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Results: 1 - 26 of 26
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-04-23 12:36
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to our witnesses.
When I look over these estimates, there are always bigger numbers in them. In our review of them, I think, like Mr. Sopuck indicated, that I'm interested in results and not always the process of things. I just want to highlight a couple of points to you that I think are more congratulatory in nature. I've obviously spent some time travelling around the country and I have a couple of recent examples that I'd like to just bring to your attention.
You know that the results that you're providing and these asks that we're seeing in some of these line items are good investments. I've met with a number of consultative working groups that meet on a regular basis with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, including members of the hunting and angling advisory panel, and they're very pleased with the work and relationship that they have with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. I heard that very recently.
They also highlighted to me, which I think is worth passing on, that the educational strategy that has been deployed at the front-line level by officers instead of enforcement response actions has been well grounded. It seems as though their education and discretion in deployment is winning favour in the communities across this country that I've spoken to. I think that's equally important for you to realize because a lot of what you're doing, a lot of what we're asking for in this budget in terms of big numbers, makes a difference to day-to-day Canadians and individuals in this country.
In respect to the coast guard, I had a great opportunity several months ago to board the Laurier with Captain Bill Noon. At that time he was doing a huge school engagement when they returned from the Franklin expedition and had the bell on display. I can tell you right now that the coast guard connecting with Canadians, in particular the youth of our country, is a great way to build those bridges and a great way to invest in the historical contributions that the coast guard is making.
In respect to the investments around the helicopter fleet, there was an interesting anecdotal story there about how the coast guard pilot at the time was engaged in three different activities, one being scientific research and one being a search and rescue mission, on the very same day that they discovered pieces that helped lead us to find the Franklin ship. It shows the diversity and the interoperability of those services and the exchange that the coast guard has with Canadian Forces, particularly in the high Arctic.
I know your investments in small craft harbours are making big differences in Arctic communities. The recreational fisheries partnership fund, with 2,000 linear kilometres of stream habitat restored now, is a wonderful investment. There are great community-based projects with thousands of volunteers, millions of dollars leveraged, great community partners, and smaller contribution agreements like the ones that you sign onto with the salmon subcommittee for the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board to let them do the important work that they need to do across transboundary waters.
I think it's important for us as parliamentarians to thank you and acknowledge the great work that you're doing, which makes a meaningful difference in individual lives and are very much kitchen table discussion items for families in this country.
I want to ask one piece about the Pacific and Atlantic commercial fisheries initiative. I'm just wondering if you can provide some information about detail around first nations participation and maybe some other accomplishments in the program, because I do see line items around aboriginal strategies and governance. I was pleased to be at a fisheries hatchery fully run by first nations communities in Penticton recently. These are great success stories, and if you could just provide a little bit of information on how these main estimates will deliver those programs for Canadians and first nations, it would be wonderful to hear.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-03-30 9:36
One point of concern that first nations have raised has to do with the delegation of authority down to the territorial level. Again I want to reference the bilateral accord offer you're making here today. I'm wondering if you could touch on that piece and try to paint a better picture for the public who are here and listening today. How do you envision any delegation of authority that would move down from the federal government to the territorial government, working with our northern governance regime and with the relationship that's absolutely necessary between the Yukon government and Yukon first nations?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-03-30 14:19
Thank you, witnesses.
Ms. Armstrong, my question will be for you. You urge that the bill be set aside and that the government come back to the table with Yukon first nations to talk about their concerns. I think they made their concerns pretty clear this morning. Their position was that the four clauses be entirely removed. From that point of view, I'm not entirely sure there's a lot of room to talk about those four pieces. It seems to me they'll be satisfied if those four pieces are completely removed.
Also, when I look at the Yukon Minerals Advisory Board report, they rendered a fairly scathing assessment in 2013. They said they've chosen “to focus on...the key issue negatively impacting industry; the deterioration in the efficiency and reliability of the assessment and licensing of mining projects in the territory.”
They've highlighted that the “proponents' experience securing approvals has worsened dramatically”, and “[G]radual deterioration in the interpretation and administration of existing laws and regulations by government agencies [is creating] uncertainty...affecting capital investment”. They also talk about the deterioration of the investment climate in the Yukon.
One of the signatories to that was Eira Thomas, who is the CEO of Kaminak.
