House of Commons photo

Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was system.

Last in Parliament April 1997, as Liberal MP for St. John's West (Newfoundland & Labrador)

Won her last election, in 1993, with 55% of the vote.

Statements in the House

The Environment December 13th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the Minister of the Environment who this week tabled legislation which will strengthen the Canadian Environmental Protection Act known as CEPA.

One of the key elements of this new legislation is a stronger emphasis on prevention, as the minister himself said, on being proactive rather than reactive when it comes to reducing pollution and controlling toxic substances.

As members know, Canada is known the world over for its natural beauty and vast green areas. Canadians do not want this reputation tarnished. The increased focus on prevention contained in the new legislation is a sign that this government is listening to the concerns of Canadians and is working to safeguard the environment.

International Nickel Company Of Canada December 4th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, last Friday, International Nickel Company announced the establishment of a smelter and refinery in Argentia, Newfoundland located in my riding of St. John's West. The proposed operations will create hundreds of jobs and is expected to inject millions of dollars into the local economy over the long run.

I want to applaud the efforts of the Argentia/Long Harbour Partnership for their part in presenting the region's viability and promoting the area as the most suitable site. I would also like to point out that the economic and environmental feasibility of the area were central to INCO's decision.

As the member of Parliament for Argentia, any project which creates work and jobs for my constituents is welcome but a project of this scale is of immeasurable importance. It is a very positive economic sign for the people of St. John's West and I am delighted to share this news with the House.

Canada Savings Bonds December 2nd, 1996

Mr. Speaker, the sales for Canada savings bonds have been released and I notice that they are looking very good. I wonder if the Minister of Finance could tell us what these figures mean to Canada savings bonds.

Aids November 28th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to remind the House that Sunday, December 1 is World AIDS Day.

It is my hope and also that of all my colleagues in this House that World AIDS Day will further our awareness of AIDS. I hope in particular that it will spur our empathy and support for those suffering from this terrible disease.

I applaud the government's efforts in promoting groundbreaking research through its national AIDS strategy. With the assistance of this government initiative, drugs such as lamivudine, or 3TC, have benefited those who suffer from HIV.

I ask that our government continue its support for this cause and that it continue to engage in a search for therapy, treatment and indeed a cure for HIV.

Fisheries Act November 19th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his question. As I said before, he has a great knowledge of the fishery.

The member knows that this is the first time since 1868 that the act has been rewritten. There were a great many flaws in the act.

As the member is well aware, the ongoing consultations have tried to work out for the benefit of the industry and the stakeholders in the industry what is the best area of jurisdiction for the provinces and what is the best area of jurisdiction for the federal government. This bill speaks to that. It outlines very clearly where the jurisdiction lies. That was not done by the federal government alone or the provinces alone; it was done in consultation with all of the stakeholders: the fisher people, the harvesters, the provinces, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

The bill is clear. It is very streamlined and simple. It outlines exactly what the provinces will be responsible for.

There will be ongoing consultations. It is not a closed book. If something is not working, then we will talk about it and we will make it work.

One of the things that will happen is that the fishery will be managed. It will not be open for everyone to rape and pillage as was done in the past. All of us know what happened to the fishery on the east coast. We all know what will happen to many other stocks if they are not managed properly.

That is what the bill is designed to do. It is what the bill will do in a fair and consultative way with the provinces and the stakeholders.

Fisheries Act November 19th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise this evening to speak on Bill C-62. I want to thank the hon. member from the Bloc. I must admit I miss these days of not being able to listen to him. His knowledge of the industry is deep and I still miss being in the fisheries committee.

The new bill contains provisions that will authorize the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to enter into legally binding fisheries management agreements with commercial licence holders, aboriginal organizations and other groups, for example, the recreational fishing industry.

This new approach to management, or partnering as we are now calling it, will serve as a cornerstone for developing a new relationship between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and fisheries stakeholders. We have heard on a couple of occasions this evening about the confusion that exists with regard to management and partnering. I would like to clarify some of those issues.

