House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

February 8th, 2007 / 10:10 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

moved:

That, having recognized the principle of complying with the Kyoto targets, it is the opinion of this House that the government should provide the Government of Quebec with the sum of $328 million to enable it to implement its plan to meet the Kyoto protocol targets.

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois' position on implementing the Kyoto protocol has been known for a long time and is as follows.

First, Canada must meet its international commitments; second, a carbon exchange must be set up in Montreal, which requires strict reduction targets and a polluter-pay policy; third, the government must stop providing assistance for the oil industry; fourth, Canada must adopt a territorial approach; fifth, $328 million must be transferred to the Government of Quebec.

For a number of years, Quebec has asked the federal government for $328 million, to enable Quebec to implement the Kyoto protocol within its borders. This should have happened a long time ago. For too long, the Government of Quebec has been stalled by the federal government on this urgent, fundamental issue.

The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Official Opposition have both undermined Quebec's efforts to fight climate change. In so doing, they have raised considerable doubt as to how determined they actually are to comply with Kyoto. By imposing its policies on Quebec, the Conservative government is doing what the former Liberal government did: hampering economic development in Quebec.

What this House needs to understand is that when it comes to energy, Quebec and Canada are two nations faced with completely different challenges. Although oil is making Canada richer, it is making Quebec poorer.

Last Sunday, a former federal environment minister, Mr. Anderson, stated that the Bloc Québécois was the only party that had always consistently supported the Kyoto protocol. In fact, this fundamental issue has long been a high priority for us. We do not have to make the shift to green thinking.

During the 2000 election campaign, we were already making the fight against climate change a key issue. In the years that followed, Quebec made a huge effort to convince Canada to ratify the Kyoto protocol.

The Bloc spoke out about this issue and was successful. During the 2004 election, we made the environment, and particularly the implementation of the Kyoto protocol, a central focus of our election platform. Greenpeace even awarded us a symbolic windmill for our campaign.

Furthermore, during the course of the 2004 election, something occurred that is very rare in the annals of politics. We received the support of another party leader, the Green Party. At the time, he called on Quebeckers to vote for the Bloc.

During the last campaign, our platform focused once again on the climate change issue.

Lastly, following the election of the current Conservative government, with a Prime Minister who promised to tear up the Kyoto protocol, we lead the charge in Quebec. We launched a petition, calling for compliance with Kyoto, and gathered more than 120,000 signatures.

We obtained the support of the majority of this House in favour of a motion calling on Canada to honour its commitments. It must be understood that this issue was crucial in Quebec.

I must point out here the complicit silence of the Conservatives elected in Quebec regarding this matter. They dishonourably refused to represent the opinion of a large majority of Quebeckers.

Furthermore, I am not at all convinced of the Prime Minister's good will, since not that long ago, he was the one who called Kyoto nothing more than a socialist scheme.

If there was a scheme, it was more likely an oil and gas scheme, reaching from Houston to Calgary, via Washington. I, however, do not believe in conspiracy theories. In fact, Quebec must simply deal with the Conservatives' ideological stubbornness and the Liberals' hypocrisy.

We cannot emphasize enough how appalling the Prime Minister's actions were in this matter.

Not only did he describe the international protocol as a “socialist plot”, but when he was leader of the official opposition he also promised to revoke it at the first possible opportunity.

The Prime Minister is fond of presenting himself as a decisive leader. Tuesday he spoke of leadership and yes, there is leadership, but the problem is that he is leading in the wrong direction. He has reneged on Canada's international commitments. He put a gag on Quebec in Kenya. His Quebec political lieutenant has slammed the door in Quebec's face as far as the $328 million is concerned, and the present Minister of the Environment has said, in response to a question from the Bloc, that he still wishes to proceed on a project by project basis, on a piecemeal basis, just like his predecessor and just like the former Liberal minister.

I am, of course, referring to the present leader of the official opposition. When he was the environment minister, he too hindered Quebec in its efforts. When Quebec was trying to negotiate an agreement with him, the then Quebec Minister of the Environment, Minister Mulcair, a fervent federalist, had this to say: “the term contempt is not strong enough to describe how I was treated.” Nothing has changed since then.

