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Evidence of meeting #29 for Environment and Sustainable Development in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was young.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Monte Hummel  Chair, Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement
Bradley Young  Senior Policy Analyst, National Aboriginal Forestry Association

4:45 p.m.

Chair, Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement

Monte Hummel

These urban parks—Stanley Park, Central Park in New York, Pleasant Point in Halifax—are seen as hugely far-sighted. Whoever came up with this idea...it was a great idea. It's also equally clear that if they hadn't come up with the idea and if it hadn't been protected, they wouldn't be parks today. That's just testimony to what I was saying about how in hindsight the value of doing this becomes more obvious than it was in the day.

The urban park thing is beyond the reach of the CBFA. We're talking about boreal environments. I note that part of the objective of the national conservation plan is to connect Canadians to nature. Most of us live in cities: 50% of aboriginal people live in cities now, and 80% of Canadians do.

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

Stella Ambler Conservative Mississauga South, ON

Let me change my line of questioning a little. At the top of your remarks you mentioned including economic considerations and benefits. Mr. Young also mentioned strategic economic development. I think you're rather talking about the same things.

Mr. Young, what kinds of economic activities would you include in, as you put it, the working landscape?

Mr. Hummel, could you tell us what kind of economic dimension you had in mind?

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Mark Warawa

I'm going to ask for a very short answer from each of you.

4:45 p.m.

Senior Policy Analyst, National Aboriginal Forestry Association

Bradley Young

The question was about strategic economic considerations. I would say this would affect all the natural resource development sectors. I think there is a tremendous opportunity there for first nations if they can get the right land use and priority plans in place. They will engage in all the sectors according to their priorities, and they will be the ones that will make those decisions.

That's just a general commentary on what has happened out there. They will consider everything, but they have to have their priorities outlined first. They have to be on an equal footing and they have to feel this parity in government-to-government relations.

4:45 p.m.

Chair, Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement

Monte Hummel

I would go to the end point. I would paint a picture. If people have a park in their backyard, whether they live in the remotest parts of Canada or not, I'd like to hear them saying that they love it. They benefit from it. They use it. There are people who come there and they benefit economically. If it's a conservation approach to harvesting trees, I like it when people say that they love it, that they're proud of it. They don't take it lightly when people are critical of it, because they think this conservation approach to our natural resources is great and they benefit from it.

If they don't have some skin in the game, if there isn't something in it for them, then it's going to be very difficult for them to own it and champion it and lead it and be proud of it and make sure that it continues.

4:45 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Mark Warawa

Okay, thank you.

Ms. Liu.

April 3rd, 2012 / 4:45 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

I want to thank our witnesses for coming in today. Your testimonies are very useful, and I'm sure they will help us produce our report at the end of the study.

I'd like to refer to a report published in 2003 by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. They consulted with hundreds of witnesses concerning conservation in Canada. This report contains about 20 recommendations, and I'd like to bring your attention to a particular recommendation, recommendation 2:

The Round Table recommends that federal, provincial, territorial, and Aboriginal governments require integrated land-use planning to ensure that conservation decisions are made at the same time as, or prior to, decisions about major industrial development.

Mr. Young, could you provide a brief response to that? Do you support this recommendation, and what are your comments about this?

4:45 p.m.

Senior Policy Analyst, National Aboriginal Forestry Association

Bradley Young

Yes, I would wholeheartedly support that. You can't conserve and develop without taking into consideration one or the other. First nations people should be at the heart of that discussion.

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

Mr. Hummel, by the way, while I was doing research, I was impressed by your life-long advocacy for environmental issues. I know you spoke about the importance of marrying economic interests to environmental interests, so what would your comments be on this recommendation?

4:50 p.m.

Chair, Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement

Monte Hummel

I participated in that study. Buried in there is what's called the “conservation first” principle. It says that often you have to sequence conservation accomplishments up front when you're making economic development decisions, because you aren't going to get a chance down the line. For example, give communities a chance to identify and protect areas that are important to them before you open it up for industrial development, whether it's diamond mining, oil and gas, or forestry.

I want to emphasize that “conservation first” doesn't mean it's the only thing you consider. But sometimes you have to sequence things, because you won't get a crack at it further down the road. That's part of what was being referred to in that section on land use planning.

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

I know my time's running out quickly, so I'd like to thank our witnesses for coming in today. We'll definitely use your testimony to work on our recommendations.

We know that the committee in the past has studied CEAA, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. My constituents have been somewhat concerned about the cuts that have been made to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. With the budget that came out last week...we were quite concerned about the cuts that have been made to the environment, including the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, so—

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Mark Warawa

Order.

I want to encourage Ms. Liu to stay on topic. We're not talking about the budget. We're talking about the national conservation plan.

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Laurin Liu NDP Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, QC

I just wanted to give a preamble to a motion I would like to present at committee, but thanks for the reminder.

Last month, Environment Canada decided to loan....

Dan Wicklum was an official at Environment Canada and recently became the chief executive of Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. This has been a concern for my constituents, the separation of powers.

On that note, I'd like to present a motion to committee. The motion reads as follows:

That, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee hear Dan Wicklum, Chief Executive of Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, no later than on Thursday, April 5, 2012.

If the motion is receivable, I'd like to make an amendment.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Mark Warawa

The motion is in order, but for anything to do with scheduling, the tradition is that we move in camera and that it be discussed in camera, as we have every other scheduling issue.

On a point of order, I have Mr. Woodworth.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

I hate to do this when you just said the motion is in order, but don't we have a rule about giving notice of motions? Has there been notice given of this motion before—

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Mark Warawa

On that point of order, there was adequate notice.

Now, if I have no other points of order, I will be suspending this meeting and we will be moving.... The motion is in order, but to discuss it, it would have to be done in camera.

4:50 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

I have a point of clarification, Mr. Chair.

I know as of late it's been tradition that we go in camera, but I don't think we necessarily have to if there's unanimous consent to discuss the motion right now.

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Mark Warawa

One moment.

Just to answer Ms. Leslie's question, it does not require unanimous consent. It requires a motion. There is already a motion on the floor, but that would be a dilatory motion, which would not be debatable. We would have a motion. We would then vote to go in camera or to stay in the open meeting. The tradition is that scheduling is dealt with in an in camera meeting, so we would be breaking tradition to stay in the open meeting. But it's the committee's choice, if you want to do that.

At this point I would need a motion to deal with this at this meeting.

Do we have a point of order?

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

James Lunney Conservative Nanaimo—Alberni, BC

On the same subject, would Ms. Liu be willing to move her motion towards the end of the meeting so we can still hear from our witnesses? Some of us still have questions that we'd like to ask.

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Mark Warawa

One moment, please.

[Inaudible—Editor]...postponed, because she already has introduced a motion, and the motion is in order, so to postpone dealing with hers would require unanimous consent. Do I have unanimous consent to—

4:55 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

No.

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Mark Warawa

Okay. We do not have unanimous consent.

Ms. Rempel.

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Centre-North, AB

I would like to move that the meeting proceed in camera.

4:55 p.m.

NDP

François Choquette NDP Drummond, QC

A point of order.

4:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Mark Warawa

No. I said it's a dilatory motion, non-debatable. We will now have a vote on whether or not to move in camera.