April 3, 1987

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Some Hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   PRESENCE IN GALLERY OF PAST PRESIDENT OF U.S. ASSOCIATION OF FORMER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
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ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS

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Hon. Chas. L. Caccia@Davenport

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. On the eve of the third summit would the Deputy Prime Minister reassure the House and Canadians that the Prime Minister will not be sidetracked by Washington's insistence on research and demonstration but that the Prime Minister will forcefully, openly and publicly ask the President to launch a program of cuts in acid pollution that will be parallel to Canada's program launched by this Government in 1984? Will he ask that the

Oral Questions

program have a target date, percentages, and the specific purpose of implementing and supporting what we in Canada are doing to come to grips with this very important ecological issue?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   ACID RAIN-REQUEST FOR U.S. PROGRAM TO CUT EMISSIONS
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PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister; Vice-President; President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Don Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, the Hon. Member insists on repeating the same question. It has been very adequately answered by the Minister of the Environment and indeed by the Prime Minister. I fail to see what benefit he expects to derive from repetition.

May I simply reiterate that the statement of the Prime Minister in a recent speech in Quebec clearly outlined the position of the Canadian Government. I think the Hon. Member would recognize that considerable progress has been made and the objective of the meeting this weekend will be to further that progress. The bottom line is simply this, and I quote: "Our objective continues to be a bilateral air-quality agreement between Canada and the United States with specified emission control targets. We will not be fully satisfied until we achieve that objective." I do not think it can be any clearer than that.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   ACID RAIN-REQUEST FOR U.S. PROGRAM TO CUT EMISSIONS
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LIB

Charles L. Caccia

Liberal

Mr. Caccia:

The reason for the repetition is that the Government is hesitant about giving the assurance that it will make this request openly and publicly of the President.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
Sub-subtopic:   ACID RAIN-REQUEST FOR U.S. PROGRAM TO CUT EMISSIONS
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TRANSBOUNDARY POLLUTION

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Hon. Chas. L. Caccia@Davenport

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary concerns the progress to which the Deputy Prime Minister has referred. Does the Government realize that at this rate of progress transboundary acid rain pollution will not be reduced by one ounce well into the 1990s if we are still following the recipe prescribed by Washington, namely, further research and further demonstration?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TRANSBOUNDARY POLLUTION
Permalink
PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister; Vice-President; President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Don Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, that is the view of the Hon. Member and he is certainly entitled to it. I think there are many people who would not share that view, including people south of the border. I happened to watch an expert on Canada AM this morning who differed very fundamentally with the Hon. Member.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TRANSBOUNDARY POLLUTION
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LIB
PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister; Vice-President; President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Mazankowski:

I think the Prime Minister has made the commitment, and we require a commitment from Congress. As the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Environment have indicated, we have to use our best efforts to implore Congress to move and support the administration, and see that this resolution is sought from and confirmed by Congress. It, too, has a very important role in this exercise.

April 3, 1987

Oral Questions DISASTERS

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TRANSBOUNDARY POLLUTION
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FLOOD DAMAGE IN NEW BRUNSWICK

NDP

James Douglas Manly

New Democratic Party

Mr. Jim Manly (Cowichan-Malahat-The Islands):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Deputy Prime Minister. Devastating floods in New Brunswick have caused widespread damage to both public and private property. The damage is beyond the power of the communities or even the province to handle adequately. I presume the Government has been in touch with local authorities. Can the Minister tell us what kind of aid the Government will provide to meet the emergency, prevent further damage, and help with rebuilding? When can the people of New Brunswick expect that help?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FLOOD DAMAGE IN NEW BRUNSWICK
Permalink
PC

Donald Frank Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister; Vice-President; President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Progressive Conservative Party House Leader)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Don Mazankowski (Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Privy Council):

Mr. Speaker, clearly the Government shares the concern about these floods. As the Hon. Member is aware, Emergency Planning Canada has a program in place which is triggered by a request from the provincial Government. There is a funding formula in place. Certainly the Government of Canada would be prepared to receive a request and honour it, commensurate it with that formula.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FLOOD DAMAGE IN NEW BRUNSWICK
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CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY STATIONING OF TOXIC CHEMICAL FREIGHT CARS ON FLOOD THREATENED BRIDGE

NDP

James Douglas Manly

New Democratic Party

Mr. Jim Manly (Cowichan-Malahat-The Islands):

Mr. Speaker, my supplementary is directed to the Minister of Transport. Will he launch a full public inquiry into the incredible action of CPR officials in placing 17 rail cars, including 13 filled with toxic chemicals, on the railway bridge at Perth-Andover in order to counterbalance the pressure from ice and flood water? When the bridge collapsed those cars fell into the river and now present a very clear environmental risk. There is a real danger to the fish habitat and a possible danger to drinking water. Will the Minister be launching a full public inquiry to get to the bottom of this issue?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY STATIONING OF TOXIC CHEMICAL FREIGHT CARS ON FLOOD THREATENED BRIDGE
Permalink
PC

John Carnell Crosbie (Minister of Transport)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. John C. Crosbie (Minister of Transport):

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Transport Commission will naturally be making a full inquiry into that situation. As I understand the facts, the cars did not break. They contained ammonium sulphate and potash. The contents could harm fish but it is expected the water will dilute them sufficiently that there will be no harm caused. It will, of course, be the responsibility of CP to retrieve these cars from the river. There will naturally be a full inquiry.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY STATIONING OF TOXIC CHEMICAL FREIGHT CARS ON FLOOD THREATENED BRIDGE
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LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE TO FISH HABITAT

NDP

James Douglas Manly

New Democratic Party

Mr. Jim Manly (Cowichan-Malahat-The Islands):

Mr. Speaker, I will direct my final supplementary question to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Will he assure the Canadian public that CP Rail will be liable for any damage to fish habitat which results from this incredible action on the part of CPR?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE TO FISH HABITAT
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PC

Thomas Edward Siddon (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Thomas Siddon (Minister of Fisheries and Oceans):

Mr. Speaker, I certainly find it astonishing, as I think do most Canadians, that 13 cars of chemicals, diammonium phosphate and ammonium sulphate, were used in the face of a five-metre flood crest to attempt to stabilize the bridge. I have asked my officials and those of the Department of the Environment, on behalf of my colleague who is not in the House this morning, to estimate immediately the possible risk to fish habitat and human health as a result of any of these chemicals dissolving in the river, and to determine immediately what recovery methods might be necessary if any of the cars are found to be leaking. 1 have asked that this assessment be done immediately and, furthermore, that we determine what authorities were granted for the parking of these rail cars on the bridge in this way.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   LIABILITY FOR DAMAGE TO FISH HABITAT
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FLOODS-REQUEST THAT FUNDS BE SPECIALLY PROVIDED TO HELP AFFECTED REGIONS

April 3, 1987