House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was development.

Topics

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are full of conspiracy theories. Each day they come back with a new theory, when in reality they do not know what they stand for. They criticize the government for not engaging soon enough. Then they say that we should not have been engaged and that we should not have responded.

One day the Liberals say that they support Bill C-38, after they have had ample opportunity to examine all the witnesses. Then they change their minds the next day. Now they are starting to criticize people from various agencies.

The government respects all employees at the CNSC and AECL for their hard work. We will continue to stand behind them for getting the job done.

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, now that the imminent crisis in Chalk River is over, now that the government has compromised the regulator's independence—and then fired her—can the government finally clarify its intentions for Atomic Energy of Canada?

Will it uphold Canada's internationally renowned leadership in this field or is it going to sell to the highest bidder?

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands
B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, once again the Liberal Party needs to give up on all the conspiracy theories. We launched a review late last year, in the fall of last year.

We are collecting all the information on AECL. We did that very publicly, very proactively. We are getting the best information we can. When we have collected all of that information, this government will make a decision in the best interests of the Canadian people, taxpayers and the future of AECL.

The Environment
Oral Questions

February 26th, 2008 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures introduced by British Columbia, the Minister of the Environment said, and I quote, “What works in British Columbia may not necessarily work in Nova Scotia”. The environment minister's statement confirms the need for a territorial approach.

Does the Prime Minister not realize that in order to be consistent with what his Minister of the Environment is saying, he must implement binding, absolute targets to reduce greenhouse gases, with 1990 as the reference year, and use the territorial approach as a framework?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, last week I spoke with the Premier of British Columbia and I noted his plan for reducing greenhouse gases. We agreed that our two plans complement each other. His plan controls consumer emissions while ours controls emissions by major polluters. We are prepared to work with British Columbia and all the other provinces to reduce greenhouse gases.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the territorial approach, Quebec and the provinces would decide how to achieve the binding, absolute targets that the federal government must implement. That approach has been very successful in Europe.

Will the Prime Minister finally take responsibility on the environment file and implement binding, absolute greenhouse gas reduction targets with the territorial approach as a framework?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the environment is a jurisdiction shared between the federal government and the provinces. We are prepared to work with the provinces on reducing greenhouse gases. It is indeed a territorial approach in many regards. We are seeking to harmonize the rules with the provinces.

We have established national targets. I am clear and we are clear on the fact that these targets are the minimum for each province and territory.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, between 1990 and 2005, the Quebec manufacturing industry cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, while the emissions in the fossil fuel industry, concentrated primarily in Alberta, increased by nearly 50%. But Alberta benefits from the Conservatives' plan, at the expense of Quebec.

When will the Prime Minister understand that in order to be fair to Quebec and its industry, we need to establish absolute reduction targets and set 1990 as the reference year? Will he abandon the polluter-paid principle for the polluter-pay principle?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I find it very interesting that the Bloc critic is telling us that our targets are too tough or that they go too far. Our international plan would regulate large companies. These reductions are binding and absolute. We must reduce greenhouse gases. In the 18 years that the Bloc has been in the House of Commons, nothing has been done on the national level. Now, we are taking action.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, setting the economy against the environment, as the Conservatives are doing, is totally outdated. The Prime Minister needs to understand that Kyoto creates business opportunities and improves the environment at the same time.

Will the Prime Minister abandon his polluter-paid approach, bring in binding, absolute targets and set 1990 as the reference year so that the carbon exchange in Montreal can finally get off the ground?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our plan of course includes a carbon exchange. We are working out the details. We need to have national figures for reducing greenhouse gases. We can see that since the creation of the Bloc, 18 years ago, this has never been done here in the House of Commons in Ottawa. Our government is taking action. When it comes to greenhouse gas reductions, we will get real results for all regions and all Canadians and for the world.

Emergency Preparedness
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP has advocated for an increased awareness of Canada's emergency preparedness and we have also called for more transparency when it comes to military affairs.

Now we learn that the Canadian armed forces signed an agreement with the United States allowing for interoperability of troops during civil emergencies, but no one told Canadians.

Why is the Conservative government being so secretive about this agreement? What does it have to hide?

Emergency Preparedness
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, this is actually the formalization of a long-standing agreement that has been in place. Basically, it allows for a formal agreement permitting armed forces from either side of the border to render assistance in a time of a civil emergency.

This is all about ensuring safety on both sides of the border, allowing for mutual cooperation to the benefit of the citizens of both Canada and the United States.

It sounds to me as if those tinfoil hats are getting a little tight down there.

Emergency Preparedness
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister still has not explained why this agreement was kept secret and even if he was aware of it. How can the Conservatives be trusted when they keep the truth from Canadians?

In the event of a civil emergency and the agreement is invoked, what process is to be followed to approve the deployment of Canadian troops to the U.S. and under whose command would Canadians operate?

Conversely, who would authorize American deployment to Canada and under whose chain of command would the Americans operate while in Canada? Why does the minister not answer that question?

Emergency Preparedness
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, it could not have been very secret if the hon. member found out.

As it would apply at Norad or NATO, but most important, any activities that were to take place on Canadian soil would be done under the control of Canadian officials, the Canadian military most particularly.

Why have we done this? To exceed and expand upon the necessary actions that occur when people are in jeopardy. If there are ships at sea in distress, if there is an emergency involving, for example, an avalanche, this is all about facilitating the saving of lives.

We would think that a member from British Columbia would understand that.