United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act

An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Sponsor

Romeo Saganash  NDP

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Second reading (Senate), as of Nov. 29, 2018

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-262.

Summary

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

This enactment requires the Government of Canada to take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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.

Votes

May 30, 2018 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-262, An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Feb. 7, 2018 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-262, An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

TransportAdjournment Proceedings

December 6th, 2018 / 6:40 p.m.
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NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the parliamentary secretary's comments. He would know very well that section 136 of the Canada Shipping Act allows the minister of transport to regulate or prohibit the navigation, anchoring, mooring or berthing of vessels. This is to promote the safe and efficient navigation of vessels and protect the public interest and the environment.

He is also one of the members who supported Bill C-262 and has acknowledged that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a part of international law that should be incorporated into Canadian law.

I want to end with this. I want to know when the government is going to respect first nations' rights. There are 19 nations that have their traditional and unceded territories in this area. They were not consulted. This is negatively impacting coastal communities. I want to know when the process is going to begin, when we can actually see these anchorages move and when we will have a holistic view of our transport system to control the inflow of all of this tanker traffic.

Aboriginal Cultural Property Repatriation ActPrivate Members' Business

November 28th, 2018 / 6 p.m.
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NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise and join in the debate on Bill C-391, brought in by the hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester. I appreciate the initiative and the thought behind the bill. It is an issue that needs to be talked about and brought into force with some measure of the law.

I am very honoured to come from a region of the country that has a very deep and rich first nations heritage, which is still ongoing, as do many parts of Canada. It is a vast land. When we are talking about first nations, Métis and Inuit, their cultures are as diverse as any we would find around the world. We cannot speak about them just as one set of peoples. They have a lot of diversity and a lot of different cultural practices. When I look at the Cowichan Valley and the Cowichan people, who are the largest first nation band in British Columbia, I am very honoured to have some long-standing relationships with many members, including the chief.

I look at some of the well-known archaeological sites. They abound in the Cowichan Valley and in many of the islands that form the southern Gulf Islands between Vancouver Island and the Mainland.

One in particular is the Ye'yumnuts village near Duncan, which is about to become a living indigenous history lesson. It is a 2.4 hectare meadow, which, in collaboration with Cowichan tribes, will be used as an open air classroom. They have found a lot of different tools. The site is more than 2,000 years old and it is estimated that the Cowichan people lived there for about 600 years and then used the area as a burial ground for another 600 years. They have found tools that originate from the Fraser Valley and even jade tools that come from the Fraser Canyon and sharp cutting rocks that originate from as far away as Oregon, which speaks to the flourishing trade routes that existed among all the different nations in the Pacific Northwest.

We can go out near Salt Spring Island to Grace Islet. We had some controversy there about three to four years ago when someone was trying to build a house on the island, even though there was knowledge that there were at least 15 different individual burial sites marked by cairns there. It was only through intervention by the Government of B.C. that the construction on that island was stopped. It is now under the protection of the Nature Conservancy, which is working with local first nations to preserve the area and to bring it back to its natural state.

I look at Galiano Island, specifically the campground at Montague Harbour, that is sitting on an old midden heap, where for thousands of years all of the clamshells were deposited. We are talking about hundreds of years of clamshells being deposited in one area and all of the various tools that were used to harvest them.

I have a friend who is an archaeologist by profession. I remember one year, when we were camping at Montague Harbour, being able to walk down the beach. Pretty much every couple of minutes, she was pointing out different stone tools. Once we got an eye for them, we could see them everywhere. They were pieces of rock that had been hit upon with different instruments to make them into different cutting surfaces, and they are everywhere.

We derive a lot of education from museums around the world. We would not know about some of the long lost civilizations such as the Sumerians, ancient Babylonia and the ancient pharaohs in Egypt if it were not for museums. They serve a purpose. The main difference, when we are talking about first nations cultural pieces and tools, is that they are not gone. They are still with us. In fact, I attended the elders gathering, which the Cowichan hosted in British Columbia this year, and the main theme was “We are still here”.

We know that most indigenous ethnology collections found in Canadian and foreign museums in universities today were taken by missionaries, government agents, amateur and professional collectors and anthropologists and that that was done without the informed or prior consent of the people. It was theft, and in many cases the stealing of these tools and ceremonial devices was a way to crush their culture, to try to take away their traditions and try to subsume those nations into the white person's culture, as we have tried to do so many times in this country. That is the main difference.

I am really happy that the member has brought forward this bill. If I could offer some constructive criticism, I would point out that when we look at the language in the bill, we still see words like “encourage”, “support” and “provide”. We could have used more forceful language to bring this bill into harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

That said, it is good to see that the minister will have to report to Parliament because of clause 4. It remains to be seen how well the government provide funding as a result of legislation, but I certainly hope, if this bill does make it to royal assent and becomes one of the statutes of Canada, the government would see fit to take this issue with the seriousness it deserves.

I mentioned the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It is important to highlight that because the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou has spent a large part of his life working on this particular issue. Everyone in the House can take great pride in Bill C-262, which seeks to bring the laws of Canada into harmony with the United Nations declaration. The fact that government members and a majority of members in the House voted for the bill and sent it off to the other place represents a very historic moment. If Parliament, both the House of Commons and the Senate, and later the Crown represented by the Governor General, assent to this particular piece of legislation, a key article of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, article 12, reads as follows:

1. Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practise, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies; the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites; the right to the use and control of their ceremonial objects; and the right to the repatriation of their human remains.

2. States shall seek to enable the access and/or repatriation of ceremonial objects and human remains in their possession through fair, transparent and effective mechanisms developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned.

Bill C-262 was certainly the very important first step. If we agree to that bill as a whole, then we would be agreeing to article 12 as well. Bill C-391 would establish the framework for exactly how this is to be done.

There is always room for improvement in legislation, but I will commend the member for Cumberland—Colchester for his private member's bill reaching third reading stage. That is a rare feat. I appreciate the thought behind the bill and I will be voting to send it to the other place. I hope the hon. senators will give it their due consideration.

Aboriginal Cultural Property Repatriation ActPrivate Members' Business

November 28th, 2018 / 5:55 p.m.
See context

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, we were really happy earlier this year when the member and the Liberal Party voted in favour of Bill C-262, which was brought forward by the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou. It essentially seeks to ensure that all of Canada's laws are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Of course, a big part of that is returning cultural property.

Does the member have any thoughts to share with the House on how his private member's bill can work with Bill C-262 and really advance the cause toward reconciliation?

