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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.

Topics

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to 31 petitions.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Liberal Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the first report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration entitled “The Safe Third Country Regulations”.

In that report, under recommendation 2 on page 9 and page 19, there is a correction to be made. The section should read 159.6 rather than 156.9.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Williams Canadian Alliance St. Albert, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the third report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, on chapter 13 “Other Audit Observations ( Parc Downsview Park Inc.)” of the December 2001 Report of the Auditor General of Canada.

I also present the fourth report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on chapter 1, “Financial Information Strategy: Infrastructure Readiness” of the December 1, 2001 Report of the Auditor General of Canada; and pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)( e ), its examination of chapter 7 of the April 2002 Report of the Auditor General of Canada “Financial Information Strategy: Infrastructure Readiness and Strategies to Implement Modern Comptrollership”.

I also present the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on chapter 4 “Voted Grants and Contributions: Government-Wide Management” and chapter 5 “Voted Grants and Contributions: Program Management” of the December 2001 Report of the Auditor General of Canada.

Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts requests that the government table a comprehensive response to these three reports.

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

We congratulate the hon. member for St. Albert on his French and encourage him to continue.

Verbal Abuse Prevention Week ActRoutine Proceedings

December 3rd, 2002 / 10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Hillsborough, PE

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-320, an act to establish Verbal Abuse Prevention Week.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to re-introduce my private member's bill, formerly Bill C-414. The bill would establish the first week of every October as verbal abuse prevention week.

I have sponsored the bill again in the hope that it will bring to the forefront the seriousness of verbal abuse in our communities, homes and schools, and the importance of raising people's awareness on this topic.

I have received a great deal of support for the, bill, both from the constituents in my riding and from across Canada. The bill deserves to have a second chance in the House of Commons and be voted on by members of Parliament.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions from my constituents in Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca. The first one calls upon Parliament to protect our children by taking all necessary steps to ensure that all materials which promote or glorify pedophilia or sado-masochistic activities involving children are outlawed.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition calls upon the government to make the coast guard an independent body, whose priority is the saving of lives, separate from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, with all the necessary resources for staffing and equipment, including a new hovercraft, to enable it to perform rescues of those in peril.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-De- Beaupré—Île-D'Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition signed by a majority of the residents of the Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île-d'Orléans riding and by many residents of the greater Quebec City area.

The petitioners begin by stating their opposition to further filling in of the Beauport flats bordering the river.

Next, they urge Parliament to intervene and to turn over the management of recreational property bordering Beauport bay, as well as the bay itself, to an organization that will develop its recreational and tourism potential, while fully respecting the environment.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to table four petitions from the Inuit of Nunavik, specifically from the Puvirnituk, Kuujjuaq, Umiujaq and Ivujivik communities.

They point out that the federal government, through one of its departments and police forces, ordered the killing of Inuit sled dogs in New Quebec, between 1950 and 1969.

The federal government did not consult the Inuit communities in New Quebec.

The killing of these dogs has had tragic social, economic and cultural repercussions on the Inuit of Nunavik.

In closing, no effort was made by the federal government to put in place corrective measures to help the Inuit of Nunavik maintain their way of life.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Cheryl Gallant Canadian Alliance Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from the people of Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke asking Parliament to recognize that the Canadian Emergency Preparedness College is essential to Canadians for emergency situations, that the facilities should stay in Arnprior and that the government should upgrade the facilities in order to provide the necessary training. It is particularly important at this time because now the college is forced to turn away people from municipalities that are seeking training at a potentially high period of alert.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Canadian Alliance Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by constituents of Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys. The petitioners are asking Parliament to ensure protection of our children by taking all the necessary steps to ensure that all materials which promote or glorify child pornography and that exploit children be met with swift punishment.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have three petitions today. The first one is on the issue of child pornography.

The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that child pornography is abhorred by the majority of Canadians and that the courts have not applied the current child pornography law in a way which makes it clear that such exploitation will always be met with swift punishment.

The petitioners, therefore, call upon Parliament to protect our children by taking all necessary steps to ensure that all materials which promote or glorify pedophilia or sado-masochistic activities involving children are outlawed.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is with regard to the family. It is a petition that has been presented in this place probably over 200 times since I have been a member.

The petitioners would like to draw to the attention of the House that managing the family home and caring for preschool children is an honourable profession which has not been recognized for its contribution to our society.

Also, the petitioners would like to point out that the Income Tax Act discriminates against families who make the choice to provide care in the home to preschool children, the chronically ill, the aged or the disabled.

