Mr. John McCallum (Markham, Lib.)
Madam Speaker, I will begin by congratulating the hon. member for Jonquière on her bill.
I think that the government fully supports her bill's objective, what she seeks to accomplish. It is just the method that is a problem. We think that there are alternative ways of accomplishing the same thing, but more effectively.
I should like to comment on how touching it was to hear the Canadian Alliance all of a sudden jumping on the green bandwagon and wishing to transfer all these funds to seniors and low income people.
It was touching but a little hypocritical. If one recalls the election campaign, that party had essentially no position on the environment. It had its so-called flat tax or single rate tax that would have produced the largest transfer of wealth to the rich. Suddenly the Canadian Alliance has changed its tune on this matter, and that is very nice to see.
The member for Fundy—Royal claimed that the government had done absolutely nothing on the subject of the environment. I would point out that it has committed $1.2 billion over four years for environmental projects. In the Liberal books, $1.2 billion is not nothing.
We need to do further work in this area. Public transit is a hugely important issue, especially with George W. Bush saying no to the Kyoto accord. Achieving environmental success in this area is all the more important because we may be more limited in areas such as forestry, oil and gas.
The Bloc member's basic objective is a laudable one, but we have more work to do in investigating alternatives on how to get there. What is the most efficient way of improving public transit? Is it through the tax system or through expenditures, for example through direct government support for public transit?
Topic: Private Members' Business
Subtopic: Income Tax Act