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House of Commons Hansard #33 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was harbour.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, last week Jacques Derome, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at McGill University, said, “How can an environmental plan that does not want to respect Kyoto be better than Kyoto? That is a bit hard for me to grasp”.

How can the Prime Minister explain his insistence on wanting to axe the Kyoto protocol at all costs, when 800 climatologists were in agreement with one another last week on the importance of saving it?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I have said repeatedly, we are developing an effective plan. The budget has just promoted renewable fuels and other measures for improving the environment.

The Minister of the Environment is working with her international colleagues to ensure the development of an effective international protocol and she is doing her job within the Kyoto protocol.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, a majority of provinces support the Kyoto protocol. A majority of municipalities support the Kyoto protocol and today we learn from a survey that the majority of Canadians and Quebeckers also support the Kyoto protocol. But the government is trying to keep the oil companies happy by trying to renegue on its Kyoto commitments.

Are we to understand that the Prime Minister governs in accordance with the interests of the oil companies rather than listening to Canadians and Quebeckers?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the surveys indicate that the Kyoto protocol is popular, but they also indicate that a made in Canada plan is popular.

We welcome any ideas for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we welcome the proposals of the provinces and the municipalities, even those of the Bloc Québécois, and we are seeking ideas to improve our own performance as a country in this area.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the last government budget allocated $2 billion for the government’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. So there would be enough money to cover the cost of agreements with the provinces that believe in Kyoto, such as Quebec.

Might the government end up agreeing to negotiate a bilateral agreement with Quebec, along with a financial contribution that would enable Quebec to implement the Kyoto protocol on its territory?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, first we had the Liberal Party of Canada that had no plan on Kyoto. Now we have a coalition between the Bloc and the Parti Québécois that want to divide the country on Kyoto.

This government is focused on a national plan, a plan that is good for all regions of this country, all provinces, all municipalities. It is a made in Canada solution.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I remind the minister that this is a coalition of dozens of interested parties in Quebec who would like the Kyoto protocol to be implemented.

Why does the federal government not backtrack and agree to conclude an agreement with Quebec to implement the Kyoto protocol? Refusing to do so when the money is available is nothing more than playing into the hands of the oil companies.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this government is not going to backtrack and focus on a plan that the Liberals put in place that we know will not work. We know that the money they put in place could never have covered the cost of a plan that would never have seen any greenhouse gas emission reductions.

We are putting a plan in place that is forward looking, that has the support of the United Nations, the support of our international partners, and the support of Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, last weekend, representatives from over 1,000 Canadian municipalities renewed their commitment to fight climate change.

The governments of Quebec, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador all committed to reaching their targets, regardless of federal commitments. The provinces and cities are willing to do their part. Canadian political leaders are also willing.

Why will the Prime Minister not do the same and seriously take up the climate change challenge?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we welcome all suggestions on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, whether from the provinces or municipalities, or even from the NDP.

In the recent budget, we allocated funds for the development of renewable fuels and for public transit. However, the NDP decided to vote against these measures. This government supports measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we voted against the budget because it cuts environmental programs and investment in climate change initiatives that are working perfectly well in this country right now.

The fact is not only are the provinces and the municipalities stepping up to the plate, but the private sector is also stepping up to the plate. Because we do not have a plan in this country, green investors are walking away and they are taking away with them investment and jobs. We have already lost almost $1 billion in green investments that could reduce climate impact.

When is the government going to come through with a plan so that we can get the investment and the green jobs of the 21st century?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely lost. Now the leader of the NDP says that he supports the way environmental programs were working in this country under the past government, when he knows full well that under that government emissions rose 35% above Canada's target levels. That is why this government introduced programs for renewable energy. That is why this government introduced programs to promote public transportation. That is why the NDP should be supporting these things, not voting against them.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, at its annual conference, held in Montreal, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities voted on a motion supporting the implementation of the Kyoto protocol. Incidentally, at the last minute, the Minister of the Environment decided not to attend the conference.

