House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was protocol.

Topics

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

11 a.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, ON

moved that Bill C-203, an act to amend the Citizenship Act (Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise to speak to this private member's bill that would, at long last I would hope, change the Canadian oath of citizenship to better reflect who Canadians are. It would change the wording of the oath to reflect the principles of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I would suggest that, more than anything else, what defines Canadians is: our respect for the rule of law, freedom of expression, equality of opportunity, democracy and basic human rights.

I would like to begin, however, by reviewing, if I may, the current oath of allegiance. When new Canadians come to this country seeking citizenship they are required to say the following words. They are:

I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, according to law and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.

Everyone will be interested to know that the New Zealand oath of citizenship states as follows:

I... swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of New Zealand, Her heirs and successors according to the law, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of New Zealand and fulfil my duties as a New Zealand citizen. So help me God.

Members will note that there is a direct similarity between the two oaths. Indeed, they are almost exactly the same. I should say that only New Zealand and Canada have this oath which basically is derived from the British colonial period of the 18th century. The British at that time had many colonies across the world. Britain was an empire very much like the United States in the sense that it was a mercantile empire that was acquiring colonies around the world in order to develop a vast commercial enterprise, a vast world commerce.

In the middle of the 18th century, as we know, Britain went to war with New France. France at that time controlled all of what we know as Quebec and much of what we know as Nova Scotia. When Britain went to war, it was the umpteenth war. Britain had been at war with France in a struggle for the continent for many years. A terrible tragedy occurred with the Acadians at that particular time. Because the power was in Quebec and the British conquered Acadia--Nova Scotia--taking some of the forts there and establishing a presence, the British government authorities required the Acadians, who were all French speaking, just as they were in Quebec, as Quebec had been a colony of France, to take an oath of allegiance to the king. That oath of allegiance was essentially the same oath that I just recited. When the Acadians were reluctant to take that oath, one of the great tragedies of Canadian history occurred, and that was what is known as the Acadian expulsion, which actually occurred on a Sunday. The British fleet happened to be in port and it seized all the Acadian males at their churches attending mass, put them on board ship and dispersed them down the entire coastline of the United States, as well as to Louisiana. It took many years for a few of them to return. It was a terrible tragedy and, of course, it changed the complexion of Nova Scotia. I am proud to say that we still have an Acadian presence but had the British not done that, Nova Scotia today would probably be a French speaking province, very much like Quebec and much of New Brunswick.

It was that oath of allegiance that I recited earlier that was used for the dispersal of the Acadians because the Acadians could not bear to swear allegiance to the king.

What one must understand is that the British crown in those days did not have an oath of allegiance in England. In fact it did not have an oath of allegiance, of citizenship or of naturalization until the 1980s. In England the people were all British subjects but for the colonies they had to devise this oath of allegiance to the king. People had to pledge fealty to the king as a way of guaranteeing that the people who were not British subjects, who were perhaps French speaking or perhaps living in the colonies in the Caribbean or in Australia, for example, who were all convicts, would bow to the power of the crown. It ordered them to take an oath of allegiance, which is the oath we have today.

When new Canadians come to this country and swear that oath many people have difficulty with it because some of them come from Commonwealth countries where, in their own colonial history, pledging allegiance to the Crown meant slavery. Therefore it is perhaps an oath that needs to be changed.

In the citizenship bill that is now before the House, Bill C-18, the government has revised the oath. The government did this without any consultation with Parliament. It was done following hearings by the citizenship and immigration committee in 1994-95, which universally said that Canada needed an oath that reflected Canadian values. What we have now before the House is this oath which states:

From this day forward, I pledge my loyalty and allegiance to Canada and Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada. I promise to respect our country's rights and freedoms, to uphold our democratic values, to faithfully observe our laws and fulfil my duties and obligations as a Canadian citizen.

I suggest that this new oath is not much of an improvement over the oath that is currently being used by people taking out Canadian citizenship. There are a number of things about this. Most of it is taken from the Australian oath of citizenship, which revised its oath in 1993, and it is an echo of the oath I just read.

The oath has some very obvious flaws in it. There is the redundancy of, “I pledge my loyalty and allegiance”. These are the same things. I think, more important, it is not enough simply to ask the people who are taking out Canadian citizenship to faithfully observe our laws and fulfill their duties as citizens of Canada.

I observe for members that world history is replete with examples where governments change laws so that they do not reflect basic human rights, do not respect the rule of law and deprive people of freedom of speech and equality of opportunity.

I refer members to the numerous European examples where citizens were obligated to obey laws that were unjust. The classic example of course is what happened in the interwar years with Germany and Italy, where people were forced to obey laws that were brought in by totalitarian governments. It is not enough to ask people to obey the laws of the land. We must tell them what the laws are that they must obey, that really do define who they are, and define the rights and freedoms of the people who are joining.

I would like to propose to the House another version of the oath. This is the version of an oath I crafted after consultation with many Canadians and as a result of many hours interviewing new Canadians on the citizenship and immigration committee. The oath I would propose states:

In pledging allegiance to Canada, I take my place among Canadians, a people united by their solemn trust to uphold these five principles: equality of opportunity, freedom of speech, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law.

I would suggest that is the ultimate definition of who we are as Canadians and how we are seen as Canadians around the world. People do not see us as British. They do not see us as people who perhaps have come from Greece. They do not see us as anglophones or aboriginals. They see us as a people who are renowned for upholding those five principles.

We had a charter of rights when there was no charter of rights in the United Kingdom. There was no charter of rights in Great Britain. We invented it. We brought it forward and it defines us as Canadians. I also have another version that properly reflects the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it reads:

In pledging allegiance to Canada, I take my place among Canadians, a people united by God, whose sacred trust is to uphold these five principles: equality of opportunity, freedom of speech, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law.

Now the reason that we have to have a version that makes reference to God is because it is in the charter, it is in O Canada, but also because there are those who have strong religious beliefs and do not feel that they can make a real pledge unless there is a reference to God.

On the other hand, we have many people coming from other lands who have come from places where there has been oppression in the name of religion and they want a version in which they do not have to make reference to God. Therefore, I offer in Bill C-203 the two choices.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, you will note that in the version that I present to you, there is no reference to the Queen. I would suggest that is hardly novel. In 1993 Australia revised its oath of citizenship which was very much like our current oath and the oath of New Zealand. Australia changed it. The Australian oath of citizenship is quite nice, it says:

As an Australian citizen, I affirm my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share,whose rights and liberties I respect, and whose laws I uphold and obey.

I think that is very nice and actually is an attempt at poetry. And when the Australians brought if forward--and it is important to remember that Australia, like Canada, is a parliamentary monarchy--they had an extensive debate about whether they should retain the monarchy. Australians said overwhelmingly that they wanted to retain the monarchy as the head of state just as we have here.

However, in 1993 Australians appreciated that they needed an oath of citizenship that reflected Australian values. It is interesting when Australian Senator Nick Bolkus spoke at that time to the Australian citizenship pledge. He said:

Citizenship proclaims and defines our Australian identity and it is appropriate that new citizens pledge loyalty first and foremost to Australia and its people. Some Australian residents have been reluctant to apply for citizenship because they found it difficult to relate to the current Oath of Allegiance.

We heard that repeatedly during our citizenship and immigration committee hearings in 1994-95. We heard that from people who came from all over the world to Canada. Approximately 160,000 people a year pledge allegiance to Canada. People say, “Why is it the Queen? Why is it not Canada and Canadian values?”

The Australians, almost 10 years in advance of us, changed the oath to reflect Australian values. I think Canada is a greater country. Senator Bolkus also said:

As a truly multicultural society, it is proper that the Pledge of commitment be one which will be equally meaningful to all people.

I suggest that the current oath and the oath that has been proposed by the government in Bill C-18 is not meaningful to all people. We need to change it to an oath that when people say it they know that they are becoming Canadian and they are sharing our values.

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

11:15 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to contribute to the debate on Bill C-203, an act to amend the Citizenship Act regarding the oath or affirmation of citizenship. Under this bill, sponsored by the hon. member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, it is proposed the oath of citizenship be amended to reflect what it means to be a citizen of Canada.

The current oath has been in place for decades and reflects the sentiments of the time during which it was crafted. The current oath states:

I swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, according to law and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.

The government recently introduced Bill C-18, an act respecting Canadian citizenship which, if passed, is intended to modernize and update the old Citizenship Act which was enacted in 1977. Part of Bill C-18 includes a change to the oath new Canadians are expected to take at their citizenship ceremony. Under Bill C-18 the new citizenship oath would be:

From this day forward, I pledge my loyalty and allegiance to Canada and Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada. I promise to respect our country's rights and freedoms, to uphold our democratic values, to faithfully observe our laws and fulfill my duties and obligations as a Canadian citizen.

It is imperative that we recognize the importance of the oath and what it means to the thousands of new Canadians who utter it each year as they begin their lives as citizens of Canada.

This is explicitly addressed in Bill C-18, where it is specified that, generally, an oath of citizenship is to be made with solemnity and dignity during the course of a formal citizenship ceremony. At this ceremony, which is viewed as a milestone in the lives of new citizens, we are reminded that all citizens of Canada should demonstrate mutual respect and understanding, so that each citizen can contribute to the best of his or her ability in Canadian society.

While the proposed version of the oath under Bill C-18 more clearly defines some of the values Canadians hold dear, there is still room for improvement. Under Bill C-203 the oath of citizenship would be as follows:

In pledging allegiance to Canada, I take my place among Canadians, a people united by God whose sacred trust is to uphold these five principles: equality of opportunity, freedom of speech, democracy, basic human rights, and the rule of law.

For those who wish to swear their allegiance in accordance with religious convictions, the oath is changed from “a people united by their solemn trust” to “a people united by God”.

At the outset I should note that Bill C-203, which would otherwise be votable, is no longer votable due to the fact that the oath is being addressed in government Bill C-18. Therefore, the main purpose of the debate today is to speak to the proposed revisions to our oath of citizenship and to lay the groundwork for amendments to Bill C-18 which could be voted on.

I am concerned that the oath proposed under Bill C-203 is not framed in the active tense in terms of any formalized pledge. I believe that either form of pledge under Bill C-203 would be improved by the term “in pledging” being replaced with “I pledge”. A person in short transition to Canadian citizenship is thereby required to make the following statement, explicitly and without reservation: “I pledge allegiance to Canada”.

In these uncertain times, it is important that the allegiance of any Canadian citizen is to Canada. Canada has it own social, cultural and historical identity. Why not embrace moves to modernize citizenship by crafting a uniquely Canadian oath that reflects not only the values of our nation, but also the responsibilities that go along with citizenship in such a country?

In proposing a new oath under Bill C-18, some of the emphasis on the monarchy has been removed. The pledge of allegiance is to the Queen alone, rather than also to her heirs and successors.

Under Bill C-203, the proposed oath contains no reference to the monarchy at all. Rather, new citizens would be asked to unite with other Canadians in upholding and promoting the fundamental principles by which we live and govern ourselves.

Canada attracts hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world each year. These are people who choose to make Canada their home. Those who become citizens do so by choosing to embrace those principles that are the essence of Canada. It does not seem unreasonable to have those principles enunciated explicitly in the oath of citizenship.

My primary reservation concerning the proposed oath in Bill C-203 is that it does not require that a new citizen clearly acknowledge that there are responsibilities as well as rights and values associated with citizenship. Let there be no mistake. Let there be no mistake, for those who choose to settle in Canada, Canadian citizenship is a privilege. It allows freedom, democracy, security, prosperity and education, among so many other opportunities.

In addition, Canadian citizenship means more than a technical designation of nationality. It is also about responsibility. Each and every citizen, whether new to Canada or born here, has a duty to conduct himself or herself in a manner consistent with Canadian values and the concepts outlined in the proposed oath we are debating today.

The hon. member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot has acknowledged both in committee and in debate in the House that his purpose in framing the oath in Bill C-203 is to specifically reference the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He stated earlier in debate that the five principles in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are the law above the laws of Parliament and, indeed, they are in our constitution now. He stated that he tried to capture in the five principles of the charter the ultimate law that governs being Canadian.

I will leave it to others to debate the specific charter references in the proposed oath of citizenship. There are many who still have reservations concerning the establishment and interpretation of our charter. However, irrespective of one's view of the charter, the oath proposed in Bill C-203 references well established and shared values among Canadians which may be respected in their included context here.

The hon. member stated in debate that he believes the responsibilities of being a Canadian citizen are encompassed by the term “solemn trust to uphold these five principles” in his proposed oath. It is important to spell out those responsibilities rather than let them be implied. If Bill C-203 were votable, I would be proposing that the oath be reworded to include something like the following statements.

I pledge allegiance to Canada and Her Majesty the Queen as I take my place among Canadians, a people united by five principles: equality of opportunity, freedom of speech, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law. I solemnly promise to respect these rights and freedoms and to uphold Canada's democratic values as I fulfill my duties and obligations as a Canadian citizen.

I have blended the proposed oaths in Bill C-203 and Bill C-18 in the interests of incorporating the best elements of each suggestion.

I would further note that in Saskatchewan the citizenship ceremony officials take great pride in the ceremonies held to welcome new citizens. I suggest that, with their experience and expertise on the subject, such officiants may be able to contribute to the discussion of what should be included in a meaningful citizenship oath.

I would like to conclude my remarks by discussing the nature and responsibilities of citizenship as seen through the eyes of others. I recently found passages from an old banking newsletter published in 1966 that summarized nicely the spirit of citizenship in Canada. These passages are as relevant today as when first published nearly 40 years ago. I will paraphrase the thoughts as follows.

Good citizenship can be simple if Canadians will think of it as not something merely legal or intellectual, but something transcending law and reason, something deeply felt, deeply believed, dominant even in our dreams. Our citizenship stirs us to enjoy and contribute to the best sort of society yet offered to people who are advancing together in search of equality of life. This is time to read the record and find our citizenship 10 times more meaningful than it has ever been before. Having made ourselves sovereign as a nation, we must now behave intelligently as citizens. A citizen is not only an individual but a member of a family--

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

11:25 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I am sorry, but the hon. member's time is up. The hon. member for Mercier.

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to acknowledge the work done by my colleague from Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot. I see that he did his research, but unfortunately for us Quebeckers, he completely missed the point.

The bill states the following, and I quote:

In pledging allegiance to Canada, I take my place among Canadians, a people united by God—

I would like to focus on “a people”. However we may view the history of Canada, there are two peoples, except when the word “Canada” refers to the St. Lawrence Valley in the history of New France.

“A people” is an affront, an attack on the heart of who we are. There are two peoples, and I would even say three, including the aboriginals, following the Dussault-Erasmus report that was so carefully shelved. After the work and effort that was put into that report, it has now been shelved.

The least the government can do—I already mentioned that the aboriginals should be recognized as a people—is to recognize Quebeckers as a people and a nation. We are a people and a nation. Any solemn declaration made before God that does not acknowledge this, that is the right to our language and our culture in general, is an affront.

I understand the effort involved in determining the five fundamental values, but they are not enough for us because they do not take into consideration the heart of what we are.

I would like to remind everyone that Gérard Bouchard—our former leader, Lucien Bouchard's brother—wrote an article in Le Devoir today in which he responded to the criticism from those who oppose the fête des Patriotes in Quebec. This criticism came from Montreal anglophones who said that it had ethnic overtones. According to Gérard Bouchard, they missed the point completely.

It is important to remember that the movement that led to the insurrection of 1837 also included anglophones, and that Alfred Nelson was one of those who proclaimed independence in the spring of 1838. So in every sense of the word, we are a people and a nation.

Therefore, an oath of citizenship that would be pledged to “a people”, leads me to conclude, unfortunately, that my colleague from this committee with the very long name has missed the point. I'm sure his intentions are good, but he cannot not know, if he knows us even a little, that saying “a people” is an attack on us, it does not include us.

I would add that, given the circumstances in which we live, any citizen who settles in Quebec, who is a Quebecker, shares the rights of Quebeckers, of our people and our nation.

It really bothers me when I see that, on an issue as sensitive as this, we are incapable of coming together. There is recognition. It is not an ideological recognition, it is a recognition.

I have just returned from a meeting of the European Union with the Canada-Europe Committee. Countries like Belgium have one, two or three different peoples, and countries that used to be at war, are now trying to reach a compromise, foster tolerance and recognize each other.

Canada should also look to the European Union to see what it is attempting to do, instead of taking advantage of every opportunity to impose a single reality that does include us, that does not correspond to our history now or that of the future.

I am sorry to say this. I hoped to be able to say something different, because I do find the idea of these principles to be a good one. However, I say this in all honesty, the ideas presented by the member opposite struck quite a chord with me.

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

11:35 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to participate in the debate on Bill C-203, and I too want to thank the member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot for his contribution to the House with respect to citizenship.

It is a timely private member's initiative given the fact that after a good nine years Parliament is finally discussing seriously legislation pertaining to citizenship. As we speak, Bill C-18 is being pursued at the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration with great purpose and thoughtfulness.

I appreciate the suggestion by the member for renewing our oath of citizenship to make it more meaningful in what it means to be a Canadian and the values of Canadian citizenship. I appreciate the suggestions that our oath should somehow capture those fundamental values of being a Canadian, including equality of opportunity, freedom of speech, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law. Those are fundamental values for Canadian citizenship and I respect his commitment to include those words in the oath. However I am not so sure that it is an initiative that I can support at this time. I will listen very carefully to the debate, consider the proposition and include the reflections of members in our deliberations on Bill C-18.

I speak today not giving enthusiastic support to this initiative simply because there are so many aspects to citizenship that we have to deal with as a Parliament that are not captured in the issue of the words around the oath.

We as a Parliament have to deal with a fundamental neglect in this area with respect to the way in which the Government of Canada has enveloped the notion of citizenship and what it has done to encourage good citizenship. I would suggest that on a number of fronts the government has done the antithesis of what is required to encourage civic participation and to ensure that both the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship are taken into account.

There is absolutely no question that Canadian citizenship is the highest right we, as a democratic nation, can confer upon those living within our borders. These rights and responsibilities define the egalitarian and democratic values that we all hold, and the member reflects those values in his private member's bill.

We all agree that no one has legal or political rights extending beyond citizenship and we affirm many times a citizen's right to vote and run for office are fundamental democratic rights. We have to ask today the following questions.

First, what have we as a nation done to redress serious grievances in terms of our first nations? That point was made previously. On that front our record is deplorable. We have not conferred upon our aboriginal citizens, first nations, Metis and Inuit communities the rights of citizenship. We have denied consistently the ability of those original peoples of Canada to enjoy the full rights of citizenship, particularly those rights enunciated in this motion about equality of opportunity, freedom of speech, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law.

I would suggest that, before we get down to fiddling with the words and changing the oath of citizenship, we look at the basics.

First, I would recommend that as a Parliament we finally address the fundamental issue of what it means to be a Canadian and what is the value of citizenship.

Second, I think we have many historical grievances that have yet to be addressed by the Government of Canada pertaining directly to citizenship. For example, we have yet to deal, as a Parliament and as a nation, with correcting the injustices that occurred as the result of the Chinese immigrant head tax and the Chinese exclusion act. That is issue is still before Canada and before Parliament.

I suggest also that as a Parliament we have not dealt with the matter of redress for Ukrainian people who were interned during World War I. Valiant efforts have been made to have this matter addressed by Parliament but to date the Government of Canada has chosen not to, so with respect to our multicultural mosaic there are many shortcomings that have to be addressed if we are truly serious about citizenship.

My third point has to do with the fact that as we speak, as we try to deal with the citizenship oath, the government is not prepared to stand up strongly and firmly against the United States, which has chosen to treat many of our citizens as second class. As we confront the issues of citizenship today, we must confront the matters of racial profiling and the fact that the United States of America has made subjective and unilateral decisions pertaining to which Canadian citizens are above suspicion and which shall be fingerprinted, interviewed and questioned even though they are citizens.

Relating to that, I suggest that it is very difficult to deal with a citizenship oath when the Government of Canada is proceeding with policies that run contrary to the notion of citizenship. I think, for example, of the safe third country being negotiated outside Parliament. Even though the immigration committee has had a chance to give some reflections on the regulations pertaining to this deal, the fact of the matter is that the minister and the government are proceeding full bore ahead without consulting Parliament and without considering what this means in terms of our fundamental views about citizenship and our treatment of refugees contrary to our traditions of compassion and a humanitarian approach.

I also think about some of the changes made in the new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which make our whole notion of citizenship questionable. The fact that individuals can be denied citizenship without due process certainly runs counter to everything the member is suggesting in Bill C-203. The rule of law seems to have gone out the window on many fronts when it comes to citizenship.

My fourth point is that when it comes to creating a sense of civic participation and the need for citizens to be involved in our political life, in the electoral process and in all aspects of society in this country, it is very hard to persuade and encourage them to take that process seriously when the government negates decisions made by this Parliament that have been agreed to sometimes on a unanimous basis. When the government makes promises and breaks them it fails to live up to the expectations of the electorate. It is very hard to persuade people to be involved in civic politics and take citizenship seriously when their own government seems to break faith each and every time. We can imagine what new Canadians must think when they hear about a Parliament that passes a motion on a unanimous basis to ensure that we treat people with disabilities with respect and that they have the services they need, and the government of the day turns around and says it has to think it through more carefully.

If one wants to practise good citizenship, one has to be a good example. We must be able to always say that not only is citizenship important out there in terms of classes leading up to an individual actually becoming a citizen, but it must be something that we live and breathe each and every day. It clearly means that we as the Parliament of Canada must ensure that the government practises what it preaches and that we translate that into the statutes, programs and regulations of the land. This comes down to the fundamental concept of saying what one means, doing what one says and being consistent at all times.

The member makes a good contribution in Bill C-203, but I urge him to go back to his government and address all of these issues that deny citizenship and do not allow this country to live up to its high standards with respect to welcoming newcomers, redressing past grievances and leading by example.

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

11:45 a.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, I too congratulate the member for Ancaster--Dundas--Flamborough--Aldershot for his sincerity and certainly his passion, not only in bringing forward this piece of private member's legislation but also for his interest in and his passion about the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. I am not a member, but I do know of his input into that committee. I know that is certainly agreed to by most members of the House, both government and opposition, so I thank the member.

I am not going to lecture the member, as perhaps has been done just recently with respect to Bill C-18 and other legislation and perhaps on some other deficiencies of the government. If that were the case, I would stand here for hours to lecture this member on the deficiencies of his government, but I would like to deal with the issue at hand, which is that of the oath of allegiance.

Before I get to the oath and to this resolution specifically, I do know that it is a non-votable item. I do know, from sitting on a committee that deals with private members' business, that there will be an opportunity to have votable items come forward in the future. Each member will have that opportunity, so perhaps this member may well wish to again bring forward a similar type of resolution or bill at a later date when it would be votable. I personally wish it were votable, but since it is not we will go from there.

I have had the opportunity of taking part, as have most members of the House, in citizenship courts in this country. I must say that the opportunity to attend is the most moving experience that I as a member of Parliament have had. To see citizens of other communities, cultures and countries coming forward, making applications to become citizens of our great country, giving up passports and citizenship in other countries and embracing the democratic rights of Canada is one of the most moving experiences that I have had. I have to say that after quite a number of these ceremonies, I too went through the process and reaffirmed my Canadian citizenship simply because I felt so strongly about it. In fact, I did take the oath of allegiance that currently is in the Citizenship Act.

I say that because it was not so much the oath of allegiance itself, but certainly the indication or the understanding of what it meant to be a Canadian and to have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms at my disposal as a Canadian citizen. I was very pleased to be able to do that as an individual. I believe that we as a country would be much better off if all our citizens, each and every one of us who take for granted our citizenship in this great country, not only went and observed the citizenship court, but after seeing that had the opportunity and the ability to exercise this oath of allegiance or reconfirm our oath of allegiance to this great country.

The oath, as we recognize, goes back to previous legislation. As a matter of fact, it is worth noting that before 1947 all citizens of Canada were British subjects, a common status shared by all citizens of the British Commonwealth. Any person in Canada applying to become a British subject accepted without question the oath of allegiance and references to the sovereign Crown. After the end of World War II, immigration to Canada increased dramatically, mainly from the British Isles and continental Europe. Of course during this period the Canadian Citizenship Act had come into force.

Unexpectedly, many new residents applying for Canadian citizenship have over the years expressed their concern when it came to the point of swearing the oath of allegiance. British subjects from other parts of the Commonwealth expressed surprise at being required to subscribe to the oath of allegiance. They believed that they already had given allegiance to the Crown and expressed their concern that they were required to take an oath of allegiance to the head of another country. Commencing in 1967, the government announced its intention of introducing revised citizenship legislation.

Among other things the legislators noted that the phrasing of the citizenship oath was a point of difficulty with some citizenship applicants. Following interdepartmental legal discussions with the Department of Justice and the Privy Council Office, the title in principle was accepted, together with the proposal that the new oath clearly indicate, to avoid further misunderstanding, that Her Majesty, by title, is the Queen of Canada, hence the 1977 oath for affirmation of citizenship.

We would think that after three tries the government would finally get citizenship and immigration right. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Hon. members may remember Bill C-63 and Bill C-16, which are no longer on the Order Paper and were put off. They have now been replaced by Bill C-18, which, I am told, not having been to committee, has its own difficulties, its own flaws and its own deficiencies.

The reason I mention it is that those flaws and deficiencies can now be corrected in committee if the government and the committee on citizenship and immigration are prepared to take open, honest direction, not only from members of the opposition but from members of the government.

I would ask the member who has tabled the bill, this change of oath, to go back to that committee and not only ask for, but perhaps even insist, that his changes to the oath be incorporated in Bill C-18 and also that other flaws and deficiencies of Bill C-18 be amended in committee so that it comes forward as a much better citizenship act for this country and for the people it is administrating.

We as citizens of this country should stand each day and be very thankful for the rights and privileges that we are given as Canadian citizens. I accept the fact that the member certainly believes very strongly in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I, as a Canadian and a part of the House, congratulate him for bringing this forward. Excuse me for my voice, as I do have a bit of a cold, and otherwise I could go on for a longer time and probably more passionately as well. If nothing else, the member has allowed us to stand and think about what our citizenship means to us. That in itself is worth everything that the member has done.

Mr. Speaker, thank you very much to the member and to the House for allowing me to speak.

Citizenship Act
Private Members' Business

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Scarborough Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will start by thanking my colleague from Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, first, for the work he has put behind this private member's initiative, but more so for the thought behind the initiative.

In his proposal he has put forward two different versions, which pleases me very much personally and I know a lot of Canadians. The one version, where he makes reference to God, makes me very happy. In the other version, appreciating the diversity of our country, he does not make reference to God.

Without going into the historical aspect of it, because most members have covered that, and for the purpose of saving time, I too find great pleasure when I attend citizenship courts and see the many different people willingly coming forward and wanting to become part of the country, not just by saying that they want to live here but by taking oaths and becoming citizens of Canada and, I stress, of Canada.

I have also heard, as many members indicated today, including the member moving the bill, why they are not pledging allegiance to Canada, as we do in reverse. I too bring that message from citizenship courts that I attend in the greater Toronto area.

As most members here are very experienced parliamentarians, they know that in today's changing and trying times no legislation ever written is perfect. It is written with good intent and good thought and along the way, as time and circumstances change, we make amendments.

I remember growing up as a young boy when we sang God Save the Queen every day at school. Even today, according to the circumstances, I get goose bumps when I sing that song. I look forward to those opportunities. At the Remembrance Day services, for example, in Scarborough it is part of our activity, and I am very pleased for that.

We also did not have a flag some years back and today we have the maple leaf. We made those changes. God knows, maybe 10 or 20 years down the road we will possibly make some other changes according to how our country changes.

I came with a thought to talk to Bill C-203 but as the debate unfolded I guess I was provoked a little by the Bloc Quebecois member who referred to the European Union. Let us look at the European Union. When the president of the European commission, Mr. Prodi, first took office he said that within the confederation called the European Union the Italians would never stop being Italian, the Portuguese would never stop being Portuguese, the French would never stop being French and the Greeks would never stop being Greeks. It does not take their identities away because they fall under the European Union.

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Private Members' Business

11:50 a.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Don't forget the Dutch.

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Private Members' Business

11:50 a.m.

Liberal

John Cannis Scarborough Centre, ON

The Dutch as well, and the Brits.

She also said something that kind of irked me a bit when she said “we as a people, as a nation”. During the referendum of 1995 we went out and spoke to the nation. Let us look around the room. The member, who is moving the bill and whose ancestors are from Great Britain, is not here to diminish the honour and respect he has for his ancestors. If anything, he is building the country that he now calls home, this beautiful country called Canada, this beacon of hope to the world and this diversity that makes up Canada today, which is really where our strength lies.

When the member talks about a people and a nation, I want to remind her that when our ancestors came to this country they came to build it and share in it, which is what we are doing. Whether they went to Ontario, Quebec or British Columbia, her ancestors and my ancestors came to Canada to build and unite, not to separate.

I know my time is closing and as much as I want to refer to others, I want to at this stage, although I know I might be out of line, but because I feel so passionately about this I would like to seek unanimous consent to have the bill made votable.

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11:55 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is there unanimous consent?

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11:55 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed

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Private Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

Some hon. members

No.

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Private Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The hon. member for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot has five minutes to conclude the debate.

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Private Members' Business

11:55 a.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, ON

Mr. Speaker, I may say that a one hour debate on a subject such as this is so little. There were many other members who wanted to speak.

I would like to make one very important point in answer to the member for Mercier.

The most important point of all is in response to the hon. member for Mercier, to whom I would say that the key words of the oath that I propose are that we are united as Canadians by the five great principles of the charter, which are as follows, and I quote:

—equality of opportunity, freedom of speech, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law.

Whether you are a Canadian from Quebec, an Acadian, someone living in Alberta, or are of Greek, English or French ancestry, we are all Canadians; we are a people united by the five principles contained in the charter. We are Canadians.

As Canadians, we believe in the principles contained in the charter. It is that simple. Therein lies our strength, therein lies our tolerance, and therein lies our pride. All the world understands this.

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Private Members' Business

Noon

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The time provided for the consideration of private members' business has now expired. Since the motion was not selected as a votable item, this item is now dropped from the Order Paper.

The House resumed from November 29 consideration of the motion, and of the amendment and the amendment to the amendment.

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Noon

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to enter some comments on behalf of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada to today's debate. It is probably appropriate for us to shape this debate in a current context in terms of a lot of the speculation by other members of Parliament on this particular issue.

I must say that I was completely taken aback and shocked by the revisionist words of the former finance minister, the current member for the riding of LaSalle—Émard, concerning the Kyoto protocol itself.

At the Liberal Party convention in the province of Quebec over the weekend, he mused about the fact that the federal government was completely ill-prepared to address Canada's climate change obligations.

I find it very difficult to understand why the member for LaSalle—Émard would proclaim himself to be the promoter of technological innovation when he alone, as the finance minister, had the ability to initiate tax incentives in those very sectors that he spoke about over the course of the weekend. The member for LaSalle—Émard is the person most responsible for Canada's ill-preparedness. Those incentives he spoke about are initiatives that could have been put into place as early as 1998.

Mr. Speaker, you may be quite familiar with those incentives through the course of the debate that you had and in particular in the citations from the member for Red Deer.

We have always promoted what we call a no regret strategy, a program that would be based on tax incentives for renewable sources of energy and investments in energy efficiencies. The Tories have always promoted consumer tax incentives to foster the growth of blended fuels, such as ethanol, a world loan guarantee program for the retrofit of buildings, and those kinds of investments into energy efficiency. These are all tax measures that could have been in place for the last five years. Canada could have actually moved forward in developing a progressive climate change strategy in advance.

Mr. Speaker, you may also be aware of the fact that in 2005, as part of the Kyoto agreement, Canada is to provide the international community with demonstrative evidence that our climate change strategy is in fact on track and that emissions targets under the Kyoto protocol will in fact be achieved by 2008 and 2012. These incentives that I just spoke about and that the revisionist former finance minister spoke about last weekend needed to be in place for the last five years in order for us to hit that first benchmark.

The member for LaSalle—Émard clearly had an opportunity to actually have these no regret initiatives in place. He was in charge of the tax code. He neglected to actually put these initiatives in place. It is his fault that we are in a situation right now where parliamentarians are going to be asked to blindly ratify an accord that we are not equipped to do.

Canada is the number one emitter of greenhouse gases on a per capita basis in the industrialized world. We have a moral obligation to pull our weight for a progressive country like Canada to have a progressive climate change strategy. However I want to illustrate how ill-prepared our country was benchmarked against other developed nations.

Sweden, for instance, told its European Union partners that it had concerns about the Kyoto target that the EU was proceeding toward on the basis that it had a cold climate with a large land mass relative to a small population, with an export driven and energy intensive economy. Sweden has similar characteristics to Canada, I might add. Sweden told the EU that it would accept a target similar to what the EU was pursuing but in fact it is only 20% of the reductions that the rest of the EU is doing.

Canada is Sweden too. We have accepted some of the most arduous targets that the industrialized world could ever expect a modern industrialized country to actually accept. As I have said, we need to have a progressive climate change strategy but it has to be doable. First and foremost, we cannot implement an accord of this nature without the active participation of the provinces.

I think it might be helpful for us to take a moment to reflect from an historic perspective on how we arrived here.

I am a very proud member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. I am proud of our environmental legacy and our active record on environment, from establishing the Canadian Environmental Protection Act to our world leadership on eliminating ozone depleting gases to, above all, the accord we negotiated on behalf of Canada with the United States on the acid rain protocol which resulted in a 50% reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions in power generating plants. That is tangible evidence that a consensus can be reached with the provinces. In contrast we have complete acrimony at the provincial level at this moment.

In 1988 the eighteenth prime minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney, brought the international community together on the issue pertaining to greenhouse gases.

In 1992 the Brian Mulroney government helped shape world leadership at the earth summit in Rio de Janeiro. Two conventions came out of that summit. The first initiative was for the signatories to develop legislation to protect the biodiversity in their jurisdiction.

Today Canada is still without endangered species legislation, over a decade since we were in Rio. In 10 years the government has failed to honour the first convention with respect to protecting endangered species legislation and has allowed that law to die three times on the Order Paper. We may be close to seeing a law passed in the Senate, a mediocre law I might add, on that initiative.

The second initiative in 1992 was a convention to develop a climate change strategy.

Our party might have been downsized a little the following year. However for the last nine years the Liberal Party of Canada has been the Government of Canada. For nine years, under the former finance minister and under this Prime Minister, we have not had any significant initiative brought forth to develop a climate change strategy. That is incredibly appalling.

The first initiative that ever took place, which related to climate change, occurred when the provinces finally got together and met in Regina on November 12, 1997. That led toward the Kyoto debate. At that time the provinces knew, before Canada went to Kyoto, that they had to have a consensus position pertaining to climate change. The provinces agreed to stabilization to 1990 levels of greenhouse gases by essentially 2010.

The very next morning the then minister of natural resources, the current Minister of Public Works, said that might be our position. The government broke faith with the provinces the very next day. That is a very sad illustration about how ill-prepared the government has been with respect to developing its climate change strategy.

When representatives came back from Kyoto, an immense amount of acrimony existed among the provinces. The premiers met at 24 Sussex Drive for dinner in late December or the front end of January to at least cool the water pertaining to this issue.

I want to cite one particular comment made by our former leader, the right hon. Jean J. Charest, with respect to the acrimony that existed between the federal government and the provinces pertaining to its deliberations after the Kyoto protocol. I quote from the December 12, 1997, Globe and Mail , in which Mr. Charest stated at that time:

I can't see how they will make this agreement happen without the active engagement of provincial governments, but now they've irritated them to the point where it's going to be very difficult.

He went on to say that the government had poisoned the well in terms of relations to the provinces. He also said that there was no evidence that Ottawa had the means to implement the accord under the new commitment without the active participation of the provinces. Nothing has changed since that initiative.

Since 1997, the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada has always said that we need to have a no regret strategy, an incentive based program, to get the progress going and not to worry about the targets and time lines initially but to see if we can get close to the Kyoto target. Instead, we have had a public relations program over the last number of weeks to try to fool Canadians that the Government of Canada has been working in a very collaborative manner.

To illustrate how wrong-handed the federal government has been in building consensus with the provinces, I will read from a letter on November 27 from the Premier of Newfoundland, Roger Grimes. He said:

The necessity of addressing climate change and our willingness to participate is not at issue. What is at issue is the divisive and deliberate manner in which the federal government has chosen to address climate change without full participation of the provinces and territories.

He went on to say:

Canada needs a plan that is based on the full and cooperative consultation with all jurisdictions--something that has not taken place to date.

Our leader, the right hon. member for Calgary Centre, wrote to the Prime Minister last January and wanted to know what the federal government's intentions were with respect to ratification. The Prime Minister wrote back to the right hon. member on February 26. He said:

We have been working closely with the provinces and territories on climate change, both at the official and ministerial levels, and are collaborating with them on the analysis of these policy options.

That was penned by the Prime Minister of Canada. Why is the Premier of Newfoundland now saying that the federal government has had a deliberately divisive approach with respect to building a provincial consensus? Why are only two provinces out of the eight on board with the earlier ratification? He claimed that they were working closely with the provinces at that time? Clearly the Prime Minister's Office was not genuine with the right hon. member in these remarks.

It raises the very issue as to why we are having a vote on the Kyoto protocol? The parliamentary secretary of public works stated that this vote was not binding on the government. Then why have the vote?

I will explain why? The vote is about camouflage. It is to hide the fact that the government has no plan to implement the Kyoto protocol. It is meant to camouflage the statement that there is some form of a consensus in the country. In other words, the Parliament of Canada has spoken for early ratification of Kyoto to hide the fact that there is no provincial consensus.

I was embarrassed by the remarks made by the Minister of the Environment pertaining his working relationship with the provinces over the protocol itself. He said:

Have we agreed on everything? No, we have not. Is that so surprising?...I am hard pressed to remember many occasions when there has been unanimity of all 14 jurisdictions in the country on major issues which involved costs: constitutional reform, no; health care, no; and on this most complex of issues [or any other issue].

I can cite some particular examples where we built a consensus with the provinces. First is the environmental issue on acid rain. The Progressive Conservative Party painstakingly earned the support of every provincial and territorial jurisdiction on a bilateral basis with the result that we have an acid rain protocol where we now have a 50% reduction in SO

2

emissions from power generating plants. On environmental issues, we can do it.

Also, on trade and tax issues, we had the active participation of the provincial governments as well. That is another example of work done by the Conservative Party of Canada. We treated the provinces with respect. We saw them as partners. We knew we could not implement accords of this nature without the active participation of the provinces.

Another example is constitutional issues. I make no apology for our party's efforts regarding the constitution. Not once but twice the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada had the unanimity of the provinces leading up to the Meech Lake accord. Therefore, if we look at Meech Lake, free trade and acid rain, we can build a consensus with the provinces if we want.

This do nothing government has done what it does very well: nothing. For the last five years it has not tried to bring the provincial partners together to develop the progressive climate change strategy this country categorically needs.

I call this the camouflage debate. We will vote in Parliament to say that Parliament has spoken for early ratification, purely to camouflage the fact that the Government of Canada has no consensus with the provinces and to camouflage the fact that it still does not have an active plan.

Therefore I do not want to support an accord or a vote and play the Prime Minister's game in this regard. I do not support the blind ratification of anything, especially internationally binding agreements.

I will be very interested to hear what the former finance minister has to say on this file. I am extremely curious. I know that members of the House will ask him the following questions. If we should be investing in innovative technologies with respect to renewable sources of energy and if we want to foster growth in that sector, why did the former finance minister not use the tax code in an aggressive way to foster the use of renewable sources of energy? Why did the former finance minister not use the tax code with respect to any kind of investments of energy efficiency, such as the retrofit of buildings? Why did the former finance minister not choose to lower the excise tax on blended fuels to foster the use of blended fuels and ethanol?

That was exclusively under his purview and now we will see complete revisionism from an individual whom I call Canada's best Olympic fence sitter on just about any issue. This will be his personal best in terms of how many times he has changed his position on this issue.

Many members of the government side are saying one thing on the one hand and are going back home to their constituents and saying another thing. We know that the Minister of Health has said that she has trepidations about ratification and would not support ratification without a plan. She will have a vote. There is no plan, so one should conclude what her vote would be.

I also remember the Minister of Natural Resources making a similar comment. Above all he told the provinces that there was no time line, that we were not rushing into anything whatsoever.

We know as fact that there is no need to have ratification of this agreement at this point. We still have time to earn a consensus with the provinces. The accord does not come into place before 2003. Why is the federal government not meeting with the provinces on a first minister level and hammering out a consensus?

I have notes from provincial premiers. I quoted the Premier of Newfoundland who said he was amenable to sitting down at the table. The fact that the federal government has demonstrated disdain for working with the provinces is a particular case in point as to why there are trepidations about going forward.

I believe the role of the opposition is not just to critique. We need to propose solutions as well.

I would like to quote from our platform of November 2000. “We would foster tax incentives for renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency investments”. Tories like tax cuts and the former finance minister had an opportunity to use that initiative.

We go on to say, “We would like to foster the use of ethanol and other blended fuels by lowering the excise tax” which is another example of what the former Minister of Finance could have done.

“We would also like to have a loan guarantee program to encourage energy efficient retrofits”. A similar initiative has been proposed by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. This is another example of where municipal and provincial governments are way ahead of the federal government. This government has done nothing over the last five years.

We also said that a Progressive Conservative government would lead by example in purchasing green power. There are a myriad of examples such Vision Quest, a very progressive company that produces wind power. Green power can be purchased in Calgary. The federal government has followed up on that initiative since then. Maybe some of its researchers have been perusing the odd Progressive Conservative platform on occasion.

We would also introduce provincial tax treatment in the centres for renewable sources of energy to encourage consumer and industry buy-in of clean sources of fuel and renewable clean energy.

We would also like to conclude sector by sector agreements with industry to set targets to reduce emissions, to work with industry. We have always said that we need to reward industry for early action. In fact, we even asked questions on November 2, 1999.

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12:20 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to see where the Conservative Party of Canada stands on the Kyoto protocol. Prior to the member's discussion, we were unsure exactly where the Conservative Party stood and now it has come four-square against it.

The hon. member mentioned the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. I should remind him that the Federation of Canadian Municipalities took a vote among its members and said yes to the ratification of Kyoto.

We know that Kyoto is not perfect. We know that probably when the Liberals or the House ratify it, nothing will be done the following day. We are quite certain of that. We fear that the Liberals will ratify it just to meet their superficial obligations worldwide and then will do absolutely nothing about it.

I would like the hon. member for Fundy—Royal to stand in his place and reiterate the fact that it is the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that said yes to the Kyoto protocol and yes to innovations that he talked about. It is not just Kyoto; there are many other things we could do to promote environmental concerns within the country. I would like him to elaborate on that.

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12:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Progressive Conservative Party position has always been consistent, honest and measured. I do not think any member of the NDP wants to provide an opportunity to the federal government to ratify an accord which it has no intention of ever implementing.

I do not know why the NDP wants to support the Prime Minister in the disingenuous ratification of the Kyoto accord. An accord of this nature cannot be implemented without the active participation of the provinces. We knew that on acid rain. It is the exact same toolkit we will need to implement the Kyoto accord.

We do not support the ratification of this accord without the active participation of the provinces. We do not support the ratification of the accord without Canadians knowing what behavioural expectations their national government has for them on a day to day basis.

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12:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, speaking of inconsistent and disingenuous positions being taken, I know that we are all waiting with bated breath to hear from the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard. An article today, which I would call an exposé, called “The evolution of a parliamentarian”, outlines in great detail the positions that were taken by the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard while in opposition.

We should always be mindful and this is a perfect example of why members in the opposition should watch their words: because they come back to haunt them, they come back to bite them. When these red book reversals are done, when these genuine, Olympian somersaults happen on very specific issues, they come back. When we talk about the record, it is going to be very important, very telling, to see.

My hon. friend from Fundy—Royal in New Brunswick did a terrific job in setting out in detail the Conservative Party's position which would be implemented if our party were in government. It would be implemented in the same way that we implemented free trade, in the same way that we implemented a deficit reduction tax, in the same way we treated our military with respect, unlike the present government and unlike the positions the Liberals took while in opposition.

My hon. colleague from Fundy—Royal has been consistent and specific on issues. What does he think will happen today when the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard stands with or against his government and should Canadians view that as being consistent or as being hypocritical?

