An Act to amend the Canada National Parks Act (Ojibway National Urban Park of Canada)

Sponsor

Brian Masse  NDP

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

Status

Report stage (House), as of Nov. 17, 2022

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-248.

Summary

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

This enactment amends the Canada National Parks Act to establish Ojibway National Urban Park of Canada.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, an excellent resource from the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Votes

June 8, 2022 Passed 2nd reading of Bill C-248, An Act to amend the Canada National Parks Act (Ojibway National Urban Park of Canada)

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

November 17th, 2022 / 10:05 a.m.
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Liberal

Francis Scarpaleggia Liberal Lac-Saint-Louis, QC

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the sixth report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in relation to Bill C-248, An Act to amend the Canada National Parks Act (Ojibway National Urban Park of Canada).

The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House without amendment.

November 15th, 2022 / 4:55 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Okay, can we proceed to a vote on the bill? I don't think we've done that. We've voted on the title.

Shall the bill carry?

(Bill C-248 agreed to: yeas 6; nays 5)

Shall the chair report the bill to the House?

November 15th, 2022 / 4 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

Thank you, Mr. Weiler.

You'll be interested to know that I have an opinion on this proposed amendment as well.

Bill C-248 enacts the new Ojibway national urban park of Canada by way of geographical descriptions. The amendment seeks to add a power to the Governor in Council to alter the boundaries of the park by order in council and also to provide for a coming into force of the bill, conditional to certain events happening, both of which are new concepts not envisioned in the bill.

As House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, states on page 770, “An amendment to a bill that was referred to a committee after second reading is out of order if it is beyond the scope and principle of the bill.”

That's the first thing.

If we go to pages 773 and 774 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, we'll see the following: “An amendment intended to alter the coming into force clause of a bill, making it conditional, is out of order since it exceeds the scope of the bill and attempts to introduce a new question into it.”

In the opinion of the chair, for the reasons stated above, the amendment brings two new concepts foreign to the bill. Therefore, the amendment is inadmissible.

As I understand it, we now go to the title of the bill.

Shall the title carry?

(Title agreed to: yeas 11; nays 0)

November 15th, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

That's what I'll do.

Bill C-248 enacts the new Ojibway national urban park of Canada act by way of geographical descriptions.

The amendment we're talking about here, LIB-1, seeks to apply section 8—involving the creation of an advisory committee—and section 22—involving incorporation by reference and regulations—of the Rouge National Urban Park Act to the provisions of Bill C-248. These would be new concepts that are not envisioned in the bill.

As page 770 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, third edition, states, “an amendment to a bill that was referred to committee after second reading is out of order if it is beyond the scope and principle of the bill.”

Therefore, in the opinion of the chair, and for the above-mentioned reasons, the amendment is a new concept that is beyond the scope of the bill. Therefore, I rule the amendment inadmissible.

I don't see anybody. Again, it's hard for me to see if someone in the room has their hand up. I don't see anyone on screen with their hand up.

Mr. Bachrach, go ahead.

November 15th, 2022 / 3:45 p.m.
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Liberal

Patrick Weiler Liberal West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, BC

Sure. I have two amendments.

The first one I would like to propose was shared with the committee previously. It falls under the reference 12053664.

It is that Bill C-248 be amended by adding before line 4 on page 1 the following new clause:

0.1 The Canada National Parks Act is amended by adding the following after section 38:

38.1(1) Sections 8 and 22 of the Rouge National Urban Park Act apply in respect of the Ojibway National Urban Park of Canada with any modifications that the circumstances require.

(2) In the event of a conflict between section 8 or section 22 of the Rouge National Urban Park Act as they apply to the Ojibway National Urban Park Act of Canada and this Act, the provisions of this Act shall prevail.

That's the text itself.

The importance of this is that the amendment would amend the bill to reference specific provisions of the Rouge Act to apply to this bill. Those include establishing an advisory committee and having incorporation, by reference, of different levels of government laws and bylaws that would still apply in the park.

November 15th, 2022 / 3:40 p.m.
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Liberal

The Chair Liberal Francis Scarpaleggia

I don't have the gavel, but we will start.

Welcome to meeting number 36 of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development. Today we're dealing with Bill C-248, an act to amend the Canada National Parks Act, Ojibway national urban park of Canada, which was referred to us on June 8, 2022. More specifically, we are doing clause-by-clause today.

Replacing Ms. Collins, we have Mr. Bachrach. It's nice to have you back with us, Mr. Bachrach.

We have Mr. Benzen replacing Mr. Kitchen; we have Mr. Lewis replacing Mr. Kurek; and we have Madame Vignola replacing Madame Pauzé.

As witnesses, we have the sponsor of the bill, Brian Masse, MP for Windsor West; and from Parks Canada, Andrew Campbell, senior vice-president of operations, and Caroline Macintosh, executive director of the protected areas establishment branch.

I think that covers all the niceties. Unless I'm missing something, I guess we can go straight into clause-by-clause.

We have two proposed amendments. These are Liberal-1 and Liberal-2. I don't know who will be proposing these amendments. I await a proposer.

October 28th, 2022 / 2:45 p.m.
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City Councillor, Ward 1, City of Windsor

Fred Francis

But that also included legislation, right? Moving forward with Bill C-248 removes all that ambiguity, and it moves us forward to where we all want to go without any ambiguity. Everyone knows what's going on, how it's going to play out and what it will look like for decades to come.

October 28th, 2022 / 2:40 p.m.
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Liberal

Leah Taylor Roy Liberal Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, ON

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and thank you to all the witnesses for being here today.

