Evidence of meeting #31 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 nature.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Peter Kendall  Executive Director and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Earth Rangers
  • Len Ugarenko  President, Wildlife Habitat Canada
  • Sophie Gallais  Project Manager, Protected Areas, Nature Québec
  • Mark Northwood  President and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Earth Rangers

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Calgary Centre-North, AB

Again, I haven't heard a change in the question regarding how this would affect the scope of the study. We had a very clear scope of study, with six clear questions for witnesses.

My colleague's rephrasing of her statement did not reflect the scope of the study.

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Mark Warawa

Is there any further comment on that point of order? Otherwise I'll rule.

Madame Quach.

April 26th, 2012 / 4:25 p.m.

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach Beauharnois—Salaberry, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

It seems to me the question is absolutely relevant, since we are talking about conservation. The question concerns fisheries legislation that will result in changes in this area. That has a specific impact on fish habitat and on waters. In my opinion, it is absolutely appropriate for my colleague to put that question to Ms. Gallais, who is talking about defending natural habitats, ecosystems and biodiversity.

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Mark Warawa

Ms. Rempel.

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Calgary Centre-North, AB

Again, Mr. Chair, we're here today to discuss the development of a national conservation plan. The committee put a lot of effort into developing the scope of the study, and we've had excellent collaboration across the aisle and from witnesses on keeping the points relevant to the scope of that study.

While I appreciate that there may be certain components of what my colleague is saying to the national conservation plan, again, she did not rephrase her question in that regard. Should she wish to review the scope of these changes, I'd direct her perhaps to the fisheries committee, or the relevant department that may be studying this, at that point in time.

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Mark Warawa

We are still on this point of order.

Monsieur Choquette.

4:30 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette Drummond, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

It is important to know that marine waters conservation currently represents only 1% in Canada and that it concerns fish habitat. However, if my memory serves me, the Aichi target for 2020 is 10%. We have asked the question to determine how we could adopt the most efficient and effective national conservation plan possible for protecting marine waters and habitat. I asked a question on ecosystems last week. If we only protect a few fish at a time, we overlook the fact that we are dealing with an ecosystem. We can't just protect the fish that are caught in the commercial fishery because the rest of the fish are food for other fish and so on. It's a whole ecosystem.

So I suggest that Ms. Liu simply restate her question as to whether, in the context of a national conservation plan, an ecosystem approach would be preferable to an approach based on groups of species or groups of commercial fish and so on.

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Mark Warawa

Ms. Liu.

4:30 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

I appreciate my colleague's point of order, although I was specifically referring to targets six and seven of Madame Gallais' testimony. Target six reads:

By 2020 all fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystem based approaches, so that overfishing is avoided, recovery plans and measures are in place for all depleted species, fisheries have no significant adverse impacts on threatened species and vulnerable ecosystems and the impacts of fisheries on stocks, species and ecosystems are within safe ecological limits.

Target seven reads:

By 2020 areas under agriculture, aquaculture and forestry are managed sustainably, ensuring conservation of biodiversity.

I might rephrase my question to maybe refer to these two targets more specifically, but the question does remain.

I think it's legitimate for committee to have an oversight role in terms of the legislation that the government does put on the floor and so I think it is legitimate to ask a witness about legislation that government is presenting or the legislative goals that the current government has. But I'll defer to your ruling on that, Mr. Chair.

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Mark Warawa

Ms. Rempel.

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Calgary Centre-North, AB

While I'm glad for my colleague to remind us in committee of what our role as legislators is in reviewing legislation, which is what we have been doing in government actively over the last couple of months, I would also remind her and implore you to again review the scope of today's study in directing lines of questioning towards witnesses.

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Mark Warawa

I think we've had adequate discussion regarding this point.

For the benefit of the witnesses and my colleagues in the committee, this is what was provided to the witnesses and will guide the principles of our questioning today:

The scope of the study is as follows, with witnesses and interested parties being asked to comment on or provide briefs, regarding the following potential elements of an NCP:

1) What should be the purpose of a NCP?

2) What should be the goals of a NCP?

3) What guiding principles should govern a NCP?

4) What conservation priorities should be included in a NCP?

5) What should be the implementation priorities of a NCP?

6) What consultation process should the Minister consider using when developing a NCP?

With those being the guiding principles of the meeting today, I would encourage the questioning to be such and would remind each member to make sure their questioning of the witnesses is in that scope.

Carry on, Ms. Liu.

4:30 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

May I just ask, Mr. Chair, how much time I have left?

4:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Mark Warawa

The clock was stopped. You have another minute and a half.

Please proceed.

4:35 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

My next question is also for Ms. Gallais.

I would like to know how you view the cooperation between the federal government and the provinces, your take on the partnership between the two jurisdictions.