I guess I'm wondering, in light of the fact that Yukon first nations' position is pretty clear on the timeline assessment piece, whether it would be your position now that we just remove the timeline assessment piece entirely, and that would allow us to move on.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-03-30 14:21
I know you've made your position on that question clear, Mr. Thrall, so I won't repeat that question.
Mr. Hartland, with respect to the mining industry, you indicated that it represents over 400 employers in this territory. Would those include Yukon first nation mining companies as well?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-03-30 14:22
Mr. Thrall, you spoke about engagement at the community level not just for first nations but for all Yukoners. I'm wondering if you have any anecdotal experience generally speaking about the IBAs that have been initiated in the territory, which benefit communities broadly and our territory on a wide basis.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-03-30 14:56
Thank you, Chair.
Indeed we're onto the fruitful piece of the day's meetings. I appreciate that some of the questions have put you in a position between a rock and a hard place. Nonetheless, it's important that the committee ask them.
I'm going to paraphrase a bit of everything we've heard today. Invariably the committee will go back to Ottawa and carefully review all of the testimony, because there has been a lot. I've been taking notes as diligently as possible to make sure I have an accurate reflection of what's been said.
I do know that Yukon first nations are still here and are indeed engaged in this discussion and are listening to this. I think right now they're absorbing what you've articulated and they will indeed have an opportunity to comment on it. I think all committee members look forward to that.
I think the grand chief presented her concerns well today. I think all the chiefs did. They outlined them clearly for us to review. They very clearly articulated that the clause on timelines, the clause on adequacy, the clause on binding policy direction, and the clause on delegated authority should all be removed. In fact, Deputy Chief Olsen, on the issue of timelines, said they wouldn't provide any benefit to industry. We're hearing very polarized comments on that one piece.
In summary, I didn't hear—although, I think we'd love to hear it, if it were expressed—an invitation to meet and talk about those four pieces again. I did hear very clearly talk about removal of those four pieces. Ms. Rippin Armstrong said she has indication that there is a possibility to discuss those four pieces.
Ms. Rippin Armstrong, what level of indication have you received that first nations are indeed very interested in discussing those four pieces? Are there specifics that you can recommend to the committee? I do appreciate it would have been a great question to ask the first nations. I'm sorry that we don't have the opportunity right this second, but I think we can afford that, because they are listening, so we'll get some comments on this.
From your point of view, as an industry stakeholder in this, what have you heard that would indicate there is definitely room to move on the timeline and adequacy pieces, that you could help us with?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-03-30 15:40
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to each of you for your comments.
Mr. Morrison, I appreciate your references to the cumulative effects. We've certainly been positioning the cumulative effects angle as a value piece in this bill, because it's providing additional environmental protection and preservation over the course of time. But you did highlight that some of that needs to be defined in a clearer fashion.
Would you anticipate, then, that this is something that YESAA itself would seize itself with in consultation with key stakeholders, first nations and industry, around how you go about setting out what cumulative effects can look like so that you can determine what could potentially happen five years down the road?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-03-30 16:10
Thank you for that. Indeed, that's exactly the task of the committee, to seize itself with reviewing the bill through the stakeholder and witness testimony we've heard from all Yukoners today. It's been very positive and good for us to hear all the perspectives. Those points are well taken.
When we look at the evolution of this bill, there certainly has been feedback and advice from industry over the course of many years, some of which has stemmed from the five-year review. Some of these frustrations have carried on.
Can you refresh my memory? I know the chamber of mines had submitted its position on this to Yukon first nations. I should have asked them if they had received a response, but I didn't. Did the Klondike Placer Miners' Association forward anything to Yukon first nations and generate any sort of back-and-forth discussion to pre-empt its own side discussion on these things, so each one clearly understood its position, or not?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-03-30 16:11
That's fair enough. You've highlighted that this could be an opportunity for that piece, and of course I do know that Yukon first nations are listening to the comments you're making here today, and I'm sure they appreciate that perspective.
Mr. Morrison, when we look at the executive committee piece that you worked through three different times, you did talk about the need for timelines. What are we talking about with respect to timelines? You mentioned that sometimes tens of millions of dollars are at risk when these timelines aren't clearly defined. Can you perhaps expand on why those tens of millions of dollars are at risk, and what happens in that regard if timelines are stretched?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-03-24 8:52
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Minister, for appearing today. I'll get right to the questions.
