This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #74 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was firearms.

Topics

Report StageEnding the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, we cannot eliminate the gun registry without destroying the data. With all due respect, I wonder how that question could originate on the NDP side.

With all due respect, many New Democrats lost the last election over flipping on the gun registry. I find it a little bizarre that members of the NDP are questioning the government going ahead with eliminating the gun registry. Canadians want to eliminate the gun registry. How much clearer can that be? They voted the Conservative government into a majority position partly for that very reason. What is it going to take for members of the official opposition to get it? Canadians do not want this wasteful and ineffective long gun registry.

Report StageEnding the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, first I want to comment on the government House leader. He walked into the chamber and declared that he does not have the ability to negotiate with the House leaders of the opposition parties. Once again, he gave notice of time allocation, which is another form of closure, preventing members from having debate and asking questions on important legislation.

This is indeed important legislation. The Province of Quebec sees value in the gun registry. It says that if Ottawa wants to cancel the gun registry, it still wants to go ahead and have a gun registry for that province.

What does the member think his constituents would say if the Prime Minister said we could give the data bank to Quebec, but instead, we are getting rid of it? The Conservatives would spend millions of dollars to get rid of the data bank. Yet the Province of Quebec would have to spend millions more dollars to regenerate that same data bank. The taxpayers in his riding say that is a waste of tax dollars.

Does he not see the waste of tax dollars? Does he not see that money could be better spent providing more community police officers in the province of Quebec?

Report StageEnding the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, this is wonderful. I cannot believe this, coming from a member of a party that wasted $2 billion of taxpayers' money on a totally ineffective gun registry. It is unbelievable that he would ask that question. I have an answer for him. The people in my riding are telling me we cannot get rid of the gun registry without destroying the data and to please ensure the data is destroyed.

Report StageEnding the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I wish to try to clarify for the hon. member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry that there is a reason there is an exemption in this piece of legislation. It is so unusual to require that data be destroyed. We could indeed end the registry. No one would update it. It would not be used for purposes. The registry would be over, but the data would remain in place for archives and research of sociologists.

The archives of the Government of Canada are full of information from regimes that are no longer being used. The information is available for research. I really find it troubling that this key point is so hard to communicate.

Report StageEnding the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Conservative

Guy Lauzon Conservative Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know that the truth of the matter is the data is totally ineffective. Police officers have told me. These are the police officers who put my signs on their lawns and on other people's lawns. They tell me the information is totally incorrect. It is not reliable.

Why would one want to keep information that is totally useless, wasteful and way too costly?

Report StageEnding the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

6:20 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, over two decades ago, on December 6, 1989, 14 women died in the Montreal massacre. Their murders devastated our country and changed the lives of students at school, women around the country, and all Canadians and their families.

We went to vigils, we walked the street in take back the night marches, and we said, “Never again”. Their senseless deaths triggered the Canadian movement towards stronger gun control. In 1995 the Firearms Act was passed. The law is recognized by the victims' families as a monument to their memory.

The government claims to stand up for crime prevention, victims and police officers. However, victims are asking in whose interest is loosening gun control in Canada. Chief William Blair, past president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police said that this is about public safety. He said:

The registry has made Canada a safer country. The registry has saved lives. We lose it at our peril.

Police officers put their lives on the line for Canada each day. Canadians should know that of the last 18 police officers killed, 14 of them, or 78%, were killed by long guns. Police across Canada use the gun registry more than 17,000 times per day. They say it helps them evaluate a potential safety threat when they pull a vehicle over or are called to a residence. They also say it helps support police investigations. The registry can help determine if the gun was stolen, illegally imported, acquired or manufactured.

The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, the government's own ombudsman for victims of crime, police forces across this country and the Coalition for Gun Control, an organization that includes families whose daughters were murdered in Montreal in 1989, have all called upon the government to keep the long gun registry.

According to an Ipsos Reid poll published in the National Post last year, two-thirds of Canadians support the registry.

The YWCA says that “dismantling the long gun registry puts women's lives at risk“.

