House of Commons Hansard #57 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.


SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Howard Hilstrom Canadian Alliance Selkirk—Interlake, MB

Mr. Speaker, I take the comments with a grain of salt. Members of the military did training exercises in my area before they went to Bosnia. They had a portable water treatment system. They went to the sewage lagoons at one of our local towns and pumped the water out of the sewage lagoon into that system, and out came potable water. I do not buy into that statement that Canadians can wait for studies, government bureaucracy, cost effectiveness or technology. We cannot wait for that.

The systems available now are state of the art, but municipalities cannot afford them. We need a commitment from the federal government for money for basic water system infrastructure. As well, as far as roads are concerned there is no special engineering need for roads. They are a disaster across the country. We need infrastructure money for our municipalities, our cities and our towns.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.


Jerry Pickard Liberal Chatham-Kent—Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, I could agree with my colleague across the way if we had to sit back and wait. However, I also believe that many municipalities have looked very carefully at problems if they have had problems. They have had people working at it.

I mentioned my union system. I was shocked. The administrator for the municipality of Leamington chaired a committee to look at what needed to be done with that system and at what corrections needed to be made. The committee made certain suggestions within technology. Chlorination was one of the recommendations, not only at the source where they are pumping water out but in different areas in the municipality, where they do injections of chlorination in order to resolve the problems in the system.

I believe each system has specific problems in specific areas, which we must deal with. As a result, I would suggest that every municipality has its own area to struggle with and work with. I am not saying it is a blanket, but it is something that has to be dealt with system by system by system.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth Canadian Alliance New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time. The motion before us, including the amendment, would read:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should act immediately with the provinces and territories respecting their jurisdiction, to ensure enforceable national drinking water standards that would be enshrined in a Safe Water Act.

I support this motion, for certainly clean drinking water is a trust for basic public safety and standards must be ensured across Canada. Due to local jurisdiction, there must be a national will for co-operation. All must work together with the provinces and the municipalities in setting standards.

We must engage in a full assessment of Canada's domestic consumer water supply, the state of municipal infrastructure, source water protection and land use planning.

Sadly, the misplaced priorities of poor Liberal management are revealed again. Money targeted for infrastructure goes to golf courses rather than water safety. Other bad spending happens when essentials are ignored, such as the HRDC boondoggle and in other ways.

The water is polluted because we pollute it. Standards will not solve the problems in themselves: water, water, everywhere and some not fit to drink.

Although water quality is a provincial responsibility, municipalities operate water treatment plants and have direct contact with the customer. This is why the Federation of Canadian Municipalities may ask the federal government to help establish mandatory national drinking water quality standards.

It could require a constitutional challenge and an act of parliament to enable the federal government to apply enforceable standards nationwide. Overall unfortunately, many provinces do not give sufficient support to municipalities for local water systems.

We are not calling for the federal government to assume all responsibility for water standards. The first step is to have provincial and territorial governments legislate guidelines for drinking water and include enforcement and mandatory testing. Until provinces take positive action, we can expect more needless deaths from drinking water.

However, there is a federal role.

In the case of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, how could it possibly be that a modern city in an industrialized country builds a water treatment plant's river intake downstream of its sewage treatment discharge?

Moreover, this incident would not have occurred if we had the political will to insist on tertiary sewage treatment. How can we possibly find it acceptable to be discharging dangerous sewage into waterways given the obvious environmental and water crises that the world is heading toward? The days of dilution being the solution for pollution are long gone.

Canadians who enjoy a high standard of living need to wake up to environmental reality and demand that more of their earnings of today go to preventing disaster in the future. Every province should be implementing tertiary wastewater treatment policies and zero toxic industrial discharge.

Water is without a doubt the single most important natural resource of Canada. We must protect it. Water is supplied as part of municipal services, yet when there is a drinking water crisis people are advised to boil their water or use bottled water. No one seems to even want to notice that the bottled water comes from private companies. Private citizens and government officials apparently trust the quality of privately supplied bottled water and then rally against privatizing the nations supply of tap water. What we do not pay much for directly, we do not value or protect.

