House of Commons Hansard #41 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was plan.

Topics

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Strahl Canadian Alliance Fraser Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, because of the closure motion these speeches are short. I will present the Coles Notes version with what is wrong with several of the claims on the Liberal side. I will go through them and debunk them, because it is difficult, as the member from north Vancouver said, to find any honesty in the debate on the Liberal side.

Liberals claim they had to invoke closure today because they must get this thing passed this week. That is nonsense. The parliamentary secretary to the House leader said this vote means nothing because the government has the power in cabinet to approve and invoke this with or without Parliament. Closure is the first of the lies. There is neither a need for closure nor this vote.

The Liberals claim to have a plan on implementing Kyoto and that they have consulted. However, there is no plan. This is a sleight of hand slide show of the worst order. This is a complete public relations war. It has nothing to do with facts, implementation, credible to do lists, financial instruments or any ideas in concrete measure on how this would take place. As the health minister said during a presentation last week, she cannot explain this plan to the oil business in her riding. She cannot explain it because it is unexplainable. No one knows how it works.

Given what the government has done to the gun registry this last week and the revelations about that, this should strike fear in everybody's heart. The government does not have any dollar figures in place and there is no plan. It is just bad from the word go. It claims to have consulted the provinces but the provinces say that is not the case. The provinces are not on side. Eight of the ten provinces say there has been inadequate consultation. What they want is a first ministers meeting to sit down with the Prime Minister to ask how this would work, but that has been denied. There has been inadequate consultation.

The government says it has consulted Canadians. That is not true. I put out a household survey in my riding where 1,100 people responded rather quickly. Approximately 80% said they did not support Kyoto, 15% supported it, and 5% said they did not have a clue what was going on. In every case the more information people get about Kyoto, the less the support. In other words, when they know more, they say no more to the Kyoto agreement. It is a case in point.

Liberals say it is about pollution but it is not. We should be clear about that. It is primarily about CO

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emissions. It is not about air pollution nor about particulate matter. It is not about the stuff that causes asthma nor about the smog that bothers people in Toronto or Vancouver. It is not about stopping the SE2 project in the Fraser Valley. It would have no effect on that. It would have no impact on pollution. It would not clean the water nor clean the soil. It would not preserve the environment. It is about CO

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emissions. Let us be clear, it is not about all the nonsense we have heard the Liberals spew.

The Liberals claim the economic impact would be small but that is not the case. In fact, let us be charitable and say they do not have a clue how many jobs would be lost but the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters say anywhere from, taking the Liberal number, zero to 450,000 jobs. The impact would be large, not as the Liberals are saying. They claim our national competitiveness would not be hurt but that is simply untrue.

Our major trading partners are not signing this accord. They will not sign it because of loss of sovereignty and because they say it is unworkable. That is why we are the only country in the western hemisphere that is signing on, the only one in north and south America. The United States is not signing. The major polluters of the world, China and India and many others are not signing because it will not work. They will not sign on and it will affect Canada's competitiveness we can be sure.

The government says the costs are affordable but again, it has a plan of the day. Today's plan is that it would cap the price of emissions trading credits at $15 a tonne. Now it cannot be more than that or else what? Or else the taxpayers would subsidize businesses to continue polluting. It is ridiculous. Of course there would be costs to this and they are huge.

Liberals say they are united on that side. That is a good joke. Watching the environment minister and the natural resources minister at the same conference when the environment minister said that we should ban SUVs. The Minister of Natural Resources said, whoops, he had four of them. Every Canadian should know there would be an impact on what we drive, on how we heat our homes, and the size of home we can afford. There would be huge impacts. That side over there does not have a clue. The Liberals do not have their act together even among the cabinet.

The government's environmental policy is a sham of the worst order. As an economic policy it is a disaster from coast to coast, not only in energy producing provinces, but in every consumer's home. As a Liberal political strategy this is a dead end loss. I guess I should be thankful for that except for the damage it would do to the country.

As a feel good Liberal policy it is typical of what I expect from the government. It is a disaster for the country. We should vote against it. I will be proud to do that when the opportunity comes tomorrow.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Rick Laliberte Liberal Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, this gives me an opportunity to speak about the Kyoto protocol which I was fortunate to see at its inception in Kyoto in 1997. The debate has come a long way. It has taken five years of consultation which according to the opposition has been fruitless with the provinces.

It is time for Canadians to stand behind our leader, the Prime Minister. He has taken this opportunity to point us in the right direction. This is a global matter and an issue for us to address on the state of how much energy we are selfishly using when compared to a global perspective.

In terms of the science that has been presented before us, such as climate change, the United Nations has worked on it. The scientific debate took place for many decades before it came to fruition in 1997. Scientists did not all of a sudden flick on the light in 1997 and say here is the situation in the world. Scientists, over numerous decades, have been pointing out to us that we are selfishly using energies that are limited on the planet.

My riding is in the wilderness and I want to speak from that perspective. In my region we have huge opportunities for resource development. I am talking about northern Saskatchewan which is a relatively untouched region of Canada. My region straddles the border with Alberta and the tar sands. I am sure there is an equal amount of opportunity and resources in my region as in the province of Alberta. We must raise the issue of sharing resources which was done in the Canadian debate at Kyoto. When I addressed the issue at the provincial level I always viewed Canada as being able to deal with climate change and the Kyoto protocol, and to be put in a bubble. The European Union addressed and symbolically put its emissions in a bubble so it could look at its calculations, emissions and commitments within the European bubble.

This is the way I view Canada as well, in a bubble, from the east coast and the west coast, right up to the northern coast. We have huge responsibilities but also huge benefits. It is not only the burdens of Kyoto that fall upon our shoulders. We also have an ample amount of benefits.

We can look at the carbon sinks as part of the Kyoto protocol. Carbon sinks are now being recognized and counted as part of our Kyoto emissions and the sequestering of carbon.

In terms of looking at the opportunities for the forest industry and the people that occupy and live in the forest, here is an opportunity to start measuring what kind of carbon sinks and sequestration takes place in our regions. We know when new growth happens with saplings, trees, grass or grains or any kind of agricultural practices that take place there is a sequestration of carbon.

There are huge tracts of bog and muskeg in northern Canada that is an important life source for our planet. We must be careful on how we deal with and use these important regions of our country. The boreal forest that stretches from Labrador all the way across the northern half of all the provinces and into Yukon is a vital part of the equation.

The other part I wish to speak about is the present day resource extraction and the benefits that would take place within those regions, and how the regions are not sharing those benefits. We know the debate in Alberta has been quite selfish. However, I would like to see some national vision of what the impacts would be for our energy and the proper sharing of our resources within those regions.

I come from a region that has huge deposits of uranium. Uranium has been used for the generation of power in many parts of the world.

We must also be conscious. The word conscious is an incredible word because science is a part of the word conscious. When I was in Kyoto I had an opportunity to attend a gathering of all the scientists who declared climate change as an opportunity for humans to correct their mistakes. They said that before the industrial age was off and running the scientists were connected to the spiritual community of the world.

When the industrial age came about, the scientists and the moral, spiritual community split. Ever since then scientists have been on their own without necessarily the consciousness, the moral questions of their discoveries, and the repercussions of the science they are working on. The scientist who addressed the Kyoto convention said that it was time that the planet began bringing consciousness back to science. That is what I am talking about.

Today we talk about investments. We are concerned about investments that would not come our way. I am sure that in the whole global picture of investments there are people who have a consciousness of their money and where it goes. In the whole global picture of science, there are scientists who have consciousness. This is what I am saying. It is time for Canadians, and with great recognition to our leader the Prime Minister, to recognize that there is consciousness in this country. We are aware that we are disrupting the climate of future generations. This climate that we call sacred, that we call life, is a life preserver for us. The atmosphere holds all our oxygen and life space. If we are not cognizant that we are damaging this life space, we must make corrections.

Scientists have told us that we are making mistakes. We have made mistakes and it is time we made corrections. The Kyoto protocol is a small measure toward addressing climate change. Canada, as a huge emitter, is small compared to the global emissions. If we can start being a role model to people who dream of being citizens of Canada, people from all over the word, the overpopulated regions, the underprivileged regions, and the people who do not have food and basics of water who want to be in our society, let us have the decency as a society to give them a role model that is worthy of generations to come. The generations to come are the children and their children who we will never know. They will be our descendants. Our ancestors before us may have made mistakes, but the consciousness that we carry tell us that we can correct those mistakes.

This is a great opportunity for us. One of the greatest opportunities I had was revisiting how our communities function. I always thought, living in the bush in a northern aboriginal village, that the ideal situation was an urban centre having: a remote control left and right; SUVs and 4X4s parked outside; the biggest outboard engine; and the biggest Ski-Doo engine. That is what we aspired to. However we have hit a caution sign, a stop sign. Let us not dream of these high tech, high powered, and high energy units that we are using.

I became aware that maybe the solution is back where we came from. Just a few years ago there was a village opened in Quebec called Ouje-Bougoumou. The village was designed for low energy use where one stove heated the whole town, the whole community. The cost savings from which they benefited and the savings on emissions by utilizing a district energy system for an entire village brought them to an international exposition in Germany as the village of the future.

I live in northern Canada. I used to think that my village was a village of the past. However now the latest world expo is pointing to our northern villages as being villages of the future. Why is that? Let me use our clotheslines as an example. Why are we abandoning our clotheslines? When I grew up there were clotheslines in everyone's backyard. Today people use heavy duty washers and dryers that have a heating elements that suck power to dry our clothes. Maybe it would be better to use a low tech clothesline in the basement or if allowed in backyards.

Maybe this debate should started five years ago when we came back from Kyoto. Individuals who are now five years old and entering school maybe can realize that we did make a mistake with our industrial age and with our heavy use of energy.

Maybe it is time for the Americans to be given an opportunity to see that there is a better way of living. Canada probably is the worst example of a country taking on climate change. Canada has the harshest climates. Canada has the highest cost of energy than any other area in North America. We have the highest cost of living compared to anywhere else in North America. However we are willing to take on this challenge and that should be a message to our neighbours, the United States.

Maybe we can show that Canada can take the full benefits of Kyoto, that we can take our technologies to and challenge our young people with our innovation agenda. Let us take it to our young people who are now going into universities. Maybe they can find technologies to correct our housing use, our energy use and our manufacturing.

All this is about efficiency and a healthier and productive future for our country. We are looking at the betterment in terms of savings from our mining industry and our oil and gas industry. I do not mean to preach to the converted over there. We do care about what happens in Alberta. Canada with its Kyoto commitments should be viewed like a bubble. This is an opportunity for the whole country to take an issue that is global and show that we can excel and improve our social structure.

If we are willing to share the burden of Kyoto, we must show that we are also willing to share the benefits. We must share the benefits throughout the country. I am speaking as a person who comes from the bush, from the forestry industry, where we do not have high economic opportunities. Maybe Kyoto will afford us these opportunities. Maybe this is an opportune time for us to put research centres along the mid-Canada corridor of the northern half of each province so we can look at what is happening in northern Alberta and northern Saskatchewan and see if the same thing is happening in northern Manitoba. We can share opportunities. We can find better ways to build our houses and our villages. Maybe we can find better ways to improve our travel.

I come from a region where we do not have public transportation. There is no bus service available to service the northwest region of my province. We are faced with a very big challenge in terms of development. Speaking as someone from an undeveloped region of Canada, this is an opportunity that will allow us to look at our basic society and challenge ourselves so we can live in a better and healthier environment by improving our carbon dioxide emissions.

All races of the world were in Japan representing many different countries. We listened to the debates that took place there. The United Nations had its fullest representation there. We heard the rhetoric that there was no need for Kyoto and no need to act on it while there.

