In Debate: C-55, An Act to amend the Oceans Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):  

    Mr. Speaker, I understand my colleague's concern in regard to moving ahead too quickly, but the reality is that Canada made a pledge. We promised that we would make sure that these protected areas were in place. We pledged 5% by 2017 and 10% by 2020. Having said that, I agree that this particular bill does not keep up to what is needed. I would call it a bit of greenwashing on the part of the government.

    To get to the point in regard to the intent of having a protected area, we have seen the tragic death of many right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. There is something terribly wrong there, and unfortunately, this particular legislation would allow the exploration of oil and gas in these very delicate areas.

    Would my esteemed colleague agree that perhaps the government should take another look at this plan to allow the exploration of oil and gas in these areas and show some concern for a population that is endangered, such as the right whale population?