Mr. Speaker, five minutes was about the length of the last response from the government side.
We on the west coast know how important the coastal waters are to our province. It is an important resource. It is a basis for our fishery, forestry, and eco-tourism. It is of enormous impact to species all along the coast, and the consequences of an oil spill on the west coast could be disastrous. We know the Exxon Valdez cost billions of dollars that the company still never really paid the full amount for, which is still affecting fish stocks today.
I support the banning of supertankers in certain areas of British Columbia, but this bill gives the minister the power to exempt ships for indeterminate amounts of time if deemed in the public interest. The New Democrats believe that this exemption is irresponsible and unnecessary. The current government deemed it in the public interest to allow supertankers to go into the Burrard Inlet through the Kinder Morgan pipeline to have seven times the current supertankers going through the Burrard Inlet now, risking an oil spill in Vancouver, which in the eyes of the Liberals was in the public interest.
How can Canadians trust that the minister will demonstrate proper judgment in the exercise of the public interest, when the Liberals have already so badly mismanaged that in determining it is in the public interest to allow oil tankers in the Burrard Inlet, contrary to the interests of the people of British Columbia?