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CANADA

Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development


NUMBER 024 
l
2nd SESSION 
l
39th PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Monday, April 7, 2008

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1535)  

[English]

    We are, as everyone knows, discussing the amended clause 10.
    We have a speaking list at this point. Just to review it, it's Mr. Cullen, Mr. Watson, Mr. Harvey, Mr. Regan, Mr. Warawa.
    We will begin with Mr. Cullen.
     I think it's important to remind committee members where we've come to at this point, at this moment. We're at clause 10. We have been through the substantive parts of this bill. This will be our seventh or eighth meeting—I'm just verifying that with the clerk—much of which has been filibustered by the government, hour after hour, delay after delay, tactic after tactic.
    It seems to me and many others involved with this debate on climate change that the last thing we can afford is time, and the last tactic we should be using is delay. For too long this Parliament and Parliaments before have disappointed Canadians with our ability to tackle the issue of climate change. This government has been in office too long, but more than two years now, without a single regulation on climate change. Previous governments also struggled to meet Canada's commitment internationally and to Canadians.
    Mr. Warawa.
    On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, what Mr. Cullen said is actually misleading. He well knows that regulations are in process. You do not create a regulation in a week or even a month; it takes time.
    He's quite aware that regulations are in process. We've had a notice of intent to regulate in October, so he needs to make sure he doesn't mislead Canadians.
    Thank you, Mr. Warawa.
    Mr. Cullen.
    What I said was that this government has not created a regulation. There is not a regulation limiting the emissions of greenhouse gases in Canada.
    I will continue.
    These aren't points of order, Chair.
    With Mr. Warawa, I think basically the message to Mr. Cullen is that there is a plan in place that the government's working on. It takes time. I think he's clear on that.
    I'd like him to finish; he has the floor. Let him finish, please.
     With clause 10, Chair, what this bill finally does for Canadians is allow full transparency and accountability when it comes to climate change targets. Mr. Layton's bill sets into law those targets and timelines, finally. Clause 10 is very clear, and we've made appropriate amendments to it to allow Canadians to first of all know what the government's commitment is currently and what it will be for the next phase, and then to have the government account for what they've done to that point: what has been effective and what has not worked.
     We have moved amendments to allow that the national round table engage on this and that the Commissioner of the Environment also be able to properly audit the government's work, its successes and its failures. Finally, with a bill like this and a section included in it like this, Canadians can feel some reassurance that the government's words might actually meet their actions for once on climate change. It is fully accountable and transparent.
    Juxtapose this with the government's actions of the last number of days. My plea, my encouragement to government members is to allow this bill to receive the democratic approval that it is being given, in the way that this place functions and operates as the House that Canadians built for us. They may not like it; they not appreciate how the numbers work out, or that their entire agenda doesn't get through. Such is life. But to stall day after day, to come in here hour after hour wasting tax dollars, wasting the time of the environment committee, and preventing us from getting to anything else on our agenda....
    Mr. Godfrey has a bill. I know, Chair, you have some things that you would like to study and look at before the summer break. If it's the government's plan to waste the next 30 days until this bill must be reported back to Parliament, I see no logic in the strategy—never mind morally and ethically, but even politically—of continuing the stall.
    I have taken four minutes this afternoon to explain what the clause is so that it's in more understandable terms than what is written—legislation is always in need of some interpretation. I defend it because of the reason why I think it's important, and then I'm prepared to move on to accept the vote of this committee. If they choose to vote down clause 10, then so be it; that is the democratic will. But we cannot continue to waste time. We cannot continue to allow Canadians to see this circus that the government continues day after day and pretend that this is somehow effective governance. It's not. It's morally reprehensible on an issue like climate change to delay it again.
    Clause 10, to be clear, is an accountability and transparency clause. It allows us all to understand what we're talking about. It allows people to measure government effectiveness or ineffectiveness. This is what this clause allows.
    If the government wishes to vote against accountability, then so be it. Allow them to show their votes, but not the continued inappropriate and misguided tactic of stalling, delaying, and not allowing the will of Parliament to see it. I can remember that the current Prime Minister, when he was Leader of the Opposition, talked often about the will of Parliament. That is what we are trying to express here.
    I encourage government members to stop the suppression that stops the will of the House from moving forward and our getting something Canadians can be proud of, that we can all be proud of as committee members, and so start to work together again. There's something Canadians are needing, and that is solutions. They don't need these political fights; they want solutions. This is a proposed solution.
    The government can disagree with it; the government can have problems with it. But ultimately the government should have the courage to either vote with it or against it. This cowardly tactic of delaying day after day does nothing for anybody. It's time that we get back to the work this committee is charged with doing on behalf of this place and see this bill through.
    That's all.
    Thank you, Mr. Cullen.
    Mr. Watson.
     Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I appreciate the comments of the member opposite. He mentioned clause 10 a couple of time in there; I'm not sure if he actually commented on clause 10. He gave a pretty big lecture about the politics of the environment, but we do have important privileges here in how we arrive at these bills in terms of process. It's not simply about having the votes around the table, but the opportunity to fully debate this particular issue, which brings me to the issue at hand with clause 10, as amended.
    We've been involved in some pretty important discussion here at this table. Certainly this side is interested in fully debating this and exploring the ramifications of this particular bill, as well as this particular clause within that bill. I want to zero in.
    Of course clause 10 as amended mentions a number of potential tools available to the federal government as it addresses the issue of expected reductions. It talks about targets, emission limits, mechanisms, fiscal incentives, and things like that.
     Mr. Chair, I'm going to start with one of the ones mentioned, the so-called just transition fund. I think this is an important mechanism. It is important first because of its name. The opposition says there's a need for a just transition fund; the implication, of course, is that the transition for industry and working families under this particular bill will be anything but just.
    What does an unjust transition for working families in Canada mean? Well, I think the cold, hard truth, Mr. Chair, is that a mechanism such as the one mentioned in clause 10 would translate into job losses.
    That's not just a flight of fancy stated by an opposition member here today, Mr. Chair. We've heard testimony at this particular committee. Take, for example, Mr. David Sawyer, an economist at EnviroEconomics. He was asked to speak about the economic implications and suggested policy measures perhaps similar to those mentioned in clause 10.
    Here's what Mr. Sawyer had to say in front of this committee. In terms of achieving targets and with respect to Bill C-377, which includes, of course, clause 10, he said that we couldn't achieve these--and here's the quote--“without significant economic dislocations”. That's on page 4 of the testimony before this committee on February 6, 2008.
    “Dislocations” is a bit of a sanitized word, but what it really means is job losses. That translates into a very important human cost, one that the opposition intentionally designs in naming a just transition fund. Remember, they accept in clause 10 that the transition under this bill to these targets will be anything but just for working families.
    Let's go a little further into Mr. Sawyer's testimony before this committee. He referred to his economic modelling, which he didn't think was extremely costly. I'm going to quote here again; this is page 5 of the testimony from February 6. He said, “This national picture masks some sectoral and regional variations.” He said that there will be “competitiveness impacts”. He says, and I quote, that for industry, “...competitiveness impacts will be real and significant for some segments of the economy”. He implies further in his testimony that at least partly a factor that could contribute--and that's jobs for working families--is manufacturing moving to China. He said there were many factors in that particular trend, but this is certainly one of them.

  (1540)  

     In terms of a “just” transition, for example, how just is it to put an auto worker out of a job today without any guarantee or certainty about where they're going tomorrow? How do you lead a family through troubling times like that, Mr. Chairman?
    When illustrating this point, I'm reminded of my own time as an auto worker. I worked on the assembly line at Chrysler and then DaimlerChrysler, and eventually Chrysler again, for six and a half years. It was a very difficult time for the industry. One of the plants I worked at closed down. The years leading up to the closure were unbelievably stressful. I don't think it's easy for some to truly appreciate job loss in that sector, or what it means to be living with that kind of uncertainty day by day in a family. As a young family at the time, we had two kids when the truck assembly plant closed down. We had just taken out our first mortgage. It was a time of enormous stress and uncertainty, and we had tough living conditions day to day.
    The plant finally closed. I was blessed in the sense that I had some collective bargaining rights to move to a different factory, but very many were without a job. That's what the economists call “dislocation”. This dislocation is anticipated by the opposition, forced by the opposition, when they talk about a so-called “just” transition fund for industry.
    I think we have to anticipate the challenges of the industry. There are already difficult, challenging factors for the automotive industry. Consumers in the United States are battered; in many cases they are bankrupt or their credit is overextended, and they're not purchasing our vehicles anymore. That's a particularly troubling point for the automotive industry. That's one of the competitiveness factors Mr. Sawyer refers to when he talks about “competitiveness impacts”. We have to consider that as context for these types of tools and what this bill is proposing to do: force an unjust transition on Canadian workers.
    There are additional effects. What about the automotive supply chain? What does an unjust transition look like for them? These are important things to spell out, Mr. Chair, because this could get to the scope of a just transition. How big would this just transition fund have to be?
    It's not just the auto assembly jobs that are potentially affected by this measure in clause 10. Here's what the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association highlighted to another committee of the House--on February 6, 2007, interestingly enough. I'm reading from page 20 of the testimony before the Bill C-30 committee. At that particular point they talked about the auto industry; Mr. Nantais, who was representing the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association, expanded on it. He said it's not just the assembly jobs, but “...we look to our full supply chain”. That's everything from impacts on “...mining the ore in the ground, through to steel production, plastic productions, and petrochemicals”. The supply chain is vast, and the number of working families supported by that....
    I know the opposition takes great delight in the debate around Bill C-377, in a sense kicking the oil sands in the shins an awful lot, but the extraction and refinement of petrochemicals and their uses in plastics that go into vehicles are all supporting workers not just in the extraction end of it in Alberta, but also in the struggling Ontario economy.
    This is a critical time, and they want to impose an unjust transition. They want the government to take up a just transition fund, which I would suspect, Mr. Chair, would be of a very significant scope and magnitude.

  (1545)  

    In fact, I had the opportunity to probe that question with Mr. Sawyer before this committee. A little bit further on, I was boring down into the economic modelling that Mr. Sawyer had conducted and presented to this committee. His original costing was done on sort of a percentage of GDP basis regarding what it would cost this economy annually.
    Getting down further into the numbers, I said to him--and it's on page 18 in the February 6, 2008, testimony before this committee--
By GDP assessments, do you mean simply the cost of compliance, or do those include the income replacement cost you talked about?
    Income replacement, of course, is for those who are dislocated and those who have lost their jobs in an unjust transition.
    I went on to say:
There is job loss and increased costs for energy, for example, that eat into fixed income for seniors. Are those costs reflected in your analysis of cost, for example?
    He said “No, they're not.” He did say that those are the types of questions that need to be asked and answered.
    And yet, Mr. Chair, when we debate clause 10 and we get into the substance of proposed mechanisms, we ask whether there should be costing done on some of these things. Of course the opposition says no, we just need to ram this thing through and leave it up to the government to decide--in effect, leave it up to the government to deal with the wreckage that they hope to create among working families in Canada, forcing an unjust transition on them.
    These are important things. Mr. Chair, I would suggest that the best transition, the most just transition for workers in this country in fact is in the balanced targets and plan of the government in the Turning the Corner plan. It's a pretty comprehensive plan. I think it addresses some of the issues that are mentioned, perhaps some of the mechanisms here in clause 10. I want to point something out, and you don't have to take my word on whether the Turning the Corner plan with its mechanisms addresses the concerns of the auto industry.
     Maybe this is painful for Mr. Cullen to hear, and for his party to hear. And of course maybe it's difficult for the two New Democrat MPs in Windsor, Mr. Comartin and Mr. Masse, to hear. Of course maybe this is difficult for his Liberal friends over there who are also pushing this unjust transition on auto workers, but maybe they'd like to hear what Mr. Hargrove has to say about our Turning the Corner plan.
    I'm going to quote from the May 1, 2007, Toronto Sun. Here's what Mr. Hargrove says about the Turning the Corner plan: “It's realistic. They”—meaning the Conservative government—“understand it is going to have to be a long-term solution that will take some time.” He further goes on to say: “I think John Baird”--that's our environment minister—“is right on the money.”
    He further said, in the National Post on April 27, 2007, that the environment minister, Mr. Baird, “listened and paid attention to the industry concerns in bringing in the changes he's proposing today”.
    That's our Turning the Corner plan and our mechanisms, some of which may have some overlap with this clause, many of which don't.
    Buzz Hargrove, head of the CAW, Canadian Auto Workers Union, fighting for automotive jobs in our region, across Ontario, says the government got it right. He didn't say the opposition has it right with Bill C-377 or clause 10 of Bill C-377 or any part of Bill C-377. He says we got it right with our plan. I think that's an important thing. I know it may be painful for the New Democrats and the Liberals to hear that today, but this is important.
    What does an unjust transition look like? I'm going to come back to the government's Turning the Corner plan and some comparison of mechanisms we've approached versus clause 10 in just a moment.

