This week, I changed much of the tech behind this site. If you see anything that looks like a bug, please let me know!

House of Commons Hansard #121 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreed.

Topics

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Gordon Earle NDP Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of tabling a petition pursuant to Standing Order 26.

This petition signed by over 100 people deals with the provocation defence currently used in femicide, wife slaughter cases.

The petitioners point out that such a defence unjustly focuses the criminal trial from the behaviour of the accused to the behaviour of the victim. The petitioners indicate that the defence is not consistent with community values and with the requirement that males take responsibility for violent behaviour toward women.

The petitioners request that parliament review and change relevant provisions of the Criminal Code to ensure that men who act violently toward women take responsibilities for their actions.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Reform Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to table a petition from 38 constituents who are opposed to possible new definitions of marriage.

They ask the House to enact Bill C-225, an act to amend the Marriage Act to ensure that marriage could only be entered into between a single male and a single female, an issue very essential for preserving the basic building block of society which is the family.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have the honour and privilege today to introduce three petitions.

The first one is on behalf of my colleague, the member for Vancouver East. It relates to the Middle East and specifically requests that there be a recall of all Canadian military personnel and equipment now taking part in the blockade of Iraq and use all possible diplomatic pressures to urge the United Nations to end the sanctions against Iraq. This petition has been signed by 224 Canadians.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, the second petition is on behalf of my colleague, the member for Yukon, and consists of 344 names.

The petitioners call on parliament to instruct the government to re-evaluate its policy with respect to undocumented convention refugees in Canada class and consider implementation of the 1996 recommendation of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on this matter.

PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

NDP

Dick Proctor NDP Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition with 72 names from the residents of Palliser expressing ongoing concern about the multilateral agreement on investment, on which we have already heard from my colleagues for Winnipeg—Transcona and the member for Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this is something of a special occasion.

The following questions will be answered today: Nos. 21 and 94. .[Text]

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Which ministers of the Government of Canada visited the Drummondville-Trois-Rivières vicinity between August 2, 1996 and June 2, 1997?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Gouvernment in the House of Commons

I am informed as follows:

The following ministers and secretary of state visited the Drummondville-Trois-Rivières vicinity between August 2, 1996 and June 2, 1997: Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Minister of Human Resources Development; Minister of Industry; Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board; President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs; Prime Minister; President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Infrastructure; Secretary of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec).

Other ministers and secretaries of state reported that they did not visit the Drummondville-Trois-Rivières vicinity between August 2, 1996 and June 2, 1997.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

With regard to the application by the province of Nova Scotia to Revenue Canada for a $16 million refund to compensate a tax overpayment made by Nova Scotia Power, Inc. when it was a crown corporation: (/a/) what is the status of the review of this application by the Department of Justice; and (/b/) when will the department release its decision, if it has not done so already?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal LiberalMinister of National Revenue

The provisions of section 241 of the Income Tax Act, on confidentiality of information, preclude the disclosure of information without the taxpayer's consent.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise on point of order. First I thank the hon. parliamentary secretary for answering Question No. 21. I am also wondering if we could possibly know when we could expect an answer to Question No. 94.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to say that we just did.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I trust that clarifies that matter.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Liberal

Peter Adams Liberal Peterborough, ON

Mr. Speaker, I ask that the remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I that agreed?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

12:15 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Business Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

June 12th, 1998 / 12:15 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, all parties have been consulted. I wish to seek unanimous consent for the following. I move:

That immediately after Bill C-38 is disposed of, Government Order, Government Business No. 15 shall be deemed carried and the House shall thereupon adjourn.

This is the item previously agreed to among House leaders in terms of the allocation of opposition days, restoring the closure motion, to adjourn and so on.

(Motion agreed to)

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there has been consultation and I think you will find agreement for the following travel orders. I move:

That 10 members of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans be authorized to travel to Iceland for approximately five days during the period September 12 to September 19, 1998 in relation to the committee's study of management of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and that the necessary staff do accompany the committee.

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

Does the hon. parliamentary secretary have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

An hon. member

No.

Committees Of The HouseRoutine Proceedings

12:20 p.m.

Peterborough Ontario

Liberal

Peter Adams LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, there have been consultations and I think you will find consent for the following motion. I move:

That five (5) members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and two (2) staff persons of the committee be authorized to travel to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories to attend the nineteenth annual conference of the Canadian Council of Public Accounts Committees to be held in Yellowknife from August 15 to 18, 1998.

(Motion agreed to)

The House resumed consideration of the motion that Bill C-38, an act to amend the National Parks Act, be read the third time and passed.

National Parks ActGovernment Orders

12:20 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Mark Muise Progressive Conservative West Nova, NS

Mr. Speaker, it gives me pleasure to speak on Bill C-38, an act to amend the National Parks Act by adding Tuktut Nogait national park to the list of national parks in schedule I of the National Parks Act.

