House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was impaired.

Topics

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this is again an invention of the Reform Party. Its members cannot find anything concrete, so they have to use their poor imaginations to talk about price increases on gasoline. The people of Canada know how non-serious these people are. They are just trying to invent problems. We have enough to solve the real problems and we are solving them so well that they have to invent problems to attack the government.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

October 30th, 1997 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

Most countries have made their positions known on the objectives for greenhouse gas emission reduction to be presented at the Kyoto conference to be held in a few weeks.

Since the Canadian position is not yet known, my question is: When does the Canadian government intend to make a final decision on the position it will be presenting in Kyoto?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, definitely before the Kyoto conference.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the Canadian position must be supported by the provinces, they being the ones primarily responsible for this matter, what strategy does the federal government intend to implement in order to obtain a consensus on the position to be defended in Kyoto and on its subsequent implementation?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, that it what my ministers are involved in at the present time. They have met with the ministers responsible and we are holding discussions with the provinces. We are holding discussions with the energy sector. We are holding discussions with the industrial sector, which also wants to make a contribution, and with the environmental protectionists.

Our position will, we hope, be acceptable to all Canadians.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Prime Minister.

We know that not all provinces produce the same amount of greenhouse gases. For example, Alberta, which has 9% of Canada's population, is responsible for 27% of the greenhouse gases produced in Canada.

What strategy does the federal government intend to adopt in order to convince the most recalcitrant provinces to participate in the collective effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we are speaking with all of the provinces that have problems. In Canada, the problems are not always exactly the same from one province to another.

I believe that both the Government of Alberta and the people of Alberta want to make their contribution, because responsible people are aware of the importance of addressing this problem, which poses a threat to so many people throughout the world.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, to avoid a repetition of what happened in Rio, how will the federal government make sure this time that all of the provinces will formally comply with the objectives set at Kyoto, when we know that only Quebec and British Columbia followed up on what was agreed to in Rio?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am somewhat disappointed to hear the hon. member telling me that the Canadian government did not do a good job in Rio, because the minister representing the Canadian government at that time was, if I am not mistaken, a certain Lucien Bouchard.

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the prime minister.

Canadian NGO representatives, just returned from the OECD meetings in Paris, confirm that the draft text of the multilateral agreement on investment is all but a done deal.

This government tells Canadians that our health care, social programs, environmental and labour standards and our culture will be protected, but behind closed doors in Paris Canada's negotiators have completely failed to fight for such protection.

Can the prime minister confirm that this is why no progress on these essential protections has been made?

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, it is clearly inaccurate to say it is a done deal.

How can she say they are secret negotiations when last week the OECD invited over 40 international organizations, including the Council of Canadians?

Some people would have us remove ourselves from the world: no trade, no investment, no rules and ultimately no jobs.

That may be her position but it is certainly not the position of this government because Canadians deserve and want much more.

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is precisely because trade and investment are so important that we need to get these rules right, and we need to get them right for Canada.

Last week in this House the trade minister assured us that he supports binding commitments on labour and environmental standards. Today we have learned that the current MAI draft contains no such safeguards.

Will the prime minister assure Canadians that this government will refuse to sign any multilateral agreement on investments that does not contain binding labour and environmental standards?

Multilateral Agreement On Investment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

York West
Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi Minister for International Trade

Mr. Speaker, I think it is fair to say that Canada has among the highest labour and environmental standards in the international community.

Certainly we will not sell short either the environment or labour. Clearly the MAI also will not undermine any laws or regulations we currently have on the books that govern both environment and labour.

The member wants us to abdicate or walk away from the talks but that is not going to advance either the interest of the environment or labour. The interest is to stand and to fight for your interest and principles rather than running away.

Again, that is their position, not ours.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Jean Charest Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will take the opportunity to correct the prime minister who said that Mr. Bouchard was the minister of the environment in Rio. It was myself. I regret to report that neither Mr. Bouchard nor myself would view that as a compliment.

There must be a lot of smog in the cabinet room these days because there is a lot of confusion on the government's position. I would like to help those members out today and ask whether or not, as they go to Kyoto, they will have a position that will encourage a tradable permit system as was recommended by the Commission for Environmental Co-operation put together by NAFTA, of which the Minister of the Environment happens to be a member.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

I understand that the file was prepared by Mr. Bouchard and he gave it to the hon. member to take there. I am sorry to link the two of you but I have no choice.

On the question that the hon. member put, yes it is one of the things that we want to do to make sure that we have credit for what we do. Very often our actions help others deal with problems and we are trying to get credit so that when we are helping somebody else Canadians will get the credit as with the fact that Alberta is selling natural gas to the Americans in order to—