Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Bardish Chagger Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Bardish Chagger Profile
2019-06-19 21:56 [p.29445]
Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions among the parties, and I think if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion.
I move:
That, notwithstanding any Standing or Special Order or usual practice of the House:
(a) the motion respecting the Senate Amendments to Bill C-91, An Act respecting Indigenous Languages, be deemed adopted;
(b) the motion respecting the Senate Amendments to Bill C-92, An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families, be deemed adopted;
(c) Bill C-98, An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and the Canada Border Services Agency Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, be deemed to have been concurred in at the report stage, and deemed read a third time and passed;
(d) Bill C-101, An Act to amend the Customs Tariff and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act, be deemed to have been concurred in at the report stage, and deemed read a third time and passed on division; and
(e) when the House adjourns on Thursday, June 20, 2019, it shall stand adjourned until Monday, September 16, 2019, provided that, for the purposes of any Standing Order, it shall be deemed to have been adjourned pursuant to Standing Order 28 and be deemed to have sat on Friday, June 21, 2019.
View Mark Holland Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Mark Holland Profile
2019-06-18 18:31 [p.29339]
Mr. Speaker, it is with cautious optimism that I rise to say that if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent to apply the result from the last vote to this vote, with Liberal members voting in favour.
View Erin Weir Profile
View Erin Weir Profile
2019-06-18 18:32 [p.29339]
Mr. Speaker, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the election of our first government in Saskatchewan, agrees to apply and votes yes.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-06-13 13:15 [p.29050]
Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise in the House and speak in support of the third reading of Bill C-88. This bill would amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act. These changes have been long awaited by governments, both indigenous and territorial, in the Northwest Territories.
On Monday, we heard colleagues in the House speak to this bill, including the member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, who worked very closely with indigenous governments, treaty and land claim owners and the Government of the Northwest Territories to ensure that this bill would be in the best interests of the constituents he represents and would meet the standards they have been requesting from the Government of Canada.
I want to applaud the member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories for the great work he has done on Bill C-88 and for ensuring that members in this House on both sides fully understand this bill and the need for the changes being proposed.
Bill C-88 is based on a simple but wise idea, which is that the best way to regulate development along the Mackenzie Valley and in Arctic waters is to balance the interests of industry, the rights of indigenous governments and organizations, and environmental protection. The proposed legislation before us aims to achieve this balance in three ways.
First would be by foster certainty, which is required by industry. As we know, the Northwest Territories is no stranger to industry. It has been home to some of the largest mining developments in Canada and to some substantial energy, oil and gas developments. It is a region of our country that has been very active in engaging with industry.
Second would be by reinstating a mechanism to recognize the rights of indigenous communities to meaningfully influence development decisions. This would allow indigenous communities to have full input, full insight and full decision-making in industry and resource developments that are occurring within their land claim areas. This would allow them to be part of development, to look at the impacts and benefits of development initiatives, and to be true partners in decisions and outcomes.
Third would be by ensuring that scientific evidence on the state of the environment would inform development decisions. The indigenous governments of the Northwest Territories have set up a model that allows them to look at individual projects and their impact on the environment, not just today but for generations to come, and to make decisions based on scientific information. Scientific evidence ensures that decisions are informed, not just from an economic perspective but from an environmental perspective.
As it stands today, the regulatory regime fails to strike this balance. In particular, the regime currently in place fails to provide clarity, predictability for proponents who are investing, and respect for the rights of indigenous communities in that region and in the north. In large part, that is because of the Northwest Territories Devolution Act, which was endorsed by this House in 2015, and which I, too, voted for. However, it was subsequently challenged by a court order, which led the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories to effectively suspend key provisions of the act. This ruling caused uncertainty in the regulatory regime for the Mackenzie Valley, and as many of my colleagues have already stated, that uncertainty has not been good for business.
I voted for the bill in 2015, even though it contained clauses that would eradicate the treaty rights of indigenous people in the Northwest Territories. We knew it was wrong. We fought hard to change the bill. We proposed amendment after amendment, but the Harper government would have none of it. It accepted no amendments to the bill that would ensure the rights of indigenous people.
We were left to make a choice. Do we support the devolution of the Northwest Territories, which needed to happen and was long overdue, or do we not support it because of these clauses? We supported the bill but said that when we formed government, we would reverse the negative legislation in the bill that eradicated the rights of indigenous people and did not uphold the environmental and economic responsibilities that should be upheld in any major development. We made a commitment to the people of the Northwest Territories that when we formed government, we would change the legislation to reflect what they wanted. That is what we are doing today.
Over the last couple of years, we have worked very closely with indigenous governments in the Northwest Territories, its member of Parliament and the Government of the Northwest Territories to get this legislation right and change the injustices caused by the Harper government and imposed on people in the Northwest Territories. Today we are removing them.
We would be allowing companies that want to invest in the Northwest Territories through major resource development projects to have certainty. This would ensure that there would be no unforseen impacts for them and would ensure that they would know the climate in which they are investing and the process expected of them.
We would allow indigenous governments, which have had land claims, treaty rights and self-government agreements for many decades, to take back control of their own lands and to make decisions in the best interests of their people for generations to come, and to do so in a systematic and scientific way that looks at all the impacts and benefits. This would allow these indigenous governments to not only have a choice about whether a project went forward but to have the opportunity to partner with investors and resource development companies. Everyone can benefit when they work together.
That is the kind of relationship we have promoted right across Canada with indigenous groups, territorial and provincial governments, investors, resource development agencies and others.
Today we would legislate the changes we committed to in 2015 regarding the Northwest Territories. We know that the legislation would achieve the balance we are trying to establish in three ways. I have already outlined them in my speech.
I want to take a few minutes to talk about how Bill C-88 would restore certainty in the regulatory regime, which was a key aspect of the Northwest Territories Devolution Act. The act eliminated regional boards mandated to review proposed development projects that were likely to impact the traditional lands of three particular indigenous groups: the Tlicho, the Gwich’in and the Sahtu. Their rights were eradicated, and the impact on their lands and treaty agreements forced on them, by the Harper government.
Today we would be giving the Tlicho, the Gwich’in and the Sahtu the right to make decisions about their own lands. They could look at the impact on their traditional lands, their way of life and their environmental footprint and at how their people can benefit from development projects.
It is just common sense, so why would any government want to take that away from indigenous groups in Canada? We saw only a few years ago that the former Harper government had no shame when removing rights from indigenous groups and indigenous governments. That is exactly what it did to the Tlicho, the Gwich'in and the Sahtu in the Northwest Territories. They had spent years working and negotiating with the federal government and territorial government. Generations of elders never lived to see the day they reached self-government agreements in their own lands.
When they finally did, it was an opportunity for them. That opportunity was eroded by the Harper government overnight with one piece of legislation that said that it would now tell them how they were going to regulate resource development in their traditional lands and in the Northwest Territories.
We made a commitment then that if we ever formed government, we would reverse those changes, and that is exactly what we are doing today. Each of those communities concluded comprehensive land claim agreements. Doing so in this country guaranteed them a role on land and water boards and a mandate to review and make decisions on development projects on or near traditional lands. Parliament reviewed and endorsed each one of these agreements and authorized the establishment of the regional boards.
Bill C-88 proposes to reverse the board restructuring and reintroduce the other provisions that were suspended by the Supreme Court decision. These indigenous groups in the Northwest Territories knew that their rights were violated by the Harper government. They knew that what was happening was the epitome of colonization. That is why they fought in the courts. They went to the Supreme Court to argue their case, to say that they had negotiated these rights, that they were inherent rights, that they had treaty agreements and that no government should have the right to impose upon them the way the former government did.
The Supreme Court decision outlined several things that needed to happen to restore confidence in the regime, particularly among indigenous people and proponents and investors in resource development in the Northwest Territories.
The proposed legislation would build confidence in another way. It would clarify the processes and expectations for all parties involved in the regulatory regime. I happen to live in the north, and I represent a riding that is very engaged in resource development, the mining industry and the energy sector in particular. I also know that with every one of those development projects, there are major investments and major commitments. There is nothing better in moving forward on a project than knowing what all the expectations are of all the parties involved and knowing what the process is and what is expected of companies before they put a shovel in the ground. Those things are important.
