An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy (abandonment of vessels)

Sponsor

Sheila Malcolmson  NDP

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

Status

Dead, as of Dec. 6, 2017

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-352.

Summary

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

This enactment amends the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 to strengthen the requirements relating to wreck by ensuring that regulations are made to establish measures to be taken for its removal, disposal or destruction. It also designates the Canadian Coast Guard as a receiver of wreck for the purposes of Part 7 of the Act and requires receivers of wreck to take the necessary steps to identify and locate the owner of the wreck.

Finally, it provides for the development and implementation of a national strategy to address the abandonment of vessels.

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.

Motions in amendmentWrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels ActGovernment Orders

June 19th, 2018 / 1:25 p.m.
See context

NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a huge honour today to rise to speak to Bill C-64, an act respecting wrecks, abandoned, dilapidated or hazardous vessels and salvage operations.

Before I get started, I have to give a huge shout-out and thanks to my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith for her perseverance and commitment to this issue. Before she was in the House, she was the chair of the Islands Trust. She brought communities together on this issue, because it is so important. She followed the great work of Jean Crowder, who represented the riding of Nanaimo—Cowichan. These are Vancouver Islanders who understand these issues from the grassroots. They understand the impact abandoned and derelict vessels have on our coastal waters and the impact they have on the local economy, ecology, and way of life. I appreciate their efforts.

In my riding, there has been much support for Bill C-352 put forward by my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith. Qualicum Beach and Parksville have been very strong advocates for this bill, as has the Regional District of Nanaimo.

There was an incredible accident in our riding in Deep Bay. Three boats had been listing for over a decade. They were abandoned derelict vessels. The former member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North, a Conservative colleague, promised for 10 years to remove those vessels, but they sat there right through until the 2015 election. That same member voted against the bill Ms. Crowder put forward in the last Parliament. He said that he wanted more of a Washington state model. He was the party whip for the Conservative government and a previous cabinet minister, so he could have asked his government to pursue legislation based on the Washington state model. Ms. Crowder would have welcomed an amendment to support that model, because we know it works. He sat idle.

A boat sank, and when the divers went down, they found two more boats at the bottom. The communities desperately wanted the Silver King and the Sir Wilfrid Laurier removed, because they were threatening 60 jobs adjacent to that listing boat. They were threatening the Deep Bay Marine Field Station of Vancouver Island University, which has a centre for shellfish research they have invested $9 million in. We raised this concern with the federal government, and the Liberals sat idle, despite major storms going through.

We then decided to collectively come together: me; the MLA; Chief Recalma, of Qualicum First Nation; Bill Veenhof, from the Regional District of Nanaimo; and the adjacent shellfish company that was going to be immediately impacted. In fact, it would have been shut down for a year if any of the bunker fuel had been released from those derelict and abandoned boats, and the VIU research facility would have been shut down.

We decided to collectively come together with community members and go out on a boat and invite the media. I want to thank CHEK 6 news, CTV News Vancouver Island, and the Parksville Qualicum Beach News, because they came out, and it was their reporting that made the difference, with our community standing in solidarity. The former minister of fisheries and oceans, my friend from Nunavut, responded at that point, when he saw the pressure, and the Silver King was removed. The Liberals were still hesitant to deal with the Sir Wilfrid Laurier. This boat was a previous crown asset.

Again, my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith put forward amendments to strengthen the bill to protect our coasts. One of the amendments was to prevent crown assets and assets seized and resold by the government from becoming abandoned vessels by legislating terms and conditions of sale and disposal. It sounds reasonable, but the Liberals rejected it.

On the B.C. coast, there are abandoned vessels from all over the place that still bear a government logo, whether they are from BC Ferries or the Coast Guard, such as the Sir Wilfrid Laurier. The Atlantic coast has a number of people with great intentions who are still purchasing surplus navy vessels, but they become great liabilities. The communities of Shelburne and Bridgewater wanted those conditions in the bill as well, and they were rejected. We raised awareness about the Silver King and the Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and we are grateful that the government responded at that point. I want to thank it for that, but it took a lot of pressure.

This could have been avoided. We could not even figure out who was responsible, because in this bill, the government still had not identified the Coast Guard as the sole receiver of wrecks. We were running around speaking to the parliamentary secretary and the Minister of Transport, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and Environment Canada. We were getting turned around, and no one was taking responsibility. That still has not been resolved in this legislation.

I will turn to some of the opportunities. When I was first elected, my colleagues from Vancouver Island and I banded together and went to the Minister of Infrastructure and asked that BC Ferries be eligible for the Building Canada fund, because under the previous Conservative government, it was not eligible. BC Ferries made that loud and clear. Despite the Conservative member from Vancouver Island North saying that it was eligible, it had been rejected on every application, because, it was told, it was not eligible.

We were grateful to the Minister of Infrastructure for changing the requirements and allowing BC Ferries to be eligible for the Building Canada fund. That has resulted in $62 million for BC Ferries, which Mark Collins, the CEO, told me when I ran into him in Vancouver. He was so grateful. He told me that he wanted to come to our riding and listen to my thoughts and concerns with respect to BC Ferries and the way he can support our communities. He also wanted to express his gratitude for our going to Ottawa and working with the government to create the eligibility that has supported all ferry users in British Columbia.

While he was there, I was able to talk to him and showcase Port Alberni and the Alberni Valley as a great opportunity for the BC Ferries experience program so that they can promote each other and work collectively to support the tourism economy.

We also talked about the incredible opportunity we have as the deepest port on the west coast of Vancouver Island, which is heavily underutilized. He clearly expressed to me that shipyards are coming close to capacity and that he wants to find ways we can work together. He wrote a letter of support after visiting the port. He wrote:

BC Ferries is planning to invest $3.5 - $4 billion over the next 12 years in infrastructure and new vessels in addition to our anticipated $150 million annual spend on ship repair. The biggest constraint we face supporting our fleet is the scarcity of dry docking in British Columbia. Currently, two-thirds of our fleet of 35 vessels can be docked at just two facilities. Those facilities are busy and the opportunity for increased dry dock capacity in BC will be of great interest to BC Ferries and other coastal marine customers.

He supports the Port Alberni Port Authority and its hope for a new floating dry dock. The reason I bring that up is that it is an economic opportunity for people on the west coast to create more shipbuilding and maybe a place where we can work with abandoned and derelict boats. We would like to see the government work with all levels of government, the federal government and the federal Liberals, so that we can create those jobs and support a dry dock in our community.

After years of advocacy, the New Democrats are proud that our pressure is finally paying off and that we are seeing some movement on this bill, although it misses the mark on many things. It does not support a vessel turn-in program modelled on the cash-for-clunkers program for vehicles, which has been successful in many provinces. Without a turn-in program, we will not be able to deal with the backlog, which is hundreds of boats. We could create a dedicated fee to help cover the cost of vessel disposal, based on the Washington state model, which is an owner-financed fund dedicated to vessel removal that successfully took the costs off taxpayers, which is what we want.

Where I live, it is clear that most of these abandoned derelict vessels cannot be traced back. We do not know who the owners are. They change hands repeatedly. There is a housing issue where we live, and many people are living on derelict boats, in terrible conditions. These boats are being sold within the community, and people do not know who owns these boats. They live on them literally until they sink. We do not want to see a situation like in Deep Bay, where a boat is listing and threatening the environment and the local economy, and then when it does sink and we go to the bottom, we find three more.

Motions in amendmentWrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels ActGovernment Orders

June 19th, 2018 / 1:10 p.m.
See context

NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise in the House to speak to Bill C-64, which addresses the issue of the thousands of wrecks littering Canada. I want to commend my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith for all the work she has done. She has been working for years to stop the abandonment of wrecks on our coasts and to help free coastal communities from the burden of dealing with wrecks.

My colleague proposed several amendments in committee. She originally had a private member's bill that targeted all wrecks. Her parliamentary privilege to debate Bill C-352 was denied by the Liberal government, which forced her to go through the special process of a secret ballot vote. Each member got to deposit a ballot in a box at the back of the House of Commons to decide whether my colleague would be allowed to debate her bill. The outcome, as anyone could guess, given the government's majority, was that she was blocked from speaking on her own bill. The government simply refused to grant her time to debate the bill in the House, on the pretext that the government's bill covered all the same ground as her own. However, the two bills could have been complementary, as I will explain today.

My B.C. colleague's bill addressed a number of issues. Now, at report stage, she is moving an amendment that reads as follows: “That Bill C-64 be amended by deleting Clause 5”.

This amendment would remove the exemption for state-owned ships. Bill C-64 does not currently apply to state property.

We want all vessels owned by the government, by all the departments, including military vessels and other assets belonging to the Canadian Coast Guard, to be governed by this bill. The fact that they are not is ridiculous. Washington State has similar legislation that includes abandoned state-owned vessels.

We hope the government will support the amendment moved by my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith.

I rise in the House today because the Kathryn Spirit ran aground in Lake Saint-Louis, a drinking water reservoir, seven years ago, and the people of Beauharnois and the greater Montreal area have been trying to get something done about it ever since.

Groupe Saint-Pierre, a private company, acquired the vessel and towed it to the shores of Lake Saint-Louis at Beauharnois to dismantle it and sell the scrap metal. The people of Beauharnois and the mayor at the time were extremely concerned about that.

The current mayor continues to work to ensure that the ship is dismantled by the end of the year. Seven years later, we are beginning to feel some relief, but as long as the ship is still there then we are no further ahead.

Managing this ship has been very complicated from the start. It was not clear who to talk to about it. We had to juggle between Environment Canada, Transport Canada, and the Canadian Coast Guard under Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Every department under the Conservative government at the time passed the buck. In 2015, the Liberals took over the government, but it is still the same story, six of one and half a dozen of the other. The two successive governments were unable to grab the bull by the horns to ensure the safety of the drinking water reservoir. The population was scared because for the seven years that the ship has been there, there have been a number of freeze-thaw cycles. The ship has taken on some water through the pipes and as a result of being trapped in the ice over the winter.

What is more, there have a number of alarming situations that required last-minute interventions to patch up the ship to ensure that the water in the ballasts did not infiltrate the engine room, which contains oil. We asked many times for the list of pollutants remaining on the ship and up until very recently we still did not have it. Even the fire department of Beauharnois, Châteauguay, and surrounding areas still did not have that list on April 10, 2018, when a fire broke out and six fire departments were called to deal with it. Though somewhat ironic, it is mostly very stressful for all those who live near this wreck.

The bill before us does not meet all of the demands of Beauharnois and the surrounding coastal municipalities. That is why the NDP has been fighting for years to get a bill that better manages shipwrecks.

This bill is definitely a step in the right direction, but there are still some problems that need to be addressed, particularly the backlog of thousands of wrecks abandoned off Canada's coastlines. On top of that, the bill fails to introduce a vessel registration system for accountability, nor does it establish a vessel turn-in and recycling program. I was very proud to support Bill C-352 introduced by my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith, which fills the gaps in the government legislation.

Getting back to the Kathryn Spirit, Groupe St-Pierre moved the vessel to the banks of Lac Saint-Louis in August 2011. Since the provincial and federal governments never authorized the company to dismantle the ship on the water for environmental reasons, it was never able to move forward, so it sold the wreck to a Mexican company a few months later.

Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada kept passing the buck back and forth between 2012 and 2015. The ministers responsible just wanted to wash their hands of the problem. Despite our repeated calls, the Mexican company was unable to answer our questions. There was a language barrier as well as the time difference. It eventually stopped answering our questions and our calls altogether.

Then there was dithering and continual delays in obtaining answers from the Ministers of Transport Canada and Environment Canada concerning hazardous substances still on board. It was never-ending. It took years to get answers even though such access to information requests usually take about two months. Then we asked that there be only one party responsible, the Canadian Coast Guard, but the Liberals refused.

Ultimately, we want to know the location and condition of all such ships in Canada. That is why we are asking that registration errors be corrected and, as my colleague proposed at the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, that the administration do more than just the bare minimum. Companies must fully respect the law and its spirit to ensure the protection of citizens, waters, and our environment.

In the case of the Kathryn Spirit, the lack of registration prevented us from having clear information about the Mexican company that had taken over the vessel. A minimum of information was enough to have senior officials say that the vessel had not been abandoned and that the company was still responsible for it. This matter was bungled from start to finish.

In 2013, it seemed that contaminants were discharged and citizens were worried. In the end, it was a real shemozzle and the government said that most of the fuel had been removed. In 2016, the vessel was listing and cables were added. The government is taking a wait-and-see approach in this matter.

The government took action when there was a fire and finally realized that there had never been a response plan, even though the government had offered $24 million to the private company working on the boat. There were a number of shortcomings.

The bill does not allocate enough money to manage a single vessel like the Kathryn Spirit. The government is allocating $1.25 million over four years, which is completely ridiculous.

I hope that the government will review this bill and accept amendments, including the one proposed today by my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith, in order to get this right and manage abandoned vessels in Canada.

Motions in amendmentWrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels ActGovernment Orders

June 19th, 2018 / 12:55 p.m.
See context

NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour for me to partake in today's debate, especially since I am speaking here today as a proud coastal member of Parliament who comes from a neck of the woods just south of the riding of the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith. My riding, Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, and my colleague's riding together formed what was known as the riding of Nanaimo—Cowichan.

This is a problem that coastal people have been dealing with for far too long, no matter what part of Canada they live in. Abandoned vessels not only pose threats to our environment, and in some cases threats to navigation, but they are an eyesore. They cause real harm to communities that are trying to build up an image of a sustainable community, a place tourists would want to visit.

I spent seven years working as a constituency assistant to former member of Parliament Jean Crowder in the riding of Nanaimo—Cowichan. As a constituency assistant, I was often on the phone with constituents who were outraged at the runaround they were getting and the jurisdictional finger pointing. They had gone to the municipality and to the regional district. They had gone to the port authority, to the province, and to the federal government. Every one of those agencies basically pointed at someone else, saying, “It's not our problem.” All those calls and the many years of problems building up prompted Jean Crowder to take action, and I will get to that in a moment.

I want to go over a bit of the history of how my particular community has experienced this problem. Right in the heart of my riding is lovely Cowichan Bay. I hope some members in the House get a chance to visit Cowichan Bay. It is a quaint, ideal little place on the coast. It has a great history of being a big industrial area that transformed itself into this great little community, which tourists come to every year by the droves.