November 20th, 2018 / 3:40 p.m.
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Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, CPC

Cathy McLeod

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

This is not meant in any way to diminish the importance of moving forward. It's to acknowledge that even within the moving forward of Bill C-262, there is a lot of uncertainty in terms of what the implications will be in taking what was meant to be a declaration....

As you know, UN conventions are meant to be transposed into Canadian law. Declarations are to be guiding principles. As we move towards putting guiding principles in preambles, I understand from legislative drafters and others that we start to have significant implications that we, quite frankly, do not understand as of yet.

November 8th, 2018 / 12:20 p.m.
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Regional Chief Kluane Adamek Yukon Region, Assembly of First Nations

Thank you.

I'm really pleased to be here. I want to acknowledge the national chief of CAP, and of course that we are on the unceded Algonquin territory and also paying particular tribute today to our aboriginal veterans. Today is the day we honour and acknowledge them, and I'm wearing my new piece of regalia.

I have a beaded poppy that I'm not wearing at this moment but it's on my jacket. It's a really important day. I'm very humbled to be here to share perspectives with respect to a day where we can celebrate who we are, certainly from an indigenous perspective, but not just for indigenous people; this is for Canada.

My name is Kluane Adamek and I'm from the Dakl'aweidi (Killerwhale) Clan. I'm a Yukon regional chief, and I've been serving in this capacity since last January. It is so important that members of this committee not only represent interests of your constituencies, but also bring voice and leadership to the commitment that has been made not solely by this Prime Minister. Of course, we know that the relationship with indigenous people as he describes it is the most important but this is 40, 50, 60, 100, 200 years in the making.

There's no question that supporting and ensuring that Canadians across this country have the opportunity to have a day of celebration with us to celebrate who we are on June 21 is incredibly important. We know that TRC calls to action identified this, the UN declaration identifies this and we know that through Bill C-262 this has also been identified.

Last year, in 2017, we had June 21 as a holiday in the Yukon Territory; 18 years ago, the Northwest Territories created June 21 as a holiday.

This comes to where we are now. The question isn't why anymore. It's how. How do we get to a place of advancing reconciliation and ensuring that our people are fully acknowledged in this country? This is an opportunity for all Canadians to spend a day to learn. In the Yukon, celebrations are held across the territory, but in particular, at the Adäka Cultural Festival, we welcome visitors. We share who we are. We drum and we sing because that's important. It's an opportunity to learn.

In addition to that, most recently, the national executive, the other regional chiefs, the national chief and I had a conversation about this day. Something for you to consider as a committee would be this. We have to have a day that we celebrate. As is our custom, there are celebrations for us in the Yukon. Our potlatching is alive and well. We know that was taken away from us and it's back and it will never leave.

We must also consider a day to commemorate. The day of commemoration is going to be a different day. This day acknowledges the survivors of residential schools. As we saw floods of orange T-shirts across the country, indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians understand that history. Those of us sitting at this table and my generation, your generation, our grandparents' generation, that shared history wasn't shared. That was taken from all of us. It is about that commemoration and ensuring that those residential school survivors are commemorated on their day, a special day for them.

It doesn't have to be on that same day on which we celebrate. In Israel, for example, they have a day where they acknowledge the history and a day after when they celebrate. This has been done around the world. New Zealand has a day, Waitangi Day on February 6. Canada can be leaders in this.

I feel that opportunity is now more than ever, and I look to our first speaker. I look to our national chief of CAP. I think about the business community, the public sector and the roles they have. I think of all those Canadians and all those kids. It's our responsibility to ensure they really understand the original relationship of this country.

We chose that recognition, understanding who we are, sharing our stories. We know these things, but it's time for action. We know why. It becomes about how.

For the committee, of course June 21 is celebrated right across this country. Solstice in the north is already a holiday. This would be the federal government setting a tone for the rest of the provinces and territories across this country to say this is incredibly important so provinces and territories should stand with us. Stand with the north, which has already take a huge step in this process.

This is also for your consideration: September 30 must also be a day of commemoration. We have to really understand that history, because we know, as our elders have talked about—I think about my grandmother and my father who both went to residential schools—that important history and that specific area of understanding has to be made. It has to be understood. We have to stand in support of those residential school survivors.

Those would be the reflections that I would share with you, committee, and as would, of course, the Assembly of First Nations. There have been many years and many discussions about this by our chiefs, our communities and our people. Whether it's in our communities or whether we are living in urban centres, we have a responsibility. Every single one of us has a part in this journey towards reconciliation.

I would like to be part of that celebration with you when this bill passes and becomes legislation. What we're hearing across the country is there's no cost to reconciliation. You can't put a number on it. Of course, there are going to be financial considerations that have to be made. But wait a minute here, how many other holidays have we had? How many other holidays have we celebrated and not once have we truly celebrated not only the commitment that we have to that relationship with indigenous peoples but the way in which our indigenous peoples, first nations peoples, myself as a Kluane citizen, have contributed to this country, to our economies, to the way in which we do our business? That is very important.

I wanted to thank the committee for the opportunity to join you and to put that challenge of ReconciliACTION out there. It's not a question of why, it's how and when. It's also a question of how we are going to ensure that our residential school survivors are commemorated. We think of Phyllis wearing her orange shirt, showing up so strong that day and having that taken away. This becomes about ensuring that that never happens again.

I would like to thank all of you for the opportunity to join you today. I want to particularly acknowledge my colleague at the Assembly of First Nations, Natasha. This has been a file that she's been working closely on. I know many of the people on your teams who are here today. Certainly for this committee, this is an incredible responsibility that you have. I wish you the best in your deliberations.

Gunalchéesh.

October 18th, 2018 / 11:10 a.m.
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Executive Director and Curator, Co-chair Haida Repatriation Committee, Haida Gwaii Museum

Nika Collison

Haw'aa.

[Witness speaks in Haida]

My name is Jisgang. My English name is Nika Collison. I'm the executive director of the Haida Gwaii Museum and co-chair of the Haida Repatriation Committee.

Haw'aa to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

Haw'aa to Mr. Bill Casey for his vision and to all who have done a great amount of work on Bill C-391.

I would also like to take a moment to thank and recognize Mr. Saganash for his work on Bill C-262.

At the second reading of Bill C-391, Mr. Casey stated that he is open to anything that will make the bill better. I appreciate this opportunity to provide insight into Haida repatriation experiences and respond to the bill as it sits right now.