The party opposite will say that Liberals are too engaged in regulating, restricting and putting too many demands around the environmental component. However, large-scale industries that care about the people where they want to develop want to do what is right. They want to ensure that their environmental footprint is as small as it can be. They want to have the support of the indigenous people and the communities in which they are investing. They want to have strong partnerships to ensure that their development projects are not interrupted by protests or by unforeseen regulations and can move forward and are sustainable. That is why many of these companies, and many I have known personally over the years, are happy to sign impact benefit agreements.
These companies are happy to work with indigenous governments to hire indigenous workers, to ensure that benefits accrue to their communities and to ensure that environmental concerns that indigenous and non-indigenous people have with development in their areas are going to be listened to and dealt with. These companies want to address those issues up front. They do not want to plow into communities and put pressure on them to do things. They do not want to rule what is going to happen. They want to operate in partnership, too.
It is the party opposite that has the idea that these companies are not interested because they have to follow regulatory regimes or look at what the environmental implications are. Very few companies would take that approach, and I am so proud that in this country there are companies investing heavily in resource development that really care about the footprint they leave behind for the environment and the people who live there. Those are the companies that are successful and that Canadians hold up as examples of how resource development partnerships work with communities and indigenous people in Canada. We should be very proud of that. We should not be trying to change how we do that through legislation and impose regulations on people because we think they should do it this way or that way.
People should understand that in the previous legislation by the Harper government, Conservatives wanted to get rid of the regulatory boards of the Gwich'in, the Sahtu and the other groups in the Northwest Territories. They wanted one megaboard to deal with all these issues. They even hired a consultant by the name of McCrank. When Mr. McCrank testified at committee, I sat in that day. One of the questions asked of him was where he came up with the idea that we should get rid of the regulatory boards in the Northwest Territories, that indigenous groups should no longer have control over what is happening on their own lands, their own regulatory boards or negotiating their own deals, and that we would infringe upon them and implement a super regulatory board in the Northwest Territories for the Mackenzie Valley.
When he was asked where that idea came from, he did not know. He did not know where that idea came from or who suggested it to him, but he wrote it in a report as a strong recommendation, and the Harper government at the time said it would run with it, yet everyone in the Northwest Territories, including the three aboriginal groups and the territorial government, knew this was not the right approach and wanted to stop it. This is what is happening today.
We are restoring confidence to the people in the Northwest Territories. Under this act, we would also make changes to the petroleum regulatory board. A moratorium would be implemented that would allow the reissuing of licences for oil and gas development in the Northwest Territories. This moratorium would be revisited every five years. As we know, there were no new applications for licences, no investment was being made. There was no projection for oil and gas, and there was no body to manage oil and gas development in the Northwest Territories to ensure there would be benefits to that region.
It is not like Atlantic Canada, which has oil and gas agreements that pay royalties to the provinces. There are agreements in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Quebec. When the Northwest Territories asked the former government for that agreement, the answer was no. It did not want to pay royalties to the indigenous groups or the territorial government on oil and gas. We are working with them to get it right, and that is why this bill is important today.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
Madam Speaker, I have a few comments, and then I will have a question.
My first comment is, here we are. Four years ago, the Liberals said they had a problem, and the bill has been sitting in the House for months and months. Finally, with their lack of proper House planning, the Liberals deem it an emergency to get this through. Quite frankly, it has been the inadequate planning of the Liberals' legislative agenda that has created this challenge.
Second, in spite of all the criticisms we might have heard of the former bill, I would like to point out that the Liberals actually voted for it. If they thought it was that bad, they certainly did not exhibit that in their vote.
The third point, which will lead to a question, is this. The Liberals do not talk much about the moratorium built into this in the national interest. The last time they did that, the Premier of the Northwest Territories called it the result of eco-terrorism. The mayor of Tuktoyaktuk had many comments, such as “They shut down our offshore gasification and put a moratorium right across the whole freaking Arctic without even consulting us.”
The Liberals have embedded in this legislation the ability to do that again. How does the parliamentary secretary align that with her talk of consultation?
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-06-13 13:36 [p.29053]
Madam Speaker, first of all, with the legislative agenda, we would not be here doing this today if the member opposite and her government had gotten it right in the first place.
If the Conservatives had listened to the Sahtu, the Gwich'in and other governments of the Northwest Territories at the time, we would not be here today making those amendments. That is the first point.
The Conservatives say that we voted for it in 2015. We voted for the devolution agreement of the Northwest Territories, and these other amendments were tied into the bill, which was eroding the rights of indigenous governments. We had to make a difficult choice, and our choice was to support the bill at the time, which was the devolution of land claims in the Northwest Territories, but with a commitment to the people that we would make these changes and revert the amendments the Harper government made, and that is what we are doing today.
View Linda Duncan Profile
View Linda Duncan Profile
2019-06-13 13:37 [p.29053]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member. I am a great admirer. She clearly stands up for the rights of the people of Labrador, and definitely the indigenous people of Labrador.
I, too, am deeply concerned that it has taken the government so long to bring forward this bill. It was a reprehensible move by the Conservatives in the last Parliament. Indeed, all parties were forced for vote for it, because the Conservatives tied it to the devolution vote. It was reprehensible. My former colleague Dennis Bevington, then the member for Northwest Territories, spoke strongly against this move. It was clearly unconstitutional.
I had the privilege of being the assistant deputy minister for renewable resources in the Yukon, and I played a part in the negotiation of first nations final agreements and self-governance agreements. I was well aware of what was being done to the Tlicho, the Gwich'in and the Dehcho, who finally had final agreements.
If the hon. member and her party are so dedicated to respecting the rights of indigenous people, will she speak up, speak to the senators and tell them to finally bring forward Bill C-262 and finally put in place, as Liberals had promised, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples? Will they finally—
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-06-13 13:39 [p.29053]
Madam Speaker, the member spoke about her former colleague and his representation on this issue back in 2015. I remember he was very strong on this issue and advocating for it.
With regard to Bill C-262, like many others in this House, I want to see the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples implemented in Canada. We have supported it. We strongly believe in it. We believe in the fundamental principles of UNDRIP. We believe that it is important in guiding future governments in Canada in how we deal with indigenous people. I, too, would support the member in encouraging the Senate to move forward with its amendments and bring it back to the House of Commons.
View Robert-Falcon Ouellette Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Robert-Falcon Ouellette Profile
2019-06-13 13:40 [p.29053]
Madam Speaker, I wonder if the member knows that in the Conservative-run province of Manitoba, two agreements had been signed with the Métis people for hydro development. Under that government in Manitoba, the Conservatives started cancelling those treaties, I mean agreements. Agreements do sound a lot like treaties. Where is the respect in Manitoba for indigenous rights under a Conservative government?
As we approach the 150th anniversary of the Province of Manitoba, when we say those words at the beginning of every speech, “We are here on the traditional lands of the Métis nation”, we must recognize that this province was founded by the Métis people under their leader Louis Riel.
I would like to quote David Chartrand, president of the Manitoba Metis Federation, who said, “Do you want to get revenge on the Métis people?”
I would like to ask the parliamentary secretary, should we be respecting indigenous rights right across this country, not only by Liberal or NDP governments but also by Conservative governments?
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-06-13 13:41 [p.29053]
Madam Speaker, we can only hope that one day Conservatives will see that indigenous rights are in the best interests of all people who live in this country.
For many generations, we have seen the violation of indigenous rights, of well-constituted treaties and agreements that have never been followed and implemented. As a government, we have taken a different decision. We have worked closely with indigenous governments, with provinces and territories to do what is in the best interests, in the right interests, of indigenous people in Canada.
It is unfortunate to see what is happening in Manitoba. It is unfortunate to see what is happening in Ontario, with funding being cut to indigenous groups and organizations. We sit in a Parliament today where the Harper government for 10 years did not invest in indigenous people and communities in this country. In the four years we have been here, we have invested more than $17 billion in additional revenue into indigenous governments and communities in Canada.
View Robert Sopuck Profile
Madam Speaker, I would remind the member opposite that this was a great concern of John Diefenbaker, who gave indigenous people the vote. Most of the ugly residential school experiences were under the Liberal government of Mackenzie King. Let us not point fingers when it is not required.
I should also make a point for my colleague from Manitoba. The agreement he referred to was by Manitoba Hydro, not by the Manitoba government.
