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            • MPconblog GeraldKeddy 179 post Nautel Limited

              Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today to recognize a great example of small business in my riding of South Shore—St. Margaret's. Nautel Limited, headquartered in the community of Hackett's Cove since 1969, manufactures and designs high-power transmitters for radio and TV stations and navigation equipment for airports and the offshore.

              A company known for its innovative products, Nautel is a Nova Scotian an Canadian export success story, shipping to over 177 countries worldwide. During its 46 years in business, the company has contributed over half a billion dollars to the Nova Scotia and Canadian economies. Nautel has been recognized as a Profit 500 company, as a Passion Capitalist winner, and most recently as Halifax's Business of the Year—all this from a rural company located on the shores of St. Margarets Bay near the scenic landmark of Peggy's Cove.

              Congratulations to the management and employees of Nautel. Well done.

              • MPconblog GeraldKeddy 186 post Health Care

                Mr. Speaker, recruiting and retaining health care practitioners can be difficult in rural Canada. This is often further challenged by the lack of modern office space designed for health care professionals.

                In my riding of South Shore—St. Margaret's, a dedicated group of local volunteers is working to change that. They are fundraising to build a collaborative health care facility to service the municipality of Chester, the Hubbards area, Tancook Islands and my hometown of New Ross.

                Our health centre will attract and provide space for primary care practitioners, wellness professionals and visiting specialists. The building will include a main reception area, information centre, six medical offices and additional clinic space.

                This is an ambitious project and I would like to congratulate all who have worked on or contributed toward it. This group of dedicated volunteers has already raised $3.1 million with a goal of raising $4.5 million.

                Please visit www.ourhealthcentre.ca to follow this terrific project and see how to donate.

                • MPconblog Randy Kamp 1471 post Business of Supply

                  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to be able to participate in this debate today. I hope we will get some clarity as we go throughout the rest of the day.

                  Let me begin with a summary of my thoughts.

                  Our government is committed to responsible resource development. DFO's mandate is to ensure that when proponents want to implement projects, specific criteria for the protection and recovery of species at risk, such as the beluga whale, are respected. I can assure everyone in the House that our government remains committed to the protection of species at risk and that DFO takes this responsibility seriously.

                  In addition to the measures under the Species at Risk Act, commercial, recreational, and aboriginal fisheries are protected under the Fisheries Act. This means that areas that support such fisheries are protected against serious harm, which includes protection of habitat and protection against the death of fish.

                  TransCanada Pipeline's proposed energy east project includes the construction and operation of a shipping terminal near the port of Gros-Cacouna, Quebec. The project involves the conversion of an existing pipeline and the construction of new pipeline sections to transport oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to eastern Canada. The project includes the construction and operation of two shipping terminals, one in Cacouna, Quebec, and the other in Saint John, New Brunswick.

                  It is well known that the area around Cacouna is at certain times of the year inhabited by beluga whales.

                  I should mention at this time that I will be splitting my time with the hon. member for South Shore—St. Margaret's.

                  The project application has not yet been filed with the National Energy Board. TransCanada has not submitted a proposal for review, contrary to what my NDP colleagues have said. Therefore, complete details of the proposed development at Cacouna are not available.

                  Although the National Energy Board will be responsible for conducting the environmental assessment, DFO will intervene in the National Energy Board hearing process and will review the project and provide advice with respect to our mandate in accordance with well-established processes that rely on scientific information. In conducting the review, DFO will assess the project under both the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act.

                  Under the Fisheries Act, experts will assess whether the project is likely to result in harm to fish and subsequently determine if potential harm can be alleviated with appropriate avoidance, mitigation, or offsetting measures. This is a robust process to ensure the ongoing productivity and sustainability of Canada's commercial, recreational, and aboriginal fisheries.

                  Under the Species at Risk Act, DFO will assess whether, first, all reasonable alternatives to the activity that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solution has been adopted; second, whether all feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of the activity on a species or its critical habitat; and third, whether the activity will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species.

                  As we are all aware, and as I have already said, the St. Lawrence estuary beluga whale is a species at risk, and all efforts should be made to avoid impacts on the species.

                  It is for this reason that DFO has been actively engaged since the early stages of this project. DFO has provided information with respect to the requirements of the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act to the proponent and has shared existing scientific reports and analyses with the Province of Quebec.

                  The proposed TransCanada energy east project is currently in the exploratory phase. In preparation for the proposed terminal at Cacouna, TransCanada submitted a proposal to Fisheries and Oceans Canada to conduct seismic testing and exploration drilling in order to define the geological structure of the proposed terminal site.

                  The department reviewed the proposal to determine whether it would adversely impact listed aquatic species at risk and whether it was likely to cause serious harm to fish, which is prohibited under the Fisheries Act. Again, the proposal was reviewed in accordance with well-established science-based processes.

                  Following the review, a Species at Risk Act permit was issued for the seismic survey project, but the survey was limited to a less sensitive time when beluga whales were less likely to be present. The permit required that the seismic testing be completed by April 30 of this year, which has been done.

                  Following the review of the proposed exploratory drilling project, DFO officials provided a letter back to TransCanada that included measures to avoid potential impacts on the St. Lawrence beluga. Measures included the presence of a marine mammal observer, ongoing monitoring of beluga presence, and the creation of a protection zone around the work site such that if belugas were observed within 500 metres of the work, then work would stop.

                  DFO advised the proponent that provided these mitigation measures were incorporated into TransCanada's plans, DFO was of the view that the exploratory drilling would not result in serious harm to fish, nor would it contravene the Species at Risk Act. This determination was based on a wealth of existing knowledge and scientific information.

                  The project proponent committed to avoiding impacts to the species by undertaking activities during less sensitive periods as well as by implementing mitigation measures during drilling to ensure that the St. Lawrence beluga whale is protected.

                  The Province of Quebec issued two authorizations for the exploratory drilling. In reaching its decision, the province relied on the same scientific information used by DFO.

                  As an example, on September 17, as per the protocol, drilling operations were shut down because of beluga presence in the area. In fact, this was exactly how it was supposed to work.

                  Since that time, on September 23 the Superior Court of Quebec issued an interlocutory injunction halting the drilling until October 15, 2014. However, let me be clear that the impact of that decision would not change anything concerning DFO's advice. This decision was entirely related to Quebec provincial laws and a provincial review and authorization process. I remain confident in the expertise of DFO staff and the review process that was followed at the federal level.

                  Throughout the upcoming review process, DFO will continue to be actively engaged in the environmental assessment to ensure the protection of the St. Lawrence beluga whale.

                  To demonstrate the thoroughness of our project reviews, I will highlight some of the steps implemented by DFO.

                  Upon receiving a project for review, DFO officials review the project in accordance with the requirements of the Fisheries Act and the Species At Risk Act. These reviews rely on the best available scientific information.

                  Officials review the information provided to determine whether additional information is needed to make a determination on whether serious harm to fish is likely and whether there are potential impacts to species at risk that must be considered. To ensure a complete analysis, consultation with other experts in the department, including our scientists, is performed.

                  If it is determined that the project is not likely to result in serious harm or to require a Species at Risk Act permit, the biologist notifies the proponent through a letter of advice, which may include measures to mitigate potential impacts to fish and fish habitat, including species at risk. If this determination cannot immediately be made, the biologist has discussions with the proponent on appropriate mitigation and offsetting to determine whether an authorization can in fact be issued.

                  For the review of the energy east project, including the proposed project activities at Cacouna, the National Energy Board review process will involve a hearing. DFO will have intervenor status at the hearing and will provide expertise to the process related to the department's mandate. This includes expertise with respect to marine mammals such as the St. Lawrence beluga.

                  Let me conclude by saying again that projects do not move forward unless they are safe for the environment and safe for Canadians.

                  • MPconblog Ron Cannan 2033 post Canada-Korea Economic Growth and Prosperity Act

                    Mr. Speaker, it is always a privilege and honour to rise in the House. This morning I rise to speak on this historic free trade agreement between Canada and Korea.

                    I am delighted to be sharing my time with my hon. colleague, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue and for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and member for South Shore—St. Margaret's, with whom I have had the opportunity to be on the trade committee for the last eight and a half years. He used to be the parliamentary secretary to the trade committee as well, and so we have a good working relationship. He also has a thorough understanding of the importance of this agreement for not only his constituents but all Canadians.

                    I want to touch on some of the aspects of this free trade agreement and how it would strengthen our trade and investment ties across the Pacific.

                    This agreement would increase the prosperity of both countries and result in job creation and enhanced opportunities for Canadian and Korean businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as investors, workers, and consumers.

                    I do not think members will find any government or any prime minister in Canadian history who better understands the importance of trade to our economy. Trade represents one in five jobs and accounts for approximately 60% of our country's annual income. We also understand that Canada's prosperity requires expansion beyond our borders into new markets for economic opportunities that serve to grow Canada's exports and investments.

                    As I said, no government in Canada's history has been more committed to the creation of new jobs and prosperity for Canadian businesses, workers, and their families. Deepening Canada's trading relationships in dynamic and high-growth markets around the world is key to these efforts.

                    I would also like to thank the opposition parties for their understanding and support of why it is important to ratify this agreement quickly and have it implemented by January 1, 2015.

                    I worked together with my honourable colleague across the aisle, the member for Vancouver Kingsway and the NDP official trade critic, who stated last week in this House that:

                    This agreement offers the opportunity for Canadian producers and exporters to increase trade with a modern democratic country with a high-income complementary economy.

