41st PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION – October 22, 2012

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

“Mr. Speaker, over the last six months, Canada has witnessed an outpouring of stunned disbelief in the wake of the Conservative decision to de-fund the Experimental Lakes Area.

Nowhere else in the world are whole-lake ecosystem studies done and the long-term effects of experiments monitored on anywhere near the scale or with the path-breaking scientific success of the ELA.

What is the operational cost of the ELA? It is approximately $2 million per year. That is all. To put this in perspective, compare this to the massive subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, which will still be $1.2 billion per year by the end of 2016.

A major mistake has been made but there is still time for the government to recognize and rectify the error. If the government were indeed to change its mind, I would be the very first to stand here and give credit to the government for doing the right thing and for showing that goodwill and good sense are still possible in this Parliament.”

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Mr. Andrew Cash (Davenport, NDP):

“Mr. Speaker, I have two petitions to table today.

Nothing could really be more important than the preservation of freshwater in this country. That is why thousands upon thousands of Canadians from coast to coast to coast have signed a petition calling on the federal government to recognize the importance of the Experimental Lakes Area and reverse the decision to close the ELA research station. I present that to the House today.”

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

“Mr. Speaker, following on from my Davenport colleague, I rise to present a petition from dozens of people, mostly from Toronto, calling upon the government to reverse the decision to close the ELA.

Canadians, like the petitioners, wish the government to remember that without a 28-year Experimental Lakes Area experiment on the effects of acid rain on lakes, sulphur dioxide emissions would not have been curbed by Canada and the U.S. through treaties and statutes, or without an ELA experiment on algal blooms, we would still have lakes choking to death as they were in the 1960s.

What major findings could be next if the ELA were to live on?

The petitioners ask the government to give the ELA a new lease on life.”

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Mr. Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North, Lib.):

“Mr. Speaker, I, too, am tabling a petition concerning the Experimental Lakes Area. Many people are very concerned about our lakes, rivers and bodies of water and they are calling upon the government to reverse its cuts to the ELA and, in particular, to recognize the importance of the ELA to the government in studying, preserving and protecting our aquatic ecosystems, and to continue to staff and provide the financial resources necessary to support the ELA.”