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House of Commons Hansard #54 of the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was development.

Topics

29th Olympic GamesStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Bloc

Luc Malo Bloc Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Olympic Games to be held in China next summer are causing such a stir among Beijingers that tickets, especially to aquatic events, are being sold hot off the presses. This strong desire to encourage their fellow citizens and discover the world is highly commendable and desirable.

Nonetheless, on the flip side, the parents of Quebec and Canadian athletes, such as the mother of swimmer Marie-Pier Boudreau-Gagnon, are a few months away from the competition with flight and hotel booked, but no place to sit in the stands to cheer for their child.

Obviously this situation is cause for concern for the parents and also for the athletes. This is far from ideal preparation conditions. I have already notified the Chinese authorities about this problem and, like us, they are looking for solutions. Does the government intend to step up and do everything in its power to ensure that everyone can fully enjoy their Olympic experience?

Bradley DavisStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honour the memory of Bradley Davis, counsellor and friend, who died last month after a battle with cancer.

Bradley served as a strategist in the office of the leader of the official opposition in 2007. He also worked for me from the time I entered federal politics. He was a brilliant young lawyer whose wisdom and judgment never failed me.

He was so young when he died, barely 34 years old. It just breaks our hearts. We who remain behind feel bereft at his loss.

Yet we rejoice in his life. We remember his wild and ironic laugh, the ferocious determination he brought to all causes, his passionate love of family, friends and country. We remember his intellectual clarity, his moral courage, his devotion to the public good.

We offer to his parents, Herb and Sandi, to his wife, Alyssa, and their two young children, our undying affection and support. We will never forget Brad Davis.

FinanceStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Finance upheld a long tradition with a twist. He picked up a pair of resoled shoes rather than the traditional new footwear finance ministers wear for the budget. The minister said, “It suits this budget. It's a budget that is prudent”.

Not to be outdone, opposition parties are jumping on the bandwagon with footwear reflecting their financial policies. The NDP shoes reveal how an NDP budget would drive Canada's economy. It is a real collector's item, a sixties style of loafers. The Bloc finance critic could not find shoes that said “irrelevant”, thus the decision to go barefoot.

To decide on proper footwear for the member for Markham—Unionville, the Liberals held an emergency caucus. After hours deliberating, no consensus was reached. According to an insider, the opposition leader, who some say is not a leader, surprised his caucus with a decision.

Not caring about going way over budget, he presented his finance critic with an appropriate choice for the Liberal Party: an overpriced, diamond studded, Liberal red pair of flip-flops.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, climate change is the worst ecological threat humanity is facing. Canada must do its best to fight it, but the government has done bad. Its so-called plan is so weak that it will not even meet its weak targets.

If the Prime Minister is serious about cooperation, why will he not bring back Bill C-30, the clean air and climate change act, which he shamefully killed last fall?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has established a clear target for the reduction of greenhouse gases. It is 20% from now until 2020. This is in fact one of the most ambitious forward looking targets in the world.

The plans that the Minister of the Environment is developing will meet those targets.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, what do the Pembina Institute, the Tyndall Centre, the C.D. Howe Institute, the National Energy Board, the Deutsche Bank, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy and Al Gore have in common? They have all criticized the government's plan as much too weak.

I would like the Prime Minister to show us a single study that applauds the weak plan he is proposing to Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government has set clear targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: 20% by 2020. We fully intend to meet those targets.

The Leader of the Opposition and his party adopted this plan when the throne speech was given last fall.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Laurent—Cartierville Québec

Liberal

Stéphane Dion LiberalLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, this is not an answer. The Prime Minister cannot name a single study because there are no studies. All the experts who have looked at his plan have noted its weaknesses, which are so huge that polluters will not pay, but will be paid. According to the Tyndall Centre, “oil companies could end up with a windfall of $400 million worth of easy credits”.

This plan is not worthy of Canada. What will it take for the Prime Minister to understand that?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, during the decade when the Leader of the Opposition was in government, he failed to present an effective plan to meet the targets he mentioned. In 10 years he did not implement a single plan.

We will implement a detailed plan that will enable us to meet our targets and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020.

Atomic Energy of Canada LimitedOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, over two months ago, the Minister of Natural Resources said that there would be “full accountability for all the players” in the Chalk River crisis. The Prime Minister said, “the government will assure accountability is appropriately restored”.

The head of AECL has long since left. The top nuclear official at Chalk River has stepped down.

Will the Prime Minister explain why accountability stops at the AECL, but never seems to include his own government, not even a minister who does not bother to check his email?

Atomic Energy of Canada LimitedOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals are full of conspiracy theories. Each day they come back with a new theory, when in reality they do not know what they stand for. They criticize the government for not engaging soon enough. Then they say that we should not have been engaged and that we should not have responded.

One day the Liberals say that they support Bill C-38, after they have had ample opportunity to examine all the witnesses. Then they change their minds the next day. Now they are starting to criticize people from various agencies.

The government respects all employees at the CNSC and AECL for their hard work. We will continue to stand behind them for getting the job done.

