House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was israel.

Topics

Oceans Act
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Oceans Act
Government Orders

4:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more that five members having risen:

Oceans Act
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4:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

Pursuant to Standing Order 76(8), the division stands deferred until October 21, at the time of adjournment.

The House resumed from October 8, 1996, consideration of the motion that Bill C-29, an act to regulate interprovincial trade in and the importation for commercial purposes of certain manganese-based substances, be read the third time and passed, and the amendment.

The Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act
Government Orders

October 10th, 1996 / 4:20 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to speak on this bill, which is being read for the third time. We are debating Bill C-29, an Act to regulate interprovincial trade in and the importation for commercial purposes of certain manganese-based substances.

The main product affected by this bill is a fuel additive called MMT, which has been in use since 1976 to increase the octane rating in almost all unleaded gasoline. The Canadian General Standards Board has set the maximum quantity at 18 milligrams of manganese per litre.

I am not a chemist, but I think it is appropriate and legitimate for each and every one of us to wonder about the ongoing battle between two large industries, the oil industry and the auto industry, and about the nature and the effects of the products these industries are manufacturing and marketing. Often, catastrophes happen because of a lack of vigilance.

In my riding alone, we are still dealing with the problems of the lagoons in Mercier which were contaminated by stored toxic waste and with the Chateauguay River which was contaminated by chemical fertilizers.

The Bloc Quebecois was in favour of this bill at the second reading stage. This was to allow the government to proceed with a more thorough study of its bill. However, it did not take advantage of this opportunity. It is trying to ban a substance without demonstrating that this is a necessary and reasonable solution to a real problem. We are not convinced at all that it is right. Thus, the Bloc Quebecois is forced to oppose this bill.

We consider that the fundamental reasons of this bill remain obscure. The government and the industry suspect the manganese-based substances damage automobile anti-pollution systems. But nothing proves this beyond a reasonable doubt. Independent tests could not prove that MMT has a negative effect.

Here is what was concluded from a test program carried out by the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, in the United States:

As for the arguments put forward by the American Automobile Manufacturers' Association opposing the conclusions of the EPA to the effect that MMT does not alter "all or part" of the operation of the vehicle exhaust system, the court decided they were of absolutely no value. First, the court indicated that the EAP had established "that the additive used by Ethyl had easily passed the tests required for the study of the most severe requests ever made statistically speaking". Moreover, the court noted that the EAP had examined according to more severe criteria the Ethyl data on the use of the additive in the vehicles produced by the highest technology and had indicated that the APE could not detect any real increase of the emissions.

When we are talking about car problems, I think that all of us who have cars are the best experts. I have a car that reached 50,000 kilometres last week. Yet, after 50,000 kilometres, I get exactly the same distance per litre as when I first bought the car. My previous car, which I changed just 20 months ago, had 150,00 kilometres on it. It never needed major repairs or maintenance, just an oil change every now and then.

I understand perfectly well when automakers tell us that their research is secret, that they cannot say anything to us about it, that it is difficult to demonstrate that MMT is harmful to vehicles. I have proof. We all drive cars and we are all in a position to know if MMT is really harmful to vehicles.

Some say also that this product could be harmful to our health and to the environment. Nothing could be less certain. Until now, neither Environment Canada nor Health Canada has banned MMT. Ethyl Corporation goes even further, saying that MMT helps reduce nitrogen monoxide emissions, one of the causes of urban smog. If MMT was banned, this could result in an increase in the amount of smog in our cities.

Here is what was said about a series of tests conducted by Ethyl Corporation. It was said that, to satisfy the U.S. Clean Air Act requirements for the reintroduction of MMT in unleaded gasolines in the United States, Ethyl Corporation conducted the most extensive series of tests ever undertaken on a gasoline additive. The testing program was designed with the assistance of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. automakers to evaluate and document the effect of MMT performance additive on automobile tailpipe emissions and to determine the implications for air quality if MMT additives were used in the U.S. gasoline.

Four different pairs of cars were driven 75,000 miles with and without MMT to evaluate the effectiveness of MMT in oxygenated fuels (MTBE and ethanol). The tests showed that adding MMT to these fuels reduces nitrogen monoxide levels as well as the toxic and chemical reactivity of unburned hydrocarbons.

