moved for leave to introduce Bill C-358, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act (deposit of sewage).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to introduce a bill that is critically important to both my riding of Saint John and also other communities across Canada.
This bill prohibits the deposit of untreated sewage in Canadian waters. It allows for the governor in council to prescribe by regulation how sewage must be treated and the standards that it must meet before it can be deposited in those waters.
Every day in my riding of Saint John more than 16 million litres of raw, untreated sewage flows into the harbour. In Greater Victoria, 127 million litres of liquid sewage is dumped into the ocean daily. In St. John's, Newfoundland, it is 120 million litres. In Halifax, it is 180 million litres.
It is a serious national problem and it is a major public health issue. The dumping of untreated sewage is an unacceptable practice and we have to stop using our oceans as a toilet. Our children deserve clean water.
The bill would ensure that the Government of Canada would take responsibility to restrict the dumping of untreated sewage into waterways that creates a harmful effect on communities, the fishery and the coastal environment.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)