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House of Commons Hansard #90 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

Canada's Clean Air ActGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Thibault Liberal West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, members will remember that, in the House, not too long ago, when we were forming the government and we were debating the Kyoto issue, a Conservative member—their environment critic at the time—had made a speech, a filibuster. I believe this is still in the annals of parliamentary publications. I do not remember whether it was 16 or 17 hours, but it was very long. The thrust of his speech was that global warming did not exist, the Kyoto protocol was useless and there were no greenhouse gases.

Now, the Conservatives admit that this exists theoretically or in principle. Our actions to correct the situation, which are part of our international commitments, are not conclusive. They do not alleviate the problem.

We find that the Conservatives are out of excuses. According to the report of the commissioner of environment and sustainable development, there were failings in the programs that were put in place. Indeed, these programs were huge. Perhaps there were management problems. I do not dispute this with the commissioner. However, we could have improved these programs, given them special attention, made the changes that were needed and ensured that they were managed in such a way as to achieve their goals. It would have been a step in the right direction with international trading.

I will put my question to the member who, in passing, has made a good speech.

Is he convinced that the Conservative government recognizes global warming as a catastrophe that we must face, as one of the great challenges of humankind? Should it not quickly reinstate these programs?

Canada's Clean Air ActGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

First, Mr. Speaker, I would not want to hurt my hon. colleague's feelings, but it is my understanding that the member for Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord filibustered for much longer, a few years ago, in connection with the clarity act. The new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada having been closely associated with that debate, I wanted to remind him of that fact.

The member is perfectly right, and that is what we are asking of the government. Why scrap everything that has been done so far?

I know that the Liberal government has worked on these issues. Implementation of all the measures was not complete, but nearly complete. The fact of the matter is that a number of energy conservation programs which worked well have recently been abolished.

I think this is a scheme to buy time, to spare the oil industry in particular and perhaps also the Canadian automotive industry at a time when important decisions have to be made.

As to whether I am convinced, well, I am convinced that the people of Canada and Quebec will ultimately make this government see reason, but as long as its interests are as closely linked to the oil sector as they currently are, I seriously doubt that it is really willing to implement all the measures necessary to achieve Kyoto.

Canada's Clean Air ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Conservative

Laurie Hawn Conservative Edmonton Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague mentioned that we were starting from scratch, which is clearly not the case. Does he understand or appreciate the fact that the clean air act builds on the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, not replaces it? Therefore, we are not starting from scratch. We are taking a set of legislation and making it stronger.

Canada's Clean Air ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, the detailed document introducing Bill C-30 announces three consultation phases, which brings us to 2010. I cannot believe that the previous government did not leave in its boxes some notes, some sheets, software with information that would allow the government to proceed much more rapidly.

Conservatives are right when they say that the Liberals dragged their feet, that their speeches were extremely generous, but that concrete action was not forthcoming. Finally, they never really came about. Nevertheless, some work had been done. I know, through discussions I had with industry sectors, that negotiations were ongoing.

We do not want to go back to square one. Let us give ourselves not three years but rather six months to implement a series of standards for achieving the targets of the Kyoto protocol and also—we totally agree—for reducing air pollution, which is another matter.

Canada's Clean Air ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in my place today to support Bill C-30, Canada's Clean Air Act

By introducing this bill, the government is laying the groundwork for one of the strictest atmospheric pollution and greenhouse gas emissions regulatory regimes in the world. Previous governments focused on voluntary measures. That approach failed. From now on, all industrial sectors will have to comply with strict regulations that we will enforce.

This evening, I would like to demonstrate to my colleagues how Bill C-30 can help achieve significant energy savings. Canadians are aware of steps to use energy more wisely. They know they can save money by keeping heat in their homes in winter, or cooling them more efficiently in the summer. And there is a growing awareness that saving energy also helps reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Many businesses and institutions have saved considerable sums by upgrading or retrofitting their existing buildings to promote energy efficiency. The University of Calgary put energy efficiency upgrades in place in 1999. Since then, it has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by over 1,000 tonnes per year.

