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House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environment.

Topics

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Conservative

Norman Doyle Conservative St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 10th report of the standing committee, entitled “Issues raised by the use of security certificates under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act”.

Income Tax ActRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North, MB

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-399, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (mutual fund trust accounting principles).

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce this bill, which amends subsection 132(6) of the Income Tax Act to improve the transparency of mutual fund trust accounting rules.

This amendment would result in improved transparency for those investing or considering investing in income trusts by requiring a clear differentiation between income made on capital investments and the return of capital on all financial reporting, a distinction currently not required.

This lack of a distinction has been cited by regulators and others as a cause for concern that seniors and other investors may be misled as to the value of their investment. Protecting seniors and all Canadian consumers remains our primary objective, and this bill goes a considerable distance in achieving that.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

February 8th, 2007 / 10 a.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among all parties and I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion:

That, at the conclusion of today's debate on the opposition motion in the name of the member for Laurier—Sainte-Marie, all questions necessary to dispose of the motion be deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred until Tuesday, February 13, 2007, at the expiry of the time provided for government orders.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. whip of the Bloc Québécois have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

(Motion agreed to)

AutismPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10 a.m.

Liberal

Shawn Murphy Liberal Charlottetown, PE

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present in the House today a petition from a number of concerned constituents from my riding of Charlottetown dealing with the whole issue of autism and how it is presently being funded in all provinces across Canada.

The petitioners call upon the government to provide funding under the Canada Health Act for IBI/ABA treatment, and furthermore the petition goes on to call upon the government to establish an academic chair in each of our 10 provinces so that IBI/ABA treatment can be taught at the undergraduate and doctorate level in each of these universities.

Rights of the UnbornPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to present, on behalf of my constituents today, a petition dealing with the issue of protecting unborn children who are victims of violent crime.

In 2005 Olivia Talbot of Edmonton was killed and her 27-week-old unborn son, Lane Jr., also died as a result of that attack.

My petitioners call upon Parliament to enact legislation which would recognize unborn children as separate victims when they are injured or killed during the commission of an offence against their mothers.

Undocumented WorkersPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

Mario Silva Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition on the whole issue of undocumented workers, asking the government to take action on this very critical issue.

Today I met with Michael Atkinson from the Canadian Construction Association, and Mr. Atkinson was reporting to me, as he has mentioned to the minister as well, about the critical shortage of workers in the construction sector, particularly given that the average age of construction workers is about 55.

There is a need for about 150,000 people to come into Canada within the next eight years just to fill in the present shortage of retiring workers, so this is a very important issue also for the Canadian economy, which I have mentioned many times. The government has to take action or else it will be damaging our economy.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand.

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions on the Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act—Speaker's RulingPoint of orderRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

On February 2, 2007, prior to debate on report stage of Bill C-288, An Act to ensure that Canada meets its global climate change obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, a point of order was raised by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Government House Leader and Minister for Democratic Reform .

He said that amendments to this bill reported by the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development on December 8, 2006 required a royal recommendation. Interventions were also made by the hon. members for Don Valley West, Wascana, Honoré-Mercier, Cambridge and Mississauga South.

The Chair thanks all the hon. members for having addressed this matter.

In his submission, the parliamentary secretary referred to my ruling of September 27, 2006 where I concluded that Bill C-288, as it was introduced in the House, did not require a royal recommendation. He did not dispute this decision, but argued that two amendments adopted by the standing committee created a new and distinct purpose which involved new spending, and that comments by the sponsor of the bill in a CBC interview confirmed the fact that significant new spending would result from the adoption of the bill.

The Chair has examined the two amendments reported by the committee. The first one modifies clause 5 of the bill. That clause requires the minister to prepare a climate change plan and lists measures to be taken to ensure that Canada meets its Kyoto obligations. The amendment adopted by the committee adds a provision to the list of measures regarding transitions for affected workers. It results in an additional element that the minister must address in the climate change plan.

As I mentioned in my September 27, 2006 ruling, the measures which this bill obliges the minister to bring forward may or may not entail spending. The Chair cannot speculate on what those measures may be, for they are not contained in this bill. Therefore, the amendment does not require a royal recommendation because it does not contain any authorization for spending; it merely directs the minister as to what should be addressed in the plan.

