Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Todd Doherty Profile
View Todd Doherty Profile
2019-06-11 23:19 [p.28976]
Mr. Speaker, I am a new member in the House. While I have had the privilege over the last four years to get to know the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam, being from B.C., I have known him for a long period of time. This is a member who swam the Fraser going through my riding, not once but twice. The first time he was young enough that he had water wings on.
This gentleman walks the walk and talks the talk. I have come to know and respect him over the last four years, being on the fisheries committee. He truly believes what he speaks. His heart is in the right place. Although we come from different political stripes, I truly respect him and cherish the time with him. I am a better person, I know that.
I will never forget travelling with my hon. colleague. We get to know people in the House in a very partisan way, but we truly get to know our colleagues when we travel with them. That is when we truly become friends, because partisan politics are put aside. During the week I spent with my hon. colleague, I got to see first-hand his passion for protecting our oceans.
I also got to spend a day, traipsing around London. He gave me these words of wisdom by which I live: Happy wife, happy life. I will not go into the details, but he bought a gift for his wife that was far more generous than I would get away with, but that speaks volumes.
I think the world of this man. It is shameful he is speaking at 11:15 in the evening. Somebody of his calibre should be speaking earlier in the evening, when the House is packed. He deserves that. I want to thank him for making this a better place.
View Nathaniel Erskine-Smith Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member not only for his service, but for his advocacy in this place, particularly as someone who is gravely concerned about our oceans. I look to the advocacy of this member with great regard.
Becoming a new member in this place in 2015, I, frankly, stole the work of the member and his advocacy to tackle the issue of shark finning. It is incredible to see that advocacy start so many years ago and that we will see come to fruition very shortly. It would not have come to fruition but for the member.
The only other thing I will say beyond his significant advocacy for our oceans and wildlife is the way he conducts himself in this place, not only in a committed way but a non-partisan way. Building constructive relationships throughout the House is a testament to his character. It is how members of Parliament ought to conduct themselves at all times.
View Gord Johns Profile
View Gord Johns Profile
2019-06-11 23:23 [p.28977]
Mr. Speaker, I am humbled to be standing in this place as the new critic for fisheries and oceans, following in the footsteps of someone who is a legend in the House and in coastal British Columbia.
On behalf of British Columbians and people from coast to coast to coast, we are forever indebted to this man for his advocacy and his fight for salmon. He has spoken more about salmon than anyone out of 338 members of Parliament. He has fought for fish and the health of our oceans.
Again, we are forever indebted to this member of Parliament. We wish him the very best. We know he is leaving the House as a parliamentarian, but will continue his fight for salmon. It is a testament to who this individual is by turning his life and dedication to fighting for fish and salmon and coastal communities.
I cannot say enough about this individual. We can all stand and applaud because I know everyone in the country is so lucky and fortunate to have leadership like the man from Port Moody—Coquitlam.
View Fin Donnelly Profile
View Fin Donnelly Profile
2019-06-11 23:24 [p.28977]
Mr. Speaker, it truly has been an honour to serve.
I would like to thank the members for Courtenay—Alberni, Beaches—East York and Cariboo—Prince George for their very kind remarks. It has been a pleasure working with each of them. It has been a pleasure working with so many members across the aisle and in the House over the years. I think that is the important thing, how we make good public policy decisions by coming together and doing the hard work of listening and working together to find solutions for Canadians. That is what it is all about.
In my 10 years as a member of Parliament, I have felt very honoured to be in this place. We are among the few people who can get here and have debates like this to move good legislation that is for the betterment of the entire country. I would not change it for the world.
I am definitely looking forward to spending my next chapter in life with my wife, Lynda, and working on my passion, which is the Fraser.
I wish everyone here all the best going forward, either in the next Parliament or wherever life may take them.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 23:26 [p.28977]
Mr. Speaker, first I want to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe people.
I have a speech, but I think I will start by trying to answer questions and concerns that have been brought up. If I do that, then members could vote unanimously for this bill.
