Mr. Chair, this amendment would put a reporting clause into Bill C-55, a responsibility for the minister to report back to Parliament within a year of an interim marine protected area. We are suggesting.... Again, I'll take it back a bit. Time and again, whether it's this study that we've done, the Fisheries Act review, the northern cod study, or the Atlantic salmon study, what we've heard previously is that initiatives have been launched or the department has come before the committee and—no offence to those who are here—has promised to do better and be better. But as we've seen from testimony and have gone through for years and years, we're not seeing some of the results that we perhaps would have anticipated or desired in any of the processes that have been put in place.
This is merely a management tool. It is an opportunity for the minister to come back and say what has been working well and what hasn't been working, perhaps. It includes stakeholder feedback as well, and it really gives Parliament and this committee an opportunity to then be able go back to Canadians again, as we talked about throughout the testimony in this and other studies. If it's working out, it is an opportunity for the government to say what is an overwhelming success and, if it isn't, to say, “Here are the challenges and here's how we're going to adapt it.”
Mr. Chair, what we are recommending is that, on page 3, clause 5 be amended by adding after line 40 the following:
(4) The Minister shall, within a year after the coming into force of this section and as soon as feasible after the end of each fiscal year after that, prepare and cause to be laid before both Houses of Parliament a report that (a) focusses on the operation of this section; (b) lists the marine protected areas designated during the relevant reporting period; (c) sets out the extent to which the conservation objectives stated for each marine protected area designated under subsection (2) have been achieved; and (d) sets out any recommendations for further steps to be taken in order to achieve the stated conservation objectives in relation to each marine protected area designated under subsection (2).
Mr. Chair, I'll leave the committee with this final comment. We have heard from a number of witnesses who appeared before the committee and said that things seem to happen in a void or a vacuum. This would provide the government an opportunity to report back. As I said, trumpet it if it is wildly successful, but also be open and transparent with the Canadian public in terms of how there are perhaps some challenges and how maybe we need to rethink some of the things we're moving forward with.