SCHULTE, Deborah

Personal Data

King--Vaughan (Ontario)
Birth Date
January 1, 1960
Email Address
engineer, manager, politician

Parliamentary Career

October 19, 2015 -
  King--Vaughan (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 20)

June 12, 2018

Mrs. Deborah Schulte (King—Vaughan, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I will go a back a little to set the context for my future comments. I was at the point where I was saying that pollution is not free. Its costs are incurred through droughts, floods, smog, wildfires, and the effect it has on water, food, and the air that we breathe. The price we pay is our health and our future. The financial costs are very real.

Climate change alone is expected to cost our economy $5 billion a year by 2020, which is why our government has taken action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions nationally with our pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change. Our national target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. That is to 517 megatonnes. Pricing carbon pollution will make a significant contribution to reaching Canada's 2030 target. By driving innovation and discouraging pollution, we estimate that carbon pricing could reduce emissions across Canada by between 80 megatonnes and 90 megatonnes in 2022.

Emission reductions in 2030 would depend on decisions about the design of carbon pollution pricing systems, including the carbon price after 2022. We have committed to review carbon pricing in 2022 with the provinces and territories to determine the path forward.

Carbon pricing is just one of the actions being taken to reduce emissions.

The pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change includes many complementary measures to reduce emissions such as accelerating the phase-out of traditional coal-fired electricity, reducing methane, and energy efficiency measures. Some of them we have been discussing in our committee today.

Our approach is based on understanding that the environment and the economy go hand in hand. By investing in the former, we are spurring the latter: supporting clean economic growth, creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and helping everyone working hard to join it. This approach is good for business and it is good for Canadians. It is delivering long-term economic growth while giving people the support they need to succeed today. It is supporting a clean and healthy environment for future generations.

The results speak for themselves. Through innovation in clean technology and the production of cleaner fossil fuels, Canada's oil and gas sector is now a global leader in responsible energy production. I had the privilege to travel to the GLOBE conference this year with the committee and I was really impressed with all the innovation and technology that was going on in the industries to reduce emissions and greenhouse gases.

Other countries are now looking to Canada to share that expertise in more efficient and lower emission oil extraction and other green innovations. One of them we heard about at committee was the capture of carbon and putting it in concrete to make it stronger. We are solving two problems. A very carbon-intense industry is now looking to solve that problem so that we can feel good about using concrete again because it was not a good thing to do if we were looking green.

I am thankful for the opportunity to talk about what our government has been doing, the incredible work that is going on in reducing those incentives we had before that encouraged the oil and gas industry. We have been working very hard to have the economy and the environment go hand in hand. It is something that we have been talking about a lot in the House. I want to make sure that as we discuss this issue today, we keep in mind that the government is trying to do both at the same time and we are succeeding.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
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June 12, 2018

Mrs. Deborah Schulte

Mr. Speaker, the challenge would be very straightforward if we just needed to stop, everything needed to go in harmony together, and we would end up at some type of Utopia.

We can have the same goal at the end, but how we plan on getting there is different, obviously, from what my colleague on the other side has outlined. We believe that we need to proceed in a balanced way. We have to transition. We have to ensure that Canadian workers do not suffer as we make this transition to a low-carbon economy.

We have made significant investments in clean technology and innovation, science and research, in our workers and in our communities. We cannot abandon workers as we try to move forward on this with our international commitments to reduce carbon emissions. I know there is an urgency and a real worry that we are not going to get where we need to, and that things will become even more difficult to manage as we move on. However, we cannot abandon workers as we move forward with our international commitments.

This is an investment that we are making in Canada's future. We cannot just stop the use of fossil fuels and then continue to sell our resources at a discount because we cannot get it to world markets. We need the money to help fuel the transition that we are engaged in. That is why our plan is going to be successful.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
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June 12, 2018

Mrs. Deborah Schulte (King—Vaughan, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I listened intently to my colleague's comments. Could she rationalize something for me? She mentioned that Liberal programs and policies were harming the economy of Canada, resulting in hundreds of thousands of job losses. In fact, Canada has the best economic growth in the G7. Its unemployment rate is at an all-time record low at 5.8%. It has helped generate over 600,000 net new jobs since 2015, 89% of which are full time.

I have been trying to rationalize the rhetoric coming from the other side with the reality and the facts. I would be very interested to hear the facts and where your data comes from to justify your comments.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Impact Assessment Act
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June 12, 2018

Mrs. Deborah Schulte (King—Vaughan, Lib.)

Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Winnipeg Centre, which will obviously happen after question period.

