House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was park.

Topics

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

An hon. member

No.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations and I think you will find consent for the following motion. I move:

That five (5) members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and two (2) staff persons of the committee be authorized to travel to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to attend the nineteenth annual conference of the Canadian Council of Public Accounts Committees to be held in Yellowknife from August 15 to 18, 1998.

(Motion agreed to)

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-38, an act to amend the National Parks Act, be read the third time and passed.

National Parks Act
Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, it gives me pleasure to speak on Bill C-38, an act to amend the National Parks Act by adding Tuktut Nogait national park to the list of national parks in schedule I of the National Parks Act.

Tuktut Nogait is located in region 15, tundra hills, as designated by Parks Canada in its national park systems plan. This region is highlighted by a number of spectacular features. More than 95% of the region is tundra, rock barrens where only the hardiest plants can survive. Wildlife in this region is mainly comprised of summer migrants. Musk ox, wolves and caribou can be found in this region. It is also the home of one of the rarest birds in Canada, the Eskimo curlew.

All this is to say that this park will play a critical role in helping to conserve Canada's biological diversity through the protection of the bluenose caribou herd, concentrations of tundra peregrine falcons and rich niches of vegetation.

Tuktut Nogait is Canada's newest and fifth largest national park. The passage of Bill C-38 brings Canada's park system one step closer to completion. It is this government's objective to have a national park in all 39 natural regions of this country by the year 2000. It is also a very unique national park in that it was a community that initiated the idea of the national park. Most candidate sites are identified by Parks Canada.

The Inuvialuit are to be praised for their conservation efforts. In fact, 29% of their lands are protected areas whereas the government has not even achieved its goal of setting aside 12% of our lands as protected areas.

Six parties entered into agreement to establish Tuktut Nogait national park in June 1996, the Canadian government, the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Inuvialuit Game Council, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Paulatuk Community Corporation and the Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee.

While they were negotiating the agreement and at the time they signed that agreement the Inuvialuit groups understood that it would be possible for them to make changes to this agreement in the future.

Last winter the IRC approached the federal government to ask whether it could modify the boundaries of the park to allow for mineral development. The government's response was to wipe the dust off the Tuktut Nogait park agreement and attempt to slip it through parliament.

All parties agreed to the passage of Bill C-38 in principle but were preoccupied by the request made by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation to remove 415 square kilometres of the established 16,340 square kilometres to permit mineral development. The government and conservation groups have argued that this land which represents only 2.5% of the park falls within the core calving ground of the bluenose caribou herd.

During first reading of this bill I told members of the House that I was in favour of this bill in principle. I thought then and I still do that we cannot start carving up parts of our national parks for any reason. Immediately following my remarks I was contacted by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation to advise me of the Inuvialuit point of view.

It quickly became apparent that this issue was not as cut and dry as members of the House were first led to believe. It was very important for me to hear both sides of the story so I urged the committee to hear witnesses affected by the park. It was an honour for me to meet with the representatives of the IRC and from the community of Paulatuk when they appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

The committee was told that they had been lobbying the government for the past six months because they see the development of a mine as the way to end the dependence of their people on social assistance. The community of Paulatuk has a population of approximately 300 people. The majority of those residents are under age 25. The people of Paulatuk have traditionally lived off the land. They understand the danger that might be posed by a mine but they argue that the development of the mine could help their people.

Being from a region where many people have had to diversify due to the downturn in fisheries I can certainly appreciate the Inuvialiuts' difficult situation. However, my initial decision has not changed for a number of reasons.

First, the agreement was signed by all parties. Second, since only 10% of the anomaly lies within the boundaries of the park, I really do not understand why it is imperative for them to develop that portion. They would be much better to develop and exploit the remaining 90%.

The Inuvialuit also argue that the Tuktut Nogait is not a park but a proposed park.

I told witnesses and I have said in this House my party is not against mineral development. On the contrary, we support mining and other development in the north. However, I feel that changing the boundaries for Tuktut Nogait to allow for mineral exploration after the agreement has been signed would set a dangerous precedent for this and the other seven national parks that are not protected under the National Parks Act.

In my humble opinion if we start decreasing or reducing the boundaries of our proposed parks for immediate benefits, we will be short changing future generations. Our children's children deserve the right to enjoy our national parks and national treasures, be it the right whale in the Bay of Fundy or the bluenose caribou herd in Canada's north.

