November 17, 2005

LIB

Robert Thibault

Liberal

Hon. Robert Thibault (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure for me to speak in the House on this bill and to indicate my support. I am pleased to see this much support, although it is pity there is not unanimity . Nevertheless, it is good to see how it is moving along, and a great tribute to Senator Jean-Robert Gauthier, who has been the champion of francophones outside of Quebec, for linguistic minorities, including Quebec anglophones.

There was a time when this could not have been imagined. A time when we could not have imagined this country having official languages legislation. Certainly we went through some bad times in Nova Scotia.

I would also like to pay tribute to another senator from a rather long time ago, my grandfather, who entered political life in 1907. At that time, it was forbidden in Nova Scotia to teach in French. The French-speaking communities could not educate their children in French.

A priest of the day, Father Blanc, or maybe Father Daignault—I stand to be corrected—had written a text called Voyage à travers le Canada . In those days, he could not put his name on such a book. A number of copies were made and it was used in all the Atlantic provinces and even in the United States, in French schools, even though it was banned. That is what the children were taught from. If the school inspector came, they had to put it away and get out an English textbook. The same book was used for six years, so they came to know it off by heart.

Time moves on and things change. Now, thanks to the Official Languages Act, and thanks to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we have education in French in our communities. We have an Acadian school board in Nova Scotia like the other provinces do. There have been many other changes too. Father Léger Comeau of Nova Scotia—unfortunately also deceased— would have loved to have been around to see it. He was involved in all the discussions on the Official Languages Act when there was talk of lawsuits to advance the cause. He devoted his life to that. He would be delighted to see it.

There are also people like Denise Samson, with whom I worked. She has also passed away. She spent her entire life working in Acadian communities to further these causes.

It was good. We had the Official Languages Act, with sections 41 and 42. I remember that, at the time, I was volunteering with the Acadian Federation of Nova Scotia. I was taking part in the FCFA's work along with the member for Ottawa—Orléans. We saw the consequences that this legislation would have. It was good. It was there, it was declaratory. It stated that federal institutions must serve the linguistic communities and must ensure their social, cultural and economic development. The will was there but not the powers. If a department did not make progress, there was no way to force it to recognize that fact.

I think that this is Senator Gauthier's fourth attempt. He has shown remarkable tenacity. We thank him for it and we are happy that he is here to see this achievement. Thanks to his efforts, we are finally here. The member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell worked hard, as did all the members of the committee, and I thank them. We are now at the point where cabinet will have to adopt regulations in order to ensure enforcement of this legislation. All the departments will have to truly respond to Canadians, because it is justiciable and executory. Canadians can rest assured that the Official Languages Act will be enforced across the country.

That is important to me. It is important for francophones in Acadia, for example, but also for anglophones in Quebec, who are entitled to services and can go to court if they are not provided. It all depends on good will. I do not know if this happens, but we were given the example of Mrs. Paulin in New Brunswick. In my riding, I saw an RCMP call centre move from a bilingual community to a unilingual community. Are they going to be able to maintain those services there? It seems to me that if they had wanted to follow perhaps not the letter but the intention of sections 41 and 42 of the Official Languages Act, they could have kept this centre in the bilingual Acadian community to enhance the vitality of that community. It did not cost any more. However, it was easier for administrative reasons. People preferred to be in a larger community, so it moved.

I am not sure—lawyers will tell us—but if we could have applied Bill S-3, perhaps we would have had some recourse. We certainly will have recourse in future cases.

I have seen cases in our human resources development centres, now called Service Canada, where several jobs involving direct service to the people of these communities were transferred to larger towns instead of being kept in the communities.

In Acadia, especially in Nova Scotia, Acadian communities are in rural areas far from the big centres. We are always fighting a major battle against assimilation. We know that if the community wants to maintain its linguistic vitality, it is important for it to have cultural, economic, and educational vitality and more.

I am thrilled to support this bill. I am very pleased with all the cooperation we received to get it to this stage. Even though it took four attempts, we finally made it. I would like the hon. members from the Bloc Québécois to reconsider and support the bill. It would be good of them to let it get through the House. It would be in keeping with the spirit of Parliament to do so.

