Mr. Speaker, I know my colleague is concerned with these issues and I have heard her speak very passionately on the issue of public health as a former minister herself, so I know her concern is genuine.
I did introduce my remarks by saying that WHMIS is one of the greatest achievements in industrial occupational health and safety in this country, and we are proud of it. However, I also point out that in a survey done by the Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission, roughly 95% of all the material safety data sheets reviewed by the commission had been found to be non-compliant with the legislation.
There are two great concerns that I have with the actual practical aspects of WHMIS. I am not sure workers are being trained, first of all. In the industry that I come from, very few non-union workplaces bother with the mandatory eight hour WHMIS information class. It is a cost factor. In the unionized shops we mandate it. We negotiate it. We make sure it happens.
The other thing I am not comfortable with is this. If the workers do know where to find material safety data sheets, will they in fact be adequate and will they list all of the materials that the employee should be aware of?
One of the positive elements in Bill S-2 will allow a claimant to give an undertaking to the Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission to bring a safety data sheet or a label into compliance with the provisions of the Hazardous Products Act. I would only ask, who is going to do that? How many rank and file blue collar workers on a job site are going to undertake to followthrough and ensure that some non-compliant data sheet goes through that detailed process?