The public health crisis in North Battleford shows signs of easing, but questions about who to blame are getting louder. In a city with a drinking water intake downstream from a sewage treatment plant outflow and dozens of residents sickened by waterborne parasites, there could be plenty of blame to go around. Three deaths have been linked to the cryptosporidium outbreak in the city of 14,000. The number of confirmed infections is expected to rise as lab results come in. Reports from doctors and emergency room staff suggest that the outbreak is stabilizing, as health officials said on the weekend.

It is clear that the provincial environment department, Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management, has been worried about the city's water system since late summer last year, but it took no immediate action. As well, the city said it complied with the provincial guidelines in its water operations. However, in September the city issued a drinking water advisory because of bacteria in one section of its distribution system.

The city has already acted on some of the recommendations, including some improvements to the water treatment facility, but some findings were a surprise. One surprise was that the sewage treatment plant was operating over capacity. The North Battleford sewage plant is two kilometres upstream from a drinking water plant built in the 1950s that draws water for part of the city from the North Saskatchewan River. The plant was built by a nearby psychiatric hospital to provide for its own needs after the sewage plant was in place and was eventually sold to the city.

However, if the plant is properly run and operated it should be able to deal with any effluent that may be discharged upstream. The city plans to build a new sewage treatment plant, but it will not be in place until 2003 without any financial assistance from the provincial and federal governments to speed up the schedule.

Gerhard Benade, the medical health officer for the Battlefords Health District, faced questions on the weekend about his apparent delay in acting on a warning about a possible outbreak. A local physician, Geoffrey Lipsett, said that he called Dr. Benade at home on the evening of April 12, just ahead of the Easter long weekend, after one of his patients tested positive for the parasite and the patient's family began displaying similar symptoms.

Dr. Lipsett said that he began to think the problem was more widespread when he discovered that a local pharmacy kept running out of diarrhea medicine. “It suddenly clicked” he said. “I told him I think we might have a problem”.

Regional health authorities did not launch a full investigation until April 17, the Tuesday after Easter, when they began checking local hospital records for evidence of other cases. A boil water advisory was issued on April 25 and hardened to a boil water order on April 27. “It was not possible over the Easter weekend to get all the emergency room statistics” said Dr. Benade.

He said there are typically between two and five isolated cases of cryptosporidiosis each year. “We investigate every single case” he said. “You can't issue an advisory based on a single case. A single case of cryptosporidium is not a public health crisis”. Dr. Lipsett agreed that his case did not necessarily indicate an outbreak “but that, plus the selling out of the diarrhea medicine, is what made it click in my head” he said.

The motion calls for the public to be informed of results that fall below federal guidelines. Fear that contaminated water is flowing from Canada's faucets has brought calls for national standards and the vote in the Commons should draw attention to this priority. Right now there is no legal requirement to inform the public whether the water is safe or not, even if there is a test that actually says the contrary. I do not think Canadians would think that is responsible leadership.

Key to the motion is a requirement that municipalities inform the public as quickly as possible of any test results that do not comply with the water quality guidelines issued by Health Canada.

Three people in North Battleford, Saskatchewan have died this spring during an outbreak of cryptosporidium, a parasite from manure that invaded the city's water supply. Last spring, a virulent strain of E. coli bacteria killed seven people and made thousands seriously ill in Walkerton, Ontario. Water warnings have been issued in every province in the past year.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is to call on Ottawa later this month to endorse national standards on drinking water that could see repeat polluters fined or even jailed.

Freshwater is a scarce resource, even where it seems plentiful. The issue is as much about water quantity as quality. We need to focus on managing our excessive demands for this scarce resource first before we run off to look for more supply. We must consider water as a resource in its full cycle, not just when it is supplied to us from nature, fresh and free of charge. Clean and usable water is not free and we will get what we pay for.

