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House of Commons Hansard #137 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was senate.

Topics

Terminator Seed TechnologyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

NDP

Alex Atamanenko NDP British Columbia Southern Interior, BC

Mr. Speaker, terminator is a technology that is being developed by multinational seed companies to make seeds sterile after first harvest. The goal is to prevent farmers from saving and reusing their own seeds, thereby forcing them to buy seed from corporations every year.

Currently there is an international moratorium being upheld on terminator at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. Incredibly, we have a government, like the Liberal government before it, that is seeking to undermine this moratorium by considering approval of this technology on a case by case basis.

Despite the fact that leading scientists condemn taking this completely irresponsible position, they are willing to take this enormous risk.

My office is flooded with letters every day, over 700 so far, from Canadians expressing deep concern about the dangers of this technology which cannot be prevented from cross-pollinating with other plants. I have personally written to each of these people and informed them that I will be forwarding their letters to the minister's office and asking him to justify his position to them directly.

I urge each of my colleagues to forward each and every letter they get--

Terminator Seed TechnologyStatements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. member for Mount Royal.

IsraelStatements By Members

April 20th, 2007 / 11:10 a.m.

Liberal

Irwin Cotler Liberal Mount Royal, QC

Mr. Speaker, we are on the eve of the 59th anniversary of the state of Israel.

Israel is not simply a CNN clip or what passes for the Internet image of the day. Rather, it should be seen and understood as the embodiment of Jewish survival and self-determination, the reconstitution of an ancient people in its ancestral homeland.

In a word, the Jewish people still inhabit the same land, embrace the same religion, study the same Bible, hearken to the same prophets, speak the same aboriginal language and bear the same aboriginal name as they did 3,500 years ago, and whose abiding hope and dream is to live in peace with the other indigenous nations and peoples of the Middle East.

May I conclude with the age old Hebrew prayer for peace in the original Hebrew language:

[Member spoke in Hebrew as follows:]

Oseh Shalom Bimromov, Who Yaaseh Shalom, Alenu V'al Kol Israel, V'imeru, Amen.

[English]

May God who establishes peace on high, grant peace for us all, Amen.

May this 59th anniversary usher in a real, just, and lasting peace for all peoples of the Middle East.

Bill C-327Statements By Members

11:10 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, we are debating Bill C-327, which I am sponsoring in the House of Commons and which aims to reduce violence on television.

Eight years ago today, on April 20, 1999, the Columbine shooting took place. Closer to home, we also remember the tragic events at Dawson College on September 16, 2006, and the massacre this week at Virginia Tech University. Such events remind us of the importance of reducing violence in our society and especially on television.

A recent study by the communications department at Virginia Tech shows that someone who is exposed to violent programs and movies for a certain number of hours could decide to commit acts of violence to settle disagreements with others. It is therefore our duty as parliamentarians, citizens and parents to make sure our children can live in an environment where violence—which realistically cannot be completely eliminated— is better monitored and less accessible to children.

I invite my colleagues to vote in favour of Bill C-327.

21st Awards Ceremony of Coalition of National Capital Region BusinesspeopleStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Liberal Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to congratulate those honoured at the 21st awards ceremony of the Regroupement des gens d'affaires de la Capitale nationale held on April 14.

The award recipients, in order of presentation, are as follows: the Prix Coup de Coeur 2007 for outstanding service, Jocelyne Beauchamp and Mireille Campeau, co-owners of Cora's Ottawa Saint-Laurent; manager of the year, private sector, Patrice Basille, executive vice-president, Brookstreet Hotel; manager of the year, parapublic sector, Victoria Henry, director of the Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts—particularly special considering it is the 50th anniversary of the Canada Council; SME of the year, Le Nordik - Nature Spa; self-employed worker of the year, Jimmy Blackburn, president of Rebuts Débarras Québec; micro-business of the year, Oproma Inc.; big business of the year, S&S Bolton Electric and its president Robert Sanscartier, who has also received previous awards from the RGA; and lastly entrepreneur of the year, Jacques Bertrand from La Relance Outaouais.

