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.

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.
See context

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)