The testing carried out by Ethyl Corporation went far beyond the tests conducted by automobile manufacturers in Canada and in the United States, as confirmed by the United States Court of Appeal in its ruling handed down April 14, 1995, ordering the EPA to grant Ethyl an exemption.

The purpose of the bill is to ban manganese-based substances because they are apparently dangerous. Yet, this same bill allows the use of MMT in gasoline containing lead. If it is okay in gasoline containing lead, why is not okay in lead free gasoline?

The situation is not clear. In the United States, the ban on MMT has been the focus of a legal war with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which sought to have it banned completely. The Court of Appeal decided otherwise, which leaves me thinking that it has not yet been shown that MMT is a product dangerous to the health or the environment.

The following is a summary of the ruling handed down by the Court of Appeal ordering the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue an notice lifting the ban on MMT.

On April 14, 1995, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia handed down its decision in the case of Ethyl Corporation vs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in which Ethyl challenged the July 13, 1994 rejection by the EPA of the application by Ethyl to have the ban on MMT in lead free gasoline lifted.

The Court established that the director had breached the conditions clearly set out in section 211 by turning down Ethyl's application to have the ban on MMT for public health reasons lifted. According to the Court, because Congress had given the EPA the mandate to evaluate solely in terms of emissions the implica-

tions of applications to have bans lifted, and because Ethyl had met the prescribed requirements, it felt that the director of the EPA had overstepped his authority by turning down Ethyl's request to have the ban on MMT lifted. In light of these facts, the Court issued a direct order to the EPA to grant Ethyl's request and lift the ban on the corporation's fuel additive.

Here are the very two points they would have us believe, and which are the reasons behind the tabling of this bill, that is, the damage that can be done to automobiles, and the health problems that can arise. In both cases, neither the automobile manufacturers nor certain courts in the United States have come up with conclusive evidence.

We are, however, entitled to wonder why the government is so bent on replacing MMT. The determination of the federal Liberals to ban MMT will cost Quebecers and Canadians several tens of millions of dollars, and possibly over $100 million. Gas consumers are going to pay the bill, largely through increases of probably 1 cent per litre in the price of gas at the pump.

The costs generated by this bill could escalate further. On September 10 this year, the Ethyl Corporation, an American company, filed a notice of intent to submit a complaint, with a view to obtaining compensation totalling $201 million in American currency or $275 million in Canadian currency, pursuant to section 1116 of the North American Free Trade Agreement signed by the Canadian government. The company claims that Bill C-29 violates certain provisions of NAFTA and that as a result, it subsidiary, Ethyl Canada, will suffer losses when the bill comes into force.

In the circumstances, it is surprising to see the government continue this exercise. The issue is divisive, and the debate still goes on, even within the government caucus. It would seem that with this bill, the Canadian government knowingly exposes itself to legal action, which today seems imminent.

Last February, the Minister for International Trade warned the Minister of the Environment in a letter of the possibility of legal action. With Bill C-29, Canada seeks to prohibit imports of MMT, without in any way restricting the domestic production, sale or use of this product. This is further evidence of the bill's lack of purpose.

The government continues this exercise regardless because some major interests are at stake. What is at stake is ethanol. We know that Ontario and western Canada, with a research budget of $70 million from the federal government, want to take over the production of ethanol and in the process replace MMT. The problems this may cause for employment are of minor importance to the federal government. We in Quebec have had a taste of this kind of medicine in the past.

Previously, the federal government caused a real disaster in the petrochemical industry in East Montreal, that benefited western Canada. The Borden line, established in 1963, led to Montreal's losing four of its six refineries in the seventies and eighties. Nearly 8,000 jobs were lost as a result. In fact, I would like to take this opportunity to renew an invitation from Quebec's Minister of Finance, Bernard Landry, to his federal counterpart and the Prime Minister of Canada, asking them to pay regular visits to Montreal east so they will remember the damage done by the federal government and the consequences that are still being felt today.

The same happened in the case of the Auto Pact in 1965. It led to a concentration of the automotive industry in southern Ontario, thus encouraging closer ties with the American automotive industry. I know the federal government will not admit that this industrial raiding is the cause of Quebec's current economic problems, but I can tell you it is the main reason why Quebecers want to see a sovereign Quebec.

