Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was aboriginal.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Churchill River (Saskatchewan)

Lost his last election, in 2004, with 10% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Catriona Lemay-Doan February 8th, 2001

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to recognize the accomplishments of Canada's best amateur athletes.

A world class Olympian is what Catriona LeMay-Doan of Saskatoon is today. The undisputed star of women's long track speed skating captured gold medals in both the 500 metre and 1,000 metre World Cup races held this past Saturday in the Netherlands.

The reigning Olympian speed skate champion in the 500 metres has won six of seven World Cup races this season in the 500 metres and on two occasions bettered her world record.

Training out of the Calgary Olympic Oval, which is still recognized as the best ice in the world, Ms. LeMay-Doan leads a strong Canadian speed skating team that is preparing for the 2002 winter games just one year away.

I congratulate Ms. LeMay-Doan for being an exceptional Canadian. We are all very proud of her and wish her the best in her future endeavours.

Gerry Morin February 7th, 2001

Mr. Gerry Morin was sworn in on February 2 as a judge in the province of Saskatchewan. Mr. Morin is a member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and has had extensive experience in northern Saskatchewan. He has served as a probation officer in various communities. His aspirations in the legal profession were realized when he graduated from Saskatoon's University of Saskatchewan.

Mr. Morin started his law practice in the city of Prince Albert and served northerners in the justice circles and as an adviser in major negotiations. He gained national prominence when he was appointed chairman of the RCMP complaints commission.

Mr. Gerry Morin will be utilizing his Cree language to conduct his responsibilities and make his decisions as a judge in our aboriginal communities.

I am honoured to stand today to acknowledge our friend, our partner and our fellow Canadian for such a profound achievement for his family and his people.

Natural Gas June 14th, 2000

Madam Speaker, that is part of the free market economy. The NDP are not anti-business or anti-trade. As long as it is fair business on a level playing field that will benefit Canadians, the NDP will support.

Thousands of jobs are tied to the natural gas resource sector. This is good. We believe that thousands of more jobs could be created by increasing access to unserviced areas.

The intent of this motion is to contribute to value-added enterprises in the forestry sector, in the agricultural sector and all sectors of industry across this country. As harvesting moves further and further north in mining and forestry, there are opportunities for kilns and processing centres scattered across the Boreal forest. It is wasteful energy to expend energy to have access to raw matériel only. Let us make sure that this energy is used for value-added products.

Increased jobs come with access to natural gas. Following the principles of sustainability, it ensures long term and constant profitability.

The intent of this motion is a better future rather than today's cap and ship policy, a policy that dates to the past century and encouraged by unfettered free trade markets where domestic concerns and issues are secondary to invisible shareholders, the Bay or Wall Streets speculative markets, or the whole term of colonization.

We should avoid speculation, and the facts are too real. Forced to go head to head at outlandish inequities of foreign exchange rates, many opportunities for Canadian enterprises are lost even before they begin.

The motion does not state to turn off the taps or put a definitive domestic cap on natural gas. It asks that we as parliamentarians recognize the disparities and provide initiatives to level the playing field for Canada and its citizens. It is our gas. Why endorse policies to strip our children and future generations from their birthright? Indeed, the future is now.

Forced to go head to head with American rates of consumption, our natural gas rates for heating Canadian homes in the winter are expected to rise by 50% to 100%. Chicago is being placed before Selkirk, Burlington or Wascana. In the north, including in my own riding, the gas flows right under our feet and away to southern regions but not into our homes.

The north is about to enter into unrivalled natural gas exploration and development and exports in the several decades to come. What message will parliament send on our vision of the future?

We understand that the government is now moving forward on energy efficiency initiatives partly because of Canada's international responsibilities with Kyoto. The main reason to go forward into a cleaner century is not the limitations but the basic fact that clean energy and efficiency means profits for our country. Monetary gain and precious savings from cleaner air and reduced costs will be a lot less of a burden on our health care system. Cleaner lungs for our children and the next generation will reduce the impact on our health care system.

On this premise of efficiency the current federal policy, lies. We recognize that efficiency savings over time create benefits for action. Not all communities can proceed on this premise.

An example is the often repeated concern in the Churchill River constituency where excellent community efforts are bringing natural gas across the distances to provide economic opportunity in regions that did not have it before.