It was suppressed because then vice president Gore had a strong view on the environment and spoke soundly for the White House and its administration. However we heard the strong rhetoric from the right wing, the Republicans, in protection of oil and gas. That still permeates today.

I ask Canadians to take a serious look at our climate change plan is for Canada. Let us look at what we can do in our own communities. Let us look at what we can do for our homes, for our provinces and for our country. Most of all, let us look at what can we do for our planet because our future generations are at stake.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

5:40 p.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak in this very important debate on the motion to ratify the Kyoto protocol.

When debating this issue, we must think about those who will come after us, that is, young people. We must think about the distant future. That is why in Quebec, few people have criticized the fact that Canada has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 6% below 1990 levels, by 2008 or 2010.

We are talking about the future. In Quebec, there is another reason. The Government of Quebec and all Quebeckers have already made an effort to use hydroelectricity, which has less of an impact on greenhouse gas emissions of course. Many things have been done in this respect.

Nonetheless, there is still a lot to do. We must think about developing new energies such as wind energy. Canada does not have a very good track record in this respect, compared to other countries.

In Germany, 35.8% of energy used, or 8,753 megawatts, comes from wind power. Germany is a world leader in this form of energy. In the United States, 4,245 megawatts, 17.3% of their energy, were wind-generated. In Spain, the figure is 13.6%; in Denmark, it is 9.9%; in India, which is not a rich country, it is 6.2%; in China, it is 1.6%; and in Canada, it is 0.8%. Half of Canada's wind energy is produced in Quebec.

In Quebec, regions such as Cap-Chat and Matane have already developed wind energy. Nonetheless, there is extraordinary potential in eastern Quebec, the North Shore and Îles-de-la-Madeleine. There are people, researchers who think and seriously consider that this could be installed on off-shore platforms.

I listened to researchers speak of how blowy these regions are—and they might well blow their own horns as far as tourist attraction is concerned as well—how exposed to the wind they are.

The wind does not blow equally everywhere, on all shores and all hills. Where there are hills, mountains or other elevations, this affects wind direction, as well as strength. According to the researchers, there is room for improvement, although it is very good at present. For instance, in areas where the river is shallow, platforms and pillars could be constructed. There are major possibilities.

The whole goal of this is to emphasize a certain aspect. I may be faulted for looking out for my riding, but that is precisely what I was elected for. The platforms I am referring to are very much like the oil drilling platforms required to exploit offshore oil.

Now, as for the type of construction required for such platforms, the Lévis shipyards are one of the main companies that have developed expertise in this area in Canada. Obviously, then, there are many possibilities as far as platforms and turbines are concerned.

I raise this point because I believe it is in keeping with research and experimental trends for further development of this technology. It already is quite efficient, as can be seen from the list of countries I have given. More use could be made of it in Canada. I see that the Minister of Natural Resources is listening carefully and I appreciate that. He has already indicated that he too has an interest in this matter, as does his department. It is not something far-fetched, when such countries as Germany, the U.S., Spain, Denmark, India and China are involved. They are leaders as far as this type of energy is concerned. I think it is worthwhile taking it further.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, wind power creates more jobs per dollar invested than any other technology, more than five times the figure for thermal or nuclear energy.

The European Wind Energy Association has calculated that for each megawatt of wind energy that is installed, some 60 jobs are created per year, and another 15 to 19 direct and indirect jobs. Therefore, in 1996, the 3,500 newly installed megawatts in Europe would have created 72,000 jobs. Obviously 72,000 jobs would be welcome anywhere. Some regions are better suited to it than others. The creation of jobs in resource-based regions such as the Lower St. Lawrence, the Gaspé Peninsula and the North Shore would be one solution. We must think about development in the regions and about young people leaving. We know that every province in Canada is experiencing this problem; we must think about it.

Many people are critical of certain interventions. For example, Davie. This fall, there was a great media flurry criticizing the fact the Government of Quebec and the federal government for intervening in the case of Davie, by awarding it a contract. People said that the decision was a bad one and that we had to let free markets decide. However, everyone agrees that there is a role for the government to play in job creation in big businesses in certain sectors, including wind energy. Not only does it create jobs, but it also has an impact on our desire to leave a better environment for those who will come after us.

There was a time when industrialization created a great many jobs. Unfortunately, it also affected the environment. It affected the climate. In Quebec alone, for example, the levels of the St. Lawrence have changed more quickly in recent years than in any other period. We are not talking about returning to the ice age, but there has been more change than at any other period. Global warming is causing glaciers in the Arctic and Antarctic to melt. All of this is causing an upheaval that is producing more severe and more frequent natural disasters.

All we have to do is look at what happened in the Saguenay, what was called the Saguenay flood. It caused dams to collapse and there was damage caused by the flood. There was also the ice storm in Quebec.

In the United States, some regions are more susceptible to tornadoes and hurricanes. Observers around the world have noticed that there have been an increasing number of strange meteorological phenomena and that some regions are getting warmer, while others are getting colder. Nothing is black and white, but there are sufficient observations that people are increasingly surprised and worried about the issue.

Everybody recognizes that there is a reason the Kyoto summit led to a protocol to control greenhouse gas emissions.

On behalf of the Bloc Quebecois, I reaffirm our support to the ratification of the Kyoto protocol. Tomorrow evening, we will not be voting on the implementation of the Kyoto protocol, but on its ratification. We support ratification of this protocol.

Of course, when the time comes to implement it—negotiations between the federal and provincial governments have already begun; some rather interesting discussions are taking place and concerns are being voiced—some conditions will have to be complied with.

Again, we agree with ratification of the Kyoto protocol. However, as regards its implementation, the Ottawa plan uses 2010 as the reference year, that is the year when each province or sector of the economy will have to begin to make specific reduction efforts. We feel that this approach is unfair, because it does not take into account past and current efforts, and because it encourages polluters to pollute even more between now and the year 2010.

Polluters should not be rewarded, nor those who are already making efforts penalized. Ottawa—that is, of course, the federal government—says that it is prepared to fund projects in the hydrocarbon industry. In the past, the federal government gave 20 times more money in direct subsidies to the hydrocarbon industry than to renewable energies.

The Bloc Quebecois is asking the federal government to pledge to give one dollar to renewable energies for each dollar invested in the hydrocarbon industry.

The federal government has developed an unfair plan that benefits the industries that pollute the most. The principles that make it worthwhile to ratify the Kyoto protocol call for another way of doing things.

Again, the polluter pay principle, whereby those who pollute the most are the ones who must reduce their emissions the most, is not being applied adequately. This is a matter of fairness. The Bloc Quebecois has made proposals that are, in our opinion, the most equitable and beneficial.

As far as respect of provincial jurisdiction over the environment is concerned, there must be an acknowledgment that the federal government has jurisdiction over the environment, if only for certain phenomena such as the air and water that move from one province to another. There we have to recognize federal jurisdiction. But there are also provincial jurisdictions over the environment, natural resources and manufacturing, and these must be taken into consideration.

In short, we make a clear distinction between ratification of the Kyoto protocol and its implementation. We are convinced that it needs to be ratified, based on a number of principles to which we are deeply attached and which need to be reflected in implementation.

I would like to remind hon. members that all parties in the Quebec National Assembly also agree on ratification of Kyoto. There is a consensus on this in place in Quebec.

I personally agree with the approach of the Quebec minister of the environment, Mr. Boisclair, who wishes to see a bilateral agreement between the federal government and Quebec. Obviously, we have no objection to the same thing being done between the federal government and the other provinces.

This would be desirable, because as we watch this debate evolve in the House, we can see the regional differences that exist as far as interests, and potential problems, difficulties and constraints relating to application of the Kyoto protocol are concerned.

But for Quebec, when we refer to taking past efforts into consideration, we are thinking of the entire matter of credit allocation for past efforts, for which there ought to be recognition.

At the same time, this is a debate in which it might be hard to avoid partisan politics.

Personally, I think that ratification of the Kyoto protocol will require efforts from everyone, particularly when it comes to consumption. Without meaning to judge or criticize those who drive SUVs too harshly, when I see big vehicles in downtown Quebec City or Montreal, I have to wonder what the use is of having such a big, gas-guzzling engine to drive on city streets, at reduced speeds. The roads are smooth and even. It is not as if they were driving in the forest.

I represent Lévis, but I come from the Lower St. Lawrence, where there are a lot of forests. I can understand that this type of vehicle is useful for forestry workers, but in the city, one has to wonder.

In order to reduce traffic problems in the downtowns of cities, whether it be Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto or Vancouver, I think we need to take this opportunity to think more about public transit. The ideal would be to have high speed trains for longer distances, but I am also talking about commuter trains. I know some people from Mont-Saint-Hilaire, in Quebec. A commuter train was added there to allow them to get out of the downtown area. There are a number of commuter lines on the North Shore, near Montreal. It is an idea that works and that contributes a great deal to easing traffic congestion downtown.

People in Quebec City are starting to talk about the idea. I am from the South Shore, but there could be public transportation to connect the South Shore, which would reduce the number of cars on both bridges and on the ferry. I mentioned these two cities because that is where there is the most urban transit and traffic jams.

During the week, I live in the Outaouais, in the riding of Hull—Aylmer. There is a great deal of traffic there. Why is there no commuter train between the Outaouais and downtown Ottawa?

I know that all the members from the Toronto area could talk about rush-hour congestion. This is a major problem. It is also a problem in Vancouver. I imagine it is the same in Calgary or Edmonton. This is a common problem, and we should all give it some thought.

Hydro-Québec did a lot of research into electric motors for vehicles. Research is advancing rapidly, but it will not be applied for a long time. In the meantime, I think it is important to have a debate like the one we are having tonight.

I know that not everyone agrees. In a democracy, however, diverging opinions need to be respected. I realize that Alliance members have expressed concerns. They are looking after the interests of their constituents, and I think we must respect that. At the same time, the debate allows us to disagree, but also to move in our thinking towards consensus.

We will never exhaust the subject, but I want to draw a comparison with firearms. Yes, it is one thing to control guns, but the Firearms Act led to a debate. This debate increased awareness. People thought that money needed to be spent to change the attitudes to violence.

The same is true for the environment. I am pleased to have been able to speak on this issue. I hope that my non-partisan suggestions will be heard. The Minister of Natural Resources is nodding a yes, which I appreciate.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to speak on this extremely important topic for Canadians as well as our future generations. This is not a new topic. I have been in the House since 1993 and debate and discussions on it have been happening for many, many years. People have many concerns about it.

I remember sitting in the House when a former leader of the reform party, Preston Manning, said that the science was wrong. He said that climate change was a natural phenomenon and that it had happened for years before and really the science was not there. He said that the science did not support the position that through human activity, through the use of fossil fuels, we were increasing the temperature on Earth and therefore we were having climate change.

Canadians and the world community recognize that we have gone past that now. Every credible scientific organization has said that we are creating this problem through human activity and unless we respond as a global community, the problem will get worse and we and future generations will have serious problems. That is why the world community came together. People from every country came together because this was seen as a serious global problem. There have been many years of discussions and conference after conference after conference. Everyone understands that it is very difficult to get the world community to agree on something. To bring all the countries together and agree on something is very difficult.

However, In Kyoto it was agreed that we as a global community have to deal with the global problem of climate change. That is why they agreed on the protocol.

The developing countries have said that those in the western world, the industrialized societies that have benefited from their developments should be the first to make sure that they play a role. No one country can do it; it requires the resources of all countries, of everyone coming together. No one sector and no one individual can deal with climate change. We need to do it as a global community and we need to do it as a society.

Originally the debate was about whether there really was a climate change problem. We have gone past that now. I think that members in the House of Commons have recognized that we have a climate change problem and something needs to be done. I have heard everyone say that. Nobody disagrees with that. We have all said that there is a problem and we must respond to it. Everybody says they want to do their part.

