Mr. Ken Atkinson (St. Catharines):
Mr. Speaker, on January 15 there was a public meeting in Niagara Falls, New York, to hear reports by representatives of the environment departments of the United States, Canada, Ontario and New York State on their efforts to clean up toxic waste in the Niagara River.
We heard about the many difficulties encountered in measuring the various polluting chemicals and it seemed to me that there was a great deal of uncertainty as to whether the goal of 50 per cent reduction set in the Niagara River clean-up agreement would be attained by the target date.
We know that the largest source of these chemicals is the chemical waste sites located on the American side of the river. There are efforts under way to contain these chemicals leaching into the river and promises of a dramatic decline in a few years.
The government has to ensure that these actions are successful. This pollution affects all of us who live close to the Niagara River or live near Lake Ontario and take our drinking water from this source. This is a health issue for all of us.
It is essential that we heed the international joint commission which has called for the entire elimination of these chemicals. It is a goal that we simply must reach.
Subtopic: NIAGARA RIVER