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House of Commons Hansard #46 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was treaties.

Topics

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister is actually making the point that we are making on this side of the House; that is, that the creation of jobs, the creation of work, making a real turnaround in the economy, all these depend on innovation. All these depend on change. Take Germany, for example, where the largest section of the manufacturing part of that economy is now based on fighting climate change.

Why is the government being such a dinosaur when it comes to climate change and not put it at the heart of our economic agenda?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, nothing could be further from the truth. Under the leadership of the Minister of the Environment, Canada has actively supported not just the negotiation but the successful agreement with respect to the Copenhagen accord. It is a meaningful international agreement that will have real results. I know those issues will be followed up at additional meetings including those of the G8 and G20.

We are seeing a fragile economic recovery take hold around the world. We are very pleased that 108,000 net new jobs were created in Canada just last month. The Prime Minister is going to provide great leadership to all the G20 countries to see that we have more economic growth and greater economic stability right around the world.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government is living so far in the past it is not funny. Sir Nicholas Stern--

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am hearing a lot of heckling. I did not know 250 knuckles grazing the floor could make so much noise.

We have a consensus around the world that climate change and innovation are at the heart of the new economy. That is what the Secretary-General of the United Nations recognizes. That is what Sir Nicholas Stern recognizes.

Why will the Government of Canada not come firmly into the 21st century and start showing some leadership on climate change for a change?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I will talk about leadership. Look at the leadership the Minister of the Environment has taken when it comes to negotiating successful emissions for the auto sector between Canada and the United States. That is specific leadership.

This government is making real progress on the environment. But let us look back to what it was just four short years ago. The leader of the Liberal Party actually said, just four years ago, that his own party did not get it done on the environment, did not get it done on climate change. Shame on them.

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, hearings in the U.S. are shedding new light on the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. We have learned that when the offshore drilling industry alone is left to regulate such high risk activity, it is fraught with problems. Now in Canada the Conservatives are blindly trusting industry without any independent verification of its emergency plans.

Since the Conservatives are acting as a rubber stamp for the oil companies, are they prepared to take responsibility if a similar catastrophe happens in Canada?

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, this is not true. The health and safety of Canadians remains the government's top priority.

The National Energy Board has announced that it will also examine the offshore drilling process. When it comes to the Arctic in particular, it plans to hold open, transparent public hearings. Now that is action. Once again, I wish members would stop discrediting these reliable, independent Canadian agencies.

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra, BC

Mr. Speaker, this minister's answer and the minister's answer yesterday on the oil tanker moratorium just smack of the Conservative culture of deceit. Our Pacific north coast has narrow, rocky, storm-lashed inland channels with fragile ecosystems. The tanker exclusion zone the minister talked about yesterday does nothing to protect these inland waters at all. Clearly, the Conservatives are planning on opening them up to crude oil supertankers.

When will they tell the truth about their decision to put B.C.'s coastline at risk?

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, there is an offshore moratoria in place for the coast of British Columbia. Yes, that is the singular. For the benefit of my colleagues in opposition, that is the singular form for the Latin. As far as our government is concerned, lifting the moratoria is out of the question. It is carefully inspected and rigorously followed. Lifting it is out of the question, so once again, the members across the floor should stop trying to politicize the matter and stop needlessly frightening people so much.

Climate ChangeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, during his visit to Ottawa yesterday, the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, clearly urged the Prime Minister to make climate change a priority during the upcoming G20 meeting. He also urged the government to comply with the Kyoto targets, not the more lenient Copenhagen targets.

If the Prime Minister is serious about getting a seat on the Security Council, will he heed the United Nations Secretary-General's request with respect to climate change?

Climate ChangeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, we have always been clear about this. The government's priority for the G20 summit is to talk about the economy and job creation. Our Bloc colleagues do not seem to understand those issues. They never talk about those issues because they do not consider them to be priorities. We respect the Copenhagen accord, which, for the first time, brings major emitters on board. Finally, there will be meaningful action, instead of all the empty talk we have had from them for the past 20 years.

Climate ChangeOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Bloc

Gilles Duceppe Bloc Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister is truly an endangered species if he believes that the environment and the economy are two separate things.

This government is doing enough damage here with its backward and ideological stances on the environment, women's rights and aboriginal rights. We cannot let it do similar damage elsewhere.

Does the Prime Minister understand that with that kind of attitude, Canada does not deserve a seat on the Security Council under this government?

Climate ChangeOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, once again, Canada is moving forward and once again, those people are trying to sabotage progress. Their only goal is to separate Quebec from the rest of Canada. That is all there is to it. Sabotage, sabotage, sabotage. They are the ones who see the environment and the economy as two different things. We have always said that there are ways to achieve economic progress while reducing our environmental footprint. Strategic investments are being made, and for the first time, the Copenhagen accord will bring major emitters together. That is what I call action.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

May 13th, 2010 / 2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, let us talk about sabotage.

