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House of Commons Hansard #14 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was accord.

Topics

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1:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Does the hon. parliamentary secretary have the consent of the House to propose the motion?

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1:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

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1:10 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

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1:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

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1:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the position of the previous speaker which he stated very clearly. We should also just put on the record the exact wording of the member for LaSalle--Émard, if I may quote:

What I really believe in terms of Kyoto is that before there is a vote we have to have a plan. And it has to be a plan that Canadians understand. One that sets out the benefits, one that sets out exactly how we're going to hit the targets and one that sets out the costs.

I think that is very important. The member has referred to this and now we have the exact words on the record, but I wonder if he does not find it disrespectful, if he could elaborate on, for instance, the technical briefing on Kyoto, which occurred Friday at 1 p.m. before a long weekend. There was no prior announcement. Today we found out, as he mentioned, that there was a briefing this morning. The Liberal caucus had theirs at 8:30 a.m. with two ministers. Ours began at 9:45 a.m., just prior to the opening of the debate. Obviously we would not be able to attend and ask our questions.

I wonder if does not find that disrespectful to Parliament. Or what is the government really trying to hide?

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1:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I share the sentiment of the Canadian Alliance critic for the environment on the aspect of the words of the member for LaSalle--Émard and whether he has the political courage to be in the chamber for Tuesday's vote. We should see what kind of respect he actually has for Parliament, which breeds the very next point as well. That is, there is indeed a disrespect for Parliament which has been exhibited time and time again by the Liberal Party of Canada and which has wreaked havoc with respect to parliamentary traditions, beyond any other particular government.

The fact that the e-mail went out last night, barely giving opposition members and maybe even government members the opportunity to have access to the plan, to have any kind of scrutiny before this debate, is shallow. It is disrespectful to Parliament. It really is an embarrassment to the institution that we should hold so dear, the Parliament of Canada, our principal institution.

I know why we were not given too much of a heads-up about the document before this debate. The reason is that there is very little detail in the document itself. There is no costing. The plan itself falls 70 megatonnes short. There is no reference as to whether the provinces even think that any of these initiatives are doable, meaning that they are amenable to implementing them, because a number of these initiatives are regulatory aspects that are in provincial jurisdiction. I think that the photocopiers here in Ottawa were running rapidly last night, with the government trying to at least show that it had the remnants of a framework of a plan.

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1:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Athabasca.

It is certainly my pleasure to be able to stand in the House and speak further about Kyoto and what it means. My first comment is that I get tired of listening to members across the way and the Prime Minister saying that we in our party do not care about future generations, that we do not care about our grandchildren and our children. Of course that is totally not true. We care every bit as much about our children and our grandchildren as anybody across the way. I know I cannot use a prop, but I have a picture of my granddaughters here if anybody wants to look at it. I certainly care about them every bit as much as members on that side care about theirs.

On the street, what are people saying about Kyoto? They are asking four questions. Their first question is, what is Kyoto? The Ontario minister of environment says that a lot of people are telling him that it is a car. The level of understanding about Kyoto is very, very light. There are some who understand it totally, but the main question out there is, what is Kyoto? People want to know that. The government has not done its job of telling them.

The next question is, how does it affect me? What will be the economic cost? What will happen to my gas bills, to my job, to my kids? What is going to happen because of this? The government should be providing answers. What is it going to cost? And that is in full costing, as others have talked about.

The third question is, how will it help the environment? People really care about the environment. Certainly everyone in my constituency does. Right across Canada in all the town hall meetings I have attended, people care about the environment.

Finally, the fourth question is this: Is there a better way than Kyoto?

I want to talk about the last two questions. Other members of our caucus will talk about the first two. I want to emphasize what this will do for the environment. I am the environment critic and I believe that is what I should be focusing on. Also, is there a better way?

First, let us go back and examine the government's environmental record. It is rather fitting, I think, that the environment commissioner gave her report a couple of days ago. She commented on the government's record in her document, talking about Rio in 1992 and beyond and the 27 guiding principles that the Canadian government agreed to. The commissioner has done a report card on how well the government has done.

Of course the government also signed the UN framework convention on climate change to reduce CO

2

levels by the year 2000. It has signed some 200 other international agreements since then. The results given by the commissioner of the environment are based on 60 audits. She states:

The federal government is not investing enough–enough of its human and financial resources; its legislative, regulatory, and economic powers; or its political leadership–to fulfill its sustainable development commitments.

