House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.


Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Maurice Vellacott Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Madam Speaker, on a point of order, I do not believe we have quorum in the House at this time.

And the count having been taken:

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

There is quorum. The hon. member may continue.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Thank you, Madam Speaker, for bringing decorum to the House. Obviously we are talking about a very important subject that many Canadians care an awful lot about.

I must apologize for not putting out a notice so Liberal members could have been here to hear my comments. I will do that tomorrow and I will try to give them a breakdown of the areas to which I will be speaking so they can be prepared a bit to ask some questions. I would not be afraid to have them ask me questions. The minister of course was very afraid and did not allow questions to be asked.

The IPCC is a group of 200 scientists. These scientists really care about climate change. They are a lot of good, top-notch people. As I said, I will be quoting from a number of texts prepared by the IPCC in relation to its studies. It is working with 40 different models right now and those 40 different models come up with very different conclusions. This obviously will be for the benefit of some of the members across because most of the Canadian public may not be quite as interested in these models as they are.

I have noticed in the so-called PowerPoint presentation of the government that it actually gives no credit at all to technology. It does not look to the future. It does not talk about the advances of technology. Instead, it deals in hypothetical kinds of things, picking the models it wants to pick and picking the few examples it wants to. As we go through it line by line we can then examine exactly where the flaws are and where there should be some clarity before we ratify the proposal.

The other thing the government really fails to do is give any credit at all to humans, animals or plants for adaptation. In all my university biology I learned about adaptation and the adaptation that animals, plants, insects and bacteria undergo in order to change. Adaptation is the way to go. It really is too bad that someone might be under water in 100 years but with a little adaptation they could handle it. Certainly the Netherlands demonstrated that it could handle that sort of climatic change without very much trouble. It will not happen tomorrow. It will happen over hundreds and hundreds of years and people will adapt. That is what is important.

Then we get to the consultation part of it. We need to really look at that term because the minister keeps using it saying that he has consulted so widely that everybody understands this. Well the people do not understand what Kyoto is about. Maybe that is Parliament's fault. Maybe that is the media's fault. Maybe that is someone's fault but the government needs to take the responsibility to inform the people.

Before we ratify the protocol the people have to understand. I am not talking about the select group of 84 people who were invited to the meetings that went on through June. I am talking about the person on the fixed income. I am talking about the mom and dad with two kids. I am talking about the single mother. I am talking about the working poor who are having a hard time making a go of it. Those are the people who need to understand the implications of Kyoto. The government has not delivered that information. When we talk about consultation that is the first line.

The one big failure in Kyoto is that the government has left out the people. All I can do is just remind the government what happened with the Charlottetown accord when the people were left out. It was great. It was cooked up here in Ottawa and everyone said it would work. The bureaucrats said that they could do up the paperwork. The politicians agreed to it. They said that they could make it happen but that they would not answer many questions or give much information. Well, obviously we know what happened there. The Canadian people engaged. When they engaged they ordered 12 million copies of the Constitution.

What bureaucrat or politician would ever have believed that could or would happen, that the Canadian people would engage like that and get involved? Well they did and we know what happened to the Charlottetown accord.

I put forward the same argument for Kyoto. As people understand and as they see what a phoney, eurocentric, bureaucratic document it is, they will say no to Kyoto and yes to a plan, but a plan they have been part of developing and have bought into.

Industry will be on side because industry knows it is good for business to be green and to be environmentally friendly.

What about the provinces? I think the provinces have stated their position fairly clearly. The Prime Minister, probably right now as we speak, is meeting with the premier of B.C., and will be meeting tomorrow with Mr. Eves in Toronto. The only real purpose, it appears, for the Prime Minister to do this is to divide and conquer.

What I saw in Halifax from the ministers was anything but a divide and conquer success story. I saw all provinces, Quebec and Manitoba included, and the territories together saying, “Listen federal government, we want to work on a plan, here are the 12 proposals that we are putting forward and you had better listen to these”.

Of course the response in the House was, “No, I will not meet with the premiers. No, we will not agree to those 12 points”.

Therefore when the minister stands in the House and says that he has the cooperation, we now have two failures. The Canadian people have not been consulted and the provinces and territories do not feel that they have been part of developing the plan.

What about the third aspect of the consultation, and that is with industry. Industry provides the jobs in this country and that includes the small and medium sized businesses. Do they feel that they have been consulted? Ask the chambers of commerce. I ask members of the House to ask their chambers of commerce what they think will happen if they have a rise in their energy costs and if they have to live by restrictions that they were not part of developing. The members can tell me that it will not affect jobs and will not affect the income of a communities.

There is a very important word that we will be discussing over the next while and that is the one of consultation: consultation with Canadians first, consultation with the provinces and territories, and consultation with the people who provide the jobs. When we have those three on side, we have an agreement that will work and is destined to work.

As part of my introduction I want to talk about the ministers of government. I think it is rather interesting where their positions have come to and I would like to quote a few of them. I think these quotes are kind of interesting and will give Canadians an idea of just exactly where the ministers are on this whole agreement.

Let us remember that the Prime Minister has promised to consult fully with every province, to consult with all individual Canadians and to make sure it does not hurt any province or any person very much.

It is really nice, if one is the Prime Minister, to say that it will not hurt the economy or the people. I guess that is what he thinks Canadians want to hear, but is that really what will happen? Until we see the plan and until we know how it will be implemented, how can we possibly do that?

Let us examine a few quotes. This is a letter dated March 26 from the Prime Minister to Mr. Perrin Beatty, president and CEO of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. The letter states:

I have stated that the Government would like to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, but we will only do so once we have a workable plan for meeting our target.

