House of Commons Hansard #182 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was ojibway.


Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1Government Orders

1:15 p.m.


Richard Cannings NDP South Okanagan—West Kootenay, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague, the member for New Westminster—Burnaby, for his real championing of so many things that give Canadians a better life. One of the things he has been championing is the green new deal, the idea that we have to have a transition to a cleaner future and leave no workers behind. Because of the NDP pressure on the government, we have significant funding for clean tech in this budget that is tied to good union wages so people can have a respectable life in this new future.

I wonder if my colleague could provide further comments on that and on whether this should be standard operating procedure for future government infrastructure funding.

Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1Government Orders

1:20 p.m.


Peter Julian NDP New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

Mr. Speaker, the member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay has had a very strong voice in the House of Commons, speaking up for good jobs in the community. Whether he is talking about the South Okanagan, the West Kootenay or anywhere in Canada, he has been one of the foremost advocates of actually ensuring that government investments are put to work to ensure that people have good jobs. The member is right to point out that we have learned the lesson from other jurisdictions where subsidies to green energy had tended to be soaked up by CEOs. We certainly continue to see this with the oil and gas sector, where billions of dollars go and are largely taken by CEOs and do not go to actually providing benefits to workers.

This is the same principle we have brought in when it comes to the issue of the just transition to ensure we can put in place all the elements for clean energy to make sure that Canada is keeping up with the developments in the rest of the world. Those investments have to go to people who have good union jobs. That makes a difference in the community. It means more money stays in the community and it helps to create indirect jobs as well.

Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1Government Orders

1:20 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba


Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to address the Bloc member's concern regarding the issue of Bill C-47 versus Bill C-46. The member is quite right. We need to recognize that it has been a priority of this government to provide inflation relief in the form of a grocery rebate. That is why it was incorporated into Bill C-46. It is also the government's priority to try to get hundreds of millions of dollars to the provinces with respect to health care. That was also incorporated into Bill C-46.

As the member pointed out, it is also in the budget implementation bill. This is because we could not get agreement for the quick passage of Bill C-46 through the House. We only recently got the agreement to pass it. Following this logic, the member will recall how long it can take to get a budget implementation bill through the House from the last time we had one.

As a good example of that, today, there has already been an amendment to the budget implementation bill moved by the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party is going to hold up the budget implementation bill. Recognizing the importance of getting that grocery rebate to Canadians and getting the transfers of hundreds of millions of dollars to the provinces for our health care system, the government had to come up with Bill C-46 after we got agreement that we could get it passed in the House. That is the reason for this.

I know the member appreciates the explanation. I would even encourage the member to move the amendment so we can rectify the situation once we get to the committee stage. If I could, I would be the seconder.

Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1Government Orders

1:20 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

The hon. member for Joliette on a point of order.

Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1Government Orders

1:20 p.m.


Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind you and the members of the House that Bill C-46 passed all stages on Wednesday and that Bill C-47 was introduced in the House on Thursday. Therefore, there is no need to introduce amendments.

Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1Government Orders

1:20 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

I think that intervention is more of an interesting point of debate.

The hon. parliamentary secretary has six minutes left.

Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1Government Orders

1:20 p.m.


Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, one would like to think that things could happen relatively quickly. One would be surprised, in terms of the degree to which we finally got the consensus to get it through the House, in order to be able to support Canadians.

I would point out something that is really obvious. This emphasizes the contrast between the government and the Prime Minister versus the Conservative Party and the leader of the Conservative Party. Today, we had a good-news announcement. The federal government is investing in the future, through Volkswagen, by bringing in a megafactory. This will likely be the largest factory in the country. It is estimated that we are talking about literally the size of not dozens but hundreds of football fields. It is a gigantic factory.

I can say that not only is the federal government at the table with this, but so is Doug Ford. He is investing both cash and future infrastructure to support it. There is a reason for that. It is the idea that this is an investment in workers, as well as an investment in the future.

I would like to quote something that the leader of the Conservative Party quoted in a tweet. This is his mindset on the issue: “there are no lithium mines, no lithium processing facilities and no lithium ion battery makers in Canada.” We are in essence, the quote says, “a minnow compared to the United States, Australia and especially China.”

Well, that is the mentality of the Conservative Party. It does not understand that this does not have to be the destination. Canada can be a world leader, and that is what this investment is going to do.

It is so short-sighted. Again, it is not that all members of the Conservative Party would think the same way as the leader of the party. Progressive Conservatives may not think the same way, and as I said, we have Doug Ford 100% onside and investing in it.

This is an opportunity for Canada to enter into that green world in a very real and tangible way. We can look at seeing future lithium mines. We can look into a future with many more areas of development. It is estimated that, within a decade, the federal and provincial investments will be returned more than tenfold.