The result is a growing environmental, health and financial burden that our children will have to bear, the same children, I assume, that the Prime Minister and the party across the way think so much of. She went on to describe the government's huge environmental “deficit”.

The government has other deficits--

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1:20 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I apologize to the hon. member for interrupting but it seems to me that he is addressing the report by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, which really has no relevance to the motion before us today unless the hon. member has an oblique way of again finding his way on the motion before us.

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1:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

With the greatest of respect to a long-serving member, I find great difficulty in finding a point of order in his intervention, but on the matter of relevancy, in fact that is the substance of the issue. I think that all members are cognizant of it. I am sure that the member's intervention will be very relevant to the topic before us.

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1:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, we are about to sign the most important international document that we have ever signed in the history of the country. Let us look at our record on the other ones to see how well we have done. The commissioner says we have done a lousy job. We have failed the course. We have not delivered on our environmental commitment. That is why it is relevant.

In fact, in signing Kyoto in 1997 we agreed to 6% below 1990 levels. In 1999 we were 15% above 1990 levels. By the year 2000 we were 20% above those levels. By the year 2010 we are going to be 30% above those levels. With Kyoto, by 2005 we are supposed to show substantial improvement in our record. How are we going to do that when we keep increasing? Signing an international agreement that is just talk and that we are not going to deliver on is extremely relevant to what we are talking about today.

I am going to go even further and say that it is rather deceptive to tell Canadians that we are going to hit these targets, but then we have news conferences where we say we will not hit the Kyoto targets, that gap of 240 megatonnes. We are only going to hit 170. That is fine, but we are signing an international agreement and talking about ratifying it and we are not even going to hit that level.

As well, of course, we constantly hear in the House about the mixing of Kyoto, greenhouse gases and climate change with pollution. If we really want to deal with pollution there are ways to do it that are much cheaper than signing an international accord to deal with it. I will not go through the science of what makes up smog and what makes up greenhouse gases. I think most members know that there is a major difference between those two.

Kyoto will not help pollution. Once Canadians find that out they will understand the deception. Should we deal with pollution? Yes, we should. Do Canadians want us to? Yes, they do. But it is not through Kyoto that we will do it.

So when we hear that we do not care about the environment, let me say that we are getting sick and tired of that kind of comment.

Let us go on and look at the better way, the second of the questions Canadians are asking. Yes, there is a better way. There is a much better way. Had the government shown leadership much earlier, we could have been a long way down the track in finding this better way. Countries like Denmark, Germany and even the U.S. are a lot further down the track of finding alternatives to our carbon based industries than we are.

What can we do? I think there are three obvious areas that we need to explore. The first one is the area of conservation. Few of us would disagree that there are a lot of things we could do to improve the use of energy, from retrofitting houses to encouraging people to use triple-pane glass. Those are all things that we should be emphasizing, but they come at a cost. We have to be sure that people understand who is going to bear that cost. It is going to be the consumer. It is not going to be some mythical government that is going to give a $1,000 grant. That will not cover this retrofitting.

With regard to energy efficiency, just changing light bulbs will make a lot of difference. Some people over there want to heckle, but that is because they do not like the green message. They just talk about it. They never deliver it. It is fine for them to throw in their little comments, but there is a lot we can do. We can target the uses. We can use oil and gas more efficiently.

Companies like BP, Shell and Suncor want to be part of this. They are investing in it. They see a good future in being part of this. It is not that industry wants to pollute everything or does not care. Industries do care and want to be part of the solution and the conservation, but they cannot do it on artificial targets, on a non-plan that the government has, with the uncertainty, the investment freeze that this will cause and all of that which other members are going to talk about.

All kinds of transitional fuels are now being developed. It is great to see in the manual that we are going to use 25% ethanol but where is the feed stock? Where are the plants? How long will it take? There are many unanswered questions.

We have a geothermal plant in my riding that heats a recreation unit and a swimming pool at Sylvan Lake, Alberta. They do not need gas or electricity because they use geothermal. That is the future, that is the way we are going and that is what the government does not have a vision for.