Is it not interesting that on September 2 the Prime Minister decided, probably surprising his own ministers and his bureaucrats, and said “we're ratifying it by the end of the year”.

Let me read what the Prime Minister said to the head of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. He said, “I have stated that the government would like to ratify the Kyoto protocol--”. There is nothing wrong with that. However he goes on to say, “--but we will only do so once we have a workable plan for meeting our target”.

That is pretty important and that will be the first set of words I think that will condemn the Prime Minister to not doing what he said.

The Prime Minister, on March 26, again in the same letter, stated, “I assure you that there is no artificial deadline for a ratification decision”.

There is no artificial deadline and yet a few months later he has a deadline of the end of December 2002.

I am not a lawyer and yet I am putting forward evidence here, using the man's own words, and asking the House whether he is living up to what he said.

Again, the Prime Minister said in a letter “...the emission reductions that have been agreed to in the Kyoto Protocol will not be sufficient to stop climate change...”, so what does that mean? I interpret that as meaning it is probably not going to make much difference. The environment minister confirmed that in Calgary about a month ago when he said there will probably not be a single bit of environmental change in the next 100 years. It will take much longer than that. All of these things are going to happen to us with very little gain.

Let me go on with statements from the Prime Minister. On September 25, 2002, he said, in

The Toronto Star:

We will sign the protocol, we'll ratify it, and we will develop the plan. We will give the framework of the plan, but all the pieces of this plan will take 10 years to finalize.

One might say, well, that is great, he is going to take 10 more years and he has already had 10 years. We must remember that this was started in 1992. But there is one big problem. Article 3 of the protocol states that we will have to show substantial improvement in CO


emissions “by 2005”.

This is stated clearly in black and white. A country must show that it has substantially reduced its CO


emissions. Between 1999 and 2000 we increased our CO


emissions by 5%. In 2000 we were 20% over 1990 levels. Today we are 25% over 1990 levels. How is the Prime Minister going to substantially reduce our CO


emissions? As everybody says, emissions will be another 5% higher by the year 2005. Again I guess it is a matter of the fact that he will not be Prime Minister much longer so he will leave it to the guy he does not like much and let him deal with the problem. As we know, though, that still comes back to the average Canadian I am talking about. It comes back to the family of four, to the single mom or to people on fixed incomes. They are going to have pay the price for the Prime Minister to live up to that commitment, whoever that Prime Minister might be.

The Prime Minister even said in the House that in 30 years our children and grandchildren will be dying from the heat. There is not a scientist in the world who would agree with that. None of the people in the IPCC, in those models, say that in 30 years people are going to be dying from heat. We must remember that the Prime Minister himself said that in 100 years we probably will not notice much change, so how the heck are people going to be dying of heat in the next 30 years when in 100 years they will not notice much change?

Let us look at the environment minister. We talked earlier today on a point of order about the ad during the Grey Cup game yesterday. I hope you will not mind me using this example, Madam Speaker. Just before that government ad that we the taxpayers paid for to try to blackmail and calm the Canadian people, there was a Viagra ad. A guy jumps out of his house and, boy, he is feeling great. He feels wonderful. All the old guys on the street envy him. He bounces over the white picket fence, runs down the street, dunks the ball and does all that stuff. When I saw the Canadian government ad and all its propaganda, I expected to see the environment minister jump over the white picket fence and tell us that there will be floods and pestilence and disease and all that comes with not signing Kyoto. It would have fit. That is probably for the next issue of the ads paid for by Canadian taxpayers.

This environment minister talks about all of these good things. He put out a note to his cabinet colleagues saying that all of us should set an example and have small cars that are environmentally friendly and use transitional fuels. There is one problem with that. Only one person replied. That was himself. The opposition leader at that time, our House leader, applied for one but he never did get it. He is still waiting. So we have one car.

After votes in the House in the morning, how many of us have walked out there along the road and have seen ministers' cars turned off, saving fuel and not releasing CO


? I do not think so. What I have seen is that they are all running. We could not have a minister getting into a cold car. They run for hours and hours and that includes the Prime Minister's car out there. Again, it is typical Liberal propaganda: talk a lot, say they are doing a lot and then do absolutely nothing or the opposite. I would encourage people to start asking their MPs to start asking their cabinet ministers just exactly how committed they are to doing something about the environment.

I have listened to the environment minister many times. I am sure he is a very honourable person and that he really believes in what he does, but when I had that breakfast meeting in Victoria 10 days ago, with all those tables filled with people from the business community, doctors, dentists and other professionals, they said that they did not understand Kyoto. That was in the minister's riding. They do not understand it in the minister's riding, let alone in the rest of Canada, and of course they are getting no help from him.

What about the natural resources minister? He said that the government would not implement it until it knows it will not do any damage to our industry, that we will not have an investment freeze, and that it will all be fixed. I think the only fixing that got done was probably by the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard who fixed the minister pretty good, and it may well mean that he is not going to be in this place anymore.

What about the industry minister? The industry department had an interesting report last week. It said that the government is underestimating the costs of Kyoto by 30%. I cannot help but think of some of the other underestimates that have happened in this place. I was in the House when a minister said that we were going to have this Bill C-68 and it would cost only $87 million. He said they would have it all cleaned up and done right away. It would be smooth and easy with no problems. Within this next year that bill will have cost us $1.053 billion and has probably accomplished only about 10% of what it was set out to do.

