Mr. Speaker, I welcome the intervention of the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the debate, inasmuch as this has been presented as a bill on transport.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs has preceded the presentation of the bill by his colleague in the House with some expressions of concern about our sovereignty that elicited responses by the Russian Federation and others with respect to his claims.
I make special mention and I would like the minister to comment for us, because we are talking about Canadian interests, and those of us in this party and on this side of the House are always promoting Canadian interests.
I am glad he referred to the 1970 legislation, the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, which was presented and passed by a former government, not his and not associated with his party, and a subsequent piece of legislation that confirmed the law of the sea for Canada, which allowed us to get into this particular legislation, again by another Canadian government, not his
I refer specifically to two aspects of it: first, his suggestion that this is an unprecedented bill, given the context I have just given; and secondly, that it is a powerful demonstration of our commitment to the north, to the peoples of the north and to our sovereignty in the north.
We can talk about “unprecedented” for a moment. I would like him to comment on how that is unprecedented, given that it involves legislative powers we already held. More important, I would like him to address the issue of “powerful demonstration”, because I think most members of the House and the public who would be following the debate would suggest that the word “power” comes with means and mechanisms to ensure that the interests we have put on the table for the world to examine come with them measures that reinforce our claim and that they are not just simply laughed at by others who take a look at this exaggeration as a cover for lack of competence.
Mr. Speaker, you may recall that the Minister of National Defence, following on the initiatives presented by my hon. colleague opposite, made some claims about other people making incursions in our territory, which prompted comments by foreign affairs ministers and defence ministers from the Russian Federation and the rest of the world, scratching their heads as to what they were talking about.
I wonder if he would take a moment or two of his time to enumerate for the House those specific demonstrations of power that will accompany--