Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act

An Act to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act

This bill was last introduced in the 41st Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2015.

Status

This bill has received Royal Assent and is now law.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act to implement the Port State Measures Agreement, to prohibit the importation of fish caught and marine plants harvested in the course of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to clarify certain powers in respect of the administration and enforcement of the Act.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

April 28th, 2015 / noon
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Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Well, these are the amounts that were in Bill S-3 in order to bring it in line with the port state measures agreement. We're not changing the amounts here, but are simply referring to a particular offence that was amended earlier in this meeting. Is that clear to you?

April 28th, 2015 / noon
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Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I move that Bill S-3, in clause 16, be amended by adding after line 33 on page 18 the following:

(3) Every person who contravenes subsection 5.6(3) is guilty of an offence and liable

(a) on conviction on indictment, to a fine of not more than $500,000; or

(b) on summary conviction, to a fine of not more than $100,000.

April 28th, 2015 / 11:55 a.m.
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Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

I'm not sure I caught the question, but the current law allows the crown to seize vessels or goods on a fishing vessel. Bill S-3 allows the seizure of other things that are in places other than a fishing vessel, but it became clear that the legislation wouldn't allow for the individual to forfeit and for the crown to sell if they were seized from a place other than a fishing vessel.

Now under Bill S-3, in order to be in line with the port state measures agreement, the officials will have the ability to look for illegal product in places other than fishing vessels. It also is important to have a clause that allows the illegal things that are seized to be sold and for the money to go to the crown rather than—

It's a technical amendment, but that's all that it's doing here.

April 28th, 2015 / 11:55 a.m.
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Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

The current forfeiture provisions in the act cover seized fishing vessels and goods on board vessels, but do not authorize the court to order forfeiture of goods seized in a place other than a fishing vessel. Bill S-3 authorizes the seizure of products in places other than a fishing vessel, a warehouse, for example, or it could be at a border crossing, or that kind of thing. This amendment modifies the forfeiture provision to authorize the court to order forfeiture of such goods, otherwise the crown could end up returning the goods or proceeds of the sale, if they've sold the goods, to a convicted defendant.

I hope that's clear. I know it's a long amendment, and I know Angela understands it better than I do if we have any technical questions.

April 28th, 2015 / 11:55 a.m.
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Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I move that Bill S-3, in clause 9, be amended by replacing line 5 on page 13 with the following:

9. Paragraphs 14(a) to (c) of the Act are replaced

April 28th, 2015 / 11:50 a.m.
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Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

I move that Bill S-3 in clause 5 be amended by adding after line 45 on page 4 the following:

(2.1) Section 6 of the Act is amended by adding the following after paragraph (d): (d.1) respecting documentation required for the importation of fish and marine plants;

April 28th, 2015 / 11:50 a.m.
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NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Bill S-3 deals with the issue of illegal fishing within 200 nautical miles precisely because our objective is to ensure the sustainability of the stocks.

Mr. Kamp mentioned that people should not raise all their fishery questions here. That is absolutely not what is going on. Once again, that comment is the complete opposite of what my colleagues are trying to do. What is at issue here is determining whether we have a chance to ensure the sustainability of the stocks. That is why my colleagues are asking questions about illegal fishing outside the 200 nautical miles and about fishing-related policies for species that we can no longer fish because not enough are returning to Canadian waters. The objective is fundamentally the same.

We need to know whether we are doing our utmost in Canada to establish the sustainability of fish stocks for our fishers in order to ensure that our people will have jobs in the future and that the industry will be doing well in five, 10, 15 or 20 years. In no way are we raising a bunch of questions that have nothing to do with Bill S-3.

Once again, I found that the comment was simply gratuitous given the effort my colleagues have made.

April 28th, 2015 / 11:45 a.m.
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Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

With respect, I think Mr. Cleary was just reminding us all to make our comments germane to the matter at hand, which is Bill S-3 and clause-by-clause consideration.

Yes, Bill S-3 is about fisheries. We have to be careful that we don't just raise every fisheries question that we haven't been able to get an answer to just because we see an official here. These officials are here because they're experts on what we're trying to do in Bill S-3, which is to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, to put our domestic legislation in line, to be able to ratify the port state measures agreement.