  (1550)  

     I want to go a little further. Let's start with Mr. Hargrove, again to talk about some of the challenges the auto industry is facing. I think the context is important when we're talking about the transition that is necessary here. Mr. Hargrove is laying out some of the context for where the auto industry finds itself. This is only one industry that's potentially affected by Bill C-377. Of course there are many others.
    I am the chair of the government's auto caucus, and this is one area of particular interest that I want to focus on--an area that's extremely important for Essex and Windsor. Mr. Chair, let's talk about the contribution of the auto industry. Here Mr. Hargrove is talking about the scope of the industry. This is right now. It's going to be profoundly affected by an unjust transition from Bill C-377. But here's where they're at now. He's talking about the “big three” within the auto industry, which manufacture here, and he's talking about the industry providing 80% of the jobs, buying almost 85% of the automotive parts, mainly in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. He says they're all struggling. It's difficult times for the industry.
    Of course the opposition.... What do they want to do through Bill C-377? They want to put their foot on the throat of a struggling automotive industry in Canada, and they want to finish it off. Those aren't my words; here's what Buzz Hargrove said. And don't just take my word for it. I know a lot of people say, well, that's Jeff; he's biased about this. Here is what Mr. Hargrove says. Let's go back to February 24, 2007. He is talking about shutting down the auto industry. That's the effect of the climate policies of the opposition parties. He says it's suicidal for our economy. These are significant statements. It's not my hyperbole, Mr. Chair.
    On CBC.ca, on April 26, 2007, he talks about doing these environmental changes “in an intelligent fashion that doesn't jeopardize thousands of jobs in the auto industry or the overall economy”. Clearly he is concerned. This is a critical time for this industry.
    On February 06, 2007, when he was talking about the industry before the legislative committee on Bill C-30, he said:
Whatever we do, it can't be so onerous that it takes already crippled companies that are providing jobs for people and undermines their ability to survive.
    It's pretty significant: “undermining their ability to survive”. It's a difficult transition time for this industry. This government wants to see them get there. Our plan is balanced, in juxtaposition to Bill C-377 in clause 10 and these measures. We took a balanced approach. We're going to help them make the transition; we're going to help working families make the transition.
     What else did he say about this particular industry? He talks about vehicle emission standards, for example. He's talking about targets and standards that need to be “achievable, effective and constructed in a manner that compels improvements at the same time as they strengthen Canada's automotive industry”.
    This Bill C-377 imposes an unjust transition on the industry--an unjust transition that's causing job losses. That's not strengthening Canada's automotive industry. That's putting an end to the industry here.
    It talks about some of the North American context of this industry. Here's what he said in his testimony before Bill C-30, just over a year ago:
We're the only country in the world with an auto industry that is fully integrated with that of another country that is 90% larger in market and production.
    What happens in the United States affects us. The types of measures we take, the standards we take up and implement, and the targets are all critical for this industry, that we do it in a way that helps the industry get along in a way that recognizes the integrated North American nature of this industry and also some of the threats from within that integrated market.

  (1555)  

     That's what we're doing, Mr. Chair. That's what our government is doing. We're taking a responsible approach, unlike Bill C-377 in clause 10.
    He goes further, talking about some of the specifics of the industry, itself. This is what we're transitioning from to where the NDP wants to take us. He says that more than 80% of the engines we build in our plants in Canada are V8 engines. The rest are V6. We don't build a four-cylinder engine. To take a V8 engine plant and rebuild it to produce four-cylinder engines requires at least a billion dollars, and you need to have a market that is not there today. So there are some real competitive challenges.
     As Mr. Sawyer said before the committee, competitiveness impacts will be “real and significant” for some sectors of the economy if you're trying to force this kind of change, as the opposition is trying to do, on the industry. Here we have an industry, with words like “crippled companies”, with some competitiveness issues. And Bill C-377 comes along with these particular mechanisms. They want to force an unjust transition on the industry.
    Beyond that, we've raised it time and time again to the uncaring and unsympathetic ears of the opposition. Remember, if they're willing to force an unjust transition on workers, they don't really care. That's the reality, Mr. Chair.
    Clause 10, Bill C-377, hasn't been costed. What are these measures going to cost? How big is this just transition fund?
     Quite frankly, the NDP doesn't care to cost it. They want to leave that to the government, perhaps, or to others. In other words, they want to leave the bad news to this government. They want to force the requirement on the government and leave all the bad news with them, to bear the responsibility.
     No, Mr. Chair, we're not going to accept that. It's our moral responsibility to oppose what the NDP are trying to force on working families in this country. They don't even care to cost it. They don't want to tell Canadians the truth about how big this just transition fund will be. They want to govern, the New Democrats in concert with the opposition, without the responsibilities or the prerogatives of the government.
    What kind of price are we talking about? Let's put some numbers to how big the cost could be. The carbon price was stated by Mr. Sawyer when he testified. I think he said that the carbon price was going to be $200 a tonne, and then he said plus 50%, or it could be more, even $300 a tonne. That's a big cost, of course. There has been no costing of the instruments, though, in clause 10.
     There's a significant amount of uncertainty, he further goes on to say. I'm going to quote again from Mr. Sawyer that there's “a significant level of uncertainty in these numbers”.
     So what's missing, Mr. Chair? There are no costs around these measures in clause 10. These are the costly Bob Rae economics, where the Treasury be damned for rigid ideology. That's what they pursue over there. They don't care. They don't want to tell Canadians how big a just transition fund could be or how much money is going to have to be spent to put workers out of their jobs and then find them jobs later on. They don't want to talk about that. So much for the human cost.
    Mr. Chair, I was listening to debate today on the budget implementation bill. The NDP were crowing about the triple bottom line, how they consider the human cost in everything they do. So much for the triple bottom line, Mr. Chair. They forgot the human cost inherent in Bill C-377 and these measure in clause 10. They forgot about that.
    The reality is that when push comes to shove and the principles of that party are on the line, about defending the interests of workers, the New Democrats are completely off the bottom line in their calculations, Mr. Chair.
     I say shame on them, absolutely shame. I know that Mr. McGuinty over there is mocking me, saying shame. I'm waiting for him to tell this committee, of course, when his brother is going to shut down his coal-fired plants, but we'll leave that for another day, even though we're helping him. Mr. McGuinty didn't like that, but that's all right.

  (1600)  

     Do you know what these clauses, like clause 10, represent in Bill C-377? They represent a disturbing pattern of NDP and Liberal disregard for workers and their families. It starts with their support of Kyoto after doing nothing about it for 13 years, Mr. Chair. This is part of the pattern. Bill C-377 is part of this pattern.
    Here is what Buzz Hargrove said. Let's come back to him, because we're talking about the auto industry. Mr. Hargrove sets one of the first points of this pattern of disregard. Here's what he said about honouring the country's original Kyoto commitments. It would be “suicidal for our economy”. He said “you'd almost have to shut down every major industry in the country from oil and gas to the airlines to the auto industry”. He's not saying you'd have to close down a couple of plants. You'd have to shut down every major industry, including the auto industry. And he says that just “doesn't make sense”. That was quoted from The Windsor Star of February 24, 2007. He goes on, of course.
    We can go a little further. On the Bill C-30 committee, the clean air committee, there was a relentless pursuit of the California emission standard by the opposition parties--the NDP and the Liberals. Here is what Buzz Hargrove had to say about that in the Edmonton Journal of April 14, 2007. He talked about “the insanity of the environmental movement--everybody's trying to outgreen each other”. He said “Politicians have...the green god and now they're running with it for the next election”.
    And here's what he says about California standards. And you'll have to forgive me, as there is a bit of a curse word in this, Mr. Chair, but these are Mr. Hargrove's comments. He said it "would mean every God damn product we build can't be sold here except the Impala".
     He means here in Canada, for all the products we build. He said of those California standards, “If I sound upset, I am.... We're losing ground. Everybody seems to have given up on the auto worker.”
    Of course, he's talking about the opposition. We already know what he said about our Turning the Corner plan.
    He says that the New Democrats, the Liberals, and the Bloc Québécois have “given up on the auto worker”. Those are his words, Mr. Chair. This is part of that disturbing pattern of New Democrat and Liberal disregard for workers that we see here in Bill C-377, clause 10 being part of that, of course.
    That's Buzz Hargrove on the California standards. First it's Kyoto and how bad it is, shutting down the industry. Further is their relentless pursuit of this California standard, meaning that every product we build except the Impala can't be sold here. Those were Buzz Hargrove's words.
    What else did Buzz Hargrove say? This is testimony of February 6, 2007. I'm going to turn to page 11 and quote Mr. Hargrove as he's talking about the California standard a little more and what these measures may mean.
If I could answer again, Mr. Chairman, California makes up about 10% of the North American market. Canada is slightly under 10%. Over 60% of their market in California is bought from Japan or South Korea or the European Community, so they don't have any auto industry to speak of. They have one assembly operation. So Governor Schwarzenegger can say he's going to bring in tougher standards, and it doesn't throw a lot of people out of work. There are three or four other states that do the same thing.
    He goes on to contrast. He said:
We have an industry that is so successful that we produce one and a half vehicles for every one we sell.
    This is a valuable question, and the opposition is not listening, of course, Mr. Chair, because they don't care. He says “Why would we want to throw a lot of people out of work?” That's a very valuable question. That's about the unjust transition they want to force the government to enact for them. That's what this is all about. Why would we want to force a lot of people out of work? That's a very valuable question, Mr. Chair.
    He goes on to say, “This is not California. It's a much different environment.” It's a context, of course, lost on the Liberals and the New Democrats.

  (1605)  

    He goes on further, Mr. Chair, with respect to the California standards, again, from page 14 of Bill C-30 testimony of February 6, 2007, to say, “Let me give you the example that was outlined to me recently.” The question, of course, that he's answering is the one I had asked him about the impacts after the announcement of two plant closures by Ford in the city of Windsor. I said:
In the short term if the standards outpace the ability of technology to be put into the vehicles, particularly with respect to engine technology, what does that mean for a plant like the Windsor engine plant, which has 2,500 employees?
     It was a very specific question for my constituency.
    I asked Mr. Hargrove to tell me what a typical research and development cycle looks like for the auto industry from the time they get an idea for something to the time it's actually being put into a vehicle. It's important to consider when we're looking at the measures that could be available to the government for addressing policy issues. It's a very important question. This is where policy hits the road.
     Mr. Hargrove answered:
Let me give you the example that was outlined to me recently. If we were to move to the California standards by 2009, that would mean the Silverado that we build in Oshawa and is built in three other General Motors plants in the United States could not be sold in either California or in Canada. So 20% of the market is gone from General Motors. That means we have four assembly plants and one is going to go.
    Common sense would tell you that if a country says you can't sell something in Canada and you have to close one plant, you are not going to close a U.S. plant and keep the Canadian plant open when you can sell the vehicle outside of California. So the answer is that there is a direct correlation between what the government does here on the large vehicles and the large engines in the short term without giving some time to accommodate this.
    Of course, Mr. Chair, again, the opposition wants to force an unjust transition on the auto industry. I can't understand it. Buzz Hargrove says “Why should we be putting them out of work?” I think he's still waiting for his Liberal friends and the New Democrats to explain that to him: why put them out of work. Why put them out of work, Mr. Chair? It's a very valuable question.
    Not only that, Mr. Chair. Bill C-377 and its clauses, including clause 10, don't capture the scope of the entire problem we're facing, and that is that all global emitters should be involved in the pursuit of this. Of course that helps with respect to the competitiveness impacts mentioned by Mr. Sawyer. We can't have our competitors having a competitive advantage over our industry here as well, so they need to be on board.
    Here's what Mr. Hargrove said with respect to bringing others on board. This is from CBC.ca, April 26, 2007. I'm going to quote him. He says:
If we throw everybody out of work and we shut the whole economy down in Canada--we contribute about two per cent of the greenhouse gas problem--that will be offset by China, the United States and others, so there'll be no change at all.
    He goes on to say:
Let's just transfer all the jobs out of Canada to those countries and we'll all sit around and try to figure out how to buy their vehicles while their people are working and ours are unemployed.
    This is what the Liberals and the New Democrats want to force on the industry, Mr. Chair. That's what this bill is part of, Mr. Chair. That's what they want to do. We need to bring all the emitters on board. There's nothing with respect to this bill, when we're talking about climate change, when we're talking about what we do. We need to have them all on board—that's the other scope.
    This is the pattern of disregard for Canadian workers exhibited by the New Democrats and Liberals, exhibited here by their lining up to support Bill C-377 and clause 10. Mr. Chair, that is just insufficient.
    As I said earlier.... Let me see here if I can find.... Just a moment while I get another quote, more evidence, Mr. Chair, more witness testimony. This is the Bill C-30 testimony, Mr. Chair, page 20. Allow me a moment while I flip to that page.
    In response to one of our colleagues who was asking about using a sledgehammer on the auto industry, asking what effect there would be on the auto industry, he says this is about the need of having others on board with us, Mr. Chair, having the proper tools, the proper negotiation, the proper agreements to bring others on board. That's what our government is trying to do, Mr. Chair.