The first thing members have been asking is why there are only five more hours to debate this bill. For a lot of bills, that would be a valid question, but at this particular time we have had Conservative after Conservative getting up and not talking about the bill. We heard a lot about Bill C-48, Bill S-6, a letter from premiers not related to this bill, Bill C-15 and a northern moratorium.
I have been here awhile, and last night I witnessed an amazing situation. One of the Conservative speakers, in a 10-minute slot to speak on this bill, spent nine and a half minutes talking before they got to the bill, and then answering three questions by not referring to anything in the bill.
If the public wonders why Parliament has decided to call time allocation on this bill, it is obviously because the Conservatives have nothing more to say. We have heard the same arguments over and over again, and they are not valid. I will go through them one by one right now.
I am not sure why a party would want to stretch out a debate on a terrible injustice that it has caused, and it has done this a number of times. It is strange. Why would they want to put that in the light? Why would they not want to fix that injustice by supporting this bill? One of the members mentioned that he was not here at the time that it happened, so in good justice, he could support the bill.
People have asked what we have been doing for the last four years and why we did not debate this bill earlier. Some of the people in the House now have actually asked this question. This Liberal government has passed something like 85 bills. I think some members' constituents would like to ask them where they have been while these very important 85 bills were being discussed and debated.
One bill in particular was in the exact same situation as this one. It was Bill C-17. Again, the previous government had unlawfully, either technically or in spirit, abrogated a modern treaty, a constitutionally protected treaty, and tried to pass a law that got around it. That was certainly disrespectful.
Some may ask why Liberals did not get more things done, and a good example was what happened when Bill C-17, related to the treaty, was ready to pass. There was a grand chief, chiefs and aboriginal people here in the galleries. It cost thousands of dollars for them to get here from the Yukon. What did the Conservatives do at that time? They called a dilatory motion that the next speaker be allowed to speak, and then the bill could not be done. Some members ask why things are not done, yet they continue to do tricks like that.
This particular bill broke a constitutionally protected treaty, as I said earlier, a land claim. The members opposite have asked—and it is a good question for the ones who were not here before—why Liberals voted for that bill. This question has been brought up a number of times. The reason is that the part of the bill in which the law was broken in spirit or in technicality was snuck in in a much larger devolution bill.
The devolution bill transferred the remaining federal powers to the territorial government. That was a tremendous move, and that is why the party supported that initiative. Unfortunately, even though the people affected by this wanted this taken out and some parliamentarians tried to get it out, the Conservatives pushed ahead with the bill, and that is why the other parties voted for it.
Another concern the Conservatives have noted a number of times is that there are two parts to the bill. I think the member for Northwest Territories corrected them and said there are three parts. Nevertheless, they said there is part 1 and part 2, and there was no consultation regarding part 2. That is not true at all. When we consulted, we consulted with all the local governments involved regarding the entire bill, both part 1 and part 2. Shortly, I will read to members some of the things they said, because the opposition has suggested they did not support both parts of the bill.
The bill concerns the Sahtu, the Gwich’in and the Tlicho. When the Tlicho signed its constitutionally protected land claim and its self-government agreement, I was parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Affairs. At that time, unfortunately, we had to fight against the Conservatives to get that agreement signed. At least the Conservatives can now make peace with that wrongdoing of the past and support the bill.
I will read some comments of support, because the Conservatives have said that indigenous groups did not support part 2 or the bill.
Grand Chief George Mackenzie, from the Tlicho Government, said, “We urge the community to move swiftly and decisively to ensure that Bill C-88 comes into force during the current session of Parliament.”
David Wright is legal counsel to the Gwich'in Tribal Council. I say to David, drin gwiinzih shalakat. He said the following at the INAN committee:
If Bill C-88 is not passed, not only will Canada not have fulfilled its commitment to Northwest Territories indigenous communities, but these communities will be forced back into time-consuming, expensive, acrimonious litigation, all adversely affecting that treaty relationship and the broader reconciliation project. Further, this would generate regulatory uncertainty that benefits no one....
