House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was kyoto.

Topics

Kyoto Protocol
Private Members' Business

12:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Kyoto Protocol
Private Members' Business

12:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Kyoto Protocol
Private Members' Business

1:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

I declare the motion carried.

Business of the House
Private Members' Business

December 9th, 2002 / 1:30 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell
Ontario

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, there has been consultation among House leaders regarding the order of the day that you are about to call and I believe, if you were to seek it, that you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice, when the question is put on the sub-amendment to Government Orders, Government Business No. 9, divisions shall be deemed to have been requested on all questions necessary for the disposal of the said Government Order and the said divisions shall be deferred until 3:00 p.m on December 10, 2002; and

That after 6:30 p.m. on December 9, 2002, the Chair shall not receive any quorum calls, dilatory motions or requests for unanimous consent to propose any motion.

Business of the House
Private Members' Business

1:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the House
Private Members' Business

1:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

Business of the House
Private Members' Business

1:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Madam Speaker, I believe you would find unanimous consent of the House for the following motion. I move:

That during the remainder of the debate on Government Motion No. 9, any member, after notifying the Speaker, may divide his or her speaking time with up to three other members.

In other words, any member can divide his or her speech into two 10 minute speeches or four 5 minute speeches.

Business of the House
Private Members' Business

1:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the House
Private Members' Business

1:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

The House resumed from December 6 consideration of the motion, and of the amendment and of the amendment to the amendment.

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Wascana
Saskatchewan

Liberal

Ralph Goodale Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Madam Speaker, first, I would like to note that I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik.

I am grateful to have an opportunity to make a brief contribution to the debate about climate change, a global issue that involves some of the toughest economic and environmental challenges we have ever known. I have a strong personal interest in this topic partly because of my western roots in the climate sensitive and energy intensive province of Saskatchewan and partly as a former minister of natural resources.

I spent a lot of time on this file and I fully appreciate the anxiety that many western Canadians feel. They are truly worried and we must deal with that. A way to begin is to underscore the huge long term importance of our energy industries. They include conventional fossil fuels and hydro power plus heavy oil, the oil sands, new frontiers in the north Atlantic and in the Arctic, plus nuclear power, plus a growing portfolio of renewable and alternative fuels like ethanol and fuel cells, plus the most sophisticated energy transportation networks in the world, plus world leading science and technology in Canadian energy innovation.

All this accounts for more than 7% of the nation's GDP, at least 200,000 high quality jobs, new capital investments in the order of some $20 billion every year, exports valued at some $50 billion annually and some $15 billion in revenues to various levels of government. Clearly the energy sector is a major engine of Canadian prosperity and clearly that prosperity must not be endangered.

In all my personal consultations about climate change, one common point repeated over and over was that Canadians did not want to have to choose between a clean environment and a successful growing economy, as if the two must be mutually exclusive. Canadians want both together and any acceptable climate change plan for Canada must achieve these two ends simultaneously or it simply will not do.

One more absolute imperative is that any acceptable plan must be fundamentally fair. That, I believe, is our most important obligation. If the action we take is not seen to be fair and rational, it will run the risk of driving wedges between different groups of citizens, different parts of the economy and different regions of the country. That would be the worst possible consequence. We will not let that happen. We must not.

Our commitment to fairness and to economic common sense is on the public record. We have said repeatedly at the highest levels, no region, no province, no sector will be called upon to bear an undue burden. We cannot, must not and will not put our hard won economic success, the best in the western world, at risk, not nationally and not in western Canada either. We will safeguard Canadian competitiveness and an attractive investment environment. Our climate change plan must not export Canadian jobs.

Now having made those commitments, how will they be brought to life? This will be the key test, not so much the politically charged rhetoric of the past few weeks, but all the steps meticulously taken over the coming months to live up to that rule of fairness. If we fail on that score, we will have failed period.

To date, some important progress has been recorded which the private sector has welcomed. For example, the government would proceed with the heaviest emitters by means of industrial covenants. In other words, negotiated solutions with maximum flexibility, solutions that incorporate the principle of emissions intensity to recognize the imperative of ongoing economic growth.

This group of emitters, the biggest ones, must have and will have a firm cap on the volume of emissions that they will be expected to deal with over the next 10 years; 55 megatonnes, that is it, that is all and no more. On the cost side or the price per tonne of CO

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, work is also underway to provide a price cap to go along with the volume cap so these industries can fully understand their maximum possible exposure.

We can and we must do more in this regard, all designed to achieve certainty for business and investors as quickly as possible. In my province such certainty is crucial for the oil and natural gas sectors, for the heavy oil sector in particular, because Saskatchewan has the nation's biggest reserves of heavy oil which are no less important than the oil sands. Also, for coal fired electricity generation and for big industrial operations like IPSCO steel, certainty is crucial.

Let me quickly mention three other issues that carry special Saskatchewan significance. One of these is ethanol and the greater use of bio-fuels in Canada where Saskatchewan can be a true champion.