We have had our ordeals with abandoned vessels. I will go back to the Dominion. The Dominion was a large Japanese fish-processing ship, which was towed to Cowichan Bay in 2007. The new owner of the vessel thought that he could buy it as an investment, sell it a few years later, and make a quick buck off it. Unfortunately, the Dominion stayed in Cowichan Bay from 2007 until 2013. It was filled with a variety of hazardous substances. It was subject to vandalism. There was the constant danger, whether from high tide or strong storms, of that gigantic ship coming loose off its mooring and plowing into other ships.

We had the SS Beaver, which was in such dilapidated condition that it sank in 2014. It still rests at the bottom of Cowichan Bay.

As a result of the lack of action, last year six derelict vessels were removed by the combined efforts of private companies. These companies were sick and tired of no government authority taking responsibility or having the resources to remove them. I want to recognize Western Forest Products, Western Stevedoring, and Pacific Industrial & Marine for taking on that initiative as responsible corporate citizens of the area. It affects their livelihoods, too, and they had the means to get it done. However, it should not have come to that.

I also want to give great recognition to Lori Iannidinardo. She serves as the area director for Cowichan Bay in the Cowichan Valley Regional District. A lot of individuals have been involved in this fight over the years, but as the area director, she has had the unique position locally of bringing so many stakeholders together, along with public and community forums, and pushing for action. Lori and Jean worked together hand in glove to try to address this problem.

Now let me turn to the efforts of Jean Crowder in the 41st Parliament. She introduced Bill C-231 in 2011. She saw a way to improve her bill, and it ultimately turned into Bill C-638, which had its opportunity for debate and a vote at second reading at the tail end of the 41st Parliament.

I will note that the Liberal Party at that time voted in favour of this bill, and among those members, there was the Prime Minister, the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and others. In fact, there are various ministers, parliamentary secretaries, and chairs of standing committees in the House today who back then supported this bill. We are happy to see Bill C-64 moving ahead, but as the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith has so clearly laid out, there are a lot of gaps that her private member's bill certainly could have filled.

I am happy to say that after years of advocacy, New Democrats and the coastal communities have really informed our work, and all that work is finally paying off. We are very proud that the action to clean up our coasts and waterways from abandoned vessels are finally under way.

I will now turn to the 42nd Parliament, the one we are in now, and the efforts of the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith. The first version of her Bill C-219 very much built on Bill C-638, which was introduced in the previous Parliament. However, after a lot of consultation with different coastal organizations and coastal communities, she really took their feedback, which is evidence-based decision-making and evidence-informed policy-making. She incorporated their suggestions, because these are the people who are on the front lines, and introduced Bill C-352.

One of the greatest privileges we have in this place as private members is our ability to bring forward legislation on behalf of our communities. What is really unfortunate about last year is that the Liberals denied her the ability through the procedure and House affairs committee, and then the secret ballot that we had here in the House of Commons, to effectively advocate on behalf of her constituents and various coastal organizations in this place. We know it was the Liberals, because that is where the majority of the votes are coming from, who denied her the ability to at least bring this bill forward for debate and a vote. They deemed it to be non-votable, and argued that Bill C-64 covered all the conditions. In fact, we can see that her bill was actually filling in the gaps that are very apparent in Bill C-64.

However, New Democrats do not give up when they face set backs, and so the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith tried to work at committee. She brought forward a series of amendments to Bill C-64 to actually strengthen the bill and make it reflect the conversations that she had had. We wanted to implement a vessel turn-in program, create a dedicated fee to help the cost of vessel disposal, and we wanted to formalize the Coast Guard's role. The Coast Guard's main role is to guard our coast, but I would argue it is not only to guard against smugglers but also to make sure that our coastal environment is safe, sound, and environmentally secure. She tried to make sure that we could copy Washington state's model, because we do not need to reinvent the wheel. We have many other jurisdictions, one right in Washington state, and we could basically borrow the best elements from its program and transpose them here in Canada. She also wanted to try and give the receiver of wrecks the responsibility and accountability to determine the owner.

Every single one of those amendments was defeated by the Liberals in spite of all of the testimony that we had heard at committee. That is the real shame of this. The Liberals in the previous Parliament were fine to go along with the provisions that were included in this bill, but once they got into government, and flying in the face of the evidence they heard, they refused to go ahead with that.

The bill from the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith was endorsed by the Union of B.C. Municipalities, the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities, the City of Victoria, the City of Nanaimo, the Town of Ladysmith, over 20 more local governments, the Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, Vancouver District Labour Council, and the BC Ferry & Marine Workers' Union. These are organizations and local governments that deal with this problem and confront it on a daily basis. To have those kinds of endorsements behind the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith really speaks to her perseverance, and it is sincerely unfortunate that the government did not allow those.

I will conclude by saying that we are not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We will support Bill C-64, but I hope the government will at least listen to us and accept our amendment at report stage so that we can at least have some accountability for federally owned vessels, because that is a major loophole that exists.

Motions in amendmentWrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels ActGovernment Orders

June 19th, 2018 / 12:20 p.m.
See context

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my Conservative colleague, who chaired our discussion at the transport committee and chaired it well. We had a good debate, and fantastic witnesses, whom we were pleased to have learned from.

If my colleague is characterizing my legislation, Bill C-352, as the first model she described where the taxpayer would end up picking up the bill for abandoned vessels, that was absolutely not the intention of my legislation. It was to designate a single agency that would be the first point of contact. It was very much like the Washington state model, where the whole focus is based on user pay. However, the key piece is that we need to be able to find out who the vessel owners are if we are going to send them a bill.

My feeling is that if, in the 1990s, the Conservatives and Liberals had not done so much to undermine the vessel registration system with their successive cuts to front-line services, Canada would now have a way of tracking who the responsible owners of those vessels are. Now we have a huge backlog, which is the legacy of that time of supposed cost-cutting. It is a good reminder that cutting services and laying off public servants can actually do more harm than good.

This brings me to my question. Why did the Conservatives let the vessel registry fall into such disrepair, and why did they close the regional offices in B.C. that were doing the vessel data collection?

Immigration and Refugee Protection ActPrivate Members' Business

June 18th, 2018 / 11:15 a.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, after a nice quiet weekend in my riding, I want to take this opportunity to thank all the pages and all of the parliamentary precinct security folks who looked after us during our all-night voting on Thursday night.

I also want to say a special thanks to my riding staff, because I miss them, Lauren Semple, Hilary Eastmure, and Michael Snoddon, and all the people at home who have been holding down the fort while we have been here since the end of January.

I am really grateful to everybody who is keeping the community work going, NGOs, local governments, everybody who is working hard to support the work we are doing here in Parliament.

We really hope that this is our last week, and I cannot wait to be home. Because we are close to the end, I have to say I am a little impatient about giving this speech. Bill S-210 proposes to amend the title of a Harper-era piece of legislation, the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act.

It seems like a long time ago when that piece of legislation was passed. It was passed in what I would call a dark decade of parliamentary rule. The unveiling of that quite racist legislation was one of the low points in the Harper era. It was dog-whistle politics at its worst. It was racist and inflammatory. Ministers stood and said we need to eradicate barbaric cultural practices, when all they needed to say was that we are going to rule against female genital mutilation. We are all for that, but it does not need to be put in the frame of alienating anybody who is not white and born and raised in Canada. Canada is a diverse country. We all practice our culture in different ways. There are acts that should be criminalized, especially acts that are damaging to young girls.

The Conservatives campaigned on that Harper-framed legislation, and I like to think that was part of their downfall, because the citizens of this country said no to it.

I also want to give special thanks to This Hour Has 22 Minutes, which acted like a second official opposition alongside New Democrats in the previous Parliament. I still chuckle about the show's parody on the barbaric cultural practices act. It named things like wearing socks with sandals as a cultural barbaric practice, and kissing the cod in the wrong way. They had fun with it, but it was not funny.

Given all the damage that was done in 10 years of Conservative rule, the Liberal government received a strong mandate from the Canadian public.

However, here we are today with legislation before us which would simply amend the title of the legislation. It would do nothing else. I am going to vote in favour of Bill S-210, because who would not vote in favour of it? Language matters, but actions also matters. There is so much work to do. Here we are, two and a half years into this term, and we still are not getting it done.

Some time this week, we will be tabling a report on what the Liberal government could do to end the atrocious rate of incarceration of indigenous women in Canadian jails and how badly they are treated. The report also talks about the barriers they face in the justice system that results in them being imprisoned at a higher rate.

Another Conservative law repealed the mandatory minium sentencing. It removed judicial discretion. The Liberal Party campaigned in 2015 that it would repeal mandatory minimum sentencing, but it has not done it.

Of all the things that would make a difference in people's lives, I wish that this legislation had more oomph behind it. Of course, language matters, but attendant action is so important. Voting yes to the bill, which I will be doing, will not change anyone's life. There is still a lot of legislative damage that has yet to be undone, and I do not believe that Bill S-210 would have been at the top of anybody's list.

I also have a bit of a bad attitude about this because of my private member's bill on abandoned vessels, Bill C-352. I worked on my bill with local government partners for about eight years before coming to this place. I tabled it in February 2016, and I updated it in April 2017.

Three days after it went on the Order Paper in October of this year, the government introduced its own bill, which I had wanted to see. I had hoped the government would have plagiarized and incorporated my private member's bill into it. However, then it used a couple of almost never used parliamentary manoeuvres to prevent my bill from being heard or voted on at all.

Obviously, it was a great disappointment. It was a piece of legislation, whether one agreed with it or not, that had some substance and some heft. It would have made a difference on the ground. It would have changed legislation that would have prevented oil spills and marine plastics and pollution on our beaches in the form of fibreglass boats. That is a long-standing problem that local governments have been calling the alarm on. However, that was killed, and here we are taking the time to debate legislation that is only going to amend a legislative title.

I urge all my colleagues to hunker down and get the real work done that would actually change lives on the ground. We have tremendous privilege being in this place. We have tremendous power. We have a huge mandate, and we have a lot of work to do. Let us do the hard work that really matters and get on with the work that Canadians sent us to do here in this place.

Fisheries and OceansAdjournment Proceedings

May 7th, 2018 / 6 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is coming up to the middle of May. The boating season in British Columbia has already begun. Therefore, I am here to encourage the government to move forward on its legislation to deal with the long-standing problem of abandoned vessels. These problems are well enumerated.

I know the government has said repeatedly that it shares my commitment to finding a long-standing resolution, a comprehensive, country-wide solution, as most other maritime countries have, in some cases decades ago.

My question is not about the level of the government's commitment. Rather, I am seeking a very specific update on when the government will return Bill C-64 to the House for further debate. It was two months ago that it was returned by committee to the House.

I will also indicate my hope that the reason for the delay in returning the bill to the House is that the minister himself is considering the amendments I proposed at committee, which the Liberal members of the committee voted down. The government is maybe still considering the fine details of those amendments. That is the only reason I can imagine for why the government would not already have the bill back to the House and be moving forward with the next stages of debate and reading stages. We could finally see some resolution, especially for the boaters this summer, who could be out there saying it is great that an abandoned vessel solution was legislated by their federal government. It would build some faith and trust.

Members will remember that the bill was fast tracked by the NDP. It was quite rare to get the unanimous consent of the House to move it to committee so quickly. I was very glad to have been able to initiate that. I was glad that the House agreed, that the transport committee decided to switch its focus from its other business to focus on the study, and that we had so many witnesses who spoke so clearly about the solutions that coastal communities have been advocating. They were in my legislation, Bill C-352, which was blocked by the Liberal-dominated procedure and House affairs committee, and then voted down by Liberal members. It was not even heard in the House. Nevertheless, I tried to transport the elements of that legislation into the minister's bill, Bill C-64.

Therefore, as a reminder on some of those pieces that I hope maybe the minister is considering now, it being the only explanation for why Bill C-64 would be so delayed, is the government now considering bringing into its bill a vessel turn-in program, modelled on the cash for clunkers program? Is it considering creating a dedicated fee to put a fund aside to deal with the backlog of abandoned vessels, since Bill C-64 does not address that backlog? Is the government planning to legislate to formalize the Coast Guard's role in dealing with abandoned vessels? When that was in former MP Jean Crowder's legislation three years ago, in a previous parliament, all of the Liberal Party voted in support of it, including the now transport minister, fisheries minister, and the Prime Minister. Is the government delaying Bill C-64 so that it can incorporate those coastal solutions into the abandoned vessel legislation?

February 26th, 2018 / 4:55 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

This is a piece imported from my private member's bill, Bill C-352, which was stopped in the House back in the fall. It would require the minister, every five years, to review the operation of this bill, Bill C-64, and report to the House about the efficacy of the act, and the resulting review that had happened.

We had a number of witnesses talk about the serious backlog. Andrew Kendrick, from Vard Marine, for example, talked about “starting from a bad place.” We need to address the backlog of abandoned vessels. They are a growing number. Having some transparency and accountability, and reporting to Parliament on how well this legislation worked, would certainly help with future amendments or regulatory changes as we modify.

There's very good precedent for this. The Aeronautics Act has a requirement “within two years after the day on which this subsection comes into force and every five years thereafter, commence a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this section”. The Canadian Environmental Protection Act has an “every five year” review, and then several acts in this Parliament require periodic re-evaluations. That includes the Employment Equity Act, the Agricultural Marketing Programs Act, the Lobbying Act, the Canada Small Business Financing Act, the Business Development Bank of Canada Act, the Export Development Act, and the Canada Infrastructure Bank Act. Washington state again has a very good legislative model, and we heard directly from.... Their legislation has been in place for 15 years and they use this period review.

I urge my fellow committee members, for the sake of transparency and accountability, to vote yes to requiring a five-year reporting and review.

February 26th, 2018 / 4:10 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

This one must be easy for everybody to say yes to, because the minister already said yes to it. Whether the witnesses were from the West Coast Environmental Law Association, the Sunshine Coast Regional District board, the Islands Trust council, or Ladysmith Maritime Society, we've heard all of them ask why we cannot have one lead agency that is the filter through which any abandoned vessel complaint or concern goes through, understanding that in many cases there will be different government departments that would internally take responsibility, but there would be one-stop shopping. As an example, one of our witnesses asked why they can't just phone 1-800-receive-a-wreck.

