Question Period: Environment and Democratic Reform

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, through no fault of his own, had the PMO prepare talking points, leading to a statement that was incorrect. He said, by my notes, “greenhouse gas” levels “are falling”, and then “significant reduction in greenhouse gas” levels.


If the PMO had consulted the Environment Canada website, it would know that neither of those statements are correct. Greenhouse gas levels have been rising steadily since the end of the recession and are slated to end at 734 megatonnes by 2020, less than one half of one percent below the 2005 levels, when the Prime Minister committed to 17%.

Can the hon. secretary commit that PMO will be instructed to check Environment Canada’s website?

Colin Carrie: Mr. Speaker, I beg to differ with my colleague across the way. Since 2005, Canadian greenhouse gas emissions have decreased 5.1%, while the economy has grown by 10.6%. This accomplishment is historic, and actually our per capita carbon emissions have fallen to their lowest levels since tracking began.
That is our record and we are very proud of it.

Bruce Hyer: Mr. Speaker, the reform act could help to fix Parliament and restore Canadian democracy, but the leaders of the three major parties threaten to kill the bill if it is not watered down. The leaders and the parties love having their MPs under their thumb, and sometimes under their heel.

Will the minister support the current version of the reform act and get MPs working for their constituents once again?

Hon. Pierre Poilievre: Mr. Speaker, I think the member is speaking from his experience with the overly controlling leadership of the NDP, which prevents people from speaking out freely. During a two-year period investigated by The Globe and Mail, in fact the NDP did not have a single member of its caucus vote independently from the leadership. In one in four votes on this side of the House of Commons during that same period, there were members who stood up and voted independently.

We do have a bill before the House now, the reform act, that would take away the leader’s legal veto over candidates. The Prime Minister has announced his willingness to accept the elimination of that section of the Elections Act, and we will continue to work with the member on the bill.