House of Commons Hansard #173 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was mace.

Topics

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

April 22nd, 2002 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 1997, Quebec and the provinces all agreed that the increase in greenhouse gas emissions had to stop. There was full agreement that Canada should take action.

Unfortunately, Canada has not yet gotten past the talking stage. In fact, while Canadian emissions have increased by 20%, the government is caving in to pressure from certain lobbies and certain ministers, and backtracking on Kyoto.

Will the Prime Minister admit that by refusing to use these consultations to examine ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the government is leaving itself a way out of ratifying the Kyoto protocol?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have been saying for many months now that we wanted to consult the provinces and those with an interest in this issue. It is very important that we have co-ordination with the provinces so that an environmental protection plan can be implemented by Canadians. The matter is not closed.

Only this morning, just a few hours ago, I discussed this problem with Japan's Prime Minister, who is planning to ratify the accord. They too have certain problems. We are hoping that eventually, here in Canada and internationally, we will find common ground and that the accord can be signed by as many countries as possible, including Canada.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have nothing against consultations, but they must not be used as an excuse for not taking action. If we are to implement Kyoto as quickly as possible, the consultations must focus on a tangible proposal.

Yes or no, will the Prime Minister tell us whether, with a view to consultations, the government has submitted a clear proposal to implement Kyoto and, if so, what that proposal is?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Maurice
Québec

Liberal

Jean Chrétien Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Energy are working on this right now. They will, I hope, be in a position to put forward tangible proposals to the ministers of the provinces and territories in the coming weeks.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the federal government is using the consultations with Quebec and the provinces as an excuse to delay ratification of the Kyoto protocol. But when international negotiations were taking place, everyone in Canada agreed with the principle that we must not increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Does the government's lack of leadership and its inability to make a clear proposal to the provinces not leave a lot of room for some lobbies that are using certain ministers to get the government to back off on the ratification of this accord?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I can assure the hon. member that the federal government's position is clear and that it is supported by all the ministers of the Government of Canada.

We will have consultations with the provinces, the territories, the industries that are affected and the general public. Following that, we will have a plan to ensure that no region of the country has to support an undue burden. We will then be in a position to make a decision on ratification of the protocol.

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment should realize that while the government is backing off regarding the Kyoto protocol, or, at best, is standing still, according to observers, between 1990 and the year 2000—this is recent, and the period during which this government was in office—greenhouse gas emissions in Canada increased by 20%.

Does the government realize that this is the situation in which it is putting everyone right now?

Kyoto Protocol
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Victoria
B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is right. There has been an increase in greenhouse gas emissions since 1997. However, he should also know that the first period under the Kyoto protocol only begins in 2008. We have a few years to put in place the plan to which the Prime Minister referred a few minutes ago.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance apparently told the U.S. treasury secretary that there are some very serious problems in the Canada-America trade relations. He referenced hit and run duties on softwood lumber and a tax on the Canadian Wheat Board, both of which he said were politically motivated.

Americans need Canada's approval for the northern natural gas pipeline route. So far our government has been falling all over itself to co-operate. Did the finance minister indicate that this pipeline approval process would be slow walked should the U.S. continue to harass our lumber and grain exports?

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard
Québec

Liberal

Paul Martin Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I covered a wide range of areas with the U.S. secretary of the treasury who, in his previous life as a business person, has an extensive understanding of Canada. The point that I made very clearly is that this government will make all of its decisions in Canada's interest.

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Americans who claim to be free traders are rolling out the biggest farm subsidy in history. Our government ministers here on this side cluck their tongues and say that our pockets simply are not as deep. Our federal government surpluses are running at a record high, a much higher rate than was anticipated after September 11.

Farm leaders are asking for $1.2 billion to counteract the effect of these subsidies. Will the finance minister warm his cold, cold heart and agree immediately to provide the $1.2 billion that is so desperately required?

Trade
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Prince Edward—Hastings
Ontario

Liberal

Lyle Vanclief Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member accompanied me to Washington a couple of weeks ago. I was pleased to have him there to send the message to American politicians and industry on the effects of their subsidies.

As I said in the House on Friday, this government has shown consistently and effectively that we look at every way we possibly can to seek out resources and use them as best we can to assist Canadian farmers.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the Canadian fatalities in Afghanistan, the terms of reference for the board of inquiry limits testimony to only those Canadians involved. It will not include either the American pilot or his commanding officers, who really have all the answers.

If we are good enough to be partners in the conflict, why are we not good enough to have them testify as to how our soldiers were killed? Will the minister request that the Americans testify at the Canadian board of inquiry?

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

York Centre
Ontario

Liberal

Art Eggleton Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, the board of inquiry has been given all the terms of reference, very extensive terms of reference, to do an effective job in finding the information necessary.

The United States has indicated full co-operation. It will also have a board. We will have very substantial involvement in that board as well. I believe we will get the information that is necessary to find out what happened and to try to do something to reduce the risks of it happening again.

National Defence
Oral Question Period

2:25 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Bill Casey Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, the minister says that they believe they will get the information, but that is not good enough. The Americans themselves have identified the main question as to whether the pilot had permission to drop the bomb or not. The Canadian board of inquiry will not have direct access to anyone who can answer that most important question.

Again, will the minister request that the pilot and superiors testify at the Canadian board of inquiry?