House of Commons Hansard #86 of the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was targets.


Fisheries and OceansAdjournment Proceedings

7 p.m.

Acadie—Bathurst New Brunswick


Serge Cormier LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam for his interest on this file, and also for the great work he is doing on the fisheries and oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard committee.

I will start by saying that I can assure the member that the Government of Canada is committed to protecting the health of Canada's wild and farmed fish from aquatic animal diseases.

The Department of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to complete all aspects of the national aquatic animal health program in order to prevent the introduction and propagation of aquatic animal diseases in Canada.

Under the Health of Animals Act and its regulations, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for regulating and administering the program. Our department supports the CFIA by carrying out diagnostics and research and providing scientific advice.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency uses a risk-based disease management approach. It tests for diseases that are known to seriously impact wild fish. These diseases are listed by the World Organisation for Animal Health. We also focus on species deemed susceptible to the listed diseases.

Our government has also implemented the Pacific aquaculture regulations. These regulations are a key component of the strong regulatory system in place for aquaculture in B.C., one of the most rigorous in the world, to ensure that the aquaculture industry is safe and healthy, and to ensure the sustainable use of our marine resources.

In British Columbia, the minister regularly monitors the aquaculture industry to ascertain compliance with permit conditions and the Pacific Aquaculture Regulations.

For example, the DFO Fish Health Audit and Surveillance program monitors the health of farmed salmon, mainly by taking samples of farmed fish in order to identify known and emerging illnesses. DFO veterinarians and animal health specialists conduct more than 100 assessments of fish health and look for the presence of sea lice.

The conditions of aquaculture permits require the permit holder to keep up-to-date files on the health of the fish at their facility in order to minimize the potential propagation of pathogens when infectious diseases are suspected or diagnosed.

DFO continues to apply the best available science to adapt and improve its Fish Health Audit and Surveillance Program. For example, under the Strategic Salmon Health Initiative, the minister conducted research, in collaboration with the Pacific Salmon Foundation and Genome BC, to better understand microbes present in wild and farmed salmon in British Columbia.

The research conducted under this initiative revealed new information relating to matters raised on the appeals in the case referred to by the member. Our department needs more time to analyze and determine if this information affects the crown's position in this case. This is why an adjournment has been sought with the consent of all parties.

Canadian seafood is known for its excellent quality, and we built that reputation by protecting our wild and farmed aquatic animals against potentially serious infectious diseases. We take that responsibility very seriously, and that is why we are going to invest an additional $197.1 million in ocean and freshwater scientific research over the next five years.

We are investing in people, technology, and partnerships to ensure that we have the scientific evidence to answer questions that are relevant to Canadians today and in the future. This investment will bring real benefits to Canadians by helping us make more informed decisions about our oceans, waterways, and fisheries, including aquaculture.

Fisheries and OceansAdjournment Proceedings

7:05 p.m.


Fin Donnelly NDP Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, the government should immediately drop the appeal. HSMI has been confirmed on the coast of British Columbia, and we need to remove the threat to wild salmon posed by diseased fish.

The government claims to respect science. The Liberals claim to embrace the Cohen Commission recommendations and the precautionary principle. If science can demonstrate the existence of more than a minimal risk, then the government has an obligation to protect wild salmon. The science is clear: wild salmon are under threat from diseases like HSMI.

In closing, would it not make more sense for the minister to remove the threat of disease altogether, to do right thing, and to transition open-net salmon farms on the west coast to closed containment?

Fisheries and OceansAdjournment Proceedings

7:05 p.m.


Serge Cormier Liberal Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Madam Speaker, let me be clear again. I think that the member opposite knows this. The Canadian aquaculture industry operates under some of the strictest regulations in the world to minimize risks to the environment. All aquaculture operations are subject to frequent monitoring to ensure a high standard of environmental performance.

Our regulations are based on the most recent scientific studies, which tell us that it is possible to control the environmental effects on aquaculture.

