Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House at this late hour and be the last speaker on the motion brought by the member for Comox-Alberni.
Like the member for Davenport, I will begin by congratulating the member for Comox-Alberni on his motion and on the presentation he gave which was a very thorough exposition of the nature of the problems in our country and in every modern society dealing with effluent. We have to be very conscious of this. This is an example of the type of debate we can have in the House to search for the best solutions to these perplexing and complex problems from a technological point of view and from a human management point of view.
I suppose as a member of the government one regret I have about the debate is I was disappointed to see it degenerate so quickly on the other side of the House from what I considered to be the high level of the opening moral tone of the member for Comox-Alberni to other members of his party who then used the motion as a way to attack the government for not doing things which we have been doing.
It reminds me of earlier when I listened to the member for Fraser Valley East spending his whole speech complaining that there is no discussion in the House. When members of the third party get up and use these opportunities to attack another party, no wonder we do not get into any discussion.
This is a constructive opportunity to exchange views. The member for Davenport has indicated members of the House on all sides are passionately interested in finding solutions to these problems.
I, as chairman of the foreign affairs committee and the member for Red Deer, who also sits on that committee, are more than aware of the consequence of effluents flowing from Victoria into international waters and our relations with the United States. It behoves all of us to be aware of that.
To suggest that the government is not aware of it is totally ignoring reality. Suggesting the infrastructure program has been deficient in this respect is doubly unfair. The infrastructure program is, as the member knows, a tripartite program conceived in the Canadian spirit. It requires the collaboration of the federal, provincial and municipal governments.
When we look at the way the infrastructure program has been applied around the country and the way it has been used, it co-ordinates the needs and desires of all people. Members of the Reform Party should be happy because at the municipal level we are getting the input from the very lowest level of government in the European sense of subsidiarity, that which is closest to the people, and it is their choice.
There are municipalities that have selected water treatment facilities. In those cases the federal government has participated, encouraged and done its best to make sure the country and the needs of the municipalities are served. Where other municipalities have chosen other priorities, the federal government has recognized that it is their right as citizens and as municipal governments.
I suggest to the third party we should concentrate not only on the question of effluent removal, which is a most important priority, but also on the principle on which the country is founded; a principle of tolerance and co-operation by all levels of government. If we can get all our programs working that way and use persuasion to get the federal government to do its work we can achieve the results wished for by the member for Comox-Alberni without trampling on the rights of local municipalities.