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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

HealthOral Question Period

October 24th, 2002 / 3 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Recently studies for the Romanow Commission have noted that trade deals like NAFTA and the GATS may block the expansion of medicare to include a national plan for home care, pharmacare and dental care.

Will the government take immediate steps to prevent any further privatization in the health care field to prevent private health care companies from claiming massive compensation under NAFTA and GATS? Will it stand up for public health care in Canada?

HealthOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick

Liberal

Jeannot Castonguay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, clearly, under the existing legislation, all Canadians are assured to be provided with all medically necessary health care services.

Also, it is clear that this government is very aware of the importance of restructuring our health care system for the future. That is why we are enthusiastically awaiting the release of the Romanow report and the Kirby report, which will help us determine the way ahead.

I can assure all Canadians—as the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs indicated—that our health system will be protected in spite of all—

HealthOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Richmond—Arthabaska.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government of Quebec has voiced objections on the federal plan for ratification of Kyoto. This plan does not acknowledge the efforts of the provinces, Quebec included, which have already begun to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There is no provision whatsoever in the plan for reduction objectives by province.

Instead of a sectoral objective, why not, if as the minister claims, the provinces are necessary and mandatory for implementation of the protocol, use them as the unit of measurement for achievement of the objectives of the Kyoto protocol?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the measures taken so far by the province of Quebec and other provinces to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, have been quite considerable. I commend the provinces and industries that have taken steps.

At the same time, what we need is a system that applies the same rules across the country. We do not, for instance, want different rules from province to province for the lumber industry, since it operates in all ten provinces.

That is the reason we feel it is better to go by industrial sector rather than province. We are prepared to discuss this, prepared to speak about it with—

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

I am sorry to have to interrupt the hon. minister, but that is all the time we have for oral question period.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

The Speaker

Order, please. I would like to inform hon. members of the presence in the gallery of His Excellency, Henri Plagnol, Secretary of State for Government Reform to the Minister responsible for the Public Service of France.

Presence in GalleryOral Question Period

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Business of the HouseOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Reynolds Canadian Alliance West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the government House leader if he could tell us what the business is for today, tomorrow and next week.

I also ask him if the government has any plans for legislation with changes to the Canadian Wheat Board that would allow western Canadian farmers to do the same thing as central Canadian farmers without having to go to jail.

Business of the HouseOral Question Period

3:05 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I will take the last issue as representation by the hon. member for legislation. Meanwhile though, I will announce to him and to all colleagues the business of the House.

This afternoon we will obviously continue with the debate on the allotted day motion by the official opposition on this excellent initiative of the government to ratify the Kyoto protocol.

Tomorrow we will consider a motion for referral to committee before second reading of Bill C-15, the amendments to the Lobbyists Registration Act proposed by the hon. Minister of Industry.

I wish to announce that on Monday we will begin a take note debate during the day on the national discussion on the future of the Canadian health care system. There were questions even today, several of them actually on this issue. The government feels it is an important topic.

Tuesday and Thursday of next week shall be allotted days.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

SupplyGovernment Orders

3:05 p.m.

The Speaker

When the debate ended for question period, the hon. member for Western Arctic had the floor for questions and comments, which we will resume at this very moment.

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3:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Gouk Canadian Alliance Kootenay—Boundary—Okanagan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the presentation by the hon. member across the way.

She mentioned that there are scientists who back the concept of global warming. I acknowledge that there are many eminent scientists who do, but there are an equal number of eminent scientists who challenge those very same statements.

Her speech focused primarily on global warming. Does she feel it is industry that is largely causing a lot of this now and it is man-made problems in the generation of greenhouse gases? How does she explain the fact that a little over 20,000 years ago when this planet was covered in ice, there was no industrialization, there was no movement by man that caused the ice to melt yet the planet warmed up and the ice melted?

