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House of Commons Hansard #13 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was businesses.

Topics

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, NDP members will be voting no.

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, Liberal members will be voting no.

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, the members of the Bloc Québécois vote against the bill.

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, the Green Party is voting no.

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

Vote #20

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried.

When shall the bill be read a third time? By leave now?

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Conservative

Tony Clement Conservative Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Mississippi Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, I believe if you were to seek it, you would find agreement to apply the result from the last recorded division to this motion, with Conservatives voting yes.

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Is it agreed to proceed in this fashion?

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, this may surprise you, but NDP members will be voting no.

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Foote Liberal Random—Burin—St. George's, NL

Mr. Speaker, Liberal members will be voting no.

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Bloc

Louis Plamondon Bloc Bas-Richelieu—Nicolet—Bécancour, QC

Mr. Speaker, the members of the Bloc Québécois vote against the motion.

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

The Green Party votes against the motion.

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

Vote #21

Supplementary Estimates (A), 2011-12Government Orders

7:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried.

(Bill read the third time and passed)

A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.

7:35 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government was required to submit two greenhouse gas emissions reports, one to the United Nations and one to Parliament. The government told the UN that its climate change policies were up to 10 times more effective than what it told Parliament. I. therefore. asked the minister to tell us which report was accurate and who ordered the changes.

The minister responded that the two reports were based on two different compilations of data. In reality, not so much two different data sets but rather data, and an omission of data, from the oil sands.

To be generous, the report to the UN offered data from different categories that incorporated oil sands data but there was no detailed breakdown as the minister answered.

The minister then went on to say that the government reported that in 2009 the oil sands contributed 6.5% of Canada's total emissions. This statistic, however, was actually only provided by Environment Canada after it was questioned about the missing information in the report to the UN.

The minister's own office later confirmed that his comments were not accurate. I, therefore, suggested last Wednesday that the minister should retract his comments in a point of order following question period, and said:

Knowing what he does now, will the minister now rise, admit his answer yesterday was wrong, correct the record, and [apologize]?

Last Thursday, I said:

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday the Minister of the Environment told this House that the oil sands industry contributed 6.5% of Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions in the government's report to the United Nations.

The minister's own office has confirmed that his comments were not true.

I then repeated the same question from Wednesday:

Will the minister, knowing what he does now, rise, admit his answer was wrong, correct the record, and fully apologize?

Instead of apologizing, the minister responded, “My colleague is still in the environmental weeds on this question”. I used to teach climate change, climatology and meteorology at the university, and consulted to Environment Canada. I was also a lead author for Canada on the intergovernmental panel on climate change.

The so-called weeds matter, data matters, facts matter, methodology matters and conclusions really matter, particularly when two reports which do the same thing reach very different results, results that vary by 10 times.

Scientists take a consistent approach. I still have the same questions. Why was oil sands data omitted from the UN report and who ordered the changes? Who ordered the scientists to use different approaches to get two very different answers, one that made the government look better than its actual performance and that could be presented to the world, and a second that fit the government's ideology and played well to its base in Canada?

The world knows about Canada's oil sands. The data should have been presented clearly in the report to the UN and the methodology should have been the same in the two reports.

If the government had a reason for leaving out the data, it should have been accountable and transparent and explained why in the report.

7:35 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, since this is the first time I have had the opportunity to address the member opposite, I would like to congratulate her on her appointment as critic on this file. I look forward to working with her on the environment committee.

I would like to remind the House that the two reports to which the member has referred have two very separate and distinct purposes.

The report to the UN is Canada's National Inventory Report and is the authoritative measure on Canada's performance on greenhouse gas emissions for the years 1990 through 2009. The 2011 report, like all previous annual National Inventory Reports, is fully compliant with Canada's international greenhouse gas reporting obligations.

The report to Parliament is the 2011 climate change plan for the purposes of the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act. It is compiled to meet the obligation of the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act and, as such, has a focus only on government measures that will lead to greenhouse gas reductions during the Kyoto reference period from 2008 to 2012.

The main reason for the difference between the two estimates is therefore based on the simple fact that the National Inventory Report and the report under the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act have completely different reference points.

Consistent with its long-term historical focus, the National Inventory Report includes a high level, illustrative estimates of the possible impact on 2009 emissions from all federal incentives put in place since 1990.

The 2011 Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act report, on the other hand, examines only federal measures introduced since 2006. This represents a much smaller subset of government measures than is addressed in the National Inventory Report estimate. Further, the four megatonnes number for 2009 in the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act reflects the fact that we are taking a conservative approach to projecting the impacts of recent Government of Canada actions.

I would also like to point out for the member that there are many considerations that come into play in estimating emissions reductions from government measures. I would refer the member to the commentaries provided by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy on past Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act reports for an overview of these considerations.

As the round table has also noted in its most recent commentaries, Environment Canada has made great strides in its approach to the measurement of the greenhouse gas reductions arising from government measures. This reflects the strong commitment of Environment Canada to provide the best possible estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and reductions to Canadians in an open and transparent manner.

Environment Canada will continue its active research into data and methodologies improvement for emissions reporting in order to determine the best way to account for and report GHG emissions to Canadians in all its public documents.

I hope this clarifies for my respective colleagues that following the requirements of both the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act reporting obligations demands the use of different methodologies, scopes and time frames. Any comparison between the reports must, above all else, recognize this basic fact.

7:40 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, Environment Canada's explanation as to why oil sands information was omitted, namely that it was not certain about all of its calculations, raises concern.

Environment Canada has explained that it followed international guidelines that set emissions categories and that those guidelines did not require countries to report oil sands emissions as a separate category. However, Environment Canada did go beyond the UN's template to publish an estimate of oil sands emissions last year.

Good information about greenhouse gas emissions in the oil sands is especially critical this year, as the Minister of the Environment has said he will set regulations that include the oil sands.

Canada has scored the worst of all the developed countries that signed and ratified Kyoto. Canada must take real action on climate change. The first step is transparency and accountability. The UN report should have clearly explained why it omitted this fundamental data.

7:40 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Centre-North, AB

Mr. Speaker, we look forward to continuing to make progress toward our ambitious targets of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020 through a sector by sector approach aligned with the U.S. where appropriate. We are a quarter of a way to this ambitious goal, but we still have a lot of hard work to do.

Consulting with stakeholders and our provincial, territorial and international partners, we have established regulations on renewable fuel content in gasoline to reduce tailpipe emissions. Soon we will announce regulations for the coal-fired electricity sector.

Our government has and will continue to make a priority of balancing the need for a strong economy with environmental protection. It is time for the member and her party to support these goals.

7:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 7:45 p.m.)