House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was transport.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Question Period

May 30th, 2000 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, the commissioner of the environment said in his annual report that the federal government is having a hard time acting on its commitment to sustainable development. He cited serious problems in connection with smog, climactic change and biodiversity.

How can the Minister of the Environment let us think he wants to act on these issues, when his government offers only fancy words by way of solutions?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member attentive though she is perhaps has missed some of my recent speeches at the Globe in Vancouver, in Toronto and in Seattle. We have stressed time after time—

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

David Anderson Victoria, BC

On the issue of smog, we have a three pronged process. We are working with the provinces on Canada-wide standards on benzine, ozone, particulate matter and mercury.

We are working with the United States on an ozone annex to the clean air agreement that we have with them. We expect that to be signed in November.

We are working directly with the new CEPA, the Canada Environmental Protection Act, so that we could, as indeed the Minister of Health and I did only last Saturday, put particulate matter 10 microns and below on the list of toxic substances. We have a three pronged approach.

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have just heard more words from the Minister of the Environment. Greenhouse gas emissions were already 13% above the 1990 level in 1997. They are forecasted to continue increasing.

What is the minister waiting for in order to develop approaches and strategies for the development of sources of renewable energy?

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, once more I thank the hon. member for her pertinent question. We have had an increase in some greenhouse gas emissions since the period she suggested, 1990, and particularly, I might add, since the tremendous burst of economic activity that took place since 1993 when this government took office.

The result however is that we do have a bigger problem to deal with greenhouse gases than we would have had if the party over there had remained in power or that party had taken power, because then the economy would have collapsed and the problem of the environment would have disappeared.

I am suggesting that we will have in place in the next five months a plan to deal with greenhouse gases—

The Environment
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Peace River.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, three weeks ago the minister insisted that golf courses could not obtain grants from ACOA. In fact his own words were “For the last five years we have been giving only loans that have to be paid back”.

In 1998, ACOA approved a $1 million non-repayable contribution for a golf course in the minister's own riding and, to sweeten the pot just a bit, HRDC gave it another $200,000. When will the minister put an end to this boondoggle spending?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Gander—Grand Falls
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

George Baker Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member thinks he has made a hole in one with this one he has double bogeyed again. ACOA does not fund golf courses. How many times do we have to repeat that?

It did under the Conservative government that was in power prior to the Liberals, but under the Liberals ACOA does not fund golf courses at all, not one penny from the ACOA fund.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Mr. Speaker, I guess the Liberals were not in power in 1998. The minister sounds like a bit of a duffer—

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. The hon. member for Peace River may begin his question.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Someone asked me if it was doofus, but it was duffer that I said. Not only is the Atlantic Canada overblown agency a waste of taxpayer dollars, the program simply does not work.

For the $1.2 million that ACOA and HRDC spent on the golf course project, the long term benefit will be the equivalent of five full time jobs at the golf course. That works out to $240,000 per job.

When will the minister discontinue this kind of spending? How can he possibly justify spending of this kind on golf courses?

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Gander—Grand Falls
Newfoundland & Labrador

Liberal

George Baker Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

Mr. Speaker, let me clarify for the hon. gentleman how golf courses have been funded in eastern Canada in the Atlantic provinces.

They have been funded by federal-provincial agreements for such things as the infrastructure program, being one-third municipal, one-third provincial and one-third federal. The point is that the money in Atlantic Canada came through ACOA. It was the agency that delivered on behalf of the three governments. That is where the confusion exists. ACOA does not fund golf courses.