Joyce Murray

Your member of parliament for


Vancouver Quadra

Joyce Murray

Your member of parliament for


Vancouver Quadra

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MP Joyce Murray Speech in Debate on CPC Opposition Motion – Impact of Carbon Taxes

Madam Speaker,

I am pleased to speak to the motion of the member for Carleton today.

I do have to say it is unfortunate to witness the Conservative members continuing alarmist attacks on pricing carbon pollution. It takes me back many years. It takes me back 15 years ago, as British Columbia’s environment minister, when that was the argument of the day.

As we know, British Columbia’s experience after having implemented a price on pollution 10 years ago is that in most of the years since, emissions have dropped while the economy has grown, in fact, grown faster than anywhere else in the country.

I do encourage the members opposite to notice that the world has moved on from these kinds of arguments and that even many members of the business community and industry support the opportunity that pricing carbon creates for innovating and growing our clean energy economy.

I would like them to notice the international community has moved on and has come together to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to ensure that warming stays below 2° Centigrade, and hopefully 1.5°Centigrade.

Moreover, in the current Liberal government’s pan-Canadian framework, it will be up to the provinces and territories themselves to decide what tool to use to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, and the funds that are raised, for whatever mechanism they use, will be up to the provinces and territories to determine how they are returned to their public.

I will use my opportunity to speak to this motion to discuss its aspect around open and transparent government. That is one of the key themes of the motion, and it is one of the key themes of this government. That vision comes from the top.

Le premier ministre, dans sa lettre de mandat au président du Conseil du Trésor, a insisté sur l’importance de ces valeurs pour les Canadiens. Il a dit: Nous nous sommes également engagés à relever la barre en matière d’ouverture et de transparence au sein du gouvernement. Il est temps de sortir le gouvernement de l’ombre pour que celui-ci soit réellement au service de la population. Le gouvernement et les renseignements du gouvernement devraient être ouverts par défaut.

Ce même message a été transmis aux ministres du Cabinet par l’entremise de leur lettre de mandat.

The fact that Canadians, members of Parliament, citizens, and the media can see these letters and hold the government to account is the proof in the pudding of our Prime Minister’s commitment. It sets the tone for a more modern, open approach to government.

In fact, our guiding principle is that government information belongs to the people it serves and should be open by default. Open by default means publicly releasing government data and information to Canadians, except in limited situations which we all understand are for reasons such as privacy, confidentiality, and security. It also means ensuring, wherever feasible, that requesters receive information in modern and easy to use formats.

Let me be clear. We are facing a cultural shift in this government’s way of doing business. We are talking about reversing the onus.

Au lieu de demander aux citoyens de justifier les raisons pour lesquelles ils méritent cette information, il incombe de plus en plus au gouvernement de la fournir, sauf pour les raisons de protection de la vie privée, de confidentialité et de sécurité.

Plutôt que de s’attendre à ce que les Canadiens cherchent des renseignements qui pourraient les intéresser, nous rendons ces informations plus faciles à trouver, en rendant les opérations plus ouvertes et plus transparentes.

L’accès à l’information est un bon exemple.

Last May, we waived all fees for these requests for information, apart from the $5 filing fee. These fees were waived to enhance Canadians’ access to government information.

We intend to introduce legislation that will bring forward other important improvements to the act. It is our hope that the House will pass this legislation. Then, after our first round of commitments has been enacted, the President of the Treasury Board will begin the proposed first full mandatory five-year review of the act in 2018.

Cet examen de l’accès à l’information est une composante majeure de notre troisième Plan d’action biannuel pour un gouvernement ouvert.

This plan was released last July after extensive in-person and online consultations. It is part of our international relationship with the Open Government Partnership and its 75 members.

The President of the Treasury Board announced that Canada will take a leadership role to improve transparency and open government worldwide. In December, he announced that Canada would adopt the international Open Data Charter, and Canada is a candidate for a seat on the Open Government Partnership steering committee.

These are key parts of our international commitment to openness and transparency, and they will support strategic partnerships with governments and civil society organizations here and around the world. The shared global principles expressed in the Open Data Charter reflect our ongoing commitment to ensure government data is open by default.

Par exemple, nous élargissons et améliorons les données ouvertes du gouvernement et l’accès à celles-ci. Le gouvernement possède une massive banque de données brutes qui pourrait transformer la façon dont nos fonctionnaires prennent des décisions, comment les citoyens interagissent avec nous et comment les organisations innovent.

Nous croyons qu’il est essentiel que nous mettions autant d’informations que possible à la disposition du public, aux organismes de bienfaisance et à d’autres. En fait, nous avons réalisé beaucoup de progrès, comme on peut le constater sur le site ouvert.canada.ca.

We will do even more. We will increase the diversity, timeliness, and quality of this data. In addition, we have committed to streamlining requests from citizens for government information, including their own personal information. To that end, we will be creating a simple central website where Canadians can submit such requests to any federal institution.

Il est difficile de saisir pleinement à quel point un gouvernement ouvert pourrait améliorer le monde. C’est pourquoi, par exemple, nous nous sommes engagés à fournir de la formation sur les données ouvertes au gouvernement et aux groupes de la société civile dans les pays en développement.

That is why in last year’s budget we doubled existing resources for open government initiatives. Beyond our new open government plan and its 22 commitments we are also fostering more open debate and more free votes in Parliament.

We are working to reform the budgets and estimates processes to help parliamentarians hold the government to account. We are also inviting our subject matter experts in government, including scientists, to speak publicly about their work.

In closing, let me emphasize that open and transparent government puts government data in the hands of citizens as a vital resource in a digital world. It helps ensure the integrity of our public institution and strengthens trust in democracy. It stimulates innovation. It stimulates public engagement, and we will continue to champion it for Canadians.