House of Commons Hansard #62 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.


Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Government Orders

1:25 p.m.


Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Churchill. It is a pleasure to rise today to speak to Bill C-19, an act to amend the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, at second reading. For the record, the New Democratic Party will be opposing the bill and will be voting against it at second reading.

Currently the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act does not go far enough to protect our environment. The changes proposed in Bill C-19, unfortunately, would only further weaken the legislation. The bill is an attempt to streamline and speed up the environmental assessment and review process to benefit developers and industry instead of protecting the environment.

This enactment would implement the results of the statutory review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act conducted by the Minister of the Environment. It would establish a federal environmental assessment co-ordinator for projects that undergo screening or comprehensive study level assessments. It would modify the comprehensive study process to prevent a second environmental assessment of a project by a review panel while extending the participant funding program to comprehensive studies.

This enactment would expand existing regulations, making authority for projects on federal lands, provide the new use for class screening reports as a replacement for project specific assessments and makes follow up programs mandatory for projects after a comprehensive study or review panel. These amendments would provide Canadians with access to information about the environmental assessment of a specific project.

This enactment would create the Canadian environmental assessment registry. It would require that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency establish and lead a quality assurance program, promote and monitor compliance and assist relevant parties in building consensus and resolving disputes.

New Democrats believe that we need measures to strengthen and improve safeguards to protect the environment and this bill unfortunately does not go nearly far enough.

Canadians are increasingly concerned about the state of the environment in their communities and around the globe. They worry about the quality of the air they breathe and the safety of the water they drink. They are deeply concerned about the kind of ecological legacy they will be leaving their children.

The question is: What kind of measures are we talking about? At the present time outside the House of Commons we have a demonstrator from the Sierra Club, Elizabeth May, who is on her 14th day of a hunger strike. She is trying to force the federal government into taking action on the environmental travesty at the Sydney tar ponds. She wants to force the government to permanently relocate the many people who are living in the area directly around the tar ponds who have experienced colossal health problems for decades because of the pollution in their environment. This is a very concrete example of a measure that the government could take right now to ensure the environmental and health safety of many Canadian citizens.

Another very important measure in my mind is the Halifax harbour clean up. I come from a community that has been dumping raw sewage into the harbour for many decades. The only benefit is that we have ocean currents that continue to move the sewage around at quite a pace, but we have a huge job ahead of us.

The Halifax regional municipality has worked very hard to get both the provincial and the federal government on side to work on that essential infrastructure project. Something of that size has to be done on a three way split. Each level of government has to be involved because of the cost and the scope of the project. At this point in time the federal government is nowhere near offering the kind of money that is required from its side of the equation. That is another measure the government could take right now.

Clearly it is time that Canada implement comprehensive, enforceable and understandable standards for water and air quality and food safety. The government should be investing in services that clean up the water and the air, stimulate green investment and expand public transit. It should also take action to make work places safer. The government's record on the environment is a litany of neglect, delay and broken promises.

The NDP believes that we should protect the environment in some very specific ways. I will put forward suggestions for the government to take into account when it is doing further work on the act. We need to assert a strong federal presence in both environmental monitoring and regulatory enforcement. We need to implement comprehensive, enforceable and understandable standards for water and air quality and food safety. We need to develop and implement a national water strategy including development of national safe drinking water standards and a ban on bulk water exports.

It is time we institute agreements that give environmental protection precedence over trade agreements in transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and other environmentally dangerous goods. We need to ensure that a green screen integrates environmental criteria into all federal government decision making.

It is time we implement endangered species and habitat protection legislation developed in co-operation with other governments, affected communities and labour, making use of traditional aboriginal knowledge and vesting identification of species at risk with independent scientists.

We need to expand marine protected areas and the national parks system and protect the parks system from commercial development that threatens its integrity. We need to introduce tough punishment for polluters including criminal charges for corporate owners, directors and managers that break the law. We need to develop the environmental bill of rights to ensure the legally enforceable right of all Canadians to a safe and healthy environment.

In conclusion, I repeat that we will be opposing the bill. We will be voting against it at second reading. We believe that the environmental assessment act does not go nearly far enough. It needs to be strengthened. We need the federal government to invest and commit immediately and generously to an environmental cleanup that will protect our children for generations to come.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.


Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to emphasize, as the hon. member for Dartmouth mentioned, that the New Democratic Party is opposed to the bill and intends to vote against it. Hopefully there can be some improvements to the bill somewhere along the line, even though it is becoming clearer to most of us that the Liberal government does not follow through on its talk of being there to protect the environment and to do what is best for Canada. I doubt we will see those changes and certainly there need to be changes.

To follow on what my hon. colleague said, public services like clean water, effective waste disposal, diversion, good roads and accessible public transit are essential to strong, healthy communities. By the 1990s Canada was investing just 2.1% of its gross domestic product in public infrastructure. That was about half of what was spent throughout the 1960s and 1970s. We have had two decades of neglect. This has meant poorer public services resulting in major problems like poor water quality, pollution, and a $75 billion deficit in municipal and environmental infrastructure.

No one group has suffered more from the neglect than Canada's first nations people. We heard of the situations with water in Walkerton and North Battleford. There was little emphasis on the number of first nations communities that have boil water mandates in place on an ongoing basis. Many Canadians do not know that although there were standards in place for water treatment in communities throughout Canada, the government and the first nations communities never bypassed the bare minimum standard for anything in first nations communities. Whether it be water, sewer or housing, bar none the bare minimum standard was met. We know what happens when only the bare minimum standard is met. That is exactly what they get. As a result, with little money going into the infrastructure we have seen even greater problems in those communities.

The occurrences of stomach and gastrointestinal problems that we hear about in non-aboriginal communities are ongoing issues in first nation communities. They struggle and fight with the government to put in place ongoing funding for these programs so they do not have to go to the government. I hate to say it, but often immediately before an election the government says it will do something and then right after the election we see many communities having to go on bended knees begging the government for what should be rightfully theirs in the first place, which is quality water and sewer infrastructure and quality housing.

Ecologists warn that without major new investment and a national approach to water quality, access to freshwater will soon become Canada's worst environmental crisis. Significant public and private investments are also needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency and cut back the release of waste into the environment.

Too many corporations have opposed efforts to deal with these pressing issues. The Liberals have listened to corporate Canada, ignoring the fact that no economy or society can exist independently of the environment. The Liberals have made no progress in developing a sustainable economy for Canadians.

We know the Liberals have listened to corporate Canada. We also know and fear the fact that our Prime Minister is now listening to the American president and vice-president saying they want more energy resources from Canada instead of the U.S. addressing its problems of overconsumption, greed and misusing energy when it should be putting into place conservation processes. We see our government buckling under to the U.S.

We all wants jobs and economic prosperity, but we also want to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. With leadership from the federal government working families can have both environmental and economic security. New Democrats believe Canada needs a new commitment to rebuilding our publicly owned and operated infrastructure.

The NDP has called for a multi-year national environmental infrastructure investment program to channel investment into pressing environmental concerns like water and air quality, toxic waste disposal, energy efficiency and the clean up of environmental hot spots.

A national environmental investment and infrastructure program could be used for the set up of a clean water fund to upgrade municipal water and waste water treatment plants to improve water quality, water conservation and effluent management. We cannot have another Walkerton.

We could clean up toxic hot spots like the Sydney tar ponds and the sites of the Great Lakes. I know my colleague mentioned this as well, but a number of colleagues from that area of the country over the past three or four years have constantly pushed and fought for the clean up of the Sydney tar ponds. This has made me realize just how terrible are the Sydney tar ponds. When hearing about it on a daily basis and getting all the background on it, we realize that this is a government-company sponsored environmental wasteland with no serious effort to clean it up.

The sad part is there is real concern it cannot even be cleaned up now. The least we should be doing is getting the people whose health is at risk out of that area. That is why Elizabeth May has been on a hunger strike for the past two weeks. The government has failed to address the issue of getting those families out of there. Instead it puts their health at risk.

The national environmental investment infrastructure program could renew efforts to achieve short term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the wake of the Liberals' abandonment of commitments it made at Kyoto, Japan, in 1997.

