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Results: 1 - 15 of 25
View John Duncan Profile
CPC (BC)
moved that Bill S-2, An Act to amend the Statutory Instruments Act and to make consequential amendments to the Statutory Instruments Regulations, be read the third time and passed.
View John Duncan Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, you shall find unanimous consent to apply the results from the previous vote to this vote.
View John Duncan Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, I believe you would find unanimous consent to apply the results from the previous vote to this vote.
View John Duncan Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I will not take all of the time, but I did want to speak to this motion from the member for Montcalm and seconded by the member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia.
I cannot remember the exact year, but I was the seatmate of the member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia, and it was during that time that he wrote his book. We had a book unveiling in Ottawa. As a member of the caucus, and particularly because the member was my seatmate, it was incumbent upon me to get to know him much better. Now we have been caucus colleagues for at least a decade. The adversity that I realize the member has gone through, and the inspiration he provides, have carried on. There is no member of this caucus of which the member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia is a member who has ever heard him utter a complaint. The member is constructive, and as everyone has witnessed today, he is quite hilarious.
I realize that I am restricting my comments to the member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia rather than to the member for Montcalm. It is not for any reason other than that I know the member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia much more intimately. There is no slight intended.
We are reminded every time we see the member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia attending meetings, whether they are early or late, that whatever adversity or struggles we may be going through, they pale in comparison. This is part of the ongoing inspiration we all feel.
There was a time, after 13 years of serving in the opposition in this place, that I actually lost an election. It was the very year we formed government. On my way, as I departed from Ottawa by car, guess who called? It was the member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia. He was thinking about me. I have never forgotten that.
We all have to recognize that these members who brought this motion forward are more than contributing members of Parliament. They are much more than full members, in a sense. I know from many discussions that the member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia is actively engaged in the Treasury Board, for example. He is pursuing advanced education. He is a great student of Canadian history. There are many things all of us could learn about Canadian history from just having a short conversation with the member.
I believe that we have a strong responsibility to know our colleagues who face adversity. Today is one of those opportunities, but there is another opportunity, and it is called “every day”.
What we witnessed today is consistent with the motion that has been put forward by the member for Montcalm and seconded by the member for Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia. I congratulate them, and I know that this place will be happy to adopt this motion.
View John Duncan Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, our fish harvesters work tirelessly on the seas to make a living, often in challenging conditions. Through their determination, these efforts support the economies of coastal communities and, more broadly, a multibillion-dollar seafood industry for Canada.
Therefore, it is completely unacceptable that international poachers are ignoring national and international rules and regulations that allow them to avoid the true cost of fishing. They leave distorted market prices and missed profits in their wake, which undermines the livelihoods of our legitimate fish harvesters and threatens the stability and the sustainability of global fisheries.
That is why I am pleased to support Bill S-3, an act to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, which would give Canada additional tools to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities.
Our government has embarked upon the most ambitious trade agenda in our nation's history. This is important in the context of this bill. Through our comprehensive economic and trade agreement with the EU and the Canada-Korea free trade agreement, we are opening up new markets and economic opportunities for all Canadian industries and sectors. Our fish and seafood producers will be able to benefit significantly from these agreements with the reduction and removal of tariffs on our world-class products.
However, as we gain increased market access, it becomes all the more important that we support global efforts to fight illegal fisheries.
According to a 2008 British study, the impact of illegal fishing activities is staggering. The global economic loss from these fisheries is estimated at $10 billion U.S. to $23 billion U.S. annually.
The impact of global activities by illegal fishing vessels on the high seas does affect Canadians. After all, Canada exports 85% of its fish and seafood products. This generates a healthy $4 billion for our economy every year. However, if we could curtain illegal fishing internationally, we would do even better.
As a British Columbian, I know how illegal fishing half a world away can have a real impact upon Canada's bottom line. In British Columbia, our once-thriving red and green sea urchin fishery severely declined when illegally harvested products entered international trade and flooded the market. These short-sighted actions by criminals looking to make a quick profit have caused massive damage to this fishery. Illegal fishing is not just some far-off issue. It has real economic impacts for those who make their living from the sea and the communities that depend upon this income.
The strong economic argument is one reason why Canada joined other countries to adopt the port state measures agreement.
There are strong environmental reasons why Canada supports the agreement. Illegal fishing undermines the sustainable management of both fisheries and the ecosystems and habitants upon which those fisheries depend. The port state measures agreement is a logical step in the global effort to improve fisheries' conservation, by ensuring that only legally harvested fish can enter ports for domestic markets and international trade. That is what Bill S-3 is all about.
