Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-06-14 10:57 [p.29116]
Mr. Speaker, I am very saddened to hear the rhetoric around fisheries that I have heard in this debate. Nothing has happened that is catastrophic in the world of fisheries as a result of the changes that were made to the Fisheries Act in 2012. Nobody anywhere in this country can point to a single incident of anything directly related to the changes in that bill. Everybody wanted those changes. Counties wanted them and even fisheries officers wanted those changes so that they could more effectively enforce the law.
I remember issues where farmers whose fields were flooded actually drained their fields and were charged because the old language in the act interpreted a flooded field as a fisheries habitat, even though it was only flooded for a couple of days. People faced ridiculous charges for things like that. There is nothing actually done for fish by changing the legislation in a way that actually prevents restoration and habitat projects from going ahead.
What we actually need are amendments that will do things like habitat banking which, for some reason, the government does not want to do anything about by increasing spawning channels. Rather than stopping all activity, we should enhance things, do offsets and increase the productivity of the natural environment. That is not done by changing legislation that gets in the way of all of these things.
The continually stumbling and bumbling of the left-hand side arguments that somehow we need legislation that pretends humans do not exist in the world is what is actually causing the environmental degradation that we have right now. We need enhancement. We need the ability to intervene and to work hard on behalf of fisheries. These changes are not doing it.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-06-14 11:44 [p.29125]
Mr. Speaker, Alberta has been shown nothing but disdain from the Liberal government for the last three and a half years. The Liberals continue their assault on the energy sector. Last night they shut down debate on Bill C-69, which has devastated many of my constituents.
People have lost their businesses, their jobs and their homes. They have lost hope. Some have even taken their own lives.
When everyone is telling the environment minister that her plan is a disaster, she chooses to ignore this advice. Everyone has been repeating it so long and saying it so loud. Why will she not listen?
View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-06-14 12:19 [p.29132]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-458, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (sentencing principles – remote emergency medical or police services).
He said: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Red Deer—Mountain View for seconding my bill.
My bill seeks to amend the Criminal Code by providing for changes that evidence that an offence was directed at a person or property that was vulnerable because of the remoteness from emergency or medical or police services be a factor when considering sentencing. Rural Canadians are particularly vulnerable right now. Statistics Canada, police reports, all the information points to the fact that rural Canadians are specifically being targeted by criminals.
If my bill is passed it would ensure that criminals will face longer times in jail for purposely targeting rural areas, contrary to Bill C-75, which would just speed up the revolving door, which is a hot button issue in my riding and for all rural Canadians, many of whom are tired of being repeat victims.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-06-11 14:16 [p.28915]
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are getting hosed at the pumps, no thanks to this Prime Minister. Recently the Canadian press reported that rebates from the Liberal carbon tax are much lower across the country than had been promised. Canadians are feeling the increased costs on everyday essentials such as groceries, home heating and gasoline. That is a far cry from the Liberal leader's claim that eight out of 10 families will get more money back than they pay into his scheme.
Between all the ums and ahs and the confusing world of water bottles, Canadians are realizing they cannot believe anything this Liberal Prime Minister says. The proof is in the pudding with his “Do as I say, not as I do” attitude, as he jets around the world on more taxpayer-funded vacations, with zero regard to his carbon emissions.
What he says and what he does never match. It is hardly a surprise that the Liberals' carbon-tax rebates are much lower than expected. Much like the Liberal leader, they are not as advertised.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-06-10 11:35 [p.28783]
Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that I rise today to speak to Bill S-203, which on its surface seems to be popular and appeals to the emotional drives behind it. Like many Canadians, I have seen cetaceans in captivity at places like SeaWorld and the Vancouver Aquarium; and at places like Marineland, where personally I have never been. I just want to put this in context.
This bill is designed to shut down one business in Canada. There is only one business in Canada actively pursuing or using cetaceans right now for the purpose of entertainment. That is what I want to talk about in this bill.
