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View Yves-François Blanchet Profile
BQ (QC)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to point out that the member for Joliette also went to Washington. It would be a little naive to think that individual action alone can produce results. Sometimes actions outside of Canada can transcend party lines. Unfortunately, things are little more complicated when it comes to blunders and human rights cases.
We have already talked about this. Every time the Prime Minister mentions human rights, the word “Catalonia” comes to mind. Just recently, he once again boasted about being a great friend to that country, a country that has imprisoned people, elected officials, for the simple crime of organizing a referendum, a country whose legitimately elected president has been forced into exile. That is a human rights issue.
I want to come back to the last topic the Prime Minister touched on, climate change. Indeed, in the Speech from the Throne there are a number of statements of intent that by all accounts can only be well received. There is a willingness to take action that just might reduce the environmental footprint of Canada's terrible greenhouse gas emissions. I agree that it is a concern shared by all Quebeckers, all Canadians and, I would add, all first nations. However, words are not enough. Science has an important role to play in all this.
I am not one of those people who is going to pretend to want to bring down the government by voting nay. Nobody wants that and it might be a convenient way to deflect attention from certain internal issues in certain parties. I think we should work together with what we have. There is no way around that.
The throne speech contains some good measures. I want to highlight the measure aimed at making it easier to get a zero-emissions vehicle. We can easily agree on that. There are some proposals. Quebec is home to the only two manufacturing plants making fully electric buses. They could help us replace our school bus fleets, since school buses are particularly well suited to electrification.
Unfortunately, the actual effect of these measures is completely cancelled out by Canada's steadily increasing greenhouse gas emissions, especially from oil and gas activities, sadly. This is a challenge for science. Canada hopes to achieve zero emissions by 2050 by planting trees. However, we know full well, and the science is very clear on this, that all of the promised new trees will not cover so much as a decent fraction of Canada's current greenhouse gas emissions, which seem to be on the rise.
Does the Prime Minister believe that the plans announced in the throne speech can outweigh all of our knowledge and science, which tell us that what is going on right now in Canada's oil and gas sector cannot be offset by the proposed measures?
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