Atomic Energy of Canada LimitedOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Michael Ignatieff Liberal Etobicoke—Lakeshore, ON

Mr. Speaker, now that the imminent crisis in Chalk River is over, now that the government has compromised the regulator's independence—and then fired her—can the government finally clarify its intentions for Atomic Energy of Canada?

Will it uphold Canada's internationally renowned leadership in this field or is it going to sell to the highest bidder?

Atomic Energy of Canada LimitedOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Saanich—Gulf Islands B.C.

Conservative

Gary Lunn ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, once again the Liberal Party needs to give up on all the conspiracy theories. We launched a review late last year, in the fall of last year.

We are collecting all the information on AECL. We did that very publicly, very proactively. We are getting the best information we can. When we have collected all of that information, this government will make a decision in the best interests of the Canadian people, taxpayers and the future of AECL.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

February 26th, 2008 / 2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures introduced by British Columbia, the Minister of the Environment said, and I quote, “What works in British Columbia may not necessarily work in Nova Scotia”. The environment minister's statement confirms the need for a territorial approach.

Does the Prime Minister not realize that in order to be consistent with what his Minister of the Environment is saying, he must implement binding, absolute targets to reduce greenhouse gases, with 1990 as the reference year, and use the territorial approach as a framework?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, last week I spoke with the Premier of British Columbia and I noted his plan for reducing greenhouse gases. We agreed that our two plans complement each other. His plan controls consumer emissions while ours controls emissions by major polluters. We are prepared to work with British Columbia and all the other provinces to reduce greenhouse gases.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, with the territorial approach, Quebec and the provinces would decide how to achieve the binding, absolute targets that the federal government must implement. That approach has been very successful in Europe.

Will the Prime Minister finally take responsibility on the environment file and implement binding, absolute greenhouse gas reduction targets with the territorial approach as a framework?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the environment is a jurisdiction shared between the federal government and the provinces. We are prepared to work with the provinces on reducing greenhouse gases. It is indeed a territorial approach in many regards. We are seeking to harmonize the rules with the provinces.

We have established national targets. I am clear and we are clear on the fact that these targets are the minimum for each province and territory.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, between 1990 and 2005, the Quebec manufacturing industry cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, while the emissions in the fossil fuel industry, concentrated primarily in Alberta, increased by nearly 50%. But Alberta benefits from the Conservatives' plan, at the expense of Quebec.

When will the Prime Minister understand that in order to be fair to Quebec and its industry, we need to establish absolute reduction targets and set 1990 as the reference year? Will he abandon the polluter-paid principle for the polluter-pay principle?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I find it very interesting that the Bloc critic is telling us that our targets are too tough or that they go too far. Our international plan would regulate large companies. These reductions are binding and absolute. We must reduce greenhouse gases. In the 18 years that the Bloc has been in the House of Commons, nothing has been done on the national level. Now, we are taking action.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, setting the economy against the environment, as the Conservatives are doing, is totally outdated. The Prime Minister needs to understand that Kyoto creates business opportunities and improves the environment at the same time.

Will the Prime Minister abandon his polluter-paid approach, bring in binding, absolute targets and set 1990 as the reference year so that the carbon exchange in Montreal can finally get off the ground?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our plan of course includes a carbon exchange. We are working out the details. We need to have national figures for reducing greenhouse gases. We can see that since the creation of the Bloc, 18 years ago, this has never been done here in the House of Commons in Ottawa. Our government is taking action. When it comes to greenhouse gas reductions, we will get real results for all regions and all Canadians and for the world.

Emergency PreparednessOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the NDP has advocated for an increased awareness of Canada's emergency preparedness and we have also called for more transparency when it comes to military affairs.

Now we learn that the Canadian armed forces signed an agreement with the United States allowing for interoperability of troops during civil emergencies, but no one told Canadians.

Why is the Conservative government being so secretive about this agreement? What does it have to hide?

Emergency PreparednessOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, this is actually the formalization of a long-standing agreement that has been in place. Basically, it allows for a formal agreement permitting armed forces from either side of the border to render assistance in a time of a civil emergency.

This is all about ensuring safety on both sides of the border, allowing for mutual cooperation to the benefit of the citizens of both Canada and the United States.

It sounds to me as if those tinfoil hats are getting a little tight down there.

Emergency PreparednessOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, the minister still has not explained why this agreement was kept secret and even if he was aware of it. How can the Conservatives be trusted when they keep the truth from Canadians?

In the event of a civil emergency and the agreement is invoked, what process is to be followed to approve the deployment of Canadian troops to the U.S. and under whose command would Canadians operate?

Conversely, who would authorize American deployment to Canada and under whose chain of command would the Americans operate while in Canada? Why does the minister not answer that question?

Emergency PreparednessOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Central Nova Nova Scotia

Conservative

Peter MacKay ConservativeMinister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, it could not have been very secret if the hon. member found out.

As it would apply at Norad or NATO, but most important, any activities that were to take place on Canadian soil would be done under the control of Canadian officials, the Canadian military most particularly.

Why have we done this? To exceed and expand upon the necessary actions that occur when people are in jeopardy. If there are ships at sea in distress, if there is an emergency involving, for example, an avalanche, this is all about facilitating the saving of lives.

We would think that a member from British Columbia would understand that.