House of Commons Hansard #85 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was israel.

Topics

The Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is important for me to speak on this issue again because of the way the Liberal members are using the facts of this issue so loosely. We have talked about a number of them. Over and over they have talked about the ethanol issue.

I have been involved in this issue from the very beginning. I listened to the evidence before the committees. We were told time and time again by the refinery people that ethanol is not a substitute for MMT in gasoline. So that is a straw man they are putting up. It is an entirely irrelevant issue; it has no relevance here.

We are talking about who is in the pockets of whom. The member Essex-Windsor talked about the importance of the Canadian automobile industry and that it produces 465,000 jobs and 7 per cent of Canada's GDP and all the rest of it. I do not see how that is relevant in this debate unless that member is lobbying on behalf of the automotive industry.

The Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act
Government Orders

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. With due respect, when a member names another member and indicates that they are in the pockets of somebody else, indicates that somehow they are getting some benefit, that is to impute motive and bring disrespect to a fellow colleague in the House.

I resent that and I ask the member to withdraw the comment.

The Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

If members had to sit up here they would appreciate that sometimes comments that are made are very disturbing. I wonder, in the interest of collegiality if the member would be prepared to reconsider and word that matter differently.

The Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would be glad to withdraw the accusation if those on that side withdraw exactly the same accusation that was made against this party.

The Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I did not rule it to be unparliamentary. In light of what the member has said, I will rule that what has been said is not unparliamentary and I will allow the member to continue.

The Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Certainly I have no problem with the member for Essex-Windsor defending the interests of the automotive industry because they are, after all, her constituents. Coming from a constituency that has considerable oil and gas development, I would also speak on behalf of those people.

However, one condition I would put, speaking on their behalf, is that they would produce credible evidence for me to back up their case. I sat in committee and listened to the evidence and only a moron would have believed the evidence to be credible. They told us that this substance in fact fouled the spark-plugs of cars. They did not even have the decency to produce the evidence on two spark-plugs that were the same make and model. The Liberals sat there and swallowed that rubbish like it was the truth.

I listened, met and talked to both sides on this issue, the car manufacturers, the refiners and Ethyl Corporation, which is more than the Liberals were willing to do, I might add. After all this debate and in committee Ethyl Corporation told the members that it wanted to be reasonable and fair on this issue and that if the Liberals would just allow a non-partisan study where all the interest groups had a chance to partake in the protocol on this study and that the evidence was impartial and undeniable, it would voluntarily withdraw the product from the market. How can anyone be more reasonable than that? I suggest they cannot.

I think the hypocrisy that floats around this issue is unbelievable. The member for York-Simcoe, who spoke yesterday, stood in the House during statements and said: "Nations around the world agree that human interventions create conditions that cause global warming and climate change. We all share in the negative economic and social consequences".

That same day in the afternoon the member for Elgin-Norfolk said: "I would like to congratulate the city of Chatham and the company, Commercial Alcohols, for the recent announcement of the construction of a new $153 million ethanol production facility". We kind of get an idea of what is going on here. We cannot have it both ways.

The Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

An hon. member

That smell is getting pretty bad.

The Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

You are darn right, and it is not the fermenting corn that smells either.

The facts surrounding the ethanol business relating to MMT simply are not a rational argument because ethanol does not and will not replace MMT. I think anyone who looks at the argument would agree.

I am running short of time so I am jumping around here a little bit. I would also like to quote from the Halifax Sunday Daily News when Premier Savage of Nova Scotia said that he could not support this bill because the supporting of this bill would necessitate the closing of the Imperial Oil refinery in his province.

The Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

An hon. member

That is garbage.

The Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act
Government Orders

5:35 p.m.

Reform

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

That is right here.

The fact is the automotive industry is trying to get rid of MMT to cover a deficiency in the technology it is required to bring forward. In spite of the fact that MMT has been banned for 20 years in the United States, the OBD-II technology has the same failure rate in the U.S. as it does in Canada where MMT is in the gasoline. The problem is that the automotive industry had to get exemptions from those standards in order to licence the OBD-II technology in its cars because they are not reliable. The technology is not developed to the degree it needs to be and it cannot meet the standards. It needed a bogeyman to blame that on so it chose MMT. And that is the plain and simple reason why this issue is before us now.

