House of Commons Hansard #159 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fisheries.

Topics

Fisheries Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:20 p.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission
B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I appreciated much of what my colleague from British Columbia had to say and I think it provided some clarity, although we are speaking on the hoist amendment at the moment, not on the bill itself.

However, with respect to her comments regarding consultation, I take issue. I would like further clarification from her on what she means by this concept of public right to fish. I know it is a common concept and it is related somehow to the common property resource issue.

Does she think it means that any Canadian anywhere can fish for anything at any time? I doubt if she means that because she also indicated that she was interested in the resource and its sustainability and so on, and that would seem obviously to fly in the face of that. What does it mean?

The act and our tradition is that it cannot mean that. It is a constrained right. It is a regulated right. It has been since Confederation. What we say in the bill is that it is not that fishing is a privilege, but a licence is a privilege. That gives access to this common property resource under the principles that are laid down in the bill.

Further clarification on that would be appreciated.

Fisheries Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:20 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was aware we were speaking on the hoist amendment, but it is also important to lay out the arguments why we would not want to consider the bill at this time and in this place.

The member raises a very good issue and this is an important example of why we need those appropriate consultations. I come from a part of the country where recreational and sports fishing is an extremely important part of what happens in British Columbia. It is an important addition to our economic well-being. It is an important part of what people would argue is their own culture. I know many fathers, mothers, daughters and sons have fished for generations in a recreational and sports way in British Columbia.

If we talk to the recreational and sports fishers, what we will hear from them is that they are absolutely conscious of the fact that when we talk about the right to fish, it does not mean unfettered access. It does not mean that somebody would go out at any time, in any season and fish. What they are asking, though, is that in the context of a responsible approach to the management of fisheries, they be included and acknowledged as having that right to fish.

I know that many of the sports and recreational fishers in British Columbia are actively involved in habitat protection and conservation. They are actively involved in ensuring that the very species remain healthy so they remain a resource for future generations.

I again argue that if we had those kinds of meaningful consultation processes, we would not need to have this conversation in the House.

Fisheries Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:25 p.m.

Liberal

Roger Valley Kenora, ON

Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague, the member for Nanaimo—Cowichan, represents an area from the west coast. I represent an area in the centre of Canada.

I have two questions for her today. The first one has been talked about somewhat, but I need to raise it from the position of someone who represents an inland fishery.

We know stakeholders feel that they have not been heard or listened to. In my riding I have a thriving commercial fishery, both in bait fish and standard commercial fishing, and a sport fishery. No one has talked to either of those.

In the north we have a huge area of about 2,500 square miles where there are only 21 first nations communities. At one time they had a thriving sturgeon fishery. Now they are working to regain that. No one has talked to them.

I mentioned earlier that we have one of the largest inland research centres in my riding, the Experimental Lakes Area, with more than a half century of data and research to ensure that the inland fishery will thrive. No one has talked to them

What is she or is she not hearing about the inland fishery because of the lack of consultation?

My second question, and I know it is a concern for the NDP, is about the provisions that would allow DFO officials to grant or refuse licences.

I mentioned earlier in the chamber that my family has held licences for more than a half century. It is important to understand that there is very little tenure and protection for commercial fishing licences. Any chance that we get, when we are rewriting an act that is over 100 years old, to protect the fishery, the people who work in the fishery and the people who invest in the fishery is an opportunity we should take to get it done right, and we need to listen to the people and the stakeholders involved.

Fisheries Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:25 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, I did not touch on the inland fisheries in my speech, but they have been a vital resource in this country. I was fortunate enough to live for a number of years in the Okanagan where there is a very important inland fishery. It is a sports and recreational fishery that draws people from all over the world.

There are two aspects to this, the sports and recreational fisheries aspect of it but certainly also the aboriginal treaty rights around inland fisheries. I laid out in detail the lack of consultation. The lack of consultation on the three coasts is reflective of the lack of consultation around inland fisheries and the impact it will have on communities if their voices are not heard. They are on the water and understand the issues that are facing them. We must have appropriate consultation.