The second amendment modifies clause 10. That clause deals with the review of the Minister’s Climate Change Plan. The amendment gives the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy the responsibility of analyzing the plan and advising the minister. The Parliamentary Secretary argues that this is a new and distinct purpose for the National Round Table which will involve new spending.

In examining the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy Act, the Chair notes that section 4 establishes its mandate as follows:

… to play the role of catalyst in identifying, explaining and promoting, in all sectors of Canadian society and in all regions of Canada, principles and practices of sustainable development by

(a) undertaking research and gathering information and analysis on critical issues of sustainable development;

(b) advising governments on ways of integrating environmental and economic considerations into their decision-making processes and on global issues of sustainable development….

In determining whether a royal recommendation is needed for a new and distinct purpose, the Chair considers whether some entirely new activity or function is being proposed which radically diverges from the activities already authorized in existing legislation.

In the present case, section 4 of the act calls on the national round table to perform activities relating to an analysis of sustainable development issues and to advising the minister on environmental and economic considerations.

The terms of the amendment to Bill C-288 appear to me to fall precisely within its ongoing mandate: that is, to analyze the climate change plan and to advise the minister. Now it might be argued that this would increase the workload of the national round table, but even if this were so, an increase to its budget would be sought through existing appropriation arrangements.

In summary, then, on the arguments related to the text of the bill, as amended, I must conclude that the amendments to Bill C-288, adopted in the standing committee, do not constitute new spending for a new and distinct purpose, and the bill, as amended, does not require a royal recommendation.

Let me now deal with various ancillary points raised during interventions on Bill C-288.

The Parliamentary Secretary referred to the transcript of a CBC interview where the member for Honoré-Mercier alleged to have confirmed the fact that Bill C-288 would result in significant public expenditures. The hon. member for Honoré-Mercier disputes this interpretation.

The Chair is of the view that this is a matter of debate and not germane to the point of order itself.

Another matter was raised by the hon. member for Mississauga South. He asked how the House is formally informed that a bill, amended and reported from committee, requires a royal recommendation. The Chair would strongly encourage any member who has doubts in this regard to raise a point of order shortly after a committee has reported amendments to the House. In this manner, the Chair would be able to return with a decision in time for the appropriate action to be taken at report stage.

Once again, I thank the House for its assistance on these matters and its patience in permitting me to deal with this particular complex question.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto ProtocolBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:10 a.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

moved:

That, having recognized the principle of complying with the Kyoto targets, it is the opinion of this House that the government should provide the Government of Quebec with the sum of $328 million to enable it to implement its plan to meet the Kyoto protocol targets.

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois' position on implementing the Kyoto protocol has been known for a long time and is as follows.

First, Canada must meet its international commitments; second, a carbon exchange must be set up in Montreal, which requires strict reduction targets and a polluter-pay policy; third, the government must stop providing assistance for the oil industry; fourth, Canada must adopt a territorial approach; fifth, $328 million must be transferred to the Government of Quebec.

For a number of years, Quebec has asked the federal government for $328 million, to enable Quebec to implement the Kyoto protocol within its borders. This should have happened a long time ago. For too long, the Government of Quebec has been stalled by the federal government on this urgent, fundamental issue.

The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Official Opposition have both undermined Quebec's efforts to fight climate change. In so doing, they have raised considerable doubt as to how determined they actually are to comply with Kyoto. By imposing its policies on Quebec, the Conservative government is doing what the former Liberal government did: hampering economic development in Quebec.

What this House needs to understand is that when it comes to energy, Quebec and Canada are two nations faced with completely different challenges. Although oil is making Canada richer, it is making Quebec poorer.

Last Sunday, a former federal environment minister, Mr. Anderson, stated that the Bloc Québécois was the only party that had always consistently supported the Kyoto protocol. In fact, this fundamental issue has long been a high priority for us. We do not have to make the shift to green thinking.

During the 2000 election campaign, we were already making the fight against climate change a key issue. In the years that followed, Quebec made a huge effort to convince Canada to ratify the Kyoto protocol.

