Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to present a petition calling on the government to develop a national freshwater strategy and to support my private member's bill, Bill C-439.
Canada has 20% of the world's freshwater resources. The federal government should have a clear plan to protect this valuable resource, domestically and under international agreements. We have not had an updated national freshwater policy since 1987. Our environment, both nationally and globally, has changed dramatically with climate change.
Canada's population is highly dependent on our freshwater lakes, rivers, wetlands and watersheds for tourism, commerce, recreation and household needs. National drinking water standards in Canada are not consistent from province to province, which is a problem, and they lag behind international standards. We know that the many freshwater bodies across Canada have been plagued, as have those in my riding, with harmful algal blooms and invasive species.
This petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to develop a national freshwater strategy.