We could set up a clean air fund to back community based initiatives that reconcile job creation with the challenge posted by climate change. The fund would be used for tree planting, alternative energy and transition programs for workers displaced by actions taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We could support expansion and encourage greater use of public transit. We could put mandatory limits on sulphur content in gasoline.

We could change the federal tax system to ensure that tax policies encourage a more sustainable economy. Taxes should be reduced on sustainable activities, particularly those that involve a greater investment in labour and an increase in non-sustainable activities.

We could create a jobs fund to provide loan security for the cost of retrofitting residential, commercial and industrial buildings to meet higher standards of energy efficiency and make greater use of energy from alternative sources, resulting in reduced greenhouse emissions and lower costs. We could improve recycling, composting and recovery systems to improve the diversion of household and commercial industrial waste.

This fund could encourage dynamic environmental industries and the development of new environmental technology. We could invest as a partner in integrated and co-ordinated affordable public transit and commuter rail service in and around major urban centres. This would be part of a national transportation strategy.

Often we are criticized as New Democrats for thinking about the environment too much, for not considering the cost. I say we can never think about the environment too much. We can never put too much into the environment.

We have shown today that the cost savings are there. This is an economical opportunity for Canada. It is an opportunity for jobs, but even more so it is an opportunity to continue having the country we have now with a relatively decent environment and relatively clean air. We have some bad spots, but we have a country of which to be proud, a country to which people from all over the world want to come.

A young woman from Mexico attending university in Ottawa commented to me that it was nice to have her children go outside and play and not have to worry about their health because of the air. We have a clean environment to offer people of the world. Let us continue to offer it to them by making sure that we protect it. Let us fix the legislation and toughen it up instead of watering it down like the Liberals have done.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Government Orders

1:40 p.m.


Wendy Lill Dartmouth, NS

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the member for Churchill on her excellent speech and the suggestions she made. I want to ask her a question about aboriginal people and the quality of their environment.

Over 20 years ago I was living in Kenora, Ontario, where two reserves, White Dog and Grassy Narrow, were tragically affected by mercury poison in the Grassy River system. The irony is that we see pristine wilderness that is completely polluted by external forces, by pulp and paper mills or by other industries such as mining.

How would the member for Churchill tackle that problem in her area, which is certainly a home to many native communities?

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Government Orders

1:40 p.m.


Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to respond. Within the Churchill riding in Manitoba I actually have more than half the first nations in Manitoba. I have been to all 31 of their communities. Over my years living in northern Manitoba I knew many of the problems those communities faced. As their member of parliament I have had the opportunity to view firsthand the situations they live in.

We often hear members of the House criticize why first nations live in such conditions. The people in those communities do not want to live like that. That was not the bargain they made with the Government of Canada when they made a decision to share the land and in return receive certain benefits from the government.

They do not get specific funding to ensure that they have water and sewer services in every house. They do not get specific funding to ensure that they will have fire hydrants in their communities. The amount of funding for housing for all first nation members is so limited that we see literally a third of their populations leaving their communities because they do not have houses to live in.

Although we will hear great criticism of why first nations people live like they do, the criticism should be directed at the governments of Canada which over past number of years have not sufficiently supported first nations people.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rick Casson Lethbridge, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the member. I know she has close ties to the aboriginal community and environmental issues. She mentioned the Sydney tar ponds. I had an opportunity to view that disgraceful mess and I would sure like to see something started there to clean it up and get the people living nearby who have been exposed to it away from it.

Is the member aware of anything the government has done in the last few years to clean up some of the messes that were left in northern Canada by military bases, air force bases, the DEW line and things like that? I know that some were pretty bad. Could she comment on what has happened in that area?

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.


Bev Desjarlais Churchill, MB

Mr. Speaker, I actually recall questions in the House that were specifically on the issue the hon. member asks about.

If we were listening to the answers from the government we would say yes, there was a commitment that it would clean up these areas. My understanding is that very few of those areas have been cleaned up.

To go back to the situation in first nations communities, there were diesel powered generators in a lot of the communities for the nursing stations and schools. Over the years there were huge diesel spills in those areas that affected the health of the first nations people. In some cases schools or nursing stations were moved. In other cases they were not. In most cases areas affected by diesel spills were not cleaned up. The hazards are still within the first nations communities. There are affected communities in my riding. They are attempting to continue their fight with the federal government to get it to pay for the cleanups.

