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  • Her favourite word is environment.

Conservative MP for Nunavut (Nunavut)

Won her last election, in 2011, with 49.90% of the vote.

Statements in the House

The Environment October 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to reaching a new global climate agreement in Paris next year. We want a fair agreement for Canada that includes all the emitters and all economies. Every country, big or small, has a role to play. That is what we will continue to push for at the meeting of the top 20.

We will continue to make progress domestically in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We have taken action in Canada to reduce coal-fired electricity greenhouse gas emissions.

I also want to thank the member for her support in our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas--

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I can say that people in Cambridge Bay are very excited about the creation of the Canadian high Arctic research station. I can also say that the people of the Arctic are very excited about having a stand-alone institution in the Arctic to conduct Arctic research, as opposed to research done down south, far from the people. This new institution will bring researchers to the north to conduct research in the Arctic with people in the Arctic.

In terms of why the two organizations have merged, as defined by the proposed legislation, the purpose of the new organization, CHARS, would be to advance knowledge of the Canadian Arctic in order to improve economic opportunities, environmental stewardship, and the quality of life of northerners and all other Canadians, and promote the development and dissemination of knowledge of the polar regions in the Arctic.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to receive that question from the member and to clarify the record.

During the discussions related to the cuts made by the Liberal government to health care, education, and infrastructure, I do not know if the member is aware that I was the finance minister for Nunavut and dealt with the issues resulting from the cuts Liberals made to health, education, and transfers.

I am very pleased to report that our government took the opposite position and did not cut transfers to the territorial and provincial governments. Since our government has been in place, for my riding alone the transfer payments have increased by over $500 million. Second, the infrastructure investments, guaranteed for ten years, have increased from $50 million to $419 million.

Under the Liberals, we experienced cuts to transfers and education and no increase in infrastructure budgets. I was the finance minister for Nunavut. I was also the health minister for Nunavut who was dealing with the Liberal cuts. We have restored that funding so that the territorial governments and provinces can make the investments according to their own priorities within their respective jurisdictions.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 31st, 2014

I apologize, Mr. Speaker.

The Prime Minister made the same announcement from Churchill, Manitoba, due to unforeseen weather conditions.

Cambridge Bay is an ideal place for the construction of this new world-class facility. It is centrally located and provides easy access to all parts of the north. It is also located right on the Northwest Passage, an invaluable location for the purpose of demonstrating our Arctic sovereignty.

The community itself is also very excited about the station. They see CHARS as creating economic opportunities, strengthening community infrastructure, sharing knowledge, and opening the community of Cambridge Bay to the world.

I would like to quote a friend, Fiona Buchan-Corey, a Cambridge Bay resident, who works at the Nunavut Arctic College. She said:

This multimillion dollar project is going to have a huge economic impact on Cambridge Bay, and we have been very proactive as a community in terms of trying to maximize the benefits to it....

And we're excited about the employment opportunities, not only during the construction stage, but also afterwards....

During the construction of the CHARS facility, it is anticipated that 150 people will be employed locally across the north and in more specialized sectors across Canada, and there will be permanent jobs when the station begins operating.

More recently, on the Prime Minister's ninth annual northern tour this past August, I was privileged to be back in Cambridge Bay with the Prime Minister to witness the launch of the construction of CHARS with a groundbreaking ceremony.

Once built, the station, which incorporates Inuit-inspired design principles, will be one of the largest buildings in the territory. These buildings will showcase green building technologies and serve as a test bed for future research and technology testing for infrastructure and renewable energy approaches from the north.

The day when the CHARS facility will be completed is coming more quickly than many people believe. Already the steel structure for one of the first buildings of the CHARS campus has been erected. I was very excited to see this in person while attending the Kitikmeot Inuit Association annual general meeting just a few weeks ago.

Establishing the governance for this facility is the last key piece that needs to be put in place in creating this important new institution in order to have it fully operational by 2017.

I urge all members in the House to take another important step by passing this important legislation and supporting Canada's vision for a strong and sovereign Canada.