The Canadian mayors decided to prevent this Prime Minister from reneging on Canada's international commitments. Given this recent show of support for the Kyoto protocol, will the Prime Minister finally recognize that he is the only one who does not believe in it?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as chair of the conference and party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, we are working diligently. Since being appointed, we have and we will continue to bring the world together in a consensus to move forward post-2012.

It is no surprise that municipalities and provinces want to take action on greenhouse gas reductions. We are with them every step of the way.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

John Godfrey Liberal Don Valley West, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister is responsible for protecting the environment. The crisis of global warming is real and urgent.

The minister has destroyed the only Canadian plan for addressing global warming. Where is the new plan?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the only party in this House that destroyed our international credibility and any hope of having a domestic plan was the Liberal Party for not having the courage to address this issue over a decade ago.

We have been working diligently with the provinces. We are working with industry and environmental groups to bring forward a long term comprehensive inclusive plan that addresses Canada's environment.

MunicipalitiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister appears committed to waffling on whether resources are in or out of his fiscal formula. What is absolutely certain is that the cities and communities are not on the map after 2010 and now are being told to fill tax room vacated by the federal government.

I ask the Prime Minister, why has he put the vacancy sign on the federal commitment to Canada's cities?

MunicipalitiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

It is just the opposite, Mr. Speaker. In the paper that we put out with the budget dealing with the issues of fiscal balance, we referred repeatedly to the three orders of government and consulting the three orders of government in this country, something the party opposite never did.

MunicipalitiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Albina Guarnieri Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is a shame that the federal commitment to cities is about to leave town.

There can be no doubt that Canada's cities and communities need the annual transfer of $2 billion, the part of the Liberal new deal.

Will the Prime Minister put forward legislation making this transfer permanent after 2009, or will he simply admit that he is going to force cities to raise property taxes by filling the funding void left by the current government?

MunicipalitiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the reason the party opposite when it was the government did not consult with municipalities concerning fiscal imbalance was that it did not even recognize that there was a fiscal imbalance.

Now we have this confusion on the other side where some of them say there is a fiscal imbalance and some of them say there is not.

Our government is clear. There is an issue to be addressed. We are going to move toward fiscal balance in the federation.

EqualizationOral Questions

June 5th, 2006 / 2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has just received a second report on equalization reform recognizing that the status quo is unacceptable and calling for, as a first measure, changes to the formula. Although the report favours the use of the ten province standard and an adjustment to property tax, it suggests that only half of tax revenues from natural resources should be included.

Can the minister tell us if the government intends to implement the solutions put forward by this report?

EqualizationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member is referring to the O'Brien report which has been released today. It is a report to the Minister of Finance commissioned by the former government. I thank Mr. O'Brien and his panel for the very dedicated work they did over the course of many months listening to more than 200 Canadians and providing, and I think most members will agree when they have an opportunity to read it, a lucid and understandable report. We are going to consider it in some detail and respond in the future.

EqualizationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Loubier Bloc Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot, QC

Mr. Speaker, does the Minister of Finance realize that this formula goes against the principles of equalization which consist in measuring the overall provincial tax capacity—and not just part of—and therefore that by adding the amount of $653 million for Quebec this proposal only corrects one quarter of the problem, in the opinion of the Quebec Minister of Finance, Mr. Audet?

EqualizationOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I have read the report. In fact, I have read both reports. There are separate reports with respect to the provinces and an additional report with respect to the territories. There are many ideas expressed in the report. As I said, I thank Mr. O'Brien for the lucidity of the report. I commend it to Canadians. I hope many Canadians will read it. It affects our relationship together as Canadians and how we share the wealth in this country.

National RevenueOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, to our repeated questions about whether the federal government will take the same decision as Quebec and relinquish the taxes owed by Vincent Lacroix to compensate swindled Norbourg clients, the government repeatedly says that the case is before the court. However, that is not so. Vincent Lacroix did not appeal the final ruling that is driving him into bankruptcy.

Since the Government of Quebec was able to act and take a decision, could the federal government not take a positive decision and announce it to us?