Once again, I want to thank Senator Gauthier and the hon. member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell for all their work.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

Resuming debate. The mover of the motion now has the floor for five minutes to reply and close the debate.

The hon. Member for Glengarry—Prescott—Russell.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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LIB

Don Boudria

Liberal

Hon. Don Boudria (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is rather ironic. Senator Jean-Robert Gauthier, for whom we all had great respect, introduced as his last bill before leaving the Parliament of Canada, Bill-S-3, to amend the Official Languages Act. If things proceed as we might hope, it is highly possible that this will also be the last bill on which I will myself have occasion to work prior to leaving this Parliament.

Senator Jean-Robert Gauthier and myself are both francophones from outside Quebec, and specifically Franco-Ontarians. I am in fact of Quebec stock, since I was born in Quebec with one Franco-Ontarian and one Quebecois parent. I am nonetheless a Franco-Ontarian through and through.

I grew up during the post-Regulation 17 era in Ontario. The member, my colleague from Nova Scotia, referred to a period when the teaching of French was prohibited in his province. That was also the case in my province. Admittedly, I was not attending school at that time, but I was able to recognize its vestiges. It was practically impossible to attend high school in French, except at sectarian schools, when I was going to school. My children, however, were able to attend elementary school, high school and university, even do a Master's degree, in Ontario entirely in French, thanks to section 23 and the legislation we had. Today, we are in the process of passing new legislation so that my children's children can have an even brighter future. As I mention frequently, I am a grandfather.

In conclusion, in addition to adding my own thanks to the hon. Senator Jean-Robert Gauthier, I would like to thank all my colleagues. Sometimes we were in agreement, sometimes not. All in all, however, I think that it is the wish of all those to whom I have spoken that the circumstances of those who live in minority communities should be improved.

I would like to clarify that part VII, which becomes enforceable, is justiciable. Not only section 41, but also sections 42 and 43 can be used as the basis for launching a court proceeding. This is the possibility we are giving ourselves today. I am not worried that this will result in millions of cases being brought before the courts. However, it is no bad thing if a case is brought from time to time, as happened with section 23. Remember the school management issue. It is not inherently bad if it happens from time to time, just not often.

On the other hand, the Government of Canada will have to do everything it can to avoid being taken to court. That enhances the accountability throughout the entire system and makes it better. The minority communities are the ones who will emerge victorious, of that I am convinced.

Again, I want to thank my colleagues as this may very well be the last piece of legislation on which I will work prior to my retirement. I have a hard time using that word, but I guess I will have to get used to it some day.

I thank my colleagues on all sides of the House for their support on this bill, which hopefully I will get in a minute or two. I thank them in advance for their generosity not toward me, although that is appreciated too, but more important, toward those we are called upon to serve.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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Some hon. members

On division.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

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

Topic:   Private Members' Business
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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CPC

Steven Fletcher

Conservative

Mr. Steven Fletcher (Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am here tonight to follow up on some questions I had asked the minister earlier this year in regard to the government run marijuana grow op in Flin Flon, Manitoba.

This is a facility that is in a base metal mine far underground in an abandoned part of the mine in Flin Flon. There are, shall we say, deep concerns about the nature of the operation. Also there are recent developments in the medical uses of marijuana-like substances but without the medical harm.

My question for the minister is twofold.

First, if we have to grow the material, would it not be cheaper to do it on surface in a secure location? There are many other locations other than underground. I worked in a mine. Before my accident I was a geological engineer and I can tell members that the logistics of going underground are not simple. If the government is compelled to grow the material, would it not be more efficient and cheaper to do it on surface?

Second, there have been developments in science. There is a new substance on the market called Sativex, which provides all the medicinal benefits but without the harm of smoking. There is evidence that smoking marijuana is more toxic than cigarettes. The government on one hand is trying to curb smoking, but on the other hand is allowing people who are obviously in medical need to smoke, so there is definitely a contradiction there. The Cancer Society has major concerns about smoking marijuana, as do numerous other organizations. In fact, marijuana has about 50% more carcinogens than tar in unfiltered tobacco.