This was the legislation that my predecessor, Jean Crowder, brought forward in the House. The Liberal government, when they were the third party, unanimously voted in support of it. The Conservatives, unfortunately, defeated it. I brought it into my legislation, Bill C-352, and then the the minister said, yes, if you go to the website now, if you look at our new organization tables, in fact you will see that the Coast Guard now is going to be the public interface.

I think that's a win for coastal communities. I'd love to see it reflected in this legislation. Again, it doesn't mean that the Coast Guard is the cleanup crew, but it is the single point of contact: if you think there's a concern with an abandoned vessel, you go through the legislation. That's what we heard from the minister in his testimony before the committee. If we could get this reflected in this bill, that would be an even better win for coastal communities.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

February 13th, 2018 / 7:15 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise again to describe the abandoned vessel that sank in Ladysmith Harbour, the 90-foot, 100-year-old Anapaya. It has been on Transport Canada's vessel inventory of concern since 2014. It had been identified as a risk to sink. When it went down, after being overwhelmed by rain and the bilge pumps could not keep it up, the Coast Guard, bless it, took action. It boomed the wreck and contained the oil spill. That was so important for Ladysmith Harbour, because there are shellfish jobs at risk from even the smallest oil spill. The Coast Guard acted, which we are very grateful for. It lifted this 90-foot-long, beautiful old wooden boat from the bottom of the harbour, with everyone saying the whole way along that it would have been much easier to have prevented the boat from sinking in the first place.

A significant take-away for me afterward was that the previous owners, in fact the people who had been living on the Anapaya, knew that she was nearing the end of her life. She was an abandoned boat by the time she sank. The previous owners said they did not have the economic means to prevent her from sinking, but if there had been a vessel turn-in program, the same that Oregon and Washington states have very successfully used to get at the backlog of abandoned vessels, it would have prevented it from sinking and becoming a problem in the first place. This was a significant element of my abandoned vessel legislation, Bill C-352, which was famously blocked in the House. It was the first time that had ever happened to a bill. I went through all the appeals and was told that it was the Liberal majority that squashed it in the end.

The interesting thing is that now that we are studying the transport minister's bill, Bill C-64, at committee, I have been able to ask all kinds of witnesses if they wish that a vessel turn-in program were still part of the legislative offer for Canadians. It makes sense. It has been proposed by local governments in British Columbia for many years, and it was on that basis that I included it in my legislation, Bill C-352.

In the last few days, there has been testimony from Troy Wood, the manager of the derelict vessel removal program in Washington state, saying that the vessel turn-in program was the prevention arm of their very successful derelict vessel removal program. Sara Anghel, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, said there is no place to take boats before they become a hazard for her industry, which is significantly made up of vessel manufacturers and marine operators. She said they would welcome the opportunity to create a viable recycling program and there needs to be a place to take them.

The committee also heard from Kyle Murphy from Washington state, Peter Luckham, chair of Islands Trust Council, and Anna Johnston from West Coast Environmental Law. Georgia Strait Alliance said very clearly that in the transport minister's bill, it is left wondering about the absence of a voluntary turn-in program that could deal with this backlog and help vessel owners, who do not have the means to dispose of them responsibly and do the right thing.

I ask the government why it did not include a vessel turn-in program in its legislation to resolve abandoned vessels.

February 12th, 2018 / 4 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Thank you, Chair.

It's good to see some allies in the room here. I see John Weston, the only Conservative to support my predecessor Jean Crowder's version of this bill. Thank you for that.

I also see Frank Mauro; at local government, we've been lobbying the province and federal government a bunch of times over the years, when I was elected locally, so it's great to have your voice here.

Also John Weston endorsed my bill, C-352, which unfortunately was stopped in its tracks back in the fall.

It's so rich that we've got the Washington State program here, and I hope the other members will shoot as many questions their way as we can, because these guys have been doing it for all this time. I'm going to focus my questions on you. I'll just let you know that last week, when we had the Minister of Transport here, he was saying one of the programs that the federal government here has been looking at is Washington State's, so you're coming in with some good credibility.

One of the pieces in my bill that wasn't able to advance and is missing from the government's bill is the vessel turn-in program that you described as your prevention program, so here are my questions to you. Do you wish that you'd waited to bring that in? To what extent was it an integral and vital part of your overall abandoned vessel program? Also, tell us a little bit more about the results that accrue when the government decides to legislate and fund a vessel's end of life.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

February 9th, 2018 / 12:05 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, to protect our coast and fill a big hole in federal leadership that has existed for decades, petitioners call on the government to deal with the long-standing problem of abandoned vessels, and in particular, to legislate improving vessel registration; to put a fee on vessel registration to deal with the cost of vessel disposal, to get the cost off the backs of taxpayers; and to pilot a vessel turn-in program. These are all elements of my bill, Bill C-352, which was blocked by the government. They are now being raised in testimony at the transport committee by repeated witnesses. It is very good reinforcement for the voices here from Prince Rupert, White Rock, Surrey, Delta, Abbotsford, Bella Coola, and Williams Lake, B.C.

February 5th, 2018 / 4:15 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Thank you, Chair, and I want to take the opportunity to give a big thanks to the Coast Guard. Ladysmith harbour has had a huge concentration of abandoned vessels through no fault of its own. Bylaw enforcement by bigger port authorities pushed the boats into our harbour, and the Coast Guard has really gone above and beyond.

The Viki Lyne II is a poster child example. After the marine survey said that the vessel was an imminent risk to sink and it might only be held together by corrosion on the hull, it still took us four years to have the previous fisheries minister order removal, which we are very grateful for.

When I got into local government, one of the pieces about abandoned vessels was the runaround, and here's an old chart of what to do if you find an abandoned vessel. I think I've got a copy of this for you, Minister, and for the other committee members. Some ratepayers' groups, for 10 years, got the runaround, being told there wasn't a hazard to navigation, or it's provincial or it's federal....

This flow chart is not tenable, and I know that you know this. Is this the new flow chart? Can you assure me that this legislation really ends the runaround? That's one of the prime pieces that I was trying to achieve in my Bill C-352.

The EnvironmentAdjournment Proceedings

December 12th, 2017 / 6:15 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, this evening's debate is following on the eve of the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver, in September, where my legislation on the issue of a solution for abandoned vessels was finally, after decades of pushing, especially by coastal communities, on the convention floor. Eighteen-hundred delegates endorsed my legislation, Bill C-352, which I had built in co-operation with coastal communities. It included all the solutions they had asked for over 15 years of advocating both to the B.C. Liberal government and federal governments, both Liberal and Conservative.

As we know, two weeks ago, a number of Liberal majority manoeuvres killed the bill, sank it, so to speak. It did not even come to the floor for a debate and a vote, which is quite unusual. My question now to the government is how it will incorporate into its legislation, Bill C-64, the transport minister's bill, all that advice from coastal communities.

As a reminder, fixing vessel registration was a major part of my bill. Piloting a vessel turn-in program, kind of like what we have done successfully in many provinces with old abandoned automobiles by finding incentives and programs to encourage people to turn them in so they can be recycled and dealt with responsibly, would be a good way to deal with the backlog. Second would be creating good green jobs by supporting local marine salvage industries and co-operating with recycling organizations to find new markets for fibreglass and other difficult to recycle material. That links to the previous idea as well. A vessel turn-in program or a boat amnesty would help create the critical mass that might cause some economies of scale to deal with abandoned vessels.

Finally, to end the jurisdictional runaround, would be making one agency the go-to on dealing with abandoned vessels. What we proposed was the Coast Guard. The government's bill continues to have responsibility apportioned out over a number of different ministries, so one would need to have an org chart to figure out who was responsible. That is not tenable for coastal communities.

Since we last talked about this, I have had dozens of endorsements from local governments. I very much want to know how the Liberal government, having sunk my legislation, will still recycle and use the material in it in a way that reflects the multitude of asks from local governments. The Islands Trust Council, the City of Nanaimo, the Town of Ladysmith, the City of Campbell River, and the Regional District of Nanaimo all endorsed my bill. There was the City of Parksville; the City of Victoria; the Village of Queen Charlotte, in Haida Gwaii; the District of Tofino; the District of Oak Bay; the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District; the Powell River Regional District; the Village of Tahsis; the District of Ucluelet; Sooke; Sechelt; Metchosin; the City of Powell River; the Township of Esquimalt; the District of Kitimat; the District of Fort St. James; the town of Burlington, in Newfoundland; the Township of Nipigon, in Ontario; the Town of View Royal; the District of North Saanich; and the list goes on.

The call is clear. Local governments need their solutions inserted into this bill. How will the government respond?

Fisheries and OceansAdjournment Proceedings

December 6th, 2017 / 7:10 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, last month a 90-foot vessel, the Anapaya, sank in Ladysmith Harbour while leaking fuel into the ocean. In 2014, Transport Canada had identified this 100-year old boat as a vessel of concern. The government knew it posed a threat, but took no action until it sank. We are grateful for the Coast Guard's swift action. However, this is yet another example of the failed Liberal boat-by-boat approach to abandoned vessels.

For too long, jurisdictional gaps have left coastal communities with nowhere to turn when an abandoned vessel presents an emergency situation in their communities. Oil spills and marine debris from thousands of abandoned vessels pollute our waterways and put local fishing and tourism jobs at risk. We have raised this in Parliament, I think now, 86 times since the 2015 election.

I built 15 years of coastal community solutions into my legislation, Bill C-352, to fix vessel registration, to pilot a vessel turn-in program, to support good green jobs and vessel recycling, and to end the run-around by making the Coast Guard the first-responder and the receiver of wrecks, with a one-stop shopping approach for coastal communities.

Over 50 coastal organizations across the country supported my bill, from Tofino, B.C. to Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, to the Union of B.C. Municipalities, the City of Victoria, the Town of Ladysmith, and the BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union. There has been so much support from all sectors.

On November 9, the Liberal majority on the procedure and House affairs committee blocked my bill, which was an unprecedented interference. The government's new legislation, Bill C-64, tabled on October 30, complemented my bill. However, I do not believe the transport minister's bill will succeed without mine. For example, how can a penalty be imposed on an abandoned vessel owner, as the minister proposes in his legislation, without his being able to find the owner? That is where the element in my bill to fix vessel registration was so vital. Moreover, the transport minister's bill does not deal with the backlog or specifically support vessel recycling.

With the help of members of Parliament, both of the bills could have proceeded. No one had used the appeal tool before that we used in the House to have a secret ballot vote, in this case on the question of whether my bill should be deemed votable. It was a really historic moment and I am grateful to the Conservative, Bloc, Green, and New Democrat caucuses for saying that they planned to support making my bill votable.

Had the majority of members voted yes, it would have meant yes to over 50 coastal organizations who had endorsed the bill, yes to the 27,000 letters that were sent from Canadians to Liberal MPs that week, yes to standing with local governments and having their solutions brought into this House, yes to filling gaps in the transport minister's bill, yes to cooperation across party lines to solve intractable problems like the oil spill risks that come from abandoned vessels, and yes to restoring the one chance I had as an MP to have my community's legislation heard in this House.

Why would the transport representative not support hearing my bill?

An Act to change the name of the electoral district of Châteauguay—LacolleGovernment Orders

December 6th, 2017 / 6:25 p.m.
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NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Madam Speaker, as has been said, we are beginning our study of Bill C-377, which was introduced by my colleague from Châteauguay—Lacolle.

I am very familiar with the western part of her riding, which used to be part of Beauharnois—Salaberry, the riding I represented before the boundary changes of 2015.

Like the current riding of Salaberry—Suroît, Châteauguay—Lacolle includes a city that contains half the constituency's population, as well as several rural areas. Montérégie-Ouest is a fantastic agricultural region that is also facing some challenges.

I fully understand my colleague's need to change the name of the riding to Châteauguay—Les Jardins-de-Napierville. As my other Conservative and NDP colleagues said, we understand and commend the initiative shown by the member in consulting her constituents, doing historical research, and keeping an election promise. That is why we are going to vote in favour of her bill.

However, I am wondering, and everyone else is too, why my colleague chose to go with this process and this tool, namely, a private member's bill, given the economic, social, and environmental issues affecting our region and the fact that the government has a process in place to handle riding name changes. Members mentioned an omnibus bill where all members had the opportunity to participate and propose new riding names. We are still able to do that.

The party leaders have already agreed on the process to allow all members of the House to propose new riding names and change the names of their ridings before the 2019 election.

We must first tell our House leader about the name change. Then, the staff of the House leaders will compile a list of the members whose ridings names need to be changed. A member is chosen to draft the omnibus bill that will encompass all of the riding name changes of all the MPs who submitted proposals.

Elections Canada will then be consulted to make sure that everything is in order with regard to the riding names and the time allocated to make the necessary changes. The member will then amend the bill as required, introduce it in the House of Commons, and seek the unanimous consent of the House to change the names of all of the ridings in question at the same time.

That process was used in 2014 with Bill C-37, which enabled all those name changes.

Why did my colleague from Châteauguay—Lacolle use a member's privilege, the privilege to introduce a private member's bill? We know that just over half the MPs will have the privilege of debating their bill in this Parliament. Our names are drawn out of a hat, and chance alone determines where our bill ends up on the list and whether we get to debate it right away.

For example, I am 194th on the list, and I may have the opportunity to debate my private member's bill. That means I have to choose my bill carefully. The bill my colleague chose to debate has to do with changing her riding's name. She could have done that and also chosen another issue altogether. She could have done both to have a positive impact and make life better for the people of her riding and all ridings in Canada, but that is not what she did.

I am quite surprised that she chose to use this tool to promote a name change that we all agree on and will vote in favour of.

I consider introducing a private member's bill on this topic a lost opportunity because a private member's bill can be life-changing for thousands or even millions of Canadians. For example, in Montérégie-Ouest, there are a lot of issues that would benefit from a private member's bill to bring about economic, social, or environmental change.

Les Jardins-de-Napierville is part of what is known as the “Jardin du Québec”. Many agricultural producers are located in this region and they need the support of their local MP.

First, we might consider the challenge of seasonal workers. We know that the vegetable farms need hundreds of foreign workers in their fields between March and October or November. There should be protections for these workers when the government negotiates free trade agreements.

If we look at NAFTA, there are no guarantees that supply management will still be there tomorrow. We have talked about this and raised the issue many times. Why not create a bill on one of these agricultural issues in order to help the agri-food sector, especially since it employs one in eight Canadians?

