Mr. Speaker, in 1975 four rail tanks containing 340 tons of toxic chlorine fell off a barge during a storm on the lower west coast and have never been located.
In May when I requested a summer 1997 search, the Minister of the Environment assured me that the fisheries minister has prime responsibility for this issue. No search was initiated.
We now know that 12 months ago a proven salvage operator in B.C. approached the federal government with a proposal to find the tanks for the sum of $30,000. This risk free offer was rejected.
The clock is ticking on a potential lethal chlorine gas escape 22 years after the sinking. People living along the Strait of Georgia want the minister to stop sitting on his hands.
Does the minister think spending this $30,000 is somehow unimportant?