As museum professionals and human beings, we carry the responsibility to effect societal change by mainstreaming Canada's dark history with indigenous peoples while actively working to set things right.

In the indigenous and mainstream museum world, the path toward reconciliation has been shaped by what my Haida Nation calls Yahguudangang, the act of paying respect. The Haida Nation sees this work, more commonly known as repatriation, as based upon mutual respect, co-operation and trust. Yahguudangang has brought a new depth to our nation's healing and our ability to heal with others. It provides opportunity for western museums to become voluntary agents of change rather than the physical evidence of Canada's genocide against first peoples.

Saahlinda Naay, Savings Things House, also known as the Haida Gwaii Museum, is the result of one of the earliest acts of making things right—or reconciliation—in the museum world. It was a vision of both the Haida citizens and Canadian friends residing on our islands that brought this place into being, which opened in 1976. In 2007, we opened the Haida Heritage Centre, which expanded our museum. It was created for our people but also created to share. This is our gift to the world.

Since most of our treasures left Haida Gwaii during the height of colonial regimes, our museum didn't have much of a collection to begin with, but Haida and settler families generously donated Haida heirlooms. The Royal British Columbia Museum, under the lead of then curator Peter McNair, showed support by returning some monumental poles for our museum's opening. This quiet act of repatriation is probably the earliest in Canada. It was not required by law or policy. This act was done because of the humanity this one person brought to our table.

The Haida Gwaii Museum has since grown to include a considerable collection of treasures, mostly gained from private donations, purchases and long-term loans, as opposed to museum repatriation. We also present new works, as we are a living culture. We are not simply an institution. We are a part of the institution that makes up today's Haida society and the greater Canadian society.

In the mid-1990s, the repatriation of ancestral remains became a primary focus of our people. To date, over 500 of our ancestors have been brought home from museums and private individuals from across North America, and one from the U.K. This work has taken over 20 years and well over a million dollars in cash, sweat labour and in-kind donations.

When we visit these museums to bring our ancestors home, we also visit our cultural treasures and other containers of knowledge, such as archives. We bring the diaspora of our people's lives home through imagery, audio recordings, collection notes and the recreation of pieces, and through the physical, emotional and spiritual connections that forever bind us. A few times, family heirlooms have come home from these museums. We are now ready to bring more home.

Around the same time that we began to focus on our ancestors, the 1992 “Task Force Report on Museums and First Peoples” came out. This report has had a very important influence on relationships between indigenous people and mainstream museums, but it's the past four decades of knocking on doors, patience and relationship-building by our people that have been pivotal in having the Haida world and the museum world come together to make things right.

NAGPRA, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of the United States, has played an important role there and, in a roundabout way, for us as well. The first cross-border repatriation of one of our ancestors was spurred by NAGPRA. Legally, the museum was not required to work with us because we are not a federally recognized U.S. tribe, but they wanted to see our relative come home. When we contacted the next couple of U.S. museums, they wanted to repatriate through our Alaskan relatives in order to align their process with NAGPRA, but these ancestors came from Haida Gwaii, and eventually the museums agreed.

England is far behind Canada in repatriation, with many mechanisms—or lack of mechanisms, depending on the situation—to prohibit such work. Despite this, through relationship-building and a lot of other hard work, we were able to bring home an ancestor from the Pitt Rivers Museum in 2010. The British Museum has changed its act to allow for repatriation of human remains, and we will be bringing home an ancestor from there imminently.

What we found in working in Yahguudangang is that you can instil a policy and/or laws around repatriation, but true Yahguudangang, or repatriation and reconciliation, is not fully achieved without respectful, genuine nation-to-nation relationship-building. We want people to want to give our relatives back and to see our treasures come home. We want people to want to make things right, and want to find a way forward together, not because they have to. Repatriation is the most important work I've been involved in around the work of reconciliation. The work is beyond monumental. It costs time and healing, and it involves everyone in our nation and our friends.

I'm worried about running out of time, so just give me a second here.

Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and CommunitiesPrivate Members' Business

October 15th, 2018 / 11:25 a.m.
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NDP

Robert Aubin NDP Trois-Rivières, QC

Mr. Speaker, I must admit, it is with some wariness that I rise today to speak to the motion moved by my Liberal colleague from Kelowna—Lake Country.

I would never want to give the impression of downplaying the importance of the subject of Motion No. 177 in any way. However, it seems to me that given the urgency of the needs in this area, it would have made more sense for the government to include a bill in its legislative agenda to address the concerns raised in Motion No. 177. Furthermore, the Liberal government's record over the past three years clearly demonstrates how important private members' bills and motions passed and adopted in the House of Commons, some of them unanimously, are to our Prime Minister and his team.

Let me remind members of a few examples. Perhaps the most recent one that comes to mind is the unanimous vote in the House of Commons to fully protect supply management. We saw how that turned out with the signing of the new agreement. That motion carried very little weight.

I could also mention Bill C-262, a bill proposed by my colleague from Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, which is intended to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The legislation was passed by the House with overwhelming support, yet just a few days later, the Liberal government undermined the very spirit of the bill. Unless we get a real Liberal bill intended to fix a problem, I fear we will fall wide of the mark.

If there is one thing that will be obvious to Canadians by the next election, it is this government's paltry legislative track record. Setting aside its legalization of marijuana, its gifts to web giants, and its purchase of a pipeline that is a money pit, this government's accomplishments have been meagre, especially since it is on the wrong side of the fight against greenhouse gases.

Conversely, we could consider ourselves lucky to have a government that allows private members' bills to play a greater role in the political arena, enabling individual members to meet their constituents' expectations more effectively. However, as I just mentioned, there is a major disconnect between the role they are allowed to play and the results being achieved. Furthermore, we know the limitations of a bill or motion compared with a real government bill.

What is there to say about a motion calling for a study? While this is a legitimate issue, it could have been addressed in committee, where it would have received a positive response. This would have allowed us to make the most of our valuable time in the House. However, the government has made up its mind. Canadians will draw their own conclusions when the time comes, but for now, let us go ahead and debate Motion No. 177.

The motion asks that the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities be instructed to undertake a study of flight training schools in Canada and be mandated to do the following three things: to identify the challenges that flight schools are facing in providing trained pilots to industry, to determine whether the infrastructure available to flight schools meets the needs of the schools and the communities where they are located, and to present its final report no later than seven months after the adoption of this motion. I will come back to the second point a little later.

