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House of Commons Hansard #163 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was federal.

Topics

Canadian Wheat Board ActGovernment Orders

11:50 a.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Is there unanimous consent to suspend the sitting for five minutes?

Canadian Wheat Board ActGovernment Orders

11:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

(The sitting of the House was suspended at 11.51 a.m.)

[English]

The House resumed at 11.58 a.m.

Canadian Wheat Board ActGovernment Orders

11:50 a.m.

Fundy Royal New Brunswick

Liberal

Paul Zed LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I think you would find unanimous consent to adjourn the debate on Bill C-72 and move to Bill C-65.

I believe my hon. colleague has a point of order as it relates to a report stage motion under Bill C-72.

Canadian Wheat Board ActGovernment Orders

11:50 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

Before proceeding to another point of order, the hon. member has asked for unanimous consent. Is there unanimous consent?

Canadian Wheat Board ActGovernment Orders

11:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Canadian Wheat Board ActGovernment Orders

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

Madam Speaker, I have two points of order.

Because of a miscommunication between the parties, I asked for unanimous consent that the motion on the Order Paper in the name of the member for Kindersley-Lloydminster be allowed to be moved and seconded even though the member was not in the House. That unanimous consent was denied, which meant that the motion was removed from the Order Paper.

Although we are not debating that bill any more, I wonder if we could have unanimous consent for the motion to be allowed to stand on the Order Paper until we debate that bill again in the future.

Canadian Wheat Board ActGovernment Orders

11:50 a.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

Is there unanimous consent?

Canadian Wheat Board ActGovernment Orders

11:50 a.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Canadian Wheat Board ActGovernment Orders

11:50 a.m.

Reform

Chuck Strahl Reform Fraser Valley East, BC

Madam Speaker, I understand I have to ask for unanimous consent to deem all amendments standing in various members' names on Bill C-65 moved and seconded, without having to move and second each one, regardless of whether or not the members are in the House. Many members will be speaking to the different motions.

Canadian Wheat Board ActGovernment Orders

Noon

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

Do we have unanimous consent?

Canadian Wheat Board ActGovernment Orders

Noon

Some hon. members

Agreed.

The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-65, an act respecting the protection of wildlife species in Canada from extirpation or extinction, as reported (with amendments) from the committee.

Canada Endangered Species Protection ActGovernment Orders

Noon

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

I have a ruling for groups at report stage of Bill C-65, an act respecting the protection of wildlife species in Canada from extirpation or extinction.

There are 115 motions in amendment standing on the Notice Paper for the report stage of Bill C-65.

Motions Nos. 29, 39 and 114 stand on the Notice Paper only in the same name of the hon. member for Nunatsiaq who has recently resigned his seat. Accordingly they cannot be proposed to the House.

The other motions will be grouped for debate as follows:

Group No. 1: Motions Nos. 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 19, 25, 27, 50, 54, 56 to 60, 62, 63, 65, 66 and 82 to 109.

Group No. 2: Motions Nos. 2, 15, 16, 17, 21, 24, 26, 34, 35, 44, 45, 49, 55, 64, 74 and 81.

Group No. 3: Motions Nos. 5, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 18, 20, 22, 23, 31, 32, 46, 47, 51, 52, 61, 67, 68, 69, 70, 75, 79, 80, 110, 111 and 115.

Group No. 4: Motions Nos. 28, 29, 30, 33, 53, 71, 72, 76, 77, 78 and 112.

Group No. 5: Motions Nos. 36 to 43, 48, 73, 113 and 114.

The voting patterns for the motions within each group are available at the table. The Chair will remind the House of each pattern at the time of voting.

I shall now propose Motions Nos. 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 11, 19, 25, 27, 50, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 65, 66, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108 and 109 to the House.

Canada Endangered Species Protection ActGovernment Orders

April 24th, 1997 / noon

NDP

Len Taylor NDP The Battlefords—Meadow Lake, SK

moved:

Motion No. 1

That Bill C-65, in the Preamble, be amended by replacing line 21 on page 1 with the following:

"measures to prevent the"

Motion No. 63

That Bill C-65, in Clause 38, be amended by adding after line 40 on page 22 the following:

"(h.1) an identification and evaluation of any impact on the communities located on the land on which the species is found and on the workers on and the users of that land;"

Canada Endangered Species Protection ActGovernment Orders

Noon

Reform

Paul Forseth Reform New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

moved:

Motion No. 3

That Bill C-65, in the Preamble, be amended by adding after line 36 on page 1 the following:

"conservation will be enhanced through an informed public wherein biological and socio-economic concerns are combined to achieve sustainable development with an environmental ethic,"

Motion No. 25

That Bill C-65, in Clause 8, be amended by adding after line 10 on page 9 the following:

"(1.1) For greater certainty, for the purposes of subsection (1), "costs" include any cost to a person or organization incurred by way of a business loss suffered by virtue of the implementation of a program or measure for the conservation of wildlife species in respect of land owned by the organization or person."

Motion No. 27

That Bill C-65, in Clause 8, be amended by replacing line 25 on page 9 with the following:

"program or measure and provide for written notice to the persons who will be directly affected by the program or measure."

Motion No. 56

That Bill C-65, in Clause 38, be amended by replacing line 36 on page 21 with the following:

"technically, biologically and socio-economically feasible and"

Motion No. 59

That Bill C-65, in Clause 38, be amended by replacing lines 1 and 2 on page 22 with the following:

"(5) If the recovery of the wildlife species is technically, biologically and socio-economically feasible, the"

Motion No. 101

That Bill C-65, in Clause 69, be amended by replacing line 25 on page 36 with the following:

"mentioned in subsection 60(3). The court shall take into consideration scientific and socio-economic concerns when granting any relief under this section."

