John HARVARD

HARVARD, The Hon. John, P.C., O.M.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Charleswood St. James--Assiniboia (Manitoba)
Birth Date
June 4, 1938
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Harvard_(politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=fb17fd75-1fee-4407-b7e5-35c4ce3f2652&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
broadcaster, journalist

Parliamentary Career

November 21, 1988 - September 8, 1993
LIB
  Winnipeg--St. James (Manitoba)
October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
LIB
  Winnipeg--St. James (Manitoba)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Supply and Services (Public Works and Government Services) (February 23, 1996 - July 11, 1996)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works (Public Works and Government Services) (February 23, 1996 - July 11, 1996)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services (July 12, 1996 - July 9, 1997)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
LIB
  Charleswood--Assiniboine (Manitoba)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services (July 12, 1996 - July 9, 1997)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (July 10, 1997 - July 15, 1998)
November 27, 2000 - May 6, 2004
LIB
  Charleswood St. James--Assiniboia (Manitoba)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for International Trade with special emphasis on Resource Promotion (December 12, 2003 - May 6, 2004)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 212)


May 3, 2004

Hon. John Harvard

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for Davenport for his work on this particular file. He has established, over many long years, a reputation for concern about the environment and these kinds of issues. The House and the government, in fact the country, is better off because of his sensitivities, work and commitment.

I want to say that these are difficult issues, but the government is trying to strike a balance. The final chapter has not been written, but we will do whatever we can to achieve a balanced approach to this.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2004
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May 3, 2004

Hon. John Harvard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to address the House on the occasion of the third reading of Bill C-28.

Canada has the distinction of having established the first national park system in the world. Over the decades, this system has grown to 41 national parks and reserves, preserving for future generations almost 265,000 square kilometres of lands and waters, and there are plans to add an additional 100,000 square kilometres through the creation of eight more national parks. This legacy is possible because aboriginal people have worked with us to create many of these new national parks.

The creation and management of national parks is a delicate balance between preserving ecologically significant areas of importance to wildlife and meeting economic and social needs of communities, including those of aboriginal people. Parks Canada has increasingly worked in partnership with aboriginal people and communities to achieve these mutually supportive goals.

Bill C-28 is an important part of that effort, a bill which strives to provide for the aboriginal people of Esowista while working to maintain the ecological integrity of a national park whose focus is the preservation of the northern temperate rainforest, one of the earth's truly magnificent ecosystems.

The Government of Canada is committed to working with aboriginal people and other Canadians and stakeholders to protect other examples of our precious natural heritage through the creation of new national parks and national marine conservation areas.

In October 2002, the government announced an action plan to substantially complete Canada's system of national parks by creating 10 new parks over the next five years. This will expand the system by almost 50%, with the total area spanning nearly the size of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Five new national marine conservation areas will also be created.

Canada is blessed with exceptional natural treasures. We owe it to Canadians and to the world to protect these lands and waters.

This action plan calls on Parks Canada to work with all of our partners, the provinces and territories, aboriginal and rural communities, industry, and environmental groups and others, to complete this effort.

In March 2003, a little more than a year ago, the government allocated $144 million over five years and $29 million annually thereafter toward this effort.

This action plan has already produced two new national parks. The new Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada protects 33 square kilometres of ecologically rare land in the southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia.

At over 20,000 square kilometres, Ukkusiksalik National Park of Canada protects virtually an entire watershed close to the Arctic circle in Nunavut. This park is the product of an agreement between the Government of Canada and the Inuit of Nunavut, forged over several decades of hard work, all focused on protecting land, water, caribou and polar bear for present and future generations.

Specific sites for more national parks have been selected in other natural regions across Canada: the southern Okanagan; lower Similkameen in interior British Columbia; Labrador's Torngat Mountains and Mealy Mountains; Manitoba's lowland boreal forests; Bathurst Island in Nunavut; and the east arm of Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. Sites for the two remaining national parks are being identified by Parks Canada.

The government is also working with partners to establish five new national marine conservation areas, adding an estimated 15,000 square kilometres to the system. This will be a major step forward for global conservation of marine habitat. Canada has the world's longest coastline and 7% of its fresh water.

These national marine conservation areas will be located in ecologically unrepresented marine regions. Four sites have been identified, including Gwaii Haanas off British Columbia's Queen Charlotte Islands, western Lake Superior, British Columbia's southern Strait of Georgia and the waters off Îles de la Madeleine. A site for the remaining national marine conservation area has yet to be finalized.