With respect to the whole issue of getting it right around licensing, I am from the west coast where we have seen over several years a number of communities facing severe difficulties as the fisheries have been in transition. We have seen families surrender their licences for a variety of reasons. We saw some consolidation happening with the fleet. Those communities have been impacted as a result of some of those decisions.

I am sure all Canadians would say that they want that vital resource protected and preserved and that we need to consider the impact on communities. That includes all communities involved in fishing, whether one is a fisher or somebody who benefits by providing the secondary and tertiary services. We absolutely need to get this right.

We do not want to see too much power and decision making concentrated with the minister. A number of concerns have been raised around how many times the bill refers to “the minister may”. We want to make sure that the decisions being made on behalf of this resource are being made in a manner that ensures the protection of that resource for future generations.

Fisheries Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission
B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, if my colleague reads the bill she will see in the preamble a number of times where there is reference to commercial, aboriginal and recreational fishers. Once or twice she will see processors mentioned as well, but she will see the first three mentioned time and time again.

When she gets to clause 25 of the bill, it lists those very important principles and I wonder if she agrees with them. I think they do everything she would like them to do. It says, “In exercising the powers under section 27 or 37”, which is basically the licensing or allocation sections of the act, “the Minister must take into account” and the third one is “the importance to fishers”, and fishers there refers to all three of those sectors, “of secure access to the fishery and of allocation stability”. That is a very important principle.

Fisheries Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, fortunately I have read the preamble and sections of the bill. Where the disagreement comes about is whether the preamble is strong enough in terms of protecting the public right to access the resource. Clearly, the recreational and sports fishers in this country do not feel that is the case. If it is the users who are saying this is not strong enough language and does not protect the right to fish, I suggest we need to take a second look at it.

This argument often comes up in terms of a piece of legislation that may do some of what we think is important. The question then becomes whether we tinker with that piece of legislation at the margins to make it legislation that is going to do what we intended, which is to protect the resource, and there are all kinds of other things around enforcement and all of that, or do we go back to the drawing board and make sure we do the consultations to come up with the appropriate piece of legislation.

Again I would argue in this particular case, because the government did not do its homework and conduct those consultations, that we need to go back to the drawing board.

Fisheries Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:30 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, it is with some concern that I rise to speak about Bill C-45, the new Fisheries Act as proposed by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

I certainly want to acknowledge the courage of the minister. The Fisheries Act is 138 years old. It has not been substantively changed in that period of time. However, as my late father used to say, caution has to be taken when judging actions. There is conventional wisdom that often takes place and one has to wonder whether a decision is taken based on convention or wisdom.

This bill, quite frankly, is quite flawed. All the stakeholders and anyone who has taken an opportunity to review it has come to the determination that it is substantially flawed and would endanger a $4.3 billion annual enterprise to this country, an enterprise that sustains thousands of communities throughout Canada and well over 80,000 individuals and their families.

One of the key points that has to be raised on the floor is the decision that was taken by the minority Conservative government not to have the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans review the legislation prior to second reading to enable the all-party committee to review the legislation, to conduct hearings and hear from Canadians from coast to coast to coast on the impacts of the bill. That decision was taken because there was a reluctance, an absolute denial of any opportunity for change based on good advice.

While the minister has acted with some courage in bringing forth the legislation, I regret he did not complement his courage with wisdom. The bill is flawed for various reasons. I will not, however, throw out the baby with the bathwater. The sanctions process, the ticketing process, quite frankly, is very reasonable. In fact, it is long overdue. The establishment of allowing officers and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to deal with relatively minor infractions of the Fisheries Act instead of through a court proceeding, through a ticket violation or sanctions process is a welcome change. It is welcomed by all fishers.

