Mr. Howard Crosby (Halifax West):
Mr. Speaker, let me begin by commenting on the last reference by the member for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
I come from a constituency, Halifax West, that virtually has a greater population than Prince Edward Island. I do not resent the province of Prince Edward Island having four members in this House and I do not think any other member of this House would resent that or call attention to it. It is part of Confederation. It is part of the give and take. That is what was lacking in the member's presentation. There is give and take in Canada. There is give and take in Confederation.
For the member to suggest that those who do not oppose this bill are lacking in courage is not only insulting but a gross misunderstanding of the situation.
Of course there are problems with the fixed link. Of course there are environmental difficulties that have to be overcome. Of course there are questions about the
financial feasibility. All of those will be looked at and are governed by this legislation.
All this legislation does is give an opportunity to the people of Prince Edward Island and the maritime provinces to gain an economic advantage. It is not about depriving British Columbia or fracturing Confederation but about strengthening Confederation and the mari-times. One has to be from the maritimes to understand that.
Of course we take chances. We will always take chances. We cannot have all the resources of British Columbia transplanted to the maritimes. We have to make do with what we have. For the member to cast that as a lack of courage is insulting.
I want to say one thing because I took one thing from what she said. Among the concerns are the more than 600 employees who may eventually lose employment as a result of this project. Every one of us, and I know I speak for both the Liberal and Conservative members from the maritimes, are concerned with that. There is a solution to that. However that is not a reason to stop economic advantage for the maritimes. Those people can be assisted and hopefully find other employment. I know the government will look after those interests.
Do not let that be the member's excuse. Do not let the member's support of the labour unions be the excuse for voting against this bill.
Topic: GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic: NORTHUMBERLAND STRAIT CROSSING ACT