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House of Commons Hansard #170 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

Equalization FormulaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, the authors of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council report concluded that this government's budget violated both the letter and the spirit of the accords.

Even the former Conservative finance minister, John Crosbie, said that the Conservatives were changing the equalization formula in a way that would nullify the principles of the accord.

The only people who are refusing to admit that the government is undermining the accords are the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance. Why are they refusing to admit they are wrong?

Equalization FormulaOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the new equalization formula is an enriched formula. That is why all the provinces that receive equalization payments are getting more money this year.

I think this debate is getting close to the level of the absurd. We were being accused of breaking the contract with the Atlantic accord. Now the premier of Saskatchewan, who has no accord, is going to sue us for breaking his accord. I do not even understand what they are saying any more.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister promised action on the environment. Yesterday the C.D. Howe Institute published a study that found that the government's so-called green plan is a total failure. In fact, according to economists who took part in the study, the government's plan will not even reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a single tonne by 2050. This is just another broken promise by the Prime Minister.

Will the Prime Minister finally admit that the intention of his green plan never was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but to protect his friends the oil companies?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, not at all. The Minister of the Environment proposed a number of measures to achieve this objective. We do not agree with the estimates in this study. We are in consultation and developing a regulatory system. We intend to revise all these figures in order to ensure that we meet our targets.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister insists on moving forward with intensity targets instead of absolute targets. Does he not realize that lowering greenhouse gas emissions per barrel of oil from the oil sands will have no effect if the production of barrels is quadrupled?

Will the Prime Minister admit that his primary objective is not to cut pollution, but to protect the oil companies that continue to rake in profits and create pollution?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it is very important for Canada and for all the other countries in the world to have absolute reduction targets. This is an essential part of our plan. Regulating industry is the most significant part of our plan. There are also a number of other initiatives in the areas of energy and transport. For the first time, Canada has a real goal and real measures for achieving that goal.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, at the G-8 summit, the Prime Minister argued in favour of the territorial approach to fighting climate change, indicating that the different starting points as well as the individual circumstances of each country should be taken into account. The same approach could also be used domestically by establishing absolute reduction targets, in keeping with the Kyoto protocol, for Quebec and for each province, leaving each to implement its own plan for achieving the desired results.

My question is simple. If this approach is good enough on the international scene, why is it not good enough for Canada?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is the reason why we have more than just absolute reduction targets, and I emphasize the word “absolute” for my Quebec colleague.

It is very important for the government to acknowledge efforts made by industry in recent years. That is an essential part of our plan. We are in discussions with industry, throughout Canada and Quebec, to be sure that we will reach these sound objectives.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister says that he supports creating a carbon exchange and he voted in favour of the Bloc Québécois motion requiring the implementation of absolute targets, but he is doing the exact opposite. Even the C.D. Howe Institute, which is not known for its environmental inclinations, has denounced the green plan because, despite the promises, reduction targets will not be achieved before 2050.

Is this not further evidence that the purpose of the Conservatives' plan is first and foremost to please their friends in the oil industry?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is not the case at all. We think it is absolutely vital that we work hard with the transportation industry, whether it be road, marine or rail transportation.

We think it is very important to work with the provinces. We are working very hard with trusts in order to support the objectives throughout Canada.

It is interesting to note that the Quebec Conservative caucus asked for more money for Quebec than did the Bloc Québécois.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, today a C.D. Howe Institute study is saying, “The government is likely to miss its 2020 emissions target by almost 200 megatonnes”. Its author added that the government should not be surprised about this because it has simply taken up the failed Liberal policies, by and large. Then the Montreal Stock Exchange CEO is saying that the government's rules and targets are too weak.

Surely these right-wing think tanks and business people are not part of the Kyoto socialist plot the Prime Minister was so paranoid about. If he will not take our advice on climate change, will he at least listen to his friends at the C.D. Howe Institute and business—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The hon. Minister of the Environment.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it was with great interest I noted that the leader of the fourth party suggested that we take advice from that individual. He is the same academic who reviewed the opposition Bill C-288 and said it would have terrible economic consequences for Canada.