I would ask the member, first, if they have to grow the stuff, are there not cheaper places to grow it, and second, have the alternatives like Sativex been looked into?

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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LIB

Robert Thibault

Liberal

Hon. Robert Thibault (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as to where the medical marijuana is grown, I know it was reported in the media some time ago that the cost was in the area of $24 million, but the cost is actually in the range of $5 million or $5.7 million for five years. It is a study phase. It was important that it be a secure location. It was done on a competitive basis as to where the location would be and that was the site that was selected.

Perhaps there could be better ways to do it in better locations that would be less expensive. What is important in the meantime is that we are learning as we are doing this. The product that is grown there is tested a lot. It is grown without using chemicals. It is tested to make sure that the product that is produced is consistent in its THC levels. It is distributed at a very inexpensive price to people whose doctors have said that they could use it and they do not have the ability to grow their own.

This keeps those people from being caught and having to buy it on the black market from crooks who might be growing it. The RCMP have stated that pesticides are often used in marijuana grow operations. These products are very risky. There are fluctuations in the levels of THC. It is very important that it be standardized with all the lab work and testing that is done.

The member raised a question regarding Sativex. I am very pleased that product has made it to the market and it has received its approvals. What should be understood is that Sativex has not yet been approved for all uses for which medical marijuana could be used, but in time it may be and other products may be as well. It is very useful for people suffering from multiple sclerosis, for pain due to nerve damage, as it alleviates that pain. However, that represents only about 20% of the people who have been authorized by their doctors to use medical marijuana.

I would agree with the member that if such products in the future could replace the medical marijuana on the market, it would alleviate a lot of other concerns and problems. In some instances there might be some abuse of the privileges of growing the product and it does cause some concern as to the quality of the product available to the medical marijuana users. At present the best way would be to continue with this type of activity while waiting for the approvals and the tests to be done for Sativex or other products that may appear on the market and be approved for other ailments and diseases, or that may be required by the other 80% of the people who have had their approvals.

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Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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CPC

Steven Fletcher

Conservative

Mr. Steven Fletcher

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that alternatives are not being ruled out. There is a case to be made that there is abuse of the substance and that there are very negative health effects to smoking marijuana, particularly over a long period of time. There is also the fact that the medical use of marijuana may be sending mixed signals to other members of our society, in particular our younger and more impressionable citizens.

The member did highlight a wide range of numbers, between $5 million to $24 million to produce this product. Perhaps the members from B.C. are more able to answer this, but it seems that growing marijuana can be done at a much cheaper way in a much safer location.

I wonder if the member could comment on any price reduction.

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Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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LIB

Robert Thibault

Liberal

Hon. Robert Thibault

Mr. Speaker, once again to clarify, I said that the media had reported that the cost was in the range of $24 million when the cost of the contract is, I believe, $5.7 million.

In the future if we decide that the government is going to provide for the production of this marijuana perhaps there would be better alternatives. This was done on a tendered basis to find the most appropriate way to do it on a test basis.

I would signal that I am in 100% agreement with the member that we have to use caution and make sure that people are always on their guard against the overuse or abuse of any medication, whether it be prescription, non-prescription, or in this case medical marijuana. They all carry great risks. It is important that they be used properly and in accordance with the physician's directions and that we keep them out of the hands of children.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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CPC

Cheryl Gallant

Conservative

Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, if anything demonstrates the reason that the government cannot be trusted by the Canadian people it has to be the government's record when it comes to military procurement and, more specifically, helicopters.

As senior minister for Jean Chrétien, the Prime Minister, who was finance minister at the time, was closely associated with every action, program and announcement of the now discredited former Liberal prime minister. The Prime Minister, as Jean Chrétien's finance minister, wrote all the cheques and slashed all the budgets.

Today the Prime Minister is telling Canadians that either his eyes were closed when he was asked to sign the cheques to Liberal Party ad men in the sponsorship fraud for non-existent work or his signature was being forged on the cheques to his Liberal Party cronies. The fact is that the Prime Minister's eyes were open and he knew exactly what he was signing when the cheques were cut.

