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House of Commons Hansard #235 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-32.

Topics

Order In Council AppointmentsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table in both official languages a number of order in council appointments which were made by the government.

Pursuant to the provisions of Standing Order 110(1), these are deemed referred to the appropriate standing committees, a list of which is attached.

Government Response To PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to four petitions.

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present the 76th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs regarding the membership of some standing committees, and I should like to move concurrence at this time.

(Motion agreed to)

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:05 a.m.

Bloc

Ghislain Lebel Bloc Chambly, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a petition on behalf of those who delivers mail in rural areas. The petitioners ask that section 13.5 of the Canada Post Corporation Act be amended to allow them to organize and bargain collectively.

Canada Post Corporation is no better than the government. Over the past few years, it has racked up huge profits on the backs of the least fortunate, those who never have a chance to be heard.

This is why the present petition, signed by 113 persons, all from Quebec, asks the government to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act to restore some balance and allow these people to earn a decent living.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition from over 25 people in my riding and other areas to end the legal approval of corporal punishment of children by repealing section 43 of the Criminal Code.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Kraft Sloan Liberal York North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have 2,096 signatures which call upon parliament to enact an amendment to the Criminal Code to enable victims of crime to lay criminal charges in Canada when a serious criminal offence takes place outside of Canada and when both the parties have Canadian status.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Rick Casson Reform Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36, I am pleased to present the following petition which comes from concerned citizens in my riding of Lethbridge.

Decisions by the Supreme Court as well as recent pieces of federal legislation have placed extreme stress on the traditional definition of the family. The petitioners believe that the traditional family is the building block of society and call upon parliament to enact Bill C-225, an act to amend the Marriage Act so as to define in statute that a marriage can only be entered into between a single male and a single female.

The petition contains the names of 134 residents which brings the total number of names that I have received on this issue to 1,483, which I understand is about 8% of the total received by the government. I hope the government takes this into consideration.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

NDP

John Solomon NDP Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, it is my honour today to present a petition, pursuant to Standing Order 36, on behalf of constituents in Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre as well as citizens from Govan, Stoughton, Fort Qu'Appelle, Southey, Moose Jaw, Calgary, Edmonton and other places out west.

The petitioners believe that no parent should ever lose legal custody of their children by a legal process or be denied equal time. They wish to maintain a meaningful relationship with their children, unless found by due process to be unfit under the laws of Canada. No parent should be allowed to obstruct a child's relationship with the other parent or with other close family members unless that other parent or family member has been found by due process to be unfit.

The petitioners also believe that adversarial procedures should be avoided in favour of a more co-operative approach in divorce such as mediation and education in co-parenting.

The petitioners are asking the House of Commons to pass legislation as soon as possible incorporating these rights of children and principles of equity between and among parents. I support the petition.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, I table a petition from the Inuit community of Kuujjuaraapik, in Nunavik.

The petitioners state that there are 16 to 20 people in three bedroom dwellings in Kuujjuaraapik. The Inuit find the housing conditions at Nunavik extremely distressing. They consider the situation totally intolerable. It contributes to the high incidence of tuberculosis, infectious diseases and social problems.

The federal government must assume its obligations under the James Bay and Northern Quebec agreement as far as housing in Nunavik is concerned.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Jerry Pickard Liberal Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition signed by well over 1,000 residents in my riding requesting four things. First, that the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development reconsider her claim giving acres to the Caldwell Band in my riding. Second, that a cash settlement be made for the Caldwell Band. They certainly recognize the claim is there, but they believe that a cash settlement is the direction in which to go. Third, that Treasury Board not advance funding for the settlement of this land claim. Four, that consideration be given to the concerns of the local residents with regard to this settlement.

It is clear that there has been a tremendous amount of concern in my riding. I certainly endorse this petition coming forth to the minister and hope the minister will react to it.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, Question No. 235 will be answered today. .[Text]

Question No. 235—

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Reform Calgary Centre, AB

With respect to the Canadian underground economy, ( a ) what does the government estimate the size of this “non-reported” economy to be in monetary terms, and ( b ) how much federal tax revenue does the government estimate has not been collected due to the underground economy?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Stoney Creek Ontario

Liberal

Tony Valeri LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance

The Federal government is extremely concerned about the underground economy. It attacks the fairness and integrity of the tax system and makes it difficult for the government to raise the revenue it needs to pay for the programs and services Canadians want.

The government devotes resources to improve its understanding of the underground economy so that efforts at combating it are as effective as possible.

