Evidence of meeting #21 for Fisheries and Oceans in the 39th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was access.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Patricia Kell  Director, Policy and Government Relations Branch, National Historic Sites Directorate, Parks Canada Agency
  • Doug Tapley  Manager, Cabinet Affairs, Parks Canada Agency
  • Cal Hegge  Assistant Deputy Minister, Human Resources and Corporate Services, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
  • Krishna Sahay  Director General, Real Property, Safety and Security, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
  • Andrew Anderson  Senior Divestiture Analyst, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
  • Patricia Carney  P.C., Senator (retired), As an Individual

April 1st, 2008 / 9:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Fabian Manning

I need to call the meeting to order. I welcome everybody back.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

On a point of order, Mr. Chairman.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Fabian Manning

Go ahead, Mr. Calkins.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

Blaine Calkins Wetaskiwin, AB

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I don't mean to interrupt this meeting, and I'm looking forward to the proceedings going on, but I think, Mr. Chairman, as the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, members here are deeply concerned about the events that have just happened in the gulf with the four sealers who are missing from the Magdalen Islands. Mr. Chair, I think it would only be appropriate that at this committee we take a moment right now.

I'm seeking unanimous consent from this committee that we rise in a moment of silence to recognize the lives of those four brave sealers who were lost in this last week, and pay some tribute to the sometimes dangerous and difficult work that these folks have out on the coast, and the cost they sometimes have to pay in order to provide for their families and to maintain their traditional way of life. I would ask for unanimous consent for everybody in the room to stand for a moment of silence to recognize the loss of these sealers, the cost it's had for their communities and their families, and, I'm sure, the sadness that's being felt by all of the sealers on the Atlantic coast because of this tragic event.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Fabian Manning

I'm sure you will have a unanimous vote for that.

[A moment of silence observed]

Thank you for that, Mr. Calkins.

I certainly pass on to Mr. Blais and Mr. Lévesque from Quebec our sympathies, and pass them on to the families you may be talking to.

Most of us around this table have witnessed and been part of tragedies at sea. While the ocean is very bountiful, it takes a lot from us, too, when it takes the lives of our fishermen.

Just to quote the words of a great song in Newfoundland and Labrador:

Brave men, she said, is what they are,
those who face the icy wind;
Knowing as they leave their sheltered coves,
They may never come back again.

It's so true.

I certainly want to thank Mr. Calkins for that, and on behalf of the committee, I want to express our sympathies.

Mr. Blais.

9:05 a.m.

Bloc

Raynald Blais Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, QC

I appreciate having Blaine's attention. I admit that it will be a little hard for me to focus today and talk about heritage lighthouses. However, I will do my best over the course of the next minutes.

This is a tragedy, a drama of human proportions. However, at the same time, a slew of questions come to mind. There is a great deal of misunderstanding, frustration and anger in the wake of these incidents.

Later on during the meeting, I will seek unanimous consent of committee members to send a message of condolence to the victims' families. As fate would have it, I was out on the ice last week observing the seal hunt. I had an opportunity to chat with the captain who lost his life. His vessel had a broken rudder and was very near to the icebreaker Des Groseillers. This was a different vessel from the one that towed his vessel. We landed by helicopter on the Coast Guard vessel Des Groseillers. The Acadien was positioned alongside. I went to the bridge to talk to the captain, Mr. Bourque, with whom I was mildly acquainted. This happened on Friday afternoon and the accident occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning.

This is very hard for me, given my vivid memories of this encounter, but I would well imagine that all committee members will want to shed some light on this incident, because the entire maritime community is in mourning. We can't undo what has happened, but I hope that we can shed some light on these events to prevent another tragedy in the future. One tragedy is one too many. In that respect, I would like us to observe a minute of silence. I think it's the first thing we can do, but I do think we need to do more to mark this event.

Thank you very much.

9:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Fabian Manning

Thank you, Mr. Blais. We'll certainly deal with that when the time is appropriate to do so.

First of all, I want to welcome our witnesses here this morning as we begin our discussion on Bill S-215, An Act to protect heritage lighthouses. You are our first witnesses. I believe Mr. Tapley is going to have some opening remarks.

If you would be so kind, please introduce yourselves to the committee members, telling us your status and whom you represent.

Thank you.

9:10 a.m.

Patricia Kell Director, Policy and Government Relations Branch, National Historic Sites Directorate, Parks Canada Agency

I'm Patricia Kell, and I'm the director of policy for national historic sites at Parks Canada.

9:10 a.m.

Doug Tapley Manager, Cabinet Affairs, Parks Canada Agency

My name is Doug Tapley. I manage cabinet affairs for Parks Canada.

9:10 a.m.

Cal Hegge Assistant Deputy Minister, Human Resources and Corporate Services, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

I'm Cal Hegge, ADM of HR and corporate services, from Fisheries and Oceans.

9:10 a.m.

Krishna Sahay Director General, Real Property, Safety and Security, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

My name is Krishna Sahay. I'm director general of real property, safety and security at DFO.

9:10 a.m.

Andrew Anderson Senior Divestiture Analyst, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

I'm Andrew Anderson, senior divestiture analyst with the divestiture branch at DFO.

9:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Fabian Manning

Thank you.

Mr. Tapley.

9:10 a.m.

Manager, Cabinet Affairs, Parks Canada Agency

Doug Tapley

We're pleased to be here this morning to have an opportunity to participate in your deliberations.

I would like to make some brief opening remarks on behalf of Parks Canada. Mr. Hegge will do the same afterwards on behalf of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

From a heritage conservation perspective, we are happy with amendments to the bill that have been previously adopted, particularly those that would enable heritage lighthouses to be managed according to national and international standards and practices. This bill would provide a strong tool for advancing heritage conservation in Canada. Accordingly, there is only one area of concern that we believe needs to be addressed. The amendments today that will be proposed would serve to focus potential designations on buildings that truly make a contribution to the heritage character of designated lighthouses. This would be beneficial not only from a perspective of heritage conservation, but also from the perspectives of financial prudence and, in some cases, public safety as well.

In closing, I'd like to draw the committee's attention to the fact that this is the second private member's bill that has sought to protect an individual building type. The Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act was the first. Setting up administrative structures to protect individual building types is a costly way to go about conserving built heritage. It also leaves gaps as other equally important and historically significant examples of our heritage are left without statutory protection. The Auditor General has made these observations on two recent occasions. In the future, Bill S-215 could provide a model for conserving all of Canada's historic places and situate us among the leaders in built heritage conservation internationally. Officials from Parks Canada would be eager to work with all members of Parliament to achieve this end.

As for today, we are very appreciative of the opportunity to assist members of the committee in your deliberations concerning Bill S-215.

Thank you.

9:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Fabian Manning

Thank you, Mr. Tapley.

Mr. Hegge.