Certainly the federal government has not been strong in following through on its comments about cleaning up its environmental messes.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

John Herron Fundy Royal, NB

Mr. Speaker, as opposed to the proverbial comment we hear in the House that it is a pleasure to participate in such a debate on Bill C-19, I might actually say that every time I have had an opportunity to speak on issues pertaining to the environment I usually preface my comments by saying that it is with great sadness that I have a chance to participate in the debate.

What I am referring to is Bill C-19, which is the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. It was first brought forth as a very progressive piece of legislation by the Conservatives in June 1992 when the Progressive Conservative Party was in government. Those governments have been described by individuals such as Elizabeth May of the Sierra Club, who is outside fighting the environmental degradation at the Sydney tar ponds, in this way: the Conservative governments were the most environmentally progressive governments in the industrialized world.

The Conservatives actually developed the omnibus bill on the control and use of toxins in the environment, known as the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. It was a Progressive Conservative government that led the international community in 1987 with respect to developing a protocol known as the Montreal protocol. That challenged the industrialized world to eliminate or drastically reduce ozone depleting gases.

During that same era, Mr. Speaker, I am sure you will recall that the prime minister and the minister of environment of the day, Jean J. Charest, led a delegation in which Canada was a world leader by bringing the world together with respect to climate change and biodiversity. In contrast we now have a government that has been in office for nearly eight years and has yet to pass a single piece of environmental legislation of note. That is the record.

These are not just my comments. I can even refer to Stewart Elgie, who is the executive director of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund. These are his words, not just mine.

What we are looking at is a mandatory review, which was put in place by the Progressive Conservative government in 1992 in the first piece of legislation and which shows the understanding that what we do today with respect to environmental management will be drastically different in the very near future. That is why it is incumbent upon the government to review legislation of this sort.

In addition to this initiative, we should be doing what the minister of the day, Lucien Bouchard, said in 1990. He found three legislative gaps with respect to the environment. First, Canada essentially has a pesticide act that is over 30 years old. Second, we really do not have a framework to establish legislation to ensure safe drinking water in Canada. Last, at the time he was advocating that we have legislation in place to protect species at risk.

Here we are a decade later, after eight years of Liberal government, still waiting for those three initiatives to be brought forth to the Canadian public. However we do have some housekeeping, in that the minister has tabled in a timely manner the mandatory review of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. According to the minister's press release, the purpose of the act is essentially tenfold. I will list the ten points very briefly.

One purpose is to focus the act on projects with a greater likelihood of adverse environmental effects as opposed to having only broad screenings of issues that have less or a minor impact and could be managed more effectively and exclusively by the provinces. The Progressive Conservative Party has a proud tradition of being respectful of jurisdictional issues with respect to the provincial governments and the federal government. That is why we support the idea of harmonization, not to the lowest common denominator but to ensure that this is done in the most cost effective, time effective and environmentally effective manner possible.

On this list with respect to this new review the minister advocates: improving co-ordination among federal departments and agencies when several are involved in the same assessment, which I think is a good initiative; reaffirming and enhancing co-operation with other governments in conducting environmental assessments where jurisdictional overlaps and duplications occur, which the Progressive Conservative Party indeed embraces; and increasing certainty in the process in order to reduce the potential for project delays and cost increases. Industry will play by the rules. We can develop faster and that will help our economy grow, but industry and the provincial governments that want to take initiatives of this sort have to know what the rules are. The certainty in reducing overlap and duplication is a key component.

In the bill the minister advocates strengthening the role of follow-ups to ensure that sound environmental protection measures are in place for the project as well as improving consideration of what the cumulative effects of the project might be. One project on its own may not have an impact that would significantly degrade the environment in any way, shape or form, but the cumulative effect may come into play.

The eighth point the minister advocates is that of providing convenient and timely access to reports and other information about assessments. As well, he advocates strengthening the incorporation of aboriginal perspectives in the federal process, an initiative I strongly applaud, along with expanding public participation.