However, as a result of new information, our department needs a little more time to analyze and determine the implications for the crown's position in the case raised by the member opposite. Again, this is why an adjournment was sought, with the consent of all parties.

As this matter is before the courts, it would inappropriate for me to comment further at this time.

International TradeAdjournment Proceedings

October 3rd, 2016 / 7:05 p.m.


Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Madam Speaker, in my question for the minister in May, I highlighted the concerns raised by Canada's tech sector about the impacts of the TPP. Earlier this year, Tobi Lütke from Shopify stated that the deal would undermine Canada's autonomy to adopt its own software patent rules. OpenMedia is mobilizing its members to stop the TPP because of its infringements on digital rights.

Jim Balsillie, former CEO of Research in Motion, a great Canadian tech success story, perhaps the largest we have experienced, is also very concerned about the TPP. In his presentation to the international trade committee, he warned that TPP would lock Canadian innovators into a perpetual second place in the IT sector and the knowledge economy. He said, “I guarantee you there will never be another Canadian tech company like RIM under the framework of TPP.....The best thing for a Canadian innovator to do under TPP is to move to the United States.”

On the west coast, we have a burgeoning tech industry that is constantly losing young people to the U.S. tech sector. The thought that the TPP will cause us to lose talented Canadians and potential innovation to the U.S. or abroad is not a positive for growth in the sector here in Canada. This is a sector we should be focusing on and growing, not signing trade agreements that threaten its viability and future. Indeed, the committee was told that Canada is lacking a cohesive plan. What is desperately needed, as with other sectors, is an innovation strategy.

Jim Balsillie raised a lot of good points in his presentation to the committee. He highlighted how the TPP is not a traditional free trade agreement and that being opposed to the TPP does not mean that one is opposed to the concept of trade. It is simply a bad deal that runs counter to Canadian interests.

I would like to point out some of the issues around the TPP modelling that has been done. Most models show that the TPP will have a negligible effect on growth. We see a lot of flaws with models that assume full employment or that fail to account for intellectual property and ISDS provisions.

I was shocked to see that the government's own long-awaited economic impact study was full of holes. Most of the headlines around the study suggested that although Canada would not gain much from joining the TPP, it stands to lose if we do not join. However, as I said, the study is full of holes. It makes unreasonable assumptions, such as full employment, and does not look at the billions in promised compensation to the supply-managed sectors. It ignores the cost of ISDS and intellectual property changes, and glosses over the potential loss of tens of thousands of good-paying auto jobs across Canada and how deeply that would be felt in communities across my region.

It has been exactly one year since the TPP was concluded. The Liberal Party talks the same as the Conservatives on trade. They criticize me and my party for stating the obvious, that the TPP is a bad deal for Canada. I challenge the Liberal Party for its lack of leadership on this file. It says it wants to study the deal and consult on it. That work is nearly done.

After unloading the task on the trade committee, it spent over $300,000 studying the TPP and over 260 witnesses appeared. It has been a year. The conversations have happened, the money has been spent, but the Liberals still cannot make up their minds about this deal. Both presidential candidates in the U.S. think it is a bad deal. It is about the only issue that we will hear them agree on.

I challenge my colleague, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, to push his government to finally show leadership on this file and be up front with Canadians on where Liberals stand on the trans-Pacific partnership.

International TradeAdjournment Proceedings

7:10 p.m.

LaSalle—Émard—Verdun Québec


David Lametti LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Madam Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to address this issue, and I thank the hon. member for Essex for her question.

The government has delivered on its promise to share with Canadians the independent economic impact assessment completed by the office of the chief economist at Global Affairs Canada.

On September 9, the report on the economic impact of Canada's potential participation in the trans-Pacific partnership agreement was shared with the committee on international trade and made available on the website of the office of the chief economist. There are many reports by leading think tanks and academics seeking to analyze the potential impact of the TPP, which the government will continue to review. The study by the office of the chief economist of Global Affairs Canada contributes to an existing body of research and literature and will help inform our ongoing dialogue with Canadians as we assess Canada's potential participation in the TPP.