However, there are other elements to this which have to be viewed from the point of view of the law of unintended consequences. Unintended consequences can arise from the minister's decision to remove what is called his absolute discretion. A cornerstone that the minister brought forward when he tabled this bill is that he lauded the point that the absolute discretion, as was prescribed in the original act, would now be rescinded.

The minister tabled the bill on December 12, 24 hours before the House recessed for Christmas and January, not allowing any review from Parliament whatsoever. He did indicate that he was moving forward with very significant changes.

From my own constituents' point of view, what the minister had said was that the bill would now allow for fishers, industry stakeholders, to have a greater say in their own industry when it comes to management decisions, scientific decisions on allocation and who gets into their fishery.

When we look at it just at that broad brush, any reasonable person looking at that would say, “Imagine fishermen having a say in the management of their own fishery”. Who could argue with something like that on the surface? That is exactly what the minister and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans concluded, that there would be a statutory, obligatory requirement that existing stakeholders would actually have a legally guaranteed role to play in decision making related to the fisheries in which they are directly involved, fishermen managing their own fishery.

I will present to the House a scenario of the law of unintended consequences, and I will use a very specific example. That principle equally applies to industrial stakeholder fishers: dentists from Nova Scotia who happen to own licences in the northern shrimp fishery; other corporations that really never set foot in a boat, that are called slipper skippers simply because they own the enterprise and the licence and basically reap the benefits of it directly with no onshore, no adjacent benefits accruing to communities or to individual fishermen.

A case in point is the northern shrimp fishery. In 1997 there was a decision taken by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to allow inshore interests to participate, to prosecute the northern shrimp fishery. That was the first time ever. Since the late 1970s until 1997 the entire offshore shrimp industry was dominated exclusively by offshore factory freezer trawlers. Seventeen licences were issued, all of which were owned by large corporations or stakeholders that had no relevance to the adjacent communities to the fishery, with the exception of the Labrador Fishermen's Union Shrimp Company Limited.

That is a case in point. Under this bill the minister and the department would now have a legally binding requirement on them to listen to the views of the stakeholders. That would have been the 17 factory freezer licence holders, up until 1997, and those 17 factory freezer licence holders could effectively bar access to every inshore fishermen in Newfoundland and Labrador to gain access into this fishery. Why? Because that is exactly what this bill prescribes. As the minister says in the press release, the minister and every person engaged in the administration of this act or regulations must take into account the stakeholder interests. There is a case in point of the law of unintended consequences taking hold.

Another example of the law of unintended consequences that should have been reviewed by the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to hear expert witness testimony would be the requirement that the minister must take into account the principles of sustainable development and to seek to apply an ecosystem approach in the management of fisheries in the conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat and must--not shall or may--must seek to apply a precautionary approach such that if there is both high scientific uncertainty and a risk of serious harm they will not be engaged in any management decisions that could impact on that.

The key word is “must”, not may, must. It is a complete removal of the absolute discretion of the minister that was applied under the previous act. That is a case in point of the law of unintended consequences.

Say, for example, a particular group wanted to challenge the validity of the minister's decision to maintain the harp seal quota throughout Atlantic Canada and Quebec. If a group came forward with substantial evidence from its point of view, and brought it forward to a federal court in Toronto, that particular NGO could actually challenge the minister's decision to maintain a harp seal fishery and could actually seek recourse through a federal court to actually shut down a particular fishery or challenge the minister's decision relating to quota or any specific management items. That particular court in a place very far away from where the fishery is actually prosecuted, very far away from the adjacent communities, could actually decide how an east coast, west coast, central or Arctic fishery was actually managed.

That is the law of unintended consequences that has to be understood by all members of the House before a formal vote is taken. That is why we asked that the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans review this legislation and hear expert testimony from stakeholders.

The point was brought forward that there were extensive consultations on the act before the bill was brought forward. First off, the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans put in a request to the minister and to the department to assist the department and the minister in crafting the bill before it was tabled so that we could bring forward as members key elements of the bill that we wanted to have included and key concerns. That request was denied. It was not acted upon.

