The concept and the need for an emissions trading regime is critical for the NDP, and I think for a lot of the witnesses we heard. There has been a growing move, even with some of the more slow-moving parts of our industrial sector, toward this as one of the options they seek to have.
There were some moments of irony, I suppose, when members from the oil and gas sector were asking for access to this market and didn't want to be limited. So you wonder who the holdouts are at the end of the day, who is actually left resisting a cap and trade system in emissions trading.
I think there's something important in this. The NDP first put two similar amendments forward for the creation of this. The Liberal one has come up first. We seem to be happy with it, although I have one pressing question.
There is the notion of being able to have a free-flowing market that can interchange. There has been much speculation in the United States and some other jurisdictions that are not yet involved in a cap and trade system about the ability to trade across boundaries that has to be built into the flexibility of the Canadian system, which we need to go beyond.
While I don't yet have clarity from the environment minister as to his openness to this—he seems to one day be open and perhaps the next day be not so favourable to it—the general momentum and trend within this conversation in Canada has been very much toward this option of allowing people to trade credits through a system designed in Montreal or somewhere else.
The one question I have for the mover of the motion is around the section prescribing persons or classes of persons that may or may not own a carbon permit or a carbon credit. There has been interest from some in the non-profit sector in gaining access to the market and taking a certain number of permits off the market, thereby not allowing the pollution to be emitted at any point. This is sort of the old buying a hectare of rainforest kind of thing, where for some other motivation people just wish the pollution not to be created in the first place.
I wonder if I can get a short answer from Mr. Godfrey or someone else on the team as to the acceptability of that. It's just not clear in the motion whether that would be available to individuals to take those permits off the market.