The Canadian Women's Foundation reports:

We are particularly disturbed that there appears to be no recognition of the strong link between long guns and violence against women.

When a woman is murdered by her partner with a gun, almost 75% of the time she is killed with a long gun not a hand gun. The link is so strong that the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs has called long guns the weapons of choice when it comes to domestic violence. Too many women in rural and remote communities are intimidated and controlled by partners wielding shotguns and rifles. With the registry gone, these weapons will be impossible to track, placing women at increased risk.

Violence against women is a $4 billion tragedy in Canada. Every year 100,000 women and children leave their homes, fleeing violence and abuse. Almost 20,000 women go to 31 YWCA shelters across Canada looking for safety.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women requires that countries party to the convention take all appropriate steps to end violence. Why, then, would Canada destroy the long gun registry which protects women and girls, particularly with Canada leading the global effort for an international day of the girl?

Why is the government refusing to listen to the voice of experts, to the voice of Canadians? The government claims to be interested in public safety, yet is rejecting an initiative that police agencies say is vital to their work and to protecting victims. This is impossibly disturbing.

Sue O'Sullivan, Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, has said most victims' groups want the registry maintained. She said:

Our position on this matter is clear, Canada must do all it can to prevent further tragedies from happening, including using the tools we have to help keep communities safe, like the long-gun registry.

Why is the government refusing to listen to evidence?

Since the introduction of stricter gun laws in 1991, there has been a 65% reduction in homicides by long guns. From 1995 when the registry became law to 2010 there was a 41% reduction in homicides by long guns.

While the government rejects the notion that it is ending the long gun registry based on ideology rather than facts, government action a few months ago contradicts this. Recently the Minister of Public Safety tabled a list of the experts serving on his firearms advisory committee, in response to a written question by a Liberal MP. The minister's advisory committee includes several people who appeared before a parliamentary committee last fall to support government legislation to scrap the long gun registry. The minister's advisory committee did not disclose its membership to the MPs on the parliamentary committee.

We need evidence-based policies, not biased policies. It is pure bias to have a witness on a parliamentary committee supposedly appearing as an individual with a personal point of view but who is actually an appointee of the government there to bolster the government's position.

The government wants to get rid of the long gun registry. It claims that it is ineffective at reducing crime, although evidence shows that is absolutely false. Also, the government claims that it is wasteful. Let us look at the evidence.

We acknowledge that it did cost more than $1 billion to set up the registry in 1995. However, today, the best estimate is that it costs a mere $4 million to operate. In stark contrast, the total annual cost of firearm related injuries in Canada was $6.6 billion. Gun violence alone, which includes suicide, has been calculated at costing over $100 billion in the United States. In Canada, the cost of gunshot wounds per survivor admitted to hospital is $435,000. Economic studies show that preventive interventions to stop interpersonal violence save more than they cost, in some cases by several orders of magnitude.

We repeatedly hear from the government that it is committed to ensuring that hard-earned taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. If that is the case, why will the government not keep the long gun registry that saves lives and reduces economic costs?

Finally, the government is failing to hear the voices of provinces and police agencies who are asking that they be able to continue to consult the database. Our leader has said that the data collected over the last 16 years must be preserved so that provinces can salvage this important policing tool. The government claims it cannot help because the Privacy Act forbids collecting data for one purpose and then transferring it to be used for another purpose.

The government is not only ignoring evidence now but also actually destroying data. The government has said that it would be of no assistance to provinces that want to set up their registries. The Minister of Public Safety has said:

We've made it very clear we will not participate in the recreation of the long-gun registry and therefore the records that have been created under that long gun registry will be destroyed.

In closing, I do not support the bill, which will destroy the long gun registry and its data; jeopardize the health of Canadians, particularly that of women; and cost society billions. What is at stake is not a piece of paper or a requirement that people might have. What is at stake is people's lives.

Report StageEnding the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

6:30 p.m.