                    He went on to say that:

                    It will level the playing field for Canadian exporters, who can compete with the best in the world....

                    Finally, he said:

                    There is no doubt that Korea is both a significant and a strategic economic partner for Canada.

                    I could not agree more, and in that regard I would like to highlight the key elements of our trade strategy for Asia and South Korea.

                    The economic potential of Asia is immense, with a constantly evolving political transformation and a monumental demographic shift. Asia is important to Canada because it offers new opportunities to expand Canada's economic prosperity.

                    The importance of this agreement is that it would be the gateway to the Asia-Pacific, which has a population of 50 million-plus. This agreement would open the doors. That is why our government has taken such a rigorous and strategic approach to trade with Asia.

                    My hon. colleague, the Minister of International Trade, has travelled numerous times to various parts of Asia, including the conclusion of this agreement with South Korea and the pursuit of agreements with India and Japan. He will be leading a delegation to India next month. These agreements would lead to increased trade and investment, enhancing Canadian prosperity for generations to come.

                    Investment is a key driving force for economic growth and competitiveness in Canada. Canadian companies that invest overseas can expand their client base significantly and bring capital back into Canada, which can create jobs. Foreign companies that invest in Canada create jobs as well, boost our economy, and contribute to economic growth that benefits all Canadians.

                    While Canada and South Korea enjoy a strong investment relationship, ample scope remains for further growth in both directions.

                    South Korea's direct investments into Canada have risen from $397 million in 2005 up to $4.9 billion by the end of 2013. South Korea is the twelfth-largest investor country in Canada and the fourth from Asia.

                    South Korea is one of the world's great science and technology powerhouses. I am very interested in innovation and technology, and I had a chance to visit Taiwan a couple of times, as well as Korea, earlier this year.

                    South Korea has one of the highest expenditures on research and development, R & D, as a share of GDP among OECD countries, spending 4% of GDP. While most private sector R & D takes place domestically, South Korean companies have begun investing in research centres overseas, including Samsung in my home province of British Columbia. Others are becoming more active in utilizing overseas R & D staff and resources.

                    With this agreement's investment-related provisions and Canada's world-leading, cost-effective R & D environment, Canada would become an even more attractive destination for South Korean R & D investment.

                    Other examples of South Korean companies' continued interest in Canada are not hard to find. KOGAS, South Korea's national gas company, has already invested heavily in a Canadian LNG project.

                    My colleague across the way will be interested in knowing that Green Cross, a South Korean biopharmaceutical company, will be opening a new company, a manufacturing facility in Montreal, as it breaks into the North American market. For these companies and many more, Canada is the destination of choice.

                    Something that is near and dear to the constituents in my riding of Kelowna—Lake Country and to wine lovers across Canada is also something that is very appealing to the palate of the people of South Korea, and that is our great Canadian icewine.

                    As I alluded to, I had the opportunity and the honour of travelling with the Prime Minister and the Minister of International Trade on March 11 to Seoul, Korea, for the signing of the free trade agreement with President Park. It was an historic moment and an incredible experience. At Blue House, President Park's house, we were able to enjoy a toast of Canadian icewine, which was the icing on the cake.

                    A champion of the Canadian wine institute is the president, hard-working Dan Paszkowski, who indicated:

                    The Canadian wine industry is pleased to support the Government of Canada in its work to finalize negotiations for the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement. South Korea is an important market for Canadian wine producers, as evidenced by the significant growth in the value of Canadian icewine exports, which increased nearly 25 percent between 2012 and 2013. With a successful FTA, the Canadian wine industry anticipates even stronger export growth in the coming years.

                    I recently spoke with Dan, who said that about 95% of the market right now is the export of icewine to South Korea, but there is a huge potential for other products once the South Korean community starts to taste our product. Something of interest is that the highest price point for red wine is South Korea. These are great things to raise our glasses and cheer about in the future with this agreement.

                    In other investments abroad, Canadian direct investment in South Korea has fluctuated over the years. We have seen an upward trend in recent years. Specifically, at the end of 2013, Canadian investment stock in South Korea was at $534 million, up from $390 million in 2012.

                    Canadian companies continue to show increased interest in investing in South Korea. Major Canadian companies such as Magna International, Bombardier—whose facility in South Korea and we had an opportunity to tour with the Prime Minister—and Pharmascience have already invested in South Korea, and more investments and partnerships are on the horizon. Just this past May, the clothing brand Joe Fresh announced it would open its first store outside of North America in Seoul, with plans to open nine more retail outlets in the South Korean capital by the end of the year.

                    This agreement will level the playing field for Canadian companies in the South Korean market, which we all agree is important. Canadian businesses can compete with the world when they are on a level playing field.

                    The agreement sets out transparent and predictable rules, something also very important for businesses. They want stability, predictability, and transparency.

                    The agreement will ensure that Canadian businesses in South Korea will be treated no less favourably than South Korean businesses. It will protect Canadian businesses from discriminatory treatment and provides access to an independent international investor state dispute settlement mechanism. The same rules will apply to South Koreans investing in Canada, further increasing the attractiveness of Canada as an investment destination. I do not think anybody would disagree with each country being treated the same way, respectfully and with the same rules. These rules have been a standard feature of Canada's comprehensive free trade agreements since NAFTA and have been shown time and time again to be in our national interest.

                    For Canadian companies that invest abroad, there is no substitute for being on site where their clients are. Canadian companies that invest in South Korea will now find it easier to have their professionals on site in South Korea. The agreement will provide new preferential access for professionals from both Canada and South Korea and will facilitate greater transparency and predictability for the movement of businesspersons between the two countries.

                    Our Conservative government is committed to protecting and strengthening the long-term financial security of hard-working Canadians. Thanks to these actions under our government's free trade leadership, Canadian workers, businesses, and exporters now have preferred access and a real competitive edge in more markets around the world than at any other time in our history.

                    The global market is shifting. More companies are looking to Asia for growth. The South Korean market provides a landmark opportunity for growth in neighbouring markets in Asia, Japan, and China. This agreement will provide fair access to the whole South Korean market and ensure continued growth for Canada.

                    Trade has long been a powerful engine for Canada's economy, and it is even more so in what remain challenging times for the global economy. By continuing to actively pursue broader market access and new investment opportunities, we are providing Canadian businesses and exporters with access on preferred terms to the largest, most dynamic, and fastest-growing regions around the world.

                    I would ask for a quick ratification of this agreement by all parties.

                    • MPconblog GeraldKeddy 208 post Book Launch in South Shore—St. Margaret's

                      Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House today to share the recent launch of a book in my riding of South Shore—St. Margaret's, entitled Firefighters of Lunenburg County: The Greatest Volunteer Success Story.

                      Back in April 2013, I had the honour of announcing funding of $25,000 for this project through the new horizons for seniors program. This book is certainly one of the many tangible results of what new horizons for seniors funding can achieve.

                      The book project steering committee and its team of volunteers were able to capture and celebrate the history of our local fire departments in Lunenburg County, paying tribute to the many men and women, both firefighters and auxiliary members, who built and continue to maintain our volunteer fire departments.

                      This book includes terrific photos and touching stories, and it is a very attractive and professional coffee table book.

                      As the member of Parliament for South Shore—St. Margaret's, I want to extend my sincere gratitude for the efforts and contributions made by our volunteer firefighters and auxiliary members, both past and present.

                      • MPlibblog Scott Brison 245 post Business of Supply

                        Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from my friend, the member for South Shore—St. Margaret's, with whom I served as a Progressive Conservative. Ten years ago the word “progressive” was removed from the Conservative brand. It was a reflection not only of style but of substance in that party. I understand that the member, after distinguished service to the people of South Shore—St. Margaret's and Canada, is retiring from public life and I wish him well in his future.

                        The question here is whether this public policy will work to create jobs and encourage small businesses to grow. The reality is that—and this is according to Jack Mintz, a significant economist at the University of Calgary, or Mike Moffatt—the Conservative measure would, perversely, provide a disincentive to grow businesses. In fact, it would potentially pay a small business $2,200 to fire someone while only $190 to hire someone.

                        There is a flaw in the design of this policy and I would urge the hon. member to stick to the public policy on this. He is a smart fellow. He has been a small business person and he understands business. I think he would agree with me that it does not make sense to encourage businesses to fire people. We should encourage them to hire.

                        • MPndpblog Nathan Cullen 162 post Points of Order

                          Mr. Speaker, in a moment I will be seeking unanimous consent to present a motion.

                          During question period, in response to the MP for Halifax reminding the Conservatives of their offensive remarks calling first nations and British Columbians opposed to Enbridge northern gateway radicals, I clearly heard the member for South Shore—St. Margaret's yell out, “They are radicals”.

                          This is beneath any government. This is deeply offensive to the people of British Columbia, and first nations in particular.

                          I therefore request the unanimous consent of the House to move that in the opinion of this House, two-thirds of British Columbians and the 130 first nations of British Columbia opposed to northern gateway are not radicals.

                          • MPlibblog Rodger Cuzner 1215 post Marine Mammal Regulations

                            Mr. Speaker, I am happy to join in this debate as well. I have had an opportunity to discuss this with our fisheries critic, the member for Cardigan, who recommends that we support this legislation.

                            There are two aspects to this legislation, and they are the proximity of firearms and the impact of them on the ice.

                            I grew up in the coastal community of Glace Bay. My riding is predominantly coastal. Anybody who grows up along the coastline of Nova Scotia knows the perils of the ice.