The Conservatives have a tough time thinking of the future or realizing the benefits of an investment of this nature. We can think in terms of the direct, positive impact that this is going to have on the automobile industry in the province of Ontario or in Canada as a whole.

Yesterday, in the chamber, we were talking about the aerospace industry. Members from the Bloc, myself and others were talking about how the provinces of Quebec and Manitoba have benefited. We talked about how important it was and is today that we support our aerospace industry, as we continue to do.

It is also important to support our automobile industry. We can think in terms of the future and the positive impact that this is going to have. I would hope that sometime between now and the next federal election, the Conservatives will have a flip-flop on their position on this issue. The net gains far outweigh the costs of what is being proposed by the Prime Minister and the Premier of Ontario today.

We need to start thinking about the bigger picture. We need to think of the quality middle-class jobs that will be there as we expand in an industry that is healthy for our province and create opportunities from coast to coast to coast. These opportunities may be in mining or parts distribution. All sorts of opportunities will be there going forward because of this investment. We will be working with the private sector, particularly Volkswagen, in building a state-of-the-art factory, potentially the single largest factory in Canada. We need to look at the tens of thousands of direct jobs, let alone the multiplying factor of indirect jobs.

I will continue the next time the bill comes up for debate.

Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1Government Orders

1:25 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

I believe the hon. member for North Island—Powell River has a point of order.

Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1Government Orders

1:30 p.m.


Rachel Blaney NDP North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, it has been brought to my attention that the hon. member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie inadvertently voted on Tuesday, March 21, and Wednesday, March 22, and should not have done so under paragraph (i) of section (o) of the motion adopted by the House on June 23, 2022.

I therefore ask that his votes from those dates be withdrawn.

Budget Implementation Act, 2023, No. 1Government Orders

1:30 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

I thank the member for that clarification, and we will make the proper adjustments.

It being 1:31 p.m., the House will now proceed to the consideration of Private Members' Business, as listed on today's Order Paper.

The House resumed from February 8 consideration of the motion that Bill C-248, An Act to amend the Canada National Parks Act (Ojibway National Urban Park of Canada), be read the third time and passed.

Canada National Parks ActPrivate Members' Business

1:30 p.m.

Windsor—Tecumseh Ontario


Irek Kusmierczyk LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment

Mr. Speaker, I want to begin by recognizing my colleague, the MP for Windsor West, for being a passionate champion of Ojibway all these years. I was glad to have the opportunity this past Monday to acknowledge the MP's 20 years of public service and his work to advance an Ojibway national urban park.

Our community gathered at Ojibway Nature Centre to celebrate four key milestones our federal government delivered through the work of the amazing Parks Canada. First, we announced the completion of the transfer of Ojibway Shores to Parks Canada. It is to be included in an Ojibway national urban park to be protected forever. Second, we announced that the first phase of the Parks Canada process in the creation of an Ojibway national urban park has been completed, and the process has graduated into the second phase. Third, we announced the acquisition and transfer of additional property on Titcombe Road to the City of Windsor for inclusion in an Ojibway national urban park. Finally, our community announced that the Province of Ontario has seen the value of an Ojibway national urban park and committed to transferring 60-plus hectares of provincial lands to Ojibway.

The credit for the protection of Ojibway Shores and the advancement of Ojibway national urban park rightfully rests with our community. Countless people have carried us to this tremendous day and time.

There are families, such as Derek and Ric Coronado, who have led efforts to protect Ojibway for decades. Karen Cedar, Paul Pratt and Tom Preney have poured their hearts and souls into looking after Ojibway for years.

From when I was a city councillor, I remember the number of times Jonathan Choquette came to fight for ecopassages and traffic calming to protect migrating wildlife. I have recently gotten to know professors Catherine Febria and Clint Jacobs, who opened the door to a deeper understanding of indigenous peoples' connections to Ojibway.

There are folks like Tom Henderson, Mike Fisher, Phil Roberts and Bill Roesel, who volunteer their time with the Friends of Ojibway Prairie and Essex County Field Naturalists' Club. There are people like Anna Lynn Meloche and Nancy Pancheshan, who rolled up their sleeves and took on developers and big box stores to elevate the urgency of conservation of Ojibway.

We can see so much courage, vision and togetherness, and there are hundreds of stories like this in Windsor Essex. They are as diverse and resilient as the plants and wildlife that call Ojibway home.

In addition to the people and groups I mentioned, there is the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup, Little Reg, URCA and the Unifor Local 444 environment committee.

