41st PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION – May 18, 2012

Mr. Craig Scott (Toronto—Danforth, NDP):

“Mr. Speaker, Conservatives have no idea at all of the cost and no interest at all in telling Canadians what they are.

Natural resources cannot be responsibly managed without something called science, but yesterday the government announced it is closing a groundbreaking freshwater research facility, the Experimental Lakes Area. It has been at the forefront of water science for nearly 50 years, measuring the impacts of human activities on freshwater ecosystems. I do not mean to sound academic, but that means the soil, air, water, animals and people.

Is the government-”

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Bruce Stanton):

“The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources.”

Mr. David Anderson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board, CPC):

“Mr. Speaker, of course we rely on science, and that is what we depend on to make our decisions, but we also depend on leading Canadians. We look forward to doing that.

We are focused on jobs, growth and economic prosperity across this country. We all know that major projects across this country are taking far too long. That is one of the reasons we brought forward the initiatives that we have in economic action plan 2012. We want to have one project, one review, with set timelines. That is reasonable.

Canadians are looking forward to that, and they are looking forward to the jobs that will come out of it as well.”

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Mr. Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay—Superior North, Ind.):

“Mr. Speaker, two years ago the Conservative member for Kenora crowed about the importance of new dollars for the Experimental Lakes Area. He said, “The Experimental Lakes Area is known worldwide as Canada’s most innovative freshwater research centre. …we are investing in projects like this one–helping to establish Canada as a leader in knowledge creation…”.

Will the member for Kenora fight for the research centre that he bragged about recently or just allow his party to toss those investments and his credibility into the experimental lakes?”

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

“Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the member that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will continue to support freshwater research across Canada. That is why, for example, we invested in the Lake Simcoe cleanup fund of $30 million in 2008. We are making very good progress using that money.

While we think that this facility would be better run by an academic private facility, we are going to continue to invest in clean water in our lakes. We are looking forward to facilitating a transfer from this particular facility to a private organization.”