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House of Commons Hansard #57 of the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was colombia.

Topics

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, a bailiff has been going to great lengths to find the Prime Minister's director of communications, Dimitri Soudas, who is literally in hiding to avoid testifying before a House committee.

Instead of acting as an accomplice to a fugitive who refuses to come clean before the parliamentary committee, why does the Prime Minister not urge his employee to retrieve his summons?

Committees of the HouseOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, I have answered this a number of times.

We on this side of the House believe very strongly in ministerial accountability and responsibility. That is why ministers have been appearing when their staff have been summoned to appear at committees and ministers will be continuing to appear.

The real question is, why are opposition members not on their feet congratulating this government on the outstanding economic performance of Canada right now? Over 300,000 jobs have been produced since last July. We are leading the G7 nations in the recovery and will continue to do so.

Shell CanadaOral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

Thomas Mulcair NDP Outremont, QC

Mr. Speaker, business people, union leaders and elected officials at all levels are trying to save the Shell refinery. It is vital to Quebec's petrochemical sector and to our energy security. Some 800 direct jobs and 3,500 indirect jobs are at stake. Curiously, Shell lobbyists met with six different Conservative ministers recently. One of the most recent meetings in the lobby registry took place with none other than the Minister of Natural Resources.

The minister says he is monitoring the matter closely. Instead of simply monitoring Shell's lobbyists, could he not take the lead in this important file?

Shell CanadaOral Questions

3 p.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis ConservativeMinister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, just this past weekend, union leaders again indicated that they had the support of all levels of government. Of course we would have liked to see a buyer come forward, but the government cannot invent one. One thing is certain: we feel for the workers and what they are going through in this very difficult situation. I would like to assure this House that we will continue monitoring the situation very closely.

National DefenceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Rick Norlock Conservative Northumberland—Quinte West, ON

Mr. Speaker, last Friday the Minister of Public Works and the Minister of National Defence made an important announcement regarding the Government of Canada's first defence strategy.

Would the Minister of Public Works inform the House about this vital investment?

National DefenceOral Questions

3 p.m.

Edmonton—Spruce Grove Alberta

Conservative

Rona Ambrose ConservativeMinister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women

Mr. Speaker, this member knows how proud our government is to have delivered this first Super Hercules aircraft to our troops in Trenton last Friday because it is in his riding. The aircraft will support the Canadian Forces and this investment will create hundreds of jobs and $2.3 billion in economic regional benefits to Canada. However, the best news is this aircraft was received six months ahead of schedule and under budget.

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Mr. Speaker, it is now a full week since the minister promised to read Justice Oliphant's report into Brian Mulroney's business relationship with Karlheinz Schreiber. If he did his homework, he would know that Canadians paid Mr. Mulroney $2.1 million based on testimony that Justice Oliphant has now deemed patently absurd.

Is the minister now prepared to demand that Mr. Mulroney repay the settlement, with interest, to Canadian taxpayers? Or has he still not read the report?

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Niagara Falls Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson ConservativeMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is referring to the Oliphant report that was prepared and tabled last week. There are a number of recommendations as members are aware. The report covers hundreds of pages and every recommendation is being carefully reviewed.

While I am on my feet, would the hon. member for Malpeque tell this House whether he will stand by his commitment to get rid of the long gun registry? Would he stand and let the House--

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

EthicsOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Order, please. Members seem to be urging me to have opposition members answer questions. This is not the purpose of question period. I am afraid he cannot.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I would like to draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of: first, Senator Lesil McGuire, Senator of the State of Alaska and President of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region; the Honourable Barry Penner, Minister of the Environment for British Columbia; and the Honourable Jim Kenyon, Minister of Economic Development of Yukon.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

In addition, Canadian Forces Day is an opportunity for Canadians across the country to recognize the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform make on our behalf.

It is with great pleasure that I draw to the attention of hon. members the presence in the gallery of 12 members of the Canadian Forces who are taking part in Canadian Forces Day today.

Presence in GalleryOral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Hear, hear!

Canada National Marine Conservation Areas ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, today I am honoured to table in the House, in both official languages, an amendment to the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act that would create the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and the Haida Heritage Site.

Government Response to PetitionsRoutine Proceedings

June 7th, 2010 / 3:05 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8) I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to one petition.

Creating Canada's New National Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 ActRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeMinister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-34, An Act to amend the Museums Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canada National Marine Conservation AreasRoutine Proceedings

3:05 p.m.

Calgary Centre-North Alberta

Conservative

Jim Prentice ConservativeMinister of the Environment

Mr. Speaker, I had the honour a few moments ago to table an order in council to formally establish the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and the Haida Heritage Site, both of these under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act.

