Mr. Speaker, I am not happy to be rising here today to talk about an issue that I think is very important, not only for Canada but for the world, with respect to clean drinking water and the protection of our environment.
This government's consideration of allowing a deep geologic repository for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste in Kincardine, which it has opened the door for, has caused great grief for many people, because our Great Lakes are so important for drinking water. Our American cousins are very concerned about this, and Canadians as well are very concerned about this.
In fact, over 155 resolutions opposing this plan have been passed, representing every Great Lake province and state and up to 20 million people. That is because the government proposes to store items that are radioactive for over 100,000 years, down a shaft, in a limestone basin. That has never been done before. It is an experiment.
What has happened, which is really concerning, is that the Conservatives single-sighted the Kincardine spot. It was not based on science. It was not based on research. It was not based on a real analysis of what would be the best decision. It was based on a guess, and the guess has gone back to the Minister of the Environment and has caused considerable damage, not only in terms of public confidence about the environment and water quality but also in terms of our American friends.
I point to the fact that the City of Chicago is among 115 groups that sent a letter to the Canadian government. What it pointed out, which is really interesting, is that Joe Clark, the then foreign affairs minister of Canada, asked the United States not to do this, and it agreed that it would not do what we are proposing within 40 kilometres of the Great Lakes, whereas we are proposing to do it within about one kilometre of the Great Lakes. The groups have pointed this out to us numerous times. They want us to behave according to the model we created, and that they abided by, for the greater region of our country.
They sent this letter and resolution to the Minister of the Environment, the premiers, the Prime Minister of Canada, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Natural Resources. The United States Secretary of State got it, and even the President of the United States got it.
This is an experiment. There are four of these in the world, and only one is left open. Two are closed in Germany, because they were not sustainable, and they created problems, and the other one right now that is open is in New Mexico, which had toxic radiation escape through the shaft and all the way to the surface, contaminating individuals who worked on the project.
We know for a fact that these are dangerous experiments.
Again, I ask the current government this: Why would it not examine this more thoroughly when we just chose to do a single-source evaluation in an experimental area next to one of the most precious resources in our country and in the world?