Mr. Speaker, last year, in January 1996, the City of Châteauguay suffered severe flooding because the Canadian Coast Guard hovercraft was not available to clear the mouth of the river, as it was being repaired.
This absurd situation prompted me to ask on several occasions that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans make sure to change the maintenance schedule of this craft so that, in future, it would be available, if needed, during the months of January, February and March.
This year, when we had this spell of milder weather on February 21, the hovercraft was able to respond. As Bruno Dufour, the hovercraft captain, indicated, this year, they did not want to take any chances, and the craft was overhauled in November in order to be ready to respond to any emergency come January.
I am very happy that the citizens of Châteauguay did not have to contend with more flooding this year.