The crocodile tears of all the members opposite crying for indigenous people are truly sickening. All they talk about is process, process, process. There has not been a single major development in this country that has helped aboriginal people, ever.
I am going to make a prediction right now. If all the socio-economic indicators of indigenous communities were measured when the Liberal government took office and when it is going to leave office on October 21, I absolutely guarantee that not a single socio-economic indicator will have improved.
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-06-13 13:43 [p.29054]
Madam Speaker, I do not think there was a question there, but I would certainly like to respond to the member's comments. If he wants to talk about the colonization of indigenous people in Canada over the generations, there is enough blame to go around for everyone in this country, whether Conservative, NDP, Green or Liberal.
I really believe that reconciliation is about finding a new path forward. It is about working together to ensure that indigenous people in Canada have their proper place and the ability to have some control and say about the traditional lands which they founded and formed. As hard as it may be to swallow, it is the right thing to do. I would suggest that the Conservatives get on board and make reconciliation real in Canada for all Canadians.
View Todd Doherty Profile
View Todd Doherty Profile
2019-06-13 13:44 [p.29054]
Madam Speaker, what is sad is that the term “reconciliation” has become a buzzword under the government. I take this to heart.
Many members know I have stood in the House, time and again, and have said that my wife and children are first nations. It is troubling for me when some members stand in the House, put their hands on their hearts and say that it is in the best interests of reconciliation, not just with respect to Bill C-88 but also Bills C-69, C-48, C-68 as well as the surf clam scam that took place earlier in this session.
The only part I will agree with in the hon. parliamentary secretary's intervention was when at she said there was enough blame to go around. Nobody should be pointing fingers, saying one group is better than another group. Reconciliation is about creating a path forward. It is not about pitting a first nation against a first nation or a first nation against a non-first nation. It is about how we walk together moving forward.
What I am about to say is not related to all members on both sides of the House. Some members truly understand this. However, time and again some Liberals will stand in the House and say that they support reconciliation or that this is all about reconciliation. Then a heavy-handed policy comes down or words are said, which we call “bozo eruptions”, and there is regret afterward.
I will go back to how we started the spring session. The first female indigenous Attorney General in our country spoke truth to power, and we saw what happened to her.
Bill C-88 is interesting, because it looks to reverse the incredible work our previous government did in putting together Bill C-15.
I will read a quote from our hon. colleague across the way when she voted for Bill C-15. She stated:
As Liberals, we want to see the Northwest Territories have the kind of independence it has sought. We want it to have the ability to make decisions regarding the environment, resource development, business management, growth, and opportunity, which arise within their own lands.
The parliamentary secretary has offered a lot of excuses today as to why she voted for it, such as she was tricked or voted for it for a specific reason. It is easy for members to stand after the fact and say, “I could have, would have, should have” or “This is the reason; my arm was twisted.” However, if we do not stand for something, we will fall for anything. That is what we have seen with the government taking up the eco-warrior agenda to pay back for the 2015 election. That is why we have Bills C-68, C-69, C-48 and C-88.
The parliamentary secretary wants to talk about how Bill C-88 would empower our first nations. Let me offer the House a few quotes.
Mr. Merven Gruben, the mayor of the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, stated:
Tuk has long been an oil and gas town. Since the first oil boom, or the whalers hunting whales in the late 1800 and early 1900s, we have grown up side by side with industry. We have not had any bad environmental effects from the oil and gas work in our region, and we have benefited from the jobs, training and business opportunities that have been available when the industry has worked in Tuk and throughout the north, the entire region.
Never in 100-plus years has the economy of our region, and the whole north, looked so bleak for the oil and gas industry, and for economic development, generally. All the tree huggers and green people are happy, but come and take a look. Come and see what you're doing to our people. The government has turned our region into a social assistance state. We are Inuvialuit who are proud people and who like to work and look after ourselves, not depend on welfare.
I thank God we worked very closely with the Harper government and had the all-weather highway built into Tuk. It opened in November 2017, if some of you haven't heard, and now we are learning to work with tourism. We all know that's not the money and work that we were used to in the oil and gas days that we liked.
View Todd Doherty Profile
He further states:
Nobody's going to be going up and doing any exploration or work up there.
We were really looking forward to this. There was a $1.2-billion deal here that Imperial Oil and BP did not that far out of Tuk, and we were looking forward to them exploring that and possibly drilling, because we have the all-weather highway there. What better place to be located?
The Hon. Bob McLeod, the premier from the Northwest Territories, said that the moratorium was “result of eco-colonialism”.
View Todd Doherty Profile
I speak of the moratorium. The Liberals want to talk about all the work they are doing in standing up for the north and the indigenous peoples in the north. It was just before Christmas when Prime Minister travelled to Washington, D.C. to make the announcement with the then United State President, Barack Obama. There had been zero consultation with northerners, despite consistent rhetoric about consulting with Canada's indigenous peoples. Prior to decision making, the resolution was made unilaterally from the Prime Minister's Office.
The indigenous peoples and the people from the Northwest Territories had about an hour's notice with that. Wally Schumann, the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Minister of Infrastructure for the Northwest Territories, stated:
I guess we can be very frank because we're in front of the committee. When it first came out, we never got very much notice on the whole issue of the moratorium and the potential that was in the Beaufort Sea. There were millions and millions, if not billions, of dollars in bid deposits and land leases up there. That took away any hope we had of developing the Beaufort Sea.
Merven Gruben said:
I agree the Liberals should be helping us. They shut down our offshore gasification and put a moratorium right across the whole freaking Arctic without even consulting us. They never said a word....
Our hon. colleague, the parliamentary secretary, in response and to pre-empt my speech, called us the government on the other side. We are the government in waiting. We will be government in October. She said that the guys across the way would criticize the Liberals for caring too much about the environment. That is incorrect. We criticize them because they put the priorities of the environmental groups like Tides, World Wildlife Fund and like Greenpeace ahead of the local stakeholder, the indigenous peoples who are saying that they are tired of being poster boys for these eco-groups.
If my colleagues do not believe me, I will read some quotes.
Calvin Helin, chair of Eagle Spirit Chiefs Council, said “What the chiefs are starting to see a lot now is that there is a lot of underhanded tactics and where certain people are paid in communities and they are used as spokespersons.” He also said, “Essentially (they are) puppets and props for environmental groups to kill resource development” and “It’s outrageous and people should be upset about that…the chiefs are....”
Also, Stephen Buffalo, president and CO of the Indian Resource Council said, “Since his government was elected in 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly—
View Todd Doherty Profile
View Todd Doherty Profile
2019-06-13 13:55 [p.29055]
Madam Speaker, I am merely reading a quote from a concerned indigenous leader, who the Liberals say stand up for. Clearly they do not, which is probably why they take offence.
Stephen Buffalo, president and CEO of the Indian Resource Council, said:
Since his government was elected in 2015, [the] Prime Minister...has repeatedly spoken about his personal commitment to a new relationship with Indigenous people in Canada. In action, however, he has clearly privileged those Indigenous peoples, our friends and relatives, whose perspective aligns with the more radical environmental movement.
Stephen Buffalo also said:
When pipeline opponents use the courts to slow or stop pipelines, they undermine our businesses, eliminate jobs in our communities and reduce the amount of money flowing to our governments.
Why do I bring that up? Over the last four years, time and again the Liberals have stood and have said that only they no better. They point fingers and say that a certain government did this or that and that they know the NDP will not do this. The Liberals had four years, and Canadians are now learning that it was all just talk; all show, no go.
Bill C-88 is nothing more than an all talk, all show and no go type of bill. It is shameful to have bills such as Bill C-69, Bill C-48 and Bill C-88.
Bill C-88 would give the minister the authority to shut down the north and essentially turn it into a park, taking away any economic opportunity for indigenous peoples and those who live there. That is the worry.
Members can sit here and listen to all the talking points of the Liberals, but the reality is that they are being disingenuous. They will stand here, as I said earlier, with their hands on their hearts and say that it is all about reconciliation. We know that it is the opposite because they have proven it time and again.
In the 2015 election, on day 10, the member for Papineau, who is now the Prime Minister, told Canadians that he would not resort to such parliamentary tricks as omnibus bills. He told Canadians that he would balance the budget by 2019. He also told Canadians that he would let the debate reign. What did he mean? It means that he would not invoke closure or time allocation on bills.