I call special attention to the Anglin Lake natural gas committee led by its outstanding member, Alice Tatryn. It has achieved success, but national initiatives would have accelerated this promise years ago.

I call attention to the outstanding efforts of my constituency assistant Judy Bridle. Day in and day out she listens to the concerns of constituents who want natural gas. Residents know and trust her judgment. They know very well that the resources are under their feet but not in their homes. A disheartening fact and reality is that many Canadians who want natural gas extensions are forced to go without access to clean energy because of minor percentage points in access to capital and related endeavours. This portrait is repeated across Canada in unserviced areas.

Canadians would like to do their part for energy efficiency in their homes and workplace. In Labrador and New Brunswick, Nunavut or the Yukon these advantages do not exist.

We acknowledge that the Bloc Quebecois and the Progressive Conservatives support this motion. They demonstrate the vision necessary to go beyond the shortsighted profiteering as reflected in the agreements between Quebec and New Brunswick to encourage regional natural gas access for better development opportunities for their citizens and future generations.

It is time that other parliamentarians recognized and contributed their support in a similar manner by voting for this motion.

Natural Gas June 14th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to participate today in the third and final hour of debate on Motion No. 298. To clarify the meaning of the motion, I will read it. It says:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should provide initiatives to deliver natural gas to unserviced regions and address environmental concerns and high energy costs.

As parliamentarians, it is our duty and our responsibility to act in the best interests of our specific constituencies and for the betterment of Canada. It is our elected duty to represent the best interests of all Canadians. It is our actions in this House and in the everyday legislative process that will affect this and future generations. What we debate and decide impacts on the country as a whole, whether it is a bill, an act or, as in this case with Motion No. 298, a motion to provide guidance to this House in its vision and understanding of Canada's best interests.

The intent of this motion is not to interfere with free market enterprises. The motion's purpose is not, and I repeat not, for the federal government to build pipelines to every corner of this vast and great country. The purpose of this motion is to provide recognition of the economic disparity that some regions face without access to clean and efficient energy sources.

While citizens in most cities can enjoy the benefits of natural gas energy, there are entire regions of this country that do not. There are entire unserviced regions that are being limited in their opportunities for sustainable development. There are regions in this country that are not only enjoying access to clean fuels but are reaping billions of dollars of revenues, royalties and profits.

At a time when the Prime Minister states to the country that one of our core values is the principle of sharing our wealth and opportunities, neglect and short-sightedness are hampering our efforts as parliamentarians to utilize this 36th session of parliament to improve the lives of Canadians.

We are not here to ensure the multinational corporations have the first and exclusive access to the very raw resources that are shared and owned by all Canadians. We are not here as parliamentarians to ensure that disparity between regions continues. We are not here as parliamentarians to ensure that our natural resources are plundered by outside nations and our citizens forced to repurchase our birthrights at inflated rates of foreign currency exchange.

Canadians are sick and tired of watching our natural resources flow south with little in return for ourselves except for federal royalties. Canadians are sick and tired of listening to governments state that there is nothing unfair or obscene with fluctuating energy prices and overflowing corporate coffers. Canadians are sick of dirty air and polluted water.

The motion that we are debating today is about a vision of where we want our country to be in a year, in a decade, several decades, as every tonne of carbon saved and cleaner energy helps in our successful Kyoto protocol challenge.

The current federal policy in relation to natural gas is to assist big pipelines with incentives and write-offs to ship our natural gas, Canada's natural gas south for foreign markets.

Canada National Parks Act June 13th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak at third reading of Bill C-27, the Canada national parks act.

This is the final stage in the House of Commons legislative process where members of parliament can speak on the bill before it leaves this House to go to the other place. This may be the last time that the House of Commons reviews the national parks act for many years. I believe that for parliamentarians our national parks should be above politics. They are a trust for this and future generations of Canadians.

As stated by the parliamentary secretary, a high degree of co-operation existed during the legislative review by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. I would like to state our appreciation for the outstanding levels of co-operation during the committee hearings and the support of Parks Canada personnel throughout the legislative process. I also wish to acknowledge the chair of the standing committee.

