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


Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Philip Mayfield Canadian Alliance Cariboo—Chilcotin, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have heard the Liberals construct these magic carpets to the state of nirvana before. We have seen gun control. The government has no idea how much it will cost. The wheels are coming off. We have the Nisga'a treaty in which aboriginal people are now preparing a suit because of what the federal government did, which was to give major control to a small, select group of people. Now we have the Kyoto protocol which will solve all the problems of the world. At the same time, we have the Romanow report estimating $15 billion for health care. We have an infrastructure in the country that is worn out. I am wondering if we took all the trucks and cars off the highway if that would forestall the need to rebuild the roads.

Has the government taken into account all of the problems that we have in the country, this horrible mess that has grown since that government came to power? If we were to add up those problems, along with over half a trillion dollars in debt, how in the world will we pay the Russians for credits and still have the money we need so Canadians can live a life here?

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.


Dennis Mills Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I cannot figure out where the member is coming from. The fiscal track record of the government over the last nine years in putting the fiscal trajectory back on track is one of the envies of the world. I think we have been overly obsessed with the fiscal trajectory.

I want to say to the members of the Canadian Alliance that if they get caught on the wrong side of this issue there will be a heavy political price to pay with grassroots Canadians.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Progressive Conservative Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, I would like to address my comments to the member for Toronto--Danforth and to the member for Don Valley West.

Clearly, the consensus from the scientific respect is that climate change is real and that a progressive country like Canada needs to have a progressive climate change strategy, whether or not we are in Kyoto. Even if we did not ratify, Canada would still need a progressive climate change strategy.

What I am saying to both members is that we cannot implement an accord of this nature without the active participation of the provinces. We painstakingly earned their support on a bilateral basis when we implemented the acid rain protocol. Therefore, ratifying an accord without their support means we cannot implement the accord.

Does the hon. member agree, as we agree, that this vote is not about whether Parliament endorses the ratification of the accord, but that it is a guise. It is camouflage for the Prime Minister over of the fact that he does not have provincial consensus and, moreover, that he still does not have a plan.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Dennis Mills Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has shown repeatedly his capacity to interact and work with the provinces. It has always been a friendly and constructive joust between the provinces and the national government. I think we would be doing something wrong if we did not have a joust with them. That is just the nature of the way we are governed in this country.

However it does not mean we are not listening. It does not mean that we are not taking into consideration all those valid concerns that are being presented to us, by not just the provinces but by all interest groups.

I do not understand where the idea comes from that we are not listening to those valid concerns that we design a pathway to make it better.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Gary Lunn Canadian Alliance Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will start off with a very bold statement, that Kyoto should not be ratified. It is based on uncertain science with new doubts coming to light almost daily. It is based on poor economic models which hide the serious damage that will occur to Canada's economy. It will direct limited resources away from much more serious, more imminent problems that we need to address now.

The minister likes to feign an intellectual superiority on this topic. In fact, it is merely an empty arrogance hiding the problems with Kyoto that he knows exist. The tale he tells is filled with sound and fury but it still signifies nothing.

How did we get to such a low point in Canadian international relations? Why did Canada sign an agreement that will hurt our economy and our standard of living but that will not hurt any other country like ours? Part of the answer lies in the Prime Minister's failure to understand the strange combination of political cynicism and environmental idealism that came together in the 1997 Kyoto negotiations.

In short, the only reason Kyoto was started in the first place was that the U.S. failed to stop it. President Clinton, for domestic political calculations, allowed the Kyoto protocol to go forward in 1997 thus trapping Canada into a bizarre economic suicide pact. At least part of the U.S. government had no intention of going along with this scheme.

On July 25, 1997, before the Kyoto protocol was negotiated, the U.S. senate passed by a 95 to zero margin the Byrd-Hagel resolution. This resolution stated the senate would not ratify any protocol to the framework convention that would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States and that did not include binding targets and deadlines for developing countries.

The U.S. never had any intention of signing onto this. Going into Kyoto, the outcome was far from uncertain. No deal would be struck, U.S. negotiator Melinda Kimble was promised, without meaningful participation of key developing countries and realistic emissions targets. Specifically, the U.S. sought only to reduce global emissions to 1990 levels by 2010. The American negotiators initially refused to budge despite a barrage of biased media reports and UN sanctioned lobbying by hundreds of environmental activists. In the midst of the deadlocked negotiations, on December 8, 1997 then Vice-President Al Gore flew to Kyoto.

