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House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The Minister of the Environment has the floor. She has risen and has the floor.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove, AB

Mr. Speaker, now I know what it feels like to be on this side of the House.

I encourage the hon. member to participate in the debate as we move forward with our made in Canada solution. Our government is clearly, as reflected in the Speech from the Throne, committed to reducing pollution and greenhouse gases for the betterment of the health of Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, 13 years ago the Liberals promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. Instead, they went up by 24% or more. Even George Bush had a better record in dealing with pollution than the previous government.

In the throne speech the government has stated:

It will take measures to achieve tangible improvements in our environment, including reductions in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

My question for the Prime Minister is simply this. How is cutting the funding for climate change initiatives going to get us toward the commitment that was made in the Speech from the Throne?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I was wondering how many questions it would take before the leader of the NDP mentioned George Bush.

In any case, the way we are going to get toward a new climate change program is making sure we have the funds available, that the funds are taken from programs that are not working and not effective and are put toward those that will result in the reduction of greenhouse gases.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, thanks to the Liberal Party, Canada has dropped from leader to environmental delinquent. The OECD considers Canada one of the world's worst polluters. The result is that our children and seniors are suffering from asthma because of year round smog.

Will this government do as little and be as timid as the Liberals?

If not, where is the Prime Minister's plan to ensure families have pure air?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the leader of the NDP that the previous government failed. In fact it did not resolve either the problems of greenhouse gases or those of pollution. This is why we are making policy and financial changes as we develop a new plan.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have before me quotes from the finance minister indicating very clearly that he should join our “Don’t increase my taxes” campaign, which I started a few hours ago.

When will the minister sign up for the “Don’t increase my taxes” campaign?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, increase taxes from where? We have different sets of numbers from 2005 from the party opposite, which was then the government. We have budget 2005. We then have the NDP budget which followed that. We then have the spending announcements post-budget 2005, and the fiscal update. Then we have all the promises that were made after the fiscal update.

When the member opposite talks about taxes, I ask, increase taxes from where? Which of the five sets of numbers?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Liberal Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I had the experience before when the bureaucracy tries to bury one in numbers whereas the reality is absolutely simple. The federal government is swimming in cash, and there is absolutely no reason to increase income taxes on hard-working Canadians. That is the fact.

The minister will agree because in his own quotes he has said that income tax cuts “have been most effective in creating jobs”, “boost productivity growth”, “put money right back into people's pockets”, letting them “spend the money as they see fit”. He puts it eloquently. When will he join our campaign?

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, there was a campaign recently and the people of Canada voted for change. One of the changes they voted for were lower taxes. Unlike the party opposite, we do not just talk about lower taxes. We will reduce taxes for all Canadians so that all Canadians will bear less of a tax burden.

We are looking at all of our fiscal commitments. We will honour our fiscal commitments to the people of Canada who voted to turn over a new leaf.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, on March 11 the Minister of the Environment said that the one-tonne challenge was a good project. Three weeks later, she ended all the environmental grants under the program.

If the minister thought that the one-tonne challenge was a good idea, why cancel it?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the member that the previous old Liberal government initiated a program review. We are not going to fund programs that are ineffective and not in the interest of taxpayers.

Where the review identifies programs or parts of programs that are not working, it is not in the interest to continue that funding, and we will stand by those decisions.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, the environment is the number one priority for Canadians. Just because it does not fit into the Conservatives five simple little priorities does not mean it should not be a priority for the government.

We have a responsibility to continue making the plan that the Liberal government implemented work. It was working; it can work. We can meet our Kyoto targets if we work together as Canadians, but not if we cancel the programs that engage Canadians in making it happen.

How much are the Conservatives cutting from these programs? How many programs are being cut? Will the Conservatives guarantee that the funding from the programs being cut will be used for other environmental--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of Natural Resources.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, if the member opposite wants to talk about his government's record, I am happy to do that. As the Prime Minister said, after spending billions and billions of dollars, greenhouse gases have gone up 30% more than the Liberal targets.

Those programs that are deemed not working, not effective by an independent program review that the old government initiated, we are not going to fund. It is not in the interest of the taxpayers.

We will develop a made in Canada solution and bring programs forward that will actually reduce greenhouse gases.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, an entire Speech from the Throne and not a single significant word about culture. This is a clear admission of negligence. At the end of the 38th Parliament, the previous Minister of Canadian Heritage made a very formal promise to increase the Canada Council’s budget from $150 million to $300 million.

Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women take up this promise, which was in response, I would remind everyone, to a unanimous request from the arts and culture community in Quebec and Canada?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the government will follow through on its commitment to the arts and cultural community. We have committed to support them and to ensure that they will be able to sustain themselves and continue their contribution to Canadian life and to an improved Canadian perspective internationally.

We will commit to supporting the arts and cultural community in the ways that are most meaningful to them and where the money is needed.

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Maka Kotto Bloc Saint-Lambert, QC

Mr. Speaker, to encourage the government to become more involved, I would remind it that culture is a major source of job creation, as shown by a number of studies. Any investment in culture is of substantial benefit to the economy.

Will the minister therefore admit that the increase in the budget of the Canada Council is not only an excellent decision for culture but also beneficial for the economy?

Arts and CultureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Durham Ontario

Conservative

Bev Oda ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, the government recognizes the benefits of the artistic and cultural community, not only to its cultural life but to the economics and the economy of this country. We will be working with every agency that benefits our cultural community and Canada in the appropriate ways.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, the previous government promised in Kelowna $5.1 billion for aboriginal peoples. Unfortunately, the history of relations between the government and aboriginals has been marked by a host of broken promises. Even though the Kelowna agreement does not respond to all the concerns of the aboriginal chiefs in Quebec, they feel that it is a first step in the right direction.

Does the minister intend to keep the agreement signed with the aboriginals?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. We need to work together. We must first address a tragedy resulting from twelve years of inaction during the Liberal era. Now we will be doing what is needed to improve the quality of life for all aboriginals. This new government acts. Insofar as drinking water is concerned, we have already delivered tangible results.

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Marc Lemay Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Mr. Speaker, an agreement in principle was signed for a comprehensive settlement of the native residential schools question, but it has still not come into effect. The government can assuage its conscience by signing agreements, but all the delays mean that too many victims die every day without ever being entitled to their just reparations.

Can the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development promise to implement the agreement on native residential schools as soon as possible?

Aboriginal AffairsOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about agreeing on an agreement in principle. We are working now with the aboriginals and their lawyers. The current issue is the question of the final agreement.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

April 6th, 2006 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Navdeep Bains Liberal Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, and I hope someone can relay the message.

Why is the minister backtracking on the department's green procurement policy by closing down the Office of Geening Government Operations?