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House of Commons Hansard #36 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was regions.

Topics

Energy Efficiency ActGovernment Orders

6:10 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Madam Speaker, I am glad my colleague from Yukon raised this because it does have a massive effect on where he is from. This is something the government needs to change right away. This has been a huge, unmitigated disaster for the government to cut moneys to this group, this global network that deals with climate change. It cannot be reconstructed overnight. It has taken a long time to put that together.

Professor Andrew Weaver from the University of Victoria, who is part of the Nobel prize winning international panel for climate change, has spoken out loudly and clearly about this, as have other scientists. This is a train wreck that the government can stop. It can stop it by investing and funding this group, which is doing an excellent job. The member for Yukon knows this, particularly coming from the north, where the melting of the permafrost is releasing methane into the air. Methane is 25 times a more powerful greenhouse gas agent than carbon dioxide. As that methane goes up in a powerful way, a feedback loop continues causing us to approach a critical time in the history of our planet, and that we cannot allow to happen.

Energy Efficiency ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Madam Speaker, during the speech of my hon. colleague from Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, something was disquieting when he talked about Antarctica and what was happening there. My colleague from Saskatoon—Humboldt spoke out and said that Antarctica was actually increasing in size, in other words, the ice was growing.

We have all seen the evidence on television, in movies and elsewhere about the Larsen ice shelf collapsing and so forth. It seems to me that all the evidence is that it has been shrinking and that the ice has been decreasing. We are talking here about ice that is created, not in a year but over thousands of years. The Larsen ice shelf would have been created by snow falling year after year for thousands of years and being compressed gradually into ice. How he could possibly think that this was the case is beyond me.

Second, it appears that he did not get the memo, because this kind of climate change denier language is the language the Conservatives are not supposed to use any more. He did not get the memo from the Prime Minister's Office telling him not to talk along these lines these days and not to keep being the kind of climate change deniers that they have been and that they obviously still are.

I would be interested in my colleague's comments on what we saw here.

Energy Efficiency ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Madam Speaker, if the government believes for a second that the Antarctic ice shelf is growing, then that is along the lines of believing that dinosaurs roamed the earth 7,000 years ago, because it is not happening.

What is happening, as my colleague said, is that the Antarctic ice shelf has contracted considerably. Not only has the Larsen ice shelf hived off and disappeared, but in huge chunks. I would encourage anybody to look at satellite pictures of the Antarctic ice shelf. Look at the pictures of Greenland. Look at how it has shrunk, and look at the rate at which the shrinkage has occurred. In that shrinkage of the ice caps, the decrease of the white space is resulting in an exacerbation because reflective capacity has gone.

This is a disaster, and we are certainly willing to educate the government and work with it to deal with this issue in an intelligent way.

Energy Efficiency ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

NDP

Peter Julian NDP Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Madam Speaker, I always appreciate the comments of the hon. member for Esquimalt—Juan de Fucain the House, but he used the term disquieting, and according to the Oxford Dictionary, “disquieting” means to be troubled.

I am very troubled because despite the fact that we have had a number of Liberals intervene in the House, quite rightly condemning the Conservatives for their complete lack of action on the environmental file and a budget that attacked the very fundamentals of environmental protection in the country, Liberals rubber-stamped the budget. Liberals have been rubber-stamping every action that the government has taken for three years.

My question for the hon. member is this: Is it not disquieting for Canadians, is it not troubling for Canadians that Liberals rubber-stamp everything the Conservatives do, when quite frankly they admit that the Conservative plan for the environment is not good for the environment and not good for Canadians?

Energy Efficiency ActGovernment Orders

6:15 p.m.

Liberal

Keith Martin Liberal Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Madam Speaker, this comes from a member whose party leader said that he was not going to support the budget, before he even saw it. That is irresponsible.

We were faced with a very difficult decision. In Bill C-10 and in the budget there were some good things that the Liberals fought for. They fought for the credit through the EDC. They fought for a stimulus package. They fought for moneys through infrastructure. They fought for some changes to EI but not enough.

Then the government plugged in these other things that we found despicable. The government did not give us an option. It said we could change the bill but the bill would not pass and we would have an election.

We did not think that was in the best interest of our country. We did not think it was responsible for the nation to be deprived of the stimulus package and these other changes that we fought for. Therefore, we allowed the stimulus package to go through, but we will change the odious parts of this bill when we become government, which will be very soon.

Energy Efficiency ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Resuming debate.

The hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie may begin his speech, but he will probably continue it when debate is resumed.

Energy Efficiency ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Madam Speaker, I am delighted to take part in today's debate on Bill S-3 to modernize the Energy Efficiency Act. This bill was introduced in the Senate on January 29, 2009 by the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

This bill represents and replicates, for all practical purposes, part 2 of Bill C-30.