What is partnering? It is the logical next step in the evolution of fisheries management. It will build on and extend their existing co-management approach. It will provide for a more efficient and effective fisheries management regime and also increase the role of industry stakeholders in the decision making process. It will also provide greater opportunities for community involvement. Like any partnering arrangement, co-operation cannot be imposed. It will be up to the stakeholders whether they wish to discuss and pursue fisheries management partnering with DFO.

A partnering agreement between DFO and a group of stakeholders will spell out the terms and conditions on how the fishery will be managed for a defined period of time. It will be legally binding on both parties. This type of security, provided through a legally binding agreement where the rules of the game are clearly specified, is what many sectors of the industry have been requesting for quite some time.

It will provide incentives for better conservation and management of the resource plus give fishers the certainty that will allow for better business decision making and as we said earlier, for more stable incomes.

Discussions were held with most sectors of the industry on a partnering approach. In fact these discussions are still ongoing. Many of the ideas which are being discussed have come directly from the industry. The concept is work in progress. There are still many important issues to sort out with stakeholders. There are already some fisheries in Canada where co-management, which is a precursor to partnering, are already in place. For example, in British Columbia we have a co-management process with the Geoduck fishery since 1990 allowing fishers ongoing input into the management and decision making process.

Similar arrangements exist for halibut and sable fish fisheries where fishers have direct involvement in the management of their fishery. In Quebec, the beluga fishery has been managed since 1982 on a co-management basis, also allowing input from aboriginal fisheries into the management of that fishery.

Agreements in some of the maritime region's crab and shrimp fisheries provide the basis for industry to participate in the decision making process and to share the costs of managing the fishery and research.

Co-management is used in exploratory fisheries as a way to conduct scientific and market studies to determine if a commercial fishery would be sustainable and viable.

In the maritimes, exploratory fisheries for skate, monkfish, Jonah or rock crab and red crab are under way. This approach is allowing the industry and government to learn more about these fisheries in terms of biology, harvesting practices and potential markets.

Our goal is to continue to build on these types of initiatives. Not everyone is ready for change nor do they understand the concept fully. There are those who support the approach and have requested further consultation. Others wrongly view this as DFO's way to privatize the resource. Some have suggested that partnering is only for high valued lucrative fisheries. This is not the case.

To set the record straight the following should be understood. Partnering will allow for joint decision making by licence holders on the management of the fishery. It will allow industry and government to work together to ensure conservation of the resource remains paramount.

It must be considered for fishers in all sectors of the industry and for other resource users and their communities should they wish to explore this approach further. It requires each party, for example DFO and the sector, to bring something to the table. It is a two way street where benefits must accrue to both parties and allow for a more stable operating environment for fleet sectors who are prepared to share in the management of the fishery.

A cornerstone of the partnering approach is that these agreements must be in the public interest and not give preference or special treatment to individual groups. The agreements will not be imposed on the fishing sector. Both parties must agree on the terms and conditions for the agreement to come into force. It must complement and enhance our resource management objectives for the fishery, namely, the environmentally sustainable, economically

viable, integrating both economic and social considerations, and encouraging the industry to be self-reliant.

Both parties should adopt a flexible approach toward developing partnering agreements. These agreements can take on many different designs which will depend on individual circumstances.

There are some things that partnering will not do. It will not lessen the power of the minister with respect to conservation of the resource or prevent the minister from taking action to address conservation concerns. It will not result in change in historical landing patterns or current management strategies to conserve the resource or require all fishers to enter into partnering arrangements.

It should be understood that partnering may not be applicable or feasible in all fisheries. It will not be considered for only high valued lucrative fisheries. All sectors of the fishery are encouraged to explore the process.

Backroom deals will not happen. All stakeholders subject to the agreement will be consulted with regard to the proposed agreement. It will not privatize the resource or result in the fishery being administered or managed by large corporations, nor will it be designed solely to pass on fisheries management costs to the industry.

Partnering means for the fishing industry that it will provide the basis for industry to proceed on a new regime of fisheries management, a fishery that will have less government involvement and real industry input into the decision making process which is what has been requested of this government and other governments.

Partnering will require working with fisheries in coastal communities to find more efficient and effective ways to manage their fisheries. The industry has a legitimate role to play in fisheries management.

