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

Manganese Based Fuel Additives Act October 2nd, 1995

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I believe the clerk inadvertently referred to me as Ms. Phinney. I want to make sure the record indicates Mrs. Payne.

Oceans Act September 26th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, as vice-chairperson of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans I am pleased today to have the opportunity to take part in the debate on the oceans act.

Further, I make note of the fact that contrary to statements made earlier today by the member for Fraser Valley West this vice-chairperson is not a separatist. He neglected to mention that there were two vice-chairs of the committee, myself and the member for Gaspé.

Parliament is called upon today to formalize Canadian jurisdiction over vast new areas of ocean waters and numerous resources off our coasts. The bill before us challenges all Canadians to unite in the development of a strategy which will incorporate the harnessing of the oceans' economic potential and command respect for the oceans' environmental necessities.

In the red book we stated that Canadians increasingly understand that the national environmental agenda can no longer be separated from the national economic agenda. It is long past the time for the federal government to act on this understanding by adapting economic and environmental agendas that converge. As a government we will stand behind our agenda and devote attention to this important piece of legislation.

The oceans act encompasses the fundamentals which ensure that Canada's economic and environmental agendas for our oceans are a priority. It is a pivotal turning point in providing a foundation which will ensure that ocean resource management is properly administered. Painfully we have come to discover that the ocean resources are finite and that human activity can and in fact has jeopardized fragile ocean ecosystems.

Just as everything that lives exhibits interdependency, we have seen the environmental health of our oceans connected to the economic health of our country. As children we were told not to kill the goose that lays the golden egg. As teenagers we learned the basic laws of physics which state that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. These laws and proverbs are represented in the oceans act. It is based on implementing a few simple lessons. If we destroy the oceans they will not provide us with the sustenance we enjoy on a daily basis. If we abuse them we will pay a grave price.

The oceans act provides direction for the Canadian jurisdiction of over nearly five million square kilometres of ocean. Through the act we create a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone for Canada in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans. We will have the right to explore and exploit resources within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone and at the same time be given the right and responsibility to conserve and protect the same resources.

It is our duty as Canadians to preserve and to protect the marine environment not only for ourselves but for generations to come. We cannot continue to shortchange generations of the future. That is why the bill before Parliament today goes beyond the simplistics of one statement of jurisdiction. The bill is a cornerstone, a building block and a framework for a new ocean management strategy which consolidates and clarifies federal responsibilities for implementation of the new strategy.

The key to the future is sustainable development of Canada's oceans and an integrated approach to management of ocean resources. Only through this approach will Canadians be able to make our economic and environmental agenda complete.

It has been 12 years since the United Nations General Assembly established the World Commission on Environment and Development, more commonly recognized as the Brundtland commission. The commission urged the world to embrace the concept of sustainable development. The Brundtland report was the cornerstone of all forthcoming legislation. It embraced the concept of sustainable development where the environment is fully incorpo-

rated into the economic decision making process as an aforethought and not as an afterthought.

The oceans act is based on that wisdom. The philosophy of the bill is strengthened in its foundations of sustainable development. Unfortunately a philosophy is not a plan of action.

The new bill breathes light into the principle of sustainable development by putting in place the framework necessary for a Canadian action plan for our oceans. In developing an oceans management strategy the federal government must show leadership, and the bill exemplifies leadership.

The oceans act will extend Canadian environmental legislation to include the new exclusive economic zone. The act will make the Department of Fisheries and Oceans the focal point for the co-ordination of federal oceans activities. It will authorize the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to develop marine environmental quality guidelines and establish marine protected areas.

The act will also give the minister responsibility for conducting marine research, preparing scientific reports, and operating and maintaining the necessary federal research facilities. Most important, the minister will have the authority to lead in the co-ordination of activities to promote the development of a shared Canada oceans strategy, in turn uniting all Canadians and promoting international unity.

The minister will be able to enter into new partnership agreements, to share ocean information, to share ocean research, to share ocean planning and to share ocean management. Through the basic principles of sharing we can reduce duplication and conflict. Only by working together can we adopt a comprehensive ecosystem based approach to comprehensive ecosystem problems.