I am not against the notion that, if Canadians are by and large against having cetaceans in captivity, we can have that conversation. Of course we can have that conversation. It is the approach that this piece of legislation is taking that concerns me. It concerns me because I am a hunter and an angler. I am a guy who grew up on a farm and used animals every day at every stage and walk in my life. I am a guy who represents two areas of my constituency. One area hosts the Ponoka Stampede and one area hosts the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer.
I am also a conservationist. I have a zoology degree. I am pretty sure the guys who are laughing at me right now probably do not. I am going to ask that they just sit and think about this for one second. Many scientists appeared before the committee in the Senate and the committee in the House of Commons. They were people with not just bachelor of science degrees in zoology but with Ph.D.s. They were very concerned by the precedent that this piece of legislation would set. I asked the question in the committee whether we could end cetacean captivity in Canada in a simpler way, such as by just ending the permits of this particular business. We could do that by making a small change to the Fisheries Act and to the plant and animal transfer act.
However, this bill would change three things. It would change the Criminal Code of Canada and would do some interesting things. The bill is not about how humans handle animals or about the welfare or treatment of animals in people's care. The bill would, for the first time ever, make it a criminal act in Canada to keep an animal in captivity. That is the first time in our legislation anywhere that having an animal in captivity would be considered an illegal act. It would be illegal in the Criminal Code of Canada to breed animals, and these particular cetaceans—
An hon. member: Oh, oh!
View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-06-10 11:38 [p.28784]
Mr. Speaker, all I am asking for is the same respect I granted the speakers from other political parties while I sat and listened to them.
The problem, as I and the people I represent see it, is with the Criminal Code amendments as well as the follow-through and execution of this piece of legislation, which creates a framework and structure whereby anybody can add onto that by simply adding a comma into the legislation and saying that horses can no longer be kept or used for breeding or for purposes of entertainment. I am not saying that is going to happen, but the structure is actually there in the legislation to do it. One has to ask the question why this would need to be done. Why do we need this sledgehammer in legislation to effect the change we are looking for?
We are known by the company we keep. If we look at the organizations that are publicly and vocally expressing support for this bill, we see they call for the end of things like rodeos, fishing, eating animals and raising animals on a farm. These organizations, like Animal Justice and some SPCAs, call for these kinds of things. This is the company that this piece of legislation is keeping.
As I said, I am actually okay with it. I understand the science behind cetaceans and that not all cetaceans do well in captivity, but we also have to be logical. We have to think with our heads too about whether this is the right way to go. I will give an example. Dr. Laura Graham, who has a Ph.D., testified at committee and said there is no actual definition of cruel anywhere in this bill. As I said, it would create new definitions. For the very first time, it would make it illegal and criminalize the breeding of animals. This is something that is a very dangerous precedent for anybody involved in animal husbandry or any of these industries.
Dr. Laura Graham says that the definition of cruel is not anywhere in this bill, and as a scientist, she finds the lack of objective assessment troubling. She has also observed that the people pushing this bill are dismissing the importance of zoos and aquariums in educating the public and eliciting a concern for conservation and saving the planet.
As a matter of fact, she highlighted a very specific case about Vaquita dolphins down in the Gulf of Mexico, of which there are about 10 left; that is all that is left. If we were to use the facilities in Vancouver, Marineland and various SeaWorld installations as something other than entertainment, but rather as a conservation tool, through captive breeding programs we could potentially some day get to the point where we could release a viable population of Vaquita dolphins back into the wild.
I will get back to Dr. Graham in a second. When I was talking to Senator Sinclair at committee, I asked him about this notion of going to a national park, for example. Where I live in Alberta, there is a park called Elk Island National Park, which is not the typical national park that people think of when they go to national parks in their neighbourhoods. Elk Island National Park is a completely fenced-in enclosure. It is a captive facility for the purpose of breeding and population enhancement. People buy a park pass and go in there for the purpose of seeing that wildlife. They may have other purposes, but make no doubt about it, they go there to see the elk and the bison. There has just been a relatively successful, depending on the standards one wants to measure it by, reintroduction of bison into Yukon. There has been reintroduction of bison into Banff National Park, which would not have happened without the captive facility and the breeding program that went with it to re-establish this population.