The evidence is there. This issue has been studied more than any other gasoline additive issue in history. It went before the courts in the United States twice and Ethyl Corporation won the cases both times. There is no scientifically verifiable evidence to show that MMT does foul the OBD-II equipment. It simply is not there.

We have heard time and time again the horror stories about manganese destroying human brain cells and all the rest of it. The Liberals' own health minister studied this product very thoroughly and in spite of all we have heard, Health Canada says there is no detrimental effect to the health of Canadians by the addition of MMT to gasoline in Canada.

Again, these strawmen keep popping up everywhere to cover this weakness of the evidence involved. I got across everything I needed to.

The Manganese-Based Fuel Additives Act
Government Orders

5:40 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

It now being 5.42 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business as listed on today's Order Paper.

Hazardous Materials
Private Members' Business

October 10th, 1996 / 5:40 p.m.

NDP

Svend Robinson Burnaby—Kingsway, BC

moved:

That in the opinion of this House, the Minister of Transport should proceed rapidly to establish a Canadian test site for Operation Respond, a computerized database of hazardous materials that would improve safety for firefighters and help save lives and property.

Mr. Speaker, since 1991 firefighters and other emergency responders have been seeking the establishment of a Canadian demonstration site for Operation Respond, a computerized North American emergency response information system which enables firefighters to obtain accurate instant information at the scene of a hazardous materials incident. I would note as well that Operation Respond can also be applied to passenger rail traffic.

Over the years firefighters and other emergency responders have received significant support from members on all sides of the House in their demand for speedy action on Operation Respond.

I would like to take the opportunity today to acknowledge the support of members on all sides of the House from the Liberal caucus, les deputés du Bloc québécois, members of the Reform Party and members of the Conservative Party.

Yesterday I spoke with half the members of the Conservative caucus, the member for Saint John, and she indicated her strong and ongoing support for this motion.

I also want to thank all the members who have written or telephoned to indicate their support of the motion even though some are not able to be present in the House for this first day of debate.

Members will also understand that I want to pay a special tribute and say a special word of thanks to my own colleagues who have been so vigorously supporting these changes over the years, my colleague for The Battlefords-Meadow Lake who seconded the motion today and all of my other colleagues who joined in seconding the motion now before the House. I would particularly note the member for Winnipeg-Transcona who has been a solid supporter of this. In fact, in June 1995 he brought a motion before the House also under Private Members' Business urging the government to move forward on this very important initiative.

As long ago as 1992 colleagues such as Ian Angus from Thunder Bay and Joy Langan from Mission-Coquitlan spoke out in support of these changes. The people who have really been on the frontlines in this long campaign are the firefighters themselves, the International Association of Firefighters and firefighters across Canada.

From my community the Canadian vice-president Terry Ritchie; Mark Fletcher, the president of local 323; the Burnaby local of the IAFF and Robert Hall of Vancouver local 18, have been particularly helpful in this. I might add that they have noted some of the particular concerns in the lower mainland. As a port city, Vancouver has had more than its share of hazardous materials incidents and

the amount of traffic that passes through our ports and our streets continues to escalate very significantly.

All transportation corridors to the lower mainland run through Burnaby whether it is roadways, railways, airways or marine ways. In fact all hazardous materials that are shipped into Vancouver via trucks are transported along highways which travel through Burnaby. The major rail carriers all travel through Burnaby. Four of the six petrochemical wharves in the GVRD, the Greater Vancouver Regional District, are also located in Burnaby.

The Burnaby firefighters have noted that the current system, the CANUTEC system which has been in place since 1979, works well when firefighters know specifically with what they are dealing. The problem is not knowing what chemicals, what other hazardous materials are being dealt with. As noted by Mark Fletcher in his letter to me: "Often valuable time is lost and great risks are taken in trying to make that determination. A computerized tracking system would alert us to the fact when rail cars or tanker trucks were carrying mixed loads because of course chemicals which are relatively harmless on their own can in fact become extremely dangerous if they are mixed in with other chemicals".

Operation Respond has the potential to save many lives in the city of Burnaby, the lives of the members of our fire department but also the lives of citizens in that community. The system would enable firefighters to stay in a safe zone away from a hazardous materials incident and not have to take proactive measures until they know what they are dealing with and until they can proceed in a safe manner.