This is a remarkable achievement, one that this House envisioned some 23 years ago when it passed at that time a unanimous resolution supporting the protection of the lands and the waters around Gwaii Haanas. The House also called for the participation of the Haida in this conservation initiative.

Canada will become the first country to protect a region from the alpine meadows of the mountaintops, to the depths of the ocean floor beyond the continental shelf. For the Haida people, the land does not exist independently of the sea. By protecting some 5,000 square kilometres of water and land, we acknowledge that sacred connection.

We are working with the Haida to protect some of the world's most abundant and diverse marine habitats, home to over 3,500 kinds of marine species alone. It is known by many in the conservation world as the Galapagos of the north.

For hundreds of generations the Haida Nation has lived in harmony with this environment and today this wealth of marine resources continues to sustain local communities as well as recreational and also commercial fisheries. This new national marine conservation area reserve will ensure that this can continue.

With today's tabling, we take a significant step forward, the penultimate step forward, in protecting the incredible biodiversity in the reserves of Gwaii Haanas and we demonstrate world-class leadership in integrated oceans management.

I especially would like to acknowledge the strong and visionary leadership of my good friend, Guujaaw, President of the Haida Council and the many others within the Haida community, the Haida First Nation, who have done so much to make this marine conservation area a reality.

Together the Government of Canada and the Haida are demonstrating remarkable international leadership in protecting the lands and the waters of Gwaii Haanas for future generations, for our children, our grandchildren and their grandchildren.

I also want to acknowledge the oil and gas companies that voluntarily relinquished their petroleum rights in this special place: Petro-Canada, now Suncor Energy, Shell Canada, ExxonMobil Canada and Chevron Canada. Finally, I want to thank the Nature Conservancy of Canada for subsequently surrendering those rights to the federal administrator on behalf of the companies.

Tomorrow, nations around the world celebrate the oceans. It is a time for Canadians to reflect upon our remarkable marine heritage, from the Atlantic to the Arctic to the Pacific. This year we also celebrate 125 years since Canada created its first postage-sized national park, the Banff National Park at that time. What better way to celebrate World Oceans Day than to create a marine protected area that is unique in Canada, in North America and in the world? It is the first time on this planet that we have protected an ecosystem from 2,000 feet below the surface of the ocean to 4,000 feet above it on the mountaintops.

What better way to celebrate the legacy of our park system than by designating Canada's first national marine conservation area under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act, a piece of legislation that is now 10 years old?

This year the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity, Canada is bestowing another remarkable gift to the world. With Parliament's support, which started here 23 years ago, Canada will now provide opportunities for visitors to develop their own personal connections with the wilderness area and opportunities to experience and learn the Haida culture, a truly unique experience in the world. Through these experiences, all Canadians can develop a greater appreciation of the inseparable nature of the land, the sea and our people.

Twenty-three years ago, the House unanimously called for action to protect Gwaii Haanas. Parliament responds today with the finalization of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and the development of a collaborative relationship with the Haida.

Today, on the eve of World Oceans Day, we honour and renew the call to action through an order-in-council to formally establish the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and the Haida Heritage Site. I thank everyone in the House who makes this possible.

Canada National Marine Conservation AreasRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Liberal

David McGuinty Liberal Ottawa South, ON

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the official opposition, I am pleased to rise today to support the establishment of the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and the Haida Heritage Site. Today's announcement is doubly important because it creates the first ocean national marine conservation area under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act.

This law was passed in 2002 under a Liberal government. It was far-sighted and remains to this day an essential piece of legislation to meet Canada's commitments to protecting marine biodiversity and cultural heritage and ensuring sustainable marine use. This act, along with the Oceans Act of 1996, which the then-Liberal government also passed, were and are considered landmarks internationally for marine conservation.

Although progress has been made in designating marine protected areas, Canada's national and international commitments to establish a network of marine protected areas has yet to be realized. In establishing Gwaii Haanas, the people of Canada are fulfilling a long-held and overdue promise that successive governments have made to the Haida and the people of British Columbia to establish this as a marine conservation area.

Although we commend the government for today's announcements, it needs to be much more vigorous in meeting its commitments to protecting the health of our oceans by completing a national system of marine conservation areas that protect biodiversity and the ecological and cultural diversity of Canadian marine environments from sea to sea to sea.

Gwaii Haanas is to be a multiple-use conservation area that will have both zones of protection and sustainable use. The process that follows designation and the co-management model which underpins it provide an opportunity to work with stakeholders to design a conservation area that meets both the needs of local people and conserves and protects ecosystems for future generations. It will be important to provide for sufficient protection zones, uses which conform to conservation objectives and ensure that this development be adequately supported and resourced by the government in the future.

