Safeguarding Canada’s Seas and Skies Act (Bill C-3)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend, the member for Burnaby—New Westminster, for his presentation. I agree with him that the title of the act is quite overblown. I have noted in the past that this administration has a penchant for overblowing titles of acts that are mostly housekeeping measures. In this case it is called the “safeguarding Canada’s seas and skies act” as if it would do something about air pollution. It deals with some administrative changes under the Aeronautics Act.

However, in terms of oil tanker safety, I completely agree with my hon. friend. I would like to ask if he has examined the report that came out in December 2011. Almost two years ago, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development within the Office of the Auditor General did a thorough review of the transportation of hazardous and dangerous goods by rail, pipeline, tanker, and truck. It provided advice that, in my view, had the current administration looked at those recommendations and implemented them, might have avoided the Lac-Mégantic disaster.

I would like to ask if the member has had a look at those environment commissioner recommendations from nearly two years ago.

Peter Julian: Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely right to point out that other entities within the federal government raised this issue years prior to this outbreak and the increase in accidents and fatalities that we are seeing across our country. It was telescoped. The member is quite right to point that out. For years now, people have been warning the government that things were going to go awry, and the government members said, “Oh, no. Everything is fine. We’ve got stuff under control.”

However, we can see from the disasters, the deaths, and the destruction over the last few months that the government has nothing under control. The government needs to start listening to Canadians, reading the reports that have come out—in some cases, one or two years ago—and start putting those recommendations in place. Canadians are asking for the government to stop acting irresponsibly and recklessly and to start taking into consideration public safety, and Canadians are right to be asking for that from their government.