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House of Commons Hansard #111 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was standards.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment is joining forces with Russia and Japan to oppose extending the Kyoto protocol beyond 2012. This decision is even more unfortunate because it is being done at the expense of Quebec and the industries that have done the necessary work to substantially reduce greenhouse gases.

Instead of fighting in the rearguard by trying to do as little as possible, what is the minister waiting for to face the facts and focus on developing a credible plan to reduce greenhouse gases?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, Canada already has a number of policies to fight climate change. We have a plan to reduce greenhouse gases by 17%. That is exactly the same figure that Obama has committed to in the United States. If we want to win the fight against climate change, it is very important to have all of the major polluters participate. In the last two years we have seen our emissions in Canada decrease by 2%, but emissions increased by 8% in China. That is environmentally unacceptable. We must all work together to fight climate change.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Bernard Bigras Bloc Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, we could also compare Canada's and China's economic stimulus plans. There would be a difference there.

Instead of trying to sabotage environmental summits, the minister should produce a credible plan for reducing greenhouse gases. If we look at the fact that Conservative senators rejected Bill C-311 and that the government's continental approach is nothing more than a red herring to justify its inaction, it is clear that the minister is not truly ready to implement a plan to combat climate change.

Why is he undermining international negotiations? Why is he undermining negotiations and why does he not introduce a plan—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we have no choice. We need economic growth, we need to create jobs and we need to combat climate change.

We have presented a plan for the transportation sector based on a real agreement with the United States and real regulations. We are the only country in the world with a real plan for banning coal-fired electricity generation. We have also made many investments to reduce oil sands emissions at each stage and to get results for Canada.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, under the Conservatives, Canada has been shamed with over 30 fossil awards from the global environmental community including last year when Canada received the colossal fossil award for bringing a totally unacceptable position to Copenhagen, and that was the decision of the Conservatives.

Another year gone by, another climate conference, and it is déjà vu. The Conservatives are leading the charge to kill the Kyoto protocol and to make sure there are no strict targets and firm targets for greenhouse gas emissions. Canadians would be shocked to learn that this is the role we are playing. Where is the leadership? Why do the Conservatives not do what Canadians want them to do on climate change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we still lag behind the previous Liberal government, which won 89 fossil awards.

Let me say this. We support a strong agreement, a legally binding agreement with absolute reductions. It is not just a good idea, it is essential. It is obligatory that we have all major polluters at the table, all major polluters accepting targets so that we can win this war against climate change. That is why we are going to be in Cancun. That is where we are going to be fighting for a meaningful agreement that delivers for the environment.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, at the rate the Conservatives are going they are going to catch up to the Liberals in the fossil department in short order. There is no doubt about that.

Canada must do its part in the fight against climate change, but the Conservatives continue to drag their feet. Even worse, they are using the unelected Senate to kill the only existing climate change bill.

Where are the strict rules for capping greenhouse gases? Where are the initiatives for developing new clean energy sources? Why kill Kyoto?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, the regulations are in place for North American vehicle standards, something we have negotiated with President Obama, and that will see real reductions for greenhouse gas emissions. We also have the same arrangement with respect to light trucks. The Minister of Transport is working on rail, on civil aviation and on marine. We also are the first country in the world to bring forward regulations that will essentially ban dirty coal-fired electricity generation. If every country around the world followed that leadership, we would see real action around the world on climate change.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, a report today says that of the 57 countries that emit the most greenhouse gases, 53 of them are doing better than Canada. That is absolutely shameful. The U.S. has acted while Canada has not. The U.S. is going to start to regulate greenhouse gases next month while the government has failed to even draft regulations for greenhouse gas emissions. There are still no regulations for industries making up over half of the emissions. It is no wonder the Conservatives have such a poor rating. Where are the regulations? When will the Conservatives act against the big polluters?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, it seems that the New Democratic Party makes these charges when its big policy issue this fall is to reduce taxes on fossil fuels, which is hardly credible when it comes to the environment.

We have brought forward regulations under North American vehicle standards. We have brought forward regulations with respect to banning dirty coal electricity generation and we are working with the American partners. What will happen in the United States is a welcome first step. There will be some voluntary guidelines that will be optional in the United States. We welcome that the American government is beginning to follow Canada's lead and it will have a good partner in Canada.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, it is the Minister of Finance who promised Canadians a surplus and then gave them a record $56 billion deficit. Now the finance minister's forecasts are getting more and more erratic. On Thursday night he promised a balanced budget in five years, but on Friday morning he woke up, changed his mind and said it could take longer. What changed overnight to trigger the minister's latest deficit flip-flop?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, of course we remain on track to balance the budget in 2015-16. Nothing has changed. We have the lowest deficit in the G7. In fact, our deficit for this year is lower than originally forecast.

Since July 2009, since the end of the recession, we have created, and now the number has gone up, 440,000 new jobs in Canada.

The EconomyOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Brison Liberal Kings—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, which forecast is the minister speaking of, Thursday night's or Friday morning's?

The minister has met every deficit target he has ever set. He has no plans to return Canada into the balanced budget produced by the last Liberal government.

Now that the minister seems to agree with the Parliamentary Budget Officer that a balanced budget in five years is unlikely, Canadians want to know, when will the budget be balanced and where is the minister's plan to get it there?

The EconomyOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member for Kings—Hants now comes here and says that he is opposed to the deficit that was created by the necessary stimulus spending to save and create jobs in Canada during the worst recession since the Great Depression that came from outside our country.

Here is what he said before. He said, “The Canadian stimulus package undoubtedly created economic activity and jobs”.

That is what he said in October 2010, not what he says today.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister ought to take his minister's advice on reckless spending. Earlier this year, $42,000 was spent so that PCO staff who work directly for the Prime Minister could hold a town hall meeting for public servants.

The average annual income in Ontario is $42,000. The Prime Minister himself signed off on a $7,000 tab for refreshments just two weeks after the President of the Treasury Board scolded bureaucrats for their expenses and then froze spending.

Is this what the Prime Minister meant when he said he makes the rules so he can spend what he likes?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, we continue to maintain that we believe Canada has the best public service of any country, anywhere. In case my friend opposite missed it, we have frozen operational spending for all departments. We have frozen the salaries of all members of Parliament. We have frozen hospitality, travel and conferencing at 2009 levels for the next three years.

On hospitality spending alone, in the last four years we have spent 30% less than the Liberals spent.That is why they are nervous about these types of restraint measures.

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the $7,000 refreshment tab is bad enough, but the decision to spend $42,000 on a meeting at a hotel directly across the street from the government's conference centre is baffling.

The PCO staff who attended the town hall walked right by the government building on their way to the private town hall. The same type of meeting could have been held in the government building at a fraction of the cost.

When will the Conservatives practise what they preach, or explain to Canadians the hypocrisy of their do as they say, not do as they do policy?

Government SpendingOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Conservative

Stockwell Day ConservativePresident of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Mr. Speaker, I really do think my friend is well-intentioned, but she needs to sit down with her research staff because the numbers are very clear. In any category we would want to measure, we are spending significantly less than the former Liberal government.

I will just talk about some of the areas. On cabinet spending alone for the year coming up, we will be spending $11 million less than the year before.

On use of the Challenger jet, cabinet ministers in this government spend 80% less on the use of that Challenger jet than the federal Liberals did. In every category, we are lower and better than they are.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

December 6th, 2010 / 2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, against the advice of Environment Canada officials, the Conservative government lobbied intensely against California standards for low-carbon fuels, even though the officials described them as an effective means of reducing greenhouse gases in the transportation sector.

Why did the government ignore the advice of these officials? Was it afraid that the regulations would hurt oil and gas exports to the United States?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, what is clear is that we have come to an agreement with the United States, the national government, on a North American vehicle emissions standard. This will be common on both sides of the border and will assist our auto sector. The same impositions will be put on car importers, not just domestic. That is a good first step. We have also moved on light trucks.

The Minister of Transport is showing, once again, great leadership with respect to rail, marine and civil aviation. Step by step, we are getting the job done.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Ouellet Bloc Brome—Missisquoi, QC

Mr. Speaker, as well as combatting California's environmental efforts, the Conservatives' oil sands advocacy strategy also targets the European Union's standards to improve fuel quality and the American Energy Security Act.

Does this major offensive against three environmental initiatives not prove, once again, that the Conservatives have but one motivation: to protect the interests of Alberta oil companies?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, our priorities consist of creating jobs for Canadians, growing the economy and ensuring the well-being of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. We are working very hard with the United States to establish regulations on automobile emissions and we will continue working with countries around the globe. All big polluters must participate in the Copenhagen accord to reduce greenhouse gases. We will continue working hard on this issue.

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Daniel Paillé Bloc Hochelaga, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance is suggesting it will be well after 2016 before the budget is balanced again, which is not a fine example of leadership.

The Bloc Québécois has proposed a number of measures: no more tax evasion, no more tax havens, no more gifts to oil companies and bankers, and a higher tax rate for those who earn $150,000 or more, the top earners.

Instead of prolonging the imbalance, why does the minister not ask privileged taxpayers to contribute more?

FinanceOral Questions

2:40 p.m.

Whitby—Oshawa Ontario

Conservative

Jim Flaherty ConservativeMinister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite and his party supported the stimulus program. They particularly supported the infrastructure program in Quebec. In fact, day after day they were getting up in this House saying that not only was the stimulus program a good idea, but it should be extended.

Now, because of the reasonableness, flexibility and fairness of the Ministry of Transport, it has been extended, so I wonder now whether the member opposite, my critic, is serious when he says that we ought not to continue with the stimulus program to the end of the program.