Canada Endangered Species Protection ActGovernment Orders

Noon

York West Ontario

Liberal

Sergio Marchi LiberalMinister of the Environment

moved:

Motion No. 4

That Bill C-65, in the Preamble, be amended by replacing line 3 on page 2 with the following:

"aged and supported, community interests, including socio-economic interests,"

Motion No. 58

That Bill C-65, in Clause 38, be amended by a ) replacing line 36 on page 21 with the following:

"technically and biologically feasible and" b ) replacing line 2 on page 22 with the following:

"technically and biologically feasible, the" c ) replacing line 11 on page 23 with the following:

"not technically or biologically feasible, the"

Motion No. 62

That Bill C-65, in Clause 38, be amended a ) by replacing line 21 on page 22 with the following: d ) an evaluation of the costs and benefits, including the socio-economic costs and benefits, of'' b ) by replacing line 38 on page 22 with the following:

"promote cooperative or voluntary efforts for the protec-" c ) by adding after line 40 on page 22 the following:

"(h.1) an indication of any land that is part of the habitat of the species and may qualify as ecologically sensitive land for the purpose of a tax deductible donation under paragraph 110.1(1)( d ) of the Income Tax Act;''

Motion No. 90

That Bill C-65, in Clause 60, be amended by replacing, in the English version, line 12 on page 34 with the following: b ) caused or will cause significant harm to an individ-''

Motion No. 98

That Bill C-65, in Clause 67, be amended by adding after line 12 on page 36 the following:

"(1.1) In an endangered species protection action, a defendant is deemed to have exercised all due diligence if the defendant lawfully engaged in an activity that they had no reason to believe was likely to affect the individual, critical habitat or residence concerned."

Motion No. 102

That Bill C-65, in Clause 69, be amended by replacing line 25 on page 36 with the following:

"mentioned in subsection 60(3). The court must take into consideration scientific and socio-economic concerns when granting any relief under this section."

Canada Endangered Species Protection ActGovernment Orders

Noon

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Vegreville, AB

moved:

Motion No. 6

That Bill C-65, in the preamble, be amended by adding after line 13 on page 2 the following:

"actions taken under this Act must take into account the social and economic consequences of those actions on the parties affected,"

Motion No. 7

That Bill C-65, in the preamble, be amended by adding after line 13 on page 2 the following:

"the responsible minister must suspend the application of the provisions of this Act respecting recovery and management plans if it is established to the satisfaction of the responsible minister that measures are being taken or will be taken within a reasonable time by landowners or by any other interested parties for the protection of certain wildlife species, the purpose of a suspension of the application of certain provisions of this Act is to strengthen co-operation among the various parties concerned, "

Motion No. 11

That Bill C-65, in Clause 2, be amended by adding after line 8 on page 4 the following:

""landowner" includes a person who leases federal land."

Motion No. 19

That Bill C-65 be amended by adding after line 7, on page 7, the following:

"3.3 Notwithstanding any other provision in this Act, no provision of this Act or any regulation or emergency order made under this Act, with the exception of sections 31 to 33, applies to a landowner that would result in the expenditure of money by the landowner or in a financial loss for the landowner."

Motion No. 54

That Bill C-65, in Clause 38, be amended by replacing lines 28 to 32 on page 21 with the following:

"(3) Where the responsible minister receives, within twelve months after a wildlife species is listed as endangered, threatened or extirpated, a request signed by a majority of the landowners referred to in paragraph 39( b ) requesting that one or more public hearings be held concerning the preparation of the recovery plan, the responsible minister must a ) hold at least one public hearing in the place and within the month indicated in the request; and b ) advise the persons who signed the request of the time and place of the public hearing.

(3.1) The recovery plan must be completed a ) within three months after the last public hearing held under subsection (3) has been completed; and b ) where no public hearing is held under subsection (3), within one year after the wildlife species was listed as endangered, threatened or extirpated.''

Motion No. 66

That Bill C-65, in Clause 39, be amended by replacing lines 16 to 19 on page 23 with the following:

"39. The recovery plan must be prepared in consultation with a ) any persons who the responsible minister considers are directly affected by, or interested in, the plan; and b ) any directly affected landowners who have notified the responsible minister of their wish to be consulted regarding the recovery plan.''

Motion No. 87

That Bill C-65 be amended by adding after line 32, on page 33, the following:

"59.1 The responsible minister must, by order, suspend, for a specified term, the application of all or any of the provisions of this Act respecting recovery and management plans if it is established to the satisfaction of the responsible minister that measures are being taken or will be taken within a reasonable time by landowners or by any other interested parties for the protection of a wildlife species that is listed as endangered, threatened or extirpated."

Canada Endangered Species Protection ActGovernment Orders

Noon

Reform

Darrel Stinson Reform Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

moved:

Motion No. 50

That Bill C-65, in Clause 38, be amended by adding: a ) after line 9 on page 21 the following:

"(1.1) The responsible minister shall hold at least one public hearing in the area affected by the recovery plan to hear the comments of persons interested in cooperating in the preparation of the recovery plan.