The House may be aware that within the last year a task force led by the federal government was struck to study issues with respect to environmental assessment. A myriad of items was tabled in that report. The sad thing is that in going through the legislation at first blush it seems that only a few were acted on in this revision of the act. When this gets to committee the Progressive Conservative Party wants to ensure that we have a full vetting of the committee's report. It is a report that I have not gone through in any detail, but through our research we have discovered that only a couple of the items were touched upon.

Here we are dealing with a mandatory review of a piece of legislation which the government is compelled to actually perform. We will do our process, but what Canadians want is environmental leadership across the board. As the former minister of the environment, Lucien Bouchard, said in 1990, we need new pesticide legislation. It is 30 years old. The Minister of Health said he would table it quite soon. I remember Claire Franklin, the executive director of the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, saying that framework legislation or draft legislation has essentially been in place for three years. Yet the government has not acted and does not table the legislation.

We are still waiting for a species at risk bill that will work. The Progressive Conservative Party will not support that piece of legislation for four reasons, primarily because it does not include migratory birds and it still contains the belief that politicians rather than scientists are a better fit to determine whether or not a species is at risk. It is also extremely intrusive in one regard, and very hypocritical, I might add. The species at risk legislation says that it has the capacity to force a private landowner to engage in recovery plans and the capacity to force a province to participate, but it is permissive with respect to habitat protection within its own backyard, on federal land. We will have a chance to address that bill later on.

We are a long way from being able to give a definitive answer about whether we will support this legislation in its compulsory review. We will let the committee do its job, but ultimately the Government of Canada should take up the myriad of recommendations made by the task force that studied this issue. We will do our work in committee.

Canadian Executive Services Organization
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Brenda Chamberlain Guelph—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend the outstanding efforts of two of my constituents who have recently returned from working overseas for the Canadian Executive Services Organization.

Mr. Don Stockton went to Bangkok to advise a manufacturer of flour and starch on techniques to improve production. Don developed a repairs and maintenance system and advised the company on warehousing and small packaging programs.

Another Guelphite, Mr. John Van Esch, went to Guatemala City to suggest quality and productivity improvements for a company that produces dairy products. Among other things, John advised the company on a new formula for yogourt production and added a new flavour. The company reports that the new coffee yogourt is a real hit.

Mr. Stockton and Mr. Van Esch are just two examples of the good people we have in Guelph—Wellington doing fine things both in the community and across the world.

Census Day
Statements By Members

May 15th, 2001 / 1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Dave Chatters Athabasca, AB

Mr. Speaker, have you mailed in your census form yet? I certainly hope so, because today is Census Day and according to the government everyone should be mailing in their forms today.

The problem as I see it is that there are large numbers of people who are very uncomfortable with the current census form and some of the questions that are asked.

I find it difficult to explain to my constituents why the government needs to know the answers to questions such as what religion they practise. It seems to me that we split church and state quite a few years ago. Other questions that have raised eyebrows include who pays the rent, how many bedrooms are in a person's home and are any repairs needed.

The government insists that our census information is absolutely private and will not be accessed by anyone other than census officials, except maybe for HRDC officials who in the past used census information to put together a list on every Canadian in the country.

By all means, Canadians should mail in their census. They just should not be too surprised if the tax collector happens to know whether a husband and wife sleep in the same bed.

Insectarium De Montréal
Statements By Members

2 p.m.


Bernard Patry Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Insectarium de Montréal, which opened in 1990, is the largest museum in North America that is wholly devoted to insects.

It houses a prestigious collection of 160,000 specimens from every part of the world. In summer, there is an outdoor flight cage containing the most beautiful of Quebec's butterflies.

Every year, the Insectarium receives 400,000 visitors. Its educational programs add to the knowledge of thousands of young people about insects.

The quality of its live insect colonies and its innovative approach to museology have made the Insectarium de Montréal a model for numerous other projects throughout the world, including China, Taiwan, the United States, France and Brazil.

Until September 2, thanks to a contribution from the Millennium Bureau of Canada, the Insectarium will be presenting “Mad about Research”, an interactive exhibit on the work of entomological researchers.

Take my word for it, it is an enchanting experience to discover the world of insects under the competent and professional guidance of the Insectarium staff.