I remind those in the House, in the gallery as well as those listening that this is your House. You have elected the 338 members of Parliament to be your voice. When the government invokes closure, it silences your voice. It is silencing the electors who elected the opposition.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 22:07 [p.28967]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate being able to use the rest of my time on Bill C-88, which would amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act.
This is a very important piece of legislation in my riding of Northwest Territories. The Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act is the legislation that defines our unique system of land and water management in Mackenzie Valley, which is most of the Northwest Territories.
I had left off yesterday discussing the previous amendments made in 2014 to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. The current amendments would not only fix the terribly thought out board amalgamation amendments of the previous government, but would also reintroduce all of the other proposed improvements to and modernization of the act that were halted with the NWT Supreme Court injunction.
These amendments were initially brought in by the members opposite, so I really cannot understand why they would be against Bill C-88. It must be their resistance to getting rid of the superboard and affirming the importance of the regional panels as set out in the constitutionally protected land claim agreements.
Other amendments in Bill C-88 clarify board composition when special representatives are added to the boards and provide for board member term extensions to allow for the completion of ongoing proceedings.
The amendments also allow for the creation of an enforceable development certificate scheme to clarify expectations for developers and enforcement agencies, following the environmental assessment. The development certificate amendment process provides for the reconsideration of specific elements of a project rather than having to undergo a full project environmental assessment for technological or environmental changes. Regional study provisions, if employed, would simply add valuable information to the regional data centre that could help inform responsible development.
The regulation-making authorities for administrative monetary penalties and cost recovery are also proposed in this bill and are consistent with modern-day approaches to resource management in other parts of the country. All northern partners, including industry groups, would be involved in the development of these regulations, which would provide further clarity on expectations, roles and responsibilities.
As we all know, there are those across the aisle who seem to not want to have a robust, inclusive and effective regulatory process in the Northwest Territories. The resulting ill-informed and cherry-picking amendments to the MVRMA were brought in by the previous Conservative government in 2014. The Conservatives' goal was to move decisions away from regional community members and restructure the land and water boards with a complete disregard for land claim agreements. As history has shown, the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories had a problem with that.
Indigenous governments have settled land claims. Canada and the NWT government worked very long and hard to conclude these agreements. They cannot be ignored for expediency, for political gain and pandering to interest groups. As we have seen in this case, and we will see in the future if required, if any level of government thinks it can just set them aside when convenient, it will end up before the courts and will not like the outcome.
Bill C-88 is not just about keeping decision-making in the hands of those who know best, the indigenous and northern people; it is also about targeted improvements to the regime as a whole. These amendments do both.
I thank everyone here today for their continued support. Hopefully, we will see some new supporters here today. These amendments would right past wrongs and certainly improve the regulatory system in the north.
I certainly want to highlight the initial work that the Tlicho government has done to spearhead the court challenge of the ill-conceived Conservative amendments back in 2014, which stopped the superboard from ever being created in the first place. Their successful injunction at the Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories suspended those flawed provisions from being enacted.
Finally, I would like to thank the Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs for bringing them forward. I wish him well and look forward to seeing and working with him in the future.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
Mr. Speaker, I have found it very interesting that as the Liberals have been debating this particular bill, they only pay attention to half of the bill, and that is the half related to the water board issue. They are completely silent on the very important second half, which is a direct paradox to consultation and collaboration. It is where the government is taking the power onto itself, in terms of placing moratoriums through Governor in Council, through the executive branch, for very vague national interest reasons.
I would ask my colleague to ignore part A in his answer, but look at Bill C-69, Bill C-48, the letter that was sent yesterday from the premier of his territory and part B of this bill, and tell us if he believes that the government is acting in the best interests of his territory.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 22:14 [p.28968]
Mr. Speaker, I would like to correct the hon. member. There are not only two parts to this piece of legislation. There are actually three. The first part is referring to the superboard. The second part contains the eight regulatory items that were brought forward by the previous Conservative government that I think everybody agreed to and were focused on. When the bill came forward it had the superboard attachment. In Bill C-88, we have a further piece which is the Canadian Petroleum Resources Act. I believe that is the part the member is referring to.
We heard loud and clear from the Premier of the Northwest Territories when he appeared as a witness in front of the indigenous affairs committee. The member was chairing the meeting so she was there when he said he appreciated how well the negotiations were going. There are negotiations that are happening with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and the Government of the Northwest Territories and the federal government that will bring oversight and co-management abilities on the Beaufort Sea. This is a piece that was ignored by the previous Conservative government. The Conservative government would not put the Beaufort Sea discussions on the table.
I find it very surprising when members are concerned about how we react to the discussions on the Beaufort Sea when the previous Conservative government would not include it. Neither would it include the Norman Wells oil fields, two cash cows that generate revenue. They were left out. They were not part of the deal. The Conservative government would not let them put these items on the table, but our government has.
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
He probably already knows that the NDP will be supporting Bill C-88, which fixes some of the mistakes made by the previous government.
We agree on the broad principles and the fact that the people of the Northwest Territories should have the right to manage their own affairs and govern themselves when it comes to assessments and respect for the environment.
I do, however, have one simple question. My colleague, and all other members of the Liberal government, voted to support the bill that states that we must respect and include the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in every piece of Canadian legislation. Unfortunately, it has not been included in Bill C-88. I would like to know why.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 22:16 [p.28968]
Mr. Speaker, I would argue that this is UNDRIP in action. This includes all of the indigenous governments in the regulatory process. Every government that has agreed to and signed on to the land claim agreements is involved in the regulatory process in the Northwest Territories. Fifty per cent of the seats are guaranteed for indigenous people. We have a resource revenue-sharing component in the Northwest Territories. I do not think any other jurisdiction has that, a revenue-sharing component for indigenous people. They get 20% of the Government of Northwest Territories' share.
This is the best example we could have when it comes to inclusion of indigenous people. I think it is a model that other jurisdictions, including the hon. member's province, could look at using. Other countries have come to look at how we operate and how we include indigenous people. They see it as a very good model that we should share with other jurisdictions.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 22:18 [p.28969]
Mr. Speaker, a lot of the debate has been technical, but I want to ask a more spiritual question.
When you make a treaty with first nations, like the treaties with the Sahtu, the Deh Cho and the Gwich'in, there is a trust there. They trust that the government will at least follow the treaty and it will keep its word.
Then, how does it feel when we pass a law in this Parliament that breaks the treaty, that is unlawful, that does not follow the rules of a treaty? This is not the first time it has happened in our history, obviously. I certainly think you would have strong feelings on this.
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 22:18 [p.28969]
Mr. Speaker, it took many years to get to the point where the management and decision-making around resource development in the Northwest Territories could be agreed to in the form of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. The government of the day agreed to it, signed on to it, only to renege a couple of years later, saying it was going to make changes, while not consulting with anybody. A consultant was brought in from Alberta, a consultant who specialized in oil and gas and knew nothing about land claims or self-government or any kind of legislation in that area.
I think it shattered the trust of all the indigenous people who were involved with the Mackenzie Valley resource management boards and also the people who were involved in the creation of the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. It has taken a long time. People wonder why it has taken so long to bring Bill C-88 back to the table. We had to deal with the trust factor. We had to convince indigenous people that we were serious and that we were not going to do what the previous government did, and that we were going to sort out all the issues before we got here.
Now, every indigenous government that has a role in the Mackenzie Valley boards supports this legislation. They have taken out ads in newspapers stating that they support it. The Government of Northwest Territories supports it. Industry supports it. It provides reassurance that they know the process and everybody is comfortable with it.
View Pat Kelly Profile
View Pat Kelly Profile
2019-06-11 22:20 [p.28969]
Mr. Speaker, I have travelled with the member to his territory a couple of times, and I know how important it is to him that the residents of his riding have access to employment opportunities. I know that is important to him and to the people of the Northwest Territories.
In his remarks and in general in the debate on this, there has been heavy criticism of Bill C-15 from the previous Parliament. Neither of us was in the previous Parliament. Is the member aware that his party voted for Bill C-15, the bill that the Liberals are now describing as this terrible, poor bill that needed to be undone by the government?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 22:21 [p.28969]
Mr. Speaker, I am aware that Bill C-15 was a Conservative bill that really shattered the confidence of the indigenous people in the Northwest Territories.
