House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was petitions.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for Beauséjour (New Brunswick)

Won his last election, in 1993, with 76% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Referendum Campaign October 25th, 1995

That is disgusting, what she is saying.

Oceans Act September 26th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Gaspé for all these questions he would like to see answered like any self-respecting opposition member or critic. I think that the minister answered some of his questions in his speech, but he also urged members, especially those on the standing committee on fisheries, to which this bill will be referred, to feel free to ask questions and search for answers.

I am happy to see that the hon. member sees the advisability of merging the Fisheries and Oceans fleet with that of the coast guard. He also asked why the Canadian forces fleet was not included and he referred to last spring's turbot war. The hon. member must know that the three fleets he mentioned were all called upon at the time and worked together in a joint operation to make foreign fleets, and one in particular, realize that Canada is serious about conservation.

I think the hon. member will agree with me that, by pooling our resources, we succeeded in getting our message across and convincing the rest of the world, and all fishing nations, that Canada is serious about conserving ocean resources and focusing attention on the problem.

In this regard, I must say that if we succeeded in conveying to the world that the minister acted decisively, it is because the minister represented in an effective way the aspirations of those who want Canada to focus on conservation. All the political parties in this House and across Canada gave us the support we needed to do so.

I take this opportunity to thank all those who supported this effort. If we are talking about this bill respecting the oceans of Canada, it is to give the minister of fisheries the authority he needs to watch over ocean resources by putting in place policies and programs aimed at protecting these resources for all of Canada.

Oceans Act September 26th, 1995

It goes without saying, Mr. Speaker, that I am delighted to have the opportunity to take part in this debate on the Canada Oceans Act. To address immediately the remarks made by my colleague from the Reform Party, I can assure you that both the minister and the department have the best interests of fishermen and the fisheries community at heart. They have always had and will always do.

This legislation is divided in three very straighforward parts. The first part definess Canada's maritime zones. The second part provides legislative authority to foster a new, wider, forward-looking and more inclusive strategy for Canada's oceans and their resources.

Part III of the bill authorizes a modern departmental mandate-including the merger of the Canadians Coast Guard with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans-as a vital means of carrying through on the Government of Canada's ocean responsibilities.

Each of the three parts of the bill contains three key structural elements. In each part, there are regulatory measures, enforcement measures and operational measures.

And, the legislation has three key objectives. First, the Canada Oceans Act will stake out Canada's clear legal jurisdiction over our oceans. Second, the Canada Oceans Act will put in place the legal framework required to support a new oceans management strategy based on the principles of sustainable development and integrated management. Finally, this act will consolidate and clarify federal responsabilities for managing Canada's oceans.

There are three very simple themes that run throughout the legislation: cooperation, coordination and, of course, broad-based community input. And at the very centre of this bill is the determination of the federal government to lead in a positive, throughtful direction in promoting the economic and environmental potential of the waters in our three great ocean areas-the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Arctic.

Quite simply, this bill seeks to seize the present in order to build upon the achievements of yesterday so that we are prepared for the possibilities of tomorrow.

This summer, the National Advisory Board on Science and Technology issued its major report on Canada's future entitled "Healthy, Wealthy and Wise". The Board wrote that "Sustainability and stewardship must become that watchwords for economic development."

The Board called for integrated strategies that "encourage the environmentally responsible exploitation of resources, consistent with long-term sustainability". That is the very point made by the World Commission on Environment and Development in its United Nations Report eight years ago. That is the very point made at the famous Rio Summit. That is the point made by Canada in our fisheries disputes and negotiations.

That is also the point made in the election Red Book, when we stated that "Integrating economic with environmental goals fits in the Liberal tradition of social investment as sound economic policy".

Of course, Canada's oceans belong to all Canadians and it is up to all Canadians to pull as one to integrate the economic and environmental viability of our oceans. For many, many years, we have come to see the need for a comprehensive and integrated oceans policy. With the introduction of new ocean jurisdiction for Canada, that need becomes greater than ever. And the bill before us will indeed dramatically extend Canada's ocean jurisdiction and rights.

