Mr. Speaker, to put this evening's debate into context, this discussion follows up on a question I asked the Minister of the Environment on November 26, 2007. It is now March. I would like to suggest that this is an indication of how important this issue is to the Conservative government. This is probably the most important issue the current government will face, since it is our duty to future generations to try to do something concrete to curb global warming caused by the increased amount of greenhouse gases we are emitting.
The question was asked in November at the height of the Bali conference where, unfortunately, the Conservative government embarrassed us on the world stage. Instead of being a leader on the environment, the Conservatives decided to point the finger at other countries who are not only signatories, but are respecting their obligations under the Kyoto protocol. I am referring to India and China. The fact is that when the protocol was signed, it was always understood that emerging economies would have a little more time to adapt. This was considered fair by all signatories, including Canada.
Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that China emits one-fifth the greenhouse gases per capita that Canada does. Nonetheless, we know that on average, Quebeckers emit half the greenhouse gases that other Canadians do. And in some parts of Canada, 10 to 20 times more greenhouse gases are emitted per capita. There is nothing to be pleased about here and no reason to hide behind China and India.
The Bali conference was the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. A similar conference had been held in Montreal. We must stand up to the Conservative government. Just this evening, we saw another example of exactly how badly the so-called official opposition, the Liberal Party, is doing its job. Later this week, during the opposition days, each party will have a chance to express its concerns about the most important issues facing our society.
It is a shame that we cannot put forward a non-confidence motion against the official Liberal opposition, because its representatives had a lot to say about the Kyoto accord, but the party did not do a thing. They no longer stand for anything. They did not take a stand on the budget, which ignored this serious issue, except for a brief mention of carbon sequestration, which is a solution few support.
Canada has a legal obligation under the Kyoto accord. The Conservatives claim that respect for the law is one of their government's greatest priorities, but they are contravening the international law that Canada has signed. Perhaps the Conservative government should refrain from lecturing people on failing to comply with the law, seeing as this country's own obligations as a state have been flouted by the government's failure to comply with the Kyoto accord.
I invite anyone interested in this issue to listen carefully to the minister's statements in the House, and to read the record. He has demonstrated a complete failure to understand his file. No doubt his assistant, who will read us a text prepared by the Prime Minister's Office, will look as though he understands it, but the Conservatives have no inkling.