Conservative

David Wilks Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, having been involved in police work for over 20 years, I can say there were times when I was faced with some compromising situations. However, one of the things I did hear in the member's speech was that 17 police officers had died by a long gun since the registry has been in place.

My question is this: why did it not save their lives and why did it put their lives in so much peril? What could she suggest to make any difference?

Report StageEnding the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

6:30 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for the question and his work in policing.

My perspective is from having worked for many years with young people at university. I taught women's health and I worked at shelters. Every year when I talked about violence against women, my students would come up to me at the end of the class and tell their stories. I had one student who was not only threatened by one man but also by two other men with a weapon. The reality is that at the YWCA, women have told us that the guns used in the north predominantly for hunting, that is long guns, are also used to intimidate, subdue and control women. We hear this over and over again in small communities without the RCMP and in large communities with the RCMP.

Women do not want these guns to be unregistered. They do not feel safe expressing this opinion other than in whispers to people who may be able to voice these unpopular opinions and who may be heard. From the shelters in my riding, they want me to express the position of women.

Report StageEnding the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

6:35 p.m.

NDP

Jack Harris NDP St. John's East, NL

Mr. Speaker, throughout the day, we have heard a lot about the so-called strong mandate of the government to get rid of the long gun registry. Of course, the Conservatives only have a small majority in the House, but 65% of Canadians, I understand, want to keep the long gun registry. They believe it performs a valuable public service.

Does the member agree with that statement? Or does he agree with the member for Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry who very excitedly, a few minutes ago, was saying that people want to get rid of the registry and that they elected them and so the government should get rid of it? Or should the Conservatives listen to the will and the voices of lots of Canadians other than those who continue to write them letters and cheer them on?

Report StageEnding the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

6:35 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question. The Ipsos Reid poll shows that 66% of Canadians want this registry. As members of Parliament, our job is to reflect the voices of Canadians. We hear from the experts and from Canadians and they want the registry, whether they are emergency physicians or police chiefs.

Most of the women who are murdered are killed by their husbands, partners or ex-partners. Many are killed in rages, when the man has reached for his hunting gun.

Since the introduction of stricter gun laws in 1991, there has been a 65% reduction in homicides by long guns. From 1995 to 2010, there was a 41% reduction in homicides by long guns. The number of women killed with shotguns has fallen every year. The Transition House Association of Nova Scotia states:

The long-gun registry has made a significant difference in the safety of women in Canada since its inception in 1995. The rate of spousal homicide by gun has gone down by 69 per cent and we attribute most of that to the impact of the gun registry.

Report StageEnding the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

6:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

Before recognizing the hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, I will let him know that we have two or maybe three minutes and then we will have to finish.

The hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley.

Report StageEnding the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

6:35 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Conservative Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in this House to continue the report stage debate on Bill C-19, the ending the long-gun registry act. As my hon. colleagues know, this bill seeks to eliminate the threat of jail time for people in this country who do not register their non-restricted firearms.

On the face of it, this seems like common sense. Hunting rifles and shotguns are the tools of the trade for many of those who farm our land and feed our cities. These law-abiding farmers simply want to work hard and sell their products without being criminalized for possessing what is needed to do their jobs. When I think about the debate on this issue and specifically how it affects our farmers, I am reminded of one of the famous lines from Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. He stated:

What is the use of discussing a man's abstract right...? The question is upon the method of procuring and administering them. In that deliberation I shall always advise to call in the aid of the farmer...rather than the professor of metaphysics.

Burke was a great statesman and a great parliamentarian, and he was telling us to look toward those who do as opposed to those who pontificate when we are seeking a particular end. That particular end we seek is to protect our communities and families from criminals. To that end, our government has done common sense things. For example, we have introduced legislation that actually puts violent and repeat criminals behind bars.

Before we have to close for the evening, I would say that the opposition seeks the same ends that we do, to keep communities and Canadians safe. However, we differ on the approach to doing that. I will expand on that tomorrow when I am recognized again by the Speaker.

