House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was water.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the matter of climate change, we have seen the government savagely cut programs established by the former government. We have also seen the government renege on Canada's commitments under the Kyoto protocol. And now the Minister of Transport is closing the door on collaborating with Quebec.

I am not very happy that they are ripping out so many programs. I even want to help them. In this regard, I have tabled a made in Canada private member's bill. Will they support it?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, what the member introduced has no relevance to what this government will put forward in terms of a realistic, achievable and affordable plan to reduce greenhouse gases and pollution.

In terms of working with the Quebec government, my office is in constant contact with the environment minister in Quebec. I would reiterate, and the minister from Quebec has said the same thing, that the number one cause of greenhouse gases in Quebec is transportation. The most important thing we can do is invest in public transit and to find ways to get people out of their cars and on to public transit, which is exactly what the federal government has done.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, they will do a lot of things.

We have read it: all the Quebec lieutenant is proposing is to look into the possibility of talks with the provinces and territories about equipping heavy vehicles with speed regulators. That is impressive. Except that Quebec's plan already includes this measure. I invite my colleague from the Pontiac to read about it on page 24 of a very interesting document.

Once he has perused this action plan will he attempt to convince his colleague, the Minister of the Environment, not to abandon Quebec? Will he tell her that we have had enough of this policy of abandonment?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove
Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, far from it. One of the key things in the Government of Quebec's plan is investment in public transit. Another key thing is it is trying to increase ridership to get people out of their cars and on to public transportation, which is is one of the incentives that this government has put in place.

EnerGuide Program
Oral Questions

June 19th, 2006 / 2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the EnerGuide program for retrofitting houses was popular with Canadians and very effective, cutting greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of a mere $20 per tonne, about the best value in the world.

By contrast, the Conservative bus pass program will cost about $2,000 per tonne, 100 times more expensive. The Conservative government has trashed programs like EnerGuide only to shift the money to bus passes, meaning there will be less action on climate change but a higher cost.

Why is the government making such a fundamentally perverse decision?

EnerGuide Program
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as I have explained many times in the House before, only 50¢ of every $1 in that program went into doing anything for the environment. Those are the facts. Those programs were introduced by previous Liberal governments.

It should be no surprise to Canadians that there were a number of programs introduced by the previous Liberal government that just did not deliver. The Liberal record on greenhouse gas reductions was an unmitigated disaster. This government will not follow the Liberal government's record.

EnerGuide Program
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government has killed all federal programs to help Canadians upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes, including those aimed at low income families. Such programs helped cut greenhouse gas emissions while saving Canadian families on average more than $400 each and every year on their energy bills. That one savings alone would be bigger than all of the benefits the average family may receive from the government's convoluted hodgepodge of tax credits.

Why is the government abandoning the policies that worked, abandoning Canadians and trashing the environment?

EnerGuide Program
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I would remind the hon. member that of some 120 programs, 95 are still currently in place. It should be no surprise to the hon. member that their programs did not work. If their programs worked, why are greenhouse gases 35% above Liberal targets? That is not a record that I would be proud of.

Securities
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the finance minister announced this morning that he intends to create a Canadian securities commission. In doing so, he will be going against the wishes of Quebec and most of the provinces, catering only to Toronto's point of view.

After so often repeating that it will respect the jurisdictions of Quebec and the provinces, does the government endorse the finance minister's plan, which goes completely against its commitment?

Securities
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question.

I believe the question relates to the speech I gave in Halifax this morning relating to a potential common securities regulator for Canada.

This is an important issue with respect to making sense of our economic union and in ensuring the provincial and federal governments work out a system whereby we have strong, effective and efficient capital markets in Canada so we can get away from a situation.

We are the only western industrialized society that has multiple securities regulators. We want to work on that in cooperation with the provinces toward a common national securities regulator.

Securities
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the minister is talking about has already been done. Quebec and the provinces have undertaken to harmonize their practices in the area of securities and have not needed any form of federal intervention in their areas of jurisdiction.

Does the finance minister realize that, by proposing such a commission, not only is he reneging on his government's commitment and going against the Canadian constitution, but he is directly contributing to a major shift of 6,000 jobs, as well as financial and trading activities out of Quebec, for the sole benefit of Toronto?

Securities
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we acknowledge the work that has been done by the provinces and the territories with the passport system as they have tried to move toward harmonization. Unfortunately, it means harmonization with pages and pages of exceptions.

The reality is that the Ontario Securities Commission is now regulating something like 83% of the business and that is hardly paying respect to the regions across Canada and the involvement of the various provinces.

A number of good suggestions are on the table, including the report by Purdy Crawford's committee last week. I hope we will have some informed and constructive discussions next week moving toward a common securities regulator, not necessarily a federal regulator in Canada.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister was much clearer last December 19 when he came to Quebec and promised to correct the fiscal imbalance. Since then, statements made by the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister have become ambiguous. On the one hand, they say that the provinces should not expect much, and on the other, that the fiscal imbalance will sort itself out.

Do these statements not prove that the Prime Minister is about to renege on another promise, just like all previous governments have done with promises made to Quebec in the past?

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa
Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, we want to move toward fiscal balance in Canada. A great deal has been accomplished already with respect to discussions concerning core responsibilities of the provincial and territorial governments on the one hand and the federal government on the other and progress with respect to health care issues. We need to work more on infrastructure issues and particularly on the issue of post-secondary education. I look forward to those discussions next week with the provincial and territorial ministers of finance.

Taxation
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fiscal imbalance is far from working itself out. Instead, it is getting worse. For example, post-secondary education transfers are much lower than they were 10 years ago. Two reports have concluded that the equalization formula needs to be reviewed. Daycare funding has been slashed. Yet the government expects a $12 billion surplus next fall.

Will the Prime Minister admit that all of these elements are making the fiscal imbalance worse rather than improving it?