In 950 A.D. the planet entered into another global warming period which lasted approximately 400 years until 1350 A.D., at which time the planet, without shutting down non-existent industry, cooled down and went through a cool period from 1350 A.D. until about the mid-1800s. How does she explain these cycles in the environment on our planet when there was no industrialization to blame it on? Why does she blame it on the industries now?

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3:05 p.m.

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew Liberal Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, rather than blaming or picking sides, I believe there is a great deal to be had by collaboration. I will not go through the history of world evolution and how we went through various stages and ages. I would like to deal with the issue that we have right now.

There has been irreversible damage done to our environment in various parts of the world. There is the whole issue of climate change to deal with. We as Canadian citizens, and especially as representatives of all Canadians, are very challenged to find ways to work together to come to some resolve on reversing those effects.

What we need to do is not look at the people who are vitriolically opposed to each other and who are so divergent in their views that they cannot come together. I believe there are more who would like to come together to collaborate, to mull over those partnerships that will allow the stakeholders to take ownership and responsibility for what has happened and help carve out an implementation plan that is workable for everyone. There is a possibility of doing that.

If we think that by offering explanations we can avoid our responsibility, we are sadly mistaken. We have to work together and collaborate. There is room for that. I think industry wants to play that role. There are many in industry who are responsible.

For example, BP Amoco has undertaken numerous steps to deal with the reduction of emissions. It plants trees. It has a huge project on that. There are many environmentally friendly industry stakeholders that want to be part of the process.

I do not think that being divergent in views and putting our best arguments forward is what it is all about. It is about putting our ideas forward that will work for the environment.

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3:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Canadian Alliance Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have visions of Kyoto meaning bigger government. We are getting into something called emissions trading. It seems that every single entity in the economy will have to be audited by somebody and there will have to be monitoring and tracking of this procedure. This would mean more government, more regulation and more government civil servants in Ottawa just to administer and deal with the matter.

Does the hon. member have any idea of how many new jobs in the public sector Kyoto will mean?

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3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ethel Blondin-Andrew Liberal Western Arctic, NT

Mr. Speaker, it is noted around the world that new environmental technologies create not only jobs but create opportunities for business and many people in the private sector. It is an opportunity to be looked at.

If we want to be on the cutting edge in the new economy, if we want to work with the knowledge economy and get at the environmental issues in some of those innovative ways, we have to go there. We are not talking about a proliferation of government. We are talking about bringing the partnerships together that will allow industry to have ownership, to have participation, to have active engagement on these issues that it can do best.

We are not talking about government going in as storm troopers and doing for industry what industry can do for itself or for other stakeholders. It is a collaborative approach, a partnership we are looking for that will be efficient and effective.

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3:10 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the Calgary Herald reports that a host of Alberta's top scientists have written an open letter to Premier Klein urging him to embrace the Kyoto protocol. The letter is signed by 27 Alberta university experts in the fields of hydrology, ecology and atmospheric science. The letter also accuses Premier Klein of ignoring or downplaying the potential dangers of climate change in favour of business and economic interests in the province. The letter states:

We must take the effects of climate warming seriously....The Kyoto protocol does not specify courses of action, only targets and timelines....We are optimistic that Alberta and Canada have the technical expertise to meet the Kyoto targets, if efforts are made to mobilize it.

In their letter the scientists predict global warming will result in increased droughts and water shortages, an increase in the number of forest fires and wildfires, and the drying up of key wetlands areas.

The letter also refutes those who say the scientific jury is still out on climate change. The scientists say there is virtually universal agreement that climate change is real and that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are speeding up the process.

They also say that predictions of economic losses under Kyoto are worst case scenarios and do not take into account the cost of not signing the accord. This worries the scientists who write:

It is...unacceptable to postpone action to reduce climate warming. To minimize the effect, we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions as rapidly as possible.

