Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, to speak about the Gwaii Haanas national marine conservation area reserve and Haida heritage site. The Bloc Québécois believes that preserving national heritage sites is vital. It means that humans humbly recognize the majesty of nature and also its fragility.
The world is a place of beauty but we have the lamentable capacity to destroy it, as evidenced by global warming and the constant threat that we pose to thousands of ecosystems throughout the world. The Gulf of Mexico disaster is a bitter example of this. To protect the world's beauty, we must take the necessary measures to preserve conservation sites such as the Haida Gwaii Haanas reserve.
The Bloc Québécois will support the order to protect this area, which also has value added as a heritage site.
However, you heard, as did I, the Minister of the Environment use his statement to praise the oil companies which, he says,“have voluntarily relinquished their petroleum rights in this special place.” The Minister of the Environment! What a laugh! The oil companies, the nice corporate citizens, are agreeing to leave the Haida territory and the Conservatives, moved and grateful, are jumping on the opportunity to praise one of the most polluting industries in Canada in a statement on an aboriginal marine area that must be preserved. How about that.
If the Conservative government was again attempting to hide its true nature with this announcement, it has failed. This government uses every possible forum to announce the creation of a park or new protected area in an attempt to hide its stone age mentality when it comes to sustainable development and its catastrophic record on environmental protection.
Quebec's environmental values are diametrically opposed to those of the Conservatives. In Quebec, the environment is a priority. That was evident last week in a poll confirming that, according to Quebeckers, the priority for the G8 and G20 meetings to be held in a few days is, without question, the environment. The government has categorically rejected this idea. It believes the priority must be the economy, period.
That is not surprising. For this Conservative government, with its blind faith in market forces, anything that does not have a dollar sign attached to it is of no interest, anything that does not smack of deregulation, globalization, free this or free that, is just socialist propaganda. It is as though the environment and the economy were irreconcilable. This Conservative government and the environment, that is what is irreconcilable.
And since Quebec and the environment are very compatible, it is not surprising that this government always makes decisions that are not in the interest of Quebec and the environment.