On December 12, 2006, 24 hours before the close of the House, a bill was tabled. There were no further discussions for the next eight weeks.

We asked who exactly was consulted and what was the actual consultation that occurred. In my own constituency I found that next to no one was consulted and the few organizations that were were simply sent a letter from an official within the department indicating that a new fisheries act would be tabled soon.

There were no details about the act and no chance for input, with no relevance whatsoever to this act, and that is what has been put before us. It is an act that has been described as having endured extensive consultations when in fact no consultations whatsoever, no substantial consultations, have been conducted.

A third element of this that really gravely concerns me is the fisheries co-management process. Fishermen want to know exactly what that entails. They want to know if additional fees can be placed upon them as a result of a cooperative agreement or a trust arrangement being put in place between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and an umbrella stakeholder group that states or claims it represents the interests of fishermen.

The first party would be the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the second party would be the fishermen themselves, and the third party would be the organization in question. The fishermen want to know if that third party interest can apply for or create levies of additional fees on the fishermen themselves. That is a very important point, but I wish we could have had an opportunity to review this act in committee so that we could have put these facts on the table. This is a very substantial concern.

I appreciate the fact that the sanctions process, the ticketing process on relatively minor infractions, is a better process. It provides a substantial improvement to the current regime. However, there is the law of unintended consequences and possibilities. If there was nothing to fear from the concerns that I raised and that were raised by other members and industry stakeholders, this act should have been placed before committee for review before second reading. Witnesses and evidence should have been presented as to exactly where the act is going.

As well, I have grave concerns about the management process leading to extended terms. The minister will acknowledge that a recent agreement was just put in place with Ocean Choice of Newfoundland and Labrador and High Liner Foods, allowing for greater long term tenure to certain resources based on certain criteria. However, that is one example.

There are other examples that may not be beneficial to the people of Atlantic Canada and to fishermen and fishing communities generally across the board. We want to know exactly where that process is taking us. That is a major concern that has been expressed by my constituents.

Key among this is information about specifically where it is that we are taking the legal and binding right of interest groups that now have a formal and legally binding say in the management of our fishery.

The minister himself will acknowledge that on the northeast coast of Newfoundland there was a decision that was taken in 2J3KL cod, a decision to allow a small commercial scale fishery to fishers there in a resource that, generally speaking, scientists had described as significantly depleted.

Today, as was the case when the minister made the decision, the point of view of very few scientists has changed. Their point of view was that the resource was depleted to the point where any commercial fishery could cause a serious and negative decline in the overall abundance and health of stocks. Biomass would not be allowed to increase and would not be allowed to recuperate. Therefore, science was against that particular decision, or some scientists were, I should say.

If Bill C-45 had been in place at the time of this decision an interest group could have had the capacity or capability of bringing the minister's decision before a federal court for judicial review, because the law specifically states that the minister is no longer capable of making a unilateral decision. He no longer has absolute discretion. He now must adhere to a set of principles that must take into account sustainable development and the scientific information that is available at the time, the scientific information but not the stakeholder information, the information from fishermen themselves.

The minister was proven correct. His decision was a valid one. However, I would remind every resident of the northeast coast of Newfoundland and southern Labrador and the northern peninsula area that I represent that if this act had been in place at the time of that decision, it could very well have been that an organization from outside of the province, outside of the country, could have put forward a judicial action to actually suspend the fishery. That is a very real possibility.

If I am incorrect in what I state, if the minister does not believe it and the department does not believe it, what I can say is that we would have had an opportunity to bring this before a committee and hear expert testimony as to exactly what was happening here. This had to be done. The stakeholders were depending on it. The industry interests were depending on it.

I am concerned about the co-management agreement. I am concerned about the potential for additional fees to be imposed upon fishermen and their communities as a result of the legally binding cooperative agreements that could be put in place between DFO and the stakeholder groups.