The government traditionally underestimates things. I have been talking with the oil industry, for example, which says that the government is working with a figure of 3¢ per barrel. That will be the increased cost. If it is 3¢ a barrel, then the government is right and it really will not make much difference, but nobody I have asked in industry will even come close to 3¢ a barrel. They say that figure is out by hundreds of percentage points, so really how valid is this whole thing?

What about the health minister? As we are talking about cabinet ministers and leadership, she is pretty interesting too. In The Edmonton Journal of September 7 of this year, she said, “An awful lot of countries have ratified Kyoto without a plan and that to me is irresponsible and frightening.” I think she is right on. She obviously knows where it is at. It is pretty irresponsible and frightening to adopt this without having any kind of plan.

Of course, we have talked about the hon. member for LaSalle—Émard. He has an interesting position, which kind of goes like this: “I think Kyoto is pretty good, but, you know, Kyoto could be bad, but it's good, but if we ratify it, we might not, but if we do, we could, but if we don't, well, then, we won't and then it won't hurt anybody and it won't cost anything, and I think that's what we should do”. I think maybe he has to clarify his position a little bit.

I think he has quite a bit of room to manoeuvre, but if he wants to show real leadership this would certainly be the time to do it. He has said in the past that we must have a plan, we have to know how it will be implemented, we have to know what it will cost and we have to work with the provinces and Canadians. That is right on. I just quoted what he really says. I do not think anybody understands. He has said that “Canadians are entitled to know” exactly what the government's plans are and “I don't think you can spend the next number of years working that plan out”. That is a quote from the member for LaSalle—Émard.

He is right. We must have a plan. We have to know how it will be implemented. That is what this whole thing is all about.

I do want to tell the House about the presentation which I have been making at the town halls across the country. Hopefully you will be in the chair tomorrow morning, Madam Speaker, as I do not want to start now because I will not have time to finish. Certainly in my notice to the member across I will let him know that I will be doing that presentation first thing tomorrow just so he can be here bright and early and get a seat.

Let us talk about the polls. Polls are pretty interesting things. Someone said a long time ago in the House that “polls are for dogs”. Other people have said that the polls that are good we believe in and the polls that are bad we do not, but let us talk a little bit about these polls and the polling that is being done.

We must remember that the government has now spent $1.7 billion on Kyoto. What we have to show for that is a bunch of advertising, but most important, the weekly polling that the government does to see where Kyoto is at to decide how fast it will move.

Seeing that the government likes polls so much, I decided that I would do a poll as well, in my own riding. Let me tell the House about this poll. I heard the minister say that we have to represent our people first and I believe in that more than anyone else. Let us talk about my poll. We surveyed 1,230 people in my riding and asked, is climate change a problem? Forty-seven per cent said yes, climate change is a problem. Twenty-eight per cent said no, it is not a problem, and 24% did not understand Kyoto well enough to know whether it was a problem or not.

Next we asked, will Kyoto harm our economy? Eighty-one per cent said yes, it will. Eight per cent said no, it would not, and 10% were not sure. Next was, is Kyoto the right way to deal with climate change? Thirteen per cent thought it was. Seventy-two per cent said no, it was not, and 13% did not know enough about it to respond to that question. As well, the comments are interesting. Of those 1,200 people, over 1,000 wrote comments. I have some of the comments here, very few in favour of Kyoto. That is exactly what I am finding when I go out on the road. That is what I found in Hamilton yesterday. I was supposed to be in Toronto tonight, but obviously I need to be here to help the members understand Kyoto better.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

An hon. member

I think they need help in Toronto.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Anyway, these are the sorts of questions that people ask. People ask, what is CO


? As we remember, CO


is used for photosynthesis. Animals undergo respiration and give off CO


. I am simplifying this. Plants undergo photosynthesis and take in CO


. The more plants we have, the more CO


is absorbed. The biggest absorbers of CO


are the oceans. They are the biggest sinks that there are for absorbing CO


Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

An hon. member

Canadian Alliance MPs, they're the biggest--

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Obviously the member does not know the difference between a plant and an animal. I will tell him about that in another lesson on another day. The member has a long way to go before we get there.

People ask how we will stop our carbon use. Obviously when we go through this plan we will find that the government is saying that we need to cut our CO


release by 20% per person, by about one tonne per person per year. We need to ask what that means.

I refer again to Hamilton because the results were so startling yesterday. I talked about CO


and where it came from, the government's plan to have smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles and that sort of thing. A guy jumped up and said he worked at the Windstar factory which I think is in Oakville. He said what I was saying would affect his job.

Will the manufacturing plant downsize and make smaller vehicles to fit the Kyoto target? It is not likely if its major market is the U.S. Remember that we are a very small market. What may happen to those jobs? They may well move somewhere else. All of a sudden the light bulb came on. He said that would affect him. Yes, it will affect every Canadian.

I was driving 120 km on Highway 401 and everybody else was driving 130 km or 140 km. Everybody was passing me. I looked at those people in the eye and thought, do they know that they will have to slow down or take the train? I do not think they understand that.

The government has not communicated with people about Kyoto. People have no idea that they are going to be affected like that.

I listen to the Europeans talk at some of these meetings. They say we pay 72¢ for a litre of gas. Mind you, that is in Alberta; here it is 66¢ or 62¢. I cannot quite figure that out. I should ask the Minister of Transport why gas is always cheaper here than it is in the place from where it comes, but that is another issue totally.

The Europeans say we should pay $2.50 a litre for gas and that is how we will reduce consumption and change the habits of people. That may be fine in Europe. It may be fine where people can take a train, where there is a train, but there are not many trains in most parts of Canada. It is a big country compared to Europe. It is a big country compared to France, Italy and Germany. We cannot draw the same conclusions that the Europeans draw for this sort of thing.

