Evidence of meeting #81 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 may.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Darren Goetze  Director General, Conservation and Protection, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Jeff MacDonald  Director General, Oceans Management, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Philippe Méla  Legislative Clerk

8:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

I call this meeting to order.

Good morning, everyone. Before we get to our large grouping of guests this morning, I want to welcome some of our colleagues who are not normally with us but are here this morning to join us for Bill C-55 and our first clause-by-clause, a first for our lovely little committee on fisheries and oceans.

I first want to welcome Ms. Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich—Gulf Islands and also leader of the Green Party.

Thank you for joining us this morning.

Also, from Nunavut, Hunter Tootoo is with us. He is a former fisheries minister.

We have—I don't even have to look at this list to tell you his riding name—all the way from Malpeque, Mr. Wayne Easter.

How are you doing, Wayne?

8:50 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

I'm doing dandy.

8:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Right. So are we.

8:50 a.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!

8:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Also, from the Northwest Territories, we have Michael McLeod.

Thank you, sir, for joining us this morning as MP for the Northwest Territories.

I think those are all of our visitors. Otherwise, we have the normal crew, as we say.

Also joining us from the department for reference for this clause-by-clause, we have Darren Goetze.

We thank you very much for joining us this morning. Did I pronounce that correctly?

8:50 a.m.

Darren Goetze Director General, Conservation and Protection, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

It's close enough.

8:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Close enough. I get that a lot.

He is the director general of conservation and protection.

Also here is Jeff MacDonald, who is no stranger to us, of course, and he is the director general of oceans management.

From the Department of Natural Resources, we have Terence Hubbard, director general, petroleum resources branch, energy sector. He is joined by Candace Newman, senior policy adviser, who is also from NRCan.

Thank you for joining us.

This morning we have clause-by-clause for Bill C-55. What I'm going to do, folks, is briefly walk through this in terms of how this happens, because a lot of us are kind of new, except for Wayne. Wayne is somewhat seasoned. Notice how I couch that?

8:50 a.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Like Larry.

8:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

If this comes off the rails a bit, Wayne, perhaps you could help us out, nevertheless.

Each clause will be called separately. Each clause is subject to debate and vote. If there's an amendment to the clause, I will recognize the member proposing it, who will explain the amendment. The amendment will then be open to debate.

Amendments will be considered in the order in which they appear. You all have that package. Also, consequential amendments are voted on together. Amendments must be procedurally admissible. They must not be outside the scope of the bill.

As you would know, this bill already went through second reading. That's why it is here. At second reading, we as the House of Commons accepted the bill in principle, and therefore we cannot venture outside the principle or scope of the bill.

We must not offend the financial prerogative of the crown. I wrote that here verbatim, “must not offend the financial prerogative of the crown”, because I like the way it was expressed. My goodness, we could say that about many things; nevertheless, we have to say it here.

Clauses can be revisited later as the debate may dictate. They then will be deemed as stood, for now. If we get bogged down on something, we can move to something else. We can move to the next one and deal with that one at a later time.

Amendments have a number at the top right corner, as you can see. For instance, right now, I'm looking at CPC-1, from the Conservative Party. Please note that “PV” is Parti vert, or Green Party.

No seconder is required for any of these amendments. Once an amendment is moved, unanimous consent is required to withdraw an amendment.

During debate on amendments, subamendments are permitted. The mover's permission is not required in this particular procedure. Only one subamendment is permitted at a time, and subamendments cannot be amended themselves. Also, subamendments are voted on first, and then another subamendment may be moved. Otherwise, you could then vote on the main amendment. That follows the course we've taken for other things that we've done on motions.

Once all clauses have been voted on, we vote on the title of the bill and then the bill itself in order to reprint it. If amendments are adopted, we will adopt a proper copy of the bill to be presented back to the House, of course, for report stage prior to third reading. The report we send back to the House will contain only the text of any adopted amendments, as well as an indication of any deleted amendments.

Are there any questions?

All right. As we say, we're off to the races.

There's one other thing, by the way. If there are no amendments being proposed to any of the clauses, I will group clauses together. You'll see what I mean as we get there. I need unanimous consent to do that.

Could I ask for your permission, I say this humbly, to group clauses together if there are no amendments being proposed?

Mr. Miller.