  (1610)  

     I think this bill prejudges the outcome of that process, but we're at the table working on it.
     This is Mr. Hargrove, page 20, February 6, 2007, before Bill C-30: “Even if Canada did everything possible, it couldn't do it by itself. If the United States doesn't do it, and if other major powers around the world don't move in lockstep, then you still have a problem.” And he asks another valuable question that the Liberals and the New Democrats just don't want to answer; he says “Why would we jeopardize everything that Canadians hold dear while others are going merrily along their way?”
    I've heard the New Democrats. They worry about cars coming from China, from South Korea, which are going to take away jobs here in Canada, and yet they'll come to this committee, Mr. Chair, and they'll support a bill like this, while at international negotiations they'll support a pass for those countries. Let them continue emitting, let them build their economy at the expense of our workers. That's unjust, Mr. Chair. That's absolutely unjust.
    Of course that's what the New Democrats are leading the charge for here at this committee. They want an unjust transition. They, of course, want us to bear the responsibility for that, but we're simply not going to accept that—absolutely not. That's why we have taken every opportunity in our power, at every turn, at every step at this committee, to do everything we can to oppose this bill. It is a bad bill. This clause within that bill is a bad clause, Mr. Chair. It's not going to get the job done, in terms of getting us to a transition for a better environment and allowing our economy to make the transition there. Our plan does that.
    Now let's look at the measures in clause 10 and talk about our Turning the Corner plan and other measures employed by the government. Mr. Chair, some things are certainly mentioned in clause 10 in terms of things that are available to the government to address this issue. How do we tackle climate change? Let's talk about what this entails with respect to the automotive industry. Let's start there, Mr. Chair. It takes an auto policy, doesn't it, and this government has one.
    They don't mention that, by the way, Mr. Chair. They don't talk about an auto policy helping. They don't talk about anything helping the auto industry specifically in clause 10. Maybe they don't want the government to consider the impact of the auto industry. But we have an automotive policy, Mr. Chairman. A few weeks ago, Minister Prentice announced the four pillars of this government's auto policy, talking about the first pillar being the best economic fundamentals of any economy in the G-7. Notwithstanding Mr. McGuinty's brother in Ontario, broadly speaking, in Canada, we have the best economic fundamentals.
    Mr. Chair, that's the first pillar. We have to have low taxes. That's a fiscal measure. This clause talks about fiscal measures available to the government. We have low taxes for the industry, Mr. Chair. I'll remind the members opposite that they voted against that. Did the New Democrats support that, Mr. Chair? No, they didn't. Did the Liberals support that, Mr. Chair? No, they didn't. That's important. That's a tool available to the government, right?
     We're talking about tools here: paying down debt; keeping our fundamentals good; keeping interest rates low. Lowering consumer taxes like the GST by two percentage points makes the purchase of a fuel-efficient vehicle that much more available to a consumer, which keeps somebody working on the assembly line and deals with the issue of greenhouse gas emissions, Mr. Chair. And that's only the first pillar of our auto policy: having the best economic fundamentals in the G-7.
    The second pillar, of course, is dealing with things that recognize the integrated nature of the North American automotive market and building on those things through, for example, the security and prosperity partnership initiative, addressing competitiveness issues on the continent for the industry. It means building a new crossing at Windsor to increase trade throughput for the industry, and also to give predictability to the supply chain as they build these fuel-efficient vehicles for the next generation here, for Canadians, for people in North America, for people around the world. These are world-class products, Mr. Chair.

  (1615)  

     It also means dealing with a stringent fuel efficiency standard--a dominant North American standard--that will see this industry catapult ahead of our competitors, addressing the issues of climate change and emissions head-on while producing a competitive vehicle, and abating their costs across the entire North American market. That's an efficient tool available to them. That's doing it in a smart way. That's the second pillar of the auto policy. It is a tool available to government.
    The third pillar of our auto policy is significant multi-billion-dollar investment in science and technology. We have a $9.7-billion science and technology strategy, and what did the NDP and the Liberals do when it came to that measure in our budget? We increased it by $1.3 billion in our last budget, and they voted against that. They didn't want more money for research and development into the next generation of green technologies for the auto industry, or anything else for that matter. They voted against it. The Bloc voted against it. Can you believe that?
    That's a tool available in our auto policy. That's the third pillar: harnessing a significant portion of that research and development money to produce the green technologies to be built here in Canada. We want to commercialize that. We want to build those products here.
    Here the government is saying we're going to partner with the billions of dollars of in-house, private research and development done by the automotive industry--most of it done not in Canada, unfortunately. We're going to work to bring that here. We're saying we're going to partner with those industries to produce not just the technologies that exist today, but the ones that have to get us beyond 35 miles per gallon.
    Imagine an SUV or van that gets 35 miles to the gallon--that's incredible--and doing it in two product cycles. That's impressive. That's almost a moon shot in terms of the technology. I think one of the automotive executives said it would be like John F. Kennedy saying we're going to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. That's the kind of technological change we have to achieve with this industry, not the kind of “step on the throat and end the industry” with this bill that the opposition wants to see.
    We're building an auto policy tool that says “We're going to partner with you and help you do that research and development”. That could be anything. For example, I know my colleagues on this side of the table are interested in the fact that Quebec is one of the leading jurisdictions for research and development in lightweight metals and materials. That's very important if you want to increase fuel efficiency. We have to find the kinds of metals and alloys that will have the durability and strength we need in vehicles, yet have less weight so we get fuel efficiency improvements. It's very important. We're saying we want to partner in that way. It's good for the province of Quebec, the auto industry, and our climate. It helps the industry make the transition. We're making investments to move this industry along.
     Those are the kinds of tools we're using, not this unjust transition fund mentioned in amended clause 10 that we're debating here today. That's the idea of the opposition. And it's sad that the Bloc is also supporting an unjust transition fund for the auto industry instead of supporting this government's investments in that type of lightweight material research and development that is being done in their province. They're turning their backs on that industry; they're not supporting it. They should be supporting those types of tools, not the unjust transition fund.
    I see Mr. Bigras with a wry smile over there. But that's okay, Mr. Bigras, we're doing something. These are the kinds of tools we're talking about.
    And the fourth pillar of our auto policy.... And again, the auto policy is just one tool. We not only want to do the research and development into these next-generation technologies; we want to commercialize them here in plants in Canada for the benefit of our workers as well. We're thinking about the next step. The unjust transition fund says, “Put the worker out now. Maybe down the road a 'green job' will be created, but we're not sure what sector it will be in. Maybe we'll train you for it or maybe you'll have to go back to school.” Something very uncertain like that is not good for building strong families when you don't know what your future's going to look like.
    We're already thinking ahead with the industry, in terms of our tools, about where this industry needs to go. We're not just doing the research and development, but commercializing it into our plants. This is what the $250-million auto innovation fund is all about, as announced in budget 2008.

  (1620)  

     I will remind Canadians who are looking in on this, of course, that the New Democrats, the Bloc, and the Liberals didn't support that. They don't want to see green technologies commercialized in our plants in the near future for the benefit not only of our environment, but also of Canadian workers and their families. They don't want to support that, Mr. Chair--$250 million to help these plants do the retooling in their Canadian operations to manufacture these fuel-efficient components. They could be engines. They could be transmissions. It could be the assembly of vehicles, or research and development programs. There is a lot there, Mr. Chair. This is important stuff for the industry as well as for the environment. This is good for families and good for achieving.... These are the types of tools that our government is looking at and that the opposition parties are opposing.
    Instead, they like this idea of an unjust transition, and maybe the government should have a just transition fund. That's their idea.
    Here are some other tools available: a $2 billion investment by the federal government in biofuels, which is very significant to the industry, very significant to Canadian families who are involved in both farming as well as the petrochemical side, producing biofuels that are low in emissions--E85 being one, soy diesel. Ethanol and soy diesel are very important. In fact, in my riding we have a trolley that runs on soy diesel fuel only. It's a very interesting thing. It's good for tourism down there, good for the tourism jobs.
    This is the kind of stuff, a $2 billion investment by this government...which, I will remind folks who are looking in, is a tool rejected by the New Democrats, for example, who voted against that back home. Of course, that means that Joe Comartin and Brian Masse voted against these types of tools to help our environment as well as help the industry along in making a transition and helping our working families. I can tell you that there are a number of Chrysler vehicles, for example, our minivans in Windsor, that are produced with E85 technology and need this biofuel.
    Our farmers have come through two of the roughest years under the Liberal government, with low commodity prices, selling off their equity, losing their equity in their farms. For them to be able to capitalize on a booming industry, with commodity prices for corn and soy beans that are going well for them, to produce these types of vehicles.... Our investments are helping to support that, Mr. Chair. I'm not going to sit here and say that's the only thing driving commodity prices, but we're contributing to that by creating demand for these products to be mixed into traditional petrochemicals to give us a much better fuel mix that's good for emissions and good for working families.
    I know that my workers at the Windsor assembly plant, which is where I spent my last two and a half years, on the assembly line, appreciate the E85 technology.
    It's not just making the investment in the biofuels themselves. What other tools are available to this government? Clause 10 talks about tools. We made some investments, actually, in supporting E85 infrastructure in the current budget, Mr. Chair. What did the opposition parties do? They lined up against it and they didn't support it. Shame on them. That is very bad opposition. I agree with Mr. McGuinty, who is saying “bad opposition” over there, “bad”. I agree with him. He's right. Shame on them for not supporting moving forward.
    What does that mean for products like these minivans that are built with E85 technology? Where do they go? Can we use them on our own streets? That's the type of thing this government is involved in. They are good for emissions, good for reaching our targets. I'll remind folks at home that we have extremely tough targets, the toughest of any country right now, Mr. Chair. That's 20% by 2020, and between 60% and 70% by 2050. Those are very challenging targets. They are very good targets. They are good for the environment, Mr. Chair.
    We are moving forward in a way that's good for lowering greenhouse emissions in this country and good for the auto industry.
    What other tools are there, Mr. Chair? How about investments in public transit made by this federal government, not only in the infrastructure for public transit, but in transit passes to increase ridership, for example, to encourage people to get out of their cars and get into public transit; or investment in commuter trains from to Peterborough to Toronto, announced recently? How about the $500 million public transit capital trust 2008?

  (1625)  

     That's $500 million, allocated on a per capita basis. It's very significant for Ontario and Quebec, for example, my home province, who are dealing with these issues. I know it's one that Mr. McGuinty would be very happy about. I think they got $195 million for projects, making additional investments in public transit infrastructure. That's a pretty significant investment in public transport. It's good for the environment, good for our communities, Mr. Chair.
    These are the types of smart tools being employed by this government. Of course, for the benefit of Canadians back home, let's remind them that the Conservatives, of course, supported these measures. They were in our budget. The Bloc didn't support it. The New Democrats didn't support it. The Liberals didn't show up to support it, and the ones who did voted against it. They're against those investments, multi-million-dollar investments, billions of dollars of investments. This builds on the $1.3 billion in budget 2006 in support of public transit infrastructure and the transit pass tax credit. These are very significant tools used by the government, very significant investments that are good for Canadians, good for the environment, rejected by the New Democrats, the Liberals, and the Bloc. Shame on them, Mr. Chair.
    They rejected the approach of dealing with air pollution and pollutants other than greenhouse gases. Of course, we know, Mr. Chair, and you well know, Mr. Chair, that there's plenty of evidence, not only in your career, but plenty of evidence before committees of the House, the Bill C-30 committee being one of them. We know there are significant co-benefits in addressing climate change by making reductions in other air pollutants. There are very significant co-benefits both ways, Mr. Chair. An integrated approach is extremely necessary to the health and the climate for Canadians. We're taking that integrated approach, opposed of course by the opposition parties.
    I alluded to our science and technology strategy a little bit earlier within the context of our auto policy—$9.7 billion for significant research and development on a wide variety of fronts, many of them on issues that are important for our environment. It may have been controversial, but you talk about clause 10 talking about fiscal incentives. We took a controversial one, admittedly, in assessing green levies, taxes, to discourage the driving of gas-guzzling vehicles. As well, we instituted measures to get old polluting vehicles off our streets. It's very necessary.
    Are they changing consumer buying habits—sure they are—to more fuel-efficient vehicles, helping them get the old vehicles off the road and getting them into new vehicles? It's good for the environment, Mr. Chair. We know that tailpipe emissions, in terms of greenhouse gas, are only 1% for these new vehicles. It's the old ones we need to get off the road, and we're doing that. It's also good for employment, Mr. Chair, in our factories—people building components, assembling these vehicles. It's very important to get fleet turnover, getting people to get into newer vehicles. It keeps the jobs rolling on the assembly line back home. That's very important. Our government is taking action on those measures.
     What did the opposition parties do? Of course, they opposed them. They reject those measures. They don't like helping the industry move forward and the climate to move forward. Instead, they want to force an unjust transition on working families. They want to throw auto workers and others in other industries out of a job into an uncertain future. They don't know when the green job will come for them. They just don't know. Quite frankly, they don't care.
    How about accelerated capital cost allowance measures? There was a unanimous report—very rare, Mr. Chair, as we can see in committee proceedings in the House. The industry committee had a unanimous all-party report on how to address issues facing the manufacturing sector. The very first one on the list was an accelerated capital cost allowance for industries to purchase new technologies, to make intensive capital investments to move their industries forward, to keep their workers working, Mr. Chair, and to exploit new opportunities and new markets for products. It's very significant to make these investments and to make them now.