This unified approach to ocean management provides the criteria necessary for the creation of a legal framework which will enable provinces and territories, businesses and environmentalists, fisher people and ocean industries to pull together and to strive toward a common goal.

We have a common goal. We all want Canada's oceans to be productive, safe and healthy for all generations. We can only achieve that goal by making Canada a world leader in oceans and marine resource management.

On Canada's coasts there are hundreds of fishing communities. My riding is made up of many such communities, one of which I was raised in.

The minister has already mentioned that when John Cabot reached the shores of Newfoundland in 1497 he found the sea: "swarming with fish which can be taken not only with a net but with baskets let down with a stone". This illustration of the former abundance of fish is now in contrast with the shortage of northern cod off Canada's east coast.

The oceans act is our management strategy to ensure that the devastation which has occurred on the coasts off Newfoundland never happens again. Many fish stocks on the coast of Newfoundland were severely depleted prior to Canada's declaration of a 200-mile fishing zone in 1977. Although some Atlantic codfish stocks have begun to recover somewhat since that time, many stocks continue to be subject to high fishing pressure, particularly the stocks that straddle the 200-mile limit where foreign fleets have ignored internationally negotiated catch limits.

Our fishers on the Atlantic coast and throughout Canada have suffered. They have lost their livelihood, their pride and their sustenance. It is not too late to provide legislation countenance. We must amend the marine conservation policies in the country and prevent future tragedies from occurring. The oceans act will do just that.

Canada's fisheries will continue to face a variety of pressures imposed by an increasing world population. This will produce more wastes which will impair the natural productivity of oceans and inland waters. Managing the fisheries in the face of these pressures will require co-operation on national and international levels.

The oceans act will ensure that proper management of the ocean resources both living and non-living will be sustained. Each one of these communities houses a wealth of accumulated knowledge about currents, salinity, water depth, temperatures, tides and navigational routes. We must link this knowledge to a shared ocean management strategy. We must understand how each of these regions is unique and independent.

The bill before us today confirms the merger of the Canadian Coast Guard and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. It ensures boating safety is placed in the highest priority.

The legislation makes it possible to form new domestic agreements to increase prosperity in trade and commerce. Through basic principles of sustainable development, the transfer of technology from government and academic researchers to the private sector will be facilitated. Together we must work to improve resource assessment and inspection. Harmonized regulations will guarantee services provided by different levels of government effectively meet the needs of our sea coast communities and ports.

The oceans act makes it possible for Canadians to work together to shape the best national answers and the best local answers for ocean sustainable development. Better understanding of oceans, better resource management, better environmental management,

increased safety and increased trade and commerce are all components of an integrated ocean strategy.

By providing the legislative tools to enable Canadians to get our act together on these issues the oceans act will help to ensure Canada is a forceful and effective voice on global ocean issues. By demonstrating our own responsible attitude to ocean sustainable development we will be in a strong position to push forward for greater global responsibility. In effect, Canadians must seek the same force for good on all ocean issues that we have for our fisheries conservation.

The Brundtland commission called its report "Our Common Future". That is what this bill is about and that is what we are really debating. Canada has a special responsibility as a country which borders the Arctic, the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. Our common future depends on whether we use those oceans wisely, whether we actively seek to promote sustainable development and whether we actively seek to pursue both our environmental responsibilities and our economic opportunities.

I am happy and proud to support the bill and urge all members to join me in allowing this legislation to move forward quickly for study by the standing committee. The oceans act charts a wise course for the future of ocean policy. It is a course which would bind our country with a common future, a course we must all sail together.

Manganese Based Fuel Additives Act September 26th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise today to speak on Bill C-94, the manganese based fuel act.

I will explain the bill and why we are taking action against MMT. MMT is a manganese based fuel additive used to increase the octane rating of gasoline. It has been used in Canada since 1977 as a replacement for lead in unleaded gasoline.

Lead was phased out of virtually all Canadian gasolines by 1990. Who uses MMT? Just about every Canadian motorist does, and that is because Canadian refiners use it. The exact amount of MMT used may vary, depending on the batch of gasoline. However, premium grade gasoline generally contains a higher dosage than regular grade gasoline. Canada is the only country that uses it. The United States, for example, banned it from unleaded gasoline in 1978.

