41st PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION – June 1, 2012

Ms. Niki Ashton (Churchill, NDP):

“Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives’ attacks on science have claimed yet another victim, the world-renowned Experimental Lakes Area research program. This is a devastating blow to environmental science that will be felt for generations, particularly in provinces like Manitoba.

There is no other facility in the world that does this work. In fact, the loss of this program is so serious that scientists around the world are speaking out.

Will the government reinstate this vital research program?”

Mr. Randy Kamp (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, CPC):

“Mr. Speaker, of course our government is committed to the Freshwater Institute and clean, fresh water. We have shown that by the funds we have put into the Lake Simcoe cleanup fund, for example.

The member is from Manitoba. She knows the Freshwater Institute will still continue to function. We just think that the work done at the Experimental Lakes facility would be better done by a non-governmental association or university.”

Mr. John Rafferty (Thunder Bay—Rainy River, NDP):

“Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives are simply making stuff up as they go along. The minister knows the Experimental Lakes Area is the research facility that made groundbreaking discoveries about acid rain. He knows it identified and helped reduce mercury contamination in coal-fired plants. He knows phosphorus is banned in detergents now because of the facility’s work.

The Conservatives need to wake up. When will they stop their dangerous cuts that put our water, our environment and our health at risk?”

Mr. Randy Kamp (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, CPC):

“Mr. Speaker, as I said, we are committed to research on fresh water. That is why much of what we do at the Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg has generated some very good results in Lake Winnipeg, for example, and in other lakes in central Canada.

On this side of the House, we do not believe that the government has to do everything. We think that the Experimental Lakes facility, which was so useful in the acid rain era, now would be better managed by either a university or a non-governmental organization.”