Evidence of meeting #102 for Fisheries and Oceans in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was chair.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Philippe Méla  Legislative Clerk
Nicholas Winfield  Director General, Ecosystems Management, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Mark Waddell  Director General, Fisheries and Licence Policy, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Gorazd Ruseski  Senior Director, Aboriginal Program, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Adam Burns  Director General, Fisheries Resource Management, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

9:30 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Chair, this is an amendment based on proposals from West Coast Environment Law and others whose testimony was that we have some lack of clarity around when the exemptions can be granted. Inserting the words in proposed subsection 35(1) to make it an authorization as opposed to a permit would clarify it. My amendment adds “unless they are authorized to do so under subsection (2)” at the end of proposed subsection 35(1) as it now reads, following the words “destruction of fish habitat”.

That might seem redundant to some since proposed subsection 35(2) does provide powers of exemption, but tying it together as an authorization is an attempt to keep the exemption provisions from being overly broad and also ensure that we're not talking about some permitting process yet to be defined or explained. Later, there is the use of the concept of a designated project with a permit. The use of the word “authorization” is clearer, which is why I'm suggesting we amend proposed subsection 35(1) to tie it into “unless they are authorized to do so under subsection (2)”.

9:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bernadette Jordan

Mr. Donnelly.

9:30 a.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Madam Chair, I lend my support to this amendment. I know that our amendment will be defeated if this one is, so I support this motion.

(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])

9:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bernadette Jordan

PV-6 does not carry, so NDP-10 is also defeated.

Next is PV-7. If amendment PV-7 is adopted, NDP-11 becomes moot as they are identical. If PV-7 is defeated, so is NDP-11 as they are identical.

Ms. May, on PV-7.

9:35 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Chair, again, this is a suggestion from West Coast Environmental Law. As you can tell, I liked their brief very much.

On page 20 we'd be adding after line 3 provisions that speak to the question of serious harm to fish, in that exceptions would be applicable to areas other than ecologically sensitive areas or other areas of concern. Proposed subsection 35(2) would become:

(2) A person may carry on a work, undertaking or activity, in an area other than an ecologically significant area or an area prescribed by regulations in which there are concerns about fish and fish habitat conservation.

Then it continues where we were before, “without contravening subsection (1) if” and then it continues on. It's a specific effort to continue to protect, with additional restrictions on ministerial discretion, areas that are designated as ecologically significant or areas where regulations exist for particular circumstances.

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bernadette Jordan

Mr. Donnelly.

9:35 a.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Madam Chair, you said this amendment was the same as NDP-11.

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bernadette Jordan

That's correct.

9:35 a.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

I didn't hear Ms. May talk about defining letters of advice and requiring that letters of advice be posted on the public registry and requiring that letters of advice be used to assess cumulative impacts within the watershed.

I want to clarify whether it's Ms. May's intention to include that.

9:35 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Chair, I support those notions but I don't think they're captured in my amendment PV-7.

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bernadette Jordan

So the wording is the same, but the rationale is what—

9:35 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Yes.

I think Fin should speak to it. I shouldn't say that, but if he wants to make those points, this is his chance.

9:35 a.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

I think I just did, so that's clear enough.

(Amendment negatived)

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bernadette Jordan

Therefore, NDP-11 also does not carry.

Next is amendment PV-8.

Ms. May.

9:35 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Madam Chair, in this amendment, we are in the same section of text, so we're still on page 20 and still within proposed subsection 35(2). Deleting lines 4 to 12 has the effect of removing the language around “or belongs to a prescribed class of works, undertakings or activities, as the case may be”. This would revert the provision to the current version of the Fisheries Act to ensure that the effect is to be as protective of fish habitat as possible.

(Amendment negatived [See Minutes of Proceedings])

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bernadette Jordan

We'll move to LIB-7.

Mr. McDonald.

May 22nd, 2018 / 9:35 a.m.

Liberal

Ken McDonald Liberal Avalon, NL

Madam Chair, I am moving this amendment. It basically says that clause 22 should be amended by replacing line 22 on page 20 with the following:

permitted or required under this Act;

I move that because it clarifies the scope of application of these provisions to ensure that any other authorization, permission, or requirement is an acceptable exception.

9:35 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bernadette Jordan

Mr. Arnold.

9:35 a.m.

Conservative

Mel Arnold Conservative North Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Madam Chair, I'm just wondering if the member can explain the words “otherwise permitted”. I believe the only change is removing the word “otherwise” from that final sentence. There are, potentially, other reasons. Could he explain a little further why the word “otherwise” is being removed?

9:40 a.m.

Liberal

Ken McDonald Liberal Avalon, NL

“Otherwise” is too non-descriptive, I guess. By doing what I'm doing, it actually clarifies the scope of the application. That's why I put forward the amendment, to deal with that.

9:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bernadette Jordan

Mr. Donnelly.

9:40 a.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Madam Chair, I'm wondering if we could have our departmental officials explain what this amendment would mean in terms of the requirement under the act.

9:40 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Bernadette Jordan

Mr. Winfield.

9:40 a.m.

Director General, Ecosystems Management, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Nicholas Winfield

I think it really is a technical correction to ensure that, if there are other schemes that are used to issue an authorization permit under the act, those are duly considered. The idea is that the language around “authorized, otherwise permitted” is not as precise as referring specifically to a permit that is described in this act.

9:40 a.m.

NDP

Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Madam Chair, I have a follow-up question.

Could you provide an example?