The interesting thing that I picked up from a comment you made, Mr. Paton, in terms of the billions of dollars required, was that every $1 billion manufacturers invested in new technologies and structures between 1990 and 2003 resulted in a 0.2% annual reduction. There's a need, obviously, for technology. I think that was the underlying point here.
So I say this kind of tongue-in-cheek here that I assume, then, that the CCPA was not making big moves in terms of converting to income trusts with the need for technology and that kind of stuff. I'll just leave that hanging out there on the record, because I do believe there needs to be capital infused into the technology if we're going to get some major gains in manufacturing, in chemical, in terms of energy, oil, and so on.
I have just a few comments, though, because I want to get to the heart of my question, which is the whole matter of setting targets and getting credible, realistic targets. I'll set you up with a few quotes here, first off by no less an individual than Michael Ignatieff.
He says, “As a practical matter of politics, nobody knows what (Kyoto) is or what it commits us to.” He also said, “Kyoto allows polluting countries like Canada to meet its objectives by buying credits from countries emitting less carbon dioxide. We'll clean up Kazakstan, but we won't clean up downtown Toronto.” And “Despite efforts by the previous Liberal government to curb emissions growth, Canada cannot now meet the Kyoto target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels between 2008-2012 without spending billions of dollars buying emissions credits from other countries.”
He goes on to say at another point in the Globe and Mail that Canada is not on track to meet its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
I just want to get to something very basic here. As a father of four children, as a grandfather to five, when I make commitments and promises to my children or others within the family configuration, there is an impact in terms of what I say.
So my question is this, and I'll set it up this way. If I were to say to my children or my grandchildren--and that's more difficult to do, because they are at the other end of the country in Saskatoon. If I were to sit those four children down--two of them are married, but there are five grandchildren--and say, “I'm going to spend two hours with you every night, doing what you want to do, a family time kind of thing every night, with each one of you separately....” So we get into this, and it's obvious pretty soon that I'm not able to keep that commitment. I guess, for one, I destroy a trust and credibility. I hurt the relationship, I think, by making those kinds of promises. It's obvious that I can't keep those commitments.
Our party, the Conservative Party, is actually interested in and willing to take action on clean air in terms of greenhouse gas reductions as well.
So my question, in a philosophic sense, is to several of the presenters--Mr. Villeneuve, Mr. Paton, Mr. Rutherford. When we make commitments of the unrealistic sort that we did in Kyoto, what is the net effect in terms of our credibility, our trust relationship with other partners internationally, across the world stage, and so on, when you set those unrealistic targets, as acknowledged by Mr. Ignatieff and others? Those are the kinds of targets that are emphasized in the Kyoto Protocol and also in Mr. Rodriguez's Bill C-288.
What, philosophically, is the impact of making unrealistic commitments like that?