Mr. Speaker, I am rising again in the House to speak about a situation that is poisoning the lives of many people in my riding of Beauport—Limoilou.
Again, it has to do with the dust contamination caused by the Port of Québec. The follow-up done by the Quebec Department of the Environment shows that the new standard in Quebec for the amount of nickel dust in the air, which has been in place since the beginning of 2014, has been exceeded regularly, several times a month since the beginning of the year. The real problem is that given the configuration of the land and the direction of the prevailing winds, which mainly come from the southwest, on most days of the month, the winds do not spread the dust over Limoilou and a good part of Quebec City's lower town.
However, the rest of the time, the winds coming from the east—those that often bring bad weather—easily spread that dust. I am not just talking about nickel dust. There are also other compounds in the air that fall as dust on the residents of Limoilou and Quebec City's lower town.
The problem is that the number of times dust levels exceed the standard every month is high enough that the problem can still be considered acute. Recently, citizens who are keeping a close watch on activities at the port and on the presence of dust in the air observed an alarming peak in dust levels. This happened on a night a few weeks ago. It appeared to be directly related to ore transshipment activities on a ship moored on the Baie de Beauport side, which is ideally located for unloading activities to spread dust all over Limoilou and Quebec City's lower town.
Contrary to what the government always says, nobody is really doing anything about this problem. A while ago, I was informed of the rules that govern, among other things, the release of various polluting substances by Quebec Stevedoring's activities. I would like to thank the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment for the answer he gave me at the time about the National Pollutant Release Inventory.
Despite claims by the port and Quebec Stevedoring, we still do not have solid evidence about whether the situation has improved or not. We also have no information about whether Quebec Stevedoring is required to consider pollutants released by its activities to determine if it has to report them to the National Pollutant Release Inventory. The people of Quebec City's lower town and my Limoilou constituents are being kept in the dark.
Why is the government refusing to shed light on this matter and take action so that people know where they stand? That is a reasonable request.