Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to take up the point that the hon. member has made, that the offshore petroleum boards have developed technical work and expertise. However, I have worked with these bodies. Their technical work and expertise means that the fox is guarding the hen house.
I will repeat that the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board in 2010 knowingly approved seismic testing in the Gulf of St. Lawrence when the most endangered whale species on the planet was making its transit. These boards are irresponsible. They are reckless. They are captured by industry. Their mandate in their legislation is to expand offshore oil and gas. They must be removed from anything to do with environmental assessment.
It is not as if the government was not warned. The Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, and Peskotomuhkati first nations wrote to the government and told it that they had no confidence in these bodies. They begged it, as well as the fisheries organizations and environmental groups throughout Atlantic Canada, to not put the offshore boards anywhere near environmental assessment.
Members on that side of the house have ignored the warnings. The Liberals have betrayed the whales, Atlantic Canadians, fishermen, and first nations. They must get these boards out of environmental assessment.