Economic Action Plan 2014 Act, No. 2 October 31st, 2014

Mr. Speaker, I am going to speak this morning in favour of Bill C-43, economic action plan 2014 act no. 2, and specifically division 3, which includes the proposed Canadian High Arctic Research Station act.

The establishment of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, more commonly referred to as CHARS, is yet another example of our government's record investments and our ongoing commitment to promoting the Canadian Arctic as a vital part of our national identity, our sovereignty, and our economic security, as outlined in our 2007 northern strategy.

I am thrilled for the people of Cambridge Bay, who will benefit from our government's investments for years to come. As the member of Parliament for Nunavut, as someone who was born and raised in Canada's north, and as someone who still calls the north home, I know first-hand how this vision for a strong and sovereign Canada has benefited northerners in our day-to-day lives and continues to do so.

As the minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, I am particularly excited about the leadership role that this new world-class research facility located in the Arctic will play in the development and dissemination of Arctic research, both at home and abroad.

The Canadian High Arctic Research Station will serve as a year-round hub for scientists and scientific research and will anchor an existing network of smaller northern research facilities. This network, with CHARS at its centre, will allow Canada to exercise stewardship and sovereignty over our northern lands while strengthening Canada's role as a global leader on Arctic issues. It will also seek to establish partnerships and bring together industry, academics, aboriginal and northern governments, and international stakeholders to leverage their expertise, experience, and resources.

CHARS will not only promote Canadian sovereignty and stewardship of Canada's Arctic lands, waters, and resources but will also support the local economy by generating employment and service contracts in the region.

It is estimated that the construction phase will introduce 150 jobs across the north and in various other specialized sectors throughout Canada. Of the 15 construction subcontracts tendered to date, over $18 million has been awarded to Inuit-owned companies or Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated registered firms.

Once CHARS is in operation, the research, capacity-building, and outreach activities will provide northerners with the skills and experience to better participate in the labour force, from mining and energy through natural resources and wildlife management to health and life sciences. CHARS will also develop highly qualified personnel and leadership in the north and across Canada.

CHARS will also build upon the work of the existing Canadian Polar Commission. The commission works to promote the development and dissemination of knowledge in respect of the polar regions, which strongly complements the research and infrastructure aspects of the CHARS mandate and aligns with the goal of mobilizing Arctic science and technology.

The proposed act will combine the Canadian High Arctic Research Station with the existing Canadian Polar Commission under the name of CHARS to create one larger, stronger champion for polar knowledge and Arctic science and technology in Canada.

CHARS will function as a departmental corporation, just like the CPC. This is also in line with other organizations that perform world-renowned research in Canada, such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. This model will provide CHARS with the necessary flexibility to compete on a global scale with other science organizations, but also with the resource development sector operating in Canada's North.

In addition to allowing CHARS to become a viable destination for world-class scientists, our government will ensure CHARS is positioned to address any Inuit employment and training requirements, including those arising from the Nunavut land claims agreement.

I would like to briefly review the steps that our government has made and is making to move this project from its initial inception to the establishment of this world-class research centre.

In the 2007 Speech from the Throne, the Prime Minister committed to build a world-class high Arctic research station that would strengthen Canada's sovereignty over the north and raise the profile of Canadian Arctic research both at home and abroad.

Since that time we have moved quickly. In 2008, consultations were held with partners and stakeholders, leading to a needs assessment. This brought together northerners, aboriginal organizations, research organizations, and territorial governments to share their ideas, their values, and their vision for this institution. It was at this stage, arising from discussions with stakeholders, aboriginal people, and northerners, that the vision for CHARS began to come to light.

In 2009, Canada's economic action plan provided $2 million for a CHARS feasibility study and $85 million for the Arctic research infrastructure fund. This infrastructure fund was a significant investment toward maintaining and upgrading key existing Arctic research facilities in order to improve the network of science and technology facilities that deliver benefits to northerners and all Canadians.

Following consultations and assessments in 2010, the Prime Minister announced that the CHARS facility would be built in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. I was pleased to be in Cambridge Bay, joined by the Hon. John Duncan, Minister for Indian and Northern Affairs Development at that time, to make the announcement in the community—

The Environment October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of our record. We are a founding member of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition. We have made significant investments to help support green energy and infrastructure. Internationally, we have provided $1.2 billion to developing countries to address climate change.

