Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Wellington—Halton Hills.
The motion today talks about leadership. It is this government that has provided the leadership through the international negotiations to deal with a changing climate. I am very proud of the accomplishments of the government. In fact, we are already seeing greenhouse gas emissions going down in Canada because of the breadth of actions of the government.
The previous member for Vancouver East mentioned that she thought Canada was a laughing stock. That is not true. The fact is that Canada has great respect internationally. The only people who were laughing at these international conferences were some of the opposition members. They go on these junkets at taxpayers' expense and laugh at Canada disgracefully. That should never happen.
I appreciate the opportunity to highlight the government's recent announcements to help Canadians adapt to a changing climate, and changing it is. The government recognizes the need to address adaptation to climate change in Canada. The reality is that the climate will continue to change, regardless of the effectiveness of greenhouse gas reduction measures. Our commitment to this important area of climate change is part of our national plan with a strong, corresponding international component.
Unfortunately, the members across the way have consistently voted against these strong, concrete actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At a time when economic recovery, jobs and prosperity are the primary focus at home and abroad, it is more important than ever to ensure that we remain committed to providing a clean, improving environment. That means, even though we are currently in a period of real fiscal restraint, something this government takes very seriously, it is the right time to make investments that will protect the environment and position Canada's economy for the future. It is important that the reality of climate change be well understood and proactively managed.
In 2007, our government announced funding for six climate change impacts and adaptation programs totalling over $85 million. These programs have laid the foundations for future work by strengthening the climate science knowledge base and addressing urgent risks in the north, infrastructure and human health. One would ask why opposition members would vote against that. It is actually shameful that they would vote against climate change and the environment.
Northern communities are of particular concern as they often are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. As a result, we are actively consulting with aboriginal and northern groups on climate change adaptation issues.
Our government recently announced $148 million of new adaptation programs to enable the government to continue to provide Canadians with information that supports their efforts to better understand and plan for climate change impacts. Building on the work already under way, these programs focus on four priority areas of action to ensure the safety and prosperity of Canadians for the future. Did the members opposite vote for that? Tragically, no.
This important funding, which extends and expands 10 programs across 9 government departments, will help us frame a credible science-based response to the impact that climate change has and will have on our economy. It is science-based, not rhetoric-based. This will ultimately serve to improve our health, our security and, in particular, our northern and aboriginal communities. There has never been a government in Canada that has cared more about our northern and aboriginal communities.
Our adaptation efforts do not just stay within our borders, though. Internationally, the government is also engaged in adaptation efforts. We believe that if we want Canada to meet the environmental challenges ahead, we need to help others do the very same thing.
That is why Canada, which I am so proud of, was one of the first countries to step up with its fair share of climate change adaptation funding for developing countries, something we pledged to deliver under the Copenhagen accord and we are delivering. The one thing this government is known for is getting it done and taking action on the environment.