More infrastructure will mean more costly supply lines to extend our gluttonous demands even further. Stricter standards to mandate cleaner water will set even more obstacles in the path of the recovery and reuse of wastewater. Throwing more subsidies at the problem will further insulate consumers and corporations from the real costs of the present excessive demand.

We need to look at the health of whole watersheds and what is regionally going into the water table for wells. It is a lifestyle choice. It is municipal land zoning use. Pollution is deficit spending, wherein we all pay. National standards would help reduce the shifting of costs and would create a level playing field that all must live up to with significant preventive investments.

I support the motion today.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Inky Mark Canadian Alliance Dauphin—Swan River, MB

Mr. Speaker, in the document entitled “Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality”, dated April 1999 and prepared by the federal-provincial subcommittee on drinking water, the process was described in this way: it must be stressed that the development of Canadian drinking water guidelines relies on a flexible process that must accommodate the diversities of various jurisdictions.

My question to the hon. member is this: if this is the case, is it possible for the government to come up with one set of guidelines for the country?

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth Canadian Alliance New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, we have all heard of the phrase the race to the bottom. There is a role for general standards across the country, but of course the various methods of technology for providing clean and safe water must be flexible at the lower levels.

In the greater Vancouver area, the regional district supplies drinking water in a somewhat sophisticated system from protected watersheds, but it is not the same on the prairies or in other places. Certainly there must be an accommodation of local flexibility and a co-operation among all levels of government, but there is a role for the federal government in eliminating the race to the bottom or those who would not make sufficient investments. We need some national standards.

National Nursing WeekStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.


Judy Sgro Liberal York West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to stand today to applaud the nurses of our communities and our country on National Nursing Week.

Nurses deal with difficult circumstances daily, both emotionally and physically, as frontline medical staff. Their jobs are tremendously challenging and they face many difficulties every day. Our nurses are our everyday heroes.

I would like to pay a special tribute to the nurses of Humber River Regional Hospital in York West for the wonderful job they do, and especially to Cathy, my daughter, an emergency nurse at Humber Hospital.

I wish to say God bless all of them, and on behalf of the constituents of York West, I wish to express our thanks.

HighwaysStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Abbott Canadian Alliance Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday I attended the 10th anniversary Traffic Safety Conference in my constituency in Golden, B.C.

While 95% of traffic accidents are caused by drivers, national statistics prove that divided highways reduce accidents and save lives.

The cost of building highways in my constituency is absolutely gigantic. A $5 million project in the Kicking Horse Canyon will construct only 200 metres of the highway.

The Trans-Canada Highway between Salmon Arm and the Alberta border, with a traffic count of over 15 million, saw 150 fatalities. In the same period the Coquihalla highway, with 25 million, had only 66. These statistics unfortunately will be proven again during the upcoming Victoria Day holiday weekend.

The transport minister knows full well that the federal government contribution to national highways is inadequate. The question is this: what is it going to take to get this government to recognize it has a responsibility to ensure the upgrade of the Trans-Canada Highway? This is literally a life or death situation.

Allergy-Asthma Awareness MonthStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Jeannot Castonguay Liberal Madawaska—Restigouche, NB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform the House and all Canadians that the month of May has been declared “Allergy-Asthma Awareness Month”.

More than six million Canadians suffer from allergies or asthma. In many cases, their conditions can be life threatening.

The Allergy/Asthma Information Association helps people with allergies and asthma cope with their symptoms and improve their quality of life. It provides educational services as well as support to people with allergies and asthma and their families. Thus far in 2001, this volunteer health organization has been flooded with inquiries from all over the country.

Congratulations to the members of the Allergy/Asthma Information Association on their accomplishments, and best wishes for a successful Allergy-Asthma Awareness Month.

National Forest WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Ben Serré Liberal Timiskaming—Cochrane, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year we celebrate National Forest Week from May 6 to 12. Canada is richly endowed with 10% of the world's temperate and boreal forests.

