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House of Commons Hansard #24 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was crime.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is continuing on his path and actively working to make Bali a failure.

Is his refusal to let the opposition accompany him to Bali not proof that he wants to hide the fact that he is actively working to bury Kyoto once and for all?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, this government is working to try to see a successful next round of negotiations at Bali. We want to see a regime that would have binding targets on all the big countries. Canada is responsible for 2%, well beyond our share on a per capita basis, and we are prepared to go first to provide real leadership.

We have set aggressive targets, but we also want to get countries such as the United States, China and India on board. I am also going to work hard to get the premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, on board, because we want to help him close all those coal-fired plants, as he promised to by this year.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government keeps hiding behind the negligence and incompetence of the Liberals, who, truth be told, did nothing for 10 years. Now it is hiding behind India and China. The Kyoto protocol is enshrined in legislation in Canada.

Where will the Conservative government hide from future generations when global warming has reached dangerous levels on our planet?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is exactly the point. The planet will continue to get dangerously warmer if we continue in the trajectory that we are on. If we want to reduce in absolute terms the greenhouse gases in this world, the developed world and rich countries such as Canada have to lead by example, but we also need big countries such as China and India on board.

That is why we are going to work constructively to bring these countries on board so that we can make meaningful progress in the fight against climate change. Aspirational goals do not cut it. We need solid targets by all major emitters.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, we do not have hard targets. We do have aspirational goals, as in the void, the vacuum, created by the vacuous statements of that irresponsible government. We are talking about the greatest ecological crisis the world has ever faced. All of the scientists who have looked at this issue agree with it.

The government is going to have to be held to account by future generations. What is its excuse? It cannot hide behind the Liberals any more. It cannot hide behind China and India. What is that government going to do to meet its obligations to the future?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, if we are going to act, we need to act in concert. Leadership means going first. That is why Canada is prepared to accept national binding targets.

If we are to be successful globally in fighting greenhouse gas emissions, that is not enough. We need countries such as the United States, China and India to accept binding targets, just as Canada is prepared to do.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Barely five years ago, the Prime Minister ridiculed the science of global warming. And now, from his pedestal, he dares to tell the 169 countries that signed the Kyoto protocol that they made a serious mistake.

Do they really think that Canadians will believe them? Why does the Prime Minister wish to attack the will of other countries that say they are ready to fight climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, a large number of countries does not want to accept obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their own countries. Canada is prepared to act. Canada is prepared to accept binding national targets, but we need everyone aboard. We need countries such as China, India and the United States to join Canada and accept binding targets.

Over the last 10 years greenhouse gas emissions have spiralled out of control, both here in Canada, when that member was in the Liberal cabinet, and around the world. This planet demands better.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if there is a Kyoto mistake it is the Conservative government that has made it. In Uganda, the Prime Minister stood alone. He isolated Canada on the international scene.

Why is the Prime Minister creating a recipe for disaster at the Bali conference? Is he trying to justify his sabotage in advance?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that member and her party are saying to “do as I say, not as I did”. We had 10 years of Liberals in control of this file. In each and every one of those years, greenhouse gas emissions rose. They were supposed to go down. Those members signed on to an international protocol, sat on their hands for five years before they ratified it and then commenced the same thing.

The member had an opportunity to stand up for the environment when she was in cabinet. She failed. She had an opportunity to stand up and vote for the government's environmental policy and she sat on her hands.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, for a decade the Prime Minister has showcased his various positions to raise money and rally support to stop any meaningful action on climate change.

First he denounced the science. He called Kyoto a money-sucking socialist scheme. He claimed it would cause economic ruin and called it the worst international agreement that Canada has ever signed.

Now he stands alone, a pariah, a one-man wrecking crew singled out as the roadblock to international progress. Why does he insist on isolating Canada as the sole obstacle in the entire Commonwealth? Just what exactly is he aspiring to?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, as greenhouse gases skyrocketed out of control under 10 years of Liberal government, there was one man at the side of the Liberal leader, one man giving advice to the Prime Minister, and one man in charge of giving advice to the Liberal cabinet. It was the member for Ottawa South. No wonder greenhouse gas emissions went up so much.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, for the minister's benefit, leadership means leading the world to do more, not less.

Since the government took office, we have seen backsliding at home and backstabbing on the international stage. From Bonn to Nairobi and New York to Kampala, the government has tirelessly led the world in abandoning Kyoto commitments. Now it looks like the knives are out for Bali.