(1.2) The responsible minister shall cause to be published, in the Canada Gazette and in a daily or weekly newspaper in general circulation in the area affected by the recovery plan, at least sixty days prior to the commencement of any public hearing held by the responsible minister in the area pursuant to subsection (1.1), a notice containing a ) a statement that the responsible minister must prepare a recovery plan and hold a public hearing concerning the plan; b ) the time, date and place of the hearing; c ) a statement that any person interested in cooperating in the preparation of the plan must notify the responsible minister, at least three working days prior to the commencement of the public hearing, in electronic or other form, of the person's name and address and of the fact that the person is affected or interested.'' b ) after line 22 on page 21 the following:

"(d.1) any other person or organization that notifies the responsible minister, at least three working days prior to the commencement of the hearing referred to in subsection (1.1), in electronic or other form, of the name and address of the person or organization and of the fact that the person or organization is affected or interested."

Motion No. 57

That Bill C-65, in Clause 38, be amended by replacing line 36 on page 21 with the following:

"technically, socio-economically and biologically possible and"

Motion No. 60

That Bill C-65, in Clause 38, be amended by replacing line 2 on page 22 with the following:

"technically, socio-economically and biologically possible, the"

Motion No. 65

That Bill C-65, in Clause 38, be amended by replacing lines 10 to 15 on page 23 with the following:

"(7) If the recovery of the wildlife species is not technically, socio-economically or biologically possible, the recovery plan may include measures limited to the prohibition of activities that directly affect individuals of the species or their residences."

Motion No. 82

That Bill C-65, in Clause 51, be amended by replacing lines 42 to 44 on page 28 with the following:

"(3), during normal business hours, enter and inspect any place in which the officer believes, on reasonable and probable grounds, there is any thing to"

Motion No. 83

That Bill C-65, in Clause 51, be amended by replacing lines 21 to 24 on page 29 with the following:

"a dwelling-place except with the witnessed and written permission of the owner or tenant of the dwelling place or under the authority of a warrant."

Motion No. 84

That Bill C-65, in Clause 52, be amended by replacing lines 43 to 46 on page 29, and lines 1 to 3, on page 30 with the following:

"order, an enforcement officer shall not exercise the powers of search and seizure provided in section 487 of the Criminal Code in respect of a building without a warrant or the witnessed written permission of the owner or tenant of the building."

Motion No. 85

That Bill C-65, in Clause 57, be amended by replacing lines 1 and 2 on page 32 with the following:

"57.(1) The responsible minister must acknowledge receipt of the application and send a copy of it by registered mail to each person alleged in the application to have been involved in the commission of the offence within"

Motion No. 89

That Bill C-65, in Clause 60, be amended by replacing lines 36 to 43 on page 33, and lines 1 to 5, on page 34 with the following: a ) the responsible minister has not performed the duties of the responsible minister under this Act; or b ) there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that there is collusion between the responsible minister and the person alleged to have committed an offence under this Act.''

Canada Endangered Species Protection ActGovernment Orders

Noon

Reform

Mike Scott Reform Skeena, BC

moved:

Motion No. 86

That Bill C-65, in Clause 59, be amended by replacing lines 23 to 26 on page 33 with the following:

"A copy of the report sent to a person whose conduct was investigated must disclose the name and address of the applicant."

Motion No. 88

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 60.

Motion No. 91

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 61.

Motion No. 92

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 62.

Motion No. 93

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 63.

Motion No. 94

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 64.

Motion No. 95

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 65.

Motion No. 96

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 66.

Motion No. 97

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 67.

Motion No. 99

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 68.

Motion No. 100

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 69.

Motion No. 103

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 70.

Motion No. 104

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 71.

Motion No. 105

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 72.

Motion No. 106

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 73.

Motion No. 107

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 74.

Motion No. 108

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 75.

Motion No. 109

That Bill C-65 be amended by deleting Clause 76.

Canada Endangered Species Protection ActGovernment Orders

12:05 p.m.

Liberal

Gar Knutson Liberal Elgin—Norfolk, ON

Madam Speaker, today marks an important step in introducing Canada's first ever federal legislation for the protection of endangered species.

Bill C-65 is an important bill. This government believes that preventing species from becoming extinct is an honourable purpose, a purpose that will ensure that our children and grandchildren inherit a country as rich in wildlife as the one we enjoy today.

Furthermore, by preventing animals from becoming extinct, we also ensure that we have a healthy environment for ourselves. While it may seem irrelevant at times whether the grizzly bear disappears or the loggerhead shrike disappears, they in and of themselves can become indicators of damage that we are doing that affects us as human beings and the globe as a whole.

Some people have said that this bill goes too far and that it puts too high a value on nature. The government disagrees. Others have said that it does not go far enough in protecting the needs of endangered species. Again, the government disagrees. The attempt of the bill is to strike a balance between the various interests on the planet. The Government of Canada believes that we have the right balance.

This bill is based on the premise that the needs of the economy can be integrated with the needs of ecology, that we can protect endangered species and still have secure jobs and a healthy growing economy. This reflects the government's commitment to sustainable development.

This bill also recognizes that nature does not exist in a vacuum. People and jobs are also part of the equation. If we take away the jobs, people will build up resentments and defiance. We need their acceptance to buy into the laws for protecting the environment.

There are five important aspects of this legislation. First, we have a bill that creates an independent panel of experts, scientists to give us the facts about the status of endangered species in Canada.

What the bill attempts to do is to take politics out of the designation of which species are at risk. It is important to note that science and not politics, hearsay or uninformed opinion will determine what species are at risk, what species need help and what must be done to provide that help.

This independent arm's length group of experts is called the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada or COSEWIC for short. This will build upon 20 years of experience and provide for legal standing for this organization.

