moved for leave to introduce Bill C-271, An Act to give legal capacity to the St. Lawrence River and to provide for measures respecting its protection.
Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased and honoured to rise in the House to introduce this private member's bill to give the St. Lawrence River the right to defend and protect itself.
We know that we are experiencing a major environmental crisis, likely the sixth mass extinction, and the mass destruction of our ecosystems. The current legislation and our economic model are inadequate and are not working. That is why we in the NDP feel we need a paradigm shift to adopt a new approach focused on granting rights to nature.
There is a huge international movement under way, in countries like Mexico, New Zealand, Ecuador, Panama and Colombia, to confer rights on natural entities. That is what we aim to do, in co-operation with local communities and first nations in the area, so that we can protect the St. Lawrence River, the source of so much wealth and pride for all Quebeckers.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)