As a result of the steps that we have taken to date, Canada is now on a path toward 10% ethanol in about 35% of our transportation fuel by the end of this decade. That is an improvement over the mere 7% of market penetration today. However we are still only scratching the surface. In my view the goals are too timid. We should have a definitive year over year schedule, including a formal mandate if necessary, to get Canadian ethanol into at least 70% of our fuel supply within a decade. That will likely require significant public investment in further science and technology, in tailored capital tools, in strategic infrastructure and in production and blending incentives, all aimed toward rural Canada, especially rural Saskatchewan, to generate new markets for farmers, diversification, value added processing, business investment, new jobs and economic growth.

Second, from the point of view of Saskatchewan, I want to emphasize innovation beyond bio-fuels. The Government of Canada is already an important supporter of the University of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Research Council and at the University of Regina, the Petroleum Technology Research Centre, the International Test Centre for CO

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Capture and the Greenhouse Gas Technology Centre. We need to expand that investment in three fields in particular.

First, carbon dioxide capture, transportation to and storage in deep geological formations such as the aging southeast Saskatchewan oil patch. It is estimated that western Canada could dispose of up to 50 megatonnes of CO

2

per year by this method. Second, clean coal technology to find greener ways to utilize this vast and low cost energy source that is so important to western based utilities. Third, heavy oil extraction with the least possible environmental footprint, including lower emissions.

If we want to find the climate change answers that work, then we need to make these types of investments in a province like Saskatchewan.

Third, for Saskatchewan, I need to mention green cover land use incentives for both agriculture and forestry, for more acreage dedicated to permanent cover, conservation cover, shelter belts and tree cover projects, all good for farmers and foresters and all legitimate carbon sinks. Finally, in the limited time available, I want to mention four international points that must be part of our planning.

First, just as we have fought hard to get what we needed from the world on carbon sinks, we need to keep fighting to get proper credit for Canada's clean energy exports. We should never give up on that.

Second, nuclear power is 100% CO

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free. Canada should work persistently to get nuclear technology back into the definition of what counts in terms of international action against greenhouse gases.

Third, we have lesser developed economies. While it makes some sense for wealthier countries to move first, if big emerging economies like China, India and Brazil do not undertake emission reduction targets within a reasonable timeframe, then there is little practical value in the rest of us struggling with ours.

Fourth, we have the United States. For any global plan to work, the Americans must ultimately be real players. I witnessed the bizarre U.S. behaviour in Kyoto and its total flip-flop since. Still some U.S. states are indeed moving. Canada must be ever alert, both to American action and to its inaction. The critical issue for us is our competitiveness which we must not undermine.

I conclude with a simple but crucial proposition. When it comes to how Canada will implement its climate change plan, because of the extraordinary importance of the energy sector to western Canada and because of the fundamental importance of the west to the nation, the plan must work well for western Canadians or, in my judgment, it simply is not good enough. I am determined that my government will deliver the former and not the latter.

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

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

Madam Speaker, what is fascinating today in the Kyoto debate is primarily to be able to convey the views of my constituents and the point made by the president of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, following the conference, which was held this year in Kuujjuaq and where resolutions were submitted concerning Kyoto.

On November 27, I received in my office a letter which reads as follows:

Dear Sir,

I am writing to urge you to support the resolution that the Government of Canada is about to present to the House of Commons to have the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations framework convention on climate change ratified.

This issue has raised a great deal of interest among politicians and the public, particularly over the past few months. Some provincial governments see the protocol as a threat to their economy. However, the federal government primarily sees it as a measure to protect the environment. Inuit have a third way of looking at it, a very interesting one in my opinion, that I am asking you to examine before taking part in the debate and voting on the proposal.

The climate change caused by human beings not only threatens northern Canada's economy and environment, but also our culture and way of life. It is a well known fact that this change will be more significant at higher latitudes: the media regularly show images of the permafrost that is melting and of emaciated polar bears. However, what is truly at stake in northern Canada is the survival of the Inuit culture. We are a flexible people and we are well known for adjusting to changes to the environment and the economy. However, the magnitude of the anticipated environmental change, based on computer models—essentially the disappearance of the summer sea ice in the Arctic by the middle of the century—will significantly impact on our ability to survive as a society of hunters.

We know that this global problem requires a global solution, and this is why we are recommending that you support the ratification of Kyoto. A “Canadian” approach more permissive than expected as regards volumes, and delays in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada is not the solution to this urgent problem for the Arctic.

The Inuit Circumpolar Conference brings together Inuit from Canada, Greenland, Alaska and Chukotka to discuss climate change in the world. We refuse to adopt an alarmist attitude regarding this issue, but we firmly believe that all those responsible for Canadian policy must base their choices on science, on Canada's long term interest in the areas of health and well-being, and on the precautionary principle that Canada and other countries accepted and adopted at the 1992 earth summit, in Brazil. It is for these reasons that I am asking you, on behalf of our people, the Inuit of the northern Arctic and circumpolar Arctic, to support the ratification of the Kyoto protocol.

Sincerely yours.

It is signed Sheila Watt-Cloutier, president.