Here is where we get into the strange combination of political cynicism and environmental idealism. Gore had long demonstrated considerable environmental idealism. Gore had not only environmental interests in getting the U.S. into Kyoto, but also a political one. He was already thinking ahead to the 2000 presidential race. He wanted the U.S. to sign the Kyoto protocol in order to burnish his green friendly credentials as part of his election strategy.

Still, Gore could not agree to the Kyoto protocol without the permission of then President Clinton. Kyoto offered no benefits politically to Clinton. The senate, Republicans and Democrats, rejected outright the European plan even before the conference had begun. Clinton did not need any more fights with Congress.

Political analysts at the time speculated that Clinton and Gore reached the following agreement. Clinton would allow Gore to sign the Kyoto protocol but the protocol would not go to the senate for ratification until Clinton was out of the White House. Gore could not use Kyoto as proof of his green credentials in the 2000 campaign. If successful, he could attempt senate ratification in his own presidential term.

This is what happened. The Clinton administration signed the Kyoto protocol on November 12, 1998 but did not submit it to the senate for ratification. Whatever the reasons, Gore at Kyoto instructed U.S. negotiators to show increased negotiating flexibility. Three more days of protracted negotiations ensued. The delay was needed to allow the U.S., the EU and Japan to broker a deal on their individual allocations. In the end, the countries agreed to a 5.2% global reduction target by 2008 to 2012. Developing countries were exempted from having to make any reductions and only developed countries would have emissions reduction targets imposed.

The EU, however, was allowed to share out its reductions as it pleased among its member countries. Thus some EU members could increase greenhouse gas emissions over 1990 levels while others might have to make larger reductions. As for us, our Prime Minister simply wanted to out-green the Americans. That was the mandate they were sent to Kyoto with. As Gore collapsed on the U.S. position and raised the percentage of emissions cuts below 1990 levels, Canada followed along.

The ultimate irony is in the end, the Prime Minister did not out-green the president. The U.S. settled at a 7% reduction and Canada settled for a 6% reduction. Then, significantly, George Bush was elected as President of the United States in 2000 and in March 2001 he declared the U.S. would not ratify the Kyoto accord. There were no surprises there.

The rejection by the U.S. placed the future of Kyoto in serious doubt. First of all, the Kyoto protocol will only enter into force after it has been ratified by at least 55 members of the United Nations framework convention on climate change, including developed countries representing 55% of the total 1990 carbon dioxide emissions. The U.S. produces 36% of these emissions and its absence may make it difficult to bring the protocol into force.

Why did the Prime Minister make the surprise announcement of a vote on ratification at the Johannesburg summit in September? Here is a speculation. The Prime Minister is attempting to reverse the Clinton manoeuvre. Where Clinton could not ratify Kyoto, the Prime Minister believes he can. Where Clinton used Kyoto to help his potential successor, Al Gore, the Prime Minister seeks the opposite, to place Kyoto as a millstone around the neck of his potential successor.

The Prime Minister may get the last laugh on the member for LaSalle—Émard by taking credit for ratification while leaving the painful details of implementation. It is an entertaining political power play for pundits to comment on, but the Canadian audience has little to applaud about it, for the one simple, stark reason that putting the Canadian economy into the Kyoto straitjacket threatens economic strangulation. With the United States outside of Kyoto, the whole package makes no economic sense. The emissions credit trading scheme starts to unravel.

In a letter leaked to the media, the Minister of Industry acknowledged as much in writing:

When the United States changed their position on ratifying Kyoto, it dramatically changed the playing field for Canada.

Despite the grandiose rhetoric, this debate is something of a farce. Pro-Kyoto members are left with politics of fear to win the day. They would have one believe that the science and economics are clear and we need to move forward at breakneck speed to prevent a global meltdown. However, the facts do not support these doomsday pronouncements.

The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change comes four years after signing Kyoto and still readily admits there are many unknown factors that could significantly affect its conclusion. To suggest pro-Kyoto science is unquestionable is not true. Thousands of scientists have gone on the record expressing their concern with climate science, a far cry from the 10% sliver that the minister alluded to in his speech.

Dr. Khandekar, a former research scientist with Environment Canada who has a Ph.D. in meteorology wrote:

Hundreds of climate scientists in Canada and around the world are now beginning to question the validity of projections made with today's insufficiently verified climate models.

