Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (FAAE)

On March 19th, 2013 the committee heard evidence from John Crump, Senior Advisor Climate Change, Polar Centre for GRID-Arendal, a centre, which collaborates with the United Nations Environmental Programme to provide decision makers of all kind with environmental science and research. Mr. Crump emphasized the need for Canada and the Arctic Council to take a strong position on climate change as it undoubtedly affects the Arctic.  The committee also heard testimony from David Hik, professor, Department of Biological Science at the University of Alberta. Mr. Hik gave evidence about environmental changes in the Arctic and the need to connect both local and global processes concerning the Arctic. Mr. David VanderZwaag, Professor of Law, Canada Research Chair in Ocean Law and Governance, Dalhousie University provided his top ten challenges in the Arctic ranging from the need to develop a polar code to ensuring infrastructure development. Finally, via telephone, Anita Dey Nuttall, Associate Director of the Canadian Circumpolar Institute provided testimony concerning the need for an overarching Arctic Northern science policy and to recognize that the Arctic will play an important role within the international community.

On March 21st, 2013, the committee heard testimony from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The first witness was David Burden Regional Director General of Central and Arctic Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Mr. Burden provided evidence concerning the fishing industry in the Central and Arctic Region. The second witness was Renee Sauve, Director of Global Marine and Northern Affairs, International Affairs Directorate, with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Ms. Sauvé provided evidence about the future of commercial fishing in the Central Arctic. She also discussed the possible necessity of an international fisheries management organization to manage fishing in the Central Arctic. The second hour of the meeting was in camera. Among other things, it was agreed that, in relation to the study of the Organization of American States (OAS) and Canada’s Engagement in the Americas, the proposed budget in the amount of $50,804.10, for the committee’s travel to Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, in the spring 2013, be adopted.  The Minutes for this meeting can be found here.