Speaking Out on the Environment

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): – Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Environment Minister.

Tomorrow, Parliament will vote on the NDP motion on mandatory fuel efficiency standards for cars, but tomorrow the Minister will join with the Conservatives and vote against mandatory fuel standards for cars, even though during the election the Prime Minister said that he was very favourable to NDP policies on the environment.
Our motion will make the air cleaner. Therefore why is he joining with the Conservatives to block this very good motion?

Hon. St├ęphane Dion (Minister of the Environment, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, we share the same goals. The point is the means. The view of the Government of Canada is that a voluntary agreement, if it is well done, will give very good results. It is working in Europe, so why not in Canada? We will try to have a voluntary agreement with the auto industry and we will consider regulations only if this first step fails. However up until now there has been no reason to think that we will not have an agreement with the auto industry.

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, voluntary measures have already been shown to fail. In fact the government has a real problem delivering on the principles it claims to stand on. It throws money at health care with no plan to stop privatization. It throws money at child care with no plan for not for profit delivery. Now it has no plan on Kyoto.

Why is the government prepared to send money to Russia to buy credits instead of working at home to make our air cleaner by delivering on mandatory standards for fuel emissions? Why will he not do that?