It was very important to overcome several shortcomings in the legislation. A good example of where Bill C-27 was strengthened by the committee working together right from the very start was on the definition of ecological integrity. Many members were surprised to find that there was no definition for the mandate of Parks Canada on ecological integrity.

Most opposition parties put forward a definition found in the ecological integrity panel report and the government put forward its own definition of ecological integrity. It was a definition that could have been construed or interpreted as simplified or weak. The committee members from both sides of the House, with the assistance of Parks Canada and experts, were able to hammer out a suitable compromise on a proper and adequate definition. The final agreed upon definition reads as follows:

“Ecological integrity” means, with respect to a park, a condition that is determined to be characteristic of its natural region and likely to persist, including abiotic components and the composition and abundance of native species and biological communities, rates of change and supporting processes.

This is quite a definition. There is a reason why I raised the example of co-operation that transcends political boundaries. The respect for Canada's wilderness treasures has led to a stronger bill than the version that was first tabled in the House. The ecological panel spent several years identifying and describing the risks that parks face. “Parks are not islands” was the panel's rallying cry.

There were other areas in the bill where improvements were made and others where improvements were not made at all. My colleagues have raised the necessity for improving community consultations, which I will address in a moment.

For now I will speak on proposed clause 8(3) which was defeated and which I hope the other place will discuss. The report stage Motion No. 3 proposed by the NDP would have addressed the concerns put forward by the Canadian Nature Federation and some committee members. Those concerns were that many of the threats to Canada's national parks are from developments and land use decisions external to the national park boundaries.

Indeed as the ecological panel stated, parks are not islands.

There is a growing appreciation and need for Parks Canada to work with adjacent landowners and decision makers to try and ensure the complementary management of national parks and adjacent lands.

Parks Canada must be able to provide its information and knowledge of greater park ecosystems to any authority or body, environmental assessment panels, et cetera, to ensure that the decisions account for their possible impact on these nationally significant landscapes.

Parliament is ultimately responsible for the national parks act, for ensuring that the national parks are passed on unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. It is our duty as parliamentarians to do our best to protect this country and our citizens.

Twice now, in 1988 and today, parliament has directed the minister and Parks Canada to make the restoration and maintenance of ecological integrity of Canada's national parks the first priority in all management decisions. If these goals that parliament has set out are to be met, then the men and women who manage our national parks must be confident in the fact that parliament fully expects them to participate in the decision making processes that are reasonably expected to affect the ecological integrity of national parks.

The NDP motion would have assisted in this noble effort which is of great importance to all Canadians. The amendment sought to provide park managers with the assurance that while they may have no jurisdiction over land use decisions outside the parks, we do expect them to provide the best information and advice to those land use processes reviewing developments outside those parks.

Only by participating in such forums can we expect Parks Canada and other landowners to work co-operatively to achieve the conservation of the parks landscape both inside and outside the boundaries in such a way that native species survive and human aspirations and benefits from the natural places are realized.

The improvements to the bill are substantial and no bill is perfect. However, we are disappointed that the government voted against the amendment.

Another amendment we would like to see in the future is the Bill C-27 definition of ecological integrity included in the Parks Canada Agency Act. This would provide absolute clarity in the agency's mandate. When parliament debated the agency act in the first session of the 36th Parliament, there was no definition of ecological integrity, although the term can be found in this bill now. Let us clarify it in both acts.

Of particular note for future discussion was a proposed amendment for clarifying “no net negative environmental impact” as part of the governor in council regulations and powers in relation to development. This was a written witness submission that followed the somewhat hurried committee hearings, a point to provide assurance to developers and communities that this expression would apply evenly and fairly, to ensure the heritage minister's commitment to no net negative environmental impact was not misunderstood by any cabinet minister in the future, especially if it is related to a new park for example in Atlantic Canada or in the northern regions.

I would like to thank the parliamentary secretary and Parks Canada staff for a particular improvement made to Bill C-27 during the committee stage. Witnesses and my colleague the member for Yukon raised specific concerns on the traditional and sacred gathering of objects and materials in national parks. The committee made a specific change for clarification in clause 25 to avoid a misunderstanding of the definition of trafficking in the bill, for example, to avoid traditional bartering of medicinal herbs as being defined as a crime.