The other side of the issue is alternate energies such as wind power, solar power, biomass and hydrogen fuel cells. It is exciting what is happening in that area. The cost of alternate energies is being reduced by 50% every 10 years. They will become competitive around 2040 or 2050. With a government commitment, not just this government but the international community as a whole, they could happen much sooner.

Kyoto is a bad deal. It is a bureaucracy. It is inefficient and it is filled with mediocrity. It will be an economical and environmental disaster. We should focus on conservation, alternate energy, research and development, substantial climate change science, and cooperation with industry and the provinces. Ratification should be put off until we have a well conceived plan and we know the costs. We should stop being environmental boy scouts and stop signing things symbolically. This is probably the most important issue facing Canadians in this century.

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1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Julian Reed Liberal Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Kyoto debate is refreshing. I commend the hon. member for Red Deer for talking about alternate energy, renewable energy and energy development but I do not think those words would have issued forth from the Alliance Party if we had not brought Kyoto to the front of the stage.

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1:25 p.m.

An hon. member

Where are the ethanol plants?

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1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Julian Reed Liberal Halton, ON

My hon. friend asked me where the ethanol plants were to put 10% ethanol into 25% of gasoline over 10 years. Three are now planned for Saskatchewan, as my hon. friend might know, and a major one is planned for southwestern Ontario. Those two together will provide enough feed stock to provide that very modest target.

I was interested in hearing my hon. friend talk about greenhouse gases and CO

2

as if he were looking at it as a noxious gas. In a previous debate I remember that he supported CO

2

by saying that it was a great thing because it made things grow. At that time I challenged him to sit in a room filled with CO

2

for an afternoon and that if he could walk out I would give him a month's salary. I repeat that challenge.

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1:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is hard to know what to say to that. I appreciate that the member has done a lot of work on alternate energy, but as far as CO

2

is concerned maybe we should just leave that to the plants. They use it in photosynthesis and that is probably not the main issue.

As far as his interest in biology is concerned, I could walk him through the seventies and share some of my involvement as a biologist in many environmental issues and my real concern for our environment.

As far as ethanol plants are concerned, I have one in my riding which probably will be forced to close down later this year because the feed stock wheat has become so expensive that it is not in the market for it. The market is primarily in the U.S. which is where it is being shipped because it is not selling in Canada. We should be selling it but to get to 25% is a huge leap from the under 5% that we are at now. When that kind of number is being thrown out we had better be able to substantiate it with how to get there. Obviously this very weak plan does not do that.

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1:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dale Johnston Canadian Alliance Wetaskiwin, AB

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague from Red Deer speak about how important the protocol is for Canadians, and I agree with him. I have also read that Canadians are extremely interested in this issue. They are interested in how it will impact on their environment as well as how it will impact on their standard of living. Will it affect their jobs? How will it affect their energy prices? Will it cost them more to heat or to cool their homes? Depending on what part of Canada we live, we either have to heat our homes for part of the year or cool them for another part of the year, which is the case in Ottawa where it gets hot in the summertime.

If this is so important to Canadians do they not deserve to have the government put forth a plan telling them how this will affect them? Has my colleague heard how the government plans to do that?

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1:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Mr. Speaker, the only thing I know is that the government said that it would not need more than four days in the House to inform all of the people across Canada and answer all those questions. People really do want to know. It will take a real mind shift.

According to the document we received this morning, we will have to agree under the protocol to one tonne less emissions. The average person in Canada is responsible for about five tonnes of emissions a year. We are asking them to reduce that by one tonne for us to hit our targets. That is a pretty major decision that Canadians will have to make. How are we going to inform Canadians and make them understand that, and get them on side when we refuse to talk to them about it and the government will not even talk about it in the House.

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1:30 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I overheard some members being concerned about the old Dodge truck. I inquired and apparently it is getting closer and closer to retirement.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Athabasca.

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1:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Canadian Alliance Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am certainly glad to hear that because I am sure, by the sound of it, it is a very polluting vehicle.

I am pleased to join in the debate today on the motion. I am particularly pleased because it is our motion, and yet it literally mirrors the words of the former finance minister who made a speech just the other night on the subject. It also very closely resembles the demands made by the health minister not very long ago in the province of Alberta. I am looking forward to the vote on the issue and seeing how that all shakes out.