                            There were not many playgrounds in Glace Bay in the sixties. It was a pretty modest community, and my neighbourhood was certainly modest. I had the great benefit of having the Atlantic Ocean about a nine iron away from my front door. In the summer, it was our swimming pool. In the fall, when the tide was coming in, we would race around the extending points trying not to get knocked over by the incoming tide. In March, the drift ice and the pack ice that came into the coast of Glace Bay became our playground, and we would go down on the ice, much to the chagrin of our folks.

                            The member for South Shore—St. Margaret's probably went home being wet up to the kneecaps. I recall getting a crack on the behind a number of times because I would be scootching. But I was a kid, six feet tall, and bulletproof. I did not understand the perils of the ice, but that is where we spent a lot of time as kids. My heart would be in my mouth if my own kids went down to play on the ice now.

                            Living close to the ocean, one becomes a bit ice-savvy and aware of shifts in the ice. A change in the direction of the wind or the wind picking up shifts the ice and opens up perilous water. It is easy to get in trouble.

                            One can only imagine sealers on the ice and the great peril they would be in if a boat were in close proximity. The shifting of the ice would place the sealers in peril.

                            I appreciated the comments by my colleagues from West Nova and Dartmouth—Cole Harbour that we look beyond the debate about the seal hunt. The seal hunt is a legitimate industry and should be treated as such. This is not a debate about the legitimacy or the necessity of the seal hunt. We are past that. All parties in the House support our sealers and the sealing industry.

                            I am very fortunate to have a progressive company in my own riding, Louisbourg Seafoods. Jimmy Kennedy is the owner, and Dannie Hansen is the CAO. They are looking at ways to better serve the sealers and access the great resource that we have with seals. They are very high in protein content. They are looking at ways to process that product and bring it to market, so that it gets the value it deserves.

                            I have been fortunate in my time in the House. Over the last 14 years, I have had the opportunity to sit on fisheries and oceans committee. It was six years ago when my colleague from South Shore—St. Margaret's was chair of the committee and my colleague from Pitt Meadows—Maple Ridge—Mission was parliamentary secretary. We had the opportunity to go out on the ice.

                            We choppered out to a Canadian Coast Guard ship and we were able to monitor the hunt taking place. We brought with us a number of leading veterinarians from Prince Edward Island. They, along with us, were able to get on the ice.

                            The study itself was driven by the seal hunt and whether or not the harvesting practices were adequate.

                            The strong evidence that we were able to witness and the strong testimony that was shared with us by the veterinarians was overwhelming that this is indeed a humane harvesting practice and is something that we should not be fearful of. They referred to it as an abattoir on the ice. They said this is absolutely every bit as humane as any slaughterhouse in this country. That is one aspect that really stuck with me.

                            The other one was the peril that sealers place themselves in in order to take part in this fishery. They are out there in the elements. They are on the ice, and the ice is moving. They are exposed to those types of things. I was really impressed with just how nimble they were in getting around on the ice while they took part in the fishery, but it was obvious that the danger and the fear factor were great while they went about and plied their trade. Most were using the hakapik, but some were using firearms.

                            The bill addresses not just the ice and the movement of the ice, but it would also provide that additional buffer, that additional security for those who are using high-powered firearms in the harvesting of the seals.

                            I remember the conversation at the time at committee. We had wondered at the time whether a greater buffer should be placed between observers and those who were harvesting the seals. I recall those discussions coming out of that particular study and I believe a recommendation had been made there.

                            I think the bill being presented today makes absolute sense. It would allow for a safer work environment for those in the fishery as well as for the observers, who absolutely have a legitimate right to take part, to observe, to hold to account those who are in the midst of that harvesting. We certainly acknowledge and respect their right to be there, but it would also give them a much higher degree of safety as they go about their business and do the necessary observation.

                            I want the member and the House to know that we agree with the principle of the bill. I am sure that my colleague, the member for Cardigan, will continue to work with the member on it as it goes forward, but I am pleased to stand here today and recognize its merit and offer it support.

                            • MPconblog GeraldKeddy 142 post Petitions

                              Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present three petitions.

                              The first petition is from a group of folks in my riding of South Shore—St. Margaret's and from people across Nova Scotia requesting that the Government of Canada establish rules so that under no circumstances shall an individual or group of individuals' right to equal treatment based on gender, something they are born with, be compromised by another individual or group of individuals' interpretation of a religion, a personal choice, and that no public funds be provided to any facility that provides for gender-based discrimination.

                              This petition came about when a Muslim man joined a co-ed martial arts class and demanded that the participants be separated into men's and women's groups, based on his interpretation of religion.

                              • MPconblog GeraldKeddy 1531 post National Lyme Disease Strategy Act

                                Mr. Speaker, it is certainly an honour for me to rise today to participate in this debate on Bill C-442, an act respecting a National Lyme Disease Strategy. I would like to begin by commending the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for her stewardship of this important bill, and I would like to acknowledge its support by many members in the House.

                                The hon. member mentioned in her comments that many of us, myself included, live in areas where the blacklegged tick, or deer tick, is endemic. In addition, many of us, myself included, have constituents who have contracted Lyme disease at some point.

                                This is an endemic disease. It is a Canada-wide disease, and it is a disease that is spreading. For those reasons, we need a national strategy. The support for this bill underscores the need to work together and to address this emerging infectious disease in order to minimize the risk for Canadians.

                                Across the country, the number of reported cases of Lyme disease has increased significantly in the last decade. In fact, the actual number of cases in Canada is estimated to be up to three times higher than reported because many Canadians may not seek a full diagnosis and, quite frankly, many medical professionals do not know how to diagnose Lyme disease.

                                To underscore that point, as the hon. member would know, Lyme disease was first reported in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975 or 1974. Here we are, 39 years later, with Lyme disease endemic throughout New England and now it has spread into Canada, following the white-tailed deer, of course, and we still do not have a national strategy for Lyme disease. That underscores the need for the important discussion we are having in the House of Commons today.

                                This has led to a growing recognition among governments, health practitioners, and stakeholders that work needs to be done to address this emerging infectious disease. Support for this bill also highlights the need to better leverage efforts at the federal level and across jurisdictions in Lyme disease surveillance and research.

                                Our government has already established improved surveillance specifically aimed at Lyme disease, and welcomes the sponsor's efforts to bring additional attention to this important issue.

                                The proposed bill highlights the need for continued action by governments, stakeholders, and the public health and medical communities to improve the understanding and awareness of risk factors, prevention, and treatment options. The objectives of this bill are laudable, and in fact align with the many activities already being undertaken by our government. Canadians should be reassured that the government has not been standing still.

                                We are already making significant progress under the leadership of the Public Health Agency of Canada. We are working with provincial and territorial health authorities and other partners in informing Canadians of the health risks from contracting Lyme disease. We also continue to help protect Canadians against Lyme disease through improved surveillance, by conducting research, by providing factual and evidence-based information to Canadians, and by providing support for laboratory diagnosis. Since 2006, our government has invested $4.6 million through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to specifically fund research on Lyme disease and to disseminate the latest findings and knowledge to the scientific community.

                                These efforts are a central component of the Public Health Agency of Canada's approach to infectious diseases in Canada. More specifically, our approach to Lyme disease takes important action to reduce the disease's impact.

                                We do this by enhancing surveillance, prevention, and control; research and diagnosis; and engagement, education, and awareness. These three areas are consistent with the key elements of the bill, and our approach is already delivering results. However, as mentioned before, we are also prepared to do more, and in a collaborative fashion, to further address this emerging infectious disease.

                                That is why I want to signal to the House today that the government supports the intent of Bill C-442 and that we will be proposing practical amendments to ensure that the vision and values expressed in the bill can be realized and provide maximum benefit to the Canadian people.

                                The bill addresses an important issue, but it needs to be refined to remain consistent with the jurisdictional roles and accountabilities of Canada's federal system of government. In keeping with the spirit of the bill, we must be mindful of our federal role and respect jurisdictional accountabilities.

                                As we know, the provision of health care services in Canada falls under provincial and territorial jurisdiction. It is the provinces and territories that establish and monitor standards of care for health providers. It is also the purview of relevant medical colleges to define clinical care guidelines.

                                It is not the federal role to tell medical professionals how to practise. The proper role for the federal government in this area is to ensure that best practices are being shared across all jurisdictions, so that Canadians can be reassured that treatments are guided by the best scientific evidence.

                                In a similar vein, dictating to provinces and territories how and where to allocate their spending is contrary to our government's approach to fiscal federalism. However, it is within our federal role to facilitate collaboration across jurisdictions and with stakeholders to monitor and address the challenges posed by Lyme disease.

                                We are doing precisely that through our involvement in the Pan-Canadian Public Health Network and our collaborative work with stakeholders such as the College of Family Physicians of Canada and patient advocacy groups.

                                For example, the Public Health Agency of Canada is already working with the College of Family Physicians of Canada to engage health professionals on Lyme disease by increasing awareness among health care providers to enable them to recognize, diagnose, and treat the disease in its early stages.

                                Suffice it to say, while we concur with the bill's goals and objectives, it would need to be amended to reflect these jurisdictional realities, which is something that the hon. member has already mentioned she is supportive of.

                                This government is looking forward to working with the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands and will propose amendments in these areas to ensure that the bill is consistent with the provinces' and territories' primary role in delivering health care.

                                Early on in my speech, I mentioned that 39 years ago, Lyme disease was first diagnosed in Lyme, Connecticut. It took 39 years to get to this stage.

                                I have heard some members in this place—as the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands has already alluded—question whether they would support this piece of proposed legislation. Some members say that Lyme disease is not prevalent in their area or that it is not endemic in their area.

