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Evidence of meeting #35 for Fisheries and Oceans in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was control.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Clerk of the Committee  Mr. Georges Etoka
Istvan Imre  Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Algoma University, As an Individual
Robert Duncanson  Executive Director, Georgian Bay Association
John Wilson  Director and Chair, Fisheries Committee, Georgian Bay Association

5:10 p.m.

Executive Director, Georgian Bay Association

Robert Duncanson

The $100 million is a conservative estimate.

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Be careful with that word.

5:10 p.m.

Executive Director, Georgian Bay Association

Robert Duncanson

That's a conservative estimate of the amount of goods and services and taxes from those 10,000 families, assuming each pays $10,000 on their properties.

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

I'd like you to elaborate on a couple of things before my time runs out.

Number one, what's your success on educating your own members? You have 10,000 families there.

Also, on the ballast water issue, do you not feel that...? It's difficult for me to understand. If we have different regulations and the technology is not there for certain boats that have the ballast water and it is there for other boats, and they both release, how is that going to work when you're working with the Americans in the Great Lakes? I would think they would have some concern about this. Do you not feel that we basically need to not follow the Americans but to adopt the very best technology possible? Because it's obvious that's how invasive species come in. I would think the way you would most frequently have invasive species come in would be in ballast water.

You also threw in the Canada-U.S. dispute-settling mechanism.

5:15 p.m.

Executive Director, Georgian Bay Association

Robert Duncanson

Yes.

Let me address your first question about education of our members. We spend a fair amount of time working with our members through presentations and seminars and newsletters. Education is vital to this. As I mentioned, about a third of our members are U.S. citizens. We try to educate them so that when they go back to their winter homes they will pick up the phone and call their congressmen and congresswomen and raise these issues. So we do spend a fair amount of time on that. It's a never-ending challenge to get people in, but the nice thing is that the motivation is huge. People own these properties because of the natural beauty, so when you put to them that the natural beauty isn't going to be there for their children and their grandchildren, that gets them to stand up and listen.

So we're always looking to government to help us with the science, to help educate our members, and as I say, we don't shy away from using the U.S. back door to get this. I'll point out that Mitt Romney owns Canadian property on Lake Huron. So if the winds of change blow in November, we'll have another go at the U.S.

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

I could comment on that, but I won't.

5:15 p.m.

Executive Director, Georgian Bay Association

Robert Duncanson

Do you want to talk about the ballast water?

5:15 p.m.

Director and Chair, Fisheries Committee, Georgian Bay Association

John Wilson

Yes. I think we're probably agreeing on this, that the need is definitely there. The winds of change are there, because IMO was a global agreement and very soon there are going to be the 33 countries, and 35% of the global trade is going to be done by countries that have agreed with this need to deal with ballast water.

We sit and look at our problems. There are exactly the same problems all over the world. Our invasive species are showing up in New Zealand, and they're showing up in the Caspian Sea. We're all dealing with the same thing. Every summer we have 500 ocean-going vessels come into the Great Lakes. So we're saying those 500 that come in have to have ballast water technology. There are tens of thousands of ocean-going vessels around the world, but we have 500 a year that come in and we're telling them to use their logistics software, as they would for the width of our canals and the depth of our harbours, to also make sure their ships have ballast water technology on them if they're going to come into the Great Lakes. It's not hard.

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

You say a third of your clientele are Americans. Are they involved in this well enough to be bringing this ballast water issue to the table as far as we're concerned here in dealing with it and making sure that we require the same regulations as the U.S.? Do you find that they ask for that, or are they informed enough to really realize that we could be behind the ball?

5:15 p.m.

Director and Chair, Fisheries Committee, Georgian Bay Association

John Wilson

We have asked them, as we always do, to push their congressmen and their senators for U.S. legislation. We understand Canada wasn't going to.... We've talked to people such as Lawrence Cannon. We had a meeting with him when he was the Transport Canada minister. At the end of the day, the answer was that we'll follow the United States when they make their move.

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

It looks to me like in 2016 the regulations could even be much stronger in the U.S.

5:15 p.m.

Director and Chair, Fisheries Committee, Georgian Bay Association

John Wilson

They could be. And if I were an owner of a shipping organization I would look really strongly at it. If I'm going to spend a million dollars to put technology into my boat that's going to do this, I'm probably going to go with the technology that's at a higher standard, so I don't have to replace it between 2012 and 2016. That would be the smart move. It does exist. It is out there. There are lots of products that are already out there to meet the standards that are needed for 2012. The companies have been working on this for a long time. There are companies that are now working on those newer standards that are a hundred times stronger.

5:15 p.m.

Liberal

Lawrence MacAulay Liberal Cardigan, PE

Thank you very much.

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rodney Weston

Thank you, gentlemen.

On behalf of the committee I want to say thank you for taking the time today to come here. It has been a very interesting discussion. We've had some U.S. politics. You talked about the winds of change. I'm not sure where we go with all of that, but it was an interesting discussion.

Thank you very much on behalf of the entire committee for taking the time from your busy schedules to appear before us here this afternoon and providing us with the information you provided us with. It has been very informative. Thank you very much.

Before we adjourn, committee members, we have one more item of business to discuss.

Mr. Chisholm, I'll give you the floor first.

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Robert Chisholm NDP Dartmouth—Cole Harbour, NS

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

We are going to give notice of two motions we would like to deal with on Wednesday. The first one is as follows:

That the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans consider at the first opportunity amendments to the Fisheries Act and other provisions affecting federal jurisdiction over canadian fisheries waters included in Bill C-38, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures, and that the minister be requested to testify.

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rodney Weston

Thank you, Mr. Chisholm.

Mr. Donnelly, do you want to provide notice?

5:20 p.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The second motion that we'd like to put on notice reads as follows:

That, because the Fisheries Act is critical to protecting fish habitat and the fisheries, the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans immediately undertake a study and hold hearings with affected stakeholders across Canada on the long-term environmental, economic, social, and cultural effects of the proposed changes to protection of fish habitat in the Fisheries Act.

I so move.

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Rodney Weston

Thank you very much, Mr. Chisholm and Mr. Donnelly.

Notice of motion has been made and we will certainly take these in and the clerk will distribute copies to all members of the committee via e-mail.

Thank you very much.

There being no further business, this committee stands adjourned.