Although I am in favour of this bill, I am not in favour of the way this government has treated the people of Paulatuk. The IRC and the people of Paulatuk ask this government for time to explore the prospects of mineral development pursuant to their understanding of section 22.1 of the Tuktut Nogait agreement which states: “Any party may request a review by the parties of part or all of this agreement. If all the parties agree, they shall initiate the review within 90 days of the request”.

This government's cavalier response was to ignore the IRC's request and to try to whisk this through the House. Will this government ever learn to treat people with respect and dignity? Furthermore, this government has recently shown yet another double standard.

While arguing that mineral development in Tuktut Nogait would have a negative ecological impact on the environment, it is allowing Canadian Pacific Hotels to build a 156,000 square foot conference centre and hotel expansion on the shores of Lake Louise.

This is the latest but not the last announcement in the new development boom in Banff National Park. How can this government expect Canadians to take it seriously on environmental issues when it flip-flops from one park to another?

National Parks Act
Government Orders

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Rick Laliberte Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to lend support on behalf of the New Democratic Party to Bill C-38, an act to establish a national park and establish the boundaries of Tuktut Nogait.

The process began with a letter on March 10, 1989.

The Wildlife Management Advisory Council of the Northwest Territories wrote to the minister responsible for Parks Canada and proposed a study to consider the possibility of creating a national park in the vicinity of Bluenose Lake.

The context of the request was for the Paulatuk community conservation plan. The plan identified caribou and particularly the protection of the calving grounds of the bluenose herd as the foremost conservation concern for a community that has for generations depended for their livelihood on the caribou herd. Indeed, as mentioned throughout the debate on this bill, the park name, Tuktut Nogait, means caribou calves in the Siglik dialect of the Inuvialukton.

Seven years of analysis, consultation and negotiation followed. There were extensive discussions with local stakeholders, including the Paulatuk community corporation, the Paulatuk trappers and hunters committee, the elders committee, the government of the Northwest Territories, the Inuvialuit regional corporation and the Inuvialuit game council. These consultations led to an agreement signed in Paulatuk on June 28, 1996.

The federal government and the territorial government, together with the four other parties, agreed and the boundaries were set. That was the start of the birth of a park.

Then, after much fanfare, nothing happened. The federal government moved on with more paper signing, without follow up or action.

Suddenly Tuktut Nogait became an issue again. Over the winter the mining company that had removed exploration from within the park boundaries changed its mind. The anomaly proved to be a worthwhile investment within the boundaries.

Suddenly some of the local stakeholders who were looking at the environmental impact it would have on their communities were willing to take a risk on an economic venture into mining, and stating this whole concern under a park agreement, as the parties had agreed they wanted to make a change. It was quite a confusing state of affairs.

But the main problem was created by the government dragging its heels, especially when it knew that money would have to be spent to start the park. The government was not fulfilling the promise it had made.

The risks were not limited to the potential loss of critical area within the proposed park. The principle of developing within national park boundaries has opened up a great issue.

Canada witnessed just last fall the Cheviot mine case in which a huge strip mine will be developed beside the national Jasper Park, a very prestigious world heritage site. That brought a terse response from UNESCO, asking the government to reconsider and reverse its decision to allow a mine to be located at such close proximity to a pristine valley.

In this decision the minister used his discretion and as a result the fish habitat was damaged. It was the spawning ground for the western bull trout and it has been a sacred tenet of environmental protection to keep such a crucial species in this country.

This brings us to an important point as parliamentarians today consider Bill C-38. We must consider the remaining natural regions that are not protected. Failure to do so would be a great demise.

I bring members back to the Tuktut Nogait National Park. The existing park boundaries, as presented in Bill C-38, will create a park inside a settlement region, the Inuvialuit settlement region.

This region and the majority of its community members have compromised their settlement of lands to create a national park. But the federal government and the parks agency people, as they will soon be called if the parks agency bill is passed, have promised that Tuktut Nogait will protect the integrity of the bluenose herd.

There are other proposed boundaries to this park which involve the Nunavut settlement region and the Sahtu Dene settlement region. Why are those proposed regions not included in the bill? Why does it not state that the Tuktut Nogait National Park will be a huge protected area involving three settlement regions?

Principles of co-management are part of the commitments the government is making with the people of northern Canada, especially in the northern region where economic wealth is based on traditional lifestyle. For the economy to change to an eco-tourism based economy for the protection and enhancement of the national park with potential mineral development in that area, co-management and community involvement are required.