  (1630)  

     Our government, in two separate budgets, implemented that measure. What did our opponents do? You have to purchase these technologies to build green technology. You have to purchase these things in our plants now. What did the opposition say? They voted against them. They'd prefer this unjust transition for workers instead of supporting sensible tools that will help industry move forward productively and make the transition that we need to get them to where they're producing fuel-efficient vehicles, doing so in ways that are innovative and with low impact to the environment. This is very significant.
    It's this type of thinking that our government is engaged in. We're thinking about the health of these industries. That's what our Turning the Corner plan is all about. It contains the measures we're implying. That's what our budgets are dealing with. It's extremely important. We're taking a very proactive and long-range approach on that.
    I think it's important to highlight that it was at one time a unanimous report. The other parties did say that they supported these types of capital cost writeoffs. Again, when principle came to action, they either sat on their hands, like the Liberals did, or they voted against them. Shame on the opposition for not doing things to move the industry forward.
    How important is technology right now, Mr. Chair? Let's go to the testimony. Don't just take my word for this. Don't just take my word because I've been an auto worker and I've been involved in this industry; don't take my word for it.
    In Wednesday, February 6, 2008, testimony before this committee--

  (1635)  

    Mr. Chairman, I have a point of order.
    Yes, Mr. McGuinty.
    Could you refresh our memories on where we are on the speakers list? Perhaps just to give Mr. Watson a chance to drink some water because he's tired of talking, could you tell us where are we on the speakers list?
    We have Mr. Harvey next, then Mr. Regan, and then Mr. Warawa.
    Pursuant to our agreement last week, can the clerk tell Canadians who are watching how long now the government has been speaking without stop on this bill since we began?
    An hon. member: Is that including the interruptions?
    The clerk advises me that the committee has met for fifteen and a half hours, over seven meetings, I believe.
    At the last meeting we had, the clerk was kind enough to present something--as a response to a point of order request--to all members saying that the government was up to, I think, twelve and a half hours of filibustering. Can we now reliably add on another hour and a half here, Mr. Chair, and say that basically we're at fifteen hours non-stop?
    That's your math, and I believe it sounds correct.
    Is that your understanding as well, Chair?
    Those are the time amounts, and we've met seven times--
    Can the clerk just clarify that for me, as a point of order?
    I think we're getting beyond.... Mr. Watson has the floor, Mr. McGuinty. I think you have the times, the number of meetings and the hours.
    We're trying to figure out on this side of the committee room whether we're going to actually address this before May 7.
    I can't answer that, Mr. McGuinty.
    I'll turn it back to Mr. Watson and let him carry on.
    Microphone off: thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. McGuinty should know, Mr. Chair, that the reason we're vigorously opposing this bill is precisely because it purports to put auto workers out. That's why I'm at the microphone. I'm fighting for my constituents. This is a bad bill. It's a deeply flawed bill. It's bad for auto workers. It's extremely bad for auto workers.
    Mr. McGuinty can sit over there and carp all he wants about how much time I've had at the microphone, but it's only been just over an hour. I'm going to make my points here. This is extremely important. I'm going to lay out the full case on behalf of my auto workers, because this is extremely important.
    Voices: Hear, hear!
    Mr. Jeff Watson: I've worked with these people on the line, and I'm proud to be at the microphone to fight for my auto workers. Mr. McGuinty may not care about the auto workers, but I do, Mr. Chair.
    Point of order.
    There's a point of order. Get yourself under control, please.
    Mr. Warawa.
    Mr. Chair, we have to respect Mr. Watson's time. The committee is on the verge of being deemed in disorder.
    An hon. member: Who says that?
    Mr. Mark Warawa: I'm suggesting that to you, Chair. I'd ask that there be order and that Mr. Watson be given a fair opportunity to speak.
    We've had applause and disruptions from members of the committee and also people observing. We have to respect Mr. Watson's time. Otherwise we're in disorder, and the only option then left to you is to adjourn.
    Mr. Warawa, I sort of take example from our Speaker in the House. Of course he constantly attempts to keep order, and that would be my intention as well, to try to keep order.
    Mr. Watson has brought up some interesting points certainly on behalf of his constituents. He has talked to this transition problem, and I think he should be allowed to continue. He hasn't had the floor for as much time as Mr. McGuinty has suggested; it's been other members. I think it's time we listened to Mr. Watson and his constituents.

  (1640)  

    I'd like to respond to the point of order.
    I don't think I need a response, Mr. McGuinty.
     We have a debatable point of order here. He's raised a point of order, and I'd like to respond to it.
    I think all members here would like to have order.
    I have just two short points, Mr. Chair. First of all, I don't think the parliamentary secretary's in any position to tell us whether this committee is in disorder.
    Well, Mr. McGuinty, I really would like....
    Second, Mr. Chair, if I could, I never implied that this member has been speaking for fifteen hours. Only the Conservative members have been speaking for fifteen hours--all four of them. Thank you.
    Correct. That point's been made, Mr. McGuinty.
    I'd like Mr. Watson to carry on, on behalf of his constituents, and talk about the auto industry.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Had Mr. McGuinty been patient, I'm actually about to wrap up my comments.
    As I was saying, I know that the opposition wants to ignore the testimony before this committee, Mr. Chair, in its attempt to push through this bad bill, this deeply flawed bill and all its provisions, including clause 10. This is what Mr. Thomas d'Aquino--I hope I don't massacre his name--president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, said on Wednesday, February 6, 2008. Mr. Chair, we were talking about the importance of making investments in technology that will not only benefit our environment but will move our jobs forward in this country. That is not the type of unjust transition where you just callously and cold-heartedly kick workers out of their jobs into an uncertain future. That's what the opposition is all about, Mr. Chair. That is what they're here for. I'm here to stand up.
    The reason I'm opposing this particular clause and the bill, more broadly speaking, Mr. Chair, is because it's bad. It's absolutely bad for workers, and I'm not ashamed to say that. I'm not ashamed to sit here at committee and make my case about why this is bad. I'm not ashamed at all, and I will use my full privileges as a member of Parliament--they're the privileges of every member of Parliament--to come here and stand up for their constituents, make their views known, and mount a very vigorous defence of their welfare.
    Mr. Chair, I worked for six and a half years with these families. I know a lot of them by name. I know their children, Mr. Chair. These are very important people. I'm talking about clause 10 here, with this unjust transition they want. They just want to toss them out of work. I worked with these people. I know what it's like in this industry. I know how tough it is, looking to the future.
    That's why our plan is the right one. We're not only going to try to move forward our environmental goals, which are to have a cleaner environment, we're going to move these families forward. We're not just going to kick them out and leave them to the wolves, as the opposition wants to do, Mr. Chair.
    Back to the point, here's the testimony of Mr. d'Aquino, talking about the need for technological investments, on February 6, 2008. This is on page 2. Here's what he says. This, of course, is their submission. They agree with some of the points we're talking about here. He talks about their proposal. He says, “Another key element of our proposal is to recognize the absolutely fundamental role of technology”. This isn't peripheral to the discussion here, Mr. Chair. This isn't peripheral for Canadians who are watching. This is absolutely the crux and the heart of the issue here.
    It's not kick them out and maybe have some income replacement or maybe train them or who knows what. No, this is about making the critical investments now. I was talking about the accelerated capital cost writeoffs being very significant at this particular juncture. They were structured the way they were by this government in declining fashion in years four and five, precisely to ensure that the technology investments are made today. That is vital. Recognize the absolutely fundamental role of technology. That's the quote from Mr. d'Aquino.
    He goes on to say, “There is simply no way to make meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions without massive investments in new technologies. Business leaders in the council see this as a tremendous opportunity”.
    We agree. That's why we have the accelerated capital cost allowance writeoffs for these industries, and we've made them more generous, too, in terms of the amount that can be written off.
    He says:
Business leaders in the council see this as a tremendous opportunity, since Canada has the natural resources and the technical, financial, and skills capability to be a leader in next-generation technologies such as clean coal, carbon capture and storage, nuclear, hydro, wind, biofuels, and other alternative energies.
    I'd go on and add to that list the types of automotive components and parts in vehicles that can address the need for significant and deep reductions in greenhouse gases on the transportation side of the equation, not just on the industry side. Our regulations address that particular issue.
    Mr. d'Aquino goes on, talking about his proposals and where we have some common ground. This government does, anyway; the opposition doesn't. He says:
A third element of our paper recognizes the importance of targets as a spur to environmental progress. We support the ultimate goal of achieving a substantial, absolute reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases, both in Canada and globally. At the same time, it is important that any target applied to Canadian industry recognize competitive realities and be set within an overall policy framework that allows profitable firms to increase their investment in new technologies.
    Of course, clause 10 speaks about targets and their effects.

  (1645)  

     This is how we're going to move forward, Mr. Chair. It's how the auto industry is going to move forward. The opposition may not want the auto industry to move forward. They have the rhetoric, but when it comes time to where the actual policies get put into place and the dollars get put behind them in budgets, what do they do? They either sit on their hands if they're not allowed to vote in the Liberal Party, or the few that are allowed vote against these measures. Or the Bloc--they don't even wait to see what's in budgets, they just go ahead saying they are against it and forget it, especially if it's the auto industry. I don't know how many times I've sat in this committee, Mr. Chair, and listened to the Bloc Québécois kick the auto industry in the shins at every opportunity. They don't care. They used to build the Camaro in their province, Mr. Chair; they had an investment at one time, and they've lost it . Now they just don't seem to care any more: they'll kick the shins of the auto industry. I've heard it time and time again.
    But we're looking at measures--
    An hon. member:Point d'ordre.
    Mr. Watson, there is a point of order, but I think you're better to keep on talking about clause 10 if you can and try not to get into the politics of it.
    Mr. Bigras.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, you have a duty to ensure that the debate focusses on Bill C-377. If the member doesn't know what to say anymore, he should cede the floor to his colleague. Mr. Watson should focus on Bill C-377. I have the sense he is straying from it more and more.

[English]

    Thank you, Mr. Bigras.
     Again, Mr. Watson, I would ask you to try to keep to what we're talking about. I don't think it's necessary to talk about other parties or their positions. It's your position that really matters, and I ask you to keep to that and certainly not go after the parties, please.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
     I've been speaking about the unjust transition they want to force; this is what clause 10 is about. I'm talking about investments in new technology as a tool, Mr. Chair. We're talking about tools in clause 10. I've been very much to the point with that as well as I've been very much to the point about talking about these being tools we support and they don't support. I think that's fair for Canadians to understand that as we talk about why certain tools are being used and why certain tools are not necessarily to be used, Mr. Chair. That's very germane to the point. I've been very much on that one.
    Back to Mr. d'Aquino and his testimony. We can't ignore the testimony at this committee when we're studying bills like these. It's very important, Mr. Chair. Mr. d'Aquino says, and I quote:
A fourth necessity is to ensure that globally we have an effective and long-term plan that commits all major emitting countries to do more to constrain the growth of emissions around the world.
    Another very valuable tool is how we negotiate with other countries, and they agree with us, Mr. Chair. A further quote on page 2:
There are ways to design our policies so that they do not place unfair burdens on vulnerable regions, sectors, or individuals, but we should not pretend that the cost is insignificant or that the policies need to focus only on driving reductions in Canadian industry.
    There are some very important comments for us to consider here when we're talking about tools in clause 10, the tools the government is choosing to employ, Mr. Chair. I look at clause 10 and I think the government is doing a far better job in terms of assessing its tools.
     Mr. Chair, I would bring this conversation back to a summary, and then we'll bring it to an end.
    The opposition wants to force an unjust transition on workers, particularly in the auto industry, leaving it up to the government to design a just transition fund. They don't even know how much it costs. They don't care how much it costs. They don't even care that the transition will be unjust to workers. It's just go ahead, here's a tool, go ahead and use it; you guys deal with the wreckage this bill will impose on those industries in transition. It's very significant.
    Mr. Chair, the approach of the government is a sound one. I am opposing clause 10 as amended. And further, broadly speaking, I am opposing Bill C-377.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.