Our region needs to be more attractive to small and medium-sized businesses. Our rural regions have a dire need for things like high-speed Internet, 4G service, and infrastructure to help young entrepreneurs and to secure businesses that are already established in the region. Back home, a common joke is that when it rains, there is no Internet. When it is windy, there is no Internet. Could the hon. member have worked on a bill to improve that situation for our schools, hospitals, workers, and students?

An economic bill would also have been useful, especially from a government member, who may have the inside track on getting her bill passed.

The environment is another critically important issue. Protecting our waterways is as important for my colleague's riding as it is for mine and for every riding in Canada. In fact, my colleague was invited to the announcement on dismantling the Kathyrn Spirit, which is a threat to a drinking water supply in Beauharnois, on Lake Saint-Louis. That shipwreck has been rusting away for six years. I would have liked to get more support from my colleague from Châteauguay—Lacolle on this subject and to see her work with the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith.

It is rather ironic that both bills were debated today. Bill C-352, introduced by my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith has been muzzled. We cannot vote on her bill because the government decided to declare it non-votable in order to make room for the Minister of Transport's bill, which would actually have complemented C-352. The 50 coastal communities that helped develop this bill for the past 15 years will not get to see members of the House vote on it.

Canada Shipping Act, 2001Government Orders

December 6th, 2017 / 5:45 p.m.
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NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, it is a huge honour today to rise to speak to Bill C-352 on abandoned vessels. I would like to thank the member of Parliament for Nanaimo—Ladysmith for tabling this very important bill and proving she is a strong steward and champion for our environment. It follows the work she has been doing in our coastal communities for decades, and in one of her many roles as the chair of the Islands Trust

I would also like to thank the former New Democrat member of Parliament for Nanaimo-Cowichen, Jean Crowder, for her work in Parliament for more than a decade on this issue. There is no doubt that the NDP and our coastal community MPs have led the charge for healthy oceans and federal leadership in addressing abandoned and derelict vessels.

Bill C-352 is important for the environment and the economy in coastal communities for several reasons. It would end the run-around and finger-pointing by designating the Coast Guard as the agency responsible for directing the removal and recycling of abandoned vessels. This is fundamental when dealing with abandoned and derelict vessels. It would get taxpayers off the hook, by fixing vessel registration and creating a fee to help cover the cost of vessel disposal, like in Washington State. It would prevent vessels from becoming hazards by piloting a turn-in program at safe recycling facilities. It would be great for the economy and green jobs by supporting local marine salvage businesses. Most important, it would build a coast-wide strategy, in co-operation with local and provincial governments, in service of our constituents as coastal people.

These key points, and they are all key to the bill, were derived from more than 15 years of work and advocacy by local stakeholders in coastal communities in British Columbia, and I cited the former MP Jean Crowder and the current member from Nanaimo—Ladysmith, working with individuals, organizations, and local mayors and councils from my riding, from Tofino to Qualicum Beach through the Association of Vancouver Island Municipalities, and a resolution that was supported by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. This bill reflects their concerns and priorities.

However, the government's response to Bill C-352 has been inadequate and undemocratic. In fact, it shut out coastal voices. Instead of thoughtfully examining the bill, offering amendments, and allowing a free vote, the government has chosen another path, deciding to table Bill C-64, which is significantly different in that does not take the advice of local and regional stakeholders, who have been engaged in this issue for 15 years. It is not without merit, but has some gaping holes.

For instance, Bill C-64 would not create nor define a national strategy to deal with abandoned vessels. It has no turn-in program or a cash for clunkers incentive for owners who may be at risk of losing or considering abandoning their vessels at sea.

Finally, while Transport Canada admits there may be thousands of abandoned and derelict vessels along our coastlines today, there is no mechanism or plan to clear this backlog.

Unlike the government bill, BillC-352 directly deals with each of these glaring weaknesses. In spite of this, the government made an effort to defeat Bill C-352 before it could even be debated.

Again, I want to thank my colleague and neighbour from Nanaimo—Ladysmith for bringing this issue forward and for working and co-operating with other parliamentarians. My thanks for her good nature and commitment to progressive co-operation and getting results for her constituents and coastal communities. She has urged all MPs to give their unanimous consent to move the government's along to help our coastal constituents as quickly as possible.

My colleague has done incredible work in bringing coastal communities together, in bringing this forward and in demonstrating that she and the NDP members are leaders in defending coast communities on the environment and the protection of our coast.

Canada Shipping Act, 2001Government Orders

December 6th, 2017 / 5:40 p.m.
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NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, to the point of order, that is definitely a point of debate. I know my constituents know exactly how Liberals voted. We just have to take direction from the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, but that is beside the point.

The point is that this House, with its Liberal majority, decided that coastal voices were not going to get their turn. The Liberals denied my colleague her chance to bring forward legislation in this House and have it debated. It shows bully tactics and extreme lack of courage, and it is absolutely shameful behaviour on the part of a government that came in with a mandate to give more respect to Parliament and parliamentarians.

In fact, I remember the speech by the Prime Minister when I was at the orientation session for new members of Parliament. He kept going on about how important our role as private members was in this place, our ability to bring forward legislation, bring forward those ideas, put them in a bill, and have it debated and voted on so we could actually have recorded votes on where individual members of Parliament stand.

We will never get to know that now with Bill C-352. We will not know where B.C. Liberal MPs stand on that bill because they decided to make it non-votable. Those are the facts. I could go on and on, but I just want to end with this. No matter what their tactics, it will not stop us from speaking up strongly.

Again, I want to salute my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith for the incredible work she has done on this file. Even with the criticisms I have just levelled at the Liberal government, I can assure members that when it comes to Bill C-64, we will do our due diligence on it. We have given agreement in principle, but I believe there are important amendments. I look forward to the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith working on that bill and making sure it actually is the right fit for our important coastal communities.

Canada Shipping Act, 2001Government Orders

December 6th, 2017 / 5:40 p.m.
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NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, I just want to start by stating into the record what an absolute pleasure it is to have such a dedicated colleague like the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith. We are fortunate enough to be neighbours on beautiful Vancouver Island. We share a coastline. We both have a connection to Jean Crowder, the former member of Parliament Nanaimo—Cowichan. We often like to joke that it took two of us to replace Jean, because that is how good she was.

I want to set the stage for my constituents back home who may be watching this. We are here debating, and we have been given one hour for my colleague's Bill C-352. We are here because the Liberal government has used its majority, and has used bully tactics to silence her voice, to silence her right to take forward legislation in this House on behalf of her constituents.

The procedure and House affairs committee deemed this bill non-votable. The member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith appealed to this House and, for the first time ever, we had a historic secret ballot vote. We lobbied Liberal members of Parliament. We sent almost 30,000 emails to them from strong voices in coastal communities. However, still, the Liberals decided they were going to quash the member's voice and not let her stand in this place to bring forward legislation, as is the right of every member of Parliament in this place. That is why we are here today.

My riding has a long history with abandoned vessels. I could write a whole book just on Cowichan Bay and what it has gone through. In fact, we still have the SS Beaver below water, waiting for action to happen.

I have had a long history with abandoned vessels. The biggest problem with abandoned vessels has been the jurisdictional finger pointing. If it was laying on the seabed, it was the jurisdiction of the province, unless it was a municipality that had that particular foreshore; if it was an obstacle to navigation, the Coast Guard was called, which more likely than not would just tow it to the nearest sandbar and leave it there. In other instances, the port authorities could be involved. The main point is that constituents, when they found an abandoned vessel, had no idea who to turn to, and would just completely get the runaround.

I appreciate the government's efforts on Bill C-64. I am very glad that the House gave unanimous consent to move that important piece of legislation to committee. The argument that my colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith has made is that her bill fills in some important gaps, and the two bills complement each other. It comes down to coastal voices. We have worked so long on this legislation, for many years. We have had the backing of the Union of B.C. Municipalities, and many different organizations that are involved in protecting our coast.

For the Liberals to use their majority just to silence us, and to not even bring forward this bill for a vote shows an extreme lack of courage on their part. I would have loved to have seen coastal British Columbia members of Parliament—

Canada Shipping Act, 2001Government Orders

December 6th, 2017 / 5:30 p.m.
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Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is indeed an honour to stand before the House to talk to the private member's bill from our colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith, Bill C-352. It is unfortunate that we are speaking at a time when really the government has pretty much scuttled her bill, as we get jeers across the way, and really did everything in its power at every step of the way for the member of Parliament and her advocacy for the issue.

We cannot have a debate or a speech on abandoned vessels without first giving due to our hon. former colleague, John Weston, who also brought forth a bill very similar to this. It was in June 2015 in the 41st Parliament that Conservative MP John Weston introduced Bill C-695, which would have dealt with very similar issues or similar points that Bill C-64 and Bill C-352 have. One of the things that I will agree with our colleague across the way from South Shore—St. Margarets about is the responsibility. Whether it is somebody who is polluting or somebody who is abandoning a vessel, Conservatives also agree that there has to be some onus and responsibility on that person, the owner of that vessel or the person or organization that is doing the polluting.

One of the things that I will take a bit of deference to in terms of our hon. colleague who just spoke before us from South Shore—St. Margarets, whom I respect greatly, is the fact that her motion, Motion No. 40, really precipitated BillC-64. I would offer that it probably helped along the way, bringing the awareness to the government, but I would also then say that those who walked before us, including our hon. colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith and our hon. former colleague, Mr. John Weston, and the work that he did in the previous Parliament, set the ground for where we are today.

We have heard examples. While our hon. colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith did name the Expo 86 barge, it was affectionately known on the Pacific coast as the McBarge. I believe that is the one she was referring to. It was a floating McDonald's during Expo 86 and it had been towed out to Ladysmith. Some entrepreneur had some grand ideas as to what he or she was going to do with it. However, as with many of our small businesses, with all the whims and whimsies and “fail to plan” and “plan to fail” it sat there and collected rust.

In doing research for this speech today, I looked quickly in the news articles. Just recently, at the beginning of November, the Town of Ladysmith applied for federal funding to remove nine derelict vessels. That is unacceptable. Whether it is a small municipality on the Pacific coast or on the Atlantic coast, this is unacceptable and that is what the challenge has been in terms of abandoned vessels. Whose responsibility is it? There is a lot of finger pointing when there are abandoned and derelict vessels as to whose responsibility it is, who is going to take control of and mitigate the situation. What I felt was compelling in our hon. colleague's private member's bill, Bill C-352, was something that I was not aware of. I have to say that when I was tasked to talk to this, I actually reached out to our hon. colleague and wanted to find out a bit more about the issue. I am from British Columbia. I can read the headlines and know that there are challenges and issues there, but I confess I am in a landlocked area. Outside of maybe a rowboat, there are not a lot of the huge derelict vessels that we will see in some of our coastal communities.

Therefore, I want to know what the difference is between Bill C-64, and our hon. colleague's bill in the previous Parliament, Bill C-695, and our hon. colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith's bill, Bill C-352. She said that the fundamental difference is it assigns responsibility to the Coast Guard. I will touch on that quickly when I get a chance.

The overwhelming issue that we have, and I think our hon. colleague said it very articulately, is that when we are trying to track down the owner of a vessel that has perhaps changed hands three, four, or five times, how do we assign a fine to somebody who does not own that vessel anymore? The federal registration process for marine vessels is and has been flawed. I thought that Bill C-352 identified this issue, which I was unaware of. I look forward to Bill C-64 coming to committee and working with my colleague across the way from South Shore—St. Margarets to make some amendments to it, because I think there are some strong points that will allow us to finally put this issue to rest.

One of the things I want to talk about is the responsibility of the Coast Guard. Our hon. colleague from South Shore—St. Margarets made a great point. The responsibility, as it sits with Bill C-352, would go squarely on that of the Coast Guard. Somebody ultimately needs to take responsibility for that. Whether with respect to enforcement, or mitigating the issue and removing it from the waters, somebody should be responsible. There should be a singular group or organization that one can call when one has a ship that is rusting in one's area, whichever that is, the Coast Guard or Transport Canada. There is no finger pointing. The challenge is that we have a Coast Guard today, and I think my hon. colleague knows where I am going with this, that is challenged for resources. My hon. colleague across the way from South Shore—St. Margarets knows that this is something that as the shadow minister for this file I am deeply aware of. We have 27 marine vessels in our Coast Guard fleet with 75% to 148% of their notional lifespan. We have perhaps the oldest marine vessel fleet in the world.

Canada has the largest coastline in the world, yet we are asking our brave men and women in our Canadian Coast Guard to brave the waters, to enforce our Arctic sovereignty, and because 90% of all of Canada's trade goes by marine and waterways, to make sure that our seaways and waterways are free of ice so that our ports and communities can remain viable, and our mariners, fishermen, and those coastal communities can receive the services they require from our Canadian Coast Guard, with a fleet and resources from a federal organization that I believe requires some attention.

I understand I have about a minute left. I do not know if there is much more that needs to be said.

I congratulate our hon. colleague for her tireless efforts in seeing this through, and working with our former colleague, Mr. Weston, in supporting his bill also, Bill C-695. I know Mr. Weston supports Bill C-352. I look forward to perhaps having our hon. colleague at committee, and working with our colleague across the way from South Shore—St. Margarets, to do some great work, as we usually do at the fisheries committee, and come up with a piece of legislation that will protect our harbours and our coastal communities, and make sure that those who require the resources are getting it, like our Canadian Coast Guard.

Canada Shipping Act, 2001Government Orders

December 6th, 2017 / 5:25 p.m.
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Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to rise today to speak to Bill C-352. Before I speak to the bill, I want to sincerely thank the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith for her commitment to and her advocacy for coastal communities and the issue of abandoned and derelict vessels. We both agree that something has to be done about this ongoing problem.

I often use the example of a truck when I talk about abandoned vessels. If truckers are through with their rigs, they cannot leave them at the side of the road and expect someone else to look after them, so why should we expect anything different from people who own vessels.

During the election in 2015, I heard over and over again about the problem of abandoned and wrecked vessels and the problems they cause in our coastal communities. Living in Nova Scotia and representing a large coastal riding, this was not an issue that was uncommon to me. That was why I was happy to bring forward Motion M-40 to the House in February 2016.

My private member's motion helped put the issue of abandoned and wrecked vessels on the government's radar and set the wheels in motion, leading up to this fall, when the Minister of Transport introduced the government's bill C-64. This is comprehensive legislation that will deal with the ongoing problem of abandoned and wrecked vessels. We need to be proactive, not reactive.

