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Results: 1 - 30 of 1465
View Erin Weir Profile
CCF (SK)
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 Linda Duncan Profile
NDP (AB)
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 Brian Masse Profile
NDP (ON)
View Brian Masse Profile
2019-06-11 20:53 [p.28962]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would ask you to review the tape and find that there are at least one or two Liberal members who are flying paper airplanes in the chamber here tonight. We have seen a number of different things take place. I have never seen that before in all my years here. I would ask you to review the tapes perhaps, as members come forward. I know that several Liberal members were involved in passing the plane around. There has been a lot of discussion about decorum and so forth in the House. I have seen a number of different things over the years.
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
Mr. Brian Masse: I know that some members want to continue to heckle me down right now, but that is okay. Actually turning it to this type of a measure and throwing projectiles like that reaches another level.
I do not mind continuing to raise this issue, because perhaps that Liberal member or several Liberal members will actually come forward and talk about the fact that they participated in this type of activity.
This is not a ballpark. This is the House of Commons, and we would expect members' behaviour to at least have that type of substance to it.
View Richard Cannings Profile
NDP (BC)
Madam Speaker, I would like to echo the comments and sentiments of the member for Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo that after this bill was brought in, it did not even come to second reading until last Christmas. This is a bill that the Liberals knew they had to produce before the election in 2015. This was before the courts in the Northwest Territories. There was an injunction that was holding up litigation until this place produced this legislation.
Yes, there had to be consultation. However, it is my understanding that the consultation was completed in the middle of 2017, and yet here we are two years later and the government is saying that we have to hurry up. Well, hurry up and wait. We have been waiting for this legislation for two years, and now the government is saying that there is no more time left.
I agree with the Premier of the Northwest Territories that the bill has to be passed expeditiously, but we have not had a good answer from the government as to what caused these delays. I could speculate on other things, but I think it is a bit rich for the Liberals to say that we have to pass this right now and we have to have time allocation. They have had four years to do this, and I think that has to be noted.
View Peter Julian Profile
NDP (BC)
View Peter Julian Profile
2019-06-11 21:03 [p.28963]
Madam Speaker, I am very saddened. Sunny ways are definitely dead. Democracy is dying.
Tonight, we just had an extreme closure motion that even Stephen Harper never brought in. It was an extreme closure motion that did not allow for the right to reply of one opposition member in the entire House. There was a 20-minute closure speech. That was for a bill that has raised real concerns around civil liberties and the fact that we are talking about metadata of innocent Canadians being kept without proper scrutiny.
What we had from the Liberals was a few hours of debate a year ago, and then tonight, closure. It is absolutely unacceptable. Now, with Bill C-88, we are seeing the same thing of bulldozing. Even Stephen Harper did not go this far. Liberals promised, back in 2015, to bring a new tone to the House, to actually work with opposition members, and they have chosen to do the opposite. Why are Liberals bulldozing through legislation that requires proper scrutiny and proper discussion?
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I want to remind the member that he is to address the question directly to the Chair. I can tell him that I have been very busy during this Parliament.
The hon. minister.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
The hon. member knows that he has to address the question to the Chair. I am not going to expand on it. I will let the minister do it, though.
The hon. minister.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I want to remind members that even though they may not like what they hear or be in agreement with what they hear, they need to ensure that they respect the rules of the House. Therefore, I would hope that the parliamentary language issue will not be a problem during the debate.
Questions and comments, the hon. member for North Okanagan—Shuswap.
View Sheri Benson Profile
NDP (SK)
View Sheri Benson Profile
2019-06-11 21:12 [p.28964]
Madam Speaker, what we are discussing tonight is the fact that we do not have an opportunity to hear what the minister has to say, have a good debate and talk about a process that perhaps was very good and was built on consensus. This possibly is very good legislation. However, this is the House. This is Parliament. As parliamentarians, we have a right to review the bill and the government still has a right to bring it forward and talk about it. I may very well find the bill and the consultations good, but what we are talking about right now is closure on that debate. You are denying my right to review that legislation. That is the piece that is offensive to me.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
I want to remind the member for Saskatoon West that she is to address the questions to the Chair and not the individual members.
The hon. minister.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
Before I go to a point of order, I want to remind the member that he may want to correct something. They are not our first nations; they are the indigenous peoples of Canada.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
The hon. member is getting into debate. He either wants to apologize or he does not.
View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
We do not need additional information. The hon. member either apologizes for what he said or—
An hon. member: He did.
The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Carol Hughes): We will accept that.
