Mr. Speaker, on the first point, my friend, the member for Eglinton—Lawrence, talked about the economic impact. In one word, it is a mess.
He talked about the maritime regions and of course it is important for Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, as well as British Columbia, but I would suggest it is equally important for Quebec, Ontario and the prairie provinces because a lot of what we produce, whether it is lumber, minerals or grain, moves by sea. That is the most economic and environmental way to move product. A lot of it that comes into the country too comes by sea.
We are a large country. We are a country surrounded by three oceans so it is extremely important and vital. That is why we need a very vibrant marine industry, one that is competitive and one that does not discourage new entrants.
On his second issue, again I come back to the issue of balance. We have to balance the interests of the company and the interests of society to have a vibrant marine industry, but also the interest to protect the public.
If we did not have legislation like this, I believe it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a new entrant ever to get into the market. There would be all kinds of problems just legislating or dealing with this situation. With vessels from other countries and flags of convenience that come into our ports, what insurance do they have? Can they withstand a cull if there is an environmental problem?
This act seeks to create a balance so that there are international conventions that are respected, that there are both domestic and international funds, and so that things can move by sea. There is a similar process in the airline industry. It works well in that industry and certainly it has served us well in the marine industry.
As to the amendments, as previous speakers have already indicated, there is an issue around some of the tourist products that are exempt, and the committee may want to have another look at that particular issue.