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

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, the hon. parliamentary secretary talks about future generations, and that is one of our primary concerns in looking at this legislation: the failure to look to future generations, to think about what we owe future generations, both in terms of our fiscal performance and in terms of the ecological deficit we will leave.

One of the pieces of legislation repealed in this act spoke specifically to the question of intergenerational equity through the concept of sustainable development. The Minister of the Environment has put forward the idea that we can eliminate the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy because we now have the Internet.

I would like to tell the hon. parliamentary secretary that no technological gizmo can replace getting CEOs of Canada’s leading industries in the same room with trade union leaders, in the same room with environmental experts and in the same room with first nations to come to better decisions for future generations.

Paul Calandra: Mr. Speaker, of course the environment is extraordinarily important to the members on this side of the House. My family was one of the first families to donate a conservation easement across 60 acres of 100 acres of land that we owned just north of Markham. That easement was given to the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust to preserve significant amounts of natural heritage.

This government has continued to do that. Before I was elected and before that member was elected, we worked with our partners, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Ducks Unlimited, and put significant investments into securing our natural heritage across this country. I know that in my riding we have announced the creation of a new park, the Rouge Park. We are doing a lot of things.

Some can talk about environmental protection; we chose a different path. What we chose to do is to actually act on protecting our environment. That is why greenhouse gases are coming down. That is why we are creating new parks. That is why this government has decided to get out of programs and services that do not work and to focus on those that actually do work for the environment and the Canadian economy.