With the Kyoto protocol we wondered whether it could be done on a voluntary basis. Did we really need an agreement for the world community to come together? Over the years it was determined that we could not do it on a voluntary basis. Therefore Kyoto developed a framework wherein all countries under the protocol would have to reduce their emissions levels by 6% below 1990 levels so that it was consistent and fair. Of course some countries have a bigger challenge depending on their own internal economies. They agreed on it.

We were there. Canada played a very important role in developing it. The government played a very important role in making sure that Canada got credit for such things as sinks, which recognize the way we manage our forestry and the way we manage our agriculture. We were able to contribute to the Kyoto protocol.

Then we had to decide whether we would be able to fulfill our requirements as a country. We wondered if it was reasonable for us to fulfill our responsibilities in dealing with climate change.

I must say that this is only the first step. This is a very small step of the many more steps required to truly deal on a long term basis with climate change. We as a country had to come together and decide if it was cost effective. Is the cost manageable for us as a country? Is it realistic? Do we have a realistic plan to deal with climate change? That was when the discussions started taking place with the provincial and territorial governments and with industry.

We had ongoing meetings with them asked them to work with us on a detailed plan to see if we could really deliver on our part of the bargain in terms of the Kyoto protocol. Provincial and federal working groups were established. They came and brought modellings. This is a very complicated issue. It is not that easy. They looked at all sorts of modelling, including macro-modelling, as to what it would cost for Canadians.

The modelling, which was done both federally and provincially, came to the agreement that the costs would be .3% to .7% of our GDP over a 10 year period of time. If we break that down on a per year basis and average it to the middle of those two numbers, which is .5%, it is about .05% a year, a number that they round off whenever they talk about growth in the economy because it is not very significant.

These numbers were developed by federal, provincial and territorial governments when they did the modelling on what it would cost the country. They did not take into consideration all the other areas such as technology which would also help us. I think Canadians would agree that the costs over a 10 year period of time, if we take the average of the two points which is .5%, is a reasonable cost for our future generations and for our children.

I, like a lot of other people, when I became of Minister of Natural Resources, had some concerns. I said that we had to do a due diligence, that we had to ensure that we had an understanding of what the costs would be, that any plan would be reasonable and would not create an unfair burden on any one part of the country or one sector of the economy. We have moved on that and for the last year we have been doing our due diligence. We have been doing our consultations. We have been looking at the modelling.

As a country, we can manage the numbers that have come out. The costs are reasonable for our future generations as well being important from a global perspective as well. We set out a detailed plan as to how we would deal with these costs, a plan that would be affordable and would outline what we could do, whether it be municipalities in terms of the building code or whether it be industry.

One of my responses as the Minister of Natural Resources is to look at the large emitters and companies. We want to ensure that they can still compete and that they can continue to sell their products to other parts of the world. We need to have a clear understanding of what it will cost the industry. We need to deal with the risks. We need to deal with the uncertainties because, as someone from the business community, I recognize that if we cannot deal with the uncertainties people will not make investments.

We started meeting with the large emitters and they said that they had a number of concerns. One was they wanted certainty on the quantity. They wanted to know exactly what large emitters and industries we would be required to do. They did not want to hear it would be one figure one day and another in two years time. We said that was a very good point. What we have done is given them the certainty. We have said that the large emitters will be required to do their part by reducing by 55 megatonnes.

They also said that they needed assurance that they would have some flexibility because different sectors would be affected differently. We asked how we could deal with a situation that did not affect everyone and they asked for that flexibility.

We have said yes. If we want to do covenants, which is something other countries have done, such as Britain, we are willing to leave the door open to that. We are willing to sit down and discuss covenants so we have the flexibility to deal with the different needs of the different sectors and different industries. We have said clearly in our plan that covenants are something we are willing to sit down and discuss.

The third item they were very concerned with was if the price per tonne of carbon was way above the cost of what we were predicting. The government had said that it thought the costs would be between $5 and $10 a tonne for carbon. Many of our models are based on moving from $10 to higher levels, but we essentially have said as a government that we think it will stay that way.

Industry said that it thought it would be a lot higher and that their numbers were different. They said that if the federal government thought it would be within that range, then the government should give the industry some certainty and if the price was higher, the government should give industry some certainty.

Just today I announced that we would cap it at $15 per tonne. We are very confident, because the international community has shown what it could be and we believe that it can be done within that. This is another uncertainty. The business community had some legitimate and bona fide concerns. As a government, we sat down, we listened to its views and we responded.

We also said that some companies did a lot of work in the past and that we should recognize that. We have said that we would ensure that if companies have done work in the past, they will not be disadvantaged in any way. Companies have done it in some ways because it benefits them and it makes good business sense.

I remember in the 1980s, when I was in the business world, we converted our fleet to propane. Why? We were saving 50% on fuel every month, our payback was a period of 12 to 18 months and there was a reduction in maintenance costs. That is why we had people on alternative fuels, natural gas and propane. It helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and also helped our environment. It was also good business, where businesses were saving money, were becoming more efficient and energy was being used more effectively.

We have tried to listen to the industry and we have responded in a way that will deal with the uncertainties and the risk.

There are a lot of opportunities, as well. Too often we have not talked about the opportunities for Canadian businesses. Let me outline some of those.

In British Columbia, we have Ballard Fuel Cells which is one of the leading companies in the world on fuel cells. Whether it is in vehicles or in stationary energy, we have a source of energy that does not pollute; the end outcome at the pipe is just water. We are leading in that area. This will create new opportunities.

Another example is Westport Innovations. I visited its facilities recently. It was stated in the paper that just recently it entered into a contract with China to convert its diesel buses to liquefied natural gas. This is a Canadian company, competing with the best in the world, and China picked it to convert its diesel buses. We can assure there will be Canadian companies out there that will be taking advantage of this.

General Hydrogen Corporation was started by one of the most renowned scientists in the world, Mr. Ballard. He was recently given an international award. He is working on how we can develop a hydrogen infrastructure.

If we look at Canadian companies, many of them can take advantage of these opportunities.

The federal government has already made a huge commitment of $1.6 billion on behalf of Canadians to ensure that we start to do the work. Let me give an example. Just in terms of wind energy, I announced earlier this year $260 million to ensure that we take advantage of wind energy and that we encourage Canadians companies to look at alternative forms of energy.

Some companies already have moved ahead even before we vote on ratification. For example, stated in the energy plan of the province of British Columbia is that 50% of its new energy needs will come from renewable sources. Originally it was 10%.

We have companies, provinces, municipalities and Canadians recognizing that if we all do our part we can contribute to the global community in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and play our role. We have tabled a detailed plan that outlines how we will accomplish that.

I am confident that when Canadians are engaged they will want to fulfill their duties to future generations, to their children and their grandchildren to ensure that we do not take away from their quality of life or their opportunities. That is the fundamental reason why I got into politics, to ensure that my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren would have the same opportunities and that we would never take away from those opportunities or their quality of life in the future. Kyoto is all about that. It is about the future and our future generations. It is about a global problem that needs global action.

As a Canadian, I am very proud that we are taking a leadership role. I am very proud of what we are doing as a government in supporting this. I know that decades in the future when we look back we will say that we did the right thing for our future generations and we did the right things to ensure that we played our role to deal with climate change.

I am proud of what we have done as a government and what we have accomplished in the years. I will be proud to vote in favour of Kyoto in tomorrow's vote.

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6:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Keith Martin Canadian Alliance Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my esteemed colleagues, the member for Surrey North, the member for Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, and the member for Blackstrap.

I believe that climate change is a reality. I believe that global warming is occurring and I believe it is due to greenhouse gas emissions. Some would disagree with that, but I am prepared to associate my comments with the precautionary principle. I am prepared to err on the side of caution.

I am opposed to the Kyoto accord because it is a shell game. Why is it a shell game? Because of the emissions trading credit scheme which would allow us to give money to another country, such as Russia, in exchange for the ability to produce greenhouse gases. This does not achieve our end objective which is the reduction of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases.

According to the International Panel on Climate Change, carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere has increased a whopping 31% since 1760. Methane gas has increased by 151%. Global temperatures have increased .6°C in the last 100 years, the largest increase we have seen in 1,000 years.

The question we have to ask is, will Kyoto accomplish the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions? The answer is a resounding no, because the accord allows money to be given to countries such as Russia in exchange for the ability to produce greenhouse gases.

Now we come to the issue of how to reduce those emissions. It has to follow a few precautionary principles. We have to follow a few key policy principles in order to reduce those emissions.

The first principle is that energy developed must be in response to demand and not produced just for its own sake.

Second, an emissions reduction strategy should be based on existing technologies that have been shown to be effective and economical, not what we may believe will exist in the future.

Third, the implementation plan should not rely on punitive energy taxes. However any changes that should occur should reflect the true cost of energy options.

Last, energy from local small scale sources should be encouraged to produce greater self-reliance. That would insulate us from the geopolitical crises that can affect our energy sources, particularly those in the Middle East.

Given those existing principles, what can we do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Based on current assumptions we can double the thermal efficiency of residential and commercial buildings. We can double the fuel efficiency of our truck fleets and triple the efficiency of our passenger car fleets. We can double the average efficiency of electrical devices, including lighting, motors and appliances. We can achieve a 1% per year improvement in the energy efficiency of industrial outputs. We could see a phasing out of coal powered electrical generating plants and produce an increased demand for new cogeneration and renewable energy opportunities.

The plan would enable us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond the required 6% from 1990 levels. In actuality this is 22% from our current levels. We have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions a whopping 22% if we are going to meet the agreement.

The government's plan will not do that. The Prime Minister said, “We will come out with a plan by the year 2012”. The reductions must be done by 2012. We need a plan now.

If we ascribe to the key principles that I have given along with using existing technologies, we will be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The most important source of new energy, the most important tool that we have to improve our energy output and reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions is our ability to improve productivity through conservation. Conservation has been and will be the most powerful tool to reduce our energy dependence on coal and other sources of energy that produce greenhouse gas emissions. If we ascribe to the principles and the tools that we have today, we can go beyond Kyoto and meet those commitments by 2030 which is what our end game is supposed to be.

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December 9th, 2002 / 6:25 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise on behalf of the constituents of Surrey North to speak in opposition to the government's impending ratification of the Kyoto protocol.

The government has mismanaged this issue from the beginning and it continues to do so. Since the Prime Minister announced that Canada would ratify the Kyoto protocol, the government has continued to proceed without information concerning what Canada will have to do as a signatory to this international agreement.

What is the plan for implementation? What will be the cost? What do we expect to achieve? Canadians do not have this information. In fact, there is a great deal of conflicting information flying around, yet soon, in fact tomorrow, we will be asked to vote on this matter.

We believe that Canada should reduce real pollution. We should also work on adapting to climate change, whether natural or man made, through advanced technology and social policies. The federal government should be helping Canadians to achieve these goals.

Instead, the Liberals have sold the country out. They would have us chase the requirements of an international agreement written by others and amounting to the transfer of wealth from richer nations to poorer ones. Countries like Canada, with developed economies and modern industries, are going to have to pay cash to poorer nations with developing economies and very little industry. We are going to actually pay these other countries so that they can have the opportunity to develop their industries and to pollute.

News broadcasts are misleading Canadians when they show dirty, belching smokestacks as a backdrop to a news reader talking about the Kyoto accord. The government itself is financing commercials of similar content.

Kyoto is not about reducing pollution. Scientists around the world are not unanimous that human activity is actually causing global climate change. There are arguments on both sides of the issue.

Yes, our climate is changing, as it always does. In fact, growing up not too far from this place, during the 1960s we experienced some extremely cold winters, -50°F for days on end. I recall that because I remember playing outside with no hat and catching a lot of flak from my mother for doing so. Many scientists in those days, the 1960s, predicted that we were heading for another ice age.