Dr. Pat Michaels, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia wrote:

The Canadian government and pro-Kyoto supporters believe that there is widespread agreement on the science of Kyoto and that Canada should just move on with ratifying the accord. Nothing could be further from the truth.

On November 25, 27 climate specialists sent a letter to the Prime Minister calling on government to delay ratification. In the words of these specialists:

Delaying ratification for a short period so as to allow proper science consultations to take place will do absolutely no damage to Canada or the environment and is unquestionably the prudent and responsible course of action at this time.

The group includes both presenters and reviewers of the 2001 IPCC report.

Does all this evidence mean we should assume global warming, bio-anthropogenic or human intervention is false? Not at all, but we should acknowledge the uncertainties. Given the drastic cost to Canada, we should resolve them before we ratify Kyoto, not after.

As I said earlier, Canada is one country worse off under the accord. Russia will gain credit for closure of factories that have already closed. The EU will jointly benefit from the closure of east German plants that have ceased production post 1990. Economic predictions vary. The federal government admits Canada stands to lose $15 billion and 250,000 jobs by 2010. The private sector estimates these numbers to be as high as $40 billion and 450,000 jobs.

The much vaunted IPCC report's economic models are now being seriously questioned. The National Post reported that the head of the IPCC will be doing a complete review this month in response to the serious concerns from experts that economic projections used in the IPCC emissions scenario are technically unsound.

Kyoto is a misallocation of resources. It does not address harmful airborne particulates. It does not safeguard water quality. It will not reduce acid rain or smog. This is where our efforts should be focused, not at some pie in the sky thinking that Kyoto is going to green the earth and save the environment.

Those who oppose Kyoto are branded either as heartless fronts for industry or as those who do not care about the environment, as if they did not have children of their own. Polls show that the more Canadians know about Kyoto, the less they support it. Kyoto proponents resort to tactics which are reminiscent of colonial witch trials. Their minds are made up and woe to anyone who tries to confuse them with the facts.

The Alliance is determined that Canadians hear all the facts prior to ratification. We support a strong economy and a sustainable environment, two things that Kyoto simply cannot deliver. Let us put an end to the rhetoric and deliver a real plan for addressing our environmental needs.

On October 24 members stood in the House and voted that they would not ratify Kyoto until we had a plan that Canadians understood, a plan that showed all the costing, that showed the cost of the Kyoto accord, that showed the cost to the economy. Members voted in the House that we should not ratify this accord until we have that.

The government seems to have total contempt for the Canadian Alliance motion that it supported. It seems to have no desire to present those facts to the House.

The government comes along with its PowerPoint presentations and its slide shows, but there are no details. It is an empty shell and we are supposed to believe the government. It is becoming more clear that the more Canadians learn about the Kyoto accord, the more information they find out about it, the more they learn that it will not plant a tree, that it will not clean the stream, that it will not clean up the air, that it will do none of those things, they start to question why we would sign such a crazy agreement. Why would Canadians ratify such a ridiculous agreement that will cost them thousands and thousands of jobs?

We have to continue to push the Canadian people to make sure they understand that the government is attempting to lead them down the garden path on this, that it is not coming clean. Of course when we ask questions of the minister in question period and he does not have an answer, he resorts to arrogance. He resorts to pretending he has a superiority of knowledge on the subject and that the rest of us know nothing.

Nothing could be further from the truth. When we start digging into the details, we find that this is an absolute economic disaster for Canada. It will only get worse. There is no way we should allow this to proceed.

There are a number of other areas in the Kyoto accord that are important for Canadians to know about. The Canadian negotiators negotiated a bad deal.

We could look at countries such as Australia, which has a larger economy than ours. It negotiated to be 8% above 1990 levels. Canada negotiated to be 6% below 1990 levels, our own attempt to try to one up the Americans and we failed to do even that.

The economics are not there. It is simply a disaster for Canada. The government is planning on exporting tens of thousands of jobs out of the country on its emissions trading scheme.

When we look at the minister's latest plan, and again I would not call it a plan, it is more of a slide show, the numbers simply do not add up. By the government's own numbers it is up to 30 megatonnes to 60 megatonnes short of reaching what it said it would do. It is almost 25%. How could we possibly believe anything the government presents to us when it is that far off track?

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

The Speaker

I am afraid the hon. member will have to save the remainder of his speech until after question period. We all will look forward to his remarks then.

Auditor General's ReportGovernment Orders

2 p.m.