COSEWIC will make recommendations to the government which will produce a list of species receiving immediate protection. It will use its expertise and will also draw on the traditional knowledge of aboriginal Canadians to assess and identify species to be listed.

Each year the official list of species at risk in Canada will be made public. In fact, this list was made public last week. The picture it painted underscores the critical need for this legislation. COSEWIC told us that the number of endangered species in Canada has risen dramatically in the past year from 276 to 291, an increase of 15 species in the space of one year. This situation cannot be allowed to continue.

Had the Canadian endangered species act been in place when COSEWIC's list came out, this would have been the basis for demanding recovery plans for every species identified as endangered or threatened. These recovery plans would have been implemented in a timely fashion. All parties affected by the plan, such as landowners, industries, citizens, government would have been involved in the development and implementation of a plan. Without this legislation, the future of these species is in limbo.

Second, the bill recognizes that no single jurisdiction can meet the needs of all endangered species. Fish swim, birds fly and they do not recognize political boundaries. This is why we need partnerships and why it is very important that all governments agreed to a National Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk in Charlottetown in early October 1996.

In October all governments in Canada made commitments to establish complementary legislation and programs to protect endangered species. The accord builds upon legislation that already exists in four provinces: New Brunswick, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

The bill also establishes a council of ministers as a mechanism for co-operation among federal, provincial and territorial governments with the goal of preventing species in Canada from becoming extinct as a consequence of human activity.

With this bill the federal government is doing its part. The legislation respects the traditional and constitutional roles that each jurisdiction has played in wildlife protection and conservation. New provisions have been introduced to more clearly recognize provincial and territorial authorities with respect to the management of endangered wildlife species.

Third, international cross-border animal species are better protected. The bill recognizes the importance of working co-operatively with other countries for the conservation of endangered species.

As part of our committee hearings we learned that the grizzly bear roams from northern Manitoba into southern Alberta and southern British Columbia. It is protected in the United States but would only be protected in Banff National Park in the Canadian jurisdiction. This bill will help deal with issues like this one. The bill also gives us the ability to take immediate action to protect animal species in imminent danger as they move across our borders.

Earlier this month the Minister of the Environment signed a framework for co-operation with the United States Department of the Interior for the protection and recovery of wild species at risk. This agreement helps us build on the excellent relationship we have with the United States on the management of wildlife across the border.

Together our two countries manage several migratory birds and other species. Our success in the recovery of the majestic whooping crane is a symbol recognized around the world of co-operation and partnership between different jurisdictions that share a common goal.

The two countries agreed to exchange information, to work together on recovery plans and to build a partnership with all levels of government, the private sector and the public for the conservation of wildlife and the ecosystems on which they depend. A workplan will be presented to the Minister of the Environment and the Secretary of the Interior by December of this year.

This legislation builds upon the voluntary efforts of a wide range of people in Canada, many of whom joined the Minister of the Environment when he tabled this bill last October. The Government of Canada sees the necessity and the benefits of working together on behalf of all our fellow creatures. This is very good news indeed. When it comes to a bird sitting on a rock, Canadians do not want to see politicians arguing over who has jurisdiction over the rock. They want us to work to make sure the bird can live and fly free. We have put nature before jurisdictional disputes.

Fourth, this bill will generate more public involvement in our quest for a better protection of species. Canadians can take part in all stages of the process, from proposing species for listing, to developing and implementing recovery plans, to participation in the enforcement of the act.

All information relating to work under the act will be made available through the establishment of a public registry. This will allow all Canadians to judge whether species are being protected from extinction and whether social and economic concerns of resources users and communities are being fairly considered.

Partners essential to the national effort include provinces, territories, private landowners, farmers, industry, the environmental and scientific communities, aboriginal peoples and individual Canadians. Each has an important and essential contribution to make. Of particular note are aboriginal peoples whose traditional stewardship of the lands has always included the protection of wildlife.

The Government of Canada recognizes the important contribution that farmers, ranchers and landowners have made to the protection of endangered species in Canada. Operation burrowing owl in the prairies is one of many examples of how the agricultural sector has worked in partnership with governments and environmental groups to protect species on the brink of extinction. These types of partnerships are exactly the sorts of agreements that are encouraged through the Canadian endangered species act.

Individual Canadians can call for investigations and they will have access to the courts for legal redress if they feel measures are not being adequately enforced. Civil actions will allow citizens to take action to ensure that governments live up to their commitments. It helps to ensure the government's accountability. We saw in the United States that when a government failed to enforce its environmental obligations, citizens actions rose and stepped into the vacuum that was left when governments did not do their job. However if governments do their job, there should be no need for citizens actions.

I realize this provision of the bill has been criticized as leading us down a slippery slope toward the American model. In that country the public's right to sue over environmental issues has been blamed for holding up development and a lot of other things. But comparing the legislation before us with the American legislation is like comparing apples and oranges.

Safeguards against civil actions which are frivolous or vexatious have been built directly into the legislation. Before a citizen can launch an action he has to apply to the government for an investigation and then prove in court that the government has acted unreasonably before he can move forward with his own citizen action. This presents a very high barrier to prevent frivolous civil litigation.

Fifth and finally, this legislation is a product of over two and a half years of consultation. Public meetings were held from coast to coast. Discussion papers were issued and an industry and environmental task force spent nearly a year developing key proposals, 80 per cent of which are reflected in this bill. We have heard from the fishing and forestry sectors. They have addressed their concerns. In addition, 94 per cent of Canadians support the legislation. The government has received nearly 80,000 letters and petitions on the issue. Public involvement has been and will continue to be a key feature of the legislation.

