Evidence of meeting #29 for Environment and Sustainable Development in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was young.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Monte Hummel  Chair, Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement
  • Bradley Young  Senior Policy Analyst, National Aboriginal Forestry Association

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Mark Warawa

Okay, thank you.

Ms. Liu.

April 3rd, 2012 / 4:45 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

I want to thank our witnesses for coming in today. Your testimonies are very useful, and I'm sure they will help us produce our report at the end of the study.

I'd like to refer to a report published in 2003 by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. They consulted with hundreds of witnesses concerning conservation in Canada. This report contains about 20 recommendations, and I'd like to bring your attention to a particular recommendation, recommendation 2:

The Round Table recommends that federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments require integrated land-use planning to ensure that conservation decisions are made at the same time as, or prior to, decisions about major industrial development.

Mr. Young, could you provide a brief response to that? Do you support this recommendation, and what are your comments about this?

4:45 p.m.

Senior Policy Analyst, National Aboriginal Forestry Association

Bradley Young

Yes, I would wholeheartedly support that. You can't conserve and develop without taking into consideration one or the other. First nations people should be at the heart of that discussion.

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Hummel, by the way, while I was doing research, I was impressed by your life-long advocacy for environmental issues. I know you spoke about the importance of marrying economic interests to environmental interests, so what would your comments be on this recommendation?

4:50 p.m.

Chair, Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement

Monte Hummel

I participated in that study. Buried in there is what's called the “conservation first” principle. It says that often you have to sequence conservation accomplishments up front when you're making economic development decisions, because you aren't going to get a chance down the line. For example, give communities a chance to identify and protect areas that are important to them before you open it up for industrial development, whether it's diamond mining, oil and gas, or forestry.

I want to emphasize that “conservation first” doesn't mean it's the only thing you consider. But sometimes you have to sequence things, because you won't get a crack at it further down the road. That's part of what was being referred to in that section on land use planning.

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

I know my time's running out quickly, so I'd like to thank our witnesses for coming in today. We'll definitely use your testimony to work on our recommendations.

We know that the committee in the past has studied CEAA, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. My constituents have been somewhat concerned about the cuts that have been made to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. With the budget that came out last week...we were quite concerned about the cuts that have been made to the environment, including the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, so—

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Mark Warawa

Order.

I want to encourage Ms. Liu to stay on topic. We're not talking about the budget. We're talking about the national conservation plan.

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

I just wanted to give a preamble to a motion I would like to present at committee, but thanks for the reminder.

Last month, Environment Canada decided to loan....

Dan Wicklum was an official at Environment Canada and recently became the chief executive of Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. This has been a concern for my constituents, the separation of powers.

On that note, I'd like to present a motion to committee. The motion reads as follows:

That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee hear Dan Wicklum, Chief Executive of Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, no later than on Thursday, April 5, 2012.

If the motion is receivable, I'd like to make an amendment.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Mark Warawa

The motion is in order, but for anything to do with scheduling, the tradition is that we move in camera and that it be discussed in camera, as we have every other scheduling issue.

On a point of order, I have Mr. Woodworth.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Kitchener Centre, ON

I hate to do this when you just said the motion is in order, but don't we have a rule about giving notice of motions? Has there been notice given of this motion before—

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Mark Warawa

On that point of order, there was adequate notice.

Now, if I have no other points of order, I will be suspending this meeting and we will be moving.... The motion is in order, but to discuss it, it would have to be done in camera.

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

I have a point of clarification, Mr. Chair.

I know as of late it's been tradition that we go in camera, but I don't think we necessarily have to if there's unanimous consent to discuss the motion right now.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Mark Warawa

One moment.

Just to answer Ms. Leslie's question, it does not require unanimous consent. It requires a motion. There is already a motion on the floor, but that would be a dilatory motion, which would not be debatable. We would have a motion. We would then vote to go in camera or to stay in the open meeting. The tradition is that scheduling is dealt with in an in camera meeting, so we would be breaking tradition to stay in the open meeting. But it's the committee's choice, if you want to do that.

At this point I would need a motion to deal with this at this meeting.

Do we have a point of order?

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

On the same subject, would Ms. Liu be willing to move her motion towards the end of the meeting so we can still hear from our witnesses? Some of us still have questions that we'd like to ask.

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Mark Warawa

One moment, please.

[Inaudible—Editor]...postponed, because she already has introduced a motion, and the motion is in order, so to postpone dealing with hers would require unanimous consent. Do I have unanimous consent to—