The whole argument behind getting rid of cetacean captivity is an emotional one. I get it. Look, I have those same convictions when I look at animals in captivity as well. As a guy who goes hunting and fishing and sees all kinds of things in the wild, I get those same heartstring tugs that everybody else gets. I am not some cold and cruel individual. I get the arguments. However, as a conservationist, I also know that we need to make use of every tool available to us in order to help reintroduce wildlife lost through bad practices or mismanagement. Not everybody in the world does things as well as Canada, and we do not do some things all that well either.
However, we have an opportunity to ask ourselves if this bill is actually going to do more harm than good in the long run. It is the same emotional tug that wants us to end the captivity of whales and dolphins that never would have created these facilities in the first place. The City of Vancouver made the choice to end cetacean captivity for the purposes of entertainment without needing this big piece of legislation to do it, yet that facility is still used for rescue and rehabilitation of cetaceans.
It could just as easily use that facility to save a population of belugas, such as the population of belugas in the St. Lawrence Seaway. We know from the experience at Marineland that belugas are actually breeding quite well there. This legislation would be for the express purpose of making that breeding impossible or illegal, actually to the point that someone could go to jail for it. What is that going to do? It is going to split up that family pod at Marineland. It is going to separate the males from the females, and it is going to create the exact same issue that others are arguing captivity is causing in the first place. It is going to create divisiveness and stress in those families.
We know that belugas in captivity are quite successful at breeding. They have a very high success rate. They have a very high birth rate and a very high survival rate. We have populations of belugas right now in the world that are in trouble. If we do not get the environmental conditions right in nature, in the wild, before those populations are actually gone for good, we would have an opportunity to save those genetics. We could actually use the revenue from letting people come and watch them to help the science and research and help that captive breeding program do more good than harm in this particular case.
That is what I am asking my friends in the House to consider. Yes, it is going to be very popular to vote in favour of this bill. We have Free Willy and Blackfish and others movies that create the desire to do what we think is right.
Dr. Laura Graham talked about Dr. Jane Goodall. She had the same feeling about keeping chimpanzees in captivity, and then she changed her mind. As the habitat was encroaching on the natural range of these chimpanzees, as she saw how zoos and other captive facilities were treating these animals and as research and knowledge expanded, she changed her mind. I am simply asking my colleagues to at least consider that before passing this flawed legislation.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-05-28 21:36 [p.28194]
Thank you, Madam Speaker, for the way you have just adjudicated and comported yourself in this House. It was admirable, unlike some of the behaviour we have seen. It should not have come to that.
I want to let my colleague from Spadina—Fort York know that there is a young gentleman from the Maskwacis area in my riding who is deaf. He came to me seeking my help and guidance some time ago. The translator he was provided with understands the dialect and intonations. Even in sign language, much like in English, French or other languages, there are dialects or differences. He had an understanding with his provided interpreter, but when he applied to go to school to get a journeyman welder certificate, the college wanted to use a different service provider to provide interpretative services, who did not have the same dialect, and that was creating issues when it came to the ability of the student to understand in the terms and conditions that he was used to.
Is there anything in the legislation or were there any amendments to this bill, either at the House stage or at the Senate stage, that could have or should have been taken into consideration so that a constituent such as mine would have been able to use the interpreter he wanted for his educational purposes?
View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-05-13 18:07 [p.27711]
Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to rise today on behalf of the fine people of Red Deer—Lacombe, in central Alberta, to talk again about this legislation, one which the Senate sent back to the House because it saw the same flaws in it that the opposition did.
The bill was passed at third reading by the Liberal majority government in an expeditious way as an attempt to fulfill its political objectives, without giving due consideration to the impacts the bill would have on the people of Canada, notwithstanding that it is about marine protected areas.