It was a bill that never should have come forward. It is a bill that we are trying to correct today. There is an opportunity for my honoured colleague from across the way, who I travel with most weekends to return home, to support this bill. He has the opportunity to stand up now and support Bill C-88. I would appreciate it if he would do so. I think he knows the bill. He knows how important it is to the Northwest Territories. I think he is quite supportive of indigenous governments and resource development.
This would provide reassurance. I would ask the member to stand up and support this bill. Let us clear up some of the wrongdoings from the past.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
Mr. Speaker, I have noticed a pattern with the government. It consults when it feels like it. In the case of the tanker moratorium, in the case of the northern gateway project, and in the case of the Beaufort Sea moratorium, there was no consultation. How does the member align that with his words about consultation around this bill, when clearly there are many times when the government has utterly failed in that area?
View Michael McLeod Profile
Lib. (NT)
View Michael McLeod Profile
2019-06-11 22:22 [p.28969]
Mr. Speaker, the member fails to point out that the moratorium was only on new exploration licences in federal waters. She does not point out the fact that there was no activity. There were no applications in sight. Historically, over the five years prior to that, it was $7 million. There is no economic boom if they are only going to find $7 million spent in the Northwest Territories as a whole on oil and gas. Therefore, there was a natural moratorium.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2019-06-11 22:23 [p.28969]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise tonight to speak to Bill C-88, an act to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act.
Once again, this bill, like many other bills we have seen in the House, is being debated and rushed through Parliament in the last few days before the House rises for the summer. It is worth noting that this is a bill that was only studied in our committee on indigenous and northern affairs for one meeting before we went into clause-by-clause consideration. As a result, we were unable to hear live testimony from stakeholders such as the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers and the Northwest Territories Chamber of Commerce.
We have recently seen these legislative delays with other important bills, such as Bill C-92, which was passed at third reading in this House just last week, on June 3. It is totally unacceptable that the Liberals have so utterly mismanaged their legislative schedule when it comes to the bills that are now before us, days before we rise.
Bill C-88 is a bill that forms part of a long Liberal saga to kill natural resources development in this country. The bill would amend subsection 12(1) of the Canada Petroleum Resources Act to allow the Governor in Council to arbitrarily ban any oil and gas activity across the Arctic offshore. Under this bill, the government would only need to invoke the national interest to ban oil and gas development in the Beaufort Sea. However, the term “national interest” remains undefined in this bill, so the government would have complete discretion to decide when it should ban oil and gas activities in the Arctic offshore. These opportunities for greater economic prosperity in the north would therefore be limited and controlled by the ministers here in Ottawa. Again, under the current government, Ottawa knows best.
We have already seen the Liberals reveal their paternalism when it comes to economic opportunities for northern communities. We just have to go back to December 2016. While the Prime Minister was in Washington, D.C., he announced that there would be a moratorium on offshore oil and gas development in the Beaufort Sea. No, he was not up in northern Canada. He was, in fact, meeting with President Obama in Washington.
There was absolutely no consultation with the Government of Northwest Territories before this moratorium was announced in Washington. In fact, the territorial leaders of the day were given less than half an hour's notice before the Prime Minister declared the moratorium, in the United States, the farthest destination away from northern Canada.
By single-handedly introducing a moratorium on oil and gas development in the Beaufort Sea, the Liberals are telling northern communities that Ottawa knows best. The Liberals are saying, through their actions, that northerners do not have the right to pursue their own economic opportunities without the approval of the current federal government.
We heard from multiple witnesses in committee about the devastating impact the Liberals' moratorium has had on northerners. Wally Schumann, the minister of industry, tourism and investment and the minister of infrastructure for the Northwest Territories, said the following about the moratorium:
I guess we can be very frank because we're in front of the committee.
When it first came out, we never got very much notice on the whole issue of the moratorium and the potential that was in the Beaufort Sea. There were millions and millions, if not billions, of dollars in bid deposits and land leases up there. That took away any hope we had of developing the Beaufort Sea.
We also heard from Merven Gruben, the mayor of Tuktoyaktuk. He was very disappointed with the Liberal decision to unilaterally impose this moratorium on northerners. He was very concerned about the effects this ban would have on the people of his community. He said:
It's so easy to sit down here and make judgments on people and lives that are some 3,500 klicks away, and make decisions on our behalf, especially with that moratorium on the Beaufort. That should be taken away, lifted, please and thank you. That is going to open up and give jobs to our people—training and all the stuff we're wishing for.
Unfortunately, the Liberals are not listening to the voices, again, of the northerners, and as a result, communities are paying the price now for the Liberal government's arrogance. There is absolutely no doubt that Bill C-88 is just another attempt by the Liberal government to polarize oil and gas extraction in this country. It explains the power of cabinet to block economic development and adds to the ever-increasing levels of bureaucratic red tape that need to be navigated by proponents of energy development.
The bill makes northern energy development more difficult by increasing the obstacles that must be overcome by energy proponents before they can even put shovels in the ground.
In response to these polarized anti-energy provisions, many stakeholders have voiced their concerns. One of the numerous stakeholders that want to see the Governor in Council power to ban oil and gas development removed finally from the bill is the Northwest Territories Chamber of Commerce. It has written submissions to our committee. The chamber indicated its opposition to the final authority of the Governor in Council to ban northern oil and gas development.
The chamber wrote to us as follows:
The final decision needs to be approved by the Indigenous Nation of the prescribed area who are the steward's of the area but also rely on the land to provide economic independence to their membership and throughout the NT.
Of course, in pushing through Bill C-88 without any amendments, the Liberals have demonstrated that they do not care about the opinions and concerns of our northern communities, which will be deeply affected by this piece of legislation. These northern voices are once again being ignored by the Liberal government.
Another important stakeholder that expressed really serious concerns about Bill C-88 was the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. Unfortunately, like the Northwest Territories Chamber of Commerce, the IRC was not afforded the opportunity at all to present live testimony to our committee, because, as I mentioned before, we were only given one day to hear from witnesses on this very important matter.
Again, the Liberals rushed the process. It was the result of the Liberals' mismanagement of the parliamentary agenda and a consequence of the fact that the Liberals left this bill to the very last minute for deliberations.
Like so many other crucial stakeholders, the IRC is opposed to the unilateral power to ban oil and gas development in the Arctic offshore, which the bill gives to the Governor in Council.
It is hardly surprising that the IRC is against the arbitrary power given to politicians here in Ottawa to determine the fate of energy development in the north. Bill C-88 says that the Governor in Council can ban oil and gas development projects when “it is in the national interests to do so”. However, does Bill C-88 tell us what the national interest is? Does Bill C-88 tell northern communities what the national interest is? No, of course not.
Like so many other Liberal anti-energy policies, questions of the national interests are only for the Liberals to decide and nobody else. The bill is simply a reinforcement of the arrogant mantra that the Liberals know best.
Given that the IRC was not given the opportunity to offer live testimony on this discussion on Bill C-88, I would like to read into the record some of the serious concerns the IRC highlighted in its written submission to our committee.
First of all, it bears noting that the IRC is an organization that was created way back in 1984 to manage the settlement that formed part of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, better known as the IFA. The Inuvialuit occupy the Inuvialuit Settlement Area, or the ISR, and beyond.
The IFA was the first comprehensive land claim agreement settled north of the 60th parallel and only the second settled in Canada's history.
Why was this land claim agreement so important for Inuvialuit people, and why did they initiate the negotiations with the Government of Canada? In the IRC's own words, the land claim negotiations “came in response to our limited influence in increasing development activity on our lands and the vast marine areas of the ISR.”
In the short term, then, the Inuvialuit secured a land claim agreement, in part, so that they could have greater influence over development activities on their own lands.
With this background in mind, the IRC has written about its serious reservations with regard to the power the bill would give to Ottawa to declare oil and gas moratoriums on IRC lands. In fact, the IRC already saw the Prime Minister declare a moratorium in a significant portion of their settlement region when the Liberals were first elected to power in 2016. In regard to this ban, the IRC wrote,
it is important to note that the imposition of the Moratorium by the Prime Minister was done without consultation with any Inuvialuit in contravention of the IFA and with the framework established and the promises made under the Northwest Territories Lands and Resources Devolution Agreement.