The Speaker

I have the honour to lay upon the table the report of the Auditor General of Canada for the year 2002.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)( e ), this document is deemed permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

Queen's Jubilee MedalStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Hélène Scherrer Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, on December 8, I will have the honour of presenting the Queen's Jubilee Medal to 20 of my constituents.

These medals are awarded to Canadians who, in the past 50 years, have helped make Canada the country that it is today.

Each one of these recipients has made an exceptional and exemplary contribution in various areas to the betterment of our community, and their sustained commitment goes beyond what is reasonably expected of paid workers or volunteers.

I am proud to publicly recognize the contribution of these outstanding citizens in the riding of Louis-Hébert and to present them as models for our young people, who will have the responsibility of shaping the future of our country.

Congratulations to all of them.

Hepatitis CStatements by Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant Hill Canadian Alliance Macleod, AB

Mr. Speaker, not giving compensation to hepatitis C victims from tainted blood continues to haunt the Liberal government in Ottawa.

The RCMP has recently charged senior Health Canada bureaucrats with very significant offences. The time period which has been identified by the RCMP for those offences is between 1980 and 1990. That means some alleged activities that resulted in RCMP charges took place before 1986, the artificial date chosen by Liberals for compensation to victims.

One forgotten victim, who is dying from tainted blood related hepatitis C, asked the following question. “Why should I, infected before January 1, 1986, be abandoned when federal officials are now facing prosecution for negligence prior to 1986”. What answer can the Liberal government give to her?

Winnipeg Chamber of CommerceStatements by Members

2 p.m.


Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, on November 12 my Manitoba caucus colleagues and I met with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce to discuss its strategic plan for our wonderful city. Its mission is to promote an atmosphere in which Winnipeg business can flourish.

The Winnipeg chamber's strategic plan is comprehensive, including strategies on improving Winnipeg's image, a competitive taxation policy, attracting a skilled workforce, helping the city to become a centre of technology and innovation and attracting investment capital. It proposes a business development initiative through trade, networking, access and engaging in the retail sector. It includes an aboriginal employment initiative, a Manitoba employers council and a military affairs committee.

The strategic plan is built around a long term economic strategy, and I believe the goals can be reached with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce taking a leadership role for the community.

Public-private partnerships are essential for the economic well-being of a community. I congratulate the Winnipeg chamber on its efforts.

Christmas Daddies TelethonStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Mark Eyking Liberal Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to pay tribute to one of my constituents. Freddie Lavery is a well known Cape Breton musician and entertainer. He is also a generous and committed man.

In 1977 Mr. Lavery appeared for the first time on the Annual Christmas Daddies Telethon, a telethon dedicated to the less fortunate. Twenty-five years later he continues to play an important part as the telethon's music director.

Each year the Christmas Daddies Telethon raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to help the less fortunate in our society. I might add that this past Sunday, Atlantic Canadians and especially Cape Bretoners once again showed their generosity. This year Atlantic Canadians raised over $600,000 for Christmas Daddies, with Cape Bretoners raising over $200,000.

Throughout all the years of the Christmas Daddies Telethon, Freddie Lavery and many other local entertainers and volunteers have devoted their time to this worthy cause.

Persons with DisabilitiesStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


R. John Efford Liberal Bonavista—Trinity—Conception, NL

Mr. Speaker, promoting independent living and sustainable livelihoods, the Canadian inspired theme for this 10th International Day of Disabled Persons, is made possible by the collaborative work of many people, their families, organizations and governments.

Indeed, Canadians have witnessed great change since a special parliamentary committee on the disabled and handicapped released a now landmark “Obstacles Report”.

I am pleased that the government continues to work with people with disabilities and all Canadians to ensure that obstacles continue to be broken down, particularly in the workplace.

We hope the momentum has been created that will see increased awareness and understanding of the challenges facing people with disabilities, as well as their enormous potential.

Persons with DisabilitiesStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Reed Elley Canadian Alliance Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure today to rise on behalf of the Canadian Alliance and as a father of a disabled child to endorse the theme of the United Nations 2002 International Day of Disabled Persons.

This day draws attention to persons with disabilities and serves as a reminder to all parliamentarians that certain laws need to change to ensure that there is a fair and level playing field.