Another example of disinformation: 76,000 lost jobs in Quebec in July and August, supposedly because of the political uncertainty. The Prime Minister of Canada made the effort to travel to Beauce this summer to voice his claim that Quebec's economic woes were the result of political uncertainty. Yet, in August, when Quebec created 41,000 jobs, or 50 per cent of the figure for all of Canada, no one in the federal government could be found to visit Quebec and talk to us about political uncertainty.

As for the sad fate of the other provinces, it did not occur to any Liberal MP to link that to political uncertainty. As well as operating from a double standard, the government is moving ahead with no concern for its partners in the federation. Six provinces already, in other words a majority, have made known their opposition to Bill C-29. The provinces have a say on the issue of gasoline additives.

In passing legislation on interprovincial trade, the government is again interfering in areas of provincial jurisdiction. What has become of the decentralizing federalism promised during the referendum campaign? We are still stuck with the never-ending centralization of powers and decisions on the federal level.

Since the Liberals regained power in Ottawa, the last thing in the government's mind is respect for the fundamental law of this country. For example, it systematically refused to comply with Alberta's request to include the subject of MMT on the agenda of the conference of natural resources ministers, which took place in Yellowknife recently.

In short, we are faced with a battle between two major industries; the automotive industry and the petroleum industry do not agree on the use of their products. Who will back off? Who is right? Who will win?

Who will pay? The user, I am sure. But I am equally sure that we would be able to predict the outcome if we were only able to see who has contributed the most to the slush fund.

In conclusion, we on this side of the House are going to vote against Bill C-29. It is more the result of efforts by lobbyists and corporate self-interest than a reflection of real public interest. As far as the content is concerned, nothing leads us to believe that MMT will be banned along with manganese-based products. As far as form is concerned, this is a hastily thrown together effort which is simply adding fuel to the fire.

The Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act
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4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Madam Speaker, today I had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association. I had a good conversation with Mr. Douglas R. Leggat, chairman of the Federation of Automobile Dealer Associations of Canada and MMT certainly was an issue with them.

He reminded me of the fact that General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, BMW, Jaguar, Hyundai, Mazda, Nissan, Rolls Royce, Subaru, Volvo and I could go on, all these automobile manufacturers have registered their support in favour of the ban on MMT. On top of that there is a national survey of Canadians which says that the majority of Canadians also support the ban on MMT.

How can the member say that the government is not serious about this bill and that it does not represent the well-being of Canadians as reflected by those impacted by it? It is an important issue and the government is certainly very serious about proceeding with this bill. That is why it has come before the House.

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4:40 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. There is no doubt in my mind and in the mind of Bloc members that the issue is a very serious one indeed.

I went through all the documents made available to us, either by the health department or others; I mentioned earlier a couple of specific examples, and I will not go over them again.

I will be pleased to provide the member with a copy of this information, if he does not have it already.

Neither the health community nor the car manufacturers can provide us at the present time with any conclusive example, test or study showing that MMT is a hazard. We are told, for instance, that it causes damages to vehicles. Again, as I said earlier, I believe that those who are in the best position to notice that MMT causes damages to cars are the users.

All of us are users. I am one. I have been driving for years, and when I put 150,000 kilometres on my car without any repairs, I have my doubts when car manufacturers tell me that MMT is a problem.

With regard to the health issue, it is more difficult of course to show, to clearly demonstrate which product is harmful and which one is not. I mentioned a slew of cases before the American courts; there again, it proved impossible to show that MMT was a health hazard.

Third, I cannot understand, if it were that much of a health hazard, why Canada, not another country, would allow it to be manufactured, exported, and added to unleaded gasoline. It would not make any sense if it were that harmful. It does not make any sense to tell us it is extremely harmful and then, turn around and allow it to be added to gasoline.

With regard to the poll, I must sincerely tell you that if someone called me at home asking me whether I agreed or not, given how little I know about the production of MMT, I would have to listen to the preamble. And when you tell people in the preamble that it is harmful, they say: "If it is harmful, ban it".

