Economic Action Plan 2013 (Bill C-60)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Beaches—East York for a really quite eloquent speech in assessing this budget. I think he would probably agree with me that there are many things in the budget that are actually good, including first-time incentives for charitable giving and a small but certainly welcome amount of funding to CNIB. Overall, however, I think his analysis is exactly correct.

I want to ask the member if he finds it surprising that the government would boast about programs that it has cancelled. The environment section of the budget talks about the very successful home energy retrofit program, which no longer exists. I wonder if the member would agree with me that the budget would be much improved if that program were resurrected.

Matthew Kellway: Mr. Speaker, certainly the budget would be improved and our environment would be much improved if that program still existed.

One of the curious things about that program is that when the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Natural Resources justified ending that program, they did so by trumpeting its great success and the many jobs it created, so there is no rationale for cancelling that job program.

In fact, it becomes an extremely important program for a city like Toronto. One of the curious things about the city that I live in, because of its particular built form, is that over 60% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from heating and cooling the built environment, so a program like the eco-energy program became a critical part of dealing with climate change and with greenhouse gas emissions in a city like Toronto.

I know my constituents very much regret the decision of the government to cancel that program, not only because of the improvements it brought to their own properties and because of their concern about the environment but also because of the great job potential that the program had.