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Environmental protection is a core Canadian value.

The House of Commons is reviewing at Report Stage Bill S-5 Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act.

Every Canadian has the right to a healthy environment – a right that may be balanced with social, economic, health, and scientific factors – and it requires the Government of Canada to protect this right, something that my party and I strongly support.

On May 15, the House debated Bill S-5 – Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act – at the report stage.

One of my concerns with S-5 was that the language must be precise in what it means. When legislation uses language that is vague or subject to misinterpretation – misinterpretation is exactly what we often get later. Such misunderstandings or disagreements often end up in Court. It is better if Parliamentarians – the people elected to write laws – be specific about what they intend. Regulatory uncertainty is detrimental to those trying to work within a law.

My colleagues and I – from all parties – worked collaboratively to amend the Bill with this in mind, which is the version we are discussing today. Unfortunately, the government ignored most of that work and introduced measures in the Budget Implementation Act that are not complementary to the work done by the Environment Committee on S-5. More about that in my speech.

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You can consult the Official Hansard transcript.