The committee also struck down an attempt to limit the debate on the parks amendments to three hours. The NDP and most members of parliament are against time allocation and limitations on free speech and debate. Committee members agreed and the limitation on debate, a dangerous precedent for other legislation in this House, was defeated in committee.

My colleagues, this point brings me to a constant concern for this bill. As elected officials it is our duty to represent our constituents, our ridings and the majority views that these special places in Canada hold.

As stated by my colleagues, the recognition of parks communities was an important issue throughout the debate and hearings for the national parks act which led to this bill.

Prince Albert National Park is located in the Churchill River constituency. The community of Waskesiu in turn is located in the park, one of seven identified parks communities in Canada. Representatives are elected by the communities to participate in the Parks Canada process.

We acknowledge that the government in clause 12 of the bill drew attention to and recognizes the representatives of parks communities. This is an important step forward but the efforts should not have been limited there. At no time in the future should the important contributions that the residents, Canadian citizens, play in Canada parks development, maintenance and future direction be ignored.

In Waskesiu an elected community representative committee consists of people like Shelley Funk, Peter Strassen and Hervé Langlois working with Parks Canada constantly. There is a great working relationship with Parks Canada, especially with Superintendent Bill Fisher. Our office appreciates his hands-on and progressive approach, and his honesty and sincerity which are a reflection on Parks Canada's history and professional standards that Canadians have grown to expect and treasure. The degree of respect held by committee members, Shelley, Peter and Hervé in Waskesiu, should be considered no differently.

Tom Lee, the CEO of Parks Canada, stated on May 30:

First of all I would like to state before the committee because Waskesiu does have concerns and they have written me that this is a terrific organization to work with, they're supportive of the park, they're valued. We want to see that relationship maintained and we think they're important, we know they're important.

The NDP acknowledges that an effort was made by the reference in clause 12 but still maintains that the government could have gone further in recognizing parks communities. We do not state that more municipal power authorities were necessary, but more fair and just acknowledgement was required. Removing Jasper and leaving Banff in the bill was a political issue at best.

Community buy-in and participation in the new direction of saving our parks and not just limiting operations to a cost recovery Disneyland theme park approach is an absolute necessity. Parks communities such as Waskesiu have come a long way in recent years, overcoming distrust and shock at the degree of cutbacks inflicted during the government's slash and dash deficit years in the mid-1990s.

We have come a long way since my friend Cec Allen played on the shores of Kingsmere as a child, and watched as a decision from Ottawa removed the summer shacks that local residents enjoyed just because Ottawa's perception was that they were not pretty or aesthetic.

Jasper representatives described an emergency response vehicle ordered via the cookie-cutter approach in Ottawa that did not fit into the fire hall. That put people's lives at risk and Parks Canada and the community to shame. Communities are there daily and should be respected and heard. Then these blunders would not appear. There would be a smooth transition of community decisions and recommendations and parks delivery of the recommendations if they meet the appropriate standards.

Community participation could have been better defined. This was the government's political decision, and we were disappointed that it did not materialize.

Perhaps the most important point about the bill that Canadians would like to know is, where do we fit in now? Will access be closed to humans? Will recreation be stopped? I would like to state for the record, no. All this is about accessibility. Our population and international visitors will continue to enjoy our parks, perhaps in different ways, at different times and in different locations as parks grow in the country to offset seasonal peaks and breeding times.

Mr. Gérin, the panel chairperson, said that stopping visitor use was not the point at all. Better visitor use is needed. More education and interpretation is needed. A better respect for our natural treasures and the fragile nature of our parks must be taught and distributed.

The increase in aboriginal participation is welcome across the country and throughout the parks system. It is a welcome initiative for aboriginal communities to see parks take an open stance in delivering and preserving the natural heritage.

Although the government defeated our reference to traditional aboriginal ecological knowledge, the reference is found in other pieces of legislation in Canada. It could be brought in later. This is an important contribution that the original peoples and elders make to understanding our nature and national parks and is a key component for the future of our national parks.

I thank the heritage minister for the foresight and vision demonstrated by her support for the aboriginal secretariat for Parks Canada. Speaking of vision, I recognize that one reason for the new and improved parks act was to expedite the completion of Canada's national park system based on an eco-region approach. Of 39 eco-regions 14 remain unprotected. This is a repeated red book promise. The improved legislative capacity of Bill C-27 will help this process.

