Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to speak to Motion No. 85 in the name of the member for Acadie—Bathurst.
It is important that members have private motions such as this one when they and their constituents have major concerns. There is no question that it is important to get all the facts out.
I noted some very interesting comments from members of the Bloc and the member opposite who just spoke indicating that we have to be vigilant. We need ways and means of protecting not only our children but our society in general through Health Canada, through the kinds of processes we use, and by hearing information from our colleagues in other countries.
There is no question that potential hazards exist from polyvinyl chlorides or PVC plastic toys, but that is not the issue. The issue, as the member before me said, is whether it is really the type of toxin advocated by Greenpeace. Is it something we should pull from the shelves? We use stringent methods of testing in order to make sure this happens.
Health Canada has been involved with the particular testing of PVCs since the 1980s. The department has taken a leadership role over the last 12 years in assessing the implications of PVCs on the health of all Canadians.
The issue is of importance to me. I have two grandchildren, one just born the day before the election. She is 10 months old. She has about two or three teeth, Mr. Speaker, which are quite sharp when you put your hands in her mouth. As the member said, this additive is something that makes things pliable. We want to make sure that it is not toxic because when we listen to people like Dr. Fraser Mustard we know now that the outcome for young children is so important. We know that from the time the child is born the parents should not be involved in smoking and they should not be involved in alcohol or any dangerous drugs that will interfere with the child. The first three years are absolutely critical, we know that. We know how the brain grows in the first six years.
I have been paying particular attention to a CBC program called Grow Baby Grow and it is fascinating to see the outcome, when children are looked after properly. It makes for a much better nation, it makes for great citizens, it makes for people who will take our places when we retire and we know we will be in good hands. We need to protect our kids.
There is no question that I want to be vigilant, I want parents to be vigilant, but I also want to make sure that when these tests are done they are valid and that the science being used is not invalid and will create problems for the industry.
The issue of phthalates in children's products, especially the DEHP, has been investigated by Health Canada. It has been investigated by many foreign governments as well, including Sweden, New Zealand, England and the United States. Suffice it to say the decision on DINP will await the completion of the scientific investigation now under way by Health Canada. Preliminary results were expected this spring and we hope we will have them soon. Should investigations indicate there is a danger or a risk to children the department of course will not hesitate to pull these things off the shelf and make sure that a threat to our children does not exist.
We have to be consistent, we have to be responsible and we have to use a professional approach to the testing. The government's ongoing commitment to the health of all Canadians is extremely important. The government will listen to all the information we can get and we will be vigilant in making sure that our citizens are protected.
I thank the member for his intervention. I think it is important that we have the debate. I cannot support the bill because, as has been said by my colleague earlier on, we want to make sure that when we pull things and put restrictions on the industry it is valid and we are using scientific information.