The scientists write that the Kyoto accord, rather than being a detriment to Alberta, is a deal that presents enormous opportunities for technical innovation and it makes sense in the long term to encourage these. What a refreshing message from Alberta. One wonders whether the Alliance Party will have to be reluctantly dragged into the 21st century or whether it will take leadership and even urge the government to accelerate the pace of ratification and implementation. The 27 scientists are certainly giving an important message to the people of Alberta.

I will give a quick background on the Kyoto ratification. The agreement comes into effect when a developed country whose combined emissions equal 55% of the total emissions ratifies it. The countries of the European Union have already ratified it, as has Japan. Canada's signature could be enough to put Kyoto into effect. Therefore we have a particularly strategic and significant role to play.

Waiting for developing countries to join is unrealistic. It is unfortunate that the Leader of the Opposition made that point this morning, probably without being fully briefed about the position taken by the developing countries repeatedly on this matter.

The developing countries have made it clear that they have no intention of acting now. Instead, creating opportunities for improved energy efficiency, energy innovation and economic incentives in developing countries is the better approach for us. By ratifying the Kyoto protocol, Canada would give badly needed leadership in North America and assume its share of responsibility for its own security and the security of the global community.

Much has been said about the cost of action and not much about the cost of inaction. Ratifying the Kyoto protocol will evidently result in energy efficiency and it will generate energy innovation. It will put the focus on energy conservation. It will give us great economic advantages in doing so.

Therefore, rather than talking about the cost of ratifying Kyoto, if we want to engage in that debate we should at the same time talk about the cost of inaction. The cost of inaction is increasing. There are persistent temperature levels several degrees above normal which are causing economic damage to the shipping, the insurance and even the tourism industry.

In addition, farmers and ranchers face severe droughts and damage. Droughts also lead to more frequent forest fires. Our people in the Arctic are already seeing the negative impact of climate change on permafrost. The cost of inaction is rapidly overtaking the cost of ratifying Kyoto.

The Department of Industry, in a study done a few months ago, reported that more than $7 billion in economic activities can be generated by the ratification of Kyoto. In contrast, the claims made by the petroleum association, Esso, Exxon, the BCNI and the chambers of commerce are misleading. Instead we should act before the cost of inaction becomes too great and unbearable.

There are also benefits. Contrary to what opponents of the Kyoto accord are saying, its ratification offers Canadians several advantages and opportunities: One, to become more energy efficient and less energy wasteful; two, it would make Canada more competitive; three, it would make non-renewable fuel reserves last longer; four, it would develop renewable sources of energy at a faster pace; five, it would remove unwarranted tax subsidies to the oil sands and the nuclear industry; six, it would improve air quality; seven, it would protect the polar ice caps and the permafrost; eight, it would reduce the rise in sea levels; nine, it would moderate weather extremes, frequent droughts and forest fires; and finally on the international scene, ten, it would make Canada a good team player on the global scene in terms of international security.

For those reasons it is no wonder that the vast majority of Canadians support the ratification of the Kyoto agreement.

The ratification of Kyoto has somehow multiplied false claims, including the loss of 200,000 jobs, accompanied possibly by huge investment losses. The threat of investment loss has been used in the past with other issues.

Mr. Speaker, you will recall the debate we had in the House on the acid rain program in the 1980s, the debate on the removal of lead from gasoline and the debate on the regulations that were introduced at that time to improve the performance of paper mills and the regulation of their effluents.

However, as in the past, investments will continue to take place but in an innovative way, with less damaging energy forms, like natural gas, wind, solar, ethanol and other renewables.

As for jobs, Kyoto opponents forget that jobs will be created because of new opportunities in all these emerging energy sectors.

Opponents also fail to take into account job losses from not acting on climate change, such as the high cost to agriculture because of more frequent droughts; the cost to shipping because of lower water levels; insurance rates because of extreme weather. This is not the time for fearmongering and false claims. In order to protect the public good, I hope Parliament will ratify and move Canada toward a new energy future.

