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House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fisheries.

Topics

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, I explained the problem further to the Prime Minister. He need only read what the council wrote: “—there are seven members who are ... entitled to vote, with four chosen by the Minister of Justice. Because the majority of voting members are now appointed by the Minister, the advisory committees may neither be, nor seen to be, fully independent of the government. This puts in peril the concept of an independent body—”

Will the Prime Minister stop attacking the independence of Canadian judges?

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, obviously the Liberal Party opposes the change we have made, which is to give the police a voice in this process.

I am not surprised, given what I am reading in The Vancouver Sun today, when I read this how the Liberal Party makes decisions: “The Vancouver Sun has learned that the father-in-law of the member of Parliament for Mississauga—Brampton South--”.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. We are wasting a lot of time. The right hon. Prime Minister has the floor.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Harper Conservative Calgary Southwest, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am simply reading what The Vancouver Sun reported.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. We can go straight to the Bloc question if that is the preference. We are wasting time.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

February 21st, 2007 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Pembina Institute showed the federal government that a plan with absolute reduction targets would cut in half greenhouse gas emissions by major industrial emitters, which are mainly oil companies. These absolute reduction targets would enable Canada to reach the Kyoto protocol targets.

With time running out and the future of the planet at stake, will the Prime Minister finally introduce absolute reduction targets, which everyone is calling for?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government is the first to promise to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants on a national level. That is why we introduced Canada's clean air act. We will be announcing our policy. I can assure all the members of this House that this government does not intend to take any measures that would threaten our economy.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, if he really intends to solve the problem, he should answer the question properly and clearly. Will there be absolute reduction targets?

He also mentioned the economy. He says he will not do anything to threaten the economy. I would like to remind him that it would cost the oil companies between 58¢ and $1.16 per barrel to offset their greenhouse gas emissions. They have more than enough money to do this, judging by the companies' annual surpluses.

Will he put the interests of Canadians or the interests of the oil companies first?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it was this government that put an end to the preferential treatment of the oil industry, thanks to the changes to energy trusts.

The Bloc leader says that it is possible, Yet the Bloc Québécois and the other opposition parties voted for a bill that called on the government to define its program. We must propose measures, and we intend to introduce proposals in the House of Commons.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, multinational oil companies had record profits in 2006, pocketing $12.1 billion, an increase of 25% over 2005 and 70% over 2004.

In view of these astronomical profits, does the government not think that it would be quite justified to have oil companies contribute between $0.58 and $1.16 per barrel to the cost of reducing greenhouse gases?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I have stated very clearly that oil companies, just like all other Canadian industries, will have to comply with industry regulations. That is very important. Industries that are not able to improve their processes will have to bear the costs to ensure that the best technologies are used and that we reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Mr. Speaker, the time has come to take action. The effects of climate change are omnipresent. The money is available as we can see from oil company profits.

Rather than insisting on defending the “poor”oil companies, why does the government not set absolute reduction targets, thus making it possible for a carbon exchange to be established?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I have already said that this government will be the first in the history of Canada to regulate industry with regard to greenhouse gases as well as air quality. All Canadian industries will have to comply. That is very important. It will apply to Quebec industries and Alberta oil companies.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the all party committee dealing with climate change is moving at a glacial pace. In fact, glaciers are melting even faster than this committee is moving and it is time the Prime Minister told his MPs to get to work and start producing some results at that committee.

Yesterday, the Pembina Institute very conservatively estimated that it would cost about $1.50 per barrel of oil to clean up the greenhouse gas emissions from the oil patch. That is worth a cup of coffee for each barrel.

Is that too much to ask of the petroleum industry, with its enormous profits? I ask the Prime Minister, what does he think about this eminently sensible proposition from Pembina?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, I do not know the basis on which that kind of argument was made. I can tell the hon. member that the proposal of the previous government was that the taxpayers of Canada would subsidize the purchase of credits by industry internationally.

We do not think that is a responsible environmental policy. We think the basis of regulation of greenhouse gases and air pollution should be the polluter pay principle, and this will be the basis of the plans we bring forward.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is nice to hear the holier-than-thou phraseology, but the government is subsidizing the big oil and gas companies, and is perfectly happy to do it, apparently.

A VP at Suncor said yesterday, “We don't predict job losses or impact on the economy [because] of meeting Kyoto”.

Shell has committed to a 50% reduction in its first oil sands project as long as it can be done voluntarily.

This industry has no reason to be fighting regulation and rules with the pollution that it is putting forward.

How can the Prime Minister continue to refuse to act on this situation when even the industry admits that it will not hurt the economy? When is he going to get going? Or on a day when Al Gore is here, calling on us to act as Canadians, will he continue to deny?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we will take our own decisions as Canadians.

The leader of the New Democratic Party knows that the government has committed to bringing forward, for the first time, a compulsory program of regulation of industry for the control and reduction of greenhouse gases and air pollution.

I am not sure that those oil industry executives were quoted in context, but if they were, I look forward to their support when the government announces its plan.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has made an absolutely uncalled for attack on the integrity of a member of the House, and in so doing has shown no respect for this institution.

Similarly, the Minister of Justice appears to show no respect for the institution of the Canadian judiciary. The issue is whether the Conservatives are prepared to listen to what the justices and chief justices of this country are saying.

Stop this foolish policy and reverse course.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, since the opposition apparently will not let me read into the record what The Vancouver Sun reported, let me say this. It is very clear from the Air-India families, and I think from the police community and the wider Canadian community, that we expect the Air-India investigation to go forward.

It is an important police investigation and nothing in the Liberal Party should interfere with that. It was the Liberal Party that passed these anti-terrorism measures in the first place. Rather than playing partisan games in politics, it should pass it again and allow the police to do their job.

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the insinuation of the Prime Minister that this side of the House would put the public interests of our country—

Judicial AppointmentsOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!