  (1650)  

    Thank you, Mr. Watson.
     I have had a request from Mr. Harvey, who is on CPAC, to switch his spot with Mr. Warawa, because the order that I have is Mr. Harvey, Mr. Regan, and Mr. Warawa. He did request that, and I said I would ask the committee.
     I see Mr. Bigras is not agreeing. So I will go to Mr. Regan.
    I did tell Mr. Harvey that I would mention it to you and ask that we switch.
    Mr. Chair, who is after me on the speakers list?
    Mr. Warawa.
    Just so everybody understands, Mr. Harvey is next. Mr. Harvey had to be away for ten minutes, so he asked me if he could switch places with Mr. Warawa. We'll let Mr. Warawa go, then Mr. Regan, then Mr. Harvey, in the speaking list.
    That was a simple request that normally I would grant, and that would just be fine. But I've put it to you because this is somewhat contentious.
    Mr. McGuinty, go ahead.
    Mr. Chair, in the spirit of cooperation, could the parliamentary secretary commit to this committee and let Canadians know that if he were to pick up the baton now and speak in Mr. Harvey's stead, who's on television, he will end this filibuster by a defined time?
     Perhaps that would be useful, in the spirit of cooperation, if he could tell Canadians and committee members when the government intends to stop filibustering a private member's bill. Perhaps in the interest of making the order flow smoothly, we could get on to actually working on the amendments that we've got tabled here on a clause-by-clause basis, given that we're close to fourteen hours of filibuster now. Could the parliamentary secretary then commit to giving us a time by which this will end?
    Mr. McGuinty, as your chair, I'll certainly put that question to Mr. Warawa--
    That would be very useful. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    --but I doubt very much that he can answer that question.
    Let's ask him.
    Because I'm sure he's got points that he wishes to raise about clause 10.
    Mr. Warawa, do you care to answer that question? Certainly there's no onus on you to answer it.
    I appreciate the question. I have a lot I'd like to say on Bill C-377.
    Is it my turn to speak, or would it be Mr. Regan's?
    Also, Mr. Harvey wanted to speak--he's now on CPAC with the panel--and he wants to be on the speakers list.
    I would drop him in after yourself.
    So whoever is the speaker now, if it's Mr. Regan--
    Mr. Regan is the next speaker. Well, Mr. Harvey is, but he's not here.
    I'm fine. If Mr. Regan wanted to speak now, that's fine, and I can speak after Mr. Regan.
    Okay. I think we have an answer. Certainly Mr. Bigras objects.
    Mr. Regan, you have the floor.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'll be very brief, because I certainly don't want to add to the filibuster here.
    I think it's very clear and becoming clearer to Canadians that what this demonstrates is that this government--the same government that talked about so-called global warming gases, so-called climate change and so forth--is once again showing its true colours by acting in this way, filibustering this bill, trying to oppose and delay and delay and delay as long as possible any real action on climate change.
    Canadians are increasingly concerned. They see increasing evidence, Mr. Chair--

  (1655)  

    Mr. Watson has a point of order.
    I was going to ask Mr. Regan to please talk to clause 10.
    Yes, I was hoping the member could at least mention clause 10. He hasn't even mentioned it yet.
    He's getting there.
     I was getting there. Thank you, Chair.
    I just wanted to make sure he was getting there, Mr. Chairman.
    I think that clause 10 is an important part of this bill, and that we should support it. I am disappointed that Mr. Warawa, who's already spoken at extensive length--and when I say length, I'm talking about hours and hours and hours--which is a remarkable feat, but not one that's added much to our knowledge about climate change, or our knowledge about this bill, or any of its articles.
    Mr. Chairman, I think that these members should be ashamed of themselves. They do not demonstrate any real interest in moving or in taking real action on the greatest challenge facing this planet. It's embarrassing to sit here on the same committee as them, when they know full well what they're doing. They should be ashamed of themselves.
     Thank you, Mr. Regan.
    Mr. Warawa is our next speaker, and again I urge everyone to stay on clause 10. The amended clause 10 is what we're here for.
    We are waiting to vote on clause 10 so we can move on to clause 11.
    Mr. Warawa, you have the floor on amended clause 10.
    Thank you, Chair.
    Amended clause 10 says:
10. (1) On or before May 31 of each year, the Minister shall prepare a statement setting out
(a) the measures taken by the Government of Canada to ensure that its commitment under section 5 and the targets set out in the target plan are being met, including measures taken in respect of
(i) regulated emission limits and performance standards,
(ii) market-based mechanisms such as emissions trading or offsets,
çç (iii) spending or fiscal incentives, including a just transition fund for industry, and
    My colleague Mr. Watson spoke on that at length, and I want to thank him for what he shared with this committee.
(iv) cooperation or agreements with provinces, territories or other governments; and
(b) the Canadian greenhouse gas emission reductions that are reasonably expected to result from each of those measures in each of the next ten years; and
(c) the level of Canadian greenhouse gas emissions in each of the following ten years to be used as a baseline to quantify the reductions referred to in paragraph (b).
     Mr. Watson was speaking on Bill C-377, clause 10, and talking about what Bill C-377 will do to the auto industry. We've heard parables told to our children and grandchildren. Maybe each of us has read little stories and parables. We learn a basic truth or principle as we read parables. They're quite instructive and helpful. So as we consider Bill C-377, clause 10, and hear Mr. Watson sharing how this can impact the auto industry, I'd like to share a little parable.
    Let's think about going into an auto store in Canada and being shown a beautiful vehicle with good fuel economy. Let's assume it's a hybrid, with leather seats, a sun roof, and new technology, but the salesperson does not allow you to look under the hood. They promise that this vehicle gets 100 miles per litre. It's phenomenal. Mr. Watson spoke of new technology. They're not going to tell you what that new technology is, but they tell you it's incredible. You say you'd like to take it around the block. They say you can't take it around the block. You can't drive it, but it will deliver these incredible 100...let's say 200 kilometres per litre. It's phenomenal. You can't drive it, but it is actually incredible.
    What's likely the next question somebody is going to ask? It will be available next year or the year after, but what will it cost? What is the price tag on this technology that is supported by lots of promises? They say “You can sit in this, but I can't start it up for you yet. It's in the showroom. It has leather seats but you can't look under the hood. We're not going to tell you what it's going to cost.”
    How many people would buy that? It's all based on rhetoric and promises.
    What we're seeing here with Bill C-377 is exactly that. It's not based on science; it's based on scientific targets, with no evidence that they are achievable. That's what we heard from each of the witness groups. There is no way they know whether it's going to achieve anything. It's all based on a dream. That's the analogy Mr. Layton used when he came to this committee.

  (1700)  

     He talked about his dream, his dream of the railway, and they had no idea how they were going to pay for this, but it was a dream that he had that Bill C-377 would move forward with these international targets.
    Now, he knew about what was happening in Parliament and that the government had a notice of intent to regulate. The Turning the Corner plan was already moving forward. There were already positive signals in the marketplace that the Turning the Corner plan was already having positive results. We've even seen that recently with the Montreal carbon exchange, climate exchange. This is moving forward, and this would not be happening without a plan that has credibility, credibility that people are buying into.
    Now, are people buying into the rhetoric of Bill C-377? The expert witnesses who came to this committee did not buy in. We didn't have anybody who was saying “Yes, I would be willing to pay whatever it costs for your dream”--not one.
    So as we look at Bill C-377, clause 10, as Mr. Watson aptly warned us, built into this is a disclaimer. The disclaimer is that we have a transition fund, and the transition fund is for all the Canadians we're going to put out of work, because we're such big-hearted people--the NDP.
     Well, that is morally reprehensible: to mislead Canadians by presenting a bill in the House--you don't know anything about it--just to make you look like you care about the environment. That's very serious to play with Canadians' emotions like that, because Canadians have a commitment, and we all know that--they have a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That's why we're having a healthy debate here around this table. It's very concerning when we have members of the opposition, and it's every member of the opposition, it's the Liberal Party that has a legacy of lots of pomp, lots of announcements, but never getting anything done. And it's not that they just didn't get it done; it's that everything got worse under their lack of plans. All it was was announcements, and we heard that from the commissioner. That's what we see in Bill C-377, clause 10: announcements but no substance.
    So I think it is morally reprehensible for the NDP to present something, and then to shout and huff and puff and say this has to go forward for the environment, when there's nothing there. It's as phony as a $3 bill. Maybe that's why it's called Bill C-377. It's as phony as a $7 bill. It's phony right to its core, because there's no substance. It is that car with lots of promises, nice leather seats,and it even has a sun roof, but you can't start it, and there's no proof it will ever.... But just send us all your money and hopefully one day we will have something that will work.
    But they don't have a track record. Has the NDP ever given Parliament a bill that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Not once. They do not have a track record that is to be trusted. They're great at buying birthday cakes or celebration cakes, making the announcements when they crack deals with the Liberals. But they do not have a legacy of substance; it's also a legacy of announcements.
    Now, they know they're not very likely ever to be government, so they can come up with a bill that doesn't have substance. It's a lot of rhetoric. So that's why as government we have a responsibility to protect Canadians, to make sure that what Canadians have is something that will really work. And that's the legacy of this government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper; it's a legacy of keeping his promises and getting it done.

  (1705)  

     Referring to Bill C-377, clause 10, we had a comment. And I believe that every member of this committee has a passion for the environment. I really do. I believe personally that Mr. Cullen, who is lobbying for this bill and for his leader, Mr. Layton, does have a passion for the environment. I believe every one of us--Mr. McGuinty, Mr. Regan, Mr. Godfrey, Mr. Scarpaleggia, Mr. Bigras, Mr. Lussier--has a passion, but each of us is following the direction to some extent.
    Mr. Chair, you are doing a great job, and you are a neutral party, and we all want to thank you for putting up with what's happening in this committee, which is consideration of Bill C-377, a phony bill right to its core.
    Further evidence of the genuine desire of Mr. Cullen to see something happen in the environment while lamenting the lack of action on it, and of how excited opposition members, including him, get when the government fails, was heard on March 12, when Mr. Cullen, speaking to the environment commissioner, said, “I suppose that as opposition members we should be excited when there are reports in the Auditor General's office, the commissioner's office, that show government failure.”
    Well, Chair, it's nothing to be excited about when we see growing emissions. Every witness group has said it will not support reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through Bill C-377 because we don't know what that will cost. Now we have a glimpse at what those costs would be, and that glimpse comes from experience when we attend international meetings.
    Mr. Godfrey was at an international meeting in Germany with me, at the G8 + 5, along with Mr. Cullen, and we heard how important it is to have a plan that's realistic. And I have shared before with the committee that the plan has to have a realistic timeframe with realistic targets, and that each country is unique and different.
    That's why we asked Mr. Bramley, when he was here as a witness just after Mr. Layton on Bill C-377, whether Canada's unique circumstances had been considered in Bill C-377, whether it had been costed. And his response was that Canada's unique circumstances hadn't been considered, it hadn't been costed, and it should be considered. That's why I've asked every one of these committee members here in the environment committee to please cost the bill. Do an impact analysis. Stop this phoniness, and do what Canadians want.
    Now they're refusing to cost this bill, as recommended by the witness groups, and why would that be? Well, I think Mr. Watson hit the nail on the head, Chair. When you look at the measures under Bill C-377, clause 10, they are so vague and meaningless and nondescript that you end up with nothing. And you end up again with their making these promises that this vehicle is going to go 200 kilometres on a litre of fuel, with no substance. The bottom line is they want to be able to get good announcements out there, and they are afraid to tell Canadians what this will really cost.
    My concern is that we're looking at possibly doubling the cost of energy to Canadians with Bill C-377. Doing what Bill C-377 is asking to do in a short period of time will have dramatic costs to Canadians--direct costs--and energy costs will be going up dramatically. That means energy costs to heat your home.

  (1710)  

     Canada has a unique situation. We're in the north. We have a colder climate. The climate is colder than in the United States, because we're quite a bit north. That's why a lot of Canadians fly to the United States, where it's warmer during the winter. They call them snowbirds.
    We have a colder climate. It takes a lot of energy to keep our homes comfortable and warm. There are some practical things we can do. As a government, we have provided the tools in our Turning the Corner plan to help Canadians upgrade their homes so they use less energy and are still comfortable.
     You have to have a reasonable amount of time that Canadians can do that. You can't say to all Canadians that they must reduce the amount of energy they're going to be using in half within a few years. It's not possible to do that. You can't say that every Canadian has to drive a hybrid vehicle; not all hybrids have incredible fuel economy. You can't say that all Canadians have to buy a vehicle that gets 100 kilometres per litre. We don't have that technology yet. You have to be realistic in your expectations, and you have to provide a realistic timeframe. That's what we heard when we were at the international conference in Germany.
    You have to create the tools too, including a domestic carbon market. That's what we have in Canada now: the genesis of a domestic carbon market. That's exactly what we were told in Germany needs to happen. And it is happening.
    Canadians want an action plan that is realistic and that will see absolute results--not phoney announcement, but results. That's the legacy this government provides to Canadians. It's not like clause 10 in Bill C-377--vague, no direction, no substance. Canadians want action, and that's what they get in the Turning the Corner plan.
    How is that Turning the Corner plan achieving that, and will our plan hurt the economy? There will be an impact, but it's over a realistic timeframe. In the end, it will result in absolute reductions of 20% by 2020. That's 150 megatonnes. If we were to continue to see emissions grow--
    Point of order.
    On a point of order, Mr. Cullen.
    Thank you.
    We've heard ad nauseam from the parliamentary secretary about the so-called Turning the Corner plan. I'll remind him again that we're talking about the accountability section of Bill C-377, the open and transparent reporting of effort for Canadians.
     He can go on and on as much as he wants in his own time about this so-called Turning the Corner plan, which is not supported by a single group anywhere in this country, or in any other country, but he cannot continue to waste the time of this committee.
     We're looking at Bill C-377, Mr. Layton's bill, and clause 10, which talks very clearly about finally being truthful to Canadians about what is happening and not happening on the environment. The complete washout that is his government's own initiative is for him to account for in some other place. We're here to talk about clause 10 and to finish this bill.
     I would encourage him to finish his comments so we can get on with it. It's disgraceful that this continues day after day. It has to stop.

