Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to stand and speak to this motion.
If there is anyone other than the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans who has a keen, distinct and certainly genuine interest in small craft and harbours, it is the member for South Shore—St. Margaret's. He certainly knows what he is talking about.
I want to go back to the funding history on harbours and small craft. My colleague from the NDP spoke about the ongoing funding. This problem began a number of years ago when the previous Liberal government did not put enough money into funding. Sometimes we think we will save some pennies when we save some dollars. In the case before us I am going to give some examples that will show what that kind of planning can do.
We could compare it to driving our cars. As most people do, I change the oil in my car every 5,000 kilometres. If I do not change it to 10,000 or 20,000 kilometres, it will still probably be okay. I can guarantee though that over the life of that car I am going to spend a lot of extra money putting a motor in that car much sooner than if I had added up the cost of those extra oil changes.
I will go from that example to the issue of wharves. I have three wharves in my riding. Tobermory is at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. Tobermory is also the home of the very first underwater national park in Canada. The harbour at Tobermory was in bad shape. It was ignored back 10 years ago and the repair costs now have increased eight to ten times. If that wharf had been repaired back at the time when the repairs were first required, there would be a whole lot more money to spread around to other harbours.
My riding also has the Lion's Head harbour half way down the peninsula. It is also in need of repair. In my hometown of Wiarton, it is a shame what has happened there with the wharf. Funds have to be made available for these repairs. The minister's efforts to go ahead with those repairs are paramount.
I want to go back to my colleague from South Shore—St. Margaret's. Another reason I wanted to speak today is because not all our wharves are situated on the east side or the west side of Canada. My riding is situated on the Great Lakes. Some people might ask why is the member for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound speaking on this issue.
Perhaps they would say that I have the second largest beef riding in the country and what does he know about wharves. There are many wharves in my riding: Owen Sound, Meaford, Stokes Bay and Howdenvale. I could go on with many more. The funding is important not only for our ocean ports and harbours but for small craft harbours such as a mine and right across the country.
I want to give some history of Tobermory and the Great Lakes. There is a story which probably has some truth to it, that the infamous Al Capone, after some of his great heists and in order to take off some of the heat from the law, would come up from Lake Michigan. He had a cabin at Bay Finn near Killarney. It was very close to Tobermory and rumour has it that was a frequent stop of his for supplies or whatever.
For many people pleasure boating is a tourist industry in today's economic climate. Agriculture is number one in my riding, but tourism is a very close second.
The visitors that the harbours and wharves enjoy through the course of a summer would stagger everyone, as well as the size of the boats that go in today. When people are invited to come to our country to spend their money and use these small harbours and wharves, we need an asset that is not just safe and does the job as a working site, but there has to be a bit of pride in upkeep and that kind of thing.
I speak very highly of this motion. It would go a long way toward fixing up some of the harbours that have been neglected for so long and I know that the minister has been working on that.