It is all very well for the current Quebec Minister of the Environment, Mr. Béchard, to be pleased with his first meeting with his new federal counterpart, but all he is doing is repeating what he said after his first meeting with the old one. We all know what happened after that: this Conservative government humiliated Mr. Béchard in Nairobi.

Mr. Mulcair, who had never caved in to Ottawa, stated, and rightly so, that the federal government's focus was totally on the west and on Ontario. That is why the Bloc Québécois is demanding a Kyoto implementation plan based on a territorial approach. This is the approach which has enabled 25 sovereign states of Europe to reach agreement and make some progress within the European Union.

That approach will enable Canada to meet its commitments by allocating objectives to Quebec and to each province. Quebec will then be free to determine for itself the best way to meet its objectives. If the government wants to demonstrate its goodwill and to take that path, the first step it needs to take is to transfer $328 million to the Government of Quebec, with no strings attached and not a little at a time.

Quebeckers are committed to combating climate change. They have been making that clear for many years. Petroleum is the source of 71% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Quebec. This means that Quebec will have to radically reduce its petroleum consumption in order to help combat climate change. That is the first reason for Quebec to reduce its reliance on petroleum. It seems to me that saving the planet is an excellent reason.

The second reason is that petroleum makes Quebec poorer. This is not true for Canada. In today's petroleum economy, Canada is a major player. The Canadian economy is heavily reliant on the petroleum industry. This is so true that the fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar depend in large part on petroleum prices. This is largely why Canada has yet to implement the Kyoto protocol. Put simply, petroleum is making Canada richer. The opposite is true for Quebec: petroleum is making it poorer.

That is why Quebec needs to enter into an agreement based on the territorial approach. With such an agreement, Quebec will be able to take charge of implementing the Kyoto protocol within its jurisdiction, including where funding is concerned. This will require a minimum of $328 million to be transferred to the Quebec government.

When I say that petroleum makes Quebec poorer, that is not a figure of speech. For one thing, Quebec does not produce significant amounts of petroleum, natural gas or coal. In 2006, Quebec bought $13 billion worth of petroleum. This represents a $7 billion increase over three years. Over the same three years, Quebec went from a surplus to a trade deficit of $7 billion.

This means that rising oil prices sent Quebec into a trade deficit position. As you know, trade deficits slow economic growth. Every drop in the balance of trade leads to a drop in wealth in Quebec.

As well, the instability of prices and the dollar hits the manufacturing industry. The Quebec finance department estimates that a 20% increase in the price of oil results in a 0.8% drop in real GDP in the first year and 1.4% in the second. That is a huge amount.

The price of oil is supposed to remain high and very probably to go even higher in the short term. That is why I say that oil is making Quebec poor. And that is why it will make Quebec poorer in future, if the federal government persists in countering its efforts.

This is the second justification for adopting a strategy that focuses on reducing our dependence on oil, a strategy that is appropriate for Quebec.

We therefore have strong evidence: Quebec must reduce its dependence on oil, both to combat climate change and to halt the impoverishment that results from our dependence.

There is also a third reason. Quebec, like all societies, will eventually have to do without oil. Oil is a non-renewable resource that will someday be exhausted. If we embark on this path quickly, the reduction in dependence on oil will become a major economic advantage.

The time will necessarily come when oil production is no longer sufficient to meet demand. That will cause shortages and lead to skyrocketing prices. Will this happen in 20 years, or in 50 years? While we do not know the answer, everyone acknowledges that it will happen.

The industrialized world will enter the post-oil era in a few decades. This new direction will call for very far-reaching changes. In fact, it will call for a revolution—an energy revolution. Societies that saw the change coming and embarked on the new path earlier will come out of it as winners. Societies that did not prepare for it will experience a major crisis.

It is therefore entirely to Quebec's advantage to embark on the new path of the 21st century now. But Quebec will never be able to do this if Canada continues to impose its oil economy policies on it.

