House of Commons Hansard #15 of the 38th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was heritage.

Topics

Canadian Heritage Act
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Yukon
Yukon

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend the member on his speech. He made a number of excellent points that I would agree with. I have some questions on them, but to begin, I do want to go on record as taking issue with one point. First of all, of course, he said he hoped he could be where the sun rises over an independent country. I can assure members of Parliament that anywhere the sun rises in Canada it is over an independent and sovereign country. We will continue to make our decisions in Canada and in the world as a sovereign nation. We will make our own decisions.

The point I take issue with is the comment related to us paying money on our huge national debt so that we do not have to continue to pay interest. I am always disappointed to hear that the Bloc does not think Canada and the people of Quebec are strong enough and self-sufficient and resourceful enough so that we do not have to borrow money from other people. That is money that could go to children, to national parks and to health care.

I have always had the opinion that we are a rich country and a wealthy enough, resourceful enough and intelligent enough country that we do not have to borrow from others. We should be able to pay off that debt so we can continue to have the new parks that we have announced, so we can put more money into day care, as we are, more money into defence, more money into health care and more money into increasing the pensions of seniors. We can do that because we are not making interest payments.

The question I want to ask is related to an excellent point that the member made on migration: that if we are protecting a species we also need to protect where that species migrates. Just making a circle and putting a park there is not enough, because the species may move somewhere else. I think that is a very excellent point that the member made. I wonder if he could give us any examples of parks that have been designed in that manner, because we could use that as a leadership role. Has the Quebec government or any government in the world designed a park that would match the migration of a species? I think the member made an excellent point about that.

Canadian Heritage Act
Government Orders

1:15 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Simard Beauport, QC

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the hon. member's question. This is very important right now, as the creation of a park network is being considered. It is a good idea to take that into account, as well as considerations relating to private lands.

I was an assistant to the president of the Fondation de la faune du Québec. This organization asked urban populations to create, in their backyards, gardens to attract birds, using fruit trees for instance to allow migrating species to stop over on their way to truly protected areas. Such protected areas were managed at the municipal level or at the provincial level—by Quebec, in our case—or were located in federal parks.

This needs to be well understood. This too is new. It is the kind of thing that organizations like the Union québécoise pour la conservation de la nature and the World Wide Fund For Nature stand up for, pursuant to the principles set out by the World Conservation Union.

The Quebec park network currently has that concern in mind. However, until now, the notion of conservation was not really viewed in these terms. These concerns are taken into consideration in the studies to create new parks and new areas. We try to determine who will be the winners and, eventually, who will be the losers in the creation of these parks, or in the awarding of related supply contracts. All these issues impact on the protection of species.

It is unfortunate that municipal governments, which come under Quebec's jurisdiction, do not speak at the level of the Quebec government when it comes to the creation of natural areas. It is unfortunate that park networks are suffering, as are other sectors in Quebec, from this duplication. It will be extremely difficult to think about conservation on the basis of the protection of species and ecosystems, and of sustainable use.

Quebec areas cannot all be fully protected. We do not live in a huge garden. People have to live in these areas. However, when we protect natural areas, we ensure that species living there can migrate and be protected during that process. This is what new tendencies in the conservation of protected areas are suggesting.

Then there is the issue of sustainable development and the hon. member will agree that this also applies to people. If we do not invest in national parks or in historic places, which are, more often than not, located in the regions—and I am speaking euphemistically here—we will not have many seasonal workers or naturalists. We will not have many people who work enough hours to qualify for employment insurance benefits. These people then leave their region to settle in the city. They are not so proud of their region, because the government did not invest in it.

Unless I am mistaken, the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve is still not a national park, after all these years. I am referring to the famous Mingan Islands that were taken away from Quebec. However, the government never lived up to its commitment in terms of investment. Local people, who must make a living with two months of tourism at best, were disappointed. Up there, it is very cold in June and September, and there is often fog in August. So, the situation is really not ideal for these people.

Parks are tools of economic development, pride and human development. That is not taken into consideration by an agency that is centralizing, that is broke and that does not really fulfill its mandate.

Canadian Heritage Act
Government Orders

1:20 p.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, first I would like to thank my colleague from Beauport—Limoilou for his fine speech. I would like him to expand on his answer to the hon. member for Yukon, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources, who seemed to say in his remarks that the government should reduce its debt, and things of that sort.

