Mr. Speaker, I have been reading over the bill and I think the minister has good intentions in trying to protect the environment. I sincerely hope the parliamentary secretary will bring the minister up to speed on some of the things I have said here today.
We can have all the good intentions we want with respect to the bill, but if we do not have the enforcement capability to protect the environment in the way it should be protected the bill is simply of no use whatsoever.
I am glad the hon. member has given me the opportunity to hammer home the point. Prior to the minister introducing the bill in the House of Commons, the Minister of National Defence, only a few weeks ago, cut back on Aurora aircraft surveillance in Atlantic Canada.
We have many instances where ocean going tankers are blowing their bilges at sea. We do not have the ability to catch them in the act. Therefore it is very difficult to convict them in a court of law.
We should have that ability. It should be a fairly easy thing for us to do. I know we have hundreds of thousands of miles of coastline. If we cut back on our ability to catch polluters that are blowing their bilges at sea and are causing all kinds of difficulties for seabirds and water fowl of every kind, we would essentially have an act that does not have the necessary teeth to enforce these laws.
I sincerely hope the Minister of Transport and the Minister of National Defence will be able to come together and get some kind of co-operation going between the two departments to allow us to catch these people. What is a good act if it cannot be enforced?