Mr. Speaker, the people of Cariboo-Chilcotin support the protection of endangered species but they oppose Bill C-65, the federal government's endangered species protection act.
Bill C-65 threatens the rights and livelihoods of thousands of responsible ranchers, miners, foresters and landowners in the B.C. interior. It gives federal authorities the power to dictate to responsible landowners and users how they will use their land. It offers no compensation to landowners and users who are forced to leave productive land dormant, and Bill C-65 allows activist groups to go to court solely to stop resource development. This bill is an unfair, unbalanced and unsatisfactory piece of legislation.
Fortunately there is a better way. The Reform Party has proposed 42 amendments that would ensure fair compensation, co-operation by all concerned and a commitment to the preservation of all endangered species. If the government refuses to pass these amendments I will vote against Bill C-65 on behalf of the people of Cariboo-Chilcotin.