moved for leave to introduce Bill C-599, An Act to amend the Navigable Waters Protection Act (Gaspésie and Îles-de-la-Madeleine region).
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from Berthier—Maskinongé for her support.
The Gaspésie and Îles-de-la-Madeleine region is amazing. It is one of the best areas to take part in wildlife- and nature-related activities. The people of the Gaspésie and Îles-de-la-Madeleine region alone spend 1.4 million days a year participating in fishing, hunting, wildlife and outdoors activities, and contribute $41 million in economic activity. Quebec generates $2.8 billion in economic activity. More than 11 million days a year are spent on sport fishing in Quebec. These sectors deserve ongoing and permanent support.
However, the Conservative government is going in the complete opposite direction. The Conservatives have weakened the legislative framework that protects our lakes and rivers. Instead of systematically protecting them, the new legislative framework protects only 62 rivers and 97 lakes in the entire country.
Before the Conservatives took an axe to it, the Navigable Waters Protection Act protected not only our lakes and rivers, but also the sport fishing and outdoor activity sectors. We need a long-term vision to protect the environment and the associated industries.
I am introducing this bill in the hopes of restoring this protection, so that the House can show its support for fishing, hunting and outdoors enthusiasts and restore access to our Canadian heritage.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)