From 1970 to 1999, the federal government gave $66 billion in direct subsidies to the oil and gas industry, all concentrated outside Quebec. Quebeckers paid for one quarter of those subsidies. Not a single cent was given to the Quebec hydro-electric industry. And it goes on: by our calculations, the accelerated write-off allowed for the oil sands alone will have let the oil companies exempt $15 billion of their taxable profits between 2005 and 2008—$15 billion to the oil companies, when we all know that they are all living on the edge of poverty.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister announced his intention to transform the savings made on debt servicing into income tax reductions. Should he not be taking that same approach and cutting the assistance given to the oil companies, and spending that money to combat climate change?

As for the leader of the official opposition, he is not missing a trick; he also voted in favour of Bill C-48, legislation that meant that Canada's tax laws became the most favourable for oil companies in North America. The oil companies now pay less tax in the Prime Minister's Canada than in George W. Bush's Texas. We have to do it. Enough.

The Bloc has a strategy that will enable Quebec to reduce its oil dependency. By applying this strategy, Quebec could expect to reduce its oil consumption by 32% over 10 years. In reducing the flight of capital caused by oil imports, these measures could lead to an increase in GDP of 1.5% per year in Quebec.

In addition, reduced oil dependency will improve the competitive strength of the Quebec economy. We are talking here about tremendous impacts that will make the difference between an economy with modest growth and a dynamic and flourishing economy.

Quebec's regions will also benefit from this strategy. For example, the use of forest and farm wastes to produce clean fuels, the implementation of the Quebec marine policy and coastal shipping, modernization of plants in the forestry sector, and reduction of oil-related expenditures are all measures that will benefit the economies of Quebec's regions. Finally, the positioning of Quebec as a player in sectors likely to grow quickly should also ensure continued and sustainable growth for the province.

Over the next 10 years, in meeting these objectives, Quebec will have been able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 21.5%, which will be 10% less than 1990 levels; and that will only be the start, because Quebeckers believe in Kyoto.

For this government and the previous one, Canada’s economic future has always meant more oil. For us, it is exactly the opposite. The future of Quebec always demands less oil. Thus, the future of Quebec and the future of our planet are going in the same direction. Quebec will need all its resources to finance this strategy, but much of Quebec’s financial resources are sent here, to Ottawa.

It is also in Ottawa that crucial decisions are made with regard to research, and to marine and railway transportation. Decisions are made in Ottawa with respect to certain industrial standards, the regulation of polluting emissions and vehicle compliance, decisions on implementation of the Kyoto protocol, creation of a carbon market, for example, and decisions about business support programs, taxation and many infrastructure programs. All those decisions are made in Ottawa.

It is obvious that Quebec will not be able to achieve all these objectives without the good will of the federal government. However, within the federal framework, past experience teaches us that Quebec must be very patient before Ottawa agrees to respond to its needs and interests.

Therefore, I invite Quebeckers to take note that there would be nothing to prevent a sovereign Quebec from implementing an energy revolution that will serve our interests and those of the planet.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:30 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, may I clarify something? Have we resumed debate or is this questions and comments period?

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:30 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

I asked if there were any questions and comments and nobody rose so we are resuming debate. The Hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Minister for La Francophonie and Official Languages has the floor.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:30 a.m.

Beauport—Limoilou
Québec

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, why do we need the clean air act when we have the Canadian Environmental Protection Act?

Canadians are concerned about the quality of the air they are breathing, as well as climate change. Harmful atmospheric emissions are continuing to impact on our health, our environment, our economy and even our quality of life. Our government is aware that global warming is a serious threat to the health and well-being of Canada. So the new government of Canada has taken measures designed to reduce air pollution and climate change in order to protect Canadians’ health and their environment.

The report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has just been released, once again sounds the alarm. Growing levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere may exacerbate climate change, and this may prove to be devastating in many parts of the world.

This government’s long-term integrated regulatory approach to the reduction of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions will be strengthened by the improvements that the bill aims to make to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, or CEPA. By relying on the considerable powers already provided under CEPA, Bill C-30 will ensure a much firmer foundation for concerted action to be taken against smog emissions, acid rain pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions produced in many cases by the same industrial and vehicle sources.