I do not think any reasonable Canadian would think that having marine protected areas is a bad idea. In fact, the previous Conservative government created many marine protected areas in fresh water and in our oceans. The current government has an ambitious plan to set aside 10% of our marine areas for protection by 2020.
The fisheries committee, of which I am a member, travelled across the country to talk to various stakeholders and groups about what that would actually look like. We heard loudly and clearly from aboriginal groups, particularly from those in coastal communities that rely on the ocean or the sea for their way of life, about their concern that marine protected areas would interfere with or infringe upon their lifestyles. The Inuit of the north want to have access to various estuaries for beluga harvesting or fishing. The coastal communities rely on shipping and marine traffic. The indigenous communities rely on salmon, halibut, clams and so on, not only for their personal use but also for the socio-economic interests that exist within their various bands.
In its wisdom, the Senate has basically found that Bill C-55 does not do a very good job of addressing the concerns of some of these communities. In fact, Senator Patterson, who is from the Nunavut territory, wanted to amend clause 5 of the bill to enhance consultation and co-operation measures. Even the government touts itself as one that wants to ensure the consultative process is done. However, the Senate, which is now dominated by members appointed by the Prime Minister, has sided with Senator Patterson, saying the bill needs to go back to have that clause reviewed.
Some people in my home province of Alberta may be asking why a guy from Alberta is so focused on fisheries, particularly on the west coast. They may wonder why a guy from central Alberta, who is also a farm boy, is always talking about fish and salmon. It just happens to be something I know a little bit about. I also understand that standing in between the economic prosperity of the people I represent in central Alberta and their future is the ability to ship energy products off Canada's Pacific coast.
Nobody back home in my riding actually believes that the current government has Alberta's best interests at heart. That is why traditionally, after the prime minister with the same last name as the current Prime Minister was elected, the Liberal brand, especially at the provincial level, is virtually a non-starter in Alberta. Why?
For people with a short memory or who have not learned their history very well, it is because people realized that brand and name just meant economic chaos. Whether through the National Energy Board program that was implemented some 40 years ago or the programs that are being implemented now, nobody back in Alberta believes that the marine protected area measures in Bill C-55 will not be used as a political sledgehammer to further restrict Alberta's ability to export its natural resource products off the coast, and this is why.
First and foremost, the current government, even though it tries to say otherwise, does not like fossil fuels. The Prime Minister has been very clear, through slips of the tongue, that the oil sands need to be phased out and stopped. He said as much. He said in response to questions about the carbon tax that the increasing cost of energy and the increasing cost of fuel for Canadians is what we want. When I say “we want”, I am using the Prime Minister's words. It is what the Prime Minister thinks Canadians actually want.
Right now we have a situation in British Columbia in which the Premier of British Columbia is basically threatening to block the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, yet at the same time threatening to sue the Government of Alberta if it chooses to shut off the existing Trans Mountain pipeline's delivery of oil. We find ourselves in this really bizarre world here in Canada, where nobody actually believes that anybody in the Liberal Party or the NDP wants to allow any more pipelines built to our west coast.
We have the carbon tax. We have had the regulatory changes. We have had the outright cancelling of the northern gateway pipeline by Enbridge and the changing of the regulatory process for energy east. The very first thing that the Liberal government published in November 2015 was changes that it made to the consultation process on pipelines, further delaying the Trans Mountain expansion and energy east and killing outright the northern gateway pipeline.
Everybody in the sector calls Bill C-69 the no-more-pipelines bill. This legislation is designed specifically and purposely to ensure that no more oil pipelines will be built in Canada, thereby trapping Alberta, Saskatchewan or all of Canada's energy in the North American marketplace. We sell that crude oil at a discount in the North American marketplace. Then it gets refined and shipped back to us at full price, and Canadians have to pick up the tab.
