House of Commons Hansard #144 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was columbia.

Topics

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, as we said in the first throne speech of the government, we recognized that the situation facing aboriginal Canadians was unacceptable. We have been working at this in the first ministers meeting, the first of its kind in the history of the country to deal with these very issues, in a bold, innovative and inclusive way.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, on September 30, during question period, in words that will forever haunt him, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development described his first nation water management program as a great success.

Last week Canadians learned the truth. It is not a great success; it is a national embarrassment. Over 12 years, $2.5 billion was spent. Seventy-five per cent of aboriginal communities are having problems with their water and 100 communities are living under boiled water advisories.

The minister cannot distinguish between great successes and great national embarrassments. Why has the Prime Minister not asked for his resignation?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday the government took action in Kashechewan that would change the lives of the people of that community forever. That is evidence of our action in terms of dealing with these issues. The people of Kashechewan will not face these problems in the future.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Jim Prentice Calgary North Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, today Liberal Senator Jerry Grafstein confirmed that the Liberal government has been aware since at least 2001 of the extent of unsafe drinking water on aboriginal communities.

Four years later, there is still no policy in place, there are still no regulations and there are still no water standards. All we have are Liberal promises, Liberal rhetoric and a minister who is prepared with knowledge to allow the elderly and children to drink contaminated water for eight weeks.

Could the Prime Minister tell us what the problem is? Are the Liberal promises misleading or does he have a minister--

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Fredericton
New Brunswick

Liberal

Andy Scott Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Quite the contrary, Mr. Speaker. The problem has existed in that community since 1957 and it will be solved by this government, beginning now.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, at a time when oil companies are reaping record profits, the Minister of the Environment is asking Quebec, as part of the implementation of the Kyoto protocol, to pay a second time in order to help these “poor” oil companies and Alberta, which has a hard time making ends meet.

Quebec has already paid to subsidize oil development in western Canada, and now it is being asked to pay again to help that province clean up. Does the Prime Minister realize that his government's strategy will result in Quebeckers paying twice, instead of once?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

No, Mr. Speaker, not at all. I do not know why the Bloc leader is making up this story. It does not reflect the reality at all.

Everyone will have to do their share, but Quebec will have to make less of an effort in terms of the number of tonnes. The Quebec industry will not have to reduce its emissions by as many tonnes. Out of the 45 megatonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, Quebec will have to contribute three. What does the member want? That Quebec only have two, or one? That Quebec not do its share for the cause? I think Quebeckers want to help regarding climate change, and they will do so, within their capacity.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebeckers agree with the National Assembly and, for once, with Minister Mulcair, who finds the federal Minister of the Environment disdainful. That is the reality, because this minister does not recognize past efforts.

Why does he not recognize the past when the time comes to acknowledge Quebec's efforts, considering that he did recognize it when the time came for Alberta to get rich? They want us to pay for Alberta's past mistakes. But they do not recognize any of the worthwhile initiatives taken by Quebec, and they claim to look after Quebec's interests. Shame on them.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, there is no disdain. There may be diverging views, but there is no contempt. I do not know why the Bloc leader is resorting to personal attacks regarding such an important issue.

I want to tell him that everyone will do their share, but that everyone also benefits from the Alberta oil. Every year, it brings some $16 billion in governments' coffers—as the Minister of Finance told me—with about half of that amount going to the federal government, which uses it so that it is of great benefit. I never heard the Bloc leader say he would turn down the equalization payment, which comes largely from Alberta, unless of course, we follow his separation plan, but that is another issue.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment recognizes that western Canada is at the heart of the greenhouse gas issue and claims that there have been improvements almost worldwide, except in Canada, because western Canada intensified production, hence the increase in emissions, to meet the growing American demand.

Having recognized that the wealthy Alberta is at the heart of the problem, how can the minister conclude that the solution is to have Quebec pay even more than it has already?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, more tonnes can be obtained in areas where there is more oil, and fewer in those where there is hydroelectric power.

I fail to see the injustice in that. What is true, however, is that everyone will have to do their part. I know that Quebeckers want to do theirs, because climate change is too important an issue to be regarded otherwise than as requiring a collective effort from all Canadians.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Gauthier Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, through some erudite economic analysis, the Minister of the Environment has come to the conclusion that it would be counterproductive to have Alberta and the oil industry pay to clean up the mess, because they are so profitable to the federal treasury.

How can the minister say that Quebeckers have to pay to clean up the oil industry and that, according to the federal government, that is not counterproductive for Quebec's economy?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville
Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I do not know what the Bloc has been smoking. Where did it get the idea that Alberta would not be asked to contribute to the effort? Of course, it will have to make an effort. In fact, many more tonnes of greenhouse gas can be found in Alberta than in Quebec, because there is hydroelectric power in Quebec, while in Alberta, coal, oil, and natural gas are used.

I think that the Bloc would benefit from a good briefing on the issue.

International Trade
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the radio the Prime Minister said that trade is only possible if both parties involved keep their word.

He can keep on talking about what the Bush administration should do, but no one is listening any more except for him. He has no deadline, no plan, no help for the industry, only words, words, and more words.

Does he really think his radio infomercial has changed anything?