moved for leave to introduce Bill C-439, An Act respecting the development of a national strategy in relation to fresh water.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce my private member's bill that calls on the government to commit to a national freshwater strategy. My riding of Essex is surrounded by the beauty of the Great Lakes, which not only supply us with fresh water for drinking but provide all of our communities with environmental benefits that deserve targeted protection and sustainable planning.
Canada needs a modernized national freshwater strategy. It has been over 20 years since the government established a policy on fresh water, and environmental conditions have changed dramatically since 1987. While Canada has seemingly abundant freshwater resources, very little of it is actually renewable.
My bill asks the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to study, review and adopt a national water policy. The review will work to establish national drinking water standards, ensure that water is protected in international agreements, protect groundwater, evaluate the readiness of water and waste-water infrastructure to handle climate change impacts and reduce eutrophication.
Fresh water is vital, whether for tourism, agriculture, recreational use, health or household needs. It plays an important role in all of our communities. Essex is surrounded by the majesty of Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, along with our many rivers, wetlands and tributaries. The health of our water is instrumental to our region's sustained growth, environmental stability and safety.
I hope that all sides will support this important effort to protect our fresh water for generations to come.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)