Opposition Motion—Health and safety of Canadians

That, in the opinion of the House, the government, and specifically the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the President of the Treasury Board, has failed to learn the painful lessons from Walkerton which proved that cuts to essential government services protecting the health and safety of Canadians are reckless and can cause Canadians to lose their lives; and further, that the House condemn the government for introducing a budget that will repeat the mistakes of the past and put Canadians in danger by reducing food inspection, search and rescue operations, and slashing environmental protections, and call on the government to reverse these positions.

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, on its face, the issue of consolidation of facilities may seem to be a way of saving money. However, in reading the budget and listening to the debate, I cannot figure out how it is going to save money.

I ask the hon. member for Medicine Hat this. If we take a quarantine facility, with its scientists, virologists and the expertise that has existed there for decades and we move that function to Summerland, would the 1,000 virus-free trees that have been developed there for studies, for fruit and vineyards, and that is a part of the intellectual capacity and scientific ground that is available there, also move? Is there new money going to the Summerland facility? These viruses must be studied and quarantined and must be done at a world-class level.

LaVar Payne: Mr. Speaker, the member from the opposition is an independent individual. We are relocating a number of scientific areas into greater areas of expertise and more modern facilities to ensure that all of the services we provide through inspection agencies such as Agriculture and Agri-food Canada are the best in the world.