Frankly, with regard to Mr. MacAulay's comments, I understood them and took no offence to them. I understand why he's interested in tuna and why he could raise this question. But as much as possible, we need to make sure that our comments are germane to the clause that's under consideration, or, in this case, the amendment to the clause that's being considered.

I just took it as a reminder on that, and I think it was a helpful reminder.

April 28th, 2015 / 11:15 a.m.
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Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rodney Weston

It's clause 2 in Bill S-3.

The reason I ask shall clause 2 carry is that—

April 23rd, 2015 / 12:15 p.m.
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NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I first want to point out how deplorable it is that the official opposition only had 10 minutes to ask the minister questions when we are supposed to be dealing with the fundamental aspects of Bill S-3, Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act, as well as the 2015-16 Main Estimates. It's a serious breach of the fundamental principles of responsible government. So we will have to focus on the remaining hour, starting with the main estimates.

An amount of $40.9 million is planned for extending the lives of Coast Guard vessels. Of that amount, $13.6 million will go to Davie Canada Yard, in Quebec. That's pretty good news, but it is not a lot considering that $33 billion is currently allocated for the construction of new vessels.

Moreover, when it comes to the construction of those new vessels, the government has experienced a variety of fairly worrisome difficulties, including delivery delays and cost escalation. In 2010, when all that started, Davie Canada Yard was in pretty bad shape, but it was restructured to such an extent that Lloyd's List North American Maritime Awards recently recognized the yard with an award for excellence.

Regarding the issues related to the building of new vessels, can we expect the $33 billion that has been allocated to ultimately be released? Can we expect future decisions to include the Davie Canada Yard in Quebec City?

April 23rd, 2015 / 11:05 a.m.
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Conservative

The Honourable Gail Shea Conservative Gail Shea

Thank you very much. It's a pleasure to be here today.

With me are members of the DFO senior management team, which includes: Matthew King, deputy minister; Jody Thomas, Canadian Coast Guard commissioner; Kevin Stringer, senior assistant deputy minister of ecosystems and fisheries management; Tom Rosser, senior assistant deputy minister of strategic policy; and Trevor Swerdfager, assistant deputy minister of ecosystems and oceans, science sector. Our chief financial officer, Marty Muldoon, is with us again.

I want to begin by reiterating the point I've made at past committee appearances that our government has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to protecting mariners, managing Canada's fisheries, and safeguarding our waters.

Today I'll provide members with a brief overview of DFO's 2015-16 main estimates before speaking to the recently tabled budget and what it means for my department.

I'm also here to speak to Bill S-3, amendments to the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act. Illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing is a scourge that threatens our oceans and takes money away from fishermen. I hope that the committee will see fit to pass this important bill.

In regard to the main estimates, my department's request for this fiscal year amounts to $1.9 billion. This figure represents a net increase of $283.9 million over last year. This increase is mainly due to funding for the renewal of the Canadian Coast Guard fleet, including both vessels and helicopters, funding to renew the Atlantic and Pacific integrated commercial fisheries initiatives, and additional investments in small craft harbours across the country.

As you are aware, budget 2015 was recently tabled. We committed to getting real results for Canadians and these investments will protect our environment, ensure the sustainability of our fisheries, and support our government's priorities of creating jobs and promoting economic growth.

Under economic action plan 2015, I'm pleased to report that both the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard will be delivering a number of important investments to Canadians.

These include $5.7 million over five years to help secure new market access for Canadian seal products, and $30.8 million over five years to enhance marine transportation safety in the Arctic and further strengthen incident prevention preparedness and response south of 60°. Over the next five years, $34 million will be used to continue to support year-round meteorological and navigational warning services that will support northern communities and safe marine navigation in the Arctic.

Budget 2015 also includes $75 million over three years to continue to support the implementation of the Species At Risk Act to protect Canada's diverse species and secure the necessary actions for their recovery. In addition, $2 million is earmarked for the Pacific Salmon Foundation to support the Salish Sea marine survival project.

I'm also pleased to report than an additional $10 million annually, over the next three years, will be used to extend the recreational fisheries conservation partnership program, which will help support an already robust and successful initiative.

