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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on 
Fisheries and Oceans

Issue 10 - Evidence, June 2, 2008 - Afternoon meeting

IQALUIT, Nunavut, Monday, June 2, 2008

The Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans met this day at 1:07 p.m. to examine and report on issues relating to the federal government's current and evolving policy framework for managing Canada's fisheries and oceans. Topic: Arctic Study.

Senator Bill Rompkey (Chair) in the chair.

[Editor's Note: Some evidence was presented through an Inuktitut interpreter.]


The Chair: We will start and welcome our guests. We have Glenn Williams, who is a councillor from the City of Iqualuit. We heard from him in a previous incarnation in Ottawa as well. We have Lewis Gidzinski, from the Nunavut Association of Municipalities. Glenn Cousins is from the Nunavut Economic Forum. We understand Hal Timar is on his way from the airport, representing the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce.

We welcome you to our hearings. You all know what we are doing here. We would ask you to give us a presentation of roughly seven minutes each, and then we will have some questions for all of you, so that we can use the hour and a half that we have at our disposal.

Glenn Williams, Councillor, City of Iqaluit: Thank you, Mr. Chair and senators. On behalf of the city, the mayor and the council, we are pleased to welcome you to Iqaluit. We think it is appropriate for the Senate to come and visit us. It is an opportunity for you not only to see but to feel and to smell our city and our territory.

One of the biggest things for me when I go south and I step off the airplane is that I taste your air. One thing you can note when you get off the plane here is that you cannot taste our air.

I think too that it is also a good opportunity for you to experience our city, especially if you travel around, especially if you travel on our streets and our roads in our community.

The last time I went south I happened to read my contract on my Budget rental car, and the contract said that my insurance was invalid if I drove on a road that was not hard-surfaced, because the southern standard in Canada is that all the roads that you would drive around in your vehicle are hard-surfaced.

It would cost our city council $500,000 per kilometre to pave our roads. To give you an example, if we wanted to pave 20 kilometres of roads, to pave our community, it would cost over $10 million. That is just the paving. That is not the engineering, not the resurfacing and the construction of the road surface or those kinds of things — just the paving.

It is really good that you come up here and you see these things, because in Canada we have a standard. We have a standard in our country where, in our Constitution, all our regions are equal. You have equal rights on the West Coast, on the East Coast, but when you come to this coast we are behind. We are behind in a lot of ways. We are behind with our roads. We are behind with our infrastructure.

Today, I would like to bring up that one piece of infrastructure we are behind on here is a port or a harbour. This is directly related to the fishery, although it is not solely a fishery issue, but it is a significant issue for us. If I go to a small community in B.C. way out on the west coast of Vancouver Island, there is a harbour, there is a port. If I go to any coastal community on the East Coast of Canada there is a harbour, and there are some incredible ports. There is Sydney, Halifax, St. John's. The list goes on. Even Digby, Nova Scotia, has infrastructure.

Take a look at what we have for infrastructure in Iqaluit. We have a causeway that was built by the U.S. army in the 1940s or 1950s. It is run down, dilapidated. We are still using it. We resurfaced it and put a piece on the side of it, because we are trying to make do. We have challenges.

We have the third largest tide in the world. It is second to Bay of Fundy and Ungava Bay. Its maximum tide is over 10 metres — 10.8 metres at maximum tides, to be exact. We have ice, which many other places do not have. These are all challenges.

A marine facility here would be important to us in five areas. I will name them in no particular order.

The first one is sealift. All our buildings, all our vehicles, and a majority of our product and our produce, whether at Northmart store or wherever, come in on sealift; everything comes in on a ship. All our fuel, all the aviation fuel for the airport, all our heating fuel, all the fuel to generate our electricity here, all our mobile fuel, if you will, for vehicles, all of that comes in by sealift.

The second way is that we get resupplied with fuel vessels. These fuel vessels tie off. They lay a line in the water that they pump all the fuel through as it floats across the surface and goes to a land station to where it is hooked up to solid pipes. Every year in the territory we have significant leakage or loss of petroleum products.

The third area that we have is the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard does crew changes out of here because of our airport. How do they get from the ship to there? With a helicopter. Not all vessels that come into our port have helicopters; in fact, probably the only ships that come in that have helicopters are the Coast Guard ones.

About three years ago the military was in here doing manoeuvres, and as part of the manoeuvre they scrambled and they had to get all the troops aboard the vessels and deployed to Cumberland Sound, to Pangnirtung. It was like Laurel and Hardy. A 20-mile-an-hour wind was blowing out of the south, and there was about a two- or three-foot sea running, blowing right here in the harbour. They had to wait until the high tide so that the little boats, the hunters' boats, could transport the military personnel from the dock to the ship. Then they got them out there. It was getting dark. It was blowing around. The guys had all of their kit — their packs, their rifles, all that stuff. They pulled up beside a war vessel that had rope ladders thrown over the side, and these guys had to scramble up with everything to get aboard their vessel. It certainly was not reflective of a country like Canada. It looked a lot more like an evacuation from a Third World country. That is lack of infrastructure.

Another area is cruises ships. Every year there is an increase in the number of cruise vessels that come through the Arctic, and it is an economic opportunity for us. But where do they go to resupply? They go to Nuuk, or they have to sail all the way back down to St. John's. We miss opportunities.

I find it interesting that the Port of St. John's actually has a cruise ship commission because the cruise ships in the harbour of St. John's generate a little over $10 million a year, just for their economy. We are missing out on that.

The last or the fifth area that a port would contribute in our community is to do with the fishery. You are hearing a lot about the fishery. In fact, if you read the Nunatsiaq News you see that our fishery is foremost in a lot of people's minds.

We have a very difficult time diversifying our fishery. We are limited to very large vessels that have the capacity to carry enough fuel, enough supplies and enough catch to make it economically viable. The Canadian government does not allow the Canadian shipping vessels that fish in our waters to off-load in other countries, like Greenland. Therefore, there is a requirement for those vessels to sail all the way back down to Southern Canada to off-load and to resupply. We could do that here if we had the facilities.

We have airplanes flying out of here empty. Most of our air freight is one way. Our fresh food and everything comes in, and then airplanes fly out of here empty.

We could also diversify into smaller vessels. Because we do not have the infrastructure to refuel and resupply, it is very difficult to have 65-foot vessels fishing in our offshore, which is commonplace on the other two coasts of Canada.

Those are the ways that infrastructure could help here. In the last few years, it became a priority with our city council to identify those needs. Because of these reasons, we see a marine facility as an economic opportunity for our community. We see it as a real requirement for our region. It is not just for our community of Iqaluit but also for our region, because it would affect the fishery all up and down the East Coast. It would affect the cruise ship lines that are coming and going and visiting our smaller communities where there is lots of spinoff. It is a regional incentive or idea.