Tuktut Nogait is located in region 15, tundra hills, as designated by Parks Canada in its national park systems plan. This region is highlighted by a number of spectacular features. More than 95% of the region is tundra, rock barrens where only the hardiest plants can survive. Wildlife in this region is mainly comprised of summer migrants. Musk ox, wolves and caribou can be found in this region. It is also the home of one of the rarest birds in Canada, the Eskimo curlew.

All this is to say that this park will play a critical role in helping to conserve Canada's biological diversity through the protection of the bluenose caribou herd, concentrations of tundra peregrine falcons and rich niches of vegetation.

Tuktut Nogait is Canada's newest and fifth largest national park. The passage of Bill C-38 brings Canada's park system one step closer to completion. It is this government's objective to have a national park in all 39 natural regions of this country by the year 2000. It is also a very unique national park in that it was a community that initiated the idea of the national park. Most candidate sites are identified by Parks Canada.

The Inuvialuit are to be praised for their conservation efforts. In fact, 29% of their lands are protected areas whereas the government has not even achieved its goal of setting aside 12% of our lands as protected areas.

Six parties entered into agreement to establish Tuktut Nogait national park in June 1996, the Canadian government, the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Inuvialuit Game Council, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Paulatuk Community Corporation and the Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee.

While they were negotiating the agreement and at the time they signed that agreement the Inuvialuit groups understood that it would be possible for them to make changes to this agreement in the future.

Last winter the IRC approached the federal government to ask whether it could modify the boundaries of the park to allow for mineral development. The government's response was to wipe the dust off the Tuktut Nogait park agreement and attempt to slip it through parliament.

All parties agreed to the passage of Bill C-38 in principle but were preoccupied by the request made by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation to remove 415 square kilometres of the established 16,340 square kilometres to permit mineral development. The government and conservation groups have argued that this land which represents only 2.5% of the park falls within the core calving ground of the bluenose caribou herd.

During first reading of this bill I told members of the House that I was in favour of this bill in principle. I thought then and I still do that we cannot start carving up parts of our national parks for any reason. Immediately following my remarks I was contacted by the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation to advise me of the Inuvialuit point of view.

It quickly became apparent that this issue was not as cut and dry as members of the House were first led to believe. It was very important for me to hear both sides of the story so I urged the committee to hear witnesses affected by the park. It was an honour for me to meet with the representatives of the IRC and from the community of Paulatuk when they appeared before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

The committee was told that they had been lobbying the government for the past six months because they see the development of a mine as the way to end the dependence of their people on social assistance. The community of Paulatuk has a population of approximately 300 people. The majority of those residents are under age 25. The people of Paulatuk have traditionally lived off the land. They understand the danger that might be posed by a mine but they argue that the development of the mine could help their people.

Being from a region where many people have had to diversify due to the downturn in fisheries I can certainly appreciate the Inuvialiuts' difficult situation. However, my initial decision has not changed for a number of reasons.

First, the agreement was signed by all parties. Second, since only 10% of the anomaly lies within the boundaries of the park, I really do not understand why it is imperative for them to develop that portion. They would be much better to develop and exploit the remaining 90%.

The Inuvialuit also argue that the Tuktut Nogait is not a park but a proposed park.

I told witnesses and I have said in this House my party is not against mineral development. On the contrary, we support mining and other development in the north. However, I feel that changing the boundaries for Tuktut Nogait to allow for mineral exploration after the agreement has been signed would set a dangerous precedent for this and the other seven national parks that are not protected under the National Parks Act.

In my humble opinion if we start decreasing or reducing the boundaries of our proposed parks for immediate benefits, we will be short changing future generations. Our children's children deserve the right to enjoy our national parks and national treasures, be it the right whale in the Bay of Fundy or the bluenose caribou herd in Canada's north.

Although I am in favour of this bill, I am not in favour of the way this government has treated the people of Paulatuk. The IRC and the people of Paulatuk ask this government for time to explore the prospects of mineral development pursuant to their understanding of section 22.1 of the Tuktut Nogait agreement which states: “Any party may request a review by the parties of part or all of this agreement. If all the parties agree, they shall initiate the review within 90 days of the request”.

This government's cavalier response was to ignore the IRC's request and to try to whisk this through the House. Will this government ever learn to treat people with respect and dignity? Furthermore, this government has recently shown yet another double standard.

While arguing that mineral development in Tuktut Nogait would have a negative ecological impact on the environment, it is allowing Canadian Pacific Hotels to build a 156,000 square foot conference centre and hotel expansion on the shores of Lake Louise.

This is the latest but not the last announcement in the new development boom in Banff National Park. How can this government expect Canadians to take it seriously on environmental issues when it flip-flops from one park to another?

National Parks ActGovernment Orders

12:25 p.m.

NDP

Rick Laliberte NDP Churchill River, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to lend support on behalf of the New Democratic Party to Bill C-38, an act to establish a national park and establish the boundaries of Tuktut Nogait.

The process began with a letter on March 10, 1989.

The Wildlife Management Advisory Council of the Northwest Territories wrote to the minister responsible for Parks Canada and proposed a study to consider the possibility of creating a national park in the vicinity of Bluenose Lake.

