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Results: 1 - 15 of 30
View John Aldag Profile
Lib. (BC)
Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to our environment committee hearings today.
The idea for today was to have a couple of panels to talk about the recent report that we saw on the biodiversity loss we're facing worldwide.
Thank you to each of our panellists for joining us today. We are expecting votes some time during this period. We don't know exactly how the afternoon is going to unfold. The way the process works is that we will have opening statements from each of our three panellists. We're hoping for opening comments in the seven-minute range and then we can get into questions and answers.
I use a handy card system. The yellow card means there is one minute left in the time allocated, and the red card means it's time to move on to the next person, but don't stop mid-sentence: just wrap up whatever it is you're saying and finish the thought. We're a fairly amicable group.
On our first panel, we have Dr. Kai Chan, Professor and an author of the report we'll be talking about today. We also have Dr. Jeremy Kerr, Professor of Biology, Faculty of Science, from the University of Ottawa. By video conference, from the Nature Conservancy of Canada, we have Dan Kraus, Senior Conservation Biologist.
Thank you to the three of you for being here.
Dr. Chan, we'll start with you.
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-17 16:20
I think that my questions will be directed mostly to Mr. Chan.
It's nice to hear that you're from my alma mater. I don't know if you studied there, but you're teaching there, I assume, and researching there.
On the issue of efficient versus inefficient subsidies, you touched on the issue of fossil fuel subsidies and making sure that, if there are going to be subsidies, they actually lead in a direction of improved sustainability. At one of our last meetings, we had the environment commissioner here, and the Department of Finance was questioned about whether we are actually delivering on the commitments we've made internationally at the G20, I believe—commitments to move away from inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.
I'd be interested to hear your take on whether the term “inefficient” has any meaning within that dialogue and whether there's a definition of efficient versus inefficient that you can provide us with.
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-17 16:23
Mostly you're right. The commissioner pointed out that how you define efficient and inefficient is going to determine the degree to which government defends the subsidies it continues to provide for the fossil fuel industry. She rightly pointed out that if you don't have a proper definition nailed down, you're likely not going to achieve the goals you had committed to at the G20.
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-17 16:24
Thank you.
I believe it was Mr. Kraus who referred to a continental approach. Was that you or was it Mr. Kerr—
View Ed Fast Profile
CPC (BC)
View Ed Fast Profile
2019-06-17 16:24
—in one of the responses.
We can have a parochial approach here and assume that Canada is an island unto itself and try to address our species challenges here. We can look at a global approach and maybe escape some accountability for what we're doing at home. However, you had mentioned a continental approach.
It does make sense, because our species are migrating across our borders; they don't recognize borders. Have you found the United States in any way receptive to a continental approach?
View Wayne Stetski Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you very much to all of you for being here today. Great witnesses.
I was a former regional manager with the ministry of environment for southeastern B.C., responsible for ecosystems, fish and wildlife. Then I was manager of the East Kootenay conservation program involved in purchasing private land for conservation; so inherently, I care about every species.
The challenge we have is that many people look at life through economics rather than conservation. I'm wondering if we're starting to do a better job.
I know, Professor Kerr, you started to talk about the economic importance of species winking out, but why should people care about species winking out, from an economic perspective as well as a personal one?
I'll start with Mr. Chan and Mr. Kerr, and then I'd be interested in hearing from all of you on that.
View John Aldag Profile
Lib. (BC)
I'm sorry to jump in here.
The bells have just started ringing, and once they do, we need unanimous consent to continue. Because we are just down the hall, is there agreement that we go longer? Is there a willingness to do that? If we could go 20 minutes into the bells, that would still give us 10 minutes to get down to the chamber.
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Chair: We'll keep going and at least get the witness testimony, and then we'll see if there's any time for questions and answers at that point.
My apologies.
View John Aldag Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you.
We're at just over 10 minutes on the clock right now. It's going to be close to 10 minutes after 5 p.m. Does the committee want to come back? It would give us about 10 minutes for a quick round of questions and answers. We could do four minutes per side and at least get in one set of questions, if our three panellists are willing to stick around and grab a coffee while we're out of the room.
Some hon. members: Agreed.
The Chair: All right, we'll suspend now. We'll come back as soon as the vote is over and we'll pick it up again.
Thank you.
View John Aldag Profile
Lib. (BC)
After Wayne gets his three minutes, if there's a chance for an update on the bison, that would be great.
View Wayne Stetski Profile
NDP (BC)
I have to do a speech on climate change in about 10 minutes.
I have a question that I'll open up to the floor. There are a couple of aspects I want to talk about. One is the nature deficit disorder and the potential impact it has on whether youth today care or don't care about species at risk, and what more we should be doing there.
The other is that we did consider looking at the species at risk legislation as a committee. Quite frankly, my concerns in that regard is that some might have wanted to weaken the legislation, while others think there's certainly need for improvement.
If you have a particular opinion on either of those issues, I'd be happy to hear from you.
View Jati Sidhu Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Simpson, for your presence here this morning.
Minister Freeland announced some funding for Elsie initiatives. The whole motive is to get younger women involved in peacekeeping. Can you speak on that and how it's going to have an impact around the world, with the small funds allocated towards it?
View Jati Sidhu Profile
Lib. (BC)
You kind of have.
You said “youth” maybe 20 times during your address. Are females more effective around the world in peacekeeping than men or young boys?
View Jati Sidhu Profile
Lib. (BC)
Let's move on to the involvement of youth around the world. You mentioned that it is as important on the international stage as it is at home. The question is, are we lagging behind in Canada, when it comes to youth involvement?
View Jati Sidhu Profile
Lib. (BC)
What do you think about having a UN office in Toronto, instead of New York?
View Sheila Malcolmson Profile
NDP (BC)
Thank you.
Just two years ago now, in November 2016, we had the United Nations committee to end discrimination against women. One of its observations was that the committee “remains concerned about the lack of a coherent plan or strategy to improve the socioeconomic conditions of indigenous communities, in particular indigenous women to combat the root cause of their vulnerability to violence”.
In her report on Canada in April of this year, the United Nations special rapporteur to end violence against women observed that there should be an action plan that “should be indigenous led and supported by adequate resources, in particular ensuring the provision of a sufficient number of housing units, transitional houses and shelters, especially needed by Indigenous communities, that should be run by them and used [as a hub] for other services needed for recovery and empowerment, in line with the human rights based approach.” A national action plan “should also address specific challenges and provide more services for indigenous women in remote areas where victims face difficulties in accessing services.”
Have you seen action on either of those recommendations in a way that's changed the operations of your group and the lives of the women you serve?
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