These are the folks who will create an Ojibway national urban park. These are the drivers and the leaders, and this is the community. That is what gives me confidence and conviction that we will have an Ojibway national urban park: We are united, we are together and this is what we all want.

Canada National Parks ActPrivate Members' Business

1:30 p.m.


Chris Lewis Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is certainly an honour to participate virtually in the House this afternoon.

The first thing I would like to do, with your indulgence, is to wish my lovely wife Allison happy birthday. She is incredibly sweet and young. I love her dearly and I want to celebrate that.

Second, I want to congratulate the member for Windsor West for getting the bill this far. The member and I have worked tirelessly on this together. It is a fantastic example of collaboration and how working across the aisles we can certainly get things done for our regions. I know how influential he was with respect to my private member's bill, Bill C-241, and it has been an honour to work with him on his private member's bill, Bill C-248, an act to amend the Canada National Parks Act, the Ojibway National Urban Park of Canada specifically.

This has been a fantastic example of collaboration from all levels of government, which is enormous. I know our constituents continually ask us to not always fight in the House and to try to get along and find common ground. It puts a big smile on my face on a Friday to know that really good, unique things can get done when we work together.

As an example, our provincial government has come to the table. The Minister of Environment and Climate Change has been amazing in making sure that this comes to fruition, along with MPP Andrew Dowie, from Windsor—Tecumseh, who has also been very influential in the conversation and bringing those folks together. I really want to celebrate and thank them.

I have had many conversations with Mayor Dilkens, the mayor of Windsor, who is very much in support of this private member's bill, along with the mayor and councillors of LaSalle. It is a win-win for our community, so I thank them.

I want to thank our first nations: Chief Duckworth of the Caldwell First Nation, in collaboration with the Walpole Island First Nation.

Then of course there were amazing community consultations and a ton of outreach. People have literally been so vital in this conversation and I just want to thank them so much for that.

I will be very prudent and say that I am happy the Liberals changed their mind, because twice they voted against this. I am not sure what changed, but I am certainly happy they recognize that this is going to lead to huge opportunities for tourism, our economy and the health and mental health of people in our regions of Essex, Windsor—Tecumseh, Windsor West and Chatham-Kent—Leamington.

I have done my due diligence. I have spent countless hours in discussions with mayors, in community consultations, and with stakeholders. There were two things that were always top of mind. One is to make darn sure that our corridors and arteries, Matchette Road and Malden Road, remain open so that the folks who need to get back and forth to Windsor to work in our automotive sector and our new battery plant that is coming up do not encounter a big blockade that does not allow them to get back and forth to work early. They are putting in countless hours at these businesses and we should not have the major arteries, which are the major roads, blocked so they cannot get back and forth from their place of residence.

Equally, I have spoken many times on the importance of getting Canadians active. We have been basically stuck in our home for three and a half years due to COVID. It is time to get active, to get out on the trails, either a biking or hiking trail, or spend time with family and mother nature. This park has white-tailed deer, raccoons and the endangered eastern fox snake, which I really hope does not cross the path in front of me when I go out to this new park. We have the Gordie Howe International Bridge set to open up in 2025, which perhaps can connect with this urban national park. There is going to be a walking path on the bridge.

The tourism opportunities here for our region are absolutely vital. It is huge for the area, let alone the economy and what it is going to bring to our small businesses, hotels and restaurants, all those who are offering their services.

This is a really good, very well-thought-out private member's bill. Again, I am very happy to be supporting this.

Let me also say that this does not affect private lands. It will have zero effect on those lands that are surrounding it today. This bill uses existing federal-provincial lands that already exist. All it is doing is taking the existing green space and bringing it all together, which is enormous. It is protecting the environment.

Essex, Windsor West and Windsor—Tecumseh is a very small area. We are surrounded by three bodies of water, Lake Erie, the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair. Property is at a premium, to say the least. When we can give opportunities for folks to get outdoors, to get active, to spend time with their families away from our televisions, then I think we need to enhance that. We need to celebrate it. We have to do everything possible to ensure that we are doing our due diligence on that.

Tomorrow is Earth Day. What a fitting day to be talking about a private member's bill that is actually protecting some 800 acres in Essex that would go a long way to ensuring that our feathered and furry friends are protected.

I understand this bill is to be voted on next Wednesday, and I really hope that it gets passed. Equally, I am hoping that we can somehow, in some way get it to the Senate as quickly as possible, to get their support. Would it not be remarkable if we could get it through the Senate and allow these folks to start taking advantage, again, of this urban national park?

The greedy side of me says, along with Bill C-248, I also hope the Senate talks about Bill C-241, which is my private member's bill. Maybe they could push that through at the same time.

