House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Chair, I know that the minister is encouraged by that program, because it is about competitiveness across the border.

My question now is on the renewable energy side. At the current rate, the U.S. is spending, on a per capita basis, $18 for every $1 Canada spends on renewables. Is the minister satisfied with that level of competitiveness for Canada's clean energy market?

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10 p.m.

Conservative

Christian Paradis Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Chair, first of all, the numbers my colleague mentioned are incorrect. I do not think he took several investments into account. He is comparing apples to oranges. Some $2 billion was invested his year. Second of all, I must add that we have been on top of this issue since 2007. We launched a series of programs in 2007 that will end in 2011. The investment of $4.2 billion—

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley.

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Chair, the report from the Conference Board of Canada of March of this year said, “The global market for technologies which can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is exploding, however, Canadian businesses are not responding to the opportunities to sell new or even existing 'climate-friendly' technologies globally”.

Is the minister willing to express any concern at all that there is an $18 to $1 gap in spending compared to our U.S. competitors? That gap is going to widen to $22 to $1 per capita between us and the United States. Every $1 we put in, it puts in $22. Is that a concern at all for the minister in keeping Canada competitive?

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10 p.m.

Conservative

Christian Paradis Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Chair, my colleague is speaking about a gap that is not correct. We have been putting money up front since 2007 and the United States has tried to catch up to us because we were there when it was not there.

Let me be clear. There is a program of $1.48 billion to support the development of new wind, biomass, solar and electric projects across the country through the eco-energy for renewable power program. This program is leveraging about $14 billion of private investments over 20 years. This includes both the development and operation of renewable projects. It is estimated that the eco-energy for renewable power program will support--

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Andrew Scheer

Order. I will have to stop the minister there. I am trying to keep the answers approximately even to the questions.

The hon. member for Skeena--Bulkley Valley.

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Chair, the government has claimed that it needed to cancel the eco-energy retrofit for homes program while it was reviewing it. Is there any other program that was cancelled while the review was being conducted?

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10 p.m.

Conservative

Christian Paradis Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Chair, we have been very clear regarding funds for the program. There are enough applications to ensure that $300 million will be allocated this year as part of this initiative. There will be sound management with fiscal responsibility, because we want to return to a balanced budget. We said that we would now review things to see—

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Andrew Scheer

Order. The hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley.

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Chair, departmental officials told us that the government is reviewing the program. There is no other program that the government has that, while under review, gets cancelled. Is there any other program that the minister has that has an investment ratio of $10 for every $1? That means for every $1 the Canadian government put into the retrofit program, Canadians matched it with $10 of their own. Is there any program that comes close to competing with that?

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10 p.m.

Conservative

Christian Paradis Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Chair, once again, we are not talking about cancelling programs. We stopped taking applications for the current year, and $300 million will be spent this year through the end of 2011. After that, we will review all of the programs for the coming years.

Programs provide a boost. Earlier I was talking about carbon capture and storage. Over $3 billion has been raised, and there is more.

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Chair, when the minister was minister of public works, he authorized the spending of millions of dollars to remove asbestos from the Parliament Buildings. Is this correct?

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:05 p.m.

Conservative

Christian Paradis Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Chair, the insulation was a problem in West Block, and we determined that it was due to unsafe use of asbestos. So yes, the government had to remove that asbestos from West Block.

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:05 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Chair, the World Health Organization, the Quebec Cancer Society and the Canadian Medical Association have all called for an end to the use and export of asbestos. Will the government answer that request?

Natural Resources--Main Estimates, 2010-11
Business of Supply
Government Orders

10:05 p.m.

Conservative

Christian Paradis Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Chair, since 1979, our approach has been to support the safe use of chrysotile asbestos. We must be clear on this and distinguish between the fibres. We know that the amphibole fibre, which unfortunately was used in the past, is dangerous and has been banned. In fact, the chrysotile fibre currently—