We have seen the proposed tanker ban legislation, Bill C-48, on the west coast. Interestingly enough, the government, which claims to care so much about the marine environment, did not put a tanker ban on the east coast to forbid tankers from Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and elsewhere from bringing energy to the eastern shores of Canada, even though eastern Canadians would much prefer to buy oil that was taken from the ground here in Canada and refined here in Canada for the use of all Canadians and for the economic benefit of everybody.
It would not be a stretch in any way, shape or form to believe that the current sitting Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, or any version thereof that the Liberal government has had sitting in that seat, would use Bill C-55.
I have no reason as an Albertan to believe anything other than that marine protected areas will be specifically designated and set up in areas not based on science or not based on where the marine protected area could do the most good for the preservation of species or the preservation of unique habitat or ecosystems, but instead in specifically designated areas to block the kinds of industrial activity that the government does not favour, notwithstanding that there is a tanker ban already in place through Bill C-48.
People back home need to understand that in the creation of a national park, there is normally a long and arduous process. A consultative process takes place, as well as a gazetting process through the National Parks Act, usually in the form of a willing seller and willing buyer. When national parks are purchased or require land that is already privately held, going through that process would be a requirement. The annexation part did not work out too well for the previous prime minister of Liberal persuasion when he tried that in Atlantic Canada, so here we find ourselves using Crown land in the north, which is where most Crown land is. Anytime a new national park is created, it is created on Crown land, but oceans are owned by nobody. They are actually owned by Her Majesty the Queen. They are owned by the Crown in right of the people of Canada.
The minister, through Bill C-55 should it pass in its current form, will have the ability to designate a marine protected area wherever he or she sees fit. There is no legislative requirement at all for the minister to use best science. There is no legislative requirement at all for that process to be gazetted, not one.
This is the most powerful piece of legislation that I have seen that gives the minister the outright ability to take up to 10%—because the government is saying that is the target—of our oceans and close them down in full or part, however the minister sees fit. That means that he or she can designate a marine protected area that is completely closed from all activity, right from the sunlit zone at the top of the water, all the way through the pelagic zone to the littoral zone at the bottom, if there is enough sunlight there to create that, or even down into the benthos or the layer at the bottom of the ocean floor, and cease and desist all activity.
The minister could make any list of exemptions that he or she wants in order to accommodate whatever political agenda they have. They could deny fishing, trawling, tanker traffic or specific tanker traffic. They could simply say, just as Bill C-48 does, that ships will be allowed through as long as the ship does not contain products x, y or z. There is no ability in this legislation at all for any recourse whatsoever.
I would bet anybody with a crisp $10 bill who wants to take me up on it—maybe this is dangerous because I am not a gambler—that marine protected areas in the first tranche, once this legislation comes to pass, will be set up at the Dixon Entrance and the Hecate Strait, outside of Prince Rupert, to make darn sure that, if Bill C-48 fails, not a single tanker will be allowed out of that area—the Prince Rupert-Kitimat area—carrying any type of crude oil or any of its byproducts or any of its refined products.
Anybody who does not think that is going to happen is dreaming. We will have no justification or rationale printed in any Gazette for why the minister is choosing to do this, because they are not obligated to under the legislation. That is why the Senate has coughed this bill back up and sent it back to this place. I do not expect the government to actually take any of these amendments seriously. I expect we will probably get time allocation. I know that the government has already sent a note back to the Senate on this piece of legislation.
I actually do not expect the government to accept any of these recommendations. I do not expect the government to take any amendments on this legislation that would limit the heavy-handed unilateral ability of the minister to basically outline or delineate anywhere he or she sees fit to accomplish the Liberal political agenda. That is what I find most egregious and most frustrating with this piece of legislation.
The minister will have the ability, once Bill C-55 passes, to designate whether certain tanker traffic is allowed, or any products, or if any tanker traffic is allowed at all. The minister will be allowed to decide whether any commercial fishing would happen in that area. The minister would be allowed to determine whether any sport fishing or recreational fishing would be allowed to happen in that particular area, and set any terms and conditions for it. The minister already has that ability to regulate fisheries through the Fisheries Act, but this is something they are going to have the ability to do even further through the marine protected area legislation, which is what Bill C-55 is all about.
