, indeed, we are regulating this industry in the correct way. The reason why single-event sports betting is important is that it would give the Canadian gaming industry an edge over the American gaming industry.
In British Columbia, where I am from, although there are local casinos, most people talk about going to Las Vegas. Lots of British Columbians fly to Las Vegas to bet down there.
One reason is single-event sports betting, which is allowed in Las Vegas but not in British Columbia. One could imagine the reverse flow of residents and gamers if this were allowed in British Columbia, starting here with this law and then regulation by the province.
It would reverse the flow of that money. That is an important consideration. We all know we are in tough economic times.
This would be important. Now in Vancouver, with a fairly robust economy, maybe this would not make a huge difference, but in some communities along the border, this would make a difference, especially from what I am hearing from my colleagues in Windsor.
No other states have legalized single-event gaming operations, so this would give Canadian gamers an edge.
My colleagues have said it very well, that this is occurring. These betting activities are occurring, but mainly illegally in Canada. What this allows us to do is capture the revenue that we are losing.
Again, the government has made the same claims about legalizing marijuana, saying that when it is an illegal substance it is only dealt with in an illegal way and all the profits remain in the hands of organized crime.
That is why they are arguing they should legalize marijuana. It would allow the government to regulate and capture this revenue.
The same case could be made for single-event sports betting. We have heard opposition from the other side, and we have heard a number of Liberals say that they are not going to support the bill.
They have in the past, and I am hoping that they again reflect on what they are denying Canadians by voting against the bill.
In terms of organized crime and the effects of organized crime in this area, illegal sports wagering includes both illegal bookmakers and illegal Internet betting companies operating in North America.
I am not a huge fan of gambling. It may seem strange to say that after this speech but I have talked to my constituents.
I opposed a mixed martial arts bill that came from the Senate in the last session. However, I voted for it because my constituency told me loud and clear that this was what they wanted.
The same applies to this bill. I have talked to a number of people in my constituency, elected officials and local residents. They have said they want me to support the bill, and that is what I am doing.
I am standing up today to support my colleague from Windsor West and his private member's bill.
I hope everyone here in the House will as well. Madam Speaker, I thank my colleagues on all sides for taking part in this debate.
What takes place next is a simple process. It is about whether this House has the courage to tackle organized crime in the most significant legislation that will be proposed in this House of Commons for this session of Parliament.
It is clean and simple. We send this to committee to be studied, examined, and brought back here for a final vote. Let us look at the facts carefully.
The bill was already in previous Parliaments. It went through with Liberal, Conservative, and NDP support. It was stymied in the Senate and had to re-emerge here.
If the bill does not make it this time and we do not get it to committee, it becomes another four years, unless it is introduced by the government, having to eat crow.
What do we have in the meantime? Organized crime will get the biggest single corporate tax cut from the government. They will get the resources.
Canada is a laggard in terms of accountability. Very little of that is recovered by governments. If we vote for the bill right now, we give it a chance to go to committee.
Let us hear from the experts that are for it. Let us hear it from the experts that are against it. Let us hear about one sentence in the Criminal Code that, in my view, would increase accountability, tourism, and jobs and would give us more reason to tackle other organized crimes, because we would unplug them from their single most profitable source of revenue.
That would mean new revenue for health care, education, gaming addiction, and other elements. I am being mocked and heckled by a Conservative over there, but that is okay.
They do not take it seriously, but I do, because those revenues are being asked for and supported by the Province of Ontario and by the official opposition in Ontario.
This gives the provinces the opportunity to choose, if they want, to go into this type of possibility. They have the infrastructure, such as the Alcohol and Gaming Commission, which has accountability and the ability to put this out to market if they choose to do it.
For example, if Ontario wants to bet on one event one time, they can do that, monitor it, and provide the accountability and oversight that so many people want.
I can still hear my colleague, and I would ask him to maybe speak to the bill. Madam Speaker, this is an opportunity we will not have again.
We will not have it for this Parliament, unless the Liberals decide to actually introduce it as part of their process.
We have heard testimony on gaming accountability from international and domestic police and others who have testified to the veracity of the exposure we have from unregulated, unaccountable, single sports betting that is taking place in backrooms, bars, basements, and back halls and through organized crime.
Sadly enough, with the click of a mouse, it is also being done by our youth. Let us send this to committee. Let them hear the evidence, and let us move on.
Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today to speak to Bill C, the safe and regulated sports betting act. I served in the municipality of Windsor for two terms and have served in the House for six terms.
One of the things I have noted as a member of Parliament and formerly as a city councillor is that we often have time, energy, and opportunity to vote about spending in these institutions, including this one.
This bill would give us a chance to increase revenues by taking them away from organized crime and putting them into the coffers of the provinces, should they so choose.
I am talking about the underground economy, the organized crime economy, and that of offshore betting that is taking place for single event sports.
