Stewarding our living marine resources

Elizabeth May

Mr. Speaker, I note that my hon. colleague mentioned technical briefings to understand Bill C-68. I assure him that I did not need a technical briefing. I was so relieved to read legislation that made sense again.

When I was in this House in 2012, when Bill C-38 was tabled at first reading, it was over 440 pages long and changed 70 different pieces of legislation. We were never offered a technical briefing. There was a rush to push it through. Former fisheries ministers, two former Conservative fisheries ministers and two former Liberal fisheries ministers, ministers Fraser, Siddon, Dhaliwal, and Anderson, were united in saying that what was happening was the gutting of the Fisheries Act.

I would ask my hon. colleague to reflect that perhaps this legislation coming forward to re-establish the protection of fish habitat and to re-establish fundamental notions that we protect our fisheries and fish, regardless of whether they are destined for human consumption, would be an improvement in Canada’s ability to steward the natural environment. We, as Canadians, hold an obligation to take care of these living marine resources far better than we have in the past.

Mel Arnold – Member for North Okanagan-Shuswap

Mr. Speaker, not being part of the previous government, I cannot speak directly to how that act was brought in. What I noted in my presentation today is that portions of that 2012 act remain. I have not had the full amount of time to determine exactly how many of those 2012 changes are there, but we see this act as possibly furthering them. The questions I have pointed out are the big concerns we have with this act.