The member for Beauport—Limoilou has delivered a simple message. He is telling the federal government to start looking after the facilities it has, to stop creating new parks and start maintaining the ones it already possesses.

In my riding of Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, I have a fine example. You know, as I do, Mr. Speaker, about the Carillon Canal, which was a historic concept of a canal for the transportation of wood. You come from a family that did business up and down the Ottawa River and used the canal system from Carillon to Grenville. There was one on the Ontario side as well, used for forestry. A vestige of this design remains, the Carillon Canal. Believe it or not, the latest report by the Auditor General contains a photograph of the Carillon Canal, showing the state of disrepair in which the Government of Canada has left it.

And what has been done since the Auditor General submitted her report last year? Rather than repairing the canal, they buried it. Incredible! A geotextile was laid down; the canal was filled in; and more than $200,000 was spent, with the remark, “Someday when we have the money, we will take all this away and be able to repair the canal”.

That is what things are like in the regions, because all this Liberal government wants is to have new things, put up new flags, but never take care of the facilities it already has.

Canadian Heritage Act
Government Orders

1:25 p.m.

Bloc

Christian Simard Beauport, QC

Mr. Speaker, the comments by my colleague make a lot of sense. They say they want to reduce the debt. Rather, they do not say so, they just change policy as they go. That is to say, they announce a little surplus and then say it is too late to put it toward the debt, but there is no debating it. They say that a given amount cannot go toward the debt, but do they have to always do the calculations wrong, come up with a huge surplus, and then put that toward the debt without debate?

They talk of reducing the debt for the sake of our children, but perhaps our children need to have endangered areas and species protected for their sake as well. This is also part of what we will be handing down to them. What they inherit is not only monetary; there is also a physical heritage. The member is absolutely right to raise this issue.

This morning, I was listening to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Johanne Gélinas, a woman of much vigour and much rigour. I came to know her when she was commissioner of Quebec's environmental public hearings office. Her report covered strategic policy assessments, assessments of progress. Was there any assessment when Parks Canada became an agency? Were the consequences of the budget cuts assessed? Was there any assessment of the impact on this and future generations? No there was not. The answer is no. No assessment, for instance, of the consequences of tax cuts for oil and gas companies, who really do not need them and are amassing huge profits because of the use of hydrocarbons. No assessment of the environmental consequences of subsidies to polluting industries. Was this assessed? No it was not. In this case, the Minister of Finance even adds insult to injury by saying that he will not do so and will not consider the commissioner's recommendations. She says such a reaction is virtually without precedent.

So, when it comes to making fundamental changes without any assessment, I have seen instances in the micromanagement of parks of people doing things first and then assessing them afterwards, which is not the way it is done.

Canadian Heritage Act
Government Orders

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Paul Szabo Mississauga South, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very much enjoying following the debate. The questions that were asked of the last speaker are very important even though the bill is not directly related to some of the concerns and issues that members have raised.

I must admit that I was trying to put together a communication for the constituents of my riding about the 12 or 13 bills that have been tabled in this place by the government. I want to let them know what the issues are before the House and to give them an opportunity to receive further information or maybe ask some questions about the bills.

When I got to Bill C-7, an act to amend the Department of Canadian Heritage Act and the Parks Canada Agency Act and to make related amendments to other acts, I had some difficulty writing very much about the bill itself. There are no major policy changes and there are no additional funding requirements related to Bill C-7. Quite frankly, I have not heard of a lot of problems with the technical bill that is before us. I am pretty sure this matter will go forward.

What is extremely important is that the bill has given us an opportunity to reflect on our national parks and historic sites. We tend to take them for granted. We have heard from other members that there are some concerns about the investment made even to the point where the last speaker raised some concern about having surpluses which ultimately are dedicated to paying down debt and there is no money left over to invest in our parks which are calling for some assistance.

Canadians who have had an opportunity to visit some of our national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas feel a deep sense of pride at the rich history we have. A fundamental part of being Canadian is to participate in the great outdoors in Canada. I know the Minister of Agriculture will agree as he is a great outdoorsman himself.

I do not want to comment on the bill itself. Members have adequately put forward the matters relating to the technical amendments. However, I want to talk briefly about the Parks Canada story.