The Bloc spoke out about this issue and was successful. During the 2004 election, we made the environment, and particularly the implementation of the Kyoto protocol, a central focus of our election platform. Greenpeace even awarded us a symbolic windmill for our campaign.

Furthermore, during the course of the 2004 election, something occurred that is very rare in the annals of politics. We received the support of another party leader, the Green Party. At the time, he called on Quebeckers to vote for the Bloc.

During the last campaign, our platform focused once again on the climate change issue.

Lastly, following the election of the current Conservative government, with a Prime Minister who promised to tear up the Kyoto protocol, we lead the charge in Quebec. We launched a petition, calling for compliance with Kyoto, and gathered more than 120,000 signatures.

We obtained the support of the majority of this House in favour of a motion calling on Canada to honour its commitments. It must be understood that this issue was crucial in Quebec.

I must point out here the complicit silence of the Conservatives elected in Quebec regarding this matter. They dishonourably refused to represent the opinion of a large majority of Quebeckers.

Furthermore, I am not at all convinced of the Prime Minister's good will, since not that long ago, he was the one who called Kyoto nothing more than a socialist scheme.

If there was a scheme, it was more likely an oil and gas scheme, reaching from Houston to Calgary, via Washington. I, however, do not believe in conspiracy theories. In fact, Quebec must simply deal with the Conservatives' ideological stubbornness and the Liberals' hypocrisy.

We cannot emphasize enough how appalling the Prime Minister's actions were in this matter.

Not only did he describe the international protocol as a “socialist plot”, but when he was leader of the official opposition he also promised to revoke it at the first possible opportunity.

The Prime Minister is fond of presenting himself as a decisive leader. Tuesday he spoke of leadership and yes, there is leadership, but the problem is that he is leading in the wrong direction. He has reneged on Canada's international commitments. He put a gag on Quebec in Kenya. His Quebec political lieutenant has slammed the door in Quebec's face as far as the $328 million is concerned, and the present Minister of the Environment has said, in response to a question from the Bloc, that he still wishes to proceed on a project by project basis, on a piecemeal basis, just like his predecessor and just like the former Liberal minister.

I am, of course, referring to the present leader of the official opposition. When he was the environment minister, he too hindered Quebec in its efforts. When Quebec was trying to negotiate an agreement with him, the then Quebec Minister of the Environment, Minister Mulcair, a fervent federalist, had this to say: “the term contempt is not strong enough to describe how I was treated.” Nothing has changed since then.

It is all very well for the current Quebec Minister of the Environment, Mr. Béchard, to be pleased with his first meeting with his new federal counterpart, but all he is doing is repeating what he said after his first meeting with the old one. We all know what happened after that: this Conservative government humiliated Mr. Béchard in Nairobi.

Mr. Mulcair, who had never caved in to Ottawa, stated, and rightly so, that the federal government's focus was totally on the west and on Ontario. That is why the Bloc Québécois is demanding a Kyoto implementation plan based on a territorial approach. This is the approach which has enabled 25 sovereign states of Europe to reach agreement and make some progress within the European Union.

That approach will enable Canada to meet its commitments by allocating objectives to Quebec and to each province. Quebec will then be free to determine for itself the best way to meet its objectives. If the government wants to demonstrate its goodwill and to take that path, the first step it needs to take is to transfer $328 million to the Government of Quebec, with no strings attached and not a little at a time.

Quebeckers are committed to combating climate change. They have been making that clear for many years. Petroleum is the source of 71% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Quebec. This means that Quebec will have to radically reduce its petroleum consumption in order to help combat climate change. That is the first reason for Quebec to reduce its reliance on petroleum. It seems to me that saving the planet is an excellent reason.

The second reason is that petroleum makes Quebec poorer. This is not true for Canada. In today's petroleum economy, Canada is a major player. The Canadian economy is heavily reliant on the petroleum industry. This is so true that the fluctuations in the value of the Canadian dollar depend in large part on petroleum prices. This is largely why Canada has yet to implement the Kyoto protocol. Put simply, petroleum is making Canada richer. The opposite is true for Quebec: petroleum is making it poorer.

That is why Quebec needs to enter into an agreement based on the territorial approach. With such an agreement, Quebec will be able to take charge of implementing the Kyoto protocol within its jurisdiction, including where funding is concerned. This will require a minimum of $328 million to be transferred to the Quebec government.