Then we come to the not yet initiated debate of levelling the playing field. There is much talk these days about oil sands companies, for instance, such as Suncor, EnCana and Syncrude. This oil sector alone generates 22% of the greenhouse gas emissions by the fossil fuel industries. In addition, the extraction of petroleum from tar sands depends on the use of billions of litres of precious water every year.

Furthermore, the oil sands industry enjoys generous tax concessions amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. In other words, our tax system presently favours the production of greenhouse gas emissions and the depletion of water which is becoming a precious natural resource. In a free enterprise economy, handouts of this magnitude impact on Canada's efforts to comply with the Kyoto goals. This practice should be phased out.

We come now to the question of plans. Critics have said that we lack the plans to meet the Kyoto target. There is an initial action plan 2000 on climate change which was implemented two years ago. That plan helps Canada to meet one-third of the Kyoto target. After several consultations with the provinces and territories over many years, the government released a document earlier this year proposing options and measures to reduce emissions for the remaining two-thirds of Canada's Kyoto target.

Today the government released an implementation plan for everybody to see before the vote on ratification takes place. To sum it up, we have a plan already at work to take us one-third of the way and, as of today, the climate change draft plan, developed after widespread consultations.

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3:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I know my hon. friend is one of the most committed environmentalists in the House but we have significant concerns over Kyoto and particularly the emissions trading scheme embedded in it. What the public should know is that the emissions trading scheme gives allows us to buy the ability to produce more greenhouse gas emissions by giving money to countries like Russia.

Does my colleague believe that a better way to deal with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions would be to utilize existing technologies that focus on conservation and more efficient use of energy? If we look back historically we will find that conservation and the use of technology to conserve and burn energy more efficiently and the use of alternative sources is by far a more efficient and more effective way of not only meeting our Kyoto agreement greenhouse gas emissions but going beyond that. Kyoto will not allow Canada to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

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3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am not as knowledgeable on this matter as the hon. member. I can only indicate to him that as far as I know the emission trading scheme does not contemplate purchasing tonnage from Russia. It may apply perhaps to trading schemes with developing countries that might welcome that kind of trade.

I agree with the hon. member that the best application of our efforts should be in real reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by way of the initiatives that he mentioned, namely innovation, conservation and renewable resources. The emission trading scheme has been quite controversial over time and it has been accepted internationally. I think it is part of the Kyoto accord. However it has to be applied with a grain of salt.

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3:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Canadian Alliance Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, I want to deal with the premise behind the hon. member's speech. The premise is that climate scientists are unified in saying that there is a greenhouse crisis on this planet. Some of those leaders back in the seventies and eighties were predicting an ice age, not global warming. Of the 1,800 alleged climate scientists in the U.S. who supported Kyoto, analyses show that only 250 were legitimate climate scientists. There are thousands of climate scientists who take serious disagreement with Kyoto.

Does the member not accept the fact that climate scientists are very much divided on this question?

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3:25 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, 700 years ago some scientists were claiming that the earth was flat. Does the member recognize that there are examples throughout history of conflicting views?

The fact is that today, as we speak in this Chamber, unlike 10 years ago, the vast majority of the scientific community is of the opinion that we are undergoing a climate change. Those who do not are, by and large, subsidized and paid by the fossil fuel industry.

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3:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, the motion members of Parliament are debating today is the following:

That, before the Kyoto Protocol is ratified by the House, there should be an implementation plan that Canadians understand, that sets out the benefits, how the targets are to be reached and the costs.

This motion is a Canadian Alliance motion but the origin of the words in the motion come from the mouth of the former Liberal finance minister, whom the majority of Liberal caucus members support to be the next prime minister of Canada. We agree with the former finance minister. We have taken his statement on Kyoto and used it as our motion being debated today.

The former finance minister said that before Kyoto is ratified Canadians are owed some things. He said Canadians are owed a plan and that there must be enough discussion with Canadians about the plan so that they can understand it. He said Canadians must be told what benefits the plan will deliver and how Kyoto targets will be reached. Finally, he said that Canadians must be given the costs they will have to pay.

