Madam Speaker, I am really glad to be able to address my colleague opposite tonight. Since she has moved portfolios, and I congratulate her on her new appointment, we have missed her at the environment committee greatly.
At one of the most recent environment committees, we had the Commissioner of the Environment come and talk about his most recent report. In April of this year, the most recent report on greenhouse gas emissions in Canada was released. That data showed that while the economy grew by 3.2%—meaning we saw a growth in the economy and an expansion of industry—our greenhouse gas emissions virtually stabilized. There was only a 0.25% increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
For the first time in this country, we are seeing the economy grow while greenhouse gas emissions growth stabilizes. This is a very good thing.
I will bring the member up to speed on what was said in that meeting. One of my colleagues asked,
Did I hear correctly that the inventory data that was not reflected in your report dealt with 2010 emissions?
The evironment commissioner repled,
That's correct. There's a lag between the year and when Environment Canada compiles all the data and releases it.
Those data were not reflected in the most recent report, and in fact the regulations that we are putting in place on certain sectors of the economy were not included in the forecast as well.
What we are trying to do is, again, balance environmental stewardship. We understand the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in this country, but we also need to do that while encouraging economic growth.
The original question my colleague put on the order paper, and I am not sure if she remembers, dealt with the $35 million for climate change research that was announced through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
In the member's new portfolio, I would like to talk about an institution, a granting council that I worked with quite extensively in my previous career and this great program, because I would like to encourage my colleague to vote for our budget. We are investing heavily in science and technology, specifically in an institution she should be quite familiar with at McGill University.
In fact, a search of McGill University's NSERC grants since fiscal year 2006 shows an investment of over $250 million in McGill University. There are actually at least two Canada Research Chairs in climate change; I think there are more than that. I would encourage the member to go and talk to her colleagues who received NSERC funding since our government has been in power. I encourage her to talk to them about the impact of NSERC funding on their careers.
What we are doing in this budget is actually increasing funding to the granting councils. For example, we are providing $500 million to the Canada Foundation for Innovation over five years. This is a great program that provides research infrastructure to researchers across the country.
I certainly hope that she would support important investments into research and development across the country, and specifically I would like to remind the member about the investments that our government has made in climate change research. In fact, since 2006 we have invested over $252 million to support regulatory activities to address climate change and air quality.
Another institution that the member should familiarize herself with in her role is Sustainable Development Technology Canada. This is a great organization that works on commercializing technology that is related to clean energy.
All of these institutions work to address problems related to industry use and to resource development and climate change here in our country. We are actually best practice leaders in a lot of this research.
I hope she will go and talk to her leader, who is pitting workers and regions against one another. I hope she will support cross-Canada research that we are investing in that addresses these problems.