You indicated in your speech the benefit for all Yukoners with YESAA. Indeed, as you noted, there are a number of municipal, community-based, and private land ownership projects that go through the YESAA process. This isn't just about resource development activities. Of course, YESAA is an act designed to protect the socio-economic fabric of the Yukon and the environmental conditions in our territory and to be a strong piece of environmental legislation, but indeed it does promote growth and the economy in the north.
In 2012 the Government of Canada signed a historic resource revenue-sharing agreement with the Yukon and indeed with the other territories. That was widely lauded by Yukon citizens, by the Council of Yukon First Nations, and by individual first nations themselves.
The Yukon government has asked for parity with other environmental legislation that exists across provinces in Canada. At one point, we hailed YESAA as the best environmental regime in the country that supported development: one window, one review process. Then, as CEAA came on board, the Yukon started to slip. There were advantages under the CEAA legislation, which other provinces were realizing, that put Yukon slightly behind the curve.
The premier and the majority Yukon Party government asked for this, and industries asked for it. I have attended PDAC and I have attended the cordillera mining roundup, where I've talked with hundreds of stakeholders about the YESAA review process. Each one of them has talked about this requirement for parity with other national legislation.
With all of that in mind—and I will get to a couple of the points of concern that have been raised with YESAA—72 of 76 recommendations out of that five-year review have been agreed to. Yukon first nations, when we met with them directly, indicated that 98% of the bill was in fact in good form. They were supportive of 98% of the legislation.
Again, I'll talk about the four pieces of concern, but can you talk to us briefly about how important this legislation will be for growth, not just for the Yukon but for the changes that are embedded in this bill for Nunavut as well?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-03-24 8:56
Thank you, Minister.
I shall ask some quick questions now on the four points of concern.
There has been some assertion that the delegation of authority piece is of concern. In terms of delegation of authority, does this fall in line with our government's strategy, and indeed with what the north has been asking for in terms of northern governance and devolution?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-03-24 8:59
The second concern that has been inferred is that any binding policy direction by the federal minister would actually allow the minister to interfere with assessments. Is this true?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-03-24 9:08
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
On that government-to-government question, I should congratulate you and Canada for a government-to-government conclusion of the the Carcross/Tagish First Nation FTA most recently, which brought a significant conclusion to an outstanding issue for them that was clearly negotiated government to government and was clearly beneficial to the Carcross/Tagish First Nation. Of course, we should reflect back on the conclusion of more significant modern treaties under our government than any other past government. That relates to your point that you recognize clearly that first nations not only in Yukon but in Canada do have excellent government-to-government relations, Minister.
We've danced around this topic a little bit, but it is a point of concern for Yukon first nations. You have touched on it a bit. I'd like you to maybe go into just a little bit more depth on how Bill S-6 speaks clearly to the UFA prevailing should any conflict arise. Perhaps you could touch on any additional constitutional agreements that continue to protect the modern treaties of Yukon first nations under any conflicts of Bill S-6.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-03-24 9:12
Thank you, Minister.
The fourth and final point—I think I've touched on the other three areas of concern—is around serious harm and adequacy reviews. I'm just wondering if you can touch on how Bill S-6, or at least the makeup of the YESAB executive committee and the board structure, will allow Yukon first nations to trigger reviews or assessments on their traditional territory and in areas of their jurisdiction and concern when they feel it necessary.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2015-03-24 9:13
Yes, fair enough, and that's a good point. I'm sorry. I probably wasn't very clear, but that's a good point you're making in terms of the legislative review process. Parliament can seize itself with reviewing legislation when it's deemed appropriate.
I was talking more about how the executive committee and the YESA board itself have guaranteed numbers of Yukon first nation representation, and with that executive committee and the board, they can also in this legislation trigger reviews. For the adequacy review and serious harm piece that they've raised concerns about, they can trigger reviews under this legislation where they deem it necessary. Despite any provision in Bill S-6 that allows serious harm to not be reflected on, reviews can still be triggered under this legislation.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-03-27 10:03
Thank you, Chair, and thank you to all our witnesses for some interesting presentations.
