IN THE HOUSE ~ Question ~ Bill C-38 weakens our most crucial legislation on environmental protection

41st Parliament, 1st Session

Context : Question

    M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, le NPD respecte les personnes âgées du Canada, et c'est la raison pour laquelle il ne vote pas en faveur du budget.

    Le commissaire à l'environnement a bien dit qu'avec le projet de loi C-38, il n'y aurait plus que de 20 à 30 évaluations environnementales fédérales par année.

    Ces réductions irresponsables vont laisser les pipelines traverser nos rivières avec presque aucune mesure de précaution. Les Canadiens portent déjà le poids de 7 milliards de dollars de dettes environnementales.

    Pourquoi augmenter la dette écologique des générations futures? Pourquoi les conservateurs sont-ils si irresponsables?

    Hon. Peter Kent (Minister of the Environment, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this is from a colleague who did not even bother to attend the committee.

    Our goal in this government is to strengthen world-class protection of the environment, even as we make Canada the most attractive country in the world for resource investment and development. We will implement a policy of one proposal, one review in clearly defined time periods. We will strengthen environmental protection. We will make reviews of resource projects more predictable. We will reduce duplication. We will enhance consultations with aboriginal Canadians.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, there are Conservative MPs who have actually read Bill C-38 and understand the implications. The hon. members for Wellington—Halton Hills and Dufferin—Caledon have demanded full environmental assessments for the Dufferin County mega-quarry. They say their constituents deserve no less than full environmental assessments.

    We agree. In fact, we say all Canadians have the right to full environmental assessments for these projects, all of them. These Conservative MPs will be forced tonight to vote for a bill that guts assessments.

    Why are they increasing environmental risks? Why are they being so irresponsible to Canadians?

    Hon. Peter Kent (Minister of the Environment, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the project my colleague referred to is undergoing an environmental assessment under the responsible authority of the Government of Ontario.

    At this point my officials have advised me that none of the triggers required to spark a federal intervention have been or are likely to be tripped.