I would like to go back a bit on this issue because it amazes me how the rhetoric has grown around the issue. I remember attending a federal-provincial ministers' conference in Regina just prior to Kyoto where the provinces and the federal government came to an agreement on Canada's position going into Kyoto.

From the Kyoto meeting onward, there has simply been one betrayal after another of the provinces by the federal government, yet the plan that was released this morning, which we have had just a little time to look at, quite clearly states in a number of places that this plan cannot work without the cooperation of the provinces and Canadians.

I, for the life of me, cannot understand why the government would expect cooperation from the provinces. Certainly that cooperation is not being demonstrated today. The vast majority of the provinces are against ratification. How do we go from there?

It is really something to hear how the arguments on both sides have evolved. I know that our side certainly will never convince the true believers, although I know there are a number of people who believe in it for political reasons, but there are true believers out there who believe that if we do not do something about Kyoto that it will be too dry where it is supposed to be wet and too wet where it is supposed to be dry, or we will have harsher winters or milder winters, or whatever, but we do not expect it would be caused by Kyoto. I am really surprised at that because I have not seen one shred of evidence, quite frankly, that would indicate that Kyoto, or climate change for that matter, has anything to do with more severe weather.

I have limited knowledge of meteorology but the experts I have spoken to have suggested that extreme weather is caused by warm weather in the tropics moving into more temperate areas further away from the tropics and the mixing of that air causes severe weather. In fact if it is warming more in the northern latitudes and southern latitudes than anywhere else, then that temperature should become equalized and there should be less severe weather, but who knows the rationale for that.

I know we do not want to get into a debate on the science of the whole thing but perhaps it would be a wise idea to go back and have another look at the science. However it is not science to say that at one time this planet was much warmer than it is today. In fact, the polar regions were tropical.

I spent a good part of my life drilling for oil and gas in Arctic regions and core samples consistently showed tropical plant and animal matter in those bit cuttings. That is not science, that is archeological fact. When we went to school I am sure all of us learned about a number of ice ages where glaciers moved across North America and across a good part of Canada and then retreated again when the weather and the climate warmed. So clearly there is a cycle that repeats itself.

Certainly that cycle has included some catastrophic weather changes that wiped out the dinosaurs. I will not go where Ralph Klein went with the dinosaurs, but before we suggest that it is being caused by man, someone out there should explain what caused that cycle in eons past. It certainly was not man who drove any of that.

Just for a moment I would like to look at the industry perspective on this issue. Industry has shown real responsibility on the Kyoto issue. It has been for some time since before Kyoto that many companies, municipalities and communities in Canada have been enrolled in the voluntary challenge program. They have done some wonderful things. I have attended a couple of awards nights where those achievements were recognized.

Certainly, in my own riding, Syncrude, one of the major producers of heavy oil and one of the bogeymen in the whole issue of carbon dioxide emissions, has won numerous awards. In fact a number of producers of heavy oil from the tar sands have done amazing things in the direction of reducing the intensity of their emissions, in other words, moving the emissions per barrel down well below the Kyoto target. However because the Prime Minister is in Washington promising George W. Bush that we are his answer to energy security and that we are developing the tar sands to be that secure energy source for the United States, the production of barrels is rising dramatically and the emissions are going up and up.

We cannot have it both ways. We either have economic development, growth, jobs and wealth creation, or if we go the Kyoto way, we will have stagnant economic growth, loss of jobs and loss of wealth creation. We simply cannot have it both ways.

Another thing has really bothered me, and I have been approached by a number of companies in the industrial sector on it. It is the issue that the government, early on and partly with the announcement of the voluntary challenge program, through repeated promises by the Prime Minister, the environment minister and the former natural resources minister spoke of credit for early action on emissions reductions.

A fair number of companies invested heavily in those early actions. Some others invested less heavily, but nevertheless did things. Suncor, for example, invested in wind power and invested with Niagara Mohawk in nuclear power with the understanding and belief that the government would live up to its promise to give credit for that action.

It seems that the government is reneging on that promise. In the plan released today there is no mention of credit for early action by those companies. If we treat people like that, how do we expect to get their cooperation? It just does not work.