Recently I announced new regulatory initiatives that will lower pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from cars, trucks, and heavy-duty vehicles. Thanks to these actions, carbon emissions will go down by close to 130 megatonnes from what they would have been under the Liberals, and we are not introducing a carbon tax.

The Environment October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, our government's record is clear. We have taken decisive action on the environment while protecting the economy.

Everyone internationally has to do their fair share. Building on our record, I announced a number of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution from vehicles. Recently I also announced our intent to regulate the HFCs, one of the fastest-growing greenhouse gases in the world. We are accomplishing this without the job-killing carbon tax that the NDP wants.

Questions on the Order Paper October 30th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, regarding part (a) of the question, the Fryer dam was built in 1938 and has never been operational. Access to the structure has been prohibited for several years and additional security measures have been put in place to ensure public safety near the structure. Parks Canada has not undertaken maintenance or repairs due to the fact that the dam was never operational and access has been restricted.

Regarding part (b), since 2005, two inspection reports have been produced by consulting firms on the Fryer dam. Staff conduct rounds of the Chambly Canal area and inspections are conducted as required.

Regarding parts (c) and (d), at this time, no funding for the Fryer dam is identified for repair or modernization.

Questions on the Order Paper October 29th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, with regard to part (a), Environment Canada does not purchase ecologically sensitive lands directly under the national conservation plan. Rather, funding is provided to non-governmental organizations to purchase these lands with the intent to conserve important habitat for conservation purposes.

In relation to questions (a) to (c), given the wording used in the questions and the interest in information related to actions that were taken before the national conservation plan was announced, our response addresses the natural areas conservation program, rather than all programs under the national conservation plan.

Under the natural areas conservation program, in 2014-15, the amount spent by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, as of August 31, 2014, on purchasing ecologically sensitive, privately owned lands in Quebec is approximately $260,000. The total planned spending under the natural areas conservation program for 2014-15 in Quebec, including this $260,000, is $300,000.

Once the new natural areas conservation program agreement between Environment Canada and the Nature Conservancy of Canada is signed for the $100 million under the national conservation plan, a work plan for the remainder of 2014-15 will be submitted by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. This will include the planned spending in Quebec for the final months of this fiscal year.

The spending for 2015-16 and 2016-17 is not yet known.

With regard to part (b), in 2014-15, the amount spent, specifically on purchasing wetlands in Quebec is not easily determined at this time, as the Nature Conservancy of Canada does not automatically track wetlands and uplands work. Under the natural areas conservation program, Ducks Unlimited Canada has not spent and does not intend to spend any of its federal funds in Quebec in the 2014-15 fiscal year.

The spending for 2015-16 and 2016-17 is not yet known.

With regard to part (c), in 2014-15 in Quebec, ecologically sensitive lands, including wetlands have been acquired within the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s priority natural area of the Northern Green Mountains.

The spending for 2015-16 and 2016-17 is not yet known.

With regard to part (d), Environment Canada does not purchase ecologically sensitive lands directly. Funding is provided through a variety of programs, including those under the national conservation plan, to non-governmental organizations to purchase ecologically sensitive lands, including wetlands.

Regarding (d)(i), in the last three fiscal years, 2011-12 to 2013-14, Environment Canada’s partners have spent a total amount of $73,136,568 in government funds on purchasing ecologically sensitive, privately owned lands, including wetlands. This includes $68.9 million under the natural areas conservation program and $4.2 million under other programs.

Regarding (d)(ii), as part of the national conservation plan, $100 million was announced for the continuation of the natural areas conservation program, which is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Given that the natural areas conservation program is now within the national conservation plan for 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17, it is not included here.

Planning for the next three years in various programs is currently under way.

The Environment October 27th, 2014

Mr. Speaker, this amalgamation is an exciting opportunity to coordinate Arctic research. We have invested a significant amount of resources in creating Canada's High Arctic Research Station in Cambridge Bay. That project will be concluded by 2017, again bringing together researchers. The approach that we are taking is that research shall actually be conducted in the Arctic, and we are providing the avenues to do that.