Good friends, better enemies

With Peter Kent away and his parliamentary secretary standing in, the House was treated to four rounds between Megan Leslie and Michelle Rempel this week—the friendly rivals who are, respectively, among the best performers in QP. The Prime Minister appeared impressed with Ms. Rempel’s efforts on Wednesday and here is yesterday’s back-and-forth.

Megan Leslie: Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment put on her rose-coloured glasses when she spoke about sustainable development. When we remove those glasses, here is what we see: the Conservatives are not going to meet their own targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and environmental assessments are going to disappear while oil pours out of pipelines. What is more, the Conservatives are firing our scientists. Who will defend this record? Is that why the Conservatives want to sabotage the Rio negotiations?

Michelle Rempel: Mr. Speaker, let us look at a highlight reel of the NDP year-end review when it comes to the environment. It voted against clean tech funding. It voted against climate change adaptation funding. It voted against increased participant funding for environmental assessment. It voted against laws that would increase monetary penalties for those who break the rules on environmental assessment. Our most recent greenhouse gas inventory showed that greenhouse gas emission growth in Canada stabilized while our economy continued to grow. When will my colleague opposite recognize that it is possible to grow the economy while maintaining environmental stewardship?

Megan Leslie: Mr. Speaker, we can grow the economy with things like a green infrastructure fund. Today we actually learned from Global News that 80% of the green infrastructure fund has not been spent, showing a total lack of commitment to green infrastructure projects by the government. But wait, there is more. In fact, the money that has been spent is going to projects like running government offices and pipelines, not exactly top-of-mind environmental priorities. My question for the parliamentary secretary is: When will they quit with the greenwashing?

Michelle Rempel: Mr. Speaker, I believe if we checked the record over the last few years for any sort of green infrastructure funding or anything that would support the environment, we would see that the NDP voted against it. By contrast, we are making tangible investment in green infrastructure, in research and development, to promote environmentally sustainable technologies and help get them to market. Moreover, we are working with industry, with stakeholder groups. We are consulting with them to figure out how we can implement programs to see real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and water quality improvement. In fact, the World Health Organization noted that we have the third-best air quality in the world. We are getting the job done.

Ms. Leslie talked to David Akin yesterday about her exchanges with Peter Kent and Joe Oliver.

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