Expansion and Conservation of Canada’s National Parks Act (Bill S-15)

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I have also been canvassing the views of environmental groups that work on park creation and conservation. There is a lot of concern across the country about the provisions that would continue to allow petroleum exploration-related activities within a national park. In particular, there should be no regulatory oversight within a national park by a body such as the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, whose mandate by legislation includes expanding oil and gas activities.

I would like to ask my hon. friend what changes we can make in committee to ensure the integrity of national parks across Canada.

Massimo Pacetti: Mr. Speaker, the member is obviously an environmental buff. As she is the leader of the Green Party, I would not be able to challenge her on some of her statements.

As I stated in my speech, our environmental critic has a few things that she would like to examine at committee stage. I know the bill was looked at in the Senate. That is why we have two houses, so that we can have a review of what the other house did. I hope that this bill will have a deep review and not just a cursory review, and that we do not just quickly pass it without consultation.

One of the things that we can look at in a positive light is that, importantly, five oil companies that had been granted exploration licences for on-island drilling have voluntarily agreed to relinquish the rights. Therefore, I feel optimistic that the offshore petroleum board would not be granting licences on Sable Island.