This bill expands Canadian control over nearly five million square kilometres of ocean under Canadian jurisdiction. That's an incredible amount of ocean offering Canadians fantastic potential for new economic development. It is also an incredible amount of responsibility requiring us to get our act together on ocean policy.

The bill clearly defines Canada's maritime zones and Canada's rights and jurisdiction in each of those zones. It incorporates Canada's full jurisdiction over our internal waters and over the territorial sea stretching twelve nautical miles out from our Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic coasts. The bill incorporates Canada's jurisdiction over the continental shelf. I would like to point out that the hon. member of the Reform Party who spoke earlier indicated that, as far as he could see, the nose and tail of the Grand Banks did not seem to be included. This is where Canada's jurisdiction over this zone is asserted by affirming our jurisdiction over the continental shelf.

The bill states the right of Canadians to control exploration and exploitation of minerals and resources of the continental shelf's seabed and in its subsoil. It also confirms full rights for Canada over the shelf's living organisms belonging to sedentary species. This legislation also incorporates Canada's jurisdiction over its fishing zones in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic including the Bay of Fundy, near my riding, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, also near my riding, and Queen Charlotte Sound. We first declared those zones to be ours 18 years ago-and they will always be part of Canada's ocean rights.

The Canada Oceans Act will also give Canada a new contiguous zone. In this zone, Canadian immigration laws, customs laws, sanitary laws and fiscal laws will apply. Most importantly of all, the Canada Oceans Act will declare an exclusive economic zone for Canada stretching our 200 nautical miles from our coastline. To understand how significant that is, members of Parliament need only remember that Canada has the world's longest coastline.

In this new exclusive economic zone, Canada will have full rights over the exploration, exploitation, conservation and management of the resources of the ocean waters, the ocean floor and the ocean subsoil. Canadians will have jurisdiction over marine research and the preservation and protection of the marine environment.

Once this bill becomes law, as I fully hope it will, we will have established in Canadian law that Canada has grown in size and jurisdiction. Canadians will become responsible for more than the care of our ten provinces and two territories. We will become the custodians of a large part of the world's ocean treasures.

Canadians have fought with diligence to establish the principle of global fisheries conservation. We have taken some licks along the way but, thanks to the leadership of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, we have come out a winner. We now have the duty to turn our same principles into action over all the oceans resources that are coming into Canadian jurisdiction.

Naturally, we will need strong leadership by the federal government. We will need strong leadership from coastal provinces and municipalities. We will need complete involvement of all sectors of ocean stakeholders.

The problem and the possibilities are complex, so much so that Canadians must work together to solve them. The interrelationships of ocean species is so complex that we need to pull together to understand them. The current and potential uses of our oceans are so numerous that we need to guarantee that we work together to make the most of them.

Our individual and collective actions as human beings have important impacts upon the well-being and potential prosperity of the ocean environment. That is why the Canada Oceans Act calls for an ocean strategy founded on the twin principles of sustainable development and integrated management.

The concept of sustainable development is a not a new one but it meets a need Canadians understand very well. Canadians know that we need an oceans policy that embraces sustainable development as one of its guiding principles. The concept of integrated management of ocean resources is a new one but it too meets a need that Canadians understand well.

We know what it means when government polices are confusing or contradictory. We know the opportunities that are lost when the private sector and governments and labour and local communities fail to pursue shared goals. Canadians know that we need an oceans policy that embraces integrated management as one of its guiding principles.

It is time to start coordinating, consolidating and harmonizing our oceans strategy. It is time to develop a common focus and plan of action to promote the quality, abundance and diversity of ocean resources. It is time to set some goals for ourselves and to set some limits on ourselves.

Global environmental concerns should lead us to act. The oceans' economic potential obliges us to act. Canada's new ocean jurisdiction compels us to act. The bill before Parliament gives us the legislative tools to act.