A three-year review period has been built into the legislation to enable the Government of Canada to review early progress and to make necessary adjustments to the legislation.

The amendments tabled today help to ensure the protection of endangered species in Canada remains fair, equitable and balanced. As we in government are watching for possible threats to our wildlife and providing the necessary remedies, Canadians will be watching us. They will not let government or industry slide backward. Nor should they. They will hold all legislators to account. We owe it to future generations to make sure the wildlife existing in Canada in the 20th century is still here in the 21st century and beyond.

Just last week experts told us that the Monarch butterfly, a backyard treasure known to every Canadian child, is in danger. There can be no clearer message to the House. We need the legislation and we need it now.

The Government of Canada is fully committed to providing effective protection to species at risk in this country. I call on all members to support the bill.

Canada Endangered Species Protection ActGovernment Orders

12:15 p.m.

Bloc

Yvan Bernier Bloc Gaspé, QC

Madam Speaker, I welcome this opportunity to speak to Bill C-65, but I would like to add that I am speaking on behalf of the hon. member for Laurentides. This bill was supposed to be passed yesterday, and today, the hon. member had to go to her riding on business.

I am pleased there was unanimous consent for having the amendments standing in the name of the hon. member for Laurentides recorded as such, because she did all the work, and she did an excellent job.

To get back to Bill C-65, we are now considering the report stage of Bill C-65, an act respecting the protection of wildlife species in Canada from extirpation or extinction.

This bill comes as a result of a promise the Liberals made in their red book nearly three and a half years ago. It has taken the Liberals all this time to draft this bill, although as soon as she was elected, the Deputy Prime Minister made it one of her pet projects. Today, the Liberals are bringing back the bill just to show they have some interest in wildlife and the environment. Why? Because the Liberal record on the environment is pretty thin, and they must put something on the table at the last minute, to look good before an election is called.

The Liberals, who promised us the moon as far as the environment is concerned, have now stooped to campaign tactics. On every environmental issue, especially the reduction of greenhouse gases, the Liberals have been marking time. From the Deputy Prime Minister to the current minister, the Liberals have been incapable of delivering the goods. All environmental groups agree that their record is miserable.

It is all talk and no action on the other side of the House. They make pretty speeches. They even said at a number international events that Canada was a world leader on environmental issues. What a joke. What a charade on the part of the Liberals.

The biggest role they ever played is "motor mouth", which also means all talk and no action. Their record is just words and more words that have no beneficial impact on the environment. The reason for their miserable record must be sought-I see the Speaker is smiling-among senior ministers who have considerable influence in cabinet. It is clear that ministers who have connections with the business and financial communities lead the pack in this cabinet and the result is that the Minister of the Environment and this whole issue are not even given the time of day.

We should also consider the influence of lobby groups. Obviously, environmental groups and the greens cannot compete with business and industry. Unfortunately, the cabinet ministers with clout are directly connected with the industry and business lobbies. They give them their undivided attention.

Recently I saw a documentary on the important issue of reducing greenhouse gases. Ottawa has set up a representative group which is supposed to submit proposals for reducing these gases.

This task force, which included a number of environmental groups, literally had a number of avenues of reduction closed to it, particularly avenues providing for restrictions and a possible tax on carbon. These proposals were completely ruled out as a result of industry pressure, which came in the form of a powerful lobby, known as the Friday Group. There was no further mention of voluntary measures, and the tax on carbon disappeared.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister was to be seen on Alberta rostrums in the company of the provincial minister of natural resources and industry executives. Then came the tax deal of nearly $6 billion accorded this same industry.

From this report it is clear now why Canada will not achieve its reduction objectives and meet the commitments it made at the Rio summit.

Bill C-65 arises from a proposal by the former minister, which was released in August 1995. At that point, the task force was set up bringing associations with diverging interests-ecologists and industry-to the same table for a rare meeting. The group did important work and produced a bill for the minister. A national agreement on the protection of species was signed in October 1996 in Charlottetown between the federal minister and the provincial and territorial ministers.

The minister tabled his bill in the House on October 31, 1996. This was the start of the Bill C-65 saga, a long tale dotted with the discontent of everyone and the improvisations and incompetence of the minister and the parliamentary secretary.

With the tabling of the bill, environmentalists and groups made it known to the government that Bill C-65 was totally inadequate and amounted to very little in the way of species protection. Groups immediately began pressuring the minister to amend the bill to bring it more into line with their vision. They wanted the federal government to have all the powers over species and their habitats, regardless of jurisdictions or ownership.

Environmental groups have this idea that the federal government must be the national protector and that, with this status, it can ignore other jurisdictions. These groups should change their view on this issue, because the federal government is far from getting a passing grade when it comes to the environment.

Moreover, the cuts made to the department show how little the Liberals care about the environment. Because it is so far away, the federal government is definitely not the ideal level. It is not capable of protecting or preserving the environment.

You realize that for us, members from Quebec, it is difficult to buy the national approach put forward by these groups. In Quebec, we have had very adequate environmental laws and regulations

since 1989. The federal government even patterned some of its own legislation on ours. Anything that results in encroachment, interference and duplication is unacceptable to us.

In addition to these environmental groups, the industry also expressed its discontent. People in the mining, forestry and agricultural industries strongly condemned the bill.