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12:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to read a quote into Hansard from March 13, 1991 in terms of what the then environment critic, the member for LaSalle—Émard, stated with respect to making sure we knew what positions we were taking when we headed to the Rio earth summit. He said:

The true question is when will this government understand that Canadians do not want to faced with a fait accompli by a government that is hiding its true agenda under a mound of public relations flackery.

That is a litmus test as to why there are so many multiple positions coming from the former finance minister on Kyoto. All members of the House will want to know how he can proclaim himself to be the promoter of technological innovation when he alone had the capacity to initiate tax incentives in the very sectors he speaks about.

He is the person who is the most responsible for Canada's ill-preparedness with respect to our climate change strategy. He had the tax code under his purview. He could have brought in tax incentives for renewable sources of energy and for investments in energy efficiency.

We have always said that we needed to have similar tax base incentives for the growth of blended fuels and lowering the excise tax. It was under the former finance minister's purview to go down that track.

Now we are going to hear a completely revisionist speech with respect to why we should be investing in innovation and conservation, as if he just walked into the House for the first time today. I have no idea where he was over those eight years as finance minister, from one year after Rio. I do not know where he has been for the last five years since Kyoto. I very much look forward to the immense revisionism we are going to hear in his speech. He is going to be another born again environmentalist, just as he is going to be another born again defender of the democratic deficit.

I might add that I still have a bit of a sore spot in that my private member's motion to allow students to deduct student debt from their income tax upon graduation was lost in a vote, 109 to 103. It was the then finance minister who sent a note out to caucus asking Liberal members not to support the motion, even though 13 principled Liberals did. He is a revisionist with respect to the environment and democratic deficit. I look forward to his speech which will have an immense amount of revisionism.

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12:25 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Thunder Bay—Atikokan.

The process that has given rise to the Kyoto protocol began at the Earth Summit, which I attended, in Rio de Janeiro in November 1992. In spite of its flaws, Kyoto is an important step along the way to a better environment. Furthermore, I believe international challenges require international solutions. Therefore I will support the resolution.

That being said, I do have problems with how the process around Canada's intended ratification has unfolded. Canadians deserve to know that in order to meet our Kyoto commitments as a nation, we will have to introduce fundamental changes in the way we manage our economy and in the way we live our lives.

Furthermore, it is important to recognize that the nature of the debate in Canada's federation must change. The old dynamic of Ottawa and the provinces pitted against each other has no place in the great national challenge that lies ahead of us. Thus, we must begin to think anew and act together.

It is in this context that I would address the issue that will now be of the greatest importance: the development of the plan that follows Canada's ratification. Let me set out certain principles that I believe will be key to that plan.

First, we need to maintain a strong and growing economy. Furthermore, there must be equitable cost sharing. We must not allow our implementation plan to damage segments of our industrial base or to disadvantage certain provinces or regions.

We have been down this road in the past and we cannot allow history to repeat itself. Western Canada should never again have to endure made in Ottawa discrimination. Atlantic Canada should not have its dreams of new economic opportunity put on hold just as they are about to be realized.

Second, we must maintain a climate of investment certainty. We cannot allow our efforts on emissions reduction to become a decade-long game of Russian roulette where industry is never quite certain what the government might do next. We need to cap the exposure of Canadian business on a sector by sector basis and ensure that we do not handcuff the ability of our companies to grow and to create jobs.

Third, we must reject outright the purchase of hot air credits from abroad. Canadian dollars are better invested in meaningful emissions reduction technologies here in Canada.

We must remember that the Kyoto targets cannot be our end game. The year 2012 is but a signpost to a world of inevitable change. Energy consumption in developing countries such as China, India and Brazil is growing at unprecedented rates.

Their emissions will inundate our planet's atmosphere in a matter of generations if they are not provided with the technological means to reduce them.

So, the fundamental question is how the world will meet this challenge , and in this context, how Canada will turn itself into the most energy efficient, technologically advanced economy among nations.

The answer, no doubt, will be found in clean energies, green infrastructure, more liveable cities, and ultimately, wherever our technological ingenuity guides us.

The choice before us is unequivocal. Either Canada will be a follower or it will be a leader in the global movement for the less carbon intensive economy. Canada is well positioned to succeed in this new world; to build on our indepth expertise and energy production and distribution; to point the way toward the future environmental action that promises remarkable economic advantage; and to show the world how it can be done. The choice is ours.

We must recognize as well that technology alone is not a panacea to the climate change challenge. There is no silver bullet. Our targets would require a conscious and focused effort on the part of all Canadians. We must be realistic and honest about the extent of the challenge before us and about what we are asking of each other.

Thus the fourth principle I propose as we develop the implementation plan is one of embodying the greatest degree of openness and transparency.

I support this resolution, but I do not agree with the way it has come into being. Canadians have the right to expect better in the future. Combating climate change would be a huge national undertaking. As we move forward we must do more to inform and engage the public from coast to coast to coast. To that end, allow me to make two specific proposals.

First, we must have a revitalized process going forward. The government must reach out. Earlier this year I spoke about the importance of citizen engagement, the role of Parliament and parliamentarians in the development of public policy, and the furtherance of national debate. The design of the various Kyoto implementation strategies is a prime example of where such involvement can pay huge dividends. If there are regional sensitivities, then who better than the members of Parliament sent here from all regions to review the plan? If there is a need for greater national understanding, then who better than those elected to stand on the national stage to help bring it into being?

Accordingly, in order to hear from Canadians and to offer the House further input, the current implementation plan should be brought before a special parliamentary committee. The committee should have the opportunity to hold full national hearings and offer recommendations for improvement by no later than early spring 2003. The same process of parliamentary hearings should be followed as the plan evolves. By demystifying the content and consequences of Kyoto, such a process should lead to a better plan. At a minimum it would create greater understanding. Ideally it would lead to a stronger consensus.

The second proposal would ensure that Canada is indeed positioned at the forefront in the development of green technologies. We must meet opportunity with action. I spoke earlier about the advantages Canada has in developing new approaches and techniques. They are very real, but we have only scratched the surface of our potential. To get where we must from here, we need to make the economics of early endeavour more attractive. All this would cost money. That is the scarcest of all resources. Therefore, let us set some of it aside now.

The government has stated a number of times in the past that it intends to sell its remaining shares in Petro-Canada. My proposal would be, when this occurs, to set aside in existing investment vehicles the estimated $1.5 billion in profit, a one time surplus item, so that it could be dedicated to enhancing our ability to develop the environmental technologies of tomorrow.

In conclusion, our task is now to go further than the debate surrounding the ratification of Kyoto. The moment has come to charge ourselves with putting it in place. We cannot allow ourselves to miss this chance. Our success in this area will be measured by our ability to transform challenges into opportunities.

We must address these challenges in a concerted fashion with the provinces, municipalities, the private sector, and relevant NGOs. We must define clear objectives as part of an equally clear plan. We must work together, in a spirit of unity and mutual respect, regarding the obligations and constraints that will be required of each of us. And all of this, while putting our technological ingenuity to work. It is in this way that we will take on the great challenge of climate change. A challenge that concerns not only us, but the future of generations that follow us.

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12:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member for LaSalle—Émard is correct. Canadians expect better than what they have seen on this file, but we need action now. The best Canadians can hope for in his case is some 14 or 15 months away before he can implement the plan that he outlined and I applaud his suggestions.

However, we need action now. We have four projects in jeopardy in the Athabasca tar sands, including Canadian Natural Resources Limited. The company must make a decision on a multi-billion dollar investment within the next 60 days. We do not have 15 months to wait for the improved plan.

This morning the Investment Dealers Association of Canada is telling us that U.S. investment in energy in Canada would dry up if the Kyoto accord were to be ratified. The member has the power in caucus to influence the defeat of this ratification and give us something better. Why will he not do it?

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12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment made it clear with certainty what would be forthcoming. He made it clear that nothing would be done to inhibit the growth of the tar sands and the oil and gas industry in western Canada. The Minister of Health, speaking as an Albertan, has also made it clear. In fact, what the hon. member is doing is raising problems that do not exist. What he is doing is damaging the investment climate.

The government has made it clear and I said in my remarks that there would be no acts of discrimination against western Canada, against Alberta or against the oil and gas industry. The real difference between both of us is that this side of the House believes that international solutions must find international agreements. We understand that one country cannot act alone and that there would no acts of discrimination against western Canada. The hon. member should not raise this kind of fear.

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12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we understand the message from the member for LaSalle—Émard, who said that real change will come through green energy sources. However, the reality is that between 1990 and 1999, $2.5 billion worth of government support went to the oil industry, compared to a mere $76 million during the same period that went to clean energy sources.

The member for LaSalle—Émard is quite aware of this fact, because he knows some companies very well, such as Cordex Petroleums, in which he has interests, and Commercial Coal and Coke Company.

My question, then, is the following: in order to develop green energy sources, is he prepared, in his future reign, to invest one dollar in environmental industries for every dollar invested in the oil industry? That is what we would like to know.

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12:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the two companies that he mentioned ceased their operations a very long time ago. Perhaps he should review his notes. However, the fundamental point, is that first, the member is advocating discrimination against western Canada's oil industry even though we just said that we have no intention of doing that.

Second, why does the member not talk about the opportunity of investing in green technology, investing in the future? Why does he not talk about this government's programs that are already investing in renewable technologies? Why does he not mention, for example, the studies that indicate that by 2020, 2030, we can lower our greenhouse gas emissions drastically by investing in these technologies?

Why does he not look to the future? Because the Bloc Quebecois is disconnected from the Quebec and Canadian reality.

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12:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, throughout the hon. member's remarks he spoke of being realistic and honest. Most Canadians do not need to be reminded about the cuts to health care, social transfers--

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12:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order, please. I wish to caution the House that I have 36 seconds left on my clock. I can be generous, but I do not have time for a long preamble. I do not mean to be impatient.

I apologize but I passed over the hon. member for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore.

Here is what I will do. It is somewhat unorthodox, but it is done in committee from time to time, I understand. I will take a question from the hon. member for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough of about 30 seconds. I will go to the hon. member for Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore for 30 seconds and I am sure the member for LaSalle—Émard can take a few notes and answer both within approximately one minute.

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12:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, with the long litany of red faced, red book reversals on positions, and all of the reversals he has taken, why should Canadians believe him now? Where is the record and evidence of this honest position that he is now putting before Canadians?

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12:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the CEP union which wholeheartedly endorses the Kyoto protocol, will the former finance minister be supporting just transition programs in terms of financial compensation to those workers who may be displaced by the Kyoto ratification?

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12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, in terms of the first member's question, I was at Rio in 1992 and implementation plans should have been put in place. The Tories refused to do it. Let the hon. member stand and say why that was not more important.

In terms of the second question, I have made it clear in my remarks that this is a huge national challenge that must be met by the whole country. A substantial portion of the development of new technologies would go a long way but it is not the whole answer. All Canadians must come together. Where Canadians would require help, they would get it.

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12:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. In light of the predicament that we find ourselves, where we have serious time constraints, one of the obvious solutions would be to extend the time for questions and comments. Because there are many people who would still like to ask questions, and hon. member are only allowed five minutes, I would like to ask for the unanimous consent of the House for an extension of time for questions and comments.

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12:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is there unanimous consent?

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12:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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12:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

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12:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I have a little bit of time left for a brief question from the hon. member for Medicine Hat.

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12:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, a moment ago my friend raised the example of Canadian Natural Resources Limited which is considering whether or not it would put more money into oil sands development. Does the member deny that companies like Canadian Natural Resources Limited are at this very moment considering whether or not they should put billions of dollars of investment into oil sands projects, depending upon the outcome of this ratification vote? If that is his position, then he is completely wrong.

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12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure again to respond to the hon. member for Medicine Hat. Unfortunately he has not changed his habits. He continues to get his facts wrong.

The Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Health have said, and I have certainly said it here in my remarks, that no implementation plan should be developed that in any way discriminates against an existing industry or a region of the country. That is the fact. I do not believe that the hon. member in the House should be creating investment uncertainty. What we require is investment certainty and that is the objective here.

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12:45 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. In all humility the hon. member did not get a chance to answer the question I asked him about the just transition program. I was wondering if the member could answer that question.

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12:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I believe the question was answered. It may not be the answer the hon. member was hoping for, but now we are getting into debate. I wish to thank members on both sides for their cooperation. I think we have stretched the five minutes a little bit. On a point of order, the hon. member for LaSalle--Émard.

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12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Martin LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I want to make it clear that I thought the member's question was an important one, one of the best that has been put on that side of the House. I answered it by making it clear--

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12:45 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order, please. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. That is not a point or order either. That is debate. Resuming debate, the hon. member for Thunder Bay--Atikokan.

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12:45 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, over the last few days there has been a lot of rhetoric from both sides of the House. The content of much of that rhetoric dealt with the economics of the implementation of the Kyoto agreement over the next few years.

There is something far more important than the holy dollar with regard to this issue and that is the well-being and the health of my fellow Canadians. My remarks concern an aspect of the climate change issue that has not received much attention lately.

In fact, I suggest that consideration of this part of the climate change issue might be the most compelling reason for us to take appropriate action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. As there is little or no dispute about the fact that greenhouse gases are profoundly changing the global climate, we now understand that there will be a broad range of direct and indirect impacts on our health and our well-being.

We will have more frequent and severe extreme weather events, such as tornadoes, ice storms, floods, heat waves, droughts and the smog episodes that we find so common in our major metropolitan areas. A warming climate in Canada could also mean increased water-borne contamination and an influx of more vector-borne infectious diseases. We also know that many of the pollutants causing global warming are also involved in the thinning of the ozone layer, allowing more harmful ultraviolet radiation to reach the earth's surface.

Some Canadians, especially children, the elderly and the poor, will feel these impacts more than others. Different regions of the country, the north for example, will likely be affected much more than other areas. In fact, climate change is already having an effect on natural ecosystems, communities and cultures in all parts of Canada's north.

We need only look at the Winnipeg River flood of 1997 and the Quebec-Ontario ice storm of 1998 for compelling evidence of the severe impact that climatic events can have on the health and well-being of Canadians and their communities. The toll of the 1998 ice storm was fantastic. Over 600,000 people had to be evacuated and 28 deaths and 940 injuries occurred. The Red River flood resulted in the evacuation of 25,000 people from their homes.

A recent study by researchers at Health Canada, published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health and entitled “Potential impacts of global warming and climate change on the epidemiology of zoonotic diseases in Canada”, has given us an idea of what we can expect to confront us in terms of infectious diseases as a result of global warming. The study warns that viral illnesses such as encephalitis and E. coli have the potential to become increasingly common in Canada as climate change allows for increases in the population of rats, mosquitoes and other infection-carrying vermin.

It further warns that heavy rainfalls and rapid snow melts have the potential to transmit more bacteria such as E. coli into our drinking water. The report also suggests the possibility of an increase in Lyme disease, which can result in chronic arthritis, nervous system disorders and debilitation. A warmer climate could result in a rise in the number of ticks that transmit Lyme disease and in the mice and small mammals that act as its hosts, to help the illness thrive in Canada.

These effects will also bring with them economic costs, such as costs to our health care systems, to our social support systems and to our productivity as a country. The Ontario Medical Association has said that poor air quality costs more than $1 billion a year in hospital admissions, emergency room visits and absenteeism, in Ontario alone.

By creating the conditions that increase the development of smog, climate change could actually increase these costs in the future, and this says nothing about the economic costs to Canadians associated with the impacts on their health from extreme weather events, declining water quality, more infectious diseases and other changes we can expect.

There is no question that a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will improve the health of Canadians by reducing the other pollutants that cause illnesses such as asthma and cardiac failure. Reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases by switching to cleaner power sources not only supports international efforts to tackle the problem of global warming, but will necessarily reduce the discharge of toxic pollutants, which translates into cleaner air and water and, ultimately, better health for all Canadians.

Yes, much research has to be done in this area. For example, many of our communities in Canada are one industry communities such as paper mill towns. More study has to be done to see if there is any relation between the toxic materials and the pollutants emitted from the paper making process and the high level of cancer that we find in many of these communities. For instance, in northwestern Ontario some of those communities that we call paper mill towns have cancer rates that are higher than the provincial average and much higher than the national average.

We must take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but that is not all we must do. Since climate change is already occurring, we must also take steps to prepare our public health system to reduce its impacts. We must do this because we have a duty to protect the health and well-being of Canadians and because of the economic impact that climate change will have on our health care system and the productivity of our workers.

We must develop contingency plans for outbreaks of new or re-emerging diseases. We must ensure that we have shelters for the poor, the elderly and the homeless as an escape from the heat. We need to enhance our emergency preparedness and response capabilities. We must protect the quality of our drinking water from severe weather events. Also, we must make Canadians more aware of these health threats and what they can do to avoid them.

I am proud to say that the Government of Canada is working with the public health community across the country to prepare for climate change. There is much to be done. We need to better understand the challenges ahead and develop actions to address these challenges. Preparing now will be more protective of human health and less costly than responding to emergencies as they occur.

There is a long path ahead for scientists, public health professionals, governments and individuals to address the impacts of climate change on the health of Canadians. In the end, we must work together as a country to ensure that no one region and no one vulnerable group suffers disproportionately from the effects of climate change.

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12:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the intervention by the member and I do not know who on earth did his research. Does he not realize that the hottest period in North America that is on record was between the 1930s and the 1960s? He can look at the EPA website. He can look at any weather-related website on the net and find that this is the case. Does he know that the worst heat wave in Canada's history was in July 1935? There were four days in a row where Toronto was over 42°. This was long before the concentrations of carbon dioxide were at the level they are at today.

Does he know that about a hundred thousand years ago Greenland was colonized because the temperatures were so high? Does he know that there was a mini ice age three thousand years ago? Also, does he not realize, for goodness' sake, that it ties in more closely to normal solar magnetic variations than it does to anything to do with carbon dioxide?

There may be very good reasons for us to control our emissions of carbon dioxide, but more important are other pollutants like sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide and ozone destroying components. For goodness' sake, to start all this fearmongering nonsense when there are numerous examples of high temperatures and low temperatures in our past is just completely ridiculous.

Right now the glaciers in the southern hemisphere are growing, such as the Franz Josef glacier in New Zealand. He can go and look it up. He can look in the news.

A friend of mine who runs the largest importer of fruits and vegetables in Canada told me that he has been warned by his suppliers in the southern hemisphere that it is the coldest spring on record, the harvests this year are going to be the lowest on record and we should be prepared for higher prices for the produce from the southern hemisphere.

Finally, the North Atlantic and the eastern seaboard are colder than usual. How does he explain all that with his fearmongering? It is ridiculous.

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12:55 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, the comments that have been presented are interesting. Yes, a lot of those facts are well known. When we study the history of climate, the history of this continent of ours and the history of the world, we can find isolated incidents such as the heat waves in the 1930s and the dust bowls in central North America such as those that occurred in the United States and in the Prairie provinces. There is no doubt that we can isolate those kind of events.

However, this is not what I am concerned about. I am concerned about the overall and overwhelming evidence of a consistent, ongoing, consecutive pattern that is emerging now on a more frequent basis than ever in the history of the globe. Those concerns, plus all the other factors regarding those forms of behaviour, the machinery, the agricultural practices and a host of other causes that help to create the kind of atmosphere which we have to cope with at the present time, raise the level of concern among the intelligent people of the world who know that something has to be done. We cannot put our heads in the sand and bury ourselves there because there was a heat wave in 1935.

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1 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the great job you are doing in refereeing the debate today.

I asked the member for LaSalle—Émard about this, and I will ask the hon. member as well. The CEP union has wholeheartedly endorsed the Kyoto protocol and ratification, but it knows that some of its workers may be displaced by current conditions if Kyoto goes ahead. It is asking the government to put in place financial transition programs to make sure that the workers who are put out of work in a particular industry have a soft landing.

Will the hon. member be supporting those initiatives?

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1 p.m.

Liberal

Stan Dromisky Thunder Bay—Atikokan, ON

Mr. Speaker, I understand and appreciate the kinds of concerns that have been raised. Those concerns have been raised time and again in the House in regard to how various groups and individuals, especially in certain occupations and certain regions of the country, are going to be affected.

However, what we have to ask ourselves is: What is going to affect them? We really do not know right now what the creative minds of the country will create in the next 20 years to cope with the kinds of problems that I and other members have been talking about. There is much that could be done. When it comes to producing energy, we are just at the beginning. Once we start rolling, we will find the creative minds of this world producing strategies, instruments, techniques and so forth that will drastically and dramatically change lifestyles, occupations and so forth, not only in Canada but all over the world.

However, there is one fact--

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1 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

However, the member is out of time.

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1 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, I heard two points from the member who just spoke and the previous speaker on the government side of the House. I hope everyone in Canada remembers what they had to say.

The former minister of finance stood in the House and proclaimed, for everyone to hear, that Kyoto would not cost anything. This will cost millions and millions. To try to deny that is a pure fallacy, not only to the House but to the nation.

I was asked three questions this morning by very concerned constituents in my province of Saskatchewan, which is primarily an agricultural province. First, how much will this cost? No one can answer that question. If it costs 2¢ a litre for all the fuel that is consumed, that puts a lot of farmers out of business. People would not phone a car company, say that they want a certain kind of a car, ask what it would cost and then say they will buy it even though the salesperson was not sure of the price. People do not do that. People phone and ask me, and I am sure they ask members on the government side of the House, how much this is going to cost. Nothing. Who is kidding who? No one is buying that.

The second thing that no one is buying is what was said by the member who just spoke, that all of a sudden we are going to become diseased, we are all going to die from breathing problems and all of the other things. There are just as many scientists who, after listening to what the gentleman had to say, would have one word in response, “hogwash”. Many scientific facts say that is hogwash.

My hon. colleague, in talking about the weather and the changes in it, mentioned Greenland. Some real sharp high school students, who had not done their homework, phoned me the other day. They even wanted to know the number in the lounge. They wanted an example of climate changes in the world. I asked them if they knew where Greenland was. I told them that Greenland was so named because it was green at one time, that it was gorgeous, that it was growing gardens and vegetables, but that was 1,000 years ago. Climate has gone up and down over the years and it always will.

If the province of Saskatchewan will be hurt the way I think it will, it will be disastrous. I heard the hon. member saying that all parts of Canada will be treated equally under Kyoto. Once again, no one believes that. All parts of Canada will be hurt and hurt badly, particularly the province of Ontario which has the largest consumers of fuel and gas. First, Ontario consumers will pay the higher price, which they are not paying now. I rolled in here last night and, going back to the old measurement, gas was 80¢ an imperial gallon cheaper than what it was when I filled up before I left the airport in Regina.

Going back to this, let us put 2¢ on every litre of gas that goes through farm machinery. Add the fact that Saskatchewan does not have enough money right now to pay the crop insurance claims. Then, with all of that, say that no part of Canada will be adversely affected. It is simply not true.

I speak for my province and my constituency. My constituency has the only two coal-fired turbo plants. I would challenge anyone on that side of the House to say that industry will not be affected. There is also a huge oil patch in my constituency. I again challenge anyone on that side of the House to say that will not be affected. We know that jobs were lost before and we will lose a lot more.

The hon. member from the NDP asked the government if there were layoffs. I wonder why he was asking that. I heard from that side of the House that they would increase employment, but if the unions are looking for layoffs, what about the oil patch? What about the farmers who cannot cope with the new prices?

The questions keep coming in, questions for which the government has not supplied any answers.

The hon. gentleman, who just spoke before me, used scare tactics on Canadians saying that if we do not move on Kyoto everybody will drop dead in 10 years. What kind of malarkey is that, to stand and talk about that in the House?

What happened in 1918? It was the biggest flu epidemic to ever hit Canada and we have never had one since. Was that caused by pollution? To draw these facts out of the historical perspective is nothing but nonsense.

The government has not learned, and it certainly did not learn with gun registration, to do things on a cooperative basis. We will not get cooperation out of a province like mine if it goes under with taxation. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has a motto, “Go ahead and tax me, I'm a Canadian”.

My own constituency is taxing junior hockey clubs that never made a cent and is forcing teenage girls who are running a canteen to pay collectively $120 a year. I tell them to watch out if they go back to babysitting because they probably will have to pay taxes on that as well.

Giving credits to other countries, selling credits and so on, nobody knows how it will work. The government has not explained it. While all this is going on, we will be paying a very heavy price. Implementing this treaty will result in massive job losses. Somebody said that there would be some job increases. Every time one oil well is shut down 100 employees are closed off. Every time an extra tax is placed on the fuel industry the same thing will happen.

It will affect my province and western Canada very significantly. What can we do? There is one thing we could do and this is where the government could put some money in to save a whole lot. We could have it so that we go to the power corporations, put up the 110 charges and when it is kicking out so much it would automatically cut in and supply the fuel and the electricity for the farm. That is cooperation.

Down on Highway 18 we have a huge trucking plant. The windmill goes and as soon as it reaches a certain point it cuts in and supplies the electricity saving tonnes of coal and tonnes of emissions. These are the things that we could do but we have not even stepped out, first and foremost, to look at the cooperative approach.

Last week I was in Holland. I was amazed to learn that it is light years ahead of us. It has to buy most of its power but it also has its own wind generating plants that do just as I described.

We have not taken these positive approaches. We have not yet begun to look at other alternative fuel sources. I would say to all the people who have a cottage, a Ski-Doo, a Sea-Doo, a four-wheeler and an SUV, they will pay a lot of money because those are the big burners. We do not have to go to the extremes that the government is suggesting. We have to take the cooperative approach and we have not done that.

More people in my province today have quit farming than in the last 20 years. I received a number of phone calls this morning from constituents wanting to know basically the same thing: What effect will Kyoto have on the farming operation? The government owes these people an answer to that question but it does not have the answer. Everything it is saying is that it will design the plan but that we must give our cooperation to pass this accord and then it will tell us. That is not the way it works, which is why this is off to a very shaky start.

Another question I was asked is: Will the Kyoto accord have any effect on the growing of crops? They mention crops because they require a great deal of fertilization using a substance that has now been labelled toxic. I do not know the answer to that. Members of the House do not know the answer to that. The minister also does not know the answer to that.

As an individual, I will not buy a pig in a poke. I will not, as a representative of the coal-fired generators, coal mining, gas wells, oil wells, say that I support Kyoto, a deal that could well put them, because of the costs of the taxes thereof, just like in the national energy policy, out of business.

To say that this will affect different parts of Canada all the same way is not true. The government knows it is not true and it should not be standing in the House saying that. It will affect those areas that produce the fuels that we are presently using. Why does it not come out clean and say that it will?

There are too many unknowns for any person in the House to stand and support the agreement. Let me say that there are far more unknowns than there are knowns. Why would we want to support a basket of unknowns when we have no idea where this will lead us down the road?

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1:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the hon. member a very simple question. I want to read a quote, tell him where it came from and ask him if he agrees with it. “We care about the environment, of course we care, but we care about money first”.

That was a quote from the environment critic of the Alliance Party made just the other day. Does the hon. member support his colleague in that statement or not?

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1:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, nobody cares more for the environment and has shown more toward a cleaner environment than the area from which I come. Therefore, when the member asks me if we care about the environment, absolutely we care about the environment. We care about the environment very much. That is why we want to take the lead in providing other fuels and other sources of fuels. That is why we want to take the lead in the petroleum industry to be more consistent with emission qualities.

We care about the environment. What we do not care for is the scare tactics that we will all die if we do not do something about it real fast and that we will all be treated equally. We know that will not take place, but indeed we are very conscious of the environment.

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1:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the other day I was speaking on behalf of the Canadian Alliance and the agriculture critic team that I head up. I was making the point quite clearly that the issue in this country and around the world is that pollution actually does have a negative effect on people's health as opposed to CO

2

, which does not have a negative impact. It starts to stretch the imagination to say that CO

2

is connected to this, is connected to that and connected to that, and ultimately somebody gets sick.

I am asking this member if in fact the country should not be concentrating on reducing pollution as an objective as opposed to worrying about the possibility that mankind is affecting, in a very small way, the greenhouse gas effect of global warming.

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1:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, that is absolutely true. The emissions harm our breathing and cause skin rashes. Those are the types of things we need to be look at. We have come a long way but we have not gone far enough.

Kyoto in itself in reducing the carbon dioxide in the air will not give us what we need. We should be looking for those things that cut emissions and cut them very quickly. I do not think we can really tie the two issues together like the government is trying to do.

We have done a great deal in western Canada. We produce gas and have switched over to gas producing which creates less emissions. We have cleaned all the coal stacks. We have done everything to make this possible and I am sure others across Canada have also done things.

However let us not confuse the public about the reduction of carbon dioxide and tying that closely to emissions. They simply cannot be tied together.

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1:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I will ask the hon. gentleman this question one more time. His environment critic, who I assume speaks on behalf of his party, said that the Alliance cared about the environment of course, but it cared about money first, which means money first, environment later.

Does the hon. member support his environmental critic spokesperson for his party on that point because the Canadian people want to know exactly where the Alliance stands?

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1:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, first, the hon. member has taken that totally out of context. I am concerned about the cost as well. I am concerned about people being laid off. I am concerned with the price we will have to pay to heat our houses. I am concerned about all these things.

The hon. member says that I am concerned about financing first. I think the hon. gentleman wanted to know right away how much the unemployed people, those laid off from the industry, will get paid.

Obviously I could say that he is concerned about money first. Is he not?

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1:20 p.m.

Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford
Ontario

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, at the outset I just wish to say I am sharing my time with the hon. member for Kitchener--Waterloo.

The essential ingredients of engaging the threat of climate change and committing to a remedy are threefold: first, an understanding that the science is real; second, the corollary of seeing through the misinformation and hyperbole that has been employed to blur these realities; and, third, seeing the growth potential and advantages that current and future engagement of the Kyoto process presents.

The science itself is not in doubt. The conclusions that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the main national academies of science, including that of the United States, represent a broad international consensus with little serious dissent. Indeed, the latest findings of the IPCC show that the expected range of temperature change is greater than previously envisioned, that human activities are directly attributable to helping cause the climate change phenomenon and that climate change will, for the most part, have negative impact on the global ecosystem and the human race, particularly those most vulnerable and least responsible for it: Canada's Arctic, small island states and the sub-Saharan.

In Canada the effects have been marked and will become more so: more severe weather events; lowered fresh water level; droughts; sea level rise on all three coasts; longer and more intense heat waves with worse air pollution; and corresponding increase in heat related illness, to name but a few. These realities fly in the face of those who have chosen to balk at the need to address climate change and instead have elected to obfuscate and at times fearmonger with so-called economic forecasts that have no basis in research or fact.

As an example, in a major announcement made in March 2002, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce claimed “Canada's GDP would drop by up to 2.5% in 2010 under the Kyoto Protocol”, but cited no study to back up this number.

In September 2002, at the news conference to launch the “Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions”, the chamber's president made the groundless statement that Kyoto would “destroy the economy”. She cited no study to back up this claim. This is the “Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions”; some responsible, some solutions.

These dynamics underscore in some way the difficulty of communicating climate change. Sir Crispin Tickell, now at Harvard, has put it this way.

He first references those who are in the state of denial, “There are none so deaf as those who do not want to hear”. I think we can safely include therein these irresponsible naysayers who forecast doom and destruction.

He draws a comparison to the beginning of the 19th century, when everyone knew that slavery was wrong. There was a tacit conspiracy to do little or nothing about it. Too many interests were at stake. Leadership, public agitation and a few visible disasters were needed to bring slavery to an end. It also needed morality and a sense of public and private responsibility.

I think his analogy is excellent. Today as we debate the ratification of the Kyoto protocol, we are indeed encountering vested interests, but the leadership of this Prime Minister and this government is clear. We do acknowledge the need for public and private responsibility and the commitment to combat climate change. We realize the need to ratify the Kyoto protocol and thereby engage the mechanism that will help us accomplish this task.

Sir Crispin spoke of the need for public agitation as an ingredient necessary to turn a society and an economy from a routine course to a challenging new redirected course. The public agitation we are experiencing and the engagement of Canadians in the Kyoto debate is exactly what is needed.

Canadians are concerned about their country and their planet. They know we play within a global ecosystem that is seriously stressed by greenhouse gas emissions. They intend to be part of the solution and no longer part of the problem. They are not deterred by naysayers and doomsayers. They strongly support the Kyoto protocol as a logical first step to addressing the damage human activities have wrought.

As I mentioned at the outset, I would like to speak, with what time remains, on the growth potential and the advantages, as well as the economic realities of the implementation of the Kyoto protocol and our plan to achieve Canada's objective. I am indebted to the Pembina Institute for much of this research.

Under the most likely implementation scenario, as jointly developed by federal and provincial governments after extensive consultation with industry, Canada's GDP would be just 0.4% smaller with Kyoto than without. This means Kyoto would reduce Canada's projected GDP growth during the current decade from 30% to 29.5%. No province would suffer an impact on GDP greater than 0.5%. Disposable household income would be unaffected by Kyoto. Between now and 2010 Canada would create 1.26 million jobs with Kyoto, compared to 1.32 million without Kyoto. Gasoline prices would be unaffected, while natural gas prices would be 8% higher with Kyoto than without. The cost of producing a barrel of oil would rise by just a few cents. Let us keep in mind that the current cost is $25 U.S. per barrel.

The economic model that produces that scenario, as other economic models, fails to include these essential considerations.

First, the cost of not acting to protect the climate, although the costs of inaction are difficult to estimate, extreme weather events like drought and floods, projected to become more frequent if climate change continues unchecked, routinely cost Canada billions of dollars.

Second, the health co-benefits from reduced air pollution are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Third, there are vast opportunities in technological innovation in a low carbon economy. Kyoto implementation will benefit industries specializing in energy efficient buildings, transportation and industrial equipment, as well as alternative fuels and low impact renewable energy, the world's fastest growing sources of energy.

History has shown that when faced with a major challenge and allowed flexibility in meeting it, the private and public sectors exhibit an enormous capacity for technological innovation to solve the problems more quickly and at a lower cost than forecast. Look back at the Montreal protocol on ozone, the horrors but the necessities and what happened as a result of World War II and the Apollo Space Program.

Innovation is the most fundamental driver of economic growth and the Kyoto protocol can play a major role in stimulating it.

I fear I am almost out of time but I would have also liked to have addressed the Kyoto architecture and the Kyoto mechanisms in particular, such as international emissions trading, which are only available to us as signatories and are important for the House to be cognizant of.

One last point is that the Canadian public is engaged in this debate. That is vital and it is exciting. We have their attention and we must keep it as the implementation of Kyoto will involve every one of us, and Kyoto is just the beginning.

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, in her speech the member said that the science is not in doubt. However the fact remains, and she must know, that a long list of prominent Canadian scientists were in Ottawa only two weeks ago to dispute the science of the Kyoto accord. That list, if she wants it, is available from my office. It is also available on the web. It is very easy to find.

There is a longer list of opponents to Kyoto, more than 3,000 scientists from 106 countries, including 72 Nobel prize winners. The member can find it on the web at www.heartland.org/perspectives/appeal. She will find quite clearly that the science is in doubt. It is no good just standing there saying that it is not.

I would like to make one other comment and ask her a question on this. Does she not know that Canada's contribution to CO

2

emissions are only less than 2% of the world's total? If she was to go to the Environmental Protection Agency website or even the IPCC website, she will see that it does not even register on their scales.

How does the hon. member think that getting rid of even 100% of our emissions would even register on the world scale?

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, ON

Mr. Speaker, indeed Canada's greenhouse gas emissions represent 2% of the global emissions. We have been very much a part of multilateral efforts and treaties that address worldwide dilemmas. We are committed to this process.

If this process is allowed to crumble, the possibility of which exists if a requisite number of signatories representing a certain percentage of the greenhouse gas emissions do not sign, we realize what it would be like to recommence a process, whether it is 2% or 20%, that is vital to our health, to our children, to our north and to all of the global ecology to which I referred.

With regard to finding some scientists who for a variety of reasons have declined to accept what is worldwide accepted science, I will listen to the hon. member pick out one or two. It goes without saying that they do not belong to the flat earth society but frankly, the preponderance of national academies of science, the top people in the world and the data is there. There are none so deaf as those who will not listen.

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, since the member raised the point that there are none so blind as they who will not see, or something like that, might I say to her as for her state of denial, it is completely irrelevant if we are unable to alter climate change.

I would put to her that even though she criticizes the 3,000 scientists and 72 Nobel Prize winners who disagree, there is plenty of science that indicates there is a much better correlation to solar magnetic cycles from the year 1750 than there is correlation to carbon dioxide emissions. How does she explain that one?

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Aileen Carroll Barrie—Simcoe—Bradford, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have addressed sufficiently the my scientist says, your scientist says comments. As my dear husband who is a lawyer says, “It is not the question he was supposed to answer to which I object, but the one he was about to”. Since he did not ask me the one I would like to have had asked, and I have heard many of his colleagues ask it, I would like to add that one of their greatest complaints is that in signing Kyoto, we will be put at a disadvantage with our neighbours to the south. I would have loved to have had another 40 minutes to address many points and that is one of them.

I point out some of the excellent research which shows that although the Bush administration has abandoned leadership on climate change, the American government still administers a much more substantial body of greenhouse gas reducing measures than even our government does. According to opponents of the Kyoto protocol, ratifying the protocol would damage Canada's economic competitiveness because the U.S. is not taking action to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The evidence assembled in this report shows that perhaps the biggest flaw in this argument is the erroneous assertion that they are not; they are collectively doing more than we and our provinces together are doing.

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to partake in this debate. We are involved in a historic debate in which we are saying to Canadians, and hopefully the world community, that the status quo is not an option.

In 1950 the population of this planet was 2.5 billion. Right now the population of the planet is approximately 6.3 billion. By 2050 the population of this planet will be 9 billion. There is no question that if the human race is to survive, we have to reduce our environmental footprint.

We live on a small planet with finite resources. They are not endless so we have to start using our resources much more efficiently. We in the western world, the industrialized world, are the greatest users of energy. Consider what would happen if China, India, Africa and Asia had the same level of consumption. If we were to export our SUVs, our energy consumption, on a per capita basis to the rest of the world, our planet would not survive.

We are looking at a global problem and we need global solutions. For those who say that whatever we save in comparison to the rest of the world is 2% or less, the point is that everybody on this planet will have to take action, and will have to look toward a green future.

The majority of Canadians believe that addressing climate change is something that must be done because clean air and water are essential to our health and quality of life. They are part of the heritage we must leave for future generations.

The release of certain pollutants into the atmosphere, known collectively as greenhouse gas emissions, is increasing the overall temperature of the Earth's atmosphere. Even if it did not, surely to God nobody in the House would argue that greenhouse gas emissions are good. All we have to do is look at the number of smog alert days that occur in Canada. I can say that my community of Kitchener--Waterloo has too many, given the wind patterns we have coming in from the U.S. and picking up on the industrial sector.

When we signed the protocol in 1997, we joined with 180 other countries and pledged to fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We have promised to lower our emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2008 to 2012. Our goal is to come up with the best plan of action that will achieve our targets, minimize costs and maximize benefits to our economy as well as the environment, improve competitiveness, ensure no unreasonable burden to a region of the country, and provide flexibility to deal with uncertainties. We will be able to meet our objectives while ensuring robust economic growth.

We have examined the concerns of Canadians regarding implementation and have released a climate change draft plan on how we can meet our emissions reduction commitments. For almost five years, we consulted with provinces, territories, business stakeholders and the Canadian public before reaching the decision to proceed with ratification.

Much has been said on how this might hurt the economy. Let me draw on a simple example in my community called TeleflexGFI. It addresses one area which the action plan does not even take into account in terms of reduction of greenhouse gases. That is the use of natural gas.

Canada has an incredible abundance of natural gas. Huge deposits of frozen natural gas pellets were found recently off the coast of Vancouver Island. Alberta has vast amounts of natural gas.

In 1994 in my riding of Kitchener--Waterloo a company that used to manufacture armaments, Devtek Industries, spun off a company called GFI Control Systems with the help of the government. GFI Control Systems allows automobiles to use alternate fuels such as natural gas and propane.

The vast abundance of natural gas that Canada has as well as the new discoveries off the west coast of Vancouver Island are a possible solution, but these have not been included in the action plan. Economic opportunities have occurred in my community. There is continued job growth.

This company is the leader in new technologies. Since 1997 the federal government, through technology partnerships Canada, has invested approximately $10 million in this company. It has resulted in jobs here in Canada and very positive action in the area of greenhouse gas reduction. There is no friendlier alternate fuel than natural gas in terms of green technology.

Approximately one-quarter of Canada's natural gas exports, the equivalent of about 225 billion litres of gasoline, would be sufficient to displace all of the projected gasoline and diesel fuel consumed by road transportation in 2010. Natural gas is the only fuel that is transported to pumps via pipelines thus further reducing truck volume on highways and the ensuing emissions that come from that.

Over the past two decades Canada has nurtured a number of companies that have become global leaders in natural gas vehicle technology and refueling equipment. They are able to rapidly expand the size of the natural gas and propane vehicle fleets and the volume of natural gas and propane used in Canada. In order to create and sustain markets for alternative fuel vehicles, support from all levels of government, particularly the federal government, is essential.

The United States and European alternative fuel vehicle markets are much larger and are growing faster than the Canadian market. There is a bit of irony in this. TeleflexGFI has produced over 30,000 vehicles with the new technology. The vast majority of them operate in the United States of America. It means that Canada's green technology is reducing greenhouse gas production in the United States.

The federal government could lead in this area. We could mandate that all vehicles use natural gas. This would include the green buses that run on the Hill and which, at the present time, use diesel fuel. We could make sure that all fleets in the federal service used natural gas. We could make sure that provincial and municipal fleets used natural gas. In this way we would not be displacing jobs; we would be creating them.

The greatest producer of natural gas right now is the province of Alberta. The opportunity for the province of Alberta to continue in the provision of energy to the rest of the country is still there. The possibilities for development of gas resources off Vancouver Island are there as well.

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. member why he feels that we have to sign on to the Kyoto protocol when the government could make its fleets use natural gas instead of petroleum now. There are many things that Canadians can do, with a Canadian solution, rather than buying into a European solution. Why does he feel we should not be doing these things anyway rather than signing on to the Kyoto protocol?

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, what is so very important to understand is that when we take action in preserving our environment on this very small planet we as a nation cannot do it alone. We have to do it in concert with the rest of the nations of this planet. We might represent 2% of the usage, but look at the benefits we would have if we could have an impact on 100% of the usage out there, if it were to assure a cleaner and healthier future for the planet Earth.

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member, with all due respect, is getting completely mixed up between pollutants and greenhouse gases. Numerous times in his speech he mentioned that the greenhouse gases were pollutants, and he talked about natural gas being the answer. I would urge him to study basic chemistry. He will see for himself that when we burn natural gas, we get greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and water vapour. We get greenhouse gases.

He should not get mixed up between pollutants, which this side of the House is arguing to get control of, and greenhouse gases, which are part of an unproven theory about global warming. For goodness' sake, I urge the member to please study some basic chemistry and some basic science. He will see for himself that there is a huge difference between Kyoto and pollution.

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to say to the member, since he comes from North Vancouver, that when I come in from Vancouver Island via ferry going to Horseshoe Bay, too often I am unable to see Mount Baker because of all the pollution that is spewed out by the gasoline engines and diesel engines of cars in Vancouver. That is how bad the situation is: at times Mount Baker cannot be seen.

Let me say to the member across the way that smog is produced by present fuel usage of vehicles. That is where smog comes from. Let me also say to the member that there is probably no part of the country that is more greatly affected by that smog than the province he comes from and the community he represents.

I can say that the long term future of fuel usage is going to be fuel cells. To get to fuel cells, we need hydrogen infrastructure, which would be provided in the interim by the usage of natural gas as fuel. It is the friendliest fuel we have.

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Sarkis Assadourian Brampton Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week the hon. member for Red Deer spoke for about 11 hours here. At the end of those 11 hours I was more confused than ever before.

I would like to ask the hon. member to clarify one thing for me. The logic of the opposition is that if we have more greenhouse gases in the air we have better business. That is what they compare to the U.S., saying that obviously we would have less business. Are they proposing that we have more greenhouse gases so we can have more business in the country? Is that the proposal? Maybe he can explain to me this contradiction in logic.

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Andrew Telegdi Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, it would take some real flip-flops to make sense of a lot of the hot air that comes from the other side. We should consider putting in a monitor to measure the greenhouse gas emissions.

It is clear that evolving technologies mean that we will have to be a lot smarter in terms of our usage of energy, because not only can we not afford our wasteful energy practices, the planet cannot survive if that is what we are going to do.

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, ignorance is a shame, but wilful ignorance is inexcusable, and that is what we see from the members opposite.