Today I am also pleased to welcome to Parliament Hill Mr. Michael McCulloch and his father Peter. Mike and Peter live in Duncan, B.C., in my riding of Nanaimo—Cowichan, and are part of the large community of disabled persons and their caregivers from all across Canada.

Today is the day to celebrate the many achievements of persons with disabilities, but more needs to be done. For instance, we need a broad review of the federal tax system, which now gives a greater tax break for business lunches than for the purchase of new wheelchairs.

Federal departments need to be forced to respond to complaints from people such as the one filed two years by disability groups over the VIA Rail purchase of used passenger rail cars that had inadequate access for persons with disabilities.

These are only two of the many issues which face disabled persons today, yet they still face their futures with great courage and in the face of great odds. I salute them.

Innu Healing FoundationStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Lawrence O'Brien Liberal Labrador, NL

Mr. Speaker, today, in Toronto, Innu nation president Peter Penashue and Inco Limited chairman Scott Hand are hosting a reception in support of the Innu Healing Foundation. Inco is announcing a major contribution to the foundation's “Building Hope” campaign, toward its goal of establishing recreation centres and programming for Innu families.

The Innu Healing Foundation was established to combat the challenges facing the Innu children of Labrador. Under the honourary patronage of Her Excellency the Governor General and the direction of corporate and Innu community leaders, the foundation has been modelled for public-private partnership and is an integral part of the Innu healing framework.

I extend congratulations to the Innu Healing Foundation for its leadership and to Inco for its continuing corporate citizenship in Labrador.

Persons with DisabilitiesStatements by Members

2:05 p.m.


Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral Bloc Laval Centre, QC

Mr. Speaker, December 3 is the International Day of Disabled Persons. This day is an opportunity for all to recognize the major challenge that some 4.5 million Canadians and Quebeckers face every day.

This year, we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the International Day of Disabled Persons, which was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1992. Its theme, “Independent Living and Sustainable Livelihoods”, gives us an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to disabled persons through the implementation of political and economic integration programs and by remembering the fundamental principles that are essential to an egalitarian community and are the very foundations of inclusive reforms.

Society is characterized by its diversity. Each person is part of it, brings something to it and makes it better. The International Day of Disabled Persons is a unique opportunity to publicly recognize the dignity of disabled persons as full fledged citizens.

Queen's Jubilee MedalStatements by Members

December 3rd, 2002 / 2:10 p.m.


Paddy Torsney Liberal Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal was created to celebrate Canada's most extraordinary citizens.

On November 17, I had the honour of presenting this medal to 20 exceptional individuals in the riding of Burlington: Dr. Mo Ali, Lt. N. Stephen Cooper, Richard Dawson, 2nd Lt. Kristopher Elliott, Martin Franchetto, Officer Cadet Sean Frankham, Elizabeth Grandbois, Shirley Harrison, Herb Hilgenberg, James Hornby, Lt. Col. Cliff Hunt, Mira Khattab, Sgt. Daniel Lauzon, Master Warrant Officer Jim McCoy, Helga McTaggart, Violet Pick, Major Allan Rathbone, Yvonne Roach, Harry Sproule and Garth Webb.

I would like to thank these exemplary citizens of Burlington for their commitment to our community and our country. They make us all proud to be Canadian.

Kyoto ProtocolStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deborah Grey Canadian Alliance Edmonton North, AB

Mr. Speaker, the political world of the member for Edmonton West is experiencing its own global warming. The greenhouse gases are getting downright hot.

The health minister knows that her vague, indecisive gaseous emissions on Kyoto will simply no longer do. Within the few days, she will have to either vote for or vote against the Kyoto protocol.

The member knows the terrible damage that the national energy program did to the economy of western Canada 20 years ago and that another discriminatory program like that will create a prairie wildfire that will sweep across the Liberal benches. She knows that the feel-good ads her government is running are misleading and delusional because the Kyoto accord only addresses 3% of greenhouse gases. She knows that a made in Canada plan to reduce emissions and grow the economy is far better than the made in Japan plan.

We will add a little heat to her as well. This morning that member said in the House that her first commitment was to Albertans. If she will not vote for the constituents out west, why should they vote for her?

79 Lynton Davies SquadronStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


John Maloney Liberal Erie—Lincoln, ON

Mr. Speaker, 2002 marks the 60th anniversary of the 79 Lynton Davies Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets in my riding of Erie—Lincoln. The squadron was formed in 1942 and was named after Mr. Lynton Davies, the first Port Colborne resident to join the RCAF at the start of World War II.