                                I would suggest to these members that they had better take a look at whether they have white-tailed deer in their area. The blacklegged tick, better known in my part of the world as the deer tick, came to North America with the white-tailed deer. It has spread very successfully in most jurisdictions of North America.

                                As deer become more urban, or perhaps as humans become more rural, more white-tailed deer are moving into what were once rural areas, which are now urban areas. Therefore, this disease is only going to get worse, and it has been wildly underreported. There are a number of cases we are still trying to diagnose that I suspect will end up being Lyme disease or some variant of Lyme disease.

                                In closing, I commend the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands for her very important and extremely timely work on this file. I have a number of constituents in South Shore—St. Margaret's in Nova Scotia who are watching this file as it proceeds forward. These folks either have contracted Lyme disease themselves or have family members who have contracted Lyme disease.

                                This is a terrible, insidious disease that is very difficult to diagnose. Therefore, this is very timely legislation.

                                • MPconblog GeraldKeddy 25 post Petitions

                                  Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition from my riding of South Shore—St. Margaret's supporting proportional representation.

                                  • MPconblog GeraldKeddy 211 post Canadian Junior Curling Championships

                                    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the 2014 M&M Meat Shops Canadian junior curling championships that took place in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, in my riding of South Shore—St. Margaret's.

                                    I would like to congratulate not only all the athletes but also the volunteers and the organizing committee: Greg Thorbourne, Donna Hatt, Melissa Robinson, Paul Fay, Frances Younker, and Bob Wilkinson.

                                    The town of Liverpool and the surrounding area rose to the occasion. The most common statement from all the athletes was “When can we come back to the South Shore again?”

                                    I take this occasion to mention another great South Shore athlete, Alexandra Duckworth, who competed for Canada in the women's snowboarding halfpipe in Sochi. Alexandra has made us all proud.

                                    Also, since it is Valentine's Day, I would be remiss not to mention the extraordinary story of Bertie and Bill Nickerson, also from Liverpool, who have been married for 78 years. They say the secret of their marriage is that they get along. Congratulations to Bertie and Bill.

                                    Finally, to my wife Judy, happy Valentine's Day.

                                    • MPconblog GeraldKeddy 160 post Tusarnaarniq Sivumut Association

                                      Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize a wonderful partnership between Nova Scotians from my riding of South Shore—St. Margaret's and the youth of Canada's north.

                                      Julie Lohnes, from Rose Bay, Nova Scotia, started the Tusarnaarniq Sivumut Association, lnuktitut for Music for the Future, an organization that supplies musical instruments and workshops to Inuit youth.

                                      The association celebrated its fifth anniversary with a sold-out annual benefit concert that included two fiddle workshop students, Colleen Nakashuk and Avery Keenainak, from Pangnirtung, Nunavut. They joined an already exciting lineup that included Juno award-winning singer-songwriter Lennie Gallant as well as the Riverport and Area Community Choir and master fiddlers Gordon Stobbe and Greg Simm.

                                      Congratulations, Julie, on a resounding success. We thank her for all the hard work she does not only for her community but for the youth of Canada's north.

                                      • MPlibblog Geoff Regan 2797 post Offshore Health and Safety Act

                                        Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in debate on Bill C-5. One of the greatest privileges of being a member of this place is the opportunity to create and improve legislation that positively impacts the lives of our fellow Canadians. I believe, in fact, that Bill C-5 is a case in point.

                                        It is not news to Canadians that our country places great economic importance on the development of natural resources. Throughout our history, that has been the case. Forestry products, natural gas, hydroelectricity and oil are cornerstones of our export market and contribute immensely to the creation of jobs for middle-class Canadians. Some of our natural resources are also extracted offshore. In Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador people know the importance this activity has for their economies.

                                        The offshore sector is, of course, the subject of the bill, specifically the occupational health and safety of offshore workers. Mirror legislation has already received royal assent, in fact, in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Nova Scotia. While the bill is quite large, several hundred pages or more, some observers have noted that it primarily lays down in law things that are already happening in practice. Unfortunately, one issue that the bill does not address is recommendation 29 from the Offshore Helicopter Safety Inquiry led by Commissioner Robert Wells.

                                        The Wells inquiry was established by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board following the 2009 helicopter crash about 30 nautical miles off of St. John's, Newfoundland. As members may recall, the helicopter was carrying 16 people to work in the offshore fields when it crashed, killing 15 of those workers and the two pilots. Commissioner Wells recommended that a new, independent, stand-alone safety regulator be established to regulate safety in the offshore. In fact, I asked the minister about that idea a little earlier.

                                        The commissioner went on to say that if recommendation 29 was not feasible, a separate and autonomous safety division of the C-NLOPB should be created to deal only with safety matters. Unfortunately, Bill C-5 does not implement this recommendation in either of the ways the commissioner offered as options. I would urge the Conservative government to see if it can address this fact when the legislation is sent to committee, which I think it will be, and amendments are brought forward. If that cannot be done, perhaps it could bring forward legislation soon, working with the provinces involved, obviously, to deal with this.

                                        As Canadians, we are well aware, of course, of the oil sands. Its production, export and environmental impact colours the discourse of the government every day. It is often talked about here in the House, and these days in the U.S. as well. Lesser known but still valuable is our domestic offshore oil and gas industry operating in the coastal waters of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, even though in Nova Scotia there has been a decline in revenues from the offshore in recent years as the production of gas from existing wells declines and with the relatively low price of gas in North America. In fact, in North America the gas level price is about $3 whereas in Asia it is between $14 and $18, so there is quite a variation. That means that there is a little less interest these days in more costly exploration offshore versus production onshore, as is happening a great deal in the U.S.

                                        The offshore industry in Newfoundland and Labrador produced more than 28 million barrels of oil in 2013. In Nova Scotia, offshore production accounts for a significant portion of the province's annual revenue, although it has been declining. The offshore oil and gas industry provides employment for Canadians and security for their families, for thousands of people. My hon. colleague from South Shore—St. Margaret's, for instance, would know this having worked in the offshore. He would also understand that the primary concern of the industry is its own economic viability and success. Meanwhile, as legislators, it is our responsibility to strike a careful balance between the economic success of Canadian business and the rights of employees, and of course consideration for our environment. There are and must be times when these latter two take precedence.

                                        Bill C-5 is one of the many tools to achieve this. Canada is often referred to as a nation rich in natural resources. We must ask ourselves how we should behave when we are labelled in this way, especially these days when there is so much concern about the impact on the environment of the exploitation of natural resources and when we need to have the social licence, whether it be within our country or beyond our borders in the case of the Keystone XL pipeline that has been proposed for example, when we need to have support elsewhere for what we are doing and a recognition that we are making important efforts and doing everything we can to ensure the environment is protected. I do not think most Canadians believe for a moment that the Conservative government has been doing that.

                                        It seems to me that we should also be striving to set an example for other countries by valuing our human capital as much as we value the wealth we derive from our natural resources. The bill is very much about our human capital as we are thinking about the safety and health of our workers.

                                        The bill will in fact effectively solve the issue of jurisdiction surrounding the occupational and operational health and safety in the Canadian offshore oil and gas industry. That is an important thing to do. It is frustrating that it has taken over 10 years to do that. This process has been under way and we have been discussing it a long time.

                                        Nevertheless, for this reason, because it is achieving this, the Liberal Party supports Bill C-5. We believe we need to move the legislation to committee so that it can be studied, and if necessary improved. We certainly look forward to the opportunity to examine the bill, to hear from experts and to consider possible improvements.

                                        The original offshore accords were signed in the late 1980s by Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia. They were designed to establish guidelines for revenue and responsibility sharing of offshore oil and gas assets. These assets have since proved to be economically rewarding, especially so in Newfoundland and Labrador, and have supported programs beyond the scope of resource extraction.

                                        Bill C-5 seeks to clarify jurisdictional issues that arise between occupational health and safety and operational safety, to create a streamlined process for rectifying health and safety issues and to assign responsibility. We do not want to have any doubt, when there is an accident in the offshore, about whether it is a matter of federal or provincial jurisdiction. We want to know that there will be clear laws, that the courts will know which laws apply, and that nothing falls through the cracks. We want to know that people are protected and that in the worst case scenario, God forbid there is another accident like the helicopter accident, families seeking redress know where to go, what to look for and what laws apply to them. That is obviously important.

                                        The right to a safe workplace is one that all Canadians must enjoy. It is fundamental for all of us. Those of us who work in this place are very fortunate. We have a very safe environment, at least in terms of actual health and safety. I did not say it was secure, especially when elections come along. Nobody here has job security for more than four years or so.

                                        However, we are very fortunate in the kind of work we do in this job. Generally speaking it is pretty good for health and safety. We do not have to engage in the kinds of work that some people in our country do have to engage in. We can think of that television show Dirty Jobs. There are many jobs in this world that are dangerous and challenging.

                                        This morning as I left my apartment and walked here, the first thing I saw was a new building under construction across the street. I was thinking about the construction workers and the kinds of things they have to learn to work on a site such as that. There are health and safety things they have to learn to know how to operate in an environment where it can be somewhat dangerous. If they back up the wrong way or take the wrong step, they could be in a big trouble on a construction site with a building that is already 10 storeys high, and as I learned this morning, is going to be 22 storeys. That is the kind of place where people want to be careful.

                                        The right to a safe workplace is something the government should keep in mind as it proceeds also with Bill C-4, the omnibus budget bill.