The Canada Oceans Act will establish a clearly identifiable lead federal department accountable for oceans management. The legislation extends Canada's environmental laws to our new ocean areas. The bill will permit the establishment of marine protected areas and the development of marine environmental quality guidelines. These are essential tools if we are to adopt the principles of integrated management and sustainable development in our stewardship of Canada's ocean waters.

The Canada Oceans Act will give the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans formal authority to enter into new partnership agreements in order to pursue Canada's oceans management strategy. That is an essential tool if we are to face the problems and find the solutions together. That is an essential tool if we are to set a national strategy with full local input from coastal provinces and citizens. That is an essential tool if we are to respect the specific priorities of those who live along the coasts of our three vastly different oceans.

This legislation follows through on the government's budgetary promise to "strengthen Canada's capabilities and effectiveness in oceans policy-making". This legislation will set the stage for developing an oceans management strategy that conserves and protects the ocean environment and the ecosystems and resources that our oceans contain.

The Bill demonstrates that the federal government will play its full role in managing ocean resources on an economically viable and technologically sustainable basis.

And the legislation demonstrates that the federal government wants more than a one person show. The bill permits an upsurge in the sharing of scientific, environmental and management information relating to our oceans. The bill before Parliament emphasizes the need for an integrated federal approach to ocean management, a

need recognized in part through the merger of the Canadian Coast Guard and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in April.

The new structure will provide stronger coordination of policy development and stronger, streamlined operations. The coast guard will form the primary civilian marine component of the federal government.

By the way, on the subject of oceans management, on all of the important matters required to build a comprehensive oceans management strategy, the federal government is determined to show a spirit of partnership. Marine safety. Oceans understanding and knowledge. Marine Resources Management. Environmental Management. Economic Development. International Leadership. They are all components of an ocean strategy based on an integrated management approach. They are all components of a strategy based on a sustainable development approach. They are all part of the strategy that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans invites all Canadians to help create.

The first action required to build a future of maritime greatness for Canada is to declare jurisdiction over our ocean areas. Through this legislation, that is what Parliament will do.

The second action required to buil a future of maritime greatness for Canada is to show strong federal leadership in establishing the framework for a new oceans management strategy. Through this legislation, that is what Parliament will do.

The third action required to build a future of maritime greatness for Canada is for all of us, from every sector and every corner of the country, to create a new oceans management strategy together. Through this legislation, that is what Canadians will be in a position to do.

I urge all members of the house of Commons to join in speedy passage of the Canada Oceans Act so that Canadians may join in the urgent task of making Canada an even greater ocean nation.

Fisheries June 19th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, the government's response takes into account a number of recommendations made by the standing committee, the main thrust of which was to allow and give an opportunity to northern remote communities to develop their fisheries.

Our response does exactly that. It provides for unconditional licensing of rough fish such as carp and mullet. It will also allow the community of Island Lake to buy and sell fish for a three-year trial period outside the FFMC. I can assure the member that the minister is committed to that.

Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act May 16th, 1995

moved that Bill C-87, an act to implement the convention on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Veterans Review And Appeal Board Act May 12th, 1995

moved that Bill C-67, an act to establish the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, to amend the Pension Act, to make consequential amendments to other acts and to repeal the Veterans Appeal Board Act, be read the third time and passed.

Fisheries May 9th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her incessant interest in fisheries.

On April 28 Canadian officers issued a NAFO citation to the master of the Mayi Cuatro . On May 8 EU inspectors boarded the Mayi Cuatro and sealed the fish hold. We have received word that the Spanish vessel has been ordered to cease its fishing activity and return immediately to Spain. These are very positive developments which indicate a clear willingness by the EU to take immediate and decisive action to meet the terms of the Canada-EU agreement.

Government Spending April 25th, 1995

The St. John's offices were moved to another building according to standard procedure, which requires a call for tenders and selection on the basis of the best service at the best price.

Government Spending April 25th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I have a hard time believing that the members of the Reform Party would use this as an opportunity to attack the minister and undermine his credibility. After all the minister has done to defend the interests of Canadian fisherman of late, I would think the members of the Reform Party should applaud him.