House of Commons Hansard #143 of the 37th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was compensation.


Species at Risk Act
Government Orders

5:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Peter Goldring Edmonton Centre-East, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to the species at risk act and, most important, to the motion put forward by the Canadian Alliance. The motion asks:

That Bill C-5, in the preamble, be amended by replacing lines 22 to 24 on page 2 with the following:

“landowners should be compensated for any financial or material losses to ensure that the costs of conserving species at risk are shared equitably by all Canadians,”

The rationale of the motion is that the bill's preamble currently says there are circumstances under which the cost of conserving species at risk should be shared. The amendment would replace the weak statement with a stronger affirmation containing two points: first, that since species conservation is of benefit to society broadly its costs should be shared broadly and not fall on one group; second, that landowners should be compensated for losses suffered as a result of implementing endangered species legislation.

A while earlier my colleague from Yellowhead mentioned a circumstance where a bald eagle attacked one of his neighbour's cows that was having a calf. Having lived on a farm as have many others in the House I know this is the reality on a farm. The farmer grows his herds by the newborns and it is absolutely imperative that they be allowed to grow and mature.

Who would be held liable if the farmer reacted to save his livestock? Would he be criminally liable for the act? I have another basic question. If the species at risk is a predator that was hitherto not in large numbers in the area, why should the farmer be financially responsible for the loss of his herd yet unable to defend his herd or livelihood? These are all questions that ultimately come down to the situation of compensation. Yes, compensation is the issue.

Bill C-5 includes the notion that the minister may pay compensation. It does not say shall. May means maybe yes, maybe no. The bill should say shall or will compensate. The bill says the government may pay compensation. That is a step in the right direction but it must be further defined. It is an improvement over the Liberals' earlier version of the endangered species bill, Bill C-65, but it is not good enough yet.

Under Bill C-5 compensation would be entirely at the minister's discretion. There is no requirement that it must be paid and no recognition that landowners and users have rights as well as responsibilities. At committee the Canadian Alliance won a large victory when it was agreed that compensation should be fair and reasonable. However the bill says compensation should only be for losses suffered as a result of extraordinary impact arising from the application of the act. What does extraordinary impact mean?

In a government commissioned study Dr. Peter Pearse, a University of British Columbia professor, suggested landowners should be compensated for up to 50% for losses of 10% or more of their income. Is this what the government intends? It should at least have the courage to say so if this is what it means.

Instead of coming clean the minister pleads that compensation is a complex issue and more time is needed to study it properly. No cost estimates for different compensation scenarios or discussions of how many people might be affected have been released. This contributes to great uncertainty and reinforces the perception that government environmental programs are brought forward with no planning or preparation.

The Canadian Alliance won another victory at committee when it was made mandatory for the government to develop regulations for compensation. On October 3 the minister told the standing committee he was proposing to develop general compensation regulations that would be ready soon after the legislation is proclaimed. He said it would be done as an interim measure until comprehensive guidelines could be developed.

In other words, the minister probably has the regulations drafted and sitting on his desk. Why does he not table them now so we can all judge whether his idea of compensation would be fair and reasonable for Canadians?

With regard to shared responsibility for common goals, the federal government has signed the United Nations convention on biological diversity and should therefore incorporate its principles into any legislation to conserve species and ecosystems. Article 20 (2) of the convention states:

The developed country Parties shall provide new and additional financial resources to enable developing country Parties to meet the agreed full incremental costs to them of implementing measures which fulfill the obligations of this Convention--

Clearly the United Nations convention recognizes that because the objective of maintaining bio and ecosystem diversity is so important costs must be equitably borne by everyone and not just developing countries. We expect the same principle to apply to Bill C-5. Protection of endangered species must be recognized as a common good.

The species at risk working group is composed of leading industry and environmental representatives. It wrote in September 2000:

SRWG strongly urges Parliament to implement key amendments that firmly recognize that the protection of species at risk is a public value and that measures to protect endangered species should be equitably shared and not unfairly borne by any individual, group of landowners, workers, communities or organizations.

