That was the member for Halton, a Liberal member.
Even when the Liberals were in government, it was easy for them to offer whatever people wanted but they had no intention of ever delivering.
Now that the Liberals are no longer in government, it is clearly easier for them to tell Canadians what they want hear, which is that they want to achieve the Kyoto targets, when in fact they cannot and had no intention to. It was 13 years of mismanagement.
The NDP takes the same position but it is hard to tell what the NDP's position is on short, medium and long term targets for greenhouse reductions because in the last six weeks it has supported two different positions.
First, there were the targets that it wrote with its Liberal buddies on Bill C-30. These targets would cost Canadian families and businesses over 275,000 jobs and send gasoline prices soaring over $2 a litre. These targets would be disastrous for the economy and the NDP supported them.
The NDP then introduced even tougher targets in a private member's bill sponsored by the leader of the NDP that would harm the economy even worse. Those targets were so over the top that when it tried to write them into Bill C-30 even the Liberals said that they did not make sense because they were so obviously over the top.
Canada's new government is committed to improving the environment on behalf of all Canadians. This includes concrete and realistic industrial targets recently brought forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the air that we all breathe.
Let us look at what happened with the clean air sections of Bill C-30. The opposition members gutted those clean air sections. We asked them to work with us to protect the health of Canadian children, the elderly and those suffering with respiratory illnesses. What did they do? They gutted those important sections out of the clean air act.
What did Canadians lose in the opposition's rush to gut the bill? Led by the NDP member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley and the Liberal member for Ottawa South, what did Canadian's lose? They lost mandatory national air quality standards, and members opposite are applauding that those were lost. Canadians lost mandatory annual public reporting on air quality and actions to achieve national air quality standards. Canadians lost increased research and monitoring of air pollutants. Canadians lost tougher enforcement rules of compliance to air quality regulations. Finally, the opposition removed regulations that would have improved indoor air quality.
We heard from Health Canada officials at the environment committee yesterday about the importance of indoor air quality. Allow me to quote from their presentation:
Canadians spend about 90% of their time indoors.
In the built environments where we live, work, go to school, and play, Canadians are exposed to a variety of contaminants such as airborne moulds from excessive moisture, emissions from household products and building materials, and carbon monoxide from poorly vented oil and gas appliances.
These and other indoor air contaminants can cause or exacerbate many different ailments, including asthma, respiratory infections, and allergies.
Under the Clean Air Agenda announced last fall, the Government committed to develop a priority list of indoor air pollutants in partnership with provinces and territories, which will lead to guidelines and other measures to protect the health of Canadians from these pollutants.
Tragically, the opposition members removed indoor air regulations from Bill C-30. What did they add instead? They added delayed action by requiring six months of consultation around a new investment Bank of Canada, before we could move forward on tough new regulations for industry. They added complex and unworkable requirements that would make it harder, not easier, for government to act on air pollution.
Even worse, the Liberals, supported by the NDP, inserted a clause that would allow political interference into air quality standards. The Liberals would allow the environment minister to exempt economically depressed areas from air quality standards for two years. This would allow the environment minister to engage in political interference in setting air quality regulations. That is something Canadians certainly do not want.
It is also interesting to note that at the House of Commons environment committee yesterday, officials from Health Canada testified on the importance of national air quality standards as opposed to the regional patchwork as proposed by the NDP members and their Liberal buddies on Bill C-30.
Bill C-30 was key to protecting the health of Canadians and the environment. It is clear that the opposition picks politics over the environment.
The Liberals also inserted their carbon tax plan into the bill, a plan that would lead to zero greenhouse gas reductions. Unlike the Liberals, we believe actions speak louder than words. That is why we introduced the toughest, most realistic plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the world today.
For the first time ever, Canada's new government will force industry to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution. We have taken immediate action to implement mandatory targets on industry so that greenhouse gases begin to come down.
Canada needs to turn the corner because we went in the wrong direction under the Liberals. Since the Liberals promised to reduce greenhouse gases in 1997, they have only gone up.
Canada's new government is turning back the hands of time on the disastrous Liberal record and we will cut 150 megatonnes by 2020. We will impose mandatory targets on industry so air pollution from industry is cut in half by 2015.
The government is serious about tackling climate change and protecting the air that we breathe for Canadians today and tomorrow. Our plan is real. It begins now, immediately, and will lead to concrete results with challenging but realistic targets for industry.
There is no doubt that we all need to work together if we are to address our growing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants. Unfortunately, the motion seeks more delay and more debate, and that is why we will not support it.
The time for talk is over. The time for action is now and I look forward to getting support from all opposition parties to implement our tough new regulatory framework on air emissions.