In the 1980s the federal government put together a report, and at that time they figured it would cost about $10 million. We just looked at that again, and we estimate that it would cost between $50 million and $70 million now to put in a marine facility at this point.

We worked with the Government of Nunavut. We took some funding and looked into things like how we would administer a port and what our requirements would be for establishing a port. We looked at the environmental assessment and the regulatory process. We have done all of that in a report on our facility. We sent it to the federal government. It got a lot of interest, especially with the newly elected Conservative government. It was also a commitment from the Conservative government, when they first got elected, to do more in the Arctic.

We were directed to the Minister of Defence. We had assumed initially that we would probably go the Minister of Transportation or the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to look for a port, but we were directed to go to the Minister of Defence.

The Chair: By whom?

Mr. Williams: By advice that was coming down through the government. We did not have direct contact with the federal government, but through our contacts at the Government of Nunavut we were directed. Actually, the mayor and I had a meeting with the Minister of Defence at the time. He indicated to us that he would make a decision as to where he would put the facility in the Arctic.

Of course, we know that that went to Nanisivik, which is very interesting because Nanisivik is now abandoned. Nobody lives there anymore. I do not know what they are doing for a source of power. Maybe they will keep the old fuel tanks there instead of tearing them down; we do not really know, but there is a facility there. There are three caissons that a ship can tie to. It is also the point where the transfer of freight goes to the Coast Guard from the commercial, to go into a place called Kuujjuaq.

Kuujjuaq is the only community in Nunavut that still does not get sealift, except it does get support from the Canadian Coast Guard because they transfer all their freight at the Nanisivik dock and put it on a Coast Guard vessel and they take it in. That is just to give you some idea.

Right now we are still in need, if not even greater need, for a port or for a facility to be able to improve the way we handle products coming in and out in the areas that we have identified. It would also identify to northerners that we are similar to or were treated in a fashion similar to communities in Southern Canada, because right now there really is a feeling that we are not being treated the same.

Lewis Gidzinski, Infrastructure Research Manager, Nunavut Association of Municipalities: Mr. Chair, senators and panel members, I would like to thank the committee for the opportunity to appear today.

I want to give some background first. As you may know, the purpose of the Nunavut Association of Municipalities, NAM, is to be an advocate to ensure that community-based government concerns are respected and protected at all times.

I have been a resident here in Iqaluit for seven years, and my role in NAM is to perform infrastructure research and planning on behalf of all 25 communities. Their long-term plans involve all dimensions of community plans, including environment issues, infrastructure issues, economic development issues, health issues, et cetera. I also work closely with Community and Government Services on the infrastructure advisory committee on behalf of all 25 communities. I have had the opportunity to visit all 25 communities and consult with the councils of the 25 communities.

Some of the issues I want to put forward were mentioned by my colleagues this morning and by Councillor Glenn, so I will only briefly go over those. However, I have three issues that no one else has identified.

As you have identified in the Beaufort Sea priority and the partnership for the Beaufort Sea, Nunavut has an extensive coastline, 45,000 kilometres. It runs all along the Arctic Ocean. As you have heard, 24 of our 25 communities are coastal communities; yet, as Councillor Williams mentioned, we will have one deepwater port, which is 30 minutes away from the nearest community by road, when you can get to it by road, and we will have one local harbour. There are no roads connecting Nunavut with the rest of Canada. Water transportation is vital to us. It is also used for hunting and harvesting.

We are excited about the opportunity for communities to participate in the subsequent phases of what was put out in the Oceans Action Plan, which should broaden the geographic scope of oceans management to include the Eastern Arctic.

Our communities possess a great deal of knowledge. For better planning in the communities, specifically related to marine facilities, we have to consider other activities — the mining and exploration activities. If we want to deal with a truly integrated oceans management approach, then we have to involve the communities.

NAM is working jointly with the Nunavut Economic Developers Association and other organizations, as well as with the Government of Nunavut, to promote this integrated planning approach, and we look forward to being a participant in the integration of a coastal management approach that is called for in the Oceans Act, to provide that community-level input into an integrated, comprehensive system and not a fragmented one. Qujannamiik. Thank you.

Glenn Cousins, Executive Director, Nunavut Economic Forum: Good afternoon and welcome, Mr. Chair and senators, to Iqaluit and to Nunavut. As you know, I am the Executive Director for the Nunavut Economic Forum, which in our world of many acronyms is commonly referred to as the NEF. We use a lot of acronyms in Nunavut. I hope you have a glossary of terms with you.

The NEF first emerged in 1998 to identify and share information in order to support strategic planning for economic development activity in Nunavut. The initial members included representatives from the territorial and federal governments and Nunavut Tunngavik, which, as you know, is a land claims organization. These agencies, along with our member organizations, continue to provide resources to support the operation of the NEF, which is essentially a small secretariat to support the activities that are the roles of the NEF.

I was kind of chuckling when I picked up my emails after coming back from a short vacation. I sent an email back to the clerk who was wondering why my staff had not responded while I was away. The fact is I am the only staff member there, which is typical of many of the small organizations that have economic development roles in Nunavut.

Currently the NEF has close to 30 member organizations that are key players in the development of the Nunavut economy. The primary focus is for members to collaborate in the implementation of the Nunavut Economic Development Strategy, each within their own area of activity and expertise.

Released in 2003, the strategy is a comprehensive, modern and open approach to development and is unique in Canada. Subtitled ``Building the Foundation for our Future,'' it takes a broad view of economic development, identifying issues related to the land, people and communities, in addition to more traditional economic concerns.

The strategy has a 10-year time frame, establishing priorities for Nunavut to address the territory's economic challenges. The recommendations aim to effect change in one of four areas: our land, our people, our community economies, and the territorial economy.

The strategy identifies a viable, sustainable commercial fishery as one of the primary sectors for development, but as you are no doubt aware, there are a number of obstacles limiting Nunavut's ability to fully develop the potential of the fishery. I am sure that as you conduct your hearings in Nunavut you will hear a great deal about dissatisfaction with quota allocations, lack of infrastructure to support commercial fishery and other marine activities — as Glenn Williams has already described — and sovereignty issues and environmental concerns related to climate change and resource development. All of these are important and many are currently hot button topics, as you know.

One topic that I have not seen mentioned in the recent transcripts that may be overshadowed by more immediate concerns is the need for ongoing investments in science that is foundational to the development of a viable, sustainable commercial fishery in Canada's North. I am not a technical expert in this area, but I understand there is a significant information gap in fish stock assessments, which could lead to increased quotas and the diversification of commercially viable species.