The hon. minister.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2019-06-11 21:19 [p.28965]
Madam Speaker, as is not uncommon for me, I find myself somewhat in the middle on this. I deeply object to this very harsh time limitation on the debate of Bill C-88. At the same time, I was here in the 41st Parliament and I did work against the legislation. It was clear at the time to be disrespectful and a violation of treaty rights to create a so-called superboard without consultation in violation of treaties.
After the decision of the Northwest Territories Supreme Court, which suspended the creation of the superboard, this legislation is almost a no-brainer. It is required that we get rid of the legislation from the 41st Parliament that ignored the treaty rights of indigenous people, but it deserves proper and full consideration in this Parliament.
Therefore, I object to the proceeding we are going through tonight, although I do support the legislation. I also do not believe it is inappropriate for any woman or man in this place to choose first nations designs to promote first nations designers. I find that level of debate really demeans this place.
We are here to promote reconciliation, democracy and respect for each other. The way we conduct ourselves in this place would make any indigenous person wonder if he or she wants to actually join this country or find a way to avoid reconciliation and go back to pre-colonial times, without the burden of the way we conduct ourselves in this place.
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
Madam Speaker, it is incredible that they are trying to derail the debate on the substantive issue, which is that they are curtailing our right, as parliamentarians, to debate bills. Once again, the Liberal government has not properly managed the parliamentary machinery, has woken up at the last minute and is trying, in a panic, to prevent us from having debates that are appropriate for us to have.
They are telling us we debated the bill for two days two years ago and that consultations were held in 2017, but that is not what we are discussing at this time. That is truly unfortunate. Earlier, the Liberal government imposed a far-reaching gag order. Opposition members did not even have the right to ask the minister questions.
The Liberals should look themselves in the mirror and admit that what they are doing is even worse than what the Conservatives did in the worst years of Stephen Harper.
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
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 Guy Caron Profile
NDP (QC)
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 Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
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 Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
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 Fin Donnelly Profile
NDP (BC)
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.
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
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
NDP (BC)
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 Rachel Blaney Profile
NDP (BC)
Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to speak to this important issue today.
I want to thank the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for bringing Bill S-203 to the House. The bill looks at the reality of phasing out the captivity of dolphins, whales and porpoises.
The riding that I represent, North Island—Powell River, is along the ocean, and these are beings that we live with. That interaction is very important to us. I think of the times I have spent watching this wildlife engage with us in their free natural state. It is important that we are talking about this issue here today.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank my caucus colleague, the member for Port Moody—Coquitlam, for his dedication to the country's oceans, rivers and streams. His commitment to protecting the wildlife that lives within them has resonated with people across Canada. He will not be sitting in the House with us much longer, so it is important to acknowledge the work he has done on files like this one.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley. The member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley has always had a special place in my heart because he represents the area where I grew up. I really respect his connection with the communities in that largest of ridings in British Columbia.
A couple of weeks ago, the member came to my riding to talk about his private member's bill on zero-waste packaging. That issue is a huge concern in my riding. Packaging made of plastic takes so long to deteriorate and we know the impact it is having on our oceans.
Without that member's work we would not be standing here today debating Bill S-203. I understand that he is working with the minister right now to push forward his important piece of legislation around zero-waste packaging. It deals with an important issue to make sure we do not fill our landfills with plastics anymore.
If it were not for the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley accepting a letter from me, the member for Courtenay—Alberni, the member for Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, the member for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, our colleague from Victoria and Laurel Collins asking him to give up his spot on today's private members' hour, we would not be debating this bill today. I want to acknowledge that and thank him for continuing to work so hard on his zero waste packaging legislation. He will not give up, which is something that I appreciate deeply about the member.
Bill S-203 proposes to phase out the captivity of whales, dolphins and porpoises in Canada, except in situations like rehabilitation or rescue.
New Democrats will always support the ethical and useful research of these beings in the water, but the research can take place in the wild. Scientists in the wild environment can get a realistic view of the natural behaviours of these animals without causing a lifetime of pain and suffering, which we know is the reality when they are held in captivity.
What we have heard from scientists is that these beings suffer in confinement. They suffer a sense of isolation, serious health problems, reduced lifespans, high infant mortality rates, sensory deprivation, as well as trauma from the transfer to other parks and calf separation.
This bill speaks to an important issue where we can get it right and do the right thing. Given the evidence, captive facilities cannot provide for these beings' social or biological needs.