The cadet group has been active within the community in numerous ways, participating in Remembrance Day services, highway cleanups, food drives, band concerts, ethnic day parades and many other community events.

This squadron provides excellent training in the fields of discipline, teamwork and many other lifelong skills. Some of these young cadets have learned to fly under cadet programs and have gone on to distinguished military careers.

I would like to thank Mr. Lynton Davies, squadron trainers and all the squadron alumni for serving as great role models for these youths and taking a special part in their lives.

Persons with DisabilitiesStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, today is the United Nations international day for people with disabilities. People with disabilities are able and willing to contribute to their communities with their hearts, their minds and their efforts. They simply need assistance in overcoming barriers to participate to their fullest potential.

Unfortunately, our society, including our governments, remains insensitive to their needs. As a very simple example, the UN still calls today a day for “disabled people”, a phrase that only defines a person by their disability. I call it a day for people with disabilities, because we should always see every person as unique and able in their lives.

This international day should be a reminder that Canadians with disabilities deserve respect and equal citizenship and it is our job as parliamentarians to make that happen. We should be a society that values their contribution, instead of one that throws roadblocks in their way.

Today, let us rededicate ourselves to the goal of equal social, economic and cultural opportunities for these valuable Canadians.

Agrifood ProcessingStatements by Members

2:10 p.m.


Michel Gauthier Bloc Roberval, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in the House to denounce the government's doublespeak, with different versions depending on whether there is a by-election going on, as was the case in Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, or whether the speaker is here in the ivory tower of Ottawa.

While the Liberal candidate for Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay, flanked by the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord and the Secretary of State responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, was voicing his opposition to the region losing its agrifood processing sector, the Minister for International Trade was authorizing new permits for Parmalat and Kraft Canada to import cheddar cheese duty-free.

As a result of that decision, the two companies have each begun to import 250 tonnes of cheddar-type cheese.

Is it not scandalous for the voters of Lac-Saint-Jean—Saguenay to be told one thing while, at exactly the same time, the very opposite is being done here in Ottawa?

The Liberals ought to—

Agrifood ProcessingStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Shefford.

Persons with DisabilitiesStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.


Diane St-Jacques Liberal Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, one disabled child in three lives in a family whose income is below the poverty line. Moreover, the taxation measures currently in place do not benefit families whose incomes are so low that they pay no income tax.

This government acknowledges that low-income families caring for a severely disabled child face particular financial difficulties because of the special support and special care required by that child.

On this International Day of Disabled Persons, I wish to remind hon. members of the government's expressed intention in the Speech from the Throne to initiate targeted measures for such families.

We all need to continue to work in close collaboration with our partners, that is the provinces and territories and the disabled community, to ensure that these families in need receive better support.

Recognizing the disabled person's need for dignity and independence, we are building a society and a country in which there is a place for all Canadians.

Town of AsbestosStatements by Members

2:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

André Bachand Progressive Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, the residents of Asbestos have been fighting since September to save their mine and their town.

On Wednesday, close to 3,000 people, or half of the population, took part in a solidarity march.

Today, we are celebrating the temporary reopening of our mine. Thanks to the tenacity of our people, particularly Bernard Coulombe, and thanks also to NASA's space program, the town of Asbestos is breathing a little easier.

But this is no guarantee for the future. The federal government must get involved in a program for our older workers, in maintaining the mining company and getting it back on its feet, in diversifying the economy of the town of Asbestos, and in a real policy promoting the use of asbestos.

The town of Asbestos wants to live and so it shall.

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Canadian Alliance

Stephen Harper Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the worst part of the Kyoto accord is the international emissions trading credits scheme, whereby Canada buys credits rather than actually reducing emissions.

Recently members of the government and the Liberal Party have been speaking both for and against these things. They are suggesting that one can be for Kyoto but against this particular part of the accord.

To be clear, when the government ratifies Kyoto does it intend to ratify the whole accord including sections dealing with international emissions trading?

Kyoto ProtocolOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Victoria B.C.


David Anderson LiberalMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, when we ratify the Kyoto accord we will be ratifying the Kyoto accord.

However, I must tell the hon. member who appears to be in doubt that what we have for implementation is a made in Canada plan. That made in Canada plan has said specifically, as we have said many times in the House, it will not include the incorporation of the so-called Russian hot air; in other words, a reduction which has no impact on the environment by reducing emissions.