The Liberals simply seized the opportunity in 2016 to unilaterally implement a moratorium on oil and gas in the north while the Prime Minister, as I mentioned before, was not even in this country. He was in the United States of America looking for photo ops and free publicity. The Liberals did not consult at all with stakeholders before they took on this decision. What is worse, instead of apologizing to many of the northern communities that are suffering because of this moratorium, the Liberals are going full steam ahead with Bill C-88, as we see tonight, to ensure that they can unilaterally put bans on northern oil and gas development again and again.
Bill C-88 says that the Governor in Council can make these bans when it is in the national interest to do so. The IRC and Conservatives would like to know what the Liberals mean when they say “in the national interest”.
The IRC had the following to say on the issue of the national interest:
The national interest criterion is problematic as it elevates the national priorities of the day vis-à-vis Inuvialuit priorities within our traditional territory. It would be akin to an appropriation a constituent might experience in the south without any restitution from the government. Bill C-88 does not define national interest or incorporate an express requirement to consider how the national interest ought to be balanced against the ability of rights holders to provide for their economic future.
Despite these concerns from indigenous stakeholders in the north, the Liberals have demonstrated repeatedly, through their anti-energy policies, that they have no intention at all of ever balancing their vision of the national interest against the views of indigenous groups that do not share the Liberals' hostile attitude toward natural resource development.
Unfortunately, Bill C-88 is not the only bill the Liberals have pushed forward, to the detriment of the indigenous communities across this country. We have just heard from indigenous communities about the real concerns they have about Bill C-69, the Liberal environmental assessment act.
Stephen Buffalo, the president and CEO of the Indian Resource Council and a member of the Samson Cree Nation, said:
Indigenous communities are on the verge of a major economic breakthrough, one that finally allows Indigenous people to share in Canada's economic prosperity. Bill C-69 will stop this progress in its tracks.
Roy Fox, chief of the Kainai or Blood tribe first nation, said the following about Bill C-69:
...I and the majority of Treaty 7 chiefs strongly oppose the bill for its likely devastating impact on our ability to support our community members, as it would make it virtually impossible for my nation to fully benefit from the development of our energy resources.
Bill C-48, the northern B.C. oil tanker ban, is yet another Liberal anti-energy bill that the Liberals have rammed through this Parliament against the wishes of major indigenous stakeholders. Bill C-48 shuts the door to the Eagle Spirit pipeline proposal, an energy corridor that is supported by over 35 first nations and is an indigenous-led and indigenous-owned initiative. It is a $17-billion project that has the potential to provide economic opportunity to numerous indigenous communities. However, as with Bill C-88, this one tonight, Bill C-48 is another Liberal anti-energy bill that is both hurtful and patronizing to indigenous communities. Bill C-48 is another example of the Liberal government here in Ottawa telling indigenous communities that they cannot pursue their own natural resource development when it does not suit the interests of the Liberal agenda of the day.
Indigenous communities are tired of the paternalism that has been constantly demonstrated toward them by this anti-energy Liberal government. The chair and president of Eagle Spirit Energy, Calvin Helin, who is a member of the Lax Kw'alaams First Nation, had the following to say about the viewpoint of the 35 first nations that are in favour of the Eagle Spirit pipeline. He said that these first nations “do not like outsiders, particularly those they view as trust-fund babies, coming into the traditional territories they've governed and looked after for over 10,000 years and dictating government policy in their territory.”
However, the Liberals clearly do not think that these indigenous viewpoints are part of the current government's idea of a national interest, so they choose to ignore these voices. As a result of Liberal indifference to the concerns of these indigenous groups, in 2018 the chiefs council for the Eagle Spirit pipeline had to launch a GoFundMe campaign just to help pay legal costs in a court challenge to Bill C-48. The Eagle Spirit project noted the sad state of affairs by stating that this action is required to be taken by Canada's poorest people against a federal justice department with unlimited resources. Other indigenous groups have either filed lawsuits or are planning to do so pending the legislative fate of Bill C-48.
Sadly, the Liberals again did not listen to these indigenous voices then, and they are not listening to the indigenous voices in our northern communities today. It is glaringly clear that all the Liberals care about is the pursuit of their anti-energy policies at all costs. However, the cost is a very real human cost to the ability of northern communities to be in control of their own economic development opportunities.
The Liberals have promised time and time again to work with northerners. With only days left now in this Parliament, when will the Liberals finally live up to this promise?
View Yvonne Jones Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Yvonne Jones Profile
2019-06-11 22:43 [p.28972]
Mr. Speaker, I listened very attentively to my colleague across the way, and there are so many things I could say in response. I know I do not have the time to do so, but I will have the opportunity down the road.
The member talked a lot about what is in the national interest of the country. I want to remind him that the national interest is defined by Canadian legislation. Several references to that can be found in different acts within the House. When I get a chance to speak, I can certainly point them out. Once he has an opportunity to read them, I am sure he will see more clearly why the phrase is used in the context of this decision.
In addition, what the member failed to talk about this evening is how the Liberal government has gotten to where we are today with this piece of legislation. We are here because the Conservatives passed a bill in 2014 that took away the rights to ownership of indigenous land claims and treaties in the Northwest Territories. The bill would restore those values, that trust and the agreements back to indigenous governments in the Northwest Territories.
If that trust had not been broken and the treaty agreements had not been threatened under previous legislation by the Harper government, we would not be here this evening having to right the wrong that was done to indigenous governments in this country. Why did the member not want to speak to that issue this evening?
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2019-06-11 22:45 [p.28972]
Mr. Speaker, I should note that I was not here when Bill C-15 first came forward under the previous government. However, of course, the Liberals voted for Bill C-15 in the last Parliament. Here they are now, saying it is no good, yet at the time, they voted for it. It is really interesting.
So what is the national best interest regarding the oil and gas in this country? Today, we saw the Prime Minister ridicule six premiers of this country, including the Premier of the Northwest Territories. They have major concerns over Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, and the Prime Minister took shots at all six of them today in the House.
View Guy Caron Profile
Mr. Speaker, we are indeed talking about Bill C-15, which this bill seeks to replace. I was in Parliament when Bill C-15 was passed under the Conservative government. It sought to replace the regional councils in the Northwest Territories with one large pan-territorial council.
The problem is that those regional councils were created as a result of land claim and self-government agreements with indigenous governments. The regional councils were created through nation-to-nation agreements. The Conservatives unilaterally overruled those decisions without consulting the indigenous peoples involved.
I would like to know why the member wants to go backward. Why he does not want to have this conversation and work on this nation-to-nation relationship that was undermined and ignored by the Conservatives?
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2019-06-11 22:47 [p.28972]
Mr. Speaker, we did have Neil McCrank, from Calgary. He did all the consultations regarding the superboard. He was one of the few live guests we could bring in on the one day we had to talk about Bill C-88 at committee. As members may know, other submissions were submitted through email.
At committee, Neil McCrank disputed that claim. He spent months talking about the superboard. As members know, the proposal back then was to go from four boards down to one. Members know the result: It ended up in court and we did not do that.
I want to put on the record that Neil McCrank spent months in the territories dealing with the superboard issue.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2019-06-11 22:48 [p.28972]
Mr. Speaker, well, there is not much, as members can tell by my 20-minute speech.
The minister said that the Northwest Territories government wanted Bill C-88 passed expeditiously. Why then did the Liberals sit on this bill for months, if not years? They had the opportunity to move this long before 10 days before the House rises. That is the question I had when the minister stood before us and talked about how great Bill C-88 was when, in fact, the Liberals buried the legislation for months.
View Cathy McLeod Profile
Mr. Speaker, I want to pick up on some of the comments my colleague made regarding the arbitrary decision-making that the government has done. The Liberals have not done any consultations. It seems that the Liberals' desire to consult is only when they feel like it, and that would be related to a number of projects, like the tanker moratorium, Eagle Spirit and the northern gateway. There is also the moratorium that was announced down in the United States.