With respect to the size of the underground economy, the government has closely followed the work of academics and economic researchers. A key finding is that it is extremely difficult to measure the size of the underground economy. This is not surprising as by definition it consists of “hidden” economic activity. While several approaches have been developed to indirectly estimate this hidden activity, each has such serious limitations, limited confidence can be placed in the resulting estimates of the size of the underground economy and the associated revenue loss to the federal government.

The government has used the information obtained within its limitations to better focus its actions to reduce underground activity and recover lost taxes. Revenue Canada`s actions in respect of the underground economy are an integral component of its balanced approach to tax fairness that dedicates resources to both facilitate compliance for taxpayers as much as possible while implementing responsible enforcement.

Revenue Canada has taken the following specific actions with respect to the underground economy: In 1993, 1,200 additional employees were assigned to work on the underground economy and the 1996 budget provided resources for an additional 800 auditors. More recently, the 1998 budget introduced a mandatory contract payment reporting system for the construction industry and federal government contracts, to encourage the self-employed to voluntarily report all of their income and to help Revenue Canada better detect unreported income.

The government will continue to both monitor and fight the underground economy through Revenue Canada`s underground economy initiative, voluntary compliance programs and other enforcement activities.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is that agreed?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

10:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Northumberland Ontario

Liberal

Christine Stewart LiberalMinister of the Environment

moved that Bill C-32, an act respecting pollution prevention and the protection of the environment and human health in order to contribute to sustainable development, be read the third time and passed.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by saying that there were times during the odyssey of this piece of legislation moving through the House of Commons that I and a few of my other colleagues wondered if we would ever arrive at this day.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank you in particular, as well as the whips of the House for the very efficient way in which we dealt with the legislation at report stage last night.

Canada's first environmental protection act took effect in 1988. After a five year review of that legislation in 1993 by the then Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, a considered government response and two presentations of amended legislation, we are close today to seeing a new Canadian environmental protection act passed through this Chamber.

The Senate will take its turn to review the legislation before it receives royal assent and is proclaimed law.

The current legislation which we are debating at third reading today was introduced in March 1998 and, as many in the House can attest, the challenges have been numerous and intense.

I would like to begin my comments at third reading today by thanking, first, my parliamentary secretary, the member for Burlington, for her diligence and commitment to the principles of the legislation and the legislative process. Her assistance has been invaluable.

Second, I thank all members of the standing committee for their persistence, especially my own caucus members who have worked with me to bring about some significant improvements to the legislation I introduced in March 1998. Thanks to their work, today we have a piece of legislation which is a significant improvement over the currently used CEPA legislation, new legislation of which we can all be proud.

Even the legislation we are debating today will be reviewed by parliament in five years and will once again be improved, for it is the role of ongoing science, the development of new insights, technologies and values, and the dedication of committed environment department staff working with society and parliamentarians which will create the demand for new improvements to legislation.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of my officials in my department who helped us move the yardstick forward on this CEPA legislation.

What is the CEPA legislation all about? It is about protecting our environment and human health from the inherent negative effects of some substances currently in use today. The new CEPA legislation demands the screening of all 23,000 substances currently in use in Canada. The screening is to be completed in seven years.

For those substances found to be toxic, I will have the authority to require the creation and implementation of pollution prevention plans following a clear and predictable time allocated process. For those few substances found to be dangerously toxic, the legislation requires virtual elimination.

Today, of the 23,000 substances found in Canada, only 12 are considered to be dangerously toxic. Some, such as DDT, have been completely banned from use and production. Others, such as dioxins and furans, PCBs and hexachlorobenzene will be slated for virtual elimination.

The existing CEPA is based on the philosophy of pollution control. However, we know that it makes far more sense for industry to design its processes in ways that prevent pollution. It makes more sense to find ways to avoid creating waste in the first place than it does to figure out what to do with waste after it has been created, and it costs less too. We want Canada's industry to stop pollution before it happens.

Bill C-32 is on the leading edge of environmental pollution legislation worldwide. In fact, our review of similar legislation in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia shows that none of them address virtual elimination. Only Bill C-32 commits to the virtual elimination of the most dangerous toxic substances.

Most of the 23,000 substances in use today in Canada do not appear to pose any threats to our environment or health. Synthetic chemicals and metals are a basic part of our world today, essential to products which we all use. The precautionary principle applied to their use is another important aspect of Bill C-32. Too many substances have proven to have been found too late to have significant and negative effects on the health of people, other living creatures and our ecosystems.

Rachel Carson, in her book Silent Spring , drew public attention to the links between toxic substances and their effects on birds such as eagles and gulls. I note that Time magazine recently ranked her as one of the most influential 100 thinkers of this century.

