Bell supporting Layton’s climate change bill

Gravel was used to cap toxic seepage at the ferry maintenance yard. - Meagan O
Gravel was used to cap toxic seepage at the ferry maintenance yard.
— image credit: Meagan O'Shea/Staff Photo

The beauty of the Comox glacier was raised in the House of Commons this week — or specifically, the retreating beauty of it.

The glacier, which sets a backdrop for the Valley, was just one example brought forward by Vancouver Island North MP Catherine Bell, as she spoke for Jack Layton’s private member’s Bill C-377, the “climate change accountability act.”

“For the last few years we have been seeing more and more of the mountain poking out of the ice as the glacier melts a little more each summer,” said Bell, during debate on the bill Monday.

Extreme water flows, to barely running streams, earlier and earlier starts to forest fire season and impacts on fish habitat, were all examples Bell took from her constituency to show the need for accountability and progress when it comes to dealing with climate change.

“I think it’s important for the people of Canada and of Vancouver Island North to hear about some of the impacts of this growing crisis of climate change,” said Bell following the debate. “Just to give a flavour of what is happening out there ... there are thousands of examples that people are seeing.”

The bill, raised by Layton, is a good one she said, because it creates a strong goal, good targets to reach in the meantime and accountability to hold the government to their commitment.

It’s important that they take those steps, she adds, because the government in Ottawa has fallen behind Canadians and their own action on climate change.

“Canadians are in a lot of respects ahead of the government on this issue,” said Bell — as she put it in the house, they “have been calling upon the government for years to act, to clean up our air and our water, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

That’s why she hopes that all parties will support the proposed plan. The first hour of debate on Monday will be followed by another (at an unknown date) before going to vote for second reading. First reading was given in October 2006.

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