Conservatives will be voting in favour of Bill C-248. Again, I want to celebrate and congratulate the member for Windsor West. It has been an honour to work alongside him. This is only positive for our region, specifically for Essex, Windsor West, Windsor—Tecumseh and Chatham-Kent—Leamington. It would enhance the lives and mental health of people going forward.

Canada National Parks ActPrivate Members' Business

1:40 p.m.


Lori Idlout NDP Nunavut, NU

Uqaqtittiji, I would like to remind all members, specifically the members for Windsor—Tecumseh and Essex, not to use words like “our indigenous peoples” or “our first nations”. This is just to remind MPs that we do not belong to other people. We are not owned, so I ask members to please stop using those words together.

I am very pleased to represent Nunavut in supporting Bill C-248, as tabled by my colleague, the member for Windsor West. This bill would establish the Ojibway national urban park, which is the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of first nations, which includes the Ojibway, the Odawa and the Potawatomi.

Before I speak to my support of this bill, I send my congratulations to the amazing, courageous Nunavummiut who have just completed the Nunavut Quest in Arctic Bay in my riding. The Nunavut Quest is a great test of strength, perseverance and determination. It is a race of dog teams between communities.

Owning a dog team takes a lot of commitment and helps to protect Inuit culture. Dog teams were integral to the survival of Inuit in the harshest of conditions. Despite the governments efforts to eradicate Inuit culture and language, including the slaughter of dogs from the 1950s to the 1970s, Inuit remain steadfast in keeping Inuit culture alive.

This year, the competition was a journey that took nine dog team mushers and their support teams from Igloolik to Arctic Bay. I congratulate the organizers and the racers. The racers were: David Oyukuluk, Jovan Simic, Terry Uyarak, Donavan Qaunaq, Jonah Qaunaq, Joshua Haulli, Lee Inuarak, Michael Inuarak, Jeremy Koonoo, Apak Taqtu, Owen Willie and Christopher Piugattuk. Upigivatsi. I honour them.

To get back to this private member's bill from the member from Windsor West, I understand that it has taken several years and a lot of hard work to ensure that this region, which has a unique ecosystem, gains its status as a national urban park. This is a particularly important issue because this region is home to hundreds of endangered species that migrate there for their survival. Establishing the Ojibway national urban park will also protect the last remaining undeveloped natural shoreline in Windsor and Detroit.

I thank Chief Mary Duckworth of Caldwell first nation, who said, “Establishing Ojibway National Urban Park, not only preserves the last remaining shoreline and protects remnants of a rare ecosystem but underscores also how important it is to have a natural presence that has been unchanged by humans within a city. This is what makes it even more unique”.

A great aspect of this bill is the fact that it garnered support by so many, including Caldwell first nation, the City of Windsor, Friends of Ojibway Prairie, Friends of the Rouge, Wildlands League, the National Audubon society, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge and Unifor.

In his remarks introducing the bill, the member for Windsor West quoted Michelle Prior, president of the National Parks Association of Queensland, Australia, and it is worth repeating an excerpt. She said:

National parks are a national achievement and a cornerstone of a modern, enlightened society. Not only are Australia’s parks famous worldwide and form part of our national identity, they provide an abundance of benefits. Reclaimed from the past as a legacy for the future, they are a fundamental aspect of life today.

A final bit of background on the importance of passing Bill C-248 is from a publication. In 2017, the Essex County Field Naturalists' Club and the Essex Region Conservation Authority published the Ojibway Shores Natural Heritage Inventory/Evaluation. I encourage everyone to read this comprehensive report. I learned so much and can absolutely imagine the beauty that exists in that region.

The report states that volunteers collected the data and experts verified it. I highlight this because it highlights the grassroots approach this initiative has taken and how important it is that Canada listens to the voices of the people. My colleague has done his part and we must take their leadership and ensure that the Ojibway national urban park becomes a reality. Not only has this been a grassroots initiative, but I am proud to highlight that my colleague, the member for Windsor West, has taken a non-partisan approach. He has worked with all parties, even the Liberals who have needed to be pushed to appreciate the great value that Bill C-248 has for all of Canada.

Why is this so important? I looked up the National Parks Act to see what would happen. Adding the Ojibway national urban park to the National Parks Act would provide two main outcomes: number one, that Canadians will have education, benefit and enjoyment of the park and, number two, that the park shall be maintained and made use of so as to leave it unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.

My colleague, the member for Windsor West, has undertaken a major task, which normally could have been completed by the federal government. He has basically handed it a gift. When national parks are to be added, there must be a lot of work that is completed. What was the work required, before tabling an amendment? One was to provide a report on a proposed park, check; two was that the report include information on consultations, check; and three was agreements reached with respect to establishment, check. Finally, Bill C-248 at this stage now has been reviewed at committee, namely, the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.