It is not every day that we have the privilege of having our policy so nicely summarized and advocated in a motion by an hon. member of the opposition. I would like to thank the hon. member for his motion and also for his membership on the environment and sustainable development committee. He is a new member. We very much enjoy his contributions on the committee.

We are already taking action. We are making investments that are empowering Canadians with the skills and technologies to transform their lives and their economy toward a greener, cleaner, and more prosperous future that benefits all.

We are supporting the transition to a cleaner economy by putting a price on carbon pollution and by putting an end to the counterproductive and obsolete fossil fuel subsidies. That is what I would like to talk about specifically in my speech today. This activity is already well under way.

In June of 2016, our government, along with the United States and Mexico, committed to phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 and called on other members of the G20 to do the same. We are working in a leadership capacity to make this goal a reality for Canada and our partners.

In recent years, Canada has made significant progress introducing measures to phase out a number of tax preferences that support the production of fossil fuels through the extraction of oil and gas and coal. This included the phase-out of the accelerated capital cost allowance for tangible assets in oil sands projects. That was in budget 2007, and its implementation was completed in 2015.

It included lowering the deduction rates for intangible capital expenses in oil sands projects to align with the rates for conventional oil and gas. That was in budget 2011, and its implementation was completed by 2016.

It included the phase-out of the Atlantic investment tax credit for investments in the oil and gas and mining sectors. That was in budget 2012 and was implemented and completed last year, in 2017.

It includes the phase-out of the accelerated capital cost allowance for tangible assets in mines, including coal mines. That was in budget 2013, and its implementation is to be completed by 2021.

It includes the lowering of the deduction rate for pre-production intangible mine development expenses, including for coal mines, to align with the rates for the oil and gas sector. That was in budget 2013, and implementation is to be completed in 2018.

It includes our government's action to allow the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance for liquefied natural gas at LNG facilities to expire, as scheduled, at the end of 2024.

It includes our budget 2017 decision to rationalize the tax treatment of expenses for successful oil and gas exploratory drilling. Its implementation is to be completed by 2021.

It includes our budget 2017 action to phase out the tax preferences that allow small oil and gas companies to reclassify certain development expenses as more favourably treated exploration expenses. That implementation is to be completed by 2020.

It is important to bear in mind that these actions are being taken gradually to avoid disruptive changes for the fossil fuel industry while supporting Canada's broader environmental objectives. At the same time, our government is currently evaluating non-tax measures to identify any that might be considered inefficient fossil fuel subsidies in the context of meeting our G20 commitments. While there is no commonly held definition, there has been a general understanding that fossil fuel subsidies can go beyond direct tax provisions to encompass things such as price controls, cash subsidies, and tax preferences.

Environment and Climate Change Canada officials are leading an interdepartmental review of federal non-tax measures. Our government will be acting on all findings in moving toward meeting our G20 commitment to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.

Like Canadians, we know that pollution is not free. Its costs are incurred through droughts, floods, smog, wildfires, and the effects it has on water, food, and the air we breathe. The price we pay is in our health and our future. The financial costs are also very real. Climate change alone is expected to cost our economy $5 billion by 2020.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Business of Supply
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June 6, 2018

Mrs. Deborah Schulte (King—Vaughan, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today in support of Bill C-69. As chair of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, I found it a privilege to be able to study this bill and report it back to the House with important amendments. These amendments were developed after listening to over 55 witnesses and receiving over 150 briefs from NGOs, indigenous peoples, unions, experts, and industry representatives. The amendments adopted were to bring more predictability, transparent decision-making, clarity on expectations, and timely reviews.

Our government is committed to regaining public trust in the review of projects and to getting Canada's resources to market. That is what this bill will do.

Since 2012, we have seen that weaker rules have hurt Canada's economy and our environment. Without public trust and support, projects cannot move forward and investment is put at risk. This bill would result in better rules to govern major project reviews, helping ensure that Canadians can benefit from over $500 billion in major resource projects planned over the next decade. It would provide predictable, timely project reviews to encourage investment. At the same time, it would ensure that our environment is protected and that we can meet our commitments to reduce carbon pollution and transition to a clean-growth economy.

Engagement with industry as well as with indigenous peoples, provinces and territories, stakeholders, and Canadians has been instrumental in the development of this bill. Over 14 months leading up to its introduction, the government heard from companies about what they need to keep good projects moving forward. Since then, the government has continued to stay engaged with companies, indigenous peoples, and stakeholders. Consistently, companies have told us that they need certainty about the process, about what is required and when, and about how decisions on project approvals are made. Bill C-69 would provide that certainty.

