Mr. Speaker, I am happy and, in fact, thankful to rise to speak again on my private member's bill, Bill C-238, a national strategy for safe disposal of lamps containing mercury act.
We know that mercury is toxic, and we must keep it out of our waterways and off our lands. I would like to take a second, if I could, to thank the good people, the constituents of Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, and also the stakeholders, locally and from across the country, who have reached out with their feedback and support for the bill. I will always do my best to make their voices heard here in Ottawa. I must say that I deeply appreciate the support from my colleagues, which crosses all party lines. I am thrilled that we have been able to work together on the bill.
As federal representatives, this is what we are supposed to do. We are supposed to take good ideas from home, bring them to Ottawa, and effect change. We hope to change and improve laws, and make new laws. My bright idea for Bill C-238 came when I was a municipal councillor, and I visited Dan-X Recycling in my hometown of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
From those folks, I learned about the dangers of mercury in the fluorescent bulbs, and that this facility can recycle every bit of a mercury-bearing lightbulb. This facility not only employs Canadians across its region, but it provides a valuable and very needed environmental service. This is a fantastic example of what the clean economy can accomplish.
Some provinces and municipalities across Canada have shown real environmental leadership and are leading the way in recycling these bulbs. Back home, under the leadership of Mayor Mike Savage and council, the Halifax Regional Municipality took initiative on its own and started recycling all of the spent fluorescent light bulbs in their municipal facilities. Why? Because it is the right thing to do. As a recyclable, we must ensure that fluorescent bulbs are diverted from all of our landfills across the country. Economically and environmentally, it makes good sense.
The bill calls for collaboration. It calls upon our Minister of Environment and Climate Change to open a dialogue and work with our provinces and territories to develop a robust national strategy, ensuring mercury-containing light bulbs are safely disposed of and recycled.
I believe that the successes we have seen on this issue in some provinces will help lead the discussions to a great solution that will work nationwide. It is extremely important that we have a national strategy for the safe disposal of these mercury-bearing bulbs, because a piecemeal approach hurts other parts of the country.
We heard today that toxic mercury has the ability to undergo long-range transport. Hypothetically, theoretically, mercury deposited in a Halifax landfill could redeposit into a community in northern Canada or any other remote area. This is why we cannot afford to pass the buck. It is up to us to take the initiative, to show real environmental leadership, and to protect Canadians.
I have appreciated all of the members' support so far in moving Bill C-238 forward. I urge members to please help me encourage our federal government to create an open dialogue with our provinces and territories to develop a strong national strategy for the safe disposal of mercury-bearing lamps.
Now is the time to take responsibility and protect Canadians from this needless pollution. It is only by working together that we can protect our communities and our country from this toxic mercury. It is by working together that we can leave the world a better place for future generations. Please support my bright idea, Bill C-238.