IN THE HOUSE ~ Question ~ Conservative government photo-op runs aground

    M. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NPD): Monsieur le Président, si on est le meilleur, on ne démissionne pas. Si on n'est pas bon, on démissionne.

    En parlant de pas bon, le ministre des Ressources naturelles a tenté de camoufler l'inaction des conservateurs quant aux risques de déversement pétrolier en faisant le beau sourire pour les caméras.

    Or, le plus grand navire de nettoyage s'est pris dans un banc de sable en se rendant à la conférence de presse.

    Alors, c'est quoi le système de prévention contre les bateaux qui s'échouent pour une « photo-op Â» des conservateurs?

    Hon. Joe Oliver (Minister of Natural Resources, CPC): Mr. Speaker, our marine safety system has served Canada well without a major tanker accident ever. Still, we will do more and that is why the Minister of Transport and I announced a comprehensive eight-point plan to develop a world-class tanker safety system. Canadians can count on our government to responsibly develop our resources with strong science-based environmental protections, unlike the NDP who reject science.

    Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I think the vote last night proves the contrary. But the minister stood there claiming he could protect B.C.'s coast after all his government's cutbacks to protection, even though he knew hours earlier the largest oil spill response skimmer coming to Vancouver for his photo op had run aground.

    Now photo ops will not protect our shores any more than reality TV will protect our borders, or TV commercials will stimulate our economy. But when will the minister work to prevent spills and accidents instead of causing them?

    Hon. Joe Oliver (Minister of Natural Resources, CPC): Mr. Speaker, it was not our side of the floor that denounced a 2,000 page independent, objective, scientific evaluation performed by the State Department of the United States. Canada already has a strong tanker safety system. We made it mandatory for ships in Canadian waters to have double hulled tankers, to have pilots onboard, to be accompanied by tugboats, to have advanced navigation equipment and we will do more.

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