Libby speaking up for the NDP Climate Change Bill

Libby introduced a motion today in the House of Commons to save the NDP Climate Change Bill, Bill C-311, and finally get strong legislation on climate change passed through Parliament.

The Bill is currently before the Parliamentary Committee on the Environment. The Committee Chair tried to delay the Bill by 30 sitting days. Libby’s motion would stop to the delay and get this Bill back into the House of Commons for a final vote. Here is what Libby said in the House today.

HANSARD (blues)
Libby Davies (MP Vancouver East)
Just a few moments ago, the Chair of the environment committee brought forth a motion from the committee to basically ask for an extension and delay of 30 sitting days of examination of Bill C-311, which is the climate change accountability act. I have to say that there is absolutely no legitimate reason for delaying consideration of this bill.

This has caused the NDP to bring forward this motion this morning in the House to instruct the committee to separate the bill and ensure that the bill will now be examined in two parts. Part A would deal with the targets that are set in the bill and that they be brought back into the House by the 10th sitting day after October 19, which would be November 2. If the committee fails to do that, it will be deemed to have been reported back without amendment.

I would like to explain why we are doing this. I think that members are aware that this bill was first debated in March 2009. It was actually sent to the committee on April 1 of this year. In our opinion, the committee has had ample time to deal with this very urgent matter. I would say that our goal all along has been very clear. This very substantive and important bill needed to be debated and processed through the House in order to be approved, we hope, in time for the international climate change conference in Copenhagen in November.

It was with deep concern that we learned that the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development voted to delay this bill for no good reason. From the email we get, the folks we talk to in our ridings and the strong environmental community across this country, I think it is very clear that Canadians believe that government after government has dragged its feet on climate change.

There has been no substantive action, whether by the Conservative government or the previous Liberal government. This bill that we have brought forward both in the last Parliament and this Parliament, and in fact it was approved in the last Parliament, is a strong effort to say that the will of Parliament should be brought forward to Copenhagen and that the will of the Canadian people to see action by our government on climate change and to set clear targets is something that is fundamental to the direction and the health and safety of Canadians in the future of our planet.

It was with dismay that we saw that various members of the House are trying to delay this bill. I think we have to ask why this bill is being delayed, because there is no legitimate reason to do so. The bill is actually very clear and straightforward. In fact, clause 6, which is the clause that we are now saying should be brought back to House by the 10th sitting day through this debate today, is the clause that deals with the interim greenhouse gas emissions and sets out a target plan for 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, 2040 and 2045.

The target plan clearly lays out that it would establish a Canadian greenhouse gas emissions target for each of those years; specify the scientific, economic and technological evidence and analysis used to establish each target, including consideration of the latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the most stringent greenhouse gas emissions targets adopted by other national governments; and show that each target is consistent with a responsible contribution by Canada to the UNFCCC’s ultimate objective of preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system and with Parliament’s strong commitment to the Kyoto Protocol.

Mr. Speaker, this bill has already been before the committee for six months. If the committee believes it is a priority and an urgent matter, and I hope it would, it has had ample opportunity to examine the bill.

If committee needs to hear from witnesses, no one is suggesting that it not hear from witnesses or not examine the bill.

The objection is that the committee made a decision, in our opinion, to deliberately delay the consideration of the bill in order to prevent it from being dealt with before this important world conference in Copenhagen in December. That is the issue.

If the committee wants to do its job and hear from witnesses, it can go right ahead. That is what we want to see happen. We want the bill to be dealt with. We do not want it to be delayed.

I find the rationale, the excuses or whatever they are from the member very lame. I do not think he has really answered the substantive issue as to why it is that the bill is being delayed.