Mr. Speaker, in the short time that I have today, I will emphasize what I think all of us have been saying across debate in this House. This is an important piece of legislation because it would protect a very ecologically sensitive part of our country, one that is almost iconic not just in the local area but across the country. Sable Island is an island that really captures the hearts and minds of Canadians. Certainly I know from talking to colleagues from all parties who represent areas in the region that it strikes a chord with everybody who lives in that area. We have to protect this area. It is so important.
I want to thank my colleagues opposite, who asked very thoughtful questions today and who have expressed a desire to bring this proposal into committee and ensure that we have a rigorous, intense study of it to ensure that we get this legislation right.
That said, before I close today, I must take umbrage with the comment made by the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands that the bill should be abandoned because it would allow for oil exploration on the island. That is not the case. The whole point of the bill is to protect the area from that type of exploration in an area that is natural resource extractive intensive right now.
The point of the legislation is to protect this island and its heritage for years to come. I am certainly very optimistic that colleagues in this House can work together to ensure that this piece of legislation passes.
The Nova Scotia government has done an excellent job in getting this measure through. Industry has done an excellent job in working to ensure that this principle is protected. In this place we owe the residents of the area, and all Canadians, the same level of diligence.
We should pass the bill because it is important to protect Sable Island.