Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I listened to my friend’s speech. I was surprised to see, yet again, more money in the budget down the wasteful sinkhole of helping out Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. It has been tens of billions of dollars over the lifetime of that organization. I thought when we got rid of it, we would get rid of having to subsidize it.
My friend cited Dr. James Hansen, renowned climate scientist, who is now urging environmentalists to accept nuclear power.
However, that is because he is so dreadfully concerned that the climate crisis is going unaddressed. He specifically refers to the oil sands as “game over for the climate” if we continue to exploit them and he would only be interested in Canada’s position on nuclear energy if we had a climate policy.
We now stand at a point where, according to Environment Canada, we will completely, totally, and utterly miss the target that the Prime Minister chose in 2009 at Copenhagen. We were supposed to go from 737 megatonnes to 609 megatonnes. Instead, by 2020, when the due date falls, we will be at 734 megatonnes—a meagre three-megatonne reduction.
Does the hon. member not think it is too rich for the Conservative side of this House to invoke Dr. James Hansen on some issues while studiously and resolutely avoiding his advice on others?
Cheryl Gallant: Mr. Speaker, our government has set real goals for cutting pollution, and cutting pollution will ensure a more hospitable atmosphere.
In terms of environmentalists, environmentalists who are truly concerned about Canada’s air, water, and land are recognizing that nuclear energy is a clean, sustainable, and economically advantaged form of producing energy, as opposed to wind turbines and some of the costs involved in the manufacture of solar cells. Far more emissions occur as a consequence of the manufacture of those than are contained in all the emissions that occur when building a nuclear power plant.