House of Commons Hansard #168 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was budget.

Topics

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, the government has introduced a new equalization formula that treats every province equally. It does have a cap, but that cap is not applied in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have the right to exactly the deal they signed in 2005. That is the choice.

What we will not do is provide a new, enhanced side deal for any province. That would not be fair. We are respecting existing deals, but we are bringing in one fair formula for everyone who opts into it. That is the only fair way to proceed, not new side deals.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, less than three months after the finance minister declared the “bickering between provincial and federal governments is over”, a hilarious quotation, we have a Prime Minister at war with the provinces, at war with Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan. This is no way to run a country. A prime minister should call meetings with premiers, not threaten them with lawsuits.

Why does the Prime Minister run attack ads and threaten lawsuits, instead of working with people who are partners in the federation?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Once again, Mr. Speaker, while I was in Europe, I know that both the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Finance were having discussions with the Government of Nova Scotia. I know they want those discussions to continue. Those discussions were not broken off by the federal government.

It is a very serious allegation to say that the federal government has broken a legal contract. We have done no such thing. This party fought for the Atlantic accords. We want to keep the Atlantic accords. If someone is going to make an allegation that we broke the law, I would think the individual would have the decency to act upon that allegation or withdraw it.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think he has chosen war. I know the Prime Minister hates to admit he is wrong. I know he is prepared to go to great lengths to cover up his mistakes, but Canadians should not have to pay the price for his stubbornness.

Why does the Prime Minister not admit that his new formula does not honour the Atlantic accords, and why is he refusing to do the honourable thing and keep his promise?

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Finance had discussions with Nova Scotia. They listened to the legitimate concerns of the provinces and made proposals to address those concerns while honouring the principles of the budget. This government is prepared to go back to the table anytime.

The Environment
Oral Questions

June 11th, 2007 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister left the G-8 summit proclaiming himself the new champion of the environment. The truth is that the G-8 concluded a sellout agreement without absolute targets and without firm commitments.

The Prime Minister nonetheless praised the territorial approach—which is the European Union approach—by saying that a green plan should take into account the specifics of each country for achieving the Kyoto protocol targets.

Will the Prime Minister follow through on the statements he made in Europe and apply the territorial approach?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the federal government is prepared to cooperate with the provinces on implementing its plan to regulate industry on greenhouse gas emissions. We are prepared to enter into equivalency agreements with the provinces. Nonetheless the principle is clear: the federal targets are minimum targets.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if that is true, can the Prime Minister tell us whether he will ensure that Quebec can achieve its greenhouse gas reduction targets from 1990 levels, or a 6% reduction, in order to promote the polluter-pay principle?

Quebec has made an effort and that should be recognized. If the oil companies have not done anything, then the oil companies should pay. Is that what the Prime Minister is saying?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, our targets are applicable on a national scale. These targets apply to every province and the targets are greater for economies experiencing greater growth. We are also committed to respecting the polluter pay principle. This principle is part of our plan.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about economic growth. Since 1990, the Cascades paper company has cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% while increasing production by 20%. That is a good example of absolute reduction. Cascades is an example of the work that the Quebec paper and manufacturing industries have done over the past two decades.

Can the Minister of the Environment explain why his plan penalizes Cascades and the Quebec manufacturing industry by failing to take into account the work they have done in the past?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case at all. Recognizing the work that industries have done over the past 13 years is an important part of our efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. It is worth noting that the previous government did nothing for 13 years. Some companies have worked very hard. Recognizing their efforts is an essential part of our plan.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week, Hubert Bolduc, the vice-president of Cascades, said, “It is just as unfortunate that the federal government has not done anything to speed up the opening of a carbon exchange”.

When will the minister finally recognize the importance of a Montreal carbon exchange to the environment and to industry and the absolute greenhouse gas reduction targets that such an exchange requires?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I would like my colleague from Quebec to know that we support opening a carbon exchange. It is an essential part of our efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. It is also important that our targets be absolute targets.

For the first time in Canada's history, we have a Prime Minister and a government with a real plan to reduce greenhouse gases by more than 20% over the next 13 years. That is an absolute target for this country.

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the government's broken promise fiasco on the Atlantic accord and equalization has reached a new low. So far what we have seen is the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador having to take out ads to call for a promise to be kept. The Premier of Saskatchewan was snubbed. The Prime Minister would not even meet with him when he went to the province. Then we saw a Conservative member of Parliament, who decided to try to keep his promise to his constituents, thrown out by the government. Now we see the Premier of Nova Scotia weighing in.

What is the Prime Minister's response? “I'll sue you.” That is his response. What kind of way to run a federation is that? Why does he not keep his promise—

The Budget
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The right hon. the Prime Minister.