April 24, 1997

LIB

Paul Zed

Liberal

Mr. Paul Zed (Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, our program for April was generally laid out for us in the business statement of March 20, and we shall continue in the remaining days of April to work on this program in a manner determined by consultation through the usual channels.

It is fair to say that this process has worked very well. It is appropriate to thank the hon. members opposite as well as members on this side of the House for their high level of co-operation which has been forthcoming in managing an extremely busy agenda.

I wish to mention the constructive role that has been played by all members, in particular the members of the Reform and the Bloc and the hon. member for Lethbridge who has demonstrated to all of us that there is a difference between opposing and obstructing.

Perhaps more important, the hon. member for Lethbridge has shown us clearly that being an effective adversary does not make one a personal enemy. He has brought a dignity and a maturity to the proceedings of the House that all of us should take as an example.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
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BQ

Benoît Sauvageau

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Sauvageau

Mr. Speaker, I have just received a petition from the clerk of petitions. I know this may well be my last opportunity to table it. Unfortunately, this petition does not quite meet the requirements of this House.

I ask for unanimous consent to table this petition in this House, nonetheless.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
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The Deputy Speaker

Does the hon. member for Terrebonne have the consent of the House?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
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Some hon. members

Agreed.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Business Of The House
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BQ

Benoît Sauvageau

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Benoît Sauvageau (Terrebonne, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, the petition is from Suzie Robitaille, whose five children are being held in Egypt, and it is signed by 2,423 people.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Petitions
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The House resumed consideration of Bill C-65, an act respecting the protection of wildlife species in Canada from extirpation or extinction; and of the motions in Group No. 1.


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The Deputy Speaker

The hon. member for Lac-Saint-Jean had seven minutes remaining in debate.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Endangered Species Protection Act
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BQ

Stéphan Tremblay

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Stéphan Tremblay (Lac-Saint-Jean)

Mr. Speaker, this is probably my last speech of this 35th Parliament. It went by very fast. It was very little time indeed, compared to all my hon. colleagues.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my constituents in the federal electoral district of Lac-Saint-Jean. As I said in my maiden speech, they have put their trust in me. They were not sure, in fact there was some controversy about it, whether they should put their trust in someone who did not have any experience in politics, wondering if it would lead to disaster if the riding of Lac-Saint-Jean was represented by a young, inexperienced person.

A year later, I am pleased to note that we can trust our young people, notwithstanding their lack of experience. I think things have gone rather smoothly this past year.

I did not have time to bring certain projects to full fruition, including Opération Maillage, a networking operation designed to bring together persons with different skills. It will probably not get under way before the election, but after, and I am very pleased because we will have successfully developed a new concept in Alma. People who have an idea for business, an entrepreneurial potential, and those who are looking for a business partner could get together and share their respective skills. Small businesses should emerge, that will create jobs.

Second, we will recall that, on the evening of December 29, as an elected member faced with a problem, I called a public meeting and I said: "You must take an active part, not only by paying your taxes and going to the polls every four years, but also by getting your ideas across".

As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. I have put my trust in the people, and they have come up with solutions: a dozen policy thrusts we have been working on since January. People came up with a number of concrete proposals. I am delighted with what is happening in my riding.

Finally, it was a pleasure to work with my colleagues in the Bloc Quebecois, and I hope I will be able to continue to do so during a subsequent term. We hope so, and it is very likely we will, because we intend to run this campaign with a lot of determination.

Sometimes people ask me: "Do you really want to start campaigning again after just one year?" I think it is wonderful for an elected representative to get back on the campaign trail just a year after being elected. During your first campaign, you are not too sure how everything works, but now, a year later, when I go back to my constituents, I will be able to tell them first hand about what happens in the House of Commons.

I wanted to make this little aside since this will be my last speech in this 35th Parliament. I must say it was a wonderful experience, and I hope I will be able to repeat it in the years to come.

Now, back to Bill C-65. I started my speech before oral question period and had to stop because of lack of time. I had started on my general comments, the reasons we more or less agreed or did not agree at all with the bill.

Bill C-65 directly threatens areas under provincial jurisdiction. In fact, the Liberal government is using the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Conservation of Biological Diversity as an excuse to encroach on areas under provincial jurisdiction.