Report StageEnding the Long-Gun Registry ActGovernment Orders

6:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley will have eight minutes remaining for his speech, and also five minutes for questions and comments when the House next resumes debate on the motion.

The House resumed from February 2 consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion--Old Age SecurityBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

6:40 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

It being 6:41 p.m., the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion of Madam Blanchette-Lamothe relating to the business of supply.

Call in the members.

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

Vote #109

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

7:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion lost.

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

7:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

I would ask all those who wish to continue their conversations to do so in their respective lobbies.

The hon. member for Nanaimo—Cowichan.

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

7:10 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, earlier I had risen in the House to ask the government a question about child poverty and had indicated the number of children who were living below the poverty line and having to utilize food banks.

I want to augment that question with some information that just came out from the Province of Ontario Report Card on Child and Family Poverty in Ontario, “Poverty Reduction in an Age of Uncertainty & Change”. I want to read a little from this report because it reflects conditions in other parts of Canada, whether it is British Columbia, Quebec or the Atlantic Provinces.

In this report it indicates that in Ontario “393,000 children still live in poverty”. It states:

We are already aware of the growing gap between the rich and the poor. As unemployment in Ontario remains above the Canadian average, especially for youth, and while social assistance rates stay unacceptably low, there is a real fear that the number of children living in poverty in Ontario may actually rise...

It goes on in the report, and I do not have time in my brief four minutes to talk about all of the aspects of this report, but the people look at the Ontario deprivation index. They look at 10 key items considered necessary for a decent standard of living.

When I read this list, members are going to be shocked. I think most of us just take this for granted. They say that these are items necessary for a household to have a standard of living above the poverty level. They are:

1. Being able to get dental care if needed.

2. Replace or repair broken electrical goods such as a stove or a toaster.

3. Being able to buy modest presents for family/friends at least once per year.

4. Appropriate clothes for job interviews.

5. Having friends or family over for a meal at least once a month.

6. Fresh fruit and vegetables every day.

7. Being able to get around your community, either by car or bus pass.

8. Hobby or leisure activity.

9. Meat, fish or vegetarian equivalent at least once every other day.

10. Having a home or apartment free of pests, such as cockroaches, bedbugs and mice.

This is hardly an extravagant list of what most of us would consider just normal, every day things to which we should be entitled.

They also point out in the report that in October 2011, only 27% of unemployed Ontarians received employment insurance, and that becomes relevant a little later in this report.

I want to touch on students for one moment. We know the importance of education in terms of lifting people out of poverty, but in the report it indicates:

Since 1990, undergraduate tuition fees in Ontario have increased by 244%. It takes a low income family in Ontario 1,268 days to pay for a full cost of a university degree, compared to 137 days for a wealthy family. The high cost of education in the province means that many low to middle-income graduates start in jobs that are not in their career choice in order to pay off their student debt.

Later on in the report it refers to child care, and it is no surprise that child care is only available to one in five children in Ontario. There are some pretty shocking numbers in terms of the number of child care centres that are closing.

Although this is an Ontario report card, there are a couple of conclusions they reach for a role with the federal government. One is to press the federal government to introduce a national poverty reduction plan. Second is to press the federal government to improve access to employment insurance.

Going back to my original question, I once again ask the government this. Where is its comprehensive strategy to eliminate poverty that will actually make life better for children and their families?

7:10 p.m.

Simcoe—Grey Ontario

Conservative

Kellie Leitch ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to respond to the member for Nanaimo—Cowichan on the state of Canadian families.

As I have said here before, every action the government takes to help Canadians and their families is to help them become self-sufficient. Our approach to reducing poverty focuses on helping Canadians gain the skills to access opportunities which provide targeted supports against the barriers they face. There is concrete evidence of improvement and meaningful progress from our action plan.

Our government recognizes the family as the foundation of society. That is why we give families the right to choose the child care they want for their child. That is why we backed up this commitment by investing more than $14 billion this year in benefits for children and families. These include the Canadian child tax benefit, the national child benefit supplement, the universal child care benefit and the child tax credit, which all serve to help Canadian children get the best start in life as possible.