There are lots of examples of compensation working in other jurisdictions. Brian O'Ferrall, a Calgary energy, environmental and expropriation lawyer, told the standing committee in May 2001:

--quite apart from expropriation, there are statutes which provide for compensation where land is not taken but where it is injuriously affected (depreciated in value) by either a public work or structure erected adjacent to the land.

In his opinion,

Providing for compensation should be mandatory, not discretionary. That is, the Minister should have to provide for compensation for the impacts, costs or losses which a landowner incurs as a result of the prohibition against destroying habitat. As the legislation is currently proposed, compensation is not even mandatory in cases where regulatory restrictions have had an extraordinary impact on the landowner's use of his land.

Adequate compensation is the incentive to cooperate. Absent adequate compensation, the landowner will have no reason to cooperate because then he is being asked to bear a disproportionate share of the cost of protecting endangered or threatened species.

Compensation to private landowners for regulatory restrictions which protect endangered species and preserve biological diversity is practised in jurisdictions around the world. From Tasmania to Switzerland, Scotland and the United Kingdom, compensation corresponds with the basic principles of the economic market. If the value of my property is diminished because of someone else's actions I expect to be compensated. This strengthens certainty and leads to greater confidence in the marketplace.

Having provisions for full compensation in legislation acts as a disciplinary device for governments. It restricts random regulations, makes governments more careful in planning and respects private property, the basis of our economic system. Compensation or full support is absolutely necessary to achieve full co-operation of landowners and healthy species populations.

I could go on and on but I see my time is coming to an end. I will close by saying I fully support the motion of our party.

Species at Risk Act
Government Orders

5:50 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

John Duncan Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, if I had a single message today I think it would be that all parties in the House would commit fully to protect and preserve Canada's natural environment and our endangered species. That is clear. That is motherhood. However there are obvious differences in the way we would approach the issue.

I was in the House when the member for York North who sits on the environment committee was speaking not too long ago. She talked about the international commitments we must make on endangered species and other environmental issues. While I agree with that statement, it is also very important that Canadians recognize, because the rest of the world certainly recognizes it, that Canada's land stewardship is world class. We have every reason to be very proud of much of what we pursue. I think in particular of our broad landscape activities such as agriculture, ranching, forestry and other industries which obviously have a major influence on our landscapes.

Canada, by virtue of being a vast country with a small population, has become the victim of negative campaigns launched both internationally and domestically by groups that denigrate Canadian practices as a matter of mission for their own self-serving interests.

I certainly agree that Canadians care deeply about the environment. Rural Canadians do not need a lesson from anybody on land stewardship. They have a deep commitment to the environment. I have children as do most of us. I remember reading a book to my children about the city mouse and the country mouse. Country mice certainly do not need lectures from the city mice about land stewardship. It is true the other way around as well.

Half the problem could thus be summarized as one in communication between Canadians, as well as between Canadians and the international audience. Canada has the optics internationally of being a vast wilderness. Somehow that sets a higher standard for Canada than it does for other nations. We have accepted that is the way it is. In accepting that, we have set a different standard for ourselves for a long time which is all very positive.

We can learn things from others. We should learn from what has occurred with endangered species legislation in the United States. The Americans have ended up with a very unhealthy situation in many areas. They have gone to a system based on penalties rather than on incentives. They do not have what we would call land managers so much as they have legal managers. It has created a legal mess. The court has become the arbiter of how land will be managed.

That is very destructive and leads to a lack of creativity and progress. It is so polarized that in the western states for example some fur from an endangered species was planted into the ground to demonstrate that that species must be there and therefore activities on that land could not take place. That issue has become very messy. It was demonstrated eventually that it had been a covert activity to utilize the planted material to try to influence land management behaviour. We do not want to go there.