I thank the governor general for her specific mention of completing Canada's parks system in the throne speech. I know she shares the concern of the heritage minister and the Prime Minister that this legacy for our children and future generations be completed as soon as possible in this new century.

The NDP shared its surprise when the finance minister neglected to provide any money to fulfil this promise. It was an awakening when in the budget speech Parks Canada was totally missed. With the passing of this act perhaps the finance minister can provide a Christmas present for all Canadians this year by putting the 100 million dollars plus identified as necessary for this noble goal that the NGOs, parks communities and Canadians have called on, especially Parks Canada personnel who need these resources.

At the same time as there is sufficient funding to maintain let alone restore our national parks, our national wilderness treasures deserve respect, not neglect. That is another debate for another day, a day when there are the values Canadians can hold true.

We value our national parks. The national parks are hereby dedicated to the people of Canada for their benefit, education and enjoyment, subject to the act and regulations. The parks shall be maintained and made use of so as to leave them unimpaired for the future enjoyment of generations to come.

With those noble words that are a part of Bill C-27, we lend our support to the bill. We hope that Canadians will enjoy the national parks this summer and for future generations.

Species At Risk Act June 12th, 2000

Madam Speaker, I rise today to speak to Bill C-33, the much anticipated Species at Risk Act. In our opinion this is an appropriate title for a very weak act because it truly highlights that our species will be at risk with the current form of legislation before us.

My hon. colleagues from the committee and my hon. colleagues in the House on both sides have said that the bill by no means addresses everyone's expectations and that there is a lot of work to be done.

For the record I would like to state that our guiding principle was a resolution brought to us at our biennial convention. It by no means waters down any commitment for comprehensive federal endangered species legislation. It must be in co-operation with all other governments including provincial ones. Traditional aboriginal knowledge and aboriginal communities could help. The guiding principles has been the identification and listing of species at risk by an independent committee of scientists. This list would be based on scientific evidence as the primary consideration and not on political interpretation of data.

Our worst fears by far have come to light with the Species at Risk Act. Bill C-33 is certainly not based on the listing and identification of species at risk. It will not be done wholly or confirmed by an independent committee of scientists. There will be a role for the politicians and the executive council of the federal government to play in identifying and sanctioning the lists of species at risk. That is of great detriment to this bill.

Another guiding principle that we highlighted was a comprehensive and nation-wide natural habitat protection initiative. This includes protection of species that range or migrate over Canada's domestic and international borders. As my hon. colleague mentioned, there is no protection in this act to deal with international boundary migration or interprovincial boundary migration. There is even question in terms of federal boundaries or federal jurisdiction that will be further watered down and susceptible to interpretation.

This major piece of legislation will be worked on in the legal system. It will be translated and interpreted by legal minds in light of legal challenges. We challenge the committee in its deliberations to look at the draft and ensure the issue of jurisdiction is covered. We must not be tying our hands on federal jurisdiction or federal crown lands. We have species at risk from coast to coast to coast.

It would not impede us in any way to work with the positive initiatives, as the other members have mentioned, of other provinces to identify species at risk or endangered species in their jurisdictions. We must work with those provinces. We must work with the communities and the industries that would like to see a major departure from a lack of legislation to a strong piece of legislation that will protect species at risk.

Another major guiding principle for us that was challenged on behalf of our membership was the inclusion of stakeholders in the development of species recovery plans, the provision of adequate support for those whose livelihood is disrupted by a species recovery plan and the provision for a just transition of workers and communities which may be affected by recovery plans.

With regard to the whole issue of stakeholders and compensating for any loss of land, livelihood or industry that may occur, the government should take a respectful view. In light of the major changes in protecting our biodiversity in the country and in the world, we may have to take major steps and make harsh decisions. We must ensure that we are compassionate to the people impacted through loss of livelihood, lands, community and industry that may occur.

These three guiding principles have helped us in our view. When we analyze Bill C-33 we find that the Liberal government lacks leadership on all three of these components in the Species at Risk Act before us.