A successful future depends on the sustainability of these forests. We are protecting the world's forest resources by using sources that can be replenished for our lumber and wood products.

Moreover, by moving into the value added wood products market, Canadians continue to benefit from the resource and maintain employment opportunities at home.

At this point in time, the forestry companies are engaged in consultations with aboriginal and environmental organizations with a view to determining what shape the decision-making process will take in future to ensure sustainable forest management.

For its part, the Government of Canada is working hard in its role in forestry. It is promoting our forest management practices to increase our access to international markets, as well as contributing to scientific research and development to ensure a sustainable and economically viable forest industry.

Elizabeth Fry WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.


Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, this week is National Elizabeth Fry Week and a time to reflect upon the principles that Elizabeth Fry held regarding the treatment of prisoners and their families. We also remember her accomplishments in reforming the prison system of her time.

The majority of female prisoners are the sole caregivers of their families at the time of their arrest. These mothers, during their incarceration, become unable to support their children nor can they even visit with them on a regular basis. Children are sentenced by association when their mothers are jailed.

I am calling on the government to examine this unfortunate situation. It is time we recognized that mother-child separation is a harmful practice with consequences that extend to future generations.

It is time that we take a page from the book of Elizabeth Fry and take steps to reform the system. We must not punish the children of our society for the actions of their parents but provide alternatives that are more understanding to the needs of all involved.

Korean War VeteransStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Roy H. Bailey Canadian Alliance Souris—Moose Mountain, SK

Mr. Speaker, on the 56th anniversary of VE Day, Canadians would like to think that our government has done all it can to remember our war veterans. I am sad to say that this is not so.

When Korean vets asked the government to contribute to a monument in Korea for next year's 50th anniversary of the end of the Korean war, DND and the Department of Veterans Affairs said they would not. This is an all too familiar story.

Korean vets raised $110,000 for a life sized bronze replica of a Canadian soldier, and with that monument are two replicas of Korean children each holding 16 maple leaves to symbolize 16 Canadians whose graves could not be located. The names of 516 Canadians who died in Korea will be inscribed, and with them, the inscription, which came from the Koreans, “We will never forget you, brave sons of Canada”.

Korea has not forgotten. Too bad our government did.

National Palliative Care WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform hon. members and Canadians that May 7 to 13 is National Palliative Care Week.

Hospice palliative care is aimed at relieving suffering and improving the quality of life for persons who are living with or dying from advanced illness. This type of care includes the person and the family in planning treatment and care so they can make choices based on knowledge and understanding.

Hospice palliative care offers social, emotional and spiritual support to the person as well as the family from members of a diverse team that includes physicians, nurses, social workers, home care planners, volunteers and other therapists.

Please join me in commending the dedicated volunteers, caregivers and professionals who provide hospice palliative care and the Canadian Palliative Care Association and its affiliates that are working to ensure the comfort and dignity of the dying and their families.

Alexandra SorocéanuStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Serge Cardin Bloc Sherbrooke, QC

Mr. Speaker, the old saying that one can go far without having lived long truly applies to a young 18 year old student from the Séminaire de Sherbrooke, Alexandra Sorocéanu, who was the big winner of the Quebec finals of the science fair known as Expo-sciences.

Her analysis and popularization of a study on the expression of a protein in people who are diabetic or glucose intolerant not only impressed jury members, but earned her an invitation to the International Engineering and Science Fair to be held in California in July. Alexandra will also take part in the Canadian finals, which will take place in Kingston, from May 13 to 20.

Alexandra, who wants to attend medical school, developed an interest for that profession by volunteering for several years in a hospital, in geriatric care.

This is a person who deserves our admiration and who is a fine illustration of Quebec youth, which makes us proud and has the potential to build tomorrow's Quebec.

Congratulations Alexandra.