  (1715)  

    Mr. Warawa, again I would remind you, please talk about the amended clause 10 and keep on that specifically, without other references. Keep on that clause, please.
    Thank you, Chair.
    I believe the record will show that I regularly refer to Bill C-377, clause 10. It is morally reprehensible to see a bill like Bill C-377. It is a bill that the NDP is trying to promote to Canadians as the silver bullet, when in fact there's nothing there. It's a very deceptive bill. It's a dangerous and irresponsible bill that misleads Canadians and tries to use Canadians. I feel quite sad that Mr. Cullen is put in that position that he has to try to defend a bill like Bill C-377.
    If you look at clause 10, there's nothing there. It is a bill that is missing the ingredients to see absolute reductions. With respect to my analogy, my parable of people trying to sell a car with no costing, every reasonable person will ask what it will cost and how you prove it gets what you claim in fuel economy. There's nothing of substance. There's no reason anyone would believe that Bill C-377 will do what it says it will do.
    On the other hand, with the Turning the Corner plan, we are already seeing positive results. I would encourage the NDP to stop trying to deceive Canadians and to tell the truth about the Turning the Corner plan and the good results we are already seeing.
    Chair, I know Mr. Harvey has some very important things he wants to share. My understanding is that he is the next speaker. I would like to stop speaking so we can hear from Mr. Harvey, but I will ask to be put back on the speakers list after Mr. Harvey, because I'm not finished.
    Thank you so much.
     Mr. Harvey, you're next on my list. I put you down.
    Mr. Regan, Mr. Warawa, I had no other speakers. I put him to the bottom. I added him after. There were no other speakers on the list. There was Mr. Harvey, Mr. Regan, Mr. Warawa. So I went to Mr. Regan, then Mr. Warawa, and I put Mr. Harvey to the bottom of the list.
    Mr. Chairman, just to be clear, you're not telling us that, having missed his turn, he asked to be put on the list again because he wasn't here when his turn came up. I mean, we have the choice of whether we're here or not.
    What he asked was to switch with Mr. Warawa, and that was turned down by the committee. He said “If that is it, then I'll go after Warawa”, and that's exactly what I did.
    I believe we have to listen to Mr. Harvey. I'm sorry, but I did exactly what would normally be done.
    I don't think Mr. Harvey's on the speakers list any more. He absented himself from the room. We had a discussion about whether or not he could be substituted by Mr. Warawa. We said no, and then you went to the next name on the list, which was Mr. Warawa
    . I call for the vote. There is no speaker now.
    Well, Mr. Harvey is asking to be on the speakers list.
    I think it's time for us to call a vote.
    I don't believe so.
    Why can't we call the vote?
    Because Mr. Harvey is still speaking.
    He's not on the list.
    Yes, he is. He asked to be put on the list before he left.
    No, he didn't.
    He did before he left. Since to swap was turned down, he said he would go to the bottom.
    You never told us that earlier. I'm sorry.
    I wrote that down right at the time. He just asked now to be on the speakers list, and the clerk says that's totally all right. I mean, anybody else can get on the speakers list right now.
    We're ready to call the vote, Mr. Chair.
    We have speakers; I have to listen to the speakers.
    After fifteen hours of filibustering, we need to call the vote.
    Mr. Harvey, you have the floor.
    I think Monsieur Bigras had a point of order.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, I understood a few minutes ago—and my other colleagues understood the same thing I did, if I'm not mistaken—that Mr. Harvey had lost his turn. Yet now, you are preparing to give him the floor. I would ask you to reconsider your decision and draw certain conclusions.

  (1720)  

[English]

    Mr. Bigras, let me be very clear. Mr. Harvey had explained why he was going to leave. I asked if we could swap. You said no. So Mr. Regan went, then Mr. Warawa went, and Mr. Harvey said “If I can't swap, put me at the bottom of the list”. I did exactly that. You can be on the list as well now. So can Mr. Godfrey. So can Mr. McGuinty. Anybody who wants to be on this list can be on this list, and I have to listen to them.

[Translation]

    On a point of order, you are correct when you say that anybody who wants to be on the list can, except that, in this case, when Mr. Harvey's turn came up, he wasn't here. You asked us if we were willing to make a change, and we said no. Mr. Regan made a comment, and then you continued with Mr. Warawa. At that point, the list had been completed. So, how is it that you are recognizing Mr. Harvey? He asked for the floor, but how can you give him a turn now, when he just lost his turn?

[English]

    He did lose his turn. Let's ask Mr. Harvey if he requested to be put at the bottom of the list when he left.
    Mr. Harvey.

[Translation]

    The first thing I want to point out to my colleagues is that I went to see Bob and the clerk to inform them that I would have to leave for 15 or 20 minutes. I asked what the procedure was, and the clerk told me that the turns could be switched. I made it known that I wanted to speak on this. Since I wasn't there, I am waiting for my turn to speak. Perhaps the clerk could simply be asked whether switching my turn or putting it elsewhere on the list is feasible or not. I believe my request was both legal and acceptable.

[English]

     Mr. Bigras, just to address your point, you can be put on the list at any time. You can speak now. Anybody can get on the list now, and we continue to speak as long as there are speakers on this list. This list isn't a final list. It doesn't at a certain moment in time become a final list. It's an ongoing list. Those are just the rules.
    Mr. Chair, may I speak to this point of order?
    Sure.
    Mr. Bigras is entirely right. You had a list. You asked this committee for permission to substitute Mr. Warawa for Mr. Harvey, and it was turned down. Everybody here on this side of the table said no. Mr. Harvey has just reappeared. If it was so important for him to debate this motion, he never would have left this room. He has just reappeared, and now you're putting him back, arbitrarily, on the list.
    And, Mr. Chair, I asked for this vote to be called before you asked him to speak. So I would like this vote on this amendment, on this clause, to be called, because I've asked for it, and you had no active speakers on the list.
    Mr. McGuinty, basically, as I said, this is not a finite list. This list can be added to at any time. Anybody else can speak. Mr. Watson can be put back on the list if that's what he's requesting, and so can anybody else.
    For rhetorical purposes, Mr. Chair, through you to the clerk, I would ask, once there is no one formally on the speakers list—
    But there was. He's on here. He was put on here as soon as you turned down his request to swap.
    He wasn't here to even request it.
    He requested it to us.
    An hon member: I requested it.
    You're not permitted to request for another member.
    Can I ask the clerk, through you...?
    Let me ask for the clerk's ruling.

  (1725)  

    Please. In theoretical terms, Mr. Chair, through you to the clerk, if there is no one on the speakers list and a member has asked for the vote to be called, what is the procedure?
    Can everybody cool it for a minute, please?
    Basically, the clerk advises me that this is not a ruling, this is just a fact that anybody can be put on this list. Anybody can be put on now, or as long as we care to be here we can add to that list.
    By the rules of this House, we have to listen to people who want to speak to a motion. I can't change the rules; you know I don't have the power to do that. It's not a ruling. It's nothing. It's just how it is.
    In that case, Mr. Chair, if I might respond to this point of order, and thank you for the advice from the clerk, that means that conceivably there's a never-ending list of speakers. You can arbitrarily add my name, if you wish, or someone else's name. But I'd like to ask you this: now that we have one speaker, you say we have a speaker on the list and none other.... These indications for interest to speak came after my request for this vote to be called, after I asked for the vote to be called. So can I please get a ruling from the clerk? I have asked for a vote to be called at this committee on this clause. There are no more speakers, in the estimation, I think, of all the opposition parties on this side of the House, and I think we deserve to have the vote called. Despite the efforts of the government and the protestations to continue with a desperate filibuster, it is just simply not acceptable.
    Again, from the clerk, as long as people want to speak to a motion, they are allowed to speak to that motion, and there are people who want to speak to that motion. We can add your name, as you suggested. We can add as many names as we want to this list, and that's what the rules are.
    What about this question of the request made to call the vote?
    There are still speakers. As long as there are still speakers—
    There weren't speakers when I asked for the vote to be called.
    I was fully aware that Mr. Harvey wanted to speak, and so was the clerk.
    Who else, Mr. Chair?
    I assume, certainly, Mr. Harvey knew that he had requested to speak.
    Who else are you indicating now is actually going to speak?
    Right now, Mr. Harvey. Anybody else who wants to be on this list can be put on this list. Everybody can speak.
     A request was made to the chair to call the vote.
    As long as there are speakers, we can't vote.
    We have Mr. Watson—
    No, I don't think so, Mr. Chair. I don't think that's an appropriate ruling.
    We have Mr. Warawa. Do we have Mr. Petit?
    Mr. Harvey was not on the list. You've added him to the list without checking with this committee.
    Mr. Watson, you wanted to speak to this point of order.
    Mr. Bigras, did you want a point of order?
    No.
    Mr. Watson has the floor.
    I'd like to speak to the point of order.
    Mr. Chair, when Mr. Warawa ceded his time his last statement was that he would like to speak after Mr. Harvey. Let's put the point aside on whether Mr. Harvey is validly speaking or not as next in the order. Again, Mr. Warawa gave a very clear indication that he wanted to be added to the speakers list again.
    Mr. Watson, that's exactly correct, and the blues will show that. We don't have the blues right now.
    We have to accept speakers. Again, if we had the blues here, we could show what Mr. Warawa said.
    [Inaudible--Editor]
    Well, the clerks don't agree with your rules, Mr. McGuinty.
    Mr. Chair, we may have to take this up among the opposition members.

[Translation]

    The clerk doesn't agree with us.

[English]

    Well, if you want to suspend while you discuss it, that's fine with me.
    Mr. Chair, I think you have arbitrarily added Mr. Harvey's name to the list. Everybody on this side of the table understood that when Mr. Harvey stepped out to do his television interview. We did not allow Mr. Warawa's substitution. Why would he arbitrarily be put back on the bottom of the list?
    Because he requested it from me and the speaker and because it was very clear that he wanted to speak. Those are the rules.
    What's the rule with respect to calling for a vote after the speakers list is exhausted?
    The speakers list is not exhausted.
    It was when I asked for the vote.

  (1730)  

    Mr. Warawa, as Mr. Watson pointed out, when he finished he said, “I know that Mr. Harvey has things he wants to say, and then I want to add after that.”
    Basically, you have two speakers on the speaking list, which was confirmed long before you called for the vote. Besides, if you put up your hand, I would put it down here as well.
    Mr. Chair, you have not once asked viva voce, live voice at this committee for who wants to speak today on this list--not once.
    I opened the meeting with that.
    That's right, and then we went through the list that was already written down for you.
    We even had a box full of everybody's name. We would have drawn all the names if there was some conflict. So we certainly—
    For what purpose?
    Because if everybody wanted to speak at the same time, how would we decide?
    Mr. Cullen.
    Mr. Chair, I just want to understand. Mr. Harvey was originally on the list and then left because he had to go to an interview.
    He had to go, yes. I asked to swap.
    Just to be clear, did Mr. Warawa ask for Mr. Harvey to be then put on the list at the end so that when we ran out of—
    At the closing of his speech, he did ask that Mr. Harvey—
    This is just so I understand the process. Can one member of the House of Commons put another member of the House of Commons on a speaking list? That doesn't make any sense.
    Mr. Harvey asked the clerk and me when he left, “Can I swap?” I said I would bring that up to the committee rather than making an arbitrary decision. I brought it up to the committee. Mr. Bigras was the first person to say no.
    When we discussed that, Mr. Harvey said, “Well, if that doesn't happen, can you put me to the bottom of the list?” I said “Yes. Yes, I can. You're going out. I know where you're going. When you come back you're on the list.”
    Now, if he hadn't gotten back in time, anybody else could have been put on the list. But there were no hands, so no one else was on the list at that point in time, other than Mr. Harvey. That's why I went to Mr. Harvey after Mr. Warawa.

[Translation]

    Am I to understand that the fact that we refused to allow Mr. Warawa and Mr. Harvey to swap turns meant that Mr. Harvey was taking off the list? Is that what you are saying?

[English]

    No. It bumped him to the bottom of the list.

[Translation]

    It seems to me that, at that point, he should have requested that his name be put on the list again. Yet he asked to go on the list again after Mr. McGuinty called for the question on clause 10.

[English]

     Just to clarify, you can't call the vote. Once you've exhausted the speaking list, the chair then calls, “Shall it be voted on?”, “Shall it carry?” That's the only time you can vote on that. Of course, I didn't call for that, so I have to exhaust the speaking order. That's not a ruling; that's just how it works. It's really not something we can even debate, because that's just how it works. You cannot--I can't, you can't--simply arbitrarily end a person's speaking. I can try to keep them on topic. On clause 10, I can plead with them to stay on clause 10. That's how it has to be run so you have some order.
    There are other things, but as I said, this list is open, and it's open until we exhaust all speakers.
    Yes, Mr. Godfrey.
    I guess the point is that we did exhaust all speakers. You might have chosen to say, “Seeing no speakers on the list, should I call the vote?” Mr. McGuinty simply reminded you that this would be a good time to call the vote because there were no speakers on the list, because we had already ruled that you couldn't have a substitution and Mr. Harvey had to reapply. You can't just anticipate that maybe he'd like to.
    So I think what we were--

  (1735)  

    He did reapply, Mr. Godfrey. Can we move on?
    After Mr. McGuinty asked you to call the vote--
    He can't call the vote.
    No, but he was asking you to, because that's what you should have done.
    Mr. Warawa is next, and then Mr. Harvey.
    Chair, we've spent now about fifteen minutes having members of the opposition attempt to end the opportunity for members of this committee to speak. Again, the analogy is that they're trying to shove something down Canadians' throats.
     Chair, I think they need to obey the rules, and the rules are that anybody on this committee can speak. I encourage them to speak and not try to interrupt.
    I made it very clear in my closing comments, as was pointed out, that I knew Mr. Harvey was coming back. He asked the clerk and you to put him on the list--as you said, quite properly--so he's on the list. My closing comments were that I had more to say. The rules are that I have that opportunity to speak to Bill C-377, clause 10, before we have a vote. As long as we have speakers, those are the rules.
    Chair, if the members don't agree with that, maybe we should wait until we get the blues back to clarify so they can see that I did say that.
    Mr. Harvey.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, when you make a list, you make it based on the proper speaking order. When I left, I was second on that list. I asked to swap turns so that Mark would take my place, which was refused. Incidentally, you will have noticed that when we ask for the floor, we raise our hands. We don't ask the audience whether we can have the floor; we make it known to the Chair that we would like to speak. Is that what we do, yes or no?
    I informed the Chair that I wished to be on the list, and enquired as to whether we could switch the order of the turns, so that instead of being second, third or fourth, I would be last on the list of speakers on clause 10.
    When you raise your hand to ask for the floor, of whom are you requesting permission to speak? Not me; rather, the Chair and the clerk. No one else. Before leaving, everyone saw me go and speak with the clerk. I didn't want to interrupt the discussion. I did that out of respect for all the work that has been done. That's all.

