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House of Commons Hansard #43 of the 40th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was benefits.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, global investments in environmental technologies reached $155 billion in 2008. Now economists tell us the global carbon market will reach $400 billion in 2012 and exceed $1 trillion by 2020. The U.S. is outpacing Canadian sixfold in green research and development.

Why are the Conservatives not positioning Canada to succeed in this global market and create the tens of thousands of green jobs we desperately need? What do they have against working Canadians?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that economic action plan included $1 billion for green infrastructure, $300 million for eco-energy retrofit and $1 billion for carbon capture and storage. We are world leaders with the toughest target in Canadian history, and that is an absolute reduction of 20% by 2020.

I thank the member for supporting our action plan.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the governor of the Bank of Canada has been forced to admit that the recession will be deeper and longer than anticipated. For his part, the Prime Minister is in denial and is refusing to modify his recovery plan, saying that it is the perfect way to deal with the crisis. But his plan is woefully inadequate, because the economic crisis is far more serious that predicted. That is why we voted against his plan.

At a time when unemployment is rising steadily and the forestry industry is going through an unprecedented crisis, how can the Prime Minister cheerfully tell us that his recovery plan meets people's needs?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government is constantly monitoring the situation. We will make changes as necessary. But our fiscal stimulus package was much broader and much larger than the International Monetary Fund called for. Today, the IMF had this to say about the government's policies: “Fortunately conservative monetary and fiscal policy management in these economies now leave policymakers better placed than those in other economies to mitigate further declines in demand.” This government is on the right track, at a very difficult time.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, what the Prime Minister just read means that Canada is better placed to do more, not to do less.

The fact is that the recovery plan was designed purely to win votes. The government has agreed to help the automotive industry and the oil companies, which are concentrated in Ontario and Albert respectively, but it is refusing to give loan guarantees to the forestry industry, which is concentrated in Quebec.

Will the Prime Minister change his approach and finally help the unemployed and the forestry industry, which desperately need help?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, on the contrary, this government has provided a great deal of money to help the forestry sector across the country. For example, we have helped finance more than 500 companies in this sector through Export Development Canada. And we did so without jeopardizing the free trade agreement with the United States.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, while a number of countries are spending large amounts of money in order to reduce their dependence on oil and develop green technologies, Canada is headed in the opposite direction. Even China, which was asked to do more to reduce greenhouse gases by the Prime Minister, will invest, proportionally, four times as much as Canada in environmental initiatives, according to HSBC Bank.

Will the Prime Minister acknowledge, on this Earth Day, that his recovery plan is inadequate not just for employment and businesses but also for the environment and the economy of the future?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Halton Ontario

Conservative

Lisa Raitt ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. This government has acted quickly and it acted years ago with respect to energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage and, most important, in terms of renewable energy. We have committed over $3.7 billion in renewable energy efforts since 2007. We will be adding 200,000 more homes with energy efficiency.

Canadians understand that these things are important and they are things that we are delivering to Canadians so we may deliver a cleaner brighter future.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that Canada invests one sixth as much per capita as the United States. That is the economic reality.

The Prime Minister and the Minister of the Environment say they want to work with the United States. President Obama and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maintain that absolute targets for greenhouse gases must be imposed quickly.

What is the Minister of the Environment waiting for to abandon his intensity targets and adopt absolute targets, the only approach that gives real results?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our targets are absolute reductions of 20% by 2020. By 2020, we are also committed to ensuring that 90% of Canada's electricity needs will be provided by clean non-emitting energies. Also our clean energy dialogue with the United States includes harmonizing fuel efficiency standards. The big question before the House is why that member opposes this good plan.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

The economic crisis is causing severe hardship for citizens. They are finding it difficult to make ends meet every month. The unemployment rate has reached 8% but only 40% of those who have lost their jobs qualify for employment insurance.

Since the election, 100 people have lost their jobs every hour. The Prime Minister says he is monitoring the situation and will take action if necessary. However, workers who are losing their jobs today need help today.

When will action be taken to help the unemployed?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, this government is taking action with the biggest stimulus plan in the history of Canada. This plan includes significant measures for the unemployed, including those who need training for new jobs. That is important and I encourage the New Democratic Party to join us in helping them by not voting against benefits for the unemployed.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the evidence is in. The stimulus proposed by the Conservative government is not working. The Bank of Canada says that the recession is going to be deeper and longer than it originally projected.