I am proud of the fact that this legislation was based on a motion I put forward that was unanimously adopted in the House. Coastal communities have had a problem with these vessels, and those problems have been punted between federal, provincial, and municipal governments, because nobody wanted to deal with the issue. I am so happy that we have taken the initiative and are moving to provide long-term solutions to deal with this problem. Bill C-64 is a comprehensive plan that would address the problem of abandoned vessels and put the onus squarely on the owners, where the liability belongs.

Bill C-64 has many objectives that would be met to ensure a long-term solution to this issue. The bill aims to strengthen owner liability, including the cost of cleanup. It would address irresponsible vessel management, including by prohibiting vessel abandonment. It would enhance federal powers to take proactive action on problem vessels. It would introduce a compliance and enforcement regime, with offences and penalties, and it would clarify the roles and responsibilities of Transport Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Coast Guard. In short, it would make it illegal to abandon a vessel and would close loopholes that have made abandonment possible without recourse.

A key difference between Bill C-64 and Bill C-352 is the involvement of the Coast Guard as the receiver of all wrecks. On this difference, I believe that the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith and I have very different opinions.

In my opinion, our Coast Guard is there to serve our coastal communities with search and rescue operations and to conduct vital scientific research. To designate it a salvage organization would be inappropriate for these men and women and the role they provide in our coastal communities.

Currently, lobster fishers in my riding are braving the Atlantic Ocean at times that are trying and in weather that can turn on a dime. I would hate to think that at a time when they may be needed off our coast in an emergency situation, resources for the Coast Guard might be tied up dealing with an abandoned vessel that someone has dumped.

I believe that the responsibility for vessels belongs squarely with the people who own them, not with the Coast Guard, and ultimately the taxpayers of Canada. A significantly stronger regulatory regime to make sure we can identify who owns vessels and that owners have a proper way of disposal would be a more comprehensive and better way of dealing with this issue.

There are times when the government has to step in to help with removal, as was the case this summer with the removal of the Farley Mowat, in my riding. The town of Shelburne had done everything possible to have the Farley removed, but unfortunately, it was met with resistance at every turn. The federal government recognized that the town could no longer face the impending environmental disaster this ship posed and stepped in to have it removed. The people of the town of Shelburne were ecstatic to get rid of that rusting hulk of garbage after three years of trying everything. However, we need to deal with these vessels before they become the kind of problem the Farley Mowat did, and Bill C-64 would accomplish just that.

In closing, I again want to thank the member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith for her advocacy and her support of Bill C-64. I note that there are some differences between Bill C-352 and Bill C-64, but we all want the best solution to address this long-standing issue. I look forward to working together to make sure we get this right. Like my colleague, I want us to be able to deal with the issue of abandoned and derelict vessels so that our coastal communities do not have to.

Canada Shipping Act, 2001Government Orders

December 6th, 2017 / 5:10 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

moved that Bill C-352, An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy (abandonment of vessels), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, oil spills and marine debris from thousands of abandoned vessels across the country pollute our waterways and put local fishing and tourism jobs at risk. For too long, jurisdictional gaps have left coastal communities with nowhere to turn when they need help with abandoned vessels.

I first encountered this on Parker Island, a small island off Galiano. Constituents came to me saying that for 10 years they had been trying to get an enormous abandoned barge off of their white sand beach. They had asked every single department, provincially and federally, and got the runaround for 10 years. Someone had had a big dream of turning one of the old Expo 86 barges into a floating bed and breakfast, or something like that, but by the time it beached on the shore, it was rotting. My constituents would phone the Coast Guard, which would say it was a hazzard to navigation and that maybe they would have a look at it. The Coast Guard would then simply tie on the rotting pieces of rebar or the chunks of concrete or asbestos insulation that had fallen onto the beach. Children could not play there and the fisheries were harmed. It was a total mess, and no one would help.

I was chair of the Islands Trust Council at the time. We did not have any authority to deal with this, but we tried to find out whether this really was a result of a hole in jurisdiction and if other communities were having the same problem. We went to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities, the local government association for the Sunshine Coast on Vancouver Island. We took past resolutions, asking for action, to the Union of BC Municipalities, representing 180 municipal and rural governments all bound together.

One time, I led a delegation of 19 different local governments to meet with the Liberal B.C. minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations. There were 19 different local governments all in one room asking for help, saying that the minister should get it fixed or implore Ottawa to assume its responsibilities, that this was a marine issue, that it was about the oceans and vessel registration, and that the minister should be acting. Other countries act in regard to such vessels, but Canada fails to act.

For 10 years, we were completely ignored. That is one of the reasons I wanted to get elected as a member of Parliament: to bring the solutions here and to fix this once and for all.

During the course of the election campaign, the Viki Lyne II came into prominence in the riding I was hoping to represent. In Ladysmith Harbour, four years earlier, Transport Canada had found a beautiful old 100-foot fishing trawler adrift, the Viki Lyne II. She had been built in 1961 and had met a bad end. Transport Canada towed her into Ladysmith Harbour, which was viewed as a safe harbour, and there she sat for four years at anchor. Ladysmith had put an awful lot of effort into waterfront beautification, tourism promotion, and yet this horrific rusting hulk was sitting there, a hull that the Coast Guard, in a marine survey in year one, had said was maybe only being held together by the rust, yet it was a vessel with 125,000 litres of contaminants on board.

Ladysmith has jobs invested in aquaculture, tourism, and fisheries. All of them were threatened if the worst-case scenario happened to Viki Lyne II, and still we could not get action. A huge rally during the election campaign was organized by Take 5, one of the great local newspapers. Former MP Jean Crowder had been very active, trying to bring solutions to this. The former mayor of Ladysmith, Rob Hutchins, and then his successor, Aaron Stone, had a very strong alliance with the Stz'uminus First Nation. Here I raise my hands to Chief John Elliott, who was a very strong partner, he and his council. They repeatedly wrote letters to the federal government asking for help.

The Ladysmith Maritime Society, a community-owned marina, pushed as hard as it could for solutions. Finally, having been loud about this in question period, which some members might remember, a former fisheries minister, now the member for Nunavut, said that he would find a way to fund the removal of the Viki Lyne II. A little more than a year ago, there was a huge community celebration when, five years after was had first asked, the Viki Lyne II was finally towed away. In our effort, the Ladysmith Chronicle, a great local newspaper, had really helped us keep the pressure on and tell the story.

After the Viki Lyne II was towed away, every person who had been involved in her removal recommitted to a comprehensive coast-wide solution. The one off approach of dealing with the problem on a boat-by-boat basis, and not dealing with it until it became an emergency, had not been tenable. All them said that no community should have to work as hard as Ladysmith had to get that one boat removed.

Therefore, I brought to the House legislation based on all of the years of advice from coastal communities to fix vessel registration; to pilot a vessel turn-in program; to create good, green jobs by working with local salvage companies and innovating with recycling. Maybe we can find some markets for fibreglass, which has just not been done yet. Finally, my legislation aimed to end the jurisdictional runaround by making the Coast Guard the first point of contact. If someone finds an abandoned vessel, they contact the Coast Guard, and the Coast Guard works it out between other federal agencies who should take the first action.

From Tofino, B.C., to Fogo Island, Newfoundland, my legislation has been broadly endorsed. Fifty coastal communities; businesses; harbour authorities; marinas; and labour groups, such as the the BC Ferry and Marine Workers' Union, Vancouver District Labour Council, and the Union of BC Municipalities all endorsed my legislation.

This summer I went to Nova Scotia and met with local leaders from all over who are facing the same problem, and they all agreed that this legislation would meet their needs and that we needed to accelerate it. We kept raising the pressure, along with many of my other Vancouver Island colleagues, some whom are sitting with me here today. We raised the issue of abandoned vessels 80 times in the House just in this Parliament alone.

The government kept promising that action was imminent. It did announce some funding back in the spring, which was better than a kick in the head, but, honestly, a drop in the bucket, with $260,000 this year for small craft harbours and $300,000 for removal from anywhere else in the rest of the country. The bill for removing the Silver King from my colleague's riding of Courtenay—Alberni was $300,000. This one vessel would have blown the whole budget for the entire year. The capital regional district, which my colleague, the MP for Victoria, represents in part, has applied to the federal government for $1 million to remove the backlog of abandoned vessels. Therefore, $300,000 is not going to go very far.

Then, on October 22, another vessel sunk in Ladysmith Harbour, the Anapaya, which had already been on Transport Canada's inventory of vessels of concern for three years. It certainly was a lot more expensive to recover, and more damaging to local jobs and the environment once it was sitting on the bottom of Ladysmith Harbour leaking oil than if, proactively, we had been able to remove it before it sank. I am very grateful to the Coast Guard, as it has so many times risen to the call for action without really having the proper resources, and without a super-clear authority. Those good men and women of the Coast Guard have acted. However, we need to support and resource their work and give them clear responsibility.

On October 30, just eight days after the Anapaya sank, the transport minister introduced Bill C-64. The bill is compatible with my legislation, as there is no overlap. When I saw that the minister had finally acted, I thought, great, my bill would really fill the gaps in his bill, and both pieces of legislation could move forward together. The transport minister's bill does not legislate on the most pressing issues with abandoned vessels. It does not deal with the backlog and does not fix vessel registration. The transport minister wants to be able send fines and penalties to the owners of vessels, but if there is no proper vessel registry, how will he ever know where to mail the bill?

Therefore, these two pieces of legislation should have been able to go forward together. Again, because the government's bill did not deal with the backlog, part of my bill suggested a vessel turn-in program, kind of like the successful cash for clunkers program for vehicles, which many provinces have worked on. Without that kind of turn-in program, we will just not be able to deal with the backlog.

We have heard of all the procedural games the Liberals used. They blocked my bill at the procedure and House affairs committee. I went to an appeal and showed them exactly all of the ways the bills were compatible and not in conflict, but they used their majority on committee to vote me down. We then used an unprecedented tool that had never been used in the history of the House of Commons, a secret ballot vote.

Even under the cover of the secrecy of the ballot box, I had an awful lot of Liberal colleagues say they were sorry but were voting with the government on this one. I wish they had voted with coastal communities, voted to have the solutions from all of those coastal mayors, brought to this House, and at least had the courage to have these debated in committee. To me, it felt like a real betrayal of the Liberal commitment to work across the aisle co-operatively, and to work with local communities to find solutions. I am disappointed. None of the B.C. coastal voices are included in this legislation, and I do not believe there are any B.C. Liberals on the speaking list today who are willing to speak about why they did not want to support this bill. In contrast, in the previous Parliament, when the Liberals were the third party, they voted for former MP Jean Crowder's version of this bill. That included the fisheries minister, transport minister, and the prime minister. Anyway, times have changed.

Tonight is the end of the road for Bill C-352. It is what coastal communities have been asking for for decades, but this is our consolation prize final hour of debate. Because of the Liberal push, this will not go to committee or a vote, which almost never happens. However, here we are making history again.

Yesterday, I was very pleased to have the support of all parties of the House to fast-track the transport minister's bill, Bill C-64, to committee immediately. Our communities are so hungry for solutions, and I am really glad there was agreement to move that quickly. The minister's bill will go to committee and I will do my best, along with my colleagues, to insert as many of those coastal solutions that remain from my blocked bill within the minister's bill.

I will finish by saying that I continue to be awed by the power and innovation of coastal communities. These are people who take matters into their own hands, find fixes, and use the system to advocate for them. Honestly, they should not have had to work this hard. This should have been solved 15 years ago, as every other maritime country has pretty much done.

I will not forget that the Liberal government tried to stifle coastal voices. However, my resolve to include the innovation and problem-solving nature of coastal community leaderships into the government's bill continues so that we can finally solve the abandoned vessels problem and get it off the backs of coastal communities. For ecology, the economy, and local jobs, let us respect that coastal wisdom. Let us honour the advice of these elected local leaders and bring their abandoned vessels solutions to this House and into Canada's legislation.

Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels ActGovernment Orders

December 5th, 2017 / 3 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, because the abandoned vessel problem is so urgent and to give us a chance to insert, as early as possible, the solutions from coastal communities that used to be embedded in my non-votable Bill C-352, I ask for unanimous consent to move the following motion. I move:

That, notwithstanding any standing order or usual practice of the House, Bill C-64, An Act respecting wrecks, abandoned, dilapidated or hazardous vessels and salvage operations, be deemed read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.

Vote on the Designation of an ItemBill C-352—Canada Shipping Act, 2001Private Members' Business

November 30th, 2017 / 10:05 a.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

I wish to inform the House of the results of the secret ballot vote held over the last two sitting days.

Pursuant to Standing Order 92(4), I declare the motion in relation to the designation of Bill C-352, an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy (abandonment of vessels), negatived. Accordingly, Bill C-352 is declared non-votable.

Vote on the Designation of an ItemBill C-352—Canada Shipping Act, 2001Private Members' Business

November 29th, 2017 / 7:50 p.m.
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NDP

The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

Pursuant to Standing Order 92(4), I declare the vote on the designation of Bill C-352, an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy on the abandonment of vessels, completed.

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 7:51 p.m.)

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 29th, 2017 / 3:35 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise again to bring voices from Victoria, Nanaimo, and Ladysmith to this Parliament, given that the Liberals have blocked debate on my abandoned vessel legislation, Bill C-352. The petitioners urge Parliament to allow the bill to be debated in the House and to be deemed votable. This is based on the solutions in the proposed legislation to resolve the long-standing problem of abandoned vessels, having come directly from coastal communities. The petitioners cite fixing the vessel registry, creating a fee to assist with the cost of vessel disposal, supporting local marine salvage, and supporting recycling efforts.

With three hours left to vote today, I urge all members of Parliament to hear this petition.

Vote on the Designation of an ItemBill C-352—Canada Shipping Act, 2001Private Members' Business

November 29th, 2017 / 2 p.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

Pursuant to Standing Order 92(4), I direct that the vote on the designation of Bill C-352, an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy (abandonment of vessels), resume.

I would like to remind the members that they can obtain their ballot from the table officer seated on their side of the chamber. However, during statements by members, oral questions, and Committee of the Whole, ballots will be distributed from the corridor behind the Speaker's chair.

Abandoned VesselsStatements By Members

November 28th, 2017 / 2 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, today and tomorrow, Parliament votes in a historic secret ballot vote to unblock my abandoned vessel legislation.