Congratulations to all the award winners. I hope that the RGA will continue its great work for years to come.

The SenateStatements By Members

11:15 a.m.

Conservative

Leon Benoit Conservative Vegreville—Wainwright, AB

Mr. Speaker, earlier this week the Prime Minister announced that he will appoint Albertan Bert Brown as his first popularly elected senator when Senator Dan Hays retires this June. This is great news for Albertans and it is great news for Canadians.

Through our Senate election bill, we are strengthening democracy in Canada.

In the past, prime ministers have consulted ministers, MPs, friends, family, party members, and a whole host of other special interests before they made a Senate appointment. They, however, have not consulted the most important group of people of all: the Canadian public.

Now, the leader of the Liberal Party has criticized the Prime Minister's decision to appoint Bert Brown. Could it be he is just upset because during the 2004 election Bert Brown got more votes than all the Liberal MPs in Alberta combined?

We promised to modernize the unelected, unaccountable Senate, and that is exactly what we are doing.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, now the country knows that the Minister of the Environment is trying to scare Canadians with a report based on bogus assumptions and extreme views of the Kyoto accord.

But the minister's actions we now know were far more devious than that. He claimed that five independent economists support his report, but that is not true. Don Drummond supposedly was a supporter, but now we find out his support was only grudging. David Keith, the Calgary researcher, said: “I think the report overstates the difficulty of implementing policies in the short term”.

Why did this minister ask for expert opinions, but only used what suited his brazenly partisan purposes?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we tabled a report yesterday before the committee, a report that set out the implications of a private member's bill brought forward by the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party has been very clear. It does not believe that implementing the protocol would cost anything. It is a Kyoto without any price.

If it were so easy to do, if there were no price, no cost to Canadian industry, why is the member's own brother begging us not to bring in car emission standards in the province of Ontario?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of the Environment spent the whole day frightening Canadians about the costs associated with Kyoto. He stated in an irresponsible manner that the economy will be ruined. We have heard this argument before with regard to acid rain, the ozone layer and seat belts. It did not work back then and it will not work this time. Will the minister apologize to Canadians for his constant fearmongering?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:15 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party has no plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Liberals had 10 long years to reduce greenhouse gases. If they had done nothing, that would have been a tremendous gift to Canadians, but the fact is they presided over higher harmful greenhouse gas emissions which rose considerably.

It is not only me who is saying that there will be a tremendous economic consequence. One of his very own caucus colleagues said “we are so far behind now that catch-up is impossible without shutting the country down”. This is what Liberal MPs are saying.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, this from one of the authors of the Walkerton tragedy in Ontario.

Yesterday, the government tabled a report in which the Conservatives proposed a tax on every tonne of carbon in this country at between $195 and $295 a tonne. It is their proposal. At the low end, this translates into a $15 billion per year tax on energy. Then the minister asked economists if this tax would have a negative effect on the economy and imagine, surprise, surprise, wait for it, they said “yes”.

I wonder did Chicken Little over there consult the finance minister before he wasted tax dollars that mock the intelligence of Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite owes all Canadians an apology. He was the president of the prime minister's national round table on the environment and the economy. Shortly after he became president of that organization, we saw a dramatic increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Was it either that he gave no good advice on how to implement Kyoto, or is it that the Liberal government would not accept it?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, a former federal minister of the environment is today the Prime Minister of Quebec, and that man is Jean Charest.

Yesterday, Mr. Charest commented on the Minister of the Environment's campaign of fear stating: “If we do not implement Kyoto, it will cost us dearly”.

And he even compared the campaign of fear to the arguments espoused when the decision was made to tackle acid rain.

Does the Prime Minister agree with Mr. Charest?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, clearly the Conservative government dealt with the problem of acid rain 20 years ago. It was a Conservative government that did so. Mr. Mulroney was responsible for that.