Concerted action will make it possible to avoid so-called “pernicious” effects. Sometimes the technologies used to reduce air pollution have unfortunate side effects, which actually increase greenhouse gas emissions. By tackling this problem, our government will maximize the advantages for the population of Canada and Quebec. Our approach will also provide the certainty necessary to industry so that it can make the most of technology and invest the necessary money to reduce both air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

The previous government committed itself to meeting ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets, but the emissions increased by 27% during its mandate. Consequently there was a increase in smog in our cities and an increase in the incidence of asthma and other respiratory diseases. That is why our government is taking a dynamic new path.

The clean air act creates new powers to allow for regulation and surveillance of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.

Allow me to give a few examples of the effects the changes to CEPA will have.

The clean air act will be the legislative basis for a made-to-measure approach to regulate indoor and outdoor air pollutants as well as greenhouse gases. By adopting regulations based on the act, we will be in a position to impose requirements and to take enforcement measures against offenders.

Our clean air regulation initiative comes as a radical change if we consider all the missed opportunities of the past. For the first time, the environment and health ministers will be legally forced to establish national objectives on air quality, to follow closely the progress in meeting those objectives and to produce a progress report every year. This is a very strict obligation that we think will ensure that successive governments make a priority of improving air quality.

With the clean air act, Canadians will be in a position to hold the government accountable for real progress in reducing air pollution.

Bill C-30 will also amend CEPA to enable us to make full use of the emission-trading market so that industry can comply as efficiently as possible with the regulatory standards that are going to be instituted.

The bill will also improve our ability to regulate air emissions from various products.

Along with the provinces and territories, our government promised to require that the renewable fuel usage rate be set at 5% by 2010. This objective is stricter than the American one and comparable to that of our European partners. The amendments to CEPA will allow us to regulate the fuel mix and thereby institute national standards on renewable fuel content in as efficient a way as possible.

Canada's Clean Air Act will also improve the Energy Efficiency Act, enabling us to set solid energy efficiency standards for a broader array of consumer and commercial products, especially household appliances and electrical products.

Finally, Canada's Clean Air Act will amend the Motor Vehicle Fuel Consumption Standards Act to modernize the government’s ability to regulate the fuel consumption of new motor vehicles. For the very first time, we will be able to regulate the fuel efficiency of motor vehicles beginning in the 2011 model year.

We already have some legislative power to protect Canadians’ health and the environment from air pollution. That is why we do not expect the amendments to unleash new regulatory measures. The notice of intent we issued last October described a certain number of regulations that will come into force over the next 12 months under the existing legislation.

Canadians will see real reductions thanks to these regulations imposing mandatory requirements. The era of voluntary compliance is over.

In conclusion, Canada's Clean Air Act will be the first comprehensive, integrated effort that Canada has seen to fight air pollution and greenhouse gases. It will give all Canadians cleaner air while also fighting climate change. Our health has suffered long enough and our environment has been degraded enough. Canada's Clean Air Act is absolutely necessary to achieve real progress for our generation and those to come.

Mr. Speaker, I am sharing my time with the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of the Environment.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Bill Blaikie

I might just say to the hon. member that it is important for people to indicate at the beginning or even in the middle of their speech that they will be sharing their time and when members are getting notes indicating that, they should pay attention to the notes and they ought to tell the House that they are sharing their time. To do it at the end of their speech is not in keeping with the rules. However, we will cut the member a little bit of slack this time and we will go to questions and comments.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is passing curious to me that we are hearing from the Conservative government the constant harping about the fact that under the Liberal government for a number of years greenhouse gas emissions were actually increasing. It is curious because, during that whole period when numerous projects were being put into place and being funded into the future, projects that had real support from Canadians across the country, the scientific and environmental communities, that while they had not had a chance to get themselves working, the Conservatives, as opposition and then as government, were disclaiming the whole basis of climate change. They were deniers.

For them to now say that we did nothing and that they are rushing in to save the day and that under the Liberals it was terrible, they were not even in the field. They were saying that it did not happen, that it was not happening, that it was not a danger and that it was a waste.

Would the hon. member simply comment on what on earth the Conservatives were thinking for those long 13 years when they were denying the whole existence of a problem that they now claim they must rush in and save us from? It is very curious.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, we must deal with the basics, with the real problems. For 13 years, the Liberals had the opportunity to do so and they did nothing. If this had been so good and so effective, emissions would have gone down instead of going up.

