Mr. Speaker, let me begin by congratulating you on your re-election as Speaker. I believe the outcome was well deserved, and I look forward to working with you in this next Parliament.
My request, which is more specific than you have heard from my colleagues, has to do with the rain event that happened this past week in British Columbia, the atmospheric river event, and all of the destruction and mayhem it created across our province. I highlight that this massive flooding event affected communities throughout the Fraser Valley, the Fraser Canyon and the interior of British Columbia. At least four people have lost their lives. Dikes have been breached, major rail lines and highways have been badly damaged and a major evacuation of people and livestock has taken place. Communities in Merritt and Princeton have been fully evacuated.
We can imagine the displacement and anguish this has caused for thousands of families. The human and economic consequences are and will be enormous. This is arguably the worst natural disaster in the history of our country, and obviously the federal government has a significant role to play in delivering emergency support to the flood-ravaged areas and in preparing a long-term funded plan to invest in critical infrastructure to prevent such a disaster from reoccurring.
Therefore, I would like to request an emergency debate to discuss how we can work across party lines. I sense from the comments by my colleagues in the other parties that there is a willingness to move forward with an emergency debate on this. However, it should be focused expressly on the event that has just taken place this past week.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for your consideration of my request.