Thank you, Peter.
There were two bills, Bill C-352 and its predecessor, which I tabled as Bill C-219 in February 2016, just a month after we had been sworn in. Then I reintroduced a new version of it in April 2017: Bill C-352. It's very skinny. The government's bill, tabled 10 days ago, Bill C-64, is much more hefty. That's my first point of comparison.
I will show you how these two bills are not redundant and how they are not contradictory. I urge you to deem my private member's bill votable.
There are a number of points of comparison.
With regard to national strategy, Bill C-64 is not a national strategy. The word does not appear once in the legislation. The government's briefing notes make that clear as well. It's not a national strategy; my bill is all about developing a national strategy.
The next comparison is with regard to royal recommendation. Bill C-64 requires the appropriation of public revenue and, as such, has received a royal recommendation. My bill does not.
With regard to penalties, in Bill C-64 there's a compliance and enforcement regime that is extensive. It creates a whole new set of violations and penalties for abandonment of vessels. My bill does none of these things. Arguably, my bill would make it easier to actually enforce those penalties in Bill C-64.
Another related point of comparison is enforcement tools. In Bill C-64, there is a whole suite of tools for enforcement provided to the Minister of Transport, a number of fines. My bill does none of these things.
With regard to enforcement officers and the justice system, they're also very different. Bill C-64 creates powers for enforcement officers, for the Transportation Appeal Tribunal, for the justice of the peace, for the Attorney General. Bill C-352 does none of these.
With regard to receiver of wreck, my bill designates the Canadian Coast Guard as the receiver of wreck. This was the same in Jean Crowder's bill in the previous Parliament, which a number of members of the government supported at that time. In the government's bill, that's not the approach. Bill C-64 keeps it as a multi-jurisdictional approach and keeps the receiver of wreck within the umbrella of the Minister of Transport, so again they are different approaches, not duplicative.
With regard to consultation, in my bill the Minister of Transport would consult with stakeholders and coastal people to discuss the development of a strategy. That's not envisioned in Bill C-64.
With regard to international conventions, Bill C-64, the government's bill, would implement the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks. My bill requires the government to assess the benefits of acceding to that convention. Again, they're compatible, not duplicative or in conflict.
A vessel turn-in program is something that coastal communities have been requesting for more than a decade. On the model of the cash-for-clunkers program, this would be a way to deal with the backlog of abandoned vessels. Bill C-352 has that as one of its key elements. This bill has been endorsed by the Union of BC Municipalities and, across the country, by at least 50 different coastal organizations and harbour authorities. That is not a part of Bill C-64. Again, they're completely different. Bill C-64 does not legislate that.
In order to deal with the backlog of abandoned vessels, my bill has a number of measures that would legislate to address the backlog of what Transport Canada says might be thousands of abandoned vessels. Bill C-64 does not have measures to deal with the backlog, so again they're not in conflict, not contradictory, but arguably compatible.
A fund for vessel disposal modelled on what Washington state implemented 15 years ago is not addressed in Bill C-64, and the transport minister's briefing notes make that very clear. A fee associated with vessel registration going into a pool to deal with emergency removals is not something that is in Bill C-64. It is in my bill.
Amendments to other acts are another point of difference. Bill C-64 amends other acts, including the Navigation Protection Act, the Oceans Act, the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act, the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act, the Customs Act, and the Transportation Appeal Tribunal of Canada Act. My bill does none of these things.
Turning to review mechanisms in Bill C-64, there's a review proposed on the fifth anniversary of the day the bill comes into force. That would be to the committee of the Senate, the House of Commons, and/or of both Houses of Parliament. My bill only requires the transport minister to prepare and table a report to Parliament.
There are many more points of comparison. I haven't run through them all. I just hope that is sufficient to convince you that these two bills are distinctly different. They're not contradictory; they're arguably compatible. They have the same big-picture aim, but the House can absolutely hear both of them, and I sincerely believe the minister's bill would do better with mine in place.
I urge you to reject and overturn the subcommittee's ruling and I urge you to rule that my abandoned vessel private member's bill C-352 be deemed votable.
I'll turn it back to my colleague, Peter Julian.