I do hope the Liberal government joins in this collective call for the establishment of the Ojibway national urban park. The park needs the federal government to ensure the ecological integrity by its mandate established under the Canada National Parks Act. The Ojibway national urban park needs the government, according to the act, to help in its “Maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity, through the protection of natural resources and natural processes”.

Finally, I personally thank the member for Windsor West for asking me to speak on this important bill, Bill C-248. I thank the Three Fires Confederacy of first nations, which includes the Ojibway, the Odawa and the Potawatomi for sharing in their traditional territory and working toward the protection of this important area of Canada. I hope one day to visit the Ojibway national urban park.

Canada National Parks ActPrivate Members' Business

1:50 p.m.

Scarborough—Rouge Park Ontario


Gary Anandasangaree LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely delighted to speak today in support of Bill C-248, an act to amend the Canada National Parks Act, Ojibway national urban park of Canada. I would like to thank the member for Windsor West for his hard work in bringing us here. I also want to acknowledge the work of the member for Windsor—Tecumseh for his advocacy.

I was able to visit this park when I was in Windsor about two months ago, and I was quite impressed with the enormous efforts that have been undertaken by the community, including the Friends of Ojibway Prairie.

I suspect that most of what I will say will be more of a reflection on the Rouge National Urban Park, which I am very proud to represent. This is how I want to frame it. On any given week, we have opposition day motions, and we have question period for around five hours. There is an enormous amount of back-and-forth among all the parties, and sometimes it is questionable as to what we are doing here and what this place really means.

After the seven and a half years I have been here, if I were to leave this place tomorrow or if I were to leave this place five years from now, the single most important thing that I would take away with me is the creation of Rouge National Urban Park.

I suspect the member for Windsor West is probably on a very similar journey to the one I am on. The reason is that this was a monumental achievement for us locally, for those of us who represented the Rouge park or, in this case, the Ojibway national park. It is monumental because, when we look back 30, 40 or 50 years from now, we will see that we were creating an enormous gem protecting our wildlife, protecting our natural habitat and ensuring there is ecological integrity in the hearts of some of the most densely populated places in all of Canada and North America.

As I look at the Rouge National Urban Park taking shape today, I often think of how we got there. I want to pay respect to a number of people who have been instrumental. I want to start off with Lois James, who, as members may know, was known as the mother of the Rouge. She unfortunately passed away several years ago.

We have tried to mark her success in so many ways, but the absolute legacy that she left is the park itself. Starting with her, and continuing with generations of activists who were inspired by her, we have managed to bring something very special to the greater Toronto area. We now have 79.1 square kilometres of protected space, with some of the most incredible wildlife protected, including the Carolinian forest. We have hundreds of endangered species, ecological areas and farms, which really do speak to the vibrancy of the park.

We had to do a balancing act to ensure that an established urban area could support a national park. Starting with Lois James, we went through the seventies and eighties, as the city of Toronto was sprawling. Scarborough was at that time a city of its own. It was sprawling, and there were enormous pressures for development because of shortages in housing.

We had activists. We had common citizens, including people who were principals, gardeners, students and people such as my friends Glenda Bearmaker, Jim Robb, Kevin O'Connor and others, who basically said that enough was enough. They saw that we had the historical Rouge River going through one of the most beautiful parts of the city, and if we were going to put development right in the centre of it, we would lose it and the ecological benefits that stemmed from it. People stood in front of bulldozers. There are stories of citizens who stood in front of bulldozers and said that enough was enough. They did not want to have development at the cost of the environment and the land.

I think the enormous sacrifices of the individuals there led us to the park today. I always say, with the member for Scarborough—Guildwood, that in many ways we are here as the last leg of this long marathon, but what we did was inconsequential compared to the work of the community itself, the fights the member for Nunavut was talking about and the enormous strides our community made.

Then, I look at all the people since then, the kids, the schools and the community. There will not be a week that goes by from now until the fall when we are not doing a tree planting. I, for example, am doing a “walk in the park”, as I call it, in the Rouge National Urban Park next Sunday, and there will be tree planting and a community cleanup tomorrow for Earth Day. There are tree-planting opportunities across the Rouge park that are done by organizations such as the Friends of the Rouge Watershed and Forests Ontario to ensure that the park is vibrant.

The unique nature of the Rouge park also means that we have active working farms with people who are recognized as heritage farmers. Farmers have farmed the area for a couple of hundred years. They have a form of tenure that allows them to continue until their demise, and we have new vibrant businesses that are taking shape, including what I am told is a microbrewery that is coming to the park.