In short, this reserve and heritage site is a beacon to inspire more and better oceans management. It is an opportunity to develop a conservation model that will surely inform many more marine protected areas to come. At the same time, we are hopeful that it will inform our negotiating position, yet to be revealed to Canadians at the ongoing negotiations of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Canada National Marine Conservation AreasRoutine Proceedings

3:10 p.m.

Bloc

Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise, on behalf of the Bloc Québécois, to speak about the Gwaii Haanas national marine conservation area reserve and Haida heritage site. The Bloc Québécois believes that preserving national heritage sites is vital. It means that humans humbly recognize the majesty of nature and also its fragility.

The world is a place of beauty but we have the lamentable capacity to destroy it, as evidenced by global warming and the constant threat that we pose to thousands of ecosystems throughout the world. The Gulf of Mexico disaster is a bitter example of this. To protect the world's beauty, we must take the necessary measures to preserve conservation sites such as the Haida Gwaii Haanas reserve.

The Bloc Québécois will support the order to protect this area, which also has value added as a heritage site.

However, you heard, as did I, the Minister of the Environment use his statement to praise the oil companies which, he says,“have voluntarily relinquished their petroleum rights in this special place.” The Minister of the Environment! What a laugh! The oil companies, the nice corporate citizens, are agreeing to leave the Haida territory and the Conservatives, moved and grateful, are jumping on the opportunity to praise one of the most polluting industries in Canada in a statement on an aboriginal marine area that must be preserved. How about that.

If the Conservative government was again attempting to hide its true nature with this announcement, it has failed. This government uses every possible forum to announce the creation of a park or new protected area in an attempt to hide its stone age mentality when it comes to sustainable development and its catastrophic record on environmental protection.

Quebec's environmental values are diametrically opposed to those of the Conservatives. In Quebec, the environment is a priority. That was evident last week in a poll confirming that, according to Quebeckers, the priority for the G8 and G20 meetings to be held in a few days is, without question, the environment. The government has categorically rejected this idea. It believes the priority must be the economy, period.

That is not surprising. For this Conservative government, with its blind faith in market forces, anything that does not have a dollar sign attached to it is of no interest, anything that does not smack of deregulation, globalization, free this or free that, is just socialist propaganda. It is as though the environment and the economy were irreconcilable. This Conservative government and the environment, that is what is irreconcilable.

And since Quebec and the environment are very compatible, it is not surprising that this government always makes decisions that are not in the interest of Quebec and the environment.

Canada National Marine Conservation AreasRoutine Proceedings

3:15 p.m.

NDP

Nathan Cullen NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is my sincere pleasure today to rise and support enthusiastically the creation of Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area and Haida Heritage Site. We seek to expedite this work with all members of Parliament.

It is important for Canadians to understand the place we are speaking of because this truly is one of Canada's most remarkable gems. Five thousand square kilometres will be protected from the alpine tundra through to the temperate rainforest and into the depths of the ocean, 1,500 square kilometres of rainforest and 3,500 square kilometres of Pacific waters. Nearly 3,500 marine species are found within this archipelago and 600 coastal archeological sites identified by UNESCO's World Heritage Site SGang Gwaay.

In 2005 National Geographic named Gwaii Haanas first among 28 national parks across North America based on its incredible remote wilderness and in collaboration with the Haida.

I extend a personal invitation to all members in the House, including the minister, and all Canadians to come and spend some time in this most remarkable place. It is rare to have all parties join together in this place to do something that will benefit all Canadians, something that is good and lasting.

Canadians must also pay tribute to the courage and dedication of the Haida and the people of Haida Gwaii, who have led this process from the beginning. Special recognition must also go to the Council of Haida Nations and to its president, Guujaaw, who has embodied Haida pride and a traditional and unique sense of Haida herocity throughout.

We also must recognize the early and visionary work of the former MP for Skeena, Jim Fulton, who to his dying days believed in a Canada that would include first nations and environmental values in all of the decisions that we make.

We want to congratulate the federal government and the oil industry in their recognition that there are some places in this world that we simply must protect and not allow coastal drilling.

In 2006 Canada committed to protecting a minimum of 10% of our coastal waters. While we have made a good step today, there are many steps yet to take along this path. We have an expression in the north that “it is the land that makes the people”. Today we have taken a further step toward protecting that land and protecting its people.

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Prince George—Peace River B.C.

Conservative

Jay Hill ConservativeLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, with regard to this very important announcement today, I would like to indicate that there have been discussions among all parties and if you were to seek it, I believe you would find unanimous consent for the following motion. I move:

That the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development be the committee designated for the purposes of section 7 of the Canadian National Parks Act.

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Does the hon. government House leader have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Environment and Sustainable DevelopmentCommittees of the HouseRoutine Proceedings

3:20 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?