The planet is in trouble and it needs binding targets now, not in 2010. Does the government not realize that this is the way to lead China and India to do the same?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that member says “leading the world to do more, not less”. How about acting in Canada? That would have been nice for a change.

That is why we are taking real action: mandatory regulations for all the large polluters, action on transport, and action on energy efficiency and conservation.

I will tell the House what else leadership is all about. It is about standing up and being counted and that member failed to do it on the throne speech.

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, the Government of Quebec announced a plan to help the manufacturing sector. In making that announcement, Quebec Premier Jean Charest called upon Ottawa, saying, “There is one missing player at the table, who ought to be there, based on commitments made in the throne speech, and that is the federal government”.

Will the Minister of Industry hear the call of Quebec's premier, a former Conservative leader, and promptly announce measures for the manufacturing industry, which is experiencing a very serious crisis?

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for this question, but we disagree. Since taking office, we have said already that the manufacturing sector is a pillar of Canada's economy and that our government is continuing to create a climate for that industry. I realize that the current situation is not good. However, the industry, too, has to make investments and create jobs, and each level of government will do its part.

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paule Brunelle Bloc Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, shock therapy is sometimes required for terminally ill patients. Not only did Jean Charest deplore the absence of the federal government, René Roy, from the FTQ, complained that the federal government never answers the call. Pierre Patry, from the CSN, denounced the lack of action of the federal government, which has the financial means to act. Finally, the president of the Conseil du patronat du Québec urged the government to act quickly.

In the face of such unanimity, does the minister understand that he needs to act now?

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the opinion is by no means unanimous. Our country continues to have a strong and healthy economy. We have the highest growth level in the G-7. We have an unemployment rate that is at a 33 year low of 5.8%. Last year in excess of 345,000 jobs were created in the Canadian economy. This year we are on target for the same sort of job creation.

Everyone acknowledges that there are challenges in the manufacturing sector. We will continue to work with industry leaders and with other governments. However, at this time there is certainly a slowing of demand in the United States economy and we will continue to encourage this industry--

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup.

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the surplus expected to reach over $11 billion this year, the Conservative government has no reason to refuse to act. It must establish a real assistance plan with loans, loan guarantees, refundable tax credits and a diversification program for the communities affected.

What are the Minister of Finance and the government waiting for to go ahead with the kinds of measures presented in Quebec's plan, as called for by the industry and proposed by the Bloc Québécois?

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is not accurate to say that the government has been waiting for anything. The government has been taking action under the leadership of the Minister of Finance. It has been very concerted action that is helping the manufacturing sector.

There are some workforce reductions, but investments in machinery have been increasing in response to the accelerated capital cost allowance that has been put forward by the government. In addition, the government is moving toward the lowest corporate income tax rates anywhere in the G-7. This will continue to encourage investment.

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Bloc Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, this is what the ministers are calling leadership: the loss of 120,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector, including 65,000 in Quebec alone, since the Conservatives came to power.

Following the closure of two plants by Louisiana Pacific in Saint-Michel-des-Saints, two others by Norbord in Val d'Or and La Sarre, and Baronet in Beauce, now Collins and Aikman in Farnham is closing its doors.

In light of such a catastrophic situation, does the Minister of Finance not understand that the manufacturing industry cannot wait until budget time and that he must immediately announce measures to help that sector, out of the $11 billion he has to work with?

Manufacturing SectorOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the fact remains that in 2006 the Canadian economy created in excess of 345,000 jobs. At this point, 10 months into 2007, the Canadian economy has created even more jobs; in excess of 345,000.

The answer lies, really, in lowering corporate income taxes, being competitive, and making sure that Canadian industry is in a position to compete in worldwide markets. The answer is not Bloc isolationism and protectionism.

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Zed Liberal Saint John, NB

Mr. Speaker, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities estimates a $123 billion infrastructure deficit that is putting our cities on the verge of collapse.

The government's response to this crisis? Insults. What do the finance minister and the transport minister tell our mayors? Stop whining.

The government repackaged $22 billion from Liberal programs but only committed a pittance for our cities over the next seven years.

With bridges collapsing and water plants in jeopardy, when will the government take this crisis seriously?

InfrastructureOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, the member for Saint John has in fact managed to get it precisely wrong.

Our government has actively put forward a $33 billion building Canada fund. This is a project and a plan that is going to mean real results in communities across this country. Every region and every community, large and small, is going to see real benefits from this program.

The only question that I have for the member for Saint John is, why did he vote against the largest infrastructure program since the end of the second world war and abandon his constituents in Saint John?