Of course, this is all situated on the traditional lands of many indigenous nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit. There are also the Huron-Wendat, who have a long history, including areas of the park where their history dates back over 10,000 years. The park itself is managed with enormous guidance from the indigenous circle that is part of the operations of the park, and there are regular and ongoing consultations that really allow the park to be sensitive.

There is one thing I have believed a park should do, and I am going to put it out there, because it is something that is quite important. I have had many conversations on this, and I hope at some point it will happen. The Rouge National Urban Park is the single largest display of the federal government within the greater Toronto area, and as such, I believe there is a need for more reflection on reconciliation at the park. For example, there is a need for a truth and reconciliation trail that would enable those who are visiting the park to be able to recognize the long and painful history of indigenous people in Canada, but particularly in the region.

Also, I think there is a greater need to ensure that we use the park to bring people back to nature and bring people back to what is, I think, most important, and probably the most important threat this country and this world are facing today.

I want to also acknowledge the work of Parks Canada's Andrew Campbell, who is the lead for Ontario, as well as Omar McDadl, who is the superintendent of the park. In the minister's office we have Joshua Swift, Kate and Jamie MacDonald, who have been incredible. There is also Janet Sumner of Wildlands as well as both former minister McKenna and the current Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

In closing, I think what the member for Windsor West is doing in collaboration with this community and many of the community members who are part of the Friends of the Ojibway Prairie is creating a legacy. It is not his legacy, but a legacy for all Canadians for future generations, where we can look back and say this is what we did in eight, 10 or 12 years of being here; we are protecting the land and making sure there is green space, and we are building a better Canada for all of us.

Canada National Parks ActPrivate Members' Business

2 p.m.


Gord Johns NDP Courtenay—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a privilege and an honour to rise on such a momentous occasion. I think about the work that my colleague from Windsor West has done to preserve such an important piece of his riding. I cannot say enough about his work in bringing all people together. The establishment of the Ojibway national park is a cumulation of many years, if not decades, of work.

I want to salute my colleague, because it takes a lot of work to do even the smallest project when it comes to conservation and to make sure all community members and stakeholders have been heard. Not only has he done that, but he has also brought together and supported the wishes of his local city council. He has brought forward concerns from labour, stakeholders, and obviously the environmental groups and the NGOs of the region. Most importantly, he has been working very closely with Caldwell First Nation, the rights holders of that region. That is absolutely the most critical piece.

To me, someone who has a national park reserve in his region, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which was put on the indigenous peoples' lands of the Tla-o-qui-aht, Uchucklesaht, Toquaht and Tseshaht without their permission, this is an example of the collaboration and true reconciliation that are needed. When we see a national park placed on the lands of the traditional landowners, the peoples of those lands, without their permission, it creates resentment.

My colleague from Windsor West has done this in a historic way, the right way to move things along. He has worked with Caldwell First Nation, and I give him huge credit, because this is what it needs to look like moving forward when it comes to respect, conservation and true reconciliation.

I also want to thank members of the Conservative Party, the Bloc and the Green Party, as well as the two members of the Liberal Party who got behind this bill. I was disappointed about the delaying tactics, about the government's trying to block this very important bill and this very important achievement that my colleague has been trying to move forward.

This national park would protect 200 of Canada's 500 endangered species. This is absolutely incredible. It is timely that we are debating this on the eve of Earth Day, which is tomorrow, at a time when we know we are seeing warming temperatures around the world, the threat of climate change and also the loss of biodiversity. It is so important that we do everything we can to conserve those critical pieces.

My colleague has talked about the importance of this location, which is in a temperate environment, and the fact that it has Carolinian forests that are a refuge for species at risk. This includes trees, fauna, amphibians and the Massasauga rattler. It is pretty wild for someone who comes from British Columbia to hear this. These are endangered species. As in other places in our country, people are fighting to protect these green spaces.

I think about green spaces in my own riding and the amount of work it took to protect the Kus-kus-sum, which is at the estuary. It is shared with my good colleague from North Island—Powell River. There is the work the community has put in, together with the Comox people, such as Tim Ennis, who led a really important group through the Comox Valley Land Trust to protect that land. I think about Meaghan Cursons and the work she does at the Cumberland Forest Society; Lynn Brooks at Arrowsmith Naturalists, which is trying to save the Hamilton marsh; Denise Foster, who worked with the Qualicum people and Snaw-Naw-As to save the estuary land in Qualicum; and of course the Wild Pacific Trail Society in Ucluelet, which also works with first nations for conservation resources.