More good news for Canadian fishermen comes from increasing the lifetime capital gains exemption to $1 million for owners of a fishing business, which will allow owners to maintain more of their capital upon disposition of their fishing property. This will make a real difference for our hard-working fishermen by allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money.

Finally, recognizing the important role of small businesses in Canada as job creators, the government is further encouraging small business growth by reducing the small business tax rate to 9% by 2019.

As you can see, these investments continue to demonstrate our government's ongoing commitment to marine safety, to supporting responsible resource development, to protecting Canada's marine environment, and creating jobs and economic growth.

We're committed to ensuring that our fishermen are able to get delicious Canadian seafood on plates around the world. We have embarked on the most ambitious trade agenda in Canadian history and those in the seafood industry stand to benefit greatly. For example, Canada embarked on a historic trade agreement with the European Union. This was not only a game changer for Canadian businesses but a watershed moment for our fish and seafood industry in particular.

Canada is the world's seventh-largest exporter of fish and seafood products. The European Union is the world's largest importer and the demand from this market will only continue to grow. By opening up new markets in the EU and improving access for fish and seafood, CETA, as well as our trade agreement with South Korea, will result in job creation, higher wages, and greater long-term prosperity for our fishing industry.

As the government we're continuing to look to the future on how we can unlock even more international markets for Canadian businesses. Of course, unprecedented access to global markets is a moot point if we're not making significant and strategic investments here at home. As you know, this past November, Prime Minister Harper announced significant federal funding for DFO and coast guard infrastructure projects. Over the next two years, we will invest an additional $288 million in a vast network of more than 1,000 small craft harbours across the country.

With respect to the Canadian Coast Guard, over the next two years an additional $183 million will be authorized for repair, life extension, and procurement of vessels and small craft. This funding is in addition to our unprecedented investment in the coast guard's fleet renewal program. The coast guard vessels and small craft benefiting from these new funds will support activities linked to search and rescue, gathering scientific data, responding to maritime incidents, and assisting conservation and protection officers.

In addition to this work, Fisheries and Oceans is also responsible for the stewardship of a number of laboratories and other federally owned assets. Over the next two years we will allocate an additional $80 million in 195 projects to upgrade science facilities, Atlantic salmon fishways, lighthouses, search and rescue stations, and federally owned buildings across the country. These infrastructure investments will help support the continued delivery of quality services and support the science and research that represents the foundation of our work.

In Canada we take pride in knowing that our fisheries and aquaculture operations are sustainably managed. This is the case for all species, but I'd like to note in particular our commitment to the conservation and protection of wild salmon. Our scientists are actively monitoring salmon populations in key indexed rivers to better inform our management decisions. We've also implemented more stringent measures for recreational salmon fishing in some locations in support with this rigorous enforcement effort. On the west coast we're seeing the benefits of this work with improved returns of some important salmon stocks. With Atlantic salmon on the east coast however there are still concerns, particularly in the southern region.

I'm personally committed to this issue, which is why last December I announced the establishment of a new ministerial advisory committee on Atlantic salmon. The committee is made up of key stakeholders, who will provide me with recommendations on the future direction of conservation. Last month I attended the committee's inaugural meeting in Halifax, along with experts from across the Maritimes and Quebec. Together they will examine conservation and enforcement measures, as well as predation issues. They will also develop a strategy that addresses international fishing in areas for advancing science. I'm pleased to report that this work is already coming to fruition. After just two meetings I asked the advisory committee to submit a set of interim recommendations that could be acted upon immediately. Based on these recommendations, I recently announced new conservation measures for Atlantic salmon recreational angling throughout the gulf region. All of these management measures were supported by key stakeholders and further demonstrate how we are listening to the concerns of local fishing and conservation groups.

Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing is another area where we're taking decisive action. Canada, of course, has been a leader in global efforts to deter this type of fishing. We know that strong governance of the high seas through regional management fisheries organizations is integral to reducing illegal fishing and protecting the interests of legitimate fishing. Bill S-3, which is before you for consideration, proposes some amendments to the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act in order to fully implement the international port state measures agreement. As you're aware, this bill proposes amendments that, if accepted, will broaden enforcement authorities and strengthen prohibitions against the importation of illegally acquired fish and marine plants.

