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House of Commons Hansard #119 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was environmental.

Topics

UgandaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Daniel Conservative Don Valley East, ON

Mr. Speaker, today we learned of troubling reports that Uganda's parliament may pass a bill introduced by the government that will limit the freedom of assembly and severely restrict the ability of the opposition members or activists to hold public rallies.

As Canadians, that proposed legislation goes against our fundamental core values, such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. We remain concerned that the bill, if passed, would further limit the freedom in Uganda.

Our government will continue to speak up for democratic values around the world and push this message to any country that seeks to undermine democratic institutions.

We call on the Government of Uganda to respect the rights and freedoms of expression and assembly enshrined in its constitution, and to fulfill its international human rights obligations.

Victoria By the SeaStatements By Members

May 8th, 2012 / 2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Victoria By the Sea of Prince Edward Island for its recent award from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

This small picturesque community, with a population of just over 100 people, is on the cutting edge of the green revolution. In response to failing septic systems, the village developed an integrated water and waste water plan.

The new system is closed, which means that none of the water goes into the harbour being instead transferred to the ground after a series of filtering. Among the many positive results of the endeavour, CO2 emissions related to pumping out the holding and septic tanks have decreased by 54%, suspended solids have been reduced by 90% and nitrate output to groundwater has been reduced 58%.

On behalf of the House, I congratulate the folks in the community of Victoria By the Sea on their recent award and I thank them for their effort to make Canada a cleaner and greener place. Simply put, the good folks of Victoria By the Sea are leading the way.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Phil McColeman Conservative Brant, ON

Mr. Speaker, the NDP leader's choice of the member for Vancouver East as deputy leader is particularly important as it shows who he relies upon the most.

We have already demonstrated how his deputy leader is completely out of touch when it comes to getting tough on crime, but that is not the only area where the member opposite has demonstrated poor judgment.

Among other things, she is a leading proponent of ending a 10 year residence requirement for immigrants to receive OAS and GIS. In 2011, she introduced a motion demanding that new arrivals who have not contributed by paying taxes receive seniors' benefits. She has introduced this motion several times since 2000. It is estimated that this promise would cost more than $800 million a year.

Calling for expensive extensions of Canada's social spending with no plans as to how the government could pay for it is all too typical of the NDP team.

30th Anniversary of the Death of Gilles VilleneuveStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Ruth Ellen Brosseau NDP Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Mr. Speaker, 30 years ago today, Gilles Villeneuve, the “little guy from Berthier”, was killed in action.

On the Zolder track in Belgium, the driving ace, the people's hero, met his tragic fate. Gilles Villeneuve's determination, courage and talent blazed the trail for Quebec's motor sports tradition. His victory at the first Canadian Grand Prix on Île Sainte-Hélène inspired countless race car drivers.

Gilles Villeneuve was also a source of inspiration to the millions of us who are proud and honoured to see him rise to the highest of podiums. Villeneuve was one of the most well-known Canadians.

My heart goes out to his wife, Joann, his daughter, Mélanie, and his son, Jacques, who has honoured his father's memory throughout his brilliant career.

On behalf of my fellow citizens and all of his fans, we will celebrate the life of a national hero this evening in Berthierville.

Gilles, sarai sempre nei nostri cuori.

New Democratic Party of CanadaStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Jean Conservative Fort McMurray—Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition wants Canadians and Canadian provinces to fight with each other. For example, in his ongoing campaign against resource development, he is blaming the oil sands for the problems in the manufacturing sector. That is ridiculous.

What he does not mention is that the resource sector provides billions of dollars to the Canadian manufacturing sector in machinery, equipment and goods that are required to operate these developments. It is no wonder that Canadian manufacturers and exporters have come out in strong support of our government's resource sector and responsible resource development initiatives.

As Brad Wall, the Premier of Saskatchewan, asked:

If [the leader of the opposition] thinks a strong resource sector is a ‘disease', what is his ‘cure’? Higher resource taxes? NDP needs to explain.

We in this place know that the NDP's cure is to shut down Canada, to live in caves and to stay huddled together for warmth because where the NDP wants to go there are no jobs, no energy, no policies and no Canada.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the NDP made a common-sense proposal that would allow the budget implementation bill to be studied properly. This would allow members of Parliament to do the jobs we were all elected to do. It would respect the number one role of this institution, to hold the government accountable on behalf of Canadians.

Will the government do the right thing and agree to split the bill?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the government received a mandate to make jobs, growth and long-term prosperity its major emphasis. The economic action plan was put before this Parliament in March and approved in principle in April. A first bill is now before Parliament which will be debated for a record amount of time.

I would encourage all members of Parliament to focus on that work and move forward on the priority of Canadians.

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister has to start putting the interests of the country and respect for institutions ahead of his own partisan interests.

The NDP's suggestion to split the budget implementation bill was made in good faith. Members of Parliament are elected to carefully examine bills. That is the work that needs to be done, and we all share this responsibility.

Why not let members do their job properly?

