Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act (Bill C-38)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for the very interesting speech.

I will be very brief as I know time is running out on this debate.

Today, over 120 environmental lawyers from across Canada issued a statement warning that the destruction of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act through Bill C-38 would cause more delays, more uncertainty, and more court challenges.

I want to draw the attention of members to what good environmental assessment has done over the years. The fact is it is a tool for planning.

If it had not been for an environmental assessment that allowed the cumulative effects of the Honshu Paper-Mitsubishi plant in northern Alberta called Alpac to be studied, that huge multinational factory would not have decided on its own to offer to improve its environmental regime during the process. The same thing happened with Louisiana Pacific in Saskatchewan with its oriented strandboard plant.

With this current bill, we will have more pollution, more environmental devastation. We will lack the tools to plan and prepare for projects that mitigate their environmental effects.

Charmaine Borg: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for her remarks.

When it comes right down to it, yes, we need this information, this knowledge and these data. How are we supposed to plan and make responsible decisions when we do not have any data or expertise in the field? If we want to plan for the future, if we want to have a prosperous economy in the future, we need such expertise and data.