There have also been major confrontations and demonstrations in the last couple of years because of the draught in the western states which has created a real problem both for the agriculture industry and for what is called the sucker fish which is an endangered species. Thousands of people have lost their livelihood because of legislation that did not seem to recognize common sense behaviour and compromise as being another way to go.

The lessons we need to take from that are very clear. We want land managers who are land stewards. We do not want legal messes and a place where lawyers rather than land managers will thrive.

I spent 20 years as a land manager. I managed tens of thousands of hectares of forest land in British Columbia. That land was predominantly owned by the people of British Columbia. It was crown land. I spent five years at university preparing to do that. I am very proud of the land management activities I carried out. I am proud of the accomplishments. I operated primarily under a system of incentives rather than penalties. I am worried that is going to change.

During that time, prior to running for politics and changing my career, I spent some time in Washington and Oregon on a postgraduate mature student program. It was for a period of 12 weeks over the course of a year. The spotted owl controversy was going on in that part of the world. It was totally polarizing and totally destructive. It led to panic clear cutting of huge swaths of land. It led to tremendous legal actions. There was chaos and destruction in small forestry towns in those states. It was totally unnecessary. A much better resolution could have been derived and it all was lost in the fog because it became a fight among law makers, politicians and lawyers.

In summary, we still have a problem with the legislation. Unless there is mandatory compensation and no criminalization of unintentional behaviour, we will not achieve our goal of effective protection of endangered species.

Species at Risk Act
Government Orders

6 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jim Abbott Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, this bill is very important to my constituents. It is important to me personally because I have chosen to live with my family for over 25 years in an area of British Columbia in the Rocky Mountains. Our home is on a small lake. There are all sorts of eagles, osprey, muskrat, white tailed deer, and elk. We have everything around our family home. This issue is very important to me personally and to my constituents.

For the most part people choose to live in Kootenay--Columbia because they highly value all of the species that there are. From time to time there are conflicts between domestic herds and herds of elk, for example, which are in transition.

There are also potential conflicts between various species and open pit mining and other activities. Believe it or not, over 20% of all the metallurgical coal that is consumed in the world comes from my constituency. I know what it is to have that activity combined with a desire and love of endangered species, the love of all species. That love is shared by many people who are involved in rod, gun, fish and game clubs. They are hunters, sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts.

A balance must constantly be worked at between the land required for a potentially endangered species and the ability to do resource extraction in a responsible way. For the most part the balance has been achieved between forestry companies such as Tembec, formerly Crestbrook, Wynndel Box and Lumber, JH Huscroft, Downie Street Sawmills in Revelstoke, and mining companies such as Cominco, Fording and Teck. The balance has been maintained by all of these companies. In my judgment it has been absolutely exemplary in the world. After all my constituency with no exaggeration is the big game hunting capital of the world. We have a balance that we are very proud of.

I cannot think of any other issue that could come before this parliament that could potentially have the emotional impact and real impact that Bill C-5 has on my constituents and on my own choice of lifestyle.

Of the 301 members of parliament, there are members from urban, suburban and rural Canada which can create difficulties. It is understandable that some members, frankly very few of whom have spoken to the debate today, have a lack of understanding that there is a compensation issue which is absolutely key to the success of this legislation.

A person from urban Canada would possibly look at buying or renting a piece of property that would be 33 feet wide by 100 feet long. However, when looking at what the bill will do if compensation is not taken into account satisfactorily, we are not worried about a piece of property that is 33 feet by 100 feet, we are worried about larger pieces of property. We are looking at pieces of property that are tens, hundreds, or thousands of acres, pieces of property that are measured by the quarter mile, the square mile, pieces of property that encompass all sorts of topography and geography where a value has been assumed over a period of time for the holder of that property, be it an individual or corporation. That value has become part of the assets of that individual or company.

Faced with the possibility of having that asset value, which in some cases is not just in the millions of dollars but in the hundreds of millions of dollars, wiped out with the discovery of an endangered species, the human temptation to shoot, shovel and shut up will be there.

