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House of Commons Hansard #103 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was loan.

Topics

Canada PostStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, for the past several months, Canada Post's famous slogan “From anywhere... to anyone” has been sounding pretty ironic to more than 5,000 constituents from the Domaine des Hauts-Bois, in the city of Sainte-Julie, in the riding of Verchères—Les Patriotes. Since the postal outlet serving their neighbourhood closed down, these citizens have had to cross a highway to get to their brand new point of service, located near the main post office.

The people concerned, who can rely on the support of the municipal authorities, which recognize that their demands are legitimate, have mobilized. A petition signed by more than 900 citizens was recently sent to the president of the Canada Post Corporation, asking her to intervene. Despite the clearly expressed public discontent, she has turned a deaf ear to the petitioners' request and will not take any action to open a postal outlet in the Domaine des Hauts-Bois area.

I urge the minister responsible for Canada Post to remind its president that such a close-minded attitude is unacceptable.

Child CareStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Ken Dryden Liberal York Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, code blue for child care has spoken. The Conservatives' child care allowance does not work because it could never work. The average cost of child care in this country is $8,000, even at the Billy Bee Daycare down the street.

Does $1,200 before taxes allow one to put a child into child care? No. Into better child care? No. Does it allow mothers earning an average woman's salary of $25,000 to stay at home? No.

What about new spaces? With the subsidies, the middle class and poor cannot afford these spaces anyway so they do not get built. This is child care for people who do not believe in child care. They cannot do what they do not believe in.

It is the same for climate change and for aboriginal people. In the Prime Minister's own clear, decisive words, he does not believe. His approach is to take on the smaller stuff instead, set the bar low, really, really low, then by George hit it, get the job done. But get what job done? That is the question.

Real leadership is not decisiveness, it is direction. Canadians want and need as a Prime Minister, a real believer, a real leader.

Senate Tenure LegislationStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Pierre Poilievre Conservative Nepean—Carleton, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal culture of entitlement lives on and the Liberal leader is too weak to do anything about it.

Last year the Conservative government introduced a bill to limit Senate terms to eight years. The opposition leader said he was on side. However, the Liberal Senate has now taken 261 days on the 66-word bill. That is an average of four days for every single word.

We know Liberal senators would rather keep a 45 year guarantee on their jobs. Why will the Liberal leader not step in and force them to get it done? Is it because he is too weak to get the job done?

He was a minister during ad scam. He is now inviting back all the ad scam criminals to take part in his party. When it comes to entitlement, it is clear that the Liberal leader is still too weak to get the job done.

Let us not go back.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, tonight this House will vote on the motion of the official opposition that calls on the government to recognize that climate change is the worst ecological threat that humanity is facing, that we need to meet our Kyoto obligations, our international obligations, and that we need also to have a comprehensive plan to fight it with a cap and trade system and regulations for the industry and CEPA is available for that.

Will the Prime Minister recognize that he was wrong about climate change and will he vote for the motion of the official opposition?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, what is wrong is a Leader of the Opposition putting forward this motion who says himself that he will not be able to meet the Kyoto targets.

The National Post has a commentary on this today. It notes that the leader of the Liberal Party “has invested so much of his public image in his unwavering belief...in Kyoto as a necessary step to reversing global warming, that he cannot afford to have voters thinking that just seven...months ago he was prepared to admit Kyoto was a bust”.

He needs to get his own position straight.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, my position is very clear. If we continue to waste our time with a Conservative government, we will fail to meet our obligations. That is obvious.

The other problem is that the Prime Minister cut the partnership fund that enabled us to work with the provinces. It would have helped Ontario close the coal-fired plants. It would have helped the Government of Quebec go ahead with at least $328 million—and that was a minimum—in projects.

Why did the Prime Minister cut the partnership fund? Why did he abandon the provinces?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it is the Leader of the Liberal Party who was incapable of developing a realistic plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve the Kyoto targets and to negotiate with the provinces.

He now wants to change his mind and convince Canadians that he can achieve the Kyoto targets. The National Post said that in order to rescue his strategy for the next election, he is denying his confession that he cannot achieve the Kyoto targets.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, if we do not have a strong green budget this year, it will be very difficult to be on time for 2012. I will repeat that. The Prime Minister knows that.

Will the Prime Minister recognize that it is a mistake for him to ignore that, not only a mistake for the environment but also a mistake for the economy? The green economy is booming around the world. This is the way to be competitive. If we do not make the link between the environment and the economy, we will miss the next industrial revolution because of him.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the audacity of the Liberal leader is incredible. He says that he could not make the targets from 1997 to 2006 and he will not be able to meet them from 2008 to 2012. It turns out the only year he can meet them actually happens to be this year, when he does not have the responsibility.

We finally have a government that is prepared to take realistic action to actually deal with this problem in the long term. Rather than being a naysayer, he should get on board and support these efforts.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, this weekend the Prime Minister said it is impossible for Canada to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the short term. Why does he believe this?

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act has all the authority that he needs to take action now. Why is this government not immediately introducing regulations that would cut greenhouse gas emissions today?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, if there was some magic solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the statute books of Canada, I say to the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, why did they not avail themselves of this silver bullet?

