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

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, the member for Ottawa South’s speech was very comprehensive and important.

I am unhappy with the fact that this bill is continually described as though it will do great things for jobs and the economy, while we have failed as parliamentarians to examine the ways in which Bill C-38 is a threat to jobs and our economy.

I am taken by the fact that many Conservative members have spoken tonight about the importance of competitiveness, research and development, and innovation, yet all the best studies in the world on competitiveness—I mentioned, for example, Michael Porter at Harvard University—have said that when the rigour of environmental regulations is reduced, the result is less competitiveness and fewer innovations.

This is the one area where Canada is really lagging, R and D and innovation. Would my hon. friend comment on whether he agrees with me that this so-called budget implementation bill will actually undermine Canada’s competitiveness and reduce our ability to come up with the research and innovation to stay ahead?

David McGuinty: Mr. Speaker, the member’s question is spot on.

In the 21st century, we should not be racing to compete with jurisdictions that can dig up minerals, cut forests, harvest fish and move into the natural resources industry that Canada used to excel at in the early 20th century. This is not Canada’s role for the future.

Where is the investment and venture capital? Why are we discussing new start-ups for Canada? Why is the Sustainable Development Technology foundation being robbed of capital to capitalize and partner with our private sector to give rise to new green technologies?

The race is on for energy efficiency all over the planet. Every jurisdiction knows this. Canada should be leading this race, but unfortunately I do not think the Prime Minister has a pair of running shoes.