Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, the member for Sherbrooke, for his question.
It is important that Quebecers and Canadians who are listening understand the meaning of these changes. The old section 46(3) in the legislation explained who was responsible, and I quote:
—any other person with a right to or interest in, the affected land or place take the prescribed measures to reduce the level of contamination.
It referred to all persons, in the natural and legal senses, who had “a right to or interest in”, which clearly includes bankers. I also believe this includes the federal or provincial governments, which provide subsidies or direct assistance to these companies. When there is a guarantee regarding the work done in a nuclear establishment, there is automatically a right or an interest. The old legislation held accountable bankers and governments that gave money to these organizations, or invested in them.
The new paragraph establishes who will be responsible:
—any other person who has the management and control of—
It is no longer persons with an interest; now it is the management. Bankers and governments, those who could have invested in these companies, are no longer included.
This is happening at a critical time. A great deal of investment is required to renovate all of the nuclear infrastructure. We know that it is very dangerous. Why is this happening now? This is what I would like to point out to my colleague, the member for Sherbrooke.
This is happening now because there is a great deal of work to be done. Heavy decontamination burdens have been uncovered and this will continue in the next few years. The Liberal Party wants its banker friends to be free of any responsibilities. This is not only for those who will invest in the future; it is for those who have made loans to these companies, and for governments, including the federal government, which may have provided loans or subsidies to these companies.
As soon as Bill C-57, which we are discussing today, enters into effect, bankers and governments that had a right to, or interest in these facilities will no longer be responsible for the decontamination. The government is washing its hands of the whole thing; its banker friends are also off the hook. The Liberal government has no social conscience.