The agreement included a parks agreement which stated that the Inuit impact and benefits agreement would be considered when this national park comes into being. Employment and training opportunities must be considered.

All these issues will have a major impact on this community and on the northern region. The integrity of the ecology, the history and the biodiversity of our country must be protected for future generations as we create national parks. Development is a crucial risk for these national parks. We are witnessing decisions on requests being made for the Banff National Park. We must take these into serious consideration and not make decisions for the sake of the economy.

The root of the word economy is eco, which means your home. We know what money means, so it means the home of your money. But ecology means the home of your environment. Without this environment and this vast country we call Canada there would be no money made, there would be no people calling it their home.

This environment and this land must be respected. The national parks are a sacred way of protecting this land for future generations. They keep in tact the many generations of sustainable development that the aboriginal peoples of this world and this land have retained for their people. That sustainable development or that non-parasitic way of utilizing the land and resources for our own immediate needs without putting back is a crucial lesson for future generations.

I call upon other parties to take heed. The investments we make as a nation are not necessarily from park created revenues. As the Reform Party was quick to point out, the integrity of a park should be maintained by revenues created from within it. We must find investment from other sources within this country to maintain the integrity of the national parks of the far north which will never have the same revenue base which Jasper, Banff and other national parks have the privilege of creating.

This federal government has dragged its feet in creating this park, which has resulted in some controversy in a community that has other vested interests for economic reasons. It must also deal with the inequity. It must deal with the Nunavut settlement region and the Sahtu Dene settlement region to include the whole park boundary as originally proposed and not just within the Inuvialuit settlement region.

I am happy to state that we are in support of Bill C-38 which would begin the creation of the Tuktut Nogait National Park. The other settlement regions will contribute further boundaries and further vast tracts of land to protect the integrity of the bluenose herds and the integrity and the biodiversity of that land, so that it will remain sustainable for future generations of the north. May the ecology of this country not be compromised for the sake of the economy.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

June 12th, 1998 / 12:35 p.m.

Peterborough
Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations among the parties and I believe you would find unanimous consent for this order of reference:

That the House give its consent to an order of reference to travel to allow the Chair of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration to visit Canadian and national immigration offices in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Thai refugee camps from June 26 to July 11, 1998.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

12:35 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Does the hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

12:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

12:35 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Committees Of The House
Routine Proceedings

12:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(Motion agreed to)

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-38, an act to amend the National Parks Act, be read the third time and passed.

National Parks Act
Government Orders

12:40 p.m.

Bloc

Suzanne Tremblay Rimouski—Mitis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today at third reading of Bill C-38 introduced by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and entitled, after our motion at report stage, an act to amend the National Parks Act and establish Tuktut Nogait park.

The aim of this bill is to create a national park in the Northwest Territories, more specifically, in the Inuvialuit land claim settlement region.

To understand the situation fully, members have to know that, in 1984, the federal government signed an agreement with the native peoples traditionally occupying and using the region of the Beaufort Sea. This agreement was known as the Inuvialuit Final Agreement and accorded the Inuvialuit ownership of part of the lands they claimed.

In exchange for their transferring to the crown their interest in other lands they claimed, the Government of Canada undertook certain obligations with respect to the Inuvialuit living in the region. This agreement was implemented with the 1984 passage of the Western Arctic (Inuvialuit) Claims Settlement Act.

As part of the obligations the federal government undertook with respect to the Inuvialuit, the agreement provided, and I quote “The granting or setting aside for the Inuvialuit of certain lands in the designated region, their right to hunt, to trap and to conduct certain commercial ventures there”.

So, the government begun negotiations concerning the establishment of a national park in this region in 1989 partly to honour its obligations to the Inuvialuit.

The six parties involved in the negotiations were the federal government, the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Inuvialuit regional corporation, the Inuvialuit game management council, the Paulatuk community corporation, and the Paulatuk committee of hunters and trappers.

In 1996, after seven years of negotiations, the parties to this lengthy process signed the agreement to create a national park in the region covered by the Inuvialuit land claim, in the vicinity of Paulatuk, Northwest Territories. The short title for that agreement is the Tuktuk Nogait agreement.

In the Siglik dialect of Inuvialukton, Tuktut Nogait means “caribou calves”, which is not surprising since the park is at the heart of the Bluenose caribou herd's calving grounds.