For my part, I agree with the member that this issue is very serious, but the government has not been serious enough for me to vote in favour of the bill.

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4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Madam Speaker, there is an important aspect here that the member has raised. That is that we cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt whether there are problems. There is a suspicion and a risk element here that is apparent from the work that has been done. It makes me recall the circumstances surrounding the substance ureaformaldehyde. It was a substance that was used very prevalently in our insulation systems and things were discovered later.

The point is that if we are going to make legislation and we are going to err, the prudent thing to do is to err on the side of caution. Concerns have been raised. I think the member would agree that if over time there is an error made, that the error on the side of caution which errs in favour of protecting the health of Canadians in dealing with a potentially serious environmental issue and a potentially damaging situation simply to the operation of motor vehicles, it is the prudent course to take.

Would the member agree with that assessment?

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4:45 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

Madam Speaker, as I said earlier, this is undoubtly a serious matter.

I think that where there is a little confusion is that it is not a new product being introduced, but rather an old product being withdrawn. This is totally different from a new product; such a product must be approved and greater caution must be exercised.

I believe this is not the issue. The issue is that Ontario, especially Ontario, with a subsidy of, I think, $70 million, wants to produce ethanol, wants to monopolize the market. I believe this is the real issue. They come from Ontario, I understand that, and they want to immediately take over ethanol production, and the purpose of eliminating MMT is to replace it by ethanol.

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4:50 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to speak immediately because, shortly after six, I must take a plane to Winnipeg where I will replace a Bloc Quebecois colleague on the justice committee which is holding consultations on young offenders. I also want to thank my colleague from the Reform Party who agreed to let me speak before him.

I am happy to participate in this third reading debate on Bill C-29, an act to regulate interprovincial trade in and the importation for commercial purposes of certain manganese-based substances. That bill would prohibit the utilisation of manganese-based products, including MMT. That additive has been added to unleaded gasoline since 1977 in Canada. However, it is important to mention that Bill C-29 does not ban the production, sale or utilisation of MMT in Canada.

Just like all my other colleagues from the Bloc who participated in this debate, I also think that this bill raises several questions. The economic and environmental consequences of this bill, as well as its impact on trade between Canadian provinces and between Canada and our southern neighbour, the United States, command a more thorough consideration before we pass the bill as readily as the Liberal would want us to.

I wonder about the relevance and the appropriateness of such a bill considering that this government should, in theory, first and foremost see to the common well-being of the country. I say in theory because, judging by the spirit of Bill C-29, in fact, the government seems to be acting in favour of one small group at the expense of Canadians and Quebecers in general.

Therefore, I cannot support Bill C-29 because there seems to be a disproportion between the costs and benefits for the population. I also will not support Bill C-29 because I feel it is unfair since it favours the wealthiest people in our society, that is the majors of the automobile industry who gather more and more in the very Liberal province of Ontario.

I take this opportunity to salute the 26,000 General Motors workers who are now on strike at the plants in Boisbriand, Quebec, and in Oshawa, St. Catharines, Windsor, London and Woodstock in Ontario.

These people are out on strike to save their jobs and to prevent this multinational company from selling two automotive parts plants in Ontario, plants which employ some 3,800 unionized workers. These workers are also striking in protest against General Motors' undue reliance on outside suppliers for parts. In most cases, the subcontractors employ non-unionized workers who are paid less.

I wish to express my solidarity with the CAW strikers, the Canadian automobile workers, and I wish them success. I hope they will sign shortly a good collective agreement with their employer.

Having worked a considerable time in the labour movement I know a strike is never easy; it is difficult and I hope they will manage to reach an agreement in the very near future.

One of the reasons put forward by the government in support of this bill is that MMT is harmful for the environment. Therefore, it is also harmful for public health. However, it is mainly the automobile manufacturers who are making these allegations. They contend that MMT in gas fouls up the car pollution control systems which could lead to an increase in the price of cars, therefore they threaten to reduce warranties and to disconnect the onboard diagnostic systems. The minister who introduced the bill was very receptive to these pressures which have more to do with blackmailing than with true warning against the harmful effects of a product.

