moved for leave to introduce Bill C-226, An Act respecting the development of a national strategy to assess, prevent and address environmental racism and to advance environmental justice.
Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour for me to rise today to introduce this private member's bill. It deals with a critical issue and it is very important to act against environmental racism.
I am very honoured to present this bill, and I want to take a moment to thank the member of Parliament who initially put it forward.
It is appropriate today to bring this bill forward as we begin February and Black History Month. This is a way to confront racism. Part of me thinks it is also appropriate to present it on Groundhog Day, because here we go again.
This bill was initially presented by the wonderful former member of Parliament for Cumberland—Colchester, Lenore Zann. Lenore did me the enormous honour of asking me, a member of Parliament from a different party, to second the bill when it first came forward in this place. The bill enjoyed widespread support, as members will remember. It cleared second reading and went to committee.
A lot of work has been done, and I want to keep this non-partisan. This is a bill that has enjoyed widespread support, and many members of Parliament are very keen to see it pass. I urge all colleagues to reflect on the fact that the United States and the Environmental Protection Agency, for more than three decades, have had active programs to confront environmental racism, while the term is hardly well understood in our country. I look forward to working with colleagues across party lines.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)