I will just say to my colleague that the only government in the world that did absolutely nothing to reduce greenhouse gases was the Liberal government, of which he was a member.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Liberal

Pablo Rodriguez Liberal Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, the government can muddy the waters all it wants, but the fact remains that the emperor has no clothes. Jean Charest is contradicting the minister and Quebec's minister of the environment goes so far as to say that he is fearmongering.

Furthermore, we have learned that the Minister of the Environment chose to set aside the opinions of experts who did not share his views. That is shameful.

How can the minister of misinformation and fear believe that he has any credibility at all in environmental matters?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the very best way to predict future success is to look at past action. The past action of the leader of the Liberal Party and the Liberal government was to do absolutely nothing on the environment by presiding over the biggest increase in harmful greenhouse gases around the world.

They have put forward a plan in terms of Bill C-288, a plan that they have not costed out. It is an irresponsible, reckless plan. If they believe Kyoto can be implemented with absolutely no cost, I challenge them to put this free Kyoto plan before Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the attempt by the Minister of the Environment to scare everyone with his catastrophic report has failed. The minister only succeeded in seriously undermining his credibility. Incidentally, the new Quebec Minister of the Environment, Line Beauchamp, did not hesitate to call the report alarmist, and said that inaction will have an even more disastrous impact for Quebec.

Will the minister pull himself together, stop his fearmongering and, instead, respect the consensus that is emerging in Quebec in favour of implementing the Kyoto protocol?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I fully agree with the Quebec minister that inaction is not an option. Inaction was the policy of the Liberal government. For 10 long years, we witnessed a major increase in greenhouse gas emissions. What was lacking over the past 10 years was a government that could work with the provinces. The Quebec Conservative caucus has been working very hard.

We gave Quebec a $350 million cheque to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is a good example of flexible federalism based on a true partnership with the provinces.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:20 a.m.

Bloc

Monique Guay Bloc Rivière-du-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Premier of Quebec joined with all the observers in expressing his concerns and saying that the real question is the actual costs involved if we do not act.

Instead of causing us to waste time and money, should the minister not resolutely get to work and inform us of his plan to achieve the objectives of the Kyoto protocol?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the cost of inaction is, of course, mentioned in the report submitted to the Senate yesterday. The cost of inaction is that we are forced to do the work of 15 years in just 8 months. That is the real problem.

Our government has already made announcements in the transport and energy sectors, and also in our budget. We are about to make an announcement to regulate the industry. This is something that has never been done in the long 13 years since the Bloc Québécois first came here.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the Kyoto protocol, Quebec is asking that its efforts since 1990 be taken into account. By all indications, the federal government is not going to use 1990 as a reference year, but is going to use 2006 instead, which will totally ignore the environmental efforts made by industry in Quebec.

Does the minister realize that he is penalizing Quebec twice because not only does his inaction harm Quebec companies, but his plan also ignores the efforts they have already made?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, for 16 long years, since the early days of the Bloc Québécois, not enough work has been done on this matter. It is our government that is preparing to regulate industry and it is our government that has made a real effort to work with Quebec and the other provinces. It is our government that said that the money requested by the Bloc Québécois was not enough for Quebec. It is our government that is taking action to help all the provinces reduce greenhouse gases.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister has a rather bizarre approach. It is bizarre and unfair.

Does the minister realize that by moving the reference year to 2006, he is in fact compensating the polluters, such as the major oil companies, and punishing those who have made an effort in the past?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my colleague from Montreal still has not seen our plan for regulating industry. When he sees the plan, he will realize that it is one of the best efforts in the world.

Our government is taking action. We have already made some good announcements in terms of programs, initiatives and the money that will help people reduce greenhouse gases. We will continue to work with Quebec and we will continue to work with all the other provinces.

AfghanistanOral Questions

11:25 a.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, this week the NDP asked the government about negotiations with the United Arab Emirates to send some of their soldiers to Kandahar and including Leclerc main battle tanks and two platoons of armoured reconnaissance vehicles and self-propelled guns.

Why has the government gone outside of NATO? Is this an attempt to create a Bush-style troop surge for this spring? We need a clear answer from the government.