We have seen small increases in the planet's average temperature over the past century. However, no one knows definitively whether or not this is caused by our emission of greenhouse gases such as CO

2

. Other factors, such as variations in the sun's output, are considered by many climate specialists to be far more significant drivers of Earth's climate than the changes in human production of carbon dioxide.

Kyoto is primarily about reducing CO

2

, not air pollution.

A quick review of the scientific literature shows that only a small fraction of climate scientists are prepared to actually commit themselves to the idea that humans are causing significant climate change. The vast majority of specialists in the field admit they simply do not know and that it will be some time before they are able to competently predict just what influence human activities have on global climate.

In the meantime, these scientists do agree that they need to continue to conduct the necessary research to properly understand this complex field. Clearly today's climate change science does not provide a foundation strong enough on which to base a significant and costly international treaty such as the Kyoto protocol.

The Kyoto accord does not deal with environmental contamination in general or air pollution in particular. The Kyoto accord will not cover countries producing two-thirds of man-made carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore global production of carbon dioxide is extremely unlikely to fall under Kyoto as production and emissions simply shift to countries not subject to the targets.

The Kyoto accord does not even require Canada, or any other country for that matter, to actually make CO

2

reductions. Kyoto establishes an emissions trading credit scheme allowing countries to buy credits toward their targets by transferring money to other countries, in some cases countries with worse environmental records. In this way, a country can pay rather than make CO

2

reductions.

Canada's Kyoto target requires Canada to reduce CO

2

emissions by at least 30% below projected levels, or to buy emissions credits. This will impose enormous stresses on the Canadian economy, including the possible loss of thousands of jobs, a possible reduction in economic production by between $25 billion and $40 billion, and substantially higher energy costs for ordinary Canadians.

Of course, there are those who do not agree with some of these predictions and I respect that, but that is precisely what the problem is. The government has not worked with industry or the provinces to determine the impact. It has no implementation plan because it does not know what to plan for. Above all, as I said, there is no implementation plan.

At a minimum, the government should make it clear to Canadians which targets will be met. Is the government going to ratify and then rescind the Kyoto accord? The strategy to knowingly accept an investment chill and later renege on its own commitments would be even more irresponsible than ramming through the accord without knowing how to meet its targets.

The Canadian Alliance does not believe we should ratify a deal with the effects of the magnitude of Kyoto without being able to explain how it will be implemented.

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6:30 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise during this important debate on the Kyoto protocol. I am also very pleased to be part of the only party voicing the growing sentiment of Canadians, which is that they want to discuss this issue fully and they want the government to stop pushing it down their throats.

If we are going to commit all Canadians to higher energy costs, higher energy taxes and a more expensive economy, should members of the House not have more than a few hours of mock debate to resolve these concerns? Does it not deserve a serious debate with all Canadians with an honest vote?

We all support protecting the environment but as with anything, there is a wrong way and a right way to do it. Unfortunately, the government is building on its record of doing things the wrong way. The government does not want to hear what Canadians have to say and neither does it want the truth about the protocol.

The Kyoto protocol is not about preventing air pollution or smog. The Kyoto protocol is primarily concerned with carbon dioxide or CO

2

. However CO

2

is not a component of smog and is not considered a pollutant or a toxic. Reducing CO

2

will not reduce air pollution or smog in Canadian cities.

Kyoto does not include the world's largest contributors of greenhouse gases. The United States, which produces 40% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, will not be subjecting its businesses and citizens to this poorly composed agreement. In addition, the world's developing countries, such as China, India and Mexico, are exempt too. Canada only produces 2% of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions. Why are we jeopardizing our economy when our largest trading partners are not?

Kyoto is not about consultation with Canadians. The government does not want to hear what Canadians have to say, even though they have to pay. Canadians deserve to be consulted on Kyoto before it is ratified by the government.

What are the likely consequences? Studies indicate that up to 450,000 jobs could be lost. Because the Americans have not signed on, Canada will become less competitive with the United States. Income tax will rise as government revenues drop. Consumer prices will rise. Rising prices, rising taxes and a fall in the standard of living will be the Prime Minister's legacy. Up to $45 billion could be lost to the economy.

Can we afford to cut government revenues so drastically when our health care and defence budgets and every other department are in need of attention? Seniors will be forced to pay more to heat their homes as electricity costs could double and natural gas could increase as much as 60%. It is ironic that global warming will continue globally as Canadians are expected to freeze in their homes.

Kyoto will drive up the cost of public and private transportation as gasoline and diesel fuel prices rise. Every Canadian will suffer from a weaker economy. Perhaps the Prime Minister is retiring but the rest of us will still be left to work harder to pay for his mistakes.

While all parents want to do what they can to protect their children's future, they do not have bottomless pockets to pay for the government's good intentions. The government that falsely promised to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000 will actually be contributing further to the problem.

We may argue who will pay for Kyoto, the government or the consumer, but really are they not the same person, the taxpayer? Who cares who writes the cheque in the end; it will be the taxpayer that must foot the final bill.

Canadians want the federal government to wait until it has a real plan. They want the federal government to be a team player, not a bureaucratic bully. They do not want to rush into this and then pay for the government's mistakes.

Canadians want to be heard. They want to be consulted. They want to make a difference. They want to protect the environment with a well thought out plan. They want that plan made in Canada by Canadians for Canadians.

Let us work with our Canadian neighbours to achieve these goals. What is so difficult about this? Why do we have to rush this through Parliament? Why can we not do this responsibly?

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6:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Lynne Yelich Canadian Alliance Blackstrap, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has pledged to ratify the Kyoto protocol before the end of this year, endorsing an international treaty before a comprehensive study has taken place, before the opportunity for meaningful dialogue with all affected parties and, most important, before a detailed plan has been presented. This all begs the question: why the haste?

This agreement has inspired more concern than confidence. The scientific data upon which the government is relying is ridden with uncertainty and speculation. We have heard how different models have resulted in different climate scenarios. It seems no one can agree on what will happen. Despite this uncertainty, the Prime Minister is willing to endorse a treaty committing all Canadians to find a solution to a yet to be clearly identified problem.

Putting aside the scientific arguments, ratifying Kyoto as it now stands could be financially devastating. There are multitudes of numbers coming forward and none of them are encouraging.

My home province of Saskatchewan is Canada's second largest oil producer and third largest gas producer. We have the second highest per capita carbon dioxide emissions in Canada. What is the cost of compliance for us?

The president of SaskPower recently estimated that Kyoto could cost our provincial power utility as much as $250 million each and every year. If so, one of the top industrial companies in our province has said that ratifying Kyoto could be the move that would send them south of the border. The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce has called the protocol fatally flawed and has made similar statements at the city level.

One internal government study has pegged the impact of Kyoto on Saskatchewan's economy at 4% of GDP by 2020. That is my province. What about each and every other ordinary Canadian?

Electricity bills are predicted to jump 50% or more and home heating could double as energy producers are all anticipating additional costs for compliance. Industries, such as steel production, aluminum production and cement production, have all said that their costs would increase substantially. Gasoline prices are predicted to increase from $1.10 to $1.30 per litre over the next three years. One does not need an economics degree to figure out what this will do to our national financial picture.

As of mid-November, 97 countries have ratified the protocol. This includes 25 developed countries that account for 37.4% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Perhaps more important, the total includes 72 countries, such as India, China and Mexico, which do not have to make emission reductions. Together with the United States, which has refused to ratify Kyoto, they make up 60% of man-made global greenhouse has emissions.

In contrast, Canada produces only 2%. Even if Canada could achieve its lofty targets under Kyoto, the impact would be negligible. Our two largest and closest trading partners, the United States and Mexico, are not signatories to the Kyoto protocol. How can we as Canadians compete?

Each and every person I have heard from wants to do his or her part to be a responsible global citizen. What they question is whether the Kyoto protocol is the proper channel by which to achieve this goal. I ask members to keep in mind that this is not a case of Kyoto or nothing. There are other options. In Saskatchewan there are countless initiatives, from agricultural production to energy related activity, all aimed at fulfilling a goal to secure and protect our global environment.

There is a conservation cover program, operated by Saskatchewan Agriculture, Food and Rural Revitalization, which will significantly increase carbon sinks in agricultural soils. There is the innovation science fund to assist in the establishment of the international test centre for carbon dioxide capture at the University of Regina. There are two wind turbine projects that represent the third largest wind power developments in Canada. Provincially, Saskatchewan recently passed new laws to provide grants to offset fuel taxes on ethanol produced and used in this province. Finally, the City of Saskatoon will be using canola based fuel in some of the city buses as part of a two year project studying the use of biodiesel.

Those examples are proof that meaningful environmental change can be brought about without compromising the fiscal integrity of Canada. I urge the government to reconsider its position to ratify the Kyoto protocol and instead build a plan that allows us to help our environment while also protecting our economy.

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6:40 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

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

I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak on the long awaited ratification of Kyoto. We have a responsibility in this connection.

I have listened to what our colleagues in the Canadian Alliance have had to say about profit and impacts on the economy. The question that needs to be asked is what the impacts will be on our planet. This is an important question that must be asked.

The earth does not belong to us. We were not told “Here is a piece of the earth to do with as you wish”. It also belongs to the generations to come. It is important to be able to take concrete actions to save our planet.

The New Democratic Party agrees on ratification of the Kyoto protocol. It is a start, a beginning. I used to be a union rep and this reminds me of negotiations with a company on a collective agreement, when there is an agreement in principle. This is at least a start toward the goal of a collective agreement.

I think that ratification of the Kyoto protocol and the vote that will be held on this is a first step in a lengthy process, but a start at least, a step in the right direction. It commits governments and individuals to move in the right direction in order to be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are causing global warming.

For example, the other evening, a man called to talk to me. Fifteen years ago, he bought a house at Pigeon Hill, on the Acadian peninsula of New Brunswick. At that time, he had a 220 or 250 foot lot. Now, 15 years later, he has 125 feet. This shows what is happening as a result of rising water levels. Everyone is talking about it. All of shores of the peninsula are in danger at this time. People have to put rocks along their shores to try to stop the soil from washing away. This is connected with global warming.

It is like I said earlier, the planet does not belong to us. We cannot come here and simply say that we cannot do anything because it will slow down the economy, because it will bother the Americans, or because we will not be able to compete with the Americans. Many people even used the United States and other countries as examples. Someone has to do this. If we only did what the Americans wanted, and if everyone on the planet decided to do and say the same thing, then we would never make progress on anything.

We have got to set an example. There are real steps to take. So, we must take them. However, at the same time, we cannot only think about the effects Kyoto will have on companies and large corporations. We also need to think about the effects it will have on workers. What kind of a formula can we come up with for the transition, to stimulate job creation while lowering greenhouse gas emissions at the same time?

We must act smartly. It is not enough to simply help the big companies who are looking for credits. They will sort it out and their bank accounts will be just fine. We must also think about fate of our workers and see how to make the transition while saving jobs.

I have listened to the speeches made by Alliance members since this debate on Kyoto began, and basically, the only thing that counts for them are profits. What good will profits do to the generation that follows us? As legislators, we have a responsibility. As members of Parliament, we have a responsibility. And the government also has a responsibility.

I am proud that we are ratifying Kyoto. Our party is proud, because it is a first step. All will not be done overnight. Greenhouse gas emissions will not be reduced overnight. However, this is a long term program that ought to be pursued.

It is a commitment that will be made and a commitment that we will do things. If we are not ready to sign on to Kyoto then we are not ready to make a commitment to work toward that. It is important because the planet does not belong to us. It belongs to all the world and the generations to come.