The fact of the matter is that Kyoto has nothing to do with smog. Perhaps I should repeat that. It has nothing to do with pollution in the air. It has nothing to do with pollution of our water. Kyoto is about carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. I hope that will assist Liberal members when they are speaking to this debate, because it is a very important point.

The point that this is not about pollution is one which I think the government deliberately does not want clarified. In fact, its ads supporting the Kyoto accord for some strange reason show factory chimneys belching noxious gases. The fact is that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Kyoto is not about pollution. It is not about environmental cleanup. If it is about anything, it is about greenhouse gases possibly, according to some people, causing global warming.

If we are going to make a rational decision on the Kyoto accord, a good decision, a sound decision, a decision in the best interests of Canada and Canadians, then we must be honest and clear about what it does and does not do.

On November 25, a group of climate specialists wrote a letter to the Prime Minister and made it public. The heading of their letter was, “Climate specialists urge the Canadian government to delay ratification of the Kyoto accord pending comprehensive science consultations”. The letter reads as follows:

Many climate science experts from Canada and around the world, while still strongly supporting environmental protection, equally strongly disagree with the scientific rationale for the Kyoto accord.

Nevertheless, the Government of Canada has yet to conduct comprehensive consultations with climate scientists in order to properly consider the range of informed opinion pertaining to the science of Kyoto.

Consequently, the views of dissenting scientists have not been properly heard or considered by the government.

Therefore, we, the undersigned climate scientists, call on the Government of Canada to delay a decision on the ratification of the Kyoto accord until after a thorough and comprehensive consultation is conducted with non-governmental climate specialists.

If the climate models are correct, the effects of implementing Kyoto will be so small as to be undetectable even a century from now.

That was said by scientists, by climate specialists. They continue:

Delaying ratification for a short period so as to allow proper science consultations to take place will do absolutely no damage to Canada or the environment and is unquestionably the prudent and responsible course of action at this time. Therefore, we implore the [Government of Canada] to proceed with comprehensive science consultations as soon as possible.

The letter is signed by a long list of climate specialists. More climate specialists have indicated since this letter was published that they too would like to sign on to the letter and endorse its contents.

One has to wonder why the government says that we have to sign Kyoto because there is a problem with climate change and then ignores the climate specialists. Does this make sense? It is pretty hard to follow that logic.

These scientists have come up with nine myths about Kyoto. I want to go over them quickly because Canadians deserve to know what climate specialists are saying about the rush to sign Kyoto and the lack of any scientific basis on which to do so.

Myth 1 is that “humanity is the primary cause of global climate change”. That is a myth. They say that even in the past thousand years “there were much warmer and colder periods than today”. It is a normal phenomenon that has been shown to exist over centuries.

Myth 1A is that “computer models show catastrophic warming in the future”. That is a myth. The fact is that there is no reason to expect a sudden turnaround. Rather, “continued adaptation and prosperity are much more likely”, say these climate specialists.

Myth 1B is that “the consensus of world scientists, as revealed by the UN's [international protocol on climate change], is that they agree that “humanity is causing significant climate change”. That is a myth, say these climate specialists, saying, “There is of course no consensus at all”. In fact, they say that this whole business was “advocacy”, not a scientific assessment.

Myth 1C is that “climate change is occurring at an unprecedented rate”. Now we have our Prime Minister standing up in the House of Commons saying that if we do not sign Kyoto people will be dead in 30 years. Those are the myths being put out by supposedly responsible people in the country, but the climate specialists say that is nonsense. They say that there is not such a thing as unprecedented rates of climate change and that in fact in the past there have been “breathtakingly sudden variations in climate throughout the geologic record”.

Let us move to Myth 2, which is that “recent global temperature rise has been dramatic”. That is a myth. The climate specialists say that satellite temperature spot sensors reveal “only a very small amount of global warming since measurements began in 1979”, in fact, less than 1%.

Myth 3--

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Order please. I will proceed to the next order of business, which is statements by members. The member will have approximately 12 minutes remaining after question period.

World AIDS Day
Statements by Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, a number of activities took place around the world this past weekend in conjunction with World AIDS Day.

In Italy, Gabon, China, Iran, France, Great Britain, the United States, and in this country and many others, there were manifestations of great solidarity with the battle against this disease, which continues to claim far too many victims.

The marches, prayers, demonstrations and declarations are all highly encouraging. I join with all those who took part in these activities in encouraging action to halt the progress of this disease.

The battle is not yet won. The UN reports that there are close to 42 million individuals in the world who have contracted the AIDS virus.

This magnificent solidarity which unites us all must be reflected in our actions. Let the research continue so that this dread disease can be overcome.

Queen's Jubilee Medal
Statements by Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to once again commend 20 well-deserving residents of Crowfoot, Alberta whom I had the distinct honour of presenting with the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal this past Friday.

Each of these Canadian citizens have been “integral members of our community”. They have displayed a willingness to above and beyond the call of duty. They have been humble, giving and caring of every person who crosses their path and they have always been willing to lend a hand. They have made this country a better place to live.

I ask the members of the House to join me in congratulating Crowfoot's Golden Jubilee recipients: Dolores Aseltine, George Biggs, Jack Chapman, William Duncan, David Duzuba, Muriel Fankhanel, James Gillespie, Harry Gordon, George Geer, Rose Jardine, Mildred Luz, the late Thomas Machell, Walter McNary, Jack Mitchell, Morris Schultz, Auguste Simard, Gordon Taylor, Wanda Tkach, Joyce Webster and Chester Zajic.

I congratulate them all and thank them.

Health
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, QC

Yesterday in Montreal we heard a great Canadian Prime Minister deliver an impassioned speech to the Liberal faithful.

The Prime Minister made it very clear that the provinces will have to commit to implement some of the Romanow commission recommendations before there will be any blank cheques.

The Prime Minister said “The Romanow report sets out a blueprint for the evolution of the public health insurance plan in the 21st century. New investments must focus on change and on results, such as ensuring access to quality health care around the clock, seven days a week”.

In the Speech from the Throne, the Prime Minister pledged to make health one of the key elements. Yesterday, the Prime Minister pledged to act very quickly, and said that his government will do its part.

Canadians and Quebeckers want the Government of Canada to come up with a comprehensive agreement which includes all of the provinces and territories.

Anti-personnel Landmines
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, this week marks the fifth anniversary of the Ottawa convention banning anti-personnel landmines.

For the past five years, Canada has done much under the Ottawa convention to resolve the issue of anti-personnel mines, and we continue to play an important role in this field.

Last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced that the Government of Canada would be investing an additional $72 million in the Canadian Landmine Fund, which supports initiatives aimed at eliminating mines throughout the world.

This fund demonstrates Canada's long-term commitment to implement the convention and alleviate the suffering of communities affected by the presence of mines.

Canada leads international efforts aimed at eliminating anti-personnel mines and alleviating the suffering they cause.

Women, Sport and Physical Activity
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Sarmite Bulte Parkdale—High Park, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the organizers of the National Conference on Women, Sport and Physical Activity. The first conference of this kind to be held in over 21 years, the national conference was hosted from November 28 to December 1 in Hamilton, Ontario.

Approximately 300 delegates representing federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, sport, health and physical activity organizations, members of the media and the corporate sector attended.

The National Conference on Women, Sport and Physical Activity was organized by the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity, and was supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage (Sport Canada) and Health Canada. It followed as a legacy of the World Conference on Women and Sport hosted in Montreal in May 2002 under the auspices of the International Working Group on Women and Sport.

I would like to applaud the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity for organizing such a successful and very important event.

Forest Industry
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian forest industry continues to get beat up with U.S. tariffs that have so far this year cost our industry over $1 billion.

Since the spring the Canadian Alliance has been asking for a loan guarantee program for softwood producers. In early May the Minister for International Trade agreed with the Canadian Alliance that loan guarantees could be configured to avoid U.S. countervail action.

Seven months later the Minister for International Trade has not followed through and the Minister of Natural Resources is deferring action once again for at least three or four months. Workers and industry are increasingly concerned that no announcement this week guarantees no progress until February or March.

Why is the government so callous to the destructive fallout imposed on workers and companies as a result of U.S. tariffs on softwood lumber?

Hanukkah
Statements by Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Art Eggleton York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, tonight is the fourth night of Hanukkah. One of the beautiful dimensions of Hanukkah is its universal message of religious freedom and tolerance. The light of the Hanukkah candles bestow their warmth and inspire us to reach ever upwards, like the bright flame of the candle, in an effort to spread the spirit of generosity and respect.

I would like to therefore invite all members of the House to the 13th annual Menorah lighting ceremony on Parliament Hill this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. in room 237-C. I also would like to take this opportunity to recognize the children of Shmuel Zahavy Cheder Chebad Choir who have travelled here from Thornhill to sing in this ceremony.

Mr. Speaker, I wish you, all members of the House and all Canadians a very happy Hanukkah.

Health
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the members of the National Assembly of Quebec unanimously adopted a motion condemning the centralist vision of the Romanow report. Jean Charest, Mario Dumont and Bernard Landry all agree: the federal government must immediately transfer funds for health to the Quebec government without conditions, without new bureaucracy and without Canadian standards.

The only obstacle to the long awaited reinvestment in health throughout Quebec and Canada, is the Liberal members in Ottawa. While everyone in Quebec is united on this issue, the only ones we are not hearing from are the federal members from Quebec. In Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, resolving this problem would require an investment of more than $100 million over three years, but the Liberal candidate stands in solidarity with the Liberal members and refuses to give us back our money.

Enough is enough. In Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, we want our money without any conditions.

Education System
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, last week the United Nations Children's Fund reported that Canada has one of the top ranking education systems in the world. In fact, our ranking was fourth.

Our school children, whether they were born here or elsewhere, are highly successful. Our excellent ranking shows that our system treats students fairly throughout their academic careers. In Canada any child can succeed regardless of his or her parents' socio-economic or educational background.

I am sure that all Canadians are proud of these results, and I would like to congratulate all those who work with children, particularly within our school systems. With the support and dedication of our governments, our kids are on the right track.

Kyoto Protocol
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, a survey by the Investment Dealers Association revealed that two-thirds of the U.S. equity analysts contacted believe that if Canada implements Kyoto it will harm the Canadian economy and cause Wall Street to rethink energy sector investments north of the border.

True North Energy, Petro-Canada, Husky Oil and now Canadian Natural Resources have already announced cancellations or postponements of their oil sands projects. Clearly the uncertainty regarding the Prime Minister's Kyoto plan is already hurting Alberta and the Canadian economy.

Wishful thinking and fancy rhetoric will not change this stark economic reality, no matter how much the member for LaSalle—Émard wishes it otherwise.

The member for LaSalle—Émard has the power to stop this foolishness. It is time that he stopped the empty rhetoric, stopped hedging his political bets and instead stand up for the economic and environmental future of Canada. We cannot wait 15 months for the member's version of Kyoto. The damage has already begun.

Canadians really do deserve better.

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

David Pratt Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Winnipeg, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson honoured the brave members of the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

They were presented the Commander-in-Chief Commendation. This award, which is something I had recommended about four years ago, recognizes outstanding service by members of the Canadian Forces who come under direct fire in times of conflict.

Yesterday's commendation was awarded for courageous and professional execution of duty during the Medak pocket operation in the former Yugoslavia in September 1993. Under heavy enemy fire the Canadians intervened to stop ethnic cleansing in Croatia. They drove the Croatian army back and saved many innocent lives.

Wherever crimes against humanity occur, the international community has an obligation to step in. These brave soldiers were among the first to confront the new realities of international conflict in a changing world. Their courageous response is worthy of our respect and admiration.

I ask the House to join me in congratulating each of those brave soldiers.

World AIDS Day
Statements by Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, yesterday around the world was World AIDS Day. This terrible disease has a way of ravaging populations throughout all countries. It knows no borders or class of citizen.

We encourage the government and all parliamentarians not to rest on their laurels and become complacent over this terrible and ravaging disease.

We encourage the government to do all in its power to ensure that the resources are there for the research and for educating and making this terrible disease known throughout the country and throughout the world.

AIDS is wiping out generations upon generations of people in southern Africa. It is working its way into China, Thailand and throughout this country, especially those most impoverished in our society.

We in the New Democratic Party again encourage all citizens and the government to do all in its power to put a stop to this disease once and for all through research and education.

Health
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, for years now the Bloc Quebecois has maintained that the federal government has not been pulling its weight in health care funding. Eighteen months and $15 million later, the Romanow commission has acknowledged what we already knew.

If the Liberal government had not tried to buy some time with this commission, it could have immediately transferred funds to Quebec and the provinces. Instead of putting the $8.9 billion surplus into the debt, it could have transferred some of it to health.

Five billion dollars for health means $1.2 billion for Quebec. This represents, for the riding of Berthier—Montcalm, over $21 million. With $21 million we could hire 75 more physicians, 50 more nurses, and over $2 million worth of equipment.

The people of Berthier—Montcalm have had enough waiting. Now they want their fair share of that money to spend on health.

Anti-personnel landmines
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, December 3, is the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Ottawa convention banning anti-personnel mines. On this day, in 1997, 122 countries made a commitment to the rest of the world.

Since the beginning, Canada has been a leader in the campaign to eliminate anti-personnel mines. Since 1997, Canada has spent $100 million on anti-mine programs to encourage countries to take part in this effort, on demining operations, on assistance for victims of landmines and on destroying landmine stocks.

I am all the more proud because, on Friday, the government announced that it was renewing its funding to the tune of $72 million.

One hundred and thirty countries have now ratified the Ottawa convention and more than 34 million landmines have been destroyed. I also wish to congratulate the numerous volunteers who organized the second annual potluck dinner at Ashbury College in Rockcliffe Park last Friday night for the benefit of the landmines fund. I congratulate all those people.

Fisheries
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Norman E. Doyle St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, today Newfoundland's political leaders, Premier Roger Grimes, opposition leader Danny Williams and NDP leader Jack Harris, from the provincial House of Assembly, are in town to meet with MPs and senators from Newfoundland and Labrador.

These provincial leaders are meeting with us to talk about the possible closure of the remaining northern cod fishery and all the social and economic implications arising from that kind of a catastrophe.

One of the reasons for the trouble in our fishery is the federal government's refusal to take custodial management of our continental shelf outside the 200 mile limit and thereby put a stop to rampant foreign overfishing.

The time has come for the federal government to act on custodial management before we lose every fishery on our continental shelf.

National Safe Driving Week
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Bras D'Or—Cape Breton, NS

Mr. Speaker, this week is National Safe Driving Week.

Multi-tasking while driving can be very dangerous; 20% to 30% of car accidents are caused by driver distraction. According to a recent study, driver distraction was a factor in almost 10% of serious or fatal crashes.

Canadians frequently adjust CDs, eat, talk on the phone or get caught up in other activities that take their attention away from the road. Driving is very demanding and it should be the first priority.

As we all become increasingly accustomed to new electronic devices, I urge members of the House and all Canadians to take a moment to consider their own driving habits and think about using technology responsibly.

The Canada Safety Council has a safety CD called “Driven to Distraction” that assists drivers with ways to overcome distractions. Most of all, it encourages using common sense and paying attention to the road.

During Safe Driving Week I wish all members of the House a happy, safe holiday season.

Kyoto Protocol
Statements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is time for the Member of Parliament for Edmonton West to stand up and state clearly where she stands on the Kyoto accord.

She has publicly stated that she would not support this accord if there was no implementation plan. She knows that the government's PowerPoint presentation is not an implementation plan. She knows that the implementation of this accord will damage our economy from coast to coast and do nothing to improve the environment. She knows the effects this accord will have on the economy of Alberta, particularly on the energy sector.

She knows that the Minister of the Environment has alienated almost every province and has gone out of his way to alienate her own. She knows that the Prime Minister completely ignored her, the senior minister from Alberta, when he went to Johannesburg and publicly stated that the government will ratify Kyoto by the end of this year.

It is time for the Minister of Health, the MP for Edmonton West, to do the right thing, to stand up for her province, her constituents, and vote against the ratification of this accord.

International Day of Disabled Persons
Statements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lynn Myers Waterloo—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is UN International Day of Disabled Persons. This year the United Nations selected a theme that was proposed by Canada's disability community.

To celebrate the success of “Independent Living and Sustainable Livelihoods”, the theme of this year's celebrations, the Canadian Association of Independent Living Centres will host a breakfast in Ottawa tomorrow morning.

The morning's event will focus on the independent living movement and the need for Canadian business, and indeed all Canadians to tap into a tremendous human resource pool that is too often untapped, whose stories go untold, and yet whose potential is unlimited. The event will be attended by the Minister of Human Resources Development and the Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, as well as business and community leaders.

I ask all hon. members to join me in congratulating Canada's disability community on its recent success at the United Nations.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, not only has the Prime Minister alienated the provinces, but the Investment Dealers Association of Canada has warned the Prime Minister that ratification of the Kyoto protocol will force Wall Street to rethink its investments in Canada's energy sector.

Will the government at last acknowledge that its irresponsible approach to Kyoto is going to harm the economy of Canada?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, curiously the Financial Post has a headline story today, “Canada's oilpatch to step up pace: 85% of drilling fleet to be active in hectic winter as U.S. firms ramp up exploration”. It is a headline story. What is he talking about?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, maybe he would like to go to the last quote in that story. It says, “that these investments will dry up in Canada if we ratify the Kyoto accord”.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. We must be able to hear the hon. member for Macleod. I know many of his colleagues are enthusiastic in their support for him, offering assistance with his question, but we must be able to hear the question. The hon. member for Macleod has the floor.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will then pose the question. Would the environment minister like to read that last quote so all Canadians can know what it says?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am thrilled to read it because what he did not tell us was that the words about the Kyoto protocol are in brackets. The person who wrote the story had to insert them. The words had to be inserted because they were not there in the original story. It reads as follows:

“In the past two or three years, almost all their budget was spent in Alberta, or at least in Canada,” he said. “Now you got companies that are lot bigger and they have opportunities all over the world. If the economics change due to [Canada's plan to ratify the Kyoto treaty on climate change], they are going to move to more economic projects outside of Canada”.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

Next time I would like to get past the questions and comments with a little less noise.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, a little less substance is what we are getting from the government, frankly.

The government has failed to produce an implementation plan and has failed to bring out a cost impact assessment. My question is pretty simple. Now that it recognizes that the investment climate in the country is also at risk, why is it moving ahead with the reckless implementation of Kyoto?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, what he did not want us to quote was, “Drilling activity in the Canadian oilpatch is forecast to pick up significantly next year despite concerns over the Kyoto Protocol...” It goes on to say, “Overall industry spending is expected to rise to $25.5 billion in 2003, up from $23.8 billion this year”. It goes on to talk about, “--14,000 workers will be needed this winter, an increase of 5,000 people...”

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, the revelation that the Prime Minister had a report from the Investment Dealers Association of Canada saying that implementing the Kyoto accord will harm the Canadian economy, is disturbing because the government has been spending oodles of taxpayer dollars only on propaganda for the accord.

It is time for the government to come clean with Canadians on the accord. What other reports does the government have which show that harm will occur if the Kyoto accord is implemented?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I want to correct one thing the hon. member said when he referred to the Investment Dealers Association of Canada and the alleged report that the Prime Minister had in his possession. It is my understanding that the IDA issued no such report.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the report right here. Perhaps I could table the report for the hon. member. I do not know exactly what he is talking about.

I would like to ask him again, what other reports does he have and will he state again that the report, which I have in my very hand, does not exist?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I have a news release from the Investment Dealers Association of Canada which says:

We have never seen the letter described in the article and no such letter was drafted by the IDA.Therefore, we take no responsibility for its content.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the three parties in the Quebec National Assembly, that is the Parti Québécois, the Action démocratique and the Quebec Liberal Party unanimously passed a resolution calling on the federal government to hand over the new funding for health without any conditions attached.

Does the government intend to respect the unanimity shown in the Quebec National Assembly by making this funding available without any conditions attached?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this is unquestionably a current issue.

I should mention that the minister is sick today, but she will surely be in good shape by Friday to meet here with the provincial and territorial health ministers and take a very close look at the recommendations made in the Romanow report, so that we take all the necessary measures to ensure that the health system meets the needs of Canadians—and I emphasize the expression “the needs of Canadians”—regardless of where they live in the country, whether in the east, the west, the far north or the south.

Again, I want to assure hon. members that we have a very interesting report that will allow us to do great things for all Canadians.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the government.

In the best interests of the sick, all the political parties in Quebec, including the Quebec Liberal Party, as well as doctors, nurses, specialists and even some Liberal members from Quebec, such as the hon. member for Verdun—Saint-Henri—Saint-Paul—Pointe Saint-Charles and the hon. member for Louis-Hébert, feel that Ottawa must make the funding available without any conditions attached.

Should the government not immediately reassure the public and announce that this funding will be made available without any conditions attached?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, following the measures taken in September 2000 regarding a five year investment plan—and all the provinces agreed with it at the time—we did not come back here simply to rest on our laurels. We took measures to conduct a very important study to meet the needs of Canadians.

We are continuing in the same direction and this is why we are committed to cooperating with all the health ministers. Also, the premiers are scheduled to meet early in the new year, as the Prime Minister mentioned—

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Témiscamingue.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Quebec Medical Association, through its vice president, André Senikas, has said very plainly that it is concerned about the federal government's follow-up to the Romanow report, and is worried that as long as the squabbles and frustrations continue, the backlog and accessibility problems will increase.

Would it not be advisable for the federal government, in the best interests of the sick and out of respect for the Quebec Medical Association, to announce right away that it will drop the conditions that it was going to attach to new funding for health? This is the voice of reason speaking.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it was precisely in the interests of all Canadians that we took measures that were very appropriate. We will follow up on these measures.

Once again, at the risk of repeating myself, that is why on Friday, in four days' time, the ministers of health will be meeting to discuss the key features of the report.

The Prime Minister promised to meet in January with the provincial premiers to make decisions, once again, to meet the needs of Canadians. It is important that we not make decisions lightly and resort to band-aid patching. That does not work. We must take time to think.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Brien Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, while the secretary of state is thinking, there are people waiting.

Jennie Skene, the president of the Fédération des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec said last week that immediate efforts are needed for the sick, that Ottawa should provide available funding for health without any strings attached.

Is the federal government planning to keep on ignoring calls by Quebec's physicians and nurses, which echo the resolution passed by Quebec's National Assembly?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it is clear just how important it was to have this pan-Canadian report, given how terribly interested Canadians are in the report now. People everywhere are talking about it. Some support it, others are against it, but that is why this debate is important.

And that is why I am very pleased to see that the government is committed to having this debate. We did not bury our head in the sand and pretend that there were no problems. There are problems. Now, everyone claims to have the magic solution. That is why we must sit down together and take the time to take a fresh new look at what we can—

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we are clearly at a turning point in terms of the future of health care. The people of Canada have spoken through the Romanow commission. Now it is up to the government. To go forward and prevent this process from degenerating into a federal-provincial squabble, the government has to be forthcoming about its plans and has to share vital information about the financing of health care with its partners.

In the spirit of federal cooperation and in the interests of medicare, will the government state today its intentions with respect to the Romanow commission.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we will try to simplify things. Again, we all care about the well-being and the health of our fellow citizens.

This is why we are committed to providing leadership on this issue, so that, together with the provinces and territories, we can sit down at the table and pursue a common objective, which is the well-being of Canadians, instead of sitting down at the same table and each blaming the other. We know that such an approach is fruitless. Again, we will provide leadership on this issue, so as to achieve a common objective.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, we are less than a week away from the meeting of health ministers and we still do not have an indication from the government about its response to the Romanow commission. Being open-minded and being empty-headed are two different things. The government seems to suffer from a severe case of the latter.

Does the government even have a position going into these negotiations and is that position the Romanow recommendations or not?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I was looking at statements made by the Prime Minister this weekend. He said that, obviously, the investments made in health will have to focus on change and results. All Canadians realize that investing money without knowing what we want to achieve, without holding people accountable, would be unproductive. This is the approach that was used for years.

The Prime Minister made it very clear that if we can all agree on where we want to go, the federal government will make the necessary investments. However, in order to achieve that, we must sit down together and talk. And this is what we are doing.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. The member for LaSalle--Émard admitted timidly today that he has problems with the Kyoto process but that he will knuckle under. The Liberal premier of Newfoundland and Labrador was more forthright. His letter to MPs warns of the “divisive and deliberate manner in which the federal government” has excluded Newfoundland and other provinces. He said the premiers “have repeatedly asked for a first minister's conference” before ratification “but the Prime Minister has consistently refused our requests”.

Why does the Prime Minister refuse to meet the premiers before the ratification of Kyoto?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, this matter has been under debate for five years. The Parliament of Canada is now debating the resolution. There will be a vote held within a matter of days. I think that the matter is well in hand in terms of public debate in the country. The premiers have been consulted. All interested stakeholders have been consulted.

I hope that the hon. member will come and speak in the debate, as he has already. He will try to influence the debate and he will vote. That is what all members have to do. That is the parliamentary process and it is working extremely well.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

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

In 2005 Canada must provide demonstrative evidence that our climate change strategy is on track. Substantive tax incentives for renewable sources of energy, energy efficiency, ethanol blended fuels and loan guarantees for energy retrofits to buildings were needed five years ago. These incentives were in the direct purview of the former finance minister, who this weekend in a somersault to revisionism said, “We should invest in green technologies”.

Everyone knew these incentives were needed. Who is the roadblock, the Prime Minister or the former finance minister?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is correct that we have to move ahead. That is why we have been trying to have this debate terminated and a decision taken before the end of the year. It is very important that we move ahead, and I trust he will be supporting the measures that are in place to achieve Kyoto goals.

The previous minister of finance put in $260 million to support renewable energy in the last budget, which is a very substantial amount and a clear indication of the government's direction. I am delighted to hear that he continues to believe that we should proceed in that way.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, the leader of Hezbollah has now called upon his terrorist organization worldwide to go beyond killing Jews and Americans and attack western nations in general with acts of murder that, and I will quote his words, “will astonish the world”.

Everywhere I go across the country, everyday Canadians are asking me this question. What has Hezbollah got on this foreign affairs minister and these Liberals that they refuse to ban them?

Will the foreign affairs minister please answer that question for Canadians?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member opposite that we have taken note of what the leader of Hezbollah has said.

As I have said to the member on previous occasions, there is a process in the works. In terms of the listing of entities, we will take into consideration the criminal and the security intelligence reports and we will analyze and make a decision based on those concrete facts, not on a headline in a newspaper story.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Okanagan—Coquihalla, BC

Mr. Speaker, they have banned other groups that do not have the same notorious record as Hezbollah. The Hezbollah leader has said that there is no separation between the military arm and the social arm. He has called for worldwide acts of murder.

Without them hiding behind the pretence of confidentiality and so we do not have to use freedom of information legislation, when exactly did CSIS warn the government that Hezbollah should be banned? How long ago?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Malpeque
P.E.I.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, let me assure the hon. member that this minister and the government do not hide behind anything. We want a review with real, substantiated facts and that we will do. We will not take the position like the hon. member obviously did on the weekend, and on which I saw him quoted, that no research was needed.

In terms of listing entities, the government will do its homework. It will do its research. It will do a listing of an entity based on concrete facts that can be substantiated.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, among the post-Romanow comments, the former Minister of Health for Quebec, Claude Castonguay, has said that there are simpler ways of managing additional funding for health than adding a federal structure on top of all that is already in place.

Does the federal government intend to respect the non-partisan and unanimous character of the comments by all the health care experts in Quebec who are calling for the Prime Minister to drop the strings he wants to attach to additional health care funding?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:30 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, we will certainly listen to experts in Quebec and in all the provinces of Canada.

There are people with expertise and opinions across Canada and in this House. It is very interesting to see that people are taking part in the debate. I can assure the hon. member that this is what will be done. We will sit down together. To quote the Prime Minister's words from yesterday, in connection with Quebec and the federal government:

Quebeckers want both levels of government to work together with a common objective: quality health-care services.

This is the objective we are going to set and together—

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Laurentides.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Laurentides, QC

Mr. Speaker, Michel Clair, a former commissioner who headed a study into the health system in Quebec, has questioned the need for another level of control, one more bureaucracy, describing this as adding no value whatsoever.

Will the unanimity of all experts in the Quebec health system not convince the federal government that it is on the wrong track in announcing its intention to attach its own conditions to any additional health funding?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, it may be important for my colleague to understand that the Government of Canada has a responsibility to all Canadians.

Certainly, the Government of Quebec looks after the interests of Quebec, which is entirely legitimate, and I applaud it. Now we need to sit down together throughout Canada to consider the interests of all those in need of care. This is what we will do, and we will be assuming a leadership role. What is more, we will not have any kind of overview by listening to just one province.

I trust that, once and for all, my colleague now has a clear understanding of our responsibility to Canada.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, the cozy relationship between Bombardier and the government continues. Bombardier has just received another untendered contract for flight training, this time for $105 million.

Despite the Auditor General's warnings, the government continues its love affair with unannounced and untendered contracts. The secretive and closed approach is even more suspicious considering last year Bombardier gave the Liberal Party of Canada $142,503.80.

When will the government stop rewarding its friends and--

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of National Defence.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Markham
Ontario

Liberal

John McCallum Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, it has absolutely nothing to do with any possible Liberal connections. The simple fact of the matter is the Treasury Board approved the three year extension to the contract in August of this year. This was a very simple matter. The contract had to be extended for reasons of continuity of pilot training. In six months or so there will be a new tender for a 10 year contract that will be subject to competition.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Anders Calgary West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want the minister to tell me how this connection looks. The minister's smug response just shows how out of touch he usually is. The Contracts Canada website shows that Bombardier has received $540 million worth of contracts from his government. Of these contracts, $276 million worth were non-competitive. That is over half.

When will the government stop this closed tendering process?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, as the Minister of National Defence has explained, this was not an untendered contract. In fact it is the extension of an existing contract while a formal request for proposals for a competitive process can be put together.

If we had not extended the contract, then a very valuable economic development and national defence project in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba would have closed. We have acted to defend the interests of Manitobans.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, Bernard Landry, the Premier of Quebec, has floated the idea of creating a health care fund to provide adequate funding for Quebec's health care system that is not subject to the controls of a new federal bureaucracy.

Would not the creation of this fund, free from all of the conditions that the federal government wants to impose, be a sufficient guarantee to the government that the money will indeed be spent on health?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, once again I will rise for this one. After all, these are health issues and I have the health interests of Canadians at heart.

I must say once again, at the risk of repeating myself, that we will be sitting down with all of the stakeholders in order to look at the report, which is important for all Canadians. Everyone acknowledges this. It is so important that everyone has been talking about it for four or five days.

Obviously we will look at it together with those responsible in the provinces. Together, we will try to the meet the objective of better health for all Canadians. This seems simple enough to understand.

Health
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the parliamentary secretary should change his tape, or turn the page in his briefing book. We are talking to him about a health care fund, the health care fund that was proposed by the finance minister.

If the federal government is bent on ensuring that the money for health goes toward treating the sick, will he recognize that a health care fund may well satisfy those concerns?

Health
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I will not use a tape or read from a page, but I will try to see clearly where we want to go. If we change our minds every time the wind blows, we will not get very far. Perhaps this is what we should avoid doing.

One has to be consistent.

We need to at least know where we want to go. Then, we will meet with the provincial ministers of health. We will study the report. We will agree on a common goal. Then, as the Prime Minister has said, he will meet with the provincial premiers in January. In the end, we will come up with an extraordinary plan for Canadians.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, the commissioner of the Coast Guard is in agreement with the Canadian Alliance. He has said that the Canadian Coast Guard is unable to adequately protect Canada's coastline from terrorists and that for the most part for most of the B.C. coast there is no radar capability. The commissioner has admitted that the Coast Guard depends largely on an honour system to obtain information on the whereabouts of incoming vessels and that the Coast Guard does not have clue on who or what is entering Canadian waters.

When will the Coast Guard be provided with the resources it needs to secure our borders?

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, if the commissioner did agree with the Canadian Alliance, we would indeed be in trouble.

The Canadian Coast Guard works in cooperation with all other departments under the direction of the Department of Transport which has the responsibility for marine security. We work with the Department of National Defence to ensure that we keep our coasts secure. It is not the sole responsibility of the Canadian Coast Guard. The Coast Guard supports, and it does a very good job.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are in trouble all right.

Here is a fact. The Kapitan Man is a Russian spy ship long of interest to security forces in Canada and the United States. Three days ago the Coast Guard tracked the Kapitan Man from Seattle to Victoria to Tofino. Two days ago the Kapitan Man voluntarily reported anchoring off Massett in the Queen Charlotte Islands. Yesterday the Canadian navy asked the Coast Guard if it could provide information on the small vessels seen approaching and tying alongside the Kapitan Man . The answer was no. The Coast Guard has no surveillance radar in the area.

Could the minister tell us what this spy ship is up to?

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat that the Canadian Coast Guard works in cooperation with the Department of National Defence, with the RCMP and with all other government agencies to ensure that service is provided to Canadians.

If the member wants to know what that vessel was up to, perhaps he should ask the owners of the vessel. If the Canadian Coast Guard or the military had information, it surely would not be made public here today.

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Mac Harb Ottawa Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the President of the Treasury Board.

Both the Auditor General and the public accounts committee have called on the government to adopt full accrual accounting in its reporting to Canadians. When can we see some action on this issue?

Finance
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Westmount—Ville-Marie
Québec

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard President of the Treasury Board

Mr. Speaker, first I want to thank the hon. member for Ottawa Centre for his interest in having better information for Canadians and parliamentarians.

The government has already announced its intention to implement full accrual accounting in the upcoming budget, provided that the accrual accounts have been verified and audited by the Auditor General. I have to say that most of the changes associated with this implementation have been verified and validated. We are still working with departments and the Office of the Auditor General to resolve the remaining issues. I am confident that we will do it.

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, no matter what kind of spin the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans puts on it, our Coast Guard is in a mess right now. John Adams, the commissioner of the Coast Guard, stated the obvious.

The fact is there are many other aspects of duty that the Coast Guard is responsible for, such as overfishing and environmental pollution. It is not capable of doing that job right now because it simply does not have the equipment, materiel and personnel to do the job.

Will the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans go to the cabinet table, as I asked him to do last month, to fight for the men and women of the Coast Guard and get the resources required so that the Coast Guard can do the job it has been asked to do?

Coast Guard
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

West Nova
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Robert Thibault Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Of course, Mr. Speaker, that is my responsibility. It is my job. It is also my job to look internally first to make sure that we are using all of the available technology and that we are properly using all of the available resources, so that we efficiently use the resources of Canadians. That is why we work in cooperation with other agencies. That is why we conduct DFO flights off the coasts to look for foreign overfishing and work in cooperation with other agencies.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, last evening CBC Sunday Report featured an individual who stated she was a commissioner for one of the new first nations financial agencies. The surprise to all is that no such agencies exist and the legislation that would bring them to life has not been tabled in Parliament.

My question is or the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Why bother tabling the legislation? He obviously does not care what Parliament or first nations have to say. Who else has he promised to appoint to these agencies? Why not tell Parliament before he tells the media?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, I cannot speak for anyone who is on television in the evening, but I can say that we have had a draft piece of legislation dealing with fiscal institutions out in the public domain since July. The first nations people can look at it, assess it and arrive at a decision as to whether that is the best approach to take to develop a first nations economy and to put in the kinds of tools for fiscal relationships that we, as governments, need to see first nations communities succeed.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the president of Decoma International Inc. has said that his Canadian company is building its new plant in the United States and not in Ontario because of the Kyoto protocol. He has said that the blind ratification of Kyoto will prevent companies from investing in Canada.

The job losses from Kyoto ratification will affect all regions of Canada. Have the Ontario Liberal members of Parliament asked the government for detailed information on job losses in Ontario due to the blind ratification of Kyoto? Will the government table this information?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

It is not clear what information the hon. member asked the government to table in the last part of the question. The first part was clearly out of order. Perhaps he could clarify in his supplementary.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Scott Brison Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the fact is Ontario members of Parliament in the government are not defending the interests of Ontario if they have not asked the cabinet for detailed information on job losses to Ontario of the blind ratification of the accord.

Terrance Salman, chairman of the IDA, has informed the Prime Minister that senior equity analysts on Wall Street are warning that blind ratification of Kyoto in Canada is going to cost jobs and investment in Canada.

Will the government confirm that in fact--

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of the Environment.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, in the November 26, 2002 New York Times there is an article about the oil and gas sector and Kyoto. It is interesting. Quoting an energy analyst of the Bank of America it says that ratification of the treaty “does not seem to be a big deal at all”. He went on to say the profitability of some oil sands projects is currently threatened by cost overruns and by a predicted North American surplus of the type of oil they produce. “These companies could be using Kyoto as an--

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Port Moody--Coquitlam--Port Coquitlam.

Airline Security
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the air tax is hurting consumer confidence. The government could help consumer confidence by telling Canadians what exactly it is they are getting for their $24.

The Aeronautics Act does not prevent the government from answering the following questions. What percentage of checked bags are being screened right now? What percentage of flights now have air marshals on them? What exactly is it that we are getting for our $24?

Airline Security
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Don Valley East
Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member certainly knows the improvements that have been made to air security since September 11, 2001. He knows full well that we are not going to give percentages with respect to checked baggage or anything else simply for the reason that when we make that kind of information available, we are helping the people who we really want to prevent from incursions of security in the country. Obviously that is lost on the hon. member.

Airline Security
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Moore Port Moody—Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, percentages do not jeopardize national security at all.

The fact is the finance minister told the House that he was going to review the air tax eventually. Every party on the transport committee registered their opposition to the air tax. Every air carrier in Canada, every tourism official, every provincial finance minister, everybody who has registered their opinion on the air tax is completely opposed to it as it is.

Can the transport minister name one stakeholder in the air industry that is in favour of the air tax as it is, other than himself or the air tax inventor, the member for LaSalle--Émard?

Airline Security
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Oak Ridges
Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, first of all, the minister was very clear. The minister has indicated that by December 31 we will be seeking input on a review of the air security charge. As the hon. member knows, this review will take place and when it does, we will then be in a position to respond.

I point out to the hon. member that in the United States up to $1 billion of the cost of air security is on the backs of the airlines. That is being reviewed. The price will probably have to go up because it is not making the necessary amount of dollars needed in order to cover security costs. The member should think about that as well.

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, in answer to all the questions that we asked him regarding the fact that the veterinary college at Guelph University received millions of dollars from the Innovation Fund to modernize its infrastructure, the minister stated that the École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe could have made a similar request. However, in 2001, officials rejected such a request from the École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe.

Why is the minister suggesting that we request money from this fund when he knows full well that such a request will be refused? Is he trying to cloud the issue; does he hope to sabotage the veterinary college in Saint-Hyacinthe?

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, a number of schools and institutions have made requests to the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, which is an arm's-length foundation. Applications go to the foundation. The government does not indicate which ones should be funded. They are addressed and reviewed by peers and decisions are made by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, not by the government.

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, we want to believe him, but currently, a Canadian veterinary college is in danger, and it happens to be the one in Saint-Hyacinthe. Perhaps the minister is more interested in Guelph's fate since he graduated from Guelph University.

I would ask the Prime Minister, who perhaps has an interest in all of Canada, to personally intervene to save the veterinary college in Saint-Hyacinthe and ensure that it keeps its accreditation. To do this, the federal government must invest $59 million. Will the Prime Minister take action?

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, if the hon. member were to check, I think he would find that the institution in St. Hyacinthe has received some funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, as have some other veterinary colleges in Canada. I repeat, that decision was made by the foundation, not by the government.

I also repeat that the government recognizes the situation as far as the accreditation for all of the vet colleges in Canada. We are reviewing it and taking all of that into consideration.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the U.S. will soon be vaccinating 500,000 first line responders for a possible smallpox attack, to be followed by another 7 million to 10 million health and emergency workers. What is the government planning? To vaccinate 500 front line workers.

The U.S. takes this very seriously. What does the government think it knows that the U.S. does not?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, first of all, we need to realize that, when it comes to implementing a smallpox contingency plan, different countries have different approaches. The Americans decided to take one approach, and have chosen to vaccinate everybody. That is one way.

We in Canada have chosen a different approach after consulting the experts. What we are going to ensure is that, in the very unlikely event of a smallpox epidemic, we shall—

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Yellowhead.

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, what the government does not say is that it will take 10 months to fill an order if it were to order vaccines right now. Then it will take considerably more time to order a vaccine antidote.

Massive vaccination clinics will be needed if a smallpox outbreak occurs. We cannot scramble to vaccinate front line workers to staff the clinics at that time. If smallpox is not a real threat, the government should do nothing, but if it is, then the government should do it right. What is the government's position?

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche
New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this question allows me to finish my explanation. It must be understood that there has not been a smallpox epidemic for many years, and there were virtually no bulk supplies of vaccine available anywhere.

Last year, after the tragic events of September, the vaccine producers started up operations again. We have placed our order and will obtain what we need.

In the meantime, we have been wise enough to work with the rest of the world, so that if ever there were an epidemic anywhere, we would work together—

Terrorism
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Souris—Moose Mountain.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, the CCRA's heavy-handed approach to auditing junior hockey teams in Saskatchewan is threatening the viability of junior hockey in that province. The minister has known this for at least two weeks and still she has done nothing about it.

When will the minister tell her department to cease and desist these punishing audits and instead set clear guidelines for the teams to follow, starting now?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, as a matter of fact, hockey teams in Canada normally pay their fair share of Canada pension and EI premiums.

Right across the country it is important for CCRA to ensure that the Income Tax Act and its provisions are fairly applied to all employers. We give 75,000 employee-employer related decisions each year.

I can say to the hon. member that employers are required to make these deductions so that their employees are eligible for benefits.

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, these junior hockey teams and the players are broke all year. They do not make any income. To be eligible for scholarships, the players must retain their amateur status. By forcing players to count their room and board as income destroys that amateur status and prevents them from getting scholarship funds for their education.

Why is the Minister of National Revenue putting the future of these young hockey players at risk by forcing them to declare room and board as income?

Taxation
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Thornhill
Ontario

Liberal

Elinor Caplan Minister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, let me repeat this, because obviously the hon. member was not listening. Hockey teams across the country pay their fair share based on the same rules under the Income Tax Act, and hockey teams right across the country pay Canada pension plan and employment insurance premiums.

Does the member opposite suggest that young Canadian employees should not be entitled to benefits? Is that what he is saying?

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, to the questions we have asked him repeatedly over the past several months about the urgent need to provide financial assistance to the École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe, the Minister of Agriculture responded that the government understood the role of veterinary colleges across Canada.

Is the Prime Minister finally going to admit that the time for understanding and studies is over and that it is now time to take action? An immediate investment of $59 million from the government is necessary to save the accreditation of the college in Saint-Hyacinthe. Clearly—

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

École de médecine vétérinaire de Saint-Hyacinthe
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, I have answered that question a number of times. I will repeat this one more time. We are looking at it. We understand the situation at Saint-Hyacinthe and at a number of our veterinary colleges across the country. The government is looking at that, because we understand and recognize the importance of it and we want to do all we possibly can so that they can maintain their accreditation.

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

2:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Garry Breitkreuz Yorkton—Melville, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have just received information from the justice department showing that it has a backlog of more than 134,000 gun registrations. A quarter of them have been backlogged for more than a year.

Considering that Statistics Canada reported that there were 11 million guns in Canada back in 1974 and less than half of this number are now registered, why is the minister misleading Canadians into thinking the government will register all firearms when clearly it cannot, even with the six month amnesty it has just declared?

Firearms Registry
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Northumberland
Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, clearly a large majority of the Canadian public has followed and registered its guns in accordance with the law.

For those who are finding themselves in difficult circumstances, the minister last week announced that there will be a grace period. Provided that they file their applications before December 31 of this year, there will be a grace period of six months so that they will not need their certificates within that period of time.

Canadians will comply.

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec farmers are impatiently waiting for an agreement to be reached between the federal government and the Government of Quebec on the agriculture policy framework. What the Union des producteurs agricoles and Quebec are both asking for is some flexibility from Ottawa.

Will the Minister of Agriculture finally agree to allow the financial part of the aid designated for farmers in Quebec to be administered by the Financière agricole du Québec, yes or no?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the agricultural policy framework has been open for the Quebec government to sign since the end of June this year.

All of the ministers agreed a year ago last June in Whitehorse that we would go forward with programs to support Canadian farmers with national standards. They will be delivered across the country. We are in negotiations with the Province of Quebec, and we understand fully that it has some different delivery mechanisms in the province, but it is the goal and the determination of all ministers that all farmers in Canada will be treated the same on a national basis.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a very brief point of order on a ruling made in question period today on the question asked by the member for Kings—Hants. It was, as I understand it, in order to ask about representations the government has received from any group that the member for Kings--Hants asked about questions put to the government by one particular group, the Liberal members of Parliament from Ontario.