Keeping them in captivity is cruel. They are intelligent social animals. They are acoustically sensitive marine beings that spend their time in the vast oceans. They dive deep down to places many of us will never see.
When we look at their freedom in the wild, to swim freely, to dive deeply, when we think about their confinement, it is so much less. We have heard it is less than 1% of the range that they are used to. Can members imagine that? None of us in this place can imagine being in our environment, doing the things that we do, and suddenly being put into a small box and told that we have to be successful and perform for other people. We cannot ask these beings to do that.
It reminds me of what Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, do better.” This is an opportunity in this House to move forward because we now know better, so it is time for us to do better.
Unlike many issues, this really is not a partisan issue. It is a moral issue. It is a bill that is supported by science. We know that whales, porpoises and dolphins in captivity suffer in a way that cannot be justifiable. We know that this bill, Bill S-203, is a reasonable one. It is a balanced piece of legislation. It grandfathers the process and it gives zoos and aquariums time to phase out this practice. This is the right thing to do and I hope everyone in this House takes the opportunity to support this.
When we think about the grandfathering process out of captivity that Bill S-203 proposes, we know it will do important things. It will ban live captures under the Fisheries Act, except for rescues when some being out there needs help. Currently, captures are legal if they are licensed. We all need to pause and take a moment to think about what that means. We know that the last capture that happened was belugas near Churchill in 1992, so it is a practice that is not being implemented. However, the fact that it is still there is very concerning, and this bill would remove it.
Bill S-203 also bans imports and exports, except if licensed for scientific research. This is a hard one, but we want to see an open water sanctuary. We want to see the process happen in a way that is best for the whale, the dolphin or the porpoise. We want to make sure it is under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act. These are important factors that this bill can bring forward.
Finally, this bill would ban breeding under the animal cruelty provisions of the Criminal Code. This is also very important.
Right now there is a bill before the Senate, Bill C-68, that would prohibit the captures but it would not restrict imports or exports by law nor would it ban breeding. This is why we need this bill. This is why I will be supporting it. This is the action that needs to be taken to complete what is happening already.
Twenty marine mammal biologists from around the world released a letter supporting Bill S-203. They said, “At a minimum, the maintenance of odontocetes [toothed whales, dolphins and porpoises] in commercial captive display facilities for entertainment purposes is no longer supported or justified by the growing body of science on their biological needs.”
We know it is the right thing to do and it is time to make sure that people have the opportunity to see these beautiful animals in the wild, to respect what they need and to create a new relationship. Keeping them enclosed is not the right way to go.
When we look at the wild, we know that dolphins, whales and porpoises travel up to 100 miles daily feeding and socializing with other members of their pods. The pods can contain hundreds of individuals with complex social bonds and hierarchies. That is their natural state. In captivity they are in small enclosures and unable to swim in a straight line for any distance. They do not have the ability to dive deep. Sometimes they are housed alone or housed with other animals they are not naturally used to being with. When we look at that isolation with this concern in mind, we know this is the right thing to do.
I look forward to seeing support from all members in this House. We can do the right thing. Today is the day and I look forward to seeing a positive vote.
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2019-06-10 11:26 [p.28782]
Mr. Speaker, it is a huge honour to speak today in the House of Commons. With this bill and with the support of my hon. colleagues, Canada is on the cusp of making history and ending cetacean captivity and making sure it is a thing of the past. Not only is this important to me, but it is important to the people of my riding, to people right across this country from coast to coast to coast, to countless environmental stewards who have fought hard on this issue, and certainly to the Nuu-chah-nulth people and indigenous people across this country.
I have heard from many of them. Many Nuu-chah-nulth people see the orca, in their language the kakaw’in, as a spirit animal and as an animal that is a reflection of their ancestors. To think of their ancestors being held in captivity is certainly something they do not want to see happen again.
If we pass this bill, it would do a couple of things. First, it would give us credibility and legitimacy to take it even further, to push for a global ban on having cetaceans held in captivity. We know that cetaceans held in captivity suffer in a way that is not justifiable. Bill S-203 is a reasonable, balanced piece of legislation.
Let us look at the life of a captive whale, dolphin or porpoise. In captivity, conditions are spartan and prison-like. Cetaceans suffer confinement, isolation, health problems, reduced lifespans, high infant mortality rates, sensory deprivation and trauma from transfer to other parks and calf separation. Given the evidence, captive facilities cannot provide for their social or biological needs. They need to roam widely and dive deep in order to thrive. The range of captive orcas is only 1/10,000th of 1% the size of their natural home range, and 80% of their time is spent at the surface, looking for food and attention from their trainers, who make the choices for them when they are held in captivity. Captive-born animals are often forcibly weaned and shipped to other facilities, away from their mothers and the only companions they have ever known. It creates unnecessary trauma. It is cruel.