When I say that petroleum makes Quebec poorer, that is not a figure of speech. For one thing, Quebec does not produce significant amounts of petroleum, natural gas or coal. In 2006, Quebec bought $13 billion worth of petroleum. This represents a $7 billion increase over three years. Over the same three years, Quebec went from a surplus to a trade deficit of $7 billion.

This means that rising oil prices sent Quebec into a trade deficit position. As you know, trade deficits slow economic growth. Every drop in the balance of trade leads to a drop in wealth in Quebec.

As well, the instability of prices and the dollar hits the manufacturing industry. The Quebec finance department estimates that a 20% increase in the price of oil results in a 0.8% drop in real GDP in the first year and 1.4% in the second. That is a huge amount.

The price of oil is supposed to remain high and very probably to go even higher in the short term. That is why I say that oil is making Quebec poor. And that is why it will make Quebec poorer in future, if the federal government persists in countering its efforts.

This is the second justification for adopting a strategy that focuses on reducing our dependence on oil, a strategy that is appropriate for Quebec.

We therefore have strong evidence: Quebec must reduce its dependence on oil, both to combat climate change and to halt the impoverishment that results from our dependence.

There is also a third reason. Quebec, like all societies, will eventually have to do without oil. Oil is a non-renewable resource that will someday be exhausted. If we embark on this path quickly, the reduction in dependence on oil will become a major economic advantage.

The time will necessarily come when oil production is no longer sufficient to meet demand. That will cause shortages and lead to skyrocketing prices. Will this happen in 20 years, or in 50 years? While we do not know the answer, everyone acknowledges that it will happen.

The industrialized world will enter the post-oil era in a few decades. This new direction will call for very far-reaching changes. In fact, it will call for a revolution—an energy revolution. Societies that saw the change coming and embarked on the new path earlier will come out of it as winners. Societies that did not prepare for it will experience a major crisis.

It is therefore entirely to Quebec's advantage to embark on the new path of the 21st century now. But Quebec will never be able to do this if Canada continues to impose its oil economy policies on it.

From 1970 to 1999, the federal government gave $66 billion in direct subsidies to the oil and gas industry, all concentrated outside Quebec. Quebeckers paid for one quarter of those subsidies. Not a single cent was given to the Quebec hydro-electric industry. And it goes on: by our calculations, the accelerated write-off allowed for the oil sands alone will have let the oil companies exempt $15 billion of their taxable profits between 2005 and 2008—$15 billion to the oil companies, when we all know that they are all living on the edge of poverty.

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister announced his intention to transform the savings made on debt servicing into income tax reductions. Should he not be taking that same approach and cutting the assistance given to the oil companies, and spending that money to combat climate change?

As for the leader of the official opposition, he is not missing a trick; he also voted in favour of Bill C-48, legislation that meant that Canada's tax laws became the most favourable for oil companies in North America. The oil companies now pay less tax in the Prime Minister's Canada than in George W. Bush's Texas. We have to do it. Enough.

The Bloc has a strategy that will enable Quebec to reduce its oil dependency. By applying this strategy, Quebec could expect to reduce its oil consumption by 32% over 10 years. In reducing the flight of capital caused by oil imports, these measures could lead to an increase in GDP of 1.5% per year in Quebec.

In addition, reduced oil dependency will improve the competitive strength of the Quebec economy. We are talking here about tremendous impacts that will make the difference between an economy with modest growth and a dynamic and flourishing economy.

Quebec's regions will also benefit from this strategy. For example, the use of forest and farm wastes to produce clean fuels, the implementation of the Quebec marine policy and coastal shipping, modernization of plants in the forestry sector, and reduction of oil-related expenditures are all measures that will benefit the economies of Quebec's regions. Finally, the positioning of Quebec as a player in sectors likely to grow quickly should also ensure continued and sustainable growth for the province.

Over the next 10 years, in meeting these objectives, Quebec will have been able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 21.5%, which will be 10% less than 1990 levels; and that will only be the start, because Quebeckers believe in Kyoto.

