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House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was immigration.

Topics

Chalk River Nuclear FacilitiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Omar Alghabra Liberal Mississauga—Erindale, ON

Mr. Speaker, I noticed that the minister did not answer the question. I do not know what the problem is. Is it that he did not know of the problem or that he knew and did nothing? I wonder which is worse.

In the last annual report, AECL did not report that it might have a problem with its licence. This is completely unacceptable.

I wonder if the minister will heed our call and ask for the Auditor General to conduct a special audit so that AECL is accountable to Canadians and parliamentarians?

Chalk River Nuclear FacilitiesOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, as the Prime Minister has already stated, and the members can count on it, there will be a full accountability by all people involved in this.

I remind the member that we have also launched a review of AECL. We did that some weeks ago. Again, we will look at the results of that. We will get all the advice, all the correct information before us and then we will take concrete action.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when they were in the opposition, the Conservatives criticized the Liberals' plan to fight climate change, calling it too stringent. Now that they are in power, they are blaming the Liberals for not doing anything about climate change. And on the world stage they are sabotaging the post-Kyoto agreement.

Canada's hypocrisy has reached new heights in Bali. Is this not a true reflection of this Conservative government?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, this government has proposed a Canadian model of success for the next protocol to ensure an effective international protocol, namely the Montreal protocol. This government wants a mandatory international target and targets for all the major international emitters. That is the clear position of this government.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the clear position of this government is that it is not indicating a reference year. The reason is quite simple: it wants to have 2006 as the reference year because that would suit its friends in the oil companies. However, if it took 1990 as the reference year, then the aluminum plants and the manufacturing industry in Quebec, which have already reduced their greenhouse gas emissions, would benefit.

Is this not a true picture of this government, which has more or less sold itself to the oil companies?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, in one question the Bloc is asking for stricter targets and in another question it is asking for less stringent targets for certain industries.

The reason we chose 2006 is that we can control future emissions. We cannot control past emissions.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Montreal Exchange, which has expertise in derivatives, is ready to launch a carbon exchange. For this exchange to succeed, the federal government must adjust its regulatory framework immediately to recognize the past efforts of companies in Quebec and require polluters such as the oil companies to make absolute reductions.

Will the Prime Minister recognize that he is responsible for establishing that framework by selecting 1990 as the reference year instead of 2006, as is the case in his tailor-made plan for the oil companies?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member has asked that before and the answer is the same. The carbon market is part of our regulatory framework and the market will decide where that will happen. Whether it is Montreal or Toronto or Winnipeg, the market will decide.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, setting the economy against the environment, as the Conservatives are doing, is totally outdated. The Conservatives need to understand that the Kyoto targets are business opportunities that could improve the economy and the environment at the same time.

Does the Prime Minister realize that he must abandon his polluter-paid approach, set emissions caps and set 1990 as the reference year so that the carbon exchange in Montreal can really get off the ground?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the member is well aware that after 13 long years of Liberal government, emissions rose. In 2006 this government took over. We now have a plan, a U-turn on emissions. We are getting it done after the previous government was a total failure.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, on the 10th anniversary of Kyoto yesterday, what was our government doing in Bali? It was pointing fingers at other countries, meanwhile hoping that nobody would notice what was going on right here at home with its friends in the tar sands.

The fact is the tar sands, when they are fully developed, are going to become the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, and this government is supervising and even aiding the rapid development of that whole project. This is going to undermine an area of the boreal forest equal in size to Florida, contaminating water courses, marshes, name it. It is going to produce three to five times as much pollution as standard and conventional oil production would produce.

My question is for the Prime Minister. When is he going to start reining in these big polluters?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, all I can say is the government's emissions reductions targets apply across the country. They apply to all industries. They apply to the petroleum industry. They apply to the tar sands. In fact, the reductions required of the biggest emitters will be the biggest reductions.

Chalk River Nuclear FacilitiesOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, frankly, we know that is simply not the case. These emissions from the tar sands are going to become the largest in the world. They are a cause for shameful behaviour by the government and reaction all around the world.

Yesterday we passed a law on the issue of medical isotopes. It needed to be done. Canadians are now focusing in on the issue of nuclear safety.

My question for the Prime Minister is this. In light of what has gone on, will he abandon his foolish suggestion, or his government's foolish suggestion, to privatize Atomic Energy Canada Limited and will he now agree that we have to raise the liability legislation so as to protect Canadians from any accidents?

Chalk River Nuclear FacilitiesOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, our government has launched a review of AECL. We will look forward to the information coming back from experts. We want the very best information available and only then will we make a decision. However, the member can rest assured that we will make a decision in the best interests of the country.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, in this holiday season Conservative re-gifting just keeps on coming.

Yesterday, Conservatives re-announced $7.5 million in Liberal funding for adaptation. Today, wait for it, the minister said that Canada's 700 largest polluters had better watch out or else they would be in trouble if they did not do what they had already done for four years. That is right, Canada's largest emitters have been required to report their emissions since 2004.

My question is for the Prime Minister. What is going on here? What kind of games is his minister playing? Who does he think he is fooling and when is this nonsense going to stop?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I am afraid these kinds of nonsensical questions will only stop when the House ceases sitting. What I can promise the hon. member is this. When the previous government raised greenhouse gas emissions by 35%, that is not an announcement this government intends to re-gift.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, what this is—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. The hon. member for Ottawa South has the floor now. We will have some order.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, what this is really all about is a minister who has been sent to Bali with a plan that nobody believes and nobody buys. He is a drowning man who has resorted to inventing headlines.

The government has wasted two years. The day it took office it had all the information and all the powers necessary to regulate Canada's largest emitters.

Instead of throwing a temper tantrum today in Bali and walking out on Canadian delegates because he cannot defend his climate change plan, why does he not just come home and spare this country from any further international embarrassment?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member talked about the gift that kept giving and giving. Canada did not want the Liberals to keep giving and giving more in greenhouse gas emissions factors. It was the deputy leader who asked, “Why didn't we get it done?”

The deputy leader also said:

I accept the point just so it's clear... the next... Kyoto phase has got to have mandatory emission controls for all [major emitters] otherwise the agreement’s not going to work.

I thank him for his endorsement.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the OPP confirmed it would be forwarding its—

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. I know members love to hear questions from the hon. member for Ajax—Pickering, but they will not be able to hear it if we have this much noise. We have to have some quiet.

The hon. member for Ajax—Pickering has the floor. We will have some order.

Government AppointmentsOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Liberal Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the OPP confirmed it would be forwarding its O'Brien bribery files to the RCMP, files that tie that government to the scandal. This was confirmed in two taped conversations with reporters by Superintendent Dave Truax, the director of the police anti-rackets unit. Less than 24 hours later, without explanation, in an unprecedented action, that senior officer had been overturned.

What happened in those 24 hours? Why did the government House leader just happen to have an advance copy of the release in his hand and read it on an unrelated question?