House of Commons Hansard #114 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was climate.

Topics

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for his contribution to this debate.

I listened to the five principles that his government will defend in Copenhagen in December: economic prosperity, a balance between environmental protection and economic prosperity, long-term focus and development of clean technologies.

However, my question is the following. How is it that that these five principles do not include that important rule related to the importance of limiting the rise in global temperatures to less than 2oC higher than in the pre-industrial period? How is it that the government did not include the 2oC rule as an important principle to be negotiated in Copenhagen come December?

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, during my speech I did say that, at both the G8 and the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, Canada and all the other world leaders acknowledged the broad scientific view that the increase in the global average temperature above pre-industrial levels ought not to exceed two degrees.

That is known. That is committed to. That is an international understanding. There is science that supports that. We asked this member to support a balance in order to ensure that jobs are not destroyed in Canada and that we also have a healthy economy and environment. This member knows very well that if his target of 25° is accepted, it would mean dramatic increase in cost to every Canadian through energy prices.

The witnesses are saying that we would have to adopt the prices that Europe is spending. It would double the price for gasoline and to heat our homes. There would be massive increases in energy costs and a major loss of jobs. Our government's plan is a balanced plan to protect the environment and protect jobs in Canada.

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

NDP

Bruce Hyer Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I was dismayed to once again hear a reiteration of the rubber stamp approach to policy in one more area by the Conservatives, who rubber stamp U.S. policies. Years ago, they wanted to rubber stamp the policy of going into Iraq. They have been rubber stamping the U.S. policy of going into Afghanistan and staying there. Now, they want to rubber stamp the policy of waiting to see exactly what the Americans will do and do not quite do as much here in Canada.

I will limit myself to one specific question that really has me scratching my head. The hon. member talked about clean coal. That is an oxymoron if I have ever heard one. Apparently, there is hope about the emerging technology of carbon sequestration. If carbon sequestration can work, that is great. Many scientists and I are dubious, but if it can work, that is great.

If carbon sequestration is so likely to be successful in sufficiently reducing greenhouse gases and work well, then why are the Conservatives so nervous about applying it and committing to it to actually reach the minimum targets recommended by scientists from around the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020?

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

Mark Warawa Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member well knows that Canada first came up with the target of a 20% reduction by 2020. The United States is following the lead of Canada in adopting very similar targets. Canada was also the first to introduce new fuel efficiency tailpipe standards for automobiles. Again, the United States are following our lead. The 2011 model will have very similar standards.

At committee, he heard the witnesses from the U.K. and the EU. They said clearly that the world is counting on Canada to commercialize the technology of carbon capture and storage. It has been demonstrated in Canada. Canada has the number one per capita financial commitment to see commercialization of carbon capture and storage.

We are so proud of what we are doing. The world recognizes that. They recognized that at committee yesterday. We will get it done. We will make carbon capture and storage affordable so that other countries that are burning coal will be able to capture that carbon and put it back under the ground from whence it came.

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Beauport—Limoilou
Québec

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, climate change is an important part of our government policy, and is one of the most important challenges of our time.

On November 10, André Pratte wrote an article in La Presse called “Canada and Copenhagen”, a great title, and I will read an excerpt:

Canada has developed a strategy that could compromise an agreement in Copenhagen”, according to the Bloc member [for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie].

These types of comments distort reality. If there is no agreement in Copenhagen next month, it will certainly not be because of Canada.

...In the main British, English and American newspapers covering the talks, there is not a single mention of our country.

...The main obstacles in the way of an agreement are primarily:

—the United States' delay in announcing the greenhouse gas reduction targets it would be prepared to agree to;

—the absence of firm commitments from China—

That is why the Prime Minister is currently working to ensure that all countries that are major greenhouse gas emitters work together to find the best possible solution.

Our government is committed to reducing our country's total greenhouse gas emissions by 20% based on the 2006 level, by 2020. By 2050, we have a reduction target of 60% to 70% based on the 2006 level.

Our government is doing what needs to be done to significantly reduce greenhouse gases. Canada's economic action plan, which was introduced as part of Budget 2009, is clear on this point. The plan builds on previous investments by allocating an additional $4 billion to support a cleaner, more sustainable environment and help Canada achieve its climate change objectives. This includes a $1 billion investment over five years in the green infrastructure fund for renewable energy production and other projects. Through the clean energy fund, which was launched on May 19, 2009, we will invest another $1 billion over five years in clean energy research and demonstration projects, including carbon capture and sequestration. That funding alone is expected to generate further investment of at least $2.5 billion in clean energy.