The BudgetOral Questions

2:15 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, the economy is the national interest of Canadians.

This government received a mandate to make jobs and growth and long-term prosperity its major emphasis. The economic action plan was put before this Parliament in March and approved in principle in April. A first bill is now before Parliament and will be debated in a record amount of time. I would encourage all members of Parliament to focus on the real economic priorities of Canadians.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Outremont Québec

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDPLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, the commissioner of the environment tells us that the Conservatives have no real plan to protect Canada's health and environment. He tells us that it is too late for the government to meet even its inadequate climate change targets for 2020.

Already future generations are going to be responsible for $7.7 billion in environmental liabilities, and that is only the contaminated sites we know about, not the ones that continue to be created today. Why are the Conservatives compounding their environmental failures with a budget bill that would further gut environmental protection?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

On the contrary, Mr. Speaker, this government has made record investments in environmental remediation and cleaning up sites that were not properly assessed in the past. This government is ensuring that we have thorough environmental assessments going forward.

We differ with the NDP in that we think that while environmental assessments have to be thorough, there also has to be a time limit. There has to be the ability to actually have economic development in this country. The no-development party does not favour that, but we do and Canadians do.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' targets are already too low, and yet they still cannot meet them. Furthermore, they have no idea how much their plan is going to cost. The Environment Commissioner has slammed the Conservatives' sector by sector approach to reducing GHG emissions. This plan is simple ineffective.

Is the minister trying to hide the cost or is the government simply incompetent and does not know how much it will cost?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I agree with the commissioner that costing, as it becomes available, should be shared with both him and Parliament. As for costing in advance of consultations with industry, for example, as we are with the oil and gas industry now, that would be premature and speculative.

Costs that my colleague will not see in that report are a carbon tax, increased cost at the gas pump, increased home heating costs and generally an increased cost of living.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, the government has not even done a simple cost-benefit analysis. There is no implementation plan to reduce emissions. Conservatives have no idea what their failed approach will cost the Canadian economy in the future.

Last fall the minister made the bizarre claim that withdrawing from Kyoto would save us money. But it seems he has not done a full life cycle accounting of his own plan.

Why will the minister not come clean with Canadians? Why is he hiding the full costs of the Conservative approach?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, withdrawing from Kyoto, as is our legal right, does save Canadians great costs. We are not sending billions of dollars of hard-earned Canadian tax dollars overseas to buy hot air credits from depressed eastern European communities.

We are saving Canadians a great deal of money with our sector by sector approach to regulation. With regard to regulations in the light car and truck sector alone, we are saving Canadians hundreds of millions of dollars.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, when asked yesterday about his irresponsible allegations about so-called money laundering by unspecified NGOs, the Minister of the Environment hid behind the Minister of National Revenue. Maybe the government is nervous about him getting up and speaking. I spoke to him afterwards and told him that he should not make irresponsible allegations, to which he replied, “Don't you know what a figure of speech is?” A figure of speech. Will the Minister of the Environment get up and explain to us why slandering an NGO by innuendo is a figure of speech?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:20 p.m.

Calgary Southwest Alberta

Conservative

Stephen Harper ConservativePrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, as I think the member of the Liberal Party knows well, this government is committed to responsible resource development. We are also committed to responsible use of charitable moneys to ensure that charitable moneys go into charitable activities as opposed to political activities. However, at the same time, when it comes to the important environmental review processes we have in this country, we think it is ultimately important that Canadians control them and Canadians get input into those processes rather than foreign interests dominating those processes.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of the Environment is hiding behind the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Revenue—his human shield.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order. I am having a hard time hearing the hon. member for Westmount—Ville-Marie. He has the floor and he has the right to ask a question.

The hon. member for Westmount—Ville-Marie.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, after the minister accused non-profit organizations of money laundering, he later told me in this House that it was just a figure of speech. Money laundering is not a just figure of speech; it is a criminal offence.

Will the Minister of the Environment rise here in the House, apologize and withdraw his irresponsible remarks?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Egmont P.E.I.

Conservative

Gail Shea ConservativeMinister of National Revenue

Mr. Speaker, we have announced measures in the budget to provide more education to charities to ensure they are operating within the law and more transparency for those Canadians who donate so generously to these charities. We are taking action so Canadians can be sure that the charities they donate to are using their resources appropriately.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Mr. Speaker, earlier today, the commissioner of the environment gave the Conservative government a failing grade. His report contradicts the government's unfounded claim that it will be able to meet even its weak greenhouse gas emissions targets. The commissioner said that poor planning, inadequate environmental assessment and weak regulations become expensive mistakes for future generations. Why does the government insist on gutting environmental legislation, despite the expert advice of the commissioner?

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Thornhill Ontario

Conservative

Peter Kent ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, we received the report of the environment commissioner with interest. We have taken note of his recommendations, although we have also taken note of the fact that his points of reference are almost a year out of date. What the environment commissioner did not acknowledge was the—

The EnvironmentOral Questions

2:25 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!