We have seen the triple-S in action in the United States under the endangered species act. At various times in my constituency we have had clashes, particularly with regard to aquatic life, between the interests of people who are using the U.S. endangered species act and those who wish to have access to continuing to see the aquatic life on the Canadian side of the border. We continue to work through that process.

I was impressed when I happened to be sitting on the environment committee in September 2000 and SARWG, the species at risk working group, came before the committee. It made the following submission:

SARWG strongly urges Parliament to implement key amendments that firmly recognize that the protection of species at risk is a public value and that measures to protect endangered species should be equitably shared and not unfairly borne by any individual, group of landowners, workers, communities or organizations.

I was particularly impressed when the group came before parliament speaking as one voice. I was astounded at the competition of the species at risk working group. The group did not just consist of people who classified themselves as environmentalists or industrialists. With the exception of the recreational user of our great lands, every group that has an interest in our environment and in the protection of the endangered species is a part of the species at risk working group.

At the conclusion of the group's submission, which was insightful and valuable, I asked its industry members and its environmental members if they spoke with one voice and they answered that they did.

I recall coming away from that meeting thinking that all the environment minister and Liberal government had to do was enroll or engage recreational users, get their input to the submissions that SARWG made and we could have a law that would be acceptable, workable and create the kind of balance that I could proudly talk about in my constituency of Kootenay--Columbia.

As was pointed out by the member for York North, we had a situation, on a distinctly non-partisan basis, where there was co-operation among members of all parties on the environment committee. We are now talking about SARWG's co-operation and the various interests involved there. We had co-operation and a bill that was workable and now the environment minister and the Government of Canada are putting their boots to it. That is not good enough.

The bill is not reflective of what is needed to protect endangered species in Canada.

Species at Risk Act
Government Orders

6:05 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Paul Forseth New Westminster—Coquitlam—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, if I were to premise my remarks with regard to the species at risk act, Bill C-5, I might say that Liberal duplicity is exposed. I wonder if the bill, when it is finally proclaimed, will protect or save anything at all.

It must be perfectly clear that the Canadian Alliance is committed to protecting and preserving Canada's natural environment and endangered species. The bill will not work without guaranteeing fair and reasonable compensation for property owners and resource users who suffer losses. Farmers, ranchers and other property owners want to protect endangered species but they should not be forced to do so at the expense of their livelihoods.

We can look at all kinds of other references or examples of compensation working in other jurisdictions. Quite apart from direct expropriation laws, there are statutes that provide for compensation where land is not taken but perhaps where it is injuriously affected or has depreciated in value through either public work or a structure erected adjacent to the land.

Provisions for compensation should be mandatory, not discretionary. The minister should have to provide compensation for the impact, costs or losses which a landowner incurs as a result of the prohibition against destroying habitat. That is fundamental.

As the legislation is currently proposed, compensation is not even mandatory in cases where regulatory restrictions have had an extraordinary impact on the landowner's use of his land. That is a fatal flaw in the bill.

Adequate compensation is the incentive to co-operation. Without adequate compensation the landowners will have no reason to co-operate because they are being asked to bear a disproportionate share of the cost of protecting endangered species. In other words, the individual bears the cost of a national objective. Compensation for private landowners for regulatory restrictions imposed for protecting endangered species and preserving biological diversity is practised in jurisdictions around the world so why not in Canada?

Compensation also corresponds with the basic principles of the economic market. If the value of a property is diminished because of someone else's actions, there is naturally an expectation to be provided with some compensation. It strengthens certainty and leads to greater confidence in the marketplace. It supports the prospect of foreign and domestic investment and without it that kind of investment will be placed on hold. We know the problems with the lack of aboriginal settlements in British Columbia and how that has affected foreign investment.

Having provisions for full and fair compensation in the legislation acts also as a disciplinary device for governments. It restricts random regulations and makes the government more careful in planning. It also respects the principle of private property. It is the basis of our economic system and provides economic order in the country.