Although I support such a study, I believe there is a technical flaw in this motion. If we ask the committee to present its final report seven moths after the adoption of this motion, and I remind members that this is only the first hour of debate on the motion, then there is no way that the office of the Minister of Transport will be able to draft a bill before the next election, particularly since we have seen how slow the minister has been to act on other issues. I would like to remind members that people on the north shore, particularly in Trois-Rivières, have been waiting for 25 years for the train to come back. VIA Rail's high-frequency train proposal seems to have been languishing on the minister's desk or buried under a pile of studies that all say the same thing for several years now. Nonetheless, the minister is not taking a position.

Let us talk about the bypass that the people of Lac-Mégantic have been anxiously waiting for. There is an election coming up in 2019 and the bypass will not have been built.

What about a topic that was the subject of an interesting documentary on the JE news program on Sunday, namely the passengers' bill of rights, which everyone has been waiting for for ages?

The NDP proposed such a bill under the previous government even though it is clear even before anything has been tabled that it will be inferior to the one in European countries. It would seem that the government shifts the focus of most resolutions to the benefit of corporations rather than consumers.

These are just a few examples that make it hard for me to believe that we will be able to flesh out such an important issue.

Let me come back to the motion. As I was saying, I will support this motion and recommend to the members in my party that they do the same because this is very important.

The industry expects that by 2025, which is not long from now, we will need 7,300 new pilots. Fewer than 1,200 new licenses are issued every year, of which 45% are issued to international students. That does not take into account the fact that for undetermined reasons, which we might want to look into, 30% of these new pilots leave the profession or leave Canada to go work in China or the Middle East.

According to the Air Transport Association of Canada, there could be a shortage of 3,300 pilots in Canada by 2025.

The problem is even more complex than it would appear to be. Not only is there a shortage of students, but there is also a shortage of flight instructors because they are accepting lucrative offers from major carriers, which have been seriously impacted by the pilot shortage.

An adequate response to the problem can only be given with a more nuanced understanding of the issues plaguing this industry.

If we have questions about the causes of this shortage in a sector with generally good working conditions, we should first come to an understanding of the situation where, for example, there is significant inequality between male and female pilots before we propose measures to be implemented.

If our efforts were to give rise to recommendations for concrete measures that will mitigate or resolve the problem, this would automatically lead to an increase in students. More students means more training flights and perhaps more schools or schools that provide more hours, landings and takeoffs. The title “Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities” does make mention of “communities”.

I said that I would get back to the second point, which is to “determine whether the infrastructure available to flight schools meets the needs of the schools and the communities where they are located”.

Because these flight schools exist near urban communities, there are already questions about the effect of the noise associated with the frequent take-offs and landings and with loud, low-flying aircraft, which significantly diminish the quality of life of those living near these airports. With the agreement of my colleague from Kelowna—Lake Country, and in the spirit of taking a holistic approach, I would like to propose a friendly amendment to include research on potential solutions to this issue in the study. The amendment could be something like:

iii) study the effects of noise pollution on public health

iv) that the government be more transparent in how it handles all the data collected

It goes without saying that I will support this motion and, as a member of the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, I look forward to working with all stakeholders to find concrete solutions to this whole issue, including the issue of noise for the people who live near these airports.

Natural ResourcesCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

September 24th, 2018 / 7:15 p.m.
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NDP

Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise this evening to speak to the motion to concur in the second report of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, a report on the future of and innovation in Canada's oil and gas sector. I will not comment on the arcane procedures and strategies in this place that see us debating a committee report a full two years after it was tabled in the House, but I am pleased to be able to take it off the shelf, dust it off and see what is in there, especially in light of more recent events.

The New Democrats submitted a supplementary opinion on the report when it was tabled, so I will be referencing that when I discuss some of our concerns. Our first concern was with the scope of the study and the subsequent report. We had hoped that there would have been a good discussion on the opportunities in other parts of the energy sector, a discussion about innovation, job opportunities, investments and particularly the emerging renewable energy industry. Renewable energy offers significant opportunities for the creation of good jobs in every community across Canada and much of what is happening there is the very definition of “innovation”, but, unfortunately, that topic was not included in the study.

During the study, committee members heard a lot about innovation in the oil and gas industry and some of it was truly encouraging. We heard from Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, COSIA. In the model that COSIA put forward, a group of private companies put aside the usual proprietary nature of research and information to create a true alliance in which all members have access to successful innovations that could result in oil extraction methods that are both more economical and better for the environment. That is really exciting to witness. Unfortunately, we heard that many of these innovations would only be implemented in new projects, projects that are waiting for higher oil prices before they will proceed. I truly hope that the COSIA model will be extended to other industry sectors because of the way it amplifies innovation through quick adoption throughout the sector.

I would also like to echo the sentiments of Gil McGowan, the president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, in that we have to be more than hewers of wood and drawers of water, that we need to develop value-added industries within the oil and gas and other resource sectors. He testified, “we should prioritize value-added development, because these kinds of investments not only create jobs directly in upgrading, refining, and petrochemicals but also create other jobs.” I would add that these investments create jobs that are not as subject to the volatility of global oil prices and create products that will be needed during our transition to a low-carbon economy.

We not only need to be innovative in how we extract and use resources, we need to be innovative in how we regulate the extraction of those resources. I think everyone here would agree that we now have a complete lack of public confidence in our energy regulation process. Nanos Research has published data showing that only 2% of Canadians think we are doing a good job in that regard.

Professor Monica Gattinger of the University of Ottawa testified before committee about her positive energy program, a research group dedicated to studying ways to depolarize the public debate around the oil and gas sector, particularly with regard to pipelines. The supplementary report states:

We believe it is essential that the lack of public confidence in the current environmental assessment process be addressed by permanent, meaningful changes to the National Energy Board process as soon as possible. New Democrats believe that the proposed interim measures introduced by the government are inadequate to address the results of a decade of Conservative dismantling of our environmental protection regime. We share the concern expressed by witness Professor Monica Gattinger that if the process goes ahead without the existing gaps being meaningfully addressed, the end result will further erode public confidence in the entire assessment regime.

The supplementary report goes on to say:

We are disappointed that the majority report fails to recommend a speedy review of the NEB process as this had been a clear electoral commitment of the new government. We are disappointed that the newly announced review panel process contains no timeline for actual legislative changes leaving the Conservatives inadequate process in place and creating uncertainty for all stakeholders. We recommend that the government move faster to make the necessary permanent changes to the NEB assessment process to restore public confidence and ensure that it is fair, neutral, science based and designed to meaningfully engage communities.