When we talk about these polls, 78% of people believe that the federal government needs to spend more time investigating the cost and impact of the accord before implementing it. A recent poll says that 78% of Canadians think more work has to be done before this thing is ratified and 71% say it is possible to have a made in Canada solution that would cost the economy a lot less.

That really comes down to Canadians saying that rather than send $1 billion to Russia to buy credits, would it not be better to spend $1 billion in Canada on research and development to become leaders in fuel cells, windmills, or whatever type of high tech we are going toward. The use of hydrogen fuel will be where we are going. At this point, we are not leaders in that area because we do not have a government commitment.

Canadians are beginning to say we will bankrupt the country. We will not have money to put into research and development and a lot of those companies will simply leave in disgust because of the way the government is handling the file.

When we look at this, the support is falling rapidly. If we wonder why the government is speeding things through, we should look at Saturday's Globe and Mail . The headline was “Kyoto support dips as ratification nears”. That is exactly what the government is worried about. It is worried that the longer it holds off on this and the more Canadians find out, the better the chance that they would defeat it. It is just like the Charlottetown accord. The fact that the government is hiding it from Canadians, it is pretty obvious what is happening.

When it comes to the polling that the Liberals do and they use our money to do so, they will get quite a surprise. Canadians will get a surprise when they realize who will really be paying for an awful lot of these things. That will be a huge surprise to them, because certainly the Liberals have not indicated that will be the case.

Let us look at how the plan came about. There was a supply day on October 24. Is it not amazing that on that morning we got a call telling us there would be a briefing for Liberal MPs at 8:30 and for opposition MPs at 9:30. Our briefing started at about 9:40. The Liberal briefing was ahead of that. Is it not amazing that is when the plan came out? It came out the very day that we had our supply day.

If we look at the facts, I think the photocopiers were pretty busy that night. I think a lot of bureaucrats had to work all night putting together the plan, the powder puff, PowerPoint presentation. They had to put that thing together. As we will see tomorrow when we look at the plan, there are some really big holes in it. There are some really stupid statements in that report. Obviously somebody who did not understand anything about science, climate change or any of those issues, had to come up with some of those ridiculous ideas.

I will start with the first draft, the climate change draft plan. I am afraid I will not be able to get through all of it today. I will probably start again tomorrow to refresh everybody's memory so they know where we are.

Let us start off with the general points that are made in the first part. The first statement is that the science is clear. I think we would find a lot of argument among the 17,000 scientists. The many scientists who are now responding to Kyoto would say the science is not clear, that the science is at least 10 years away.

I want to talk a fair amount later on. Of course I know that most members would like me to read into the record, Bjørn Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist. I am sure hon. members would like me to read all of it, but I will just read selected parts of it into the record in a few days.

Let us talk about the science. The government said on the first page, “The science is clear”. I am saying there are a lot of scientists who would disagree with that. Then it says that we can establish a competitive edge by joining the rest of the industrial world, even if the U.S. is not part of Kyoto. I think that is a huge underestimation of the importance of the U.S. market in Canada.

It says that we can just move ahead and ignore the U.S. Well we are not only going to ignore the U.S., we are going to ignore the Americas. We are going to ignore our NAFTA partners like Mexico; we are going to ignore Chile, Argentina and Brazil, all countries that we trade with. We are saying that we can trade with the good guys that sign onto Kyoto.

Let us look at who those good guys are. When we examine who they are and we look at the percentage of our trade with those countries, we know we have some big problems. If 85% to 90% of our trade is with the U.S., how can we make the statement that we can establish a competitive edge by joining the rest of the industrialized world? What kind of a comment is that? Remember that China, the number two producer of CO


, and India, the number five producer of CO


, are not part of this. That makes a pretty big difference.

Let us go on to the next statement. It says that the U.S. may join Kyoto in future and already we will be far ahead of the Americans. The problem is that the Americans are doing something. There are 39 states that actually are going to reach Kyoto targets and better. We have our heads in the sand. We are going to be at 35% more emissions than 1990 and 39 of the American states are going to beat the Kyoto target. We are going to have a competitive advantage over them because we are going to slash 35% of our production? I do not understand the logic of that, yet that is a statement from the power point presentation.

It says that modelling suggests cost impacts will be modest and costs will be offset by investments in technology and other advancements of doing business in Canada, like livable cities, exchange rates and social services. How long have we been trotting out that little thing, that our health care system is the best?

The World Health Organization rated us 30th. We are 30th in the world for health care and we are trotting out that our social services are better than everywhere else. I do not think Mr. Romanow is going to say that on Thursday and that is the government's own report. I do not think our big cities are any more livable than some of the cities in some of the other parts of the world. That is having one's head in the sand and not even knowing it is there.

It says that innovation and technology are the keys to growing the economy while reducing emissions. Boy is that ever true, but when we start buying emissions credits and penalizing business to get them down to this artificial target, how are we going to have the money for innovation and technology?

We are getting the idea from these statements. The government will have to raise taxes. The money has to come from somewhere. Will that make us more productive? I question it.

It says that we must ensure a strong overall investment climate. Let us examine that. Right now we are suffering an investment freeze. EnCana is taking $100 million out of its fourth quarter and putting it into Venezuela. Petro-Canada and all kinds of other companies are holding off on development. We have fourth quarter slowdown in all kinds of industry in this country because of the uncertainty of Kyoto, and it says that we must ensure a strong overall investment climate. We are doing just the opposite. We are creating an investment freeze in this country.