For too long companies were cutting down trees and not replacing them. It is unacceptable now. We cannot accept that type of attitude. It is unacceptable that our fishermen with big boats and fishermen from the other countries emptied the seas. They did not look after the species for the future. It is not acceptable.

It is not acceptable that we are driving equipment today that creates unnecessary gas emissions. We could have cleaner gas. The government has a responsibility to promote the use of more natural gas in the country. There is no reason for northeastern New Brunswick not to have natural gas to create jobs and at the same time have a cleaner environment. It is not acceptable that we are not going that way.

I believe that with the ratification of Kyoto it will force governments and people to go in the direction of having a cleaner planet that will be better for people and for generations to come. We have the responsibility of leadership. We are not allowed to dirty the planet the way we have been just because of money. We have to find a solutions to bringing gas emissions down. That is our responsibility.

At the same time we can look at the leaders of our country who are supporting the ratification of Kyoto. I lift my hat to them because it is not easy for them. They have workers they represent. The CLC represents over 2.5 million workers in our country. It took a stand. I hope too that members of Parliament will take a stand in the House to save our planet. That is our responsibility. Other unions across the country have also taken a stand. They are the ones who will be affected. They represent the working people but they believe we can do it. We are intelligent enough to do it and we have the responsibility to do it.

As I was saying earlier, I am proud that the major labour unions in our country, such as the CLC with more than 2.5 million workers in Canada, have said they agree with ratifying Kyoto, but that solutions need to be found for workers.

The major unions decided to support ratification. Credit is due to representatives of Canadian workers who have made this decision, and major unions throughout the country that are starting to head in the same direction.

To me, the hon. members of this House have no choice but to ratify Kyoto and set an example for countries worldwide. It is said that Canada is the most beautiful country in the world. Imagine the message we could send to the nation and to the entire world.

If we say that Canada is the most beautiful country in the world, just imagine the message we could send across the world, the message that we care about our planet. We have the responsibility in the House of Commons to send the message across the world that we will not tolerate continuing to dirty our planet for future generations, for the children of our children. We do not have the right to dirty the planet the way we have been. We have the responsibility of working toward cleaning up the planet.

Canadians will judge the performance of members of Parliament in the House when the time comes for the vote. I hope they do judge our performance on behalf of what should be done for human beings. I will say again that the planet does not belong to us. It belongs to all generations to come and we have that responsibility.

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6:50 p.m.

NDP

Bev Desjarlais NDP Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Acadie—Bathurst. He always puts forth such an extreme amount of passion when he speaks. He truly has commented on a number of perspectives about how the Kyoto ratification can work.

This debate is probably unlike any other debate we have had in the House to date. I think of the items we have discussed over time, and I see that the ratification of Kyoto will produce positive results that will take place within the world, certainly toward addressing the issue of climate change. Those results will have the most lasting effect on Canada, but also on the world.

Although it certainly will not be a quick response where we see everything fixed overnight, without question it will be a commitment we make which will be of lasting benefit to the generations throughout the world, not just in Canada. A number of speakers have commented on that today and quite frankly that is the real background and hope behind the Kyoto ratification process: that there will be those long term changes and we will ultimately see the benefits.

Certainly as far as climate change goes, we would be hard pressed to find too many people in Canada who do not think there are some really strange things happening with the climate. There are those who think that maybe getting warmer weather at certain periods of time and longer spouts of warmer weather in northern Manitoba might be a great thing, and we do enjoy it while we can, but as a result of those types of weather changes, we as well have seen some strange things happen that are not very good, such as the effect the changing weather pattern is having on wildlife. Most obvious to most people at this point is the effect on the polar bear populations, with the decrease in weights and the risk that they are now at as a result of the climate change. It is certainly one of the key factors.

As well, in my own time as a member of Parliament I have seen changes in weather, with times when winter roads could not be put in because it was just too warm at certain periods of time. The length of time that those warm periods stayed with us and shortened the opportunity of certain communities to have access to the rest of the world via land transportation has been quite apparent. So we do not have to go out there and sell this, because most people are seeing it and the effect is it having first hand.

As well, in spite of the warm weather and in some cases where we get a lot of moisture, in other areas there is absolute drought. Whole weather pattern changes are happening. It is not just a matter of global warming making everything wonderful. It is changing weather patterns around the world, so there are consequences all around the world.

I recall one of the first conferences I ever attended. It was then that I first realized there was a country called Papua New Guinea. I had probably heard about it somewhere along the road, but I actually sat with representatives from Papua New Guinea and listened to their great concerns over climate change, because for the first time in their history water had come over their sea wall. They were literally at risk of being totally wiped out if things did not change, because of the warming and the increased water levels that were affecting this small island country.

There are lasting consequences, and there are lasting benefits to the Kyoto ratification process. They are very achievable benefits.

I will go now to my own province of Manitoba and what I believe are extremely fine examples from the province. Without question, the Manitoba government believes the Kyoto ratification process is an absolute must. It is committed to Manitoba meeting its targets and maybe even exceeding those targets. The Manitoba government has done a fair amount of investigating into how this will affect jobs. Some will be lost, but a good number will be gained as a result of the Kyoto process. The Government of Manitoba is quite confident that there will be a greater increase in jobs than there will be jobs lost.

One of the most recent projects in which the Manitoba government has become involved to help address the climate change in a meaningful way is a cleaner form of bus transportation. This is a situation where we see the involvement of numerous different industries working together to come up with a different form of transportation. I will read a bit about it to the House, because it does exemplify that industry is out there promoting cleaner industries as well. There will be the testing of a hybrid fuel cell technology “to promote research and development of cleaner, renewable and more fuel efficient forms of transportation” to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is a time when we can actually have some partnerships involved. The article states that the Province of Manitoba, in conjunction with the Government of Canada, and along with “Hydrogenics Corporation, New Flyer Industries, Maxwell Technologies, Dynetek Industries and ISE Research...announced a new $8 million hybrid fuel cell transit bus project”.

Manitoba is committed to promoting research and development in new, efficient technologies and clean, renewable forms of energy. That is what a province can do when it works to reduce greenhouse gases and to meet the Kyoto ratification process.

As well, without question I think Manitoba has been a wonderful example of clean energy with hydro power. The fact is that Manitoba Hydro is a crown corporation. It does not have to go out there solely to say that it will try to sell, sell, sell to make a profit. It can go out there as a hydro company and promote energy savings processes.

It is not that Manitoba will abuse hydro energy solely because we have it. Manitoba Hydro will promote energy saving methods even within hydro development.

The Manitoba government believes that the Government of Canada can succeed with the Kyoto protocol by adopting Manitoba's approach. The number one approach is hydro. Federal studies have shown that developing Canada's hydroelectric capacity is the single most cost effective way of using existing technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. I am proud to say that each and every hydro project in the province of Manitoba falls within the Churchill riding.

There have been some ups and downs, but I can tell the House that there have been more ups than downs. Manitobans are proud that we have a publicly owned hydro corporation and that it is there to meet our needs in giving us some of the lowest cost energy in the country, if not the world.

Notional estimates show, for example, that if the federal government supported an east-west power grid, more than 20 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year would be displaced, creating as many as 175,000 person-years of employment in construction alone. The project would also create significant economic development opportunities for Canada's first nations. I can tell the House that the Government of Manitoba has been a partner with first nations in hydro development and will continue to be so. Those first nations have supported hydro development in their areas or it would not be happening.

Ethanol is another way. Mandating the use of ethanol across Canada and providing incentives at levels similar to those available in the U.S. would cut emissions by 3 tonnes per year and create 5,000 jobs.

The third method is energy efficiency, which I have already touched on. In January 2000, Manitoba Hydro launched enhancements to its Power Smart program to help Manitoba families and industries save energy. If Manitoba Hydro's Power Smart programs and benefits were emulated across Canada, greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by roughly 50 tonnes per year and up to 5,000 jobs could be created.

These are only three of many initiatives the federal government could sponsor across Canada to create jobs while helping the environment, so it is not as if we have to see the Kyoto ratification as the end of the earth. Quite frankly, I strongly believe that each and every province needs to be there to support each other so that no one province is detrimentally or unjustly affected. We need to be there to understand that if some industries are stronger here and they will be affected a little more we will be there to support them. That is what Canadians do. That is what a group of countries and territories together, united as a country, will do to make the Kyoto ratification process work.

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7 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Brian Fitzpatrick Canadian Alliance Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the members for Kootenay—Columbia, Calgary Southeast and Kelowna.

I will start with a couple of quotations. Approximately 500 years ago a fairly intelligent man said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I have heard a lot of passion about the environment and the need to take action, whether it will work or not, to deal with the problem, that it is urgent and must be dealt with. I cannot help but think of what that fairly intelligent man said when he said the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I also came across a quote from Warren Buffett the other day. I have heard a lot of models and forecasts on economic projections from the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of the Environment. Mr. Buffett said we have economic forecasters so that fortune tellers look smart. I think there is a lot of truth in what he had to say.

I want to focus on Saskatchewan. There are a number of areas in which Saskatchewan would be devastated by the Kyoto protocol. For the benefit of all the government members who are here tonight, let me explain that in Saskatchewan we have a government owned crown corporation that provides all our public power. Seventy per cent of our power comes from coal generating plants. Reducing dependence on that by 30% within 10 years would have a devastating effect on that crown utility. The only way it could be done is through major capital investment, with money the province does not have, to find other energy sources. In the interim what it will have to do is drive up the power costs to very high rates. It is going to be hard on seniors, farmers, businesses and everybody who is dependent on power in that province. It is going to be devastating.

I want to focus in on one business alone, IPSCO. It directly employs 1,500 people in Regina. It is a green industry and is probably the North American leader in scrap iron. Everyone wants to recycle, but IPSCO has looked at the implications of the Kyoto protocol and has made it clear. If it passes, IPSCO will be closing its operations and moving out of Saskatchewan. That will have a devastating effect on the province. I have talked to the CEO and he has said it is not a manageable problem. It is an unmanageable problem and is insurmountable for them. It will be moving its operations to Davenport, Iowa, with the rest of its operations and that will be another industry out of Saskatchewan.

Let us look at government revenues. The Government of Saskatchewan is going through rough times with fiscal imbalances. It is projecting a deficit heading into the next year. We are back into deficits. The federal government may not know that, but if we look at the provincial level it is coming. Saskatchewan is into that territory. Over 10% of its revenue is derived from petroleum royalties. If we are going to decrease our reliance on petroleum by 30% of fossil fuels, it is pretty easy to see that the imbalance will get worse in that province, not better. What does that mean? It means that health care, education, highways and other important government services will be shortchanged as revenues dry up. That is another area of concern.

A third area of concern is farming and transportation. Both those industries in Saskatchewan are totally dependent on diesel fuel and they will be hit hard. One thing I am amazed at is how the government totally neglected the uranium industry in Saskatchewan. We are sending uranium to France, Japan and other places that are going to find it much easier to meet the Kyoto standards because they are using atomic power, but we get no credit at all for being the major exporter of uranium to these other countries. To me that is either incompetence or something else, and I do not want to get into problems like the Prime Minister did with George Bush and use other words, but it really makes me wonder what the government was doing when it was negotiating this agreement.

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7:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Abbott Canadian Alliance Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, at times, as members of Parliament, we get thoughtful letters from our constituents. I received a letter from Mr. Jack Pitter of Elkford, British Columbia. He wrote it on October 9 and he asked a number of questions. First, how will the Kyoto protocol affect his job as well as taxes and the economy; second, why is the government rushing to ratify Kyoto without informing and consulting Canadians; third, why are we signing a deal that our largest trading partner, the United States, is refusing to ratify; fourth, why would Canada commit to an unachievable target that also requires us to make payments to countries without targets; and fifth, what effort has the government made to create a best in Canada plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while protecting our economic prosperity?

