Mr. Rodger Cuzner (Bras d'Or--Cape Breton, Lib.)
Mr. Speaker, I am against a group of motions that put cost effectiveness into the purposes section of the bill. The purpose of the proposed species at risk bill is to protect and recover species at risk. The assessments of the status of species prepared by COSEWIC are based on the best available information on the biological status of the species.
In determining whether a species is at risk these independent experts examine scientific information as well as aboriginal and community knowledge about the biological status of the species. The bill is clear that social and economic factors would not influence COSEWIC's decisions.
Similarly, the goals for the recovery of the endangered species as set out in recovery strategies would be biological objectives. Recovery strategies would set out population and distribution objectives that must be met for the survival of a species. They would identify threats to a species and its critical habitat where possible.
As in the case with COSEWIC assessments social economics would not factor into developing biological information. SARA is firm that we should not interfere with science. However, when we respond to the science we need to think about social economics.
The bill has safeguards to make sure that other important needs of Canadians would not be ignored. There are several situations under the bill where social and economic factors must be taken into account. These factors are taken into account by the government in determining how to respond to COSEWIC's assessments.
Under any federal legislation there must be consultation involved in making of orders and regulations. This allows for an opportunity to consider social and economic impacts. SARA is no exception in this regard. For example, there are orders to legally list species and regulations to implement recovery strategies, action plans and management plans.
Topic: Government Orders
Subtopic: Species at Risk Act