I know the Conservatives have spoken against uncertainty in the past, so that is another reason for them to support the bill.
Premier McLeod and Grand Chief George Mackenzie, in a joint letter, said:
[W]e are hopeful that Bill C-88 will proceed expeditiously through the legislative process and receive Royal Assent [in this Parliament].... The negative implications of the status quo are significant.
Mervin Gruben was also quoted as supporting the bill, as well as Duane Smith from Inuvialuit. It was suggested he was not allowed to come to committee, but he was actually invited. He did provide a written submission, and it was nice to have that information added to the record.
A Conservative member talked about not listening to indigenous people and indigenous voices. The member said that not listening to the people of the north is arrogance. I just read that the four governments involved, the Sahtu, the Gwich’in, the Tlicho and the GNWT, all support the bill. Conservatives are right; we should listen to those people. They should listen to those people as well, along with the rest of the parties supporting the bill, and support the bill.
Another thing the Conservatives have talked about a lot is support for resource development. I am sure all other parties agree with sustainable development. It is another reason the Conservatives should vote for the bill. I will read some comments about how the bill promotes and ensures this.
Chief Alfonz Nitsiza, from the Tlicho Government, said:
[F]ailure to resolve this matter co-operatively would damage our treaty relationship and undermine the process of reconciliation as directed by the courts. Long-term regulatory uncertainty for any reason will damage the economy of the Northwest Territories, including within the Tlicho community. This is all avoidable with the passage of Bill C-88.
David Wright, legal counsel to the Gwich'in Tribal Council, said, “Bill C-88 is a step toward certainty in the Mackenzie Valley, and that is a step that should be taken at this time”.
Finally, Premier McLeod said:
The proposed amendments to the MVRMA in Bill C-88 would increase certainty around responsible resource development in the Northwest Territories. That certainty is something our territory needs as we continue to work with the indigenous governments in the territory to attract responsible resource development.
Conservatives, to be true to the values they so eloquently put forward on resource development, can support those values by supporting this bill.
I support Bill C-88, an act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act. Although the debate so far has focused on the content of the proposed act, I want to talk about what is not in Bill C-88 and why it would be a mistake to make major amendments at this stage.
Amending Bill C-88 at this stage of the process would defeat its overall purpose, which is to resolve a court challenge arising from the previous government's decision to merge the land and water boards without holding appropriate consultations.
The Northwest Territories Devolution Act, Bill C-15, was assented to in March 2014. The act transferred the administration and control of public lands and waters to the Government of the Northwest Territories and amended the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. The act includes provisions restructuring the Mackenzie Valley land and water boards.
The Tlicho government and Sahtu Secretariat Incorporated challenged the changes to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act that would have dissolved their regional land and water boards. They argued that theses changes violated their land claims agreements and infringed on the honour of the Crown. They added that the consultations had been inadequate. On February 27, 2015, the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories granted an injunction that suspended the proposed board restructuring, along with the coming into force of other regulatory amendments.
I would like to point out that those regulatory amendments, which included the addition of a regulation-making authority for cost recovery, administrative monetary penalties, development certificates and other provisions related to regional studies, all passed through the parliamentary process in 2014. Those same provisions are being presented today. However, they were rewritten to ensure that they could apply under the existing four-board structure. They were not part of the court challenge. Bill C-88 responds to the court challenge by reversing the provisions to merge the boards and re-introducing some regulatory elements that are applicable under the existing four-board structure.
On September 23, 2016, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations sent a letter to indigenous governments, organizations and stakeholders to launch the consultation process on Bill C-88.
Consultations were held with indigenous governments and organizations in the Mackenzie Valley, transboundary indigenous governments and organizations, resource co-management boards, organizations from the mining, oil and gas sectors, and the territorial government. To ensure that the indigenous governments and organizations were able to fully participate in the process, the Government of Canada provided funding to these groups and to the resource co-management boards that took part in the consultations.
