Mr. Chair, I know there have been some conversations between the parties to bring about, through this act, a concept that we think is long overdue. There's a need, particularly when you're talking about climate change, to look at significant areas within the country, to be able to designate those areas that are more greatly affected by what's happening to the planet's climate.
From my riding's perspective in northwestern British Columbia, we've seen the first onset of one of the fundamental changes with the mountain pine beetle epidemic that's going through our forests now, into Alberta, and coming across the boreal. It's a clear example of a place that has been identified by all sides of the debate as something significant, or a so-called “hot zone”, as used colloquially, as is the far north. The evidence that has been given to us at this committee and every committee I've sat on that's dealt with climate change has realized that when we talk about overall average temperature changes that happen on the planet, there's a disproportionate effect that happens in the far north in particular. An average two-degree rise across the planet actually can translate to a 10- to 14-degree rise in our northern sectors.
Now, imagining those types of climatic changes in our far north, they affect just about every facet of life in that region—cultural, economic, hunting, transportation, everything—and it creates an increased level of unpredictability. Therefore, from the community's perspective, and the government that is meant to represent that community, we need to act in a more urgent fashion.
We've moved an initial motion. We believe the Liberals have one as well. And there is one forthcoming that committee members have in front of them from the government that might allow us to seek a compromise position on this, which we would encourage.
I'm not sure which process is best in terms of looking at these. If it's the will of the chair and the committee to move straight to this new motion put forward, which I think is cleaner in language.... That's not to say that the language wasn't clean in our motion, but the notion of significant areas brought forward by the NDP is now being presented by the government.
I can't actually read the number this is listed as. I'm not sure that it's been given a number yet per se.