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Results: 1 - 15 of 199
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
It's actually, I suppose, a bit different. We usually have the bill in front of us and we're tearing apart the bill to see the faults of it. But this time, of course, we've just been given a brief that you are going to be presenting something in the House tomorrow—rather the minister is.
I've always felt over the last while, since I got into politics more so than ever, that the environment has never been what you call an issue for a lot of people. It's unfortunate because we are seeing today that there is a bigger need to protect our environment than ever before. Of course, it seems like the environment is the last on the list. Let's make the dollars first and then we'll worry about the environment after. But if we don't have a good environment, it's no good making money because we won't have anything here. Of course, there are words being used: “deliberate”, “disgusting”, “falsifying records”. It's going to be very difficult to strengthen the present regulations to basically stop all this, because people are deliberately doing it, falsifying records, and of course, it's hard to have surveillance at night time, especially, when a lot of this is being done. I'm just wondering whether you can tell us how you think you're going to make it work.
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
I'll ask you one other, sir, as some of the members want to ask some questions as well.
What happens off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, of course, and all of Atlantic Canada no doubt is disgusting and should not be tolerated. I think if the bill, the presentation of the regulations in the House tomorrow, is going to strengthen things, you'll have a large number of support for the new efforts.
I've heard people say this and I'm just wondering what your view is. When you get these tankers that basically dump their oil at sea, wouldn't it be more reasonable to have dumping stations at ports so that they're required to dump before they leave? We've heard stories in Newfoundland and Labrador that they leave port and they're not out there, as we say, jig time, a short time, before all of a sudden they discharge their oil. Wouldn't it make sense to have something in the regulations to have either the government or the port authorities access money to have holding tanks available at ports so that they can discharge their oil before they leave port? That way they'll be working with the port authority and working with government to make sure they're not out there doing it, because it's all a cost factor. It's better to spend money upfront and do that cost, rather than let the boat owners go out. Regardless of what anyone says, although the captain may give the order, and the engineer may do what the captain says, the owners of these boats are the ones who have given the direction to move forward.
I'm just wondering what your idea is. Is it possible to have holding tanks or stations at ports?
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
I want to make just one comment, because I know the other members may pick up on it.
In the beginning I said we need to protect our environment, and I know we've got to protect our economy as well. There's a price to pay for keeping a clean environment, and if we're not willing to do that as politicians, then of course boat owners and tanker owners are going to continually dump their oil at sea, unless we're serious about making sure it's going to work. That's the key. We've got to make sure these companies are going to strengthen it and make it work.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
Just to add onto yours before I start, Mr. Chair, you've asked that we get that information. I'm hoping it will include the country they fly under, the flag they fly under, as well as, if they've had convictions, the dollar value that the courts have ruled against these companies. It would be nice to have a comparison when the new regulations come out--if it's going to be better for governments, better for ports, or better for the boat owners.
Mr. Chair, the honourable member across the way mentioned that he hoped there would be unanimous support for it, and I hope that all parties will support it. But there are parties in the House that will probably say you haven't gone far enough.
I will tell you right now, from what I know of the people in Newfoundland and Labrador who are concerned, and from what I've heard over the last probably year and a half or two years, the question is, are we concerned with stopping what's happening at sea, the dumping of the oil, or are we more concerned with putting bigger fines out there? Because if we're interested only in putting bigger fines there, then we're not interested in stopping the problem. If we don't stop the problem, we're going to have, year after year, hundreds and probably thousands of birds that float to the lands of Newfoundland and Labrador. All across Atlantic Canada dead birds are going to be showing up.
So are we going to see tomorrow a concentrated effort to stop it, or are we going to see a concentrated effort to basically increase surveillance--which is very important, don't get me wrong--and increase the fines? Is this just going to be a show for the sake of saying we're trying to do something?
I do know that if we don't have cooperation with Europe and the United States, no matter what we do in Canada, it may not work.
I'm just wondering, are we concerned about stopping it completely?
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
Absolutely, I agree.
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
Mr. Chair, I have just one more comment.
I'm very pleased to hear that you are going to be doing that, because I think it's very important to have the cooperation of the United States, as well as cooperation from the European countries.
I don't think anyone in his right mind would say that what you will probably be submitting tomorrow won't be better than what's there, and I think any step to make it better is important, but I just want to make sure you understand that people are looking for something direct, something that's going to try to fix the problem.
I do know we have to keep the economics involved. As a result, I think the most important thing we can do as a country is to impress on the U.S. and the European nations that this has to stop.