About 3.3 million families with 5.8 million children receive Canada's child tax benefit. That represents more children than the entire population of the greater Toronto area. Included in this number is the fact that over 1.5 million families with 2.7 million children receive the national child benefit supplement.

The national child benefit supplement provides tax free monthly benefits for children under the age of 18. The national child benefit supplement has been successful in reducing the incidence of families with children living in low income. It also reduces the severity of low income for those families who continue to live below the low income threshold.

Budget 2007 introduced the child tax credit which provided personal income tax relief of up to $320 in 2011 for each child under the age of 18.

Budgets 2009 and 2010 included additional investments in Canadian families, including improvements to child benefits. For example, budget 2010 improved the taxation of the universal child care benefit to ensure that single parent families received tax treatment comparable to two parent families. It also allowed parents with joint custody to split benefits equally throughout the year when a child lives in both households. It enhanced the registered disability savings plan and doubled the working income tax benefit to $1.1 billion this year, which helps ensure that low income families are financially better off as a result of getting a job.

Because of the actions this government has taken since 2006, an average family of four saves over $3,000 a year in taxes.

Our government is working very hard to ensure that Canadian families can get what they need to take advantage of all the opportunities they have before them.

Every action our government has taken to help Canadians and their families become independent allows them to contribute to the economy and to their local communities.

7:15 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, it clearly is missing the target. One in seven children in Ontario and their families are living in poverty and, in my own province of British Columbia, it is one in five children. British Columbia has one of the highest child and family poverty rates in the country. When it comes to aboriginal communities, one in four children and their families live in poverty.

Although the government has attempted to put in place some measures, it clearly is not doing the job.

The member opposite briefly mentioned child care. The reality in Ontario is that there are now 22,000 people in Toronto on a subsidy wait list for child care. The municipal centres are closing and the community not for profits are closing. We know that child care is important in terms of being able to find a job.

Once again I must ask the member opposite and the government where their national comprehensive plan is, which should be developed in conjunction with the provinces and territories, for a poverty reduction, poverty elimination strategy for this country.

7:15 p.m.

Conservative

Kellie Leitch Conservative Simcoe—Grey, ON

Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, our government has implemented a number of measures to help families with low incomes families and their children. I will offer just one example and that is housing, which is one of the most important challenges these families have to confront.

As we know, there is a continuing need for affordable housing and a broader range of housing choices for low income Canadians. More affordable housing also helps to promote economic growth. I am proud to say that we have invested more money in housing and homelessness initiatives than any other government in Canadian history. Our government invests $134.8 million annually in the homelessness partnering strategy. This is a community-based program that helps people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness achieve self-sufficiency.

The affordable housing framework is another federal, provincial and territorial initiative that addresses the diversity of affordable housing needs across the country.

In addition, budget 2010 allocated $7.7 billion to stimulate the housing sector and improve social housing. Improving access to good quality, affordable housing is just one of the ways that we are helping families in need across the country.

7:15 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, while the government repeatedly claims that it stands up for the environment and the economy, when has it actually stood up for the environment in the last many months? Was it when it slashed the budget of the federal environmental watchdog, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, by 43%, when it recklessly planned to cut over 700 scientists from Environment Canada, when it announced devastating cuts to ozone monitoring, or when it shamefully pulled out of the Kyoto protocol?

To be fair, in the last few weeks the government did announce an investment in climate adaptation and monitoring of extreme weather events. Unfortunately, the government misses the point. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions would reduce both adaptation costs and extreme weather events.

Finally, after six years in government, the Minister of the Environment announced an oil sands monitoring implementation plan last Friday. Unfortunately, it comes with an additional three year phase-in period, an unclear structure, unclear funding, and a question regarding expanded private money and its potential influence.

The government's regulatory capacity and commitment to actually manage environmental impacts continues to lag behind the pace and scale of new oil sands development. New projects continue to be improved, even though we do not have information to understand the impacts. This is not responsible management and is sadly demonstrated by the government's failure to take necessary action to protect the woodland caribou.

