Mr. Speaker, I take some exception to the member's comments in regard to why the Liberals did not act on this issue when they were in government.
The examples I cited, whether it is the plastic bags, or phosphate in dishwasher soap or the tailings from mining, were all NDP provincial government responsibilities and it failed miserably in dealing with them, one for which the federal government had to compensate. I know that because I was part of the caucus that actually pushed for the NDP to take some responsibility on the environment in relation to water, among other things.
When the member says the Liberals did not act, new products come on-stream all the time. There is no instant reaction. What we do know is that Jean Chrétien brought in legislation that, through co-operation and working with different provinces, allowed the federal government to play a stronger role. That was negotiated through stakeholders and provinces in recognition that water did not know boundaries, provincial or international.
Is there more that the Jean Chrétien or Paul Martin governments could have done? Sure, there is always more we could have done. At the end of the day, I am very comfortable with this issue and the way in which it has evolved.
If I wanted to make the issue of microbeads political, we just have to look at the province that has taken action on it today. It is not an NDP administration. I say that because of the manner in which the question was posed to me.
At the end of the day, the driving force on this should not necessarily be the political party; it should be the interest of protecting our environment and our waterways.