In my view, Sir, that is in order, and I certainly have heard that type of question put and permitted before. You might want to review the blues to see precisely what was said and consider the ruling.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. government House leader on the same point.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria Minister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I listened very attentively to the question. To the best of my recollection, the hon. member asking the question was asking Ontario MPs if in fact a particular course of action had been taken. First, one asks questions only of the government, as Mr. Speaker knows, and as I suspect the right hon. member knows or should know. Second, questions cannot be asked about an area of regional responsibility. That is against the standing order as well. Third, they must have to do with the business of the minister to whom the question is being asked.

I suggest that none of those three criteria had been satisfied, and no doubt the Chair took that very carefully into account when he rendered his very able decision earlier today.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I should advise the right hon. member for Calgary Centre and the hon. government House leader that the Chair appreciates both their generous interventions and will certainly review the matter and get back to the House if necessary.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. During question period the minister stated that there was not a letter and a report from the Investment Dealers Association of Canada. I have a copy here in my hands which, in the interests of openness and transparency for all members of the House, I would like to table a copy of at this time.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the hon. member for Edmonton Southwest have the consent of the House to table the document?

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Points of Order
Oral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Government Response to Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to five petitions.

First Nations Fiscal and Statistical Management Act
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Kenora—Rainy River
Ontario

Liberal

Bob Nault Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-19, an act to provide for real property taxation powers of first nations, to create a First Nations Tax Commission, First Nations Financial Management Board, First Nations Finance Authority and First Nations Statistical Institute and to make consequential amendments to other acts.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

First Nations Fiscal and Statistical Management Act
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Joe Clark Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The Minister of Indian Affairs is leaving the House. I wonder if I might ask the minister to come back. An allegation was made during question period that an appointment has already been made under the legislation that has just been introduced for first reading. I wonder if the hon. minister could assure the House that no actions have been taken stemming from the authority of the legislation just introduced into this House before that legislation has been approved by Parliament.

First Nations Fiscal and Statistical Management Act
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I am advised that this is not a point of order, but if the minister wishes to answer he may do so.

First Nations Fiscal and Statistical Management Act
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Nault Kenora—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. gentleman that in fact the information that was suggested in question period is not correct. The individual who was reported to have made the comments on the evening news last night in fact is already the chair of a finance authority for Westbank First Nation. That was the comment that was made. That is a different matter than the bill being presented to the House today.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I have in my hands another petition that has come in with signatures from across Saskatchewan, and they just keep coming, asking that Parliament do something about the current pornography law and make it clear that children are going to be protected.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I too have another petition to table on the same matter, along with the many that have already been tabled, asking Parliament to do something to protect our children from the perversity that passes as artistic merit.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to present.

First, hundreds of people in my riding are calling upon Parliament to change the laws regarding child pornography for fear that the artistic merit clause will allow people who prey on children to get away with all kinds of deviance. Hundreds of people in my riding are praying that Parliament will address that.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Monte Solberg Medicine Hat, AB

Second, Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from a group of people who would like to see the Department of National Defence exercise its contractual right to cancel the supply chain project and by doing so ensure the long term and ongoing security of supply to Canada's armed forces. This has to do with a specific situation in my riding at CFB Suffield.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present a petition signed by a majority of the residents of Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île-d'Orléans, but also by many residents from the greater Quebec City area. First, the petitioners want to voice their disagreement with the new fill activities at the flats of Beauport on the St. Lawrence River. They urge Parliament to mandate an agency to manage the recreational areas located near Beauport Bay to develop their recreational and tourism potential with full respect for the environment.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, like many members in the House, I would like to add another 758 names to those of individuals in my constituency who are calling upon Parliament to protect our children by taking all necessary steps to ensure that all materials which promote or glorify pedophilia and sado-masochistic activities involving children are outlawed.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Musquodoboit Valley—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise on behalf of the citizens of the great city of St. John's, Newfoundland, and surrounding communities, who are praying upon Parliament to support the standing committee's recommendation to move expeditiously toward Canada's taking custodial management of the nose and tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap, a wise suggestion indeed and one the government should take seriously.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition to present on behalf of the people of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke who are asking that the Canadian Emergency Preparedness College, which is essential to training Canadians for emergency situations, remain in Arnprior and that the government upgrade the facilities in order to provide the necessary training to Canadians, instead of having a temporary move to Ottawa and then another one to places unknown to reward a Liberal member of Parliament.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Pillitteri Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today pursuant to Standing Order 36 to present three petitions signed by hundreds of constituents of Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The first two petitions urge the House to adopt laws against glorified pedophilia or sado-masochistic activities involving children.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Gary Pillitteri Niagara Falls, ON

Mr. Speaker, in the third petition, many constituents of mine call on Parliament to focus its legislative support on stem cell research for cures and therapies.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

John Bryden Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Aldershot, ON

Mr. Speaker, I too have a petition calling on Parliament to take steps to prevent the distribution of materials involving pedophilia and sado-masochistic activities.

I note that in my riding these lists are forming the basis of a direct mail and telemarketing solicitation. I have had complaints in my riding that people who have signed these lists that are distributed all across the land and appear in Parliament suddenly find themselves receiving mail solicitations for donations. We should treat this type of material with our usual good caution in the House.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present four petitions, all on the same matter, signed by residents from the area of Nunavik, Puvirnituk, Kangiqsujuaq, Akulivik and Kuujjuaq.

The federal government, through one of its departments, ordered the killing of Inuit sled dogs from 1950 to 1969, in New Quebec.

The federal government adopted a policy supporting the dog killing.

The federal government did not hold public consultations with the Inuit communities in New Quebec.

We are asking for a public inquiry into the federal policy of dog killing that was implemented in Nunavik.

Lastly, the federal government made no effort to suggest corrective action to help the Inuit communities maintain their way of life.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I wonder if there would be unanimous consent to revert to the introduction of private members' bills?

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is there unanimous consent to revert to private members' bills?

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Petitions
Routine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

An hon. member

No.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Halifax West
Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed consideration of the motion, and of the amendment and the amendment to the amendment.

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Just before statements by members the hon. member for Calgary—Nose Hill had 12 minutes remaining in her speech, followed by a 10 minute question period.

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Government Orders

3:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have been identifying for Canadians nine myths about climate change which have been brought forward by climate change specialists.

I would like to continue with myth 4 which states that if the earth warms, it will be disastrous for the environment and human society. That is a myth according to climate change specialists. Climate historians say that during warm periods civilization flourished while in cold periods there was more drought, famine, wars and disease.

Myth 5 is that extreme weather events are expected to be more common if the earth warms. This has already started. More droughts, floods, forest fires, et cetera, are on the rise as a result of our greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr. Madhav Khandekar, a meteorologist with 25 years experience with Environment Canada, showed in a study about to be published that extreme weather events are not currently increasing anywhere in Canada. He says, “Extreme weather events are definitely on the decline over the last 40 years”.

Myth 6 is that sea level is rising quickly and will get worse if the polar ice caps melt due to global warming. Coastal settlements and low lying islands will be submerged. That is a myth according to climate change experts. They say sea level has been rising naturally since the end of the last ice age and this has not accelerated recently.

Myth 7 is that humanity is causing earth's polar regions to warm quickly resulting in unusual rates of ice melting. That is a myth according to the climate change specialists. In fact, Mr. Winsor, of Göteborg University in Sweden, used detailed measurements to conclude in a report published just last year, and I guess the Minister of the Environment may not have seen it, which stated:

“...there was no trend towards a thinning ice cover during the 1990s. Data from the North Pole shows a slight increase in mean ice thickness, whereas the Beaufort Sea shows a small decrease, none of which are significant”.

Myth 8 is that Kyoto will save thousands of lives by cutting air pollution. The fact is, according to these climate change experts, Kyoto is not a pollution treaty. Carbon dioxide is in no way a pollutant. We breathe it in and out every day. Plants use it for photosynthesis. Real pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxides, can be reduced with far less expensive methods than a greenhouse gas treaty.

Myth 9 is that solar and wind power can soon be significant contributors to the base load energy needs of Canada. The experts say that both solar and wind power are far too diffuse and intermittent to ever provide more than a small fraction of the energy needs of any major industrialized nation, let alone a vast northern country like Canada.

This is what climate change experts say about the kinds of arguments we are hearing from the Liberal government. Nine myths that they say are completely without scientific basis. Who are these experts? They are: Dr. Tim Patterson, a professor of paleoclimatology; Dr. Morgan, a climate consultant and Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia; and Dr. Madhav Khandekar, an environmental consultant who has 25 years experience with Environment Canada as a research scientist. Dr. Khandekar states:

Climate change is the most complex issue humanity has ever handled. To pretend that the science is sufficiently mature to substantiate rushing forward with ratifying Kyoto is ridiculous in the extreme.

On hearing about the environment minister's confident predictions of the dire effects of not ratifying Kyoto, the professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says Dr. Khandekar, and one of the lead authors of the report on which the Kyoto protocol was based, laughed, and said, “There is a certain charm when politicians are so certain of the science when the scientists are not.” That is what Dr. Khandekar, a former research scientist with Environment Canada, who holds a Ph.D. in meteorology, and has worked in the fields of climatology, meteorology and oceanography for over 45 years had to say.

To continue the list of experts, they are: Dr. de Freitas, professor at the School of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Auckland in New Zealand; Dr. David Wojick, Canadian climate specialist and President of climatechangedebate.org; Dr. Kenneth Green, expert reviewer for the UN report on which Kyoto was based; Dr. Tim Ball, professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg; Dr. Petr Chylek, professor of physics and atmospheric science at Dalhousie University; Dr. Michel, professor with the Department of Earth Sciences and an Arctic regions specialist in Ottawa; David Nowell, past chairman of the NATO Meteorological Group; Dr. Sallie Baliunas, specialist in sun/earth climate interactions; Dr. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia; Dr. Fred Seitz, climate specialist and past president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences; Dr. Art Robinson, founder of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine which focuses on climate change and CO

2

; Dr. Hans Jelbring, wind and climate specialist from Stockholm, Sweden; Dr. Hans Erren, geophysicist and climate specialist from the Netherlands; and Peter Dietze, energy and climate specialist, and official scientific reviewer from Germany who reviewed the report on which Kyoto was based.

I wish I could name all of these people who are renowned experts in their field of climate change, and who are saying that the whole argument that somehow Kyoto has to be signed to protect us from climate change is nonsense.

If the science is solid then why is the government so afraid of including scientists who challenge the government's stance on Kyoto into the debate? When some of these leading scientists, who I have just quoted, asked to be part of the debate, they were not allowed to be heard. The government said they were not stakeholders.

The government does not want to hear the truth because this is not about science. It is not about climate change. It is not about what is best for Canadians. It is not about what is best for the environment. It is about what is best for the Prime Minister who desperately needs a legacy to hold up as he is leaving office. That is the sad truth of the matter.

It is so clear that Kyoto does not address the environment. It does not address pollution and it does not clean up the environment. It is clear that Canada produces only 2% of global CO

2

even if it was a problem. Less than 10% of carbon dioxide is man made. In fact, some estimates are only 2% and Canada produces only 2% of that. Yet the government is acting like ratifying the accord is a matter of life or death when we have minuscule, fractional measurements of carbon dioxide. The accord is not dealing with a pollutant.

Even the government's own figures say that Kyoto would result in a loss of GDP of $16.5 billion a year. That is before it figured out it had better hide the numbers. Estimates by other more objective groups are a lot higher. We must remember that the government has a track record of lowballing program costs to sell its initiatives. It is difficult to have any faith in the government numbers. Even if their lowball figures are correct, it is $16.5 billion a year that this deal would cost and most other objective estimates are far higher than that.

If we have an extra $16.5 billion to spend, would Canadians not want it to be spent on reducing carbon dioxide for a fractional amount when it is not even a pollutant? Would they not rather spend $16.5 billion on cleaning up the smog over our cities and helping out the hundreds of communities in this first world country, many of them aboriginal communities, that are under boil water orders because they do not have clean water? Would they not rather clean up the toxic waste sites that the Auditor General has just said the government has done nothing about?

Yet the government, which has done nothing about toxic waste, smog and the clean water needs of hundreds of communities in the country, has the nerve to get up and say that we have to sign Kyoto to reduce our 2% production of man-made CO

2

. This is where the real priorities of the government are. It is not in the environment. It is not in common sense. It is not in science. It is in making political hay for the Prime Minister.

Canada should mandate a decrease in the emission of real pollutants. It should invest in environmental clean up. It should support research and development into alternative fuel sources and energy conservation measures and products. It should offer possible tax credits to award innovation, energy conservation and environmentally friendly practices. However this Kyoto accord completely misses all those important initiatives and must be rejected. I urge the House to do so.

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3:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ken Epp Elk Island, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thoroughly enjoyed the speech given by my hon. colleague from Calgary.

I guess there is a little fact that is well known and that is, there are many scientists on both sides of this argument. One of the most interesting things I heard recently was a scientist who said that for years and years, if we tracked the mean temperatures at different locations in North America, which is where they have the records, we would see that the temperatures go up and down. I wish we could use graphic aids in the House but I guess my hands are the only props I am permitted. The temperatures are cyclical. It is true that from time to time, over a 50 year or up to an 80 year cycle, the temperatures will gradually go up and they will turn around and go down again.

The scientist said that what distressed him the most about some of his scientific colleagues was that they were now willing to somehow predict that the cyclical nature of temperature changes would be abandoned and the current uphill trend would become a straight line extrapolation. He said that there was no scientific basis whatsoever for that extrapolation, for that curve to go up and down. He said that it was unjustified to say that the current uphill increase in the temperatures would not keep going up invariably. I would like my colleague to comment on that type of science.

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3:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Calgary—Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, my colleague is correct. The University of Virginia climatologist, Dr. Patrick Michaels, says that statements about dramatic increases in global temperature are stark examples of non-science.

A closer look at the 20th century temperature record shows three distinct trends. First, a warming trend of about half a degree Celsius began in the late 19th century and peaked around 1940. We must remember that 1940 was, supposedly, when all of this carbon dioxide burning started, but the warming trend peaked at 1940. Then from 1940 until the late 1970s temperature decreased. This was when there were fears of a coming glacial period by some of the same environmentalist alarmists who are now telling us that we have to fight global warming.

There was a third warming trend from 1976 to 1986 after which the increase becomes very small.

The question is, where do environmental groups get the idea that our planet has warmed dramatically in recent decades? The answer is simple, according to the climate change experts, they are using the wrong data. Instead of citing modern, accurate, space based measurements, they quote error prone, ground based temperature readings that give little indication of true global trends. The earth based readings are notoriously inaccurate, according to the experts. Most of them come from developing countries that do not properly maintain their stations or records. Nearly all of these stations are land based even though three-quarters of our planet is covered with water.

Second, urban sprawl has enveloped many temperature sensing stations in heat islands which are significantly warmer than the surrounding countryside.

The climate change specialists, and I quoted a number of them in my remarks, are saying that this perception, this scaremongering about global warming, is completely and utterly baseless.

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3:30 p.m.

Mississauga South
Ontario

Liberal

Paul Szabo Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Sarnia--Lambton.

One of the first speakers on the bill spoke for over 11 hours on the subject of Kyoto and various aspects of it. I think it is demonstrative of the breadth of input and diversity of opinion that exists.

Quite frankly, I am not surprised that Canadians are maybe a little concerned that they do not have the information they require. I think Canadians are generally aware that Kyoto has to do with greenhouse gases. I think they probably understand that it has something to do with climate change impacts when they think of El Nino, La Nina, the Winnipeg floods, the Quebec ice storm, the western droughts and the floods in Quebec, some very stark and dramatic examples of aberrant climatic events. Those are events that concern Canadians but I think they understand that if there were something we could do to mitigate the incidence of those, we would seriously consider it.

Canadians also have indicated a significant interest in the health side of the parameters surrounding the equation of the Kyoto discussion. I am sure all members of Parliament have had correspondence from and meetings with their constituents about the environmental impacts of particulate matter, of the burning of fossil fuels, of car emissions and of the importation of harmful elements in our air, which are important. For instance, about 40% to 50% of our particulate matter comes from the Ohio valley in the United States. However we also export some of ours, because, quite frankly, those harmful things in our environment move. They are transportable and global.

One of the important aspects that Canadians should understand is that 9% of all the greenhouse gas emissions in the world affect Canada's climate, that is 9%, which is not insignificant.

Another interesting fact that I came across in the environment minister's documents, which are available to all Canadians through their members of Parliament and which are on the minister's website, is that Canada is the largest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases. On a person by person basis, Canadians produce more greenhouse gases per person than anyone else in the world. That is a very stark factor but I have had people come back to me and say that since it was only 2% of the overall greenhouse gas emissions globally, why would we be concerned about it. We should be concerned about it because 9% of global greenhouse emissions do affect us. It is important that we put these things in perspective.

I do not think I should have to stand here and list all the people who are for and against something. I think we have come now to the point where people are looking for a little bit of synthesis of what has been said.

I have come to the conclusion that in the main people who are in favour of ratifying the Kyoto protocol generally talk about the benefits to Canadians. Just today I received a letter from the Registered Nurses Association in which it stated, “We hope that you will support the reduction of greenhouse gases from 6% below 1990 levels by the year 2012. In the interest of improving the health of Canadians the nurses organization also urges that we maximize the co-benefits of cleaner air by employing an implementation strategy that aims at reducing all fossil fuel emission and other air pollutants”.

The nurses of Ontario are saying that it is a health issue, that it has an effect on the general health of Canadians. I think most Canadians, particularly those who have seniors and children in their midst, will know that the prevalence of puffers in our society has gone off the charts. People are having respiratory problems and it is not unrelated to Kyoto.

On the other hand, those who speak against Kyoto in my view seem to be speaking on the basis of not the interest of Canadians but rather the interest of their business or industry.

Today in the Quorum document the heading reads “Auto parts firm slams Kyoto”. It is saying that the key issue for auto parts makers and the auto industry is the potential damage that could be done to investment in Canada if Canada ratifies the Kyoto accord.

We know the nurses support ratification of the Kyoto accord. We also know that the auto sector does not support it. One is in the interest of individual Canadians. The other is in the interest of business.

Canadians should look for those things and look at the rationalization for arguments when people speak. If they are part of an industry sector, part of the fossil fuel industry, the petroleum industry in Alberta for instance, if they are part of a very rich province in the manufacturing sector which is a heavy consumer of fossil fuels, chances are Canadians will see that the provinces may come out opposed to Kyoto.

The stories in the newspapers of late have demonstrated that there are some difficulties between the views of the federal government, the Minister of the Environment and some of the provincial premiers. The premiers came up with a list of 12 conditions under which they would be prepared to have further discussions on the ratification of Kyoto and what it meant.

One of the two that the federal government has not concurred with is that the provinces have asked the federal government to pick up the tab if there is any impact on their economy. That is an interesting point. However I wonder if they would also accept this. If the government has to back stop losses as a result of Kyoto, will the provinces be prepared to share, in excess of their burden on taxation, any benefits from Kyoto? They cannot have it one way only. It should be a two-way street. If good things happen with Kyoto, the federal government and Canadians should benefit. If bad things happen with Kyoto, the provinces have said that they want to be held harmless and that the federal government should pay the bill. We all know the federal government has no money of its own. It is taxpayer money.

I believe one of the most important things that Canadians should realize is that the debate going on now with regard to Kyoto demonstrates clearly the need for a national government. Let me repeat the point. There is no consensus on Kyoto and there is disagreement on the various aspects of Kyoto and its impacts, costs et cetera. As a consequence, it is a clear demonstration that we need a strong national government to look for consensus and to take a leadership role on a very difficult issue.

Have we ever done this before? Of course we have. Acid rain. Did we not have an acid rain outcry? Our lakes were dying. On the consequences of acid rain, people were talking about the billions and billions of dollars. We could not cost it out though. Today people say that we should cost out Kyoto right down to the penny of how much it will cost between now and 2012 to get reach our targets. However, did we do that with acid rain? No. We made a commitment on acid rain. We said that it was something that should not happen and that it was in the best interests of Canada and of future generations to deal with it, and we did.

We did not wait for all the little nitpicking points, where people wanted to get the i s dotted and the t s crossed. It took bold leadership and acid rain was addressed by the Government of Canada.

Are there any other examples? Sure there are. How about the ozone. There was serious concern about the depletion of the ozone layer and about that whole problem again related to hydrofluoric carbons out of I believe aerosol cans and all the other causes of how this hole might be developing, allowing less filtration of the deadly impacts of sun rays. We have addressed it. We took action on that.

I only have a few minutes. It is unfortunate that one member had 11 hours and I have 10 minutes, but in 10 minutes I want to say that I think we dealt pretty well with unleaded gas.

The federal government has demonstrated clearly that exhaustive consultation of all sectors and being open to those points is very important. However at the end of the day it is the national government, under the executive authority of the national government, that must make those tough decisions and show leadership on a very important matter affecting the health of Canadians.

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3:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, there are a couple of things I caught from the member's speech. The acid rain and the ozone treaties were not international treaties. They were bilateral treaties and did not have the potential impact on the Canadian economy that the Kyoto accord would.

Second, if the member thinks his time in the House to debate this issue is not sufficient, why do he and his colleagues not ask the Prime Minister for more time? There is no rush. There is no crisis tomorrow. The sky will not fall tomorrow. Why do we not have more time after the Christmas break to have a proper debate on this issue when we really have a plan to get us to the target, not 60 million tonnes short of it?

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Government Orders

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do not need 11 hours to make my point. In 10 minutes I think I can make enough points to demonstrate to the member that it is time we look at the synthesis of the key points not being made, unlike the prior speaker who had to spend 10 minutes of a 20 minute speech listing the companies who are against Kyoto ratification.

At this point, Canadians should know that Kyoto will mean smarter homes, efficient cars, alternative energy source development, cleaner air and demonstrate yet again that a national government has to show leadership on important issues affecting the health of Canadians.

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3:40 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, to get back to the initiatives that the federal government is supposedly going to take, as the hon. member opposite stated, does he recognize that greenhouse gas emissions in Canada will never be reduced if this double-talk continues? On one hand, we are talking about ratifying the Kyoto Protocol and, on the other, about continuing current subsidies to the oil industry.

In fact, the government gave the oil industry $66 billion in subsidies between 1970 and 1999, compared to a mere $329 million for renewable energy. During a period during which this government was in office for part of the time, from 1990 to 2000, $2.6 billion went to the oil industry, as compared to a paltry $76 million to renewable energy.

Can we not agree that significant change is necessary and that we need to echo the commitment made by the European community at the earth summit in Johannesburg? Such a commitment would mean that 15% of our total energy production would come from wind, sun and other renewable sources. Should this government not make such a commitment?

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3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, some have suggested that Canada cannot demonstrate that we can meet our targets. Therefore, I assume by that argument they are saying that we should do nothing. Well nothing is not an alternative.

Over the last 10 years, we have had exhaustive consultations on an important global problem, not just a national problem. If Canada cannot meet its targets, then nobody can meet its targets. We can have efficient homes. We can start producing ethanol so that our cars do not emit the dangerous emissions that they do now. We can have better habits and better marketing of products without all the wastage in packaging. We can deal with our transportation problems.

I believe very sincerely that Kyoto will be the springboard against which we will be smarter in terms of our energy consumption and it will translate immediately into a better and healthier Canada.

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3:45 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak on the motion regarding the Kyoto accord and to raise my concerns and, in fact, my dismay and opposition to the circumstances surrounding this motion.

First, by this motion, the government is asking the House to call upon it to ratify this treaty. Under present national circumstances that is a most peculiar and, dare I say, unusual procedure in a parliamentary system. What we have heard repeatedly, and know to be unquestionably true, is that cabinet can ratify, that is to say recommend to Her Majesty that it be signed. Therefore the motion is in a form which seeks to have the House tell the executive branch to commit an act which the executive branch can do without any advice or direction from the chamber. This is, therefore, a take note debate which for reasons of political misdirection has attached to it a vote which is unnecessary and meaningless. It is unnecessary because the signing or ratification of a treaty is an exclusive prerogative of the Crown and it is misleading because the House can never give orders to the Crown on its exclusive rights or prerogatives.

Second, Kyoto is, once ratified, an irrevocable accord among nations. Once signed, the executive is bound. It is obligated to do all necessary to implement it. That is why our system, the Westminster model, demands that certain conditions precedent be met before signing it. There is good reason for this. It is, if we consider the popular term, the due diligence of our form of government. It exacts an extremely high standard of assessment by the executive, that is the cabinet, be met before advice to proceed, that is to say ratify, is given to Her Majesty to sign. A treaty is, above all, an agreement between or among sovereign states.

Approximately 85 years ago, a Liberal justice minister and attorney general, the Hon. David Mills, a member of both the Mackenzie and Laurier cabinets, wrote and later lectured on the subject of treaties and their implementation in Canada. He stressed that when a treaty would have direct impact on provincial governments, whether there be a cost or an impact on existing provincial laws, the federal government should not proceed to ratify until consensus be reached. I stress consensus not unanimity. We have heard both inside and outside the chamber that the federal cabinet has the unquestioned legal right in every way to sign and therefore the provinces will be required to live with it.

As I speak in this place today, eight provinces are not in agreement with the federal plan. These provinces, as represented by their cabinets and premiers as first ministers, are opposed to that which is proposed here. Today they are saying that they do not wish to be bound by this accord and at least one, if press reports are correct, will take concerted legislative steps to counter the effects of the so-called implementation plan.

I therefore ask and wonder where is the due diligence of this chamber in proceeding when there is clearly and unequivocally no consensus.

I would point out that on September 2 in Johannesburg the Prime Minister in his speech said that he would obtain consensus among the provinces before he proceeded, yet here we are proceeding.

We have, as we know, inherited a British style of treaty making. It is clear that country, Great Britain, had great global influence and interests around the world at one time which necessitated that the art, that is to say the steps to be taken before a treaty be signed, of necessity be fastidiously followed. This stress of due diligence had good reason. It recognized that the federal cabinet, giving advice to the Crown on the subject of ratifying a treaty, should not put itself in a spot or position whereby it would be in conflict or clash with itself, realizing that provincial governments gave advice to the Crown also as to their sentiments or agreement in adhering to the direct effects the treaty would have on it.

In brief, provincial consensus is absolutely necessary because it is they who will shoulder some of the costs and today there is no provincial agreement to do so. Today we see a state of profound disagreement, a fundamental dissonance between the federal crown and eight provincial crowns which is a most disturbing and peculiar embarkation on treaty ratification by the federal cabinet. I do not believe as a member of the House that I should abet this very real, and I would suggest, legitimate concern by provincial governments.

This is, in the absence of consensus among provincial premiers, a step which the late Liberal Justice Minister Mills warned against. He said it could not proceed because to do so brings this pact into disrepute. In brief, it is imprudent, the test of due diligence is not met and it flouts the federal cabinet powers to advise Her Majesty to sign. Quite simply, it is the wrong step to take at this time.

A third point to be considered requires, if and only if consensus exists, that the cabinet bring to the House as soon as possible upon signing, the estimates, what will be required from the public purse or cost, as well as any bills necessary to amend the existing legal framework to ensure the objectives and demands of the treaty be carried out. It is only at this stage that the accord, that agreement among sovereign states, will be in fact Canadian law.

I would only say on this point, when the treaty is ratified it will not change one iota of anything in the country, perhaps with the exception of a louder outcry from provincial capitals and other federal-provincial litigation.

In this short period of debate on this treaty it is easy to characterize the views as being strongly held and polarized. My observation is that there is a concerted attempt to fashion this debate around virtue, that is to say those who support the ratification and are the true and exclusive environmentalists and it is only they who really truly care for the country's environment. There will be this vast and perceptible change in air quality, rivers will flow clean and lung disease will become an ailment of the past. Their commitment to their grandchildren and unknown future generations is often raised. A new economy will spring up.

Conversely, others say certain industries will be inordinately impacted with job and future investment opportunities will be lost. They say this is an exercise premised on uncertain science which will have negligible environmental but dire economic consequences.

Certainly today's stories concerning the 190 member Investment Dealers Association's report, if true, are most disturbing.

We are by this unnecessary motion being asked to choose which side is correct.

Let me return to Justice Minister Mills' words on this. He said:

The matter of making treaties is a most serious business and one in which dilettantes should not engage. After all, a treaty is irrevocable.

I will state and openly confess that on this subject I am a dilettante since I possess neither the scientific acumen nor the economic insight to know who is correct. In such case I listen closely to those in my riding who have greater insights and understanding than I could possibly possess. They tell me Kyoto will cast uncertainty on industrial investment in many sectors. It will have a chilling effect that will be negative. Is that a matter to which I should pay attention and be concerned?

As a border community in southwestern Ontario will it have any effect on air quality? The answer is no, because 90% of airborne particulates and greenhouse gases come from the United States, a mere 400 metres away.

Will it lead to an explosion of new jobs? The answer is no one knows for certain. It is in fact less than clear. Some call it a leap of faith.

Therefore, in the presence of an apparent federal-provincial disagreement of considerable proportions on this agreement, in the face of an economic downturn or bad economic prospects with no environmental upturn, I as a dilettante am being asked to say, I support Kyoto.

I have seen nothing of the cost or the extent of the legislative agenda to implement it. I have heard the bravado of the polar extremes of those who love the environment and future Canadians while the others purport to speak for the economy.

I speak for the clear message received away from this place which is that there are too many uncertainties, too much risk, no due diligence, do not support it, and I do not. It is, I fear, a leap of faith one should not be asked to take.

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3:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member opposite for his very honest, humble and thought provoking remarks.

He made several good points, not the least of which was the costs that this would entail, the costs that industry would be expected to absorb, the costs that the average Canadian would be expected to absorb which are completely unknown.

He also made the point that it would bind Canada but we do not know what impact it would have in terms of having a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions because the United States is not a signatory.

One of the more important elements of his remarks was about the lack of consensus and the lack of information. The provinces will be forced to bear the costs of implementation. I would dare say that we might include the municipalities in the discussion as well. He quite rightly pointed out that there has been no consensus.

We know that in the past there has been the ability to get consensus on international accords of this type. Rio was an example. The acid rain treaty was another. I would suggest that in constitutional terms Meech Lake was another.

We also know, as he has said, that eight of the provinces are not there. They are not including themselves as supporters of this accord. Ironically, one province that is, the province of Quebec, was left out of the Constitution so it should understand the need for consensus on something like this.

I ask the hon. member is there not still time? Could we not still bring the provinces into this process knowing that we do not have to ratify, we do not have to implement it until 2003? Is it not time that we had the provinces here? What is the rush?

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3:55 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the fact is there is no rush. The rush is self-imposed in that we are going to ratify it apparently by Christmas, or else.

What is clear is that we are asking provincial governments to pay part of the costs for this. We can imagine in this place if a provincial government in particular, or if collectively the provincial governments, were to pass uniform individual laws which imposed a financial burden on the federal government, it would go to court in about 39 seconds. There would be a challenge.

We do have treaty making powers at the federal level. In my opinion, we are heaping abuse on that process by saying that we have this power, and because convention demands that we seek the consensus of provincial governments, and I stress not the unanimity, but the consensus, and because we do not have that consensus, we really do not have anything, but we are going to use our power in a way which was never contemplated. In fact most legal observers would deem it to be unconstitutional. It is unfair to abuse a given power and that is what we are doing.

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4 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to see finally some sanity in that vast Liberal caucus over there with the member's memorable speech. Given the member's speech and his position and how he feels about this process, will he then stand in his place when this motion comes to a vote in the House and vote against it?

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4 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Gallaway Sarnia—Lambton, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is a most interesting question. I have been on record twice on this, if I could put it that way. I have two positions on it.

I am waiting to hear if this is a confidence motion. There is a new verb which has been introduced into this place, to Nunziata oneself. I am not certain what that means but it is a verb. One should not be put in a position where one would Nunziata oneself. If that were the case, I would be absent, but I would make a lot of noise outside the chamber.

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4 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to discuss the ratification of the Kyoto protocol. First, I want to mention that I will split my time with the hon. member for Lotbinière—L'Érable.

The House of Commons must be a reflection of the society that we represent, of the men and women who have elected us to represent them. Of course, I want to properly represent my constituents and, as we know, Quebeckers are overwhelmingly in favour of ratifying Kyoto. They are also very concerned by climate change and global warming, as they are by the ozone layer and, of course, by greenhouse gas emissions.

As parliamentarians, we have a dutynot only to find out what our constituents want, but also to think about future generations. It would be very ill-advised and irresponsible on our part not to defend the Kyoto protocol immediately.

All too often, for purely speculative and financial reasons, decisions are made in this House in the interests of political lobbying groups. The Canadian Alliance is currently playing that card. It is the same thing with the Progressive Conservative Party and with some Liberal members. We heard some of them earlier in the House. Let us avoid falling too easily into the trap of protecting investments in the short term. Instead, let us think about our planet, about what we want to leave to our children and grandchildren.

This is why we must, considering all the positive things that we have heard for years about the Kyoto protocol, ratify this accord. It goes without saying that discussions must take place. We must see to it that this protocol is implemented. There will be an obligation for Canada, and for the other countries ratifying the Kyoto protocol, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6%, based on the 1990 levels. This is the obligation we are undertaking to meet.

Countries that signed on have not been given unrealistic targets. They are reachable. What is irresponsible is to do what the United States, among others, is doing, and not care about global warming. That is totally irresponsible. One day, the Americans will understand the harm they will have caused to our planet and the kind of world they will leave behind for their children and grandchildren. Why follow them blindly, like some parties in this House want to do? Why say, “If the Americans are not signing, we are not signing either”?

We have a beautiful vast country. Quebec is home to more than 7 million people. Canada is also a vast country. It has 30 million inhabitants and covers a vast territory. The environment that we will leave behind to future generations makes it worth ratifying Kyoto and then getting together to look at how we are going to implement it.

In this regard, the rest of Canada would certainly benefit from following Quebec's lead. I will give some statistics. From 1990 to 2000, Quebec increased its greenhouse gas emissions by only 4.4%. That is a fact. There is, within Canada, a very important entity that represents one quarter of the country's population, namely Quebec. This is why, last October, the National Assembly of Quebec decided unanimously to support ratification of the Kyoto protocol by the Government of Canada.

Why? Because Quebec is an example to follow. Instead of saying all kinds of things about what could happen, why not look at what Quebec has achieved?

With its 4.4% rise since 1990, it is prepared for full ratification and for a 6% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions, compared to its 1990 levels, which would total the considerable figure of 10%.

Elected representatives in the province of Quebec will have some hard choices to make. But if there are hard choices to be made in Quebec, there must be hard choices required across Canada. It is unavoidable, under the circumstances. Some jobs will be lost and some investments displaced.

I see the situation with Kyoto as being comparable to the early days of the ISO standards. The day that manufacturers, who are the job generators, approve Kyoto, their markets will become global. This is reality. It is to these business owners' advantage.

We in the House must stop putting ourselves in the place of companies listed on the stock market, which will see their stock values drop as soon as Kyoto is ratified. We will see that they will come back up again in short order and everything will be back to normal. It is not true that companies and individuals will lose fortunes because Kyoto is implemented. On the contrary. Companies will invest in other areas. Those involved in energy will opt for investments in renewable energy rather than fossil fuels.

Business goes where the money is, where the profits are. When the profit lies with companies that have approved Kyoto, then that is where the business will go, and where the investors of Canada and Quebec will choose to put their money. I have confidence in them, because they have already proven themselves capable of coming through several recessions.

I have trouble understanding the Liberals' stand. There is an unprecedented crisis in softwood lumber, yet the industry is getting no help, and now today they are telling us Kyoto ought not to be ratified. Why? Because we are not prepared to help some companies that might perhaps experience some problems. That is the role of government. That is where a government needs to step in.

When a decision is reached in the House, if certain kinds of businesses were to experience problems because of regulations or bills that might be enacted, then that is when the government has a duty to step in to help. The Bloc Quebecois will always be there to support any plans to help get certain categories of industries back on their feet, while they undergo short-term reversals while taking the time to turn to different investments. We will be there to support any and all assistance policies, should any businesses be affected by ratification of Kyoto.

Let us give a beacon of hope to future generations. Let us, here in this House, be able to truly say that we made a decision for our children, our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. The men and women in this House who ratified the Kyoto protocol will be looked upon with pride. This would probably be the best decision that we could ever make for the future of generations to come.

I do not understand why there are still entire political parties that decide, with their noses in their books, to look at businesses on the stock exchange that might lose money if we made a decision tomorrow morning.

Our job is not to defend private interests. Too many decisions have been made in this chamber precisely to defend the interests of private companies and submit to the pressure from political lobbying.

Let us make a real decision for the future of our children and our children's children. Some day, when we are sitting quietly in our living rooms and see what we have done to help stop global warming and climate change, we will be proud of those who took part in this decision for the future.

I encourage all my colleagues in the House to follow the lead that citizens have shown us in poll after poll. Quebeckers and even Canadians support ratification of the Kyoto protocol. They are conscious that we truly must change our way of acting and even the way we get around.

Quebec will have some big decisions to make, because the lion's share of greenhouse gas pollution in Quebec is caused by transportation. Quebeckers will have to rethink the way they travel, the vehicles they drive and their choice of equipment, to ensure that we will always be as close as possible to reality and that we leave future generations with a healthy planet.

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4:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate my colleague for his speech.

Why is the Bloc Quebecois or the province of Quebec supporting this accord without having any of the details? Also, why is the Bloc supporting the government's position, when eight provinces are saying that they do not support this accord?

I know the province of Quebec well; it understands the impact of such an accord with the support of the other provinces, particularly the province of Quebec.

I would like to repeat my question. Why is the Bloc Quebecois supporting this accord, knowing that the government has not provided all the details?

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4:10 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

Members will understand, of course, that ratification of the Kyoto protocol is totally independent from the implementation plan that will be negotiated by the different stakeholders in Quebec and in Canada.

We will have the time to sit down and look at the situation. What we, in the Bloc Quebecois, are saying is that, concerning the objectives that we are being asked to achieve with the Kyoto protocol, Quebec is able and feels ready to achieve them and seriously believes that Canada is also ready to achieve them.

We know that we will have to take very important steps and decisions, but I believe that the federal government has the power and the means to implement its ideas. Inevitably, when the plan is implemented, we will see automatically the impacts and we will seek to compensate the industries.

As I was saying earlier, the Bloc Quebecois will be there to support all the measures that this government has to take to compensate industry during the period it needs to redirect its investments, to actually allow it to comply with the Kyoto protocol.

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4:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the position taken by the hon. member. Moments ago he said that Quebec felt it could meet those Kyoto targets as did the rest of the country, but we hear contradictory words coming from industry and the provinces. He knows all too well that the provinces themselves would bear the brunt of implementation. It would be up to the provinces and industry to comply and yet we know there is no consensus.

My question for the hon. member is, what is the rush? He says we could meet those targets and he may be right. However without consensus and without significant input from Canadians themselves and from industry, how can we be assured that we will be able to meet those targets? Should the government not take its time and bring those provinces on side as well as industry and Canadians generally? We are not questioning the science. What we are questioning is whether we can realistically meet those targets.

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4:15 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to answer my hon. colleague from the Progressive Conservative Party.

I have trouble understanding what he is saying. When he tells me it is the provinces that will pay the total cost of applying the Kyoto protocol, I hope this is not true. I understand that the Progressive Conservative Party is like the Liberal Party and the Canadian Alliance. It makes the provinces pay for everything. That much I understand.

Perhaps it is time for us to come together and for the federal government to tell the provinces from the start that “We will pay our share to implement Kyoto”. Then maybe there will be less pressure on the provinces and they will be more open to listening to their residents. Again, I would like to point out that Quebeckers and Canadians want Kyoto to be ratified. We will be there to support them.

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4:15 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my turn today to speak about ratification, and not implementation, of the Kyoto protocol.

Since the beginning of the debate, I have noticed that we are having trouble making a distinction between the two. We are talking about ratifying a protocol. The process began in 1997. Once a protocol is ratified, a commitment is made and other related measures need to be negotiated.

However, the first step is to make a commitment, which is why we need to ratify the protocol. By ratifying it, we show the world that Canada, and Quebec in particular, are very much concerned about the environment. Ratifying Kyoto is an important step for our future.

I also want to point out that the environment is one of the values very dear to our youth. We can use values such as the environment to bring more people on board and to ensure that young Canadians show more interest for politics. We have to provide the new generation with the tools and means they need to live as they wish.

I think that since we began discussing the Kyoto protocol and the environment, the Bloc Quebecois critic, the hon. member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, has been the model of a young person who believes in the environment, who looks after his file, and who explains things very well. He has travelled across Quebec and even to parts of Canada, and he has also attended international meetings. He is in a position to convince not only the new generation but also the baby-boomers, and I am one of them, of the need to sign Kyoto. This is what we call a collective effort. It means that each party, whether it is the provinces, the Canadian government or businesses, must do its share and take that first step.

Let us look at the situation. We began to discuss the Kyoto protocol in 1997 and this is now 2002. We are trying to convince the Canadian Parliament to ratify this protocol. Fifty-five countries have already signed it.

When we talk about globalization, we must not only think in terms of economic issues. Globalization is literally a global phenomenon. It is very much in line with the Kyoto protocol and the exchanging of views. The 55 countries that went ahead are sending a signal to the effect that our world wants to collectively take charge of its destiny and ensure a better future on this planet.

Today, I rise on behalf of future generations. Over the past few decades, not many decisions have been made by the new generation. Yet, it is this generation that will suffer the consequences of the things done by the world's major polluters.

When I hear that the Bush administration does not want to sign Kyoto, I know exactly why. As we know, President Bush is from Texas. We know what this means in the United States. This is the state where oil companies are concentrated. These companies could not care less whether the atmosphere is polluted or not. What they care about is making money.

Today, I asking all members of the House to endorse these new environmental values. We must. This is not just an economic issue, it is also a question of values. It is a community issue. We must take charge of our destiny and ensure a better future for the new generation. When I hear members from western Canada complain that many jobs will be lost if the Kyoto protocol is ratified, I think that they have a short memory.

Since 1970, the Canadian government has invested $60 billion for the development of the oil industry. Meanwhile, $329 million were invested in green energies. The difference is huge.

When we talk about implementing Kyoto, we will have to have more of a territorial approach than a sectorial approach. Again, Quebec stands out; it has already done its share.

Members can be sure that, if we were a sovereign state, the Kyoto protocol would have been signed already. But since we are still prisoners of the Constitution and of this Canadian government, we must work hard to convince the Parliament of Canada that Kyoto is a good thing.

As we can see, the Kyoto protocol is not only about economics, it is also about values. We must work together and sign the Kyoto agreement so that Canada and Quebec can be seen as leaders, as forward-looking states that believe in the environment. We must not be seen as people who cannot agree on such a fundamental issue. Right now, those who watch what is going on in Parliament can see that a lot more parliamentarians have risen to defend private interests than to defend the common good and the environment. It is obvious. How can we make a collective effort if we cannot even agree on ratification of the Kyoto protocol?

As I said at the beginning of my speech, some have a tendency to mix everything up. They try to instill fear by saying, “If you sign, tens of thousands of jobs will be lost”. I repeat, signing this agreement is a step toward the future. We are not going backward, we are going forward. We are already late, considering the amount of pollution that can be seen everywhere, whether in Canada, in the United States or elsewhere on the planet.

As for this protocol, which was negotiated in 1997 and which the Prime Minister said he supported during the earth summit in August 2002, we must go ahead and sign it. I challenge all parliamentarians in this House to make an effort and think about the community, the environment, the future and the heritage to be left to the new generation. We must put aside all private interests and industry related issues to think about making Canada an environmental leader. We must have a unanimous vote of this House to ratify the Kyoto protocol. Thus, we will show that we are ready to take a big step for future generations.

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4:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, that was an interesting presentation but a somewhat distorted view of our national economy perhaps.

The member suggested that if Quebec were independent it would have ratified and implemented the Kyoto accord some years ago because it has done all its work and has no more work to do. I find that to be an amazing statement considering that Quebec to my knowledge has not done any more than any of the other provinces. Certainly Quebec is blessed with abundant hydro electric power, a green source of power, an emission free source of power, but that does not exempt it from the responsibility of reducing its emissions to 30% or 20-some per cent below 1990 levels just as everyone else in Canada does.

I find the member's disregard for the rest of the Canadian provinces amazing, and it is just because Quebec was blessed with abundant hydro electric power. The west was blessed with abundant energy resources, fossil fuel resources, but because of that blessing Alberta sends $9 billion a year to Ottawa, a good part of which ends up in Quebec because of the transfer payments.