I am running short of time. I have some ideas that perhaps we should look at. One would be to stop this process because there is not a catastrophic climate change event about to hit us in the face like the one that destroyed the dinosaurs. We have time. Let us step back. Let us go back and perhaps do what the U.S. did before it made its decision.

We should set up a joint parliamentary committee to look at the whole issue, the science and the economics. We should bring in the experts. Let us listen to them on both sides and then let us have the vote in the House that we are proposing to have so that we have a better basis than the rhetoric I have heard on which to make a decision. That would be wise to do. Certainly a number of experts across the country have suggested that it would be the right thing to do.

If we were to step back and take a deep breath, maybe we could put aside some of the extreme rhetoric, like the Prime Minister saying yesterday in the House that in 30 years people are going to be dying. In the booklet released this morning there is a reference to 600 people dying. I do not know where in the world the evidence came from for those remarks.

In response to my question the other day in the House, the environment minister denied that the government was looking at international emissions credit trading. Yet in a number of places in the plan that was released this morning, it was proposed not only for the government but for the private sector to engage in international emissions trading.

We need to step back from some of this extreme rhetoric, get real and take a good look at the issue. Maybe we could come to a consensus in the House and deal with it more sensibly.

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1:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Werner Schmidt Canadian Alliance Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is always useful when we get into a debate like this to listen to someone who has actually been in the field, who actually did look into some of the geology that exists in the northern part of the hemisphere as well as other parts of the world and to recognize that all is not as it appears sometimes. I thank my colleague for doing that.

The purpose of my question is to go to another spot and that is with regard to the plan released this morning. There are three points on which I would ask the member to comment.

Is the plan one that he thinks is implementable, the way it was presented? Could the plan actually be implemented?

Did the plan give confidence in the sense that there is sufficient credibility so we can actually believe that some of things that are in it could be achieved?

Was there any indication in the plan released this morning as to what it would cost to implement it, in terms of the actual finances that would be required and also the resources, personnel and expertise that would be necessary to meet the provisions of the Kyoto protocol?

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1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Canadian Alliance Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, those are good questions and I certainly meant to get to that in my presentation but there is so much to talk about it is hard to cover it all.

The plan is no more credible than anything we have seen to date. There is absolutely no costing in the plan whatsoever. With regard to the figures the government is using, I will pick one with which I am familiar because I know the business. That is the suggestion that implementing the Kyoto plan would add 3¢ a barrel to conventional oil and I believe the figures were 11¢ to 13¢ to heavy oil. Those numbers are not credible. People in the industry immediately discounted it.

Once totally unbelievable figures like that are presented, it throws a lack of credibility onto everything said about it. The industry itself suggested the figures were not credible and that the actual cost would be somewhere between 50¢ and $7 a barrel depending on what kind of targets the industry was given. It just does not work.

When we look at the expectation, it is broken down in the plan by the number of tonnes we will save, that each individual Canadian should reduce emissions by one tonne. They should do things like fill their dryer full when they are drying clothes and they should turn the thermostat down. If that is part of the plan, and we need the .4 or .5 tonnes to meet our plan, who is going to be out there checking to see if we are filling our dryers full when we are drying our clothes in order to meet the commitment and to claim that amount of reduction? It is ridiculous. It makes no sense at all.

We have to go back and bring in a real plan that people understand and that has costs applied, just like the health minister and the former finance minister suggested.

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1:45 p.m.

Western Arctic Northwest Territories

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew LiberalSecretary of State (Children and Youth)

Mr. Speaker, I come from a riding in an area of Canada that depends on cold weather. We are very challenged in terms of infrastructure, unlike my colleague from the Yukon whose communities, all except for one, are accessible by road. We do not have that kind of infrastructure. Most of our communities are isolated and we depend on a winter road structure.

With the melting of the permafrost, our winter road season is becoming shorter. It is a very difficult problem for the north. The north is probably most graphic in its illustration of how we are the repository of all things bad in terms of the environment, not because we do not have a beautiful environment, but because we are an area that is very vulnerable. We receive the persistent organic pollutants from around the world. The heavy metals from around the world wherever those industrialized countries are collect in the colder climate areas, that being northern Canada.

We could be compared to the canary in the mine when it comes to the environment. We are the warning sound. We are the warning bell, and very graphically so, for other parts of the world if things go wrong.