If the Liberal Party actually believed in Parliament, democracy and ministerial and political accountability, every Liberal MP who was a member of the Chrétien government, particularly if he or she had been a member of his cabinet, would have resigned the moment Justice Gomery delivered his report on November 1.

It was as a member of the Chrétien inner circle that the current Prime Minister wrote the Liberal red policy book for the 1993 federal election.

It is not by coincidence that the only promise that was kept from the 1993 campaign was the one that scrapped the purchase of a new search and rescue helicopter to replace the then 40-year Sea King.

What was not in that red book, which we now know was part of the hidden agenda of the Liberal Party, was the plan to slash billions of dollars from the defence budget.

Canadians, however, are still paying the GST and free trade continues to bring prosperity to Canadians.

There is no way the Prime Minister would not have known the consequences of cancelling the contract to purchase the search and rescue helicopters. There was a financial cost of over $800 million of taxpayer dollars and a human cost in the lives lost which is still being paid today.

This issue is very important to all Canadians because as a result of Liberal Party political interference in the military procurement process, the helicopters that are in use today are ill-suited to the demands that are being placed on them. Since that decision was made by the Chrétien government and his finance minister to play politics with helicopter purchases, pilots have lost their lives. More pilots will lose their lives until the government stops playing politics with our military and implements a fair and competitive bidding process that is open and transparent.

When I asked the Minister of Defence in this House about his decision to scrap the competitive bidding process and go to sole source purchase of the Chinook helicopter, the minister denied that this was taking place, or the decision to go to sole source procurement had not been announced yet. If the Liberal Party had not already made the decision to sole source the Chinook helicopter, why is a picture of it on the Liberal Party's political website under the heading “Defence”?

Chinook choppers have not been part of the Canadian helicopter fleet for over 10 years, when the few remaining Chinooks Canada had were to sold to the Dutch government. By having a picture of a Chinook helicopter on its political website, the Liberal Party is clearly favouring one helicopter over any other source.

While I might be tempted to observe that the government's defence policy is perennially 10 years out of date to match old photos, as a result of the Earnscliffe lobbying scandal and the personal ties of that lobbying firm to the Prime Minister, Canadians have every reason to be skeptical of any excuses by the Liberal Party that the picture of the Chinook helicopter on its website is only coincidental. That picture makes the political statement that the decision has been made.

The Minister of Defence asked that he should sin first or, in layman's terms, get caught lying before being criticized.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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LIB

Keith Martin

Liberal

Hon. Keith Martin (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure today to set the record straight for the member across the way who knows full well what has taken place with respect to our procurement and our objectives to meet the needs of the men and women who serve so nobly and bravely for our country.

Let me first state a number of our key priorities. The first is to ensure our armed forces personnel get the material they need when they need it. The second is that it is affordable to the taxpayer and that the taxpayer receives good value for the money that they have entrusted us to spend wisely on their behalf.

The defence policy statement clearly states our objectives in these areas. I am glad the member mentioned the helicopter issue and heavy lift capabilities that we are trying to acquire. It is part of a much larger package of fixed wing heavy lift capabilities we are trying to pursue. This is under the umbrella of the $13 billion we have budgeted over the next five years. It is the largest increase for our military in the last 20 years.

I also remind the member that this year's supplementary estimates include an additional $1.3 billion for our forces, making the total for this year $1.8 billion. Where is it going? It is going toward equipment, maintenance, operations, training, care and wages for our service personnel. That is responsible spending of the taxpayer money.

With respect to the fixed wing and procurement, our objective is to have a procurement process that is transparent. We would like to ensure that it is clearly done in an open way. Does it mean that at times we will not go to go to sole source? No. At times we will and we will do it when it makes sense to do it under the guiding principle that our forces get the equipment when they need it.

Will we pursue an open bidding process when, as a matter of principle, we know only one particular piece of equipment is required by our forces? No. We also will try to ensure that the equipment we buy will be either purchased or made in Canada, but not always. Again, getting back to the fundamental principles of ensuring that our armed forces receive the equipment they need when they need it.

This is a much larger part of our plan as articulated in the international policy statement. We are making the investments not only in equipment, but also in training, personnel and care for our armed forces personnel.