The automobile industry is convinced that gasoline containing MMT adversely impacts the operation of sophisticated onboard diagnostic systems. These OBD systems are important because they monitor the performance of emission control components in vehicles. The auto industry has made the decision that it will not accept the risk of increased warranty repair costs caused by damage related to MMT. Some companies have even indicated that they will disconnect the OBD systems in whole or in part and may reduce Canadian vehicle warranty coverage starting with the 1996 model year if MMT continues to be used in Canadian gasoline. That means that the cost of maintaining these systems will be passed on directly to Canadian consumers.

This is where the federal government comes in. Last October the Minister of the Environment urged both industries to voluntarily resolve the issue of MMT by the end of 1994 or the government would take action. This deadline was subsequently extended until February of this year to review automobile and petroleum industry proposals. The matter was not resolved, so the federal government has had to step in. This has resulted in Bill C-94.

The MMT issue is no longer an industry dispute. Its outcome can affect the vehicle emission program we are putting into place and in the long term could negatively impact the automobile sector.

Successful solution of the MMT issue will ensure that environmental benefits are realized through the use of the most advanced emission control technologies. It will ensure that Canadians are offered the same warranty coverage as in the United States. It will also ensure that the Canadian motor vehicle emissions control programs do not diverge from those of the United States. This means that Canadians will continue to benefit from the cost and technological advantages of a North American harmonized fleet. It also means good news for Canadian jobs and the Canadian automotive sector. That of course is because diverging emissions standards and different anti-pollution equipment on Canadian cars will negatively affect the marketplace and decrease the competitiveness of the automotive sector.

We could also be faced with a situation where cars built in Canada to go south of the border could have more advanced equipment than those sold in Canada. That is clearly not acceptable.

We should be clear about the economic impact of removing MMT. It will be small for the entire petroleum industry. Estimates for the cost of MMT removal provided by the industry range from $50 million to $83 million per year. That means an additional increase of 0.1 to 0.24 cents per litre at the gas pump.

I would now like to take a few moments to explain some of the key highlights of the bill.

Bill C-94 will prohibit the import or interprovincial trade for a commercial purpose of MMT or anything containing MMT. It will also give the minister the power to authorize exceptions for MMT that will not be used in unleaded gasoline subject to monitoring requirements. Coverage of the act can be expanded by order in council to cover other manganese based substances.

The act is binding on all persons and entities, including the provincial and federal governments. The enforcement tools are similar to those that are in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and the penalties are strict.

For the unauthorized import or interprovincial trade of MMT, the maximum penalty on summary conviction is a $300,000 fine and/or six months in jail. On indictment, the maximum fine is $1 million and/or three years in jail. For knowingly providing false or misleading information on the importation or interprovincial trade of MMT, the penalties are the same, but with a maximum of five years in jail instead of three on indictment. On conviction, as in CEPA, the court can also order an additional fine equal to the monetary benefits resulting from the offence, prohibit conduct that may lead to a repeat offence, and direct the offender to notify third parties about the conviction.

I believe this gives the members of the House some idea of what the government is proposing under Bill C-94.

Recognition Of Same Sex Spouses September 18th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member has moved that the government should take the measures necessary for legal recognition of same sex spouses.

By "legal recognition of same sex spouses" I am unclear whether he means same sex partners should be able to register, as I understand they can do on Denmark, or that benefits currently given to married and common law spouses should be extended to same sex partners.

Neither option is viable to my mind given the current state of the law. Perhaps it would have been a better motion had it been made in a provincial legislature rather than here in the House of Commons.

The federal government has very limited jurisdiction in the area of legal recognition of personal relationships. The constitution divides jurisdiction in the area of family law between the provincial legislatures and the federal Parliament. The jurisdiction for marriage is divided, with the provinces being responsible for the solemnization of marriage.

Until fairly recently historical common law spouses were not recognized by our law. The term is a misnomer in any event as common law spouses do not actually exist in common law or judge made law. They actually are created by statute law; not one statute at that but by a large number of statutes at both federal and provincial levels. In other words, unless a particular statute specifically provides that a reference to spouse will include common law relationships they are not included for the purpose of the benefit in issue.

