June 5, 2003 (37th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Marcel Gagnon

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Marcel Gagnon (Champlain, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I savoured the last speech, because it hit the nail on the head. We saw the reaction of members opposite. Hitting the nail on the head produced this kind of reaction.
I would like my hon. colleague to go a little further. We referred to shipowners working to take away the St. Lawrence River pilots. I know that the hon. member is anticipating my question, and I am anxious to hear his answer. At present, ships sailing up the St. Lawrence River are for the most part refused entry into the U.S. These are poison ships. Do you know that these ships are a threat? They are not inspected upon entering the river. They are a threat but we have an insurance policy in that we have pilots who are familiar with the St. Lawrence River.
Imagine what is going to happen with these ships hauling dangerous cargo if these pilots who know the river so well are taken away. The St. Lawrence River is not an ocean. It runs down the middle of Quebec. It is the heart of Quebec. Let us consider for a moment what would happen if a ship sank on Lake Saint-Pierre. All of Quebec would be devastated for years to come.
Wanting to interfere with that is bad lobbying. I also want the hon. member to tell me what exactly he likes in the firearms lobby, for example.
I have a problem with Lake Saint-Pierre. We want it to be decontaminated, because there are 300,000 shells in it right now. This apparently happened just like that. Of these 300,000 shells, 10,000 are unexploded and continue to pose a threat at the bottom of the lake.
That is not all. The firearms lobby is so powerful that it is considering setting up north of La Tuque. Mr. Speaker, you who have practised sports have known Maurice Richard as I did. At the end of the hockey season, this great athlete used to say, “I am going north of La Tuque to enjoy the peace and quiet”. Now they want to have weapon experimentation ranges in that area. The lobby is pushing for that, arguing that it will protect the environment.
I would like my hon. colleague from Argenteuil—Papineau—Labelle to elaborate on these two aspects.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Lobbyists Registration Act
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