Over the past four years, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, in partnership with the Government of Nunavut Department of Economic Development and Transportation, has provided funds for fishery science to the Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development Program, commonly referred to as SINED. This SINED program is scheduled to terminate in March 2009, and the NEF is advocating for its renewal. Preliminary discussions have been held with INAC and other stakeholders regarding the need to renew this program and to develop a new investment plan that will guide investments under the new program. Through this process, INAC, the Government of Nunavut and industry have all identified fishery science as a remaining gap, and they specifically recognize a need to increase and expand the scientific knowledge base of species with commercial potential and to invest with other partners in fisheries infrastructure to increase capacity and competitiveness.

Through the SINED program, INAC and other stakeholders are attempting to meet a range of needs in areas such as geoscience, fisheries, cultural industries, community economic development, and so on. However, this program, even with anticipated renewal, is not adequate to cover all investment requirements. Funds must be allocated from other sources, and partnerships must be established to ensure that the knowledge gaps are closed. Certainly the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is an obvious partner in addressing these gaps.

The need for more and better science will only increase as climate change affects stock movements and health and world demand for the resource increases. This is especially true for the frontier areas of the fishery, such as in Nunavut's adjacent waters where new stocks may be available but must be harvested in a sustainable manner. As recently as this morning, CBC News carried a story regarding a call in the United States for a moratorium on expansion of commercial fishing in the Arctic Ocean until there is a better understanding of the ecosystem. While this may only impact the Western Arctic Coast at this time, it is probably a hint of things to come to the Eastern Arctic in the foreseeable future.

From a federal perspective, it is clear that investment in fishery science, infrastructure, and fair quota allocations support the current northern strategy, which includes economic and social development as a priority. It is important that through the Northern Strategy, investments in Nunavut's economic development are not viewed as handouts to a fiscally challenged territory but as investments in the future of Canada as a whole, which includes the needs and aspirations of the North and northerners. These requests for additional funds, for additional funding renewal of programs, should be viewed in that context.

I am sure that the committee has been well briefed on many topics, including some background on the witnesses here. However, I brought along a few copies of some of our key documents for your further reference. I understand that there are some rules that the committee operates under in relation to Canada's official languages, but unfortunately we tend to release our publications in the primary languages of Nunavut, English and Inuktitut, and have limited resources for translation into French. I ask the committee to consider it allowable for individual members to pick up these documents at their discretion, and we will make every effort to make them, or their updates, available in French in the future. These documents are also available on our website at

In closing, on behalf of the members and board of directors of the Nunavut Economic Forum, I thank you for the opportunity to participate in these hearings, and I look forward to any questions that you may have for me this afternoon.

The Chair: Is there an agreement that we table the documents as is? Yes, there is agreement? Fine. Thank you very much.

Senator Robichaud: Yes, because the nods are not recorded.

The Chair: Thank you very much.

Hal Timar, Executive Director, Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce: Thank you, Mr. Chair and members of the Senate committee, for the opportunity to say a few words here today. Those of you who know me know I am using the term ``few'' very loosely.

I apologize, both for my lateness and my appearance, because I literally just got off an airplane and rushed right over. If you do not believe me you can see my luggage is still in the car. I hope my bacon hangs in there. I have frozen chicken in there. It better last.

I am here representing the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce and by extension the Baffin business community. My comments are from the business point of view of things.

I want to start by saying that we understand your difficult role here. You have to support industries and the requirements of regions across multiple jurisdictions, and it is often a no-win situation. As a member of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, DFO, addressed in an article in Nunatsiaq News, you are used to being burned on a regular basis no matter what you decide, and I appreciate how difficult this process is.

It is always great to see key government people coming to Nunavut to see and hear for themselves some of the issues we are facing here and the impact your decisions and support have on the lives of all the Nunavummiut. It is difficult to obtain support from southern people usually because in most cases they just simply do not understand what is happening up here.

Hopefully you will have the opportunity to get out and look around the communities you visit from different angles. As you look around, you might notice we recently had that great northern residents deduction increased, and it was very welcome, but it is not enough. We still have a long way to go before the cost of getting to Nunavut, which is well over $1,500 a ticket, is offset, let alone our $13 bags of milk. While you are not here specifically for that, what we need from you always, from all the senators and from everybody, is your support on these issues and other issues at every opportunity.

From our side, a couple of key things underlie our other issues. Northern sovereignty is a major issue right now, and it is a concern on many fronts. The Inuit are the basis of the Canadian claim to the Arctic. To date there have been many declarations and a few gestures from the federal government to that end. Many of those gestures, so far, have been unfulfilled or have replaced existing programs that have been reworked and sometimes upgraded. However, real support, serious support, must begin happening now. If Canada wants to continue to assert its claim to northern sovereignty it must support us at every opportunity to develop a northern economy. This should be consistent across all departments and should be a priority.

Regarding fishery activities, you are probably hearing a lot about it, I am guessing, but just on the issue of quotas. From my understanding, the quotas were put in place both to manage the stock and to help develop the industry in Canada. All changes in quotas should be done with that in mind: development and the support of an industry without negatively impacting the stock.

The awarding of quotas directly to Nunavut would surely cause as much of an outcry in the Atlantic as you are hearing here these past few days. The industry in Nunavut is new and growing. It is one of the economic pillars of the economy and a key component if the territory is to become self-reliant. Its growth is at a critical stage and must be supported by the federal government. At the very least it should not be hindered.

When adjacency is an issue, all adjacent parties should be given the right to participate. A reasonable solution would be to give all parties the opportunity to make their case for the quotas and have a fair evaluation of the potential impacts to the regional fishing industries. That said, if all things are equal, the development of the northern economy should be the priority, given the limited number of opportunities available to northern residents.

Allowing the transfer of quotas between organizations and the suggestion to purchase quotas from other holders for fishing only serves to create a commodities market and does not support the growth of a fishing industry, which I once again only assume the quota system was originally intended to do.

In general marine activities, the need for major improvements to the infrastructure is a concern as it would in turn support many businesses throughout the region and territory. I use the term ``improvement'' cautiously, as the creation of an infrastructure might be more appropriate.

As the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce, I can only speak on behalf of our region. I am sure that if you travel to the other regions you will hear something similar but distinctly different suggestions.

It is a great disappointment that Nunavut remains the only province or territory in Canada not to benefit from federal investment and port facilities up to now. Small craft harbour investment, while welcomed, is on the horizon and not nearly sufficient, assuming that it sees the light of day. The recent announcement regarding the facility in Nanisivik is also a nice step but of little practical value to Nunavummiut. That facility will just support the needs of military and a few others. I have also been told that the DFO owns the fuel tanks, and I was wondering what the plans are for them if in fact the DFO does own them.