The major statute laws that recognize common law spouses are the provincial family law statutes. These statutes create the major legal obligations imposed on common law spouses should the relationship break down. They deal with the division of property, support obligations between former spouses and any children, and yet even here the provincial law is not consistent across the country. Common law spouses are subject to different legal obligations under different provincial family law statutes across the provinces. They are not even recognized in two provinces including Quebec, the province of residence of the hon. member proposing this measure.

Common law marriage is a quite different concept from that of common law spouses. Common law marriage existed only in the early settlement days of Canada when a minister or a priest was often difficult to find. Although there is some speculation that the concept may still exist in common law in Canada, it would apply only in opposite an sex context. Therefore if the provincial family law is the main source of legal obligations between spouses, then it would seem more appropriate that any legal recognition of same sex partners would come first under provincial family law. As I understand it, this was primarily the way in which common law relationships first gained legal recognition.

As a result of several high profile cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, the courts recognized through the doctrines of unjust enrichment and constructive trust the contribution of a woman who had lived for a long period of time with a man as married, even though they had not married.

Legislative changes followed thereafter, starting primarily with family law and then slowly with provincial family law and then

slowly moving into the benefits field. This legal recognition is recent in Canadian law. The changes to the Income Tax Act to reorganize common law spouses have just come about in the last year or two, after the majority of provincial family law statutes recognized the status. It is only recently that the majority of the Supreme Court of Canada stated in the Miron decision that in the circumstances of this case it was discriminatory to treat unmarried couples differently from married couples.

The only references in federal law to personal relationships either follow blood or marriage relationships, which are relatively easy to prove, or copy provincial family law definitions of common law relationships. At the federal level spouses are mostly included in legislation for the purposes of employment benefits, government pension plans, income tax and so on.

The concern is that if we were to extend these benefits to same sex partners at the federal level first, before the provincial family law extends any legal obligations, this could create a situation of unfairness. Spouses, both married and common law, are currently subject to a package of legal rights and responsibilities created by a combination of federal and provincial laws.

It is because spouses are subject to legal obligations, such as support obligations on the breakdown of the relationship, that they are also eligible for benefits, such as survivor benefits under pension plans. It is for the provinces to extend the obligations before we should extend benefits under federal jurisdiction.

How would we accomplish what the hon. member is asking for? How would we take the measures necessary for the legal recognition of same spouses, even were we to agree that this should be done? It is clear from the history of the recognition of common law relationships that this was not accomplished by passing a statute called the common law spouses act, nor was this legal recognition even accomplished by the government at any level.

The fact of social change was first acknowledged by the courts in looking at unfairness and unjust enrichment between two partners who had not married. The courts felt strongly that individuals who were living together as if married and so were getting all of the advantages of being married, such as working together to afford a better lifestyle than either would have been able to achieve living alone, should not be able to avoid taking on the obligations of married persons simply by choosing not to marry. Particularly in a situation such as that represented in the first few high profile cases, the common law wife needed the protection of the law.

However, this is a controversial enough subject with regard to opposite sex common law couples. Many common law couples continue to disagree and feel frustrated that the law deems their relationship to be akin to marriage after a certain time has passed. Many still feel that their choice not to marry should be respected by the law.

How much more of a problem will this be with same sex couples who may not be public about their relationships? Conversely, is it fair to recognize those same sex couples who do wish to be open about their relationships?

For a numbers of reasons, the motion is premature and not feasible for the federal government to adopt without the full co-operation of the provincial legislatures.

Petitions June 16th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the workers at the Newfoundland dockyard, I am pleased to present a petition signed by over 30,000 Newfoundlanders.

The undersigned residents of Newfoundland draw to the attention of the House that the dockyard has provided significant employment in St. John's and surrounding area for the past 112 years. It has employed 850 people with an income and payroll of over $26 million.

Therefore the petitioners call on Parliament to cease all efforts to sell or close the Newfoundland dockyard and provide the necessary capital to retool the dockyard with new equipment so the jobs of these many Newfoundlanders that are desperately needed will be ensured.