Chief Adam, I'm the member of Parliament for Yukon. The premise of this study of cross-country benefits for all Canadians is of course interesting from a Yukon perspective, because when we frame this discussion around development in the north, it is a question for our entire population, including our aboriginal and first nations people in Yukon.
One thing I have heard as their member of Parliament is that they want Yukon people for Yukon jobs. Of course, that centres around our first nations. Eleven of the fourteen first nations in our territory have signed final agreements.
The government has done a great job, both the territorial and the federal governments, of supporting them with financial resources to sign and secure IBAs, to develop communication plans to work with industry, to help them with the capacity development.
I appreciate the comments you made around the struggle to have the capacity, with the influx of development, to deal with the volume of applications with few staff. We have been recognizing those challenges and trying to support the capacity development of our first nations, at least in Yukon, to make sure that they have the capacity to deal with the opportunities before them.
It will be a continuing growth process, but some of the ways they have done this up north include investing in education and training, specifically around our college development with the Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining, to make sure that we meet that one real premise Yukoners have, which again is Yukon people for Yukon jobs: local people to get local opportunities, specific job training for the jobs that are available in high-demand fields, and well-paying jobs, not just underskilled jobs, but semi-skilled and highly skilled opportunities.
From that, we have seen our first nations achieve, have seen our development corporations, high-paying jobs and better-paying jobs in those fields that are available, an increase in graduates, an increase in enrolment rates at post-secondary educational institutions that focus on these.
I'm wondering three things.
First, does your first nation have a development corporation?
Do you have any of the members of your first nation working right now in oil sands and natural gas development in the area? If so, are they starting to achieve greater rates of job opportunities, better-paying jobs? Are they realizing those opportunities at all?
Are you seeing people of your first nation starting to move in that career direction? Are they asking for that? Are the colleges and institutions responding to that demand by providing greater opportunity for them to achieve that kind of training and realize local opportunities for local people?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-02-25 9:24
I'm Yukon's member of Parliament. We face some of the same challenges that my colleague from the Western Arctic does concerning resource development prospects and the desire for local people to take advantage of local opportunities and position themselves for jobs in high-demand fields.
Without getting into specific detail, if you're not at liberty to talk about something—but you talk about the accommodation agreements with first nations and aboriginal groups in the community—do the accommodation agreements involve training programs and parameters, specific numbers of jobs, cash transfers? What kinds of things are built into these accommodation agreements, or at least into what you can talk about?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-01-27 9:17
On that point, Mr. Premier, there have been some claims that the regulatory improvements and devolution itself would stall ongoing land claims. Of course, the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development has said that there's nothing here that will affect the comprehensive land claims process that's taking place, that he has committed that the negotiations will go on, and that in his view it may create an impetus to actually reach an agreement sooner. Would you share that viewpoint?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2014-01-27 9:27
Thank you.
There has been some concern that the amalgamation of the board itself would reduce regional influence over resource development and affect land claims agreements. Our position obviously is that the integrated regulatory regime is designed to make consistent and informed decision-making, as you just articulated. You maintain that it is strong, efficient, and effective.
But the new board, in its design approach now as I understand it, will be made up of equal membership from aboriginal and government nominees, and where a particular development or review is taking place in a particular region or community, there will be additional secured representation of people from that region. Is that accurate?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-04-30 10:15
Can you touch on what work's being done at the Northern Institute of Social Justice particularly around the career orientation program and the recruitment of first nations and women? How do you see that playing out in the future?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-04-18 9:42
Thank you, Commissioner.
We've talked a fair bit about the first nation policing, and of course we've renewed that federal funding for the next five years, which certainly will provide some certainty for the first nation communities across Canada.
Having policed in northern Canada up in the Yukon Territory, I know there are some similarities, obviously, in what we'd be facing in the Yukon and in native northern policing and rural and remote Ontario. You touched on the things that we hear other witnesses say and that I have experienced—and that you would have experienced—as a police officer, which is that we can't be all things to all people. Yet we can't help ourselves in still trying to be that.
The real question is, how do we bring.... I mean, costs going up will only do so much, because that will also then drive the demand. As police officers, our human nature as police officers will be to take those resources and just do more and more with them, which will keep that demand going up and up. With the increased funding, we will be responding to calls that we never responded to before. I think the real trick is driving down that demand of the public's expectations.