The context of the request was for the Paulatuk community conservation plan. The plan identified caribou and particularly the protection of the calving grounds of the bluenose herd as the foremost conservation concern for a community that has for generations depended for their livelihood on the caribou herd. Indeed, as mentioned throughout the debate on this bill, the park name, Tuktut Nogait, means caribou calves in the Siglik dialect of the Inuvialukton.

Seven years of analysis, consultation and negotiation followed. There were extensive discussions with local stakeholders, including the Paulatuk community corporation, the Paulatuk trappers and hunters committee, the elders committee, the government of the Northwest Territories, the Inuvialuit regional corporation and the Inuvialuit game council. These consultations led to an agreement signed in Paulatuk on June 28, 1996.

The federal government and the territorial government, together with the four other parties, agreed and the boundaries were set. That was the start of the birth of a park.

Then, after much fanfare, nothing happened. The federal government moved on with more paper signing, without follow up or action.

Suddenly Tuktut Nogait became an issue again. Over the winter the mining company that had removed exploration from within the park boundaries changed its mind. The anomaly proved to be a worthwhile investment within the boundaries.

Suddenly some of the local stakeholders who were looking at the environmental impact it would have on their communities were willing to take a risk on an economic venture into mining, and stating this whole concern under a park agreement, as the parties had agreed they wanted to make a change. It was quite a confusing state of affairs.

But the main problem was created by the government dragging its heels, especially when it knew that money would have to be spent to start the park. The government was not fulfilling the promise it had made.

The risks were not limited to the potential loss of critical area within the proposed park. The principle of developing within national park boundaries has opened up a great issue.

Canada witnessed just last fall the Cheviot mine case in which a huge strip mine will be developed beside the national Jasper Park, a very prestigious world heritage site. That brought a terse response from UNESCO, asking the government to reconsider and reverse its decision to allow a mine to be located at such close proximity to a pristine valley.

In this decision the minister used his discretion and as a result the fish habitat was damaged. It was the spawning ground for the western bull trout and it has been a sacred tenet of environmental protection to keep such a crucial species in this country.

This brings us to an important point as parliamentarians today consider Bill C-38. We must consider the remaining natural regions that are not protected. Failure to do so would be a great demise.

I bring members back to the Tuktut Nogait National Park. The existing park boundaries, as presented in Bill C-38, will create a park inside a settlement region, the Inuvialuit settlement region.

This region and the majority of its community members have compromised their settlement of lands to create a national park. But the federal government and the parks agency people, as they will soon be called if the parks agency bill is passed, have promised that Tuktut Nogait will protect the integrity of the bluenose herd.

There are other proposed boundaries to this park which involve the Nunavut settlement region and the Sahtu Dene settlement region. Why are those proposed regions not included in the bill? Why does it not state that the Tuktut Nogait National Park will be a huge protected area involving three settlement regions?

Principles of co-management are part of the commitments the government is making with the people of northern Canada, especially in the northern region where economic wealth is based on traditional lifestyle. For the economy to change to an eco-tourism based economy for the protection and enhancement of the national park with potential mineral development in that area, co-management and community involvement are required.

The agreement included a parks agreement which stated that the Inuit impact and benefits agreement would be considered when this national park comes into being. Employment and training opportunities must be considered.

All these issues will have a major impact on this community and on the northern region. The integrity of the ecology, the history and the biodiversity of our country must be protected for future generations as we create national parks. Development is a crucial risk for these national parks. We are witnessing decisions on requests being made for the Banff National Park. We must take these into serious consideration and not make decisions for the sake of the economy.

The root of the word economy is eco, which means your home. We know what money means, so it means the home of your money. But ecology means the home of your environment. Without this environment and this vast country we call Canada there would be no money made, there would be no people calling it their home.

This environment and this land must be respected. The national parks are a sacred way of protecting this land for future generations. They keep in tact the many generations of sustainable development that the aboriginal peoples of this world and this land have retained for their people. That sustainable development or that non-parasitic way of utilizing the land and resources for our own immediate needs without putting back is a crucial lesson for future generations.

I call upon other parties to take heed. The investments we make as a nation are not necessarily from park created revenues. As the Reform Party was quick to point out, the integrity of a park should be maintained by revenues created from within it. We must find investment from other sources within this country to maintain the integrity of the national parks of the far north which will never have the same revenue base which Jasper, Banff and other national parks have the privilege of creating.

This federal government has dragged its feet in creating this park, which has resulted in some controversy in a community that has other vested interests for economic reasons. It must also deal with the inequity. It must deal with the Nunavut settlement region and the Sahtu Dene settlement region to include the whole park boundary as originally proposed and not just within the Inuvialuit settlement region.

I am happy to state that we are in support of Bill C-38 which would begin the creation of the Tuktut Nogait National Park. The other settlement regions will contribute further boundaries and further vast tracts of land to protect the integrity of the bluenose herds and the integrity and the biodiversity of that land, so that it will remain sustainable for future generations of the north. May the ecology of this country not be compromised for the sake of the economy.