I would suggest to Mr. Pitter and others who are watching that there is an even overarching question. The real question is, if we were to ratify Kyoto, would it make any difference at the end of the day?

With respect to the first question, the answer is that the Prime Minister, the House of Commons, and the entire government does not know the answer to that question. They simply do not know how the Kyoto protocol would affect jobs as well as taxes and the economy.

I should explain that Elkford is a community in my constituency along with Sparwood, Fernie and Cranbrook. The latter acts as a bedroom for the people who go to work in the metallurgical coal mines in the Elk Valley. Elkford, of all places, would be hit by this question. We simply do not know. For example, if 85% of our exports go to the U.S. and we are not as competitive on price because of higher energy costs, what will happen to the trade relationship? We do not know the answer to that question.

Furthermore, over 25% of all the world's metallurgical coal comes from the Elk Valley in my constituency. Our metallurgical coal price would be in competition with the Australians who had more than enough common sense to not ratify the Kyoto protocol.

Along with the United States and other exporters I am unaware of there being any exporter of metallurgical coal in the world that will ratify the Kyoto protocol. What does that do to the companies and the workers in my constituency when all of a sudden they are faced with an added cost that none of their competitors are faced with? Again, will it make any difference?

Ottawa has not kept its promise to consult with the provinces on the issue. Just how arrogant is the government? As if that question actually needs an answer. One of the most amazing things about the entire process is that we are debating this issue today in the House of Commons where the Prime Minister is looking for a rubber stamp from his backbenchers because he made up his mind, when he was in a friendly environment in South Africa, that part of his legacy would be that he would ratify the Kyoto protocol. When he made that announcement back in August or September, he said this will be through by December.

The Canadian Alliance is aware of the patent danger that the Kyoto protocol would present to our economy but again, will it make any difference in the long term whether we ratify or whether we do not ratify as far as the actual problem is concerned? We are aware that many people believe that the Kyoto protocol has something to do with smog, pollutants that are going out into the air, and sulphur and commodities like that. It has nothing to do with that. Because the government is rushing so headlong into this, I will answer Mr. Pitter's other question, why is Canada committing to an unachievable target that also requires us to make payments to countries without targets? That is the reason why we will not be able to make any difference in the long term to the production of CO

2

in the world. We will be shipping billions of dollars and now taxpayer dollars out of Canada over this false attempt by the Prime Minister to leave with a green legacy.

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7:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jason Kenney Canadian Alliance Calgary Southeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I want to express my regret that I have merely five minutes at the tail end of a debate and that I had to cajole colleagues to get on the Speaker's list for what ought to be a matter of serious debate in both Houses of Parliament.

The motion and the consequent ratification of the Kyoto accord would have a profound impact on my constituents, their livelihoods and standard of living, than probably any other business brought before Parliament. I regret that I am not able, more seriously and at greater length, to speak on behalf of their interests.

I represent a constituency where the largest industries are those involved in, who work in, or provide supply and services to the energy industry in Alberta. It is an industry which is much maligned but an industry which is absolutely essential to the economic growth of Canada. No industry in the country, none of the primary industries, none of the manufacturing or service industries could operate without the energy that is needed to fuel this economy.

Much of that energy comes from my province of Alberta and from an industry, which has been an enormous contributor to economic growth and prosperity in this country, based in my home city of Calgary. I received hundreds of communications from constituents expressing disbelief and outrage with the government's rush to ratify the dangerous Kyoto accord. Of the several hundred negative communications I received about Kyoto from my constituents, two were in support. That is some honest indication of the lay of the land of public opinion where I come from.

Much has been said in this debate yet I have not heard from the government a compelling response to the basic objections raised by the opposition to the ratification of the Kyoto accord. If the government were to demonstrate that the implementation of the accord and the achievement of its objectives, which are unrealistic, a reduction of emissions to 6% below the 1990 levels, could be achieved, that would do virtually nothing, nothing appreciable, and nothing significant, to reduce overall international carbon emissions.

Canada contributes less than 2% of carbon emissions. A tiny fraction of that is from man-made, human produced carbon. This is in the context of an accord where some two-thirds of worldwide emissions would not be affected by or governed by the accord. By the time the accord is fully implemented in 2012, 80% of world carbon emissions would not be governed by the accord. In other words, this accord is an act of economic suicide. It is the unilateral imposition of an enormous unparalleled regulatory burden on the Canadian economy to achieve no appreciable or detectable environmental gain. This would go down in history as one of the most irresponsible economic decisions ever taken by any western government.

Why is it that Canada alone is binding itself to massive absolute reductions without even having a clear road map as to how those would be enforced? Why is it that we are the only country in the entire hemisphere, in the Americas, that is binding itself to emissions reductions? Why is it that the world's heaviest emitters would be left outside the agreement whereas Canada, which is making serious strides toward emission reductions, would be the most severely penalized? There is only one reason. It is because of the prideful desire of the Prime Minister to have some legacy at which to point to in order to justify 10 years of incompetent government.

The economic consequences of this would be devastating, I have no doubt. It has already begun in my home province with $9 billion, at minimum, of capital investment put on hold, representing tens of thousands of jobs and representing the hopes and dreams of thousands of my fellow Albertans.

People in my province remember the history of the national energy program, the tens of thousands of people who lost their homes, their businesses, and their opportunities, and still suffer from the consequences today. They will not let this happen to them again.

I regret that one of the most unfortunate and unforeseen consequences of this accord, if it were ratified and implemented, would be a dire consequence in terms of national unity in my province of Alberta. That is unfortunate, but I will stand with my constituents and the government of Alberta to fight this accord and its implementation tooth and nail.

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7:15 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Werner Schmidt Canadian Alliance Kelowna, BC

Mr. Speaker, we are debating the Kyoto accord which is an economic disaster and an environmental fraud. I cannot understand how any government, that respects itself and wants to represent the people, could perpetrate on a trusting group of electors something that is economically unsound and environmentally fraudulent.

I am opposed to the ratification of the Kyoto accord. Someone might say that means I do not want to have the environment cleaned up. Nothing could be further from the truth. We know that the environment must be cleaned up.

I want to pay special tribute to one of the businesses in Kelowna that has done something of its own volition. It did not need the Kyoto accord to have geothermal energy and heating in its building. It built a brand new, high tech building for high tech people coming to Kelowna. All of the heating in that 12 storey building is by geothermal power. It did not have to be told that the Kyoto accord was necessary. It cleaned the environment in its area and did it of its own volition.

It is terrible to think that someone should dare to come forward and say that we must do this. I ask Canadians, what good would it do? Even if we agreed to this thing, what good would it do if Canada approves it but the United States does not? And the United States will not.

It reminds me an awful lot of when the law came in that restaurants needed to have smoking and non-smoking sections on their premises. Guess what? If people went into the non-smoking section of a restaurant, eventually, and it did not take too long, the smoke from the other section came over to the non-smoking part.

The whole idea behind the Kyoto accord is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. That is good. Now we are going to buy some hot air from Russia. What does that do to the total emissions from Canada or anywhere else? It does nothing. The total carbon dioxide emitted is still the same as it was before. The only thing that has happened is that the wealth has shifted from one country to another country. That is the effect of it.

The government, in its wisdom, has said as recently as yesterday or this morning that there would be a $15 a tonne limit on the amount that would be charged to industry. Where would the rest of it go if it goes beyond $15? It would either go to the consumer or to the taxpayer. What is the difference between consumers and taxpayers? Are they not the same people? In many instances they are, so will they get hit twice. They will pay for it either directly as they purchase various items or they will pay for it through taxes. Either way we will be paying for this.

The suggestion has been made that this would clean up the environment. Can we bet on that? Because it does not deal with pollutants, it primarily deals with carbon dioxide. It is really a bad thing to do that.

Something that intrigues me more than anything else is that there seems to be a debate about the number of scientists who are for it and the number of scientists who are against it. If we add up the number of scientists on the one side and the number of scientists on the other side, we would discover that on the pro side there is one more scientist than there is on the nay side. So it must be a good idea. Are the scientists here to tell us what the facts are or what their opinions are?

It reminds me of the kindergarten teacher who had show and tell, and one of the students brought in a little rabbit. One of the bright guys in the back asked, “What sex is the rabbit?” The teacher did not know anything about determining the sex of a rabbit and said, “Let us vote on it”. It is a ludicrous kind of situation to determine the sex of a rabbit on the basis of who thinks it is a male and who thinks it is a female.

This is the kind of nonsense that goes on when we do the same kind of thing here, when we debate science on the basis of how many are on one side and how many are on the other side. It is wrong. We need alternative sources. We need businesses like the one that I mentioned a moment ago. We need sources of energy like wind power and various other things. We have a business going up right now in Winfield, in my constituency, which will be producing ethanol, a beautiful fuel source.

In conclusion, I hope everyone remembers that the Kyoto deal is an economic disaster and an environmental fraud.

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7:20 p.m.

Halifax West Nova Scotia

Liberal

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

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for Kitchener Centre.

In 1998 the United Nations created the intergovernmental panel on climate change, or IPCC, involving 2,500 top climate scientists from around the world. As early as 1995, in its second report, the IPCC stated, “the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate”.

In December 1997, industrialized countries agreed to the Kyoto protocol, committing to reduce their emissions and setting out a framework for long term sustainable development.

In 2001, in its third report, the IPCC said, “there is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities”.

Unlike some of the members opposite, I do not purport to be an expert on climate change, but I do know a few things about our changing environment. For example, I know that Nova Scotia never used to have smog. In the last two summers we had several days of smog warnings, not just in Halifax but also in the Annapolis Valley. I did not grow up in Nova Scotia with smog, and I do not want my children to do so either.

I recognize that smog and climate change are not exactly the same problem but they are related. The measures we must take to solve them are substantially the same, as my friends ought to know. I believe it is time we acted.

The real questions are the following. Do we think that these environmental problems are real? Do we think they are serious? Do we accept that we have to change our behaviour? Do we think that we should opt out of the only major international effort to combat pollution or global warming?

I am concerned about the impact of global warming, the impact it is likely to have or is already having on my province of Nova Scotia. For example, we have the situation of farms. We are seeing more droughts and we can expect more droughts. With milder winters we can expect more pests to survive those winters and become more of a problem.

We have the issue of rising sea levels, which is a concern in Nova Scotia. We seen increased erosion. We can expect to have smaller or even disappearing beaches. We can all imagine the impact that would have on our tourism industry.

We have impacts on coastal infrastructure. We have to be concerned about things like wharves, breakwaters and even bridges that are close to the ocean.

We have the issue of smog. Members talk about there being no connection between pollution and climate change. However we know that when there are more hot days there are more bad air days. They should know the connection between hot air and ozone creation and heavy smog. There is a strong connection and they know that but they are going to deny it.

Smog causes impaired lung function, increased hospital admissions and premature death. So this is also about the health care system. It seems so obvious to me that healthy Canadians would not need to use the health care system. If fewer Canadians are using the health care system because they are not breathing polluted air, there will be more money available for those who truly need the system.

There is the issue of forestry and that industry in my province. Again, with more mild winters we will have more insects surviving those winters and creating problems for the forest industry. With long hot summers we have the increased threat of forest fires, another threat to that important industry in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotians want to act to confront these challenges and they want Canada to play a leading role in that action.

I want to share a quotation from the CBC program The National , which aired on October 28: “She can easily reduce her gas bill by 15% and her greenhouse gases by more than a tonne and a half by insulating the attic, sealing the drafts and upgrading the furnace. And if she upgrades her fridge, she could cut her greenhouse gases by another half a tonne, saving money and easily meeting her Kyoto target at the same time”.

Those sorts of simple innovative solutions are what I hope to see brought forward in the coming months. That is why I am supporting today's motion.