Nunavut, and our region in particular, needs DFO's support, and others', to development a port facility in Iqaluit. Supporting the fishing, tourism and other sectors of the economy, among other things, this facility would help to offset the high freight costs that all northerners bear, as well as to create a more efficient distribution network throughout the Baffin region. Small craft harbours are needed to support an inland fishery industry, tourism and other sectors as well.

Once again, you are confronted with trying to take limited funds and meet the needs of jurisdictions across Canada, but hopefully some of that will see the light of day in Nunavut.

Regarding climate change or global warming, there are many impacts and issues, but I would just like to address one point, the opening of the Northwest Passage. There are already plans underway by foreign interests to take advantage of this opening in anticipation of year-round shipping lanes, for instance, into Hudson Bay. This is creating another gateway. What is being done to prepare for this? The federal government needs to officially recognize the gateway that is now being created and apply the gateway funding that is already in existence to the Northwest Passage. In particular, we need to identify roles for Inuit and business and the monitoring and management of this gateway. It is coming. It is almost here, in fact, and we need to begin to make preparations today.

About the Coast Guard, I am not very familiar with all of their activities, but I am curious about one thing. In the past, one of their roles was to help work as an icebreaker, to help bring in the first sealift and open up the sea routes. Given global warming, that role may change. This year they are even saying that the Coast Guard may not be needed at all. What will be done with the extra time or the extra capacity? As those discussions go forward, what roles can they fill to possibly help business and the North in general?

That is all I have for now, but if you would give me a few minutes I can probably come up with more.

The Chair: Just for clarification, what do you mean by gateway?

Mr. Timar: There is funding for the gateways into Canada. That is the western seaboard; I am not sure whether the Detroit-Windsor corridor also falls under that gateway funding. There is specific funding for gateways. If we could recognize the Northwest Passage as a gateway, it could also have access to that funding.

The Chair: There is no gateway on the Atlantic, although Halifax would —

Mr. Timar: Does the Atlantic qualify under the gateway program?

Senator Cowan: A $2.1-million fund was set up for gateways and corridors in Budget 2007, but I do not believe that the procedures have been set out. Halifax or Halifax-Saint John, St. John's, Sydney, would qualify under that program. It is not specific to any one region.

The Chair: No.

Senator Cowan: There is a specific fund for the Pacific Gateway.

Senator Cowan: The rest of it is just corridors and gateways.

Mr. Timar: However, you have to be recognized as a gateway in order to get that funding.

Senator Cowan: Yes. I do not think it has been defined yet exactly how that will work.

The Chair: On the question of the northern residents deduction, I have some familiarization with that because I was in the House of Commons when that was approved, and it went back before 1985. Michael Wilson, in 1985, applied it to everybody north of 60, and some communities south of 60. It was then around $5,000. It has been increased to $6,000. If you add inflation from 1985 you can see where it is going or not going.

Mr. Timar: Nowhere near.

The Chair: Maybe it is good to have that on the record for future reference.

Mr. Timar: Yes.

The Chair: If I can usurp my own time here, I will ask another question. I have a question about the port. Mr. Williams, have you considered at all a public-private relationship? Is there any room for the private sector to get involved in building a deepwater port?

Mr. Williams: We have looked at it, and we found minimal uptake or minimal interest in the investment of public funds. Is it fully explored or fully fleshed out? No, it is not. However, the reality is that a port here is not open all year round. A port facility here would be substantially limited. So as far as the return on an investment, I guess the best example is that we do not even have local developers developing our properties for housing. We do not even have property developers doing that here. That is actually done by the city on a cost-recovery basis so that we can keep our price of housing at least equal to or lower than what it costs in Vancouver or Calgary or some other place in Southern Canada where the price is off the scale. The opportunities for investment are a problem with respect to timing and scale. It is not an area we see holding a lot of potential, from a city perspective.

Senator Cochrane: Mr. Cousins, you mentioned the need for investment in science. Just give us a sense of the extent of science taking place here at this time now. Does it tend to focus on fish stocks, or does it tend to focus on climate change? What are the knowledge gaps that you see now?

Mr. Cousins: I will preface my response by saying I am not an expert in these areas. Certainly in planning for investments or future investments in that area, over the last approximately four years through the existing programs that I am involved with, there has been about $400,000 to $500,000 invested in fish stock assessments. There have also been investments in developing marketing programs and so on. On the science side, investment has been shy of $500,000 on fish stock assessments, and that is for turbot and char primarily. However, I am aware of nothing related directly to climate change.

Senator Cochrane: Where would you like to see this go now? Where is there a gap right now for science?

Mr. Cousins: Well, the amount of information available on fish stocks in the zones 0A and 0B off Baffin Island, between Baffin Island and Greenland basically, is quite limited. A few years ago some fairly modest investments in science on turbot resulted in significantly increased quotas in the more northerly fishing zones, but industry experts are telling me that there are other exploratory fisheries and other stocks besides turbot and shrimp, and also that we need to identify new locations for stocks.

Mr. Williams: This afternoon you will have the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board before you, which is actually a funding agency for research and for science. You will be able to get all of the details and answers to any questions you have on science from the NWMB.

Senator Cochrane: That is good to hear. Science is important.

Senator Hubley: Mr. Gidzinski, does the Nunavut Association of Municipalities represent both Iqaluit and Nanisivik?

Mr. Gidzinski: Iqaluit is part of our association. Nanisivik is not a community; it is a facility.

Senator Hubley: I guess that leads to my question, because certainly the witnesses we have heard have overwhelmingly supported Iqaluit over Nanisivik for the positioning of that deepwater port. Was the decision strictly to support military interests, do you think? Is that really the reason?

Mr. Gidzinski: To my understanding, yes, the reason was to support the military. I suspect, although I do not have proof, that that is why the City of Iqaluit's proposal went forward to DND rather than to DFO or to the other departments. I do not know for sure.

In representing all municipalities, I am an advocate not only for Iqaluit's having a deepwater port but also for Rankin Inlet and Kitikmeot as well.

Mr. Williams: Nanisivik is no longer there. There is no longer a community in Nanisivik. All the facilities and everything that was there was taken down, dismantled and put underground. There is nothing in Nanisivik now. What is down at the facility is a dock. There are three caissons and a tank farm. One reason for Nanisivik's being selected is that there was no capital expenditure in developing a facility. That facility was already there and it was being dismantled. They just had to stop the process of tearing it down, put it back and restore it, and the government took over.