I suggest it is time for Quebec, if it is so wealthy in resources, to start supporting the federation similarly.

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4:25 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I understand to a certain extent the frustration of my colleague from western Canada, because in Quebec, we have been forward-looking. In Quebec, we had an action plan. We have been taking care of the environment for quite a long time. We made some economic choices, we relied on hydroelectricity rather than nuclear energy. This is obvious.

Today, Quebec should pay a portion of the bill of western Canadian polluters? This is unacceptable. We did our share. Now we are at ratification stage, but when we get to implementation stage, to be fair and equitable to Quebeckers, the federal government must at all costs go by territory and not by industry. We know very well that, if it goes by industry, oil companies will find a way, once again, to avoid taking their responsibilities and to continue polluting, as they are doing now.

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4:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague on his most interesting and emotional speech.

I say emotional because, fairly put, this debate and this subject matter does conjure up a great deal of emotion because it has the potential of having a grave impact on the future of our country and on future generations.

I do have some concerns about the statements that the hon. member has made about how the government intends to implement this without the cooperation of the provinces. I also take some umbrage at his suggestion that Quebec has done it better. Regarding the suggestion that Quebec relies on hydro, I dare say that the members from Newfoundland would be a little upset with the suggestion that it is only Quebec that is doing this.

Given the fact that the federal government has on many occasions gone ahead without the cooperation and support of Quebec, given the fact that we have eight provinces that have expressed grave concerns, given the fact that the government has broken its word on many issues--

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4:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The hon. member for Lotbinière—L'Érable.

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4:25 p.m.

Bloc

Odina Desrochers Lotbinière—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed difficult to get across the reality of the figures, because the federal government has not given Quebec one red cent in support of its hydroelectric development. That is clear.

However, $66 billion went to support the development of the oil industry. This economic reality will need to be taken into consideration in connection with the Kyoto protocol, these figures will have to be considered. Quebec must not be penalized for having been too forward-looking, too proactive.

The figures being what they are, Quebec must be recognized for its efforts over a very long time in the environmental field.

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4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, we must be conserving energy in the Chamber today because it is really cold in here. I was wondering if we could get some heat in here.

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Mississauga West.

My colleague across the way made the point that Quebec was doing everything and working toward a solution to cure the world. I am really glad that the Bloc is on line with Kyoto.

I do not think there is anyone in this Chamber, including the Alliance members, who are really torn on this particular issue, who does not think pollution is a bad thing. I do not think we would find a member of Parliament who would not agree on that.

We all recognize that carbon emissions are bad and that they are harmful not only to us but to the rest of the world, which is really what is at the heart of the whole Kyoto debate. We do not live in isolation. We must think about the rest of the world and what is happening. We are polluters. We have to step up to the plate. We have to know that we create some of the problems.

The member across the way talked about numbers. About 70% of Canadians right now support Kyoto. However, having said that, there are a large number of people who are unclear about just what Kyoto is, along with many members of Parliament.

I think ratification of the Kyoto protocol is absolutely paramount. However, has the plan been as clear as it could be? No. Do we have all the answers to the questions? No, we do not. Do we even know all the questions? No, we do not, but it is important to lead.

The Alliance member wants to know why we are signing it. We are signing it because we do think as a country it is important to lead. We do think it is important to stand up to the plate, take a number and do something. To do nothing, as the Canadian Alliance members are suggesting, is wrong. That will not help Canada and it will not help the world.

Some of the concerns out there are legitimate. I have heard them from members across the way and from organizations in my community, like the chambers of commerce and others. People are worried. They want to know what this will do to growth in the economy, which is a fair question to ask.

We have to understand that there will be an impact but that there will be a positive impact as well as a negative impact. The positive impact is when we do things like we have already started. For instance, in my community in Guelph we have a company called Linamar Corporation. It has 18 sites in Guelph. It employs a lot of people, does a lot of business and we think a lot of the company. In partnership with the federal government it wants to work against climate change. It is already underway in Guelph. We received $9.3 million in a repayable Technology Partnership Canada climate change action fund investment for the development of cleaner running small engines.

Is that not what it is all about? Is it not a good thing that we become a leader in technologies, that we become a model for the world, that we do develop new technologies, that we do hire people and that we do expand and lead? Quite frankly, I think that is what it is all about and I think that we are well positioned to do so.

The government, in this plan, has to continue to focus on that. Maybe everything has not been said as clearly as it should have been or could be but as we go along those are the kinds of things that we must focus on.

One thing that has been brought up, which is important, is our relationship with the provinces. Obviously all the provinces are not on line with this. Ontario, where I live, is not on line. It does not like this plan. In fairness, it worries that the costs will be put on it. It cannot do this alone.

If the federal government is to lead, it also has to have the dollars. Clearly, to have the dollars to sustain this, we have to monitor it. We have to work with the provinces on a really close basis to work through this. If we do not, this will be doomed to failure and it will not work.

We must not make any mistakes on that. We have to be clear that we need to work with the provinces. When Canadian Alliance members are worried about this, particularly those from Alberta, I understand from where they are coming. They do not want an made in Ottawa solution. They want a solution made by Canada with Alberta being a part of it, and I understand that.

I see an hon. member nodding his head. He says that I am right and I thank him for that.

There is no one answer that will fix this. It is a multitude of things. It is a process that we have to continue to work through, but it is a process that is worthwhile. It is a process that will help make the world better, not only Canada. That seems like a worthwhile endeavour. It seems worthwhile for us to stick our necks out for it. It seems like we should go to the light, follow it and work with it.

We need to constantly work on this plan, though. There is no question about that. The plan is not set in stone. The plan needs to evolve. There have to be hearings and continual work with parliamentarians to asses where we are at. That will be vital for this to be successful. If we do not do that, we really will have shirked our responsibilities. This can be a good, strong partnership and it is in the best interests of all.

My community has received a number of dollars for many things. We received $275,000 for studying the link between climate, water and water-borne illness and the projected impacts of climate change. I do not think anybody in the chamber would say that is not a good thing. We have to move toward this.

We also received $125,000 to house the coordinating office of the Canadian climate impacts and adaptation research network for agriculture. Again, agriculture is very important for the country. There is not one of us who does not eat. If we eat, then we should be interested in agriculture. It should be that simple. This does not have to be hard. It should be simple. We should just think about where we want to go and how we will get there. The Guelph Tribune , a local paper, summed it up. It stated:

Ideally, humans would not find themselves in a stark situation where their activities--some essential and some not--are threatening to cause havoc for people and other species on the planet. Having realized that's the situation we appear to be in, though, we need to do something about it. And Kyoto is the agreed-upon international vehicle for travelling down that road. It would be a momentous decision at this point for Canada not to get on board that vehicle to a more hopeful world...People might well have to change their behaviours significantly as a part of the effort to minimize the causes of global warming. The government should try to ease that burden, but it should keep its eye on the big picture.

The big picture is what we are talking about today. This is why the government feels we must move to sign Kyoto, but in that we must be mindful of all the things our colleagues across the way are telling us. We have to be mindful of what people in our communities are telling us and what provinces are telling us. If we are not mindful of those, this plan will not work in the manner it should. However make no mistake, we must sign Kyoto and we must do it now.

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4:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Val Meredith South Surrey—White Rock—Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would be interested to know just exactly what this plan is, how it will work and how much it will cost. Could the hon. member tell me and Canadians what the plan of the government is to meet the targets and what it cost Canadians?

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4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a good question but it is really simplistic at this stage. I think the member is confused between ratification and the plan. We are looking to lead right now. We are moving in the direction of making a commitment for a better world, one that will serve our grandchildren and our great grandchildren well. I believe the hon. member would want that for her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

We have to move toward this. For the costing and the plan, we will all have to work together with the provinces and with Canadians. I believe we can do it, that we can be successful and that we must do it.

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4:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague for her remarks. I believe she is very sincere in believing that Kyoto will improve the world.

She said in her remarks that we have to keep this simple. She was asked a very simple question about the impacts, the costs and what it will mean for Canadians in terms of their home heating oil and what it will mean for industry upon which Canadians rely for something as basic as a job.

She talks about pollution as if this agreement will affect pollution. That is a completely different issue. We are talking about greenhouse gas emissions here.

She also mentioned that 78% of Canadians support Kyoto. I suggest that figure is very questionable and is shifting, as are many of the statistics on this issue. However, she went on to talk about the fact that many Canadians are unclear on what Kyoto will do. That is evidenced even by her own comments, I say respectfully. There is a great deal that is not known about the impact of Kyoto that Canadians deserve to know.

My question to her is what is the rush? Why are we rushing headlong before Christmas to ratify this agreement, this international accord, this obligation? We do not want to be disingenuous, I say to the hon. member. Clearly, we want to live up to those commitments. We want to have the provinces onside, we want consensus, all of these good things, she would have to agree.

Again, why would the hon. member support this agreement knowing that eight of the provinces are not onside and knowing that the detail is still lacking on such an important issue that will affect our grandchildren and great grandchildren?

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4:40 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the member is right, the numbers are shifting but they are shifting upward, not downward, for support of Kyoto. That is the first thing.

The second thing the member talked about was industry. I really believe our great country will be on the leading edge. We have always been a leader and we will, in the green technologies, continue to lead. I have great faith that we will continue to generate jobs in that field and help the country and the rest of the world.

Unlike the member across the way, I really believe Canadians can do it and can do it best.

As far as the implementation date and why we would move toward this, we have been working on this for a long time. We have to move toward it. If we do not, we will be shirking our responsibilities.

I pointed out areas that we need to look at, and the member agreed. We need to look at the provinces and all kinds of other things. We can work toward that together, and I think that is important.

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4:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member spoke about a number of green projects in her riding that are admirable projects. However, anyone can take $9.2 million of taxpayer money and do a project on greening the environment and coming up with greener small engines.

If this thing is going to work, everyone has to do it without $9.2 million of federal money. In other words, what is going on in everyone's riding voluntarily. Who will pay for the retrofitting of thousands of homes and thousands of commercial buildings that will have to be done to meet our Kyoto commitment?

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4:45 p.m.

Liberal

Brenda Chamberlain Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, on that particular point, I know that the hon. member supports jobs. The company that the member is speaking of was literally started by one man who immigrated here. Now he has 18 plants across my city. It is unbelievable what this man and his company have done. To dismiss the fact that a company can take some money to move ahead and lead the way for the rest of the country and at the same time change the world while it is doing that, is really too bad.

I feel that these things are important. I hope the government will continue leading.

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4:45 p.m.

Mississauga West
Ontario

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to put a few thoughts on the record about the government's position, my position and my feelings about Kyoto.

One of the unfortunate things that is happening is the attempt to create the concept that when we vote on Kyoto and presumably ratify the accord, that somehow something magical will happen, that jobs will fall off the frontier, that costs will rise, that we will pay more for gas, et cetera.

The reality is, and members opposite know, that the decision to ratify Kyoto and the vote at the point that it is taken is not the end of this process. In fact, it is quite the contrary. I suggest that is the beginning of the process of Canada becoming a world leader in the reduction of greenhouse gases and in the improvement of the quality of our climate, our atmosphere, our air, everything that matters to our future.

People opposed to our ratifying the accord tell us not to wrap it around an emotional issue. It is not only the people who support ratifying Kyoto who care about their grandchildren, and I acknowledge that quite clearly, we all care. Perhaps many members opposite really do believe some of the propaganda that has been put out on this issue such as it will somehow cost us jobs and hurt our economic growth. I do not believe that members opposite are so disingenuous that they would simply argue against ratifying an accord that is so important to the future of this country and the entire world without believing their concerns to be real.

This issue is not about whether we have hugged a tree lately. This is about finding out what the best thing Canada can do as a sovereign nation to show some leadership and some courage because it does take some courage.

People ask what the hurry is and why does this have to be done before Christmas. I get the question from people in my own riding. The fact that we are only a couple of weeks away from adjourning for the Christmas session would seem to make that question a little more urgent.

The reality is that the decision to move ahead on the ratification of Kyoto has been a longstanding desire and the position of this government and this Prime Minister is that it is time to bring it to a head. How many times do we get calls on any given issue in our ridings from people telling us that all we do is talk? How many times do we get calls asking us to finally do something and to make a decision, or to stand up and fix this or fix that? Lo and behold a decision has been made to put a timeframe in place, to allow Parliament to debate and to hear from Canadians all over the country on this issue. We are having this huge public debate but all of a sudden we are moving too quickly. It does not seem that there is a way to satisfy everybody.

Canada is obviously a country that is very difficult to govern. What is needed is leadership. That is what we are seeing from the Prime Minister, the Minister of the Environment and the government. Members may not agree with the leadership, and I do not have a problem with that, but they cannot deny, and Canadians should recognize, that the government is telling people what it will do.

People are asking to see the plan. I submit this is a bit like some of the debates in this place where people ask to see documents and then when they see them they say that is not good enough and they ask for more. We show them more and still they say that is not good enough and they point out what is wrong. This is a bit of a mug's game.

The fact of the matter is that a plan is in place and the provinces have been working with the federal government. Municipalities are way ahead of us. It is time we got on the bus and caught up to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

The government invested in the municipal sector by providing a green fund of $250 million. I thank the member for pointing out the fact that the government has shown that kind of leadership. That only makes sense. The municipal sector is already there. I would suggest many people in the private sector are already there.

One of the things that is disturbing is that this whole debate is being framed as an us versus them scenario: central Canada against western Canada; Canada against the United States; government against business; the feds against the provinces; politics against science, and Lord knows there are not too many scientists in this place; and the government against the opposition, which is the norm. It should be none of those things because this is for all Canadians.

The plan that is being discussed would be a living plan. It would be necessary for us to continue looking for new ways to help people insulate their homes. Perhaps put in place a policy, something that I intend to fight for in my role as parliamentary secretary for crown corporations, where any project that is developed for affordable housing, or any housing, that involves federal dollars would be built to at least a level of R-2000. We should ensure that level of insulation takes place wherever we can. We must show that kind of leadership as the national government, as I believe we will.

I want to talk about the fears that I have had expressed in my riding. People write or phone and say they do not understand at all. They understand that the United States is not ratifying and everything that we do, that we give and suffer for, may be lost because we live next door to the elephant, and there is no benefit in it. However, let me make some points if I may.

At both the federal and state level, the United States has already taken significant action to address climate change, and will continue to do that. I believe as many as 42 states in the U.S. already have legislation in place that goes a large measure toward the exact same goals of Kyoto. President Bush has appropriated $3 billion from the United States Congress to spend on Kyoto initiatives.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that President Bush, being from Texas, may well want to stand up publicly and say that he does not support Kyoto, notwithstanding that the former president, President Clinton, in fact did. So he has officially pulled out. However, let us not be misled. The states of California, Washington, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Maryland, and even Texas to a certain degree, have put in place changes to recognize the need to stop emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

I want to address the issue of science. None of us in this place, to my knowledge, or very few, are scientists or capable of debating this issue from that perspective. But at the end of the day, we have a responsibility that goes beyond science. We are not elected to be scientists; we are elected to be pragmatic. We are elected to look at the argument from all sides. We are elected on all sides of the House to examine the principles that are in place and to decide whether or not we believe they are the best for our country, for our ridings, and for the international world in which we live.

Canada was not supported by the United States in the landmines treaty, and yet we moved on the landmines treaty. We are recognized as one of the leading nations in the world on that particular issue. We should not, and cannot, and will not, shirk our duty as it relates to the environment. That is why the government is committed to ratifying Kyoto, so that we can begin the process. It is not an end. It is the beginning of a process that would see us lead to show that kind of international leadership that Canada is well known throughout the world for and that we can all be proud of.

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4:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend the member opposite because during his commentary I did not hear him use the word pollution. The Kyoto protocol is not about pollution and he did not mention it. I commend him for that because many commentators use the word pollution.

The member passes the vehicles that are used by the cabinet ministers outside here each day, many of them idling constantly. What does he think of the vehicles that the cabinet ministers use and that are idling hour after hour?

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4:55 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am told it will be -22°C in Ottawa tonight and if we are going to have people waiting out there, I hope they have the car running because we may not have to worry about whether they are capable of driving it if we leave them out there too long.

However the member makes a point in all seriousness about the issue of idling vehicles. I want the member to know that the entire city of Mississauga was the first city in Ontario, if not Canada, to declare itself a no-idling zone. We have ads in all our bus shelters and billboards throughout the community that say, “Turn your car off while your're waiting”.

The member's colleague who spoke for 11 hours made a reference, once every 15 minutes, to the vehicles outside this place waiting for the cabinet ministers. It is a little simplistic to refer to the fact that there are a dozen or so vehicles sitting outside for a period of half an hour or whatever waiting for their bosses to come out. It shows that from time to time the opposition is looking for trivial examples to do exactly that, trivialize the debate. This is not about changing light bulbs which is another point I heard the member's colleague make; that we could solve this by getting everyone to change their light bulbs down to 25 or 40 watts.

This is a comprehensive plan that shows leadership by the government and that all Canadians can indeed be proud of. Ten years from now Canadians will stand up and say, “what in the world was all the fuss about? We are world leaders in climate change”.

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4:55 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is that type of minutia that the government is asking Canadians to do. It is asking them to fix their homes so they are more energy efficient. They are asking them to drive less. They are asking them potentially to take on all of the costs of Kyoto and the provinces are concerned about what the impact would actually be.

The hon. member made a couple of points with respect to the propaganda that some provinces are putting out. I wonder if he is aware of the propaganda that his government put out, including advertisements during the Grey Cup. Now he talks about the need to quickly ratify the accord in Parliament. His government prorogued Parliament, delayed coming back, monkeyed around with some of the bills, and backed this particular debate up against the release of the Romanow report. Now we are in this huge rush, three weeks before the Christmas break.

He spoke of the merits of the United States approach and praised the U.S. position. The government is trying to make up ground now on Canada-U.S. relations, but clearly provinces like the American states can do things on their own. The member from Quebec mentioned what his province was doing.

The member who just spoke made some inconsistent remarks in his short speech. His future leader has flipped and flopped on a lot of things, including GST, free trade, tax cuts, and military spending. He has flipped again on this issue. He initially said we should take our time, and that we should have a fulsome debate. Today and yesterday he said we should quickly ratify.

Why the rush to ratify knowing there is no consensus, no impact study, and no realistic acknowledgment that this is an achievable plan, that we in fact will be able to meet the 6% reduction targets by the year 2012?

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5 p.m.

Liberal

Steve Mahoney Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I find it somewhat ironic to be accused by my hon. friend of throwing accusations over here that the government has found ways to stall or to delay the debate on this when it is the opposition that has done exactly that. My hon. friend is probably the leading proponent of finding ways to stall and throw some mud into the gears of this particular place.

However, let me answer his question about why the rush. This is not a rush. For five years meetings were going on, co-chaired by the Government of Canada and the province of Alberta, on how we could arrive at the point that we are at today. That is over five years since Kyoto, not to even mention the time before that in Rio de Janeiro.

The homework has been done on this. My hon. friend refuses to accept the information and he should at least acknowledge that. Whether we put it out at a Grey Cup game or not, he refuses to accept the facts.

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5 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I received an interesting e-mail today from a Japanese-Canadian. “Kyo” in Japanese means capital and “to” means city. That is where the word Kyoto comes from. He also said he wanted to reflect on the Kyoto protocol from a Canadian perspective. He created an acronym, KYOTO, Kill Your Opportunity To Outperform. I thought that was interesting, a Japanese-Canadian making that observation.

I would like to discuss the Kyoto accord from four perspectives: environmental, medical, scientific and political.

We have had plenty of opportunity to listen to some other perspectives so I will not spend extra time there. I consider myself to be an environmentalist. I am a hiker, hunter and fisherman. Some of the most enjoyable times I spend are in the wilds on my own away from the telephone. I hate to say that because the telephone follows us as politicians.

I accept that there is warming going on in Canada. As a young man hiking in the Rockies I noted glaciers that were at a specific spot and today those glaciers have receded and there is only one logical explanation for that and that is warming.

I accept that there are changes in the north, that permafrost in areas where it has not melted before is melting today, but what explains this warming to my mind is the issue. I hope that in the summation of the comments that are heard in the House of Commons over the next little while that we will make some sense of this.

Let me go then to the perspective from a medical viewpoint. As a medical doctor most of my life I treated pollution related diseases like asthma. I treated diseases from the perspective of particulates and smog. One of the things I remember as a young medical student was being shown in the anatomy lab the lung from a deceased person who lived in the city compared to the lung from a deceased person who lived in the country. I will never forget that.

The lung from the city dweller was black and tar-like and very scrunchy and the lung from the country dweller was pink and very flexible. The lesson that I was given, as I looked at those two lungs, was that there was a difference between the particulate matter, the smoke and so on that a city dweller breathed compared to somebody who lived in the country.

I understand and know that particulate matter is not beneficial to health but I object to global warming and the Kyoto protocol being equated with pollution. They are not the same thing. I will admit that reducing the use of carbon based fuels would have a secondary effect on pollution but the primary effect is on CO

2

which is not a pollutant. CO

2

is the gas that I am exhaling while I stand here and talk. It is a normal gas and it is necessary for plant life. I object to the use of the phrase pollution conjointly with the change of the temperature on our planet.

Pollution is very, very different. Frankly, I think we are attacking this problem backwards. I said that reducing fossil fuel consumption will have a secondary effect on pollution and I believe that we should be attacking this primarily on the pollution side.

Let me turn, then, to some of the scientific views. The colleague who spoke before me said that there are no scientists in the House. I think he would have been accurate if he had said that there are no climatologists in the House. I know that there are scientists in the House.

Because the issue is complex and does involve global calculations, I ask the question: Is there scientific unanimity on the issue of climate change? The answer, frankly, is no.

The second question I would pose is this: Is human activity hastening the planet's natural warming and cooling cycle? On this issue I have had a very interesting opportunity to look at the science of the past when it comes to the world's warming and cooling cycles. I took geology as a university undergrad. I found it a fascinating subject. I learned about a host of things, about fossil evidence and sedimentary evidence at the base of lakes and the oceans, and I learned about tree rings and how we can look at growth patterns in the past and extrapolate. I learned about carbon dating. Recently I have also learned about satellite observations of temperature.

All these things allow us to look back into prehistoric time. This is evident from a graph I have in front of me, which is called “Average Global Temperature” and which looks all the way back to Precambrian time. It is interesting to note that the world has moved between 12°C and 22°C, with one specific little blip above 22°C, as average global temperatures throughout prehistory. There have been specific times of warming, in the Cambrian and Ordovician periods, in the Silurian and Devonian periods, between the Permian and Triassic periods, with a long warming plateau all the way through the Jurassic period, and in the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods, and then there was a significant cooling. There have been cooling times and they are spread out through prehistory in fairly synchronous time periods. The coolest we reached was between Ordovician and Silurian times, and then during the Carboniferous and Permian times.

What does all this mean, this look at prehistory? It means that there has been a cycle of cooling and warming on this planet. What explains the cooling and warming of our planet? What scientists have said is that it is today being aggravated by human activity and what scientists have said that there is an alternate explanation?

Here we get into the scientific debate. It is quite difficult to say for certain that there is no human impact on warming of our planet today.

It is interesting to note on this graph that in today's time period we are just above the coolest that the earth has ever been, which was 12°C. We are sitting at 13°C today, as best I can tell from this graph. There is, on the graph, a very slow warming trend.

Is human activity the major determinant? The scientists I have talked with have said no, that human activity is not the major determinant. The obvious question, then: What is? The correlation between these warming periods throughout the earth's history, according to the scientists I spoke with, relates to sunspot activity. During the periods where the earth warms up dramatically, there is an increase in sunspot activity.

I raise all this not to say that this is conclusive, because it would be wrong for me to say that. I say that because there is another explanation for the cyclical warming and cooling of this earth. It is pretty obvious that we did not have industrial activity and carbon fuel consumption during the Jurassic period, where we were warmed, and I would be wrong if I even said how many years this was, during a significant period of prehistory. We had no industrial activity during the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods, when suddenly in the middle of the Tertiary period the earth cooled down. I have had scientists tell me that the earth cooled down because of cloud cover. I am not certain that there is a conclusive body of evidence on the issue of the cyclical warming and cooling of our planet.

Let me now go to the political component of this issue. Here we have the debate that is taking place in the House. Canada produces 2% of the world's man-made CO

2

emissions. We do not produce much. Seventy per cent of the world is not going to go down the road of the Kyoto protocol process. Canada is large, northern, cold and energy rich. From my perspective, the Kyoto protocol is going to impact Canada more than any other country that has ratified it.

Will there be economic costs to Canada? There will. Harmonization with the U.S. has been something that we have undertaken with our motor vehicles up to this point in time. As the U.S. backs away from the protocol, harmonization with the U.S. on our motor vehicles is going to suffer. Frankly, California has driven more pollution reduction, and I use that word outside the Kyoto context, than anything that Canada has done. Investment by U.S. sources will be reduced. This news is coming today from a very large survey of investment brokers in the U.S. saying that if we ratify Kyoto then the investment decisions from the U.S. will change. That will impact upon us. Exploration will shift to non-Kyoto jurisdictions, out of Canada to parts of the world where the Kyoto protocol is not being signed.

It is only fair to say that in fact there will be, in some parts of Canada, some economic benefits to ratifying Kyoto. If we are going to talk about this in a balanced way, there are. In my own constituency there is a very windy part of this country: Pincher Creek. There will be a benefit to Pincher Creek with wind power augmentation in Canada. There will be a benefit to the fuel cell technology developed largely here in Canada, the Ballard fuel cell technology, if we go down the road of the Kyoto protocol. Will there be a benefit if we insulate more of our homes? Yes, there will, in the long term. It will return a benefit to the homeowner.

What I want to be able to tell my constituents is whether the cost-benefit ratio is balancing out in favour of Kyoto or not. At this point, I must say that I cannot see the cost-benefit analysis well enough to make an informed judgment. I could see it if the government had an implementation plan laid out plainly, a plan that had costs and sectoral breakdowns. I would love to be having that debate here with individuals who I believe are sincere when they say they want to have our environment looked after better.

What does the Alliance propose? What does my party propose so that Canadians will know that it is not reactionary about the environment, that it is concerned about the environment? I am talking now specifically about Kyoto, not pollution.

Number one, we want to have no decisions without a good plan that shows the costs, no permanent, binding decisions.

Number two, we want an accord that reflects our distinct geography, climate, economy and energy supplies. That equates to a made in Canada solution accord.

Number three, we think the idea of international emissions trading is the most counterproductive thing that could be allowed, allowing some countries money from Canada to allow us to continue produce CO

2,

presuming that CO

2

is the problem, as has been stated. That is counterproductive. We are absolutely opposed to international emissions trading.

Next, and this is now my perspective rather than that of my party, I believe that we should be attacking pollution and then getting a secondary reduction in CO

2

emissions, rather than the other way around. I have spoken to that. I believe that would enhance alternative energy production. I believe that hydro, wind, ethanol, fuel cell and all the other things would be enhanced, and I strongly support that.

Finally, we should be spending research dollars in Canada to enhance changes to pollution, not Kyoto, so that those dollars will be spent in Canada.

I think I could belabour the issue and talk about it for ages. Those are the points I did want to make. I feel that it is a privilege for me to speak in a debate that will affect my kids and, in fact, the Speaker's children.

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5:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among all the parties and I believe that you will find consent for the following motion. I move:

That as of 6:30 p.m. this day, no quorum calls, no dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent shall be received by the Speaker, and if no member rises to speak before 10:30 p.m., the House will adjourn until the next sitting day.

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5:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Does the House give its consent to the hon. member for West Vancouver--Sunshine Coast to propose the motion?

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5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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5:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Does the House give its consent to the motion?

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5:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

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5:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by offering very sincere congratulations to the hon. member for Macleod. I think he has given a very precise and informative discourse on this subject matter. In particular I want to congratulate him on pointing out, and doing so very articulately, the difference between the issue of pollution and CO

2

, atmospheric pollutants and that of greenhouse gas, which I think has caused an immense amount of confusion, not only in this chamber, but throughout this entire debate.

I want to pick up in particular on the issue he spoke to near the end of his remarks, that is, the types of incentives we can put in place to encourage provinces, individuals and corporations to take part in actual concrete actions to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In my home province of Nova Scotia, as well as in Alberta, the province of the hon. member for Macleod, there are already tremendous efforts being made to harness such things as wind power, to do more with solar power, to do more with water generated power and obviously with nuclear as well. These are exactly the types of directional changes that the country will have to make in order to comply with Kyoto and to ensure that Canada will be able to meet certain targets.

The difficulty, as the hon. member has pointed out, is that the government has set out a position which is unrealistic. By ratifying this accord, we are being disingenuous, not only with Canadians but with the world, the signatories, and perhaps as important, those who have not signed, like the United States. The United States has said it cannot meet those targets but it is going about doing what it can to meet certain reductions that it will set for itself.

Would the hon. member therefore agree that certainly we can do a great deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, that the provinces have to be on side in that effort as well as corporations and individuals, and that Kyoto, in and of itself, is not the panacea? It will not help to simply pen our signature on this before Christmas. It will not help create greenhouse gas reductions, as the hon. member has pointed out.

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5:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for the compliment. There are not a lot of compliments passed in the House.

On the issue of incentives, I am absolutely convinced that we can be more energy sufficient in this country with incentives. I think in my own case of the first home that I built. The insulation in the outside walls of that home was in the 2x4s. Today it is standard to use a 2x6 and the insulation is substantially greater. Is that a cost benefit? It is. It actually does not take too many years for those extra costs of building the walls thicker and putting in more insulation to be returned to the homeowner.

There are enormous changes in the efficiency of furnaces. We have gone from very inefficient furnaces to quite efficient ones. Are there incentives that could drive that further? There absolutely are.

The parliamentary secretary said that every federal building should be built to R-2000 standards. Boy, that would be a wonderful incentive, if in fact the federal government would show leadership in that area. I would be delighted, for example if every cabinet minister drove a hybrid vehicle. The environment minister, to his credit, drives a hybrid vehicle. He is at least taking up the cudgel and doing what he said he would do. There are enormous areas for incentives.

On the issue of the provinces being involved, if the provinces do not buy into this, we will not have implementation of the accord no matter what the federal government says. The saddest thing we have had to watch is the provinces coming out against the proposals for helping our environment. They want a clean environment but they know that the accord,and the way it is being pushed on the Canadian public and on the provinces is the wrong way to go. I think that is a tragedy.

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5:20 p.m.

Kitchener Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Karen Redman Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I have listened very intently to all of the interventions that have been made on all sides of the House.

I thank my hon. colleague opposite for what I feel was quite a thoughtful intervention. He is quite right. There are scientists on all sides of the House. My hon. colleague from Peterborough has made a very impassioned intervention supporting Kyoto and the position of the government. Truly there is mixed opinion within the scientific community.

However, more than 2,000 of the world's leading climate change scientists have contributed to the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They reported in 2001 that most of the warming observed over the past 50 years is attributable to human activity. They estimate the average global surface temperature is likely to increase by 1.4°C and 5.8°C by 2100.

It is very important to look at recent science. I know that my hon. friend was reading from epochs long past. This is a current trend which is now being observed. Not only did that panel of over 2,000 of the world's outstanding scientists on climate change make this intervention, but it was also supported by many of the prestigious scientific communities around the world. Perhaps my hon. colleague would care to comment on the data by that very prestigious scientific panel.

Also companies in the west, like DuPont, Syncrude, Suncor and British Petroleum have done things that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They have found that good environmental policy is also good economics for companies. Also we are not just talking about--

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5:25 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I do want to give as many people as possible an opportunity to ask questions, so I will turn to the hon. member for Macleod for a response.

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5:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting how a scientific panel becomes prestigious, that is, if it agrees with the perspective of the individual talking. My scientific group is very prestigious in my view. The parliamentary secretary of course has put great stock in that scientific perspective.

I do think that the science is inconclusive. I will be willing to accept the fact that human activity has an impact. It is the amount of the impact that is still inconclusive. What I would like to have in terms of an interchange is an acknowledgement that the inconclusiveness does not leave us in this country isolated from new information coming to us. I do not want to see us sign an accord that will hurt this country to the exclusion of others.

One thing I did not go over in my intervention is the issue of the undeveloped countries that are not involved in this accord. The parliamentary secretary knows that those countries have just voted to never get involved in the Kyoto accord, to never go down that road. One of the selling points has been to be like good boy scouts and start out and everyone will follow in lockstep. If that would happen I think there might be a point, but with the undeveloped countries saying no chance, I feel and fear that this accord will be Canada's demise.

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5:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I must congratulate my colleague on his carefully prepared intervention. He seems to have a clear grasp of the subject and I thank him for that.

Where we disagree, however, is on the solution he proposes. He is proposing a Canadian solution to a problem that is international. In my opinion, a global, international problem requires an international solution. Each country cannot do as it sees fit and set its own strategy, when the problem affects the entire planet.

I am thinking of Germany, which has succeeded in effecting considerable changes to its energy production sector. It went from a certain kind of energy to wind power in a very short time, when required to reduce its emissions by 21% as a member of the EU.

In this particular case, does the hon. member not believe that energy efficiency can be synonymous with economic competitivity, performance and innovation? As the parliamentary secretary said, companies like DuPont and TransAlta in the west, by deciding to purchase a wind power company, are providing proof that energy efficiency can be synonymous with growth.

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5:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his comment. It is interesting that he should mention the wind energy company. It is located in my riding. Obviously, I have seen this process.

The problem is truly an international one, and it does not call for a Canadian solution. However, how many countries will ratify Kyoto? How many countries have problems—this is not the right word for Kyoto—with pollution and an increase in coal-related gases? Obviously, Canada is the only western country that intends to sign the Kyoto protocol. I think that this is a big problem for Canada.

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5:30 p.m.

Oak Ridges
Ontario

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Beauharnois—Salaberry.

First I would like to congratulate the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment. She has been working on this file for quite a long time. In fact the parliamentary secretary has been here throughout all of the debate.

I want to thank her personally because in October I held a Kyoto round table for four hours in my riding. Representatives from Stelco, TransCanada Pipelines, climatologists from the University of Toronto, the parliamentary secretary, a director general from Environment Canada and an environmental firm from my riding talked about these issues. I brought everyone out to look at the impact of Kyoto and to get real input on the issue.

The first question was why did Canada support Kyoto. Canada has always believed in a multilateral approach and through the United Nations process we believe this is the most effective means of ensuring global action. Kyoto is not the end in itself. It is but a first step in a process that will deal with climate change over a period of time. The process will continue to evolve. Therefore there is no definitive answer today as there was no definitive answer on other issues, but we know there is enough information to say that action must be taken and it must be taken now. We have to have a plan and fortunately, we have a made in Canada plan.

Kyoto points toward greater energy efficiency, which is important for Canadians; sustainable growth, an area which I will be talking more on; innovative technologies, and Canada has become a leading environmental country in terms of exporting technologies around the world; cleaner air; and of course lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The Kyoto round table that I held was important because it gave constituents in my riding, the business community, industry, academics and young people an opportunity to hear from the experts. Clearly not everyone was there to say the same thing, although they all did agree on one thing, that action needs to be taken. On the question of pace, there were some differences, but everyone agreed that inaction was not and could not be an option.

Since 1997 the government has been in consultation with stakeholders from the provinces and territories, with key industry sectors, with the public, and others. I thought it was incumbent on me as a member of Parliament to host a round table and not just in that forum but also to send out information and to continually get input from my constituents. I believe that it was useful in providing information, receiving information and helping me in my comments today.

There has been much talk about the costs of ratifying the Kyoto protocol. It seems that the skeptics have forgotten to look, with due respect, at the financial benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Yes, there will be costs in meeting the targets of the Kyoto protocol and no one on this side of the House has suggested otherwise. However the government believes that they are manageable and small compared to the impacts of not taking action.

It is important to point out that the government is committed to work, and has continued to show that it is prepared to work, with the provincial and territorial governments, business and industry to refine the plan and to develop implementation strategies.

Under the plan we are developing, it is important to emphasize that no particular province or region will be asked to bear an unreasonable share of the burden. Canadian business will remain competitive in the North American and importantly, the global marketplace. We will regularly assess progress and make adjustments to changing circumstances.

One thing I have heard is that the United States is not signing the accord. It is true that the United States is not signing it, and the United States did not sign the small arms treaty nor did it sign the landmines treaty.

The United States, for whatever reason, has not taken a multilateral approach, yet 42 out of 50 U.S. states have established regulatory regimes to deal with the issue of CO

2

emission reductions. Therefore, to suggest somehow that the United States is not signing means that we do not have to worry, is a falsehood. To suggest somehow that the United States is doing nothing is, of course, untrue because 42 states out of 50 are taking action.

I believe that we have a responsibility as parliamentarians to take the necessary steps. Over the last five years, evidence, in my view, has been insurmountable. There are those who would suggest otherwise, and of course they are entitled to those opinions, but I believe, as one parliamentarian in the House, that not to go ahead with Kyoto would be the wrong thing to do.

The best evidence tells us that while there is still some costs with Kyoto, they will be modest. They will be balanced across the country and across the economy. These costs are not actual losses compared to today but are in terms of slightly less growth than otherwise would be the case.

I point out, for example, that Canada's gross domestic product will grow by about 17.5% as we take action on climate change over the next eight years. That is about 0.4% less growth than we might have otherwise expected.

While it is impossible to forecast over a 8 to 10 year period the estimated economic impact, the most likely scenario is about .4% of the GDP. This a modest impact relative to the strong economic growth over the same period.

Probably the single most important point to make is that this work of preparing estimates has been a cooperative effort between the Government of Canada and the provinces over the years. The federal government has worked closely with the provinces because the goal is an approach that enables all of Canada to be part of meeting our Kyoto target.

Every time the policy option has become clearer, the modeling has been updated to reflect the most likely situation. The best case forecast has been regularly revised to reflect the most up to date reviews and comments about Canada's economic prospects.

This is important because the context in which Canada will be taking climate change action has changed over time and so too have the estimates of the potential impacts of Kyoto on Canadian jobs and Canada's economy.

It is important to bear in mind that climate change is expected to lead to droughts, of which we have already seen clear evidence, and to severe weather events such as floods and intense storms. The scientists who study these issues, certainly the climatologist who I had at my round table, indicated that more of these episodes were likely to happen in the coming years. One only has to remember the drought of 2001 which cost the Canadian economy $5 billion, or the 1998 ice storm which cost Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick more than $6 billion.

It is important to understand that the scenario modeled is not the plan. Some have been interchanging that. It is an analytical exercise that enables us to develop and fine tune the plan in a way to even better moderate and balance impacts across the different regions of the country and the different sectors of the economy.

However if we were to take the approach that Kyoto is the final end, then maybe we could accept some of the arguments that I have heard in the House in the past while. The reality is that it is an evolving process. We will be able to meet these targets because of the consultations and the work. I would say that one of the most important areas on which we have been working has been with the cities of Canada and the work we have done through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the 20% club, to reduce CO

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emissions by 20% over 10 years. In the end the implementation will be done by the people of Canada in the cities of Canada.

As a credit, many of the key cities in Canada and some smaller communities have signed on in conjunction with the Department of the Environment. I lay that out again for members and would entertain any questions.

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5:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Rick Borotsik Brandon—Souris, MB

Mr. Speaker, my friend from across the way spoke glowingly about all the work that has been done between his government and the provinces for the past five years, which I think was the length of time. I wonder if he could tell me why, after all the energy his government put toward its position and toward working with the provinces, that only two provinces are actually in agreement with ratifying Kyoto at this time. Why is that all provinces, not only the eight that have not agreed to it but the other two, still do not know what the implementation plan is going forward from this ratification? Why is it that the provinces are totally opposed to ratification at this time?

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5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, my friend raises a good point. I would like to point out to him that over the last five years, as I have said, there have been ongoing consultations with the provinces and territories and, as we know, the provinces unveiled 12 key points that they wanted dealt with. The federal government has agreed to nine and there is an ongoing process right now on the other three. The door has not been closed. There are still discussions on the other three.

However again I would point out to my hon. colleague that Kyoto is the what and the plan is the how. That is what we are dealing with.

Even though the provinces and territories are not signatories to international treaties, the government has felt it important, not only in dealing with the provinces and territories on a continual basis, but also in setting up round tables, and I will use the municipal round tables as an example. I talked about the FCM. We want to set up these round tables to get the kind of input that we need to make sure we get the plan right.

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5:40 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the parliamentary secretary whether Canada has always believed in ratifying the Kyoto protocol. I think that, since 1997, opposition parties, including the Bloc Quebecois, have had to put pressure on the government for it to commit to ratifying Kyoto by the end of 2002.

However, with regard to this implementation plan, I would like to ask the member why the federal government is always so unfair. Why does it not apply the polluter pays principle and use 1990 as base year instead of 2010?

If the government is so eager to go ahead with this, why does it not listen to what the Bloc Quebecois and the Government of Quebec have been suggesting, so it can be fair across the board?

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5:40 p.m.

Liberal

Bryon Wilfert Oak Ridges, ON

Mr. Speaker, first, I would point out to the hon. member that 1990 in fact is where the reduction comes from and we have that included in the plan. The government, since 1997, having been a part of this process, has felt it very important that we work in consultation with the provinces. We know that the provinces have different views and some have been much more supportive initially than others but this is an ongoing process.

We have received a list of 12 issues from the provinces. We have already agreed to nine and the process is ongoing with the other three. I believe the government took a strenuous approach and, from the evidence I have heard, an approach that is achievable and realistic.

As the member knows, the province of Quebec has been supportive for various reasons, as have other provinces, although sometimes, and I know it is unbelievable in this House, politics plays a bit of a role. However what is important is that inaction by the government or by any of the provinces would spell very dangerous consequences. I do not think that is the approach Canadians want us to take.

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5:45 p.m.

Beauharnois—Salaberry
Québec

Liberal

Serge Marcil Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would be a bit embarrassed, as the member for an riding like Beauharnois—Salaberry, if I did not speak to this issue that is so important. In fact, I represent an area that has suffered enormously from the senseless, even savage, development that took place there in the thirties and forties. Today, this area has a great deal of catching up to do in terms of the environment. At the time, many industries settled there, producing chemicals, aluminum, steel and so on. People were not really concerned about the environment back then.

Today, we have to live with the consequences, as they say, and find solutions to clean up the environment and make it liveable for everyone.

We also need to attract people to our area, in the riding of Beauharnois—Salaberry, which is surrounded by water. Mr. Speaker, you know my area because my riding is close to yours, on the other shore of the St. Lawrence. We know that the St. Lawrence is one of the great bodies of water that was used in Canada's industrial development, from the Great Lakes all the way downstream. At the time, people did not think that the impact would be so bad in the medium and long term.

Today, we are indeed talking about a pact, a treaty, an international movement. If we do not do this today, and if we put off signing the Kyoto protocol, that too will have a negative impact in the medium and long term. I feel like every year that passes without us signing the agreement will jeopardize, in the medium and long term, the quality of the environment of our planet, our country, and I would add, my area.

That is why I support the government's decision to ratify Kyoto before the end of the year. We will support the Prime Minister on this and all government members agree with the need to ratify Kyoto.

Of course, the opponents to Kyoto always come back to the economic impact of the protocol. Instead of focusing only on the number of jobs that could be lost if we ratify Kyoto, we should try to figure out how many jobs Kyoto could create in Canada. When we want to develop a green industry, we always feel like it will not turn out a profit, that jobs will be lost and other countries will benefit from our failure.

I totally disagree. We know of a lot of businesses that have decided to take such an opportunity to modernize their operations and adopt new technologies. Nowadays, we have companies that easily meet the emission standards not only in Quebec but throughout the country.

Some have chosen the narrow-minded approach, because they want the debate to deal only with the jobs we might lose. They forget to think about the mid to long term impact the accord could have on our economy.

For instance, we have been having a raging debate in the last week about the famous Romanow report that recommends new money for health care. Why is every region in Canada urging the federal government to step in and reinvest in health care?

If I take the case of Quebec, it used to have a health budget of $8 billion. Today, the budget has doubled. It is the same for all provinces. There is a problem. We are talking about an aging population, but this is not the only issue.

We have greenhouse gas emissions and CO

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emissions in the air. What is their impact on health? We could save on health costs in each of those regions in Canada and have a healthier population.

Let us take the case of agriculture. All my colleagues who spoke during this debate and all those who favour a quality environment referred to the impact on agriculture.