The petitioners, therefore, call upon Parliament to pursue initiatives to eliminate that tax discrimination against families who decide to provide care in the home to preschool children, the chronically, the aged or the disabled.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Liberal Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the final petition has to do with stem cell research. The petitioners, who believe, as I do, that life begins at conception, would like to draw to the attention of the House that Canadians at large support stem cell research. However the real issue is where those stem cells come from.

The petitioners want to point out that non-embryonic stem cells, which are also known as adult stem cells, have shown significant research progress without the immune rejection or ethical problems associated with embryonic stem cells.

The petitioners, therefore, call upon Parliament to focus its legislative support on adult stem cell research to find the cures and therapies necessary to treat the illnesses and diseases of suffering Canadians.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

Geoff Regan LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I suggest that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:15 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House resumed from December 2 consideration of the motion, and of the amendment and of the amendment to the amendment.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

10:15 a.m.

Edmonton West Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan LiberalMinister of Health

Mr. Speaker, this morning I will be splitting my time with the member for Winnipeg South Centre.

Everyone agrees that we must take up the challenge of dealing with climate change. It is morally and practically the right thing to do.

As Minister of Health and as an Albertan, I believe action is necessary. There is little dispute about the fact that greenhouse gases are changing the global climate. We now understand that there will be a broad range of direct and indirect impacts on our health and well-being.

However, deciding how we will take up this challenge raises a number of issues critical to our national interest, prosperity and well-being. One cannot discuss climate change without also addressing matters as fundamental as our long term environmental sustainability, our economic well-being and the functioning of our federation.

Unfortunately, I believe climate change and its very real and serious consequences have become sidelined in the minds of many Canadians and in its place we have a politically charged, rhetorical debate around the Kyoto protocol and its specific targets for Canada, targets that can only be met with substantial sacrifice and a determined effort on the part of all Canadians.

Let me be frank this morning. I wish the process that has led us to this vote on ratification could have been different. However, now the most important issue becomes how we as a country develop and implement a plan to meet our commitments.

Our pledge to all Canadians must be to work with all our partners on an implementation plan that promotes our economic competitiveness and is fair to all regions and sectors.

There are certain key principles that must inform our plan and its implementation.

First, we must do nothing that will undermine or limit our potential economic growth and prosperity. There must be no caps on growth and there must be no caps on the growth of any sector of our economy.

Second, no region or province can be expected to bear a disproportionate share of the costs, direct or indirect, of meeting our commitments. This is a national challenge, a national project. The public benefits will be shared nationally and so must be the burdens.

Third, our implementation plan must provide the certainty needed by business to ensure continued investment and economic growth. I am particularly interested in those sectors known as the large emitters. These are energy intensive industries that are key to the economic prosperity of our country.

They include the oil and gas industry, the electricity industry and the mining and manufacturing industries. These sectors are dealt with specifically in the government's climate change plan and are the only sectors in the Canadian economy from which specific greenhouse gas emission reductions, not more than 55 megatonnes, are required.

Canada can only make its contribution to the global problem of climate change from a position of economic strength. Therefore we know that we must provide the certainty needed by the large industrial emitters who will be the engine of our continuing economic prosperity.

These companies operate in an environment of great economic uncertainty. Within this environment their hallmark is their ability to make multibillion dollar investments that can span decades. They have been instrumental in building our country. For them, Kyoto adds a new complexity. For them, Kyoto adds a new kind of uncertainty, an uncertainty not yet well understood. These sectors already have made important contributions to greenhouse gas emission reductions through investments in and the application of world leading technologies.

They will continue to do so, but we must be clear about what we are asking of them. With respect to Kyoto risk, we owe them as much certainty as possible so they can explain their Kyoto obligations clearly to their shareholders and their investors. They are not yet in a position to do so.

I and others have been working to provide the details necessary for the large industrial emitters to be able to plan for their obligations under the Kyoto protocol. We are making progress in: defining achievable reduction targets; agreeing to flexible compliance options; addressing price risk; and setting out the longer term policy certainty necessary for long term investment.

More remains to be done and I am committed to seeing this process through.

The government understands the need for long term certainty. When I was the Minister of Natural Resources we implemented the recommendations of the oil sands task force. We recognized the long term nature of the major investments oil sands development required and we put in place the fiscal and policy certainty necessary to allow these investments to be made. As a result, this sector has enjoyed unprecedented growth to the benefit of Albertans and all Canadians.

My fourth and final principle is one about which I feel very deeply. We must build a strong collaborative partnership to meet the challenge of global warming, a partnership in which we must all be involved and be included.