Where are we now? Shortly after this report was tabled in the House, the government granted permission for the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline to proceed, and a few weeks ago, the Federal Court of Appeal quashed those approvals. The court cited two significant failures: the government failed to consider the environmental impact of the project on coastal marine environment, and the consultations with first nations were completely inadequate. The government officials who met with first nations groups were mere note-takers who mistakenly believed that neither they nor cabinet had the authority to change the findings of the National Energy Board in the consultation process.

What did they think consultation was about? If they thought it was about noting the concerns of first nations and telling the first nations they had no power to change anything with regard to the pipeline, that is not consultation. Consultation is listening and then acting on concerns, trying to make accommodations.

Here is what our first supplementary report had to say about first nations consultation:

The Government must also act quickly to honour its obligations to a Nation to Nation relationship with Indigenous peoples including proper consultation and accommodation on all energy projects and the protection of Indigenous rights. During testimony, industry representatives were clear about the importance of fixing the consultation process sooner rather than later. The Government of Canada, as representative of the Crown, is responsible for these duties and while proponents of projects should be a part of this process, we believe these responsibilities should not be devolved to proponents to fulfill, as was too often the case under the former Conservative government. The Government must take a much larger, hands-on role in creating the environment in which meaningful consultation can take place.

The supplementary report goes on to support Bill C-262, which would ensure that federal legislation is consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This bill was brought forward by our colleague in the NDP caucus, the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou. While we are happy to report that Bill C-262 has passed through the House of Commons, we were disappointed to see that its spirit was not included in Bill C-69, legislation that would implement changes to environmental assessment and energy regulation in Canada.

Here we are two years after this report was tabled. The NDP was criticized back then for its call to redo the Trans Mountain expansion process under a proper system. Critics said it would take too long, maybe another year or two. Here we are two years later back at square one. The decision of the Federal Court of Appeal is a reminder that we have to put in the effort at the start. There are no shortcuts.

I mentioned Nanos Research earlier that noted the pitifully poor state of Canadians' confidence in our energy regulation system, but it did point out there was a way forward. The polling data demonstrated that if the Canadian government could show it was consulting properly with indigenous communities by asking local communities about these decisions and developing a meaningful consultation process, Canadians would have more confidence in the procedure. There is a way forward.

I just want to read out some of the testimony from a witness representing the Indigenous Health Alliance who criticized the National Energy Board in particular for not engaging indigenous peoples early enough in its regulatory approval processes. He recommended the following measures to improve indigenous community engagement, which come right out of the main body of the report we are discussing tonight:

Early engagement of indigenous communities in the NEB process—by involving indigenous communities in “the problems, solutions and implementation strategies of any resource development project at the earliest reasonable opportunity”;

Acknowledging the multidimensional nature of resource development issues—by recognizing that resource development projects involve broader considerations related to education, health, economic development, the environment, etc. He stated that a consultation process that does not acknowledge and address these issues clearly will ultimately fail to address the real problems;

Including community leadership, namely elders, in the decisionmaking process—by recognizing elders as a stakeholder group that should be directly involved in setting the project agenda;

Acknowledging that indigenous peoples are reasonable and pragmatic about resource development—they are likely to support approval processes that respect their community-based needs;

Involving communication and consultation experts—ones that could accurately interpret and convey community concerns to governments and project developers; and

Recognizing indigenous peoples as a “third level of government” in Canada—which is how they are functionally recognized by the court system.

We have significant natural resources in Canada and they have always been central to our country's wealth. However, we must ensure that these shared resources are managed in the best interests of all Canadians, with a focus on protecting the environment, ensuring meaningful consultation with affected communities and indigenous peoples and maximizing economic benefits.

Bills of Exchange ActPrivate Members' Business

September 24th, 2018 / 11 a.m.
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Gary Anandasangaree Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism (Multiculturalism), Lib.

Mr. Speaker, I too share and echo your sentiments vis-à-vis the people of Ottawa-Gatineau, as well as the first responders and all those who were involved in assisting the families who were deeply affected by the events of last Friday.

I am honoured to contribute to this debate. I am pleased to acknowledge that I do so on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin people.

I thank the member for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River for introducing this bill. I also thank her for her ongoing work to achieve reconciliation.

The idea behind this bill is to establish a national holiday that will allow Canadians to reflect upon and understand the long and painful history relating to indigenous people. The road to reconciliation between Canada and indigenous peoples requires all Canadians to understand our shared history and acknowledge past wrongs while creating a path forward. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action provide all Canadians with this renewed path forward for Canada's journey of healing and reconciliation.

This bill is inspired by call to action 80, which states:

We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

That is why when the calls to action were released in June 2015, the Prime Minister, who was then the leader of the Liberal Party in opposition, immediately affirmed the unwavering support of the Liberal Party of Canada and our parliamentary caucus for all the TRC's recommendations and called on the Government of Canada to take immediate action to implement them. When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its final report in December 2015, the Prime Minister then committed the Government of Canada to working “...in partnership with Indigenous communities, the provinces, territories, and other vital partners, we will fully implement the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

This past June, our government supported and passed Bill C-262, an act to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, also known as UNDRIP. In February, our government established a recognition of rights framework, which is a fundamental shift in approach between Canada and indigenous peoples. Today, there are over 60 rights recognition tables around the country that seek to advance the process of this recognition and ultimately self-determination.

Our Prime Minister noted earlier this year that reconciliation calls upon all of us to confront our past and commit to charting a brighter, more inclusive future. We must acknowledge that centuries of colonial practices have denied the inherent rights of indigenous peoples. The recognition and implementation of indigenous rights will chart a new way forward for our government to work with first nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to undo decades of mistrust, poverty, broken promises and injustices.

We have listened and learned, and we will work together to take concrete action to build a better future and a new relationship. Over the past three budgets, the government has invested significantly to advance the implementation of the calls to action and to support the crucial work with our indigenous partners to identify and address joint priorities. In fact, progress has already been made on over 80% of the calls to action under federal and/or shared responsibility. However, we know that more must be done and that we need to be held accountable for advancing this crucial work.

The National Council for Reconciliation's interim board of directors presented its final report to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations on June 12. According to the final report, setting up a national council for long-term reconciliation with adequate funding and enabling legislation is important for indigenous peoples, Canadians and the government. The council will have to report periodically to ensure ongoing oversight and accountability on implementing the Truth and Reconciliation's calls to action.

