Mr. Speaker, once again I stand to speak to Bill C-5, the Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act.
In my previous speech, which was about a month ago, I took the time to describe all the amendments that we proposed on this bill. Our concern is the impact on the ability of people to obtain compensation in the event of a nuclear accident. Much of the bill favours the nuclear industry over those who may be seeking compensation from the industry in the case of an accident or any kind of incident at a nuclear plant.
The nuclear industry is heating up in this country. There are proposals in two provinces in western Canada for nuclear reactors. The movement toward nuclear energy seems to be gaining some steam in the country, yet none of the basic issues that speak to the concerns Canadians have over the development of this industry have been addressed. There is still no plan for waste disposal. The roles of government and private industry in the nuclear industry have not been clarified. We still have not determined whether the nuclear industry is cost effective in this country. Over and over we have subsidized the development of nuclear energy. At the same time this bill does not give proper coverage and protection for the liability that could occur with a nuclear accident.
A $650 million liability limit is the minimum possible for Canada to match with international agreements. We have said over and over that that is not good enough. The United States, our closest trading partner, carries liability far in excess of $650 million for each plant in that country.
The Conservative government is moving ahead with a bill that does not adequately do the job. We have pointed that out over and over again. We have attempted to work with the government on amendments in committee and here in the House. We have been stonewalled by the government. We have been stonewalled by the official opposition as well. The Liberals have not shown much responsibility.