Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup.
Although Canada ratified the Kyoto protocol on December 17, 2002, after a majority vote in the House of Commons, and the government thereby committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Canada by 6% from the 1990 level between 2008 and 2012, Canada's record on greenhouse gas emissions is not a glowing one.
In 2004, Canada emitted 26% more greenhouse gases. To reach the target of 6% less than 1990, Canada will have to eliminate over 200 megatonnes of greenhouse gases, or nearly 32.5%. Liberals and Conservatives are both to blame for this sorry situation.
Quebec itself has made very different choices. Between 1990 and 2004, it experienced an increase of barely 6% in its greenhouse gases, four times less than the Canadian national average. Quebec continues to show leadership, with its plan to combat climate disturbances, which incorporates all of the targets in the Kyoto agreement.
The greenhouse gas emissions picture is often cited. Quebec still holds the record when it comes to greenhouse gases, in terms of the minimum produced per capita. It produces approximately 12 tonnes per capita, about half the Canadian average. If we exclude Quebec, for what is called the ROC, the rest of Canada, that 23.7 tonnes per capita average climbs to 27.2 tonnes.
While greenhouse gas emissions in Quebec were rising by barely 6%, they grew by 39% in Alberta, and by 61% in Saskatchewan. It is often said that the decision to opt for hydroelectric energy has contributed greatly to Quebec's enviable performance. The collective choices made by the public, by their industries and by the National Assembly, however, are also contributors.
Emissions from Quebec manufacturing industries fell by 7% from 1990 to 2002. The pulp and paper industry reduced its emissions by 18%. The Quebec inventory of greenhouse gases in 2002 illustrates how emissions are distributed in Quebec by industry. We see that the transportation industry is the largest source of emissions, representing 38% of total emissions in Quebec. Road transportation alone accounts for 85% of emissions in the transportation industry, which is why it is important for Quebeckers to target motor vehicles, our dependence on oil and public transit.
Currently, with regard to public transportation in the immediate region of Montreal, there are feasibility studies on three major projects. First, on the North Shore, there is a rapid commuter train that links Montreal to the region of Terrebonne-Repentigny-Mascouche and which is at a little more advanced stage than the two others. Indeed, the government has already committed $300 million to solve this problem.
Quebeckers are asking for $328 million, and we see already that the money will almost certainly be totally spent on the Montreal-Mascouche commuter train.
Our minister and senator recently came to us with a new project to link downtown Montreal and the Montreal-Trudeau airport, in Dorval. The minister and senator probably has in his pockets some interesting amounts for public transportation.
In my area, the riding of Brossard—La Prairie also has its pre-feasibility studies. Our Minister of Transport could probably tell us more about this project. There is a plan for light rail on the boom of Champlain bridge. The pre-feasibility studies are completed. We are waiting for the results. All the chambers of commerce on the South Shore are anxious to see these results.
A few months ago, the cost of this project was estimated at $1.2 billion. Once again, we see that it would be very easy for the Quebec government to invest in public transportation. There are three projects that would easily reach $1 billion, I would even say $2 billion, if we include all the infrastructures and all the structures to cross the St. Lawrence River. Public transportation is very important in Quebec.
Quebec is trying to free itself from its oil dependency. Here are a few numbers randomly chosen. In 1962, 67% of energy needs were filled with fossil fuels. With the big hydroelectric projects, that percentage was reduced to the point where, in 1981, our oil dependency had dropped to 53%.
In 2002, that percentage fell to 38% thanks to the increase in hydroelectricity production in Quebec. The reduction of our dependency on oil is mainly attributable to the implementation of programs like EnerGuide and the shift towards electric heating.
In 2005, Quebec consumed 200 million barrels of oil a year. We want to reduce that consumption by at least 20% by 2016. So, it is very important that the $328 million we are demanding from the federal government be directed toward public transit. The government must act swiftly and make public the studies the Agence métropolitaine du transport spent $12 million on.
There is a project that is of particular interest to me and that has become a priority for the population of Montreal's South Shore. It concerns highway 10, which has reached its full capacity. Every day, the population must cope with traffic congestion on the Champlain bridge. A light train could transport 20,000 people an hour and reduce the number of cars using the bridge by about 8,000.
In fact, the addition of a train would bring enormous savings for the area. Furthermore, the time lost by workers is estimated at $1 billion every year.
I urge our Minister of Transport to invest in public transit as soon as possible and not 10 years from now, after two or three further elections.