8:50 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

I just have a suggestion.

If you wish, Mr. Chair, rather than group them together, which I don't have a problem with, if you say, “clause 7” for example, and give a reasonable amount of time—probably 10 seconds—and don't hear anything, then just ask for “agreed”. If everybody agrees, you move on to the next one.

That's a quick way to do it, too. It's just a suggestion. The decision is up to you. I don't have a problem with grouping them, but it doesn't take any longer to do it the other way.

8:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Can I assume I didn't get unanimous consent?

8:50 a.m.

Conservative

Larry Miller Conservative Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, ON

No. You got it from me. I'm fine. I'm just suggesting another way that will also be expedient.

8:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

All right. Is everybody okay with that? I'll just do that.

8:50 a.m.

An hon. member

Agreed.

8:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Okay, we'll do it that way.

I got unanimous consent, but I didn't. That's good. I like that.

Is everybody ready? Does everybody have their notes?

(Clause 1 agreed to)

(On clause 2)

8:50 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

For clause 2, we would like to suggest, on page 2, adding the word “marine” to line 6.

8:50 a.m.

A voice

That's clause 4.

8:50 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Oh, is that clause 4? I'm sorry.

8:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Shall clause 2 carry?

(Clause 2 agreed to)

(Clause 3 agreed to)

(On clause 4)

Ms. May, you have the floor.

December 7th, 2017 / 8:55 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Green Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Thank you.

Members of the committee will recall passing the motion that requires Mr. Tootoo and myself to be here if we want to have any substantive impact on the bill. That's why we're here at your invitation. It's not a process I like, by the way, but let's move on because I need all your help today.

I have proposed, in your package, PV-4, which would have occurred in clause 5, to inject the notion of ecological integrity into the bill. I'm proposing to withdraw PV-4 and to replace it with the amendment that is now being passed to you. This one takes a slightly different tack to accomplish close to the same goal.

Clause 4 relates to subsection 35(1) of the existing Oceans Act. In that subsection, there's a list of criteria that ends at criteria letter (e).

If you had the original Oceans Act in front of you, you would see that marine protected areas could be designated for one or more of the following reasons: the conservation and protection of fisheries; the conservation and protection of threatened species; the conservation and protection of unique habitats; the conservation and protection of marine areas with high biodiversity; and so on.

I would inject a new paragraph (f), which would be “the conservation and protection of marine areas for the purpose of maintaining ecological integrity.” Then, I would add a further subclause to define ecological integrity.

Just to give you some background on this, I consulted a lot with West Coast Environmental Law. I don't know if this will help me with my friends on the Conservative side, but the lawyer I worked with is Linda Nowlan. Her father, Pat Nowlan, was a long-time Progressive Conservative member of Parliament from the Annapolis Valley. I just want to mention that.

Linda Nowlan, lawyer at West Coast Environmental Law, recommended that we look at the language found in the 1999 final report of B.C.'s park legacy project.

I like very much Mr. Donnelly's ecological integrity amendment proposal, but this one, I believe, would work in terms of ecological integrity being a condition in which the structure, composition, and function of ecosystems are undisturbed by human activity, natural ecological processes are intact and self-sustaining, ecosystems evolve naturally, and an ecosystem's capacity for self-renewal and its biodiversity are maintained. This now becomes not a directive—as I was originally hoping in the amendment that I'm now prepared to withdraw—but a part of the reasons and criteria examined, and it injects into the Oceans Act a workable definition of ecological integrity.

I'm hoping for the forbearance of the committee to allow this amendment to replace the one that's in your package. Then, Mr. Chair, at your pleasure, we can debate it and vote on it.

8:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Before I seek that said forbearance, I want to point out to everyone that what she is speaking of is page 20 in your package. That's PV-4. She wants to withdraw it and replace it with PV-01. As she points out, we need unanimous consent.

Do we have unanimous consent?

Mr. Hardie, go ahead.

8:55 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Hardie Liberal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

What you are seeking is to withdraw PV-4.

8:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

That's correct, and to substitute PV-01, of which you now have a copy.

8:55 a.m.

Liberal

Ken Hardie Liberal Fleetwood—Port Kells, BC

Which we will then vote on.

8:55 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

That's correct.

Mr. Doherty, go ahead.