Science is at the heart of the new CEPA. It instructs us on our environmental problems and guides us toward solutions. Under the precautionary principle we will listen to the evidence that science reveals, but we will not wait for full scientific certainty before we take action.

Recognizing that Bill C-32 was imposing important and new demands to achieve compliance, the federal government announced $82 million in new funding in the budgets of the last two years in order to support our commitment. Last week I announced $11 million in project research funding from a $40 million research initiative looking into such key areas as endocrine disrupters, persistent organic pollutants, metals in the environment, urban air quality issues and the cumulative effects of toxic substances. A further $42 million will help us to manage toxic substances, including their assessment, regulation, tracking and enforcement.

In summary, we are determined to protect the health and environment of Canadians, for it is Canadians at the community level who are most affected by pollution. This bill obligates the government to provide more information to Canadians on pollutants, using vehicles such as the National Pollutants Release Inventory and the Environmental Registry on the Internet.

We are also expanding the mandate for increased public participation in other ways in this bill. We want to open the door for people to have the right to sue if there has been significant harm to the environment and they feel the federal government has failed to enforce this law. The legislation incorporates whistle-blower protection to employees and gives peace officer status to environmental inspectors.

This legislation enhances the intergovernmental partnership that we have already built in Canada. It ensures that aboriginal governments are participants in those partnerships and it values the traditional aboriginal knowledge that they will bring.

The new CEPA provides me with the authority to set engine emission standards for new vehicles and for other types of off-road engines, such as lawnmowers, generators and boat motors.

Bill C-32 reflects the evolving state of Canada's international environmental commitments. We will be able to step in to require pollution prevention plans to control Canadian sources of international air and water pollution. This legislation also gives us the legal authority to fulfill our obligations under a range of recent international agreements such as those that address hazardous wastes and the import and export of hazardous substances.

Through the bill's legislative process the government has successfully introduced 90 amendments and fully supported 60 other amendments made by the committee. The report stage amendments which I introduced are ones that serve to ensure internal consistency of the bill. They would ensure a proper degree of clarity throughout the act. They would respect existing ministerial responsibility because protecting the environment and the health of Canadians is a shared responsibility.

All of our polling indicates that Canadians care deeply about their environment, about the quality of the air they breath, the water they drink, their land and healthy ecosystems.

Bill C-32 will enhance Canadians' confidence in government oversight, control and protection of their environment and health from the effects of toxic substances. Our children's future security and well-being and our environmental health will be significantly improved with the passage of Bill C-32. In passing this legislation we all can be justly proud of our contributions to an important piece of legacy legislation that we leave as a building block to a cleaner, healthier and safer future.

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

Reform

Rick Casson Reform Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House today to address Bill C-32. We have been working on this bill for an awfully long time. There has been an awful lot of input from the many, many people who came forward. It is nice to see it come to fruition.

The environment issues facing us today are being addressed somewhat in Bill C-32, which deals with pollution control and human health. That encompasses almost every activity that takes place on this planet. Every morning when we get up and take a deep breath we are helping to pollute the air.

Regulation is needed and it has to be done in a balanced way. That is something that we tried to do, to keep that idea of balance.

I would like to ask for unanimous consent to split my time.

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to split his time?

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

There will be two 20-minute segments. The hon. member has 19 minutes remaining.

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

Reform

Rick Casson Reform Lethbridge, AB

There were hours and hours of committee meetings. We heard witnesses from across Canada in all sectors of society. The clause by clause process was excruciating. I believe there were 560 amendments. When the bill came to the House there were an additional 230 amendments. The minister just mentioned how many were supported by the government. Many of the amendments were supported and presented by members of the Reform Party.

All through this debate there have been predictions of dire consequences if we do not toughen up the environmental protection act. To some degree, I suppose, they are right, but I believe that in many instances they go too far. A critical balance between activity and regulation has to exist, because if it gets out of whack either way it is harmful.

The bill gives the government the authority to research 23,000 toxic substances and to clarify what these substances do to mankind, to life in general and how they affect human health. We heard a lot about hormone disrupting substances during this study, as well as endocrine disrupters, gender benders, or whatever we want to call them. Our party supported more research in this area. We really have to know what the effects of these toxic substances are and we need to spend the time to find out.

To confirm problems we have to be able to find out the scope of what is happening when an action is taken and what is the reaction to that action. Canadians want to feel that government is working toward solutions which will improve the environment. That is something which all members of the House tried to work toward in this bill. We did it in our own different realms, but we all had the same focus in mind. That is what Canadians are expecting from us and that is what they should expect. The bottom line is a safer environment and sustainable development.