Any species at risk must be based on respectful consideration of lands and landowners. This is certainly not reflected in the act. It dwells on it, but there is certainly nothing substantive that could make people sleep easier once the act is in place and protects species. If it happens that any of those species were found on their property they should have respectful consideration. That respectful consideration is not entrenched in this act. It must be spelled out clearly. It must point out the protocols to be followed in relations between governments and landowners.

Another issue the Liberal government has missed in the provision of leadership is science based decision making. Canadians know all too well the government's record in profit and politics. As we read the headlines time and time again, politics sometimes serves the best interest of the ministers' or the Prime Minister's decision making, and sometimes to the detriment of the environment.

The environment is sometimes not viewed as an election winner at voting time. Certainly people do not stand up to democratically represent species or animals. They certainly do not stand up to say they represent the land or the species that live on the land. Most voters usually stand up to be counted for their interests and those of their family and children.

The message for all Canadians is that we must make a direct connection to the land, the water and the many species which our lives depend on. Let us speak in their best interests and not only for our personal or family's interests. Democratically we represent Canada literally from coast to coast to coast. All living things within it should be represented in the House of Commons and it should be reflected in an act that is designed to protect the species of the country.

The act must also include specific references, which is a very crucial rule not only in scientific knowledge but also in aboriginal traditional ecological knowledge. It has now been recognized that this knowledge has weight and interpretation and the translation of it should not be missed in terms of the specific or immediate scientific knowledge.

Aboriginal traditional knowledge plays a major role in setting the assessment of the ecological cycles. These are not necessarily monthly nor according to food, financial, budgetary or calendar cycles. Some ecological cycles last for 5, 7, 10, 15 and 20 years. That knowledge may not be readily available in the scientific manuals or journals of the day, but it is entrenched in the knowledge of many traditional land users, in our communities and in our stories.

Industries have been created such as trapping, fishing and hunting. A lot of people are aware that these are industries and also are a very big part of the livelihoods of our communities. Not only is hunting, outfitting and fishing a viable tourism option, but it is also a very sustainable living. Acquiring some foods in that way displaces the high cost of hamburger and potatoes. A lot of traditional people depend on this.

Adequate funding mechanisms for biodiversity sciences and cataloguing of information from across this great country is also required. Research and development is needed for understanding the lands and waters. The Hudson plain which surrounds Hudson Bay, one of Canada's largest watersheds, is an example. There are huge freshwater bodies in the Hudson plain but there is no scientific picture in that area. There is no collection of data from the traditional communities incorporated into a data bank.

The impact of climate change just on the water studies of that region is an immediate necessity. There are also the transboundary pollutants, just like persistent organic pollutants that have been studied in the far north. The mid-Canada north should certainly be respected in that area. That is why the Hudson plain should be seriously looked at. It is a huge spawning ground for many of our fish. Migratory birds are in those regions at this time rejuvenating their species.

Members of the committee will certainly have to roll up their sleeves in order to make a sound species at risk act for the country. There are high expectations not only in this country but there are challenges internationally. Canada has made international commitments as is evidenced by the convention on biodiversity.

We have to protect our species at risk. Let us do it in a meaningful way, but let us create a piece of legislation that has the power to make these promises as strong as possible for the betterment of our future.

Cultural Industry June 9th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to lend my support to Motion No. 259 of my hon. colleague from Kamloops, Thompson and Highland Valleys. I will state it clearly for the record:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should give consideration to exempting up to $30,000 of income from income tax as a gesture of support for those artists, writers and performers who work in Canada's cultural industry.

My reason for speaking today is to show a gesture of support for our artists, writers and performers. Not enough can be said for the artistic and gifted people in Canada who are continually contributing to an industry that is growing in leaps and bounds with the new media, the Internet and the information age interconnection. There is a new aspect of visual, artistic, audio and video presentations, real time, and an international sharing of information.

If language is a barrier among our communities and our youth, the whole aspect of graphics, pictures, audio visual presentations and music provides an international language which breaks the boundaries. A flourishing industry starts with the planting of a seed in the form of the God-given talents of young people who find their calling, their true gifts and their strength. Maybe it is a gift they have been given in the artistic field.