Blackmail, indeed, since at the same time other people were voicing a reverse opinion on this bill. Based on Health Canada studies, one of which was done on December 6, 1994, officials from the oil industry and the product distributors, particularly Ethyl Canada, claim that MMT is not harmful to public health. Results from several scientific tests also show the addition of a quantity of MMT to gasoline leads to a reduction of emissions contributing to the formation of ground-level ozone and urban smog. Contrary to statements made by the automotive insdustry lobby, with the ban on MMT, urban smog becomes more significant.

If we withdraw MMT from gasoline, we will have to find a substitute for it. At the present time, it seems the Liberal government is in favour of ethanol, but ethanol production is financially and environmentally costly. Its production from corn pollutes the environment much more than MMT production.

MMT requires less intensive treatment than ethanol, which means less carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide from the stacks of plants producing gasoline. As for ethanol, fertilizers and pesticides used in corn production cause

damage to soil. If the environmental and social arguments in favour of this bill do not hold, the same goes from the economic arguments.

It has been demonstrated that costs related to the changes proposed by Bill C-29 are excessive. Canada simply cannot afford such rather irrational expenses.

The substitute proposed for MMT, that is, ethanol, would require several millions of dollars in investments. Besides, as my colleague was saying earlier, the government has already launched an investment program of about $70 million for ethanol development. Coincidentally, an ethanol plant in Chatham, Ontario, a Liberal stronghold, has received federal government assistance.

Undoubtedly, this bill is partisan, and it is not a coincidence that the government wants to have it passed at all costs. By giving in to the pressures of the automotive industry, which is concentrated in Hamilton West, the riding of the minister at the time, and in southwestern Ontario, and by favouring the ethanol industry, it is scoring political points.

As taxpayers, the people of Canada and Quebec will lose a great deal in this project. According to some estimates, it will cost over $100 million in capital, including $7 million in Quebec alone, in addition to the operating costs of the refineries, which will have to leave the additive MMT out of their gasoline. If this bill is passed, the oil companies may threaten to lay off employees or to increase the price of gasoline.

In addition to the production and transportation costs, there are the costs associated with the multiple lawsuits that might be launched by the American and Canadian companies hurt by this policy. It is imperative to point out that Bill C-29 violates certain provisions of international trade agreements, including NAFTA, as well as interprovincial trade treaties. Once again, through this bill, the Liberal government flouts certain sections of the Canadian Constitution prohibiting federal interference in areas of provincial jurisdiction.

On September 10, Ethyl Corporation, from the U.S., which is the only company manufacturing MMT and exporting it to Canada, filed a C$275 million lawsuit against the federal government. Ethyl argues that, under an article in NAFTA, its trade rights are being undermined by this legislation the government is about to pass. This multinational corporation alleges that its reputation has been damaged by the environment minister's comments on MMT.

Last February, the Minister for International Trade sent a letter to his colleague, the Minister of the Environment, to warn her that prohibiting the importation of MMT would violate Canada's obligations under the terms of the World Trade Organization and NAFTA, and could only be justified for health or environmental reasons in light of the scientific evidence available.

The Premier of Saskatchewan also informed the Prime Minister of his reservations about the impact of Bill C-29. In a letter dated September 16, he wrote that "the bill is totally unjustified at this time". It is the Government of Saskatchewan saying this. That provincial government's views should be taken into consideration.

Saskatchewan is not the only province to object to Bill C-29. By attempting to regulate interprovincial trade, the federal government is once again interfering in an area of provincial jurisdiction.

Last May, the Quebec National Assembly unanimously passed a motion calling on the federal government to defer passage of Bill C-29. Of course, as in several other areas, the federal government continues to turn a deaf ear to the provinces opposing its legislative agenda. Once again, co-operation between the federal government and the provinces has become an important issue.

For all these reasons, I cannot support this bill. The scientific evidence invoked to justify the ban on MMT is extremely weak, while environmental and economic considerations have not been taken into account. I, for one, feel that these aspects have an impact on the quality of life of Canadians and Quebecers. That is why we must look at them more seriously and carefully than this government is doing.

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5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member raises similar issues to those that have been raised by other speakers from the Bloc having to do with an indictment of the automobile lobby.

As I indicated earlier, today I had an opportunity to meet with the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association and the chairman, Douglas R. Leggat from Burlington, Ontario. The issue of MMT is extremely important to them.

