Hon. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre, Liberal Party of Canada): Mr. Speaker, currently small craft are not allowed to dump sewage less than three miles from Vancouver's coastal waters.
Transport Canada is thinking of reducing this to one mile, which will cause a serious public health hazard, increasing E. coli contamination, on the busy beaches in Vancouver where kids and locals swim.
Public health officers, health authorities and municipalities have raised concerns with the minister. Will she ensure Canadians that she will prevent this public health catastrophe and abandon this reckless idea?
Hon. Lisa Raitt (Minister of Transport, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it is true that Transport Canada is reviewing these guidelines. As such, we welcome input from all members of Parliament, indeed all Canadians across the country with respect to changes that are being considered.
To download a copy of Dr. Fry's petition to retain the three-mile sewage dumping limit, please click here.
Recent media reports indicate Transport Canada is conducting consultations to allow small pleasure craft, with less than 15 passengers, to dump sewage waste a short one nautical mile from shore, far less than the current regulation of three nautical miles. This proposed change will greatly affect the water safety surrounding Vancouver’s beaches, putting public health at risk.
Hon. Hedy Fry (Vancouver Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the government ratchets up its war on science by forcing scientists to find matching funds to do basic research.
Scientists at CIHR say research on aboriginal child, seniors health and nutrition is now at risk since it is near impossible to find matching private funds unless the research leads to commercialization. Institutes are now pitted against each other for limited...