I lived in Arctic Bay for 15 years. I know what happened at White Pass in the Yukon. White Pass is where they used to off-load the lead and zinc ore, or the lead and zinc ore concentrate, from the trucks to the train. When the City of Whitehorse took over that facility there was a multi-million dollar reclamation that had to be done because of the spilled concentrate in the transfer area. I can tell you that there was, at times, between three to four feet of concentrate that was on the ground underneath the conveyor belt from the storage facility to the dock. I would be very interested if the government has not taken over responsibility for the cleanup of that site, because I do not know whether it was reclaimed or whether it was restored. By the lack of decommissioning or the government's taking over that facility, they may have inherited assets that they did not anticipate inheriting.

Senator Robichaud: Picking up on what you just said, do you expect that in Nanisivik they might find the same residue on the ground over there? Would it cost more to sanitize that site than to reorganize it?

Mr. Williams: I am not an expert in the area. All I have are my observations of when they first put the conveyor belt in. For the first two years it was there it did not have a cover. And there were times where the concentrate was transported during windy periods, and a substantial amount of concentrate was blown off the conveyor belt. It was recovered with the buckets of front-end loaders from underneath the conveyor belt, to give you some idea of the level of contamination. I do not know what restoration or cleanup was done. I have not been back to the facility since it was decommissioned. I just point out that it is an interesting situation, because a similar experience took place in the Yukon with the same type of concentration, lead zinc, that was being transferred from trucks from Farrow mine to the trains that were in downtown Whitehorse at the train station, and when that whole area was reclaimed it took a substantial amount of resources and investment to reclaim the area and get rid of the concentrate that was there from the handling process that took place at that time.

I am just pointing out that it is possible, I guess, for some contamination to still be there. The last time I saw that area the contamination was still there, but I have not been back since the cleanup.

Senator Robichaud: Actually, we saw pictures of the site yesterday. You said there are only tanks and the three docks. We also saw a pile of junk on the site over there that has not yet been removed.

There is talk of building huge icebreakers for sovereignty reasons and for all kinds of reasons. Now, if you had the power to make decisions as to how you would set your priorities for the North, taking into consideration the communities, how would the icebreakers figure in there? Maybe that is an unfair question.

Mr. Williams: I am probably not the witness you should speak to in regards to the Coast Guard.

I mentioned that I lived in Arctic Bay for about 15 years. I was there when shipping first started to come through Admiralty Inlet and Strathcona Sound for early shipping. I am intimately familiar with what it is like to have the Coast Guard vessel go by you in deteriorating ice in the spring at about five to six knots. It is a very stimulating experience. It is also a very expensive experience. The Coast Guard totally denied that it was their vessel because the guys got the date wrong as to claiming some equipment and things that were lost and those type of things.

I know that the Coast Guard is working on their contribution or their assistance to communities, especially with search and rescues, but the amount of assistance that is given to hunters or to people that are out on the land is not to the same extent as the support that is given to commercial operations or to bigger vessels.

I would also point out that in Nunavut, for hunters, the largest capital investment is your boat. Your other investments are your snow machine, your kamatik, your rifle, maybe your camp; but he largest capital investment that a hunter makes is for his boat, and it is the one that is the most at risk of being lost in weather. Every year a number of boats are lost in our communities due to inclement weather and bad storms.

There is a real community spirit to work together to pull our boats out. The hamlet loaders are down on the beach dragging boats up, and we are trying to help each other. A lack of infrastructure really does threaten and jeopardize the largest investment that a hunter has.

Senator Robichaud: Would anybody else like to comment?

Mr. Timar: My concern is the level of investment it will take to make those icebreakers and to what end. I would like a clear answer. What will you do with those icebreakers? Because if the intent of those icebreakers is to further open up or to patrol the Northwest Passage, that is just not a good enough answer. If they are going to do that and going to use that as a shipping lane, then, first of all, it needs to be recognized as a gateway and we have to take steps to protect that gateway. The people of Nunavut have to be part of the process of determining how that gateway will be used, what the potential impacts are right down to the community level. They are building these icebreakers, and I would be curious to know what they plan to do with them and how that will affect everybody.

The Chair: Maybe we should be clear what we are talking about, because there is a replacement announced for the Louis S. St-Laurent.

Mr. Timar: Yes.

The Chair: That is the only icebreaker replacement, but there are four to six other ships designed for the navy that will break, at least, or ice-strengthen, but whether they can operate in heavy ice is another question. Those are to be naval vessels, as we understand it.

Mr. Timar: Right.

My understanding — and I may be wrong — is that the icebreaker they are planning to rebuild would have a bigger capacity and would be able to do that kind of patrolling. It would not be the first time that the military did support for non-military purposes either. If the military is planning those icebreakers, again, to what end is it? Is it purely for naval exercises? Sovereignty? Or will they multiple roles and open up that gateway even more?

Again, we are not part of that process, and that impacts all of Nunavut and the North, and we need to be part of that process.

Senator Adams: You mentioned building a deep port in the future in Iqaluit. We just heard about jets going back to the south and maybe taking off empty. We have talked about promoting fishing in Nunavut.

You can study the airlines and how much they ship here and how much they take back down south. Have you done a cost analysis with Canadian North and First Air regarding backhaul?

Mr. Williams: Senator, our discussions so far have been to identify the opportunities. If we had the funding today, it would probably take us four to five years to put in a functional facility here. It would be difficult for an airline to tell us what the fuel costs would be, for example, in four or five years. At this point, we have identified the need, and there was a lot of interest in having freight where they do not have freight, or they do not see any opportunities currently for freight going from here out so that you can increase the volumes that you are dealing with. From that perspective, there was a lot of interest from the airlines.

To answer your question of whether we did any cost analysis, we felt it was a bit premature if we did not have any funding or we did not have an idea of what type of facility we would put in. However, there is definitely interest from industry in that area, especially from the airlines.

Mr. Timar: We just recently finished a transportation study, and part of the transportation study was a north-east transportation corridor that would begin in Labrador, Newfoundland, on the East Coast, and go through here and up into Greenland. A couple of things came to light as we were doing that. A port facility here would stimulate a lot of other businesses because we would use this as a marshalling area. We could do warehousing here year-round and then transport up via other methods. There is the whole issue of seafood and the fact that there are no specific studies, but we all know that sometimes they backhaul barrels of water to give them ballast on the airplanes. The biggest discount you get on an airplane is going back in the other direction because they need the ballast.

A port would do a lot of other things as well. It would allow us to do multimodal shipping, shipping containerized goods. Things could be stored here. Iqaluit could be used as a hub, and then these containers could be re-packed onto smaller barges which could serve the communities far more efficiently and cheaply.

The biggest single shipping expense is the time in port for the ship. A port facility would drastically reduce that amount. There are other options as well; even at the Northern Lights conference there was a major shipping company from Labrador. I cannot remember its name.

The Chair: Woodward.

Mr. Timar: Woodward. That is it. Thank you. You should know.

Woodward had a proposal for one way they would like to see that shipping open up.