It says that the government has held extensive consultations. I have talked about those consultations. I do not know where they have gone on because Canadians do not feel they have been consulted. Provinces do not feel they have been adequately consulted. The manufacturers right here in Ontario do not feel they have been consulted. The government has held those consultations behind closed doors.

It says that the fundamental approach is national engagement. I am reading from the report. Canadians are just starting to get engaged and are finding out what this is about.

It talks about a made in Canada plan, evergreen, step by step in partnership. I cannot help but think of that Viagra ad, with the minister jumping over his white picket fence and Canadians jumping all around him. Canadians are not there yet. They are not part of this.

It says there would be no undue burden on any sector or region. How many times have we heard that? Tell me that the manufacturing sector, the oil and gas industry and the power plants would not be affected.

Members should recall that over 50% of the energy produced in Canada comes from coal. Coal is the dirtiest producer of CO


. It produces more CO


, and we are 50% dependent on it. What would we do, shut down the coal plants? If we do, what would we replace them with? We could ask Mr. Suzuki if he wants a nuclear power plant in every backyard? Is that the source of energy? It does not produce CO


. I do not think that is a solution.

It talks about adequate and prudent funding. I do not know what that means so I cannot interpret what that is. Funding for what, for whom and from where?

It talks about open process, concrete timelines and no surprises. These are general points of this so-called plan. We will have no surprises. We will know everything. Canadians will know all the costs. I do not know because a lot has to happen in the next few days for that claim to come through.

It says that Canadian participation is necessary for credibility of the protocol. That is putting one's hand right over one's heart and saying, “Right on, guys. You really have it.” Lots of talk, but no action.

It talks about credit for clean energy exports. We must work on energy exports and clean energy credits. This is the best one of all, probably. We are asking the Europeans to give us credit for selling our clean energy to the U.S. We sell lots of gas to the U.S. We are saying to the Europeans to give us at least x number of megatonnes credit for that. But where do the Europeans get their gas from? They get their gas almost exclusively from Russia. If they agree to clean energy credits for Canada, they would have to give Russia clean energy credits for the gas that it sells. Russia already has credits. Why would the Europeans ever agree to give it more? Because they would have to buy them from Russia. Mr. Putin made it clear that he wanted billions of dollars. He did not want millions, he wanted billions of dollars for his clean energy credits.

We send coal to Japan. Are those negative credits because we sell coal to somebody? I guess if we take it all fair and square we would get negative credits. I suppose that is what that means.

It says we need large adjustments through many pragmatic steps. It was getting late as we got through these things and probably whoever thought up these points was getting fairly tired at this point.

The next part of this document goes on to modelling and it talks about how these models work. I am really kind of lucky because I have a daughter who does modelling. She just finished a project with the German government. She is now working in the Netherlands. She designs computer programs and models. Her last project was to design a model for the German government for what the German social requirements would be in the year 2055. That was the model that she designed. She showed it to me. I could not understand a single word of it, but that is modelling.

I asked her about the modelling that the IPCC was using. I asked her to read that section on modelling. In modelling, it depends what one puts in as to what one gets out. This plan says that the overall economic impact would be modest.

That sounds good, but that is because the model used 3¢ per barrel of oil and $10 a tonne for buying emissions credits. Right now it is at $38 but $10 was used in the model.

It says that when this emissions trading begins in the European Union on January 1, it is estimated the price would escalate. The Canadian government says if the Americans are not there the price would not get too high. If the Americans are in, it would be $500. If the Americans are not in, it would be less than $100. However, in the model $10 and 3¢ are used. How accurate is the model? Sure it could say that the economic impact would be modest. Obviously if we were to put in modest numbers we would get modest results, but that is not the reality.

It says the impacts would be balanced across all sectors and regions. How in blazes would that happen? There has been no sector by sector plan. For us to understand that statement we would have to know how much we would penalize each sector: the oil and gas industry, the manufacturers and the automobile industry? How much would each sector have to pay for these credits? That is the only way we could have an accurate model.

It says that the variation in impacts would be small relative to the accuracy of the overall modelling. When we talk about modelling and the 40 models that the IPCC has, these impacts could be very great, particularly economic impacts and what they might mean. Models are only as good as what we put into them and only as accurate as the figures and input items.

It talks about investment and new markets. The Canadian government puts a lot of store in the fact that we would have all these new markets and technology. That is all well and good and I am sure we have Canadian entrepreneurs who would benefit from Kyoto, but the real question is who has the leadership today? We would find, if we looked at Denmark, Germany, or the U.S., that they are leaders in this technology. They started working on it in 1992, after the real conference.

Some of those entrepreneurs said, “There is money to be made here. Let's get in on that”. They developed a phenomenal number of windmills and all kinds of alternate technologies. Canada is not a leader in that area and will not have the jobs there. We have 10 years to catch up before we can do that.

It says that Canadian companies can take the lead in several fields of technology. It does not point out what those are. I guess again that it is kind of a we are going to be leaders in something statement.

It says that investments in leading edge, capital stock, and state of the art technology is key to competitiveness. Is that ever true? However, we have not done that. We have not been investing nor encouraging the development of that technology.

It talks about fair and competitive tax treatment, strategic investments in critical technology and long term technological approach. Translated that says we must have a fair and competitive tax system. Fair and competitive to whom? I believe fair and competitive to our number one competition, the United States.

The United States will not be part of Kyoto. It will develop it on an incentive basis. It is putting $4.6 billion into fuel cell research. What is Canada doing? We are putting $7 million over 10 years into research and development. What will that develop?