As everyone knows, the reason for creating a park is that it protects a specific geographical aspect. The 16,340 square kilometers of Tuktuk Nogait Park will represent the natural region of tundra hills.

It is characterized by a rich biodiversity, for its hills and valleys offer lush vegetation and therefore an excellent habitat for the caribou and muskox. Its many cliffs and ramparts provide ideal nesting areas for birds of prey.

Within the park are archaeological sites which confirm that there was a human presence thousands of years ago. There have been settlements in a large part of the park at various times over the last millennium.

The region provides visitors with an opportunity to discover untouched Arctic landscapes, and to observe wildlife and plant life. Activities include hiking, camping, birdwatching, nature watching and photography.

According to the agreement, the objectives of the park's creation are as follows. First, to protect the Bluenose caribou herd and its calving and post-calving habitat.

Second, to protect in perpetuity a natural area in a region of tundra hills, and encourage the public to understand and appreciate the region in such a way as to leave it intact for coming generations.

Third, to promote co-operation among the Inuvialuit, the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories in planning, operating and managing the park.

Fourth, to encourage and support the creation and maintenance of jobs and businesses in the region by permitting hunting within the park solely for subsistence purposes.

Fifth, to promote greater understanding and respect for the Inuvialuit cultural heritage and the natural surroundings of this nation.

Sixth, to create an environment suitable for long term research on the ecological and cultural history of the park.

And, seventh, to preserve the park's ecological integrity.

The park will be managed jointly with the Inuvialuit community. The park's board of management will comprise five members, two appointed by the Inuvialuit, two by the federal government—including one on the recommendation of the Northwest Territories government—and a chair appointed with the approval of all parties.

The park board of management will reconcile the various objectives of natural preservation, economic development and respect for native traditions.

The agreement provides for the formulation of a training and community assistance plan to help the residents of Paulatuk develop tourist and economic resources for the park, the priority hiring of qualified Inuvialuit employees and the priority awarding of contracts to Inuvialuit businesses that meet the terms of the contract on the provision of quality goods and services.

In short, the establishment of the Tuktut Nogait park should benefit the Inuvialuit community and all Canadians by protecting and developing this region for generations to come.

However, the park project recently was the focus of a dispute between the Inuvialuit and the government. On February 19, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation CEO Nellie Cournoyea wrote the Secretary of State responsible for parks, asking him to revise the park boundaries.

In light of recent information on the geological possibilities of one region, which occupies 2.5% of the park's area, the Inuvialuit were asking to have that area excluded from the park in order to allow future development.

On March 25, the Secretary of State responsible for Parks wrote back denying the request to review park boundaries.

Since then, things have speeded up. On March 30, the government introduced Bill C-38 at first reading. It was debated at second reading on April 3. On May 26, 28 and 29, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage held hearings on the bill. On June 1, a clause-by-clause examination of Bill C-38 was begun, and yesterday, June 11, we passed it at the report stage, while today we have moved on to third reading.

The rapidity of this process, given that the agreement was signed two years ago and that nothing had been done since then, makes us uncomfortable.

We regret that some information was not available to us, particularly the text of the final Inuvialuit agreement and its implementing legislation. As well, we got the text of the Tuktut Nogait agreement only very belatedly.

The very brief hearings did not allow us to get a complete picture of the situation and to fully weigh the arguments of the parties involved.

Let us look now at the arguments from both sides.

For the Inuvialuit, the mining potential represents a much needed opportunity for economic development for their community. They were convinced they could obtain a revision of the park boundaries under section 22.1 of the agreement, which states that the agreement may be revisited with the consent of all parties.

There has been no environmental assessment proving that mining would compromise the park's integrity. The Inuvialuit were prepared to accept the findings of a study on this.

The agreement will give the Inuvialuit the means to preserve their cultural identity and values, while participating fully in society and in the economy.

In section 16 of the agreement, the federal government undertook to promote full Inuvialuit participation in the northern Canadian economy, and Inuvialuit integration into Canadian society through development of an adequate level of economic self-reliance and a solid economic base.

From their point of view, the refusal to amend the park's boundaries constitutes the loss of an opportunity to realize their economic development without having to rely on federal government subsidies.

For its part, the government is opposed to re-opening an agreement that took seven years to negotiate. It does not wish to amend the boundaries because this could set a precedent and lead to other requests for changes in unmanaged parks.