People can question how is it that Inuit mothers have pesticides or chemicals in their breast milk that they pass on to their children. How is it that many of our animals will be affected? For instance, if we have warmer climates, or if we have hot and cold climates that run up against one another, our animals will not be able to feed properly. The caribou depend on lichen. They can only get to lichen when there is light snow. If there is a melting of the snow and a freezing of the snow, they cannot get to their food. It affects the every essence of how people live traditionally in the north.

Having said that, many members will know that I am a huge fan and a proponent of oil and gas development in the north. I consider myself a friend of the industry but I am also a friend of the environment. I want to see a northern gas pipeline develop. I believe it is not a carbon intensive activity in the sense that oil would be. I believe it is less polluting than other sources and it is possible. I also think in my position as a northern representative that we can have both.

If we think we can have a clean environment without having a strategy and without setting a target like we have in Kyoto, it is impossible. There is a price to pay. We will not regain the cleanliness and the pureness of our environment no matter where we live in the world without a price. It is ridiculous to think that we will. It will cost money.

My colleague across the way talked about consumer behaviour. He belittled such aspects as making sure the clothes dryer is full. As in health care, the only way to really affect the health care of people is to change the behaviour of people. Consumer behaviour is a big part of what we do in terms of the environment as it would be with our health.

We have to change the way human beings behave. In some countries around the world recycling is a way of life. It is a consumer behaviour that has been endorsed and people do it. It was never thought of before. In some places we still struggle with it but if we have that kind of attitude, things will never change. It will cost money. It will take a bit of effort. It will take compromise but we need to care. What could be more important than the environment that our children and our grandchildren are going to live in? In my area it is absolutely important.

People generally accept what the intergovernmental panel on climate change and its more than 3,000 scientists from around the world have to say. People accept it when that panel says that most of the warming observed over the past 50 years is attributable to human activities; that human induced climate change will accelerate in the years ahead; and that extreme weather events will be more frequent and more severe due to climate change. They should accept it.

There are 17 national academies of science from around the world that have independently reviewed this work and endorsed its conclusions. I am sorry if some people do not like good science. Certainly I, and everyone in the House who has spoken, accept that there is an issue that merits action and of course the Government of Canada accepts it and has done so for many years.

Our elders in the Northwest Territories have been talking about climate change for years. It is not a new thing. It is not as abrupt and as comic as some people would refer to it as. This is a very serious issue and we all have a stake in it, including the members opposite.

It has been just over a decade that the rest of us have clued in basically. In the Northwest Territories we are feeling the effects of climate change on a daily basis with our warmer and somewhat shorter winters and our wetter and hotter summers. This does not sound like a bad thing but the north is built on the premise that it is cold. Special construction techniques have been used on all our infrastructure to accommodate the permafrost below the surface ensuring that it remains frozen.

I am sharing my time, Mr. Speaker, with the hon. member for Davenport and I am honoured to do so.

I am very enthusiastic on this issue and I am very resolved to supporting the Kyoto protocol, as are my premier and the people in the Northwest Territories. They too want a pipeline but we understand that we have to care about the environment as well.

Special construction techniques, as I have indicated, have been used on our infrastructure to accommodate the permafrost. Most people who have spoken do not know what frost heave is and how expensive it is. Most people do not understand, except for my colleague from Nunavut who lives with permafrost and has to deal with that sort of condition. The warmer temperatures are now beginning to slowly melt that permafrost. The repercussions of this phenomenon are obvious and expensive.

Because of the long commitment to action, when Canada ratifies the Kyoto protocol, we will not be starting from square one. Over the past few years the Government of Canada has built a record of consistent action on climate change. I want to take a few minutes to point out some of these actions now.

One of the most fundamental points that I have to make about these actions is that they usually are built around partnerships. They are not just Ottawa doing something all by itself. These are actions that are encouraging collaborative approaches to an issue that affects us all. These are actions that are bringing together partners in government, business, communities and more. Indeed a lot of the initial work involved collaboration to examine the issues and identify options for action even before Kyoto. There were many discussions where there was consensus and agreement. Some people have conveniently forgotten that.