Our society is on an income base. It is a state of dependency. In any city transactions involving milk, water, clothes, housing or electricity are dependent on money. To live in a city one needs money. Whether it be Paris, New York, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Lethbridge or Hull, young people are trying to find their calling. This is an opportunity for Canada to give a gesture of support to artists. They may find they have to scrape their elbows and their knees to provide food and shelter for themselves, their immediate families, their communities or their extended families such as their elderly parents or grandparents. Artists are probably the most generous in terms of charities. Artists donate their works of art as a gesture of charity to local events such as silent auctions. The government should show a gesture of support by assisting them in finding their calling.

For example, an artist working in oils may find that those techniques are the best templates for the colours on a modem to be transferred internationally on a desk top computer in multi-media. Colours and hues can be controlled by technology as opposed to mixing oil paints on a palette.

Some may have to go for some upgrading in new styles or techniques. They may have to broaden their horizons by going to a big city or venturing into a new part of Canada. It would take considerable expense to make this happen. As a nation we could make a gesture of freedom to our artists. Basically it would allow them the freedom of expression and the freedom to try new ways.

I would like to cast a good light on our artists and their gifts. At a younger age when choosing my career path and realizing my aspirations for the gifts I was given I was told that an artist is a conceptualizer. For example, someone dreamt up the architectural concept of the parliament buildings. Somebody expressed it on paper or in words. That gesture was supported and it grew into the buildings on Parliament Hill. The architecture of these buildings are of artistic value. They also have a purpose.

Our artists may have artistic talents but they also have integrity and serve a purpose in terms of the nation and the new technologies. There has to be a purpose. It is not for mere entertainment or mere entrepreneurial skills that our artists work on their concepts.

I come from a region of Canada which is known for its beadwork, crafts, clothing such as moccasins and dream catchers, where people consider their talents to be a gift and have included purpose in their art such as dream catchers trapping the good dreams and screening out the bad ones in a child's room or the parents' room. The dream catcher is an artistic form but also has a spiritual purpose in making our lives better.

The government has an opportunity to make a gesture of support for our artisans, our playwrights, our singers and our poets. I also think of our recently lost colleague and brother, the late Mr. Maurice Richard.

Performers in television and movies are growing in numbers and attracting the motion picture industry here. Let us support them. They are seasonal jobs. Some people might find summer work in shooting locations throughout the country but may fall short trying to make ends meet.

The exemption of $30,000 worth of income could be our gesture to encourage artists, writers and performers to say they have a rightful place and that we count on them to conceptualize our future and make out lives better in the country we call home, Canada.

Canada National Parks Act June 9th, 2000


Motion No. 15

That Bill C-27 be amended by adding after line 23 on page 31 the following new clause:

“58.1 Section 2 of the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

“ecological integrity” “intégrité écologique” “ecological integrity” means, with respect to a park, a condition that is determined to be characteristic of its natural region and likely to persist, including abiotic components and the composition and abundance of native species and biological communities, rates of change and supporting processes.”

Canada National Parks Act June 9th, 2000


Motion No. 6

That Bill C-27, in Clause 14, be amended by adding after line 36 on page 7 the following:

“(5) Where a management plan that exists at the time this Act comes into force sets out an area of a park as a wilderness area, the Minister shall recommend to the Governor in Council that the area be declared a wilderness area within two years of the coming into force of this Act.”

Motion No. 7

That Bill C-27, in Clause 16, be amended by replacing line 47 on page 10 with the following:

“zones governing uses of land and buildings consistent with the principle of no net negative environmental impact;”

Canada National Parks Act June 9th, 2000

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand and speak on the amendments to Bill C-27, an act respecting the national parks of Canada.

During this portion of our parliamentary role at second reading, I would like to state our appreciation for the outstanding levels of co-operation during the committee hearings and the support from Canada Parks personnel and their input in making our jobs as parliamentarians possible throughout the legislative process.

I believe that parliamentarians and the national parks should be above politics, and that the thrust of this for future generations will be toward a better future for our national parks and our national treasures.

I call on members on both sides of the House to work together toward a strong and powerful act that can create a positive future for the integrity of national parks and the viability for future generations to look forward to preserving our national heritage.

We will be supporting the bill and seeking the amendments that we have put forward to this point. Our first group of amendments is issues of clarity. Our second group of amendments is issues of concurrence. I would call on members to support those amendments as well.