A yes vote would mean yes to over 50 coastal communities from Tofino to Fogo Island that endorsed my Bill C-352; yes to the 23,000 letters my supporters sent Liberal MPs this week; yes to standing with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, Ladysmith, Victoria, Oak Bay, Stz'uminus First Nation, and many more local governments that built this legislation with their solutions; yes to filling all the gaps in the transport minister's new bill, like dealing with the backlog of abandoned vessels; yes to co-operation across party lines to solving long-standing oil spill problems, which is something all Canadians want to see; and yes to restoring the one chance I get as a member of Parliament to bring legislation to the House.

I ask members to please answer this united call for action. Vote yes and allow coastal community voices to be heard.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 28th, 2017 / 10:10 a.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I bring voices from Nanaimo, Ladysmith, and Victoria into the House. Because coastal communities have called on the government to act on the long-standing pollution risk of abandoned vessels, I have introduced Bill C-352. Liberals have blocked debate on Bill C-352. The petitioners urge members of Parliament to allow the bill to be debated and voted on in the House to bring all the resolutions of vessel turn-in, recycling, safe disposal, and fixing vessel registration.

Vote on the Designation of an ItemBill C-352--Canada Shipping Act, 2001Private Members' Business

November 28th, 2017 / 10:05 a.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

The Chair wishes to make a brief statement on the manner in which the secret ballot vote will be conducted on the designation of Bill C-352, an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy (abandonment of vessels). In so doing, I also wish to address the point of order raised yesterday by the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby.

With regard to the voting process, members may obtain their ballot from the table officer seated on their side of the chamber. They will then be able to mark their ballots in secret at one of the two voting stations situated in the corridor behind the Speaker’s chair. Completed ballots are to be deposited in the ballot box which will be placed at the foot of the table.

During statements by members and oral questions, ballots will be distributed from the corridor behind the Speaker's chair and the ballot box will also be placed there so as to not disrupt the proceedings.

With regard to the manner in which the results will be revealed, I am afraid that I cannot accept the argument made by the hon. member for New Westminster—Burnaby that this process should be treated differently from the only other analogous practice that exists in our Standing Orders, that for the election of the Speaker.

In that case, Standing Order 4(12) provides that all ballots and records of the number of preferences marked for any candidate are to be destroyed by the Clerk of the House. It also instructs the Clerk to in no way reveal the number of preferences marked for any candidate.

Standing Order 92 does not provide any direction to the Chair which would cause it to depart from that now established practice. Accordingly, when the two days of voting have been completed, the table officers will count the ballots and provide me with the final result, not the number of members voting for or against the motion.

I will then provide that result to the House at the opening of the sitting on Thursday, November 30.

The Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs may wish to consider this matter and if it deems necessary, provide further direction to the Chair with regard to the manner in which the result of the secret ballot is revealed.

Pursuant to Standing Order 92(4), I now direct that the vote on the designation of Bill C-352commence.

I thank hon. members for their attention.

Private Members' Business--Secret Ballot VotesPoints of OrderGovernment Orders

November 27th, 2017 / 4:40 p.m.
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NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am rising today concerning the practice that you will follow in the upcoming votes to determine the votability of Bill C-362, the important bill from the very dedicated and hard-working member of Parliament from Nanaimo—Ladysmith.

This is a very important and historic point in time. We have never used Standing Order 92(4)(a) and (b) before, and therefore the process that you use, Mr. Speaker, will determine the precedence for this in the future and for future parliaments. You may be tempted to follow the practice following upon the election of the Speaker, the only other time under our rules when we have this secret ballot vote. This practice has the clerk with the assistance of table officers conduct the count and, in the morning after the vote has been held, announce the decision of the vote with no reference to the number of ballots cast for each side of the question.

Mr. Speaker, I am asking for you to consider releasing the numeric results of the ballot and the names of the members of Parliament who have voted.

I understand the rationale for you, Mr. Speaker, not to release either result. This place runs on precedent and previous practice and the only other use of a secret ballot vote in the House is for the election of the Speaker. That procedure is prescribed by Standing Orders 2 through 7 and they are designed to show the importance of the following of these rules. They clearly say that for electing the Speaker, the only folks who shall handle the count will be those from the table. Our rules are also clear that there will be no release of the numeric ballot results, only the names of the candidates still on the ballot and the naming of the winner. Mr. Speaker, you know this very well as you went through the process.

I submit to you today, Mr. Speaker, that the procedure for the conduct of the secret ballot vote to determine if Bill C-352 will be allowed a vote is not analogous to the process of electing a Speaker. I submit to you that it is not appropriate to apply a procedure for the election of a Speaker to a question being put before the House as a normal part of the legislative process.

First, these two secret ballot votes are doing very different things. Electing a Speaker is a constitutional obligation of the House of Commons. Sections 44 through 49 of the Constitution Act, 1867, the core part of our Constitution, strictly deal with the election of the Speaker and the powers vested to the Speaker therein. The election process was designed back in the 1980s for the Speaker's election. Parliamentarians at that time had an objective of allowing the free and fair election of the Speaker and the rules were designed to make sure that the newly elected Speaker had the legitimacy and freedom to perform her or his important constitutional role in the strongest way possible. Parliamentarians made sure that our most trusted officials would be those conducting the election to make it above reproach. To make sure that the Speaker has the maximum confidence of the chamber that elects her or him, the number of the ballots would not be released so the Speaker's mandate would never be questioned.

I believe that the subject of Bill C-352 is of critical importance, especially to the coastal communities it would so strongly impact, but I have no illusion that if the bill is votable is on the same procedural or constitutional level as the election of a Speaker. When the rules for votability of private members' bills were being developed, which took place 15 to 20 years after the election of our first Speaker by secret ballot, it was not envisioned that the importance of that decision was on the same level as choosing the chief presiding officer over the elected assembly of our country. The decision before members of this Parliament in the next few days will be about a specific initiative of a private member being able to have a vote in the House. It is not a constitutional question, but rather part of the legislative process for private members' business.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, we have lots of PMB votes in this House. We know the questions and we get to know the results when the vote takes place and so do Canadians. We get to know how many members voted on each side of the question and we generally value the numeric value of the vote as a transparent way where Canadians can see their democracy at work, and that helps instill confidence in our system of government. I submit to you, Mr. Speaker, that it is antithetical for this place not to know what the numbers were on any side of any question, which is part of the legislative process. Our democracy is not simply about having representatives make decisions; it is about making decisions in a way that builds confidence in the people who sent us here to make decisions on their behalf, and we do that by being open and transparent.

At each stage of a bill, we vote openly and publicly so that our constituents know how their representative voted. That is also why the final result of the vote is communicated immediately, as the Speaker just did, so that everyone can see how much support there is for a given issue.

The purpose of the secret ballot under Standing Order 92(4)(b) is to allow members to vote freely without their party whip knowing how they voted. This different way of voting stemmed from a desire to give members greater freedom to express themselves on private members' business and was part of a push for a clearer distinction between government business and private members' business during the reforms of 2002 and 2003. Those changes were designed to achieve a clear distinction in terms of both procedure and content.

Other aspects of this reform included the creation of the private members' draw, the exclusion of ministers and parliamentary secretaries from the process, the different voting method for members of the House, and the establishment of a separate order of precedence from government business. It was in that spirit that Standing Order 92(4)(b) was created.

Page 32 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, Second Edition, states that “Responsible government has long been considered an essential element of government based on the Westminster model.” It goes on to say that “responsible government means that a government must be responsive to its citizens, that it must operate responsibly (that is, be well organized in developing and implementing policy) and that its Ministers must be accountable or responsible to Parliament.” For there to be confidence in responsible government, I submit that being open and transparent is essential.

Because the appeal process that we are undertaking this week by secret ballot, starting tomorrow, has never happened in this place before, it is totally appropriate for you to decide how the result of this vote should be released, not based on the practice used for the election of the speaker, for the reasons I have just set out, but based as much as practical on the rules we use in the legislative process, those of clarity and transparency. It is up to you, Mr. Speaker, that the spirit of the drafters of this Standing Order be heard. I therefore ask that, like all other parts of the legislative process, the numerical results of the decision on the votability of Bill C-352 be made public.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 27th, 2017 / 3:15 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I again bring voices of coastal communities into the House to urge the government to adopt my legislation, Bill C-352, to solve the long-standing problem of abandoned vessels.

The petitioners from Nanaimo and Ladysmith urge this Parliament in particular to vote in favour of unblocking debate on the legislation. They want to see their solutions, which they have been advocating for decades, come to the House for full debate. They urge parliamentarians, in the vote tomorrow or the next day, to accede to the hope that their voices will be heard.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 24th, 2017 / 12:15 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, I rise again in the House to present petitions signed by coastal people who are urging the House to adopt my Bill C-352, which would solve the problem of abandoned vessels. These signatories are from Port Saunders and Corner Brook, Newfoundland, and on the west coast, Nanaimo and Ladysmith.

The petitioners urge that the bill and its remedies for fixing vessel registration in order to deal with the backlog of abandoned vessels and with recycling and green jobs all be advanced. All of these are pieces that would fill holes in the government's Bill C-64.

The EnvironmentOral Questions

November 24th, 2017 / 11:40 a.m.
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NDP

Anne Minh-Thu Quach NDP Salaberry—Suroît, QC

Madam Speaker, for too long, administrative shortfalls have left shoreline communities struggling unaided to dispose of abandoned vessels.

In Beauharnois, many environmental concerns have been expressed about the Kathryn Spirit. We are talking about tens of tonnes of hazardous materials and contaminated water.

The Liberals' Bill C-64 fails to properly address the problem of vessels being left to rot for years in shoreline communities.

Will the Liberals finally work with these communities and with the NDP by debating Bill C-352 in order to fill the gaps in their own bill?

Bill C-352--Canada Shipping Act, 2001Private Members' BusinessGovernment Orders

November 23rd, 2017 / 4:05 p.m.
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Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Geoff Regan

On Monday, November 20, 2017, the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs presented its 46th report to the House. The recommendations set forth in the report designated Bill C-352, an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy (abandonment of vessels), standing in the name of the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith as non-votable.

Pursuant to Standing Order 92(4), the member appealed the committee's decision by filing with the Speaker an appeal motion signed by the member and five other members representing a majority of the recognized parties in the House. I wish to inform the House that the appeal by the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith concerning the designation of Bill C-352, an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy on the abandonment of vessels, conforms with Standing Order 92(4). Accordingly, I order a vote by secret ballot on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, and Wednesday, November 29, 2017, on the following motion:

That Bill C-352, An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy (abandonment of vessels) be declared votable.

The hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith is rising on a point of order.

Abandoned VesselsStatements By Members

November 22nd, 2017 / 2:20 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, for decades, jurisdictional gaps have left coastal communities with nowhere to turn when they need help cleaning up abandoned vessels. Oil spills and marine debris from thousands of vessels pollute our waterways and put local fishing and tourism jobs at risk. This is the 83rd time I have raised this.

Fifteen years of coastal community solutions are built into our legislation to fix vessel registration, deal with the backlog, support good green jobs and recycling, and end the run around by making the Coast Guard the first responder and resourcing it.

However, on November 9, the Liberals blocked debate on my bill, an unprecedented interference. This week I will appeal so that coastal voices are heard. The government's new legislation and my bill would complement each other and, with the public's help, both could proceed.

I ask Canadians to please ask their MP to vote yes in next week's first-time and historic secret ballot vote to have Bill C-352 be votable, and to hear coastal community voices.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 20th, 2017 / 3:20 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I stand in the House once again to present petitions from voters in Nanaimo and on Gabriola Island, calling on the government to accede to their recommendations, bundled into my Bill C-352, to finally bring solutions to abandoned vessels.

The petitioners call on Parliament to get taxpayers off the hook for the cleanup of oil spills from abandoned vessels by fixing vessel registration, by creating good green jobs, by investing in recycling, and a turn-in boat program, and making, first and foremost, the Canadian Coast Guard the lead agency to be the receiver of wrecks so communities no longer get the run-around when they call for help.

How sad that the Liberal majority on PROC has called for the bill to be deemed non-votable and not debated in the House. We will appeal.

Procedure and House AffairsCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

November 20th, 2017 / 3:15 p.m.
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Liberal

Larry Bagnell Liberal Yukon, YT

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 45th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs in relation to its study of the supplementary estimates (B) for the fiscal year 2017-18.

I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 46th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. The committee advises that, pursuant to Standing Order 92(3)(a), the committee reports that it has concurred in the report of the Subcommittee on Private Members' Business arising that Bill C-352, an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy on the abandonment of vessels, should be designated non-votable.

November 9th, 2017 / 1:35 p.m.
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NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Thank you very much, Mr. Christopherson.

As I mentioned in the presentation, Bill C-364 touches the same subject, amending the Election Act, as Bill C-50 and Bill C-33, so there's a bit of an inconsistency between two decisions with bills that have subjects that are similar to the subjects of government bills but are being treated in a different way.

As I said earlier, and I can't stress this enough, the intent of providing more scope for private members' business, as Mr. Christopherson said very eloquently just now, has always been to open the scope for each of us as a private member. It has nothing to do with whatever party we're affiliated with. It has much more to do with our rights as members.

This committee has always been the committee that has stood up for the prerogatives of members of Parliament. You have a very important role to play in that regard. This is, I think, a key circumstance, in that there's a bit of a loophole and that's why you're being asked in a sense to hear this appeal and make what I believe would be the right decision, which is to make Bill C-352 votable, because I think it meets all the tests. It certainly meets the intent as well of where we have evolved on private members' legislation, and you're the ones who can come to the defence of private members' legislation with this appeal that Ms. Malcolmson has brought to your attention.

November 9th, 2017 / 1:15 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Thank you, Peter.

There were two bills, Bill C-352 and its predecessor, which I tabled as Bill C-219 in February 2016, just a month after we had been sworn in. Then I reintroduced a new version of it in April 2017: Bill C-352. It's very skinny. The government's bill, tabled 10 days ago, Bill C-64, is much more hefty. That's my first point of comparison.

I will show you how these two bills are not redundant and how they are not contradictory. I urge you to deem my private member's bill votable.

There are a number of points of comparison.

With regard to national strategy, Bill C-64 is not a national strategy. The word does not appear once in the legislation. The government's briefing notes make that clear as well. It's not a national strategy; my bill is all about developing a national strategy.