It is not surprising that the Alliance is opposing the motion. That party has long been in denial when it comes to environmental problems. However I must say that I am disappointed, as I know many Canadians are, to see the PC Party members opposing the motion for they should know better.

It was the Conservative government that helped create the intergovernmental panel and now those members choose to ignore its advice. Their government negotiated the acid rain treaty. They know that the overwhelming majority of climate scientists agree that human activity is changing our climate, but they that say we should deal with it some other time. If not now, then when? If not this agreement, then what agreement?

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7:25 p.m.

Kitchener Centre Ontario

Liberal

Karen Redman LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise today to speak to this very important issue.

The public debate has been very useful. It really brings into focus something on which all Canadians need to focus. All sides of the House have had an opportunity to speak and I would like to hearken back for a moment to the hon. member for Red Deer who claimed at great length--and I do not have to remind anyone in the House at what length he did go on--that the action on climate change would not help address Canada's other environmental issues. On this, as well as on so much more, he simply missed the mark. I am pleased to have the opportunity to stand and correct some of this misinformation because I hear some of his colleagues repeating this misinformation.

Once again he showed Canadians why they should not trust his party on environmental issues. I could go through the work that the government is doing across the environmental agenda to point out how empty his claims truly are but, like Canadians, I will not be fooled by his focus on anything else other than the real issue. The real issue is achieving clear, timely action on climate change.

Since the hon. member is knowledgeable about science, as he went on to point out in his remarks, I am sure he will not mind if I try to help him understand why some of his fundamental points in his speech were wrong. He claimed that action on climate change would not help Canada get cleaner air. I would like to quote him. He said in the House:

Kyoto is not about those smog days in Toronto. It is not about particulate matter. It is not about all those other things that we call smog. The government conveniently has meshed those two together, and I believe the people in Toronto think that Kyoto is a solution to those smog days.

On this matter, as well as on so many more, the hon. member is just plain wrong.

Let me comment first on what causes smog so that the Alliance can be clear on the scientific facts. Then I want to discuss why the kind of inaction on climate change that the Alliance would like to see would mean more smog days. Finally I would like to point out how the “Climate Change Plan for Canada”, that the government tabled in the House, will address, not just our climate change priorities but will also make a real difference to cleaner air.

Let me start with what causes smog. Simply put, if we burn fossil fuels we get many different kinds of emissions. Nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds are two types of these emissions. These emissions can also come from other sources but scientists estimate that about 90% of nitrogen oxide emissions arise from fossil fuel combustion. If we add sunlight and heat to nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds we get ground level ozone. That ground level ozone is the primary ingredient of smog. The hotter it gets the more smog we are likely to suffer.

There are many other emissions as fossil fuel burns. For example, there is fine particulate matter, of which our learned colleague from Red Deer spoke. That fine particulate matter is linked to heart and lung diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. About 35% of primary emissions of fine particulate matter is due to fossil fuel combustion. We get many more emissions, including those related to acid rain and other environmental issues, but I believe I have made my point.

I will summarize in this way. If we burn fossil fuels we get the substances that are at the heart of smog in communities and regions right across Canada. We get substances that scientific and medical experts clearly link to heart and lung diseases, and we get other contributions to other environmental concerns.

Let me go back and look at the science of climate change just for a moment. What does the consensus among scientific experts say about climate change? Their analysis and the evidence they have gathered says that as we burn fossil fuels we add to the emissions of greenhouse gases that help enable our atmosphere to trap heat. Their analysis, in fact, says that fossil fuel combustion accounts for more than 80% of Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions from actions by people. That combustion happens as we use coal, oil products and natural gas in our industries. It happens as we use fossil fuels to move people and goods. It happens as we use those fuels for heat and light, as well as other uses.

What does that have to do with clean air, the Alliance members may ask. As the Alliance does so very often, it is missing the big picture, and there are two major elements in the big picture.

First, if we experience continued climate change, we will experience higher average temperatures. Add more heat from a rising average temperature to more ground level ozone, which is what we will get if the Alliance has its way, and we will have more smog. It is that simple.

The second element of the big picture that the Alliance is not getting is that clean air goals and climate change goals have one important element in common: emissions from fossil fuel combustion. Once again, it is that simple.

I would also like to correct the assertion that I heard just a few minutes ago by the members opposite saying that this was just about CO

2

. Carbon dioxide represents about 78% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide is not the only gas that contributes to climate change. There are six gases in the Kyoto basket: methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride. These other gases are important in terms of climate change because of their global warming potential.

The “Climate Change Plan for Canada” recognizes this reality even if the official opposition does not. The plan proposes for a national goal: for Canadians to contribute in a more sophisticated and efficient way as consumers and producers of energy in the world and leaders in the development of new, cleaner technologies. It recognizes that we can get more out of the energy that we use.

Let me offer some examples. The plan includes a focus on renewable energy sources, such as wind energy. Those will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and will not add to the chemical mix that leads to smog.

It looks to support for clean coal technologies that will eliminate all emissions from coal. That would mean the greenhouse gas emissions and the emissions that lead to smog.

The plan recognizes the value of improving the impact of transportation on fossil fuel use. It anticipates more focus on improved urban transit, and not just urban transit in general but the use of ethanol fuel that would create fewer greenhouse gas emissions and fewer of the other emissions associated with smog and fine particulate matter.

It is the same across the board.

Canada can take action to reduce, make cleaner and more efficient our use of fossil fuels in electricity generation as well as building operations. That will help us reach our climate change goals. It will help us reach our air quality goals and address the rising incidence of asthma and other respiratory diseases.

I want to make one last point now that we have had a little bit of a science lesson.

Some people have claimed that we should do nothing about climate change because the impacts seem too far off in the future for them. They are not particularly interested in the benefits to their children or their grandchildren. I urge them to focus on the more immediate health and environmental benefits of reducing air pollution that will come with the climate change plan for Canada.

As we move forward we will be able to add other actions that will cut emissions of particulate matter. We will be able to add to those actions when we address ground level ozone. All of this means that we will, in part, generate significant health benefits for Canadians much more quickly.

Let me quote the member for Red Deer who told the House:

There has been a real skilful job of mixing health and Kyoto, of mixing pollution and Kyoto. It has been very well done. Most people really do believe that signing Kyoto will have major health results.

On that point, he is actually correct. Canadians do believe that signing Kyoto will have health results, and Canadians are right, which is why I will gladly support this motion. I urge all my colleagues on all sides of the House to support the motion.

This plan is anchored in past successes and builds on our current strengths. It is a vision of responsible, innovative and high efficiency society. These goals are achievable and Canadians will achieve them.

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7:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

David Anderson Canadian Alliance Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the members for Calgary Northeast, Crowfoot and Dewdney—Alouette. I had the opportunity to speak before on Kyoto and its effects on agriculture. I may get back to that although the time is short tonight.

Tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians which has been passed on from generation to generation says that when one is riding a dead horse the best strategy is to get off. We heard all day about the dead horse that is Kyoto. Tonight, for Kyoto, I have some suggestions, a list of what to do when one finds oneself riding a dead horse.

Number 13 is that one can find a stronger whip. We saw that today. We had members in the House on the Liberal side, including the member for LaSalle—Émard, seemed to indicate that they would not vote for closure. The Prime Minister went out and found himself a stronger whip and was able to ensure that they fell into line.

Number 12 is that one can always change riders after finding oneself on a dead horse. We heard that all day today. We saw the riders changing on the other side but riding the same horse, using the same Liberal talking points all throughout the day.

Number 11 is that a committee can be appointed when one finds oneself riding a dead horse. I am surprised the government has not done this. It did it with other bills, particularly the species at risk bill where it shipped the bill off to committee. When it came back with some good recommendations, it completely gutted it and ran the bill through anyway. It is not prepared to appoint a committee to take a look at what would happen with Kyoto.

Number 10 is that if one finds oneself riding a dead horse, one can always arrange to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses. I am sorry to say that our government did that. It went to Japan and came back with a dead horse.

Number 9 is that the standards can always be lowered so that dead horses can be included. Today we heard that the government would lower the standards for industry by cutting costs, but it would not answer the question of who would pick up the big bill. We know who it is. We have seen example of who pays the bill through the gun control bill, Bill C-68. The taxpayers will pay the bill.

Number 8 is that the dead horse can be reclassified as living impaired. I think we saw that in Johannesburg.

Number 7 is that outside contractors can be hired to ride the dead horse. I am sure we will have no shortage of that. We know that the Liberals have friends and they have rewarded them many other times.

Number 6 is that several dead horses can be harnessed together to increase the speed. It then goes the same distance we would have got anyway. We have a government that has gone nowhere and the debate today has gone nowhere either.

Number 5 is that additional funding can always be provided and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance. We expect to see multi-billions of dollars put into this bad protocol to try to increase this dead horse's performance. We already know that the cost is over $1 billion and we know that the government will put many more billions into it, although it will not tell Canadians how much that will be.

Number 4 is that if one finds oneself riding a dead horse, one can always do a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance. We see that the government has been trying to make deals with the provinces. There was a 10 point plan. The provinces tried to agree on seven of them. The federal government has changed most of the plan. The minister in charge in Saskatchewan said that people now do not even recognize the points to which they did agree. The government has tried to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance. It is not going anywhere.

Number 3 it that since a dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly. It carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses. We see that with this accord.

Number 2 is that the expected performance requirements for all horses can always be rewritten. We see the government's ever changing plan.

Number 1 is that should the government find itself riding a dead horse, that dead horse can always be promoted to a Liberal cabinet position.

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7:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Art Hanger Canadian Alliance Calgary Northeast, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am grateful to have the opportunity to address the Kyoto question.

First, allow me to place my personal opinion on the record simply and clearly. I believe that the Kyoto protocol in Canada and around the world is an expensive, counter-productive waste of time, money and political energy that could be better spent looking for solutions to human problems that are effective, realistic and positive.

This is the opinion of a parliamentarian, not a scientist. We have heard lots about scientific talk on all sides of the House. There are undoubtedly more in the House who are much more knowledgeable about the science of Kyoto than I am, but it is interesting to note that not too long ago a Gallup poll found that only 17% of the members of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Society thought that the warming of the 20th century was the result of the greenhouse gas emissions.

What does that really say? It says that there are 83% who never responded to this survey who obviously think something different. Many of them probably do not even look at it as being an issue to really effectively deal with in an aggressive manner, but 17% of the members of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Society think that the Kyoto protocol has some substance. I would rather err on the side of caution, looking at that result alone.

Only 13% of the scientists, responding to a survey conducted by none other than Greenpeace, believe that catastrophic climate change will result from current patterns of energy use. That is 13% of the respondents. That puts the numbers down in maybe 4% or 5% of the total scientific world that has some thought that, as the Greenpeace survey suggests, there will be a catastrophic climate change. Again, I would rather err on the side of the 83% of the scientists who never responded to the survey.

I think it was yesterday when more industry concerns were expressed. Many more in industry are expressing a concern about where they will end up within the Kyoto accord, if the Kyoto accord is implemented. Most recently, in The Globe and Mail , General Motors warned yesterday that ratification of the Kyoto protocol in Canada could create different vehicle standards from those in the United States and have a significant impact on the company's Canadian operations.

Guess what? Some 90% of GM's Canadian built cars and trucks are shipped to the United States. In other words, there would no longer be harmonization of the standards between Canada and the United States, which would result in a negative impact on the Canadian operation. That would mean jobs in real terms, and those are not directly related to chemical or the oil industry. They are on the emissions side of it alone, and the changing standards that would accompany that.