                                        Though a safe workplace is not the reality for all, through the years, governments and parliamentarians have worked with stakeholder groups to improve the conditions faced by Canadians in their places of employment. That, obviously, is incredibly important work. Bill C-5 is an example of these efforts. In this case they are the efforts of the provincial and federal levels working together, which is nice to see. It is our collective responsibility, whether as a legislative body, employers or employees, or society as a whole, to ensure that the right to a safe work environment is respected. It is absolutely vital.

                                        Conditions for employees on offshore drilling projects should be comparable to those found on land-based projects. There is no question that a drilling rig, whether offshore or onshore, can be a very dangerous environment. My brother at one time worked on offshore oil rigs, and I have certainly heard stories from him about the nature of them and what he had to learn before he could work there, especially if the work was around the equipment that was the most dangerous.

                                        The mode of transportation to their work site should be safe and reliable. Think about the helicopter accident. Employees of the oil and gas sector offshore and their families should be able to leave for work with confidence that they will be returning safely home. They should be able to voice their concerns about unsafe working conditions when they find them without fear of reprisal or the frustration of drawn out and murky processes. It is important that the processes be clear and expedient.

                                        It is our job to transform these topics of concern I have just listed into topics of confidence. Employees and their families can be confident that what is proposed in Bill C-5, as far as it goes, would improve the health and safety regimes of offshore oil and gas projects. It is up to us to decide by how much.

                                        Members of our party believe that we need to ensure the separation of health and safety concerns from those of production and economic viability. They are two different things. We want to make sure that sometimes, when necessary, those health and safety concerns are paramount, as they ought to be.

                                        Bill C-5 should guarantee that the proposed chief safety officer has powerful methods of inquiry to hold operators to account. A regime of self-regulation would be insufficient. I have already said that we do not think that the chief safety officer approach is necessarily ideal. There are others Commissioner Wells recommended, but since that is what we are going with, let us try to make it as strong as possible. The chief safety officer must not be influenced in decision-making by concerns of economic viability or by political pressure, obviously. This individual must be a champion of a healthy and safe environment for all employees who work on offshore oil and gas projects.

                                        The Liberal Party places great emphasis also on search and rescue capabilities, or SAR, as it is called. This is a core element of the health and safety regime in the offshore industry.

                                        The spring 2013 report of the Auditor General outlined significant issues regarding search and rescue capabilities, including a complete lack of federal policy in this area. The Attorney General is rightly concerned about the viability of search and rescue capabilities in the coming years and about the risk of leaving employees in the offshore sector with inadequate assistance in the case of major emergencies.

                                        Bill C-5 includes guidelines on the safe transport of workers to and from the offshore site. It should also include a procedure for rescuing these individuals should something go wrong. This should be included in this legislation, it seems to me.

                                        The unique challenges of the offshore oil and gas industry must be met by a complete and thorough plan of response. Bill C-5, as I said earlier, is the product of over a decade of negotiations and consultations among the federal government, the provincial governments of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, and stakeholder groups. A decade is a long time. Really, it is excessive. I would hope that future negotiations would move more quickly. If the Conservatives, at least while they are the government, will take this seriously and move quickly, along with provinces—

                                        • MPndpblog Peter Stoffer 3603 post Expansion and Conservation of Canada’s National Parks Act

                                          Mr. Speaker, I want to advise the previous speaker that the hon. member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, herself a proud Nova Scotian, did not malign any one individual. She mentioned the very serious concerns about the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, which I myself have very serious concerns about as well.

                                          I want to start off today by thanking the government for entering into discussions to ensure that Sable Island possibly could be a preservation site and conservation site for as long as this planet exists.

                                          I just want to understand a couple of things. This is the same government that had massive cuts to Parks Canada. This is the same government that we hear speech after speech from the Conservatives talking about how great this legislation is, how great it would be for Sable Island, yet what do they do? They invoke time allocation on this debate. Sable Island was there long before any of us were here. Hopefully, Sable Island will be there for many years after we are gone. Therefore, moving time allocation on important legislation like this is unconscionable. I would truly love for someone over there to explain to the Canadian people why they felt it necessary to invoke time allocation, unless they plan to prorogue Parliament very soon and thus they know that this bill would end up dead.

                                          I am in favour of turning Sable Island into a national park reserve. However, like my hon. colleague for Halifax, I have some concerns that need to be addressed. That is why the NDP will be supporting that this legislation go to committee. We do not have much trust in that side, but we hope and trust that my colleague from Halifax will be able to invite any and all witnesses that her party wishes to bring forward, that the Liberal Party would be able to do the same, and that the Green Party could make submissions as well, to ensure that every single person who has reason to be concerned about Sable Island in the future would have the right to say so. We are talking about the Mi'kmaq, the first nations, the provinces, the oil and gas sector, the conservationists and the fishermen. All these people need to be heard.

                                          It is too bad the Conservatives could not make a national park out of the Senate. That would be great. Lots of people could go and visit that room and the $92 million that is spent on the Senate could go to preserve Sable Island and all of the other parks we have in Canada and maybe even create a few more. Then those senators could be added to the Species at Risk Act. That would be a wonderful thing.

                                          Here is the problem. I have heard these great Conservatives say time and time again that Sable Island would be preserved for future generations to come. That is wrong. I wish the Conservatives would get that out of their heads. Sable Island is not for human beings. It is not for people.

                                          Farley Mowat, who is a great World War II veteran, a conservationist and a fantastic author, said time and time again, and my colleague, the member from the Green Party knows this well because we were together when he said it, “We, as humans, have an obligation to ensure to protect our environment. We have an obligation to protect 'the others'.” What he meant by “the others” were things like bugs, snakes, horses, plants, birds and seals. The other species that inhabit this earth deserve to have their place as well.

                                          Sable Island is not like Banff National Park. It is not like Kluane in the Yukon. It is not like South Moresby. It is not like Nahanni. It is not like Kejimkujik. It is not like any other park out there where humans can go and interact and have fun and enjoy the beautiful parts of Canada that are absolutely gorgeous. Sable Island is so fragile and so special that we should limit, with the most extreme caution, the number of people who actually go to that island.

                                          My colleague from South Shore—St. Margaret's bragged about the fact he has been there dozens of times. He has been there two dozen times and I say he has been there 23 times too often. I have had the opportunity to go to Sable Island. I can assure members that it is a spiritual experience. It is beautiful. However, I felt guilty being there. I felt that I should not have been there. The reality is that with those horses, the plants and the birds, it is absolutely outstanding.

                                          There are reasons why some people are very concerned about the bill and are very concerned about the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board.

                                          I remember very clearly, as a private citizen, in 1995, attending a meeting at the Waverley fire hall in Waverley, Nova Scotia, which is now in my riding. The Sable gas people were there and the petroleum boards were all there. They had maps of the ocean, which had a dark black mark on Sable Island. It was blacked out. The first question I asked was why it was blacked out. They said, “That's Sable Island. We have no intention of touching it, ever. We are leaving it alone. It's too fragile”.

                                          I understand the need for oil and gas exploration. I drive a car, I have a house that burns oil and I fly back and forth all the time. I understand that. I was so proud of the fact that these experts were saying that Sable Island was going to be left alone, with a mile buffer around it. I felt really good about that.

                                          However, we were betrayed by the gas and oil sector. We were betrayed by other people. In fact, they did do seismic testing on that island. I remember it very well how—I cannot say what I want to say—upset I was that we were lied to at these meetings. These were professional people, and they lied to us. They said they would never do seismic testing on Sable Island, and they did.

                                          My very serious concern is that if we do not do this bill right, if we do not put in the concrete measures to ensure we never allow seismic testing on the island ever again, I will not have a good night's sleep, assured that those horses, those birds, those plants and other species that inhabit that island are able to do what they do in God's wonder, to do what they have done for hundreds of years and, hopefully, for hundreds years more.

                                          That island is not for people. The island is for the others. I wish everyone in this Parliament and across Canada would get that into their heads. This is too fragile an ecosystem and it needs to be, as best we can, left alone.

                                          I appreciate the Minister of the Environment and the parliamentary secretary indicating that, yes, in some certain cases, in emergencies, oil and gas workers or people who find themselves in serious trouble could go to the island for rescue, because it is the graveyard of the Atlantic. I understand that, and under strict controls and under strict protocols that is something I think we can all accept. I appreciate that fact.

                                          However, we need assurances from the Minister of the Environment and the government that when this bill gets second reading there will be no shenanigans at that committee, that there will be no time allocation, that there will be no rushing into in camera, as every committee here in this House does. We need to ensure that this is a public forum for all Canadians who are concerned about this precious jewel in the Atlantic and ensure that we do exactly what we are saying here today; that is that we protect the integrity of Sable Island for many years to come.

                                          At the same time, the government has made massive cuts to Parks Canada. We have never heard anything, yet, about funding this. We would like to see where the dollars are going to come from, where the money is coming from. One of the ideas the member for Halifax indicated, and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment also indicated, is a historical and interpretive centre in Halifax. Who is going to pay for that? Where is the money going to come from? What is it going to look like? We cannot have everybody going out to Sable Island to see it. It would be much better to have that interpretive centre in the community of Halifax or another community; I am not really particularly concerned about that. I just want to ensure that the dollars will be there to ensure that all Canadians, in fact, all world visitors who come to the area, will get to know that 290 kilometres from the east coast lies one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

                                          It is important that we get it right. That is why the NDP, led by our critic from Halifax, has indicated our support for this legislation to second reading.