As regards innovation, I agree with the hon. member for Essex, as well as Mr. Jim Balsillie, that Canada needs an innovation policy. That is precisely what my colleagues have begun to introduce in this House over the past year.

With regard to innovation, we recognize that the current global economy presents both opportunities and challenges to Canadian creators and innovators who do business on the global market in various areas, particularly with regard to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights .

Canada's approach to intellectual property recognizes that the interests of Canada as a whole are best served when our intellectual property regime strikes a fair balance between the interests of innovators and creators and those of intellectual property users. That is what the Supreme Court has said on a number of occasions.

We have heard various opinions about whether the intellectual property rules set out in the TPP strike a fair balance for users and creators. We are continuing to hold consultations on that issue with a variety of stakeholders with diverse interests. More generally, our government is introducing an innovation agenda, which, under the direction of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, seeks to support Canadian innovators and entrepreneurs.

Since November, the government itself has received over 30,000 letters and emails through the consultation process. We have also had over 250 interactions with over 500 different stakeholders.

The Minister of International Trade and I have been to more than a dozen cities across Canada to hear directly from Canadians on the TPP. Consultations have taken place in Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax, Oakville, Windsor, Regina, Winnipeg, Quebec City, St. John's, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Toronto, and Guelph. These visits have included meetings, round tables, site visits, and public town halls.

A broad cross-section of Canadians have been involved in these consultations. This includes provincial representatives, female entrepreneurs, innovation firms, farmers, think tanks, the forestry and wood products sector, the fish and seafood sector, indigenous groups, environmental groups, small and medium-sized enterprises, labour unions, auto workers, auto parts manufacturers, port authorities, civil society organizations, academics, students, business leaders, and citizens.

On September 9, the Minister of International Trade and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs initiated a dialogue with indigenous groups on international trade and investment initiatives, including the TPP.

We are still learning. We are still consulting. We will make a decision when we have to.

International TradeAdjournment Proceedings

7:15 p.m.


Tracey Ramsey NDP Essex, ON

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague across, the parliamentary secretary, for his comments, but we cannot afford to continue to have no position in Canada.

It is important that the Canadian government shows leadership on the trans-Pacific partnership. We simply cannot afford the risks that are entailed inside the TPP. We cannot afford to take risks in any sector, certainly not our innovation sector, which is very important in our economy. When we think about the potential innovations of the future, we cannot undermine them by signing a trade deal that has negligible benefits, that will end up harming this sector, among others that we have heard at the committee.

When we look at the response that we received on the economic impact, .127% over 24 years, $4.3 billion, we know that was the exact amount promised in compensation to our supply managed sectors over 15 years.

I am certainly not a mathematician, but I can do the math, as most Canadians can, and see that we will be losing in the trans-Pacific partnership, both economically, and in jobs across many—

International TradeAdjournment Proceedings

7:15 p.m.


International TradeAdjournment Proceedings

7:15 p.m.


David Lametti Liberal LaSalle—Émard—Verdun, QC

Madam Speaker, we are trying to assess the various risks of the agreement under a variety of different scenarios. Those scenarios continue to evolve.

We are within the time parameters that have been established within the treaty. Not a single country has yet to ratify of the 12. We are still moving through the process. The assessment of risks and benefits will change depending on the various scenarios as they move forward.

We are keeping an eye on all of that as we go through and consult. We promised to consult and that is what we are doing. When we are in a position to make a final decision, we will. We will put it before the House.

International TradeAdjournment Proceedings

7:15 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker NDP Carol Hughes

The motion to adjourn the House is now deemed to have been adopted. Accordingly, the House stands adjourned until tomorrow at 10 a.m. pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 7:17 p.m.)