I want to acknowledge the leadership on this issue of the Canadian director of the International Association of Firefighters, Doug Coupar, who has done such an outstanding job of making members and others aware of the importance of this issue and the importance of moving quickly on this issue.

I want to add a special word of thanks to my assistant Catherine Meaden who has done such a fine job as well in helping to prepare this important debate.

The objective of this motion is straightforward.

It is to establish a test site for Operation Respond, a computerized database of hazardous materials that would improve safety for firefighters and help save lives and property.

By way of background I would note that the most dangerous aspect of firefighting is responding to incidents that involve hazardous materials or HAZMAT as they are known. Firefighters in Canada are especially hampered by the lack of information available in such incidents, especially within the critical first few minutes after arriving on the scene. What is absolutely essential is accurate, accessible information. This is crucial to saving lives and property at the scene of these accidents. The appropriate response for one hazardous material could prove quite catastrophic or very dangerous if another substance is present.

There is a whole gamut of advanced technological systems that would allow firefighters to know exactly the nature of hazardous materials to which they are exposed, and to get the advice they need to react. These systems may be designed for the processing of hazardous materials at a given site, and for those transported by train, aircraft, truck or boat.

The information provided by these systems not only aids in identifying what hazardous materials are present but it can also offer detailed information on the appropriate emergency response techniques. In some cases it can provide guidance on evacuating specific communities.

Implementation of a hazardous materials identification system would ensure that firefighters have the information they need to effectively respond to any incident enabling them to protect lives and property. Surely firefighters have the right to know precisely what hazardous materials may be present. They have the right to know that immediately. They should not have to wait minutes or in some cases hours to get that vital information.

In the case of passenger rail emergencies, Operation Respond will make it easier for firefighters to save lives by knowing entry points, electrical and mechanical systems and bypass advice.

Members of the House will perhaps have noted an ad that was placed in this week's issue of the Hill Times newspaper. In this ad it is pointed out that courier packages are readily traceable across Canada, indeed around the world. That technology exists, but Canada's firefighters do not have access to the same modern and latest technology to identify potentially hazardous materials. It is essential that we make this change and it is essential that we make it now.

There are many examples of the urgency of this system. Members will recall the Mississauga train derailment in 1979. The train was carrying chlorine gas and 24 cars of the train derailed. Two propane filled cars exploded into a huge fireball of chlorine gas. Many residents were forced to evacuate their homes.

I know that the member for Mississauga West, who strongly supports this motion by the way, remembers vividly that particular incident. I know that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, the member for Hamilton West, who has also indicated previously his support for this motion, recalls well the Mississauga

incident. In fact as a young television reporter from Hamilton he was assigned to cover that tragedy.

In circumstances such as that it is absolutely essential that firefighters have access at the earliest possible time with the latest technology to know precisely with what materials they are dealing.

There are many other examples. In the small town of Linwood in Ontario was a burning vehicle, a urethane spray truck. Firefighters attended the scene. They were not able to identify a placard, which of course we are told should be available. One of the firefighters was able to obtain the driver's manifest and the load sheet and determined from that what dangerous chemicals were on board. They consulted with CANUTEC and were told to stop their suppression efforts. In fact those suppression efforts could have been dangerous to the firefighters in question.

There was a rural Manitoba accident where firefighters had to wait 13 hours to determine the contents of a derailed train. Finally they used binoculars to obtain an identification number.

Another incident was on the northern bank of the Eramosa River in Guelph outside the Huntsman chemical plant earlier this year. The Guelph fire department was called. It was a chaotic scene, a spill of some 56,000 litres of the liquid chemical phenyl which was being unloaded into a storage tank. It is very toxic and very flammable and burns on contact. The firefighters were hampered because they were not able to get the information they needed when they needed it. They waited two hours before they were finally able to obtain that information.

It is not good enough to rely on the CANUTEC system which is currently in place. Operation Respond uses a unique number which is clearly identified, clearly displayed, not just in one place but on all load containers and in a variety of different locations.

It is essential that we move ahead. It is essential that the transport minister make the Operation Respond Canadian test site a top priority for his department and that he commit the necessary staff and resources to do that.

