Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to participate in the debate on Bill C-3. Many of my colleagues have spoken today, which is great because we do think that this is a very significant bill. It is a bill that needs to be thoroughly debated, both here in the House and in committee.
The first point I would like to make is that Bill C-3 is another omnibus bill that is being brought forward by the Conservative government.
Unfortunately, we have become used to receiving these mega-omnibus bills. This one is not as big as some of the budget bills we have had that stripped away environmental protection and regulations and put everything in but the kitchen sink. This is a small one but, nevertheless, it still is an omnibus bill. It actually would make amendments to five different acts, including the Aviation Industry Indemnity Act, the Aeronautics Act, the Canada Marine Act, the Marine Liability Act, and the Canada Shipping Act.
However, I do want to focus, particularly, on the marine act and the aspects pertaining to marine issues because I am from British Columbia and this, of course, is a huge issue for us on the west coast.
First, I would say that there are some positive aspects to the bill. We have gone through it very carefully and we can see that, for example, it would require pilotage and increased surveillance for boats, tankers, coming in, which is certainly a small step in the right direction.
However, we note that the bill would be too limited and there is still a lot more to do. Certainly, one of those things that needs to be done is for the government to reverse the effects that the drastic cuts in last year's budget has had on tanker safety on the west coast.
When we read Bill C-3, I think we can see that it is a pretty thinly-veiled attempt to compensate, sort of like window dressing, for the previous inaction and the Conservative cuts to marine safety.