House of Commons Hansard #152 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was liberal.


Official Languages ActAdjournment Proceedings

6:35 p.m.

Richmond Hill Ontario


Bryon Wilfert LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member's comments are much broader than the question originally posed. First of all, it is nice to hear the member from the Conservative-Alliance finally recognizing the importance of the environment. Given that, I guess a death bed confession is better than nothing. The fact is that the member's party has not even recognized the science when it comes to climate change.

Our government is the one that brought in project green, the greenest $10 billion budget in Canadian history, and the most aggressive plan of the G-7 in terms of dealing with climate change. The party over there denies Kyoto and an international role for Canada. It is this Minister of the Environment who has in fact been very engaged in ensuring leadership as we lead up to COP 11 and MOP 1 in Montreal. We are going to demonstrate to the world not only what Canada is doing but working collaboratively with others to ensure that it is a global responsibility.

I would point out to the member that on the issue of sumas energy 2 the Government of Canada, through the Department of the Environment, provided necessary information and scientific data. In the end, as the member quite rightly pointed out, the National Energy Board turned down the application. Sumas energy 2 appealed it, as was its right and again it was denied. So, I am not really sure what the issue on sumas energy 2 was because we provided the information. Presumably, that assisted in the decision which was no.

I know the hon. member. I am sure he likes no because that is what he wanted and that is what was delivered. The fact is that we certainly do not have any lessons to learn from the Conservative-Alliance on the issue of the environment.

We are dealing with, for example, wind energy. We are almost at the cusp now of dealing with the commercialization of wind energy in this country. The removal of over 90% of sulphur in gasoline is ahead of the United States. The move toward ensuring that we have renewable energy sources in the country is extremely important.

I am very proud of the fact that the Minister of the Environment, the government and the Prime Minister have taken the leadership role, both at home and abroad. We have the technology fund to promote green technologies in this country. We have the partnership fund to work with the provinces and territories because unfortunately, environment is not purely a federal issue. It is municipal as well as provincial.

As a former president of the Federation of Municipalities, I can tell the member that I know lots about the Fraser Valley. I know lots about the issues there. I have dealt with municipal politicians in that region over the years. I can tell him that I applaud the cities in the Fraser Valley for the work they have done.

At the end of the day, if the issue is sumas energy 2, we provided the necessary information. It was no the first time. The appeal came and it was no the second time. To suggest that the federal government was not involved and was not a player is absolutely factually incorrect.

However, on the issue of the environment, I am hearing from the member and congratulate him on recognizing the health issues regarding the environment. It is something that members in his party and at committee do not recognize on a daily basis. Maybe the member should join our committee because he is a little more enlightened, at least on that aspect, than some other members that I have heard, which is disappointing, I must say.

Official Languages ActAdjournment Proceedings

6:40 p.m.


Mark Warawa Conservative Langley, BC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate what the parliamentary secretary has shared with us, but the fact is that the SE 2 hearings first went through EFSEC and the federal Government of Canada was absent. That was the first step of fighting against SE 2. Then it went to NEB and the federal government was absent.

We have a problem with our environment. We have pollution filling the air. Carbon dioxide is a problem. It is an issue which we need to deal with, but the federal Liberals are ignoring the tonnes of pollution that are being pumped into our air. It is only the Conservative Party that has a record of fighting for clean air. We want to have a made in Canada plan to clean up the environment. The Liberal legacy will indicate a shameful 12 years of not dealing with the environment. Why not?

Official Languages ActAdjournment Proceedings

6:40 p.m.


Bryon Wilfert Liberal Richmond Hill, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is because of the policies that I announced and the fact that in 2003 the Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley Regional Districts forecasted emissions that would be going down. It is because of the policies of the Government of Canada.

To suggest for a moment that we support the issue of raw sewage, let me give an example of what the government has done. When it comes to the national infrastructure program to support cities like Halifax to stop the raw sewage going into the sea, it was our government that supported that.

It was the Conservative Party government that for 10 years opposed the national infrastructure program. It lay dormant for 10 years. It is the Liberal government that brought in the national infrastructure program and it is this government that helped in dealing with Halifax and sewage. It is the city of Victoria that is polluting the sea. It could step up to the plate. We have a program, a program no thanks to the Conservative Party.

Official Languages ActAdjournment Proceedings

6:40 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. The House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 6:43 p.m.)