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Marcel Gagnon Champlain, QC

Madam Speaker, I am indeed very happy to add my voice to the many who have spoken to the Kyoto protocol. I support ratification of the Kyoto protocol and I think we must do it as quickly as possible.

However, there is one thing that bothers me a bit. Once the agreement is signed, I wonder when it will come into effect. We have heard talk of 2010, but this is a very urgent matter. This urgency should move us to act more quickly. In order to comply with this agreement, we will need to take certain measures. These measures will need to be taken by everyone. Also, we will need to follow the polluter-pays principle. Everyone knows that Quebec has taken care to protect the environment.

It is imperative that the protocol come into effect and that we forget about money for a minute. I am tired, and people in general are tired, of the fact that whenever the Kyoto protocol and protecting the environment are mentioned, money always comes up. It is as though money were more important than a healthy planet. As a grandfather, I would like to leave a healthy planet as a legacy to my grandchildren, instead of a planet that is more polluted. Unfortunately that is what is happening.

When I was an MNA in Quebec, I was assistant to Quebec's first Minister of the Environment, Marcel Léger, in 1976. I had the opportunity to get involved in important environmental issues. The problem remains the same: when the environment is the topic, so is money, but people forget that we are also talking about health and our future. We are also talking about the pleasure of living on a healthier planet, rather than one that is deteriorating.

In the 1980s, the pulp and paper industry experienced a major crisis. I was the member in charge of the issue for the Government of Quebec. We told the industry that it needed to clean up its act, and modernize. They claimed that the industry would go bankrupt. More than 20 years later, there is not one company in the pulp and paper sector that would want to go back to its old ways, when waste was dumped into the St. Lawrence and into lakes. The industry itself has said that cleaning up its act has paid off.

When I hear arguments that focus solely on the dollar sign and on the economy, when what is at stake is the future of our planet, I find that demoralizing. Not just for myself, but for those who will come after me, my grandchildren, your children perhaps, and those who will form the next generations. It is high time a decision was made to do something, and made promptly.

I have lived through the Saguenay floods and the ice storm in Quebec in the late 90s. I was in Europe when a hurricane cut a terrible swath through the forests of France.

I had an opportunity to work with and drive some of the forestry workers at that time. Similar things are happening again. This year we again heard news reports of hurricanes, of destruction leading to loss of lives and possessions. This is because greenhouse gas emissions are warming the planet at a terrible pace.

I think that this is what ought to be of concern to us. At the same time, of course, it must not be a matter of making the same people, the same province, foot the bill every time. For example, Quebec has for years been making efforts to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Clearly, the energy developed in Quebec is less polluting than that developed in other provinces. I think, however, that agreement must be reached between the provinces on the most logical possible solution, and the costs must be allocated as honestly as possible. The costs must not be feared, however. Returning to the example I gave just now, the pulp and paper industry's investment in protecting the environment is paying off, particularly since it is a matter of protecting the planet on which we live.

The Kyoto protocol is the subject of a debate that we have not heard the end of. This agreement must be ratified and then action must be taken as soon as possible.

I was looking at a magazine featuring cars this morning. For the past 20 years, we have had the technology to make car engines more energy efficient. In 1980, I personally saw a Cadillac that ran on a small four cylinder engine. The car operated and carried its passengers beautifully. There were not any problems and it was comfortable. Today, we have gone back to driving gas guzzlers. It is almost scandalous. There are vehicles that use 18 to 20 litres of fuel every 100 kilometres. It does not make any sense. I hope that with agreements such as Kyoto, we will surely find a way to decrease energy consumption and to develop clean energies. It is possible.

There has not been as much investment in developing renewable and clean energies as there was for developing fossil energy such as oil. Since 1990, that is, 12 years ago, $66 billion was invested in developing fossil and polluting energies, whereas only roughly $350 million was invested in clean energies. Could we possibly become logical enough again to create employment not only in the oil industry, but also in the development of clean energies? We will still enjoy all the comfort we need, but without polluting the planet, like we are now.

It is simply a question of being honest with people and with future generations, my grandchildren, your children and anyone who will inhabit this planet, so that it will remain habitable.

Kyoto Protocol
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

I apologize for interrupting the hon. member, but you may continue after oral question period. We will now proceed to members' statements.

Child Pornography
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Art Hanger Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is time for a reality check on the government's changes to the child porn law. Soon it will be okay in Canada to write child porn, just be prepared to defend it in court, just like John Robin Sharpe did with the backing of the Civil Liberties Association, and he won.

How can the government not see that there will be no end of deranged people willing to write porn and defend it publicly, and to use the courts as a stage for their twisted view of children as sex toys.

The government has not closed loopholes. It has opened the door to non-stop public defence of child porn. It had a chance. It could have used the notwithstanding clause but it chose not to use its most powerful weapon against child pornography.

The question that Canadians should ask themselves now is, why? On behalf of the Canadian Justice Foundation, Mad Mothers Against Pedophiles and others, I say, shame. To Canadians, I say do not count on the government to defend children. It is time for Canadians to take action of our own, to put the safety of our children ahead--