Insofar as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is concerned the Motion for the Production of Papers is deemed unacceptable due to the following practical considerations in responding to this motion:
One, the documentation since 1994 is voluminous and is housed in Ottawa at various current and archived files and other sources: Vancouver and Smithers, B.C., and Whitehorse, Yukon.
Two, the documentation would require an extraordinary length of time to compile, given the various source locations and the need to apply access to information and privacy, ATIP, criteria, which means identifying legal opinions, papers dealing with international relations and possibly affecting future foreign relations, papers affecting federal-provincial relations and requiring consent of the province, and commercial and confidential mining process information provided by a third party. It is estimated that it would take approximately two to three months to compile this information and a further two to three months to have it reviewed by officials of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Department of Justice.
Three, much of the federal documentation is readily available to the public on British Columbia's provincial website, www.eao.gov.bc.ca, and is part of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act public registry.
Four, almost all documentation is in English only and would require translation. The cost would be at least $30,000.
Five, likely this amount of effort toward addressing the motion could cause delay in co-ordinating the department's Canadian Environmental Assessment Act screening reports since the same individuals could be involved in both exercises.
Given the excessive costs and staff time required, we respectfully ask the hon. member to withdraw his motion and submit a more specific request.