The next comparison is with regard to royal recommendation. Bill C-64 requires the appropriation of public revenue and, as such, has received a royal recommendation. My bill does not.

With regard to penalties, in Bill C-64 there's a compliance and enforcement regime that is extensive. It creates a whole new set of violations and penalties for abandonment of vessels. My bill does none of these things. Arguably, my bill would make it easier to actually enforce those penalties in Bill C-64.

Another related point of comparison is enforcement tools. In Bill C-64, there is a whole suite of tools for enforcement provided to the Minister of Transport, a number of fines. My bill does none of these things.

With regard to enforcement officers and the justice system, they're also very different. Bill C-64 creates powers for enforcement officers, for the Transportation Appeal Tribunal, for the justice of the peace, for the Attorney General. Bill C-352 does none of these.

With regard to receiver of wreck, my bill designates the Canadian Coast Guard as the receiver of wreck. This was the same in Jean Crowder's bill in the previous Parliament, which a number of members of the government supported at that time. In the government's bill, that's not the approach. Bill C-64 keeps it as a multi-jurisdictional approach and keeps the receiver of wreck within the umbrella of the Minister of Transport, so again they are different approaches, not duplicative.

With regard to consultation, in my bill the Minister of Transport would consult with stakeholders and coastal people to discuss the development of a strategy. That's not envisioned in Bill C-64.

With regard to international conventions, Bill C-64, the government's bill, would implement the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks. My bill requires the government to assess the benefits of acceding to that convention. Again, they're compatible, not duplicative or in conflict.

A vessel turn-in program is something that coastal communities have been requesting for more than a decade. On the model of the cash-for-clunkers program, this would be a way to deal with the backlog of abandoned vessels. Bill C-352 has that as one of its key elements. This bill has been endorsed by the Union of BC Municipalities and, across the country, by at least 50 different coastal organizations and harbour authorities. That is not a part of Bill C-64. Again, they're completely different. Bill C-64 does not legislate that.

In order to deal with the backlog of abandoned vessels, my bill has a number of measures that would legislate to address the backlog of what Transport Canada says might be thousands of abandoned vessels. Bill C-64 does not have measures to deal with the backlog, so again they're not in conflict, not contradictory, but arguably compatible.

A fund for vessel disposal modelled on what Washington state implemented 15 years ago is not addressed in Bill C-64, and the transport minister's briefing notes make that very clear. A fee associated with vessel registration going into a pool to deal with emergency removals is not something that is in Bill C-64. It is in my bill.

Amendments to other acts are another point of difference. Bill C-64 amends other acts, including the Navigation Protection Act, the Oceans Act, the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act, the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act, the Customs Act, and the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act. My bill does none of these things.

Turning to review mechanisms in Bill C-64, there's a review proposed on the fifth anniversary of the day the bill comes into force. That would be to the committee of the Senate, the House of Commons, and/or of both Houses of Parliament. My bill only requires the transport minister to prepare and table a report to Parliament.

There are many more points of comparison. I haven't run through them all. I just hope that is sufficient to convince you that these two bills are distinctly different. They're not contradictory; they're arguably compatible. They have the same big-picture aim, but the House can absolutely hear both of them, and I sincerely believe the minister's bill would do better with mine in place.

I urge you to reject and overturn the subcommittee's ruling and I urge you to rule that my abandoned vessel private member's bill C-352 be deemed votable.

I'll turn it back to my colleague, Peter Julian.

November 9th, 2017 / 1:10 p.m.
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NDP

Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

I also want to thank you, Ms. Malcolmson. We are very happy to have an opportunity to speak with you today about why Bill C-352 should be votable in the House of Commons.

Since your committee is in charge of all the prerogatives of Parliament, the decision you have to make is important.

There are three main arguments I would like to put forward at the beginning.

First off, as you will see, Bill C-352 is in fact quite a different piece of legislation from the government bill, Bill C-64, and therefore should not be considered the same question as Bill C-64, which is currently on the Order Paper.

Second, the subcommittee was incorrect in applying the criteria to Bill C-352 because it was similar to Bill C-64 at the same meeting where it applied different criteria, it seemed, to Bill C-364, which was declared votable, despite being on the same subject and amending the same Canada Elections Act as Bill C-50 and Bill C-33. There's an inconsistency there.

Third, allowing the subcommittee decision to stand is allowing the government to violate the separation of private members' business and to let it do through the back door what the rules were designed to forbid through the front door: to deny individual members their right to vote on their preferred item of private members' business.

As we all know, government bills are subject to party discipline. Private members' bills have been the exception to this, and in our bible, which is O'Brien and Bosc, House of Commons Procedure and Practice, it is clear that these rules were developed over decades, leading to a system based on the following fundamental characteristics: each member should have “at least one opportunity per Parliament to have an item of Private Members' Business debated” and voted upon, and “each item in the Order of Precedence would be votable, unless the sponsor opted to make it non-votable.”

The basic premise for PMBs is that government business is fundamentally different from private members' business. This premise was put in place to protect individual initiatives from members against the power of majority governments, including the power to try to knock off a bill.

Now, to emphasize the differences, the House has many rules built in to reflect the separation of government and private members' business. Amendments to private members' motions can only be moved with the consent of the sponsor. PMB recorded divisions, as we know, are done row by row in the chamber, and not by party. The lottery is designed to exclude ministers and parliamentary secretaries from PMBs, and if the committee makes a decision and it is appealed, the appeal is done by secret ballot on the floor of the House of Commons. The only other time this arises is when we elect a Speaker at the beginning of Parliament.

I would like to pass the microphone back now to Ms. Malcolmson, who will explain why Bill C-352 is so different from Bill C-64.

November 9th, 2017 / 1:10 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Thank you, Chair, and thank you to the committee members for agreeing to hear my appeal.

I know you've had a long day already, and I really appreciate your hearing my argument that my private member's bill, Bill C-352, be deemed votable.

Because I've raised this issue 80 times in the House since being elected, I'm guessing that you already understand the imperative to act on this issue, so I'm not going to describe it. I would like to start our presentation by turning to New Democrat House leader Peter Julian. He'll be able to talk a little bit about the history of PMBs and some of the process part, then I will make the technical comparison, arguing that the government's bill and my bill are not in conflict.

November 9th, 2017 / 1:10 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Larry Bagnell

Good afternoon. Welcome back to the 78th meeting of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs. For members' information, we are in public.

Pursuant to Standing Order 92(2), we are considering the second report of the Subcommittee on Private Members' Business, which was deposited with the clerk of the committee on Monday, November 6. The subcommittee recommended that Bill C-352, an act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001, and to provide for the development of a national strategy on the abandonment of vessels, be designated non-votable.

Today we are happy to be joined by the bill's sponsor, Sheila Malcolmson, MP for Nanaimo—Ladysmith, who will explain why she believes the bill should be votable. Ms. Malcolmson would also like Mr. Julian to be part of this presentation, if that's okay with the committee.

Okay.

I'll start with you, Ms. Malcolmson.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

November 6th, 2017 / 3:40 p.m.
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NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Mr. Speaker, the second petition has to do with constituents who want strong action to clean up abandoned vessels.

I have to recognize my colleague, the hon. member for Nanaimo—Ladysmith, because the petitioners are calling on the government to support her Bill C-352, and to immediately get the federal government to be a main player to do some much-needed work to clean up our coasts.

We are a coastal nation, and this is needed by many constituents, both in my riding and across this great country.

November 6th, 2017 / 9:15 a.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Filomena Tassi

Yes.

All those in favour of declaring that Bill C-352 be designated as a non-votable item? The clerk will go through the names and you can record your vote.

(Motion agreed to: yeas 2; nays 1)

That's carried. Now the protocol is that this goes to PROC.

The second motion is that the chair report the subcommittee's findings to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs as soon as possible.

Are we in agreement with that?

(Motion agreed to)

November 6th, 2017 / 9:15 a.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Filomena Tassi

Essentially that would be the decision of this committee, and then this committee would refer that decision to PROC.

Are we in agreement, then, that a motion now be put forward that Bill C-352 be designated as a non-votable item?

November 6th, 2017 / 9:10 a.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Filomena Tassi

We'll say that save and except for Bill C-352, the subcommittee will present a reporting list of the remaining items, which it has determined should not be designated non-votable, and recommend that they be considered by the House, exempting Bill C-352.

(Motion agreed to)

Now we'll go back to Bill C-352, An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy on abandonment of vessels.

Does anyone wish to make comments?

November 6th, 2017 / 9:10 a.m.
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David Groves Committee Researcher

I reviewed all the items, and an issue came up with only one item, Bill C-352, An act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy (abandonment of vessels).

The issue is that the government recently tabled Bill C-64, An act respecting wrecks, abandoned, dilapidated or hazardous vessels and salvage operations, which is also about wrecks and abandoned vessels.

Bill C-352 involves creating regulations on wreck removal and developing this national strategy. Bill C-64 is much more comprehensive. It also involves the creation of regulations on wreck removal, and it deals with the issue of wreck removal generally.

The rule in this committee is that bills and motions must not concern questions currently on the Order Paper and Notice Paper as items of government business. The question in both bills is dilapidated boats, abandoned vessels, and wrecks.

Fisheries and OceansAdjournment Proceedings

October 19th, 2017 / 7:10 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, these are all good words, but without any legislation to back them up, I am afraid that coastal communities are going to be asked to wait again. The money announced by the government for abandoned vessel removal is a drop in the bucket, given the scale of the problem. There are thousands of abandoned vessels. The number is growing as recreational and commercial fleets age, but the budget announcements were only, to Transport Canada, $300,000 for this year and, to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, $260,000 for this year. The price tag for the Viki Lyne II removal alone was $1.2 million.

Given the tiny budget announcement and the backlog of thousands of abandoned vessels, it will take multiple decades to deal with them all at this pace.

My legislation would get taxpayers off the hook by fixing vessel registration and creating a fee to help cover the cost of vessel disposal. In the absence of the government having its own legislation to offer the House, will it adopt my legislation, Bill C-352, to solve the long-standing pollution problem of abandoned vessels?

Fisheries and OceansAdjournment Proceedings

October 19th, 2017 / 7:05 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, last weekend, community volunteers and local governments, tired of waiting, took action themselves by cleaning up abandoned vessels despoiling shorelines in the district of Oak Bay.

Oil spills and marine debris from thousands of abandoned vessels pollute our waterways and put local fishing and tourism industry jobs at risk. For too long, jurisdictional gaps have left coastal communities with nowhere to turn when they need help cleaning up abandoned vessels. It is taking a huge financial toll on local governments and volunteers. Oak Bay's local government paid $4,000. The Province of B.C. paid $10,000. Last fall, the neighbouring municipality of Saanich paid $50,000 to clean up abandoned boats along its shoreline. The Oak Bay local government said that there are more derelict boats to deal with in its area, but it will not be able to afford to pay what it did for this past weekend's cleanup every year.

Coastal volunteers have carried the load of abandoned vessels for too long, when provincial and federal governments should have been taking the lead on this long-standing coastal pollution problem.

Josie Osborne, mayor of the District of Tofino, wrote to me saying:

Derelict and abandoned vessels present a significant and costly risk to coastal communities and marine ecosystems. It is far beyond the capacity of local governments to pay for the removal of derelict vessel or even to navigate the complex, multi-jurisdictional nature of derelict and abandoned vessels. Despite society's wish to deal with wrecked vessels, there is no practical or reasonable framework to preventing and responding to wrecks. Bill C-352 would change this.

From Tofino, B.C., to Fogo Island in Newfoundland and Labrador, coastal communities are urging the Liberal government to adopt my legislation, Bill C-352, to clean up abandoned vessels and protect our waterways and coastlines. These include the Union of BC Municipalities, which last month, at its 1,800 member convention, endorsed my bill; the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities; the District of Oak Bay; the District of Tofino; and altogether more than 50 coastal organizations from both sides of the country. I also have the support of the Ladysmith Maritime Society and marinas, harbours, and port authorities from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and British Columbia.

These endorsements highlight that coastal communities cannot wait any longer to fix the abandoned vessels problem. When will the government heed coastal communities' repeated calls for action and adopt my legislation to solve the long-standing problem of abandoned vessels?

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 18th, 2017 / 3:30 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, to solve, once and for all, the long-standing abandoned vessel problem, I bring again to the House voices from Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Gabriola Island, and Honeymoon Bay calling on the government to vote in favour of my bill, Bill C-352. It would make the Coast Guard the responsible agency, the one-stop shop, for dealing with emergency abandoned vessels and would also institute a program, in co-operation with coastal communities and the provinces, to deal with vessel recycling, finding new markets for fibreglass, and preventing the oil spill risks that abandoned vessels pose. I urge Parliament and the government to take the advice of these petitioners and act now for coastal communities.

Fisheries and OceansNational DefenceAdjournment Proceedings

October 2nd, 2017 / 6:35 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week, the Union of BC Municipalities endorsed my abandoned vessel legislation at its convention of 1800 delegates. This vote, from the largest organization of local governments in British Columbia, highlights that coastal communities cannot wait any longer for solutions to fix abandoned vessels.

Oil spills and marine debris from thousands of abandoned vessels pollute our waterways and put local jobs in tourism and fishing at risk. Across Canada, coastal communities are sounding the alarm but, after years of neglect, the Liberal government will not commit the resources needed to deal with the backlog of abandoned boats. Its announcements this year for the removal of abandoned vessels are $300,000 to cover the whole country, plus another $260,000 to deal with DFO-owned small craft harbour abandoned vessels. That is a drop in the bucket for the thousands of boats that need removing.

So far, over 50 coastal organizations from across Canada have endorsed my abandoned vessel legislation, Bill C-352. They include the City of Nanaimo; Islands Trust Council; the Town of Ladysmith; the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities; the BC Ferry and Marine Workers' Union, representing 4,000 members; and the Vancouver & District Labour Council, representing 60,000 members. I have the support of marinas and harbour and port authorities from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, and British Columbia.

This week, we are celebrating the one-year anniversary of the removal of the abandoned vessel Viki Lyne II from Ladysmith Harbour, where it had languished as a blight for four years. It was a big step for my community, after years of effort by former New Democrat MP Jean Crowder, Stz'uminus Chief John Elliott, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and the Ladysmith Maritime Society. I am so glad that, working together, we were able to get federal action from Parliament to tow it away.