Getting a little more close to home, last Sunday morning I was able to take a drive out to the country to have a look at my farm and the crops. It is nice to be able to go out in the countryside at this time of year to see what a wonderful country we have. The crops were in. The ground had been tilled. It had rained and it smelled fresh and just looked wonderful.

I must acknowledge that there are many areas in Canada where this has not happened. My colleague, our agriculture critic and many others realize that there are areas in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and other places in Canada where the crops are not in. The ground is too wet and they are still struggling in that regard.

To get to the point where the agricultural community can seed its crops a lot of work needs to be done. The soil has to be worked. Fertilizer has to be applied. In some cases chemicals are applied. In all instances every operation that takes place is very expensive. Chemicals and fertilizer are expensive.

For the best results the right amount must be applied. This is done through soil testing and other methods. I believe this is what needs to be taken into account when we talk about toxic substances. If they are used, if they are needed in manufacture, let us make sure the management of these substances is done properly and there is the minimal amount of exposure to Canadians.

Even in the preparation of the soil it should not be overworked and put into a state where erosion can take place. This is something we have learned over the years. We want to do as little as possible to alter the natural state of our environment. I believe, especially in the agricultural community, we are starting to see the results of science, study, and tremendous work such as that done at the Lethbridge research station. We have started to produce more per acre than we have in years past. Over time the products we are producing will be more environmentally friendly and more useful to mankind.

A lot of care and planning is used, always with the goal in mind of preserving if not improving our environment and producing more and more on the same land base to feed a growing population. This must continue and I am sure it will.

As lawmakers we need to support Canadians by having laws that will assist our agricultural industry, our manufacturers and others to provide food and the necessities of life in a way that Canadians find acceptable and which reduces harm to the environment.

We have always to keep in mind sustainable development, the environment and human health because they have to be considered in any development. As well social and economic aspects have to be taken into account. It is important to take into consideration the impact on society or on the development of a decision.

We must use sound science and research to achieve laws and regulations and we must back them up with enforcement. We have learned through this process, through the environment committee and witnesses, that in some areas our enforcement is in dire need of a tune-up. It is not happening. It is not being done in a way that is congruent or in any planned fashion.

Environment Canada needs to have a look at its resources and direct them to the areas which need the most attention. Departmental review and putting emphasis where the emphasis is needed have to be done on an ongoing basis.

We have done a lot in the House recently, albeit not enough because of the time allocation that has been put forward. Hundreds of hours of committee work have been done. I would suppose it involved millions of dollars in wages, work and support for all the people who appeared before us and the people who work for them. We must keep in mind the expectations of Canadians. We need workable and enforceable regulations.

To be in Canada at this time of year is an absolute treat. We live in a great country, especially in the spring as we see things come to life, as we see wildlife such as the pair of geese with their goslings that I saw the other day, as we see blooming gardens, fruit trees coming around, crops going in, birds coming back and singing in our communities. It is just great.

It is important that we work in an effective manner to preserve the country for generations to come. The member from the NDP says consideration in the aboriginal sense is seven generations. We have to look at how any action that is taken by their people will affect seven subsequent generations. That is a good rule to follow.

I attended a high school graduation on the weekend and saw the excitement, the hopes and the dreams of the class of '99 as it goes out into the world. I reminded the students that they needed to pay attention to the environment.

The education aspect of environmental protection is important. All Canadians have to be aware. I have great hope in future generations. They are very much aware and will do a better job than we and previous generations have done in preserving the environment and making the country a far better place in which to live.

All in all this time of year is very exciting. Canada is one of the most pristine places on earth and we need to work to keep it that way. We have made mistakes in the past and unfortunately we may make mistakes in the future. We have to limit those mistakes and continue to make headway. We have to be sure that we sustain life and human health and develop in a way that accomplishes that. Certainly young people are very concerned about the environment. They are very much aware of it.

Different parties have brought forward different philosophies which sometimes do not lend themselves to full co-operation but allow for debate to be broadened to include how we as Reformers and how other parties feel about the environment. The bottom line is that we appreciate what we have in the country but we need to work very hard to preserve it.

To make sure people understand I would like to indicate that we support sustainable development, which is human activity that combines economic, social and environmental considerations without compromising the well-being of existing and future generations. This is very important. We support the participation of effective local communities in environmental decision making.

We always talk about residual powers in the provincial and municipal governments. They were discussed quite a bit in committee. Who has the ultimate power? We feel that the federal government has to be involved in the environment. We believe constitutional challenges have stated such. However, the provinces, municipalities and all Canadians also have a duty to perform.

We support the rationalization of federal and provincial environmental laws and the development of regional and national environmental standards where appropriate. We also support integration of social, environmental and economic objectives into the management, philosophy, structure, procedures and planning where the federal government has constitutional jurisdiction.