It is fine to say that we will have fair and competitive tax treatment and we will have strategic investment in critical technology. Who is investing? We are behind. We needed to start this in 1992 and we did not. We sat on our hands and did nothing.

Risk management is the next topic. “We will work with industry to reduce uncertainties, limit risks and impact on competitiveness”. I guess that means the Canadian manufacturers, the group of industries that have come together as part of a coalition, the oil and gas industry, the chambers of commerce across Canada are saying no to Kyoto and this is saying that we will work with industry to reduce uncertainties, limit risk and impact on competitiveness. Those are fine words. The problem is that is not being done.

“We'll build in contingencies to limit risk of measures”. Does that mean the government will provide guaranteed loans to any industry that wants to develop an innovative project? That might be fine, but the problem is who pays for that. Where does that money come from? Do we take it out of health care? Do we take it out of agriculture? What do we take it out of? Perhaps we could take it out of some of the government waste and boondoggles in this place.

“We will work in conjunction with the U.S.” That is the next item. I am pretty sure calling the President a moron will really help us to work with the U.S. I am sure that makes us really popular in that community. How would we like it if we heard politicians from other countries calling our Prime Minister something? I would defend him. We are in Canada. It is fine for the Americans to call their President something, but it is not for us. That is sure not going to help.

“We will keep open Canada's long term undertaking under the protocol. No commitments for the second commitment period”. Let us talk about that for a minute. We will not commit to the second period. We will only commit to the first. The first is from 2008 to 2012. The next period is 2012 onward. The problem with this whole thing is that we will not be able to live up to our commitments. We will not be 6% below 1990 levels. It is impossible.

What are the penalties? It is fine for the members to say that there are no penalties. There are. When we go through the protocol, we will find a 30% penalty when a country does not achieve its commitment by 2012. Besides that, the Europeans will go to the WTO to impose other penalties on countries that do not ratify Kyoto. That is to go directly after the Americans but we get caught in the crossfire because we will not achieve our commitments either.

When the government talks about risk management, I do not think it understands what that means. There is a big risk in ratifying Kyoto and not living up to it. I have heard Liberals say that they will ratify it just like they have the other agreements. Let me quote the statement of the Auditor General which is very clear. In the 3 documents she went through, 200 binding international agreements have been signed by Canada in the last 10 years. 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 fulfil its sustainable development commitments. The result is a growing environmental, health, and financial burden that our children will have to bear.

That is the record. She audited 60 of those 200 and we received a failing grade on those 60. If we think we will do that with Kyoto, we will pay the penalty. The penalties are clear: a 30% penalty in the year 2012 and we will have WTO restrictions put on our trade. That will not cost anyone anything? That will not cost our exporters anything? I think we had better examine this one pretty carefully.

Let us go on and examine this document. This is the first plan. We had another one which was a stapled photocopy. This is the actual PowerPoint copy. Let us see what we will do. Actions that are underway are 80 megatonnes. We have taken care of 80 megatonnes. Actions that we are planning for are 100 megatonnes. The third category is 60 megatonnes and we do not know how we will do that.

Tomorrow I will examine the 80 megatonnes and then I will examine the 100 megatonnes. God help us to figure out what the other 60 are. The government says that it will be clean energy credits from the U.S. We are not getting those. We can wait until hell freezes over and we will not get those. We can wait until the ninth ice age and we will not get those clean energy credits.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

An hon. member

In 1970 we were supposed to be there already.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Bob Mills Canadian Alliance Red Deer, AB

Yes, in 1970 we had that already.

We do not have a plan for how we will achieve these targets. There is no plan for which industries will commit to this.

We have a gap of 240 megatonnes but let me talk about some of the methods to get to the first 80 megatonnes. Everyone will have to come back tomorrow to hear about those because they are so ridiculous no one will believe them. I know everyone looks forward to hearing about that. Then I will talk about the 100 megatonnes and the 60 megatonnes. I am priming everyone to be ready for tomorrow.

The federal government goes on to say that it has invested $1.6 billion already. I would like to know where that $1.6 billion is. I do not think that much could be spent on CBC advertising. This is the kind of stuff we have. It is pretty glitzy. It is multicoloured. It tells us why climate change is bad and all the wonderful things about the government. It has great pictures and really good stuff, but that does not amount to $1.6 billion. Maybe the PowerPoint thing cost $1 million or $2 million, but we have spent $1.6 billion.

It says that action plan 2000 will lead to a 50 megatonne reduction by 2010. I tried to figure that one out, that is insulating our houses, triple pane glass and all those kinds of things. The industry says that we have saved about three megatonnes. The government is counting on 50 megatonnes. It is a slight different calculation but it is kind of close. It is Liberal math.

This is a good one. We will get 30 megatonnes from agriculture and four sinks. The problem with that is that forestry and agriculture, as far as I understand, are provincial, but we know who will get the credits for these. Who is taking credit for the sinks? The federal government. It will take 30 megatonnes of credit.

How does the government know it is 30 megatonnes? I tried to ask scientists how we would know that. They said that young trees absorb more CO


than old trees. It is just like old people and young people. It is like the member over there. He probably does not eat as much as some younger members do. I again asked one of the “Suzuki-ites” if they wanted to cut down all the old growth forests because they were not absorbing enough CO


. That did not go over that well. I also asked about having some nuclear power plants in every city. That did not seem to strike home very much either.

