Mr. Speaker, the 1961 Antarctic Treaty dedicated Antarctica to science and peace. It prohibits military activity, promotes scientific research and suspends sovereignty claims.
The Antarctic Treaty System includes two conventions and a protocol. Canada acceded to the treaty in 1988 and to the conventions on marine resources and seals in 1988 and 1990.
The protocol on environmental protection entered into force in 1998. Canada signed it, that is, agreed to it in principle, in 1991, but we have never ratified it. It is now time to do so. With all our cold weather expertise, we have a moral obligation to take more responsibility in Antarctica. As a cold weather nation, we stand to benefit more than most from active cooperation in science and technology with the almost 30 nations active there.
Let us ratify the environmental protocol to the Antarctic Treaty. It is the right thing to do.