Consider the case of forests. They represent an extraordinary wealth. Rather than considering a sensible development of the forestry industry, they stubbornly continue to violate forests. In the Amazon and elsewhere in Brazil, how many millions of acres of forest have been ruthlessly stripped of all trees, without any consideration for the environment?

In my own area, there could be a happy union between agriculture and forestry. Because of a problem with hog production, hog farmers act in an anarchic way and cut trees down in order to have more land where they can spread pig slurry. They do not consider the impact tree cutting can have on the environment.

If we analyzed every positive impact, we would see that in terms of employment there would be a medium and long term benefit.

There is another important aspect that has to be mentioned. Businesses looking for a place to locate often do a quality assessment of the place. On the environmental level, this quality has a major impact on the business siting decision.

I wanted to talk more about transportation this afternoon. I always come back to my own area and the greater Montreal area—the greater Toronto surely has to deal with the same problem—namely the impact of trucking on air quality in areas around major urban centres.

The plan proposes some quite extraordinary things. We know that CO

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emissions from cars and trucks represent 25% of that pollution. This is why it is important for municipalities and regions to focus on reducing trucking and favouring public transportation more.

In concluding, I would like to ask a question to all those who are in the House. What are we waiting for? What are the people who currently oppose ratification of the Kyoto protocol waiting for? Are they waiting for a time when there is not a single fish in our waters, not a single tree on our land, not a single bird in the air? What are we waiting for?

The day we find ourselves in that situation, we will have a deprived planet. Perhaps people will continue to extract oil from the ground or coal from the mines but, in the end, we will no longer have any grass, we will have nothing left. This can happen quite rapidly.

This is a matter of social conscience. I believe that people should think about this. When the plan is implemented, we will be able to sit down together and think, to find the right solution.

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5:55 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the speech by the parliamentary secretary and member for Beauharnois—Salaberry.

In his speech, the member said that his riding had a lot of catching up to do since the 1930s and 1940s and that ratifying Kyoto was very urgent. According to him, if we do not take drastic measures, soon we will no longer have fish, birds or trees in our forests.

However, I would like to ask this to the member for Beauharnois—Salaberry. He talked at length about the implementation plan. Why, to help his riding, should the polluter pays principle not be included in the plan? This plan favours polluters.

The member says that we must act quickly. Why is the polluter pays principle not included in his government's plan? Why does he not tell his Minister of the Environment to listen to what Quebec has been saying so that businesses, like the ones in his riding that produce steel or aluminum, in my riding, do something? Many businesses have already taken measures since 1990. If the government does not take that into account, these businesses will be in the same category as those that have not done anything.

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5:55 p.m.

Liberal

Serge Marcil Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, we need to take a wider outlook than that. This is an issue that concerns all of Canada.

I get the impression, and it may be more than just an impression, that we need a collective effort. It is true that great things have been achieved in Quebec. That is fine. This will be an example for other regions in Canada.

But I think that we should all do our share. More privileged regions should be ready to help those who are less so. We should also consider the fact that the types of industries differ from one region to the next.

The important thing is to find a balanced solution that will benefit everybody, but that will apply at a pace that can vary, provided the 10 year timeframe is respected.

We have until 2012 to reach our goal, and that leaves us 10 years. We should stop being parochial and say: We have done this or that, and it is enough. Why are we being asked to do even more? We should be more open than this to the whole country. We should participate. Quebec needs to participate in the development of a better plan and help other regions implement an effective plan.

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5:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is distressing to hear speech after speech from the other side refusing to acknowledge or answer my questions about the impact of solar magnetic cycles on this whole climate change question. There are tonnes of evidence, going back as far as we can tell to 1750, which correlates sun spot and solar magnetic cycle activity with changes in global temperature.

I would like to ask the member first, would he not acknowledge that there is a possibility that greenhouse gases are not the major contributor to climate change, whether it is cooling or heating, that it is probably solar cycles? Second, would he not acknowledge that we do not need Kyoto to address pollution? The government could pass regulations tomorrow to require cars to be less polluting but it does not do it.

Carbon dioxide and water vapour are naturally occurring gases. They are not pollutants. If we want to deal with pollution we should address pollution. We do not need Kyoto to address pollution and it could easily be solar magnetic cycles that are causing cooling and warming. Would the member acknowledge those two things?

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6 p.m.

Liberal

Serge Marcil Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, indeed, each country can decide to develop a plan to address pollution immediately. Overall, when the Government of Quebec decided to propose formulas to raise the awareness of businesses and homeowners about energy savings, it used the incentive approach. It did not wait for the Kyoto protocol.

The hon. member indicates that we could demand more fuel-efficient cars tomorrow. But this assumes readjustments on the part of the auto industry, should it be decided to take that route, as proposed by the Minister of the Environment. So a period of one year, or two, three, four or five years would be required. That is the way it is; things have to be announced in order for people to start to prepare. We cannot just do it out of the blue.

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6 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak today on behalf of the people of Jonquière, who support ratification of the Kyoto protocol. Before I continue, I should indicate that I am splitting my time with the member for Sherbrooke.

The Bloc Quebecois is in favour of ratification, because it is time to reverse the present trend toward global warming, which points to dramatic environmental damage. Canada must be involved in the international effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly since this country is a heavy emitter, in fact the worst per capita, if Quebec is not included in the figures.

The people of Quebec want to see Canada ratify the protocol and there has been unanimity in the National Assembly in favour of this.

Right from the start, the Bloc Quebecois has been calling upon the federal government to assume its share of the responsibility for greenhouse gases. The Bloc has always been in favour of adopting quantifiable objectives internationally in connection with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. These objectives need to go hand in hand with legal constraints, so that the commitments entered into by the federal and provincial governments are met.

We think that it is both desirable and realistic that Quebec, the federal government and the provinces reach consensus to set ambitious greenhouse gas emission targets, but that must not further set back ratification of the Kyoto protocol.

Why must the Kyoto protocol be ratified? First, let us talk about the effects of climate change: the greenhouse effect is a vivid term that describes how the atmosphere controls the temperature of the earth, making it a unique planet on which organisms grow and beings live.

Solar energy is absorbed by the lower atmosphere, the oceans and the earth and converted into heat, which heats the surface of the earth and the air that surrounds it. A part of this energy is reflected and is lost in space, but our atmosphere traps most of it. Certain atmospheric gases insulate the earth, preventing the heat from escaping.

Greenhouse gases absorb the heat and reflect it back to the earth's surface. Without this natural greenhouse effect, the earth would be much colder than it now is, driving the average temperature of the planet down to a temperature too low to support life as we know it.

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has risen 30% and methane has increased 145%. It is estimated that consumption of fossil fuels worldwide emits 22 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, the key factor in climate change, into the atmosphere and this amount is climbing steadily.

The earth's average temperature has increased 0.6 degrees Celsius over the last 100 years. In fact, the 1990s were the warmest years in recorded history. If nothing is done to reduce human greenhouse gas emissions, the best forecasts indicate that the average world temperature could increase by 1.4 to 5.8 degrees Celsius over the next century. An increase in world temperatures will cause changes to other elements of the earth's climate system, which will influence atmospheric conditions.

Let us see what direct impact global warming will have on health. This impact will be felt when we go outside on an extremely hot or cold day. It will be increasingly difficult to breathe, because of heat stress and increased air pollution, particularly for those who suffer from respiratory illnesses. There will be an increased risk of heart attack and strokes caused by heat stress, and an increased risk of skin cancer caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays.

It has been established that pollutants are harmful to lungs and are responsible for a larger number of people being hospitalized for bronchitis, pneumonia and asthma. Pollutants increase chest pain and make it more difficult to breathe; they deprive the body of oxygen, because of an increase in the carbon dioxide concentration.

Why ratify Kyoto? On May 24, 2002, the motion unanimously adopted by the National Assembly read as follows:

That the National Assembly ask the federal government to restate its commitment to meeting the greenhouse gas reduction goals set by the Kyoto protocol on climate change, and urge the federal government to take an active part in the current efforts aimed at asking for negotiations so that as many states as possible ratify the protocol.

But there is a problem. The Bloc Quebecois is opposed to the most recent implementation plan presented by the federal government for the reasons that I will mention.

The Ottawa plan uses 2010 as the reference year for the specific reduction effort that will be demanded from each province or economic sector. This approach is unfair, because it does not take into consideration past and current efforts, and it encourages polluters to pollute even more until the year 2010.

In Quebec, greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 4% since 1990, compared to 14% in Ontario, 31% in Alberta and 24% in British Columbia. For all of Canada, these emissions have increased by 19% since 1990.

The Bloc Quebecois does not agree with Ottawa, which is prepared to fund projects from the oil and gas industry. In the past, Ottawa has given to that industry direct subsidies that were 20 times greater than those given to other industries. Since 1970, Ottawa has paid in direct subsidies $66 billion to the oil industry and only $329 million for solar and wind energies.

The federal government's plan is unfair and it benefits the industries that pollute the most. It ignores the polluter pay principle, whereby those who pollute the most are the ones who must reduce their emissions the most.

The federal government evaluated the impact of the implementation of the Kyoto protocol on job creation. The plan is particularly unfair in this regard. Quebec, which pollutes the least, will lose more jobs, while Alberta, which pollutes more, will lose fewer jobs.

The Bloc Quebecois does not agree with how the federal government evaluated the impact of its plan on the revenues of each province. The results are that the federal plan is very unfair. Quebec, which pollutes less, will lose more, while Alberta, which pollutes more, will lose less.

Historically, Quebec has opted for non-polluting forms of energy, such as hydroelectricity. Since 1990, which is the reference year in the 1997 Kyoto protocol, Quebec has been model, in terms of the environment. Therefore, it should not have to pay more than the others, because the polluter pay principle must prevail.

Let me give the example of Alcan, which is located in my area. On October 17, 2002, Alcan Inc. announced that greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities in Quebec will be reduced by 285,000 tonnes compared to the 1999 levels, based on an equivalent production capacity. This new objective will be reached by the end of 2003.

In his statement, Jean Simon, the vice-president for the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean operations, said, regarding the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions:

--it is an objective that has been part of our operations management systems for many years. Alcan has been reducing its gas emissions since 1990 and has reduced them by over two million tonnes in the past decade. Therefore, the agreement is in line with our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our facilities all over the world.

In short, we make a clear distinction between ratifying the Kyoto protocol and implementing it. We are convinced of the merits of ratifying the Kyoto protocol, based on several principles that we value strongly and that will have to be reflected in the implementation of the protocol.

I say yes, let us ratify the Kyoto protocol for the future of our planet, for our children and for our grandchildren.

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6:10 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague for her speech. She has demonstrated that ratification of Kyoto and the fight against climate change can turn into opportunities to develop the resource-based regions.

She pointed to Alcan, a company that has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 2 megatonnes in the last few years. But that corporation will go even further. It is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by another 500,000 tonnes over a four-year period.

Why? Because of all the economic benefits. First, aluminum is an alloy that can be recycled. Second, it is a light material that can be used for some motor vehicles, for instance. This goes to show that some industries, including the aluminum industry, will be able to expand, grow and create jobs in areas like Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean.

However, the efforts previously made by these industries, and companies like Alcan, which has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 2 megatonnes, will not be recognized in the federal government's plan.

To be fair to the companies in my area and to ensure that the fight against climate change will continue in the future, does the hon. member not think that the federal government should take into consideration the effort made by Alcan and by the aluminum industry, in Quebec and in Canada?

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6:10 p.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie. Before answering his question, I would like to congratulate him on the excellent work he has done throughout the debate on ratification of the Kyoto protocol.

I wanted to include in my speech what is being done at present and will be done in future by Alcan in my riding. They are setting an example that ought to be followed by numerous companies, as well as looked at closely by this government in connection with its implementation plan.

What Alcan has been doing since 1990 is very important, in my opinion. Not only has it reduced its greenhouse gas emissions, it is also able to charge less per tonne for its product. If the government does not take into consideration what the company has been doing since 1990, its price per tonne of aluminum will go up.

To be fair, the efforts made that will help us attain our objectives more quickly must be acknowledged.

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6:10 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have heard all manner of things said about the Kyoto protocol. Some are in favour, others far less so.

I have heard some historical arguments, some going back to prehistory even, on temperature change. We all know that the earth was nothing but a fireball, once upon a time. Then there was the Ice Age, so there have been some pretty wide variations.

Some hon. members have tried to convince us that there was a kind of stability, that there was no climate change. They even said that it had nothing to do with pollution.

Looking into the dictionary definition of pollution, it is described as the degradation of a natural environment. There is no immediate degradation of the natural environment where climate change and greenhouse gas emissions are concerned. We do know very well, however, that the planet is affected. By that very token, greenhouse gas emissions are a component of pollution, because they have a direct effect on the planet, on the animal kingdom, on the plant kingdom. Of course the consequences of this are climate change, which brings about ice storms or floods. We are even beginning to find exotic microbes in our country. The mosquitoes are arriving earlier and earlier and leaving later and later.

There is a real problem and those who do not want to admit it are basically sticking their heads in the sand. This is pretty serious for them, because we know that sticking one's head in the sand, particularly if tar sands are involved, can make the situation worse.

We also need to make an important distinction in this matter. There is the ratification of the Kyoto protocol and then there is its implementation. The ratification of the protocol demonstrates political resolve these days. It is an interventionist policy for action on important issues that could, practically speaking, threaten sustainable development. This is an important issue and it must be made known, it must be shouted out loud and clear.

However, the other issue that is also very important is the implementation of the Kyoto protocol. The polluter pays principle, in any matter involving the environment, must drive any and all activities and operations that are undertaken.

Suppose that the House were to decide to undertake a health initiative, and after all 301 members were weighed, it was calculated that there were three tonnes of excess weight. Would we ask my friend, the member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie to contribute as much as me in reducing that weight? No way.

It is basically the same thing. When one corner of Canada produces considerably more than the rest of Canada and also much more than Quebec, it is unthinkable to ask that Quebec contribute the same as Alberta, for example.

We cannot have a double standard. There must be a fair link between those who pollute and those who must pay. Obviously this will hit the oil provinces in their pocketbooks.

Last year, I attended a dinner in Calgary. Someone explained to me that he had just sold his business for $4 billion. If the implementation plan attempts to reduce the consumption of oil, which is the main element of greenhouse gas, these people may no longer be able to sell their businesses to foreign interests for four, five, six or seven billion dollars.

They say the amount is low. Canada produces approximately 2% of greenhouse gas emissions internationally. Of course, 2% does not seem like much, but it is a question of responsibilities. It is a question of sustainable development.

Furthermore, concerning the 98% produced elsewhere, we experience the same effects. We must then consider all this as a political will to ratify the Kyoto protocol, but also as major elements of its implementation.

As for Quebec, those who are listening to us have heard quite a number of speeches and have found out that, through its actions since the 1970s and through its political and economic choices, it also made environmental choices. From 1971 to 1998, $43 billion in current dollars were invested in hydroelectric plants.

People know that the increase in electricity production through hydro sources prevented 64 million tons of CO

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emissions from being produced from 1990 to 1998. People are well aware that, in Quebec, the reduction did not come about by the wave of a magic wand. It is not simply by stopping eating pork and beans and pea soup that we reduced our greenhouse gases. We had to take firm action. This is one of them. While Quebec was investing $43 billion in hydroelectric plants, Ottawa was investing $66 billion in the oil industry and $6 billion in the nuclear industry, as opposed to a meagre $329 million in renewable energies. We know very well that, right from the beginning, since 1970, if the federal government had been willing at that time — these were all known elements by the science community — it would have been easy to move forward in this area. It would also have been difficult for the economic interests of people who wanted to go for the simplest and most profitable. So there was not this political will to move forward in the renewable energy sector.

Today, a very important element exists. Hydroelectricity is still there, but we also have wind energy. Again, the Government of Quebec had the political will to turn to wind energy, which allowed for the installation of a total of 133 wind generators, 76 in Cap-Chat and 57 in Matane, in the Gaspé Peninsula. These two wind farms, with a total capacity of 100 megawatts, are part of Hydro-Québec's main system. This project required an investment of $160 million and gave jobs to more than 1,000 people for various periods of time.

For those who wonder about investment and job creation, the job creation ratio in the wind energy sector is much higher and that type of energy causes no pollution.

I would also like to say a few quick words about another element. Today, to produce, in thermal power plants, the equivalent of the hydroelectricity generated in Quebec each year, we would have to burn some 30 million tonnes of oil or an even greater quantity of coal, which would cause the release of some 100 million tonnes of CO

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into the atmosphere, as well as a large quantity of various emanations associated with acid rain.

Clearly, the Kyoto protocol is just one element among many others. In the context of sustainable development, it is an element that is not a panacea but that shows a firm resolve on the part of the government to go forward. Of course, I will repeat that we must always be careful with the implementation plan.

Energy efficiency will always be part of the implementation plan. People will have to be increasingly aware of that. If the public decided to make a large contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions overnight, targets, at least in Quebec, could be achieved practically effortlessly. I am talking here about doing something about cars, heating and buildings. By buying more of our own products, we would reduce transportation costs. All this to say that energy efficiency is a very important element in the implementation of the Kyoto protocol.

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6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague from Sherbrooke. A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to visit the University of Sherbrooke. Over 50 students came to listen to a conference I gave on Kyoto. I noticed that many individuals and groups in the area wholeheartedly support the Kyoto protocol.

I would like him to tell me more about the groups in his area that have decided to support the Kyoto protocol. Since he is an accountant, I would also like him to explain to me the theory of marginal costs and the implications of this theory for the federal plan.

I have a chart showing the change in greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2010 for various economic sectors in Canada. For fossil fuels, the increase is 131%. For tar sands development, it is 310%. I mention with a special emphasis, because it is the economic base in Quebec, that the manufacturing sector has an increase of 3%.

Could the hon. member explain the marginal cost theory and tell us how the marginal cost in Quebec and its manufacturing industries is greater because the initial costs have already been incurred? In other sectors in the Canadian economy like the tar sands, the increase can be as high as 310%. In these sectors, marginal costs will certainly be much lower in the short term than in the manufacturing industry in Quebec, which is responsible for just 3% of emissions. I am talking here about the changes between now and 2010.

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6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Cardin Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Rosemont—Petite-Patrie would like me to name everyone in my area who agrees with Kyoto. I fear I might forget someone, and there are so many that I would use up all my time.

Of course, when there is one target for everyone, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, in Quebec and the other provinces, there are a few basic elements we need to keep in mind. As I said earlier, initially, Ottawa invested $66 billion in the oil industry while Quebec invested on its own $43 billion in hydroelectric plants.

I also mentioned that hydroelectricity could also lead to a reduction of some 100 million tonnes of CO

2

in the atmosphere. There would be less and less room for other industries that create greenhouse gas emissions. We know that transportation accounts for 37%. We also know that applying energy efficiency measures to these important sectors would allow Quebec to easily meet the targets.

However, for the provinces still relying on technologies almost so old that they burn coal, it is important to invest in new technology in order to become world leaders in the development of energy-producing technologies that would be greenhouse gas emission-free.

Right now, there is a double standard. We have to come back to the polluter pay principle.

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6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to join in the debate today. I will be sharing my time with the member for Davenport.

I am pleased to speak as the member of Parliament for York West in Toronto, an area that is dealing with a lot of serious pollution problems. I am very interested in where we are going with this debate and look forward to ratifying the Kyoto protocol, hopefully in the next short while.

It has been an interesting debate in many ways. For my part I want to comment on two elements. First, I want to get back to basics, the basics of climate change, what it could mean and what is often ignored in many of these discussions. Second, I want to comment on the ongoing work between the Government of Canada, the provinces, territories and municipalities, a record of practical discussion and action that is also too often overlooked.

Let me start with the basics of climate change. Those basics have been set out by a lot of research over a long period of time. The assessments by experts in climate change issues and related fields point to a worrisome future unless we take serious action, the kind of action that would be needed to meet our Kyoto targets.

Scientists have developed clear projections of increasing changes to our climate. They have set out clear conclusions as to what must be done to reverse the trends.

At its heart the greenhouse effect is a natural process. Our atmosphere, the mix of gases it contains and the way it deals with radiation from the sun keeps the Earth at a temperature that makes it a livable planet.

We have experienced increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases over the past two centuries, that is to say, since the start of the industrial revolution. At the same time as the concentration of greenhouse gases has risen, we have also seen changes in the climate itself, such as increased temperatures. Scientists have drawn on a constantly expanding body of knowledge and data to develop assessments of what would happen given current trends.

The issue is not only a question of a few more degrees in global temperatures; it is the impacts of those changes on our environment and on people. The larger the changes and the faster the rate of change in the climate, the more we are told we can expect negative effects. The impacts of climate change will fall disproportionately upon developing countries and poor people in all nations, worsening existing inequalities in health and access to adequate food, clean water and other resources.

Yes, it is possible to adapt and yes, there could be some advantage for some people and places, but the best evidence says we cannot prevent all the damage from occurring. There is reason to act. There is every reason to build on the work to date in Canada and to increase it as our government has been doing steadily year after year, budget after budget.

It is not work that one order of government can do on its own. The Government of Canada has been working with its partners in provincial, municipal and territorial capitals in many ways.

Ministers of energy and the environment have been meeting regularly since 1993. They have supported the collaborative work of economists to develop the most reliable estimates of how acting to meet our Kyoto commitments would affect our economy. Their work has been matched by the work of the first ministers. Canada's first ministers and the ministers of energy and the environment agreed back in 1997 that Canada needed a Kyoto response that would enable Canada's economy to flourish and grow while at the same time reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of that, all governments have always agreed that no region should be asked to bear an unreasonable burden. The economic analysis that has been undertaken demonstrates that it is possible to design climate change policy for Canada that fully meets this commitment. This is what the plan tabled in the House on November 20 does.

Over the past five years federal, provincial and territorial government officials have met with industry and stakeholders in hundreds of working sessions to look at every aspect of the economy and a huge range of proposals on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This has been an extraordinary team effort by all.

As the level of government closest to Canadians, municipalities are directly involved with many of the daily activities that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. Canada's action plan on climate change is based on a vision of competitive cities and livable communities that feature a vibrant community, culture, green space, affordable housing, social interaction, human health, water and air quality, local economic opportunities, mobility and proximity to work and recreation.

Municipal governments are already encouraging alternative forms of transportation, developing urban green space, using renewable forms of energy and performing energy-efficient building retrofits. They recognize that the action taken on climate change supports many of their objectives for sustainable community development, cleaner air and economic growth. The Government of Canada shares that recognition. That is why it established the $250 million green enabling fund, together with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Municipalities also have an important role to play in urban development and planning. Reducing urban congestion and urban sprawl is central to addressing climate change and ensuring that Canada continues to enjoy competitive cities and livable communities.

With nearly half of Canadians living in Canada's six largest cities, municipalities need to do more to address climate change, air pollution and congestion. By taking action now, our municipalities can preserve the quality of life in their communities, remain economically competitive and protect the health of their citizens while working with their partners in government.

As Canada moves forward on implementation on the next step of the plan, there will be much more consultation and collaboration. Indeed, I ask anyone to name me a federal government that has worked more closely and more often with its provincial, state and local partners than Canada.

There are those who say the federal government should work more cooperatively with the provinces and the territories. There are those who say the government should take a closer look at science. I have this to say. This government has done both. It has done that consistently and has been clear that it stands ready to keep doing that. The ratification of the Kyoto protocol is just the beginning.

It has taken us a very long time to get to the point where we are actually facing climate change. All the industrial societies over many generations have had a hand in that. Now it is up to all of us to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not just slowing things down over a period of some decades but actually reducing those emissions and protecting our country and our future for our children and our grandchildren.

The Kyoto protocol is the first step but not the last one on a long journey. By building on the action that Canada has already undertaken and by building on the collaboration for results, Canada can do its part to address the impacts that we face now.

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6:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Ted White North Vancouver, BC

Mr. Speaker, I listened to another canned speech from upstairs, lecturing us on science but it is not even scientific. Does the member know, for example, that approximately 10,000 years ago there was a period called the optimal medieval period when the temperatures were significantly higher than they are today? In fact, they were warm enough for Greenland to be colonized. How would the member explain the global warming that occurred at that time? It was not humans emitting greenhouse gases then.

Does the member know, for example, since she wants to talk about science, of the solar magnetic cycles from the year 1750? There are plenty of studies out there which she can access on the EPA website to see for herself.

Thousands of scientists feel with confidence that there is a much closer correlation between solar magnetic cycles of the sun than there is between CO

2

and fluctuations in global climate, whether it is cooling or warming. For example, 3,000 years ago we had a mini ice age. It is normal for our atmosphere and our climate to vary in that way. We may be having an impact but it is completely irrelevant if the major contributor is out of our control. We should then start making an intelligent approach like talking about pollution instead of CO

2

. Let us talk about cleaning up pollution. We do not need Kyoto to do that.

Does the member know, for example, that last year in Indonesia a peat bog fire that burned for the whole year emitted more CO

2

in one year than Canada's man-made emissions?

To stand there and try to give us a science lesson in 10 minutes is almost insulting. There is tonnes of information out there with reputable scientists who completely disagree with what she has just said.

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6:35 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not quite sure what the hon. member was trying to raise in his question.

Science is often something that is debated by a variety of people. Clearly on climate change, we see problems in our environment and in our large urban cities and urban regions. I have meet with people who are suffering with everything from emphysema to an awful lot of other varying ailments.

Frankly I am not prepared to wait to see if the sciences I listen to are wrong and scientists that the member listens to are right. I have heard from far more people who are immensely knowledgeable and who have been studying this issue for a long time. I am not prepared to jeopardize my country and the world while we try to find out if our scientists are right or if his scientists are right.

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6:40 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, what is significant in the exchanges that have taken place over the last few days is the division into two camps of believers. One camp puts its confidence into the scientific evidence provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which I will refer from now on as the IPCC. It consists of a large number of scientists who have concluded that the climate is changing because of the burning of fossil fuels. The work of the scientists was subjected to three rounds of peer reviews. That is it has been subjected to the scrutiny of other scientists and thus it bears a high level of credibility.

Then there are the parliamentarians who instead put their faith in the findings of a small group of scientists whose activities are believed to be supported by the petroleum industry. A scientist named Bjorn Lundberg, mentioned in the debate last week, belongs to this group. It must be emphasized that his work is not peer reviewed.

Against this background the question that arises is this. What should an elected representative do in the public interest and should he or she act on the conclusions by scientists whose work is not peer reviewed or choose the conclusions by those whose work is peer reviewed and, therefore, likely to be accurate?

In addition to the choice of one scientific conclusion over another, there are also other factors that come into play in deciding whether to support ratification of the Kyoto protocol or not.

We have in the past 10 years evidence of changes in weather patterns, more frequent weather extremes resulting in damage to the insurance industry, to agriculture and to the shipping industry. The occurrence of more frequent hurricanes, floods, droughts and hot summers has reinforced at the non-scientific level the notion that something is wrong with the weather.

Have we caused harm to the weather, as noted by Arctic scientist Fred Roots as he contends in a recent paper? Why do the Kyoto opponents pay so little importance to recent weather extremes and to the views of specialists in Arctic methods?

Unless these questions are fully answered, democratically elected governments and representatives have little choice: ratify the only international document, called the Kyoto protocol, which aims at making an initial very modest step toward the goal of repairing the damage human activities continue to cause to weather.

Much has been said about the cost of action, but not much about the cost of inaction. For instance, severe droughts damage agriculture and lead to more forest fires. In the Arctic we hear reports on the negative impact of climate change on permafrost.

Therefore we have every reason to believe that the cost of inaction is likely to overtake the cost of ratifying Kyoto. On this issue alone a debate is badly needed.

Moving on, in a recent study the Department of Industry reports that more than $7 billion in economic activities can be generated by the ratification of Kyoto. Evidently opposition members did not find the time to read that report. The same can be said for those philanthropic organizations such as the Canadian Council of the Chief Executives, formerly the BCNI, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Petroleum Producers Association to name a few.

Contrary to what opponents of the Kyoto accord are saying, its ratification offers Canada several advantages and opportunities. First, it would become more energy efficient and less energy wasteful. Second, it would make Canada more competitive. Third, it would make non-renewable fuel reserves last longer. Fourth, it would develop the use of natural gas, of which we have plenty, and of renewable sources of energy at a faster pace.

Fifth, it would remove perverse tax subsidies to the tar sands oil. Sixth, it would improve air quality. Seventh, it would protect polar ice caps and the permafrost. Eighth, it would reduce the rise in sea levels. Ninth, it would moderate weather extremes, frequent droughts and forest fires. Tenth, on the international scene, it would make Canada a responsible player in striving for global security.

At this point a brief comment is necessary on the litany of false claims that were made by the member for Red Deer. They were unfortunate because they weakened his credibility as the Alliance Party's environment critic.

The other day the hon. member still laboured under the illusion that there was no link between climate change and smog, and we heard it also today. Toronto residents remember what happened last summer with the highest number of smog alerts. The member for Red Deer is blissfully unaware of the fact that the main sources of smog are pollutants from vehicles, coal burning power plants and certain industries. When we have higher temperatures we use more electricity and therefore we increase the production of coal produced electricity. When we reduce these pollutants and the electricity producing activities then we reduce smog.

The member for Red Deer criticized the government because he felt public consultations held with the provinces, territories, business and the public were inadequate. Where has he been? Over the past seven years intensive consultations were held with the business sector. There were 14 round tables. In addition, the government of Alberta co-chaired with the Government of Canada the federal-provincial consultations.

Responsible governments of developed countries the world over are now signing and ratifying the Kyoto protocol. We have a choice, we could imitate the Bush administration and not ratify, or ratify. By not ratifying we would say to the global community we are not prepared to share the responsibility of resolving the climate change problem and prefer to leave its solution to other nations, hide our head in the sand, and hope for the best. This is the message that seems to be emerging from the Alliance Party, and from the Progressive Conservative Party as well.

What the official opposition does not seem to mind is to offer Canadians the option of isolation from the rest of the world with the exception of the United States. It does not seem to mind Canada becoming a carbon copy of the Bush administration, but we do. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that there are three preconditions necessary for the successful implementation of the Kyoto agreement.

It will have to come from three sources; government, industry and most importantly, citizens. From the government it is most vital that the finance minister remove obstacles to achieving our Kyoto target, such as preferred subsidies to industries which are the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, and to introduce incentives for the accelerated development of renewable energy. With the finance minister, the role of the Minister of Industry cannot be emphasized enough because that minister is to provide the framework for innovation and technological advancement.

From Canadian industry we need a change in mindset and attitude, from being reluctantly dragged into the age of clean energy and efficiency, to become leaders, as industry does in other countries and in other jurisdictions.

There needs to be acceptance by each Canadian of the innovative challenge by the government to reduce individual greenhouse gas contributions by one tonne through simple changes in daily activities.

These are three preconditions which, if put into place soon, could lead to a successful implementation of the Kyoto agreement. They could give Canada a leading edge role in the economy of this planet and demonstrate that we are on the right track because we alerted the public to a problem that needed to be resolved, not only in the interest of the Canadian public, but also in the interest of the global community.

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6:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have always admired the previous speaker's dedication to the environment, but I am disturbed by his distortion of not only our position but the positions of many others.

It seems strange to me that any scientists supporting the Kyoto accord are valid no matter where they come from and no matter what they say, even if for whatever reason the scientists on the IPCC completely distorted the conclusion of the scientific study.

The study said that science could not conclude that man had any discernible effect on climate on this globe and yet, in the member's view, any scientist who speaks against the science of Kyoto is somehow a bag man for the oil industry and does not speak the truth. Some 17,000 scientists signed the Oregon petition saying the science of Kyoto was not valid and should not be followed to the economic disaster where we seem to be heading.

This member continually takes that position. He takes the position that the Canadian Alliance wants to sit and do nothing, and burn in hell because the climate is getting hot and causing disruption around the world. It has never been our party's position to do nothing.

When U.S. politicians looked at the issue through joint congressional and senate hearings they decided that was not the way to go and they would take action outside the Kyoto accord. Many states in the United States will exceed the Kyoto targets without being part of the Kyoto accord.

Why could we as a country not proceed and achieve all of these things without being wrapped into the Kyoto accord, facing timelines and targets that the Kyoto accord imposes on us which, in my view, we cannot possibly meet?

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6:50 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Athabasca has raised an important point and has asked a good question which because of limited time, boils down to whether or not we should be engaged in the Kyoto accord global effort.

That is an important decision in terms of foreign policy. If the official opposition chooses a role for Canada outside the global community in resolving the problem of climate change, that is its prerogative. There is no doubt about that. We on this side of the House believe that we should proceed with the rest of the global community and not stay outside.

If the Democrats had been re-elected in the United States, this probably would not have happened south of the border. The decision by the United States is a decision made by the White House. I would imagine that the vast majority of Americans would want to be part of the Kyoto exercise given the opportunity.

We have the opportunity as a country to play the role of willing participants in global initiatives and therefore it is consistent with our history and tradition in foreign affairs. Otherwise, we would be giving the global community the signal that we were washing our hands of the issue and an international agreement which was extremely difficult to arrive at and which took several years to finalize was something that Canada preferred not to take part in. We have a great record in the United Nations in peacekeeping, in the creation of the International Criminal Court, and Kyoto is part of that overall tradition.

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6:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Kyoto accord deals primarily with emissions of carbon dioxide. The hon. member talked about smog in Toronto. The Kyoto accord does not deal with environmental contamination in general and air pollution in particular. Why the reference to smog in Toronto?

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6:55 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I gave an elaborate explanation earlier, but I am glad to repeat it because the Canadian Alliance members seem to have difficulty in linking the question of climate change, such as hot summers, and the necessity of increased electricity consumption to enjoy air conditioning and other industrial necessities that require colder temperatures. That leads to a greater demand on electricity. That, in turn with climate change, leads to the creation of more intensive smog formation. The link is caused by the change in climate and the change in temperature.

As for greenhouse gases per se, the hon. member ought to be reminded of the fact that we are not talking of CO

2

, but we are also talking of methane and other chemical substances that are a part of the greenhouse gas family.

I wish that we could reach a plateau of understanding of the issue whereby we would stop delinking climate change from the creation of smog because there is a link between the two.

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6:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, this is truly an interesting debate on which the nation needs to get as much information as it possibly can as we proceed further. The only thing that is clear about the national debate on Kyoto is that day by day Canadians are losing confidence in a government that has no ability at all to educate itself on the important issues and no capacity to make good policy decisions.

I would like to thank the member for Red Deer, because last week he spent over 11 hours in the House trying to explain this to all hon. colleagues and members in this chamber in a very thoughtful and thorough way as he analyzed what the Prime Minister's Kyoto commitment will mean to the economy and how the Prime Minister has sold out the protection of the environment for the sake of an international photo op.

In the Prime Minister's haste to commit Canada to an international agreement, he set out CO

2

targets that we do not know if we can ever even meet, or even if we can afford them. He has missed one very important thing, which is that if Canada is to make any real gains in protecting the environment, it will take every province and every Canadian to buy into the strategy. We will have to do much more in the whole area of reducing pollutants in this country.

Herein lies the root problem, because the Liberal government has no plan for Canadians to buy into. They are being asked to buy into this Kyoto accord, an international agreement, but there are no targets there. They cannot grab hold of something and say that this is the plan, this is what it will cost, these are the timelines and this is what will happen. All we know is that there is a vague number, a percentage by the year 2012. Canadians do not know how it will impact them. They do not know if the targets are there and they do not know if this will ever have any impact on the environment. In fact, most scientists are saying it will not.

Since the Prime Minister first pulled the targets out of thin air in 1997, the government has done virtually nothing. It has missed an opportunity to inform Canadians about what the agreement really means and what it really means to them. It has failed to educate Canadians on what they can do to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. All that the Liberal government has achieved is to create one more battle with the provinces and send a chill of uncertainty throughout this country and throughout the economy.

I appreciate the valuable information and the feedback that I have received from my constituents in Yellowhead, who have expressed to me a broad spectrum of concerns on this issue over the last number of weeks and months.

There are a couple of things that have become very clear. First, we are all in agreement that something should be done to protect the environment. That is a motherhood statement. None of us want to leave our land, our air or our water in worse shape than we found it. We know that we have problems there and we know that something needs to be done. Second, there are many unanswered questions about how to implement Kyoto. What will it cost to implement? What is the government's implementation plan? Is this the most effective way to reduce energy consumption and pollution?

I am proud to represent the constituents of Yellowhead. I can say without reservation that ours is the most beautiful constituency and riding in Canada. We are known for our clean air, our rolling hills, our abundant wildlife, our breathtaking mountain scenery and our breathtaking mountains. We are also a major source of energy for the nation's cars and for our homes. Many of our communities are dependent on the energy sector for their existence. It would be irresponsible for me to support any legislation or motion without first knowing the effect it would have on those communities. That is why I am here this evening.

For five years the Canadian Alliance has been asking the government to table a Kyoto implementation plan so that Canadians could review it. Five years and 2,000 other dust-gathering international environmental agreements later, we have nothing to show for it. First we were told not to worry, that the Canadian economy would not suffer because of Kyoto. Now we have received a hastily prepared PowerPoint presentation, glossy documents and $10 million worth of slick, taxpayer funded ad campaigns proclaiming that Kyoto is the only way.

For Canadians, the absence of figures on the effect on the economy should raise all kinds of alarms. How it will affect our jobs should also raise many alarms for us, and the absence of any effort in an environmental plan to deal with the 45 smog warning days in Toronto should be absolutely alarming to us.

Right now the Prime Minister is asking Parliament for a blank cheque to implement the Kyoto accord. Since signing the original accord in 1997, the Prime Minister has had five years to inform Canadians and Parliament on how the government would implement a plan to reduce 6% of the CO

2

emissions from 1990 levels. We are actually currently 26% over the target that the Prime Minister has committed us to.

I cannot support Kyoto unless there is a plan to ensure that the interests of Canadians are protected, and there should be no one in the House who is prepared to do that. While the intentions of Kyoto are good, we cannot afford to sign a blank cheque without knowing the costs to the economy and the benefits to the environment. That does not mean that we should just sit back and do nothing. Canada has an opportunity to re-establish its role as an international leader by offering the world a plan to reduce humans' negative impact on the environment.

I support a made in Canada plan, a plan that addresses not only CO

2

but other pollutants such as smog and acid rain. I support the investment for research and development in alternative fuels and the cleaner use of existing energy sources. I support the educating of Canadians on how to reduce the energy that we use, on how to be much more effective and efficient in how we do that.

A made in Canada plan must include consultation with the provinces and discussion with our trading partners. That is sadly lacking in the Kyoto accord. I am sorry to have to tell the Prime Minister that trading carbon credits, as Kyoto calls for, is not the answer. That would do nothing to help the environment.

The Kyoto accord is bad for Canada because it will kill jobs and it will have a devastating effect on the economy. It is damaging to Canada's international competitiveness. It is divisive. It is useless for the environment and diverts Canada from the right strategy to address climate change.

The Kyoto accord will affect between 250,000 and 450,000 manufacturing jobs. They will be lost by the year 2010. The accord will cost $3 billion a year in international credits. Even taking into account the benefits to the conservation and renewable energy sectors, the cost would be well over $1,000 per man, woman and child in the country. These are not just simple numbers; they are actual lives of real Canadians that the Prime Minister is playing with. We are not talking just simple dollars and cents. The effect will be devastating.

Europe and the third world countries know that we will be legally bound to pay them billions to buy the credits to meet our emission targets. No wonder they are pressuring Canada to ratify the accord. Five billion of the world's six billion people are not subject to the Kyoto accord at all. Some of the world's worst polluters, such as Mexico, China and India, will not be bound at all by the Kyoto accord or the targets.

Recent studies done by Canadian manufacturers and exporters indicate that Canadians would have to pay up to 100% more for their electricity, 60% more for their natural gas and up to 80% more for gasoline if we were to implement the accord. We can imagine the devastating effects on a nation as large as ours. Let us take just one of those figures and say it is right, with a 100% price increase for gasoline. Or let us say that is stretched a little bit. Maybe it would be only a 50% increase. We can imagine, with the size of our nation, how that would impact air traffic, travel and the transportation of goods across the country. We can imagine how it would affect individual Canadians as they move across the country. Just this impact alone would be devastating, but we are talking about all of those other impacts and more.

The average Canadian household could face costs of up to $30,000 just to refurbish their house to meet Kyoto's stringent restrictions. Even the Kyoto-friendly figures from the David Suzuki Foundation show that the average Canadian family would have to pay $12,000 to retrofit their house to be able to conserve the amount of energy required to meet the efficiency standards set out by the Kyoto accord. Twelve thousand dollars may not be much to the Prime Minister and it may not be much to the environment minister, but to the hardworking, overtaxed people of Yellowhead it is a significant amount of money. They are seniors on fixed incomes in Mayerthorpe, struggling farmers in Evansburg and hospitality workers in Jasper who hold down three jobs. Retrofitting their houses or having to pay increased rents will push more Canadians into Liberal government imposed poverty.

Leading economists say that Kyoto could lead to a recession in Canada and, as in every recession, existing environmental programs would be seriously compromised. Efforts to protect our rivers, our lakes, our soil, our air and our endangered species would have to all be put on the back burner because of the effect of Kyoto and the devastation of the nation's finances. Kyoto would have a devastating effect on the entire Canadian economy. Manufacturing in Ontario would be scaled back or would move overseas or to a more competitive nation such as the United States. Oil and gas exploration in the Maritimes would likely dry up.

While I am concerned about the national economy, I am fearful of what effects my riding of Yellowhead would see. Meeting with constituents this past weekend, I noted that the uncertainty has already set in. Energy based projects have been put on hold in my riding. That is the reality. Jobs are being lost because of the reckless handling of this file by the Prime Minister and the environment minister.

The constituents of Yellowhead have seen this before, in the bundle of energy laws in the 1980s designed to nationalize the energy industry, artificially fix the price of oil and raise billions of dollars for the Liberals to spend on programs.

A key component of Prime Minister Trudeau's grand legacy, the national energy policy, devastated industries, communities and families throughout Yellowhead riding. New bureaucracies sprouted up and managed another resounding failure of state controlled involvement in the economy.

As parliamentarians, we know that Kyoto and the national energy policy are very different, but to the constituents of Yellowhead and to thousands of business leaders who lost everything when the current Prime Minister was the energy minister in the 1980s and was tasked with implementing the national energy policy, this is the only thing that they have to compare with what we are going through at this present time. They remember all too clearly losing their businesses and their homes.

During debate earlier this afternoon, the government side attempted to accuse the official opposition of fearmongering. In its fantasy world, it blames the economic uncertainty we currently are facing on our questions about how any plan would be implemented and what it would mean for investment in Canada.

I think that those kinds of remarks took debate in this place to an all time low. We are still asking these questions because we have not received any answers from the government. These are the questions we are hearing in the coffee shops in our ridings and in boardrooms across the country. It is a ridiculous line of logic: Do not ask the government about its blatant non-compliance because it might bring attention to its blatant non-compliance and lead to an economic slowdown.

Getting back to the lives of the people in Yellowhead, the member for Red Deer gave a list last week of the industries that would be the first casualties of the Prime Minister's faulty environmental policy. He might as well have been describing the entire economy of the Yellowhead riding. He talked about coal, oil, gas, mining, forestry, pulp and paper.

When the environment minister talked about the slowing economy, he was really pointing his finger at my constituency. For hundreds of bureaucrats and tax credit funded environmentalists fighting the possibility of implementing such a grand government scheme must make them just salivate. I can imagine it now: an army of hundreds of Kyoto-crats scurrying around the federal bureaucracy and around the country implementing Chrétien's Kyoto cutbacks.

Yellowhead was fortunate--

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7:10 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Order, please. You cannot refer to the Prime Minister by his name. You are a veteran in this House and I think you would know that.

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7:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am sorry about that. I was referring to a title that would be put on this but it is my mistake.

Yellowhead was fortunate in that the member for Red Deer came to the riding in the spring to speak to the whole issue of Kyoto. He has a wealth of knowledge that the government would be wise to tap into. We asked him to come to the riding to discuss this issue.

The municipalities in my riding had been asked to give their endorsement and to sign on to the Kyoto accord. I asked those municipalities to come to listen to the member in order to be a little more informed before they made their decision. That is exactly what they did and thank goodness they did. They went away much more informed. I do not believe there is one of them that endorsed the accord.

We would be so fortunate to have a Minister of the Environment come to Yellowhead to explain the government side. I would love to see that happen so we could enter into a discussion with the hon. member for Red Deer at the same time. I know the Minister of the Environment would not be able to look the resource workers in the eye and explain why the economic uncertainties were good for the environment.