Ivanhoe Cambridge is one of Canada’s prominent property developers. Since completing energy efficiency upgrades in 2004, it has saved more than a quarter million dollars per year. The Toronto Dominion Centre in Toronto completed energy efficiency upgrades in 2001. It has saved over $4 million per year. These are big savings, Mr. Speaker. They are dramatic. They catch our attention.

But there are other more subtle ways to save energy and reduce emissions. There are ways to lower our energy use on a very small scale. But when you look at the big picture, these efforts quickly add up. They represent a potentially huge contribution to energy efficiency and cleaner air.

Every second of every minute of every day, Canadians are using very small amounts of energy called standby power on various devices. We use standby power in home entertainment products, such as home theatre systems, stereos, and DVD players. We use standby power in imaging equipment, such as printers, fax machines and photocopiers. We use standby power in computer equipment, including laptops, desktops, and workstations. We use standby power in cordless phones and battery chargers. And most of us are unaware of using that power.

A typical Canadian home has more than 25 devices that constantly use standby power. We use this electricity through standby power when the appliance is switched off or not performing its primary functions. It enables features such as clocks, timers, and remote controls.

Standby power consumption for most devices is small. It ranges from as low as half a watt to as much as 20 watts for some home entertainment products. But the number of devices drawing standby power is large. If you take the typical home, with its 25 devices consuming standby power all day and all night, and multiply by the number of homes on a city block, it is starting to add up.

If you multiply that again by the number of blocks in your community, and the number of communities in Canada, the use of standby power, every second of every day, has become enormous. In Canada, some 5.2 terawatt/hours is used per year by appliances in standby mode.

Now, when you consider the number of countries that have a market for consumer electronics, the problem is very serious indeed. In fact, there has been considerable discussion and action at the international level to reduce the amount of energy that is used on standby power around the world.

In 1999, the International Energy Agency proposed a global one-watt strategy. Appliances using standby power would seek a standard of one watt per hour. This one-watt initiative was endorsed by the G-8 leaders at the summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, in July 2005. Canada is a signatory. At least six governments—Japan, Korea, the United States, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand—have enacted or announced plans to regulate some aspect of standby power use.

It is time for Canada to join their ranks. Canada's clean air agenda sets in motion a series of initiatives that will meet the commitment we made at the Gleneagle summit. We will move to a one-watt target.

We will build on some of our recent successes. Natural Resources Canada administers the Energy Star program in Canada. The international Energy Star symbol helps consumers identify products that are among the most energy efficient in the market. Only manufacturers and retailers whose products meet the Energy Star criteria can label their products with the symbol.

Energy Star standards include standby power. Since 2001, Natural Resources Canada has promoted voluntary efforts by manufacturers and retailers on standby power as part of the Energy Star program. We will continue to promote consumer information through Energy Star.

But with Bill C-30, we will do much more. The revisions to the Energy Efficiency Act included in this bill will enable the government to deal with classes of products that use standby power.

In the coming months the government will meet with stakeholders who have an interest in standby power, and we will encourage the formation of an interest group to deal with the regulatory framework we want to create. We will develop standards for standby power, and test methods. We will use internationally recognized test procedures. We will evaluate the economic impact of the measures we will take. By 2008, we will have established regulations for a minimum allowable standby loss. These regulations will apply to consumer electronics, external power supplies, and digital television adapters. We will establish these standards to the same level as those implemented in California this year. In other words, they will be the best-in-class in North America.

By January 2010, we will have established regulations for a minimum allowable standby loss of one watt for consumer electronics, with an additional one watt allowance for clock display or other specific auxiliary functions. These standards will be equivalent to the current Energy Star levels.

In other words, we are taking the Energy Star standard—which is a tool to help consumers choose the most energy efficient product—and we will apply that standard to all consumer electronics. We will raise the bar on energy efficiency. Today's best practices will very quickly become tomorrow’s minimum requirement.

Every day, Canadian home-owners and Canadian businesses are taking important steps to use energy more wisely. You can see the results in their electricity bills and other energy costs. But every day, without realizing it, we are leaking small amounts of energy through standby power. These amounts may seem minuscule, but they add up. Nearly every household and every business uses standby power.

