House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 35th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ports.

Topics

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

November 4th, 1994 / 12:15 p.m.

Kingston and the Islands
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Milliken Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I believe the following questions will be answered today: Nos. 72 and 73.

Question No. 72-

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

With respect to the buried radioactive waste at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's Chalk River plant, (a) to what extent, if any, has tritium spread into the environment within a radius of 50 kilometres, (b) to what extent has tritium been measured in drinking water and is this considered a safe level, (c) is the disposal site safely insulated and (d) is there any danger to humans emanating from the disposal site?

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), tritium emissions from the waste site at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's Chalk River plant do migrate to some degree within a radius of50 kilometres of the plant. However, tritium emission limits are set so that hypothetical doses to the public are always well below the regulatory limits set by the Atomic Energy Control Board. In practice, nuclear facilities do not operate anywhere near their emission limits and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's Chalk River plant is no exception. The tritium releases from the plant are well below the regulatory limits.

In response to (b), local drinking water is monitored for tritium and the levels observed, being very much less than regulatory limits for the public, are considered safe. Daily samplings are collected at the Pembroke main water supply intake and these are measured monthly to confirm that releases are a small fraction of the regulatory limits.

In response to (c), yes, the radioactive waste disposal site is safely insulated. It is located well inside the plant boundary and is not accessible to the public. The releases of tritium from this site are well below the regulatory limit.

In response to (d), the radioactive waste site is safe and poses no undue risk to humans.

Question No. 73-

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Davenport, ON

Is 40,000 becquerels of tritium in a litre of drinking water considered a safe level?

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Edmonton Northwest
Alberta

Liberal

Anne McLellan Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, yes, 40,000 becquerels per litre is the regulated standard for drinking water and corresponds to 10 per cent of the legal public dose limit of 5 millisieverts per year. Even if a person's water supply through a whole year were to be at 40,000 becquerels per litre, the radiation dose to that individual would be less than the current dose limit for members of the public. It would also be below the reduced limit that is recommended by international authorities.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Milliken Kingston and the Islands, ON

I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

Shall the remaining questions stand?

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Questions On The Order Paper
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

Could the hon. parliamentary secretary give the Chair a moment?

I have taken somewhat of a liberty. Since we are getting ready to go home to our families, friends and constituents and since this break particularly marks the occasion of Remembrance Day, I have asked the hon. member for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, the senior member of the House, to please say a few words on our behalf.

Remembrance Day
Routine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Len Hopkins Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, ON

Mr. Speaker, every November 11 Canadians take time out to remember those who served in two world wars and in the Korean war. Now must be added the several peacekeeping and peacemaking expeditions where several young Canadians have lost their lives.

Korea was the first big test for the United Nations when the North Koreans crossed the 38th parallel. It was a case of the United Nations proving itself and its role within the international community by keeping boundaries stable or losing its clout in the world.

Sixteen nations went to the aid of the United Nations and between 1950 and 1953 brought order back from the chaos of that particular area of the world. Five hundred and sixteen young Canadians today rest in Korea.

During World Wars I and II the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Canadian Merchant Navy and the Royal Canadian Army and Canadians who served with other forces played their roles.

In World War I, 66,605 young Canadians lost their lives. That talent was lost to this Parliament, to municipal governments, to provincial governments and to all walks of life.

In 1939-45, 45,000 more young Canadians lost their lives in battle; 55,000 came home wounded. All told, including our peacekeeping expeditions, this great nation has lost more than 114,000 young Canadians in war.

Can we as members of the House of Commons today, right now, fully realize the atmosphere that prevailed in this Chamber when Canada declared war in World Wars I and II and the Korean war?

On September 1, 1939 Germany and Russia invaded Poland and Poland collapsed. France and Britain had promised that they would come to Poland's aid, and they both declared war on Germany. On September 7 the House of Commons of Canada was called into special session to decide what Canada was to do. By September 9 it had decided it would support Britain and France. On September 10, 1939 Canada officially declared war.

The battles of Dieppe, Hong Kong, the Italian campaign, the Battle of Britain, the freeing of Holland, the north Atlantic battle and the war at sea generally, and the D-Day campaign were among many in which Canada participated. The only great conclusion is that no matter where these campaigns took place, wherever they will take place, war is hell.

The joint committee of the House of Commons and the Senate has recommended a one day debate per year on Canada's international role, a very important debate. If we do not work toward keeping peace in the world, we are not keeping faith with those 114,000 young Canadians whom I mentioned earlier.

The world is not a happy place today. It has some 75 to 80 hot spots. The greatest service we can do is to try to keep cooling them off. This process is to a great extent shaping our world today.

On behalf of all members in the House, I congratulate the 1,700-plus Legion branches across Canada for inviting all Canadians to attend a November 11 Remembrance Day ceremony to remember those young Canadians who left their high schools, their universities and their careers, who left their jobs in the factory or the corner store, who left their ploughs and cultivators and their farms; people from all walks of life who left loved ones to go out to fight for freedom and for eventual peace.

Canada has a great role to play in the negotiations for peace in the world. Think of those today who are far away from home on peacekeeping duties. Think of their families who are at home awaiting the return of their loved ones. These people are keeping the faith with those who died. If we do not give them our support

and if we do not play our role around the peacekeeping tables and at the United Nations, then we are not keeping faith with those who died.

By our own neglect we may well be promoting another debacle and more loss of Canadian lives. As we leave the House of Commons today, let us remember them. Let us not just remember them on Friday next as we stand around the Cenotaph. Let us remember them 365 days of the year because they gave their all.

What we should do as Canadian parliamentarians and as Canadians is work toward the peace and the sanity of a good world for our young people. We must not neglect our duties and allow international plans that might hinder their lives.

Let us think of our families and all young Canadians who are looking forward to a future. If we keep faith with those who died and keep faith in international relations we will indeed be remembering them.

Mr. Speaker, may I ask all members of the House to rise for one moment's remembrance.

Remembrance Day
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

Before I get back to the parliamentary secretary, perhaps I may add the following on a more personal note. I draw your attention to the Table today. Our Senior Clerk, Mr. Camille Montpetit, arrived here on the Hill on November 4, 1968, so this is his 26th anniversary.

On behalf of all previous and present members, we want to thank you for your good offices and your friendship.

Remembrance Day
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear.

Remembrance Day
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Milliken Kingston and the Islands, ON

Mr. Speaker, after those very moving words from you and from the hon. member for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, I think you might find there is unanimous consent to call it 2.30 in light of the excellent progress we have made today.

Remembrance Day
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

Is there unanimous consent?

Remembrance Day
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.