House of Commons Hansard #99 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was seniors.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I say once again that this is the first government in history to say that it is moving forward with a comprehensive plan to regulate and reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions across the country. We want to see this job done, for my children and for everyone's children, and I would urge all members of Parliament to work to pass the legislation.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians remain skeptical about the Conservative government's sudden conversion as far as environmental issues are concerned.

Will there one day be a “road to Kyoto” like the road to Damascus? It will be very easy to see whether the government's green claims are sincere. Canada ratified the Kyoto protocol. We therefore have international obligations.

Is the government prepared to recognize, in Canada's Clean Air Act, all of Canada's obligations under the Kyoto protocol?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this government is very aware of the concerns of Canadians when it comes to the environment. It heard the last government talk about the environment a lot and make many promises, and saw it hold many meetings, but never saw it follow through with real action.

We in the government, on this side of the House, accept our responsibilities, including our role in the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are very aware of the importance Canadians place on air quality.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us be clear. Under the Conservatives there is no Kyoto protocol, no green plan, no green budget, no emissions ceiling, no carbon exchange, not even any reports to NAFTA. In short, no action and no results.

A year later, what is this Conservative minority government waiting for to take action? This government is not so new any more. Will the Prime Minister finally show some leadership and respect the Kyoto protocol commitments?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is very clear that this hon. member was a member of the cabinet that did absolutely nothing for 10 years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, these emissions increased by more than 30% under the Liberal government.

Our government has taken real action. We have indicated our intention to regulate industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to improve air quality. We made a proposal in a special committee of this House, and what we saw yesterday is that the Liberal Party wants to continue to be all talk and no action.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, on oil sands expansion by 2015 the Prime Minister has touted an increase in production of three to four times. His finance minister, while in China, was even more specific, targeting a rise in production of 4.6 times the current output.

Let us be clear on the implications. With these increases, the Prime Minister is preparing for greenhouse gas emissions to skyrocket. We will have no reductions by 2020 and we will have given up on our international Kyoto commitments. How will the Prime Minister meet even his inadequate, distant targets with his aggressive plan to exploit our natural resources?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, maybe the member opposite could explain to the House what went on at these meetings. These meetings were first organized by the Liberal Party when it was in government. We would like to learn more about that. Let us look at what the then minister of natural resources said:

The opportunities for Canadians in dealing with the energy supply situation in North America are wonderful.

Who said that? The member for Wascana. It was his plan.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, what is wonderful is the opportunity to manage them properly, not multiply them times five.

Any credible plan to address the crisis of climate change includes participation in Kyoto, yet Canada has a Prime Minister who spent his entire career fighting Kyoto and denying the science of climate change.

Now we learn that in 2002 the Prime Minister wrote a fundraising letter calling on his supporters to wage war on Kyoto, imploring them to “block the...economy-destroying Kyoto Accord” and saying that Kyoto is “based on...contradictory scientific evidence about climate trends”.

When it comes to Kyoto, is this the Prime Minister's version of getting the job done?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, there is nothing about what happened at these meetings that the Liberals organized with the Bush administration, and Canadians want to know what the then minister of the environment knew. If he did not know, why was he so out of the loop?

This government is prepared to take real action so that Canada can do its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and so Canada can accept its responsibility to have cleaner air in this country. What we did not want to do is send a $5 billion cheque to where no greenhouse gases would be reduced, over to Russia, to China or to India, which was the cornerstone of the Liberal hyperbole.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in the matter of oil sands development and reduction of greenhouse gases, the federal government wants to apply the polluter-paid principle.

Why is the federal government refusing to apply the territorial approach which would make it possible, when distributing the Kyoto targets, to make polluters pay rather than having others foot the bill?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our government was very clear. We made an announcement last October. We have worked very hard in the last four months to draft regulations for each sector of Canadian industry. This sector will be included with all Canadian industries. That is very important.

We have had very good consultations with industry and the environmental groups. In the next few weeks and months, there will be real action in this very important file.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, in this House we continue to wait for real action.

The Conservative government constantly tries to differentiate itself from the previous government.

I would ask the minister, if he truly wishes to set himself apart from the previous government, why he does not agree to pay to Quebec the $328 million needed to put in place its plan for achieving the Kyoto targets. That would set him apart from the Liberals.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I was very aware of provincial needs in this important file.

After my appointment as Minister of the Environment, I called my Quebec colleague, the provincial environment minister, and told him that I was quite open to meeting with him and hearing about his province's needs. I also want to hear about what they want to do with this money, about the greenhouse gas reduction rates, and air quality. These are this government's two major priorities.

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry said yesterday that there was no question of interfering in the Boeing contract, which he described as a private contract. I want to remind the minister that the $3.4 billion for the contract comes directly from the government. It is taxpayers' money.

When a contract for $3.4 billion is awarded without going to tender, conditions can be imposed. Why did the government not require that Boeing guarantee that 60% of the economic benefits would go to Quebec, as the Government of Quebec and the people of Quebec have called for?

Aerospace Industry
Oral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Beauce
Québec

Conservative

Maxime Bernier Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I would like to explain my role as industry minister to my opposition colleague. I think that it is misunderstood in this House.

Our role is to give our soldiers the best possible equipment, but also to secure high-quality economic benefits for Canada. What do we mean by “high-quality benefits”? Benefits that will enable Canadian companies to acquire new technologies, innovate and remain competitive on international markets. That is our role. We are going to act accordingly.