Oral Questions – Fisheries and Oceans

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, the hon. memer for Trinity—Spadina already raised today in question period the decisive vote of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities urging the government to remove non-budgetary environmental items from Bill C-38.


My question is for the Minister of Fisheries, since he has repeatedly referenced FCM as a supporter of the bill and in fact said, “countless other municipal leaders have been calling for these types of reforms for many years”. Now that we can count them on the fingers of one hand, will the government admit it made a mistake in going after and gutting the Fisheries Act in Bill C-38?

Hon. Keith Ashfield: Mr. Speaker, I have said many times that we are focusing our fish and fish habitat protection on Canada’s fisheries. In fact, it is true that municipalities across the country have indicated to me on many ocassions that the red tape they have to go through for work in and around minor waterways is excessive.

I have a quote from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that says, “By reducing the time municipal employees are forced to spend filling out forms…the changes will make it faster and less expensive for local governments to perform routine public services”.