Canada already has a robust regime in place to control access of foreign fishing vessels to Canadian waters, but we know that more needs to be done on a global scale, and that's why passage of Bill S-3 is important to our government.

I urge the committee members to improve the amendments proposed in Bill S-3. Again, the sustainability of our fisheries is a top priority for us. Together with our partners we're committed to improving the way fisheries and aquaculture are managed through science-based reforms, stakeholder and aboriginal engagement, and better access to export markets for Canadian fish and seafood. We're also committed to renewing Canadian Coast Guard assets and its services to Canadians to ensure a safe and efficient navigation and bolster our already robust response to maritime incidents. Going forward we'll continue to ensure Canada's natural resources are developed sustainably and responsibly through strong regulatory frameworks, sound science, and strategic investment.

Over the last year you've discussed and considered many important policies and issues facing our fish and seafood industry at this committee. As we look ahead, I want to thank the committee for your hard work and your assured commitment to Canadians.

I will now ask Mr. Muldoon to explain the estimates.

March 24th, 2015 / 12:20 p.m.
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NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

In an article published in 2014 in Le Devoir, the FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, published the following statements via a press release:

[...] illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing has escalated over the past 20 years, especially in the high seas [...]

This echoes the concerns of my colleague Mr. Cleary. The article goes on to say:

[...] and is now estimated to amount to 11 to 26 million tonnes of fish harvested illicitly each year, worth between $10 and $23 billion.

That is enormous. The article continues as follows:

The various available estimates indicate that at least 25% of world fishery is illegal or unreported. According to the FAO, this practice “jeopardizes the livelihoods of people around the world, threatens valuable marine resources and undermines the credibility and efforts of fisheries management measures.”

A major problem was identified by the FAO in this file, and the article says this about the issue:

Flag states are already required to maintain a record of their registered vessels together with information on their authorization to fish [...] However, many fishing vessels engaged in illegal activities circumvent such control measures by “flag hopping”—repeatedly registering with new flag states to dodge detection, which undermines anti-IUU efforts.

Will Bill S-3, An Act to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act allow us to fight, if only to some extent, major problems of this type? If not, what intelligent measures could we take in some future bill to attack the source of the real problem that threatens fishery stocks in Canada and everywhere in the world?

March 24th, 2015 / 11:50 a.m.
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Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Okay, thank you for that.

One more question. When we spoke to the officials from the department, they raised the possibility of a couple of areas that might need amendment or that could benefit from amendment to Bill S-3. I want to maybe just mention one of them to you to see if that caught your attention as well. That was in proposed section 14, where, as I understand it—and you can correct me if I'm wrong—the amended act will allow officials, enforcement officers, to seize fish and fisheries products and other things no matter where they're found, basically, whether they're on a ship or in a warehouse. But as I understand it, they were saying that it wasn't clear that the forfeiture powers of the act would apply to things that were seized in other places besides the ships, and so they suggested that might benefit from an amendment to Bill S-3.

I'm just wondering if you have any comment on that. I know I'm catching you by surprise on that, perhaps, but I just wondered if you had taken a look at that as well.

March 24th, 2015 / 11:50 a.m.
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Conservative

Randy Kamp Conservative Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you, gentlemen, for appearing. I appreciate your taking the time, especially getting here under difficult circumstances. We appreciate that.

Let me begin just briefly with you, Mr. Henley.

We've noted your comments about proposed section 13. It sounds like you've been looking for an opportunity to have that section of the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act amended at some time, and you think this might be an opportunity. We've taken note of that and need to give a bit more thought to that.

Is the new wording, through the amendments of Bill S-3 now, required by the port state measures agreement that we're trying to ratify, to get our domestic legislation in place? Is there any sort of justification for keeping it the way it is in order to meet the terms of the port state measures agreement?

March 24th, 2015 / 11:35 a.m.
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NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Thanks very much, gentlemen, for appearing and talking to us about Bill S-3.

I was interested in going over the transcript from the Senate fisheries committee hearings back in 2013. I have a couple of questions relating to your presentations from your organizations today and then.

First of all, Mr. Henley, the point you raised about the amendment is something that was raised by your colleague, Mr. Caldwell, back in 2013. It appears that it wasn't particularly well received.