Sustainable forestry in Canada

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, as this is is my first opportunity to join the debate on the supply day motion today, I want to express my regret that the Conservative Party has put forward a motion that includes extraneous, egregious, and malicious attacks on environmental groups.

I think there is not a member in this place who would not be proud to stand and support the Canadian forest industry, support that forest practices are for the most part sustainable, and support forest workers.

This is part and parcel, I am afraid, of recent attempts by forest industry, particularly Resolute Forest Products, to brand the two organizations interestingly enough that are mentioned in the Conservative motion today, Greenpeace and, formerly known as ForestEthics. Resolute Forest Products with its millions of dollars and access to lawyers has taken these two environmental groups to court charging them with criminal racketeering, if we can believe. The U.S. court on October 16 threw out these efforts to demonize environmental groups.

I really regret enormously that the Conservative Party’s motion will divide the House when we could have united around the cause of our forest industry and the importance of achieving an equitable agreement with the U.S. on trade.

I will ask my hon. colleague across the floor who just gave a speech that mostly focused on the question of the Canadian forest industry and the ongoing softwood lumber dispute whether he would agree that the motion the Conservatives put forward would be passed unanimously if they had simply taken out the absolutely malicious attack on Greenpeace and ForestEthics?

T.J. Harvey – Member for Tobique-Mactaquac

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague’s comments are very reflective of the type of tone and candour with which I think we should be addressing issues within this House that should not be of a partisan nature.

I know from my opportunity of sitting on the natural resources committee for the last two years that I have witnessed members from the opposite side of the aisle, from all parties, come together to talk about issues, like softwood lumber and resource development, in a very thoughtful and concerted manner which takes into account the needs of Canadians, and the viewpoints and opinions of indigenous peoples, and ultimately works collaboratively with stakeholders.

It is very representative of the reasons that I wanted to be a member of Parliament. I really like the idea of working, on both sides of the aisle, with members from all parties, trying to facilitate and construct solutions that are to the betterment of the industry and ultimately to the betterment of Canadians.