House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was change.

Topics

Opposition Motion--Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Is that not just like the Liberal Party, Mr. Speaker? Something so serious as the quality of life of Canadians, the future of our country, the future of the world and the Liberals play politics with it, straight politics.

That is why Canadians do not respect that party any more. That is why they want the Conservative government to lead the country and to clean up our air and water to get the quality of life better for Canadians.

Let me give a quote in response:

Scientific capacity in the federal government could not help but be affected by the last five years of cuts.

That is from the Toronto Star, October 9, 1999. That member said this.

Opposition Motion--Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

NDP

Brian Masse Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question for the parliamentary secretary is about the automotive industry.

The minister and the government have cut the eco-auto rebate program. This was the incentive program of $116 million, a disastrous program that did not have an effect on the positive influence to buy vehicles.

We have a transition in the auto industry which is an opportunity to get greener technologies. At the same time the government is cutting the $116 million, it is going to keep in place the $50 million tax on the companies. It has rolled out a new program worth $50 million a year, but at the end of the day it has actually cut the automotive sector back by $8 million per year, and it continues to keep the $50 million tax in place.

What is the government preparing to do, given that the United States is going to be instituting loan guarantees and a series of other initiatives to secure the new green auto industry? The fact is that what we have shown is the government actually cut the $116 million, which the Minister of Finance did not roll over into initiatives, and it has only introduced a $250 million five year program, which once again will be funded by a tax on the industry itself.

Opposition Motion--Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

I lost track of that, Mr. Speaker, because there was so much rhetoric.

However, let us talk about something someone has said in reference to the bill the NDP has now proposed. Mark Nantais, president of the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association, said in relation to the bill:

That (revised bill) could end up having some perverse impacts, in terms of fleet turnover, and the ability of people to afford these vehicles.

There is no question that the NDP, from time to time, comes up with these perverse ideas that could not work. We know that.

However, let us talk about some really good things that are happening. We did a good eco-auto program. We had a two year program. It worked well. It brought to the attention of Canadians what was important. What is important with the fleet and what is important for Canadians is what we are doing. We are taking positive steps.

The rebate program raised consumer awareness on fuel efficient models. In fact, the industry even added new fuel efficient models to its fleets.

Let us talk about some of the things we are doing. We have invested $33 billion, the biggest investment ever, in things like public transit and cleaning our water. Infrastructure investments in our latest budget, which the Liberals supported us on, and I thank them, include $500 million for public transit capital investments, $250 million over five years to support research and development for greener more fuel efficient vehicles, $63 million over the next two years to look at ways to get older polluting vehicles off the road and $13 million over two years to accelerate access to renewable fuels for cars and trucks.

We are getting the job done for Canadians, for a better quality of life. cleaner air and the environment.

Opposition Motion--Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, as members know, the world met in Indonesia for the 13th United Nations climate change conference in December last year. The meeting was an important step in the ongoing international process under the UN to address climate change. The meeting in Indonesia was also another opportunity for Canada to demonstrate its international leadership on this issue.

From the very beginning of these discussions, Canada's position has been that we must have an effective, binding international framework that leads to real greenhouse gas reductions. To reach that goal, all major emitters, such as China and India, need to be on-board. The world moved closer to reaching that goal in Indonesia.

Our government is proud of the principled position we have taken. With the United States now signed onto this framework, results of this conference can show progress. We see that as an important first step.

Make no mistake, the next two years will be a challenge, with long and intense negotiations. Canada looks forward to meeting that challenge and to working with our international partners to develop a global solution in the fight against climate change.

Climate change is a global program, requiring global solutions. We see that with the agreement we reached in Indonesia. Let me be clear. Canada is committed to the United Nations process. We are committed to an international framework driven by science. We are committed to taking action with our turning the corner plan. Unlike the Liberal Party that sat around and did nothing for 13 years, we are taking action.

For a moment, though, let us look at the performance of the Liberal leader in Bali. He said that he would never criticize his government while abroad. He did, several times. The Liberal leader intentionally came to Bali to undermine and sabotage the work of the government at an international conference. That is a shame.

Canada understands the global threat to climate change requires a truly global solution. The scientific work of the International Panel on Climate Change, or the IPCC, tells us that we must stop the rise in greenhouse gas emissions and make significant cuts in emissions over the next 50 years if we are to prevent drastic consequences. This government supports the conclusions of the IPCC as the world's pre-eminent scientific body on climate change. The science is clear. The world must take immediate action on climate change.