For this government and the previous one, Canada’s economic future has always meant more oil. For us, it is exactly the opposite. The future of Quebec always demands less oil. Thus, the future of Quebec and the future of our planet are going in the same direction. Quebec will need all its resources to finance this strategy, but much of Quebec’s financial resources are sent here, to Ottawa.

It is also in Ottawa that crucial decisions are made with regard to research, and to marine and railway transportation. Decisions are made in Ottawa with respect to certain industrial standards, the regulation of polluting emissions and vehicle compliance, decisions on implementation of the Kyoto protocol, creation of a carbon market, for example, and decisions about business support programs, taxation and many infrastructure programs. All those decisions are made in Ottawa.

It is obvious that Quebec will not be able to achieve all these objectives without the good will of the federal government. However, within the federal framework, past experience teaches us that Quebec must be very patient before Ottawa agrees to respond to its needs and interests.

Therefore, I invite Quebeckers to take note that there would be nothing to prevent a sovereign Quebec from implementing an energy revolution that will serve our interests and those of the planet.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto ProtocolBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Bloc

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

Mr. Speaker, may I clarify something? Have we resumed debate or is this questions and comments period?

Opposition Motion—Kyoto ProtocolBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

I asked if there were any questions and comments and nobody rose so we are resuming debate. The Hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Minister for La Francophonie and Official Languages has the floor.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto ProtocolBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:30 a.m.

Beauport—Limoilou Québec

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Minister for la Francophonie and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, why do we need the clean air act when we have the Canadian Environmental Protection Act?

Canadians are concerned about the quality of the air they are breathing, as well as climate change. Harmful atmospheric emissions are continuing to impact on our health, our environment, our economy and even our quality of life. Our government is aware that global warming is a serious threat to the health and well-being of Canada. So the new government of Canada has taken measures designed to reduce air pollution and climate change in order to protect Canadians’ health and their environment.

The report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has just been released, once again sounds the alarm. Growing levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere may exacerbate climate change, and this may prove to be devastating in many parts of the world.

This government’s long-term integrated regulatory approach to the reduction of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions will be strengthened by the improvements that the bill aims to make to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, or CEPA. By relying on the considerable powers already provided under CEPA, Bill C-30 will ensure a much firmer foundation for concerted action to be taken against smog emissions, acid rain pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions produced in many cases by the same industrial and vehicle sources.

Concerted action will make it possible to avoid so-called “pernicious” effects. Sometimes the technologies used to reduce air pollution have unfortunate side effects, which actually increase greenhouse gas emissions. By tackling this problem, our government will maximize the advantages for the population of Canada and Quebec. Our approach will also provide the certainty necessary to industry so that it can make the most of technology and invest the necessary money to reduce both air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

The previous government committed itself to meeting ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets, but the emissions increased by 27% during its mandate. Consequently there was a increase in smog in our cities and an increase in the incidence of asthma and other respiratory diseases. That is why our government is taking a dynamic new path.

The clean air act creates new powers to allow for regulation and surveillance of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.

Allow me to give a few examples of the effects the changes to CEPA will have.

The clean air act will be the legislative basis for a made-to-measure approach to regulate indoor and outdoor air pollutants as well as greenhouse gases. By adopting regulations based on the act, we will be in a position to impose requirements and to take enforcement measures against offenders.

Our clean air regulation initiative comes as a radical change if we consider all the missed opportunities of the past. For the first time, the environment and health ministers will be legally forced to establish national objectives on air quality, to follow closely the progress in meeting those objectives and to produce a progress report every year. This is a very strict obligation that we think will ensure that successive governments make a priority of improving air quality.

With the clean air act, Canadians will be in a position to hold the government accountable for real progress in reducing air pollution.

Bill C-30 will also amend CEPA to enable us to make full use of the emission-trading market so that industry can comply as efficiently as possible with the regulatory standards that are going to be instituted.

The bill will also improve our ability to regulate air emissions from various products.

Along with the provinces and territories, our government promised to require that the renewable fuel usage rate be set at 5% by 2010. This objective is stricter than the American one and comparable to that of our European partners. The amendments to CEPA will allow us to regulate the fuel mix and thereby institute national standards on renewable fuel content in as efficient a way as possible.