The National Council for Reconciliation's mandate will be to advance reconciliation efforts through the development and implementation of a multi-year national action plan for reconciliation.

The conclusion of the final report makes the following poignant observation:

We believe that hope is the first step in reconciliation. We believe hope is the basic building block upon which reconciliation must lay its foundation. We must plant and nurture seeds of hope in Indigenous communities and in the greater Canadian public. Hope gives us the belief that all action matters, no matter how small and no matter by whom. With trust, Canadians and Indigenous peoples can work together on building a new future, a better future. It all begins with hope.

We also need all Canadians to know what progress is being made.

The work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has opened the eyes of many Canadians to the horrific truths of residential schools.

The Indian residential school system was a systematic plan to remove indigenous children from their homes, families and cultures to facilitate the stated policy of “killing the Indian in the child.”

During my tenure on the indigenous affairs committee, we heard from so many survivors of the residential school system. The member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou has shared his experience with all of us and has educated all of us in the House of his time in residential schools. Survivors like him continue to educate all Canadians of our past but equally, inspire us to do better.

All Canadians have a responsibility to educate themselves about this dark chapter of our shared history and work toward repairing the intergenerational damage caused by this appalling policy.

This is why our government is unequivocally committed to the implementation of the TRC calls to action and will be supporting sending this legislation to committee for further study.

"Reconciliation is not an Aboriginal problem; it is a Canadian one." These are words from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report and words that the member from Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River quoted in her speech when she introduced the bill that we are debating today. I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment.

Healing the damage of residential schools will require the sustained action of not only involved governments, but other institutions and all Canadians.

The need to achieve reconciliation is a fundamental truth and is beyond partisan politics. That is why I am so pleased that the recent motion put forward by the member for Timmins—James Bay calling on the Pope to implement call to action 58 and issue an apology on behalf of the Catholic Church to residential school survivors, their families and communities passed with the overwhelming support of the House.

We look forward to working across party lines to ensure that this legislation fulfills call to action 80 and reflects the “collaboration with aboriginal peoples” contained in its text.

Together, we will chart a path forward that advances reconciliation and builds a stronger future for indigenous peoples and Canadians alike.

September 7th, 2018 / 11:20 a.m.
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NDP

Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

I want to take this opportunity to thank all the members who are here today and the staff who are here to support us. Also, I thank you, Madam Chair, and the clerk for making sure that the response to this request happened so rapidly.

Finally, I would like to thank MP McLeod for her motion.

The request was urgent and it's a very important one. I'm here to speak in support of this motion.

In our last session, my colleague Mr. Saganash had his Bill C-262 pass in the House of Commons. This bill really provides the understanding that moving forward we need to have a framework for all legislation and that the action coming from that legislation must be in accordance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. That bill was an important one and one that many Canadians are wondering if this government will actually ever put into practice.

The Federal Court of Appeal's decision has brought to the forefront what indigenous communities and the NDP have been saying: the consultation for the Trans Mountain expansion has not been done properly. Sadly, this was a major factor in the last election. People were voicing their serious concerns that the then Conservative government was not addressing the real environmental impacts; nor were they consulting meaningfully with indigenous communities. Their failed process was again revealed in the Northern Gateway decision.

I am speaking on this motion.

Both the NDP and the Liberals ran on a message of addressing the environmental issues and creating a new process that this project, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, would go through. This was a direct promise from Prime Minister Trudeau. The Federal Court of Appeal decision is now another fact on a long list of broken promises that this government has had.

I hope the people in this room have read the decision, or, at the very least, closely reviewed the clear indications of the poor consultation process with indigenous communities. This report outlines the reality that the consultation process with indigenous communities was simply bureaucrats going out to listen to concerns and relay those concerns back to cabinet. The decision confirms very clearly that good faith is required on both sides in the consultation process. It is not good faith to send note-takers. The decision was very clear that the phase III consultation process was unacceptably flawed.

To quote directly:

To summarize my reasons for this conclusion, Canada was required to do more than receive and understand the concerns of the Indigenous applicants. Canada was required to engage in a considered, meaningful two-way dialogue. Canada's ability to do so was constrained by the manner in which its representatives on the Crown consultation team implemented their mandate. For the most part, Canada's representatives limited their mandate to listening to and recording the concerns of the Indigenous applicants and then transmitting those concerns to the decision-makers. On the whole, the record does not disclose responsive, considered and meaningful dialogue coming back from Canada in response to the concerns expressed by the Indigenous applicants.

Simply put, they were note-takers. There was no attempt to take and address the concerns. In fact, the crown consultation team and the government mistakenly thought that they could not add any more conditions to Kinder Morgan than the NEB had done. In this context, many, including me, ask why we would bother consulting anyway. Where is the commitment to the government's constitutional duty to address indigenous rights? Where is this government's commitment to dedicating itself to what it claims is the government's most important relationship? To be clear, there is a constitutional duty to consult with indigenous communities. This was not clearly recognized and the process was fundamentally flawed due to this. Canada may disagree and want to see it differently but the decision says this very frankly.

While Canada submits that the members of the crown consultation team were not mere note-takers, the preponderance of evidence is to the effect that the members of the crown consultation team acted on that basis alone. For the most part, their role was that of note-takers who were accurately reporting the concerns of the indigenous applicants to the decision-makers.

Too many times I've heard from indigenous leaders in my riding and across the country that they are tired of talking to people who are not decision-makers.

Simply put, this is not consultation, as the decision explains:

The Indigenous applicants were entitled to a dialogue that demonstrated that Canada not only heard but also gave serious consideration to the specific and real concerns the Indigenous applicants put to Canada, gave serious consideration to proposed accommodation measures, and explained how the concerns of the Indigenous applicants impacted Canada's decision to approve the Project.

We have heard repeatedly from indigenous communities that there is no serious consideration of their concerns. That is why we are here today. It's because this government's promise of meaningful consultation has been proven repeatedly to be a broken promise.

Whenever I contemplate consultation, I think of free, prior, and informed consent. Grand Chief Ed John said it best to this committee not too long ago. Speaking to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, he said:

I think there's a misconstruction of the concept of free, prior, and informed consent....Consent at the end of the day is a decision that's made after a process, so governments go through a process to come to some decision. First nations' governments are in that same place. First nations' governments will look at information ahead of time. They should be free from any coercion. It should be prior to decisions being made. There should be extensive consideration. It may require an environmental assessment process or some other process that would help inform the decision-making process. Free, prior, and informed consent essentially, at its core, is about governments making decisions. When the Province of British Columbia, the provinces, the national government, the territorial governments, or municipal governments are making decisions, that's what they're doing.