I am concerned about the loss of discretion by the minister to act appropriately in ways that he or she knows would be beneficial to the fishery. I use specifically the case of the northeast coast cod as an example that probably would not have happened. I use specifically the case of the seal fishery and all those advocacy groups, the interest groups that are out there that at chomping at the bit for a way to shut down our seal fishery.

This act may provide them with that very possibility or opportunity, in a federal court in a place very far away from this fishery, with evidence or testimony heard by a judge that could result in a decision that the minister did not act in accordance with the act he has tabled. That is a very real possibility.

I have many concerns, but the last major one that I need to speak about in this House is the concern about the exclusion of legitimate fishermen from new fisheries as they emerge or expand.

For example, on the co-management agreement that was reached in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on crab in area 12, would the existing full time fishermen in area 12 have allowed small boat permit fishermen to come into their fishery when the resource skyrocketed in abundance and the price went up? Would they have had an opportunity to boycott or basically veto through a court action the decision of the minister of the day back in the 1990s, not too many years ago, to allow small boat permit entrants into that fishery?

Could the interests of the northern coalition, the large offshore factory freezer trawlers, have prohibited access to inshore fishermen for prosecuting the northern shrimp fishery? After literally decades of dominance by the offshore factory freezer trawlers, could that have been a possibility under this act? The evidence that I am receiving and the input in legal opinions and by industry stakeholders is yes, it definitely could have been. That is why this act should have been presented to committee before second reading before it went any further.

Fisheries Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Newfoundland and Labrador for his presentation.

We have asked throughout today's debate about the consultative process and who was consulted on this act before it was tabled. I find it very amusing and quite astonishing that this bill was tabled on December 13, 2006. This bill is over 200 pages long, with a lot of legalese in it, but on December 14 the B.C. mining industry put out a press release saying it welcomed the new act. I do not know how anyone could have given the act a thorough analysis, whether against it or for it, prior to actually reading it, but one day later the mining industry said that it supported the act.

It is interesting that the senior director of the Mining Association of British Columbia is a gentleman named Byng Giraud, who says, “We support the act”. Guess what? Byng Giraud also sits on the governing national council of the Conservative Party of Canada, representing British Columbia. It seems awfully close and very paternalistic that on December 14 the Mining Association of B.C. can say it supports the act without giving it a thorough analysis and the individual who says that is a member of the Conservative Party representing B.C.

It is obvious that fishermen were not consulted on this act, so I ask my hon. colleague, does he have any other evidence of people of this nature across the country who are not fishermen and who support the government's intention of really destroying the future livelihood of fishermen and their families in this country?

Fisheries Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, consultation is key. Whenever we deal with a common property resource, such as the fishery resources of Canada, consultation among stakeholders is absolutely essential.

However, I will give the hon. member an example of someone else who was not consulted, someone who spoke out publicly against the act, and that is the member for Delta—Richmond East. The Conservative member for Delta—Richmond East wrote a letter to my local newspaper and, I understand, to local newspapers right across this entire country, speaking out against this act.

The hon. member for Delta—Richmond East of course has been a long-time member of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. Shortly after that letter was published in local newspapers across the country, he was no longer a member of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. That is of strong concern, because of course he too represents a fishing constituency.

However, I can tell members that the 3K north shrimp committee in my riding was not consulted, the 2J committee was not consulted, and the 3K south shrimp committee was not consulted. Nor were the 4R shrimp committee or any inshore fishermen's organizations ever consulted on this particular initiative. I can think of no one in my constituency who was. I have fishermen's organizations throughout the entire coastline. In the 148 communities that I represent, not one consultation occurred that I am aware of, and I asked for any input that I could get.

What I do know in terms of consultation is that letters were sent out saying that a new act would be tabled. That was it.

Fisheries Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission
B.C.