We have all heard the stories of bureaucrats descending upon some hapless citizens. We have a lot of examples of that. The current bill also leaves open the abuse of the system upon the rights of the individual.

Compensation or full support is absolutely necessary to achieve full co-operation from landowners and to have healthy species populations. The United States is facing that difficulty but it is not directly parallel. However, without proper incentives, compensation and the other range of help that might be available, people depending on their land for their livelihood will act in ways perhaps counterproductive to saving species at risk.

While many landowners have in the past co-operated in species recovery programs without compensation, I think we can clearly say that the majority of these cases involve those who can either afford the changes to their practices or are willing to make sacrifices for species. We believe there are those who may not be so willing or, especially in these economic times, may be seriously financially impacted and who are already experiencing very difficult financial circumstances. They have the desire and the will but not the economic capacity to do so.

For the helpless species and in the name of putting people at the centre of legislation, those people must be fairly compensated or supported, and that means fair market value.

We can draw upon the experience of land trespass and the resultant devaluation from the compensation process that surrounds the oil exploration and extraction regime. It is a good model to follow but the government has heard all those things and in the face of it has completely ignored it.

The other thing I would briefly mention is that criminal liability must require intent. We have the concept in law of mens rea, having a guilty mind. This also was a point that was brought to committee and the government is not providing for that.

The act would make offenders out of people who may inadvertently and unknowingly harm endangered species or their habitat. This is unnecessarily confrontational and would make endangered species a threat to property owners. As a result of this, co-operation would be gone and goodwill would evaporate.

Also, we need co-operation not confrontation with the provinces. The 1996 national court for the protection of species at risk was a step in the right direction. Instead, Bill C-5 would give the federal government power to impose its way on provincial lands. However, since it is completely at the minister's discretion, landowners do not know if or when. Instead of working together with the provinces and property owners, the federal government is introducing uncertainty, resentment and distrust.

The final insult is that the government is amending Bill C-5 and reversing many of the amendments voted by its own Liberal MPs who worked on the environment committee. The committee, which had the spirit of co-operation, and in view of sound evidence from the experts of the world who testified at committee, the government is riding roughshod over the process. That is another example of top down control perhaps from the Prime Minister's Office and unelected officials there. It looks as though the Prime Minister has completely failed in this regard and again shows the contempt in which the government holds members of parliament in this place.

What is the point of having a committee stage in the legislative process at all or even involving parliament in the process when the Liberals will simply govern by edict. The report stage reverses the work of the committee so why have it? Why go through this process at all?

The bottom line is that unless the bill provides for mandatory compensation and stops criminalizing unintentional behaviour, it will not provide effective protection for endangered species and we cannot support it.

I would ask some of the members who were on that committee, the member for Lac-Saint-Louis, the member for North York, the member for Davenport and perhaps even the member for Kitchener Centre, if they would stand in their place for the courage of their convictions and vote against the legislation. I call upon them to do so.

The overall process shows that the Liberals cannot manage and certainly, as a flagship piece of legislation, the minister himself has failed.

In summary, the Liberals abuse parliament and, on the administrative side of government delivering, they also fail to wisely administer on behalf of all Canadians.

Species at Risk Act
Government Orders

6:15 p.m.


Svend Robinson Burnaby—Douglas, BC

Mr. Speaker, I will take a couple of minutes on this group of amendments to voice my very deep sense of concern and anger at the decision of the Liberal government to reverse the important work that was done by the standing committee on the environment. I want to pay tribute to the chair of that committee, the member for Davenport, a longstanding and very respected member of the House and a former minister of the environment, as well as all of the members of that committee from all sides of the House who worked long and hard to arrive at a consensus.

The debate around that legislation was vigorous even within our own caucus. We came to the conclusion that we could support it because of the fact there had been significant improvement in two key areas of the legislation, the area of habitat protection as well as the in the area of the very important decision around who would have the final word, scientists or politicians. There was significant improvement and strengthening of those provisions in response to representations from environmentalists and from Canadians across this land.