However somewhere the government will have to figure out how many trees we have and how much agriculture we have to come up with 30 megatonnes. I was told by scientists that the only way that could be done was to estimate all the trees in all the forests and then do the math to come up with the CO


level, but it could not just be done by saying that all forests are the same age. We would have to age the forest and then decide right across the country.

I can sort of imagine the bureaucrats out there driving down the road counting the young, the old and the medium age trees. It should create a really good bureaucracy and maybe all those people who are working in the auto industry could become tree counters and figure out how many sinks we have. I am sure taxpayers would really love to pay for that. We have a lot of questions about the 30 megatonnes from agriculture and forestry sinks.

Does anyone know what the Europeans said about that in Johannesburg? I specifically asked them about that. They said that when they had their meeting in Bonn, Canada was ready to leave Kyoto. They said that they wanted to keep Canada in as their bridge to the Americans so they did a throw away. They gave Canada 30 megatonnes for its sinks and did not give a damn how we came up with that number. It was a throw away to keep Canada in the agreement at the Bonn negotiations last year. When a government does something like that it gives us great confidence that the government really cares about the environment.

I have a lot of material to go through here but let me talk about the 100 megatonnes. The member had to go home for lunch but he will be back tomorrow so he can find out more details. However, regarding the 100 megatonnes, this is the plan. We are going to have targeted measures to support individual action by consumers. Let us think about that for a minute: targeted measures to support individual action by consumers. I guess that means that if I do not buy something that is made from carbon I will get some kind of an incentive.

Something concerns me here. When I built my house 11 years ago I put in triple pane glass and extra insulation. Will I be able to apply to the government and get a credit for that? The Liberals are telling me that they will support individual consumer action. Therefore, if I do something good I should get the payout. Someone should give me the money. I should get a cheque from someone. I think that is what that says.

It says we will have a comprehensive approach to industrial emissions including domestic emissions trading, technology and infrastructure investment and targeted measures. If one were to translate that one, industry would get a cheque too. The only problem is, where will all the money to handle all this come from? We will be getting cheques for emissions and for consumer buying but then it says, “direct government participation in international credit markets”.

Translating that, it says that the Canadian government, with my tax money and everyone else's, will buy credits from Russia or wherever, will transfer $1 billion and will get hot air in return. It will sell those to Canadian companies and Canadian companies will keep putting out the same amount of CO


. I do not understand how that helps the environment. I understand how it could buy fighter jets and how it could provide Swiss bank accounts in those countries but I do not understand how it will help the environment.

We must remember that all Liberals care about the environment. They talk about it. They love it. They will do everything for it except take any action. They are going to buy these international credits. One day we hear government members saying that they will buy credits and the next day they are saying they will not. They are saying that they will buy credits in some parts of the country but in other parts of the country they will not. The Minister of the Environment very conveniently has a different speech for different places.

However the point is that will not help the environment. Kyoto is not about the environment. It started out in 1992 as a transfer of wealth. It was the dirty, rotten north that became rich by exploiting and raping its natural resources and the poor south did not do anything. It was a transfer of wealth from the north to the south. That is how it started. It was a great socialist plot. The Liberals believe everyone should share in all of these things. The problem is that it does not work that way. If that money is sent to a corrupt government that money will be used for F-18s or put into Swiss bank accounts.

It is not going to help the environment. It is not going to help the people. We are sending it to countries that have far worse pollution problems than we do and we have not even started talking about developing countries yet. We will do that later because that is a whole other big issue for Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Hopefully the House can sit extra hours so we can put forward all this material that we have.

What about future actions? The government wants to deal with these. It says that we are going to have partnership initiatives and we are going to save 30 megatonnes. We are going to have technological investments for 10 megatonnes, provincial action for 20 megatonnes, municipal reduction plans, 10 megatonnes, consumer challenge, 7 megatonnes, credits for clean energy exports, 70 megatonnes.

Those are the numbers, but how are we going to do it? What does it possibly mean when the government says it is going to do it? How realistic is it? Where does the money come from? How does it work? What does that mean to the average Canadian who asks, “Is this going to make my fuel bill higher? Are my transportation costs going up? Is it going to cost me more to heat my house?”

That is where that is coming from. It has to come from somewhere. I do not believe the government has any idea where it is going to get those cuts from. Those headings that I read give an indication of how unrealistic this is.

I will wrap up for today by saying that I do not think the government has a plan. I do not think it has a clue what it is going to cost. I do not think it knows how it is going to implement it. We can prove that by looking at the facts.

The government just does not know how it is going to deal with climate change. It is quite happy to con Canadians into believing that it is for their health, that it is for little Johnny's asthma that we are signing Kyoto. It is not about that at all. It is about climate change. It is about global warming. It is about CO


. That is what we will go on to talk about.

I know that the one particular member across the way who has had a lot to say looks forward to the plans tomorrow and how we can develop this in much more detail. I hope he will bring his friends because it is very important that we get to all of these issues.

I am just waiting, Madam Speaker, for you to tell me when I need to sit down for today.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members


Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

Have no fear there will be more tomorrow.

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

Kyoto ProtocolAdjournment Proceedings

6:30 p.m.


Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Madam Speaker, on October 24, I put a question to the Deputy Prime Minister in the House. My question was as follows, and I quote:

Mr. Speaker, it was reported on the news, on Radio-Canada, that some private medical clinics in Quebec are renting out operating rooms to health professionals to perform surgeries. A total of 11,000 surgeries have been performed in violation of the Canada Health Act. The Quebec health minister says “If there are no complaints, I am not taking action”.

It is as though they were saying, “We do not care about the act”.