The House of Commons bill will also require public utilities to produce at least 15% of their electricity using renewable resources and to reduce their annual energy consumption by 5% through efficiency measures.

The Government of Canada has also set ambitious goals in terms of energy production. By 2020, 90% of our electricity needs will be provided by non-emitting sources, such as hydro, nuclear, clean coal and wind power.

This clean energy goal, along with a whole series of other policies and measures, demonstrates our willingness to work as hard as our national partners.

Our government remains committed to reducing Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

Our target is ambitious but realistic, because it takes into account Canada's growing population and our very energy-intensive industrial sector.

The Government of Canada's approach to fighting climate change will produce tangible economic and environmental results and will benefit all Canadians.

Our government is committed to working with provincial and territorial governments and other partners to develop and implement a North American cap and trade system for greenhouse gas emissions.

Harmonizing Canada's climate change policies with those of the United States is in both countries' economic interests.

We are working with the provincial governments and our partners to develop and implement a North American system.

We have already announced the publication, under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, of a notice of intent to regulate vehicle exhaust emissions and Canada's offset credit systems.

The Copenhagen meeting marks the beginning of a major international collaborative process to set achievable targets. We must ensure that we do things properly and not just deal with them in record time.

Canada's economic action plan includes more than $2 billion in green investments to protect the environment, stimulate our economy and transform our technologies.

For example, the clean energy fund will invest $850 million over five years to develop promising technologies and $150 million over five years for clean energy research and development.

In addition, the green infrastructure fund will provide $1 billion over five years to support targeted investments in green infrastructure that will help improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.

Our government intends to ensure that 90% of our electricity comes from non-polluting sources by 2020.

In keeping with our commitment to consult the provinces and territories in preparation for the conference of the parties to the United Nations framework agreement on climate change, which will take place in Copenhagen, our minister has held a series of meetings with the premiers and many of his provincial and territorial counterparts to discuss synergies between the federal, provincial and territorial approaches to fighting climate change.

Our consultations with the provinces and territories are part of the work we are doing to harmonize Canada's climate change plan with that of the United States.

The Government of Canada has invited the provinces and territories to attend the Copenhagen conference as members of the Canadian delegation. Their role will be to advise the minister and the lead negotiator, who will represent Canada during the negotiations.

Opposition Motion—Climate Change
Business of Supply
Government Orders

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I am sorry to have to interrupt the hon. member, but it is now time for statements by members.

She will have nearly two minutes left to conclude her remarks and five minutes for questions and comments.

Fraser River Sockeye
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 2004, after a disastrous sockeye season on the Fraser River, I moved a motion calling on the government of the day to convene a judicial inquiry. Unfortunately, the Liberals voted against our attempts to address this troubling situation.

In 2006, the Conservative election platform reaffirmed our commitment to call a judicial inquiry into the decline of the Fraser River sockeye salmon. On November 5 of this year, the Prime Ministerdelivered on that promise.

To hear Liberal MPs from B.C. talk now, one would think this was all their idea. Unfortunately for them, the record is clear. The member for Vancouver South and the member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, along with every other Liberal MP, voted against a judicial inquiry. It just shows once again why the Liberal Party of Canada continues to lose support in B.C.

The Liberals did not get it done. The NDP cannot get it done. It is once again our Conservative government that is delivering results for British Columbians.

Sir Wilfrid Laurier
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, today marks Sir Wilfrid Laurier's birthday. Sir Wilfrid Laurier was the second Liberal Prime Minister after Confederation, and the first Quebecker to assume that title.

Nicknamed “silver tongue” for his eloquence, we can all be inspired by the principles that guided him.

His time in office was not without its challenges, including for example, the Manitoba schools question and the Boer war.

He welcomed Alberta and Saskatchewan into Confederation.

Almost a century before the fact, Laurier promoted free trade with the U.S. through reciprocity accords.

At the dawn of the 20th century, Laurier predicted that it would be Canada's century; as history has shown, he was right. If we want the 21st century to also be Canada's century, we must adopt a Liberal principle that Laurier held dear: the future is always more important than the past.

