August 29, 1988

PC

Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of Labour):

Mr. Speaker, as was indicated previously in this House, particularly on Friday, the prime responsibility for storage and maintenance of PCBs is a provincial one. The Province of Quebec did proceed and is proceeding with respect to dealing with the substance known as PCBs.

It is obvious that all Governments are concerned about what happened in Saint-Basile-le-Grand. This Government in particular, with the co-operation of all Governments in Canada, will make sure that such instances do not occur again, and deal with the maintenance and destruction of PCBs in a safe way in order that they do not damage or endanger Canadians' health and security.

Oral Questions

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   STORAGE OF PCBS
Permalink

NEWFOUNDLAND RAILWAY-TRANSPORTATION OF PCBS

LIB

George Baker

Liberal

Mr. George Baker (Gander-Twillingate):

Mr. Speaker, the only way PCBs are transported in Canada today is by rail from each province to the port of Montreal where they are containerized and then sent across the ocean to Pontypool, Wales, in the United Kingdom, for destruction.

It is outrageous enough that we would be shipping our filth to another country and risking the ocean environment while we are doing it, but does the Government not realize that by discontinuing the Newfoundland Railway next month it will be unable to carry PCBs by rail? Is the Government suggesting they be carried by our one and only road across the province? Does the Government not realize that every province in Canada has alternate road routes and a railway on which to carry dangerous chemicals? Newfoundland has neither.

Will the Government of Canada now keep the railway open for the transportation of dangerous goods, or does it care about the health and safety of Newfoundlanders?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NEWFOUNDLAND RAILWAY-TRANSPORTATION OF PCBS
Permalink
PC

Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of Labour):

Mr. Speaker, I am tempted of course to try to be as amusing as the Hon. Member but I think this issue is serious enough that we should perhaps not try to divert attention from this important subject.

I understand that some provinces were very concerned with dealing with PCBs, Quebec in particular, which was working and is still working on a project with respect to the destruction of PCBs. Obviously the population is involved and there is intense consultation that is going on, but I can assure all Hon. Members of this House, and Canadians in general, that the federal Government will continue to co-operate with the provinces in order to come up with a valid solution to this problem with safety for all Canadians.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   NEWFOUNDLAND RAILWAY-TRANSPORTATION OF PCBS
Permalink

WINNIPEG-STORAGE OF PCBS IN RAILWAY BOXCAR

NDP

William Alexander (Bill) Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg-Birds Hill):

Mr. Speaker, I think we have had a good example here this afternoon of what is wrong with environmental law. The Minister of the Environment in Manitoba maintained for two days that it was a federal matter, and the Minister here, when he is backed into a corner, says it is a provincial matter. The fact is there is a need for co-ordination at both levels to deal with the problem. It has not been dealt with properly by any level of government.

The Minister has said we ought to pay attention to the facts. I ask him how he has the nerve to get up and say on behalf of the Minister of the Environment that the boxcar, which incidentally is in my riding, has a fence around it? I was there Thursday afternoon. I walked in from Springfield Road. There is no fence. You just walk in, and walk down the track.

I was there for half an hour and I never even bumped into anybody. I went back later under CP Rail supervision to have a look at the car. There was no seal on it but there is now; no lock, only a bolt.

August 29, 1988

Oral Questions

If the Minister is interested in the facts, why did he not get the facts that were available to me through Environment Canada? He appears to be unable to get those same facts.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   WINNIPEG-STORAGE OF PCBS IN RAILWAY BOXCAR
Permalink
PC

Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of Labour):

Mr. Speaker, I obviously do not know what site the Hon. Member inspected but my information is to the effect that the car is in an isolated area, located on a track which is fenced and patrolled regularly. More importantly, the car has been inspected and is secure, with no leakages.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   WINNIPEG-STORAGE OF PCBS IN RAILWAY BOXCAR
Permalink

REQUEST FOR STORAGE REGULATIONS

NDP

William Alexander (Bill) Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg-Birds Hill):

Mr. Speaker, 1 had hoped we would not have to argue about whether something is fenced or not. The fact of the matter is that on one complete side of the North Transcona yards there is no fence. Anyone with eyes to see can see that. I am surprised the Minister would get up and maintain that. It is beside a track which is the main lead into the CP railyard in North Transcona. The switch leading into it is not locked. There are all kinds of things that could have been done to make that a safer storage site that were not done, and Environment Canada says the guidelines were being adhered to.

Are these guidelines going to be reviewed so that these kinds of cases will not occur again? Are there going to be regulations, because we know there are no federal regulations with respect to the storage of PCBs? The Bill the Minister referred to has only to do with spills after they occur. It has nothing to do with storage. There are no regulations and it is about bloody time there were.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STORAGE REGULATIONS
Permalink
PC

Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of Labour):

Mr. Speaker, with respect to the facts themselves, I am informed again that the information I have been given is what has been seen on the site. Of course if the Hon. Member-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STORAGE REGULATIONS
Permalink
NDP

William Alexander (Bill) Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Blaikie:

Then you are stupid, because there is no fence.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STORAGE REGULATIONS
Permalink
?

Some Hon. Members:

Oh, oh!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STORAGE REGULATIONS
Permalink
PC

Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cadieux:

Of course-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STORAGE REGULATIONS
Permalink
NDP

William Alexander (Bill) Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Blaikie:

I walked in there myself, you idiot!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STORAGE REGULATIONS
Permalink
PC

John Horton McDermid (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McDermid:

You walk through fences!

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STORAGE REGULATIONS
Permalink
PC

Ramon John Hnatyshyn (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Hnatyshyn:

It was your ego that walked through.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STORAGE REGULATIONS
Permalink
PC

Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cadieux:

Of course, Mr. Speaker-

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STORAGE REGULATIONS
Permalink
NDP

William Alexander (Bill) Blaikie

New Democratic Party

Mr. Blaikie:

I don't walk through fences. I could if I had to.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STORAGE REGULATIONS
Permalink
PC

Pierre H. Cadieux (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Cadieux:

Of course, Mr. Speaker, I personally did not go there. Therefore I will take the Hon. Member's comments as notice and I will check with the appropriate people who have given me the report with respect to the fact that this car was fenced and was being patrolled. I can assure this House that, if that is not the case, not only will it be done but some people will probably be answering those questions for me.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STORAGE REGULATIONS
Permalink
PC

John Allen Fraser (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

The Hon. Member for Notre-Dame-de-Grace-Lachine East.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR STORAGE REGULATIONS
Permalink

August 29, 1988