The port would not only immediately lower our own shipping costs, but it would also have a long-term impact on all the communities in our region, much like a main port facility in all the other regions would do for their regions. We pick on Iqaluit here because you are in Iqaluit. We are the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce and we represent the region. Iqaluit is also the capital and the single biggest consumer of all products. If you are going to build a facility that is purely for that kind of purpose, then go where you get the biggest bang for your buck.

The Chair: You mentioned the transportation study. I was at the Northern Lights conference; I saw the Woodward proposal for the ship. Does it make sense to you to have more transshipment from Goose Bay to Iqaluit? Are the two ports complementary in that sense?

Mr. Timar: I cannot comment on ports being complementary, but from a chamber of commerce perspective, competition is a good thing. Having more suppliers stimulates lower prices, better quality, more selection.

The bottom line for us is that any improvement in shipping, in transportation, impacts us because anytime we save a dollar on shipping we save a dollar on the end product.

I always encourage everybody who has anything to do with policy or with the North to visit our grocery stores. Iqaluit is the major hub. When you see the prices I mentioned earlier — $13 for a bag of milk, for example — you can imagine what it costs when you go up island to other communities; there the impact is even greater. We have to do everything we can to bring down those costs, or at least make savings where we can, because it impacts everything from government to business to the individual person.

The Chair: I was mentioning at lunch that when the road was completed from Montreal to Goose Bay it reduced the cost of living in Goose Bay by 30 per cent. Loading and unloading does not make any sense. If you can take it from one place to another and then transship it to another by sea, then that seems to make a lot of sense.

Senator Adams: Our committee has heard from quite a few witnesses, including former Coast Guard captains and university professors from Montreal and Laval. There are Arctic sovereignty issues. We were told by one witness that there is really no need to build up the military and the navy presence here.

We heard from another that the Inuit have a lot of knowledge. With respect to Arctic sovereignty, he said that it would be a lot better to patrol the Arctic with the RCMP and the rangers instead of building a base. It would cost less, and there would be more employment for people in Nunavut in the future. What do you think about that?

We are talking about Arctic sovereignty, but we do not know yet what the government has decided to do. What will we do in Nunavut, especially right now with the Danish, the Russians and the Americans working up here? I think just last week there was a UN-sponsored meeting in Greenland to discuss boundaries. I do not know how much information you get concerning the issue of Arctic sovereignty, but what do you think the future holds?

Mr. Williams: It kind of makes me smile because I would imagine that over the last 30 years that Inuit hunters have observed more submarines than anyone from the Canadian military. There are stories in pretty much every community up and down the east coast of Baffin that they have seen this big eye come up out of the water and look around. They just took off home to tell the RCMP. There are numerous stories of observing unreported visitors, if you will, to our Canadian coast.

In the last few years, the Canadian military has focused on sovereignty patrols. They have been to Alert and all over the extreme High Arctic. I give them a lot of credit because they are finally doing it properly. They are going into communities like Grise Fiord, Resolute Bay and Pond Inlet, and they are using the local rangers. The local rangers are taking the military personnel around on land on snowmobiles. The military personnel are making these extended sovereignty trips and are working with our communities and with people here. That is very encouraging; I think it shows a lot of progress for the military.

We hear about remote sensing. We do get the odd CBC report. We knew too when we lived in the High Arctic that there are listening devices all through Lancaster Sound, Jones Sound and Smith Sound, because that was the routing that was anticipated for the submarines that would come over the poles. We all knew about it, though we did not talk about it, because those guys all had to go to Resolute; they had to go through polar continental shelf, and they had to fly out with Twin Otter pilots. Everybody knows the Twin Otter pilots, so everybody knows what they are doing. Sargent Point had one; Philpots had another one. We even know where they are. However, that is what they were put in for. There is remote sensing for that type of things.

One of the biggest assets that the Canadian Coast Guard has is experienced ice captains, which is very important. I enjoy reading some of the old books on Arctic exploration. Whether it was the Neptune, the Nascopie, or any of those other vessels that came up, they all had East Coast ice captains on them. That is what the Coast Guard has. That is one thing the military does not have. The military does not have that expertise. In fact, if you listen to the military, they are very hesitant to come up here and sail around. This is not their forte. This is not really what they do.

The only way I can answer your question, senator, is to say there are skilled people here who are out all the time observing and seeing things. I think it would be worthwhile to have a look at what the approach is in the Canadian Arctic.

Senator Cochrane: Do we have enough rangers and is there a move afoot to educate more rangers or use more rangers?

Mr. Williams: I am not the person to ask about that.

Senator Cochrane: Here we go again.

Mr. Williams: I am sorry.

The Chair: Does anybody want to answer that question?

Mr. Timar: I do know that the Armed Forces' Joint Task Force North, whose major guy is based out of Iqaluit, is working hard to develop more rangers. They are very proud of the ranger program, and they do see an expanded role for the rangers.

Senator Cochrane: That is going ahead now?

Mr. Timar: Yes, they are constantly trying to increase those numbers, and at least Joint Task Force North sees a greater role for the rangers.

Senator Cochrane: I think, Mr. Williams, you are the one to ask this. If we built a port here in Iqaluit, we would have five or six months of the year without ice so we can bring the ship in.

Senator Robichaud: That is stretching it.

Senator Cochrane: Well, we do stretch it anyway. I am doing this off the cuff. I am thinking that when the port is frozen over we will need icebreakers to open up the port for vessels to come in with goods and services. I am thinking about trying to create industry for Iqaluit with a port. What about that? Let us talk about that.

Mr. Williams: My experience comes from Nanisivik and from Little Cornwallis Island, where we had deepwater ports that were in fast ice. This would be like my mother driving a bus: that would be a very scary thing.

Senator Cochrane: They do that now.

Mr. Williams: No, I am speaking from experience here. Ships are not that manoeuvrable, even in open water. If you are going to bring a ship in, even if it is in ice that has been broken up by the icebreaker, is difficult. Even bringing the icebreaker in is difficult. At Nanisivik one year they had to do two or three weeks of repairs to one of the caissons because it got bumped by a ship coming in. It did not get hit hard; it just got bumped. It got bumped when the ship was coming in when there was ice around, because it takes the whole inlet for the icebreaker to make a turn, and then it had to try to come in right alongside the dock and break the ice. Off-loading is a real problem if you cannot get the ship right up against the ice. You also have a problem with all of the ice you broke up. Where do you put it? It fills up the track and all these other places, and it becomes very difficult to get right in next to the dock.

I guess one of our realities is that if there is fast ice here in the harbour, it is thicker by the shore; it is heavier ice and more difficult to move around. Currently we do not have the technology with our icebreakers to be able to make it so that other ships could come in on the track that they make and pull up and dock. Having an icebreaker does not mean we would actually be able to have ship traffic 10 or 12 months of the year.