It flabbergasts me to know that they have these filtering systems on board but they don't use them. To me, it's just not logical. It should be a mandatory requirement on these ships that they be used. And if they're not being used, then the courts should deal with them harshly to send the message. I think that's important.
So I think the technology is there. It's only a matter of whether we want to use it to protect the environment.
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
Mr. Chair, when you were talking about this, something just came to mind. Of course we all know we're going into an election very soon. I just hope this doesn't get lost, and I just hope, with the number of Liberals we have on the committee, if we can get unanimous support from all the parties, that we can fast-track this, because it is very important. I wouldn't want us to come back after an election to find that the bill had died or that something had happened to it.
This is very important. And I think if we can get unanimous consent, let's move forward with this before we have an election. We know we have two weeks--that's what the word is, anyway, what the media are saying--so let's get it done quickly.
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
Well, that's the media, you know.
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
I would say to you that I will do my utmost to make sure you get it. I believe that if we're going to do something, let's do it for the betterment of what we're here for rather than just playing foolish politics and delaying it so it gets lost, because I think it's important to get it done.
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
I will impress on our House leader that we move forward with this very expeditiously to make sure it gets passed for the right reasons, rather than playing politics with it. I can assure you of that. Now, if he doesn't listen to me, there's not much I can do about it.
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
Thank you very much for coming today, Ms. Mitchell. It's a pleasure to be here to ask you questions with regard to the Great Lakes.
I was a councillor in the town of Grand Falls--Windsor. We as a council took the stand that something had to be done about the environment with regard to one of our major rivers, which we were polluting. We sometimes went against the advice of our taxpayers because we felt as a community that we had to do something. I think that is what has to happen here. The provincial politicians have to take a stand to make sure things are going to happen.
It's not a bad thing that you're not funded by government, because I found in the past that if you're funded by government, you actually have to toe the government line. If not, they cut off your funding. Although it doesn't happen all the time, you have to be very careful. We need groups like yours to speak out and be forceful about the environment.
From what I understand, you hit a crossroads. There's a lot of dropping the ball with regard to the Great Lakes, and I think it needs to get back on track. The first way for that to happen is that the politicians have to buy into it. I think that once the politicians buy into it, you'll find it comes easy. Approach the government as a group of concerned politicians whose areas surround the Great Lakes and say “We have to do something about this. We have to put our money where our mouth is. So let's deal with it.”
There are many threats to the Great Lakes. What do you see as one of the greatest threats we need to deal with, one that politicians should deal with instantly, to bring awareness that there is a problem, and how do we go about it?
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
I apologize for coming late. I missed a part of your presentation, so if I ask a question that wasn't in your presentation, well, that's fine too, because you should be able to answer it.
Safety is a major concern throughout the whole industry. And of course, when it was brought to our attention that there was a proposal being looked at to reduce the number of flight attendants on flights, I think everyone on this committee found that to be a major concern.
I'm just wondering if the analysis that was done back in 2001--I believe there might have been an analysis done in 2001--was the same as what we're talking about today, basically to reduce the flight attendants.
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
You say analysis was done. What was the difference? I believe back then, of course, it was quite clear that it failed the safety test. What's different today than from two years ago, in 2001?
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
Is this proposal going to be moving forward to save money, despite worries about the safety of people in the air and safety for airline attendants? Is this a money situation for the industry?
View Rex Barnes Profile
CPC (NL)
Well, let's put it this way. It failed the test in 2001, from what I could understand. It was inadequate then. We've had a lot of things happen in the industry since 2001. I know this committee, and from the first time I was here we've pushed big time to give the airport authorities...I won't say a blank cheque, but basically the okay to make sure that security measures are put in place at the airports. And here we are today listening to the possibility that there's going to be a reduction of airline attendants in the skies.
From anyone's perspective, if you reduce one or two of the bodies from the air who have been giving the service to the customer, there has to be an impact. I can see that this is going to be a major detriment to the airline industry and to consumers. It definitely is going to be a safety issue, and if you fellows can't see that.... I won't say you're in the wrong business, but you should definitely look at this through a different perspective, because there's something definitely wrong.
You can have all the security you want in one direction, but if you don't have enough bodies in the air.... I've done the travelling, and everyone around this table has done the travelling, and I've been on the plane when there's been a medical emergency. I tell you, it's not an easy task for the airline attendants to care for the remaining people and to keep people calm and collected, as well as take care of the person who needs that medical attention. It's difficult. If anything, we should be looking at increasing attendants for safety reasons.
Results: 1 - 15 of 199 | Page: 1 of 14

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