The government will also have the unilateral ability—and I am assuming this will get challenged almost immediately—to actually decide what the indigenous peoples of this country will be able to do in those marine protected areas. I do not expect the government to actually put too many restrictions on them, but it may. I would be curious to see how those actually stand up to a test.
It is very frustrating, because the talking points coming from the government will make it sound as though this is a great idea. Of course, Canadians, who think with their hearts—as many Canadians do, and it is okay to think with the heart from time time—are going to say that 10% of our marine area is going to be protected and that is fantastic. However, here is the rub. There is no actual scientific requirement or any requirement in the legislation at all that is going to require the minister of fisheries and oceans to follow any rules or obligations in the establishment of a marine protected area.
I will give an example of what happens on the terrestrial side of the equation. Years ago, when I was taking my zoology degree at the University of Alberta, the numbers floated and bandied around back then—and that was almost 30 years ago—were 12.5%, 75% and 12.5%, and I mentioned this in my earlier speech. It was that 12.5% of the terrestrial land mass should be set aside for complete preservation or in a national park-like structure, with very little use, very little activity.
This land is designated in a preservation classification type of area. Of course, that also needs to be representative of the various biozones that we have, in order to get the approval of the United Nations and all the other agencies that watch these things. It could not all be, for example, in the Arctic. We would have to represent things like grasslands, which is why we have the creation of Grasslands National Park, which is still ongoing. We would have to represent all of that area in order to protect a representative sample of all the various ecosystems and habitats in the country.
It was decided a long time ago that 75% of the land mass would be classified as common use, areas where conservation management practices actually come into play to manage the environmental considerations that we have. Another 12.5% was set aside as complete use, things that are paved over, under concrete, cities, roads, highways, industrial areas, things of that nature, where these kinds of human activities need to happen in order to benefit and improve the quality of life of all people, not only in Canada but around the world. It was 12.5%, 75% and 12.5%.
Now we see that shift on the terrestrial environment, moving forward, but here is the rub. Any time somebody wants to grow that 12.5% of the preserved land area, that person has to take that land from that particular area. We just saw how badly this backfired for Rachel Notley in Alberta, when she tried to take some of the land that is classified in the public land use zone, the 75% of conservation and well-managed land and terrestrial areas. To put that space in the preservation pot, a person has to take it from the 75%, which is everybody who lives and makes a living in small rural areas across our country. It is very seldom that anybody in an urban area has to pay a price or a consequence for the development of a preservation boundary inside his or her jurisdiction, very seldom.
The same thing is going to happen in these marine protected areas. It is not going to cost anything for people who do not venture out onto the ocean, because it is not going to impact their lives. However, all those who live in small, rural, coastal communities or make a living by going out onto the water will now have to contend with arbitrary delineations of marine protected areas and make sure they follow whatever rules and conditions the minister has made. The minister, according to this legislation, can make any rules he or she sees fit. It is limitless. It does not have to be gazetted and it does not need the approval of anybody, other than a ministerial order. It does not even need the approval of the Governor in Council. It does not even need the approval of his or her cabinet colleagues.
The minister can simply sign a ministerial order and declare an area as a marine protected area. That is unwieldy power, especially when we are talking about 10% of the surface area on down, right through the water column to the bottom of the sea, the ocean, the lake, the river or whatever it happens to be. That is under the care and control of just one decision-maker in this country. That is a lot of power. It is power that our friends in the Senate have said should be reconsidered, and that is why they sent this piece of legislation back here.
I truly hope that this House takes a serious look at this legislation. I know the government is running out of time in its legislative agenda, but I sure hope that common sense will prevail, that the right thing will be done and that these amendments from the Senate will be given due consideration and every opportunity to be re-examined and studied, and not only by this chamber. I would love to see this bill go back to the committee so it can look at some of the work the Senate committee did, so that we, as the elected representatives of the people of Canada, have a better understanding as to exactly what the impacts of the bill would be.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-05-13 18:27 [p.27714]
Mr. Speaker, I did read the legislation. There was one reference when it came to the gazetting, and it had nothing to do with the establishment of the marine protected areas. Maybe the parliamentary secretary ought to go back and discuss this with the minister and talk to some of his cabinet colleagues. It is exactly how the legislation currently reads.