With 100 Canadians being thrown out of work every hour since the Prime Minister was elected, I would think he would start getting the message. When is he going to recognize the need for additional stimulus methods and investments? We need a second stimulus package and we need it to be brought before the House. Is he willing to do it, yes or no?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I just said, this government has brought in the largest stimulus package in Canadian history. We are pushing those programs out the door right now, including important assistance for the unemployed and for workers.

I think the parties opposite, before they demand additional stimulus, should at least get on board and vote for the things that are being done for the workers of our country.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, what we see is failure, a failure to implement the changes to EI already adopted by the House.

If we want to look at failure, take a look at the UN's report on climate change. It shows that Canada's emissions are up 34% from 1990 and have gone up millions of tonnes under the watch of the Prime Minister.

Why not kick-start the economic recovery with a whole new approach by really investing in renewable energy, in a massive program of retrofit of homes and in a green car strategy to get the car sector going again, instead of the minuscule initiatives that we have seen?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, if the leader of the New Democratic Party had decided to read our economic plan before voting against it, he would have found that there were important measures in there to help the unemployed, which the unemployed wanted. There is an important program to vastly expand the retrofit programs in the country. There are programs to address every thing the leader of the NDP has raised.

It is time he read these things. It is time he gets on board with them and help the people of Canada.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, respected scientists and environmental NGOs from around the world have criticized the government for its failure to deliver anything for the environment. Because the government has been unable to treat this issue with the seriousness it deserves, Canada has been embarrassed internationally.

When international communities are questioning Canada's position on the environment, how can Canadians trust the government to take real action?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the fact is for far too many years certain political parties have played lip service to climate change and the fight against it. Now the Liberal leader plans on hiking taxes and imposing a job-killing carbon tax on all Canadians.

Our environmental policy is tough and real. It strikes the right balance between protecting the environment while ensuring that Canadian families can have food on their tables.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, a Liberal government signed Kyoto. For two years, the only environmental policy the Conservative government had was to systematically dismantle the programs already in place for Canada to reach its targets. Climate change is our most pressing problem facing humanity.

On Earth Day, how can the government continuously shame Canada on the world stage when its plan has no hope of reaching its target?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the fact is for 13 years the Liberals did absolutely nothing on the environment. The leader of the Liberal Party said, “I think our party got into a mess on the environment”. He went on to say, “Canadians are ready for tough measures, including the controversial carbon tax”. That is what the Liberal leader said.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, in 2006 I introduced a motion calling for a national water strategy. The motion passed. In the 2007 budget the government paid lip service to the idea, but then did nothing, zero. In the 2007 throne speech the government again paid lip service to a national water strategy, still doing nothing.

We are now in 2009. Yesterday, the environment commissioner said that the government had made no measurable progress in developing a national water strategy. In this case, like in so many others, why is the government having so much trouble making it happen?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. The commissioner said that what we did was a model of how to get things done on the environment.

Our government has a strong, comprehensive plan to ensure clean drinking water for all Canadians. Our plan includes investments on monitoring, science and cleanup of the problem areas left by the Liberals, building up partnerships to protect our fresh waters and investments in projects to restore our lakes and rivers after the mess left by the Liberals.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, Dr. David Schindler has said that it is crucial to improve monitoring of Canada's watercourses in order to balance water supply and demand in the long term. Another Canadian expert, James Bruce, reports that there are only 2,800 water monitoring sites left in Canada, where there used to be 4,500. Yesterday, international researchers reported that the flow of the world's great rivers has decreased as a result, in large part, of global warming.

The government is doing nothing about climate change. Can it at least ensure that we monitor the effects of climate change on this, our most precious resource?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Langley B.C.

Conservative

Mark Warawa ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the member does not want to talk about water any more or about the environmental messes. He wants to talk about climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the Liberals, as the Liberal leader said, they created an environmental mess. What was that mess? With Kyoto, the targets went up 35% above target. Under this government, we have the toughest targets in Canadian history and one of the toughest in the world.

Firearms RegistryOral Questions

April 22nd, 2009 / 2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Serge Ménard Bloc Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday during the debate in this House on the Bloc Québécois motion on the firearms registry, the Minister of Public Works and Government Services stated that, by extending the amnesty period for another year, “we eliminated the tedious requirement for experienced owners to take the Canadian firearm safety course to obtain a possession and acquisition licence.”

Can the minister explain exactly what he meant about eliminating the firearm safety course?