Partnership will set the framework for the industry to be more accountable for its actions and assume more responsibility for management activities specifically related to their sector. It will create a more stable operating environment in that DFO would formalize longer term allocation scenarios. This would allow for a stable operating environment within the industry allowing for longer term business planning.

With this in mind, partnering has the potential to change the behaviour of fishers to focus on conservation as they become true stewards of the resource. In some cases partnering could mean sharing the financial responsibility for fisheries management and science.

What does partnering mean for DFO? DFO would be able to evolve from being solely accountable for the management of the fishery to a position of shared accountability. It will continue to be responsible for conservation and protection of the resource. DFO will set the standards and audit industry performance to ensure that the standards are being met. It will be able to manage the fishery more effectively with reduced resources, focusing on its mandate of conservation, doing what government does best and letting the industry do what it does best.

Partnering will allow for direct and full dialogue with the industry. A typical partnering agreement will clearly set out: the allocation process for access to the resource; those who are in the fishery, and the process for additional participation in the fishery; mechanisms for each party to have a say in the decision making process; suggested sanction levels for various offences; roles and responsibilities for each party in the management of the fishery; and the financial obligations for each party.

Where do we go from here and what will happen next? The legislative authority to enable DFO to enter into the partnering agreements has been tabled in Parliament. The new fisheries act, if passed, will provide the basis for the legal implementation of partnering agreements. Until the new act is law, legally binding partnering agreements with respect to management of the fishery cannot be entered into.

The final details on how formalized co-management and eventual partnering will work will evolve through industry and DFO consultations. DFO has been consulting and will continue to consult with the industry.

Partnering will provide an opportunity for all sectors of the fishing industry to speak with a more united and effective voice. It is in line with the Government of Canada's desire to see more influence flowing to the fishers and consequently to their communities where fishing is the mainstay, and I can say that this is no more true in any riding than it is in mine.

The idea of the industry and government working together co-operatively to achieve joint goals and objectives makes common sense. Partnering has the potential to evolve as the management regime of choice as we proceed into the 21st century.

Fisheries Act November 19th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I was listening intently to the hon. member's comment.

I want to say that this bill is the first rewrite of the act since 1868. All across Canada we have seen the need for stabilization in this industry. There is a very great need. The member spoke of stabilization of income and I agree with him. I think there needs to be a stabilization of income. But this will happen only if there is a professionalization of the industry. This is exactly what the bill intends to do.

I am making more of a comment than asking a question. I think the time has come for greater professionalization of this industry and for there to be some stability in the harvesting methods. That can happen only through a better quota system.

I would like to ask the hon.member to comment on how he would provide for stabilization and professionalization of both the industry and income.

Geography Awareness Week November 8th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, November 17 to 23 is Geography Awareness Week.

As the second largest country in the world, Canada is blessed with an abundant diversity of natural regions and species. Biodiversity is an important environmental theme worldwide. Canada remains a role model on this front for other nations. Not only are we signatories to the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity, but we have created our own national biodiversity strategy which commits all levels of government to developing and conserving Canada's geography and wildlife.

Despite the importance of government involvement in protecting our country's rich natural heritage, we as politicians can only do so much. The energy and dedication of over 3,000 geography and social studies teachers who form the Canadian Council for Geography Education exemplifies the positive and measurable impact that citizens and community groups can have in the conservation effort.

On Wednesday night I had the opportunity to talk with two of these teachers, Peggy March, a teacher of social studies in Mount Pearl in my riding of St. John's West, and Greg Smith, a teacher from British Columbia. I congratulate them in their efforts.

Air Pollution June 4th, 1996

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of the Environment.

A recent pollution probe study estimates that smog is responsible for 380 deaths per year, 15 deaths per month, from heart and lung disease. How is the government addressing the issue of air pollution to ensure Canadians continue to have clean air to breathe?

The Constitution June 3rd, 1996

Mr. Speaker, I am sure the hon. member will agree with me that the question on the sovereignty of Quebec has no resemblance at all to the referendum question on the term 17 amendment.