I encourage all those people who are watching tonight to take a look at our international policy statement. I encourage them to look at the defence capabilities and at our plans for the future. We encourage people to give us input into how we can make that better. However, we have turned a corner. It is not the end. It is a down payment in the future of our forces and our ability to move forward with the goals and objectives that we want to pursue for our country and Canadians.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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CPC

Cheryl Gallant

Conservative

Mrs. Cheryl Gallant

Mr. Speaker, the evidence is there for Canadians to see. It is time to be truthful to Canadians. More particular, considering the fact that Canadians observed Remembrance Day ceremonies last week and in the spirit of the Gomery inquiry into the Liberal Party corruption, it is time the minister came clean with the Canadian public regarding helicopter purchases.

The government has in the past been warned about the problems of not using an open and transparent, competitive bidding process. In the 1998 report of the Auditor General into the purchase of major capital equipment for Canada's military, the Auditor General was particularly critical of projects that were fast-tracked or sole sourced, such as the Griffon helicopter and the Coyote. He observed that when the procurement process is fast-tracked or sole sourced, important tests and evaluation steps were often not completed and problems were only discovered after a particular piece of equipment had been put into service.

As a consequence of discovering the limitations of a piece of equipment while it is being used, lives are being put at risk. There is no doubt an element of desperation by the military to forgo the normal process of capital purchase acquisition as a consequence of years of neglect of military equipment. However, safety should not be compromised to provide equipment that should have been replaced long ago.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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LIB

Keith Martin

Liberal

Hon. Keith Martin

Mr. Speaker, let me reiterate that there are some fundamental principles to which we adhere. First, the procurement process is open, fair and transparent, and we take pride in the integrity of that process. Second, we prefer a competitive bidding process, but as I said, does it mean we will not sole source at some time? No. We will sole source when it makes sense for our armed forces to receive the equipment they need.

The men and women who serve our country are abroad in dangerous situations. Will we go through a belaboured process that will extend the time before they get the equipment they need? No. We will not extend the process unnecessarily. We will not compromise their lives. We get the equipment they need when they need it.

We will not let bureaucracy hold up the acquisition of the essential equipment they need. Their lives and work are of paramount importance to them. It is our responsibility as a government to ensure their lives are protected to the best of our ability. It is something that we will continue to pursue to the maximum of our abilities. It is our responsibility and duty as the Government of Canada.

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Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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CPC

Mark Warawa

Conservative

Mr. Mark Warawa (Langley, CPC)

Mr. Speaker, I am here this evening to ask a question of the government regarding the environment, which may or may not be important to some people. For ours and our families' health, children, parents and grandparents, the environment issue is one of the most important issues with which we need to deal. It is one of the burning items which I have worked on over the last year.

I would like an explanation as to why the government has not dealt with the many environmental issues that are important to Canadians.

For six years I was actively involved in fighting SE2. The local government along with the provincial government in B.C. fought SE2. The federal government, from the former environment minister to the present one, were absent on this issue. There was no federal government presence in the fight on SE2.

SE2 is an electric generator plant located in the Seattle, Washington area which provides energy to the United States. This plant would have pumped tonnes of pollution into the Fraser Valley airshed, and the federal government did nothing. It was asked numerous times over the last six years to help us fight this issue. The good news is that through the help of the local and provincial governments in B.C. and Conservative members of Parliament, SE2 was defeated, but with no thanks to the federal government. Why did the government not fight this? It was the federal government's responsibility.

Why did the government not fight against Devils Lake? Why does Canada have the worst environmental record of the G-8 countries? Why have we had growing pollution levels over the last 12 years of this Liberal government? Why do we have untreated contaminated sites? Why do we still have raw sewage being dumped into our ocean? I asked that of the former environment minister yesterday and he said that was Liberal policy. He said that it was good environmental practice to dump raw sewage into our oceans.

Why do we not have any international air quality agreement with the United States for western Canada? We have an agreement for central and eastern Canada. Is that part of the western alienation policy of the Liberal Party?

Will the government please explain why it does not stand up for the environment?