In July, I brought my campaign to Nova Scotia, where I spoke with marine allies about what they need to get rid of abandoned vessels on their coastline. In September, concerned residents from Cowichan Bay and beyond came to the town hall that I hosted with the member of Parliament for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford. Residents were eager to talk about solutions to the problem that has been plaguing their coastline for decades. From Tofino, B.C., to Fogo Island, Newfoundland, coastal communities are urging the Liberal government to adopt my legislation to clean up abandoned vessels and protect our waterways and coastlines. Returning to Parliament today with these endorsements, will the government heed the call of coastal communities that the government adopt my legislation and solve, once and for all, the abandoned vessel problem?

Oceans ActGovernment Orders

September 29th, 2017 / 10:05 a.m.
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NDP

Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for North Island—Powell River.

I want to thank the government for presenting the proposed legislation to the House for debate.

No one on our planet has officially declared them an enemy but, make no mistake, our oceans are under attack. Canada has pledged to the international community to protect 5% of Canada's marine areas by 2017 and 10% by 2020, with the aim of halting the destruction of habitats and ecosystems to protect our oceans.

To date, Canada has only protected 1.5% of its oceans with marine protected areas, and we are falling behind. China is at 1.6% and Japan at 5.6%. Australia and the United States are much further ahead, with 33.2% and 30.4% protected respectfully. Canada needs to set strong protection standards in line with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and set legislated protected targets, if it is to meet its international commitments.

While Bill C-55 is unquestionably a step forward, it is a small one, with many glaring weaknesses. Two glaring weakness I would like to address directly are its failure to address the specific threats posed by marine debris and plastics in our oceans, and that it does not acknowledge the need for direct, permanent, and easily accessible funding for marine and coastal debris cleanup.

One of the greatest threats to the health of our oceans is the disposal of plastics into these beautiful bodies of water, be it accidental or purposeful disposal by cargo ships, so-called “ghost gear” lost by fishers, derelict fishing and pleasure craft, human waste from tourism and recreation, or the careless disposal of single-use consumer plastics. We are rapidly destroying our ocean and coastal ecosystem with plastics.

A study conducted by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in Great Britain found that plastic production has increased twentyfold since 1964, reaching 311 million tonnes in 2014. It is expected to double again in the next 20 years, and almost quadruple by 2050. If humanity continues down this path, the ocean is expected to contain one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050 plastics will outweigh fish. Therefore, by 2050, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish.

While Bill C-55 and the ocean protection plan has some good measures, I find it baffling that there is no mention of either the word “plastic” or “debris” in the proposed legislation. Therefore, to illustrate the threat posed to our oceans and coastline with debris and plastics, I would like to highlight two local cases from Courtenay—Alberni: the Denman Island and Baynes Sound industrial debris epidemic, and the Hanjin debris field between Tofino and Ucluelet on the west side of Vancouver Island.

The Denman Island and Baynes Sound debris epidemic is caused by the local shellfish industry activity, although other sources have contributed to this problem.

Baynes Sound is home to 50% of all the shellfish aquaculture produced in British Columbia. In fact, 38% of the herring spawn on the west coast runs through Baynes Sound. Herring is critical. It is critical to our salmon, which is also critical to our orcas. Everything is interconnected when it comes to our sensitive marine ecosystems on the west coast.

Since the onset of DFO-regulated aquaculture, Denman Islanders have cleaned up between four and five tonnes of aquaculture debris each year in their annual cleanup initiative. The shellfish industry is a vital local economic driver, and it has made a serious effort to reduce its waste. However, it is the dedicated volunteers, local residents, who have engaged in these cleanup initiatives on many days and weekends each year, and they receive no official support or funding from the federal government.

The Hanjin debris field between Tofino and Ucluelet on the west side of Vancouver Island is well documented in the House. However, it bears mention, given the nature of the bill and the government's continued inaction on marine debris.

The Hanjin debris field was caused when 35 large shipping containers fell off an international cargo ship last November. It was the locals who came to the rescue as huge metal pieces of cargo spread along our coast. There were large swaths of styrofoam connected to those metal pieces that spread out. However, government inaction has actually increased the cost of cleaning up the spill.

This spill occurred in November. We were in the House raising this concern, calling on the federal government to take action, but it did not support this call to action. It was the government's negligence that allowed this spill to spread, and now it is costing local communities thousands of dollars to clean it up.

I have to applaud Pacific Rim National Park Reserve staff, because they appealed to the bankruptcy court of the shipping company, Hanjin, and they received $76,600 from the estate. That money went back to Ottawa within a month of this incident, yet Ottawa sat on that money until May before it started releasing it to the community to do the job. It is unbelievable to see how inept the government was at getting the money back to the community to do its work. This tripled the cost to the community.

The government itself has contributed nothing to this cleanup effort, which was one of the largest marine debris spills on the west coast. This is the government that takes pride in saying that it has a great ocean protection plan. It claims to be looking out for us and protecting our coast, but we on the ground know what it looks like.

It is volunteer groups like the Pacific Rim chapter of Surfrider that came to the government's rescue. These are great Canadians, who have put aside their own time in the community to protect the environment.

The Denman Island and Baynes Sound debris epidemic and the Hanjin debris field were the result of a massive amount of debris and plastic washing ashore along our beautiful coastline. That threatened our ecosystems. This debris was left there until volunteers engaged in tedious and lengthy cleanup efforts at their own expense.

I want to thank local groups like the Pacific Rim chapter of Surfrider. Clayoquot Action raised $90,000. People went out in barges and helicopters to remove this debris on their own, because they could not wait any longer. Denman Island Marine Stewards, CPOC, the Wild Pacific Trail Society, and Tla-O-Qui-Aht First Nation tribal parks are groups in my riding alone that stepped up to the plate because of government inaction.

Nationally, we see there are groups like the World Wildlife Foundation and West Coast Environmental Law. Ocean Legacy is a group that goes up and down the coast collecting marine debris. It has received nothing from the federal government today, except for $25,000 for the Japanese tsunami debris. It took eight months for that money to get back to the communities after Ottawa sat on it while debris lined up along our coast.

The Vancouver Aquarium and University of Victoria environmental law centre are also doing great work to raise awareness about the need for federal action on marine debris.

I want to compliment these groups. These are great Canadians, and the government has not had their backs. Instead of empowering them, it has disempowered them by leaving them hanging out to dry.

It has been local governments, like the District of Tofino and District of Ucluelet and the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, that recently came to save the day after local volunteers collected tonnes of marine debris and trash and put it together in super sacks. The Pacific National Park promised to pick up the debris and remove it, but it ran out of money. The local communities were told that they could not finish the job. It was the local government that stepped up to the plate, because it was not going to betray local communities like the federal government has done so far.

Again, I want to compliment those local leaders for making sure that they have the local people's backs. They are truly committed to keeping our marine and coastal ecosystems clean. They want the government to feel the same way and to be partners in their efforts, directly and permanently, with accessible funding to support their work.

The government keeps talking about its ocean protection plan. I will tell the House what it looks like so far. The government made an announcement on derelict vessels and committed $6.8 million over five years, roughly about two boats a year, despite the fact that it has identified 600 abandoned and derelict boats. It will take about 300 years to clean up the abandoned and derelict boats with the way that the Liberals are going.

Washington state is a great model. My colleague from Nanaimo—Ladysmith has presented her Bill C-352, which contains a comprehensive coastal-wide strategy to clean up abandoned vessels. The government could adopt this legislation, but it has decided not to.

There is the coastal restoration fund on salmon. The government has not given money to communities like mine, which desperately needs it.

We have seen how the Liberals have handled marine debris. We have seen how they have failed to deliver marine training, as they promised, to indigenous communities. The Liberals are falling well short of delivering on their ocean protection plan to coastal communities.

I want to close my remarks by thanking the government for tabling the bill. We will support Bill C-55 at second reading, but the government needs to set minimum protection standards and targets for zoning for marine protected areas. It renders the designation inconsistent at best and meaningless at worst, if they do not do something to deal with the ramifications of everything and have everything interconnected.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 26th, 2017 / 10:05 a.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise again in the House to present petitions signed by citizens of my riding of Nanaimo—Ladysmith

The petitioners are calling on the federal government to act on the pressing problem of abandoned vessels. They call on the government to prevent the oil spill risks, the navigation risks, and the impact on local jobs and the economy.

Tonight I head to a convention of the Union of BC Municipalities. At this convention, 1,800 delegates have a recommendation before them to endorse my private member's bill, Bill C-352. We hope this Parliament will take their advice.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 20th, 2017 / 3:25 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, to solve the longstanding problem of abandoned vessels on three of Canada's coasts, I proposed legislation, Bill C-352,, calling on the federal government to legislate a solution to this longstanding problem. Petitioners from Gabriola Island, Vancouver, Cowichan Bay, Duncan, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Chemainus all urge the government to work together with the provinces and local coastal communities to identify the Coast Guard as the point of first responsibility in responding to abandoned vessels so they will not create oil spills and threaten maritime jobs and economies. They also call for innovative solutions around recycling and product stewardship that would create salvage markets for these problem vessels.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

September 19th, 2017 / 10:05 a.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I stand once again with many signatories in coastal communities who call for the federal government to legislate a solution to the long-standing problem of abandoned vessels on all three of Canada's coasts. Bill C-352 is my legislation that we are calling on Parliament to adopt, in the absence of the government proposing its own legislative remedy. It would designate the Coast Guard as one-stop shopping and the first responsible agency. It would work with local governments and provinces to create incentives for people turning in their abandoned vessels, therefore preventing the pollution and oil spill risks; and it would also work with local salvage companies to work on the products' stewardship and fibreglass recycling, which might be one of the nuts we can crack around getting a solution.

If the government were to accede to this motion, it would be in very good company. We have resolutions of support from local governments from Vancouver Island in the west to the island of Newfoundland in the east. Next week, the Union of BC Municipalities executive is recommending to its convention of local governments that they also endorse my legislation to solve the abandoned vessel problem.

Abandoned VesselsPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 14th, 2017 / 4 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise once again to bring voices from coastal B.C. to Parliament in support of a solution to the long-standing problem of abandoned vessels. They risk oil spills, put at risk local jobs, and risk our environment across the country.

Let us end the runaround and make the Coast Guard responsible for first action on abandoned vessels. Let us fix vessel registration to get the costs off taxpayers. Let us build a coast-wide strategy, co-operating with provinces and local governments. Let us act before vessels sink. Let us create good green jobs by supporting recycling and local salvage companies.

The petition is signed by people from Gabriola Island, Victoria, Nanaimo, and all of the directors of the Regional District of Nanaimo signing as individuals. I am honoured to have the support of many local governments for my legislation, Bill C-352. We know $1 million a year, as announced by the government this month, is inadequate to deal with the thousands of abandoned vessels left on all three of Canada's coasts.

Fisheries and OceansPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 7th, 2017 / 3:25 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, I stand once again in the House to call for a legislated solution to the long-standing economic and environmental problem of abandoned vessels. I am urging the federal government, along with petitioners in my riding, to end the runaround and make the Coast Guard responsible for the first action on abandoned vessels, fixing vessel registration to get the costs off taxpayers, acting before vessels sink and spill oil by piloting an abandoned vessel turn-in program, and creating good green jobs by supporting local marine salvage and recycling.

I am grateful to local government leaders for supporting my legislation, Bill C-352, and I stand with them in recognizing that the $1 million per year announced last week by the government is not enough to deal with the thousands of abandoned vessels that litter Canada's three coasts.

The EnvironmentPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 2nd, 2017 / 12:10 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of residents of Nanaimo—Ladysmith, I rise to present two petitions today.

To end the runaround on abandoned vessels, to fix vessel registration and get the costs off taxpayers, to build a coast-wide strategy in co-operation with local governments, to act before vessels spill oil and contaminate our coasts, and to create good, green jobs, I present this petition. I am grateful local government leaders are supporting my Bill C-352 and have been pushing for a decade and a half for solutions to the problem of abandoned vessels.

We all recognize that the $1 million a year announced this week by the government is deeply inadequate, just a drop in the bucket. We are going to continue to push hard together for a long-term solution to abandoned vessels.

Extension of Sitting HoursGovernment Orders

May 30th, 2017 / 6:50 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, the member opposite is accusing us on the opposition side of not working hard, which is rich, given that the average number of new bills a new government brings to the House in its first year is 45, yet the Liberal government brought in 14. That is 14 in its first year of work.

Tonight we are debating the government's motion to extend hours to work until midnight, which we are all happy to do. However, the problem tonight is that the fact of the motion being on the floor has actually cancelled my ability to have a long-scheduled debate on the long-standing issue of abandoned vessels.

This is an environmental crisis on the west coast and on the east coast. We have had local governments calling, for over 15 years, for federal leadership. The government keeps saying that it is going to take that leadership, but it has been about 14 months now that they have been saying that the legislation is coming in the coming weeks. I have quotes from almost every minister on the file saying that they are working on it. I have asked the government to consider supporting my bill, Bill C-352, instead.

Does the member opposite not see the irony in the government's motion tonight, which is actually decreasing transparency?

Canada Shipping Act, 2001Routine Proceedings

April 13th, 2017 / 12:15 p.m.
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NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-352, An Act to amend the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and to provide for the development of a national strategy (abandonment of vessels).

Mr. Speaker, for decades now, all three of Canada's coasts have been experiencing repeated calls from coastal communities about the repeated occurrence of the issue of abandoned vessels. These risk oil spills . They risk jobs in our communities, jobs in aquaculture and the commercial fishery. A no man's land of jurisdiction, a hole in responsibility, has been identified.

My predecessor, Jean Crowder, brought similar legislation to the House. Last February, more than a year ago, I tabled Bill C-219. Today I rise to update that legislation in response to repeated calls from local government and the failure of the Liberal government to meet its six-month deadline imposed by this Parliament to table solutions before the House.

Together, let us end the runaround and name the Canadian Coast Guard as the agency responsible to act on abandoned vessels. Let us fix vessel registration and get the costs off taxpayers. Let us build a coast-wide strategy in co-operation with provinces and municipalities. Let us act before vessels sink and spill oil by piloting a vessel turn-in program. Let us create good green jobs by supporting local marine salvage companies and recycling.

This legislation is built on the good work of many local government associations, the Union of B.C. Municipalities in particular. Just this Sunday its local chapter for Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast unanimously endorsed this legislation in an emergency resolution. I am grateful for the support, I look forward to the debate, and I look forward to receiving the support of the House for this long-standing marine pollution problem.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)