And let us not forget the aboriginal people, who said the bill does not recognize their skills and knowledge. Finally, the provinces and territories jointly sent a letter to the minister, condemning the violation of the national convention principle, and the involvement of the federal government in their field of jurisdiction. This letter was not sent by Quebec alone.

Against the background of this widespread discontent, the committee undertook a clause by clause review of the bill. About 100 amendments were moved by members representing all the parties. The amendments of the Bloc Quebecois primarily sought to protect existing jurisdictions. We wanted to make sure the provinces would be able to manage and to control the species on their territories.

Unfortunately, all our amendments were defeated by the Liberal majority on the committee. Led by the parliamentary secretary, who shares this national, Canadian vision of the environment, the Liberal majority rejected our proposals, falling back instead on equivalency agreements and bilateral agreements with the provinces to manage the various species, with the federal government always having the upper hand.

That is unacceptable to us. While the list of species at risk in Quebec may not be very extensive at present, Quebec does have legislation to deal efficiently with this issue. In fact, according to the premier of Quebec, who strongly condemned the bill, the purpose of the national agreement was to enable the federal and provincial governments to agree on which species to protect and nothing more. That is what the agreement was all about.

From the moment the federal government starts interfering with essential habitats, it encroaches on areas outside its jurisdiction. Finally, the amendments put forward by the minister today do not remedy in any way the encroachment problem. Bloc members will oppose these amendments and the bill itself, since our amendments will be rejected by the Liberals as usual.

I thought the Charlottetown accord was about co-operation between the provinces and the federal government. Once again, the federal government, which is about to call an election, is encroaching on Quebec's jurisdictions, and this will not do any good.

Canada Endangered Species Protection ActGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Reform Swift Current—Maple Creek—Assiniboia, SK

Madam Speaker, Bill C-65 is a glaring example of the prejudice of the Liberal government against people who make their living off the land. It regards us all as thoughtless, irresponsible and uncaring people who have to be restrained by big mama government from despoiling the environment, killing every living thing, all non-human life forms, and, as an aside, from shooting ornery neighbours before breakfast with our unregistered firearms.

Bill C-65 dismisses co-operative effort in favour of coercion by the urban elites who just know they are morally and intellectually superior to farmers, ranchers and woodlot owners. Instead of offering consultation and co-operation to rural people, the government has opted to threaten them with fines and jail terms.

The abundance of proposed amendments to the bill should give some indication of its defectiveness. I draw the attention of the House to Motion No. 86. It refers to a paragraph under section 59(3)(b) wherein the government is prohibited from disclosing the name of a plaintiff in an environmental action.

This is so appalling that I initially thought it was a misprint. This is on par with provincial proposals of snitch lines for welfare cheaters. It is fundamental to a civil society that accusers not have anonymity except in cases where identifying them might endanger their lives. I hardly think a farmer accused of killing a swift fox would take out a contract on his accuser. It is a fundamental principle of justice that an accused must have the right to face his or her accusers. Even murderers have that right.

The bottom line is that with guaranteed anonymity there is absolutely nothing to deter someone, whether an environmentalist or a neighbour with a grievance, from filing a frivolous complaint, a vexatious complaint. There is no penalty, no economic sacrifice, not even community disapproval for making an underhanded move against someone who may or may not have done something against the act. I do not understand how this provision managed to slip through committee.

Motions Nos. 88, 91 to 100 and 104 to 109 propose the deletion of sections 60 to 76 of the act. These are the sections which give private citizens the right to file civil suits if they believe that the Canadian Wildlife Service is lax in the performance of its duties.

When the state introduces legislation to protect what it considers to be the interests of society as a whole, then it should also take whatever action is necessary under that legislation to ensure its effectiveness, not delegate the right to individuals who might have their own agendas.

We do not need U.S. style government by litigation in Canada. These sections open the door for harassment of land owners by eco-vigilantes. It is unreasonable and unfair to expect farmers, ranchers and woodlot owners, many of whom are struggling to make a living, to defend themselves against well financed environmental groups, many of which are partly funded by government.

Within this group I wish to draw particular attention to section 65 which allows third parties to participate in court actions, get this, "in order to provide fair and adequate representation of the private and public interests involved". Really. This is from the government whose original discussions of the background material leading to this bill were held only in cities across Canada.

I quote Nancy Greene Raine on this little exercise in consultation, Liberal government style: "It is a sad day when legislation can be drafted without the input of the people who will be affected".

I would like to backtrack a little and comment on section 52. That section authorizes warrantless search and seizure. This sounds familiar. I would almost think it was written by our Minister of Justice with his well known disdain for due process and individual rights as exemplified in the same type of provisions in Bill C-68. Perhaps he and this government just do not like rural people or perhaps the Liberals are on a power trip.

One of the worst features of Bill C-65 is that if a land owner loses all or part of his or her livelihood due to a government or private action on behalf of endangered species, a requirement to fence out water holes for example, there is no firm provision for compensation. This is also typical of the government's attitude toward ordinary citizens in other matters.

If a government is going to encourage individual Canadians to inform on or launch lawsuits against their neighbours in the name of the greater good, then fairness would dictate that provisions be put in place for those affected to recover all the costs they incur as a result of such action if and when the courts rule that they are not guilty of an offence under the act.

This lack of provision for just treatment of affected people could actually endanger the very creatures which the legislation is designed to protect. This House should be aware that there are already U.S. real estate advertisements certifying that land being offered for sale is free of endangered species. How can they be so sure? Why would they want it to be free of endangered species? Maybe somebody took a bit of underhanded action to see that there were no endangered species left on the land and maybe the reason they have made this certification is that nobody would want to buy a piece of land if they knew there were kangaroo rats on it.