With those improvements, we were prepared to support the legislation, recognizing full well that in many important respects a lot more work could have been done to protect endangered species. Canadians wanted to see endangered species protected. That compromise was arrived at in good faith after literally hours and hours of intensive work, dialogue and hearings of the standing committee on the environment.

As well, that compromise was one that was supported by the Canadian Alliance. The representative of the Canadian Alliance on that committee voted in favour of the bill at report stage precisely because of the fact that they were able to arrive at that consensus. It was a consensus that included industry as well. It was quite extraordinary that they came on board and they did. Some of the major heads of industry together with Elizabeth May from the Sierra Club, the David Suzuki Foundation and others were prepared to say, yes, that this was a bill they could live with. While it was not perfect they were prepared to live with. That is all too rare.

What happened? The Minister of the Environment, my colleague from British Columbia, and quite obviously the Prime Minister's office as well, came in and said to hell with this agreement and to hell with all the work the committee did on these profoundly important issues and, in particular, on the key issues of the listing and scientific basis for that and the issue of habitat protection.

The member for York North, a hard working member of that committee from the government side, pointed out very eloquently that the government tore up that consensus, which is one of the most disgusting displays of contempt for parliament that I have ever witnessed. I have been here for a few years, but seldom has there ever been that kind of gross contempt for the work of a group of dedicated members of parliament from all parties.

I appeal to the government, even at this late stage, to recognize that it has made a serious mistake and to go back to the original legislation. I appeal for it to recognize, as I said before, that while it does not represent a perfect bill, 80%, 85%, 90% of Canadians believe deeply in the importance of protecting endangered species. The bill that came out of committee was one they and we as New Democrats could support.

Where did the pressure come from that government caved in in such a crass and appalling manner and voted non-confidence, not just in the many witnesses who appeared before the committee but in their own colleagues and in the chair of the committee? As I said before, the chair is a dedicated, respected member of this House and he is an environmentalist. Members, like the member for Lac-Saint-Louis and the member for York North, have spoken out courageously against these amendments? It is a dark day for democracy when we see what has happened to Bill C-5.

I appeal, if not to the government, then perhaps to Liberal members of parliament to reject this weakening of the legislation, to stand up not only for the environment and endangered species, but to stand up for the integrity of parliament itself. That is what this is about. It is about a government showing contempt for the work of an all party committee and in doing that contempt for the views of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. These Canadians said that they wanted to protect endangered species and that they believed this was a significant way of advancing that.

On behalf of my colleagues, we are terribly disappointed and angered at the betrayal by the Minister of the Environment, by the parliamentary secretary and by the government of the work of that committee and of the work of dedicated Canadians who want to protect endangered species.

The NDP will reject in the strongest possible terms this attempt to water down the legislation. If these amendments, which would weaken and erode the protection in the bill, are adopted, we intend to oppose this legislation.

Species at Risk Act
Government Orders

6:20 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Betty Hinton Kamloops, Thompson And Highland Valleys, BC

Mr. Speaker, this is an unusual circumstance for me today. I find myself, for the first time in a year, being on the same side with my colleague from Burnaby--Douglas. That does not happen often so it is a rare moment.

I agree wholeheartedly with many of the comments that have been made today. I suppose, besides expressing my concern and sympathy to the Canadian public if this bill passes as it stands today, I would like to express my concern and sympathy to members on the government side of the House who worked on the committee.

On the opposition side of the House it is not uncommon for us to have worked very diligently and very hard to put through very well thought out amendments which are defeated. It happens. We are on the opposition side and quite often that is what happens. However, for members on the government side to have worked so diligently alongside all other members in the House and to have put forward with great diligence amendments that would work, thoughts that would make the bill workable and to have that shot down must be very disappointing. They have my sympathy.

The government wants to amend Bill C-5 to reverse many of the positions that were taken by the Liberal MPs on the environment committee. This is another example of top down that has been happening all year. It has to stop. There is not a single Canadian in my opinion who would not want to protect endangered species. When a species is eliminated from this world, it never comes back again and we are all the worse for that.