The House might ask why is it that Canada has not already moved to test Operation Respond? Transport Canada tells us that the current CANUTEC system needs no improvement. There are too many examples of CANUTEC not working effectively. Delay, manual use of a telephone, are simply not acceptable, especially when computer technology exists. They say there have been no direct casualties from incidents. So far we have been fortunate.

What about a major catastrophe in downtown Toronto, for example? Would CANUTEC act quickly enough to prevent casualties? There is a very serious question about that.

The CANUTEC system and those who defend it alone also fail to account for those who have been exposed to contamination, the inconvenience of unnecessary evacuation or the loss of property which might have been preventable.

Transport Canada tries to say, as well, that it will cost too much. We hear astronomical estimates which are in the millions of dollars. That is absolute nonsense. We are not talking about scrapping CANUTEC and starting out with an entirely new system. We are talking about building on CANUTEC, strengthening and improving the CANUTEC system to ensure that it uses the latest in computer technology.

I would note that, in fact, the majority of professional fire departments already have the necessary equipment to operate the system.

Operation Respond is a non-profit entity. It is already in place in the United States in many locations and its people are quite prepared to co-operate to get this under way in Canada. In fact, today we received tentative cost estimates from Operation Respond. They say it would be in the order of $40,000 to $50,000. If we wanted to add passenger rail to that it might bump the cost up to $65,000 or $70,000. That is all we are talking about. Surely there is not a member in the House who would not agree that this is a small price to pay to enhance the safety and the security of Canadian firefighters and Canadian communities.

The key point is very straightforward. Firefighters want direct, on screen access via laptop computer when they are in the critical first stages of identification. The CANUTEC system does not provide this. Right now firefighters have to go through a CANUTEC middleman by telephone, even though most professional fire departments already have computers and modems.

Let us augment and improve the CANUTEC system. Let us work together with major carriers who have indicated they are prepared to co-operate. Let us make sure that Transport Canada is not just sitting on the sidelines observing. Let us make sure that it is the major player in this very important process.

This motion has support, not just from firefighters and many communities across Canada, but from other emergency responders. The Canadian Police Association, for example, has written me a letter in which it says that the Canadian Police Association, representing approximately 40,000 frontline police officers, supports any additional tool, such as the motion proposes, which will facilitate the safe storage, handling and shipping of hazardous material within Canada.

The United Transportation Union, which represents more than 8,000 rail and bus transportation industry employees, is in total support of Operation Respond in its efforts to provide first responders with on site, up to the minute, safe and reliable hazard information. UTU members are all too familiar with the dangers of incidents involving hazardous materials. As railway employees they have experienced hazardous material incidents. They say that the CANUTEC system leaves unquantifiable reasons for which Operation Respond should be implemented immediately.

Imagine being put on hold for upwards of three hours while trying to access needed information. That is just not acceptable.

I urge all members of the House to support this motion. I ask the Standing Committee on Transport to hold hearings. That committee is chaired by the hon. member for Winnipeg South. That member was not able to be here today for this debate. However, I spoke to him and he indicated his strong support for this motion. I am very pleased that he also indicated that he is prepared to encourage and to support hearings of the Standing Committee on Transport on this motion.

Firefighters and other emergency responders from across Canada are going to be watching this debate very carefully and will be watching the outcome of the debate. I am concerned about any attempt by any member of the House, particularly on the government side, to water down or amend this motion to suggest that we should study it, examine it or observe it. The time is long overdue to implement a test site. We do not need any more observation. We do not need any more study.

It is fitting that this week Canadians are observing Fire Prevention Week. Two days from now, Saturday, October 12, is Fire Service Recognition Day.

When the Minister of Labour spoke earlier this week about this day, he noted that our full time and volunteer firefighters often put their own lives in danger in order to save other lives. He said: "We want to use this day to express our appreciation and gratitude to all firefighters across Canada".

In closing, let me say that there could be no more fitting tribute to the dedication and commitment of firefighters and other emergency responders in Canada than passing this motion and establishing a Canadian test site for Operation Respond to improve the safety of firefighters and to help save lives and property.