Because of this sort of thing, there is a very strong feeling now in the United States that its 21-year old environmental protection act has been beneficial only to one predatory species, namely lawyers, but not beneficial to endangered species.

In January the hon. member for Davenport was quoted as follows: "We have to take a soft approach at first if people are going to accept this type of regulation". There is a slip of a Liberal lip. The scary part of this is not so much the deviousness expressed by the member but that he probably sincerely believes that Bill C-65 represents a reasonable and soft approach.

In the moments I have left I would like to read to the House a few quotes from a brief presented to the standing committee by the Canadian Cattlemen's Association. This paragraph says it all: "The legislation before the committee represents a U.S. approach to endangered species protection. It relies heavily on regulation and enforcement and contains very little to encourage voluntary co-operation and partnerships. In our view the legislation in its current form will create conflict between land owners and conservation groups and will be detrimental to the future of wildlife on private lands".

Further the brief states: "This bill erodes the rights of individual Canadians, particularly with respect to their rights to own and enjoy property. We believe the erosion of property rights is damaging to the cause of wildlife and endangered species and the record of government in protecting species over which it has direct control and which are not on private land, for example the Atlantic cod and the Pacific salmon, does not create a lot of confidence in its ability to maintain and develop long term protection measures".

Canada Endangered Species Protection ActGovernment Orders

12:35 p.m.

Bloc

Jean-Guy Chrétien Bloc Frontenac, QC

Madam Speaker, the government is playing a childish game only hours before an election is called.

It is introducing bills in the House that it knows full well will die on the Order Paper when an election is called, probably on Sunday afternoon in Shawinigan.

Barely a few minutes ago we were debating a bill apparently eagerly awaited by western grain producers, Bill C-72, that the Pinocchio crowd promised would be passed in this 35th Parliament, and that is going to die on the Order Paper.

A few hours later, in order to look good, the Minister of the Environment is introducing Bill C-65, which, on the face of it, seems quite commendable. When we examine it closely, however, we see that, once again, the government is on the wrong track.

I will read you the title of the bill and you will understand how very commendable it is: an act respecting the protection of wildlife species in Canada from extirpation or extinction. Are you opposed to this? Of course not, neither am I. But a clause by clause

examination of the bill shows that the Minister of the Environment is on the wrong track, and I will tell you why.

I will begin by giving an example. The government has taken so-called positive action with respect to certain endangered species. Listen carefully while I tell you about the case of cod.

Barely three years ago, realizing that cod were declining in the Gulf and on the Atlantic coast, this government's fisheries minister took a positive step: a cod moratorium. Exactly what was needed.

A few years later, however, on the eve of an election, the cod have returned in staggering numbers. They are so large they are hanging off the edges of our plates. So, with an election about to be called in a few days, the fisheries minister authorizes cod fishing. Brilliant if you want to win votes, but for the environment, for the dwindling cod supply, it is a terrible move.

Another example is the peregrine falcon, the swiftest bird in the world. This is the bird you see in period films which is trained to attack on a signal from his owner. It is endangered here, and not because people destroy the nests or kill the birds. The problem goes much deeper than that; it is the environment, the gases we release into the atmosphere, the heavy metals, mercury in particular. What happens is that the female lays eggs whose shells are so thin that when the parents sit on them they break. It is a problem caused by pollution.

What did the Deputy Prime Minister do during her 18 months as Minister of the Environment? She did nothing about this. What is the new, and always dapper, Minister of the Environment doing about this? Nothing. He would like to protect endangered species, but he has forgotten that four provinces are ahead of him in this: Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and New Brunswick. They already have their own rules, their own legislation to protect endangered species. Now he would like to overlap with them, duplicating departments, duplicating regulations, and then to tell us that this will cost less. How very clever.

Quebec created a protective agency in 1989, not under a sovereignist government, but the government of Robert Bourassa himself, who played on the same team as the Liberals. So here we go, more duplication. Quebec, Manitoba and New Brunswick represent at least 60 per cent of Canada's land mass. Once again, this is not such a clever move by the Minister of the Environment.

What is even worse is that the federal government will be appropriating areas that do not come under its jurisdiction. It is not a rare thing to see the federal government come stomping into the provinces with the attitude of: "Gang way and make room for me". It will, for example, be responsible for transborder regions.

Let me give an example of an animal that moves between provinces or between countries, the hare. If you study natural history, you will see that hares do not range much more than about a square kilometre. But if a hare lives near the U.S. border, might it not occasionally cross the border without a visa? Yes. I am taking the hare as an example, because its territory is very limited.

Now, let us take the case of a wolf. The territory of a wolf or coyote is 100 times as big, or 100 square kilometres. So a wolf will tend to cross back and forth from the American side to the Quebec and Ontario sides. So it could be called a transboundary species. However, that is impossible, because it is not a migratory bird like the duck.

I would like to add the following for the benefit of those who are listening at home. When you go hunting in the fall and you want to hunt partridge, hare, black bear or deer, you need a Quebec licence. But if you want to hunt duck or snow geese, you have to go to the post office-the post office, that is a good one-to buy a federal licence for migratory birds. I agree migratory birds should be managed, at least under our present system, by the federal government. But hares, foxes, wolves, black bears and deer are a provincial responsibility.