Firearms Act June 13th, 1995

No, Mr. Speaker.

Firearms Act June 13th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak on Bill C-68, an act respecting firearms and other weapons.

I congratulate the Minister of Justice on his efforts and perseverance in bringing this important and timely matter to the House of Commons. More important, I commend the minister for his willingness to listen and to respond to the comments of all Canadians regarding the bill without sacrificing the major goals and initiatives of it.

I do not believe any other bill in this session has generated as much discussion and debate among Canadians as has this one. However, as I have listened to the discussion and the debate some of the major aspects of the legislation are being overlooked. I will comment on some of the issues I feel have not been adequately highlighted.

The legislation sends a clear message to criminals, judges and the public. If a person uses a gun while committing a crime they will be punished. The Criminal Code will be amended to provide that when a person has committed one of the ten listed serious crimes with a firearm they will be subject to a minimum sentence of four years in prison. In many cases the actual punishment will be more severe. If a person uses a gun in the commission of a crime they will be punished. No matter what other mitigating factors are involved, a judge will have no choice but to sentence people guilty of these offences to four years in a federal penitentiary.

The message is clear. The protection of the public must be the main goal of our penal system. In addition, people convicted of these offences will be banned from owning a firearm for life. I believe it is important to reflect on these provisions because they highlight the central goal and purpose of the legislation, to ensure Canada remains a safe place and that Canadians continue to enjoy protection from gun related crime.

The provision aimed at tighter border controls was referred to earlier by my hon. colleague with respect to the importation of firearms. One need only look to the south to see the dangers guns pose. It is with great pride that many Canadians compare the relative safety of our cities and towns to those of the United States. Given the easy availability of firearms in the United States it is clear any legislation aimed at controlling the use of guns must address the importation of guns.

Import-export controls for firearms are presently based on the premise that guns are a commodity and therefore are subject to the same trade controls as any other commodity. Under Bill C-68 changes will be made to provide for a fundamental reorientation of the policy toward firearm imports. In particular, the legislation will recognize that importing firearms may have important consequences in terms of public safety and crime control.

Under Bill C-68 for every firearm coming into Canada the person responsible will be required to have either an import permit for commercial use or a customs declaration for personal use. Every gun coming into Canada will now be tracked. These import declarations and permits will only be issued to those individuals and companies who have the necessary permission to possess firearms while in Canada. These controls form part of the bill's effort to reduce the underground market for guns and provide for the accurate tracking of all guns in Canada.

Of course, in conjunction with these new measures, the act provides also for penalties for those individuals who do not obey the import guidelines. Under Bill C-68, the Criminal Code will be amended to provide for a new offence of importing a firearm without the proper customs declaration or permit. This offence will be punishable by a minimum of one year imprisonment if prosecuted on indictment. In addition, the court has the power to prohibit the offender from possessing a firearm for up to 10 years.

Again, the theme underlying Bill C-68 is clear in these provisions. The theme is the protection of the public and the reduction of crime.

The bill also recognizes the legitimate use of guns, but at the same time it is aimed at limiting the use of guns by those people who have no legitimate purpose to do so. This will be done by reducing the underground market for guns, the place where criminals get their guns, and by increasing the penalties for those who use guns for illegitimate purposes.

There are other measures which I would like to briefly highlight. Any future sale or importation of handguns that have a barrel length of 105 millimetres or less will be banned. In addition, the definition of firearm in section 85 of the Criminal Code will be expanded to include imitation firearms so that those who simply use or threaten with a fake gun will not escape the penalties under the Criminal Code.

I would now like to take a few moments to comment on the section of the bill that has by far generated the most public debate, the system of universal gun registration. In my conversations, letters and meetings with constituents, it is this section of the bill that has been the focus of much discussion. Before understanding the purpose of universal gun registration, one must be cognizant of the other initiatives contained in Bill C-68 which I have previously touched upon. I repeat, Bill C-68

is about increasing public safety and controlling the criminal misuse of guns.