[English]

     I'm not sure we're going to settle this. We've listened to points of order. I'm just simply telling you that anybody can be on that list until the actual vote is called, by me, on clause 10. That is what it says in the book, and I will follow that book as I have in the past. We can't just change the rules because we want to change the rules. We've told you Mr. Harvey's situation honestly, why he was next on the list. You can accept that or not accept that. Obviously that is how it happened. If he'd known he wasn't going to be allowed to speak, he then could have easily said he would abandon his television appearance in order to speak. But he thought he would be on that list. He was put on that list immediately, and there he is on the list. Anybody else can go on that list, and when there are no more speakers I will ask if there are any more speakers, and then we'll carry on.
     I'm not sure if we have a vote tonight. We can carry on here as long as you want. We have a motion to adjourn from Mr. Warawa. That's not debatable. We'll suspend for a brief moment before we vote on the motion to adjourn.

    


    

  (1740)  

    We are now at the point where Mr. Warawa has made a motion to adjourn.
    (Motion negatived)
    The Chair: That motion is defeated, so we will carry on.
     The speaker is Mr. Harvey, and then I have Mr. Warawa and Mr. Petit. Does anyone else want to be added to that list?
    Mr. Chair, you might as well just add their names and double them up and triple them up again.
    An hon. member: The list is open.
    Yes, the list is open until we actually call it, and that's how it is, and that's how it will always be. The list will be open, and before we vote we will ask if there is anyone else who has anything else they want to say. We can keep going that way as long as you want to go. So right now I have Mr. Harvey, Mr. Warawa, Mr. Petit, and that's all I have, but I will ask at the end of that if anyone else wants to be added to that list. I will accept anybody else's name on that list.
    Mr. Chair, just as a point of information for our viewers, those are all Conservative members again.
    That's correct.
    Through you, Mr. Chair, to the clerk, can you give us, again, a time update on the amount of time that's been taken since we started this Bill C-377 debate? How many hours have the Conservative government members filibustered this bill? It's just in the interests of Canadians knowing exactly how much of their money is being wasted by the government members on this very question of filibustering, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. Petit, to this point of order—

[Translation]

[English]

    I'm going to answer that once and for all.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair, if you could.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, I have a point of order.
    For approximately three hours now, I have been hearing Mr. McGuinty talk about filibustering. If he isn't happy, he can go and sit somewhere else. We are not filibustering. We have every right to defend ourselves and to make arguments in support of our own constituents. So, I would like him to use another term. The term « filibustering » doesn't exist.

[English]

    Okay, Mr. McGuinty, I believe you've made your point about the timing, and we're putting the clerk in a pretty unfriendly position where he's ruling on what is really a political statement about time. So if you could ask one of your staff to keep track of the time that this has gone on, you're more than welcome. You can have the floor; you can be on the list and make that point. I think the clerk is feeling more and more uncomfortable being put in a situation of answering those kinds of questions, even though you do it through me. I'm not going to keep a clock running. So if you can continue to do that, that's fine.
    So, Mr. Chair, on this very point of order, there's nothing in the rules that allows committees to monitor and report from the chair and the clerk, from the head of the table, exactly how the debate is unfolding, the number of hours.... There's nothing in the rules whatsoever on that?
    I think my job and both clerks' jobs are to keep things going in an orderly way, to keep the debate going in an orderly way. I know the frustrations that some of you are having—
     Is there anything in the rules that talks about reporting to the members here in terms of the number of hours dominated in the debate by four government members filibustering?

  (1745)  

    I think it's a substantial question, but if we get the same question every hour, I think our viewers can use their watches and figure out the time. Certainly your political staff can advise you of the time if you're too busy listening to be able to do that. We get the point. I don't think we should keep entertaining points of order. I would rather we move on. I certainly would rather that we get Bill C-377 done, but that's just--
    Mr. Chair, I need an answer to this specific question I put to you, through you to the clerks and yourself: is there anything in the rules that allows committees to track the time and report to the membership on the duration of debate, no matter who's speaking, on a regular basis?
    I will attempt to do that after we close the meeting. I will update you on exactly what time has expired. So I'll start now and I'll look at my watch and I will let you know what time it is when the meeting is over and we've adjourned, but I will not constantly interrupt the meeting to do that.
    So you are asking me as an individual member of Parliament to reveal to Canadians watching that we've seen non-stop obstruction for over sixteen hours?
    I would like to get to Mr. Harvey.
    Mr. Warawa.
    I'm going to speak to the point of order Mr. McGuinty has tried to raise.
    I'd like to turn to page 539 of Marleau and Montpetit, and it's talking about points of order. It says:
Any Member can interrupt a Member who has the floor of the House
    --and at this time it's Mr. Harvey--
during debate and bring to the Chair's attention a procedural irregularity the moment it occurs, in which case the Member who has the floor resumes his or her seat until the matter is resolved or disposed of.
    What we've seen repeatedly from Mr. McGuinty is the raising of points of order that have nothing to do with procedural irregularity. The fact is, Mr. McGuinty has twice voted against the rules, and I would--
    Chair, on a point of order.
    Chair, I have the point of order I'm speaking to, and Mr. McGuinty has--
    Point or order. Just to remind the parliamentary secretary, he's not the chair.
    I have the floor.
    It's not for him to interpret the rules.
    Very quickly, Mr. Warawa, can we get on to Mr. Harvey? We really don't need to....
    Chair, what I'm trying to do is--
    I know.
    --set an atmosphere where Mr. McGuinty will cease his interruptions. They have to be procedurally related. They are not procedurally related, and he keeps doing it, Chair. What I'd ask, Chair, is that when he raises these points of order, which are not points of order--
    Enough. We're going to Mr. Harvey.

[Translation]

    On a point of order. That is a personal attack on me. He is the one filibustering. I don't agree.

[English]

    We're on to Mr. Harvey, please.

[Translation]

    I haven't even spoken yet. Mr. McGuinty, I'm talking to you. You are extremely impolite.

[English]

    Mr. Harvey--

[Translation]

    You are very impolite. I haven't even spoken yet, but you say that I am filibustering.

[English]

    I'm going to suspend this meeting for five minutes.

    


    

  (1755)  

     Okay, you have the floor.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, Mr. McGuinty has stated a number of times…

[English]

     Mr. Harvey, before you start, please keep to clause 10 as amended.

[Translation]

    Yes, no problem.
    Could I be told for approximately how long my colleague, Mr. Harvey, intends to speak?

[English]

    Mr. Bigras, Mr. Harvey has as long as he has points to make, as long as he stays on clause 10 as amended.
    Mr. Harvey, you may proceed.

  (1800)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, Mr. McGuilty…

[English]

    It's McGuinty.
    Okay. I understand why....
    Mr. Harvey, I will move on if you can't deal with the topic, which is clause 10 as amended.

[Translation]

    As Mr. McGuinty pointed out, we have to talk to Canadians.
    We have asked a lot of questions about costs. The answer we were given was that the cost is not important. We asked whether we should conduct a study. We were told that they didn't have to answer that. We asked whether, if we did conduct a study, if it should be done before or after the bill is passed. That's important. Should we do it before or after we pass Bill C-377? Well, we were told that it doesn't matter if it's done afterwards.
    Mr. Chairman, when the Kyoto Protocol was signed, that is exactly the kind of decision-making on the fly that occurred. The consequence of that was that in 2006, we exceeded by some 33% the target levels Canada agreed to when it signed Kyoto. From 1997 to 2005, $1.4 billion was invested and, ultimately, we are nowhere near achieving the targets set initially. Why is that? When we signed the Kyoto Protocol, we didn't know the kind of challenges we would be facing and we didn't know what exactly the industry could do to comply with Kyoto.
    Today we are talking about clause 10. I am going to provide an overview of what is missing from this private member's bill, proposed by a member of the NDP, and without which it is impossible for us to see how it could make sense. Let me explain.
    It was noted that Canada needs energy to develop. That is the basis for every country on this earth. Economic, industrial and social development are all based on access to reliable and—especially—available energy sources. There are various technologies out there that provide that reliable and available energy. A number of times, Opposition members have referred to European successes, in France, England or Germany. We are told about these successes, but no mention is made of the technologies that these countries use. For example, France has several dozens reactors and sites where nuclear technology is used. But, when people talk about France, they often neglect to mention that. They say that it is able to produce energy without emitting CO2, but they don't say that there is a cost, which is the use of nuclear energy.
    The environmental groups that we met with here said we should produce electricity the same way the Europeans do, but without relying on the nuclear option. That is what I would term a paradox, a little like the paradox of the Bloc Québécois, which is trying to manage the Canadian environment when, in actual fact, it says its only mandate is to defend Quebeckers and that the tar sands are, incredibly, the reason for their being here in Ottawa.
    The joke, Bernard, is that…

  (1805)  

[English]

     Mr. Harvey, please address the chair.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, in terms of being able to speak…
    Mr. Chairman, it's very noisy in the room.

[English]

     I can understand your difficulty. I would ask members to please listen.
    Mr. Bigras.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, on a point of order.
    I am perfectly prepared to listen, but I will not accept attacks on my political party.
    Mr. Harvey is losing it. He is straying from the topic. I would ask you to rein him in and remind him that he has to focus on clause 10 of the bill. It is your duty to ask him to stay on the straight and narrow.

[English]

    Thank you, Mr. Bigras.
    Mr. Harvey, please stay on clause 10 as amended. Please stop the political comments to Mr. Bigras and his party and address me. Please stay on topic.
    Mr. Chair, I have a point of order.
    No, Mr. McGuinty.
    It's an important point of order.
    I don't believe it is.
    It is. Mr. Chair, you have to hear my point of order. You don't have that discretion.
    Mr. McGuinty.
    I want to know if you have already put down and described the names of the new Conservative members here on the speaking list. Will they be speaking, sir? I want to know where we are on the speaking list.
     Mr. Warawa will be after Mr. Harvey, and then Mr. Petit. At the end of that I will ask for anybody else who wants to go on that speaking list before we go to the vote.
     I just wanted to know where we were. There are three new Conservative members, and I wanted to know if they were on the list already.
    They are not.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. Harvey, please concentrate on me and the topic.

[Translation]

    Yes, Mr. Chairman.
    I was talking about technology—nuclear technology, which the Opposition parties do not see as a solution, as they prefer to hide behind the so-called success of those European countries that are using this technology that results in very few CO2 emissions. In Canada, we have developed a technology based on heavy water reactors, whereas the Europeans—and particularly the French—use graphite to regulate and control atomic reactions inside the reactor.
    In recent years, Canada and Canadians have decided not to move forward with nuclear technology. Indeed, that is the very reason why the technology used by Canada, with its CANDU reactors, has been left far behind in terms of international developments with respect to nuclear reactors.
     There is another very promising technology, but which is not yet ready. I met with the President of a company by the name of CO2 Solution, which is located in the Quebec City area. That technology is relatively simple. CO2 Solution, using a chemical reaction based on a specific enzyme, has succeeded in turning CO2 into HCO3.
    Once the HCO3 chemical reaction is completed, the result is a type of salt — a precipitate that can be re-used by the industry. Indeed, some industries need that molecule, which makes the process even more attractive. Unfortunately, using the CO2 Solution reactor means that to neutralize a ton of CO2 costs, at this time, anywhere from $120 to $150. So, this is a considerably higher cost for the manufacturing sector in Canada.
    However, that technology has one very interesting advantage: it causes no restriction during the filtering process. For example, if you inject carbon into the ground, in a carbon sink, pressure will build inside the carbon sink. Whether we like it or not, positive pressure will build inside the sink, which will ultimately cause a restriction. Additional energy will be needed to compress the carbon inside the carbon sink.
    The process developed by CO2 Solution causes no such restriction, however. No additional energy is required to filter or remove CO2 from gases emitted through the CO2 Solution chimneys or reactors.
    We have heard a lot about wind energy technology. However, some sectors are not in favour of developing wind technology. Also, is it possible to base the development of an entire economy, region or country on wind energy?
    Also, would wind energy have no effect whatsoever on the environment, on birds or even on residents living within several hundred meters of a wind farm or a wind tower? They are very likely to say that the noise and electromagnetic radiation created by wind turbines are problematic.