It sounds like everyone is in favour of establishing this Ojibway national park and it sounds like it will be absolutely amazing.

The major question is, how do we establish it? Do we proceed with Bill C-248, and then do due diligence and work out management plans, and so on, or do we wait and have that due diligence and some of the other work done first, and then establish it?

One of the things about Bill C-248 that concerns me is that it's adding this under the Canada National Parks Act, and in that act there are currently no urban parks. The Rouge National Urban Park has a separate act, the Rouge National Urban Park Act. I'm wondering if you have any thoughts on the flexibility or the ability to make changes and to deal with some of these issues.

There are really two things I'd like you to comment on. Since the park is going to be established by Parks Canada either way, why would we not work out the co-management plan as happened with the Rouge National Urban Park and look at some of these due diligence issues prior to.... It's almost like putting the cart before the horse. Why would we want to do it this way as opposed to the other way, when there's clearly been a commitment to establish six new urban parks, and we have the example of the Rouge National Urban Park that was established?

Perhaps you can comment on that.

Mr. Francis, I know the City of Windsor has been working with Parks Canada already on the process that was set in place by Parks Canada. Why is that not a good process? Why do you want to do it through Bill C-248, instead of following through on the process that you're working on currently?

October 28th, 2022 / 2:40 p.m.
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City Councillor, Ward 1, City of Windsor

Fred Francis

Yes. The City of Windsor supports Bill C-248 because we understand what that entails, and we believe it's more concrete. Our fear and our concern is that the City of Windsor will receive a national urban park in name and name only, and nothing much will change. You'll still have federal, municipal and provincial ownership of the separate pieces of land. With legislation, we know we don't get that. We know it will be taken on by the stewardship of Parks Canada.

That's why we're advocating Bill C-248. Our fear is that otherwise we will get a national park in the form of a media release and a media release only.

October 28th, 2022 / 2:35 p.m.
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Board Member, The Friends of Ojibway Prairie

Mike Fisher

I'll say on behalf of Friends of Ojibway Prairie that it's an excellent question and something that we all weigh, because we're looking at two processes and are trying to find synergies between the two to make this happen the way we all want.

We're certainly acknowledging the work Parks Canada is doing with the City of Windsor to identify those lands, and the work that is being done through Bill C-248 to make it happen and happen quickly. We're hopeful that through the amendment process there may be ways to create some sort of collaboration there so that it's not two independent processes working on these things. There might be some collaboration so that we can make this happen quickly and also maximize the footprint for the park.

October 28th, 2022 / 2:30 p.m.
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Executive Director, Wildlands League

Janet Sumner

Yes, I think Bill C-248 allows us to move forward quickly, but also you have the consultation that happens around the park management plan. That's an ongoing process [Technical difficulty—Editor] in Rouge National Urban Park and [Technical difficulty—Editor] situation here, where it will be an ongoing process to manage that park management plan.

It also allows Parks Canada to engage in the broader ecosystem and be speaking to some of these issues that would be happening because of the increase in traffic.

October 28th, 2022 / 2:30 p.m.
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City Councillor, Ward 1, City of Windsor

Fred Francis

I do, and that's a great point. As you all know, Windsor hosts the busiest border crossing in all of North America. With the Gordie Howe International Bridge set to come online, that traffic and that intensity is going to increase.

The city supports Bill C-248 because it allows us to move quickly, because we really have an opportunity, and time is not on our side when we're talking about vehicular traffic increasing. We have an opportunity to move fast now and really safeguard this gem, and increase this gem and grow this gem now, and grow it for decades to come.

We know that the border traffic is not going to decrease. It's only going to increase, so the opportunity is now, in our opinion.

October 28th, 2022 / 2:25 p.m.
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Bloc

Monique Pauzé Bloc Repentigny, QC

Thank you very much.

I thank the witnesses for being here with us.

If I understood correctly, you are all in favour of Bill C‑248. However, Parks Canada is already working on this and, as Mr. Francis was saying, you are working on two projects.

Earlier we were wondering about the use of Bill C‑248 when there is already a process under way. We were talking about time as a factor and saying that we could speed things up through Bill C‑248. We talked about protecting biodiversity.

My question is simple. Do we really need to go through the federal government? Would it not be faster to go through the provincial or municipal government?

October 28th, 2022 / 2:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

I appreciate that.

It's interesting that often the conversation is around the requirement for government to do something, when it's actually Parliament. Government is a function of Parliament. I think in a minority Parliament there are certainly some unique opportunities to forward these conversations.

To both the chief and the councillor, concerns have been raised about the challenges in consultations and some of the technicalities around boundaries and whatnot. Are you confident, given your experiences with Parks Canada and different levels of government, that if Bill C-248 passed, some of those challenges that have been highlighted could be overcome?

I'll go to the chief first.

October 28th, 2022 / 2:15 p.m.
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City Councillor, Ward 1, City of Windsor

Fred Francis

We support the legislation in Bill C-248 because it's a tried and true process. When we're talking about policy negotiation, we don't know what that entails. With legislation, there are firm parameters as to what that entails, to the point where the City of Windsor has offered its parcel to Parks Canada at no cost.

Not only that, but we know how significant it is to have a park run and established by Parks Canada—sooner rather than later—with Point Pelee. We've seen it. That allows us to protect this significant portion of land throughout our city forever. Future generations of Windsorites and, quite frankly, everyone in Essex County will be forever grateful to the federal government if we are able to move faster.

That's why we support this legislation that we're considering today. We know what that entails. It's concrete and it allows us to move forward sooner rather than later.