Mr. Speaker, a just published United Nations report entitled, “Elemental Mercury and Inorganic Mercury Compounds: Human Health Aspects” warns that the world's environment is being contaminated by alarming amounts of mercury.
Once emitted into the atmosphere, mercury travels thousands of kilometres to other continents by way of air currents and is then deposited through rain and snowfalls into the aquatic system and the food chain. The report claims mercury causes brain damage, particularly among infants. Also, mercury poses a major threat to the world's fishing industry.
The biggest source of mercury emissions is from coal-burning power plants and waste incinerators. Here in Canada, the Lakeview, Nanticoke and other coal-burning power plants should be converted to natural gas so as to reduce the quantity of mercury entering the environment and the food chain.