Mr. Speaker, I rose back in February and then again later on regarding an issue that is of great concern to the people in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick around the Bay of Fundy, and that is the rising sea levels as an effect of global warming.
Right off the bat, I want to thank the Minister of the Environment for his prompt response, both in trying to understand the problem and bringing the people that needed to understand it, and then also the actions he took to start the process to assess the potential damage. It is exactly what should have been done and I appreciate his actions very much.
This all came from a study done by the United Nations panel on climate change, which identified the Bay of Fundy as one of the two regions in Canada, and in fact all of North America, which would be most vulnerable in the case of rising sea levels, which is accepted now as something that will happen. There are different versions of how bad it will be and exactly when it will happen, but it is very consistent. All of the studies by academics, the Government of Canada, and the United Nations panel on climate change predict that sea levels will rise. It is just a matter of how much and when.
It does not matter how much it rises in the Bay of Fundy, it is going to cause damage. Communities, like Advocate, which are actually below sea level at high tide and are only protected by a dike system will be flooded if the sea levels rise any amount at all.
I do believe that the Bay of Fundy will be affected more than any other region because everything is exaggerated in the Bay of Fundy. A tide which is six or seven feet high outside of the Bay of Fundy can be 30, 40, or even as high as 50 feet in the Bay of Fundy, so any rise in sea level will have an exaggerated effect at the head of the Bay of Fundy. Many communities in Nova Scotia, such as Truro and Advocate, Parrsboro, and many in New Brunswick, such as Moncton, Dorchester, Memramcook and Sackville, will be very vulnerable to extensive damage.
I asked at the time if the minister and his officials would start a process to do a review. They have now, I understand, developed a process where they are going to map the present dike lands between Amherst and Sackville, which is the right thing to do. They are going to do a projection of sea level rise. They are going to do coastal erosion rates. They are going to build a model to reflect the sea level rise and they are going to identify the dikes, infrastructure, buildings and communities that are going to be at risk.
Again, I believe that this is exactly the right thing to do and the right steps to take in the right order, so I do not have many pointed questions for the distinguished parliamentary secretary, but I would like to ask him if he has any more information on this study.
My understanding is that there has been $800,000 set aside to do this study on the area in the Bay of Fundy between Amherst and Sackville, which is generally agreed will be the most vulnerable because it is at a very low sea level there. I wonder if he has any information that he could share with the House, and if he does not, could he agree to provide it at a later date.