As well, it would not be a hit with the community and with the hunters. Ships going back and forth through the ice create a barrier to transportation across the ice. We use the ice in the wintertime as our highway. That is where we go to get food. That is where we go to go seal hunting, to go caribou hunting, to travel around. We depend on consolidated, flat, first-year ice a lot during that time of the year.

Senator Cochrane: A port in Iqaluit would be used mainly for six months of the year then; is that correct?

Mr. Williams: I look at it the other way. We are very efficient. We only ships only for six months of the year to get everything we need for the year. We do not need the ships year-round.

Senator Cochrane: Do you have storage facilities?

Mr. Williams: Those would be part of our port — warehouse facilities and storage facilities and so on.

The Chair: There was some talk of a port at Kimmirut and a road to Iqaluit. Is that idea still pursued? I see you smiling and laughing.

Mr. Williams: I first heard this idea in the spring. In fact, it was April, and I thought, gee, somebody missed April Fools' Day. I lived in Arctic Bay for 15 years. We had a 30-kilometre road from Nanisivik to Arctic Bay. In the wintertime it was open half the time, because as soon as the wind would come up the road would be closed in three or four places. You could not get through because of snow buildup.

A road from here to Kimmirut? You could put a port in many communities, more than just Iqaluit, for the cost of not only building a road but also trying to keep it open.

Senator Cochrane: We know about those snow drifts as well.

Senator Robichaud: With respect to pollution, is there any concern on your part as to our capacity to respond to the negative impacts of a spill? I am sure that a port facility would contribute a lot to that response, would it not?

Mr. Gidzinski: Pollution is not just from a port. As I suggested earlier, a lot of mining and exploration activity will happen here, given what will happen from the Mary River project. Twelve times a year those shipments of iron ore will come right past our communities. That is just from mining and exploration. The port would be only one small issue to deal with. I think we have to deal with it in an overall approach, because if we do not include all of the mining and exploration activities from Baker Lake and everything else that is coming, we will have missed the boat with regard to pollution.

Mr. Timar: The same thing is true for the Northwest Passage. In fact, the impact is even greater, because if the Northwest Passage is open anybody can pass through there and drop anything they want overboard. That is why we have to start now looking at how this will be patrolled and monitored and managed, because you already have traffic up there, you already have people making plans to have traffic, and we have to take all of this into account. We have to start now; we cannot wait.

Mr. Williams: We have a real challenge with the technology of dealing with pollution in ice covered waters. It is a huge challenge. I am familiar with some of the work done in the past. An oil spill project took place in Pond Inlet a number of years ago. At the end of that work, the only thing they could come up with was using dispersants and aerial deployment of dispersants on a large oil slick. The impacts of that might be even greater than not dispersing it.

You are absolutely right. Any time there is ice around and there is pollution and water together, regardless of what type of contamination it is, it is very large and difficult task to try to control and to clean up.

Senator Robichaud: We have pollution-fighting equipment in some places. Is Iqaluit not one of those places? How would that equipment be deployed if they were through the Northwest Passage or in the bay here?

Mr. Timar: From my limited understanding — and maybe somebody here knows more — the technology simply does not exist to clean up most of the spills that could happen. For the other spills, you will have ask the environmental people here. Most of the environmental cleanups that we see up here are land-based. I do not know how much capacity there is for regular marine-based cleanups.

The Chair: Thank you.

Mr. Timar: There are two things I would like add, or reiterate, and I was hoping to be right near the end.

One is the whole sovereignty issue. Northerners are very sensitive about this subject, to say the least, because we are being bandied about on regular basis. We often feel like we are being paid lip service and nothing else. This is such a huge issue, but in terms of getting real opportunities for input and participation at every opportunity, northerners feel like we are being pushed aside.

Every time there is an opportunity to make a real difference, it does not happen. Take Nanisivik port, for example. There was a tremendous opportunity there to make a real statement, that yes, we believe in the North. It is important. Sovereignty is an issue. We respect the fact that we can claim sovereignty, thanks to the Inuit, so we will stick a port in the most inaccessible place for anybody.

You have to understand the feeling. Every time somebody says ``sovereignty,'' people here just roll their eyes. I know you probably do not want to hear it, but it is the truth, and somebody somewhere in the government has to begin to realize they should stop talking about it and start doing something, or one day do not be surprised if the Inuit stand up and say, ``Maybe we should talk to another country, because Canada is not really doing us any favours right now.'' It sounds funny, but believe me, I hear a lot of grumblings that people wish something would actually happen.

Even in non-sovereignty related areas we get slapped. There are many instances where northerners, and Nunavummiut in particular, are not given a say in things that affect them. The Northwest Passage is just one issue. The port is another issue. There are tons of issues, including the quotas. Maybe taken individually each issue is not the end of the world, but collectively they send the wrong signal to Nunavummiut. I hope that if nothing else you come out of here saying maybe we really have to start doing something.

A couple of announcements were made about repackaging existing programs; there is a big announcement, but then everybody knows that this is really the same program put into a different cover. I do not know who you are fooling. Maybe you are fooling a lot of people in the south who say, ``Look, they are doing so much for the North,'' but nobody up here is buying it.

The other thing I wanted to say, as sort of a self-tooting horn, is that as northerners we need to get together more often with other northerners to talk about the issues we have in common and to come up with a unified stance on many of these things, because often either we are battling each other for the same thing or we do not really understand each other. We need federal departments to support those initiatives. We need federal departments to work with us as we try to do those things. Northern Lights was one example of that. We need more examples of these get-togethers now. It would be nice if it could happen in an area where representatives from all three regions could be together, and other jurisdictions as well, so that we can listen to their issues and they can listen to ours, and maybe we could come to a consensus and help you. If we could come to a consensus amongst ourselves it sure would make your job a lot easier. Whether it is Northern Lights or other forums or specific conferences, we have to stop that divide-and-conquer mentality. That is often what we feel like when you guys come up here. You are just talking to a small group here. We can only represent our own interests. It is almost like you are thinking that if you do not put us all in a room together you can ignore us more easily. However, if we were all together, you might be surprised: we might help you do your jobs.

I hope that did not come across wrong; I mean it in a loving kind of way.

The Chair: We feel the love. Senator Robichaud feels the love particularly.

Senator Robichaud: Yes, we are here in sort of a loving way, too.

You say you do not get a chance to speak to one another, but we have heard a pretty consistent message from all the witnesses who have come forward so far. I just want to toot the Senate's horn. You must realize that the Senate of Canada has chosen the Fisheries and Oceans Committee to come up here and listen. We really want to find out, and we want to bring the message south.