The government often holds out the park plan to protect caribou breeding grounds as an important and vital argument.

Canada is also trying to limit mining projects on the American side of the border.

The park's board of management has asked the government to go ahead and create the park. Both sides' arguments have merit and it is difficult to decide clearly which option would most benefit all three groups, the Inuvialuit, the federal government and the general public.

It is hard to decide whether the environmental or the economic arguments should take precedence, because a number of questions remain unanswered. Here are some of these questions.

Will changing the park's boundaries as requested by Inuvialuit officials compromise the main objective sought in creating the park, which is the protection of the Bluenose caribou herd and its calving and post-calving habitat?

Is the area affected by the change a sensitive area that is essential to the park?

What would have been the results of environmental impact studies on mining projects in that area?

Are the prospects of sustainable and long term development for the Inuvialuit community as a whole—through the creation of the park and their participation in its management—better than those provided by a mining project in a part of the territory that is supposed to become part of the park?

In spite of all these unanswered questions, the government decided to go ahead with the creation of the park, with the boundaries that were originally set. I deplore the fact that the government could not find a compromise that everyone could live with. There is no doubt that the creation of the park will have a positive environmental and economic impact on the region, but we will have to make sure the Inuvialuit are not penalized by the government's decision.

This is why I urge the secretary of state responsible for parks, and also his colleagues for Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Natural Resources and Human Resources Development, to make particular efforts to meet the federal government's commitments under the Inuvialuit final agreement, which are to promote the Inuvialuit's full participation in northern Canada's economy, and to help them reach an adequate level of economic self-sufficiency.

National Parks Act
Government Orders

12:50 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, I will be dividing my time with the member for Calgary East.

Creation of the new park of Tuktut Nogait is a good idea. We should have some tundra hills preserved for posterity. However, I would hasten to point out that this site certainly is not unique. There are hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of virtually identical terrain. The boundaries that were arbitrarily developed are not necessarily the ideal ones. It is very unfortunate that they were established without any environmental assessment and without a resource inventory.

As a matter of fact, with respect to the resource inventory, there was a mining company with exploration rights on a portion of that park. It was proposed as the hon. member for Rimouski—Mitis has just explained to have a small portion of the proposed area removed so that the mining company's exploration program could proceed. The proposal by the Inuvialuit was actually presented by no less a personage than Nellie Cournoyea.

Nevertheless the government in its wisdom has decided to press on. The mining company was pressured to “voluntarily” relinquish its rights and here we are. It is the usual story of urban know it alls from central Canada dictating to the local people with respect to parks.

Unlike the great parks of the Rocky Mountains which have negligible mineral potential, Tuktut Nogait may contain economically important deposits. Nobody knows because nobody has ever made a serious effort to find out.

Fortunately future generations will be able, I suppose if it is deemed in the public interest, to change the boundaries of the already established park. But why not start out correctly from the very beginning? There should have been an assessment. This should be true of any new park.

There should always be an economic and environmental assessment, a cost benefit study to decide where the park should precisely be and then cast the boundaries in stone. Do not just draw lines on maps and say “Gee I think it is a good idea to have a park here”. It requires a bit of science and a little thought.

As far as the possible disturbance of the bluenose caribou by this exploration proposed in two and half per cent of the park is concerned, my personal observation is that caribou are quite compatible with human activity. I have seen them browsing in the shadow of a mine headframe. It is well-known that prospectors or explorers in the barren lands have had their tents knocked down because the caribou find that they are very convenient rubbing posts. Caribou are not shy animals; they are anything but.

The local people regard them as being a little on the dumb side and easy pickings for hunters. There is not much glory, not much honour, going out and shooting a caribou. It is like going out and milking a cow on the farm.

Talking about interfering with local people, just a few days ago our revered heritage minister vetoed a very carefully thought out and democratically approved development plan in Banff park. The local people looked at this very carefully. They decided what they felt was needed, decided what was suitable for their own particular environment. But no, our heritage minister gets up on her white horse, comes roaring in and says “They shall not do it. Never”.

The same people in Banff had to fight for years to preserve their airstrip. Fortunately they were able to enlist the assistance of the Canadian Air Line Pilots Association who pointed out that the airstrip in Banff as well as the one in Jasper are very important for safety reasons, for emergency landings.