Canada's national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas represent what many call the soul of Canada. They are central to who we are and what we are. They are places of great wonder and heritage. Each tells its own story and together they connect Canadians to their roots, to each other, and to the future. This is extremely important because, as members from the Bloc have said, this is an integral part of what Canada is. It is inseparable.

As a Canadian, I own a little piece of each and every square inch of all of Canada, including Quebec, and everyone in Quebec owns a little piece of every other part of Canada. It is a very important linkage that we should make. It is a common bond of association, a binding element among all Canadians.

What we cherish as part of our national identity we also recognize as part of our national responsibility. All Canadians share the obligation to preserve and protect Canada's unique cultural and natural heritage. Together we hold our national parks, our national historic sites and our national marine conservation areas in trust for the benefit of this generation and future generations.

Canada has the distinction of having the first national parks service in the world. Over the decades our national parks system has grown to 41 national parks and reserves, preserving for future generations almost 265,000 square kilometres of land and waters and there are plans to add 100,000 square kilometres through the creation of eight more national parks. This legacy is possible in large part because the provincial and territorial governments, aboriginal people and local communities have worked with us to create many of these new national parks.

The creation and management of our national parks is a delicate balance between protection of ecologically significant areas of importance to wildlife and meeting economic and social needs of communities.

The Government of Canada is committed to working with the aboriginal people, local communities and other Canadians and stakeholders to protect our precious natural heritage through the creation of new national parks and national marine conservation areas.

In October 2002, the government announced an action plan to substantially complete Canada's system of national parks by creating ten new parks over the next five years. This is great news for Canadians. This will expand the system by almost 50%, with the total area spanning nearly the size of Newfoundland and Labrador.In fact, we have already created two of those ten new national parks, with work continuing on eight other proposals. Five new national marine conservation areas will also be created.

Canada is blessed with exceptional marine treasures. My daughter is in marine biology. She is an ecological engineer right now and has had an opportunity to travel all across Canada and experience so many places; I think a lifetime is too short to see and enjoy all that these protected lands and waters have to offer us.

The action plan calls on Parks Canada to work with all of its partners, the provinces and territories, aboriginal and rural communities, industry, environmental groups and others, to complete this effort. It is a good news story and it is an important point to make even in the debate of a bill as benign as Bill C-7.

In March 2003 the government allocated $144 million over five years and $29 million annually thereafter toward this effort. The action plan has already produced two new parks. The new Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada protects 33,000 square kilometres of ecologically rare land in the southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia. At over 20,000 square kilometres, the new Ukkusiksalik National Park of Canada protects virtually an entire watershed close to the Arctic circle in Nunavut. I have had an opportunity to visit Whitehorse and other areas, but I have not been to Nunavut and I hope that one day my family and I will be able to visit that area.

Negotiations to establish the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve in Northern Labrador are also nearing completion. This long-standing proposal will protect some of the highest mountains in North America east of the Canadian Rockies.

In March 2004, the premier of Manitoba and the former minister of the environment signed a memorandum of agreement identifying the boundaries for public consultation for a national park in the Manitoba Lowlands. They also committed to negotiating a national park establishment agreement by May 2005.

Both parks will make significant and magnificent additions to our world class parks system.

The government is also working with partners to establish five new national marine conservation areas, adding an estimated 15,000 square kilometres to the system. This will be a major step forward in global conservation of marine habitat. Canada has the world's longest coastline and 7% of its fresh water. This commitment to creating new marine conservation areas is consistent with the recent Speech from the Throne in which our government made a commitment to create new marine protected areas as part of the ocean action plan.

These national marine conservation areas will be located in ecologically unrepresented marine regions. Four sites have also been identified, including the Gwaii Haanas off British Columbia's Queen Charlotte Islands, Western Lake Superior, British Columbia's Southern Strait of Georgia, and the waters off Îles-de-la-Madeleine in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. While a site for the remaining national marine conservation area has yet to be finalized, Parks Canada has received a number of proposals from local communities, a testament to the growing interest in the conservation of our marine heritage.

In addition, the government will accelerate its actions over the next five years to improve the ecological integrity of Canada's 41 existing national parks. This will implement the action plan arising from the panel on the ecological integrity of Canada's national parks, whose report was endorsed by the government in April 2000.