The Minister of the Environment has not told Canadians that 50% of electricity comes from coal burning. Yellowhead has some of the finest and cleanest coal burning companies in the world. Power plants in my riding have made great gains in the reduction of CO

2

and are currently working in the clean coal technologies that will provide safe, reliable energy until alternative fuel sources are found. We need to find those as soon as possible because that is where the answers really lie.

Implementing new technologies takes time. Whether we are looking for cleaner coal technology projects that have been in the plans for 10 years now or more or hydro wind power or other technologies, large scale solar and so on, these take time to develop. That is where we will find the answers for the present dilemma we are in, and how into the 21st century we will be able to clean up our land, water and air.

Advancements in these new technologies are happening as we speak. It alarms me that the Liberal government would rather spend billions of dollars buying international credits than it would investing in Canadian solutions.

The energy sector has been one of the most vocal in expressing its concerns. It has experienced the pains of the Liberal government's economic meddling. This will affect every Canadian consumer and every sector in the country. The agricultural industry will see higher fuel costs. Kyoto tax measures will tax them as well. The cost of driving to destinations such as Jasper will be out of reach for many people. There is no question that Kyoto will have an absolutely devastating effect on many places, not only in my constituency or in the province of Alberta, but right across the country.

It is interesting that the Prime Minister is entering the discussion with the provinces on increasing the funding for health care. He just went into the dollars that probably will be put into health care. Because of the self-imposed deadline that is approaching and the debate we are having right now, it will be interesting to see whether closure will be used on the debate or whether we will truly have an open and wide debate on this very important issue.

We have a narrow window of opportunity to protect Canada's economy from the effects of ratifying this accord before Christmas. We need to take advantage of that right now. We need to think seriously about where the House is going, about what we are about to vote on and about the repercussions it will have on the nation from coast to coast.

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7:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, I was listening intently to the hon. member for Yellowhead. I was wondering if he thinks that ratifying the Kyoto accord would further widen the gap in the standard of living between Canada and the United States and if the investment freeze would only intensify. I would like to hear his comments on what he thinks of the standard of living and where it will go with ratifying the Kyoto accord.

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7:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member's question is a very good one. It is one thing that I did not mention in my address, but it is absolutely true.

We trade 80% to 90%, depending on the numbers one uses, with our largest trading partner which happens to be the United States. It is not signing the accord. It is not that it is not for the environment; many of the states are doing much more aggressive things than where the Kyoto accord will actually go, but they are doing them in their own way. It is a made in the United States approach.

We are suggesting that we need a made in Canada approach so that we do not unduly destroy certain industries and opportunities that we have as a nation as we move forward. For us to sign on to an accord where the repercussions are so devastating puts us in a trading deficit and disadvantage with the United States, our largest trading partner, in a significant way that we may never come out of. It may spin us into a much different recession than that of the United States. If that were to happen, we may lose our currency. We as a nation are already upset about our 64¢ dollar. It was 63¢ and 62¢ less than a year ago and it could go down to 52¢ or 42¢. It could destroy the economy to that degree.

It is something we should look at very soberly. When we see the repercussions of signing on to an accord, the costs become unbelievable, but maybe that would not be all that bad. Maybe Canadians would say it is worth the price if we could really clean up the air. But when 95% of the CO

2

in Canada is emitted naturally and we are talking about only 2% to 3% that is human made and we are going to reduce that by only 6%, even if we eliminated all our CO

2

, it would have no effect on the world's climate.

Is that really going to achieve the goal? I would suggest the answer is no. That is why the cost does not match the gain.

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7:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, there are a couple of points I would like the hon. member to respond to.

I may be a bit of a slow thinker, but the hon. member for Davenport in the question and comment period could not understand why we could not understand that if the summers are that much hotter and there is such a great demand for electricity to run our air conditioners, that creates more smog. On the surface, one would have to think that was a logical conclusion, but then one would also have to conclude that if the temperature has risen to the degree that it is going to make that much difference to the smog conditions in Toronto, then in the winter, because it is so much warmer, we would not have to run our furnaces nearly as much. Therefore we would have much less CO

2

produced in the winter which would perhaps more than offset using the air conditioners in the summer.

Maybe the hon. member for Davenport should run his scenario through to its conclusion. Perhaps the member could comment on that.

Also the hon. member for Davenport and other members on the Liberal side in the last few days in this debate, when they can no longer argue their case on the science or the economics, they fall back to the position that Canada as a member of the world community has a responsibility to set an example as a leading nation in the world. There is some question as to whether or not Canada is a leading nation anymore, but if it is, then we have a moral responsibility to lead by example for the rest of the world and sign this accord whether or not our CO

2

emissions are significant in terms of world emissions.

I would ask you to comment a bit on how you see our responsibility as a member of the world community.

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7:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Just as a warning, I would ask members to please address their comments to the Chair. It is much easier to manage that way.

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7:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, the smog in downtown Toronto was mentioned. I think a lot of Torontonians actually feel that if the Kyoto accord is signed, it is going to solve that problem. Forty-five days of smog alerts this year is significant and the city absolutely has a problem. The problem with the Kyoto accord is it is not the CO

2

that is causing the damage, it is all of the other pollutants that come along with it. Even if we sign the Kyoto accord and implement it, reducing it not by 6% but let us say 100%, still would not eliminate the smog. That is one of the problems and misconceptions.

The longer we have this debate, the clearer it becomes to Canadians. When it comes to our international agreements, for a lot of the countries who signed them, it is more about wealth changing hands than it is about the environment. In fact, we even see provinces that are sort of on side with it. It is not so much because they are environmentalists, but because they see the dollars and cents that could be gained from signing the accord. That is the unfortunate part about it.

We have to look soberly at why we are signing this thing and whether we are going to get any benefits from signing it at all. We certainly know there will be devastating effects on the economy from it.

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7:20 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pride that I rise to represent the people of St. Paul's in this very important debate.

St. Paul's is a pretty wonderful riding. It may not have the rocks and trees of other ridings but it has, without a doubt, the most educated population in Canada. Most important, when we talk about this debate, 50% of my riding is under the age of 35. These people have seriously thought about the future. It may be that 100 Nobel Laureates have decided that it is extraordinarily important that we ratify the Kyoto agreement but 80% of the people of St. Paul's have made it very clear that this is what they want us to do.

Democracy between elections in St. Paul's is a very special thing to me. We have everything from town hall meetings to neighbourhood checkups, online polling and the contact desk section on the website. The people of St. Paul's have thought a great deal about the issue of Kyoto.

I remember in 1997, my first time out on the street as a federal candidate, being accosted by many young people asking me what we were going to do about Kyoto and whether we were going to actually act on climate change.

In the year 2000 and even in the summer before the election, I remember being stopped by English tourists asking why our gas was so cheap in Canada and why were we not worried that people should be taking the bus.

I also remember a constituent coming to see me and showing me a lot of newspaper clippings about the new hybrid cars. He wanted to know if I thought that any company buying fleets of cars should have to be persuaded to buy fleets of hybrid cars. That goes to what we have seen here on the Hill, in terms of those fabulous little RCMP vehicles actually being hybrids. We also have our exemplary Minister of the Environment with his fantastic hybrid car.

I am proud to say that during the last election in 2000, for which we had to rent a car for the campaign, I was persuaded to drive one of the impressive hybrid vehicles. I have to say that I do not know quite why we would not convince Canadians to do so.

The next piece in this equation has to be what it means for Canada to take a leadership on this in the world. With our magnificent north, Canadians must understand what it means, and for those of us who were in Cambridge Bay last summer, to see all of a sudden a boat tied up at the dock in Cambridge Bay, a place where the Northwest Passage has always been frozen. For the first year, all of a sudden there was a yacht from Seattle there and then a 53 foot tin sailing ship from Ireland just tying up at the dock. What does this change in the country mean to our sovereignty and to our protection in terms of the way we see ourselves as a country in terms of sea to sea to sea? I think we want the third sea to be frozen as much as it used to be and we do not want to see palm trees.

It is extraordinarily important. It is like having a debate with the flat earth society. This is happening. The Inuit people know this is happening. We need to talk to them to understand what it means when the polar bears have no place to cross over, when their land has changed in a way that they could never have expected and for which we, as a society, have to take a huge responsibility on what we have done to date. We have to make sure that the damage we have done to date does not go forward for our children and their grandchildren.

Last spring I had a fantastic town hall meeting in my riding. We had the Toronto Renewable Energy Coalition as well as a past executive of Imperial Oil. We ended up having an amazing debate about our responsibilities as Canadians in Kyoto. Virtually everyone at that town hall meeting thought we should get on and ratify the accord.

What has been very interesting to me in this last little chapter, when the debate has become much more visible, is how even the letters coming from constituents have become very persuasive in terms of what they see as Canada's role in the world, where they want Canada to be in terms of leadership on this file and how impressed they are.

I think the most poignant letter that I received was from a young resident of St. Paul's. It states:

I am writing to encourage the Canadian government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and to stand up to the pressures to do otherwise. The Canadian government should not be influenced by the oil industries, Ralph Klein, the U.S. government and big business interests.

The claims that abiding by the Kyoto Protocol would hurt the economy are false. The claim that the deal with cost the economy $30-$40 billion is grossly exaggerated but is likely to cost closer to $300 million to $3.3 billion. Also, large amounts of taxpayers' money would be saved because lowering the level of pollution in the air would reduce illness and deaths. If Canada does not ratify the agreement, the economy could suffer because agricultural production and fisheries are affected and harmed by rising temperatures. These two areas could cost our country more money than the losses associated with committing to the agreement.

As a former doctor I hope you will understand the impact global warming will have on people's health and its cost to society. Once again, I am requesting that the Canadian government ratify the Kyoto Protocol for the well being of us all.

Sincerely,

Moe Luksenberg.

P.S. You delivered me in 1986 and three years later your office diagnosed me with asthma.

I think we have to understand from Moe' s point of view and all of the children his age that the effects of air pollution and climate change and the measures to reduce them both are not unrelated.

When I graduated from medical school the incidence of childhood asthma was at 2.5%. The incidence of childhood asthma is now at 12%. My young Moe is one of those people. We must understand that the things that we would do to reduce climate change will also have an extraordinarily positive effect on the quality of air in our lives and particularly for those of us who live in Toronto.

In the last householder in our riding we asked a question that, as everyone will see from some of the responses, perhaps was not the best worded question. It asked, “Do you think we should ratify Kyoto regardless of the economic impact?” It was an interesting question that we thought would separate the wheat from the chaff. I think it mainly created some concerns about the wording of the question. Nonetheless, even with that wording, 80% of the people of St. Paul's who responded to this poll were in favour of the ratification regardless of economic impacts.

I will give some examples of some of the answers. One person said:

Dear Dr. Bennett:

I am writing to express my complete support and appreciation for your position on ratifying the Kyoto protocol. The reality of global warming is the single most important issue--environmentally, politically and economically--confronting us today. The consequences of further inaction will almost certainly be catastrophic and certainly outweigh any short-term sacrifices that might be required.

Another person said:

As a resident of your constituency, I just wanted to express my satisfaction in your commitment to ratify the Kyoto Accord... From what I understand, there is nothing but positive environmental impacts coming from the Kyoto accord.

Another person said:

I am writing to support the ratification in Canada of the Kyoto Protocol before the end of the year.

Another person said:

My family and I truly feel that Canada should implement the Kyoto Protocol. Of course, there will be costs, but there will be greater costs if we do nothing, like the U.S. is doing.

One of the answers made me most uncomfortable. It read:

Hi, Carolyn. If you are concerned about Kyoto, I would be interested to know whether you have bought shares in the Windmill project that was discussed at your community meeting about the environment earlier this year.

I have to confess that I had thought many times that I was about to do that and have still not yet done that. Maybe it will be a Christmas gift for everyone I know.

There have been some concerns and I cannot say that there cannot be an 80:20 vote in the riding without understanding that some people do have some concerns.

One constituent wrote:

I am sorry but I happen not to agree with you on ratifying the Kyoto agreement. This requires a lot more study on what the impact will be on all Canadians, particularly those like me who are retired and depend on investment income from resource companies which will be impacted by the effects of this agreement.

Another constituent said:

It would have been a better idea to poll the constituents in your riding on this issue before jumping on the bandwagon with your 95 other Liberal colleagues.

I have to say to that constituent that there are some issues in which I feel obligated to lead and I am now thrilled that I am in the good company of 80% of the people who have talked to me.

Another person said:

We absolutely have to ratify Kyoto and go beyond it. We must look at the entire picture, which includes the health costs of bad air, the impact of global warming, the destruction of natural environment, etc. I am often embarrassed by our track record on environmental issues when talking to Europeans.

One of the things that was clear to some of the people who were unsure was that they did want to know the estimated costs of ratifying Kyoto and the impact on the Canadian economy. It was this constituent who wanted to know what the economic impact would be and would not support ratifying the accord.

One of the most articulate responses was again a criticism of the question that we posed on the householder. The constituent wrote:

I didn't feel entirely comfortable with the question you posed. Obviously if the economic impacts are too great, we will not ratify. But the point seems to be that we will not know what the impacts may be, although the odds are that they will not be very great. I became convinced about Kyoto when I read the hysterical nonsense generated by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, an utterly disgraceful position, bankrupt intellectually as well as morally. It seems to me that the arguments advanced by the opponents of Kyoto closely resemble those produced by the friends of Big Tobacco in the 1960s and 1970s. However, Carolyn,as a historian of our external policy, I have to say that the shadows of the Columbia River treaty affair of 1961-3 are ominous. Because of the bifurcated nature of jurisdiction over aspects of foreign relations, I have my doubts as to when this particular effort is going to make it to the statute books, or stay there if it does make it. I'm not happy about this, but I don't think we should kid ourselves about the ability of provincial governments, however misguided and dim-witted, to frustrate good public policy. I suspect you will agree with that proposition.

One of the others said:

As our MP, we urge you and the Government to support the Kyoto Protocol and put the planet's ecosystem on which we all depend ahead of short term economic goals.

It is without a doubt that these were the inflow of reports from the constituents like the one who wrote:

I urge the federal government to enforce fully the Kyoto agreement and environment protocols, and not to capitulate to industry pressure and right-wing reactionaries like Ralph Klein...It is the role of government to protect its citizens--it's time people realized that pollution costs everyone; through spiralling health care costs; through lost productivity due to pollution-induced illnesses, and so on.

Another constituent writes:

Ratify it already! The naysayers have known about it, as we all have, since 1997. To complain about the need for more consultation at this point is just silly.

It is impressive to hear the kind of thoughtful dialogue in terms of what we should be doing with the Toronto Transit Commission and what we should be doing on SUVs. It was in the year 2000, when we did our green householder, when we actually polled constituents on what they themselves were prepared to do in order to help us make our environment better.

In our green newsletter of 2000 it was interesting to see the number of constituents who agreed that they would be prepared to understand incentives that would affect their lifestyles, such as requiring an annual $25 licence to operate a gasoline powered lawnmower, or a separate fee for two stroke engines, or no licence for electric mowers.

In my riding last month the people in Wells Hill had a rake and bake sale where they were proposing to get rid of leaf blowers in their neighbourhood.

It leads to an important point. The Canadian government needs to show leadership by encouraging environmentally responsible activities through proper incentives. Brenda Zimmerman, a professor of management at the Schulich School says when she quotes an old paper, “The folly of rewarding A while hoping for B”. That is what we hope to see now. We need to align Canada's fiscal policies with our social, health and environmental policies. We should lower taxes on things that we agree we want and increase taxes on things we have decided we do not want to support.

Some new initiatives that we need to consider would include the elimination of taxes on renewable energy sources and lowering taxes on cleaner fuels such as natural gas and premium unleaded gasoline. Conversely we would raise taxes on the dirtier fuels such as coal and diesel fuel. It would be interesting for people to go to the gas pump and make a decision based on the cleaner fuel being cheaper in a revenue neutral way than the dirtier fuel. Even the provincial governments could help by perhaps putting the annual licence fee on an SUV at $1,000 a year and the fee on a hybrid at zero.

There are all kinds of other ways that corporate Canada would look at the issue. How can we, sector by sector, do things like the Dutch government has done by creating agreements with sectors called covenants? The Dutch covenant says that it is better for a company's facility to produce in the most efficient way possible in the Netherlands than elsewhere. We want each sector to decide that it can be as good as it can be in its own sector. It is sort of like best in class, and those people can actually move in that way.

Now is Canada's moment to show world leadership in the movement toward a less carbon intensive economy. Tony Marcil, one of my most engaged citizens in St. Paul's, the former president and CEO of the World Environment Centre, reminds us of the important point that the Kyoto protocol is providing us. It is an opportunity for future economic growth as well as environmental sustainability. He states that the Kyoto protocol represents a huge opportunity to strengthen Canada's economic future. He adds that judiciously setting new greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for all Canadians, accompanied by rational fiscal and other incentives, would serve as new challenges to the ingenuity of Canadians in the areas of technology and management.

The fact is that Canada is up to the task. We are well positioned to build on our expertise and the results would be more energy efficient industries, cities and households.

Canada must not pass on this opportunity to gain ground in the field of international economic efficiency. Canada's industry leaders should be lobbying intensely for Kyoto because in the end it would keep them in the international trade race. Without it they would continue to lose ground to Asian and European firms that have lowered the energy intensity of their products due to higher energy costs and are now doing so, again due to Kyoto goals.

Ninety-five colleagues and I wrote a letter to the Prime Minister encouraging that we ratify Kyoto without the clean energy credits. We feel that there should not be any asterisk on the deal. Let us just do it. We cannot afford not to.

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7:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a couple of comments and a question for the member. I must express my disappointment at the way the member shoots barbs about intellectual capacity at anybody who does not agree with her position or her party's position on Kyoto.

The whole issue of Kyoto is a scientific hypothesis and it does not diminish anyone's mental ability anymore to oppose the science than it does those who support it. Certainly if we are going to have a contest reading each other's constituents' letters into the record I can assure her that I have thousands I could read opposing it, but I do not see the purpose of that. Certainly one with such great mental capacity should be able to make a speech around the issue of Kyoto without reading a whole bunch of letters.

If the Liberal Party and the Liberal government are so concerned about the environment and the future of our children, why did the environmental watchdog, that the government appointed, when she released her report just recently after looking at some 200 environmental agreements that the government had signed over the last 10 years and auditing some 35 of them, give the government an absolute failing grade on all of those reports and agreements that it signed? If it cares so much about the environment, why is it not living up to the agreements it has already signed?

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7:40 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

Before I give the floor, it seems that we are embarking a little on the slippery slope here. Let us try to show some courtesy and respect for one another. The hon. member for St. Paul's.

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7:40 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I do not think the hon. member understood what I was talking about in terms of intellectual capacity, although I do not think that this is a theoretical issue any longer. One just has to go to our north to see what is already happening. This is not theory. It is actually in practice. It is what the people in our north are living. It is so important to the future of this planet that the younger people in this country be united on this.

We cannot not act and hand this huge problem on to our children and to our grandchildren. It is not theoretical. It is happening. There is absolutely a real feeling in this country that we are speaking to the flat earth society. This is science. The hundred Nobel laureates are clear this is happening. For people to continue to question whether it is happening is dishonest. They can debate the economic impact with me, but whether climate change is happening, they cannot debate that any longer, they must accept that it is happening.

We have an environmental commissioner in this country to evaluate the performance and internationally we have a good reputation on all of these. We are leading the world on POPs. It is an extraordinarily important thing. However, there is a saying that goes, “If you measure, it gets noticed; if it gets noticed, it gets done”.

We are not afraid of having people come and talk to us about performance. It is the reason that there needs to be an objective audit of performance on all of our files, particularly the environment. It is a special office similar to the auditor general. What we need in government and Parliament is a learning culture where we are not afraid of having a report card and then figuring out what we could do better. That is a good thing.

We must get away from the “gotcha” style of politics, where people are afraid to measure and are afraid to have report cards because they think that the opposition will come. Canadians have matured way beyond that. They want us to be measuring, they want us to be learning, and they want us to be feeding back the changes. We know that climate change is happening and that we must act on it now because failing to act would cause a huge price to be paid by those who follow after.

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7:45 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Bras D'Or—Cape Breton, NS

Mr. Speaker, I hold in high regard the ability to innovate and solve problems through industry, but history has told us time and again that sometimes industry comes as an unwilling partner and sometimes it comes kicking and screaming. We can look at examples of the early textile and cotton industries in America, where the owners felt that the abolishment of slavery would be the end of their industry. That was proved wrong and slavery was abolished for the greater good.

We can look at the taking of lead out of gasoline and how oil and gas industries fought that and felt that would have a terrible impact. However the profit margins still show that big oil and gas industries are doing fairly well. We can look at air bags in cars. These are changes for the betterment of society. Industry is looking at this glass as half empty. What we hear from this side is that there would be opportunities for industry.

I would like to ask the member whether she agrees with my opinion that we must look at the benefit and the opportunity and, yes, there would be some casualties, but where will the growth be through the signing of Kyoto?

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7:50 p.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has an excellent point. What we are talking about is setting some targets. Most of the corporations that I have talked to, even people in the chemical industry, like the idea of setting some goals because it is with our innovation and creativity that we would find the kind of innovations that we can export to the world. The whole world has decided to get on with this.

One of the examples that was given to me was the Avro Arrow. When we decided not to do that, the Americans immediately picked up right after. We thought that we could not afford it or that they were not going to doing it. We must ensure that we are leading. There are so many fantastic corporations in Canada, from Shell to TransAlta to Iogen, but also the Ballard fuel cells, and the neat things that are happening in our country that could be sold to the world.

When we think of wind power we have this fantastic opportunity to be able to move power right into the grid and help many people, whether they are farmers or people in Atlantic Canada, to find a new resource whereby they can actually find revenue.

I remember talking to somebody five years ago who said to just get on and do it, because then the incentives will come into place that we can explain to our shareholders, and we can get on with this and stop discussing “whether” but just “how”.

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7:50 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise again to take part in the debate on the ratification of the Kyoto protocol.

Let me say from the outset that I endorse the comments that the hon. member opposite just made regarding, among others, the doubt that some may have concerning certain scientific certainties relating to climate change.

I am prepared to recognize that, in the scientific community, there are a number of debates on climate change and its actual impact. In my opinion, the best thing for us to do is to refer to a group that has been examining the issue since 1988. Recently some scientists have reacted and questioned the impact of the use of fossil fuel on the environment. However, we cannot ignore the statements and findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has been studying this issue since 1988.

At this point, it is important to mention the findings and conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This panel is not accountable to some parliamentary committee or governmental group, but to the United Nations. The panel came to the conclusion that temperatures would rise from 1 to 4 degrees Celsius in Quebec, and from to 2 to 6 degrees Celsius in the north.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change also came to the conclusion that the impact will be significant and that there will be, among other things, and I quote:

—floods, more frequent droughts—irreversible damage to natural areas, and a higher prevalence of several infectious diseases.

This is not in a 1988 report, but in a report released in 2001, which is last year.

The impact on Quebec will be more significant, particularly on our natural heritage. As we all know, the two worst weather disasters in Canada occurred in Quebec, namely the Saguenay floods and the ice storm, which affected mainly the greater Montreal region and the region located south of Montreal.

According to the Quebec Department of the Natural Resources, a 15% to 20% reduction is forecast in the flow of the St. Lawrence. This change will go along with a 30% or 40% decrease in its depth. This will have an inevitable impact on Quebec's natural heritage, its ecosystems to be more specific, and certain species already at risk will become more endangered still. The impact on the ecosystems of the St. Lawrence will be a very heavy one.

We also know that higher water levels in the oceans will mean that salt water will have a tendency to flow up into the St. Lawrence, and this will have an inevitable impact on river water quality and drinking water supplies.

These obvious facts are in addition to the forecasts by the specialists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of a major meltdown of Arctic ice. These are not only impacts on our natural heritage, on our environment, they also involve an economic impact.

It needs to be taken into consideration that these environmental impacts might also have economic impact on entire regions of Quebec. I am thinking of certain sectors of the tourist industry, which might be affected by climate change as it impacts on Quebec's heritage. Then there is the impact on health. At the present time, the impact of pollution on our health care system is assessed at $500 million annually. Major improvements would be made to the demand on Canada's public health system by combating climate change.

It is also important to remind hon. members that it is inevitable, and something there is a frequent tendency to forget during the debate on the pros and cons of application of the Kyoto protocol, for ratification to result in some definite benefits on the economic level. Still more important, it will be a sign of our willingness to change our production methods.

According to a recent report by the Department of the Environment, the environmental industry would benefit from ratification. Until 2010, we are talking of $450 million, compared to $7 billion afterward. Companies involved in environmental pursuits could not help but see their business grow.

So I think that it would be an illusion to believe that the impact would only be negative following the implementation of the Kyoto protocol. There are economic opportunities. Since when does efficiency, particularly energy efficiency, mean negative growth? On the contrary, energy efficiency means innovation and growth. Those who claim the opposite are inevitably living in the past.

In the past, we implemented many procedures. I am thinking of the ISO standards that, as one of my colleagues mentioned today in the House, added to the economic efficiency of some businesses. Thus, environmental standards create innovation. We must consider the ratification of the Kyoto protocol as a golden opportunity to change our production methods, but also to lead Quebec and Canada toward sustainable development.

The economic benefits are also obvious. Today, we could have discussions in this regard. My colleagues of the Canadian Alliance could provide me with as many studies showing the economic costs of the ratification of the Kyoto protocol as I could give them to show some opportunities related to its ratification.

In this context, I will present a study from the Tellus Institute, in Boston, which analyzed the costs and benefits of ratification of the Kyoto protocol for Canada. This is a recent study. It indicates that the net accumulated economic benefits will be $4 billion in the economy as a whole. They will reach $1.6 billion in 2012. There will be an estimated net gain of 52,000 jobs created because of the changes in consumption. We will realize a job-related net gain of $135 per household annually. There will be an increase of $2 billion in the GDP as opposed to the do-nothing scenario. Thus, there are obvious benefits to ratification of the Kyoto protocol.

However, we cannot continue to support a Canadian policy of greenhouse gas reduction that totally contradicts the will expressed today by the government. It cannot say today that it supports ratification of the Kyoto protocol while continuing its strategy of funding the oil and gas industry.

We cannot accept the fact that, between 1970 and 1999, grants to the oil industry totalled $66 billion, compared to a meagre $329 million for renewable energies.

This is totally unacceptable. From 1990 to today, the oil industry received $2.5 billion, compared to only $76 million for renewable energies.

We must change our consumption patterns. A few weeks before the end of the Johannesburg summit, the Europeans were proposing that 15% of our energy be renewable. Why would we not adopt this practice in Canada? Why would we not say that, in the near future, 15% of our energy will be green energy? It is feasible.

It is feasible because Canada's wind energy potential is huge. I have said that before. Over 60% of Canada's wind energy potential is in western Canada. There are businesses in the oil industry, such as TransAlta, and I am naming this one because it is really interesting. This oil company decided to buy a wind energy company. I think that it shows that the opportunities are there and that some businesses in the oil industry are becoming aware of Canada's wind energy potential and of the economic opportunities that green energy can create.

Over 40% of Canada's wind energy potential is in Quebec. Certain resource-based regions such as the Lower St. Lawrence, the North Shore and the Gaspé Peninsula could benefit greatly from development projects like the ones that already exist in Quebec. These projects create jobs. We cannot maintain a strategy like the one we have seen so far in Canada, where the oil industry receives 200 times more money than the renewable energy sector. This does not make sense.

Canada cannot ratify Kyoto today without changing its policy with regard to helping the renewable energy sector. It cannot continue to fund the oil and gas industry as it has been doing.

Within the European Union, Germany, for instance, was asked to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 21% below its 1990 levels. These countries were active in industries that were not environmentally friendly. But in a matter of a few years, they became world leaders in wind energy production. That is reason enough to doubt the good will of the government. Germany currently accounts for 36% of all the installed wind power capacity in the world. As surprising as it may seem, the United States account for 17.3%, China for 1.6%, and Canada for 0.8%.

In terms of investment in the wind energy sector, Canada is sitting on the sidelines, compared to the United States, and particularly some American states, like California, that have taken measures to financially support wind energy production by providing financial incentives for every kilowatt-hour produced through wind energy. It took a long time for Canada to implement a similar strategy.

We are far from the public funding provided in California. In the end, we have to reduce the cost per kilowatt-hour of wind energy power to be competitive. Instead, the government continues to financially support the oil industry 200 times more than the renewable energy sector.

We are not against ratification. I was the first to support it. At the instigation of the Bloc, a coalition made up of over a hundred partners was set up. However, I do have some reservations about the federal plan. It does not take past effort into consideration. It reflects the unfairness the federation is known for.

A couple of weeks ago, we suggested a proven approach, that was studied by the Canadian Climate Change Program. A 160-page report was submitted to the government where it is recommended to break down the Kyoto objectives in Canada based on the European model.

We suggested that the 6% reduction effort be distributed territorially among the provinces, the way Europe did. How is it that 15 sovereign states, the members of the European Union, managed to agree on a fair, transparent and just distribution of the 8% Kyoto objective, yet we cannot? Why do we not adopt a territorial approach instead of a sectoral approach, as the government is advocating, given the economic structure, demographics, the climate and energy efficiency and the possibility for economic development for certain provinces, such as the Atlantic provinces? Why would we not settle on a fair distribution. Europe did it, why could Canada not do it?

In Europe, there are reduction objectives. For example, Denmark must reduce its emissions by 21%, while Portugal can increase them by 27%. Why? Because the reality of the economy or climate is different in every area. The European Union saw fit, rightly, to take into account these regional differences when it distributed the effort, something that Canada refuses to do. Instead, we have a sectoral approach, which is in-line with the Canadian nation-building approach. Under this approach, “Canada is a whole. Let us distribute the Kyoto objective by sector”.

Is Quebec's energy sector the same as that of western Canada? The answer is no. Ninety-five percent of our electricity comes from hydroelectricity, whereas this is definitely not the case in western Canada.

Why would we not take into consideration these regional disparities in a fair manner? Is the climate the same in every part of Canada? The answer is no. Nor are demographics the same.

Today we are saying that we believe in ratification of the Kyoto protocol because we are able to meet these objectives. If Quebec were a sovereign state, the protocol would already be ratified. However, we find the federal government's approach and distribution of the objectives totally unfair. We belive the federal plan goes against the principles of Kyoto. These principles are a common, but differentiated approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is what the federal government refused to do in its plan.

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8:10 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to congratulate the hon. member on his excellent speech. Naturally, I do not totally agree with some of his arguments, but I congratulate him on his speech.

He asked a number of questions. He talked about European countries. He wondered how it was possible for the 15 countries of Europe, that is the European Union, to agree on the issue of ratifying the Kyoto protocol. Here, the ten provinces cannot agree, but there is a big difference.

I just want to ask the hon. member if he realizes that, in Europe, the burden is on Germany and Great Britain to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and this is why the other countries have very little to do. Here in Canada, Quebec, Ontario and especially Alberta do not want to have to carry such a burden for the other provinces. That, to me, is the difference.

Does the hon. member see this big difference between the provinces of Canada and the countries of the European Union?

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8:10 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I quite enjoyed the question asked by my hon. colleague, the Minister of the Environment.

The main difference between Canada and Europe is that, in June 1998, the latter adopted a model to allow the European Union to share the Kyoto burden. How many years has it taken for Canada to discuss sharing the Kyoto objectives within our borders?

The difference between Europe and Canada is that the former has taken this issue seriously since 1997. European countries reached an agreement in June 1998, one year after the Kyoto protocol was signed. Canada has just been twiddling its thumbs. Ottawa has been busy consulting and has not taken action. If we had dealt with this issue right from the start in 1997, we would not be discussing it today but would rather have made strides.

Today, as we sit and wait, greenhouse gas emissions in Canada increased by 19% between 1990 and 1999, instead of the 6% decrease that Canada is supposed to achieve. Why? Because the Canadian government has lacked leadership, while Europe has been taking this issue seriously since 1997.

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8:15 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan York North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank and congratulate the hon. member for his very comprehensive and thoughtful speech on this very important debate. Indeed he is a very able contributor to the work that we do in the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development.

The information put forward by the member in his speech is available to all members of the House. First, how did he come to the conclusion that he would like to support the ratification of the Kyoto protocol. Second, how do his constituents feel about this issue?

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8:15 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for her question.

In Quebec, we made economical choices in the 1960s and 1970s that were environmental choices. From the time of René Lévesque to Robert Bourassa and on, Quebec has been developing its renewable energy sources, including hydroelectricity. Quebec has not been twiddling its thumbs. Between 1990 and 1999, Quebec adopted two action plans on climate change to ensure that—excluding Newfoundland—it, along with Manitoba, has one of the best performances in terms of greenhouse gas reduction.

It is rather paradoxical to see that the best performers in Canada, if we exclude Newfoundland, are Quebec and Manitoba. Why? Because it shows that clear objectives and a specific action plan give results.

We must protect our natural heritage. We must understand that protecting the environment can be a golden opportunity to develop a nation. Of course, I reached this conclusion out of concern for our natural heritage, but I also think that this is the best application of the concept of sustainable development to the three spheres: the environment, society and the economy.

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8:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I get confused by the position of the Bloc Quebecois because it seems contradictory.

I have a little trouble understanding why, since Confederation, provinces like Alberta, Ontario and until recently British Columbia, through a process of equalization, have paid more to the federal government than they have got back and much of that largess has gone to Quebec. We are one country and we want to equalize services across it.

On one hand Quebec wants to isolate Alberta and have it take the flak. On the other hand, the Bloc seems to be prepared to support ratification, with a federal government that has betrayed the provinces at every turn on this issue. I do not understand that.

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8:15 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I must explain to the hon. member the difference between equalization and structuring investments. There is one thing that must be understood. When we invest, for example, in the development of Hibernia, it is a totally different thing, because we create real jobs. This is the difference with equalization. We want structuring investments that will allow us to develop clean energy.

Our position is not surprising. What we are saying is that if Quebec were a sovereign state, we would probably not be discussing this issue today, because we would probably have adopted the protocol as early as 1997. That is the difference. As for the rest, the federal government is imposing on us a federal plan that is totally unfair and that does not at all take past efforts into consideration.

Let us take a company such as Alcan. Since 1990, it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by two megatonnes. It has also made a commitment to reduce its emissions by 500,000 tonnes over the next four years. These efforts by Alcan and the aluminum industry must be rewarded. What we are saying today is that we do not want Alberta to pay more; we want a fair system that is based on a single principle. In 1992, Canada endorsed the polluter pay principle. Canada must implement this principle; otherwise its commitment is meaningless.

Today, the government is telling us that it has endorsed this principle. However, it refuses to implement it. Therefore, we totally reject this federal approach, because it ignores the polluter pay principle. This is like rewarding the industries and companies that have polluted in the past. Today, the government is telling them “You will be eligible to benefit from governmental subsidies in the hydrocarbon sector”. This is nonsense. One must be consistent in politics. The government must ratify Kyoto, but is must also reposition the funding of hydrocarbons, rethink its budget and fund clean energy more than it is currently doing.

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8:20 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan York North, ON

Mr. Speaker, before I get into debate I want to mention two items. While the hon. member opposite identified certain members of his party, his counterpart in Quebec, whom he deemed to be very good environment ministers, I think that all of those in the House would have to recommend and respect the work that the hon. member for Lac-Saint-Louis did when he was the minister of environment in Quebec as well.

I would also like to point out that I will be splitting my time.

The great sadness I feel when listening to the debate on Kyoto is that so few of us in the House understand the notion of interconnectedness, that we as humans are nature and that the creations of humanity, be they political, economic, cultural or spiritual, are merely human artifacts and part of the greater reality of the earth community. We forget, as Jane Jacobs has said, that “nature affords foundations for human life and sets its possibilities and limits”. Economists she says, seem not to have grasped this reality yet.

As any student of economics will tell us, at least if they have studied the same textbooks that I did, environmental and social factors are externalities and are neither integrated nor accounted for in the normal costs of doing business. This is the central failing of economics and it is fueling the controversy over the ratification of the Kyoto protocol. Without understanding the fundamental reality that economics is merely a subset of the environment, just as humans are merely part of ecosystems, we risk failing in our efforts to address climate change.

Climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing our country and our world. What can we do about this problem? Let me suggest that we have two choices. The first is to act now to address the problems arising from climate change. The second is to wait until we are forced to act.

By acting now, the array of choices for implementation measures is broader and, by extension, less costly.

In the Kyoto debate, we have abandoned sober realism for petty ideological strutting. If I may, I would like to offer two reports on Kyoto grounded in the here and now. The first concerns Kyoto outside of North America. I have just returned from a week in Europe with the Canada-Europe Parliamentary Association. While there, I was struck by the overwhelming support of European parliamentarians for the Kyoto protocol and what it seeks to accomplish. It is viewed as an opportunity, not a liability. It is considered a way to modernize their economies. Additionally, they see it as a responsible and necessary endeavour for members of the international community.

I was repeatedly told in explicit terms how thrilled EU members are that Canada is on the verge of fulfilling its commitment to the world. We North Americans are often justifiably accused of thinking regionally rather than globally. Sometimes one has to leave this continent to really get a sense of how our decisions resonate around the globe. In this case, our choice is being seen as a triumph for internationalism, as it signals a willingness to work with others on this most pressing problem.

The second report I would like to offer involves the very real and very current impacts of climate change in Canada's Arctic. Despite the efforts of many to cast the impacts of climate change as being distant and theoretical, our northern peoples know better. I have had the privilege over the years to work on Arctic issues with people like Sheila Watt-Cloutier, international president of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference. Here is her account of what climate change means to Inuit people:

There is something missing from images of melting ice and disappearing polar bears to illustrate climate change in the Arctic. They are neither the essential story nor the best of images. To Inuit, climate change is a matter of cultural survival. Our very future as a people is at risk. How can we remain a hunting culture when it is predicted that by the latter decades of this century the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free in summer and the animals we now hunt will be gone? Climate change in the Arctic wears a human face, an Inuit face. We look to Ottawa to protect our rights through national and international action, including ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Inuit speak from experience and current realities, not from the world of modeling and computer simulations. Climate change for them is not a contentious issue. Like persistent organic pollutants, it is an unwelcome gift from the south.

Building on this, it is important to remember that, like all environmental issues, when discussing climate change one must consider the equity factor. Those who are least responsible for environmental problems so often bear the brunt of them. At the same time, they are shut out of the economic benefits that are born out of the activities that cause the problems. In Canada's case we need look no further than the Arctic for proof of this. Let us remember that what happens in the Arctic will happen to those of us who live in the south.

The debate over the Kyoto protocol is also about adjustment. It pits a desperate faith in the status quo against a courageous willingness to change. A lot of people do not like change and many have built prosperous careers out of wagging fingers and frightening us into inaction. The sudden efforts of some parties to delay ratification, parties who have been consulted, parties who have walked away from the consultation, strike me as the actions of those interested in dragging out the status quo purely for reasons of self-interest.

Kyoto is not about self-interest. It is about doing something for the current and future good of the world. It is the first step in what will be a long and permanent process.

There will always be dissenting voices like the ones we have heard in this debate. The problem is, we have given those voices impetus through our own inaction. We have allowed the critics to make climate change a contentious issue in spite of the fact that all of the evidence is stacked against them. Who are we to believe, the 2,000-plus scientists who form the IPCC and who say climate change is a burgeoning threat to the environment? Or those political and industrial interests with a storied history of vociferous opposition to improving environmental protection who are saying global warming is not really that big a deal?

The starter gun for positive change goes off with the ratification of Kyoto. It shows industry, the provinces, the international community and the Canadian people that the government intends to act. Until we make such a commitment, confusion will reign, and the relevant parties will condemn us for contributing to that confusion.

Stakeholders have demanded clarity. Let us give them clarity. It is time to change the focus of debate from divisive haggling over ratification to united cooperation in implementation. Let us leave the finger waggers and professional fearmongers to their cigar dens. Instead, let us work with those who already have it right: pioneering industrial actors, homeowners and non-governmental groups. In particular, I would like to applaud the efforts of the Smart Implementation Coalition, a partnership of industry, NGOs and municipal governments. The forward thinking of this group and others shows that many of the steps toward greenhouse gas reduction are not that difficult. For the bigger ones, we need to create a decisive atmosphere of change.

We can, through ratification of the Kyoto protocol, create such an atmosphere, or we can ignore the colossal amount of work that has gone into this problem and be forced to change later. These are the two fundamental choices presented by Kyoto. Nature, not the naysayers, will make the final decision if we wait.

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8:30 p.m.

Edmonton Southeast
Alberta

Liberal

David Kilgour Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific)

Mr. Speaker, there are now more than 6 billion co-trustees of planet Earth. Those of us fortunate enough to live in Canada want to do our best to help keep it in good repair. Accordingly, I will be voting yes to the ratification of the Kyoto protocol.

I am sure that I surprise no one when I say I have great concerns, especially in terms of the effects it will have on Alberta.

It is clear that Kyoto is not self-implementing; we need to pass legislation. A constitutional cloud, however, is lurking just over the horizon. The provinces are claiming jurisdiction over elements of the accord. Alberta has already introduced legislation to occupy the field in certain respects. I think it would be fair to say that constitutional experts across the country are divided. We must accept that there will be issues and continue to work together on an acceptable implementation strategy. The case for continued cooperation and consultation is clear.

Particularly disturbing throughout the discussion over recent months has been the notion raised by some that Albertans are not committed to the environment. Questioning Kyoto has wrongly become synonymous with being anti-green. Albertans are far from that. We understand that climate change needs to be addressed and are appalled at the suggestion that we would ruin the planet for selfish gains.

Many Albertans, including myself, moved west at least in part because of the natural environment. In the 1970s, it might be added, I conducted a number of environmental prosecutions for the province. Most Albertans want Canada to be a global leader in environmental protection.

After travelling to Asia, Africa and Latin America and meeting families there living on less than $2 a day, it is often overwhelming to return home and see how well most of us live here.

Canadian industries are recognized everywhere for their bold, creative ways of reducing emissions. For example, Alberta based EnCana and others are developing sequestering techniques to pump CO

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underground as a way of forcing oil to the surface. EnCana estimates that its operations could produce the same effect as taking 212,000 cars off the road would. Sequestration applied throughout western Canada could reduce emissions by as much as 75 megatonnes a year, provided that it can be done at a reasonable cost.

The use of ethanol blends and other bio-diesel fuels reduces greenhouse gas emissions and has the potential to create tremendous new opportunities for agriculture, especially for prairie farmers.

Syncrude, one of Alberta's leading energy producers, has already cut CO

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emissions per barrel of production by almost a fifth since 1990. I could go on and on.

Not only is it important for the environment to be careful in our energy consumption, but it is also in the interest of the business community. They know it and are making the necessary adjustments. Let us be clear; they do not want to suffer any negative impact on their economic growth.

Businesses are not just developing ground breaking technologies; they are doing what Canadians generally have come to expect: they are using innovations to help the developing world. It is little known that under Kyoto Canadian businesses could get credit for helping developing countries put in place cleaner technologies.

As an example of a clean development mechanism, take a proposed coal burning electricity plant in a developing country. If Canada offers to build a much cleaner gas burning plant instead, I gather we could claim a credit for the difference in emissions levels between the two facilities. This approach would appeal to all of us in Canada who want to see developed countries do something about greenhouse gases and other air pollution around the world.

The reality is that many Albertans' jobs depend upon the fossil fuel industry, as does much of our Alberta advantage. Many Albertans fear that they are going to be most negatively impacted and we must not be. Implementation must in no way jeopardize the strength of the Alberta economy, the growth of which is heavily dependent upon the expansion of the oil sands.

Our Prime Minister has said, “Nothing is more nervous than a million dollars”. Now consider $5 billion for an oil sands plant. The fact is that in the investment world, perception is reality.

The development of our oil sands is too important to the country not to go ahead because of the chill factor or any other reason. Implementation must protect the oil sands as a priceless national asset. They are the source of hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs across western Canada. Moreover 40% of the money spent on machinery, chemicals, equipment and services in Fort McMurray goes to Ontario's and Quebec's manufacturing sectors.

It is estimated that between 30,000 and 52,000 jobs in Ontario's steel industry alone depend on the Alberta oil sands. As the Calgary Herald said, when a project is cancelled in Alberta, steelworkers in Hamilton go home.

Since 1995 and the much praised agreement on the taxing of the oil sands projects introduced by our Prime Minister, approximately $86 billion in related development has been announced with about $24 billion of it to be completed by the end of this calendar year. That leaves $62 billion awaiting decision.

