Mr. Speaker, our party is delighted to have been involved to some degree in the motion because it does strengthen the bill. However the bill itself only goes so far. It would increase fines, which, without any no doubt, would be a deterrent and would perhaps make people think twice before dumping bilge oil, in particular.
Over the years most ship owners have known there was little chance of them getting caught so it did not matter to them. In this day and age, when we have good, on shore dumping facilities and we have the technology to greatly reduce pollutants in the waters that boats discharge, if they are installed properly on the boats, there should be little excuse for the major dumping of oil into our waters.
I would just like the members comments on the fact that on one hand we are increasing fines, but on the other hand the government is cutting back on overflights, which has happened. It is also reducing the number of vessels, as has been done in the east coast, which ply our waters, such as fishery patrol boats and the Coast Guard, knowing that our radar system is so poorly maintained, particularly on the west coast, that we cannot do a proper job.
On one hand, we are doing cosmetics and on the other hand, where it really counts, we are seeing major cutbacks. How can we ever solve a problem unless we stop talking about it and instead start doing something about it?
The other thing we see is the infighting within the present government. The Department of Justice, the Department of the Environment and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are fighting over jurisdiction. We saw one major case of the Tecam Sea which should have been a hard and fast case against illegal dumping at sea. Every bit of evidence we would think we would need was there but because of infighting among departments, the case was dropped before it went to court and another boat sails away free and our waters are polluted.