                                          However, if we see a lot of games being played there, there is no guarantee that support will come afterwards. My colleague from Halifax has said very clearly that she so desperately wants to work with the parliamentary secretary, so desperately wants to work with the Minister of the Environment, and with the Conservative government, in order to ensure we get the legislation right.

                                          That is uncommon in this place. Normally, anything the Conservatives do would just shut it down. Anything we say, they shut us down. This is an opportunity, in a bi-partisan manner, to work co-operatively together and get it right. I am not sure why the Minister of the Environment or the Prime Minister would not want to pursue that and show Canadians that, yes, Parliament can work together as it has on many other issues.

                                          I was here when the protection of the Sable Island gully was there. In fact, I was quite proud of that because that was where the northern bottlenose whale lived. They offered limited protection to that area. It is a beautiful gully just off of Sable Island. It is absolutely gorgeous. I have never been to the bottom of it, but everything I have seen of it and the species that live under those waters is unbelievable. The Liberal government at the time worked co-operatively to get that done.

                                          We need to ensure that the resources for our Coast Guard, Parks Canada and Environment Canada are there to ensure the integrity of this legislation is matched not only in words but in dollars as well. That is what we need to discuss at the committee stage as well.

                                          We have been betrayed before. Not by the Conservative government, though, I will give it credit for that. It was not in power. We were betrayed by the provincial and federal governments at that time.

                                          I can assure the House that there are a lot of environmental groups out there. I know the Ecology Action Centre and Mr. Mark Butler, one of the great environmentalists we have on the east coast, are very concerned about this legislation. Our colleague from Saanich—Gulf Islands indicated the concerns of allowing the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board any kind of management say on anything regarding this Island.

                                          Those are serious questions that need to be asked. I am not saying that someone is right or someone is wrong, but let us get the experts in. Let us get the people in at the committee stage in an unhurried manner, where we can take our time and do it right. If we do that, we can truly leave a legacy not just for people, but for the others with which we share this beautiful planet. That is the beauty of Parliament, when we can work together and achieve something that is greater than ourselves.

                                          I will give the government credit. I used to live in Yukon near Nahanni, which is absolutely gorgeous. When that size increased, I was shouting from the rooftops. I thought that was absolutely wonderful. I remember our colleague, Svend Robinson, was arrested defending South Moresby. Look at it now. It is one of the most beautiful and enchanting areas on the planet on the Queen Charlotte Islands. He risked everything to ensure that happened.

                                          We want to ensure that people do not have to protest in the streets of Halifax to ensure the protection of Sable Island. It simply does not have to happen. We can work in a co-operative manner and get it done.

                                          I will offer some advice for the minister, though. There are a lot more protected marine areas that we need to have in our country and I am proud to hear him say Lancaster Sound. I am proud to see the areas of the Bay St. Lawrence and also on the west coast. I have had the opportunity to live in British Columbia and Yukon and now in Nova Scotia.

                                          This is truly an absolutely gorgeous country. When we are connected in this regard, it is amazing what terrestrial and aquatic areas we have to enjoy in many cases. However, there are certain areas of the country which, in my personal view, should be left alone. Sable Island is one of them.

                                          I give top credit to Zoe Lucas. She is only about 5'2" or 5'3", but she is dynamite. She knows more about Sable than the House collectively will ever get to learn. She is amazing, but she is one person. We need to ensure that it is not just her, because one day she may not be with us. She has worked in the preservation, acknowledgement and awareness of Sable Island. She has brought that to many people in Canada and around the world to ensure the integrity of that beautiful island.

                                          The minister knows as he has been there. He understands the spiritual nature of that place. The last thing we need to see is hundreds of people showing up, taking pictures of horses and running around trying to pet them, stepping on their grounds and grass and everything else.

                                          I have another concern. When I was on the fisheries committee for many years, we had a very serious issue with grey seals. Sable Island is the home of many grey seals. Their population has exploded.

                                          One thing that we in the NDP will never accept is the cull of a wild species, where people shoot and kill the animals and they sink to the bottom and become crab or lobster bait. That is unacceptable. However, we will support a harvest of seals as long as the seals are utilized, whether turned into animal feed or other product. We would not allow an opportunity to go and kill 20,000 or 30,000 seals and then let them sink to the bottom. That does not make this country look very good internationally. However, if we utilize that seal product in a proper humane harvest, that would be good husbandry of the species, and would also protect the integrity of the island.

                                          The minister probably knows that when that many seals congregate on a shifting sandbar like that, it can cause havoc and a lot of damage. We want to ensure that the grey seals do not overrun the island and cause even greater damage. We want to control the species in a manner that is not only humane but offers economic opportunities for some fishermen, and utilizes the seal to its maximum potential. To just go out and kill a whole bunch of them and let them sink to the bottom is not the proper thing to do, and it is also very un-Canadian.

                                          Therefore, we need to know this from the minister, and hopefully we will learn this at committee: If indeed there is a time to harvest some of these seals to reduce the numbers, would the Sable Island park reserve allow limited hunting of those seals in that particular area? If it does, would it be done from the land or from boats? Having that many fishermen tramping all over the island could not be a good thing.

                                          These are the types of things, in terms of strict protocols, that we would need to address to ensure that this legislation is done correctly. We are very proud of the fact that the federal government and the great Province of Nova Scotia and its wonderful NDP government are working collaboratively on many of these issues. However, we still do not have all the answers we are looking for. My colleague from Halifax has done yeoman's work in this regard. I can assure members that when this gets to committee, she will be like a pit bull on a bone to ensure that this legislation is exactly what it should be.

                                          The reality is that she is the only member of Parliament of the 308 of us who has Sable Island in her riding, and that is a wonderful thing. Not many people get to say that. I know I do not. I am surprised she has not changed the name of her riding to Halifax—Sable Island. I do have McNabs Island, by the way. If members ever get a chance they should come down and see McNabs Island. It is absolutely beautiful. It is the same with Lawlor Island, but people are not allowed to go on that one.

                                          The reality is that these are jewels in the Halifax area and off the coast of Nova Scotia that are absolutely gorgeous. I invite my colleague over there from Kitchener to come on down and I will give him a personal tour of McNabs Island and the other island. However, I will not give him a tour of Sable Island. I would encourage him to leave it alone. We will have an interpretive centre, which hopefully the federal government will pay for, and we will walk him through that. In fact, my colleague from Halifax will walk him through it as well, and tell him all that he needs to know. However, we just encourage him with the greatest of respect not to go on the island, because that many people on the island, even if it is strictly controlled, could have unforeseen consequences.

                                          We want to ensure that the bill is done correctly. We want to work in a co-operative manner with the government. We do not like time allocation on this bill, and I would hope that maybe the Minister of the Environment could stand in his place and ask why the Conservatives moved time allocation on this very sensitive legislation.

                                          I hope that, with our colleague from Halifax and the great NDP working with the Conservatives and our Liberal colleagues and Green Party colleagues, we will ensure that we get the right legislation to ensure perpetuity for Sable Island park reserve now and in the future.

                                          • MPconblog Peter Kent 3382 post Expansion and Conservation of Canada’s National Parks Act

                                            Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak in support of Bill S-15, the expansion and conservation of Canada's national parks act.

                                            This bill would bring legal protection to Nova Scotia's Sable Island as Canada's 43rd national park. It is a key action toward the Government of Canada's commitment in its 2011 Speech from the Throne to create significant new protected areas. The passing of this bill would mark the end of the steps to which the Government of Canada agreed, with the Province of Nova Scotia, to designate Sable Island as a national park reserve, and the start of a new iconic national park reserve for all Canadians.

                                            In fact, in October 2011, the hon. member for Central Nova and I were honoured to join with the Premier of Nova Scotia, Darrell Dexter, in Halifax to sign the memorandum of agreement for a national park at Sable Island. I know that each of us shared, that day, a strong sense that not only were we concluding almost 50 years of work to conserve Sable Island, but that we were taking the necessary action to protect this iconic landscape for the benefit of future generations. The dream of protecting Sable Island is a long-standing one that we hope to realize very shortly with the passage of Bill S-15.

                                            As the hon. member for South Shore—St. Margaret's noted earlier in this debate, it was the call of schoolchildren from across Canada to stop the proposed removal of the famous Sable Island horses that resulted in the first federal conservation action in 1961. And, as the Sable Island region became the focus for petroleum development in the late 1960s and early 1970s, organizations stepped forward to draw national attention to the future of the island. During this time, the level of development and human use of the island declined, allowing nature to once again reassert itself.

                                            As someone who has had the honour and the distinct pleasure of visiting Sable Island, I can attest to this House what a special place we are bringing under the protection of our world-class national parks system. In size, Sable Island is tiny in comparison to the 30,000 square kilometres now protected in Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories, thanks to the actions of Parliament in 2009 when it significantly expanded Nahanni. However, from my first-hand experience, I can tell members that it is no less important. Nature indeed has reasserted itself, reclaiming Sable Island as a sanctuary for life on the edge.

                                            As we fly into Sable Island, we cannot help but be impressed by the fact that this isolated sandbar island, located, as my colleagues have said, just under 300 kilometres from Halifax, has survived. It is amazing that it has survived, let alone sustained life. The island is a remarkable formation, not only for its geography as the only remaining exposed portion of the outer continental shelf in the northwest Atlantic, but for its wildlife. Some 190 plant species live there, including 20 that have restricted distribution elsewhere. It is a sanctuary for some 350 species of migratory birds, including the roseate tern that is listed as endangered under the Species at Risk Act. In fact, Sable Island is the breeding ground for virtually the entire world population of the Ipswich sparrow.