It is common culture in Canada, North America, and across the globe, but it is not regulated here. Some are seeking regulation. The provinces could use that money for health care, education, infrastructure, for public projects that we support.
This would dismantle a significant, if not the most profound, basis of monetary support for organized crime.
That is what we are talking about in the bill. It is not just fun, not just jobs, not just the reality that is taking place in other jurisdictions at our expense; it is about taking away the capability of organized crime to affect our society.
The bill was formerly Bill C , which was brought forward by my colleague Mr. Joe Comartin, the former member for Windsor—Tecumseh and the former deputy speaker.
That bill passed unanimously in the chamber. It went through this chamber, went to committee, came back from committee and went through this chamber again and on to the Senate.
It made it to the Senate, but there just was not enough time to pass it into law. We have had to table the bill in the House again to make sure that we get the job done.
It is my pleasure to do so. Things have changed. It is a trough fund that often goes to organized crime or other businesses that are unregulated and unaccountable.
We know taxes have been a big issue in this chamber over the last number of weeks. They are not necessarily paying the taxes that they should. It is important to know that.
Currently, Las Vegas has a monopoly on this product for North America. There is the Super Bowl and other jurisdictional betting that has been taking place.
There are around 30 million visitors to that area. There are significant revenues coming from tourism on top of that. It is not just the actual wagering that is taking place, but it is the tourism as well.
The bill would protect our jobs and economy. We have , jobs directly or indirectly related to the gaming industry in Canada.
We are talking about places like Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Windsor, Niagara, Montreal, Halifax, and Charlottetown. Some people think these are just entry level jobs, that they are not significant enough to look at.
How more wrong could they be? There are value-added trained jobs that require education from our colleges and our universities.
There is web design. There are slot attendants, cashiers, and blackjack dealers in a casino, and also industries outside that which are related to tourism.
I apologize for my voice, Mr. Speaker, but I was coaching hockey this weekend and it is hard to get year-olds and year-olds off the ice.
I would say to my colleagues that it is a lot of fun but it takes a lot of energy. When we look at the sports information industry itself, we see online sports information, statisticians, odds-makers, journalists, web-tech supporters, and marketing.
All those things are so important for our value-added economy. They are also jobs where people can actually have benefits, a salary, and contribute to a pension, something all of us in this House agree should happen.
Often there are pensions that relate to the private sector, a growth sector where we need to have pensions for the sustainability of our economy.
This bill has a number of different elements which the provinces could choose if they wanted to. There is nothing in this bill that would make the provinces do anything.
It is all about choice. Right now in the federal Criminal Code there is a prohibition to betting on a single event sport or games.
To do that, people go to the underground economy, whether it be organized crime or other types of venues, or with the click of a mouse they can go offshore somewhere.
Canadians, Americans, and people across this planet enjoy single wager sports. All that revenue is lost, unaccounted for, and does not lead to the results we need as a country.
With that type of revenue stream, we would also have accountability. Most important, we would have the reduction of crimes committed from this unregulated activity.
We take that element and create jobs that have taxable income, that pay benefits, that deliver pensions, that bring in tourism.
It would ensure that the billions of dollars of infrastructure that we have in our gaming facilities would be protected.
This is coming to the United States. It is not just Nevada that has a toehold and is alone in this. There are others, like New Jersey, that are moving toward this target, and others will soon follow.
There is no doubt about it. Coming from Windsor, I can say that we watched as the province twiddled its thumbs about building a new conference centre, and Detroit went ahead and did it and took our market share quite significantly.
We still do well with a good brand, a good industry, and most important, great customer service that creates a number of jobs.
However, if we do not do this, we will lose out. We will lose billions of taxpayer dollars in infrastructure.
That is not smart. When we think about having a regulated environment, it is not just somebody in a bar, in a back room, or a basement who collects these bets.
We are talking about going to gaming authorities of the provinces that choose to do so where they have age controls.
Right now, if people want to make a single sports bet in our country, does anyone think that organized crime, bookies, or agents are carding people to make sure they are 18 years of age?
I do not think so. I do not think that is happening. They will prey on those who want to bet. With legalized regulated betting, there are age controls in place, sports security in place, monitoring of lines, and regular wager bets that take place.
That is accountability. Gaming authorities across Canada are the largest contributors to player education programs and self-exclusion programs.
People can actually go to the websites of the provinces that regulate this and get face identification. That is important.
If people want to opt out of gaming and tell the associations they want to be prohibited from entering into casinos or other betting venues, they are allowed to do that.
They can do it in the privacy of their homes. It is a self-awareness protection program. There is staff training that takes place to ensure that does not happen.
The scope of criminal activity associated with organized crime is best detailed by a quote that I have by Detective Inspector L. Moodie, who spoke at a Gambling, Law Enforcement Systems Issues Conference.