Now, we must deal with the problems. The voluntary part must come to an end. As a government, we must stand up. All people in Canada and in Quebec must be informed of what we are doing and the way we are doing it. Thus, it will be crystal clear.

Clean air will be not only for everyone, for oil industries, but also for ordinary people. Asthma and respiratory diseases are more and more frequent in this country. We are dealing with the real problems. This is how we will work.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to put a question to my colleague from Beauport—Limoilou. She talked a lot about the various measures taken by the government, but she did not talk about today's motion, which asks to provide the Government of Quebec with the sum of $328 million to implement its plan in Quebec.

I remind her that it is not only the Bloc Québécois that is asking for this. Of course, there is the Parti Québécois, but there is also the Government of Quebec, with Mr. Jean Charest's Liberal Party in Quebec. In fact, everyone in Quebec is asking for this $328 million.

I would like to know whether, as an elected member from Quebec, she will vote in favour of our motion. If she does not intend to vote in favour of the motion, I would like her to say whom she represents here, in this House.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, in answer to my Bloc colleague, I would say that I represent Quebeckers and I am working in Quebec for Quebeckers, but I am also in Canada. I am working for everyone. Quebeckers are not the only ones with problems. Both Quebeckers and Canadians have problems. In that sense, the clean air act, Bill C-30, is a very good bill.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

An hon. member

Will you vote for the motion?

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Beauport—Limoilou, QC

You will see when the time comes.

As to the matter the member alluded to, the environment ministers meet frequently. They have a very good relationship with Quebec. Mr. Béchard had a very good meeting with Mr. Baird. Now it is up to them to decide what to do.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Langley
B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for her comments and her hard work in representing Quebec well.

I would like to begin by emphasizing clearly that the government is committed to taking immediate and concrete action to address the issue of climate change and cleaning up the environment.

As the Prime Minister said in his speech of February 5, just two days ago:

--we have to have a realistic plan, not just empty rhetoric.

Our government supports a concerted global effort to deal with climate change--and such an effort [ to be effective] must include the major emitters, including the United States and China.

But we cannot ask others to act unless we are prepared to start at home, with real action on greenhouse gases and air pollution.

In short, the time for empty rhetoric is over. It is time for real action.

This government has a realistic plan. Our government has launched an ambitious environmental agenda that will have clear benefits for the environment and for the health of all Canadians.

The environment, particularly climate change, is a fundamental, multi-faceted issue that will require collaborative efforts from all levels of government.

We are committed to working with the provinces and territories in order to address shared challenges while ensuring that national and provincial efforts are well coordinated. Environment is a shared jurisdiction where all governments have a responsibility to act and to be accountable to their citizens.

Quebec is a significant player in the environment, as are all the provinces and territories. We recognize that Quebec has a comprehensive climate change plan and we commend the province's efforts. We have a good working relationship on many federal-provincial issues, not only with Quebec but with other provinces as well. The federal government is equally committed to taking action on climate change and I hope our two governments can work together to achieve shared goals and objectives.

As well, in this House, our government has decided to follow a different course of action in regard to funding of environmental programs.

The government has recently committed over $2 billion in a series of ecoenergy measures to promote both renewable energy and energy efficiency. These initiatives will complement current and future provincial and territorial efforts on climate change and support shared goals and objectives on air pollution and greenhouse gases in every region of the country, including Quebec.

In short, this funding will deliver real results. Canadians from coast to coast to coast will benefit as concrete reductions in greenhouse gases and air pollutants are achieved. I am confident that these initiatives, which will complement Quebec's climate change plan, will be well received by all Quebeckers.

We value provincial and territorial expertise in all aspects of environmental management and local considerations and will ensure that this expertise is utilized when moving forward on the environmental agenda.

In fact, many elements of the government's new ecoenergy programs will require joint efforts, including participation of the federal, provincial and territorial governments, industry, and the universities. Public-private partnerships with industry and federal and provincial governments will be forged where there is a shared interest.

In fact, ours is the first federal government to come forward with a comprehensive plan to regulate both greenhouse gases and pollutants in the industrial sector.

This government is committed to achieving real and measurable results that will produce health and environmental benefits for all Canadians. When it comes to the health of Canadians and the environment, we are not simply willing to adopt voluntary approaches, which do not necessarily lead to meaningful improvements.