These two initiatives, the action plan to expand our system of national parks and national marine conservation areas, and the action plan on ecological integrity, are the most ambitious initiatives to expand and protect national parks and national marine conservation areas in over 100 years, indeed, since Banff National Park of Canada, Canada's first, was established in 1885.

Parks Canada needs to get on with the job Parliament has assigned to it and I am sure we are going to have the support for Bill C-7 to enact these changes, these technical amendments.

The last reference I made is something that concerns me quite a bit. I want to use a little of my remaining time to make mention of it. It has to do with Banff, our first park, established in 1885. I have had an opportunity to go to Banff, to drive slowly, to visit Lake Louise, and to see the beauty of the Banff area and do some hiking, both in good weather and in bad weather, a little of each.

However, over the years one of the things I have noticed is that a tremendous amount of construction has been going on in the areas that lead into Banff. There has been so much that the dust, the rubble, the dirt and the disruption of the area are probably evident even to those who have no idea what the ecological concerns might be and what the impacts would be on wildlife.

I used to work for Trans-Canada Pipelines. I was the director of finance and was involved in a number of things, including the proposed Mackenzie Valley-Delta pipeline project, which ultimately, under the Thomas Berger commission, was shelved for some 10 years. A lot of that had to do with the impacts on the environment, on the flora, the fauna and the migration patterns. At that time, those who were responsible for the development were very sensitive to the impacts on the environment, on plant, animal and other species. I did not see it in Banff. I did not see that same kind of discipline.

The member from the Bloc spoke about the national park in Quebec and talked about some fenced off area where there is a sewer going underneath there and it is not well kept, i.e., it is not remediated to the point where we could have a park which all could enjoy. Something is wrong in terms of the discipline; I do not know what it is. It is not in the bill, but it has to be within our commitment to continuing to develop our conservation areas, our national parks, our wildlife preserves and our marine conservation areas.

In Banff there is now what is virtually a superhighway and a parallel highway in case there is a problem. There are now bridges over the highway, which are meant for the animals to use to migrate from one side of the highway to the other. I understand they do not work as well as they should, but at least there is a possibility for wildlife to migrate.

Now we hear that Banff development has been so saturated it has almost become a place where we need to have money to be there. It is not a place for ordinary Canadians and their families and kids. The houses there are enormous. The development there is enormous. It is hard to believe that this is good. There is wildlife walking through the streets in the evenings. We go there and suddenly there is wildlife; the deer walk through the streets in the evening light and nibble away at the trees. The reason is that we have encroached terribly on the natural habitat of wildlife because it is Banff and because beautiful Lake Louise is there. My goodness, anybody who has seen it knows how pristine and how beautiful it is. The hiking there is terrific and people can do a little horseback riding or simply walk some of the trails.

However, now things are at the point where those in charge have decided that perhaps they have to stop development, perhaps they cannot have any more people sell their homes and that kind of thing. I think the Banff experience should be a beacon to all parliamentarians. It says that if we do not watch carefully, sometimes we drift away from the reason why things were done in the first place.

I suspect if we ever went back and looked at the documents about why we should have national parks and why we should make one the Banff National Park, the underpinnings would be so that our parks would reflect Canada: the majesty, the soul, the peace and the naturalness of a country.

Yet now it has become so commercial. I do not know whether there is a report card on Banff, but I would think that a report card since the park was established in 1885 probably would not be a good report card. I think something has happened.

If that is the case, then I think the example the Bloc member raised has to be looked at in terms of the standards and the underpinning reliance that we place on those in charge to ensure that national parks and the marine reserves and the wildlife reserves, et cetera, are protected and allowed to flourish in the most natural state possible, giving us the opportunity to enjoy them but in a way that does not encroach on the natural activity within those areas.

Therefore, I think Bill C-7 is important not just for the technical amendments, which others have laid out for the House so I will not repeat them; Bill C-7 gives effect to order in council decisions that have been made in the past so it is housecleaning. It would have been very easy to come in here and say that Bill C-7 looks okay to me because it is doing what we have already done, or just noting in the legislation what has been done and how we changed the responsibility from one department to another so let us deal with it all in one stage in the House.

I guess we could do that, but I think it is important that members at least take the opportunity to realize that this is an opportunity to talk about something that is extremely important to all Canadians, not only today's Canadians but future generations. These are the jewels of our country from sea to sea to sea.

