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

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, I agree that my hon. friend from Kitchener Centre probably has no reason to doubt that the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board could do a decent and adequate rigorous environmental assessment. Unfortunately, I have personal experience that leads me to know that it does not do any such thing. It is, in a word, slipshod, incompetent, and a very poor board to have any jurisdiction over a national park.

Nature Canada’s website describes this approach of allowing the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board to have regulation of a national park as a “dangerous precedent”. The Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board ignored expert advice and approved seismic testing during the migration of blue whales through the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This board misrepresented a multi-stakeholder group, which I was part of, that worked for two years to come up with recommendations for the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It absolutely misrepresented our results in its press release.

There is a technical term for this board. It is called Mickey Mouse. This is a dangerous precedent. This clause must be removed.

Stephen Woodworth: Mr. Speaker, let me say that I always find it regrettable when an opposition member stands in the House and maligns ordinary Canadians who have been given a job to do in the interests of all of us and public service. It is all too easy for members, like the one who just spoke, to stand up and insult people publicly in the chamber, where they have immunity. I find it regrettable and, if I may say in a final nod to the member, I find it somewhat out of character for her to so malign individuals who are really putting themselves in a position of public trust.