                                            Perhaps most famously, Sable Island is home to a band of feral horses. The numbers vary, from year to year and from decade to decade, from 300 to 500 animals. It is one of the few bands in the world that remains entirely unmanaged. These horses were introduced, it is believed, in the 1730s, and were declared protected by the Diefenbaker government in 1961. As a Canadian, as a member of this House and as a visitor to Sable Island, I am proud to stand in this chamber to help conclude the work started back in 1961. What a legacy for this Parliament to leave to future generations.

                                            And, what a legacy passed on from previous generations. As we have heard, Sable Island has a very long human history, some of it tragic. About 350 shipwrecks are recorded there, earning the island the title often referred to of “graveyard of the Atlantic”.

                                            Life-saving stations were established there over 200 years ago and in subsequent years lighthouses and shelters for shipwrecked sailors were built, much attributed to the resourcefulness and determination of Canadians. Thanks to the professional expertise of Parks Canada, we will continue to tell these stories and will continue to share them with Canadians and people around the world.

                                            The bill before us amends schedule 2 of the Canada National Parks Act to add the legal boundary description of Sable Island National Park Reserve of Canada. Using the national park reserve designation respects the ongoing discussions that the federal government is having with the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia under the Made-in-Nova Scotia Process. The Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia support the national park reserve designation for Sable Island. The Government of Canada is committed to negotiating an agreement with the Mi'kmaq once the Made-in-Nova Scotia Process is completed in order to transition Sable Island to final full national park status.

                                            Until that agreement is finalized, Sable Island would remain a national park reserve. I wish to stress that a national park reserve enjoys all the same protections that a national park does while respecting assertions of aboriginal or treaty rights. It is not a lesser category of national park. Some of our iconic parks, such as the Nahanni, in the Northwest Territories, and Gwaii Haanas and Pacific Rim on the west coast, are also still national park reserves. Nor is this time limited. We will not effect the transition to a full-fledged national park until we have concluded our work with the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia.

                                            As we heard, Sable Island is located in one of the largest offshore hydrocarbon basins in North America. I know that during this debate I heard again this evening concern expressed about the future of Sable Island and the petroleum activities that may be permitted within this region. However, at the end of the day, given that Sable Island National Park Reserve is being created in a region that is the subject of active petroleum exploration and development, I believe that our government and the Government of Nova Scotia have negotiated an approach to Sable Island that balances conservation and development in creating Canada's 43rd national park.

                                            Members should consider what we would be accomplishing with this bill as it pertains to Sable Island. We would be creating a new and exciting park reserve on Sable Island that would conserve one of the largest dune systems in eastern Canada, habitat for endangered species and of course for the wild horses of Sable.

                                            We would be protecting the asserted aboriginal rights and title of the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia while launching a new collaboration between Parks Canada and the Mi'kmaq. For the first time we would be putting in place a legislative ban on exploratory and extractive drilling for petroleum resources from the surface of Sable Island. We would be creating a legislated buffer zone around the national park reserve that prohibits drilling from the park boundary, which would be considered the shoreline at low tide, out one nautical mile.

                                            We would be legally limiting the number of current petroleum-related activities that can be undertaken from Sable Island while directing those activities, if authorized, have low impact. I would be glad to speak to that in questions after these remarks. We would be putting in place a legislative requirement for the Offshore Petroleum Board to consult Parks Canada before consideration of any permits for this low-impact activity on Sable Island.

                                            Finally, we would be providing opportunities for Canadians to experience and learn about Sable Island, whether by visiting the island itself or learning through various media.

                                            At this time, I would like to echo the remarks of previous speakers in thanking the holders of petroleum discovery licences on or near Sable Island who voluntarily agreed to amendments that now fully and in perpetuity prevent them from drilling on the island and within the buffer zone of one nautical mile.

                                            I too want to express my sincere appreciation to the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans for their work in helping to create a national park reserve on Sable Island.

                                            I want to again express my sincere appreciation to the Province of Nova Scotia for working with us from day one to realize this new national park reserve.

                                            I would like to assure this House that for Parks Canada, Bill S-15 would be but a first step as it takes on administration of the island and begins to deepen the connection Canadians make with this remote place in the northwest Atlantic Ocean.

                                            In the coming years, the agency would work with partners and shareholders to protect this land of wild horses and windswept dunes, of shipwrecks and sea birds. The wild character of this island would continue to be a defining feature for those who make the once-in-a-lifetime journey there.

                                            I have heard questions of mild concern to this effect, but Parks Canada would carefully facilitate experience opportunities while protecting the special place in perpetuity for the benefit of present and future generations.

                                            At the same time that Parks Canada maintained Sable Island's ecological integrity, it would consult with the public and it would work with partners and stakeholders to prepare a management plan to guide all aspects of the future management of this wonderful national park reserve.

                                            Now I wish to briefly describe the other proposed amendments to the Canada National Parks Act made in the second part of the bill.

                                            First, with regard to the other proposed amendments in the second part of this bill, the bill before us would address issues raised by the standing joint committee for the scrutiny of regulations, in particular to correct the discrepancies between the English and the French versions of subsection 4(1). These changes are minor in nature. They would not alter the meaning of the clause.

                                            The bill would also add a new subsection 4(1.1), which clarifies the authority of the Minister of the Environment to use section 23 or section 24 of the Parks Canada Agency Act to set fees in national parks.

                                            In fact, an amendment to this bill in the Senate brought greater clarity to these changes. The bill would make changes affecting two national parks in western Canada. It would make minor changes to commercial zoning in the community of Field, British Columbia, in Yoho National Park, to reflect the current reality in Field while at the same time respecting the commercial limits established for that community and the community plan.

                                            Finally, the last set of amendments is that Bill S-15 would change the leasehold boundaries of the Marmot Basin ski area that is within Jasper National Park of Canada by removing an area that is an important wildlife habitat for woodland caribou, for mountain goat, for grizzly bear and for wolverine in exchange for a smaller area of less ecologically sensitive land. This would result in a significant gain for the ecological integrity of Jasper National Park.

                                            The Government of Canada is proud to table this bill to formally establish a Sable Island national park reserve of Canada, and to give this national treasure the highest level of environmental protection in the country. Sable Island would join with other places that have become Canada's premier natural and cultural icons in a national parks system that covers more than 326,000 square kilometres, an area that is 4 times the size of Lake Superior and that celebrates the infinite beauty and the variety of our land.

                                            Bill S-15 marks the third time our government has brought before Parliament a legislative proposal to increase the size of Canada's internationally acclaimed network of national parks and national marine conservation areas.

                                            In fact, in May 2011, Parks Canada was awarded the prestigious Gift to the Earth award by World Wildlife Fund, its highest accolade to applaud conservation work of outstanding merit. In recognizing a conservation action as a gift to the earth, WWF highlights both environmental leadership and inspiring conservation achievement, which contribute to the protection of our shared living world.

                                            The Gift to the Earth award recognizes Parks Canada's conservation leadership and its globally outstanding track record in creating new protected areas and in embracing precedent-setting aboriginal participation in the establishment and the management of our protected areas.

                                            I would like to briefly speak to some of these new protected areas, which would soon see Sable Island among them.

                                            In 2009, Parliament unanimously passed legislation resulting in a sixfold expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve, bringing the park to 30,000 square kilometres in size.

                                            It was remarked in the House that this was the conservation achievement of a generation, one that was accomplished with the close collaboration of the Dehcho First Nations. Designated one of the planet's first world heritage sites, this expanded park now protects in perpetuity significant habitat for grizzly bear, caribou and Dall sheep, as well as the famed South Nahanni River.

                                            A year later, after a parliamentary review, the Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site became the first marine protected area to be scheduled under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act. In a global first, this new marine protected area, along with the existing Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site, protects a contiguous area that extends from alpine mountaintops right down to the bottom of the ocean floor—a rich temperate rainforest and its adjoining marine ecosystem now protected for the benefit of future generations. All of this was accomplished as we worked hand in hand with the people of the Haida Nation.

                                            It is important to note that our government has not only worked to protect large or remote natural areas such as Nahanni, Gwaii Haanas and Sable Island, but we are also working to protect endangered habitat and species and to conserve some of the last large remaining natural areas in more developed settings.

                                            In 2011, the government announced the purchase of the historic Dixon family ranch lands of the Frenchman River Valley, in southwest Saskatchewan, in order to protect it for future generations as part of Grasslands National Park of Canada.

                                            This land acquisition of approximately 111 square kilometres within the west block of Grasslands National Park's existing boundary is significant for its spectacular scenery and its native grasslands, which includes critical habitat for species at risk.

                                            Allow me to quote the hon. member for Edmonton—Spruce Grove, when she observed:

                                            This vast, windswept prairie was home to millions of free-roaming bison prior to European settlement. With the re-introduction of bison—an icon of the prairie—the park will restore grazing to this mixed-grass prairie ecosystem, enhance the long-term integrity of the park and once again give Canadians the opportunity to view these symbols of the prairie after over a century's absence in this area.

                                            It is these kinds of actions that speak to the power of our national parks. Not only do they protect the natural areas that have been handed down from generations before us, but they also provide us with the opportunity to restore what might have been lost.

                                            Again to Grasslands National Park, in 2009, Parks Canada reintroduced the black-footed ferret, a species that had disappeared from this region more than 70 years ago.

                                            Finally, I am particularly proud of our government's initiative to bring the message of protected areas and conservation to the Rouge Valley of Toronto.