Société Zoologique De Saint-FélicienStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


André Harvey Liberal Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, QC

Mr. Speaker, on May 4, the Minister of National Revenue and Secretary of State for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec announced a contribution of nearly $10 million to the Société zoologique de Saint-Félicien for the construction of the Centre de conservation de la biodiversité boréale.

This major project will put the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region into a world class niche, that of conserving biodiversity and promoting sustainable development.

The project will also benefit the regional economy. There is talk of consolidating the 175 existing jobs and creating more.

This is an excellent example of action by our government to develop Quebec's resource regions in co-operation with dynamic individuals such as Ghislain Gagnon, mayor Bertrand Côté, Adrien Grenier and the whole team.

Congratulations, everyone.

National Nursing WeekStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Rob Merrifield Canadian Alliance Yellowhead, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is National Nursing Week and time for Canadians to celebrate nursing and nurses' accomplishments and promote their contribution to the health of Canadians.

Today 230,000 nurses provide care to Canadians in hospitals, clinics and home care settings. Every day and every night nurses do their work to relieve pain, to promote recovery and to provide comfort.

Nurses are indeed a pillar of our health care system. However, the last decade has been a trying time for them. Federal health care cuts led to massive layoffs, a decrease in enrolment in nursing schools and a brain drain to south of the border. Stress and burnout are common among nurses in the current environment.

National Nursing Week is a time for Canadians to recognize nurses and their important contribution. It is also time for the government to restore dignity to this profession.

I ask members to please join me in congratulating and thanking our nurses.

Outstanding Community LeadershipStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Hélène Scherrer Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, every year the TD Bank financial group awards a series of scholarships to recognize outstanding community leadership.

This year, 20 young Canadians will receive scholarships of up to $50,000. Valérie Côté of the Sainte-Foy CEGEP will be one of them.

Valérie set up a program to collect and distribute school supplies to less fortunate children. In addition, she set up a committee to promote student's self-esteem, including raising awareness of anorexia.

This does not include the hours she spends tutoring or her participation in a mission of humanitarian aid to Mexico. Yesterday, she also received the Governor General's gold medal for academic excellence among the 6,000 students in her CEGEP.

These students are the next generation of young people. To all the winners go our most sincere congratulations.

Westray MineStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.


Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, May 9 marks the 10th anniversary of the Westray mine disaster, where 26 miners lost their lives due to gross negligence and a wilful blindness to workplace safety.

It has been almost a year since the justice committee unanimously endorsed a motion directing parliament to amend the criminal code to make directors of businesses truly accountable for the working conditions in any enterprise under their direction.

Now the minister says she wants to consult further with business and industry before she takes any action. The best way for industry to have its say on this issue is to table a draft bill and let industry make its representations to the standing committee.

The Canadian people want parliament to amend the criminal code so that when corporate greed leads to corporate murder, there will be a corresponding corporate accountability and corporate responsibility.

Ten years is long enough. The government should implement the recommendations of the Westray inquiry and should do it in this session of parliament without delay.

Mental HealthStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Réal Ménard Bloc Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, QC

Mr. Speaker, May 2001 is the 50th anniversary of Mental Health Week in Canada.

To mark this occasion, the Quebec division of the Canadian Mental Health Association is organizing various activities so that the public can learn more about the particular problems of mental health and give them some thought.

Through its mission of promotion and prevention, the Quebec division of the Canadian Mental Health Association is an important partner among the providers of essential services.

This organization carefully harmonizes its activities with the strategies of Quebec's department of health and social services, as set out in the Quebec policy on health and welfare.

We are never immune to mental health problems. Let us remain sensitive to those suffering from such problems and grateful to all those looking after their well-being.

Congratulations to all the members of the Quebec division of the Canadian Mental Health Association, and a big thanks to them for the quality work they do.

Xavier GordonStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Steve Mahoney Liberal Mississauga West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I wish to extend congratulations to an outstanding young constituent of mine, Mr. Xavier Gordon, who is here today to accept the Toronto Dominion Canada Trust scholarship.

