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

Colin Mayes: Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague from British Columbia earlier and I commend her on the good work she does in protecting the environment. We, on this side, are also concerned about protecting the environment.

Related to our bill, this is a comprehensive bill that has a plan in place for jobs and growth. The member knows that the Province of British Columbia, for a number of years, has been requesting that the federal government streamline the environmental review process to stop the duplication and to make the process happen in a more timely fashion.

Could the member tell me if there is any compromise to the actual regulations? No, there is not. It is simply the fact that we are trying to do it in a more timely fashion and to cut the duplication of the reviews.

We on this side are concerned about the environment and we are simply trying to expedite this. We are not saying that we are doing it to ensure there is a yes answer to the applications, that is not case. We are simply saying that those applications, for resource development or whatever, for environmental review get a timely yes or no answer. That is the important thing…

Elizabeth May: Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Okanagan—Shuswap for his question and for the respectful way in which it was posed. I will return with equally good spirits.

My concern is exactly what he put his finger on. There are ways to make the process work for everyone more expeditiously. I mentioned in my speech that, under the existing law, timelines can be placed by a minister on a panel review. It does not require repealing the act to do that.

The industry was pleased with the progress being made under the environmental assessment to have timely reviews. There are ways to ensure federal-provincial co-operation but this is going too far. By completely repealing the act, we are not amending the existing act or finding compromises within the existing act, we are destroying the existing act and replacing it with something.

I have read this bill over and over again and there are 67 pages of the new Canadian environmental assessment act, 2012 buried in the budget bill. As an environmental lawyer, I am warning the House now that this will cause more confusion, industries will not be more satisfied and environmental reviews will not only not go faster but they will not happen at all and they will not examine all the aspects of environmental, social, economic and other unforeseen impacts.