  (1810)  

    Furthermore, because of its lack of reliability, using wind energy will mean greater reliance on batteries, to ensure a constant power supply. A steady power supply is important for economic development. Personally, I have visited a number of African countries where a generator had to be set up next to a hotel, a house or a plant because, on a given day, the power had to be cut in a given area—or it had to be cut because there was insufficient water or other material to produce energy.
    When you base your production capacity and industry on power produced by wind turbines, you have to use batteries. Batteries necessarily involve the use of nickel, lead or other materials which, while they may not emit CO2, have a definite impact on the environment.
    Managing nickel is very complex…

[English]

     Mr. Bigras.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, we're losing our Latin. We are really wondering who is currently representing the government.
    Could I be told who the official representatives of the Conservative Party are? I see that there are now two, four, six, even seven name plates on the table over there. Could the table be cleared and could we be told exactly who is a member of this committee, if you don't mind?

[English]

    Let me answer Mr. Bigras first, please.

  (1815)  

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, I have a point of order.

[English]

    Mr. Harvey, Mr. Petit, Mr. Warawa, and Mr. Watson are the official members here. There are other people here to observe.
    Thank you, Mr. Bigras.
    Mr. Petit, do you have a point of order? Please don't go into the political part of it. Talk to me. I really want to let Mr. Harvey finish. He has the floor. You're interrupting your own member.
    Mr. Petit.

[Translation]

    When you introduce the government members, then they are the ones entitled to vote. I would just point out that we can have as many members as we like at the table and even around the table, without the Opposition or myself knowing who is on the other side. That's all I want to say. I just wanted to explain, so that things would be clear.

[English]

    Thank you, Mr. Petit.
    Mr. Harvey.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman…

[English]

    I've given you the list of who's here. The permanent members of the committee know who they are. I don't think we have to clarify that any further.
    I just want to know who's on the list now. If we want to get on the list, who's on the list now?
    Mr. Harvey is speaking. Then we have Mr. Warawa and Mr. Petit.
    Do you want to be on the list?
    No, I just want....
    Are the other six members of the Conservative caucus on the list?
    They are not on the list. They are not voting members on this committee. They're here as observers. Any member of Parliament, of the 308 of us, can observe any committee we want, any time we want. That's the rule.
    Can we get back to Mr. Harvey, please?
    It's important, Mr. Chair.
    No, Mr. McGuinty.
    Can we find out who else is speaking from the Conservative side?
    I've given you that, Mr. McGuinty.
    Is there anybody else who's going to be speaking?
    We'll find out when I call for any other speakers to the motion.
    Again, I'm trying to find out whether we're going to be done by May 7.
    Mr. Harvey, Mr. Petit, Mr. Warawa, and Mr. Watson will be the speakers, if they get on the list.
     So the trick now is that we don't keep a longer list. I see.
    Mr. Harvey.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, I didn't have anything written down on paper, so it's difficult to go back to exactly what I was saying when I was stopped by the Opposition parties.
    I was discussing the management of metals used in batteries. Nickel batteries are treated, not in Canada, but abroad. So, as soon as you start talking about transportation, you are necessarily talking about CO2 emissions. When you say you're producing electricity using wind or solar energy, are you not really just moving the CO2 emissions somewhere else? We want the level of reliability to be acceptable to both industry and society, and I want to remind my friends in the Opposition that, even though we can always do without heating in July, when it's -30o in January, we need certain facilities, and we need them to be reliable.

[English]

     Mr. Harvey, again, attention.

[Translation]

    It's important to consider the management of battery-based wind energy systems. Reference has been made to solar energy systems, but we all know that solar panels do not work at night. In Quebec City, there were five meters of snow on the ground at one point. Solar panels had to be heated so that snow would not accumulate on them. And we haven't even talked about the energy required to produce those same solar panels. You may have a solar panel, but the fact is that twice as much energy is required to make a photovoltaic cell with silicone than what a solar panel produces, in terms of energy, in ten years. Some colleagues were saying earlier that they were having trouble understanding what I was saying. It's called the enthalpy principle. It's a chemical principle whereby you calculate the energy generated by a product, as compared to the energy required to initiate the process…
    I have a point of order.

[English]

    Mr. Bigras.

[Translation]

    I am sure you will agree, Mr. Chairman, that the connection between clause 10 and the comments made by my colleague, Mr. Harvey, is remote at best. I would ask you to remind him of the rules and request that he deal with clause 10.

  (1820)  

[English]

    Mr. Harvey, if you could refer to clause 10 when you're talking about your examples it would really help clarify it for all of us.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, very few people are familiar with the terms I have been using here. That is why I prefer to explain them clearly, especially since enthalpy is the central principle. Production of hydrogen or any other form of biofuel may rest on the principle of enthalpy, be it negative or positive enthalpy.
    As we all know, 60% of the earth's surface is water. Water contains a very valuable molecule. The H2O symbol tells us that it is made up of two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen. The difficult part is separating the hydrogen molecule from the oxygen molecule. There are two ways of doing that.

[English]

    Mr. Chair, I have a point of order, please.
    I've been listening now for eleven minutes. We've had a discussion that is completely out of order. He's speaking about the solar system in Quebec City as if it's a separate solar system from the rest of the planet. He's speaking about solar power. He's inventing words around molecules. It makes absolutely no sense and has no bearing on this clause.
    You must exercise your discretion, Mr. Chair. Keep this member on the point or have him stop talking--or we'll give him another phone book.
    Again, Mr. Harvey, if you look at clause 10, it talks about transition funds, market-based mechanisms, cooperation agreements, and accountability. It talks about any number of items that you need to refer to and talk about in clause 10. It's very clear there are a number of items here.
    When Mr. Watson talked about the auto industry and transition funds, how they related to that and threatened jobs, and so on, he was talking about clause 10. So we must talk about clause 10 as amended, because ultimately that's what we're going to be voting on. Members want information on clause 10 as amended.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Harvey.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, we're talking about transition funds and impacts on employment, and I believe it's important to debate energy supply and the reliability of our energy sources, whether they be electricity, gas, oil, coal or nuclear power. That's the reason why I'm addressing this issue. In fact, you will notice that, for the first time, I am talking about a variety of solutions, and especially of technologies which, while available, are not necessarily useful. It's important to understand that managing transitions requires, not political, but scientific data. I am referring here to data that are known to, and recognized by, industry as a whole.
    Mr. Chairman, as I explained earlier, it is rather difficult to make a speech when you are constantly being interrupted. You lose your train of thought.
    In terms of hydroelectricity and the implied collateral damage, we know that hydroelectric plants emit no CO2. And we can forget about CO2 emissions associated with construction, be it for producing cement, steel or other materials, because they are one-time emissions. CO2 emissions end when construction ends. On the other hand, mercury has been present in our water for several dozen years now because land that was flooded at some point is emitting mercury accumulated over thousands of years. When land is flooded, mercury dissolves into the water and affects wildlife.

  (1825)  

[English]

     Point of order, Mr. Chair.
    You are not exercising your responsibilities, in my view. This member is continuing to speak about mercury contamination of sediment at the bottom of lakes. He is deliberately obfuscating and obstructing. You are facilitating. It is not for you, Chair, in my humble estimation, to help him and coach him through what he should be saying. He is a grown man who is a full member of Parliament. He knows the rules.
    You have warned him now three times in a row. He is not speaking about this clause. He is not speaking about this bill. He is extrapolating and speaking extemporaneously. He is not addressing anything to do with the merits. This is part and parcel of the seventeen-hour marathon we've seen being exercised by the government MPs, on instruction from the Prime Minister's Office.
    I think you now have to exercise your responsibilities and ask this member, if he has nothing constructive to say about this, to stand down and give the floor to someone who might--although I highly doubt it if it's coming from the Conservative side.
    Again, Mr. Harvey, we've discussed clause 10 as being extremely broad in its focus on climate change and its effects. There are any number of areas, and contamination isn't one of them. Obviously the member has a point.
    I would ask you to simply look at that clause and try to stick to it. It's a very broad clause, and lots of areas can be covered.
    Go ahead, Mr. Harvey, please.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, subparagraph 10(1)(a)(i) talks about regulated greenhouse gas emission limits and performance standards. They say I'm talking about mercury, but I spent exactly 15 seconds talking about that, simply to say that it is a side effect of hydroelectricity. I wish to point out that I did not talk about mercury for two hours, or even 10 minutes. I said it was a side effect of building a power plant. If my Opposition colleagues are intent on focussing on one word out of everything that I have said, well, perhaps they should put on their headset. Then we can understand each other.
    Hon. Members: Oh, oh!
    Mr. Luc Harvey: By the way, I was talking to the Chair.
    I would like to raise another very good example, which is biofuel. In fact, when I talked about regulated emission limits and performance standards… More than $2 billion has been invested in biofuels, but we still know very little about their direct and indirect effects. The advantage of biofuels is that their carbon cycle is much shorter than for fossil fuels. With fossil fuels, we find carbon that was discarded several thousand years ago, possibly even several million years ago. The biofuel carbon cycle is a year or two—no more. But, ultimately, it is the exact same carbon that is emitted during combustion.
    I want to talk about the cost or effects of Bill C-377, and especially clause 10, so that we are clear on the consequences of clause 10 for the Canadian economy, the people of Canada and the entire North American continent. In terms of biofuels, we are told that grains and plant material produced by farmers are now more expensive. Farmers are obviously happy about that. Recently, I was watching the news feature on Third World countries…

  (1830)  

    On a point of order, Mr. Chairman.
    The member is clearly off topic. His comments are not particularly relevant. If that continues to be the case, the Committee will not be able to continue for very long. The member will have to show some discipline and focus on clause 10 and its repercussions. I would ask him to come back to the purpose of the bill. It is perfectly obvious, Mr. Chairman, that these are nothing but delaying tactics intended to slow down the work of the Committee.

[English]

     Mr. Harvey, please summarize now and wrap on the various sections of clause 10. Address them in your remarks and do not stray into those examples.
     Mr. Warawa is our next speaker.

[Translation]

    Mr.—

[English]

    I want to hear from Mr. Wallace.
    Mr. Wallace is substituting for Mr. Petit and has asked to be on the speaking list.
    I'm sure he has.
    Could you sum up, please, Mr. Harvey?

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, I am talking about subparagraph 10(1)(a)(i) which has to do with regulated emission limits and performance standards. So, I would ask that my colleagues pay attention to what I am saying or wait until I make the connection. The example I have given is perfect. To what extent should we be assessing performance? What are appropriate performance factors? How does one go about assessing performance in order to determine whether it is positive or negative? The example I gave is a perfect example. Canada decided to work with biofuels, but one of their side effects is increased grain prices. International aid is far more costly and this makes for greater challenges in Third World countries.
    Biofuels require increasing amounts of reserve or groundwater, which is very often used to irrigate huge grain fields. That affects the groundwater. Should the extensive use of groundwater be considered in these kinds of evaluations? There is no such mention of it.
    We want more and more land to be set aside for agriculture, which means that we are cutting down forests that also capture carbon. The clearcutting of forests has an additional side effect. Not only are we cutting down trees, but when there is a lot of rain, rather than remaining in the forest for longer periods, where it is captured, filtered and slowly released into nature, this water is causing significant flooding. The fact is that there is nothing there to stop the flow of water. Should that be part of our performance standards? Should we assess that? Clause 10 makes no mention of it, Mr. Chairman.
    We are using even more fertilizers now to grow all that grass. Is the proliferation of blue algae a direct effect of that? As the algae develops, it uses the oxygen in the water, and fewer fish develop as a result. In addition to that, some known types of algae, such as blue algae, emit particularly problematic toxins.
    Should performance of evaluations and standards reflect that sort of thing?

  (1835)  

[English]

     Mr. Harvey, please address the chair and not Mr. Bigras. I'd really appreciate it.
    On a point of order, Mr. Chair, Mr. Harvey is now speaking about fish farming, blue-green algae, and anything that pops into his little head, frankly. It has nothing to do with this bill and is just further evidence, as we are just under seventeen hours, of the government's filibustering.
    Mr. McGuinty, I've been trying to follow the debate as clearly and closely as I possibly can.
    Is he on point, Mr. Chair?
    He has certainly strayed considerably, as I've pointed out to him.
    But you keep giving him this latitude. Why is that?
    Because he comes back to clause 10.
    He hasn't spoken about clause 10 in the last 18 minutes.
    He has talked about emission limits and standards, and those are in clause 10. He has referred to them and been very broad in his explanation.
     Can you reign him in for the committee so we can do some positive work now?
    I've asked him to summarize. I believe he's pretty well finished. We're going on to Mr. Warawa, who is the next speaker on my list.
    Will you be reigning in Mr. Warawa and keeping him on point?
    Mr. Warawa knows to stay on point, and he will stay on point.
    Thank you.
     Mr. Harvey.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chairman, I have been talking about performance standards and the effects of a decision. Perhaps my Liberal friends began to believe in recent years that legislation can easily be pushed through Parliament.

[English]

     I am making a quorum call, on a point of order.
    We no longer have quorum, Mr. Warawa, so the meeting is adjourned.