Canada already has many of the core requirements in place to ratify the port state measures agreement. However, there are a few areas where we need to align our legislation with the new global standard. Specifically, these amendments would expand inspection and enforcement powers beyond the traditional fishing vessel; strengthen prohibitions and international enforcement against imports of illegally harvested fish products; and create an enforcement regime for foreign fishing vessels ordered to port by the flag state for enforcement purposes.
I will speak to two of these important amendments: the ability of flag states to order their ships to port; and improved information sharing among enforcement partners.
Under the Coastal Fisheries Protection Regulations, a foreign fishing vessel must apply for a licence to enter a Canadian port at least 30 days in advance of its entry into Canadian fisheries waters. However, a vessel that has been fishing illegally has good reason to avoid our ports and therefore the vessel is unlikely to apply for entry. Even if the nation responsible for the vessel, the flag state, orders the vessel to enter a Canadian port for inspection, the current legal system requires that the vessel itself apply for a licence. To address this, Bill S-3 would authorize fisheries protection officers to take appropriate enforcement action when the circumstance is such that the vessel is directed to port by its flag state solely for inspection purposes.
It is important to note that this amendment would not change Canada's ability to refuse port access to any illegal fishing vessel that violates conservation and enforcement measures of regional fisheries management bodies. What it would do is implement a key provision of the port state measures agreement. Generally, the agreement requires parties to refuse entry to vessels involved in illegal fishing. This would now be an exception in order to enable a party to allow such a vessel to enter port for the purpose of inspecting it, gathering evidence and taking other appropriate enforcement action on behalf of the flag state.
To crack down on illegal fishing internationally, we need intelligence and better sharing protocols among our enforcement officers at home and leading nations when it comes to tracking offenders. That is why the second area of amendments focuses on improving information sharing. Through this bill, for example, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency would gain new and express authority to share information with each other. Similarly, Canada would gain clearer authority to share information regarding actions taken against illegal foreign fishing vessels with other responsible states and regional and international organizations. For example, the information could include the fact that we denied a foreign vessel entry into a Canadian port, any enforcement action that we might take, the results of any inspection and the outcome of any legal proceedings.
Experience tells us that globally strong port state measures can deter illegal fishing. The port state measures agreement represents one of the most efficient and effective approaches to deal with illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing across the globe. Supporting Bill S-3 would allow Canada to follow through on this important international commitment. I urge all members to support this bill.
View John Duncan Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, there are amendments to Bill S-3 that allow the government to make documentation requirements for seafood imports consistent with the catch document requirements of regional fisheries management organizations around the world. Therefore, once we pass this bill, any illegal fish in any part of the world would then be illegal in Canada. I think that addresses the concerns that the member has just expressed.
View John Duncan Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, like the member from Atlantic Canada who spoke before me, the member for South Shore—St. Margaret's, I come from a large coastal riding with a lot of commercial fisheries. I am also host to the Canadian Forces air base in Comox where we run aerial surveillance right out into the mid-Pacific and ensure that the use of the long nets that had been used throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s to intercept valuable fisheries pretty much comes to an end due to the aerial reconnaissance that Canada has carried out and continues to carry out.
We have done a lot of good things on the fisheries resource. Many of our salmon runs are coming back. We have put individual quotas in place on most of our groundfisheries and commercial harvesting is now in a very sustainable place, so I am not finding the same findings that the member for Labrador is alluding to.
View John Duncan Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I move:
That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practice of the House at the conclusion of the debate later today on Bill C-51, an act to enact the security of Canada information sharing act and the secure air travel act, to amend the Criminal Code, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, all questions necessary to dispose of the third reading stage of the said bill be deemed put and a recorded division deemed requested and deferred until Wednesday, May 6, 2015, at the expiry of the time provided for government orders.
I believe you will find unanimous consent for that motion.
View John Duncan Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, you will find consent to apply the results from the previous motion to the current motion.
View John Duncan Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, you will find consent to apply the results from the previous motion to the current motion.
View John Duncan Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I rise to express my support for the budget implementation act and to particularly highlight the fact that it moves the DNA missing persons index one step closer to reality.
I cannot imagine anything as heartbreaking as having a family member, particularly a child, go missing. That nightmare became a reality more than 20 years ago for Judy Peterson. Her daughter Lindsey disappeared on August 2, 1993, on her way to meet friends in Courtenay in the Comox Valley in British Columbia. Judy's life has never been the same.
For the parents of a missing child, the search never ends. Even when every lead has been followed and every tool has been used, there remains a determination and a hope, even when it is also tinged with fear. This was Judy's experience, and she pursued every avenue to try to bring certainty. Once inside the system, Judy realized that there were potentially useful tools that remained completely unavailable. She learned that, although DNA could be used for criminal justice purposes, it could not be used to compare missing persons to existing indices.
