Mr. Speaker, I cannot comment on people's attendance in the House of Commons. That is against the traditions of the House. I would hope hon. members would not encourage me to do that.
The Bloc is supporting this bill as well. This bill is a half-hearted attempt to set a proper liability limit. There is an attempt within the bill to provide many outs for companies in case of a requirement for compensation. It is difficult for private individuals to obtain the kind of compensation that would be necessary as a result of a nuclear accident.
It is simply not good enough to have time limits of three years or ten years in which people could expect to see an impact from nuclear accidents. We already know that 30 and 40 years later people are coming forward with health issues from nuclear accidents. People are bringing forward situations where nuclear material has been transported from one area to another and it ends up in housing units or it has been used for fill in some cases. These incidents eventually have an impact on people's lives.
When the limits within Bill C-5 are set to such a short term, it opens the door for companies to avoid being responsible. Of course that is good for the companies, that is good for the surety of the industry, but it is not good for Canadians. As a member of Parliament who has been elected by individual Canadians and not by companies, I am here to try to bring clarity to this bill as it impacts on Canadians. We are frustrated with trying to move forward with some very basic amendments to various terms within this bill for the past year and a half. It has been difficult.
We have seen with the Chalk River incident in December the importance of a strong nuclear safety agency. We have seen the necessity of ensuring that we protect Canadians, that we protect investment and that we protect the direction this country takes with nuclear energy.
There are many reasons not to support this bill. We will continue to debate it today and perhaps tomorrow, and if we can carry this through, this bill will remain unresolved for a few more months. Perhaps Canadians will have a chance to speak up and influence the government.
If the Conservative plan is to sell off Canada's nuclear industry and if this bill is simply to allow foreign companies to purchase the assets of AECL, this issue should be up front. Canadians should understand why we are doing the things we are doing in Parliament, but that is not the case. The government continues to move this bill forward in a fashion that suggests it is simply for other purposes.