Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Burnaby—Douglas for his important presentation. I share his concerns about the nuclear industry.
There has been no industry that constitutes such a giant white elephant in terms of its fiscal impact on Canadians. Contrary to what we heard earlier from a Conservative colleague, this industry has gobbled up about $40 billion in taxpayer subsidies. Removing the cap would not affect provincial electricity rates in any provinces that still use nuclear energy.
The reality is that, there but for the grace of God go we, every single event that occurred at Three Mile Island had previously happened in Ontario nuclear plants but not all on the same day and at the same reactor. Human error is always the biggest risk. As more reactors are brought on stream, the promises made when they are built are never fulfilled. We are always told they are going to be reliable and then we find that retubing is required or that the Point Lepreau reactor in New Brunswick is over budget, as always, or that it takes much longer than the government thought it would take. The government of the day in New Brunswick that approved retubing Point Lepreau ignored the recommendations of its own public utilities commission to do so. It ignored the advice, by the way, of the current leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick, David Coon, who clearly said more money would be wasted.
It is interesting to hear Conservative members defend an industry that has gobbled up things that they usually would have opposed, massive subsidies to something that simply cannot bear market forces.
I would ask my hon. colleague if he would not agree to just removing the cap on liability and making this industry pay its own way if, God forbid, we ever have a nuclear accident.
Kennedy Stewart: Mr. Speaker, there is a lot to deal with in the member’s question.
Those of us who live on the west coast are very conscious of nuclear accidents. We were concerned about possible radiation coming on the shores of British Columbia as a result of the Fukushima plant accident. Government monitoring has been cut, so it is hard for us to determine the exact extent of this radiation.
However, I am quite excited about a new technology called fusion. A very active company in my riding called General Fusion is trying to move toward a much safer use of nuclear energy. I try to visit it every year and see its progress and it is going quite well. I am proud of its work and hopefully that technology will develop.