Teaching Exellence
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

Bloc

Nicole Demers Laval, QC

Mr. Speaker, Collège Letendre in Laval is extremely fortunate to have an exceptional teacher on staff. Evelyne Lussier is one of the recipients of an award for teaching excellence.

Ms. Lussier has been teaching French at the secondary 5 level for only five years, but she has already made her mark in education. Her accomplishments and contributions have been remarkable. For instance, she created an elective course in communications and journalism, and put together the editorial team of the student newspaper, La Jazette, which won an award at the 2007 Québec Entrepreneurship Contest.

Her students won the Governor General of Canada Medal for obtaining the best overall average. She also volunteers at the Sainte-Justine UHC and at the not-for-profit restaurant Robin des Bois, and leads workshops she created herself for the parents of her students.

Along with her past and present students, my Bloc Québécois colleagues and I would like to congratulate Ms. Lussier on her many accomplishments.

Poverty
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Wayne Marston Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Mr. Speaker, we are facing a crisis of inequity, as about one in six seniors lives in poverty. That is close to half a million Canadians.

We in the NDP believe that their health and welfare, their very dignity, depend on increasing their GIS.

We can eliminate seniors' poverty with an investment of $700 million in the guaranteed income supplement. We can pay for this investment in seniors very simply, by stopping the January tax cut of $1.2 billion for highly profitable corporations.

We are not asking to increase taxes but to forgo the January tax cut and to use those tax revenues corporations are already paying to government to protect seniors. This is certainly the right thing to do.

It is a question of need. Do our profitable corporations need tax relief at a time when the people who built this country are living in poverty? The question answers itself.

To allow these tax cuts to go through in such circumstances is, at best, a case of misplaced priorities and, at worst, an indictment of the government and, ultimately—

Poverty
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please.

The hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Pierre Lemieux Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on the serious matter of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The number of people in my riding who have contacted me to express their opposition to euthanasia and assisted suicide greatly exceeds, by far, those who contact me regarding any other subject.

Who are the people most at risk when it comes to euthanasia? They are the vulnerable; they are the elderly, the handicapped and the sick.

At present, the primary role of the doctor is to cure, heal and comfort. This important doctor-patient relationship is built upon trust. With the legalization of euthanasia, doctors would have the authority to take the lives of their patients. In short, the legalization of euthanasia would give doctors the right to kill. Vulnerable Canadians deserve proper medical care and comfort so they will willingly choose life over death.

Let me assure my constituents that I will be voting against each and every attempt to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide. Every single human life is precious from the moment of conception right through to natural death, and—

Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Order, please.

The hon. member for Madawaska—Restigouche.

Talya Doucet
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Jean-Claude D'Amours Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to acknowledge the work of Ms. Talya Doucet, a young student at Polyvalente Roland-Pépin in my riding, who has won the 2009 Environmental Leadership Award, individual youth category. This award acknowledges the contribution of an individual to the environment.

Talya Doucet's contribution to various environmental organizations is impressive. By participating in her school's environmental committee, school recycling initiatives, cleanup efforts, tree sales and training workshops, Ms. Doucet has helped to preserve our beautiful planet.

Ms. Doucet is known for her perseverance and tenacity. She knows what is at stake and is prepared to go to great lengths to make people aware of the importance of the environment.

On behalf of all citizens of Madawaska—Restigouche, I wish to congratulate and, above all, thank Thalia for being involved in our community.

Thanks to Talya. She is the pride of Madawaska—Restigouche.

Gus Mitges
Statements by Members

November 20th, 2009 / 11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I want to remember Dr. Gus Mitges, an exemplary parliamentarian who served the people of Bruce—Grey and Grey—Simcoe in a distinguished manner for nearly 21 years.

He will be missed by his beloved wife, Yolanda, and his many children and grandchildren.

Gus will be fondly remembered by the people of Bruce--Grey--Owen Sound, who I know would like to extend their sympathies to Gus's family and their thanks for his service to them and to Canada. Gus was elected repeatedly by the people of Bruce—Grey and Grey--Simcoe. He served them well as a member of many House committees, including agriculture, veterans affairs, public accounts and the Library of Parliament.

Born in Greece, Gus had a true Canadian experience, coming to Canada and working as a veterinarian. Gus garnered the respect of his entire community.

It is rare for someone to serve so long in federal politics and to be able to continue to get the support and appreciation of the people.

I ask all members of the House to join with me in saluting and remembering a great Canadian. Many thanks, Gus.