They have been able to keep the airstrips but one wonders what the furore was about. Both of these parks are bisected by a highway and a railway. They were going to shut down a little 3,000 foot grass strip, which is highly essential to the preservation of human life, because somebody got a bug in their ear. Anyway, that battle has been won.

Hopefully when the present minister is sent to her reward with whatever patronage appointment she will get, this airstrip will again be returned for the local people to use. There are people in Banff who fly and use their aircraft for search and rescue. They have done so for many years.

Eventually I think they will get their airstrip back. It probably will revert to the situation which existed wherein they did the maintenance work at no cost to the federal government. Since these airstrips are going to be strictly for emergency use, the federal government's parks department will have to cut the grass and plough the snow.

I have another example of the local people being run over roughshod by Parks Canada.

This one is rather near and dear to me because it is in my own riding, the Grasslands park in southern Saskatchewan. The local people are really frightened by this vast area of ungrazed prairie which is beside their farms and ranches. This is a powder keg, a potential fire hazard of unparalleled proportions. They have begged and pleaded with Parks Canada to allow limited grazing of cattle in that park.

The natural condition of the prairie land is to be grazed by large ungulate. They used to be called buffalo. We have no buffalo any more. So not only does the prairie grow wild and present this terrible fire hazard, but it is deteriorating because in the natural balance certain species tend to overcrowd the others when ground is not grazed. Any rancher knows this, but the academic geniuses in Parks Canada who have never probably seen a cow or a buffalo or a blade of grass do not know what is happening out there.

The same parks people also continually get into unpleasant situations with the local people simply by being bad neighbours. They unlawfully impound stray livestock, for example. They refuse to participate in the maintenance of line fences. They say “that is your problem”.

On one occasion they actually were convinced under great duress to put up a fence. A fence the local ranchers had moved off the survey line for generations was then placed exactly on the survey line right down the middle of a creek. Brilliance. So naturally the first spring it went away and there was no fence at all and the rancher had to rebuild the fence back on his own land.

The problem with stray livestock was taken seriously enough that the local municipal government has passed the only open herd law in Saskatchewan that I am aware of. You can now run your cattle anywhere, including on your neighbour's front lawn, between I think October 1 and April 1, simply because Parks Canada is so obdurate that they will not get along with their neighbours.

I have to leave some time for my hon. colleague but I could go on for a long time about people at Parks Canada, some of my favourite whipping people.

National Parks Act
Government Orders

1 p.m.

NDP

Rick Laliberte Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, I find it hard to restrain myself from commenting in respect of other members.

I take exception to the hon. member's statements on a number of occasions. The first is that there is no honour in hunting. I beg the member to reconsider this. Sport hunting and sustenance hunting are two different forms of hunting.

When northern people enter the tundra and kill a caribou to bring home and feed their child and sustain life for their family, for their generations to come, there is no greater honour than entering the woods, surviving the elements and bringing back the meat and the sustenance for that community or for that family. One does not need honour to be up in a chopper with a telescopic gun aiming at unprotected species on the ground. There is no honour in that. But when you sustain your family, when you hunt for the privilege of honouring and respecting the land, there is great honour in that.

We no longer have buffalo, as the hon. member said. There was no honour when the hunters climbed on to the trains and used automatic weapons and killed and piled buffalo bones on the banks of Wascana Lake, as it was later created. Wascana means piles of bones.

There is no honour in that. But when you retain the national parks and the integrity of the national parks, there is some security for the future generation. They can see in the past what ecological measures were taken.

I challenge the member to travel along the west coast of the United States. He will see the cathedral red woods standing in a protected area of northern California. Then he will arrive in Oregon where it is clearcut.

In terms of resource inventory, environmental impacts and challenging Parks Canada to retain its integrity and resources this costs money. The Reform Party time and time again has tried to be accountable. This government has made cutbacks that have had an impact on Parks Canada. Let us invest and put money in our budgets to retain the future of our parks.

National Parks Act
Government Orders

1:05 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member should dig out his ears and listen to what other speakers are saying.

When I spoke of the caribou being an easy mark, I was not making any disparaging references to native people. I have had conversations along this line with Inuvialuit people who know that the caribou is a stupid animal and easy to shoot. That is all I said. Please pay attention.

The member was talking about wiping out the buffalo with automatic weapons. That would have been quite a trick inasmuch as automatic weapons were not developed until about 20 years after buffalo were nearly extinct. But that is a sideline.