Bravo, and thank you, to all those who are involved day in and day out in this endeavour.

Breast Cancer
Statements By Members

2 p.m.


Carolyn Parrish Mississauga Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Cure Foundation is today holding its annual national denim day to raise money for breast cancer research.

This one day event asks employees across Canada to come to work dressed in jeans and to donate $5 to the fight against breast cancer.

The Cure Foundation works in tandem with health professionals, other foundations and Canadian teaching hospitals to improve breast cancer outcomes. The most frequently diagnosed cancer in 2001 will continue to be breast cancer for women. Added to that, there is a little known but lethal statistic that shows 3% of all breast cancers occur in males. By the time it is diagnosed the cancer is well on its way to killing the patient.

Health Canada is committed to improving these results and actively participates through funding for research. Funding is aimed at prevention, early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer, as well as treatment and care for those living with the disease.

Please join me in extending my best wishes for a successful national denim day.

Riding Of Québec East
Statements By Members

2 p.m.


Jean Guy Carignan Québec East, QC

Mr. Speaker, in my maiden speech in this House I referred to the historical nature of my riding and to the fact that it had been represented by Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Ernest Lapointe, Louis St-Laurent and Gérard Duquet.

I also pledged to do my best to follow in the footsteps of these great builders in representing my constituents in a worthy manner.

Today I would like to inform the House that a hundred or so of those same Quebecers, these same Canadian men and women, have travelled to their national capital to salute their Prime Minister and to show support for their government and their MP.

In so doing, they are demonstrating their profound attachment to their country and to their fellow citizens, and to the Canadian values of tolerance, personal freedom, equality, justice and the institutions that symbolize our democracy.

I wish all those who have come here from the beautiful riding of Québec East a wonderful day in the national capital.

Firearms Registry
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government's gun control bill will cost $1 billion before it is fully implemented. It may cost an additional $1 billion to operate it over the next 10 years. This is $2 billion that should be spent on the real priorities of Canadians, such as health care and our farmers who are facing disaster because of foreign subsidies, drought and flood in my own province.

Canada's privacy commissioner, George Radwinski, has confirmed that information collected under this law has led to investigations based on unsubstantiated hearsay and incorrect information.

Sixty per cent of gun owners in some provinces are ignoring the law and have not applied for possession licences.

It is obvious that the Liberal's wrongheaded attempts at gun control are enormously expensive, do not help the police reduce crime and are not accepted by Canadians.

My constituents did not want Liberal gun control when it was forced through the House. They used their vote to show they did not want it in 1997 and in 2000, and they still do not want it today. The Liberals should finally start listening to Canadians.

Qikitani Inuit Association
Statements By Members

2 p.m.


Nancy Karetak-Lindell Nunavut, NU

Mr. Speaker, this week the board of directors of the Qikitani Inuit Association of Baffin Island are in Ottawa for board training and meetings.

I am pleased they could be here.

The Qikitani Inuit Association is one of three regional Inuit organizations in Nunavut. As its mission statement says, the role of QIA is “to safeguard, administer and advance the rights and benefits of the Inuit of the Baffin region; to promote the Inuit language and traditions; Inuit environmental values, as well as Inuit self-sufficiency, economic, social and cultural well-being through succeeding generations; all in an open and accountable forum”.

I invite my colleagues to meet with the board members at the reception I am co-hosting with the president at 5 p.m. in the Wellington Building and enjoy Inuit hospitality.

National Marine Day
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Antoine Dubé Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Mr. Speaker, today, representatives of the main components of the shipping industry—pilots, carriers, shippers, port managers and shipbuilders—are here in Ottawa to draw attention to the second National Marine Day. This event is intended to raise the profile of the important economic and social roles of the marine sector.

Last year, the marine industry carried nearly 400 million tonnes of goods, representing $80 billion, and 50 million people.

With the federal government opting out, the marine community was able to count on the Bloc Quebecois to bring the government to its senses in the business of ice breaking, and it knows the Bloc will rise up again against unreasonable fees for aids to navigation.

I encourage all my parliamentary colleagues to listen carefully to the various shipping stakeholders here today so we may one day have a real integrated shipping policy.