Hazardous Materials
Private Members' Business

6 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Liberal

Joe Volpe Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, for the government members here and elsewhere, obviously we would echo the kinds of praises the member for Burnaby-Kingsway offers to those in emergency response teams.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take part in the debate on the motion brought forward by the hon. member for Burnaby-Kingsway concerning the establishment of a test site for "Operation Respond".

The motion stipulates that the federal government should establish without delay a test site for the "Operation Respond" program. This emergency response system, which was first set up in the Houston area, in the United States, is now in use in selected localities in that country.

"Operation Respond" provides basic information to people and organizations in selected areas, who have access to the appropriate software. The promoter is "Operation Respond Incorporated", a non-profit organization, which is marketing an emergency response computer system, that includes procedures, software and content.

The primary goal of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act is to promote public safety during the transportation of dangerous goods. This dangerous goods program has two dimensions. The first is to prevent an accidental release. The second is to ensure adequate responses should there be an accidental release or should one appear imminent.

Accident prevention includes proper identification of dangerous goods, appropriate means of containment and proper markings on these containers. In addition, a shipping document describing the dangerous goods accompanies those shipments.

Adequate response to any accidental release of dangerous goods requires knowing what is involved, its properties and what should be done. Canada already has in place a comprehensive, national emergency response service called CANUTEC.

CANUTEC is equipped to handle these types of situations. Operation Respond is limited in its activities. Indeed I should point out that the response information provided by the Operation Respond program is essentially that which is contained in the "North American Emergency Responds" guidebook which was co-authored by CANUTEC and the U.S. Department of Transport.

My colleague opposite knows that this guidebook was developed to provide responders with immediate guidance at an accident and is only an introductory element in CANUTEC's program. As an aside, I would like to point out that Transport Canada has this summer provided sufficient copies of the recently released 1996 version of this guide for distribution at no charge to all fire department vehicles and to all police highway vehicles in Canada.

In addition, this year the department also distributed in the form of a video to all fire departments in Canada the results of research work on explosions associated with liquefied gases. The video makes reference to the tragic accident in Quebec where several firefighters lost their lives as a result of a boiling liquid expansion vapour explosion involving liquefied gas.

I make reference to these items and to the support CANUTEC provides firefighters to highlight the fact that the department has a great respect for firefighters. It recognizes that providing effective support to firefighters is one of the more important emergency response activities that the department can undertake.

I am certain the hon. member for Burnaby-Kingsway is familiar with CANUTEC. The centre operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Its primary goal is to provide information, guidance and advice.

CANUTEC provides a bilingual chemical and regulatory information and communications service to emergency responders and industry at an accident. These responders may include volunteer firefighters, full time firefighters, police or industry response teams, such as teams from the major petroleum and chemical producers.

CANUTEC is staffed by professional chemists, trained in accident situations, who are capable of providing information and advice to any level of detail required by responders.

It gets around 30,000 phone calls a year, 600 of which are for serious accidents. Pursuant to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, any accidental release of a dangerous substance must be immediately reported to local police authorities. However, if the accident involves a train, Canutec must be the first organization to be informed.

In Transport Canada's continuing effort to provide for a safe and efficient transportation system, two officials from Transport Canada are currently observing the Operation Respond program in the United States. Their role as observers is to attend Operation Respond meetings and to identify any new activities which would be considered effective tools for responders in Canada.

Finally, let me assure all members that Transport Canada will continue to closely monitor the Operation Respond program and will consider any activities which are shown to be effective in assisting emergency responders.

My colleague opposite has already given an indication that there is support for these kinds of initiatives and for the Department of Transport's initiatives by members of the transport committee. I leave it to my colleagues on that committee to speak for themselves and to address this issue when it appears again during private members' hour. I do not presume to speak on their behalf, but I know they share with me the considerations that I have just outlined not only for themselves but for the department as well.

Hazardous Materials
Private Members' Business

6:05 p.m.

Bloc

Paul Crête Kamouraska—Rivière-Du-Loup, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to speak today to the motion by the member for Burnaby-Kingsway, which strikes me as an interesting one. We could even say that it is a good opportunity to point out where the work of parliamentarians can have an influence on departments when they are a bit slow to implement something.

We have a member who has just told a minister, a department with several thousands of employees, that they perhaps should have done something a little sooner, the question having first come up in 1991. Some things could have been done and the motion introduced is certainly interesting from many points of view.