Therefore, this government is taking action, with Canada's national plan “Turning the Corner: An Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Air Pollution”. Our plan will continue to deliver realistic and achievable results on cleaning up our environment. It is focused on broad action here at home and continued international leadership on the world stage.

Our agenda includes: absolute reduction in greenhouse gases of 20% by 2020; further reductions of 60% to 70% by 2050; a domestic carbon market; a comprehensive strategy for the Arctic, including a world class Arctic research station; national air pollution regulations; an action plan on clean water to protect our rivers, lakes and oceans; and tougher enforcement that will make polluters accountable.

Over the last year, Canada has been at the forefront of international action on climate change, including the leadership shown by the Prime Minister at the G-8, at the OPEC summit and at the United Nations.

Canada was also proud to play a leading role to achieve historic success at the Montreal protocol conference, where over 190 countries agreed on eliminating substances that would harm the ozone layer and would contribute to climate change.

Canada will continue to play an important role in this negotiation process. Specifically, Canada continues to articulate that a post-2012 climate change agreement should include: a target date for stabilizing emissions and goals for global emissions reductions by 2050; the strongest action and commitment by all major emitters; adequate consideration for national circumstances so as not to unduly burden the growth of any single country; consideration of a sectoral approach to appropriate cases where countries agree on specific targets for emissions reductions from highly globalized industries, such as concrete and fertilizer; the elimination of trade barriers to green technology to support the demand for this new technology; a clear price signal on carbon to support the use of market mechanisms; a mechanism to provide credits for reduced emissions through reductions of deforestation, as more than 20% of global emissions result from deforestation; and due consideration for the need to adapt to the warming that scientists tell us will occur, regardless of immediate action.

What the government will not do is mislead the international community like the Liberals did for 13 years. When the Liberals signed on to Kyoto, they had no idea of the costs to the Canadian consumer, or the impact it would have on the Canadian economy. They wrote a number down on the back of a napkin in an attempt to trump the Americans, and now we find ourselves 35% above our Kyoto targets.

I agree 100% with the Toronto Star columnist, Chantal Hébert when she said:

Among the opposition leaders, only [the Liberal leader], who sat for a decade in government, stands to be called to account for how far behind Canada has fallen on the road to Kyoto.

The Liberals had no intention of meeting the Kyoto targets. Instead, they were prepared to send billions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars to buy hot air credits from Russia. Members do not have to take my word for it. Let us hear what former Liberal environment ministers had to say.

Former Liberal environment minister Christine Stewart said, “The Minister of Finance could never find money for Kyoto which was a terrible disappointment to me”.

The article goes on to say:

Stewart today says that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien...“didn't get environment”. She also says Natural Resources minister [the member for Wascana] accompanied her to “reassure,” the domestic oil industry because of the tremendous amount of “pushback,” Kyoto was getting”.

Let us hear what former Liberal environment minister Sheila Copps had to say:

I remember very well when (Chrétien) actually endorsed Kyoto, he called me before he went to South Africa because he was getting tremendous push back from the bureaucracy, the department of finance, the former minister of finance...and all of those attached to the natural resources…including [the member for Wascana] and Anne McLellan. (They) were viciously against Kyoto.

Sheila Copps went on further to say:

We burned thousands of pounds of paper with briefing notes from the department of Natural Resources and the Department of Finance showing us why we could do nothing because it was an economic disaster.

Yet for all those years, Canada deceived the international community. The Liberals talked and talked and never backed it up with action. Only the Liberal leader can be held to account for that.

The fact is our government cannot take responsibility for the inaction and mistakes of the past 13 years under the Liberals, but what Canadians can expect is that we will take action to clean up the mess left by the Liberals. That is why we are moving aggressively to cut greenhouse gas emission and fight global warming in our country.

When it comes to failed international agreements, it is only the Liberals that know failure. Unlike the Liberals, we are getting the job done on the international stage.

Medal of Bravery
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Dave Van Kesteren Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Friday I was privileged to witness Constable Ryan George Hutchison, a constituent from my riding, along with Robin Mole accept the Canadian Medal of Bravery at Rideau Hall from Her Excellency the Right Hon. Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada.

