Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act (Bill C-38)

Elizabeth May: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. member. I have a question regarding environmental assessment. The bill before us is completely and absolutely new.

We have the repeal of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. It was brought in in the early 1990s. It replaced a federal guidelines order that was brought in in 1984. It replaced the federal custom of doing environmental reviews where federal money was involved in a review. Therefore, going back to the 1970s, the federal government has always done an environmental assessment whenever federal money was involved.

As I read this new law, that provision is removed for good. Has my hon. colleague noted that as a deficiency in the so-called new environmental assessment law?

André Bellavance: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague, the leader of the Green Party, for her question.

Indeed, one of the most disgraceful parts of the budget implementation bill is the one that speeds up environmental assessments and allows the federal government to abdicate its responsibilities. This is not only a disgrace but a real scandal.

Every province pays taxes to ensure that the environmental assessment process for development projects is monitored. Now, all of a sudden, not only does the government want to speed up these projects by having less monitoring, but, from now on, it also wants to wash its hands of any responsibility for that monitoring. So the process will be faster and the government will not provide any oversight whatsoever.

This is one of the reasons why we are saying that these parts of the budget implementation bill must be removed and each one sent to the committees involved. The Standing Committee on Natural Resources and the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in particular could examine the bills that pertain to the environment so that people can come and testify about the importance of environmental monitoring of development projects.