I know that's a challenging question, but how do we go from that community policing model that we've driven, that I think is very important.... I mean, you play football with the kids at school and integrate into the community, which is a critical role of policing. We've set the bar so high. How do we bring that bar back down to a reasonable level now for Canadians, so that we aren't going to the cat-in-the-tree kind of scenario, or where our emergency response people aren't answering the phone to tell people how to spell the word “subpoena”? That sounds ridiculous, but I know that our telecom operators have done that for people.
How do we do that now that we've set the bar so high? Do you see that as a really important point, versus just pushing that financial envelope up more and more, which in my opinion will only increase our demand and our response to it?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2013-03-21 9:17
Maybe we'll be able to do that after.
I could have ended up being a member of the Edmonton Police Service, because they were offering us jobs in light of those closures, but fortunately I did get my turn with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, so that was great.
Minister, you talked about funding for first nations policing in the announcement last week. What exactly does this funding represent? Maybe you can let us know how that's going to enhance the law enforcement capabilities within the first nations communities in our country.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2012-12-12 16:02
It goes by fast, doesn't it?
The Chair: It sure does.
Mr. Ryan Leef: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Maybe for the benefit of the committee you could differentiate between category A lands and category B lands as found under the Umbrella Final Agreement, and tell us what those terms mean in Yukon and what they mean in terms of access rights on the surface and subsurface. I know we're not talking about subsurface stuff here, but there is certainly a distinction under the Umbrella Final Agreement and the self-government agreements of each of the individual first nations in Yukon, so it might be helpful for us if you could break down the differences between the two and tell us what they actually mean under the UFA.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2012-12-12 16:08
Thank you.
I think you outlined nicely the complexity of some of the decisions that would need to be made if there were a surface disagreement and it had to get to the point of the board.
Comparatively speaking, if you feel qualified to comment, with the Umbrella Final Agreement, self-government agreements, category A and category B lands, site-specific land selections, 11 different self-governing first nations, and a couple of non-self-governing first nations, how do you view Yukon's model of dealing with surface rights access and dispute resolution in terms of efficiency and fairness and being able to deliver this effectively? How does it compare with other jurisdictions in the country?
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2012-05-10 16:20
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to both witnesses.
Mr. Anderson, thanks very much for your testimony so far. I think you have done a commendable job of dealing with some questions that would be challenging and of providing some examples that certainly test what I think a lot of people would initially see as unnecessarily differentiating victim groups.
I must say that when you addressed Mr. Scarpaleggia's question, you articulated quite well the differences. Prior to hearing that, I myself would have been asking the exact same question and waiting to hear a reasonable response to it. I think you did a great job on that.
The question I have is this. We know that the spirit and the intention of the bill are really to provide restitution and support for victims. One of the categories in the bill is for families—family and child support. You could speak better on this topic than any one of us in the room, I'm certain, but undoubtedly, the criminality that goes on within first nations and aboriginal communities, largely contained within your own communities.... When you have an offender enter a federal institution—and now we enter the question about residential school settlements—and they are awarded that settlement, and then their family is left behind within the community, I guess the intention of the bill is to make sure that they don't become any more victimized than they already are.
Arguably, families with a mother who is left with the children are victims as well. Even if they're not victims of the actual crime, they are victims in the sense that they have lost, let's say, a father figure. While the person is in jail, they've lost a traditional leader, or somebody who can teach them the cultural traditional ways of life. We know that often, along with this, come financial burdens that just create more and more victimization.
This is an open-ended question to you, really. How would you address it within your community if we had a federal inmate who received that settlement but then maintained protection of it while families needed it and wanted it? They're your community members as well. They're as much victims of the crime and of the residential school system as well.
I guess what I'm really asking for is just some feedback, if you have a way to articulate it as eloquently as you did on the other questions, on how we reconcile that issue. Because I think that's the true spirit of the bill. Without creating offence to anyone in general, it's just to provide necessary protection and support for all of the parties involved in this.
View Ryan Leef Profile
CPC (YT)
View Ryan Leef Profile
2012-01-31 16:11
On the territorial front, through the RCMP contracts the territorial government is working closely with the Northern Institute of Social Justice. I won't put you on the spot and expect you to know about that program, but they are engaging in strategies to recruit first nations into the RCMP. Maybe you can comment on some of the national strategies you are looking at to deal with the first nations recruiting issue in the country.
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