I want to go back to the importance of reconciliation. In the creation of the Ojibway national park, one thing that I really like is that it is being done in collaboration with Caldwell First Nation. This is important. We have seen, with Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, promises from the government in a national park reserve where it promised beneficial agreements with first nations but did not deliver them. It is really important, as we see this park come forward, that the Caldwell people would be getting a beneficial agreement with the park so that they are also the operators of the park and ensuring that they get jobs out of it.

I want to quote Chief Duckworth, who spoke at committee. She said, “We know that we need a legislative framework in order to make this national park happen, and I am here to support the hard work that's been done and the hard work going forward.” It is really exciting to see this kind of important collaboration. It is really important that I highlight again the important work of my colleague from Windsor West.

As someone who ran the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce in British Columbia for five years, I can say that we were the runner-up for chamber of the year, Mr. Speaker, out of 130 chambers of commerce, something that I know you are not used to, because I know people always laugh at the New Democrats and say that we are not small business people, but we are. We are the engine of the working people. We work the closest with working people and workers and small business people.

We really understand the importance of chambers of commerce and business organizations. They understand how important it is to protect the environment, to work with indigenous peoples and reconcile the damage that has been caused by colonial laws, to work closely together so that we can walk forward together. Of course, we know that when we protect the biodiversity and the environment, it is good for the economy. It is good for workers.

Also, as the critic for mental health and harm reduction, I know how important it is to get outside. Just the other night, I was with the Canadian Association for Physicians for the Environment, because I am co-chair of the all-party environment caucus, and we talked about the importance of getting outside and being in nature. There is no pill that one can take that is better and that would make one healthier than getting outside or getting on a bike.

My colleague is not only doing something that is good for tourism, good for the people in the community, good for climate action and good for protecting endangered species and biodiversity, but he is also improving the lives and the health of the people in his community. This is a tremendous achievement and, again, I salute him for this important work. It is so exciting to be here and it is an honour to rise and talk about this.

We know that the Gordie Howe bridge is going to be placed next to this area, which is going to create a lot of economic activity, but also challenges for the environment. This is an absolutely critical mitigation piece when it comes to biodiversity.

I do know that the government has committed $2.3 billion, which is far from adequate, in terms of its nature legacy fund. We need to go much further. The government will spend $31 billion on the Trans Mountain pipeline, and $2.3 billion to protect biodiversity. Its priorities are completely out of order. We need more money to support more initiatives like this, and I hope that the government, when it moves forward with this legislation, will invest heavily in this national park, this incredible legacy.

We are talking about really important environmental issues, and I want to talk about one of the greatest environmentalists in my life. It is Wayne Adams, from Freedom Cove. He just passed away. His funeral is going to be on Tuesday, and sadly I am going to be here, so I will not be able to join Catherine, Shane, Shauna and the many people in our community and the Ahousaht people whose territory he lived on. He lived on a floating garden and, really, a paradise and a park of its own, and that is the park of the ocean and our natural environment.

I salute Wayne. We are going to miss him so much. He was a renowned carver. People like Ken Thomson would travel to buy his art and store it. He was just such an incredible environmentalist himself.

Here we are, talking about the environment on the eve of Earth Day. It would be a big mistake for me not to talk about the legacy of Wayne Adams and what he taught us in Clayoquot Sound and the people in our region about how we can live differently, how we can live a much slower life and protect the environment, and the importance of biodiversity and the species and living in nature. I salute Wayne.

Back to the bill, my friend and colleague from Windsor West has been determined and tenacious. He has demonstrated the willingness to work with everybody. I hope that the people in his community really see the determination and effort that he has made. He was seventh in the order of precedence in the lottery for PMB and he chose this. It shows his commitment to the people in his community, to reconciliation and to social, environmental and economic justice.

Canada National Parks ActPrivate Members' Business

2:10 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

I just want to say that I think all of us have a background in chambers of commerce, provincial governments and municipal governments, so I think the member was just looking at the chair and not really looking at me directly.

Also, if I were his whip, I would let him stay home for the week to go to that funeral.

The hon. member for Windsor West, for his right of reply.

Canada National Parks ActPrivate Members' Business

2:10 p.m.


Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise here today. I want to, first, thank all my colleagues who have spoken on this bill in the previous hour of debate and this hour of debate. I have much gratitude for them getting to know my area.

This area is the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of first nations, which includes the Ojibway, the Odawa and the Potawatomi. As appropriately put, this is part of reconciliation. This is a story that is very important because it shows that we can do better.

For my part, I am thankful for the timing of this taking place. One of my heroes is Chief Duckworth. I want to thank Walpole Island First Nation as well. Chief Duckworth from Caldwell First Nation was left out of the consultation for the Gordie Howe bridge. We got to know each other when I invited them to come down to the community benefits, where they did not receive any invitation. We crashed the event together; I would not go in without them. The council let them in. That was the start of a very good relationship with Caldwell First Nations. More needs to be done, but it is a good start.