It should be noted that what we are talking about is implementing a test site to ensure that computerized data about hazardous materials can be made available very rapidly to fire fighters called to accidents.

It is a rather complex situation, because it also involves the provinces. There is WHMIS in Quebec, which concerns the handling of all hazardous materials, and these various programs must be linked up so that the computerized system works and so that everything is done legally and in accordance with provincial jurisdiction.

It is understandable that the member for Burnaby-Kingsway has included the word "rapidly" in his motion, because Transport Canada has been slow to act. This is clear from the letters of support he has received from the International Association of Fire Fighters and the Canadian Police Association. It is something that people have been waiting for.

These are the groups who have been dealing with the problems for a long time now, those with the expertise, because, in the case of hazardous materials, it is important that the information be available in the first five minutes after they have been informed of an incident.

It is also important to have very precise information, on electrical and mechanical systems, for instance, anything that can help avoid a misstep that would create a problem worse than the original one.

For some time, Transport Canada depended on the CANUTEC telephone system, but now it is obvious this is not enough. What is needed is a faster, more suitable, more accurate system which provides us with access to the computerized tools developed in recent years. There is no excuse for being behind the times, like

dinosaurs, particularly in areas where vital actions have to be taken quickly.

I feel that this is all the more vital because there are volunteer fire fighters, as well as professionals. This summer, I attended the KRTB (Kamouraska, Rivière-du-Loup, Témiscouata, Basques) fire fighter competitions. About ten different fire brigades were involved. It was easy to see just how vital physical dexterity, courage, tenacity and endurance are to a fire fighter.

I was thinking, as I examined the motion of the hon. member for Burnaby-Kingsway, that it was important for this type of service to be made available to people who perform these duties on a volunteer basis, and quickly.

One might think that rural fire fighters will not run into major fires and major problems, but then the railway comes to mind. All that is needed is one train wreck, since the rail lines cut through the whole region, one incident with a hazardous waste spill. Without the necessary information , we would find ourselves in a very touchy situation in which volunteer fire fighters, children's fathers and mothers, could find their lives in jeopardy if the wrong steps were taken.

A society can be judged by the protective services it offers. Those who are supposed to intervene in hazardous situations should have access to a quick and effective source of information so they can provide a satisfactory service.

This is an interesting motion that will compel the government to take action as soon as it has been adopted. Awareness of the problem has already increased thanks to today's debate and to the vote that will follow so that this motion can be put into effect.

To the Bloc Quebecois, it is also important to ensure that this test plan is implemented in accordance with provincial jurisdictions, taking into account the practical aspects of operations and of quick intervention, but to ensure that data bases are made available to those who manage the system so that the information is available and this sort of service is provided in the proper way, it will be necessary to guarantee free access to information and to ensure this is done in accordance with existing legislation.

For instance, after testing the site in British Columbia, we cannot afford to wait six months, a year or two years until it can be used in Quebec, just because the provincial jurisdictions were not taken into account. This aspect must also be considered when establishing the test site, so that here in Canada we will be able to establish something similar to what is already being used in the United States. The system will provide the kind of service that will help us avoid major accidents involving humans, sometimes loss of life or financial loss. The service will help people who already serve the public and are prepared to face hazards in the course of their daily lives.

In this context, Parliament would do well to support a motion of this kind, especially since the Canadian government seems to be dragging its feet. It is not a bad idea to do some moving and shaking to ensure that this project gets off the ground.

One wonders if we had a system where jurisdictions were clear cut and the responsibilities of all concerned were clearly identified, whether this type of action would not have taken place more quickly, because there would have been one authority responsible. There would be no passing the buck. I hope that some day we will have that kind of system, for the benefit of Quebecers and Canadians.

But meanwhile, the motion presented by the hon. member for Burnaby-Kingsway is a very interesting one. I think it deserves support. In concluding my speech, I move:

That the motion be amended by adding after the word "should", the following:

", in agreement with the provinces,".

So this experiment should be carried out to reflect the responsibilities of all levels of government so that, in the end, we will have a better way to protect both fire fighters and all those who may be involved in disasters as a result of accidents across this country.

Hazardous Materials
Private Members' Business

6:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The motion is admissible.