If we can use standby power more efficiently in every appliance, we can have a big impact overall. If all devices that consume standby power met the one-watt target, we could save about 3.9 terawatt-hours or the equivalent of removing over 480,000 households from the grid. Think of it: that is roughly equivalent to taking a city the size of Ottawa off the grid for home electricity use.

The regulations under the Energy Efficiency Act are the cornerstone of our proposals on energy efficiency. They will be cost-effective and provide lasting benefits, and they will help Canadian business compete in a global marketplace.

Let me close by saying we are focusing on much more than standby power consumption. More than 30 products now have regulatory standards based on the Energy Efficiency Act. Under the new regulatory agenda, there will be new minimum energy performance standards for another 20 products. These new products range from commercial refrigeration to traffic signals, from commercial clothes washers to battery chargers and from lighting products to industrial heaters. We will also increase the stringency of the existing standards for 10 products, ranging from residential furnaces to dishwashers to air conditioners.

Thanks to this legislation, Canada will be a world leader in terms of the number of products that are subject to energy-efficiency standards, and we will regulate 50 products, representing 80% of the energy used in households.

The savings from these standards are enormous and will help lower not only energy costs for Canadians individually, but also energy use on a national scale. And that means cleaner air. I urge hon. members to join me in taking the first steps in achieving this outcome and support a bill that will have such a major impact on energy consumption.

Canada's Clean Air ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Liberal

Alan Tonks Liberal York South—Weston, ON

Mr. Speaker, I listened to the member's overview with respect to the clean air act. The member spent a great deal of time on the EnerGuide equivalencies and particularly in the area of consumer goods and so on. I think that all in the House would agree that this is a good thing.

However, perhaps the member was here when the member for Yukon from our side spoke about our inventory of programs, including the clean coal program, municipal green funds and the technologies and investments with respect to carbon sequestering and so on.

I would like the member to give us an overview of other programs consisting of the government's strategy to seriously reduce greenhouse gases and at the same time clean the air in regard to NOx and SOx. What inventory of programs is in fact going to be the menu that will make a serious behavioural change with respect to climate change, greenhouse gases and clean air?

Canada's Clean Air ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Conservative

Christian Paradis Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.

As I explained in my speech, this government's approach is as follows. First, what is the impact on individual Canadians? Individual actions add up. With all the devices Canadians use, standby power for example, it is a waste of energy.

This is a problem that has to be dealt with now. Instead of setting up incentive programs that do not work or that cost too much for the results they produce, we are proceeding with regulations immediately.

There have been incentives. But those incentives should have produced results that measured up to a minimum standard. The government has taken a different direction and intends to introduce strict, binding regulations that apply to everyone. An incentive approach to this serious issue that concerns all Canadians is no longer enough. The time has come for a mandatory approach.

Canada's Clean Air ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

Order, please. It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith every question to dispose of the motion now before the House.

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Canada's Clean Air ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Canada's Clean Air ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

An hon. member

On division.

Canada's Clean Air ActGovernment Orders

6:25 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

Accordingly the bill stands referred to a legislative committee.

(Motion agreed to and bill referred to a committee)

Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded divisions on the motions at report stage of Bill C-24.

Call in the members.

And the bells having rung:

Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006Government Orders

6:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The question is on Motion No. 4. A vote on this motion also applies to Motion No. 25.

(The House divided on Motion No. 4 which was negatived on the following division: )

Vote #79

Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I declare Motions Nos. 4 and 25 lost.

The question is on Motion No. 77.

Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think if you were to seek it, you would find unanimous consent to apply the results of the vote just held to the motion currently before the House, with Conservatives voting no.

Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this way?

Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Liberals will be voting no.

Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the members of the Bloc Québécois will be voting in favour of this motion.

Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP will be voting yes.

Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Conservative

Garth Turner Conservative Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will be voting no.

Softwood Lumber Products Export Charge Act, 2006Government Orders

7:05 p.m.

Independent

André Arthur Independent Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will be voting against this motion.