Representatives from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, or CIRNAC, held a teleconference with stakeholders to consider next steps and to discuss the consultation plan. A legislative proposal to repeal the board restructuring provisions was drafted and submitted to the groups for review. During the review period, the groups had the opportunity to meet with CIRNAC representatives in Yellowknife to talk about the content of the proposal and to ask questions. This was also an opportunity for CIRNAC representatives to determine whether any part of the proposal was unclear or could be improved, based on the feedback they received.
I will not have time to finish, but I do not want to miss this particular point. The only other questions someone could ask that I have not already answered are whether the consultation that was done was serious and, although they were in agreement at the end, whether any changes were made. The answer is yes. I will give an example of two of the changes that were made.
The first was that because of the consultations with the people involved, a court jurisdiction related to a judicial review of administrative monetary penalties, AMPs, was modified in order to ensure consistency with the exclusive jurisdiction of the Northwest Territories Supreme Court under section 32 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act.
A second change was that consultation obligations related to the AMPs were added to the bill to ensure consistency with the comprehensive land claim agreements.
The only other thing I think someone might ask is related to the position of national interest and whether this is the only case of that. The answer is no; it is a clause, an idea, that comes up in different legislation. I will give members some examples from the north: the Mackenzie Valley Resource Act, Statutes of Canada 1998, chapter 25, section 130, and the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act, Statutes of Canada 2013, chapter 14, section 2.
Section 94 of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act provides for the federal minister to refer a proposed project to the Minister of Environment for the purpose of a joint review of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act if it is in the national interest to do so.
The Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act also provides for the responsible minister to reject a board decision or to reject or vary recommended terms or conditions if it is in the national interest to do so.
A few close references can also be found in section 51 of the Yukon Act, Statutes of Canada 2002, chapter 7, and in section 57 of the Northwest Territories Act, Statutes of Canada 2014, chapter 2, section 2.
To boil it all down, basically an act was passed that abrogated the land claim and went against a constitutionally protected law of Canada, which we cannot change by just doing another law. Of course, the court found that out and would not let it go ahead. All this bill would do is to put into law what the court had ordered.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
Mr. Speaker, I want to point out that Bill C-15, the bill the Liberals keep talking about that they claim was so wrong, is something that the Liberals actually voted for in the last Parliament.
However, my bigger issue is that clearly there was a challenge that needed to be addressed over the last few years. The member talked about how important it was for people to know what the situation was for resource development moving forward. However, it has taken them four years. We are in the last week of this Parliament, and all of a sudden they are rushing it through and suggesting that we are standing in the way.
Why was the bill not in this Parliament two years ago, in a timely way? Could the member explain that to his constituents, in terms of the members who say that it needs to move forward now? What will happen if it does not move forward? Why have the Liberals not brought the bill to the House until the very last minute?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 23:48 [p.28980]
Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. She made two of the points that I had in my speech.
First of all, the member mentioned my constituents. The bill that relates to my constituents where the Conservatives have abrogated the land claim was passed a couple of years ago.
Then there are the 85 other good bills. I hope the member will go back and see all the good things that were done. I thank those members for asking these questions and saying all the good things we have done in four years with those 85 or so bills.
The second question she asked, and it has been mentioned a number of times, is why did the Liberals vote for it? I gave a whole paragraph in my speech as to why we voted for it. I was not there, but the Liberals did vote for it, and all the parties. The reason was that this part was snuck into a bill. The bill was very good and gave powers to the Northwest Territories that all the provinces in Canada had. It was generally a very good bill, but the Conservatives would not take out this bad part of the bill, the illegal part of the bill, and so we have had to take it out now.
View Kelly McCauley Profile
View Kelly McCauley Profile
2019-06-11 23:49 [p.28980]
Mr. Speaker, my colleague talked about how important the bill is in relation to the 85 other important bills that the Liberals passed. I have to question him on that.