Still quoting from my question:

My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister. Will he immediately look into the matter?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health answered as follows:

—at present, all the provinces are required to comply with the Canada Health Act. It is very clear that all the services that are medically necessary must be paid for by the provinces, with the money transferred to them by the federal government to provide these service.

Clearly, based on the information we have, one of the five principles of the Canada Health Act has been violated. As far as I am concerned, my question was clear. I wanted to know whether the government is going to look into the matter immediately to find those who are violating the Canada Health Act.

The reply was a disappointment. I was told that the act was in place and must be complied with. I should hope so. We are here in Parliament to enact legislation and that legislation must be respected. That is not the response I was expecting to get from the government.

I was asking what was going to be done to ensure compliance with the act. This is important. We know where the money will end up if there is a two-tier health system. It will go to the private clinics, which want to make money on the health of Canadians, be they in Quebec, Alberta or New Brunswick. The private sector must not be allowed to start making a profit from sick people. My question was clear. I was under the impression that the Liberal government was opposed to privatization of Canada's health care system.

This evening, I am after a more precise answer. The government has had a month to prepare for the question. I would like a clearer response. What does the government intend to do to halt privatization? People are going to start cheating the system. The provincial representatives will tell us that they do not take any action unless there are complaints. That is not a reply, nor is it an acceptable excuse for any government. If they have not had any complaints, here is one for them now.

This is an unacceptable situation and my complaint is addressed to the federal government. I am demanding that the federal government take steps to ensure that the Canada Health Act is complied with in Canada. The private sector is getting paid out of the government's coffers, and this is contrary to the legislation and the five principles it contains.

I cannot be clearer than that. I do not need to belabour the point. I am certain that the parliamentary secretary understood my question to the federal government.

Kyoto ProtocolAdjournment Proceedings

6:30 p.m.

Madawaska—Restigouche New Brunswick


Jeannot Castonguay LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Madam Speaker, it is true that on Thursday, October 24, during question period, my hon. colleague, the member for Acadie—Bathurst, raised a question on a news report about private medical clinics in Quebec renting out operating rooms to physicians to perform surgeries for which patients paid the costs of the physical installations, and the government the medical fees.

The newspapers have reported that the Minister of Health and Social Services in Quebec did confirm that such was indeed the practice in Montreal, but that unless patients filed official complaints about having had to pay for an insured service, as my hon. colleague indicated, his department could do nothing to stop the clinic.

Charging fees to patients for insured medical or hospital services is illegal, under the Canada Health Act.

Following up on this information, Health Canada contacted the provincial officials in Quebec to get more information. If patients are required to pay for insured services, the minister expects the province to take the necessary steps to put an end to this practice. We are pleased to note that, on November 5, on the basis of this information, the Quebec health minister announced through the media that he was contemplating amending the provincial legislation to prevent private clinics from charging patients for surgeries.

Naturally, the Canada Health Act is the cornerstone of our health care system. This vital legislation reflects the government's commitment to a universal, accessible, comprehensive, portable and publicly administered health insurance system.

The act ensures Canadians have access to health care by establishing criteria with which the provinces must comply to qualify for the full amount of the federal contribution to health care owed to them.

In addition to these criteria, the act sets qualifying conditions for cash contributions and deters extra billing and user fees by reducing cash contributions to the provinces by an amount equal to the fees, if any, charged to patients.

If the principles laid out in the Canada Health Act are respected and encouraged, it will be possible to protect and even improve our health care system.

Health Canada takes its responsibilities under the Canada Health Act seriously, and works with the provinces to ensure the principles set out in the act are respected.

The Government of Canada has made a commitment to maintaining the Canada Health Act and ensuring that our public health care system is based not on one's ability to pay, but on people's needs. Canadians expect their governments to work together, the federal government and the provincial governments, to find solutions to problems with the health care system.

We have always preferred to work with the provinces and territories, through consultations and cooperation, to solve problems related to the Canada Health Act.

I would like to thank my colleague for having raised this important issue in the House. Once again, I hope that based on cooperation, and following the statements made by Quebec's health minister, we will be able to ensure that Canadian laws are respected when it comes to health care services.

Kyoto ProtocolAdjournment Proceedings

6:35 p.m.


Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague, the hon. member for Madawaska—Restigouche, for his answer on behalf of the government.

I do, however, have trouble understanding how a province would need to enact legislation in order to comply with an existing law. The Canada Health Act with its five principles is clear: there cannot be a two-tier system. I find that this slows the process down still further and allows other clinics to see the light of day. That is, to my mind, not right.

The legislation is already clear: according to the five principles of the Canada Health Act, no one can get around the law, sneak around it by paying for an O.R. and then asking the province to pay his or her doctor bill. In my opinion, this is contrary to the federal legislation and its five principles. I think that is precisely what the parliamentary secretary said. It is illegal.

I understand the desire to get along with the provinces and that this is the way to do so. Personally, however, I wonder this: what are they going to do when they find out that there have been 11,000 operations? Will it stop then?

Kyoto ProtocolAdjournment Proceedings

6:35 p.m.


Jeannot Castonguay Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, again, I share my hon. colleague's concerns. He can no doubt appreciate how complex the situation is when dealing with federal and provincial jurisdictions. I do hope that, following the statements made by the Quebec health minister, who was going to look into the matter, thanks to our spirit of cooperation and collaboration, he is going to enforce the legislation in his province, so that the Canadians who have access to these services do not have to cover the cost out of pocket.

Kyoto ProtocolAdjournment Proceedings

6:40 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Ms. Bakopanos)

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted.

Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24.(1).

(The House adjourned at 6:40 p.m.)