Ms. Lynn Hunter (Saanich-Gulf Islands):
Mr. Speaker, I noted the member indicated in his speech that he invited opposition and debate. Then he went into a 20-minute diatribe against those very things. It is sad that in the last few days of the House the Liberals feel so insecure on this project they cannot take the very valid criticisms put forward by the New Democratic Party.
I have a question for the member. The Federal Environmental Assessment Review Office put forward a recommendation not to proceed after the environmental assessment was done. It recommended not to proceed. The Department of Public Works rejected that recommendation. I would like his comments on that. I would also like his comments on the Federal Court's decision that this would be in contempt of the environmental assessment process.
These are valid concerns. It has nothing to do with electability. It is talking about an environmental assessment review, respect for that process and respect for the judicial process that has been assessed here. I ask him to tone down the rhetoric and get to the points we have been addressing in our comments before the House.
Mr. MacDonald (Dartmouth) Mr. Speaker, it is a bit
much to have the member opposite talk about rhetoric after what we have had to listen to from her people on this bill. It is absolutely incredible.
She asked about the concerns of the court. I do not think that by the Parliament of Canada supporting the bill we are in contempt of anything other than the behaviour of the New Democratic Party in not participating in a positive way in its development. That is what I am in contempt of.
I will say that the concerns addressed by the Federal Court in its decision in my view have been adequately addressed both by the Department of Public Works and by the province of Prince Edward Island. We can have debate on this project until the cows come home whether or not the member who asked the question thinks it has been addressed.
I want to say something about the kind of comments that have been made. I do not say this with a great deal of hyperbole. I find the approach of the New Democratic Party on this issue to be condescending and insulting to the 70 per cent of people in Prince Edward Island who are in favour and the hundreds of individuals who have appeared at committees, participated in the studies that have been done, and have provided input over the years.
I find the attitude of the New Democratic Party highly insulting. It is basically saying that we, the poor bumpkins down east, just do not know what is good for us. What malarkey. What lies. If there is anybody who is going to be looking after the interests of Atlantic Canadians it is members of this place from Atlantic Canada.
I understand the New Democratic Party and the member opposite have a real interest in the environment, but they have a greater interest at this point in this Parliament in opposing anything that comes forward so they can get more free press. That is all they are interested in.
I am not interested in free press. I am interested in the bill proceeding at this point at the end of the session after a great deal of study through this place so that we in Atlantic Canada, particularly in Prince Edward Island and parts of northeastern Nova Scotia and southern New Brunswick, can finally be on an even playing-field, an even footing, with other regions of the country in terms of the ability to have modem transportation systems and connections between our producers and the Canadian and world marketplaces.
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: NORTHUMBERLAND STRAIT CROSSING ACT