Another point that bothers me is those appointments. As you know, and I see you are smiling again, I am allergic to patronage and these appointments made by the governor in council or, as it says so neatly in Bill C-65, on the recommendation of our Minister of the Environment, who does not know much about saving endangered species. He only listens to his officials. He will be responsible for appointing the nine members who sit on this committee.

Of course they will be remunerated-the same old story-after being appointed for political reasons, something I saw in my own riding. The president of the EI board of referees-you know who I mean because I think I told you that yesterday-is the sister of the Liberal candidate in the riding of Frontenac-Mégantic. She may be competent, but she is a Liberal first and foremost.

The former president had to be replaced, for some important reason. There was no competition, and the same procedure must have been used to appoint the returning officer in your riding for the next election, which will be called on Sunday, for June 2.

I repeat, it is truly appalling that the government should use political appointments to protect endangered species.

Bill C-65 also refers to federal land. I would appreciate it if the Minister of Environment said "On my land in Canada". For instance, in Mauricie Park or Forillon Park in the Gaspé, they say no moose or partridge shall be shot on this land, but if the moose or

partridge move out, well, the federal government did not buy the whole country.

We have deer on our farm. When the hunting season starts, a friend of the returning officer for my riding goes deer hunting on my property. If the deer crosses the street and is no longer on my property, I cannot tell the hunter: "Go ahead and shoot it, it is over there". I will have to tell him: "You only have the right to hunt on our property".

So I suggest the federal government mind its own business. Sure, it can protect endangered species, but it should first look where the problem is and then try to deal with it.

Canada Endangered Species Protection ActGovernment Orders

12:45 p.m.

Reform

Leon Benoit Reform Vegreville, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak at report stage of Bill C-65 to the Group No. 1 amendments.

The amendments in Group No. 1 deal with three of the major areas of concern. It does not allow for the co-operative approach but instead chooses the punitive approach in dealing with a threat to an endangered species.

The second is the area of compensation. There is not any acceptable form of compensation provided for in this legislation.

Third is the area of search and seizure. It allows an anonymous accuser to start a process against someone who has threatened, in their minds, an endangered species.

These amendments deal with all those areas. Many of them were proposed by myself, others by the member for Swift Current-Maple Creek-Assiniboia, our critic in the environment area, the member for New Westminster-Burnaby, the member for Skeena and other Reform MPs.

Several of the amendments in this grouping are from the government. That shows clearly that the bill was not very well thought out. That was something we found on examining the bill and the amendments moved by others. This grouping affects the three major areas of concern with this legislation.

I would first like to talk a little bit about Bill C-65, the endangered species legislation. I do not think anyone would argue against the intent of the bill. The government brought in the bill to deal with concern over endangered species. I believe everyone in the House shares those concerns.

However, when looking at the bill realistically and thinking it through, if it passes, even with the amendments that we are debating today, it would probably make things worse for endangered species than not having the bill at all. Let me explain what I mean.

Let us think of a farmer, rancher, someone in the forestry industry or someone who has commercial property on the outskirts of a town that finds an endangered species on their property or in a habitat that could possibly support one of the endangered species on the list.

For example, an endangered species or habitat that would support an endangered species is discovered on the property. The person knows the legislation in place is heavy-handed and would not allow for the species to be protected in a co-operative way. The penalties include fines of up to $1 million and even more important, that person could be forced to cover the legal costs of the case.

That individual could be forced to spend money to fence off a portion of property that would support the endangered species with no compensation. Perhaps the accuser is anonymous, a neighbour who maybe has a quarrel with that individual, who could go to the authorities and that neighbour's name may well never be disclosed. What do members think they would do facing this type of cost, penalty and breach of normal judicial procedure?

In many cases these people may think, much as they would like to protect the species, that with the threat that was brought about because of this legislation they just cannot take a chance. Supporting their families is more important than providing a habitat for an endangered species. In many cases, I believe, they would destroy the habitat and possibly even destroy the species.

That is not what I want and I am certain that is not what the government wants. However, that is exactly what this legislation, if it were to pass, would most likely do. It is wrong and we must protect against that.

Some of the amendments that Reform has brought in would go a long way to doing that if they were to pass. The amendments that I propose deal with the issue of a co-operative approach. More than one of my amendments propose that if the property owners or users who have the endangered specie or habitat on the property can demonstrate that they voluntarily will protect those species, along with others who are interested, then the punitive part of the bill, which is most of the bill, would not come into effect. That gives some protection against the heavy-handed approach of the government in this legislation.

I have put forward amendments in the area of compensation, as did the hon. member for New Westminster-Burnaby. Those amendments would ensure that the land owner or land user would not have to bear the entire burden of the expense.

The bill includes unusual and unacceptable search and seizure measures. It also allows an anonymous accuser to turn in a neighbour. The members for Swift Current-Maple Creek-Assi-

niboia, Skeena and others have put amendments which would help in those areas.

This legislation has not been well thought out. The intent is good, but it has not been well thought out. The best thing would be to scrap it. Whichever party forms the next government should deal with this issue in a much more effective manner. That is exactly what will happen if the Reform Party forms the next government. I hope the Liberals will do that if they form the next government.

There are over 100 amendments which will not deal properly with all of the issues that have to be dealt with.

On behalf of the people who depend on the land to earn their livelihood, whether they are farmers, ranchers, people in the forestry and mining industries, or people who have commercial property on the edge of a town which could lose its value as a result of this legislation, I say that we should throw it out of the House. If that does not happen, then let us pass the amendments which have been moved. At least they will help in dealing with these problems.