IN THE HOUSE ~ Question ~ re. 2012 Fall Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development

41st Parliament, 1st Session ~ Context : Question

    M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, les conservateurs mettent les Canadiens à risque. Le plafond de la responsabilité absolue des exploitants des centrales nucléaires n'a pas été mis à jour depuis 35 ans. Cela veut dire que si un accident se produit, les contribuables canadiens devront se débrouiller tout seuls. La catastrophe de Fukushima a coûté près de 200 milliards de dollars.

    Pourquoi les conservateurs refilent-ils la patate chaude aux Canadiens relativement au paiement des dégâts d'un désastre nucléaire? Pourquoi sont-ils tellement irresponsables?

    Mr. David Anderson (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the irony here is inescapable because the legislation would have been passed if the NDP had not opposed it the last time. The NDP members filibustered at every point.

    We intend to raise the limit by 10 times. The House leader was the critic at the time, and he did everything he could to stall the legislation.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Well, nice try.

    Mr. Speaker, Canadians would trust the Environment Commissioner over the PMO talking points any time.

    The commissioner was clear, Conservatives are playing Russian roulette on oil spill clean-up. There is a $30 million liability limit. However, supertanker spills cost billions of dollars. This negligence means that our tourism, fishery and economies of our coastal communities are all being put at risk. Even one tanker could leave Canadian families on the hook for billions of dollars in clean-up costs.

    Why have the Conservatives left Canadians standing on the edge of a liability cliff? Why are they so irresponsible?

    Ms. Michelle Rempel (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, CPC): Mr. Speaker, as I have said earlier, our government is committed to periodically assessing the financial liability assessment to make sure that Canada's polluter-pay system remains the strongest in the world.

    With regard to our responsible resource development plan, we have undertaken many actions to ensure that there is increased pipeline safety inspections and increased safety with regard to tanker transport. All of these things were included in our responsible resource development plan which the NDP voted against.