I do apologize to all of you, but when every single committee passed the same language that was used in the previous government to require me to show up at every committee at clause-by-clause if I had an intention to amend a bill—which is not expanding my rights but actually shrinking them, because otherwise I would have had the right to put these amendments forward at report stage—I made a pledge to myself. I put on the record my objections to the process in which every single committee has passed identical motions that substantially increase my already fairly serious workload.
However, I now am happy to address my amendment. As you all will know, because you passed said motion, my amendments are deemed to have been tabled. Because I'm not a member of the committee, I can't table them. My amendment is deemed to have been tabled, but I won't be able to vote on it. I can speak to it.
I appreciate the work done on this. I'm so grateful to Bernadette Jordan for her motion. I know that Sheila has done a ton of work on derelict vessels. I'm very grateful to Karen, the parliamentary secretary, for her work. This is a good piece of legislation, but it can be better. One of the things we heard from a lot of witnesses was that one way it could be better would be to have the bill apply to more vessels that would have a mandatory requirement to carry insurance. As it stands right now, it's only going to be the really large vessels of 300 gross tonnage and more—which we catch under the Nairobi treaty anyway—that we're going to require to carry insurance.
I looked at what kinds of additional requirements for insurance are found in other countries. As well, my thanks to parliamentary library research, which has been very helpful in looking at what's required around the world. When you look at Denmark, you find that they have taken the requirements of the Nairobi convention and of course have made them tougher. They've gone to 20 metric tons...I mean 20 gross tons, rather—I'm so used to carbon dioxide equivalents—for Danish ships. They must be required, if they're 20 gross tons, to carry insurance requirements. According to Transport Canada's information, if this were applied to Canadian vessels, it would mean a further 10,000 vessels would be required to maintain wreck removal insurance.
I think this would assist the bill in its robustness. I think it would ensure that we wouldn't have cases where the Government of Canada ends up having to fork out. We'd be able to find the vessels more quickly. We'd know who owns them because their insurance would have to be up to date. This is an entirely sensible amendment that is in the spirit of and in keeping with the intent of this legislation.
I hope the committee will seriously consider passing this amendment so as to improve the scope of the bill and the mandatory requirements that vessel owners are responsible and that they take responsibility by maintaining a level of wreck removal insurance on any vessel of 20 gross ton or more.
I think that suffices to explain my amendment. Thank you.