On August 21, 2005, Constable Ryan Hutchison and paramedic Robin Mole rescued two young girls from drowning in the waters of Lake Erie in Leamington, Ontario. The two victims, aged 11 and 13, were struggling to stay afloat some 10 metres from the shore, unable to swim back due to the strong waves.

Alerted to the scene, Constable Hutchison and Mr. Mole grabbed a life ring and dove into the water to reach the girls' side. Swimming against a strong tide, they managed to bring the girls back to the breakwall where they were pulled to safety. The strong waves knocked Constable Hutchison back into the water, submerging him numerous times. He was eventually rescued by emergency crews who had arrived at the scene.

The people of Chatham-Kent—Essex are very proud of Constable Ryan George Hutchison and Robin Mole for their acts of bravery.

Aboriginal Women
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Boshcoff Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, as we recognize International Women's Day later this week, I feel this is an occasion to point out a true injustice served by the Conservative government.

Last September, after more than two decades of struggle, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples finally cleared its last hurdle when it was adopted by the UN General Assembly. Though the declaration did pass by a margin of 144 to 4, shamefully, Canada was one of only four countries to vote against it. This is nothing to be proud of.

The Conservative government's refusal to support the United Nations declaration shows a blatant disregard of the struggles of aboriginal women in Canada to achieve equality. Canada's aboriginal women deserve better, especially during the week when the world is recognizing International Women's Day.

It should not be questioned. The rights of aboriginal women are also human rights and they should be honoured.

Women's Excellence Gala
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Pauline Picard Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, as a prelude to International Women's Day, the AFÉAS of central Quebec held its first-ever Excellence au féminin gala in Drummondville, honouring women in our region in the categories of business, politics, education, health and family.

In the business category, the award was given to Louise Boisclair, of Saint-Léonard-d'Aston, while the politics award was handed out to Francine Auger, of Victoriaville. Francine Lafond, of Saint-Wenceslas, was chosen from among the finalists to win the education award.

The health award was handed out to Micheline Côté, of Saint-Grégoire, for her involvement in the Bécancour—Nicolet-Yamaska health and social services centre. Johanne Latreille, of Victoriaville, was honoured in the family category.

Lastly, the first-ever award for women's excellence was given to Francine Ruest-Jutras, the mayor of Drummondville.

On the eve of International Women's Day, I want to express my deep admiration for these women. Congratulations to them all.

Status of Women
Statements By Members

March 7th, 2008 / 11 a.m.

NDP

Penny Priddy Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow we celebrate International Women's Day. We celebrate the courage and resilience of those women who have worked for over a century for equality of opportunity. We celebrate those women whose work is well known and those whose names we do not remember but we remember their spirit and the changes they have made.

Sadly, there are many women who have nothing to celebrate on International Women's Day: the woman who sleeps in a doorway because there is no national housing strategy; the woman at the food bank whose daughter tugs her sleeve and says, “Mommy, I will try not to eat so much”; the woman who makes 70% of what her male counterpart does because there is no pay equity plan; and the woman who cannot get safe child care because there is no national child care plan.

However, I remain hopeful and optimistic, because I know that Canadian women and women globally have incredible courage and resilience. They will continue to work, to speak out and to move forward the goals and dreams of women for equality, fairness and justice.

Bonnyville Pontiacs
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Brian Storseth Westlock—St. Paul, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to give tribute to a dedicated group of young men who lace up their skates and play their hearts out each and every night, all in the pursuit of a common goal. With Hunter from Kool FM calling their names from far and wide, they sprinkle in a mix of hometown talent, like Isley and Cadrin.

After 62 games and months of travelling and dedication from players, including Jensen and Gerhardt, Coach Mercier and the training staff have the boys ready to go. The Bonnyville Pontiacs are ready to roll to an AJHL championship.

In their quest for glory, the Bonnyville Pontiacs do far more than entertain a small rural community. They inspire and stoke the dreams of parents and children alike.

This year the dream is in reach. With Easton's scoring and Chenard's tending, Sherwood Park is already behind them. Whether the road to the cup goes through Fort McMurray or Camrose, it does not matter, because this is the year of the Pontiacs.

Status of Women
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week we are celebrating International Women's Day. It is therefore important to highlight the value of women to our society and underscore the issues that affect them.