If the hon. member is going to accept all the advice from Mark Jaccard, maybe he should begin by accepting the advice of the foolhardy Bill C-288, something that he and his party have hung their own hats on.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the only advice the Prime Minister is listening to at all is from George Bush.

Even the Conference Board has just given the Conservatives a D for their performance on the environment. During the G-8, the Prime Minister joined forces with George Bush to weaken the economic powers' commitment to fighting climate change.

He said that there was no way we could reach the greenhouse gas reduction targets if the United States did not sign an international treaty.

Does that mean that the government is giving in and that Canada will not sign a new treaty if George Bush does not sign it first?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, for the first time ever at the G-8 summit, all nations recognized that having mandatory long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets is essential.

This is a very important declaration that includes the United States for the first time. It is therefore important to keep moving in this direction because this is a victory for Canada and the world.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, a report released yesterday by the C.D. Howe Institute completely discredited the statements made by the Prime Minister during the G-8, in which he claimed that his climate change plan would save the planet.

The report confirmed that Canada's emissions will skyrocket every year for the next 50 years. By that time, emissions will be 330% higher than the 2050 targets that the Prime Minister announced to the world.

Will the Prime Minister finally admit that his plan is a total failure?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have come forward with a whole series of initiatives to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in this country.

We will regulate industry for the first time in Canadian history on this issue. We have a whole series of initiatives on transport, on energy efficiency and on conservation. We are working on a national effort.

We will even help Dalton McGuinty close down those dirty coal fired stations, something he promised to do, but a McGuinty Liberal did not keep his promise on the environment.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister reminds me of a school child who gets caught cheating on an exam.

Four reputable organizations, four independent reports, confirmed that the minister is deceiving Canadians. Even the government's own officials cannot back up his claims.

This ecofraud means consumers will pay billions of dollars for no real environmental or health benefits.

Why does the minister not just stop the charade and the schoolyard antics and bring Bill C-30 back to the House for a vote?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the single worst environmental promise that was made and not kept was the solemn promise made by a Liberal named McGuinty to close all the coal fired generating stations in Ontario by 2007. The reality is, it was a Liberal broken promise.

The Liberal Party has come forward with its own bill on climate change. Here is what the Montreal Gazette said. It said that it was intellectually bankrupt. It said that it was not a very tough scheme. It was bureaucratic, it was arbitrary, and it certainly would not be put in place in Canada to help us meet our Kyoto targets. I agree.

The EconomyOral Questions

June 13th, 2007 / 2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, today the Conference Board of Canada reported that the Conservative government has failed on both the environmental and the innovation fronts. The report states that the government increasingly fails to meet the basic goals of a high and sustainable quality of life for all Canadians.

When will the minority government develop some long term policy that will benefit the future competitiveness and sustainability of our economy? When will it implement an innovation strategy that will not get a failing grade?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member asks, when? Last October, I say to the member. It is called “Advantage Canada”. It was published last October. It is a medium and long term economic plan for our country, including an innovation advantage.

We have already begun implementing it in budget 2007, including the very beneficial accumulated capital cost allowance for manufacturing industries mainly in central Canada, which that member voted against.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think it was more like “advantage Whitby” than “Advantage Canada”.

Thanks to the Liberals' solid fiscal record, the government inherited a great deal to work with. Funding for the environment and for research and development suffered billions in budget cuts from Mike Harris's hatchet man in his first budget. Today the Conference Board reported the impact of that.

Why should Canadians have any confidence in a finance minister who is disingenuous about the promises he breaks and incompetent in the delivery of the promises he keeps?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite refers to the Conference Board report and the data that is in that report. I must point out to the member opposite that all of that data is from 2005 and before, the result of the poor productivity performance under the previous Liberal government.

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, in light—

National DefenceOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!