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Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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LIB

Bryon Wilfert

Liberal

Hon. Bryon Wilfert (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, the member's comments are much broader than the question originally posed. First of all, it is nice to hear the member from the Conservative-Alliance finally recognizing the importance of the environment. Given that, I guess a death bed confession is better than nothing. The fact is that the member's party has not even recognized the science when it comes to climate change.

Our government is the one that brought in project green, the greenest $10 billion budget in Canadian history, and the most aggressive plan of the G-7 in terms of dealing with climate change. The party over there denies Kyoto and an international role for Canada. It is this Minister of the Environment who has in fact been very engaged in ensuring leadership as we lead up to COP 11 and MOP 1 in Montreal. We are going to demonstrate to the world not only what Canada is doing but working collaboratively with others to ensure that it is a global responsibility.

I would point out to the member that on the issue of sumas energy 2 the Government of Canada, through the Department of the Environment, provided necessary information and scientific data. In the end, as the member quite rightly pointed out, the National Energy Board turned down the application. Sumas energy 2 appealed it, as was its right and again it was denied. So, I am not really sure what the issue on sumas energy 2 was because we provided the information. Presumably, that assisted in the decision which was no.

I know the hon. member. I am sure he likes no because that is what he wanted and that is what was delivered. The fact is that we certainly do not have any lessons to learn from the Conservative-Alliance on the issue of the environment.

We are dealing with, for example, wind energy. We are almost at the cusp now of dealing with the commercialization of wind energy in this country. The removal of over 90% of sulphur in gasoline is ahead of the United States. The move toward ensuring that we have renewable energy sources in the country is extremely important.

I am very proud of the fact that the Minister of the Environment, the government and the Prime Minister have taken the leadership role, both at home and abroad. We have the technology fund to promote green technologies in this country. We have the partnership fund to work with the provinces and territories because unfortunately, environment is not purely a federal issue. It is municipal as well as provincial.

As a former president of the Federation of Municipalities, I can tell the member that I know lots about the Fraser Valley. I know lots about the issues there. I have dealt with municipal politicians in that region over the years. I can tell him that I applaud the cities in the Fraser Valley for the work they have done.

At the end of the day, if the issue is sumas energy 2, we provided the necessary information. It was no the first time. The appeal came and it was no the second time. To suggest that the federal government was not involved and was not a player is absolutely factually incorrect.

However, on the issue of the environment, I am hearing from the member and congratulate him on recognizing the health issues regarding the environment. It is something that members in his party and at committee do not recognize on a daily basis. Maybe the member should join our committee because he is a little more enlightened, at least on that aspect, than some other members that I have heard, which is disappointing, I must say.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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CPC

Mark Warawa

Conservative

Mr. Mark Warawa

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate what the parliamentary secretary has shared with us, but the fact is that the SE 2 hearings first went through EFSEC and the federal Government of Canada was absent. That was the first step of fighting against SE 2. Then it went to NEB and the federal government was absent.

We have a problem with our environment. We have pollution filling the air. Carbon dioxide is a problem. It is an issue which we need to deal with, but the federal Liberals are ignoring the tonnes of pollution that are being pumped into our air. It is only the Conservative Party that has a record of fighting for clean air. We want to have a made in Canada plan to clean up the environment. The Liberal legacy will indicate a shameful 12 years of not dealing with the environment. Why not?

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Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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LIB

Bryon Wilfert

Liberal

Hon. Bryon Wilfert

Mr. Speaker, it is because of the policies that I announced and the fact that in 2003 the Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley Regional Districts forecasted emissions that would be going down. It is because of the policies of the Government of Canada.

To suggest for a moment that we support the issue of raw sewage, let me give an example of what the government has done. When it comes to the national infrastructure program to support cities like Halifax to stop the raw sewage going into the sea, it was our government that supported that.

It was the Conservative Party government that for 10 years opposed the national infrastructure program. It lay dormant for 10 years. It is the Liberal government that brought in the national infrastructure program and it is this government that helped in dealing with Halifax and sewage. It is the city of Victoria that is polluting the sea. It could step up to the plate. We have a program, a program no thanks to the Conservative Party.

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Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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The Acting Speaker (Mr. Marcel Proulx)

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

(The House adjourned at 6:43 p.m.)

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Official Languages Act
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November 17, 2005