41st PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION – June 12, 2012

Ms. Niki Ashton (Churchill, NDP):

“Madam Speaker, my question with respect to limiting debate has to do with the fact that a number of government members represent similar areas to the one that I represent, not just in my province of Manitoba but across northern Canada and the far north.

The budget will have a devastating impact on the regions that many government members represent, whether it is the cuts to Fisheries and Oceans, like the work at the Experimental Lakes Area, or whether it is the changes to EI. I wish the Minister of State for Finance would speak in great detail to the impact of the EI changes on seasonal workers, like forest firefighters, the people we depend on to keep our communities safe, or the cuts being made to the immigration system, a model that exists in Manitoba, which, unfortunately, the government has failed to promote.

On a whole host of issues, the government is failing to stand up for our province and our regions and is limiting debate to boot.”

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Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia:

“Mr. Speaker, I have to agree that the government is being surreptitious on this. It is using an omnibus bill to essentially undermine environmental regulations in the country. Any change to the Fisheries Act should be studied in-depth by the fisheries committee and calling on expert witnesses to speak to that.

I do believe that the budget is being used to undermine water policy in the country, not only by amending the Fisheries Act but by casting aside the world renowned Experimental Lakes Area program.”

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Ms. Laurin Liu (Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, NDP):

“Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of serving with my colleague on the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

The member must know that when he cited the Mackenzie Valley pipeline, it was actually a proponent who stopped the clock and made the process longer. When the member cites that example, maybe he should explain the reasons for why that process took as long as it did. It was not because of the consultations.

The member also talked about resource development. We know that in this budget the government has cut the Experimental Lakes Area, has cut research tools and instruments and has cut major resources support programs. We know that these decisions are being taken without adequate sufficient scientific expertise.

Why does the member opposite think that these decisions should be political decisions and not decisions to be taken by scientists after having been well-informed and after having collected sufficient scientific data?”

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