This is all very reasonable and we agree with the former finance minister. That is why our motion uses his words. We hope other members of the House will agree as well and that they will vote for our motion.

Canadians care passionately about our wonderful land and the beauty of our environment from coast to coast. We value clean skies, unspoiled lands and fresh pure water. The Canadian Alliance, as a political party, is specifically committed to protecting and preserving Canada's natural environment.

It is my privilege to represent the people of Calgary—Nose Hill. Our city is close to the Rocky Mountains and the many parks, rivers, streams and natural acres in and around that area. It is a delight to enjoy our own home area, to have people from around the world visit and find pleasure there.

Unfortunately the purpose of Kyoto is not to protect or clean up our environment. The purpose of Kyoto is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Carbon dioxide is produced when we travel in vehicles, heat our homes and as industry operates to make our goods and products.

Carbon dioxide is not carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a component of smog. Carbon dioxide is not. Carbon dioxide is not the soot that forms smog. All it may do, and there is a lot of divided opinion on this, is make the earth marginally warmer over several decades. Surely we have more pressing environmental matters in which to put our scarce resources.

Only 20% of carbon dioxide is produced by industry. The other 80% is produced by ordinary people who travel, heat their homes and use their appliances. Therefore Kyoto means much more costly vehicles and driving less. Kyoto means higher home construction costs and keeping the thermostat not as warm as we would like. Kyoto means more expensive appliances. It means higher costs to those who make our goods and products.

Those higher costs will be considered by anybody who might invest in industry or develop new industries in Canada. Higher costs mean less profit. Some potential investors will inevitably decide not to go ahead. This is especially true when those same business people can locate in the U.S. or Mexico, and not be subject to the extra Kyoto costs.

The U.S. president says Kyoto would cost his economy $400 billion U.S. The U.S. is dealing vigorously with environmental protection but will not sign Kyoto. The Australian Prime Minister said:

...for us to ratify the protocol would cost us jobs and damage our industry.That is why the Australian government will continue to oppose ratification.

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time.

The Liberals' own estimates, which they are trying to hide from cabinet, says 200,000 jobs will be lost and Kyoto will cost Canadians a whopping $16.5 billion.

This is an outfit with a sorry track record of lowballing program costs in order to sell them. Let us look at the firearms registry which it said would cost $85 million and will end up close to an unbelievable $1 billion with objectives not even achieved.

Other Kyoto cost estimates are much higher. The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters say job losses will be at 450,000 in their sector alone. Business organizations say the cost to Canada will be an extra $33 billion for Kyoto. Who are Canadians to believe? It is hard to believe the federal government not only because of its track record but because there are no final cost figures in its material so far. When the real estimates were leaked a few weeks ago, the 200,000 jobs and the $16.5 billion a year, there was so much shock that Liberals have been scrambling ever since to keep them under wraps.

The government is much less than trustworthy on such matters but even if its secret figures are correct, Kyoto will cost each person in Canada over $500 a year. That is over $2,000 for a family of four. Some of those Canadians will not be working because of the Kyoto fallout. If business estimates are more realistic, the cost will be over $1,000 per Canadian, over $4,000 for a family of four.

What will this mean for people in the Atlantic provinces for example? Here are figures from the work of Dr. Mark Jaccard who is responsible for the Canadian Industrial Energy End-use Data and Analysis Centre, funded by the Canadian government and other agencies. He also chaired the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Based on Dr. Jaccard's work, the cost in Atlantic Canada for heating oil will rise from the current Statistics Canada average of $1,150 a year to $1,800 a year. Electricity costs will go up for the average Atlantic Canadian from $1,200 a year to $2,000 a year. Gasoline costs will take a jump from an average of $2,100 per year per Atlantic Canadian to $3,200 per year. Right now, gas costs 78.9¢ a litre in Halifax. Look for that to go up a lot more under Kyoto.