The fact is that this committee has a duty to have a robust study on why the consultation process was so flawed. What are the barriers that seem to hinder both Conservative and Liberal governments to meaningfully consult with indigenous communities? Canadians want certainty. They want respectful relationships to be built. Indigenous communities want to be respectfully treated and for their rights and opportunities to be as important as all Canadians'.

The decision outlines some very specific examples of the lack of this consultation process happening. Coldwater, for one, wanted the pipeline to take an alternate route that would avoid their aquifer. That is a significant concern for their community, and really, it would be for any community in Canada.

I will read directly from the report:

After Coldwater expressed its strong preference for the West Alternative Canada’s representatives responded that: [t]his issue is one which is very detailed, and will need to be recorded carefully and accurately in the Crown consultation Report. The Crown consultation report can highlight that project routing is a central issue for Coldwater.

At a consultation meeting held on October 7, 2016, again in the context of discussions about Coldwater’s aquifer, one of Canada’s representatives: …acknowledged that the aquifer hasn’t been fully explored, but explained that the [Board] process has analysed the Project and that the Crown will not be taking an independent analysis beyond that....The Crown (federally and provincially) will not undertake an independent analysis of potential corridor routes. That said, the Crown will take Coldwater’s concerns back to decision makers. … Coldwater asked what the point of consultation was if all that was coming from the Crown was a summary report to the [Governor in Council].

In the later stages of the meeting during a discussion...Coldwater stated that based on the discussion with the Crown to date it did not seem likely that there would be a re-analysis of the West Alternative or any of the additional analysis Coldwater had asked for. Canada’s representatives responded that: [The Crown’s] position is that the detailed route hearing process and Condition 39 provide avenues to consider alternative routes, however the Crown is not currently considering alternative routes because the [Board] concluded that the applied for pipeline corridor is satisfactory. The Crown will ensure that Coldwater’s concerns about the route are provided to the Cabinet, it will then be up to Cabinet to decide if those concerns warrant reconsideration of the current route.

The Stó:lo Nation reached out to the Minister of Natural Resources about the crown consultation report to share their concern that the Canadian representative left them to believe that the report to the Governor in Council “will be a summary” of what is being heard during its consultations with aboriginal people “with some commentary”.

It states:

The Stó:lo went on to observe that “[a] high level of consultation means more than simply gathering information on aboriginal interests, cross checking those with the Terms and Conditions of the project and reporting those findings to the federal decision-maker.” And that “[a] simple ‘what we heard’ report is inadequate to this task and the Governor-in-Council must be aware of its obligation to either reject or make changes to the project to protect and preserve the aboriginal rights, title and interests of the Stó:lo Collective.”

This statement clearly indicates the reality that a meaningful consultation process was not happening. Not only that, but the minister was clearly made aware of the process and the reality that it was not working. May I remind this committee of how many other cases this decision mentions and refers to. This is the legal system of Canada, which has outlined repeatedly the court decisions of this land on the process of consultation with indigenous communities. Canadians deserve to know why this has not been reviewed by this government and why we are here again.

The Upper Nicola's legal counsel clearly rang the bell on May 3, 2016, in a meeting:

Upper Nicola’s legal counsel responded that “the old consultation paradigm, where the Crown’s officials meets with Aboriginal groups to hear from them their perspectives and then to report this information to decision makers, is no longer valid.”

The Government of Canada cannot say they are surprised to be here. It is very clear from these examples, from the continuous engagement of multiple indigenous communities providing clear feedback, that this consultation process was not a consultation at all.

Another example comes from Mr. George, director of the Tsleil-Waututh treaty, lands, and resources department:

He affirmed that at a meeting held with representatives of Canada on October 21, 2016, to discuss Tsleil-Waututh’s view that the Board’s process was flawed such that the Governor in Council could not rely on its report and recommendations: Canada expressed that it was extremely reluctant to discuss the fundamental flaws that [Tsleil-Waututh] alleged were present in relation to the [Board] process, and even prior to the meeting suggested that we might simply need to “agree to disagree” on all of those issues. In our view Canada had already determined that it was not willing to take any steps to address the issues that [Tsleil-Waututh] identified and submitted constituted deficiencies in the [Board] process....

These are very good examples of why this process needs to be studied in this place. In fact, it could not be clearer, as the decision says:

Meaningful dialogue required someone representing Canada empowered to do more than take notes—someone able to respond meaningfully to the applicants’ concerns at some point in time.

The exchanges with the applicants demonstrate that this was missing from the consultation process. The exchanges show little to facilitate consultation and show how the Phase III consultation fell short of the mark.

Madam Chair, let me confirm that these are just a few of the examples from the substantial decision. It makes it clear that the consultation process was not considered thoughtfully and was rushed.

After the report came out, I was disappointed to hear the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance continue with their lines. The Prime Minister in a radio interview downplayed the idea of appealing the important decision that has been brought before us here today. He said, “The court was very clear: You need to do more on the environment. You need to do more on consultations, if anything is...to happen, so that's what we are going to do.” Soon after, when asked about the appeal again, he said, “We are looking at what an appeal would look like [and] what it would mean.”

Which one is it? Indigenous communities deserve to know. When any Canadian hears or reads these examples of consultation, I believe they will see how empty this government's promises are. Who would not be frustrated in that seat to hear repeatedly that we will take your concerns to decision-makers, but no one will really talk to you about any accommodations or have any meaningful discussion about why it might be important to protect your rights—for example, your water supply?

Now Canadians are going to own the Trans Mountain pipeline. In fact, right after the decision came out, over 99% of the shareholders of Kinder Morgan voted “yes” to sell to Canada. Of course they did. They saw this decision and they are receiving more money than the pipeline is worth. Many Canadians and many indigenous communities are wondering when their vote will happen.

What does the finance minister say? I quote:

As we move ahead with the project and the purchase, our government remains committed to ensuring the project proceeds in a manner that protects the public interest. That means ensuring the highest level over governance — including environmental protection. It means upholding our commitments with Indigenous peoples and it means responsibly protecting Canada’s and Canadians’ investment.