We will set realistic and concrete mandatory targets for the short, the medium and the long term that will result in cleaner air, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a healthier environment.

Our approach is balanced. New regulations will be complemented by a series of new programs that will support national goals and objectives.

The new ecoenergy initiatives are a prime example of our balanced approach, as they will complement the government's regulatory measures under the proposed clean air act, Bill C-30. They will deliver real results while regulations are being developed. They will also drive the technological innovation required to support upcoming regulations.

Provinces and territories are responsible for a great deal of the day to day delivery of the environmental programs. They work directly with local business, industry and municipalities, and they manage and monitor many facets of the environment across the wide expanse of the country.

We recognize that all levels of government are currently taking action to tackle air emissions. As such, we have launched a frank and transparent process of dialogue to ensure continued exchange of information throughout the regulatory development process.

At the beginning of November last year, consultations on the regulatory framework were launched with provinces and territories as well as with industrial sectors, aboriginal groups and non-governmental organizations.

I am pleased to say that to date these consultations have been positive and constructive. Provinces and territories are generally supportive of the federal government's efforts to introduce regulatory measures and to consult on setting the targets and the timelines.

We will continue to work in partnership and will respect shared responsibility among all levels of government. Our ongoing dialogue with the provinces and territories is key to achieving consistent and comprehensive national outcomes.

Our Minister of the Environment has met with several of his provincial and territorial counterparts, including Quebec's Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks. These meetings have been productive, with a shared view that both orders of government can continue to work together.

In fact, we are pleased to say that provinces and territories recognize that this government is taking immediate action on climate change and is prepared to work in collaboration to address this shared challenge.

The government's policy is clear. We will establish targets that will result in concrete improvements in environmental outcomes. These targets will be realistic and they will be achievable.

The environmental agenda developed by this government ensures a balance between recognizing the increased federal role to act in the national interest while ensuring provincial cooperation on an ongoing basis.

This government values the work of provinces and territories and believes they are critical players in environmental management. We will work with them in a cooperative and productive manner as this environmental agenda is further developed.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened carefully to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment's speech. In his presentation, he said, among other things, that when it comes to environmental issues, the Conservative government plans to recognize provincial governments' expertise.

Is he aware that, over the years, Quebec has developed extraordinary expertise on environmental matters, that the province wants to implement an innovative greenhouse gas management program, and that to make it happen, it needs the $328 million from the federal government?

Earlier today, his colleague from Beauport—Limoilou, her expression speaking volumes, claimed she did not know how she would vote on this very important Bloc Québécois motion.

Does the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment know how he will be voting on this motion, which is so important for Quebeckers and for the global environment?

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member well knows, I have met numerous times, on the environment committee and the legislative committee, with representatives from the Bloc.

He knows well that this government is committed to cleaning up the environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He knows well that one of the first people our new environment minister met was the minister of the environment in Quebec.

We are working collaboratively. We are working together and we respect one another's roles in cleaning up the environment, but the fact is that the Bloc has no hope of ever getting anything done for Quebeckers. It is this government that is committed to doing so.

The hon. member also knows well that the former Liberal government did nothing on the environment, and he knows that this government has already taken action.

We will work collaboratively. We will work together. We look forward to his assistance so that we can move forward as a government in cleaning up the environment.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto Protocol
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Bloc

Roger Gaudet Montcalm, QC

Mr. Speaker, my question is simple. I would like to ask the parliamentary secretary if Quebec is effectively entitled to $328 million. In fact, in his speech, the leader of my party, the hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie, said that Canada invested $66 billion in tar sands, natural gas and oil. Moreover, it had already invested $6 billion in a pilot project in Ontario. Let us not forget that Quebec contributed a quarter of those amounts, which total $72 billion. When divided by four, that is $18 billion, if my calculations are right.

Quebec is asking for $328 million, but nobody in the Conservative government can say if it will get it or not.

Let us be serious. The government constantly says that Liberals were 13 years in power and did nothing. Conservatives have already been in power for one year and have not done any better. What is the decision? Will they pay the $328 million, yes or no? That is what we want to know. We are not asking for much, only our just due