Mr. Speaker, during the weekend of January 20, 1996, the waters of the Châteauguay river flooded its banks, which caused flooding in a residential area of the municipality of Châteauguay and made it necessary to evacuate 1,200 people. The damage is estimated at nearly $3 million.
An additional problem was the fact that the only hovercraft posted in the Laurentian region by the Canadian Coast Guard was in for annual repairs and was therefore not available.
At a time when the federal government is about to waste millions of dollars on purchasing submarines, we do not have enough emergency preparedness equipment to protect ourselves and our property. The office of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans who is responsible for the Canadian Coast Guard refuses to provide a response to the elementary questions we asked about the hovercraft.
I can assure the flood victims that we will not let the matter rest.