Let us compare that to wild cetaceans. They spend approximately 80% to 90% of their time under the water. They have the freedom to make their own choices, sometimes travelling up to 100 miles per day, following food and the members of their family. Many of these species, like the orcas, live in complex societies with their own cultures and dialects, maintaining close ties with family and friends. Some remain in family groups for life. For wild orcas, their pod is critical to their survival.
I want to add that I am excited that we just had a baby orca in the pod off Tofino, witnessed by my good friends Jennifer Steven and John Forde. It is another reminder of the importance of our orcas being able to roam freely in the wild and knowing that a baby orca will not be taken and put into captivity. It is a relief to all of us.
We know that keeping cetaceans is cruel, given the scientific evidence about their nature and behaviour. They are intelligent, social and acoustically sensitive marine animals.
New Democrats believe in the power of research, and we know that the continued study of cetaceans can be done ethically in the wild. There, scientists can get a realistic view of their natural behaviours without causing a lifetime of pain and suffering.
Our party also understands the need for legislation to be measured, and Bill S-203 does balance a fair transition for the two remaining facilities that hold captive cetaceans. It grandfathers in existing animals and gives the zoo and aquarium community a long phase-out period. It is not asking these facilities to close overnight. Certainly we will not be supporting the movement of cetaceans or sale of cetaceans anywhere from those facilities.
There are a few people we need to thank today. First of all, we need to thank the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who brought their voice to all elected officials, whether in the House of Commons or in the Senate, calling for this legislation to be passed; the environmental groups and animal rights organizations for mobilizing people; and indigenous communities for raising their concerns, which led to the bill and today's debate.
Also, there are people in the House whom we need to thank, for coming together and showing this is not a partisan issue; it is a moral issue. First, I want to thank my colleague from Skeena—Bulkley Valley. He had a very important piece of legislation to end zero-waste packaging, with which we hope the government will move forward. It made some announcements today in response to my motion, Motion No. 151, around phasing out single-use plastics. I would like to congratulate the government on that first step, and I look forward to seeing more momentum and movement, especially around industrial-use plastics, and rethinking how we use plastics.
I thank my colleague from Skeena—Bulkley Valley because his bill was supposed to be in the House today, and he gave up his spot so we could move forward with this piece of legislation, knowing the only way we could save it was for it to be in the House today. I also want to thank Terrace's Ben Korving. He is the one who helped my colleague from Skeena—Bulkley Valley bring the bill forward on zero-waste packaging through a contest held in his riding to ensure Canadians' voices were heard in the House. We have not lost sight of Ben's work. We have ensured the government heard the proposal that Ben brought forward. I want to thank them both.
In that same spirit, I want to thank my colleague and friend from Saanich—Gulf Islands for the considerable work she has done on this issue and the stewardship she has shown by taking on this bill, working with us to find a path forward and showing a non-partisan approach when it comes to ensuring we do the right thing for cetaceans, which do not have a voice. We are their voice and this is an opportunity to demonstrate what we are going to do to look out for them.
I want to thank my colleague and friend from Port Moody—Coquitlam, the former vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, who helped move this bill through committee and worked very hard on it. I also want to thank my friend and colleague, the chair of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, the member for Avalon, who has done some great work to help ensure the passage of this bill. I really mean that, because without his help, working with all of us in the House, we would not have got this done. I commend him for his work on that.
This bill would not have made it this far without the courageous and bold efforts of Senator Wilfred Moore. We sometimes raise concerns about the Senate, and I certainly have my doubts right now on a number of pieces of legislation, so I will take it away from the Senate and give it to a human being who is a huge champion, and that is retired senator Wilfred Moore. He has been a champion of this bill. He tabled this bill in the Senate and stayed on this bill even beyond his retirement, showing his dedication and commitment, and we owe him a round of applause. I thank him for being completely committed and devoted to seeing this through.
I thank Senator Murray Sinclair for taking on and championing this bill in the Senate, bringing the really important wealth of indigenous knowledge and his connections across this country and ensuring those voices were also heard in the Senate.
In closing, I hope this bill passes very quickly. I thank the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who have been the voice of cetaceans, which do not have a voice, and look forward to Canada having legitimacy and credibility on the international stage when it comes to fighting for cetaceans and ending the captivity of whales internationally. I hope that is the next step for our country.