We are hearing increasing concerns not only from indigenous communities, who have not been consulted properly, but also from the premiers of these provinces. I speak in particular about a very concerning letter regarding Bill C-48 and Bill C-69 and how dismissive the Prime Minister and his party are in terms of engaging the premiers and indigenous communities to allow projects to move forward. The Liberals are happy to cancel projects, but they are reluctant to create an environment for projects to move forward.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2019-06-11 22:50 [p.28973]
Mr. Speaker, the letters from six premiers to the Prime Minister came out yesterday. There are letters from the territories, New Brunswick, the premiers of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. As well, one of the biggest oil and gas demonstrations this country has ever seen was taking place today in Calgary, Alberta.
It is shameful what the government has done with Bill C-69, Bill C-48 and certainly with this legislation, Bill C-88.
View Elizabeth May Profile
View Elizabeth May Profile
2019-06-11 22:51 [p.28973]
Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the hon. member for Saskatoon—Grasswood, in describing this bill, which is about the restoration of indigenous treaty rights around rejecting the idea of superboards, among other details, has raised the issue of oil and gas, the need for development, and demonstrations in Calgary in favour of oil and gas.
We have a lot of discussion in this place about the need to recognize a climate emergency. I wonder if my hon. colleague has any particular notion of when we should stop expanding oil and gas, and how quickly we need to phase out oil and gas in order to avoid catastrophic impacts from the climate crisis.
View Kevin Waugh Profile
View Kevin Waugh Profile
2019-06-11 22:52 [p.28973]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are looking forward to seeing the Green Party policy because it has been under the rug for so many years. Now it has a little jump in its step from the by-election and Canadians are really going to know what the Green Party stands for. It wants to shut down oil and gas. It would rather get it from Venezuela and other countries, not Canadian clean energy.
I am wondering where the Green Party will go in October, because it is not going to be welcomed in my province of Saskatchewan. The Green Party will not be welcomed in Alberta. It will be interesting to see where the party goes once its policies are looked at by Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
View Mike Bossio Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to speak on Bill C-88, and I acknowledge that I do so on traditional Algonquin territory.
I will be splitting my time with the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam.
This important bill demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment to the north and to the people who live there.
The legislation now before us proposes to amend the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act. This bill would reverse legislation that aimed to amalgamate three regional land and water boards established under comprehensive land claim agreements in the Northwest Territories. It would also modernize the overall regulatory regime that oversees the development of resources along the Mackenzie Valley and in the offshore Arctic.
Perhaps most significantly, though, Bill C-88 would be a tremendous win for the environment. With the devastating effects of climate change that are evident in the Arctic more than anywhere else in the world, we all know how important this is. While Canada's north is rich in natural resources, it is also a fragile and rapidly changing environment. I am sure that my hon. colleagues will agree that it needs to be handled with care.
How do we do that? We would take a big step forward with Bill C-88 on what I call the three Ps of environmental responsibility: people, protection and prosperity. Bill C-88 would provide the right people with the right regulatory tools to make the right decisions for the environment and for Canada.
The first P in environmental responsibility is people, and one of the best ways to care for the environment in the north is to involve the people who live there in decisions about development projects. In the same way that urban communities across Canada invite residents to have a say in proposed developments in their neighbourhoods, northerners must also have a meaningful say in how natural resources are managed in their region. Bill C-88 aims to do this in the best possible way.
Most importantly, the legislation would repeal provisions in the Northwest Territories Devolution Act that would have eliminated the regional panels of the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board and established a single consolidated board. Bill C-88 would reverse the board restructuring and reintroduce other regulatory elements to function under the existing four-board structure, including the Gwich'in Land and Water Board, the Sahtu Land and Water Board, the Wek'èezhìi Tlicho Land and Water Board and the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board.
These are all independent, co-managed boards that have appointed members who bring valuable local and traditional knowledge to the table. These members have the experience and local knowledge needed to effectively review and influence resource and development projects, as only they can. It is also important to know that the regional land and water boards are part of the existing land claim agreements, and that respecting these agreements is crucial to reconciliation with indigenous peoples.
The second P of environment responsibility is protection. A scientific report from Environment and Climate Change Canada shows that the Arctic is being hit hardest by climate change. The region is warming at a rate that is about three times faster than the rest of the world. In winter, this means melting permafrost and less sea ice. By the middle of this century, most marine regions in the Canadian Arctic may be ice free for at least a month at a time.
This would change everything. The habitat of ice-dependent wildlife, such as narwhals, polar bears and walruses, would be severely impacted. The Arctic caribou population would be at risk, because these animals rely on sea ice for their long-distance migration. Various species of fish would likely move away from where they are usually harvested in search of colder water temperatures. Of course, the melting sea ice would likely open new shipping routes and expose more fossil fuel reserves to development.
What is clear is that we have to understand what is happening to the environment and protect it, for both current and future generations. Bill C-88 would help us accomplish this goal. This is because the legislation also proposes amendments to the Canada Petroleum Resources Act, CPRA, which regulates oil and gas rights on federal Crown lands in the north and in offshore areas not under federal-provincial co-management.
The CPRA amendments support commitments made by Canada and the United States in the joint Arctic leaders' statement of 2016. The two nations agreed to base decisions about the future development of offshore oil and gas resources in the Arctic on scientific reviews that would be conducted every five years.
Bill C-88 would encourage governments and local communities to work together and move forward with both scientific and traditional knowledge to protect and develop the rich natural environment. It is so important that we take our indigenous knowledge into account, which has existed for thousands of years and that has a far greater understanding of the Arctic than any other Canadian does. We need to ensure that traditional knowledge is taken into account when we are considering any resource projects or otherwise that occur in the north.
Bill C-88 would encourage governments and local communities to work together, to move forward with both scientific and traditional knowledge to protect and develop the rich natural environment.
This brings me to my third P of environmental responsibility, and that is prosperity. Canada's prosperity, in many ways, relies on the development of natural resources. As the Right Hon. Prime Minister said recently at the 2019 Nature Champions Summit in Montreal, “We can't afford to ignore climate change.” The future of our country and our economy depends on it. “You cannot have a plan for the future of our economy as a country, as a nation, if you don't also have a plan for environment sustainability and environmental protection.”
Bill C-88 would support a robust regulatory regime that not only protects the environment, but also provides a responsible approach to the development of natural resources. Furthermore, renewing the relationship with northern and indigenous organizations and governments is the proper and just way to move forward in partnership, with legal certainty in regard to environmental protection and toward increased investment and jobs.
All told, I would suggest that this is what reconciliation is all about. It is establishing that relationship with indigenous communities that can be based on trust. That trust is only going to happen if we have meaningful and collaborative consultation with our indigenous communities.
It is about making sure that indigenous peoples have a meaningful voice in important decisions about their lands, their lives and their future. Bill C-88 would enable a resilient resource sector while also respecting the rights and interests of indigenous peoples.
The three Ps of environmental protection, people, protection and prosperity, are the key drivers of Bill C-88. They are also sound reasons to support the proposed legislation. This legislation is finally going to bring about an environment where all indigenous peoples in the north will feel they can actively participate in determining what happens with that environment, what happens with their economy, and what happens with their future, for both today and for their children and grandchildren. Once again, indigenous people always look out seven generations. We need to take that into consideration in the north.
I encourage my hon. colleagues to vote in favour of Bill C-88 at third reading.
View Arnold Viersen Profile
View Arnold Viersen Profile
2019-06-11 23:03 [p.28974]
Mr. Speaker, one of the things that my hon. colleague did not bring up was the fact that the government has imposed a drilling moratorium on the North Sea and that this moratorium was put in place without any consultation with the Northwest Territories. The government gave the premier a phone call 20 minutes before making the announcement in the United States to a foreign audience. So much for consultation.
Will this member agree that there was no consultation on the northern drilling ban?
View Mike Bossio Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, it has been great to work with my colleague over the last number of years on the indigenous committee. I think we accomplished a lot of great things together, on many different bills and many different reports, that I feel have made a difference in the lives of indigenous people. I thank him for serving on that committee and his contribution to it.
However, I do not agree with the premise of his question. The Premier of the Northwest Territories and Inuvialuit both agree that they are making great progress right now in negotiations on how to properly develop the resources both in the Beaufort Sea and the Norman Wells oil fields. These are two areas which I have to say the previous government did not consider involving indigenous communities in consultation. Let us face it. That has been the reason that so many big projects like this in the past have failed, because of a lack of proper consultation.