For example, much of this work has taken place under the direction of ministers of energy and the environment from the Government of Canada and all the provinces and territories since 1993, including my territorial counterparts in the government of the Northwest Territories who have been actively participating at the table on this issue. These ministers generally have met annually and often more than that. Many of the provincial and territorial ministers have been included in Canada's delegations to international climate change meetings and conferences, including Kyoto in 1997. In fact, there has indeed been a great deal of time and money spent on climate change consultation since 1992. Ten years and $22.3 million has been spent on consultations with provinces alone.

That collaboration set the stage for broader partnerships such as the work of the national climate change task group. This group brought together the Government of Canada, the governments of the provinces and territories, industry and environmental groups. They have looked at climate change and related issues affecting specific sectors and affecting Canada in general. That task group consulted with stakeholders and developed the general report with recommendations.

In 1994-95 it took the report out for public consultation across Canada that led to a summary report. All this work, plus input from ongoing federal-provincial meetings, fed into Canada's action plan on climate change released in 1995. I say this because there are people sitting here now who are not aware of the history of this evolving process. It also helped to identify priorities for other efforts and investments.

There is so much more I could speak to. I have so many other notes, including the announced Government of Canada action plan, a $500 million five year initiative plan, a planned 2,000 targets and key sectors, including initiatives in transportation.

Let me finish by saying I unequivocally support the ratification of the Kyoto protocol with my northern counterparts and with all the people of the north. We know we will feel the effects of it, but we do not walk away from our intent to be progressive and to work on resource development.

Healthy Workplace WeekStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Gurbax Malhi Liberal Bramalea—Gore—Malton—Springdale, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is Healthy Workplace Week. Launched by Health Canada two years ago, this week is dedicated to increasing awareness of how important healthy workplaces are to the success of organizations.

This year's theme is healthy leadership, and the labour program of HRDC, along with other government and private organizations are the sponsors. The government is committed to building healthy workplaces and has many programs and services to support its employees.

We can all be leaders when it comes to promoting a healthy workplace. I encourage all members to get involved in Healthy Workplace Week, both here and in their constituencies.

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee MedalStatements By Members

October 24th, 2002 / 1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Canadian Alliance Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow evening on Friday, October 25, a prodigious event will take place at Queen Elizabeth Composite High School in Edmonton, the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee medal award ceremony.

Created to commemorate Her Majesty's 50 year reign, these distinctive medals will be presented in a celebration hosted by Principal Tony Rankel, along with the staff and students of the Queen Elizabeth Composite High School.

The Honourable Lieutenant Governor Lois E. Hole will attend this event to present medals to 40 extraordinary Canadians who, in their own way, have made a valuable and outstanding contribution to both community and country.

A special expression of gratitude is extended to Principal Rankel, the staff and the student body of the Queen Elizabeth Composite High School. Please join them in extending congratulations to these 40 remarkable Canadians.

The EnvironmentStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Kyoto accord is more than a rigid formula for the reduction of greenhouse emissions. It is a frame of reference for each of us in our daily lives. Humans in their billions are the cause of the changes in the atmosphere which are causing global warming. We humans, by small changes in our daily lives, can reduce those emissions dramatically.

It is my hope that the Kyoto process will encourage us all to think differently about how we live. This is not a matter of a reduced standard of living. It is about a change in the way we live. One aspect of this is increased use of public transportation. Many of our communities already have good but underused transit systems. Let us begin by using existing facilities to full capacity. Then let us increase that capacity so that Canadians can travel cheaply and conveniently by public transportation.

In southern Ontario, where highway gridlock and air pollution are features of everyday life, this means improved rail transit in and around the major cities, including VIA service to places like Peterborough.

Governor General's AwardStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Liberal Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise to congratulate a constituent of mine, Megan Reid, of Leamington, who won the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, an award saluting the accomplishments of contemporary women in advancement of women's equality.

Megan received the award for promoting positive body images for women and for her volunteer work organizing events and raising money for breast cancer research.

Ms. Reid is a remarkable volunteer in her community. Her work in her local student government and other school activities is a tribute to her desire to make a contribution to society and be a positive influence. She has a passion for justice and equality of the sexes that makes her a wonderful role model for her peers.

This award was instituted by the Governor General of Canada in 1979 to honour the 50th anniversary of the Persons Case and five Alberta women whose determination led to a landmark victory in the struggle of Canadian women for equality.

I congratulate Megan on an honour well deserved.