Conservative

Randy Kamp Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I think I need more clarification, because I am having a hard time making sense of this. Is the member saying that he prefers the old regime, whereby the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans had absolute discretion with regard to every allocation decision and every licensing decision, just as the current act says?

Is the hon. member saying that he prefers that approach to this one in the bill, which would constrain the minister's discretion? The minister would still have accountability and responsibility, but, for example, must take into account the principles of sustainable development, seek to apply a consistent approach in the management of fisheries, seek to apply a precautionary approach, take into account scientific information, seek to manage fisheries and conserve and protect fish and fish habitat in a manner that is consistent with aboriginal protections, and so on?

Does the member really prefer that other system rather than letting the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans know what we expect from him?

Fisheries Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, if the parliamentary secretary is confused about the act, let us imagine how just about every other stakeholder is feeling about this particular act.

I will tell him what system I would prefer. When inshore fishers from the Gulf of St. Lawrence want access to a crab stock after being isolated from other fisheries, and when the crab stock in the Gulf of St. Lawrence skyrockets in biomass and abundance and the value of it increases, I would prefer a system whereby I would have a minister and an act that would enable a decision to be taken to allow temporary permitted access into that fishery.

I will him what else I want. I want a minister and an act that allows the northeast coast cod fishery to be open on a commercial basis when fishermen and stakeholders agree that there is enough resource there to be able to do so. This act would prevent that.

I want an act that enables the minister to be able to allow new entrants into the northern shrimp fishery, as the minister did in 1997. This act could potentially bar that through a legal action.

That is the kind of act I want.

Fisheries Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Anita Neville Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, my question and comment for the member relate to the consultation, or the lack thereof, with first nations communities.

I would ask my colleague what his views are on the fact that no consultation resources were made available to the Assembly of First Nations people. There was no meaningful engagement with the AFN and communities on the changes in the Fisheries Act. There has been no broad consultation at all. In fact, the response from the Department of Fisheries has been that the consultation process can take place when committee hearings take place.

That is not, to our understanding, what consultation with first nations communities involves. I would be interested in hearing the member's comments.

Fisheries Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Gerry Byrne Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, NL

Mr. Speaker, the aboriginal community and first nations are justifiably concerned about the direction of this legislation. First nations are still reeling from the comment that was made by the Prime Minister about no race-based fisheries.

Without explanation or contemplation of exactly what that statement meant, that was the statement that was made, “an end to race-based fisheries”. The Prime Minister has a duty to explain exactly what his intentions are and whether this bill provides an opportunity for him to fulfill that particular objective.

I am concerned, as well as first nations, as to exactly where this is going. There has been no consultation and first nations are placed in the same position as members of this legislature.

Without a reasonable opportunity to review the act prior to second reading, as all members of the committee had contemplated and requested, there is no reasonable opportunity to make substantive changes to the act should glaring flaws be identified. That is a concern not only to first nations as fishing stakeholders but to each and every one of us.

Fisheries Act, 2007
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

We will move on now to statements by members.

The hon. member for Northumberland—Quinte West.

Peacekeeping
Statements By Members

May 29th, 2007 / 1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to pay tribute to the brave men and women, military and civilian, who have served on behalf of Canada in peacekeeping missions around the world.

Today is International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers and Canadians have much to be proud of. Canada has always been strongly committed to international peace and security, and has a proud history in United Nations peacekeeping from Cyprus to Bosnia and to the Golan Heights.

Today is no different. We currently have 129 Canadians serving with 9 United Nations missions, including 66 personnel with the UN stabilization mission in Haiti and 33 personnel in the UN mission in the Sudan.

Canadians owe a great deal of debt to all Canadians who have so proudly represented our country around the world.

Finally, I call upon all members of this House to take a moment to remember Major Hess-von Kruedener who died on July 25, 2006, while serving at the United Nations observation post in Lebanon.

This government extends its thanks to all those who are currently serving and those who have served in the past.