Our government is taking the time to consult with those communities to ensure that they determine the future development of those resources.
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
I think that he already knows that the NDP will support Bill C-88, which will fix some of the mistakes made by the previous government. This bill is a step in the right direction.
Unfortunately, I do not really understand the lack of consistency. The Liberals voted in favour of the bill to include in federal legislation the principles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, but unfortunately those principles are nowhere to be found in Bill C-88.
I would like my colleague to explain that inconsistency to me.
View Mike Bossio Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, as we heard earlier this evening from other colleagues, and in particular, my colleague from the Northwest Territories, this bill is UNDRIP in action. Indigenous peoples feel that this includes a lot of what they have been seeking for a very long time. This is going to correct a lot of the failures of the previous legislation.
I am grateful that the NDP are fully in support of this bill. It is the right thing to do. Once again, indigenous communities need to start taking control of what happens with their resources. There are going to be 50 seats guaranteed in this legislation for indigenous communities, 50% of seats, with revenue sharing that is going to happen with indigenous peoples and communities. There will be 20% of the revenue coming from the Northwest Territories to indigenous peoples.
I understand why the NDP would be supporting it, because it is a good bill; it is the right thing to do and it is long overdue. My thanks for that support and for the question.
View Larry Bagnell Profile
Lib. (YT)
View Larry Bagnell Profile
2019-06-11 23:07 [p.28975]
Mr. Speaker, briefly, the member is a real champion of rural Canada. His constituents are very lucky. He is always standing up for the rural small communities. How does he think small communities felt when the Conservatives overrode something they had constitutional protection for and that they had negotiated over the years?
View Mike Bossio Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Speaker, simply, it shatters the trust completely. Rural Canadians are very generous, and indigenous peoples are very generous people, but if someone breaks that trust, it takes a very long time to earn that trust back again.
This bill will go a long way towards earning that trust, because so much consultation was done in the writing of the legislation. Once again, Premier McLeod and many leaders in the indigenous communities are in full support of this bill. They want this bill to be passed expeditiously, as soon as possible. We heard that in testimony at committee many, many times.
I encourage everyone in this House to please vote for Bill C-88.
View Fin Donnelly Profile
View Fin Donnelly Profile
2019-06-11 23:08 [p.28975]
Mr. Speaker, I may have been a reluctant politician, but I quickly realized the importance of changing public policy. I have always believed that if we develop an ethic of care and stewardship for the planet and our environment, that ethic will naturally extend to all living things, including our neighbours.
I brought that approach to my 17 years of public service, 10 years federally and seven years locally, through six campaigns. This job is special, demanding but amazing.
I have had the good fortune to meet world leaders, national figures, celebrities and community heroes, like the Dalai Lama, Dr. Jane Goodall, Alexandra Cousteau, Rob Stewart, Alex Trebek, Rick Hansen, David Suzuki, Sam Waterston and Kevin Estrada to name a few.
I have participated in some incredible events, from witnessing an exoneration ceremony of powerful Tsilhqot'in leaders drumming on the House of Commons floor to taking part in a once-in-a-lifetime Canada C3 trip to deliver homemade, all-natural garden care products by students from Parkland Elementary School to the prime minister in 2010.
I have had some proud moments, like the passing of my motion calling on the government to recognize its sacred obligation to look after veterans and their families, which passed unanimously, to co-founding the all-party oceans caucus in 2012, which I hope will continue in the 43rd Parliament.
I have led effective campaigns, like banning the importation of shark fins to Canada, which hopefully will become law very soon; my wild salmon campaign, where Captain Kirk, William Shatner, joined me to save wild salmon by transitioning west coast salmon farms to closed containment; celebrating a win, seeing the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station finally reopen; and rewarding case work.
Here is just one example. Karin in my office worked hard for 10 years, my entire career as an MP, to reunite Kabondo with his wife Emmerence. They were separated during the Congo civil war in 1998. Emmerence moved to Canada and saved enough money from her cleaning job to visit the refugee camp where he was in 2014. Finally, in 2018, the family was reunited 20 years later in Canada. I thank Canada. There were sad cases, like the tragic circumstances of little Alan Kurdi and his Syrian family.
Through it all, it has been a team effort: my family, my wife Lynda, my parents Val and Cy, my brother Liam and all my relatives and close friends, like Doug Radies. I had my NDP team: from Dawn Black, the member who passed the torch to me, to leaders like Jack Layton, Nycole Turmel, Tom Mulcair and now the member for Burnaby South.
I want to mention my teammates, current and former: my roommate, the incredible member for Vancouver Kingsway, whose quick wit and sense of humour is matched only by his generosity; my seatmate, the unstoppable member for Edmonton Strathcona; the ever-talented member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley; the knowledgeable and so-connected member for Victoria; the inspiring, youthful member for Sherbrooke; the dean of our caucus, the member for Windsor West; and all my colleagues.
I also want to mention my good friends: the mayor of Vancouver, Kennedy Stewart; B.C. premier, John Horgan; my amigos, Malcolm Allen and Jack Harris; amazing formers like Megan Leslie, Libby Davies, Chris Charlton, Joe Comartin, Denise Savoie and Jean Crowder; and the incorrigible Pat Martin, who once had to leave his seat during a vote because of an underwear sale at the Bay. I still laugh at that today.
There was our dear friend, Paul Dewar. I want to mention my political heroes, John Cashore and Dave Driscoll, local champions like Diane Thorne and Selina Robinson, community heroes like Elaine Golds, Ruth Foster, Rod MacVicar, Natalie Thomas and Fred Soofi, and first nation leaders, Shawn Atleo, Bob Chamberlain and Grand Chief Stewart Philip.
I also want to mention Legion Branch 263 and Branch 119 and my amazing campaign team, Tania Jarzebiak, Cheryl Greenhalgh, Alex Ng, and Anne Ladouceur, and my hard-working executives. There are so many incredible volunteers. There is my wonderful staff, Karin Kreuzkamp, Roberta Webster, Nick Watts and Andrew Christie, and Brynn, Mark, Coree, Sophia, Melissa, Melanie, Matt, Nicole, Natasha, Noah and Dan.
I want to mention those who helped me and working people, Jim Sinclair, Mark Hancock, Paul Moist, Ivan Limpright, Tom Dusfresne, John Baile, Geoff Devilin, Keegan Gordon, Marcel Marsolais and Kenny Neumann.
There is our team in the lobby, Rob and Jeremy, Christian, Anthony, Chuck, Audrey, Dominic and the whole gang.
There is my Rivershed Society of B.C. family and all the ENGOs that do such amazing work across our country. There are Oceana, HSI, PSF, DSF, WWF, West Coast Environmental Law and the scientific heroes like Dr. Kristi Miller-Saunders, Alex Morton and Brian Riddell.
I say to the Prime Minister, I welcome him to paddle the Fraser with me any time. I say to the member for Beauséjour, get well soon. It has been a pleasure working with him. I want to mention my oceans caucus co-chairs, the member for Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, and you, Mr. Speaker, the member for Simcoe North, true gentlemen.
There is the member for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa, with whom I traded many a verbal joust. By the way, you still owe me, my friend. There is the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and the parliamentary secretary. I enjoyed working with them and their staff. There is the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, to whom I say, a swim any time.
I say to the leader of the Green Party, good job on Bill S-203. I want to acknowledge Senator MacDonald for working together to save sharks.
I thank all the security guards for keeping us safe, especially during the 2014 shooting in Centre Block. I say a special shout-out and thank you to Sergeant-at-Arms Pat McDonell and former sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers.
I say thank you to the clerks, pages, interpreters, committee staff, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, mail room staff, custodians and maintenance team.
Finally, to all those who are running again, I wish them the best of luck. May the 43rd Parliament come together to make Canada an even better place to live, work and raise a family. Please, please work hard to transition our country as fast as possible to a low-carbon future. Be bold. Make tough decisions. Co-operate. Put us on a path to a sustainable future.
I will be working to heal and protect the Fraser watershed, one of the most biologically diverse watersheds in North America and one of the most magnificent areas in all of Canada. To the next MP for Port Moody—Coquitlam, Bonita Zarrillo, I wish the best of luck. I look forward to seeing her here in the House of Commons.
Hych'ka O'Siem.
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