When we compare ourselves to other countries, we see that even a country such as Taiwan has more national parks than Canada. This is hard to believe, but there is a tremendous discipline in terms of combining the people's activities with the existence of national parks.

I am pleased that members have raised some of these issues about the condition of our national parks. Perhaps we should look to find out when things deteriorated. Perhaps we should ask who was responsible, what questions were asked, what monitoring was done, and what jurisdiction was involved. Where could members of Parliament be involved so that to the extent possible we can do our part to make sure we preserve these important sites for generations to come?

I appreciate the opportunity to comment briefly on Bill C-7. This is about all I would care to say on Bill C-7, but I am very pleased to have the opportunity to share a few of my thoughts and views on what I believe is one of the most important binding matters in Canada, and that is the preservation of our heritage properties, our national parks, our wildlife preserves and our marine conservation areas.

Canadian Heritage Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Northumberland—Quinte West
Ontario

Liberal

Paul MacKlin Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to address the House on the occasion of the second reading of Bill C-7.

On December 12, 2003 control and supervision of the Parks Canada agency was transferred from the Minister of Canadian Heritage to the Minister of the Environment. The transfer was given effect through an order in council.

On July 20, 2004 a further order in council came into effect relating to the responsibilities for built heritage. It was required in order to clarify the earlier order in council. First, control and supervision of the historic places policy group were transferred from the Department of Canadian Heritage to Parks Canada. Second, the powers, duties and functions related to the design and implementation of programs that have built heritage as their primary subject matter were transferred from the Ministry of Canadian Heritage to the Ministry of the Environment.

Bill C-7 updates legislation to reflect these changes. It deals with the machinery of the government and does not contain any substantive policy provisions. It simply gives legislative effect to the government reorganization that was announced on December 12, 2003 as it affects Parks Canada.

In addition to amending the Department of Canadian Heritage Act and the Parks Canada Agency Act, Bill C-7 also amends statutes through which Parks Canada delivers its mandate. They would be the Canada National Parks Act, the Historic Sites and Monuments Act, the Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act, the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act, the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park Act, the Species at Risk Act and the Canada Shipping Act.

There are no additional funding requirements related to Bill C-7.

Parks Canada's organizational integrity has been maintained. The agency remains committed to working with Canadians to protect and present nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations.

I would like to take a few moments to talk about the Parks Canada story. Canada's national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas represent the soul of Canada. They are a central part of who we are and what we are. They are places of magic, wonder and heritage, and each tells its own story. Together they connect Canadians to our roots, our future and to each other.

What we cherish as part of our national identity we also recognize as part of our national responsibility. All Canadians share the obligation to preserve and protect Canada's unique cultural and natural heritage. Together we hold our national parks, national historic sites and national marine conservation areas in trust for the benefit of this generation and future generations.

Canada has the distinction of having established the first national parks service in the world. Over the decades our system of national parks has grown to 41 national parks and reserves, preserving for future generations almost 265,000 thousand square kilometres of lands and waters. There are plans to add, as has been mentioned earlier, an additional 100,000 square kilometres through the creation of eight more national parks. This legacy is possible in large part because provincial and territorial governments, aboriginal people and local communities have worked with us to create many of these new national parks.

The creation and management of national parks is a delicate balance between the protection of ecologically significant areas of importance to wildlife and meeting economic and social needs of communities. The Government of Canada is committed to working with aboriginal people, local communities and other Canadians and stakeholders to protect our precious natural heritage through the creation of new national parks and national marine conservation areas.

In October 2002 the government announced an action plan to substantially complete Canada's system of national parks by creating 10 new parks over the next five years. This will expand the system by almost 50% with a total area spanning nearly the size of Newfoundland and Labrador. In fact, we have already created two of these 10 new national parks with work continuing on the eight other proposals. Five new national marine conservation areas will also be created.

Canada is blessed with exceptional natural treasures and we owe it to Canadians and to the world to protect these lands and waters. The action plan calls on Parks Canada to work with all of its partners, the provinces and territories, aboriginal and rural communities, industry and environmental groups and others to complete this effort.

In March 2003 the government allocated $144 million over five years and $29 million annually thereafter toward this effort. The action plan has already produced two new national parks.

The new Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada protects 33 square kilometres of ecologically rare land in the southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia.

