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Evidence of meeting #32 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 cosia.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Ron Bonnett  President, Canadian Federation of Agriculture
Doug Chorney  President, Keystone Agricultural Producers
Judy Fairburn  Chair, Shareholder Steering Committee, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance
Alan Fair  Interim Director, Tailing Environmental Priority Area, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Thank you to our guests for coming and for sharing your stories.

I’ll begin with very quick questions about the appointment. It's a secondment for a year? Is that what you said, Ms. Fairburn?

5:05 p.m.

Chair, Shareholder Steering Committee, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance

Judy Fairburn

Again, in hiring Dr. Wicklum, an extensive search was done for him. My understanding is that the people who did the hiring worked very closely with Environment Canada to make sure. Yes.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

It is a secondment, is it?

5:05 p.m.

Chair, Shareholder Steering Committee, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Is it an executive exchange?

5:05 p.m.

Chair, Shareholder Steering Committee, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance

Judy Fairburn

For clarity, it's unpaid leave of absence for one year.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

And is it the executive interchange program?

5:05 p.m.

Chair, Shareholder Steering Committee, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

No. Okay.

And it's for one year, is that correct?

5:05 p.m.

Chair, Shareholder Steering Committee, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance

Judy Fairburn

My understanding is it's an unpaid leave of absence for one year.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

For one year. And will he be going back to Environment Canada?

5:05 p.m.

Chair, Shareholder Steering Committee, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance

Judy Fairburn

That's a discussion that has been held with Dr. Wicklum and others, so it's not something I'm really able to comment on as the chair of the strategy committee.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

That's fine.

What practical changes do you expect to be made as a result of your organization?

5:05 p.m.

Chair, Shareholder Steering Committee, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance

Judy Fairburn

That's a great, broad question, and we've formed this organization because we really want to accelerate.

5:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Okay, let me bring the question again. For example, you've mentioned water and greenhouse gases. You said there are four priority areas, and I don't think we've heard them. So what are the specific goals in each of those areas?

5:10 p.m.

Chair, Shareholder Steering Committee, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance

Judy Fairburn

The four priority areas are tailings, as Alan referred to, water, greenhouse gases, and land. We recognize that those are four areas that matter to Canadians, and they're our priorities.

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

What are the goals?

5:10 p.m.

Chair, Shareholder Steering Committee, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance

Judy Fairburn

By the end of 2012 we will have rolled in the existing organizations. We will also have developed our strategic plans and goals. So we're on the journey right now to developing those goals.

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

So right now there are no goals for those four priority areas?

5:10 p.m.

Chair, Shareholder Steering Committee, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance

Judy Fairburn

We're actively working across all the companies towards getting the best inputs. So we've set informed goals, yes.

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Okay. We know there's going to be a new water monitoring program. There have been concerns that this is not going to be an independent body. Since you are a science-based organization, will you be asking that this be an independent body?

5:10 p.m.

Chair, Shareholder Steering Committee, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance

Judy Fairburn

Just to reiterate, COSIA is an innovation and science organization, so we're not involved in policy and advocacy.

May 1st, 2012 / 5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Kirsty Duncan Liberal Etobicoke North, ON

Okay.

I appreciate that you believe the environment and the economy are inextricably tied, as do we. There's been much change in the last week. With the budget implementation bill we have cuts to scientists, 200 scientists; we have the repeal of CEA; there are major changes to fisheries. The reality is about 120 pages of the budget are devoted to “environmental streamlining”. I'll use the terminology that's used here.

Have you ever seen this before?

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Centre-North, AB

I would ask my colleague to keep her comments relevant to the scope of this discussion today and to the outcome of positive environmental outcomes as a result of the Canadian Oilsands Innovation Alliance.

5:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Mark Warawa

Okay. We have a point of order, and you wanted to speak to the point of order.