No, it is not nonsense. The member opposite says that what I said was nonsense. What I am saying is not nonsense. I am talking about Bill C-27. There is no requirement for meaningful consultation among the stakeholders.
That is wrong. There are situations in Banff for example. A place which hosts visitors to our country and tries to be hospitable to them is now required to have buses to run its staff out of the park for overnight stays because it is not permitted to construct a building for the staff to stay overnight.
Talk about ecology, talk about the environment. What is better: running a bus an extra 100 kilometres a day, or having a building right next to where the people work so that they can walk or ride their bicycles to work? It is case of using a sledgehammer to solve a problem instead of trying to be reasonable about it.
I am very concerned about the way in which changes to parks can be made if we pass Bill C-27. It used to be that under the old Canada parks act, establishing a new park or adding land to it required an amendment to the act itself. It would have to be debated in parliament. It also required that notice be given in the Canada Gazette as well as in newspapers in the local area. That is not the case anymore. Now it allows simply for orders in council. The minister could make a declaration and whatever the minister said would be the new law. No public notification is required. I think that is an error.
I believe very strongly that the ministers in many, many of the bills which the Liberal government is passing are being given way too much power. We are losing that thread of accountability which comes in a good democratic system.
There is no mention made in the bill of required public consultation, co-operation or support from local governments or provincial or territorial governments in which the parks exist.
We need to not only provide for those points of consultation, but I would love to see a government with the humility on many occasions actually to accept what the people out there are saying. Most of the time the people who are working day to day in the parks and the area know the situation very, very well.
One of the things we are going to hear is that it would be turned over to commercial interests. I want to talk a bit about that. I do not believe for a moment even if we turned the parks over totally to commercial interests that their task would be to completely destroy them. Why would they destroy that which attracts people from all around the world? I believe they are very capable people who in conjunction with local, provincial and federal governments could consult and come to an agreement as to the degree of expansion required.
Tourism is so important to our country. It is economically important. I will not negate that. It is important.
I have already spoken about the importance of allowing other people to come to our country to share in its grandeur, but it is also important that we provide decent Canadian hospitality and that will come in balance. I am simply not prepared to say I trust the federal government fully and I trust the commercial interests not at all, because what we need is a balance. We need a dialogue between them. We need to come to agreements. Sometimes the federal government may have to give a little. I simply do not believe in the high handed, autocratic, dictatorial government. That is what we have in this bill.
I am very concerned about the long term future of our parks under a bill like this one. The interests of the government in proposing Bill C-27 seem to be much more to preserve its little fiefdom, its little kingdom, its control. That seems to be what the largest interest the government has in this.
The government is not interested in preserving the beauty of the parks and their accessibility to ordinary Canadians. That is most important. I would not begin to put a human being at the level of an animal although some would, but if an animal has a right to be in a park, in my view so does a human being, so do Canadians and so do visitors from around the world.
I would like a parks policy which would permit co-operation among the commercial interests, the interests of tourism and the interests of allowing our Canadian citizens to enjoy the beauty of our parks. That balance is missing in this very one sided, give all the power to the government, in fact, give all the power to the minister bill. We should have one that would be balanced and which would serve Canadian people so much better.
I am aware that I could have more time to speak. I have certainly emphasized the most important things that have been on my mind and in my heart. I appreciate very much the attention all members in the House have given today. Only two of them have dared to squawk at all in protest about what I have been saying. The others have been blissfully silent.