The oil sands have created outstanding opportunities for our first nations. Persons in the oil sands pay taxes and contribute to transfer payments. Much of the Alberta government's annual budget is based on energy royalties meaning that social programs throughout the province are dependent on the sector.

In an era of instability in the Middle East, a strong oil patch increases North America's energy security. Reduced reliance on imported energy sources is something for which many countries around the world are now clamouring. Some Canadians ask, what is the risk; heavy emitters cannot simply pack up their drills and find the reserves south of the border. Industry however has said that even though some might continue to extract oil in Alberta, upgrading and treatment operations may be moved out of the country.

Even as per unit reductions are achieved, they worry that Canada's industry might still be disadvantaged because Canada is a growing exporter of oil and natural gas.

When the U.S. pulled out of the negotiations, the entire dynamic changed. Many people have expressed concern that the protocol now appears to favour European nations.

However, it is said that countries the size of continents with growing populations, such as Canada, Australia and the United States, will have to absorb greater economic costs in order to comply.

Canada can and should play a decisive role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, our approach should be one that leads to a moderate and lasting impact, while upholding the economic benefits that our government has generated.

The plan to implement Kyoto must bring certainty to the investment environment as soon as possible, reflect the unique concerns of all of our regions as a national family, and as the Prime Minister has committed, not impose a disproportionate cost on Alberta.

I intend to be vigilant about all of the implementation measures. As a representative of the province, the economic needs of three million Albertans are crucial.

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8:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I enjoyed the hon. member's speech which was not unlike a speech I would have made myself as an Alberta MP. I still think that the hon. member has a dilemma and a responsibility to the citizens of Alberta to stand up and support Alberta's position in the vote on the motion. However, that is a decision the hon. member will have to wrestle with.

He referred to the clean energy export credit and the instruments that are available to companies to go into the third world, develop green technology and receive credit for it back home. Canada is in the process of building a number of nuclear power stations in China that will replace hundreds of coal burning power stations, yet we will receive no credit whatsoever for that technology that we are exporting to China. I ask the member, why is that fair?

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8:40 p.m.

Liberal

David Kilgour Edmonton Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Athabasca for that question, which is one that has troubled me as well. I have been to see one of those nuclear plants near Shanghai. In fact, it is in production now.

My understanding of whether nuclear power will qualify for credits is that at present it does. An American living in Europe who is a specialist on the Kyoto accord told me that European nations are moving against allowing emissions credits for nuclear plants. If that move is successful, as the member is indicating, Canada and other countries that produce nuclear power would lose the right to build nuclear plants in developing countries and thereby obtain an emissions tax credit.

I know nuclear power is very controversial in the member's riding, as it is in mine. Safe nuclear technology, such as the Candu reactor, will continue to be eligible for credits. If we can cut the pollution in places like Shanghai, Beijing, New Delhi or Jakarta through sound, safe nuclear technology, I think the member would be the first to agree that would be an excellent contribution by Canadians to the developing world.

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8:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John M. Cummins Delta—South Richmond, BC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments of the member across the way.

There is one issue I have some problems with and I wonder what his take is on it. That is the notion that the Kyoto accord does not require Canada to actually make CO

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reductions, that it establishes this emissions trading credit scheme which allows Canada to buy credits toward its targets by transferring money abroad, in some cases it is said to countries with worse environmental records rather than make the CO

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reductions themselves.

I just do not understand how that could be a benefit. If we want to be on the leading edge of technology on these things, why do we not simply take it upon ourselves to make improvements in this way? Why would we commit ourselves to this protocol which has so many risks? Why would we not just make a commitment to do something--

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8:40 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The hon. Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific.

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8:40 p.m.

Liberal

David Kilgour Edmonton Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague's question is a good one.

As I understand it from the same person I was speaking about a moment ago, in the case of Russia it is going to have approximately 1,000 megatonnes to sell for emissions credits because of the fact that its economy is approximately half the size it was in 1990. That is 1,000 megatonnes of credits available which could be banked, by the way, so each year it would have 1,000 more. That could have all kinds of consequences.

If the Russians sold their credits to whomever and used that money to improve their environmental practices, that would be good. If they were to flood the market with that 1,000 megatonnes and the price went down to $1 or $2, that would be good for Canada in the sense that if we had to buy emissions, we would be buying them at a very low price.

The point my colleague is making, as many people have said, is what good does it do to buy hot air from Russia? I would hope very much that if Canada bought an emissions credit outside our country, it would go to a country that would use that money immediately to cut down pollution in whatever country it happened to be. If the money just went--

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8:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member but I did actually give him an extra minute. Resuming debate.

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8:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are continuing to talk about Kyoto tonight. We are expelling a lot of air in this green House of Commons talking about greenhouse gases and that is a nice analogy.

In doing some reading in preparation for speaking tonight, I came across an article about the French academy of science in the 18th century taking the position that meteorites did not exist. People had reported that rocks were falling from the sky and landing in their fields. Rural folk believed they were supernatural omens. Scholars at the French academy thought this was so absurd that they dismissed the whole phenomenon out of hand.

For nearly a century they blocked scientific discussion on the matter. They exerted such intimidating peer pressure that museums and laboratories throughout Europe quietly began to discard their meteorite collections lest the great men in Paris think they were backward. Thomas Jefferson joined in the scoffing, accusing two U.S. scientists of being liars for proposing the idea. In effect there was a consensus of the world's top scientists that meteorites did not exist. Then one day in April 1803 a meteorite fell in Normandy near a gathering of French scientists and attitudes suddenly began to change.

I find that story entertaining, interesting and something to which we should pay some attention. There is certainly a very overwhelming sense that we have put ourselves on a track, signed a political agreement, and not looked very closely at where we are going.

That same author, Ross McKitrick, said that bureaucracy and politics can sometimes overtake science, creating false notions of consensus while sabotaging the very mechanisms able to test those beliefs. He said that there is no sure way to prevent this from happening but we should be very alert to the possibility.

Mr. McKitrick also talked about how this logic could very much relate to the whole question of global warming. Some of the warning bells in some of the documents that have been produced so far portray consensus where in actual fact scientific consensus does not exist. I wanted to put that on the table.

Earlier this evening the Liberal member for St. Paul's said that as far she was concerned global warming is a given. Let us assume just for the sake of debate that the member for St. Paul's is correct. I would firmly argue that Kyoto is not the vehicle that will overcome the problems identified, assuming that the hypothesis is correct.

Why is our neighbour to the south miles ahead of us in reducing greenhouse gas emissions? We are going to put all of our eggs in the Kyoto basket. The Americans are saying they are going to take action right now and they have been doing it.

My questions are these. Why is our government not creating incentives now? Why has it done virtually nothing when our neighbours have not only done much at the federal and state levels, but are miles ahead of us. They have removed any uncertainty so that the people whom they are asking to invest in new technology and so on do not have to worry about some unknown set of ramifications from some international agreement that might come down upon them and create uncertainty as to how they operate.

The hon. member for St. Paul's also made the statement that the whole world has decided that we will get on with this. I am sorry but that defies the facts. The fact is that 65% of emissions in the world occur in countries that will not ratify Kyoto or are exempted from any meaningful kind of target.

It is very predictable that the trading scheme envisioned by the government will simply shift jobs, activity and the production of CO

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emissions outside of Canada. It is predictable, if not certain, that global emissions will end up rising because of the structure of the Kyoto accord. They will not end up rising as a consequence of what our neighbours to the south have done. They are doing theirs nationally, within house, in the largest economy in the world and some of their results are nothing less than amazing.

I want to bring a couple of other things to the table about which I do not believe others have talked.

When we talk about the science, we want to keep our eyes open for any new or significant developments. Potentially it is highly significant that we had a massive controlled experiment with our atmosphere after September 11, 2001.

The air traffic basically came to a halt over a good part of the globe and certainly over North America. Scientists looked at the climate during those few days and noticed some very interesting things. We started to exhibit diurnal or daily temperature fluctuations within a 24 hour period that resembled what used to happen prior to the expansion of air travel over the last 30, 40 or 50 years.

The odd time when a few airplanes flew in formation, say fighter planes, they could see very clearly what happened to the vapour trails. Those vapour trails could basically occupy the entire huge span of the atmosphere in the skyline in a very short period of time.

The hypothesis then is that aircraft travel is having a tremendous impact on injecting major greenhouse gases. Of the greenhouse gases, 97% volume is water vapour. That water vapour is being injected at high altitude and potentially has way more impact than great amounts of ground level emissions of water vapour and carbon dioxide, the other most significant greenhouse gas.

I believe a lot more work will come out of that development, and we have only become aware of that.

If we were to go the way the U.S. has gone and decide that rather than getting into a political document, such as the Kyoto protocol, that we would come up with a Canada solution, we would do ourselves a huge favour.

Many industries have made dramatic changes since 1990, driven by fuel efficiency and other rationales, not necessarily related to concerns about CO

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emissions. The major concern those industries have right now is that it appears the federal government, the Liberal administration, does not want to give them credit for all those advances. Right now, if companies were looking at investing in further reductions, there would be a tendency to hold off until there was some certainty whether they would get credit for it now or after.

Those kinds of decisions are being impacted by what the government is doing now. It is very bad for our economy, job creation, investment and on other concerns the business community has.

By signing on to the Kyoto protocol we are avoiding what is the most common sense approach, which is to reduce emissions according to incentives, which we can put in place. Instead we are going with pure politics and environmental optics.

I always say if we have a choice between an incentive and a hammer, we are is much better off to go with the incentive because the hammer will in the long run not work.

This has major implications for international trade. This is becoming a trade document in a sense. I would like to know why we have not heard from the Minister for International Trade. Canada is one of the three NAFTA partners. We have our free trade agreements with Costa Rica for example. We are negotiating the free trade area of the Americas. We will be the only jurisdiction, in all those trading agreements, subject to the Kyoto accord. There are penalties that go with that accord which affect our trading ability and our trading relationships.

The European Union is threatening to go to the World Trade Organization because of the trade advantage the U.S. will have by not signing on to Kyoto. The flip side of that is that people who do sign on are at some trade disadvantage. That is the way I read it before I knew what the EU was thinking.

Countries like Australia, the U.S. and others have made the firm decision that they will not ratify the Kyoto protocol. They have determined that it is a political document, that it will not benefit the environment and that they have a better way to go. I am convinced that they are correct.

I have some knowledge on alternate fuels. It is very interesting that diesel fuel has been known over time as a pretty significant polluter. The U.S. military was running 20% soy in its diesel for about seven years. It did not bother to tell anyone because it was doing it for strategic reasons. However it has a very significant impact on CO

2

emissions. For every 10% of soy that it was running in its diesel, it was reducing CO

2

emissions by 9%. It was running B-20, which is 20% bio or soy in the diesel. At that percentage it has the same operating parameters, the same temperature and other operating characteristics as regular diesel.

Brampton and GTA generating stations are operating with bio-diesel. This all happened this year. Did it happen because of the government or any incentive that the government put in place? No. It happened because an entrepreneur came on the scene, saw an opportunity, had an interest in the environment and made this happen. Canadian Tire will be in the bio-diesel pumping business as well.

This adds on a bit to what the previous speaker talked about. There are tremendous opportunities at higher temperatures, summer range temperatures. We could be running possibly B-60, B-80 and possibly even B-100, 100% bio without any petroleum diesel.

The U.S. has done a lot on this front. I will quote some of the moves it has made. In January the U.S. put in some new environmental protection act requirements. These new rules allowed fleets to use bio-diesel to fulfill up to half of their alternate fuel diesel purchase requirements.

The U.S. is setting standards and regulations for alternate fuel for federal and state fleets, which is having a tremendous impact. The U.S. is looking at the fact that it will be doing a huge favour for its agricultural community because it will not have to subsidize the growing of the bio part of the diesel.

I will read one little paragraph and then I will be done. It states:

The federal Energy Policy Act requires 75 percent of all new state and federal vehicles to be fitted for alternative fuels by the year 2001. If all U.S. city buses used bio-diesel, it would require the oil from 43 million bushels of soybeans annually. There are enough niche markets for bio-diesel to make profits for the nation’s 400,000 soybean growers.

We saved the prairies in Canada once with canola. Canola has all of the same characteristics as soy. There is a tremendous opportunity to be exploited here, and this is only one example of many. I had more things I could certainly talk about.

Those are the kind of things that will move Canada in a direction, not the boy scout approach we have taken to the Kyoto protocol, which is a political document, and is the very reason that the country most like Canada, Australia, rejected the Kyoto protocol.

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9:05 p.m.

Kitchener Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Karen Redman Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, is this not a fascinating debate? I listened for 11 hours to my colleague across the way, the member for Red Deer, and now I hear his caucus colleagues using a false logic that, in my view, defies explanation.

I hear my colleague opposite talking about the regulatory regime that is coming into place in the United States and I hear him talking about incentives that are happening in the United States. These are the very instruments that we will use in Canada to help reach our greenhouse gas emission reductions under Kyoto and yet he uses that as an excuse to say that we ought not to ratify Kyoto when Canadians understand why we need to ratify. Quite frankly, Canadians like to breathe. They realize by reducing greenhouse gas emissions we will have better air quality, and it speaks to more than just CO

2

Our plan targets 35% ethanol and gasoline supply. This is good for farmers. The member opposite himself said that. We will stimulate new income sources for farmers as well as other sectors. For example, corn and wheat account, respectively, for 73% and 20% of the current feedstock for ethanol production. Our plan's 35% target for ethanol and gasoline will create a demand for 150 million additional bushels of corn to produce the necessary ethanol.

My hon. colleague says that we do not need regulation and that we will not be able to bring in enough incentives. Those are the kinds of arguments I hear him using for not ratifying Kyoto, when the very fact that if we look right across Canada, whether it is the Ballard Power Systems, Shell Canada or TransAlta, companies that he--

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9:05 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bélair)

The hon. member for Vancouver Island North.

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9:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the interesting thing that is ethanol cannot survive without an 8¢ a litre subsidy and bio-diesel needs no subsidy.

The other thing is that Kyoto is about CO

2

, not air quality. One of the problems with Kyoto is that we could end up doing things to reduce CO

2

that could actually make the air quality worse. With many activities we may find that we are compromising on nitrous oxide, sulphur dioxide and other things because of our attempt to get at the one item, which is CO

2

. We discovered that very fact when we substituted bunker C with coal in boilers. I am also aware of other examples so this is bogus.

If CO

2

dealt with all the pollutants, such as smog and particulate matter, then I might agree with the logic, but it simply does not do that.

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9:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I was interested in one aspect of the member's speech dealing with the competitiveness of our Canadian economy in a free trade environment of the Americas.

I listened to the member from Windsor a couple of days ago talking about Chrysler looking for a location for a new plant in Canada. I read this morning about the Canadian auto parts manufacturers coming out soundly against us ratifying the accord for those very reasons of which he spoke.

Could the member see why DaimlerChrysler or any car parts manufacturing company would locate a plant in Canada under the Kyoto regime when they need only go to Mexico, Central America or South America where not only are labour costs cheaper but they are not fettered by those kind of environmental restrictions and the Kyoto taxes that we will have in Canada? Why would that possibly happen?

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9:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, my colleague has asked the very question that would be asked by any group of investors or board of directors for a corporation or anything else.

I was astounded to hear that kind of question posed to the Minister of the Environment in terms of job losses within Canada. His response was that at the rate we were producing jobs we actually could afford to lose those jobs. This is not helpful when we are trying to do everything we can to expand Canada's economy and make Canada more prosperous.

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9:10 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, I first want to say that I am pleased to rise and participate in this debate. The second thing I want to say is that I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Yukon.

I have followed the debate in the House over the last number of days. I have read the materials that I could get my hands on. I am by no means an expert on the issue but I have come to the firm position that the time has come where inaction on climate change and the environment is no longer an option. In every cause and every issue there is a time for action, and that time is right now.

I have heard many people in the House argue that what is happening with the earth is natural. Yes, it is true that naturally we do produce a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions. However I believe it is time to be honest and recognize that it is human activity that has caused most of the problems.

In recognizing that we are the main creators of the problem, we now have an obligation to create a solution. We have, I submit, an overwhelming consensus within the scientific community. I believe that 17 academies and over 2,000 climate change scientists presented documents and gave opinions on climate change and the detrimental effects that come with it are damaging our planet.

Despite all this credible evidence, it is safe to say that it does not take a scientist to see the effects of global warming. Our planet is warming faster than at any time in the past 10,000 years, driven by greenhouse gases which have reached their highest level in 420,000 years. Increased floods, droughts, spreading disease and melting glaciers are affecting every area of this globe. When tragedies such as these become commonplace in our daily lives, it makes it apparent that something needs to be done and that it needs to be done sooner rather than later. It is my belief that we have overlooked this problem far too long right now.

With this broad base of evidence before us, I support the actions that are being advocated by our Minister of the Environment as we move toward positive change. It is essential that we--and I speak of we as a global society--take measures immediately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Kyoto protocol outlines the need to reduce our greenhouse gases and it is a strong recognition of the need for action.

I think we can all agree that it is Canada's intention to create a society for this and future generations with clean air, clean water, liveable cities and healthy people. Continuing to delay action will only make more time for increased damages. Canada's climate change plan is devised to address these issues and help every single Canadian re-evaluate how we use energy.

We have heard a lot of talk over the last number of days about a plan. I acknowledge that the plan that has been presented by the Minister of the Environment is not perfect. It is the result of three years of consultation with the provinces, territories and business groups, but again it is not perfect. It is a plan that sets out how we are going to reach our reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. I agree that more work needs to be done on this plan.

I sat today and listened to the speech given by the hon. member for LaSalle--Émard. He supports the ratification of the accord but his position, with which I agree, is that more work needs to be done on the plan; more meat on the bone, so to speak. He made a couple of good suggestions. One suggestion was to sell Petro-Canada shares. I have never heard that raised before. I think it is an excellent suggestion that should be pursued by the government.

The second suggestion was to strike a committee immediately to develop the plan in a little more detail. I think it is a good idea but let us be realistic. If the committee goes forward, which I think it should, and it comes back in March or April next year with more details, do we think that all the industrial sectors, all the premiers, all the territorial leaders, all the business leaders, all the groups will say, “Hallelujah, it is over, we have struck our plan and we all agree with the plan”? No, and we know that. The Romanow report was tabled last week in the House. Before people could have possibly read the report, they were hostile to its contents.

That is Canada. It is a great country, but that is the federation we live in. Of course there will be disputes as we go forward.

I have read the plan. It is a good document to move forward with. There will be costs to meeting the targets of the Kyoto protocol; I will not argue that, but those costs are quite manageable and quite small compared to the impact of not taking action. That is one of the issues that perhaps has not been talked about enough in the House. What are the costs if we do not take any action, we do nothing, such as some hon. members in the House have suggested, if we just let the world unfold as it should?

Canadians are well aware of the economic costs of the severe weather events that occur as a result of global warming. The economic impact of the Saguenay flood exceeded $1 billion. The economic impact of the 1998 ice storm exceeded $5 billion. The economic impact of the 2001 drought also exceeded $5 billion. The costs of meeting our Kyoto commitments pale in comparison to those figures.

Rather than spending so much time and energy focusing on what the costs of Kyoto are, let us talk about the costs that we can save. Emissions costs could potentially save $200 billion in energy costs. A lot of potential growth could be tapped into by investing in alternate energy.

If we ratify Kyoto and give the go ahead to the business community by reducing energy consumption, which is what the majority of Canadians want, they will certainly use their entrepreneurial and innovative skills and meet the challenges. In fact, many of the leading businesses are doing exactly that. Options are available. Sometimes people resist change, but it brings tremendous opportunity.

Another topic that should be discussed is the health care costs. The Ontario Medical Association calculated that smog costs more than $1 billion a year in hospital admissions, emergency visits and absenteeism in Ontario alone.

Canada's environmental commissioner has said that smog kills more Canadians than car accidents, breast cancer, prostate cancer or melanoma. It seems to me that we often focus on what is a perceived disconnect between the economy and the environment and that is not necessarily the case.

My own province of Prince Edward Island has a very exciting development with wind farming. I believe there is one in Alberta that is 10 times the size. It has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 13,000 tonnes per year. This morning I read in the local newspaper that one of the local industrial concerns in Atlantic Canada, Irving Oil, a private enterprise, is contemplating building a $100 million wind farm in my province. It is a tremendous opportunity.

I would like to highlight that the benefits of having clean air, clean water and a sustainable environment cannot be easily measured in dollars and cents. This protocol represents a huge step in the right direction toward developing a sustainable economy coupled with a sustainable ecosystem.

Many people may still be left with questions. I believe we should all take the initiative to put our energy into doing something positive and working collectively to fill those gaps. I suggest to the House and to all Canadians that we move forward on this protocol with conviction, commitment and courage.

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9:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, it was an interesting speech, but the member unfortunately, in my opinion which I think is a reasonably valid one, strayed from the facts very early on. He quoted the 2,000 IPCC scientists who did the study and developed the report for the United Nations as concluding that man was causing global warming in the atmosphere. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The conclusion of the scientists is written in black and white at the bottom of the report, not the executive summary of the report. It says quite clearly that the group of 2,000 scientists could not come to the conclusion that man was causing climate change, that man's use of fossil fuels was causing climate change. To assume that as an irrefutable scientific fact is simply wrong. On top of that, there is the Oregon petition floating around, which 17,000 scientists signed, saying that the science with Kyoto was badly flawed. If one were arrogant enough to discount 50% of the 17,000, there is still a huge scientific body of experts who take quite an exception to the science with Kyoto.

I would simply ask the member, why does he not look at the facts and look at the literature that is there in black and white and come to the conclusions that are there with the scientific opinion?

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9:20 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, when we read everything that is written on this subject, the 17 academies, the thousands of scientists who have spoken to this issue and every day we pick up the paper there is another group saying that the evidence is irrefutable, that this damage is caused by human activity. To argue otherwise, I submit, is just burying one's head in the sand.

Certainly, I agree with the hon. member that there will be some scientists who will say that the evidence is not conclusive, that human activity is causing this problem but there will always be scientists who disagree with that. I do not know if it is going on presently, but do not forget that within the past five years scientists by the dozens and dozens were testifying in court in the United States of America saying that cigarette smoke had no relation to the health of individuals. We know that is simply not true.

To answer the hon. member's question, the evidence is overwhelming that human activity is causing an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

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9:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, the member talked about a federal plan. Does he think there has been adequate consultation between the provinces and the federal government?

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9:25 p.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Hillsborough, PE

Mr. Speaker, there is always room for more work to be done on any plan. This is a complicated issue and it is not easy to come forward with all the exact details. Kyoto has been going on for five or six years now. These consultations have been going on for approximately three years with the leaders of the provinces, the territorial leaders, with business leaders and environmental groups. After it came to the House, a lot of revisions were made to the plan presented by the Minister of the Environment. There certainly would be no harm in further consultations taking place.

As I said before, I listened to the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard today. He agrees that there should be more consultations, more work done on the plan. I do not disagree with that, but let us move forward.

There is another important point. This is an international agreement and I believe the world is looking to see what Canada does with respect to this treaty. That is why we as a society, as Canadian people, have to move forward with courage on this protocol.

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9:25 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to speak to the Kyoto accord tonight. I made my position on the Kyoto accord very clear last summer. I said that I would listen carefully to my constituents, especially as more information came out and the plan was in place and more of the details were known. I am still listening.

Constituents have written many e-mails and letters to me on this issue. Some of them have asked me to stand in the House of Commons and make sure that we ratify the Kyoto accord. Others have asked me to make sure that we do not ratify the accord. To some extent the constituents have been left out of the debate. Most members' speeches have taken one side or the other exclusively. There is not a member in the House of Commons who does not have constituents who favour ratifying the Kyoto accord and constituents who are against it.

One of my constituents said that once again polarization has led to a lack of objectivity. This evening I will try to reflect what my constituents have told me they want me to do.

First I will talk about two e-mails that were against the Kyoto accord. They were the strongest. I will just repeat a line from each of the e-mails because in the time available I will not be able to get through them all.

One said, “This is not a harmless little agreement. It will be very hard on us and our potential development”. The person was also interested in penalties. I want to make sure that people know there are no penalties such as a fine for Canada, but if we do not reach certain levels in the first round, the ramifications are that we have to come up with a plan for the second round with increased reductions to make sure we make up for the lack in the first round.

I was very impressed by the other e-mail in the sense that the person had done a lot of his own research instead of repeating what other people have said and different scientists he had heard. I will read a few lines. It is a long e-mail and I cannot do it justice but in part it read:

President Bush has refused to ratify Kyoto calling it “economically irresponsible”. It is a global environmental panic aided and abetted by incomplete scientific studies. The greenhouse effect is both natural and necessary for life on earth.

He then talked about some computer simulations and particular aspects of them that left inaccuracies and gave false readings and thus alleged global warming is only a small percentage of what is being announced, as well as distorting figures for the future. He mentioned countries such as Germany for which it would be easy to reduce its emissions without any extreme effort. He pointed out that some countries have already done things, or were planning to do them, to reduce emissions and make it easy for them.

I want to comment on two organizations, the Whitehorse and Yukon Chambers of Commerce. Many people have commented on similar organizations.

The Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce talked to me last December about the importance to Yukon's petrol based economy. It is important because Kyoto to a large extent is based on taking into consideration the effects on petroleum products. I have made the case and explained that concern at length in the House. I think that voice has been well heard on the issue.

I also talked this weekend at considerable length with the president of the chamber of commerce. I explained my position, what has happened to a number of companies that have reduced emissions already, and what I thought the results would be. That was partly because I had a second submission from the chamber this weekend.

Chamber members were concerned as well that the U.S. was not ratifying and felt it might make us uncompetitive if we had extra regulations, especially because we are such a large exporter. Because we have an oil, gas and mining economy, they were concerned that a harder environment for those companies would deter investment in the Yukon. They were concerned about not having all the provinces on side yet, but they did maintain that governments and citizens have to reduce greenhouse gases and they just wanted to make sure there was more time to refine the plan and ensure certainty.

The Yukon Chamber of Commerce had similar points, one about more time. It wanted to accommodate growth in the economy, population and exports. I actually confirmed that the plan does that. Again, its members want to be competitive with our NAFTA partners. Because of the other demands on the budget, they want to make sure that there is money available for the steps we would take, and they said that fuel and auto efficiency would have special effects in the north. Once again, they want to continue consultation.

I want to now quickly go on to the support. There were many more e-mails and letters to this effect. I think I can read the comments of a number of them in the time I have remaining.

The first one is: “I believe it is foolish to have big gas guzzlers and to have poorly insulated houses. It is the common sense of our elders who went through wars and the great depression that we should be adopting--waste not, want not”. Another one says, “Please let the Prime Minister know that Yukoners support his aim to ratify Kyoto”. The next says, “The sooner we get this Kyoto protocol passed, the sooner corporations, provinces and territories will start looking for the measures, technologies, and capital investments that will make it happen”.

Of course, the Yukon Medical Association is strongly on side. I also had a lengthy conversation yesterday with a person who assures us that the gas pipeline will go through Yukon and it is so important for our economy if we ratify Kyoto because of course natural gas is lower in emissions than CO

2

. The Council of Yukon First Nations, which represents 11 Yukon first nations from across the Yukon, is strongly in support of ratifying Kyoto. Another e-mail says, “We need to take this forward for the sake of future generations”. Another one says, “We encourage you to speak for the ratification. This is a critical issue for Canada and the Yukon, as the North is most heavily affected by climate change”.

One would think that in the frozen north people would like it to get warmer, but that is not true when we listen to what the constituents say. The Minister of the Environment was there with me and heard some of this. One constituent said the spruce, willows and balsam firs are slowly moving uphill and further north.

The president of the Association of Yukon Communities is in town right now. A champion of ratifying Kyoto, he says that when he left Dawson City it was 5° above and there was just a lot of rain, while he came here to below zero. Normally it used to be 30° below in Dawson City. In fact I was there in October 20 years ago and it was 44° below. He has led the debate at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, which has of course championed signing Kyoto, with conditions.

What is very important in the north is permafrost. It is different from the rest of the country. Construction in the north is based on the permafrost keeping things frozen. The chief of a first nation explained that all their administration buildings are shifting and will have to be rebuilt at great expense. The mayor of Dawson City talks about the cataclysmic costs of all these buildings shifting and moving as the permafrost melts. In fact, some of the sewer systems in the north are predicated on the permafrost staying frozen.

The spruce budworm is moving north. As well, the Gwich'in people have a terrible problem with the caribou herd. If climate change and snowfalls change their migration, they will not be able to get to the one spot where they can have the best calf survival, which may result in the loss of that entire culture in northern Canada and Alaska.

There is great economic loss because there is dependence on the ice bridges in the north to get things to communities and corporations and for the trucking industry. The people in Dawson cannot even get across for much of the winter now when the ice bridge does not freeze. Of course, we have heard about the Mount Logan atmospheric record and the elders who have been around for a long time. There has been climate change in the past, but they say that never so fast and never at this rate have their people seen this.

I told my constituents that I would reflect their views. I made as many as I could in the time I had. The most important part now is to refine the plan and to put it into action. These are the voices of my constituents and I encourage Parliament to listen to them.

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9:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member talk about all the constituents who had written to him and about the letter he received from the chamber of commerce. Did the chamber of commerce ask the member not to ratify Kyoto? What were its concerns and how does he expect to answer its concerns specifically?

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9:35 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I guess I do not speak very clearly because I read two pages of the chamber of commerce's concerns.

With regard to answering those concerns, as I explained, I talked to the president of one and I will phone the president of the other association to go over the ramifications to business.

I also talked about some of the success stories, which I did not know about before I researched this, of companies like Duke Energy, Canfor, Riverside Forest Products, Shell Canada, TransAlta and Syncrude, Nova Chemicals, IMC, Midwest Products, Simmons, Maple Leaf, Ekati, IBM, the Northwest Territories Power Corporation and Yukon Energy. I read about these companies making investments in things that other companies will only have to invest in after Kyoto. Some of them have already reached their targets. The amounts of money they have saved are phenomenal. I still keep thinking about IMC Potash Colonsay which invested $10,000 and had a savings of $490,000.

We can see how competitive that will make industry and how far ahead we will be of other countries that will eventually have to do this. They will buy these technologies from us. I think the Canadian industry has a very bright future. Had I not done the research into these companies that are leading the charge I would not have this great confidence.

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9:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the member is obviously torn between the two competing positions on Kyoto. Obviously some pretty important people and organizations in his riding are voicing concerns about this and others are supporting it.

I would suggest that it is not unlike most of our constituencies, but unlike most of us at least, the member, in spite of that concern, that uncertainty and being torn between the two sides, seems to be going ahead and supporting ratification not knowing how to address those concerns his constituents are bringing to him.

If his constituents have those concerns, why would he not support not ratifying until we had a plan to see how those concerns could be put aside before we blindly ratify this thing and perhaps bring into fact all of those concerns that the chamber of commerce and others brought to him?

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9:40 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, of course the concerns that were brought forward were from my constituents. I used my entire time to explain their concerns. However, had I been able to answer a number of them I would have been happy to.

Regarding the question about why do we not wait until there is a plan, there is a very detailed plan that is an evolving plan. The point I made at the very end of my speech is that it is very important to listen to the concerns of our constituents and to ensure that their concerns go into the evolving plan as it gets changed in the many years that we have to implement it.

I cannot give the answers to all of the concerns now but if the member opposite lists a specific concern I will be happy to answer it.

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9:40 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise to speak to Government Motion No. 9, which reads as follows:

That this House call upon the government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

First, I would like to congratulate my colleague, the member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, for the excellent work that he has done on this issue. Even his speech earned him praise from the environment minister. It is not often that we hear a minister praise a speech from this side of the House because with the kind of partisan debates we have here, members have a tendency to be more receptive to speeches made by colleagues of their own party.

Having said that, I want to recognize, in a non partisan way, the work of the member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, particularly with regard to the educational aspect of his work as a member of Parliament. He sends householders regularly to his constituents. Personally, I have relatives who live in the member's riding, and I know that people always appreciate receiving information. It is not partisan or biased information, but factual information that allows people to form their own opinion on the ratification of the Kyoto protocol.

Furthermore, since I remember this because I followed the issue on television and in the newspapers, I would like to point out that our colleague and environment critic, the member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, had assembled a very large coalition comprised of almost a hundred stakeholders to ensure that the government would finally decide to act and ratify the Kyoto protocol.

I continue to say what my colleagues in the Bloc Quebecois have maintained during the debate and what we had the opportunity to point out regularly in the House, which is that we find it unfortunate that Motion No. 9 tabled by the government did not contain a ratification date. Following some persistent and tenacious questioning by members on this side of the House, we have been able to get the Prime Minister to acknowledge, last week, that there would be a vote and ratification of the Kyoto protocol before the end of 2002.

Despite this, the implementation plan introduced by the federal government in this regard can still be improved. For example, we still have serious doubts about this plan, because it uses 2010 as the base year by which specific reduction efforts will be demanded of each province or economic sector.

We in the Bloc Quebecois as well as a majority of Quebeckers, consider that this approach is unfair, because it does not allow past and current efforts to be taken into account and it encourages polluters to pollute more until 2010. It is as though we were saying today, in 2002 “There is no problem. You can still continue to pollute for the next eight years, because the base year will be 2010”. This is a technique that lawyers refer to as wilful blindness, that is closing our eyes to pollution events until 2010.

We in the Bloc Quebecois had asked that 1990 be used as the base year, because we felt that we should not encourage or reward polluters and that we should avoid penalizing those who have already made efforts.

I should remind the House that, before I was elected here, I worked in the pulp and paper industry for 14 years. I worked for Abitibi Price, the largest pulp and paper company in Canada. I worked there from 1976 until 1990. I saw pulp and paper companies, and not only Abitibi Price, invest millions and millions of dollars. I could talk about Consolidated Bathurst, Kruger, Donahue and Domtar. In Quebec, these corporations made some serious efforts to develop clarifiers to process and remove unwanted solids.

The pulp and paper industry expanded in Quebec in the 1920s, around 1924-1925. We have 60 pulp and paper companies in Quebec. Except for the most recently built plants, most of them are facing pollution problems. Some of the plants, like the ones in Kénogami, in the Saguenay region, and in Port-Alfred, were built in the 1920s near the water.

By definition, the plants needed two things: first, a supply of wood material, which is why the plants were built in very densely wooded areas, like in the regions of Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean, the Mauricie, Abitibi, the North Shore and the Gaspé area. Usually, plants were also built close to the water.

We know that in the 1920s and 1930s, people were not as concerned as they are today about the environment. Oftentimes the residues of sulphites used to bleach paper were discharged directly in the river.

Another reason why companies built plants near rivers was because a paper mill is necessarily energy-consuming; it needs hydroelectricity. In Lac-Saint-Jean, paper companies built dams in the Shipshaw and the Saguenay rivers in order to obtain the hydroelectricity they needed for the papermaking machines.

I can say that, in the 1980s, the paper companies invested large sums in clarifiers. They changed the production processes so that they could use products other than sulphite to bleach the paper.

Where I worked, we produced kraft pulp. It is one of the most polluting processes. Quebec companies invested heavily in environmental protection in an attempt to control both solid and liquid residues discharged into waterways and dust particles that escaped into the air.

I did say I am from Saguenay--Lac-Saint-Jean. I come from Chicoutimi. Alcan is everywhere in that region. It started operating in the former city of Arvida. The Arvida aluminum plant was for a long time the first industrial complex in the world. In the days when we did not use kilometres and metres, we said that the plant measured a mile and a half long by three quarters of a mile wide. That is the size of the potroom at the Alcan plant in Arvida.

Alcan was used as an example, but it could just as easily have been Péchiney, Reynolds in Baie-Comeau, or the aluminum smelters in Deschambault or Bécancour, Quebec. These companies chose to establish in Quebec because of its major hydroelectric potential, since aluminum smelters are by definition huge energy guzzlers. That is why the pulp and paper and aluminum companies established operations in areas with high hydroelectric potential.

Otherwise, it would have been more logical to set up a plant on the outskirts of New York City or Chicago. The problem is that they lack the hydroelectricity required for their vats and paper making processes.

The purpose of this digression is to explain that, by selecting 2010 as the base year, the government is again refusing to take past efforts into consideration. It still has time, however, to alter its approach, if it wants to get all of the provinces on side. It should take into consideration the fact that, since 1990, a number of industrial sectors have been making efforts that deserve recognition.

The Bloc Quebecois is also concerned by another issue. The implementation plan for the Kyoto protocol confirms that Ottawa is prepared to fund projects from the oil and gas industry.

As we know, in the past, Ottawa has given subsidies to the oil and gas industry that were 20 times greater than those allocated to renewable energies. One has only to think about oil production, and more specifically the Hibernia project, off the coast of Newfoundland. I agree that Newfoundland had an unemployment problem. It is true that this project was going to help economic development.

In this regard, I know that discussions are currently taking place with the Quebec government to undertake oil and gas research in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, off the Gaspé coast and Anticosti Island. I hope that when the time comes to sit down, the federal government will remember the benefits that were given to the Hibernia project, off Newfoundland. As for the Gaspé, the Lower St. Lawrence and the North Shore, they also need to develop the oil and gas potential that exists in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. I will stop here as regards this issue.

The Bloc Quebecois is asking the federal government to pledge that, for each dollar given to the oil and gas industry, one dollar will also be given to the renewable energy industry.

I must remind everyone that the tar sands are located in the riding of my colleague, the member for Athabasca, and that it is a process that produces a great deal of pollution. Earlier, he was quite happy to ask questions of my colleague, the member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie.

For his benefit and for the benefit of the members of the House, when Quebec developed its hydroelectricity, it did not ask for one red cent from anyone. When Quebec harnessed the Manicouagan River to erect various dams, from Manic I to Manic V, and when, under the Robert Bourassa government in the 1970s, it harnessed the La Grande and Rupert Rivers to obtain the James Bay complex, it did not ask for anything from the other provinces to develop its hydroelectricity.

However, since the grants came in by the shovelful, if not by the tonne, for the oil patch out west, I think we should keep in mind the fact that Quebec has done its share in developing a non-polluting, renewable and clean source of energy.

In Quebec, hydroelectricity is a clean energy. Other sectors are waiting for funding from the federal government. Other sectors want encouragement. Take the wind energy sector, for example. Quebec already has the beginnings of wind energy development in the area of Cap-Chat, where the Gaspé Peninsula begins, on the north side. There are various wind energy projects there. It is still in the very early stages. There is a little field of windmills. I do not know how many there are, but it is quite an energy source for this region to develop. There are also windmills on the Magdalen Islands. More could be done.

We also know the Murdochville area needs a boost. During the last election, the member for Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-de-la-Madeleine—Pabok was strutting about telling everyone, “Elect a Liberal member. Elect a government member, you will see”. He practically told them that money would fall from the sky, that they would be able to pick it up by the fistful. The people were basically taken hostage; it made a mockery of everyone. I challenge the member for Bonaventure—Gaspé—Îles-de-la-Madeleine—Pabok to ensure that wind power projects are developed in the Murdochville area. He sure talked up a storm during the election campaign of November 2000, just over two years ago now. He needs to put his money where his mouth is.

Unfortunately, I will not have enough time to speak about another type of energy that could be developed, tidal energy. There are tidal energy production plants in Nova Scotia, in the Bay of Fundy. That is another industry the federal government should help and promote.

Finally, the Bloc Quebecois supports ratification of the Kyoto protocol by Canada, for the following reasons. It is time to reverse the trend toward global warming, which will lead to dramatic environmental damage. My colleague, the member for Rosemont—Petite-Patrie, said it quite appropriately earlier today. We just have to think about the 1998 ice storm and the flood in the Saguenay.

However, my colleague forgot to mention another event. I will do so on his behalf, just to show that our perspective is not totally focused on Quebec. There are the floods caused by the Red River in the Winnipeg area. We all remember that, in 1997, they even thought about postponing the election in Manitoba, because the flood reached a magnitude never seen in the last 125 to 150 years. There surely is a reason for all of this. There must be something causing this. I am not a expert, but studies on the question say that we should consider the environmental aspects of this climate warming.

There is another reason why we in the Bloc Quebecois are asking for the Kyoto protocol to be ratified. Canada has to cooperate in the international effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Canada is a large source of greenhouse gases. If we exclude Quebec, Canada is the worst polluter per capita in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Bloc Quebecois therefore believes that the people of Quebec want Canada to ratify the Kyoto protocol. The Quebec National Assembly, which is our true national assembly, voted unanimously for such ratification. By unanimously, we mean that the members of the Parti Québécois, the members of the Liberal Party of Quebec, the official opposition, and the five ADQ members all voted in favour.

This being said, the government would do well to listen more carefully to the consensus developing here in Quebec. I believe that we in the Bloc Quebecois must make that consensus known.

Anyway, there are Liberal members from Quebec who have been elected to the House and we never hear them say that they speak for the consensus in Quebec. They never want to go against the party line. They just act like trained seals.

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10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, that was an entertaining speech, but the member made the most outrageous statement. I was quite amazed. He said Canada was the second highest per capita user of energy in the world if we excluded Quebec. That raises a real question with me. Do Quebeckers not heat their homes with fossil fuel? Do Quebeckers not drive cars and haul their goods across the province with transport trucks?

The latest government plan that was presented to the House showed one-third of the CO

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emissions coming from industry, one-third coming from transportation, and one-third coming from the consumption of fossil fuels. I dare say that I do not think Quebeckers are any different from any other Canadians when it comes to loving their automobiles and driving them or heating their homes.

Why does the member not think that Quebeckers have to make the same sacrifices to reduce CO

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emissions in those two areas as the rest of Canada, even if we accept the fact that, because of the development of hydro, Quebec's industrial sector perhaps has lower emissions?

The other statement I take exception to is that the federal government did not put one penny into the development of hydro in Quebec. The federal government paid an exorbitant amount of money to negotiate and settle the land claim with the Cree of northern Quebec for the lands that the Quebec government flooded to produce that hydro electricity. On those counts, I would suggest, the member was a little off the truth.

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10 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, the member for Athabasca would be better off if he took his head out of the oil sands. He is in right to his shoulders.

I will not belabour the point. I merely wish to provide one little statistic. He would do well to broaden his horizons. I do not know whether he has had any regular contact with Quebec. The member for Athabasca is making value judgments on Quebecers. I am certain that he was involved in that love-in at Place du Canada, three days before the 1995 referendum. We remember how they came to tell us “We love you. Don't leave; we love you”.

We want out of Canada. Let us leave. If we are a burden to the member for Athabasca, then he must let us leave. We want to separate. We are fed up being with you and we want to leave. Why do you insist on holding us back?

I do not want to get carried away at this late hour; it will spoil my sleep. I just want to provide the member for Athabasca with one little statistic. He can think it over when his head hits the pillow tonight. I will merely point out to him that 95% of the electricity with which we heat the homes of Quebec is hydroelectric. That is 95%, Mr. Speaker, and you could point out to the member for Athabasca that it is non-polluting.

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10:05 p.m.

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I did not quite catch the math on the will of the people of Quebec, but perhaps the member can explain to me why most of them would like to remain in Canada at this time.

I was delighted he mentioned wind energy. I want to compliment the Yukon Energy Corporation for the tremendous work it has done with windmills. It has already made significant contributions to cutting CO

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emissions in Yukon. We were delighted that there was an incentive for wind energy in the last federal budget.

In relation to natural gas, one of my constituents said it was important to ratify Kyoto so that the gas pipeline would go through Yukon. Natural gas could replace the far dirtier coal and diesel production, and therefore reduce greenhouse gases.

Could the member comment on Quebec's position regarding ethanol production, which was recommended in the plan? If he does not have any views on that I would be interested to hear more about tidal energy because we support that. The many programs the Canadian government has put forward for renewable energy were supportive of things like that and the government has funded many projects across the country.

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10:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened with enthusiasm to the passionate comments by the member for Yukon. He was raving about windmills. I hope he does not have the same attitude toward windmills as Don Quixote. I heard his ad for windmills in the Yukon.

With regard to ethanol, I will tell him that Quebec has projects to produce ethanol from corn. A lot of corn is produced in the St. Lawrence plain, that is the whole Saint-Hyacinthe area, Drummondville and the central Quebec region. There are ethanol projects. There is some ethanol production, but the problem right now is distribution. The number of distribution points is insufficient.

Personally, when I travel from my riding in the Quebec City area to Ottawa by car, I look for the 50-50 ethanol gasoline blend. However, there is only one company—and I will do a commercial here—called MacEwen or something similar that sells ethanol. Unfortunately, there are not enough distribution points.

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10:05 p.m.

The Speaker

There being no further members rising, pursuant to the order made earlier this day this House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 10:09 p.m.)