IN THE HOUSE ~ Question ~ Urging the Harper government to start protecting the environment

41st Parliament ~ Context : Question

    M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, les Canadiens ne sont pas du tout d'accord avec la réponse du gouvernement.

    Les conservateurs ne veulent peut-être pas se vanter cette année d'avoir éliminé des protections environnementales, mais ils étaient très fiers d'un rapport. Ils étaient très fiers des mesures irresponsables qui tenaient à l'écart les communautés du processus de consultation et qui éliminaient des examens environnementaux.

    Le ministre admettra-t-il maintenant que le programme conservateur va à l'encontre des intérêts des Canadiens, que ce programme est un échec en matière d'environnement et qu'il nuit à nos bons emplois qui en dépendent?

    Ms. Michelle Rempel (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I would remind my colleague opposite that in economic action plan 2012, we actually increased funding for consultations for environmental assessments.

    Also, the Commissioner for the Environment stated that reducing the amount of small assessments for projects such as installing a park bench in a national park would actually see us spending better resources on larger projects with greater environmental impact.

    The real question, the real failure is the NDP's ideological opposition to the development of our energy sector when the science says that this creates jobs and economic growth in an environmentally responsible way.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the Environment Commissioner actually denounced the fact that you had eliminated 99% of environmental assessments.

    The Speaker: The hon. member knows that he has to address his comments through the chair and not directly at his colleagues. I hope he remembers that.

    Mr. Peter Julian: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Natural Resources held a photo op Monday to talk about accidents, but it actually caused a shipwreck which is a real metaphor for the government. It is shipwrecking the environment, and it is sinking the jobs that depend on a clean environment.

     Deeper cuts to DFO after it already cut fish habitat protection, failure to reverse the devastating cuts to environmental reviews and climate change does not even merit a single mention.

    The question is clear, why does the government not stop wrecking the environment and start protecting it?

    Ms. Michelle Rempel (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I always relish the opportunity to correct the record.

    The Commissioner for the Environment actually said:

The majority of screenings are for very small projects for which there are no significant environmental impacts. The agency has estimated that 94% of screenings would not pose significant adverse environmental impacts.

    What would pose adverse economic impacts is the NDP's constant denigration of our country's major energy sector, one of the major sectors of economic growth and job creation. When will the member opposite get onboard with the sector that is actually creating jobs and growth for this country?