MP Eglinski Continues to Push for Federal Funding on Pine Beetle
November 10, 2017
OTTAWA: On November 9th, Jim Eglinski, Member of Parliament for Yellowhead, raised a question in the House during Adjournment Proceedings for a second time in two weeks. As before, he called on the federal government to assist Alberta in the fight against the mountain pine beetle infestation, this time debating with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade.
He stated, “Our boreal forests are at risk. What is needed from the minister is financial aid. Even the former Liberal government, in 2005, recognized the problem and gave $100 million to fight the pine beetle when it was still in British Columbia.”
MP Eglinski argued that it is time to put less money into research and more money into action.
“Again, I am going to ask a similar question. When is the Liberal government going to step up to the plate? Last week we received an answer that it was doing science and research. I rise again to say that science and research are not applicable at this time.
“Why is that? We know all about the pine beetle. Science and research have been done for many years. I was there when the pine beetle was first spotted in western British Columbia in the late 1970s. If proper action had been taken then, and the trees culled or burned, I probably would not be asking the question again today.”
Similar to previous answers, the government’s response stopped short of any meaningful action. The Parliamentary Secretary expressed sympathy and took the opportunity to praise her government’s $87 million Canada-wide investment in scientific infrastructure upgrades.
MP Eglinski, frustrated, echoed his call for federal funding dedicated to fighting the pine beetle infestation on the ground.
“The government needs to put up some money to help the Province of Alberta fight the pine beetle situation . . . We are asking you for financial assistance to stop it before it gets further east,” concluded MP Eglinski.
To read the full debate, visit the corresponding day’s Hansard at the House Publications page: www.ourcommons.ca/en.