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

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Did we record the vote for Mr. McLeod?

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Yes, we did. He voted in the negative.

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

I am curious why we allowed him to vote. He's not a member of this committee, is he?

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

He's a substitute.

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Okay, thank you.

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

We're now on CPC-4.

Mr. Doherty.

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Chair, this goes back to the earlier conversation we had in terms of the immediate designation of an interim marine protected area. Under the new act, the minister can, without any consultation with stakeholders, implement an interim protection area. This amendment requires that the minister provide a 60-day consultation period before using his or her powers under the act. The witnesses expressed concern that the consultation process for this bill was less than stellar—I think we all heard that—and was more of a briefing or information session, really a one-way dialogue rather than two-way with our stakeholders.

We propose to amend clause 5 in Bill C-55 by replacing line 4 on page 3 with the following:

(2) The Minister may, following a 60-day consultation period, by order, designate a marine pro-

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Shall amendment CPC-4 carry?

(Amendment negatived)

That's CPC-4, folks. We now go to IND-1.

Mr. Tootoo, you have the floor, sir.

10:25 a.m.

Independent

Hunter Tootoo Independent Nunavut, NU

Mr. Chairman, I hope this is not a case where you use your word of the day.

10:25 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

10:25 a.m.

Independent

Hunter Tootoo Independent Nunavut, NU

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and committee members, for the hard work you guys are doing, especially on this very important piece of legislation. I'm here just briefly, as I committed to you yesterday, Mr. Chairman, to speak to the amendment I've proposed for Bill C-55.

The ultimate goal of this amendment is to reduce and directly address any procedural ambiguity regarding the ministerial decision-making process of the marine protected areas in areas where there are established land claims agreements. I'm putting this in the context of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, but there are also other land claim agreements across the north, including Labrador, northern Quebec, and the Northwest Territories. It's understood in those agreements, and accepted as part of the agreements, that nothing should happen to our lands or to our waters without the input and involvement of Inuit. I think this applies to all facets of decision-making, any activities, as well as the management of those areas.

I feel that the proposed amendment makes this distinction very clear in the particular case of marine protected area designation. I spoke to Inuit back home, and to representatives from Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, and the belief is that the proposed amendment would help ensure that the federal government is living up to its obligations under ratified and approved land claims agreements, especially the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. I believe the acceptance of this amendment would not only substantiate the Inuit-to-crown partnership, but it would also further highlight the government's commitment to honouring the appropriate consultation process with the indigenous people of this country.

I know that this is something we heard in the House from all parties, so I'm looking forward to support for this. I think it also shows that this government is serious and is committed to honouring its obligations under land claims agreements.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Thank you, Mr. Tootoo.

Mr. McLeod.

December 7th, 2017 / 10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Michael McLeod Liberal Northwest Territories, NT

Mr. Chair, first of all, I want to say thank you to Mr. Tootoo for bringing this forward.

I did some research on this amendment, and I considered submitting the same documents. However, the Constitution Act covers fairly well this whole area of land claims. I have been discussing Bill C-55 and the proposed amendments to the Oceans Act with two Inuit organizations, the one in Mr. Tootoo's riding and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation in my riding. They have serious concerns. They have informed me that they have submitted their comments to this committee and would feel reassured.... If this amendment was brought forward, it would give them some comfort, and it would show that there is a working relationship between the federal government and the land claims organizations. They want the ability to work in a co-management fashion.

I am very happy with Mr. Tootoo's amendment, and I would certainly support it.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Mr. Doherty, go ahead.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Mr. Chair, I really appreciate our honourable colleague's bringing this forward.

The question I would put to those around the table who might have a better understanding of how this could impact.... As Mr. McLeod mentioned, it is already entrenched in the Constitution, but there are other pieces of legislation that are currently being dealt with in terms of our indigenous peoples and our federal government.

I wonder if this might conflict with any of those pieces of legislation. That's the question I would pose.

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Okay, seeing no further comments, shall amendment—

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

I'm sorry, Mr. Chair. I asked a question.

I was wondering if the legislative clerks or perhaps our department might have some—

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Mr. Doherty, my apologies, I didn't hear the question part.

Mr. MacDonald, would you care to weigh in?

10:30 a.m.

Director General, Oceans Management, Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Jeff MacDonald

I am not aware of other legislation being contemplated right now on that matter either in Parliament or in the government.

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Mr. Doherty, do you want a further...?

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

I'm fine.

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Okay. There are no further comments.

(Amendment agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])

We now move to CPC-6.

As you know, CPC-5 was dropped because of its consequential feature with CPC-2.

Mr. Doherty, go ahead.

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

Todd Doherty Conservative Cariboo—Prince George, BC

Let me get to CPC-6.

10:30 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Mr. Doherty, while you are trying to get to that, I will just bring something to the attention of the committee.

I am looking at the clock. I don't need unanimous consent, but I hope I get some sort of agreement that we can extend the meeting until 11:15. That would give us 30 minutes to play with.

10:30 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.