At over 20,000 square kilometres, the new Ukkusiksalik National Park protects virtually an entire watershed close to the Arctic Circle in Nunavut. This park is a product of an agreement between the Government of Canada and the Inuit of Nunavut, forged over several decades of hard work all focused on protecting land, waters, caribou and polar bears for present and future generations.

Specific sites for more national parks have been selected in other natural regions across Canada: the southern Okanagan; lower Similkameen in the interior of British Columbia; Labrador's Torngat Mountains and Mealy Mountains; Manitoba's lowlands boreal forest; Bathurst Island in Nunavut; and the east arm of Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. Sites for the two remaining national parks are being identified by Parks Canada.

Negotiations to establish the Torngat Mountains national park reserve in northern Labrador are nearing completion. This longstanding proposal will protect some of the highest mountains in North America east of the Canadian Rockies.

In March 2004 the premier of Manitoba and the former minister of the environment signed a memorandum of agreement identifying the boundaries for public consultation for a national park in the Manitoba lowlands. They also committed to negotiating a national park establishment agreement by May 2005. Both parks will make magnificent additions to our world-class national parks system.

The government is also working with partners to establish five new national marine conservation areas adding an estimated 15,000 square kilometres to the system. This will be a major step forward for global conservation of marine habitat.

Canada has the world's longest coastline and 7% of its fresh water. This commitment to creating new marine conservation areas is consistent with the recent Speech from the Throne in which our government made a commitment to create new marine protected areas as part of the ocean action plan.

These natural marine conservation areas will be located in ecologically unrepresented marine regions. Four sites have been identified: Gwaii Haanas off British Columbia's Queen Charlotte Islands; western Lake Superior; British Columbia's southern Strait of Georgia; and the waters off Îles-de-la-Madeleine in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

While a site for the remaining national marine conservation area has yet to be finalized, Parks Canada has received a number of proposals from local communities. This is a testament to the growing interest in the conservation of our marine heritage.

In addition the government will accelerate its actions over the next five years to improve the ecological integrity of Canada's 41 existing national parks. This will implement the action plan arising from the panel on the ecological integrity of Canada's national parks, whose report was endorsed by the government in April 2000.

These two initiatives, the action plan to expand our system of national parks and national marine conservation areas and the action plan on ecological integrity, are the most ambitious initiatives to expand and protect national parks and national marine conservation areas in over 100 years; indeed since the Banff National Park of Canada, Canada's first, was established in 1885.

Parks Canada needs to get on with the job Parliament has assigned to it. I urge members of the House to give speedy passage to Bill C-7.

Canadian Heritage Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Yukon
Yukon

Liberal

Larry Bagnell Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, the member in his eloquent dissertation talked about the marine protected areas. I would like him to elaborate on the items that will be protected in those marine protected areas, which is a new concept that has been asked for by environmentalists for some time.

Canadian Heritage Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paul MacKlin Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is appropriate that the hon. member brought forward that point. It really has been of interest to those who are interested in the marine area that certain species and habitat be protected for certain elements of our marine heritage. Clearly this has been done.

The new marine sites are being set forth and are soon to be added to our list of conservation areas. It is extremely important that the matter be attended to as quickly as possible, and that we have full and complete contact with all of the communities of interest and the stakeholders. We must make sure when we designate a marine conservation area that it truly reflects the special interest of that particular area of our marine water system.

Export Development Canada
Government Orders

October 26th, 2004 / 2 p.m.

The Speaker

I have the honour to table the report of the Auditor General of Canada on the implementation of the Environmental Review Directive and other environmental review processes at Export Development Canada.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(g) this document is deemed to have been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

Dunc Schooley
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Walt Lastewka St. Catharines, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House of Commons to honour Mr. Dunc Schooley who passed away at 93 on October 10.

Born in Ridgeway, Ontario, Dunc was one of six children. He was an accomplished baseball pitcher who was respected by his teammates and opponents alike as the skinny southpaw with the sneaky curveball. Pitching for the Merritton Senior “A” ball team, he struck out 19 batters in one game. He could have had fame and fortune in the majors. Dunc remained in Merritton where he and his late wife, Eileen, raised their family and made a tremendous contribution to the community.