Energy Efficiency ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Energy Efficiency ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order, please. Can we have some silence, please?

Energy Efficiency ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Madam Speaker, as I was saying, this bill replicates for all practical purposes the now defunct Bill C-30 on air quality introduced by the government. It caused considerable debate, especially at the Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development. The second part of Bill C-30 aimed to modernize and improve the Energy Efficiency Act. Of course, that legislation needed to be renewed, updated and improved. For that reason, among others, we will support Bill S-3.

However, the fact remains that it is clearly not enough and more needs to be done. It is clear from many of the comments made by stakeholders in the industrial and business sectors, as well as the environmental community, that the industry proposed these regulations with a shrug of their shoulders. That says it all. It is a step in the right direction, since the amendments presented in these regulations were necessary, but it is not nearly enough to address the problem and improve energy efficiency. We simply must go even further on this issue, because it constitutes one of the most important pillars in a real policy to fight climate change.

A climate change policy must have two basic components. The first is the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at their source and changing our industrial processes and lifestyles in order to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One way this can be accomplished is by changing how we produce energy. In the next few years, we must reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, whether coal, gas or oil. We must develop new sources of energy in order to reduce our dependency on oil, for instance, which strains the budgets of individuals as well as of businesses and government. When we reduce our dependency on oil, we create conditions conducive to protecting the environment and improving the economy of our society.

This bill amends regulations to reflect advances in energy efficiency, especially with respect to standby power. That is significant. We must encourage such changes, suited to each type of appliance, especially in our homes. For example, an energy-efficient television will use 1 watt compared to 12 watts for a conventional television set. That is the case for certain appliances. If we really want to eliminate consumption, we should just pull the plug However, quite often we cannot because some devices have a memory and we would lose all the information.

It is important to update these technologies, to introduce regulations and to force businesses to change the manufacture of appliances especially when the technology is available. It is estimated that the implementation of new technologies for standby power alone could save families $35 a year and result in electricity savings equivalent to consumption by 300,000 households.

That part of the bill is good for the economy and for people's budgets.

This bill would also give the minister more power when it comes to labelling products that consume energy, and it would standardize the process, broadening the range of products to which labelling applies. That is important, but we feel that the government should go much farther. This kind of energy use labelling should not be restricted to appliances, such as dishwashers and televisions, or to light bulbs. It should also bring in a vehicle energy use labelling system like the one in Switzerland and elsewhere. In 2002, the Swiss implemented mandatory energy use labelling for new vehicles. That is the kind of energy use labelling we need.

Our proposed measure would require those who make and sell cars to affix a label containing information about fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and energy efficiency to all new and used vehicles for sale. We think that this information should also appear on brochures and all advertising material. Labelling would raise awareness among individuals and companies about vehicle efficiency by providing information about fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. People need that information to make responsible, well-informed choices.

We think that the government should go further than this bill and implement mandatory energy use labelling for new vehicles offered for sale, something along the lines of the Swiss system. I really want to emphasize that because we believe that energy efficiency is about more than the environment and environmental protection. It is also about saving money and creating jobs. This is an opportunity for businesses, states, nations and countries to create jobs based on energy efficiency.

Energy Efficiency ActGovernment Orders

6:30 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

I apologize for interrupting the hon. member. He will have about 11 minutes left when debate resumes.

The House resumed from March 26 consideration of the motion.

Citizenship and ImmigrationCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

6:30 p.m.

NDP

The Acting Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

It being 6:30 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion to adopt the second report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration, standing in the name of the hon. member for Trinity—Spadina.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #43

Committees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

6:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I declare the motion carried.

Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Pursuant to order made on Wednesday, March 25, 2009, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment to the motion.

The question is on the amendment. All those in favour of the amendment will please rise.

The hon. chief government whip is rising on a point of order.

Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:55 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Mississippi Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, if you were to seek it, I believe you would find agreement to apply the vote from the previous motion to the current motion, with Conservatives voting no.

Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:55 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this fashion?

Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

6:55 p.m.

Liberal

Rodger Cuzner Liberal Cape Breton—Canso, NS

Mr. Speaker, Liberals will be voting no on this motion.

As well, I would like to add the names of the members for Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, Scarborough—Rouge River and Scarborough Centre.

Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

7 p.m.

Liberal

Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

No, they abstained on the other vote.

Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

7 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Bloc Québécois members will vote against this motion.

Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

7 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the NDP is voting in favour of this motion.

Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement Implementation ActGovernment Orders

7 p.m.

Independent

André Arthur Independent Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to vote against this motion.