House of Commons Hansard #112 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was consultants.

Topics

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec announced that it had reduced greenhouse gas emissions to below 1990 levels, but the Canadian government is going in the opposite direction by speaking out against Kyoto renewal and doing whatever it can to interfere with international climate change initiatives.

Does the Prime Minister realize that, by refusing to recognize efforts made by Quebec and Quebec businesses, such as aluminum smelters, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Canada is penalizing Quebec and preventing it from moving forward?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I know that the Bloc likes the Kyoto protocol, but the truth is that two-thirds of global emissions are not covered by the Kyoto protocol. That is why we negotiated the Copenhagen agreement as a step toward our goal of having a binding greenhouse gas regulation system for all of the world's major emitters.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the C.D. Howe Institute reached the same conclusion in a report stating that the government's wait-and-see attitude toward climate change will put us so far behind technologically that it will cost us dearly in the long run.

Does the Prime Minister realize that his single-minded focus on the interests of oil companies is preventing him from recognizing Quebec's and Canada's interests with respect to climate change?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest
Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper Prime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, Canada's energy sector capacity—including all sources of energy—is important to our country in terms of climate change. We believe this is a serious problem. That is why we are investing in technology. We are taking action with respect to technology and adaptation, and we are working with our international partners to reach an effective global agreement.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources seems to be unaware that it is possible to strike a balance between environmental protection and economic development. By going to Chicago to lobby for dirty oil from the oil sands, he has clearly shown that he is on the oil companies' side.

In light of Canada's poor performance in the battle against climate change, should the Minister of Natural Resources not be concentrating his efforts on reducing greenhouse gas emissions rather than on increasing the production and export of oil from the oil sands?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the member's allegations are completely false. We know that the oil sands are a strategic resource for our country. They are an economic engine. Approximately 120,000 jobs are associated with the development of this resource in our country.

There is one challenge in developing this resource: doing so responsibly by striking a balance between the environment and the economy. That is what we are doing with the different levels of government and the industry. Canadians can count on our government to protect our natural resources, our jobs and our regions.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Minister of Natural Resources, a member from Quebec, realize that he is going against Quebec's interests by acting as the lobbyist for the oil companies and sabotaging the efforts by Quebec industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

Is he not ashamed to have been elected in Quebec and now to be defending the interests of Alberta oil companies at Quebec's expense? As we say back home, this minister is a turncoat.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, that is completely irresponsible. The Bloc is using the energy file to pick a fight. We have listened to them ask questions about Old Harry. We have listened to them ask questions about the shale gas industry. They are either for or against everything when it suits them, just to stir up trouble in the federation. It is not true that our government will stomp on an industry, the fossil fuel industry, that can be operated cleanly and permit us to position ourselves as a world leader in energy security.

That is ridiculous.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that Canada is one of the worst countries in the world in terms of fighting climate change: 54th out of 57. For years, the academic/industrial consortium Ouranos has predicted that in eastern Canada, some of the worst effects of temperature change will be felt in the Gulf of St. Lawrence because of faster erosion due to new angles of the waves and their increased size. Over the past few days, Prince Edward Island and Sept-Îles have proven these predictions, which were based on scientific models.

What are they waiting for to act?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, we continue to act on both the GHG emissions and on pollution right across the country. Various programs wherever possible are being harmonized with the Obama administration in the United States in order to take effective continental measures.

We are dealing with the Copenhagen accord right now in Cancun to make sure that all major emitters sign on the dotted line. There is no use having an accord when the major emitters of the world are not signed on and doing their part. We want all world economies to be part of this program.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is time for the government to get serious about climate change and to respect our obligations to our children and grandchildren.

It turns out that contrary to the government's claims, we are not harmonizing our climate policy with the U.S. The United States is now regulating greenhouse gas emissions from big industrial emitters whereas Canada still has no federal regulations, not even draft ones.

The commissioner said today, “The government has not established clear priorities for addressing the need to adapt to a changing climate”.

Worse yet, the government has buried reports about the impact of climate change. It is not a theory. It is a reality.

When is the government going to stop denying the scientific truth?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, part and parcel of observing the scientific truth is to have a climate change adaptation framework. That is exactly what the environment minister is well on the way to producing. He should have that shortly for the House for examination.

We have already started with initiatives across the north, for example. As a result of a previous portfolio, I know something about the initiatives we have taken on adaptation. We not only have to have adaptation strategies and mitigation strategies, but we have to have worldwide strategies. All of the world's economies need to buy into the same program. We have to reduce those GHGs. It cannot be Canada's solution. It has to be a worldwide solution.

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, 20 years ago the federal government recognized the need for a national oil spill response strategy, but today the Commissioner of the Environment told us there is still no plan.

The Conservative motto must be “better lucky than good” when it comes to protecting our marine environment. There have been 4,200 spills in the last two years alone. The government does not know what equipment it has. It does not know if it even works. It has not even been trained to use it.

Tonight the Conservatives have a choice. Will they stand with New Democrats and the people of British Columbia, or will they once again side with their friends in the oil lobby?

The Environment
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Chilliwack—Fraser Canyon
B.C.

Conservative

Chuck Strahl Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the motion tonight has to do with oil tanker traffic. It has nothing to do with anything the member raised.

With respect to oil tanker traffic, it is important to remember that there has been an exclusion zone off the west coast of British Columbia since 1988. That exclusion zone, which is closely monitored and strictly enforced, makes sure that no oil tanker traffic comes down the inside passage. What is more, oil tanker traffic cannot come within 25 to 80 miles off the west coast depending on where it is.

That exclusion zone is in place. It is going to stay in place. We are not going to change it.

Public Safety
Oral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that the government ignored the calls from police associations, from victims and from women's groups to implement the firearms marking regulation. This regulation was passed by a Liberal government with the aim of truly supporting victims of crime.

When will this hypocritical Conservative government respect the democratic will of Parliament and Canadians and implement this regulation, which is necessary and important and will save lives?