It is also a great tribute to my past mentor, Senator Earl "Boots" Scofield, who was a Métis senator. He also flew 17 missions in World War II in the bubble of a Mosquito bomber.

I want to quickly thank Janet Sumner and Dave Pearce from the Wildlands League, who have also been partners from the start and amazing heroes of mine. I thank the City of Windsor Council, and Mayor Dilkens, Councillor McKenzie and Councillor Francis in particular. Mayor Dilkens has been instrumental in this. I am grateful for the work that we have done, because this has included our region. The city has been at the forefront, giving up land, and that has been important.

I want to thank Lisa Gretzky, in my provincial Parliament, my colleague for Windsor West, who has always been wonderful to work with. She has been very involved in this. I want to thank MPP Andrew Dowie and also Minister Piccini in the Province of Ontario, who authorized the transfer of land that is coming up.

Of course the Friends of the Rouge are important. The Unifor Environmental Committee with Mark Bartlett, Rick Labonte, Ric St. Denis, Dave Cassidy and others were huge with this.

There is Green Ummah, who have gotten young people involved. There is the Friends of Ojibway, Claire McAllister, Paul Pratt and Mike Fisher. There is Save Ojibway community group. There is Jonathan Choquette from the Wildlife Preservation Canada, and John Hartig, another hero of mine. He is an American who has a Canadian part of his heart.

There is Bill Rousel, Phil Roberts, Derek Coronado, Frank Butler and the Citizens Environmental Alliance. We also have the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup and Windsor Essex Bike Community.

I want to again talk about some of the MPs here. The member for Essex has been instrumental in this, which is very important because the land that he represents is very close to this. I want to thank him for this, and his Bill C-241. It has been fun working together. It is hard to say “fun” in this place sometimes, but it does happen.

I want to thank the member for Windsor—Tecumseh for coming on board. We will need his support in the Senate, as well as for the whole area and this House.

I want to thank numerous ministers that I have had discussions with, even though originally there was a difficulty in getting the government onside. I am glad it is, and look forward to the vote. As well, I thank the Conservatives, Bloc and Green and the two Liberals who voted for it earlier. It is very important.

I do want to say that there is one person who has been a custodian and who sometimes gets overlooked, Peter Berry at the Port Authority. He is a hero. He is actually a former service person from Canada's military, and served in Bosnia. He is very much a hero.

I want to thank Parks Canada staff. I cannot say who is watching right now, but I think people are watching, including my partner, Terry Chow, my good friend, Jeff Mussen, and of course my daughter and son, Alex and Wade.

I want to quickly note Mo Peer and Melanie, the lead in my office, as well as Darlene, Eva, Farah, Heather and Myrna.

I cannot get through everything, but I do want to conclude soon. I want to say that we have been consulting on this a long time. There are so many other people I wish I had time to recognize. Please forgive me if I did not say someone's name.

The reality is we have done consultations for thousands of people. There were public meetings, interactions and a whole number of different social events and other things that brought us to this point. I am looking forward to us working together further.

I am going to read a quick poem to close things out. It is from Marty Gervais, a historian in Windsor, who is very much part of the fabric of our history. There are also four other persons who helped collaborate on a book. It is called Pathway:

I don't know where this pathway leads as I walk alone.
Trees keep me company, offer shelter from wind, and there is sunlight enough to soften shadows, to warm me as I continue deeper into the mystery of this Ojibway day.

The reason I mention that is because tomorrow is Earth Day, and a new chapter starts for this with this vote on Wednesday.

I want to thank all of the members who have been supportive of this process as we went forward because it is not about us. It is about the next generation. That is what is amazing.

Canada National Parks ActPrivate Members' Business

2:15 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

Is the House ready for the question?

Canada National Parks ActPrivate Members' Business

2:15 p.m.

Some hon. members


Canada National Parks ActPrivate Members' Business

2:15 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

The question is on the motion.

If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes that the motion be carried or carried on division, or wishes to request a recorded division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

Canada National Parks ActPrivate Members' Business

2:15 p.m.


Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, I request a recorded division.

Canada National Parks ActPrivate Members' Business

2:15 p.m.


The Deputy Speaker Conservative Chris d'Entremont

Pursuant to order made on Thursday, June 23, 2022, the recorded division stands deferred until Wednesday, April 26, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.

It being 2:18 p.m., the House stands adjourned until next Monday at 11 a.m., pursuant to Standing Order 24(1).

(The House adjourned at 2:18 p.m.)