However, the question before us today is about climate change, its impacts, its costs and the need for a credible comprehensive plan.

Canadians know about climate change. We have had our climate change wake-up calls, such as the 1998 ice storm, which cost $5.4 billion, and the 1996 Saguenay flood, which cost $1.7 billion. These are just two examples of extreme weather events and in fact pale in comparison to last year's extremes in the United States, as well as in southern Canada, with 14 separate weather events which caused losses of $1 billion or more each.

Today in the Canadian Arctic permafrost is melting. The annual thaw layer is deepening and damaging infrastructure. In British Columbia glaciers are retreating at rates not seen in 8,000 years. On the Prairies lake and river levels are lowering in summer and fall and are impacting agriculture. In Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland sea level rise and increased storminess are accelerating coastal and dune erosion.

Canadians should be highly critical of the government's abdication of leadership on climate change, specifically, its withdrawal from Kyoto and its performance in meeting international climate commitments, setting science-based emissions targets, developing incentives for low-carbon technologies, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, pricing carbon, and putting in place adaptation measures necessary to respond to the risks of climate change.

The Liberal government introduced project green in 2005, a comprehensive climate plan that would have got us 80% of the way to meeting our Kyoto targets. The Conservatives killed the plan when they became government and are now trying to rewrite history by calling the Kyoto protocol a blunder. Their only purpose is to mask their failure. While the government allocated $9.2 billion in funds, it actually reduced its greenhouse gas emissions target by 90%. Now the government can only get us 25% of the way to its drastically reduced target. How is it going to get us the remaining 75%?

7:20 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Michelle Rempel ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, my colleague opposite made a comment about the government's abdication of leadership on climate change. As a young Canadian who sits here now as a government member, I am shocked that my colleague would list weather events and talk about all of these things when her party, when it was in government, patently failed the Canadian people with its failure in leadership on climate change.

In the original question she put to the House, she asked about a real plan to manage climate change, which is the subject of this adjournment proceeding. I would not consider a real plan to do things like signing on to the Kyoto protocol which, at the time, only included 30% of global greenhouse gas emitters. How can we have a global reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when we do not have an agreement on which all major emitters sign on to binding targets?

Failure number one. After the Liberal government signed on to the Kyoto protocol, it had no plan to implement it. In fact, during its tenure, greenhouse gas emissions increased between 27% and 33% over the Kyoto targets, an inconvenient truth to be sure. In fact, Canada's CO2 emissions rose between 1997 and 2005. That was abdication of leadership to be sure.

In 2008, the Liberals came up with a plan to talk about climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. They said that they wanted to implement a carbon tax, a tax on everything, which would fail Canadians in a major way by increasing prices and we could not really be sure about the results that would produce. This is the type of action we see from the Liberal Party.

Nine years of inaction later, the former Liberal leader summed up the Liberal's record on climate change by saying, “We did not get it done”. I would like to contrast that with our government's leadership with regard to climate change.

First, we have taken a strong, bold, sector-by-sector regulatory approach that will see real reduction in greenhouse gas emissions looking at targeted sectors, including transportation, which we have already looked at. We are looking at the coal fire sector right now. We will be seeing reductions in greenhouses gases by 17% of 2005 levels by 2020. This is real action.

We have invested millions of dollars into climate change research and adaptation. These are investments that my colleague has voted against. We had over $870 million over two years in our clean air agenda, $252 million to support regulatory activities to address climate change and air quality and $86 million to support clean energy regulatory action. Those were budgetary measures to see real action.

Moreover, now that we are seeing progress, we are seeing this plan work, including the oil sands monitoring network that my colleague talked about.

We heard from the International Institute for Sustainable Development. In a recent report, it noted that Canada was moving in the right direction on greenhouse gas policy and was establishing the policy architecture to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Finally we have a government is that doing something for greenhouse gas emissions and it is doing that by balancing the need for economic growth with environmental stewardship. This is a plan we can be proud of.