I appreciate your explanation. It's the first time I have been able to hear an explanation, because normally—this is a fact for Mr. Storseth, my friend, who likes facts—budget bills are 30 pages, and this is about 430. It's these kinds of details that are so hard to figure out.
A news article is coming out tomorrow, where we have a rare show of solidarity across party lines, with four former fisheries ministers coming forward to say this bill is “watering down and emasculating the Fisheries Act”. Tom Siddon, former fisheries minister, says that “in devious little ways if you read all the fine print…they're making Swiss cheese out of [it]”.
That's my big problem with this. It's so big that we don't actually know what's happening.
Former minister John Fraser says that changes of this importance should be fully debated and not all lumped together in an omnibus bill, and that's exactly what we're trying to say here.
In that article, former minister Siddon also says, and this is a quote:
I know from many experiences, whether it's the issues of the gravel pit operators…placer miners…or pulp mills, that what they could get away with, they got away with, prior to 1985–86.
With that quote in mind, one thing I am worried about is that this bill creates an incentive to drain a lake, destroy fish habitat, and leave a hole where there wouldn't be fish. A hole that is a perfect place to put tailings in, rather than apply for a permit to add deleterious substances to lake water where there's fish. I think there is actually an incentive to drain lakes being created here.
Mr. Gratton, can you see this happening in your industry? Can you assuage my fears?