Request for Emergency Debate

Ms. Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, while our requests to adjourn for an emergency debate are in the same subject area, they are slightly different.

I am requesting an emergency debate on a specific and important matter regarding urgent consideration. It is specifically in reference to Canada’s negotiating position at COP 17 taking place and opening today in Durban, South Africa.

In this House, we have not had an opportunity to debate and as I laid out in my letter to you, Mr. Speaker, we have been denied positions within the official delegation, which means no opposition members of Parliament will be capable of advising our government as it goes forward in negotiations.

I did put a question to the hon. government House leader on Thursday as to whether there would be an opportunity to debate climate change in the very narrow window we have to influence the Canadian government, that being the time before the hon. Minister of the Environment himself leaves to go to Durban to lead our delegation in those negotiations.

This is very urgent. It is very specific. If there were ever a time for an emergency debate in this House, it would be on this issue on this day when we have also just learned through the media that there is an intention from the government, without having consulted the House, to actually withdraw from our legal commitments.

I ask you, Mr. Speaker, with the number of precedents which I have cited for you, that your discretion be exercised toward allowing the members of Parliament in the House of Commons, here present, to have an opportunity to debate the urgent issue of our negotiating position going toward COP 17.

The Speaker: I appreciate the fact that there may have been a slight difference in the request for emergency debate. The main thrust of the subject matter was in the same general context, so that is why I chose to treat the requests at the same time.

I regret to inform the members that I do not think it meets the very high threshold established for granting emergency debates at this time.