In addition, the government will accelerate its actions over the next five years to improve the ecological integrity of Canada's 41 existing national parks. This will implement the action plan arising from the panel on the ecological integrity of Canada's national parks, whose report was endorsed by the government in April 2000, four years ago. Parks Canada, in order to achieve its mandate to protect ecological integrity, will have to work closely with aboriginal people and communities to ensure that we work toward common conservation goals.

Nowhere will this be more important than in the area of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the Esowista Indian reserve. Bill C-28 reflects our common goals of protecting the park while meeting the economic and social needs of the reserve's aboriginal people.

Bill C-28 reconciles the aspirations of Canadians for this national park and the aspirations of aboriginal people for their reserve. In the broader context, the government's action plan is the most ambitious action plan to expand and protect national parks and national marine conservation areas in over 100 years, since Banff National Park, Canada's first, was established way back in 1885.

It is a plan that requires the support of aboriginal people to achieve and I look forward to that day.

I urge the members of the House of Commons to give speedy passage to Bill C-28.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada National Parks Act
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May 3, 2004

Hon. John Harvard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Davenport for his interest on this important file, for his questions and suggestions.

At this time there are no transgenic varieties of wheat registered for commercial production in Canada. Monsanto Canada has applied to Government of Canada regulators for approval of Roundup Ready wheat. However, the three safety reviews: food, feed and the environment have not been completed.

In addition to the above food, feed and the environment safety reviews, Canada requires that wheat varieties be subjected to a rigorous analysis of end use quality, agronomic performance, and disease resistance for variety registration purposes prior to commercialization. Expert committees must judge these varieties to be equal to or better than the reference varieties before they can be registered by the federal government and sold as seed to commercial farmers.

The Government of Canada is aware of the concerns of many of Canada's international customers regarding GM crops and that the introduction of new plant varieties should be done in a manner that addresses those concerns.

Thus, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has launched an interdepartmental process to determine how best to ensure that the commercialization of products of agricultural innovation does not cause undue international market disruption, while balancing Canada's commitment to innovation and to science based regulation.

With respect to the labelling of genetically modified foods, Canada requires labelling where the foods have undergone significant nutritional or compositional changes, or where there may be health and safety concerns, such as allergenicity.

Canada supports a voluntary, industry based approach to labelling based on how a product was produced if it is not related to the product's characteristics, such as non-product related process and production methods.

In our view, mandatory labelling for non-product related process and production methods may constitute a technical barrier to trade and, therefore, contrary to our international trade obligations.

In this regard, Canadian industry has responded to consumer demand for labelling of GM foods and has developed a voluntary standard for GM products through the Canadian General Standards Board, CGSB.

The Canadian government has supported this broad based initiative and believes that a voluntary labelling standard would be the best way to provide important information about how a product is made while upholding our trade rights and obligations.

Both a comprehensive study by the Royal Society of Canada on “Biotechnology Regulation in Canada” and the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee support a voluntary labelling scheme. The CGSB standard was recently referred to the Standards Council of Canada for final review and adoption as a national standard of Canada.

I would like to thank the hon. member for his comments and suggestions. As I have said, the government is well aware of the potential trade impact of the issue. This is why it is so important that the introduction of new plant varieties be done in a manner that addresses these concerns.

As I have said, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has launched an interdepartmental process to determine how best to ensure that the introduction of GM products does not cause undue international market disruption. As part of this process, we will ensure that the hon. member's comments and suggestion are taken fully into account.

Finally, I would emphasize again the importance of balancing Canada's commitment to innovation and to science based regulation. Ultimately, our ability to defend our access to foreign markets is based on our commitment to science based regulation.

As members will be aware, we are currently involved in a WTO panel against the European Union's moratorium on GM products on grounds that the moratorium is not based on science.

Topic:   Adjournment Proceedings
Subtopic:   Budget Implementation Act, 2004
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April 29, 2004

Hon. John Harvard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I am delighted that the hon. member has asked this question because it is a good day in the softwood lumber dispute.

The NAFTA panel, on the alleged threat of injury to the U.S. softwood lumber industry, released its decision today. It is good news for Canada and it is a total victory for Canada.

We said all along that the U.S. was wrong. Our industry does not threaten injury to the U.S. industry. We have said all along that we have free trade in softwood. The decision today supports our position. We hope the U.S. respects the decision.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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April 29, 2004

Hon. John Harvard (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, as I said in my first response, we hope the United States will respect this decision. This is an important decision. In fact it is an important decision to both countries.

Yes, the Prime Minister is in Washington today. The Minister of International Trade is in Washington today. On the agenda is softwood lumber. I assure the member that they will continue with their best work in the interest and support of free trade in softwood lumber.

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Softwood Lumber
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