The member did mention the order that the minister could sign. He basically confirmed through his comments that the minister had the ability to issue an order delineating a marine protected area wherever he or she saw fit. That is the beginning of the process and the minister has, through the legislation, the ability to set out whatever terms and conditions he or she sees fit in order to curb, curtail, allow or disallow any activity that he or she sees fit.
I will reiterate. I look forward to seeing the marine protected areas delineated in the Hecate Strait and in the Dixon Entrance. I very much look forward to making the member recant his words when I see the terms and conditions on those marine protected areas that will not allow tankers through if they have any crude oil on them.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-05-13 18:29 [p.27714]
Mr. Speaker, the previous government had the national conservation plan, otherwise known as the NCP, with $250 million over a number of years to establish a lot of protected areas throughout Canada without using this ham-fisted approach that the current government is using through this proposed legislative process. Included in the protected areas were the Musquash Estuary in New Brunswick, the Bowie Seamount off the coast of British Columbia and the Tarium Niryutait in the Beaufort Sea. These are just a handful of the ones that were done. There was also the one by Thunder Bay and Lake Superior.
My hon. colleague was not here during any of the time that Stephen Harper was the prime minister of Canada. I encourage her to check her facts before she gets up on her feet again.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-05-13 18:31 [p.27714]
Mr. Speaker, my only hope is that the members opposite, through their collective wisdom, would know as much about the ecology and science as my friend for Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa has forgotten over the years. However, I digress.
The member's point is very well made. There have been over $100 billion in capital flight in projects. There has basically been nothing on the books in Alberta now for the better part of four years. The combined Notley arrangement with the current Prime Minister, that friendship they had, resulted in the promise that if we did all of these environmental things, such as the carbon tax and so on, we would get all kinds of projects.
The current government inherited three tidewater pipeline applications, which is three more than Stephen Harper inherited from the previous government by the way. We saw one of them cancelled outright. We saw one that had regulatory reforms put on it that were so onerous that the company not only withdrew its application for getting oil to the east coast, but it is actually changing the name of its company as a result. Of course, the Trans Mountain expansion pipeline was fumbled so bad that now every taxpayer in Canada is a shareholder of what used to be a private equity investment, creating tens of thousands of jobs across the country. I have no confidence in the government whatsoever that it will actually get it built.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-05-13 18:34 [p.27715]
Mr. Speaker, I grew up on a farm. I fixed tractors, fences, automobiles and all manner of things on the farm, but to this day I am unable to fix stupid.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-05-13 18:34 [p.27715]
Mr. Speaker, I apologize unreservedly for the comment. My anger and frustration on behalf of the people that I represent got the better of me. This is not something that I normally have to do in this chamber. Thank you for calling me to order.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-05-13 18:36 [p.27715]
Mr. Speaker, my colleague would know that the southern resident killer whale occupies a broad range of habitat. Sometimes it is off the coast of Vancouver Island and sometimes it is off the coast of northern California. These cetaceans specifically target chinook salmon as their primary source of prey, but they have demonstrated that they will take other salmon species and anything else when the situation arises.
The problem with salmon is the salmon that are currently around Vancouver Island are likely out of the Columbia River, while some will be produced out of some of the local rivers as well. The issue is one of fisheries management ensuring that there are enough fish in the ocean not only for human consumption but for all of the wildlife that rely on it. A marine protected area is not required to achieve this goal. It requires appropriate fisheries management and fisheries enhancement and salmonid enhancement programming to ensure that there are enough fish not only for people but for wildlife.