A couple of years ago, we got stuck debating, day after day, Bill C-24. The only purpose of Bill C-24 was to change the way that eight former ministers of state were paid, moving it out of the department operation fund into the consolidated fund. Therefore, I have to ask the member, why was that bill more important than the bill before us?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 23:50 [p.28980]
Mr. Speaker, I am glad that the member asked that question, because he explained a very simple bill that the opposition spent all sorts of time on, and it slowed down the important bills.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 23:50 [p.28980]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for Yukon for his very good presentation on Bill C-88.
I want to ask the member about the unique co-management systems that we have in the north across the board, and why the co-management system for resource development is so important to us in the north. Could he elaborate on that a little bit?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 23:50 [p.28980]
Mr. Speaker, the member is drawing to our attention how far forward first nations and governments in the Northwest Territories, Yukon and the north are because we have these co-management boards. On those boards, with good representation, are the indigenous governments, Inuit governments, the territorial governments and the federal government. In our particular case on the environmental assessment board, it is two, two and two. However, it is because everyone feels that they are part of it and has a say that we have been so successful in getting projects moved forward. They may not have been able to go forward in southern Canada as easily because they did not have buy-in from all the important groups.
The problem with the previous bill, in putting all of those boards into one big board, as someone referenced, is that the Tlicho would have had only one seat, instead of a significant portion of the board that affects their area. I know that everyone in this House wants governments affecting their area to have control. That is why I think that everyone in this House, if they want to respect the north and the local people, all of whom are in favour of this, should vote for the bill.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 23:52 [p.28980]
Mr. Speaker, I want to touch on an issue that comes mostly from industry. I meet quite often with the Chamber of Mines. It attends a lot of the round tables and has very strong opinions on resource development and the economy. So does the Chamber of Commerce. They always talk about the need to address a number of things if the north is going to become more economically secure.
The first thing is to address the issue of cost through infrastructure, mostly transportation infrastructure. The second thing is to sort out and resolve land tenure, compensation and self-governance with the indigenous people. They claim, and I agree with them, that certainty is a big issue and that we should not change the system we have. Everyone is comfortable and familiar with it.
Would the member agree that keeping the system, with the changes in Bill C-88, would give legal certainty to industry and all northerners, including the indigenous governments?
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 23:53 [p.28980]
Mr. Speaker, the member for Northwest Territories has worked so hard on this bill for his people.
Yes, regarding certainty, if we get this out of the courts, the illegal situation it is in, it would give certainty to development again. I think everyone in this House has spoken in favour of sustainable development.
Second, we do not have a choice. We have to make it legal again. Whether we want to or not, we have to. Third, that is why development has gone ahead so well. When indigenous peoples are involved with the territorial governments and the federal government as partners at the table, it removes a lot of roadblocks for sustainable development projects. There is great consultation with environmental groups as part of this. When everyone is involved, as the Chamber of Commerce has seen in the north, a lot of great projects go ahead. In Yukon, there is now a Yukon First Nation Chamber of Commerce. They all get along with the various stakeholders, and that is why the projects proceed so smoothly.
That is exactly right. We should leave it when it is working. Let us get it back to where it was negotiated. Some of the land claims took 30 years to negotiate.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
Mr. Speaker, my first question is about the timeline for introducing this bill. I should also point to many bills that, according to my colleague, would not have priority. Here we are at the last minute on a bill that has been sitting for months and months because of the Liberals' lack of planning and determining that it is an emergency.
Having said that, the member talked about the importance of natural resource development and partnerships. How many bills has the government moved forward where indigenous consultation was completely lacking, such as when the Liberals put an arbitrary moratorium on tankers? We are seeing great concern from both premiers and indigenous communities across the country.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 23:56 [p.28981]
Mr. Speaker, I am delighted when the indigenous affairs critic asks questions supporting things that were in my speech. All 86 bills are very important. The member for Northwest Territories already answered that question when he said that we have to rebuild the trust that was broken by the Conservatives.
The member also made the point I started out with, which is that all the Conservatives who have spoken to this bill have talked about other bills, other things not related to the bill. It is no wonder Parliament has put time allocation on this bill, when Conservatives repeat over and over again things that are not even related to the bill we are debating.
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