This piece of legislation could be made very workable. The biggest obstacle it faces is the fact that there is no fair compensation in this package. It is unreasonable to expect anyone to allow someone else to walk in and say “This is for your own good. I am going to take your land away because there is a species on there that needs to protected and no, I am sorry, I will not compensate you for it”. Who in their right mind will accept that?

My colleague from Wild Rose has said in the House several times on this piece of legislation that it is promoting shoot, shovel and shut up. I agree with him completely. If the intent of this is to protect species, we have to do it with fairness. If we do not, then that is precisely what will happen. If we ask people to make a choice between the preservation of a spotted owl, for example, and their ability to make a livelihood out of a woodlot, they will choose their livelihood.

In the current situation with the softwood lumber deal, it will have a more significant impact. We cannot ask people to choose between their livelihood, their living and the species. It will not happen so there has to be adequate compensation. To do otherwise will ensure the demise of a lot of species, which would be a very poor thing to have happen in this country.

I do not understand a government that treats people like children. That is one of the hardest things for me to accept. There should have been a consultation process that worked. I am certain that during the consultation process members on all sides of the House relayed the feelings of their constituents on how this piece of legislation would affect them negatively.

I would think that our role in government would be to take all that into consideration and put together something that would work for all concerned. There were 130 amendments that came forward. I am proud to say that 60 of them came from our caucus. Unfortunately, after all the wrangling, all the discussions and all the talk that took place, they were thrown out.

Is it any wonder that people in this country have less and less faith in politicians, in the system and in law. If we want people to respect law and respect the decisions that are made by politicians, they have to make sense. The bill does not make sense. I cannot possibly support the way this is going. If there is not adequate compensation, I do not think the public of Canada will support it either. If the aim is to destroy species, then the bill is going in the right direction.

Request for Emergency Debate
Government Orders

February 18th, 2002 / 6:25 p.m.

The Speaker

I indicated to the House earlier today that I would return on the subject of the request for an emergency debate by the hon. member for Cumberland--Colchester respecting softwood lumber.

An emergency debate took place on this issue on October 4 last year and again on November 6. I note that it was the subject of debate of an opposition motion on March 15 last year on a supply day. In fact a motion was adopted on March 15, 2001.

The hon. member for Cumberland--Colchester indicated in his remarks that there was a deadline approaching on March 15. In the circumstances I have doubts about whether in fact there is a real emergency in this case, given the timeframes involved.

I note the various debates that have been held on the subject. I also note that there are five allotted days remaining in the supply period after tomorrow's allotted day, and the supply period ends on March 26.

Accordingly I feel there is ample opportunity for this matter to be discussed and not being satisfied of the urgency of the matter I am inclined therefore to disallow his request for an emergency debate at this time.

The House resumed from February 8 consideration of the motion that Bill C-49, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in parliament on December 10, 2001, be now read the second time and referred to a committee; and of the amendment.

Budget Implementation Act, 2001
Government Orders

6:30 p.m.

The Speaker

Pursuant to order made on Thursday, February 7, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the amendment to the motion for second reading of Bill C-49.

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the amendment, which was negatived on the following division:)

Budget Implementation Act, 2001
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7 p.m.

The Speaker

I declare the amendment lost.

The next question is on the main motion.

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7 p.m.


Marlene Catterall Ottawa West—Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think you would find consent that the vote just taken on the amendment be applied to the main motion in reverse.

Budget Implementation Act, 2001
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7 p.m.

The Speaker

Does the House give its consent to proceed in this way?

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7 p.m.

Some hon. members


Budget Implementation Act, 2001
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7 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like the hon. member for Fundy--Royal added to this vote.

Budget Implementation Act, 2001
Government Orders

7 p.m.

The Speaker

I assume the hon. member for Fundy--Royal will be added as a nay to this vote. Is that agreed?