To date, this process has been criticized by many as lacking in this spirit of partnership. On matters of national interest, we have an obligation to listen to each other, to hear each other and then show the flexibility and the understanding that has guided the development of our nation in the past and which now, more than ever, are required as we turn to face together the challenge of climate change.

Those are the principles that I believe we must follow. They capture, in my view, preconditions for implementation. They are also principles that I am confident will be applied. However, if those principles were not to be applied, then my choice would be a simple one. My first commitment is to Albertans. I know that the government will not turn its back on Alberta, nor will it turn its back on the energy sector, which means prosperity for all Canadians.

In conclusion, I will support the resolution before this House. In combating climate change, we are fulfilling that most basic responsibility of us all: to leave our world in a better condition than that in which we found it. However we would do that very cause a disservice if our means are ones that erode public confidence or undermine our long term interests. We must combat climate change but we must do so in the right way.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

Canadian Alliance

James Rajotte Canadian Alliance Edmonton Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, in my hon. colleague's speech she went back on what she said earlier. She said earlier, “My view is very clear. One cannot make an informed decision on the ratification of Kyoto until you see the plan, until you know what the components of the plan are, how they will impact on the different provinces, industrial sectors and consumers, and who will be paying what”.

She stated that publicly and she knows that this plan fulfills none of the conditions that she outlined for her own support of the ratification of this accord.

Furthermore, she knows that in the energy sector in her own province projects are being scaled back, particularly in the oil sands, because of the investment chill caused by a lack of a plan by the federal government.

How could she support a Prime Minister who did not have the decency to inform her before he went to Johannesburg and announced his support and his intention to ratify this before the end of the year? How could she say this is working together with the people of the province of Alberta when in fact the Minister of the Environment has gone out of his way to alienate the provincial government and the people of Alberta?

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Liberal Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I will speak to that which I know that I am doing and others are doing in this government on behalf of a key industrial sector about which I have spoken this morning, the large emitters, including the oil and gas sectors, as opposed to, quite truthfully, trying to undermine the economic well-being of this country as the opposition does with its scare tactics.

What we are in the process of doing is in fact providing the very certainty that is necessary to ensure that the large industrial emitters will continue to prosper and continue to be a key component of the economy in this country.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

10:25 a.m.

Bloc

Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, you invited us to make a few comments. I will make only one.

As members know, the Government of Quebec agrees with ratifying Kyoto. Nonetheless, the National Assembly of Quebec asked for four things: that the allocation formula take into account the reductions achieved since 1990 and those that will be achieved by 2008; that the manufacturing industry be treated equitably and not be assimilated to the energy sector in the allocation of emissions rights, in order to balance the efforts required of all the major economic sectors; that the allocation formula for the energy sector favour sources of energy that emit less carbon; and that a bilateral agreement be signed with the Government of Quebec.

I would like to have the minister's reactions to these four points.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Liberal Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think it would be inappropriate for me to comment on a number of those points because they would be much more appropriately addressed by my colleagues, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Natural Resources.

However, in relation to an overarching desire on the part of all of us and all industrial sectors to have certainty, I could not agree more. In fact that is where I have directed my efforts over these past number of months. I will continue in the weeks ahead to direct my efforts to providing our key industrial sectors with the certainty they need to continue to grow and prosper.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson NDP Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to first thank the hon. Minister of Health for indicating her support for the ratification of the Kyoto accord, particularly as Minister of Health she is well aware of the very serious long term concerns about the impact climate change will have on the health of Canadians.

I want to ask a very specific question. The minister has spoken of the importance of certainty. She has talked about the importance of assurances to the large industrial emitters. Another very important area of certainty is the question of the impact of the Kyoto accord on workers and communities that will be affected. She knows the CEP union is very supportive of the Kyoto accord but it has called for just transition strategies to ensure that not just large industrial emitters but that workers and communities also are treated with equity and with fairness in the process of ratifying and implementing the Kyoto accord.

Could the minister indicate what steps the government is taking to ensure that just transition strategies are in fact in place for workers and communities affected?

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

Anne McLellan Liberal Edmonton West, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think the specifics of the hon. member's question, which is a very important one, would be better addressed by my colleagues, the Minister of the Environment and Minister of Natural Resources.

However I would hope that everyone in the House embraces the principle. It is very important for individual communities and workers in those communities. If in fact there are impacts as we move forward with the implementation of our commitment to reduce greenhouse gases, we have to be very sensitive to the fact that there may be industries of one sort or another that will be in transition. We need to work together with those industries, with the employees, with the communities and the provinces to ensure, and we have made it very clear, that no one province, no one region, and I would even add no one community, no one set of workers must bear a disproportionate burden of whatever the costs are as we move forward to deal with greenhouse gas emissions.