Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to speak to the bill as a member of the environment committee. I have participated in all aspects of the committee hearings on the bill, including the very unfortunate and frustrating filibuster that occurred at committee for I do not remember how many hours, it was so long.
The point that was repeatedly made by the government members on the committee, throughout the period of the filibuster, was that the bill was too general and vague, that it set targets but did not specify the specific measures that would be taken to reach those targets, and that the bill did not enumerate the financial consequences of meeting those targets. The government repeated these points ad nauseam.
It is true that the bill is not the most detailed piece of legislation that has ever come to the floor of the House of Commons. However, we have to remember that it is a private member's bill, even though it is sponsored by the leader of the NDP. It is, after all, a private member's bill, and anyone who has been in the House long enough understands that private members' bills are drafted with the resources available. In other words, with the resources of an individual MP's office and with some of the resources of the legislative office of the House of Commons.
A private member's bill is not drafted with the benefit of the hundreds of experts that reside in government departments here in Ottawa, so to expect that the level of detail would be anything similar to that which should be included in a government bill is rather naive. To then claim, later on in the process out of the blue, like the government did, that it could not support the bill because there is not enough detail, after it allowed the bill to get to a certain stage in committee, is, in my view, bad faith.
One will have to remember that going into the committee process, the government's objections to the bill were not raised at the steering committee level. They were not raised through the first part of the committee process when amendments were voted on. They were only raised at a certain point, out of the blue, and that is an act of bad faith, I must say.
It is not a very detailed bill. Of course, the NDP members do not have to worry as much about detail because no doubt they do not expect to form the government at the next election. However, the party is obviously alerting the government to a problem, alerting parliamentarians to a problem, and that in itself has some merit.
I would like to get back to the point the government made that the bill does not have enough detail. It is ironic that when it suits the government's purpose, it does not worry about detail. In the last election campaign, it said it would provide thousands of child care spaces. It never got into the details in its election campaign. It never got into the details and it never met those objectives. It did not care about details back then when it came time to promising something that it thought would result in the party obtaining more votes during the last election.
The other interesting point, when it comes to this concern for details, is that the Prime Minister and the government do not seem to care about a very important detail that has been brought to the attention of Canadians by Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson, which is that the government cannot meet its own climate change objective. It cannot reduce greenhouse gases by 20% by the year 2020 over 2006 levels precisely because the government of Alberta will not be controlling its greenhouse gases.
Let me quote from a column that Mr. Simpson wrote not long ago. He said:
Just as a square peg cannot be squeezed into a round hole, so Canada cannot meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets, even the limited ones of the Harper government, if Alberta does not change direction. Any child can do the arithmetic. Alberta accounts for about 35 per cent of Canada's emissions. Premier Ed Stelmach's government plans to allow emissions to increase by 15 to 20 per cent to 2020. The Harper government, by contrast, is committing Canada to an overall emissions reduction of 20 per cent by that date. If the largest polluting province's emissions are rising, the rest of the country just can't take that many emissions out of the economy to reach the Harper target. Worse. The Stelmach government's policy calls for a 14 per cent Alberta reduction by 2050, whereas the Harper government's national target for 2050 is--