Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise here today to support not only my hon. colleague from Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, but also the people of Shannon, of course, in their struggle for truth and justice.
The motion moved by my colleague represents a first step that the federal government must take towards building a new relationship of respect and trust with the people of Shannon. The adoption of this motion, which I believe is crucial, is more than a simple gesture of solidarity. It represents an acknowledgement of the responsibility of the federal government of the day for contaminating Shannon's groundwater. The community needs such an acknowledgement in order to obtain justice and move forward.
As we all know, in 1997, the Department of National Defence began detecting TCE in the groundwater under CFB Valcartier. A few years later, the same toxic chemical was discovered in the private wells of the residents of Shannon, the municipality next to the base.
In order to better understand the context of the motion, we need to look a few decades further back, when TCE, a toxic industrial degreaser, was used on the military base for a range of purposes. After using it, people on the base disposed of it simply by burying it in the ground. TCE was used for quite some time to degrease metal, as was the case on the military base, as well as to dry clean clothes and extract organic products. After its toxicity was discovered, the chemical was gradually replaced by other less dangerous products. The European Union has banned its use by individuals. TCE—