A marine protected area will do nothing for the killer whales because they will move where the food is, and a marine protected area is just a delineated area on a map. I am sure the whales will not be checking where the line on the map is.
View Blaine Calkins Profile
View Blaine Calkins Profile
2019-05-06 11:59 [p.27374]
Madam Speaker, first of all, I want to thank all my colleagues in this House for taking the opportunity to speak to this bill. I do not agree with all the information I have heard, but I appreciate the fact that we have had the debate.
I must take umbrage with some of the arguments that have been used against this piece of legislation. We have heard opposition MPs say that this bill is extrajudicial and would cause problems and that we cannot enforce this law outside our borders. That is simply not true. This is actually about registered third parties inside Canada and whether they accept money from overseas. That is a simple thing to do. There is no extrajudicial or extraterritorial component to this piece of legislation, because it deals with the Canada Elections Act and registered third parties in Canada.
As for the penalties, I have heard it suggested that there is no penalty section. There is a catch-all penalty provision in every piece of legislation. There does not need to be. It is just a red herring thrown in. There do not need to be any specific penalties laid out because the general catch-all provisions in the Canada Elections Act for penalties are already there.
Speakers talked about whether Bill C-76 addresses this problem. It clearly does not. Bill C-76 does not address this problem, because it actually continues to allow third parties to receive foreign funding from foreign entities, be they state actors, individuals, corporations or other third party organizations registered as charitable organizations elsewhere in the world. What it requires is that if that money is actually used for an election purpose, an investigation has to be conducted by the election officials. At that particular time, one cannot sort out the molecules of where the money actually came from, just as one cannot sort out the molecules of what oil patch the gasoline in one's car came from. One cannot sort that stuff out at that point.
Bill C-76 actually allows backdoor financing from state actors, corporations that are not registered or are not conducting business in Canada, individuals, foundations and organizations to influence Canadian elections, especially in election advertising in the pre-writ and writ periods. That is the period leading up to an election and the period of the election itself.
Why on earth would we have laws that say that only Canadian individuals are allowed to donate to political parties for the purpose of an election and then allow unions and corporate interests and other interests outside our country to fund third parties during an election in Canada to change the results, the results, by the way, that organizations like Leadnow proudly display in their campaigns?
Is Leadnow, as a Canadian organization, allowed to engage in the politics of Canada? Of course it is. All my bill is saying is that if it makes the choice to take that money from outside Canada's borders, it cannot use it anymore. It cannot be allowed to participate in the election game, because it is not fair. If it cannot convince Canadians to donate to its cause and take part in what it is trying to do, it should not be allowed to justify the ends by means of getting money from outside Canada's borders.
It is not just small groups of individuals at bake sales. Leadnow, Tides and others are using things like the Yellowstone to Yukon conservation initiative or things like the PNCIMA initiative to have massive amounts of foreign money coming into British Columbia and the eastern slopes of Alberta to block pipeline projects. It is disingenuous for the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley to say that it is a couple of people and a bake sale trying to stop a pipeline. It is simply not true. It is maybe one story out of 100 about foreign money influencing that pipeline project.
This bill, Bill C-406, is a good piece of legislation. It basically says that if one is going to get involved in the election, one should know in advance that if one takes money from outside the country, one will not be allowed to play in the game anymore, because it is cheating. It is cheating because elections belong to Canadians. Only Canadians should be allowed, with their opinions, with their information and with their money, to decide the fate of our country.
One can only assume, then, why other political parties in here would not have the patriotic sense of duty to ensure that our elections are free, fair and only conducted in the realm of the Canadian intellectual space, the economic space and the debate space we have during these elections. One can only assume that if members vote against this legislation, it is because they are willing to use any means possible to justify whatever ends they want. That means that they are willing to sell Canada's soul down the road for a little bit of money to pay for an election campaign.
Every time the rules are circumvented, trust and confidence are eroded. If we are going to have trust and confidence in our electoral process, we should send a signal loud and clear to the Canadian people that we are not putting up with it anymore by voting in favour of Bill C-406.
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