Canada's Clean Air Act will also improve the Energy Efficiency Act, enabling us to set solid energy efficiency standards for a broader array of consumer and commercial products, especially household appliances and electrical products.

Finally, Canada's Clean Air Act will amend the Motor Vehicle Fuel Consumption Standards Act to modernize the government’s ability to regulate the fuel consumption of new motor vehicles. For the very first time, we will be able to regulate the fuel efficiency of motor vehicles beginning in the 2011 model year.

We already have some legislative power to protect Canadians’ health and the environment from air pollution. That is why we do not expect the amendments to unleash new regulatory measures. The notice of intent we issued last October described a certain number of regulations that will come into force over the next 12 months under the existing legislation.

Canadians will see real reductions thanks to these regulations imposing mandatory requirements. The era of voluntary compliance is over.

In conclusion, Canada's Clean Air Act will be the first comprehensive, integrated effort that Canada has seen to fight air pollution and greenhouse gases. It will give all Canadians cleaner air while also fighting climate change. Our health has suffered long enough and our environment has been degraded enough. Canada's Clean Air Act is absolutely necessary to achieve real progress for our generation and those to come.

Mr. Speaker, I am sharing my time with the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of the Environment.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto ProtocolBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:40 a.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

I might just say to the hon. member that it is important for people to indicate at the beginning or even in the middle of their speech that they will be sharing their time and when members are getting notes indicating that, they should pay attention to the notes and they ought to tell the House that they are sharing their time. To do it at the end of their speech is not in keeping with the rules. However, we will cut the member a little bit of slack this time and we will go to questions and comments.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto ProtocolBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

Stephen Owen Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is passing curious to me that we are hearing from the Conservative government the constant harping about the fact that under the Liberal government for a number of years greenhouse gas emissions were actually increasing. It is curious because, during that whole period when numerous projects were being put into place and being funded into the future, projects that had real support from Canadians across the country, the scientific and environmental communities, that while they had not had a chance to get themselves working, the Conservatives, as opposition and then as government, were disclaiming the whole basis of climate change. They were deniers.

For them to now say that we did nothing and that they are rushing in to save the day and that under the Liberals it was terrible, they were not even in the field. They were saying that it did not happen, that it was not happening, that it was not a danger and that it was a waste.

Would the hon. member simply comment on what on earth the Conservatives were thinking for those long 13 years when they were denying the whole existence of a problem that they now claim they must rush in and save us from? It is very curious.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto ProtocolBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, we must deal with the basics, with the real problems. For 13 years, the Liberals had the opportunity to do so and they did nothing. If this had been so good and so effective, emissions would have gone down instead of going up.

Now, we must deal with the problems. The voluntary part must come to an end. As a government, we must stand up. All people in Canada and in Quebec must be informed of what we are doing and the way we are doing it. Thus, it will be crystal clear.

Clean air will be not only for everyone, for oil industries, but also for ordinary people. Asthma and respiratory diseases are more and more frequent in this country. We are dealing with the real problems. This is how we will work.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto ProtocolBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:40 a.m.

Bloc

Thierry St-Cyr Bloc Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to put a question to my colleague from Beauport—Limoilou. She talked a lot about the various measures taken by the government, but she did not talk about today's motion, which asks to provide the Government of Quebec with the sum of $328 million to implement its plan in Quebec.

I remind her that it is not only the Bloc Québécois that is asking for this. Of course, there is the Parti Québécois, but there is also the Government of Quebec, with Mr. Jean Charest's Liberal Party in Quebec. In fact, everyone in Quebec is asking for this $328 million.

I would like to know whether, as an elected member from Quebec, she will vote in favour of our motion. If she does not intend to vote in favour of the motion, I would like her to say whom she represents here, in this House.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto ProtocolBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:45 a.m.

Conservative

Sylvie Boucher Conservative Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, in answer to my Bloc colleague, I would say that I represent Quebeckers and I am working in Quebec for Quebeckers, but I am also in Canada. I am working for everyone. Quebeckers are not the only ones with problems. Both Quebeckers and Canadians have problems. In that sense, the clean air act, Bill C-30, is a very good bill.

Opposition Motion—Kyoto ProtocolBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

10:45 a.m.

An hon. member

Will you vote for the motion?