Gerry BYRNE

BYRNE, The Hon. Gerry, P.C., B.Sc.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Birth Date
September 27, 1966
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Byrne_(politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=0b9b8066-e727-478e-b825-a12571e8f726&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
environmental technologist, policy adviser

Parliamentary Career

March 25, 1996 - April 27, 1997
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources (July 10, 1997 - August 31, 1999)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (January 16, 2002 - December 11, 2003)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health with special emphasis on Drug Review Agency (December 12, 2003 - July 19, 2004)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health with special emphasis on Drug Review Agency (December 12, 2003 - July 19, 2004)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs (July 20, 2004 - February 5, 2006)
October 14, 2008 - March 26, 2011
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
May 2, 2011 - August 2, 2015
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)
May 2, 2011 -
LIB
  Humber--St. Barbe--Baie Verte (Newfoundland and Labrador)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 113)


April 20, 2015

Hon. Gerry Byrne

With regard to the Small Craft Harbours Program of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, for each fiscal year since 2006-2007, or each calendar year since 2006, as appropriate, and broken down by Department of Fisheries and Oceans administrative region and province: (a) what was the total employment related to administering the program, distinguishing (i) program officers, (ii) project support technicians, (iii) other employees, providing those employees’ job titles; (b) what was the number of client service locations; (c) what was the total expenditure to administer the program; (d) how many harbour authority seminars were held; (e) how many harbour authority representatives were provided with funding, or reimbursed, relative to their travel expenses to attend harbour authority seminars; (f) what were the total grants and contributions to harbours or harbour authorities, distinguishing those made to (i) Core Fishing Harbours, (ii) Non-Core Fishing Harbours, (iii) Recreational Harbours; and (g) what was the total of grants and contributions made to, or in respect of, each individual harbour or harbour authority?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
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March 31, 2015

Hon. Gerry Byrne

With regard to the recognition of landless bands and the recognition of Indian Status of members of such bands under the Indian Act: (a) how many landless bands have been recognized by Canada; (b) what are the recognized names of such bands; (c) by which legal instruments was each band recognized; (d) on what date was each band recognized; (e) what was the number of members of each band at the time of recognition; (f) what is the number of members for each recognized band today; (g) where were the original members of each band generally understood to have resided at the time of recognition; (h) where are the members of each recognized band generally understood to reside today; (i) for each band, did membership in the band result in a direct eligibility for enrollment with the Registrar of Indians for recognition of Status under the Indian Act; (j) what were the original eligibility criteria established for each band at the time the recognition order was proclaimed; and (k) what are the details concerning current eligibility criteria for bands to be recognized?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
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March 31, 2015

Hon. Gerry Byrne

With regard to the operation of the federal Crown Corporation Marine Atlantic Incorporated (MAI) and the policy and operational oversight provided for MAI by Transport Canada: (a) what is Transport Canada’s rationale for its decision to acquire or charter new vessels of approximately 200 metres in length to renew the MAI fleet, in light of the fact that the MAI Board of Directors had previously approved their consultant’s recommendation that vessels of 175 metres in length would be best suited to the service; (b) what were the perceived advantages of the longer vessels that outweighed the increased likelihood that their operations would be inhibited by poor weather; (c) what was Transport Canada’s rationale for establishing a four-vessel fleet for MAI, given the 2005 Report from the Minister of Transport’s Advisory Committee on Marine Atlantic Inc. that had recommended a three-vessel fleet; (d) does MAI track delays that customers experience in order to make new bookings during peak times, (i) if so, what are the details of such delays for June to September 2013, and June to September 2014, (ii) if not, why not; (e) does MAI collect data on the delay between a customer’s preferred travel date and the date for which they are actually able to make a reservation for travel, (i) if so, what are the details of such delays for June to September 2013, and June to September 2014, (ii) if not, why not; (f) during times of traffic backlog (e.g., because of excess demand, mechanical failure or poor weather) is it MAI’s policy not to take new reservations, or allow vehicles to buy passage and enter the parking lots, until the backlog is cleared and, if so, why; (g) in what ways do the new collective agreements signed between 2011 and 2013 for MAI employees allow additional operational flexibility and potential for labour cost savings to MAI, compared to the previous collective agreements; (h) what measureable benefits has MAI received as a result of the new collective agreements; (i) is the loan for the MV Leif Ericson still being paid out of the operating budget and, if so, why; (j) other than the Canadian Forces Appreciation Fare, has MAI ever introduced any other fare options to give users more choice and increase fare revenue and, if not, why not; (k) is it MAI’s current policy to give tractor-trailers loading priority over drop trailers and, if not, why not; (l) did MAI apply to Transport Canada Marine Safety in order to be able to allow more drivers of tractor-trailers onboard restricted sailings and, if not, why not; (m) has an independent ombudsman ever been appointed to receive customer complaints regarding MAI’s service and, if not, why not; (n) how has the effectiveness of MAI’s maintenance management systems and practices improved since 2009; (o) does MAI track the average time between equipment failures, (i) if so, what trends have been observed in equipment performance measures since 2009, (ii) if not, why not; (p) what objective indicators has MAI established with respect to vessel turnaround time; and (q) what trends have been observed in the indicators mentioned in (p)?