We have heard from other industries, too. Everyone in the House, I would suggest, has been visited by representatives of industry, whether the chemical industry, the oil industry or the gas industry. We have been given some substantial evidence and warning about what Kyoto would do to those industries. Despite that, the federal government is determined to push ahead with the ratification of the Kyoto protocol, shortening the time line and making this a confidence vote. Why? I do not know why it is so determined to do that.

I do not think this is really a debate about science, global warming, and Canada's ability to actually make a difference. This debate is really about securing a future for the Prime Minister.

I know my time is up, but I will be adding my voice by opposing the vote on the protocol.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

7:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Grant McNally Canadian Alliance Dewdney—Alouette, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will pick up where my colleague from Calgary left off. For a number of reasons I too will not be supporting the Kyoto accord as it comes forward in the House tomorrow.

Many reasons have been outlined by my colleagues throughout the last few days of debate. I want to reiterate, as the time for debate draws to a close, that this may be the last word in the debate in the House. However, it will certainly not be the last word on the topic. It is just the beginning.

As the government moves ahead on ratifying Kyoto without a plan, without cost projections as to the cost to our economy and to our hard working taxpayers from coast to coast, it will hear further from people about how bad the plan is.

It will come to light that the government is sadly out of tune with this plan just as it has been with the gun registry; a billion dollar cost overrun for a plan that was supposed to be $2 million. It is now hitting close to a billion dollars and no end in sight in terms of that program.

We had the HRDC scandal which again highlighted the incompetence of the Liberals in managing taxpayer dollars. These are not government funds. These are dollars held in trust by the government to be implemented wisely.

Over and over again Canadians have seen the Liberal government squander their hard earned tax dollars on programs that it has said would be effective. However, when put to the test and reviewed by the Auditor General, the programs have been shown to be sadly lacking. How can Canadians possibly trust this group to now say that it will implement the Kyoto accord? It is simply beyond the belief of most Canadians.

The most valuable commodity that a government has is trust. The Liberal government has lost the trust of Canadians through the repeated scandals in which it has been involved. We have seen repeated failures and incompetence demonstrated year after year in this place.

I am speaking out on behalf of the people of Dewdney—Alouette. Some people have phoned or e-mailed me who are in support of the accord. These people are very few in comparison to those who are opposed to the accord.

In particular, a number of people from the cement manufacturers have contacted me and have asked me the following questions. How can the government implement the accord without a plan and without a projection of what it will cost not only their industry and the province of British Columbia, but the entire country? What will the accord mean for their families if they lose their jobs? How will these people cope if they have to pay higher costs for heating and if they have to bear the burden of the government's mismanagement on this file?

It is simply not acceptable for the government to ask once again for the trust of Canadians on this file. The government has lost the trust of Canadians.

As recently as today, we had the former finance minister say to the media that more time was needed to debate Kyoto. Yet today we were faced with a closure vote. It is my understanding that the government wants to scurry out of here as quickly as it can before the end of government business on Friday, another day on which we could have debated this further, another day on which other members could state their views on this important issue.

My colleague from Red Deer eloquently laid out a very detailed plan outlining the Canadian Alliance's opposition to Kyoto. Our leader also laid out his plan today and the reasons why the opposition would not stop here today. The debate may be ending quickly but the groundswell of opposition by Canadians to the accord, as they find out the details on how it will impact them, is just beginning.

It is just beginning and people across the country will pay the price unfortunately, once again because of the Liberal government. The Prime Minister is ramming this deal through without consulting with the provinces, without an implementation plan and without any idea of what it will cost in terms of the number of jobs and the cost to the treasury. That is simply not acceptable.

It is time for a change. Canadians deserve better. The Alliance will stand against the accord and the government for presenting no alternative until we take its place on that side of the House.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

7:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Kevin Sorenson Canadian Alliance Crowfoot, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak against what I believe history will record as being one of the most irresponsible and reckless decisions every initiated by a government in the western world, the Kyoto accord.

If the 1997 Kyoto accord becomes a binding treaty, Canada will legally have to reduce its output of carbon dioxide 6% below 1990 levels or some 20% below today's levels. This country's annual emissions now stand at 694 megatonnes, meaning Canada will have to cut 129 megatonnes of emissions to meet its targets.

How will Canadians be asked to reduce their emissions? How will the gas and oil industry be asked to reduce its emissions? How will the agricultural sector be asked to reduce its emissions? How will the average Canadians, the individuals who go to work for eight hours a day, be asked to reduce their emissions?

It will not be done simply by asking companies and industries to reduce their emissions. Again it will be put on the back of the average Canadian taxpayers.

Although scientists believe that CO

2

emissions are increasing global warming to dangerous levels, many are unsure. In fact more than 17,000 scientists have signed a petition against Kyoto on the grounds that the science remains uncertain.

There is no guarantee that the Kyoto accord will solve the problem. If there is a marginal reduction in CO

2

levels, at what cost will that be? That is the question that has much of the country concerned. It has Alberta and the gas and oil industry concerned. It certainly has the agricultural sector concerned.

When the Minister of the Environment talks about driving big vehicles, gas guzzlers, pickup trucks and SUVs, he is talking to the farmers. He is telling them they will have to get by without driving those types of vehicles. The taxes on the fuel will make it next to impossible.

Others believe that Kyoto is fundamentally flawed because it does nothing to reduce emissions by China, India and other third world countries. We have mentioned before in the House, that out of six billion people on this planet, five billion are not covered by Kyoto. Five billion people in the developing countries are not covered.

The United States has refused to ratify the accord. After studying the impact it would have on the economy, it has refused to move forward, because it recognizes the results it would achieve would be at too high a cost.

The government has not come forward. It has not levelled with Canadians. It has not told Canadians the cost. The cost is not measured simply in dollars and cents. The cost of the Kyoto agreement is measured in jobs. It is measured in families that depend on that weekly paycheque, the people who work in the gas and oil sector in Crowfoot, in western Canada and in east central Alberta. The cost of Kyoto will be put on their backs. It will be put on the backs of the people in the manufacturing sector. The people in Ontario who understand how important manufacturing is to the economy are saying the cost is too high.

My plea to the government is to recognize that not always just moving for the sake of moving is what is important. Tonight the member for Cypress Hills--Grasslands talked about 13 things to do if we are riding a dead horse. It is time that the government recognized that Kyoto is a dead horse. Please do not ratify this accord.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

7:55 p.m.

Mississauga South Ontario

Liberal

Paul Szabo LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services

Mr. Speaker, El Niño, La Niña, Winnipeg floods, the Quebec ice storm, the western drought are all climate change. Leading scientists around the world believe that these aberrant climatic phenomena are caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases.

Canadians understand that things are changing in our climate. They understand that there are consequences when our climate changes the way it has. We know that Canada is the highest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. Even though we only produce 2% of global greenhouse gases, Canadians also know that 9% of greenhouse gases produced globally affect our climate.

We have had a good debate on the Kyoto protocol. Members have informed themselves the time has come to vote. I will be supporting the ratification of the Kyoto protocol because it is in the best interest of the health and well-being of all Canadians.

Kyoto ProtocolGovernment Orders

7:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

It being 8 p.m., it is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question necessary to dispose of the motion now before the House.

Pursuant to order made earlier today, the question on the subamendment is deemed to have been put and recorded division deemed demanded and deferred until Tuesday, December 10 at 3 p.m.

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

Kyoto ProtocolAdjournment Proceedings

8 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Canadian Alliance Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, today I am drawing the attention of the House to the fact that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is unlawfully enforcing Bill 101 in the national capital region, specifically on the Quebec side, in violation of the Official Languages Act. That is a pretty serious charge, so let me demonstrate the case.

First of all, I have and would be prepared to table, if there was a will for me to do so, a unilingual French language parking ticket issued by the RCMP.

With regard to services in the national capital region, section 22 of the Official Languages Act states:

Every federal institution has the duty to ensure that any member of the public can communicate with and obtain available services from its head or central office in either official language, and has the same duty with respect to any of its other offices or facilities within the national capital region--

In 1996 the current Liberal government signed an agreement with the Government of Quebec stating that all constats d'infraction, or tickets, issued by the RCMP in Quebec would be in French only. This agreement had the effect of causing these tickets which formerly had been issued by the RCMP in a bilingual format to be issued in French only. Under the watch of this government, we went from bilingual to unilingual tickets in Quebec.

This was despite the fact that the Commissioner of Official Languages was making the following recommendation around that time. I am going to quote from a report of the Commissioner of Official Languages who recommended:

That the Department of Justice undertake thorough consultations with the official language minority and jurists concerned in each province and territory before entering into any agreement with provincial or territorial governments pursuant to the Contraventions Act.

That agreement between the federal and Quebec governments I referred to was under the Contraventions Act. This had the effect of indicating that our chief guardian of official bilingualism in Canada was opposed to this course of action.

Moreover, the agreement itself was unlawful. That is because section 82 of the Official Languages Act states the following:

In the event of any inconsistency between the following parts and any other act of Parliament or regulation thereunder, the following parts prevail to the extent of the inconsistency--

It lists several parts, including part IV, “Communications with and Services to the Public”. It includes section 22, which I quoted earlier and which requires that all federal services, including tickets, in the national capital region be issued in both languages.

Today I received confirmation from the Commissioner of Official Languages in committee that she agrees that the RCMP is in fact acting illegally in issuing tickets in both languages. However, on November 1 when I raised the issue in the House, the parliamentary secretary had a different take. In responding to my question on this subject, he stated:

The RCMP...is fully committed to official bilingualism and providing services in both official languages. The RCMP complies with provincial legislation regarding the issuance of tickets.

The point I am trying to make tonight is that the federal government and the RCMP cannot be in conformity both with provincial legislation and with the Official Languages Act. My question is, will the RCMP follow the Official Languages Act, as it is required to do by law?

Kyoto ProtocolAdjournment Proceedings

8 p.m.

Waterloo—Wellington Ontario

Liberal

Lynn Myers LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Solicitor General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the Solicitor General, at the request of the member for Ottawa—Vanier, appeared before the Standing Committee on Official Languages just last week to address this very important issue, and he did so in great detail.

As the minister indicated to committee members, the RCMP operating in the national capital region is fully committed to official bilingualism and providing services to the public in both official languages. The RCMP works with the Commissioner of Official Languages and continually reviews programs and resources to ensure service delivery meets the requirements of the Official Languages Act.

The RCMP also ensures that bilingual staff are fully integrated into RCMP law enforcement where required, and this includes, obviously, the national capital region.

The RCMP complies with the appropriate provincial regime regarding the issuance of tickets. This compliance is not only applicable in Quebec but is equally carried out in all provinces across Canada. I have been assured that bilingual guidance is provided on tickets in Quebec and that RCMP officers enforcing traffic laws within the national capital region can provide full services as requested or needed in both official languages.

The government is committed to public safety and service delivery in both of our official languages and to this end, the RCMP, as our national police force, provides bilingual law enforcement while respecting the requirements of both federal and provincial laws.

Kyoto ProtocolAdjournment Proceedings

8:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Scott Reid Canadian Alliance Lanark—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I noticed that what the hon. parliamentary secretary did not say was that his department would issue instructions to the RCMP to stop violating the Official Languages Act and start issuing tickets in both official languages in the Gatineau Park of the national capital region.

That is a requirement of the law. This is not a matter that can be put off. It is a matter that requires action. It is a matter that has been clearly stated in the law and it is a matter on which I am speaking in conformity with our leading guardian of official languages, the Commissioner of Official Languages. I cannot understand why there is any ambiguity about this and why there is any avoidance of simply saying that we will enforce the Official Languages Act by issuing tickets in both languages on the Quebec side as we do on the Ontario side of the national capital region.

I will ask the parliamentary secretary the question again. If he could just give me a yes or no that would be fine. Will the government instruct the RCMP to issue bilingual tickets in Gatineau? Yes or no.