If we take what we believe in and support each party's philosophy and policies, it will go a long way to creating a tremendous environmental protection act.

We support federal leadership for a commitment to sustainable development, including the creation of partnerships with provincial governments, private industry, educational institutions and the public to promote meaningful progress in the area of environmental protection. This is where strong research is involved. We must get everyone involved in getting the facts laid out for Canadians to consider and in bringing government, industry, community groups and municipalities into the fold to come up with the best possible balances.

We also support the principle of establishing and regularly reviewing standards based on sound science which are technically and socio-economically viable.

We also support the removal of administrative and regulatory fiscal practices that discourage or detract from environmental responsibility. I suppose that is coming at it from another way, that all regulations should be looked at from the point of view of their environmental impact and how they will affect the world in general.

We also support the continuing development of commercially viable practices for the management of the environment. We support the development of reasonable endangered species legislation, and I could go on.

In committee and in the House our party has tried to put forward the best balanced approach which we feel will do the most in the end for the protection of the environment.

In conclusion, this will be the last time I will get to address Bill C-32 in debate. I will probably get involved in questions and comments a little later. Going through this act has been an experience I will never forget. Hopefully at the next review there will still be a few of us here.

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Reform Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, basically my colleague has reviewed our party's position. I would like to trace how the Canadian Environmental Protection Act came to be and some of the problems we have had with the bill as it moved through the House.

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act was originally brought to the House in 1988. Part of that legislation, which I think was extremely helpful, indicated that in five years time the bill would come back to the House for review. That is what happened. Unfortunately it has taken about five years to reach today.

In Bill C-74 in the last parliament the government brought forward what it thought was the answer to reviewing CEPA. It brought forward some amendments. There were some flaws in that bill and it never reached the House in its final form. In this parliament the government again brought forward the new Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

In the view of the Reform Party it was a well balanced act. It looked after the needs of Canadians as well as the needs of a healthy environment and the needs of industry. It was a well balanced act which then went to committee.

The problem was the make-up of the committee. If either side of an issue, either the hang them high side or the other side, is loaded in any committee, the result will be skewed legislation. If the fisheries committee is loaded up with a bunch of fishermen there will be a skewed result.

Unfortunately there was not a balance in the environment committee. There were 560 amendments before the committee in an attempt to bring the legislation back to where it was in Bill C-74, which did not pass in the last House. All of us in the House have spent thousands of hours collectively in committee dealing with the bill.

When it came back to the House it was a bill that even the government could not live with. Another 235 amendments were introduced at report stage, with which we dealt yesterday and in the weeks before, to bring the bill back to basically where it was when it was introduced over a year ago. This involved a lot of time and a lot of energy.

This is not a shot at any of the people on the committee, but I think it is a shot at the government. A requirement of committees should be balance right across the board. Whether it is fisheries, justice or environment, the make-up of a committee should be balanced. In my view the environment committee was not balanced, which caused excessive hours of work on the part of all members and staff.

The staff behind the scenes basically spent a year keeping this process going. It was extremely frustrating at times for all of us. I would hope that in the future this could be avoided by having a balance of each committee across the spectrum.

It was unfortunate that yesterday there had to be time allocation on this bill. We were already at the seventh group of motions. We could have had eight. There were only eight groups. Basically it could have gone through. It is unfortunate after all the time we have spent on it that we did not have the opportunity to at least voice our opinions in the House. Then Canadians could have heard the different views and aspects each member had.

When my colleague was talking about the graduation ceremonies, he commented that most Canadians are environmentalists. The younger people are much more environmentally friendly and environmentally conscious than my generation. This is healthy.

We have a grand country. We need to look after it. This bill does that. Three of the five parties in the House will support the bill this evening I believe. It is a bill that in my mind hits the balance. I know others will say that it is not a balance. We can have a vibrant and healthy environment and a vibrant and healthy economy. They are not independent. They can be together. That is what this bill does.

In conclusion, we will support the bill this evening. It has taken a long time to get here. As I said at the beginning, one of the strong points of the last bill was that it came back to the House. This bill will also come back to the House in seven years. There will be an opportunity to refine it and to move it along so that it remains timely and current.

The member for Davenport has initiated a very timely review on pesticides. Part of the problem is we are dealing with pesticides that were registered 30 years ago and are out of date. By coming back to the House in seven years the bill will move with the times. It will be current.

We support the bill. We look forward to seeing its passage through the Senate and becoming law.

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Bloc

Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to seek unanimous consent of the House to split my time with the hon. member for Louis-Hébert.

Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Does the House give its consent for the hon. member for Jonquière to divide her time?