Mr. Speaker, although the Réseau d'observation de mammifères marins has an agreement with Environment Canada, it is still waiting for a simple signature from the Minister of the Environment to keep its operations going this summer.
It is mid-June, and staff could be laid off in a few days. The lack of environmental monitors on the river could cause difficulties for tourist operators who are required to demonstrate that their activities are not causing harm to the whales. Both the tourism industry and the environment in the Lower St. Lawrence region are at risk.
Will the minister sign off on this funding immediately or will he wait until there are no more whales in the river before he does his job?