How do indigenous communities have any faith in a consultation process with this government owning and clearly stating that this project has only one outcome? How can Canadians have any faith that the environment and the relationship with indigenous people will be done well after looking at this report? How do they have faith in a government that buys a pipeline and leaves the taxpayer on the hook? The government knows what proper consultation is. There are many examples of successful consultation in this country. It does require that the government do the work. What it means is that the government must have a two-way exchange, a real discussion, not just a place for indigenous communities to let off steam but to be part of a process in a meaningful way.

I am hoping to not have this happen but I am expecting to have to listen to the Liberals speak now and blame the Conservatives. I agree with them. The Conservative process was very flawed. We saw what the results were during their time in government. However, once the Trudeau government was elected, it was this Prime Minister and this government who moved forward with the same flawed process, resulting in the decision I have before me.

Now there is $4.5 billion invested in a project that the Federal Court of Appeal has stopped. In no way does a climate change leader invest this type of money in an old pipeline. In no way does a Prime Minister believe the most important relationship is with the indigenous people of Canada when the consultation process is so completely flawed.

I live on the Salish Sea. It is my home and I am very proud of the beauty of it. It provides for many of the communities I serve: with jobs, recreation, sustenance, and obviously, complete wonder. I serve that region and I'm mystified by the lack of understanding that this government has for the need to protect it. I think it is important to also address the fact that the Conservatives like to throw out the word "veto" when talking about indigenous consultation. This is a non-starter that shuts down discussion about consultation and brings fear of indigenous communities participating fully within Canada. It is not about veto. Like Grand Chief John said in the quote I mentioned above, it is about being an active part of the process and being a part of the decision-making.

I will support the Conservative motion, although I do have my own motion that I'm hoping will help us along this journey because I feel that in this committee what we really need to be focusing on is the process of consultation that's happening in this country. It is time that this committee be strong and recognize that we can do a study that will provide some real direction for the future of this country.

I hope that all the people at this table would agree that it is certainly time for this issue to be moved into a reality that benefits everyone in this country. Indigenous communities have simply waited much too long.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

Impact Assessment ActGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2018 / 11:40 p.m.
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Conservative

Ed Fast Conservative Abbotsford, BC

Madam Speaker, I want to follow up on the question posed by my colleague, and it has to do with UNDRIP, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Implicit in that is free, prior, and informed consent. That is an element that we in the Conservative Party have some serious concerns about because of the possibility of it being interpreted as being an absolute veto right.

However, in the last election, the Prime Minister made it very clear that he would incorporate UNDRIP into all legislation in Canada. In fact, earlier this year, there was a vote in the House on Bill C-262, a bill from the NDP, which agreed that UNDRIP would be incorporated into all government legislation.

At the amendment stage of Bill C-69, the NDP and the Green Party brought forward 25 different amendments asking the Liberal government to incorporate UNDRIP in the legislation, as it promised during the election campaign. On 25 different occasions, the Liberal government and the Liberal members of that committee voted no. They opposed the inclusion of UNDRIP.

Why would Liberal members of the committee vote against UNDRIP 25 times, when the Liberal government made such a clear commitment to incorporate it?

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2018 / 3:50 p.m.
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Liberal

Robert-Falcon Ouellette Liberal Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy with the role the people of Winnipeg Centre played in ensuring that Bill C-262 was actually passed in the chamber, because they were great advocates, advocating not only to me but to other members of the chamber.

We are spending $5.7 billion over 12 years on the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, including $2 billion for the low-carbon economy fund, ensuring that Canada's communities are healthy and productive places to live. It includes investments of over $5 billion over five years toward infrastructure projects that protect communities and support Canada's ongoing transition to a clean-growth economy. We are supporting clean technologies and accelerating clean technology company growth by providing over $2 billion—

Opposition Motion—Leadership on Climate Change and Clean EnergyBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

June 12th, 2018 / 3:50 p.m.
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NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my friend and hon. colleague, the member for Winnipeg Centre, for outlining things we can do and are doing. However, I also want to follow up on the question my friend from Abbotsford just asked that was not answered. He stated clearly that the government is falling well below its target of reducing emissions by 30%. It was a commitment it made. In fact, it still has not told us its plan. It has not presented a plan on how it is going to achieve its target. In fact, it is going the other way. The Liberals made a promise that they were going to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, but instead, they bought a pipeline. It completely contradicts everything he just said.

My friend from Abbotsford outlined where we are going. We are going in the other direction. I appreciate the member's comments, but we still have not heard what the real plan is. My friend voted in support of my colleague, the member for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou's bill, Bill C-262, to protect the rights of indigenous peoples through UNDRIP, and still the government is picking and choosing the nations it wants to apply that to. Instead, it is running roughshod over nations that are against the pipeline.

Could the member explain how the government believes it is okay to run roughshod over the rights of individual nations that have opposed this project and how he can justify the government supporting Bill C-262 as well.

Report StageFisheries ActGovernment Orders

June 11th, 2018 / 10:30 p.m.
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NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, we do not agree with the Conservatives around this legislation. We are trying to restore and implement things they cut when they were in government that did not protect our salmon.

The member has raised a valid concern about consultation with indigenous people. The letter I have from the Ha'wiih, the hereditary chiefs of the Nuu-chah-nulth people, is because they have not been adequately consulted around the bill. They have brought forward their concern that they “may” be consulted instead of “shall” be consulted. That is a huge concern. It flies in the face of Bill S-262 that was recently passed, which was put forward by my colleague around applying UNDRIP. I am calling on the government to change the wording of that.

The government is currently fighting the Nuu-chah-nulth people in court. The government has repeatedly fought the nation in court, and the judge has ordered the government to get to the table and negotiate responsibly. It has not done that. It is carrying on the same policies from the Harper government in the past. The Liberal government has failed to sit down and have meaningful dialogue with the nation and negotiate fairly. It was in the recent judgment with the Nuu-chah-nulth, Ahousaht et al v. Canada, that the government had done everything it could to stymie negotiations.

If the government is going to honour and respect indigenous peoples, it should get to the table and negotiate with the Nuu-chah-nulth, who have won repeatedly in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Canada needs to stop fighting indigenous people in court and show respect.

Motions in amendmentFisheries ActGovernment Orders

June 7th, 2018 / 11:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Cathy McLeod Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo, BC

Mr. Speaker, as my colleague indicated, last week the Liberals voted for a piece of legislation, Bill C-262, to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In that bill, they made very specific commitments, especially around article 19, under which laws of general application would receive free, prior, and informed consent from first nations.

Does my colleague believe that the Liberals, in turning down those amendments, were living up to the spirit of the vote that took place last week?

I also want to note that there is another member from British Columbia in the chamber tonight.