Mr. Speaker, if the government does not end its shameful silence and call on Vale Inco to return to the negotiating table, we could face a possible disaster. Constituents are raising alarm bells about Vale Inco's reported plans to reopen the nickel refinery near the town of Copper Cliff with replacement workers.
Having been there, I can say that this refinery is one of the most complicated and intricate plants in the world. When operated by skilled, experienced workers, it produces high quality nickel pellets and powders.
The process at this plant yields gas and liquid forms of nickel which are stored under high pressure. If inhaled, the nickel carbonyl gas can cause death. A leak, with the wind blowing in a certain direction, could reach populated areas. I cannot overestimate how tragic the consequences would be.
For the sake of the well-being of residents, I demand that the government prevent this plant from reopening with replacement workers.