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
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March 24, 2015

Hon. Gerry Byrne (Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 52, I would request that you rule on my request on an urgent matter regarding the ongoing delays and cancellations of the federally obligated ferry service to and from Newfoundland and Labrador. This is a growing and dire situation. It has been noted by many responsible individuals within Newfoundland and Labrador who have knowledge of the situation that there are indeed food shortages occurring in certain areas.

Marine Atlantic is a federal crown corporation that enacts a constitutional obligation on the part of Canada to operate, in accordance with the traffic offering, a freight and passenger service between North Sydney, Nova Scotia and Port-au-Basques, Newfoundland. The terms of union, which were enacted in 1949, prescribed this as a constitutional obligation. Further, that constitutional obligation exists, as stated in the terms of union, as traffic offers.

Ice conditions are one part of the question that needs to be debated and answered by the government. What exactly is causing these consistent delays and cancellations? Yes, there are ice conditions that are affecting the ferry service, but I would also note that it is the Government of Canada that operates the fleet of icebreaking services in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Given the fact that a constitutional obligation exists on the part of Canada to maintain this in accordance with the traffic offering, for the government to simply say that ice is impeding those operations, while it in fact holds the tools to continue to maintain these freight and passenger services, in accordance with the traffic offering, is not a fair statement.

I will also add to this request I raise under Standing Order 52 that it also is incumbent upon the Speaker to consider the fact that this matter of an essential service designation was raised by Canada in 2003. The Canadian Industrial Relations Board heard a case by petitioners and ruled that the constitutionally obligated Marine Atlantic ferry service was deemed an essential service and that its operation was critical to the health and safety of all Newfoundland and Labradorians.

I would point out that 90% of all perishable goods, 90% of all food items and groceries, enter the province by way of the gulf ferry service. Its failure to operate over the last several days and weeks means that those grocery items are in short supply. The fact that the Canadian government has not been able to provide adequate icebreaking services has led to a situation whereby the health and safety of Newfoundland and Labradorians is now in question.

Given the fact that a constitutional obligation exists on the part of Canada to operate this ferry service; given the fact that there has already been a quasi-judicial board ruling that states that this service is indeed an essential service and must be maintained, or health and safety will be compromised; given the fact that the Government of Canada operates and maintains the means for this service to continue to operate under all conditions, including with the provision of icebreaking services; given the fact that the Government of Canada also makes decisions with regard to the particular specifications of the ferries they employ for the operation of this service; given the fact that there has already been noted a serious health and safety concern that needs to be alleviated immediately; given the fact that there are no relative means for the House to pursue this question, as this is a complex issue for which concerns raised during question period would not necessarily be able to provide adequate answers not only for Parliament but for Canadians in general; and given the fact that a question has to be put, after an exploration of the facts, we would implore the Speaker to allow this emergency debate to occur so that the government can put forward its position on these matters and inform Parliament and all Canadians as to how exactly this evolved into this circumstance and what exactly it wants to do about it.

This is a matter of grave urgency, and I ask you, Mr. Speaker, if you would provide us with an opportunity to further debate it.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Request for Emergency Debate
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February 27, 2015

Hon. Gerry Byrne (Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, we know that Marine Atlantic's 2015 corporate plan has not yet been approved by cabinet, but until then, the crown corporation's operating budget is very uncertain. The company has said that there is absolutely no doubt that cabinet will approve its five-year plan before the delivery of the Minister of Finance's budget, and full details of their funding will be available this spring.

Will the finance minister confirm that the five-year corporate plan will indeed be approved in this time frame, that more money will be in the budget for Marine Atlantic, and that this funding will be no less than last year's allocation?

Topic:   Oral Questions
Subtopic:   Transportation
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