To begin with, one agency, the new impact assessment agency of Canada, would act as a federal lead for all major project reviews. This will result in reviews that are more consistent and more predictable. We have consulted with Canadians on the criteria that will form the basis for a revised project list, which will provide clarity on how our new rules will apply.

Through a new early planning and engagement phase, companies would be able to identify and address issues early on, before an impact assessment begins. The bill provides clarity on the scope and outputs of this new phase. It would result in tailored impact statement guidelines that reflect factors and requirements relevant to the project, as well as a co-operation plan, an indigenous engagement and partnership plan, a public participation plan, and, if required, a permitting plan.

Details on these products will be set out in regulations, which the government is consulting on now, and which would come into force at the same time as the impact assessment act. The early planning stage would define requirements and clarify expectations so that companies would know what was expected of them, and when. It would help them design and plan their projects and more effectively engage indigenous peoples, stakeholders, and local communities.

The minister would also be able to inform companies early on if a project is likely to have negative impacts, without stopping the process. This would give companies an earlier opportunity to decide whether to continue with an impact assessment.

Bill C-69 would ensure that companies know in advance what would be considered in a project review and in decision-making. Reviews would take into account not just environmental impacts, but also social, economic, and health effects, as well as impacts on indigenous peoples and their rights.

This bill would also provide strong transparency measures so that proponents are informed about key decisions, as well as the reasons behind them. That includes, for example, decisions to extend the timeline for a review or to refer a final decision on a project to cabinet.

When final decisions are made on whether a project will go ahead, the proponent would be informed of the reasons for the decision and would be assured that all key factors were appropriately considered.

Bill C-69 would also respond to what we have heard from industry by providing more timely assessments. Our better rules would include stricter timeline management, with shorter timelines for assessments. Specifically, timelines for agency-led reviews would be reduced from 365 to 300 days; panel reviews would be shortened from 720 days to a maximum of 600 days; and, in addition, panel reviews for designated projects reviewed in collaboration with a federal life-cycle regulator would be shortened to 300 days, with the option to allow the minister to set the timeline up to a maximum of 600 days if warranted, based on the project's complexity. As well, timelines for non-designated projects reviewed by life-cycle regulators would be shortened from 450 to 300 days.

Regulations would require clear rules around when timelines could be paused. When there is a decision to extend a timeline, the proponent would need to be informed about the reasons why.

I would like to briefly mention how Bill C-69 would support one project, one review, and how this would contribute to our goal of getting our resources to market. The bill would provide for joint reviews and substitution, in which a review process led by another jurisdiction would fulfill the requirement for a federal review. Those provisions would help promote cooperation with provinces and territories, reduce red tape, and prevent duplication. We are also increasing opportunities for partnership with indigenous peoples and for indigenous governing bodies to take on key responsibilities. That could include taking the lead on assessments through the bill's substitution provisions.

Our government has heard from industry how important it is for Bill C-69 to provide a smooth transition between the current assessment regime and the new regime. Transition provisions must be clear and predictable to encourage investment and keep good projects moving forward. Bill C-69 would provide that clarity by setting out objective criteria to identify projects that would continue to be reviewed under CEAA 2012, giving companies the option to opt into the new process, and confirming that no one would go back to the starting line.

I would just like to emphasize that as a result of the committee's work, Bill C-69 now includes stronger transparency provisions that would benefit proponents and provide more certainty and consistency across the legislation. For example, assessment reports would be required to incorporate a broader range of information, including a summary of comments received, recommendations on mitigation measures and follow-up, and the agency's rationale and conclusions. Public comments would have to be made available on the Internet, and information posted online would need to be maintained so that it could be accessed over time.

The standing committee also addressed feedback from industry that some smaller projects with federal life-cycle regulators, such as offshore renewable energy projects, could face longer reviews than they do now. The amendments address this by establishing a new timeline of 300 days for reviews of projects with a life-cycle regulator, with the possibility of setting the timeline to a maximum of 600 days, if warranted.

Complementing the existing provisions to support timeliness, the amended bill would set a clear 45-day timeline for establishing a review panel. The committee's amendments would clarify that public comments must be provided during a time period specified by the agency, so that meaningful participation would be ensured and balanced with the need for timely assessments.

The standing committee further advanced the objective of one project, one review. As a result of the committee's amendments, integrated review panels involving federal regulators would also be able to include other jurisdictions, making it possible to have just one assessment that meets all of the requirements. Finally, the standing committee responded to feedback from companies by making the bill's transitional provisions even clearer.

To conclude, the bill responds to what we have heard from companies, providing clarity on expectations and requirements, predictable timely reviews, and transparent decision-making. By rebuilding public trust, it would encourage investment and help create new jobs and opportunities for Canadians.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Impact Assessment Act
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