The universal registration system supports and supplements the other provisions of the bill. The registration of all firearms enables Canada to control and track the flow of firearms across its borders. Without registration, the increased penalties for illegal importation would be unenforceable. It enables Canada and its police forces to address the issue of criminal misuse of guns by helping enforce prohibition orders issued by the courts, by helping police to trace stolen guns and guns used in crimes and by helping increase compliance with safe storage requirements. Registration is the backbone of this bill and it is the section upon which the rest of the bill can be effectively implemented.

Many critics of gun registration have argued that registration will not work because criminals will not register their guns. Frankly, this misses the whole point. Criminals obtain their guns from the underground market which is fed by smuggled and stolen guns. Registration will help eliminate two sources of supply for this market. It will enable police to accurately track the point at which the guns enter the underground market.

Police have been calling for a form of gun legislation for years. If anyone is in a position to say whether gun control will effectively assist in the prevention of crime, I believe it is the police.

I would like to quote from a letter from Chief Vincent MacDonald, president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. Speaking on behalf of the association, Chief MacDonald stated: "We view the registration of all firearms as pivotal to the entire package, critical to controlling the illegal gun trade, to supporting preventative action and to enforcing the law".

It is for these reasons that the registration system contained in Bill C-68 is both necessary and desirable.

Many of the concerns with the registration system rest on what I believe has been a lack of accurate information. For instance, the cost of implementing the registration system will be funded 100 per cent through fees charged for licences and registration certificates. There will be no drain on existing police resources as a result of the implementation of the registration system.

The cost of registration for individual gun owners will not be excessive. For owners who wish to register currently owned firearms, a registration certificate will cost between zero and $10 in the first year of availability. Additionally, a non-acquisition firearm licence will cost between zero and $10 in the first year of availability. The actual process to acquire certificates and licences will be straightforward and quick.

In addition to my own views on gun registration, like other members of the House I have consulted and listened to my constituents. I have received many telephone calls and letters. I have attended town hall meetings and have spoken personally with constituents.

I believe in this bill. I support it fully and I am very pleased at this time to have the opportunity to say so in the House of Commons.

Scott Edward Goodridge June 12th, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I bring to the attention of the House the heroic actions of a 20-year old constituent of mine, Scott Edward Goodridge.

Last October 17, a 12-year old boy was swept into the harbour at Renews by a large wave. The boy's friend ran to Scott Goodridge's nearby residence for help. Without hesitation Scott raced to the rocky shore, grabbed two lifejackets and dove into the extremely cold and rough waters. Scott swam approximately

65 metres to reach the young boy and placed a lifejacket over his head.

During these tense minutes another man assisting in the rescue was also swept into the waters. While towing the first boy to safety Scott swam to the second man, kept him afloat until all three were taken aboard a small boat.

Last fall I brought Scott's heroic efforts to the attention of the Governor General of Canada. I am very pleased to tell the House that on June 23, Scott will be awarded the Governor General's Medal of Bravery.

I invite all members of the House to join me in paying tribute to the actions of Scott Edward Goodridge who braved rough seas and a rocky shore to save two lives, those of a young boy and of another man.

Newfoundland Dockyard May 3rd, 1995

Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak today about the Newfoundland dockyard which has been a major employer in St. John's West for 110 years. Now Marine Atlantic is negotiating to sell the assets of the dockyard.

Last year the dockyard generated over $28 million in revenue and employed 840 people, the highest level in well over a decade. Today only 42 people are working at the dockyard and tomorrow the number may well be less.

I call on the Minister of Transport to explore all possible options to ensure the survival of the Newfoundland dockyard. With increased offshore development now and in the future, the potential for more work at the dockyard is strong. Discussions with all stakeholders in this matter, particularly the employees, must begin immediately to ensure the continued employment of the workers.

I believe that a company with $28 million in revenue can be maintained as a viable economic entity. I ask the minister to work with me to try to find a solution to keep the dockyard operating.

Fisheries May 1st, 1995

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

As all Canadians are aware, and I am very proud to say, Canada has been successful in negotiating a settlement with the European Union with regard to the recent dispute over Greenland halibut. It is a settlement which will ensure conservation of fragile fish stocks as well as strict enforcement of NAFO fishing regulations.

Can the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans inform the House what the government is doing to ensure implementation of the terms of this agreement?