Canada had innovative, effective DNA technology, but it was simply not available to missing persons investigators. She also discovered that even in cases where unidentified human remains were found that the police wanted to check, there was no pre-existing database that could be used for missing persons. That meant that the family had to be contacted, permission sought, and samples taken each and every time. Members can imagine the toll this would take, as people would have to relive their loss, wonder about the outcome, and be left in turmoil when, once again, they are left with no certainty.
Even worse than getting these calls is not getting them. Without a national data bank, it is much more difficult to draw links between crime scenes and missing persons. Even where provinces have good cross-checking systems in place, these do not extend across provincial borders. Judy knew that this system did not serve either investigators or the families of missing persons. She knew that it could be better, that it had to be better. What followed was years of tireless advocacy for the creation of a national DNA-based missing persons index.
I first met Judy Peterson in August of 2013 in Comox in my riding when I attended the teddy bear picnic, which was sponsored by Judy and the Missing Children Society of Canada. This event was held to mark the passing of 20 years since Lindsey's disappearance. Judy Peterson moved away from the Comox Valley to Sidney near Victoria, and she had been campaigning for most of the intervening years without our paths ever crossing. When we finally did meet, I was completely touched by her story. I made a promise to Judy that day that I would fully commit to advocate for a missing persons DNA database. I knew that Judy was her own best spokesperson, so I did everything I could to open doors for her. I am happy to say that my cabinet colleagues were as touched by her story and her passion for change as I was. We were all genuinely moved by what we heard, and we agreed that the missing persons DNA database is an essential measure.
There were a number of pieces that had to fall into place, and the first was securing funding for the changes. Therefore, in his speech to the House on the introduction of budget 2014, then finance minister Jim Flaherty highlighted our government's commitment to create a DNA-based missing persons index. Judy Peterson was in the gallery that day, and seeing her there as Jim mentioned her by name and acknowledged all of the work she had done was the most memorable and emotional moment of my 20 years in Ottawa.
The 2014 economic action plan committed $8.1 million over five years and $1.3 million ongoing to fund a DNA-based missing persons index.
Jim Flaherty has such a great legacy of public service, and I see this initiative as part of that great legacy. His commitment to doing the right thing will help many families who are going through one of the most painful things a family can go through, the disappearance of a loved one.
Making the missing persons index a reality takes more than just money. The budget implementation bill we are debating today includes the legislative changes that are necessary to follow through on our commitments in the economic action plan, including the DNA-based missing persons index.
Specifically, it would amend the DNA Identification Act to establish a new humanitarian application to support investigations of missing persons and unidentified human remains and would allow the creation of new DNA-based indices. For this I am grateful to my colleagues, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and the Minister of Justice, who have both worked to create the necessary changes.
I would also like to acknowledge the work of the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, who has worked closely with Judy. The Green Party leader provided meaningful personal support to Judy and has been supportive of my actions as well. I know that, like me, every contributor to this process has been moved by Judy's story and motivated to help her and families like hers.
I am proud to stand here today to speak on behalf of the budget implementation act and what it means for families who are suffering. I am proud of the actions our government has taken to create a justice system that is sensitive to the needs of victims and that improves safety and security for all Canadians.
Our government is taking common sense steps to support economic growth, while continuing to support Canadian families and communities. We are continuing to build on our record of strong and consistent fiscal management. We have made the tough decisions that need to be made to return the budget to balance, while continuing to increase transfers to provinces, invest in infrastructure and skills training, and keep taxes low. It has not always been easy, but our work is paying off. We are almost there.
The global economy is still fragile, and as recent events confirmed, the world can be an uncertain place. However, we are meeting these challenges and continuing to provide steady leadership in difficult times.
View John Duncan Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I read two questions into the statement from the member.
First, the budget implementation act is a necessary bill to bring portions of the budget to life that require statutory enabling legislation. When I talked with various people, including other members of Parliament who wished to promote the DNA missing persons index, across parties we saw the budget implementation act as a way to get it done. After 20 years, was this not a very good idea? Therefore, I do not take any criticism that this is an inappropriate vehicle for making this budgetary commitment a reality.
In terms of the missing and murdered aboriginal women, the database would actually help improve the solve rate. It would help investigations immensely, and it is one more thing that we in government are doing to make sure we are able to solve cases like this.
View John Duncan Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I know the Liberals have an issue with income splitting. I asked the question the other day of one of the Liberal members after his speech, as to why the Liberals, as government, would choose to reverse income splitting for seniors, which has been widely popular. I know they are trying to avoid talking about income splitting for seniors, which has been in place for quite some time. However, if they are coherent and consistent, then they would reverse that as well as the family income splitting.
View John Duncan Profile
CPC (BC)
Mr. Speaker, if you seek it, I believe you would find agreement to apply the previous vote to the current motion.
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