This comes as no surprise. It is the usual duplication story. Expertise has been developed in the provinces, including Quebec, where we already have legislation to protect biodiversity, legislation that goes back to 1989. The provinces had the expertise. They knew the field. Everything was fine. However, the federal government is now intruding on these jurisdictions. In fact, there is something in the Constitution about this, but unfortunately, they want the prestige. They want this federal institution to have some prestige.

Actually, I find it hard to explain. Perhaps our colleagues opposite could explain the purpose of this intrusion, but I do not understand it at all.

Furthermore, Bill C-65 respects neither division of powers provided under the Constitution nor its traditional interpretation, because it is based on a much broader interpretation of the definition of federal territory and because the government does not respect the joint constitutional responsibility it shares with the

provinces with respect to certain species. This is in line with what I said earlier.

Third, Bill C-65 gives the Minister of the Environment broad discretionary powers, including that of appointing the members of COSEWIC, listing species identified as threatened or endangered by COSEWIC and implementing recovery plans.

The same problem arises on the subject of interference in jurisdictions. The bill provides that the minister will have broad discretionary powers, including with respect to decisions on appointments to COSEWIC. It reminds me of a lot of other bills. When a committee is to be struck, it is always the minister who gets to appoint his buddies. I listened to my colleague from Frontenac speaking on this earlier. The situation is an unfortunate one because the little Liberal family will remain cloistered, not really open to the public. They appoint their buddies, their pals, to pay off their debts.

I could go on at length because this really bothers me. What about all the Liberal candidates who were defeated in the 1993 elections? I think some 40 of them are now working in the Canadian public service, simply because they had good contacts, they did the party a favour and are being paid back. That is democracy for you.

This is all the time I have. I therefore wish you a fine election, Mr. Speaker. I hope to see you in September.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Endangered Species Protection Act
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The Deputy Speaker

That is too kind. The hon. member for Mégantic-Compton-Stanstead on a point of order.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Endangered Species Protection Act
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BQ

Maurice Bernier

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Bernier (Mégantic-Compton-Stanstead)

Mr. Speaker, could you determine whether or not we have a quorum?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Endangered Species Protection Act
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The Deputy Speaker

No, we do not have a quorum. Call in the members.

And the count having been taken:

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Endangered Species Protection Act
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The Speaker

We have a quorum. Debate.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Endangered Species Protection Act
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LIB

Francis Leblanc

Liberal

Mr. Francis G. LeBlanc (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I believe if you seek it you will find consent for the following:

That all motions at report stage of Bill C-65 be deemed to have been put and a recorded division requested and deferred once debate is completed for each grouping.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Endangered Species Protection Act
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The Speaker

My colleague, let me understand. This morning we had a motion, by unanimous consent, that all motions were to be deemed to be moved and seconded. Do I understand the hon. member correctly that he is adding something to that? Is there a word in there that I have missed? They are deemed to be moved and seconded.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Endangered Species Protection Act
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LIB

Francis Leblanc

Liberal

Mr. LeBlanc (Cape Breton Highlands-Canso)

Mr. Speaker, you will have to bear with me. I am following instructions. They have been deemed to have been put and a recorded division requested and deferred once debate is completed for each of the groupings.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Endangered Species Protection Act
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The Speaker

I understand. Does the hon. member have the permission of the House to put the motion?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Endangered Species Protection Act
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BQ

René Laurin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Laurin

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask a question. We might agree to the motion being moved, depending on its content. But I believe that in the motion, my hon. colleague is asking that the motions be deemed moved and the divisions deferred.

If the divisions are deferred, to when will they be deferred? If it is later today, that is one thing, but if it is Monday, that is altogether different. I would like the motion to specify when the divisions will be deferred to and then we will see if we can support it.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Endangered Species Protection Act
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The Speaker

To answer your question, dear colleague, usually all divisions are deferred to the end of the debate. If this is today, fine, if it is another day, this is fine too. Usually, it is at the end of the debate. Does this answer your question?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Endangered Species Protection Act
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BQ

René Laurin

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Laurin

Mr. Speaker, in that case, I believe my colleague's motion is useless. He moved that the divisions be deferred. When the debate ends, we will ask that the divisions be deferred. Does this motion still serve any purpose then?

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Endangered Species Protection Act
Permalink
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The Speaker

My dear colleague, it is not up to the chair to decide when the debate will end, it is up to the House.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Endangered Species Protection Act
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April 24, 1997