Received by only 20 students nationwide, this is one of Canada's most prestigious scholarships, awarded for outstanding community leadership. The award is worth up to $50,000 for him to attend a Canadian university of his choice.

Xavier's long list of achievements, through persistence and determination, include the founding of a multicultural council at Meadowvale Secondary School. Through his hard work, the interest and participation of both students and teachers has increased dramatically in a wide range of multicultural activities.

Xavier plans a career in aeronautical engineering. I am certain he will achieve any goal he chooses and will reach the very top of his field.

National Nursing WeekStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Greg Thompson Progressive Conservative New Brunswick Southwest, NB

Mr. Speaker, May 7 to 13 has been dedicated as National Nursing Week. The slogan this year is “Nurses: Champions for Health”.

The Canadian Nurses Association is the professional voice of nursing in Canada. Its purpose is to advance the quality of nursing in the interests of all Canadians. The association is a federation of 11 provincial and territorial nursing associations representing more than 110,000 registered nurses.

We have all at one time or another experienced the kindness, patience, wisdom and competence of our nurses and are grateful for their dedication to our health care.

On behalf of all members, I wish to extend thanks to our nurses across Canada.

Information TechnologyStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.


Gérard Binet Liberal Frontenac—Mégantic, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I inform the House of Canada's first Information Technology Week.

This initiative is the result of a partnership between the Department of Industry and the Information Technology Association of Canada. Canada is advanced in this field, in terms of both Internet connectivity and innovation in the use of information technologies.

In 50 years, this sector has become the fastest growing in Canada, which has a positive impact on other industries and encourages the development of Canadian communities.

This week will be a celebration of Canadian skills and achievements in information technology. All Canadian communities are invited to participate in the various activities: symposiums, workshops, exhibits, contests and more.

Long live Canada's Information Technology Week.

Crystal SiemensStatements By Members

May 8th, 2001 / 2:10 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Carol Skelton Canadian Alliance Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the talent and dedication of a young woman from Saskatchewan, Crystal Siemens. Crystal was recently named fashion designer of the year by the city of Toronto.

Growing up in rural Saskatchewan, Crystal moved to Toronto in 1985 to attend Ryerson Polytechnic in its well respected fashion program. Ever since she has been a force to be reckoned with, starting with her own signature line of clothing and following that up last year with her uniform 808 line.

Crystal is looking to expand this year by moving to Vancouver and then to Montreal. She hopes to move west to the rest of North America and then to the eastern and western hemispheres.

Crystal is the daughter of proud parents George and Pat Siemens of Fiske in my riding of Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar. I join George and Pat in congratulating Crystal on her award and in wishing her the best of luck in what looks like a very bright future indeed.

National Drinking Water StandardsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, in the 2000 red book there are some interesting quotes from the Liberals. They go to great lengths to tell Canadians that they are concerned about water safety and security.

On page 20 of the red book they go as far as to promise real action on water safety and security. They obviously saw the need then. The need is even more acute today. When will the federal government take real action on water safety and security for municipalities across the country?

National Drinking Water StandardsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Saint-Maurice Québec


Jean Chrétien LiberalPrime Minister

Mr. Speaker, we have put forward, and it is an application at this time, a $2.6 billion program as the federal portion of provincial, municipal and federal action.

We have said that we want this money to be used for programs like water safety. Whenever there are applications by municipal and provincial governments we will be very happy to pay our third out of this fund.

National Drinking Water StandardsOral Question Period

2:15 p.m.

Okanagan—Coquihalla B.C.

Canadian Alliance

Stockwell Day Canadian AllianceLeader of the Opposition

Mr. Speaker, many studies including a recent one from McGill point out that Canada's water system is the oldest and most dilapidated of the entire aging infrastructure in our municipalities. That has been since the red book.

We need to know if the federal government has the increase in funds that will be required to meet the true need on a priority list. Where does that fit on its list of priorities?