View Elizabeth May Profile
GP (BC)
View Elizabeth May Profile
2019-06-10 11:46 [p.28785]
Mr. Speaker, it is a great honour to speak today during the final hour of debate after several years of work on a bill that is important to the world's whales.
I am particularly honoured to rise this morning because we are at the point that most members in this place appear ready to see this legislation pass. The legislation was first brought forward in the last few days of the Senate sitting of 2015. It has been, to put it mildly, a long haul.
The hon. member just raised concerns, and I think all concerns by my colleagues in this place are legitimate. However, it is important for anyone watching this debate to recognize that the bill is based on science.
Many scientists testified as to why it is critical that we stop keeping cetaceans in captivity. We understand why. They are obviously not akin to livestock, for instance. Cetaceans require the ocean. They require the space. They require acoustic communication over long distances. The scientists who testified before the committee who made the case so strongly made it based on science.
Yes, Canadians care. Yes, the school children who wrote to us in the thousands were not moved by the science; they were moved because they see movies and nature films and they understand that whales, dolphins and porpoises are of a different character than other animals.
I would reassure my friend that we could not just substitute the name for another species. Bill S-203 is firmly tied to the Fisheries Act. I do not think we would find any horses in the wild in the ocean. We have tied it down legislatively in such a way that others should not worry that there will be a creeping effect.
In the time remaining, I want to say how grateful I am for the non-partisan spirit. It has been my entire honour to be the sponsor of this legislation in the House. I am enormously grateful to my colleagues.
I mentioned the scientists. Let me thank Dr. Visser, who testified at committee, coming in by Skype from New Zealand in the days right after the Christchurch killings. It was an emotional time for everyone. I would also like to thank Dr. Naomi Rose, and from Dalhousie University, Dr. Hal Whitehead. Phil Demers, a former whale trainer at Marineland, offered excellent real-life testimony as to the cruelty of keeping whales in captivity.
Certainly Senator Wilfred Moore and Senator Murray Sinclair have done an enormous amount to help. So too has the government representative in the Senate, Senator Harder.
I also want to thank the Minister of Fisheries and his predecessor for taking companion elements in Bill S-203 and embedding them in Bill C-68. Bill C-68, the reform of the Fisheries Act, remains before the Senate.
I want to take a moment to urge all colleagues in the other place to move Bill C-68 through. I also urge everyone here, if there are amendments, to move Bill C-68 through, because the Fisheries Act is critically important on many scores, as well as being companion legislation to Bill S-203.
Again, in a non-partisan spirit, I want to thank the hon. member for Port Moody—Coquitlam, who we will miss in this place, and the hon. member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley. I also want to mention his constituent, Ben Korving, who put forward the legislation regarding zero-waste packaging. I pledge, as leader of the Green Party, to take on Ben Korving's motion and make sure that it does not die in this place, because those members made a sacrifice to allow Bill S-203 to pass before we rise at the end of June.
I also want to thank the hon. member for Beaches—East York, a Liberal, and my friend from Courtenay—Alberni, who was gracious in his praise earlier.
Everyone pulled together on this. The member for Charlottetown, the parliamentary secretary, helped enormously.
I would once again like to thank my Bloc Québécois colleague, the member for Repentigny.
I know that there were Conservative colleagues who did what they could.
I cannot tell members how important this legislation is. I will close with a few words that we have not heard in this place before. They are from the book of Job. They are found in chapter 41, verse 1.
Behold, Behemoth,which I made as I made you;...He is the first of the works of God;...Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhookor press down his tongue with a cord?Can you put a rope in his noseor pierce his jaw with a hook?...Will traders bargain over him?Will they divide him up among the merchants?...On earth there is not his like,...He sees everything that is high;he is king over all the sons of pride.
To everyone in this place, let us think for a moment. We behold Leviathan. He belongs in the wild. He will never again be placed in a swimming pool in this country.
View Richard Cannings Profile
NDP (BC)
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the parliamentary secretary for his speech. He mentioned the fact that people in the north are anxious to see this legislation move forward quickly, and yet his own government has taken an inordinate amount of time preparing it.
We knew that this legislation was necessary before the last election. The negotiations and the consultation started then. From my information, they were finished in July 2017, and yet it was 18 months before this legislation was tabled only just before Christmas. Here we are in June of 2019, just days away from the end of this Parliament, and they are saying we have to hurry up.
I just want to ask the member why suddenly there is a rush when we should have had this finished long ago.
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