I have been reading about the Liberal motion in the Globe and Mail. In a great column, Jeffrey Simpson wrote a story called “Why I'm laughing at the Liberals' Kyoto motion”, saying that the Leader of the Opposition and his colleagues “are being political[ly] disingenuous or intellectually dishonest or, worse, both...this motion came from a [Liberal] party that presented four--four, count 'em--'actions plans' that did squat to reduce emissions”.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian industry must take the lead in developing technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yet the Prime Minister says that any attempt to reduce our emissions will hurt the Canadian economy.

Why is there such a lack of leadership from this government? Why not encourage the Canadian economy to take advantage of the new economic opportunities that are opening up?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the deputy leader of the Liberal Party has said that Canadian industry can take leadership on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. What Canadians want is for the Canadian government to take leadership, which the Liberal Party failed to provide for 10 long years after Kyoto was signed.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister is showing boundless bad faith on climate change. He recently stated that it was unrealistic to have to stop driving a car and turn the heat down in winter to achieve the Kyoto protocol targets.

He should stop trying to deflect attention. We are not asking him to turn the heat down in winter; we are asking him to cut oil company subsidies.

I would like to know when he is going to stop subsidizing the “poor” oil companies.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, it was this government that put an end to energy trusts, yet the Bloc leader and his party want to revisit that decision.

If the Bloc Québécois is opposed to the oil industry, why is it not criticizing André Boisclair's plans? According to the October 20, 2006, issue of Cyberpresse, Mr. Boisclair wants to explore and develop oil and gas in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the BAPE still has to give its approval, which is by no means certain. He neglected to mention that, just as he always neglects to mention things.

The Prime Minister just said that we have to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions, which amounts to saying that we are going to increase pollution levels, but more slowly. Increasing emissions is out of the question. The government has to set definite targets to reduce emissions.

Will he, yes or no, set clear, precise emission reduction targets so that a carbon exchange can be set up?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government is clear. We intend to have short-term, medium-term and long-term targets.

As for the government's approach, I note that the chair of the Liberal caucus's sustainable environment committee agrees that we can have intensity targets with reductions later. This is necessary in order to control emissions, then reduce them.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we thought we had seen it all from this government's environment ministers. But, no. The new minister is back from Paris, telling us that he was very surprised to learn that human activity is responsible for climate change. This is completely ridiculous. Everyone knew that, except the Minister of the Environment. I cannot believe this.

Will the minister get over his astonishment and finally set some fixed targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases, which we so urgently need?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, on Friday, I very clearly said that it was quite surprising that 400 scientific experts are talking unequivocally about the reality of global warming. It is extraordinary for these 400 scientific leaders. That is the truth.

It was very clearly stated that this government wanted to study the true statistics for industry, and that the government was prepared to work hard and put its efforts into its bill.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment stated that all parties in the House of Commons agreed with the intensity rules set out by his government.

How can this government justify the disgraceful populism demonstrated by the Prime Minister when he talks about the environment, along with the misinformation constantly put forth by the Minister of the Environment, who is trying to justify intensity rules, which no one agrees with, apart from his buddies in the oil industry?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, air quality and action to fight climate change are very important to this government.

I would like to add that the economic growth of Canada and Quebec is also very important to this government. We can work on both files at the same time, to ensure that Canada and Quebec enjoy strong economic growth, so that everyone in this country can be employed.

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know the Prime Minister breaks his promises. We have seen it on lobbyists. We have seen it on appointments. We have seen it on the income trusts.

I think we expected better when it comes to something as important as health wait times. Despite what the peanut gallery over there on the other side might comment on all of this, I think Canadians are actually concerned about wait times, but now we hear from the health minister that he has no intention of delivering on that fundamental promise that was made. This is the same health minister who supervised the privatization of hospitals, clinics, long term care and home care in his own province when he served there.

The government is in full reverse. Why will the Prime Minister not honour his word to Canadians on health care?

HealthOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government has every intention of keeping its promise on health care. The fact of the matter is that the government has introduced, with the provinces and on its own, a number of pilot projects on wait times, and we see data out today indicating that wait times are beginning to come down across the country.

This is a long term objective. This government did not promise a quick fix for a generation. That was tried a while back. It did not work out. We are making a serious long term effort and we will have results.

Child CareOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think Canadians will listen to their doctors and judge this on their own experience. The doctors of Canada are saying that the government has failed to keep its commitment on wait times.

Here is another failure. Today we have the child care organizations across the country, called Code Blue, pointing out that the government gets a failing grade on its so-called universal child care plan. It is neither a plan nor universal.

The fact is that the Prime Minister promised 25,000 new child care spaces each and every year. The fact is that he has delivered none. Can the Prime Minister explain why he broke his promise to our kids?

Child CareOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this party has delivered a universal child care benefit that Code Blue and the NDP may want to take away, but this party will make sure they cannot take it away.

Once again, as for health care, I know the way the NDP leader wants to shorten wait times: he wants to go to the private clinics himself. I am not going to do that. I am going to keep using the public health care system.