The adverse effect of MMT stems from the fact that approximately 80 per cent of the combustion products of the additive remain in the engine combustion chamber and catalytic converter. This adversely affects the vehicle pollution control equipment and as a result will increase air pollution and consequent health implications.

My question to the member comes down to, are we concerned about a potential problem of the lobbyist type or are we dealing with a risk to the environment and to the health of Canadians? I would like the member to tell me what the automobile industry has to gain from this other than to have products which reduce the pollution of Canada's environment.

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5:05 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is obvious to us that there is a very strong lobbying effort by the automotive industry on this issue. Like my hon. colleague, most of the government members who oppose our view are from Ontario, where there is a high concentration of car manufacturers.

If you were really sure of your facts, you could discuss the matter with your colleague, the Minister of International Trade, who is also from Ontario, who wrote the Minister of the Environment, saying how concerned he was about the potential implications of this bill.

If you are so right, why did the Government of Saskatchewan express very serious reservations about this bill? The Government of Quebec did the same thing; the Quebec National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution opposing this bill.

I think it would be in the interests of the people of Canada and Quebec not to proceed with this bill, especially at a time when there is a difference of opinion in government, within Cabinet. I think the bill should be considered further before being brought back, given that it is very controversial.

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5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to highlight for the member that the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment task force on cleaner vehicles and fuels estimated that health benefits of up to $31 billion over 23 years would result from introducing cleaner fuels and more stringent vehicle emissions standards into the Canadian marketplace.

Acknowledging that there is some uncertainty, some risk, some disagreement of opinion, would it not be prudent to proceed with this bill if we are to err on the side of caution in protection of the health of Canadians and the Canadian environment?

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5:10 p.m.

Bloc

Osvaldo Nunez Bourassa, QC

With all due respect, Mr. Speaker, I do not think that the health of Canadians and Quebecers is at great risk. That is why I do not believe this bill is warranted in the circumstances. There are scientific studies to back me up on this.

I think that the government is facing a huge challenge, because if there is no consensus within Cabinet itself, among its own members, it would be wiser not to go ahead with a bill as strongly criticized and as controversial as this one.

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5:10 p.m.

York—Simcoe
Ontario

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, first I want to suggest that the scientificstudies the hon. member from the Bloc was referring to are studies that have been developed by the corporation in question which is producing MMT. One might try to understand whether these would be unbiased studies.

Studies were conducted by the University of Waterloo, which is a very fine Canadian university with international and national reputation. The university has suggested that the studies that were conducted by Ethyl Corporation were not valid and were not conducted in a rigorous scientific way. I would suggest that the studies that the hon. member has brought forward are not entirely correct.

The member talks about a lot of things in his speech. The debate right now is on the amendment, which is to postpone a vote on this bill for another six months. I find this amendment to be totally intolerable and unacceptable. I think Canadians who are watching us today also find this intolerable.

Canadians find it intolerable that the Bloc and the Reform are colluding on this and are falling prey to a lobbying effort by an American multinational firm. If we are going to stand up for Canada, if we are going to stand up for the health of Canadians, if we are going to stand up for a clean environment for Canadians, we are not going to pander to the desires and needs of an American multinational. I say shame to them.

I would point out in reference to the concerns the member opposite has raised, that the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment task force, which represents ministers from all the provinces in Canada, in its report on cleaner vehicles and fuels recognizes that fuels and emissions control technology should be treated as an integrated system to reduce motor vehicle emissions. The ministers have further agreed to require that cleaner fuels be mandated for use in all motor vehicles. The MMT initiative is fully consistent with this approach.

I was in committee and there were witnesses from Ethyl Corporation. I asked the witness from Ethyl: Whose responsibility is it to ensure that we reduce unacceptable emissions? Is it the public? Is it the government? Is it the automotive industry? Is it the refinery? His answer to me was that all those other people had a responsibility but that the refineries and the producers of MMT had no responsibility. I think Canadians would find that absolutely unacceptable. The arguments that are put forward by both the Bloc and Reform support unacceptable arguments.

The hon. member from my side of the House who has a little bit of sense around this issue, I would suggest a lot of sense around this issue-