Kyoto will hit struggling Atlantic Canadians, those from our poorest have not provinces, and hit them hard, right in the pocketbook. It will hit our seniors and those on fixed incomes hardest of all. How are they supposed to pay these increased costs for heating oil, electricity and gasoline on fixed incomes?

Offshore gas and oil development in Atlantic Canada is forecast to generate $36 billion in revenue for Nova Scotia alone but without question, Kyoto will negatively impact that potential development. Already some investors are pulling out of the sector. Kyoto has the potential to pull the rug right out from under that bright economic development future forecast for the Atlantic provinces.

All of this is money that will not be able to be used to fund health care, to educate our children, to help out with the cost of drugs, and the rising cost of home care as our population ages. The job losses and lost investment will shrink the tax base needed to support our most important social programs just when the need for them is becoming more critical. Even if we gave up those jobs, even if we gave up those billions, and put those billions into reducing carbon dioxide emissions, let us be clear about what might be gained.

Canada produces only 2% of the world's man-made greenhouse gases. We know that. It is not in dispute. If we were to keep our Kyoto commitments to the letter, and by the way the Liberal government has made it clear it wants to weasel out of the full quota, but even if we did not, Canada's efforts would slow, not reduce, the rate of global greenhouse gas production by less than one-quarter of a percent.

All of this is masterminded by a government whose track record on the environment is so bad that just this week the Environment Commissioner lashed it for the hundreds of toxic sites left to fester. In a country like ours, scores of communities lack clean water to drink without boiling.

That is under this government. However it would take billions from the pockets of Canadians to fund the Prime Minister's Kyoto legacy, to slow the production of carbon dioxide in the air by less than one-quarter of a per cent, while our social programs and our health care go begging. That is the priority of the government.

We believe this must not go ahead without some clear answers from the government. As our environment critic has said, we believe the path to real environment protection does not lie with Kyoto at all. We urge the House to support today's motion.

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3:40 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. member for Calgary--Nose Hill, who seems to enjoy wallowing in fearmongering, whether she would like to comment on the letter that appeared in today's Calgary Herald , signed by 27 eminent Alberta scientists, urging the provincial government to support the ratification of the Kyoto protocol?

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3:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Diane Ablonczy Canadian Alliance Calgary Nose Hill, AB

Mr. Speaker, I believe it was this member's leader, the Prime Minister, who yesterday said if we do not sign Kyoto Canadians will die in 30 years. That is fearmongering. We do not need to give the Liberals any lessons, they are very good at it themselves.

With respect to the letter that appeared in the Calgary Herald today, I would say the following: government and government spending is about priorities. It is about where we can do the most for our citizens with the resources available to us. It is very clear, although there are some nice-to-haves that there are some need-to-haves like health care, home care, helping with drug costs, educating our kids, cleaning up toxic waste sites and clean water for our citizens.

The resources for all of those things are going to be sucked out by the billions. Kyoto is not a small project. Billions will be sucked out from the pockets of Canadians by this move to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by one-quarter of a per cent in the world.

Scientists in the ivory tower may say that is nice to have, but as Canadians examine what their priorities are and what their resources are and what their ability to pay is that they would much rather put that money into health care, jobs, education, care for our seniors, and the things that we need to maintain the kind of standard of living in the country that we are working so hard for.

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3:40 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to the justification for the wording of the motion from the hon. member. I would be curious to get her reaction in terms of the criteria which she establishes for an acceptable plan, which is an implementation plan that Canadians understand that sets out the benefits, how the targets can be reached and its costs. Does she think the plan put out by the government of Alberta last week would meet the test? Would that be the definition of a plan?

If she would concede to that point, and I am anxious to have her reaction as to whether the Alberta plan does meet the test, would she not agree that this most obliging of governments, having heard the concerns about an implementation plan that meets all these tests, obligingly puts out a plan which answers the criteria and in far greater detail than the Alberta plan? If that is a plan, this is a plan.