                                            In the 2011 Speech from the Throne, our government announced that it would work to create a national urban park, the first national urban park in Canada, in the Rouge Valley. This is an important initiative that would help increase the profile and public investment in urban conservation. I am also proud of the fact that our government will invest over $143 million, over 10 years, for park development and interim operations, with an annual budget of $7.6 million to continue operations.

                                            The overall size of a Sable Island national park reserve and Rouge Urban National Park are not as large as our great northern and Rocky Mountain national parks, but they are no less important. They complement the mandate of large protected areas by focusing on some of our most endangered ecosystems, and they provide yet another opportunity to inspire people to take action to conserve their local natural areas.

                                            Passage of Bill S-15 would ensure that the natural and cultural features of a Sable Island national park reserve of Canada would be protected forever, for the enjoyment, the appreciation and the benefit of current and future generations of Canadians.

                                            I hope that hon. members across both sides of this House will join me in supporting Bill S-15.

                                            • MPconblog GeraldKeddy 192 post Prostate Cancer

                                              Mr. Speaker, prostate cancer is a serious health concern for all Canadians. In fact, it is the most common cancer diagnosed in Canadian men. Prostate cancer accounts for over a quarter of all new cancer cases in men. As we in this chamber know all too well, it can have fatal consequences.

                                              In my riding of South Shore—St. Margaret's, Dan Hennessey of Bridgewater, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer over six years ago, has dedicated himself to making a difference in the lives of those going through this disease, in addition to doing his part to raise awareness. To this end, he authored a book entitled With the Snap of a Glove and most recently launched the Blue Glove Men's Health Fund, a not-for-profit that raises funds dedicated to men's health. The Blue Glove fund is committed to improving the health and wellness of men and boys and their families, through mobile men's health clinics and an education campaign.

                                              I would like to thank Dan and recognize him for his dedication and hard work.

                                              • MPconblog Randy Kamp 1632 post Port State Measures Agreement Implementation Act

                                                Mr. Speaker, I know that my colleague, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of international trade has a keen interest in this bill, so with your consent I would like to share my time with the member for South Shore—St. Margaret's.

                                                I am pleased to support Bill S-13, an act to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act. This bill originated in the other place and the Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans studied the bill between November 8, 2012 and March 5, 2013. During the study, the Senate committee heard testimony from officials of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Oceans and Environmental Law Division of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the president of the Fisheries Council of Canada, and others as well.

                                                The purpose of Bill S-13 is to enable Canada to ratify the international agreement on port state measures to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

                                                On March 7, after examining the bill and hearing from witnesses, our colleagues in the other place passed the act to amend the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act.

                                                The port state measures agreement negotiations focused on illegal fishing and transshipping on the high seas, what we call IUU fishing or illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. IUU fishing is an issue of grave concern. The agreement deals with the worldwide problem of IUU fishing, which has deep economic and environmental consequences. The committee heard that the estimated economic loss from IUU fishing averages between $10 billion and $23 billion every year.

                                                The international agreement ensures that there is a cohesive and collaborative effort to sustainably manage the resources contained in our oceans. On November 22, 2009, the member countries of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN reached an agreement on it. Canada was one of the countries that played a leadership role in that effort. Canada signed the port state measures agreement in 2010 and now needs to follow through with this commitment by ensuring that our legislation is amended to fulfill our international commitments.

                                                Some of the most important stipulations in the port state measures agreement include: establishing standards for information to be provided by vessels seeking entry to port; continuing to deny port entry and service to vessels that are implicated in pirate fishing or IUU fishing unless entry is for enforcement purposes; and, setting minimum standards for vessel inspections and the training of inspectors.

                                                I can say that Bill S-13 is widely supported by the fishing industry and is necessary in order to fulfill our international commitments. The only criticism from the president of the Fisheries Council of Canada was that it took too long to negotiate and ratify this agreement. Therefore, I sincerely hope that my colleagues on the opposition side will not delay this bill and hold up the implementation of measures that would enable Canada to effectively combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

                                                Fish is a highly traded food commodity and as such illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing rapidly becomes a global problem with significant economic, social and environmental consequences. IUU fishing operators gain economic advantage over legitimate fish harvesters through lower cost of operations by circumventing national laws and regulations. They also undermine conservation and management measures of regional fisheries management organizations and other international standards.

                                                Once IUU fish enter the market, it is very difficult if not impossible to distinguish them from legally caught fish. IUU fishing will remain a lucrative business if the benefits of landing and selling such products continue to outweigh the costs associated with being caught. IUU fish in the market can depress prices for fish products to unprofitable levels for legitimate fish harvesters. Canadian fish harvesters are susceptible to price fluctuations in international markets, as approximately 85% of fish caught in Canadian waters are exported, representing more than $4 billion annually.

                                                Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, often referred to as pirate fishing, puts the livelihoods of legitimate fishermen around the world at risk and has an impact on the conservation and protection of our fisheries.

                                                Pirate fishing is a global problem that undermines responsible fishing and has consequences on food security, safety at sea, marine environmental protection and the stability of prices for fish products in some markets. IUU fishing also poses serious potential threats to marine ecosystems and fish stocks. Therefore, by strengthening the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act we will protect this vital resource and support the international fight against pirate fishing.

                                                Canadian fishermen feel the impacts of pirate fishing, including the depletion of stocks from overfishing, unfair competition with illegal fish products and price fluctuations created by illegal fish products in foreign markets. Therefore, we need to continue to be leaders in the fight against threats to our fishery in order to maintain a fair and stable market environment for our high quality fish and our seafood exports.

                                                The proposed amendments to Canada's Coastal Fisheries Protection Act would help us to do that. The amendments represent the next steps in our effort to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. There are some loopholes now where fish can be caught illegally and then moved to another vessel, which can then legitimately say that it did not catch those fish illegally.

                                                Bill S-13 proposes a new definition of fishing vessel that includes container vessels and any type of transshipment vessels so that transshipment at sea of fish that has not already been landed would be caught under the act. Also, if a country is fishing outside of the authority or the control of a regional fish management organization, if it is just fishing without any compliance with the international norms, then fish caught by that vessel would also be subject to intervention under the act.

                                                The amendments to the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act would expand our capacity to deal with illegally caught fish from other jurisdictions. We would have the ability to deal with illegal fish product imports in the efficient way required by the port state measures agreement to which we are a signatory.

                                                Canadians can be proud of our already strong port access regime for foreign fishing vessels. Among other measures, Canada does not allow entry to vessels on the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing vessel list of the Northwest Atlantic Fishing Organization, or the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, usually called ICCAT. The IUU vessel lists are a key tool for combating pirate fishing globally. These lists include not only the fishing vessels, but also any vessel that helps fishing vessels engaged in illegal acts. For example, if they provide fuel or transshipping products or packing materials, all of these activities would be covered and included in the list. Arrangements have already been undertaken among several regional fisheries management organizations to share their lists so that members can take the necessary action to deny port entry or services to listed vessels. This makes IUU fishing more and more difficult and expensive.

                                                The proposed changes to the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act set out even tougher prohibitions against the importation of illegally caught fish and other living marine organisms. Contravention of these provisions would be an offence under the amended Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, with penalties specified under the act. Together these measures would help dry up the profits from illegal fishing activities. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, in close collaboration with the Canada Border Services Agency, would carry out monitoring and enforcement with a view to minimizing impacts on legitimate cross-border trade of fish and seafood products.

                                                Canada has a large stake in the fisheries and a lot of the stocks we fish are straddling stocks, stocks of fish that move from one area to another in the ocean. This means that to protect our fisheries we have to protect them inside and outside of our exclusive economic zone. When we combat illegal fishing that takes place elsewhere in the world it has a far-reaching positive effect here in Canada.

                                                Preventing illegally taken fish and seafood products from entering Canadian markets is also a priority for Canada's major trading partners. Stronger controls at the border would help maintain our reputation as a responsible fishing nation and trading partner. The amendments to the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act that are before us would strengthen and clarify Canada's domestic rules and reinforce our leadership role in the global fight against pirate fishing.

                                                I am very happy and proud of our government, which has taken action against this global problem that has an impact on our fisheries here at home. I encourage all members of the House to support the bill.

                                                • MPconblog GeraldKeddy 197 post South Shore Organizations

                                                  Mr. Speaker, as the member of Parliament for South Shore—St. Margaret's, I rise to recognize the new and inspiring partnership between organizer Al Sullivan's David Atkinson Memorial Bonspiel for Cancer and the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore.

                                                  Together, the memorial bonspiel and the foundation will raise funds dedicated exclusively to helping South Shore cancer patients. I am proud to stand in the House to recognize them today.

                                                  I would also like to acknowledge the South Shore's own Admiral Desmond Piers Naval Association. The association meets on a monthly basis as a place for people who have served at sea. It is 130 members strong and growing. Whether their legacy was with the navy, the merchant marines, the Canadian Coast Guard or the RCMP's marine division, members of the Admiral Desmond Piers Naval Association are all united by their love of the sea, their honourable service and, as any of them would put it, the salt water in their veins.

                                                  These Nova Scotians and the organizations they represent honour both their communities and all of Canada.

                                                  • MPconblog andrewscheer 57 post Privilege

                                                    Order, please. If the hon. member for South Shore—St. Margaret's wants to contribute to this point, I would be happy to give him the floor, but I will do so when the member for Vancouver—Kingsway is done.

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South Shore—St. Margaret's

The electoral district of South Shore--St. Margaret's (Nova Scotia) has a population of 82,855 with 66,733 registered voters and 192 polling divisions.


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