There is no doubt that women have made a significant contribution to Canada's social, economic, cultural and community life. All the same, we must recognize that they have had to face many challenges and overcome numerous obstacles throughout history. Let us not forget that women are still fighting for equality and respect.

International Women's Day reminds us that we must not only provide more funding for women, we must also recognize the sacrifices that our mothers, sisters, daughters and wives have made. I ask my colleagues to join me in urging the government to make women a priority so that Canada can truly join the 21st century.

Status of Women
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Jacques Gourde Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to an extremely devoted group of citizens in my riding. I am talking about all the women ambulance attendants, police officers, firefighters and military personnel in my lovely part of the country.

I would like to thank all the women ambulance attendants in my riding who are always there to respond to the needs of the community. I would like to thank all the policewomen who, by working in the schools with our young people and by risking their lives fighting crime, are always there when we need them, making our citizens feel safe. I would like to thank all the women firefighters who risk their lives to save those of people in distress, and I would also like to thank all the women serving in the Canadian Forces who risk their own lives to serve this country.

On May 25, 2008, I will be proud to demonstrate my profound gratitude at a special event. To mark this event, I invite you all to bring your families and celebrate in Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière. We hope to welcome many visitors. Congratulations, once again, on a job well done.

Mathieu Émond
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, my Bloc Québécois colleagues and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Mathieu Émond, a Varennes firefighter who lost his life in the line of duty on March 4. Mr. Émond demonstrated courage and exemplary dedication in fighting the fire.

This tragedy reminds us that we should never forget that the firefighter's profession is dangerous, but essential for society. They are very courageous indeed to put their lives on the line every day to save others. They deserve our utmost respect for the acts of bravery they carry out every day without hesitation.

I wish to extend my most sincere condolences to his spouse, Mrs. Sarah Larochelle, to his young daughter, to his family and to all those who loved him and are bereaved. I would also like to pay tribute to this gentleman who sacrificed his life while serving his community, a selfless act worthy of the highest consideration and everyone's gratitude.

Foreign Affairs
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, as members of this House know, the Americas is one of this government's top foreign policy priorities.

We continue to be concerned about the recent escalation of tensions in the Andean region. We call on our Andean partners to pursue a constructive dialogue aimed at resolving these tensions and to work together to reinforce regional stability and to fight terrorism.

Canada demonstrated its renewed commitment to the hemisphere through active diplomacy in this week's OAS permanent council special meeting forging a unanimous declaration on the crisis.

We will continue to promote mutual respect and reconciliation among our hemispheric partners in the wake of recent events, as well as support efforts to build a strong peace that embodies our shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Human Rights
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, when I spoke yesterday in the House of the danger of anti-Jewish terror, the targeting of Jews because they are Jews, we in the House did not know that at that moment, in a tragic irony, a murderous terrorist assault on a Jewish school in Jerusalem was taking place. Nor could we even fathom that, in an obscene declaration, Hamas would actually bless the terrorist attack and call for more, while thousands celebrated the killings in the streets. It reminded me of the words of Mideast scholar Fouad Ajami. At the time of the Passover massacre, yet another anti-Jewish terrorist attack, he wrote:

[The suicide bomber] did not descend from the sky: He walked straight out of the culture of incitement.... He partook of the culture all around him--the glee that greets those brutal deeds of terror, the cult that rises around the martyrs and their families.

This culture of hate must end. This incitement must stop. For it is this Hamas sanctioned hate and incitement that leads to Hamas rockets targeting Jews in Sderot and Ashqelon and terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. We need a culture of peace, not a culture of hate.

Arctic Winter Games
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the athletes participating in the 2008 Arctic Winter Games, which will be opened by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Sport on Sunday, March 9 in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. This is an extraordinary event, bringing together athletes from circumpolar countries and regions to compete in sport and celebrate their cultural values.

Budget 2008 has committed to invest $164 million every year to support excellence in the participation of sport from the playground to the podium.

For years the Liberal Party ignored sports. We are pleased the Liberals have now decided to show confidence in this government by allowing the budget to pass the House of Commons. This government is restoring pride for our athletes and for Canadian sports in general.

Congratulations and thanks to the thousands of coaches, officials, event organizers, volunteers and parents who have supported the athletes throughout the years in preparation for this competition. Good luck to our athletes.