Dunc Schooley was a charter member and past president of the Merritton Lions Club, past master of the Adanac Masonic Lodge, a volunteer fireman, and past president of the Red Cross. He created a learn to swim program free to all participants and he was the driving force behind the Dunc Schooley Swimming Pool. Dunc lived by the adage, “Leave the place a little better than you found it”. His community is a much better place today because of his devotion and hard work.

I extend heartfelt condolences to Dunc's brother Will, his children Arthur, John, Joanne and Marylynn, his nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Curling
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Brian Fitzpatrick Prince Albert, SK

Mr. Speaker, the mandate of the CBC is to promote and enhance Canadian culture. The sport of curling is very much a part of Canada's cultural heritage.

CBC, with the help of government subsidies, has managed to displace TSN from covering national curling events, namely the men's Brier and the Scott Tournament of Hearts. Curling fans across Canada will be most disappointed when they discover that CBC will be reducing the coverage of these events by 66%. Most Canadians will no longer be able to enjoy watching the evening or morning curling draws.

Let us review what has been accomplished here. Through Liberal government subsidies, the CBC has managed to squeeze out a quality private sector broadcaster. CBC, with the help of the Liberal government, is betraying its mandate while Canadians are being shortchanged on their access to a major Canadian cultural event.

The Liberal government and the CBC should be ashamed of themselves.

Terrorism
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, today I add my voice to the many objecting to the comments made by Mr. Mohamed Elmasry in a recent broadcast and interview.

Mr. Elmasry acknowledged that he was invited to participate in the broadcast in his capacity as a representative of the Canadian Islamic Congress. His remarks did not bring honour to that organization. His comments about out of uniform Israeli military personnel, indeed all Israelis over 18, being legitimate targets at bus stops crosses a line that does harm to many: the Israelis, the Palestinians themselves, and the Muslim and Jewish communities in Canada.

Suicide bombers who target Israeli military personnel and civilians at bus stops must not only be stopped, but as well must never ever be legitimized as a solution to the conflict. Canadians do not condone the promotion of terrorism or the killing of innocent people. I would respectfully suggest that Mr. Elmasry unequivocally withdraw his harmful statements and apologize to all in Canada.

Canadian Council for International Co-operation
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Diane Bourgeois Terrebonne—Blainville, QC

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, a coalition of more than a hundred voluntary sector organizations working to end global poverty, has just presented five policy papers that review Canada's international policy.

Knowing that the aid granted by Canada to developing countries has been considerably reduced and that we are only half way to the aid target percentage; that nearly half the world's population lives on less than $3 a day; that a third of all deaths in the world—50,000 deaths a day—are from poverty-related causes; and that poverty is a major obstacle to security, we have no choice but to support the work of these agencies that fight for social justice.

The Bloc Québécois commends the members of the coalition and assures them of its support.

Foster Family Week
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Marcel Proulx Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to draw the hon. members' attention to an evening of recognition that was held for Foster Family Week.

It was organized by Outaouais youth centres, represented by Pierre Deschamps, and the Outaouais Foster Family Association, represented by its president, Micheline Charlebois.

The evening had two purposes: first to recognize some 400 foster families that open their homes and hearts to young people in difficulty; and second, to present the premiere of a joint theatrical production by the foster parents and the youth centres staff.

Every year, Outaouais youth centres, directed by Gilles Clavel, provide a wide range of standard, consistent, high-quality social services to more than 2,000 young people.

The constituents of Hull—Aylmer are proud to be able to count on the generosity of foster families and the support of Outaouais youth centres. Foster families are an integral part of the Outaouais community and we appreciate them very much.

Canada Post
Statements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Russ Hiebert South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canada Post's job is to deliver the mail, but the Liberals have abused the company for the benefit of their friends and donors.

André Ouellet's $2 million in unreceipted expenses has cost taxpayers big bucks. The special hiring of friends and family, some unqualified or unable to do the job, has cost even more. Liberal friendly firms were awarded over $35 million in sole source contracts.

However, Mr. Ouellet was not the only Liberal crony at Canada Post. We now find out that Liberal donor Gilles Champagne also racked up considerable bills on his world tours. When will we see his receipts?

The Prime Minister told us he was going to end cronyism, yet weeks ago he broke his promise and appointed yet another crony, the revenue minister's former colleague, Gordon Feeney, as chair of Canada Post.

Cronyism costs Canadians. This is an outrage that must stop now.