Traditionally, Canada has been in sync with the international community, just as a sovereign Quebec would be. I am thinking, for example, of our peacekeeping missions and our refusal to participate in the illegal war in Iraq. At the time, Canada sat on the Security Council. Today, with these conservative policies that are not in line with those of the international community, that is unthinkable.

Does the Prime Minister understand that we believe Canada does not deserve a seat on the Security Council, not because we are sovereignists, but because, with this government, Canada is not worthy of such a seat?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, Canada has an excellent reputation around the world. Canada plays a leadership role. I understand that my Bloc Québécois colleague has a short memory, but he need only take a look at the excellent work we have done with our partners in Haiti to help this country get back on its feet. These are people who tend to settle in Montreal. I am not sure how these Bloc opposition members do not know that.

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Bloc

Pierre Paquette Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, our question has to do with why UN members should trust a country that violates the Kyoto protocol and the Geneva conventions, that does not respect the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and that has yet to sign the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Does the Prime Minister understand that with a record like that, Canada, under this government, does not deserve a seat on the Security Council?

Foreign AffairsOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Pontiac Québec

Conservative

Lawrence Cannon ConservativeMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I repeat, Canada plays an important role in the international community. We have deployed soldiers to Afghanistan, to essentially build peace in that country, and we have also deployed peacekeepers to several countries around the world.

I know that the Bloc Québécois has a hard time with that. I know the Bloc members are ashamed of all that, but I can assure them that the majority of parliamentarians support Canada.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, this week the government of the United States announced that the Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service is going to be split into two agencies. Why is it doing that? It is because it understands that it cannot reconcile the objective of trying to maximize oil revenues from the role of implementing safety and environmental standards. It has that right, but the Conservatives are moving in the opposite direction.

We have to ask the question, why? Why are they turning over to the industry-friendly National Energy Board the job of environmental assessment? It makes no sense.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, I do not share the views of the leader of the New Democratic Party.

Just because it is done in the United States does not mean that we should do it here. Obviously, there were serious concerns with respect to what happened in the Gulf of Mexico. I think all Canadians who are watching the situation are rightly horrified.

I am very pleased, as I know all members of the House are, that the National Energy Board will be reviewing Canada's strong and effective regulations, in response to what happened in the United States, to ensure that we do the right thing for our environment, to ensure that we protect the environment for future generations.

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, it was the opposite of what he said just two days ago.

The risk of an accident in Canada is real and the government is not taking the threat seriously. Canadians are worried and rightly so. Today, BP admitted that it did not know how to clean up the ice in the event of an oil spill in the Arctic.

What does the Conservative government intend to do in light of this admission by BP?

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, what I can say to the leader of the New Democratic Party is that as we speak, there is no drilling going on in the Arctic. The Arctic is a very ecologically sensitive part of our great country. It is an important part of the world. Canada has a special responsibility to provide environmental leadership in this area. That is exactly the kind of leadership that the Prime Minister, the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Northern Development have been providing.

Just in this session of Parliament, we have expanded environmental protection in the north. We will continue to do that. We have an important responsibility to protect the Arctic and we will honour that commitment.

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

NDP

Jack Layton NDP Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, the exploratory well drilling season starts in just a couple of weeks and we are not seeing action from the government.

On the other hand, U.S. lawmakers have said that the limits on corporate liability are not high enough. In fact, they are presenting proposals to take those limits as high as $10 billion. Guess what they are here in Canada? They are $10 million, a thousand times less.

The estimates for the cleanup in the gulf are running at $450 million and we all know it will end up higher, then there are the billions of dollars in damage to fishing and tourism.

Will the government at least realize that $10 million is not enough protection for Canadians?

Offshore DrillingOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean Ontario

Conservative

John Baird ConservativeMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, let me say a few things to the leader of the New Democratic Party. There are no permits to drill in the Arctic. Let me refresh the leader of the New Democratic Party of another fact. We have unlimited liability for oil companies with respect to pollution. Polluter pays, but that is not good enough. We have to have strong and effective regulations to ensure it does not happen.

That is why the NEB is doing additional reviews. That is why this government will always do what is best. That is why we will always protect the Arctic. It is incredibly important and we fully accept our responsibilities.

TaxationOral Questions

2:30 p.m.

Liberal

Bonnie Crombie Liberal Mississauga—Streetsville, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is the wrong choice to cut taxes for the largest and wealthiest corporations while the global economy remains fragile. It is the wrong choice to cut taxes for the largest and wealthiest corporations while a debt crisis rages in Europe. It is the wrong choice to cut taxes for the largest and wealthiest corporations when markets fluctuate at the drop of a hat.

Why does the government plan to borrow money and mortgage our children's future to pay for its reckless corporate tax cuts?