Senator Cowan: Also, the Energy Committee is in the West.

Senator Robichaud: Yes. The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources is in the Western Arctic. This is a concerted effort to bring at least some attention to the whole question of sovereignty and, in our case, Coast Guard, fishery matters, and all that stuff. If you make an invitation we just might come back. Thank you.

Senator Adams: Senator Cochrane and I are members of the Energy Committee. The committee will come here to Nunavut and travel west.

In your statement, I heard a lot about the Inuit and what we want the government to do for us on the issue of Arctic sovereignty. However, people in the government do not listen. We have the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and a federal minister responsible for Aboriginal affairs. DFO, the Coast Guard and the Government of Canada should have an approach for the future. What will they do? Just talk about it? If they are not going to do anything, just say forget about it.

We have other friends. From Denmark to Russia to Alaska to Labrador to Quebec to Nunavut, there are somewhere in the vicinity of 150,000 Inuit. I do not know how many are left in Northern Russia. The Inuit should be recognized.

The Chair: That concludes this portion of our hearings. We want to thank all of you very much for coming and for being so frank with us and being helpful.

Senator Robichaud said we are here in the Eastern Arctic. The Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources is in the Western Arctic at the same time. We will compare notes when we go back, and hopefully we can get a comprehensive view.

We are not the government, of course. We can expose a problem. We can recommend. We will try to reflect as clearly and as honestly as we can what we have heard from you.

Senators, we will now hear now from the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board. We have Michael d'Eca and Jim Noble. I thought Mr. Noble was from the east coast of Newfoundland, but he is from the west coast of British Columbia.

Michael d'Eca, Legal Advisor, Nunavut Wildlife Management Board: Thank you very much, senator. First, I will just mention that the board appeared before you in May of 2007, I think with respect to this same study that is ongoing. In a sense, this talk we will give you today is a continuation of what we were discussing with you back almost 13 months ago.

We talked then about this developing allocation policy that the board has been working on for a good almost two years. As you will see today, in the intervening 12 or 13 months the board has made some very good progress, and we are excited to tell you about it. As a matter of fact, we had recently been given instructions by the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board to contact the Senate committee and to request that we be able to appear before you to present the new allocation policy. Lo and behold, your clerk calls us up and says that the Senate committee is coming up to Iqaluit and wants to hear from us, so it is very good timing from our perspective.

This allocation policy for Nunavut's commercial marine fisheries has been carried out in close consultation with the board's Inuit and government co-management partners and with the Nunavut's fishing industry. I think that will become evident in the presentation.

The presentation is divided into two parts. The first one is a brief walk-through of the last seven years or so in the exciting development of Nunavut's commercial marine fisheries. Second, we will go through a somewhat longer and more detailed review of the various elements within the new allocation policy.

The Chair: Before you do that, could you tell us where the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board fits in the government structure? There is the Government of Nunavut. There is Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., NTI, which is the land claims body. There is the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board. There are various other organizations with quotas. Could you explain to us where the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board fits in that whole superstructure?

Mr. d'Eca: The Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, known as the NWMB, was created and established under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement by the parties to that land claims agreement: the Crown, the federal government and the territorial government — back in 1993 that was the Government of the Northwest Territories — as well as Inuit represented by NTI.

Under the terms of the land claims agreement, the NWMB is described as the main instrument of wildlife management and the main regulator of access to wildlife in the Nunavut Settlement Area. I have a slide that shows you where the Nunavut Settlement Area is. The board has decision-making authority.

The Chair: Does wildlife include marine life?

Mr. d'Eca: Yes, fish and plants, animals, birds, all wildlife: it is an expansive definition of wildlife.

In terms of the fishery, at least presently, and probably in the future, most of the action, most of the commercial fishing takes place outside this Nunavut Settlement Area in what is described in land claim as zone 1, which is Davis Strait and Baffin Bay, off to the east of Baffin Island.

The board has an important advisory jurisdiction, and this policy is all about putting a structure to how the NWMB ends up providing its advice to, in this case, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as to how to allocate a resource where the demand always exceeds the supply.

The Chair: Under the land claims are there Inuit and non-Inuit? I am trying to compare it to the Labrador land claim where everybody is included. Is that the case here?

Mr. d'Eca: Yes, it is the case here.

The Nunavut Wildlife Management Board is an administrative tribunal, a regulatory agency. It is arm's length from Inuit and from government, but they are who appoint board members. The board members do not represent Inuit or the Department of Fisheries and Oceans or the Canadian Wildlife Service, but they are appointed by them. At the point of being appointed they take on an independent and impartial role. They do what they think is best, independent of those who appointed them. It is a basic and important principle in the law that they maintain their independence.

Their public is both Inuit and non-Inuit. The NWMB is an institution of public government and so serves all of the public. It just so happens that Inuit form 85 per cent of the public of Nunavut. However, the board has responsibilities with respect to non-Inuit harvesting. Under the terms of the land claim, as I am sure you know, Inuit have constitutionally protected harvesting rights. Non-Inuit simply have privileges that are subject to conservation and other concerns they can exercise. It is all regulated by the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board. However, when the board makes a decision to restrict anyone's harvesting, it enters into a co-jurisdictional relationship with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The board starts it off. It makes a decision. The minister receives that decision and looks it over. If he is fine with it he accepts it and it becomes the law, or it is implemented by the government however it needs to be.

If it is a matter of federal jurisdiction, it goes to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans for fish; for birds and certain other animals it goes to Environment Canada; or it may go to the territorial government. We share this relationship with different ministers.

The Chair: In other words, you recommend rather than decide?

Mr. d'Eca: No. It is an important distinction. The board actually makes a decision. In the Privy Council scheme of tribunals, it is an executive tribunal. It makes decisions. However, that decision making is shared with government, so that if the minister accepts a decision and he has to work within the confines of the land claim, then he can accept it and it becomes law. If the minister has any difficulties with it he can reject it, but it goes back to the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board. The board must look at the minister's reasons and make a final decision. The bottom line, though, is that the minister can accept, reject or vary an NWMB decision as long as he or she follows the terms of the land claims agreement. If you added up all the decisions, I am sure that more than 99 cent are accepted in the end, but there have been some disagreements over the years.

With respect to the offshore, yes, it is a straight advisory role. That is a very important jurisdiction for the NWMB, but it is different and much more on the advisory side of things.

Since 2001, Nunavut's commercial marine fisheries have probably been the most dynamic and expanding fisheries in the country. I know that both the Senate and the House of Commons fisheries committees have been very interested and have followed them closely.

In 2001, the initial NWMB allocation policy for Nunavut's commercial marine fisheries, both shrimp and turbot, was developed and implemented. We talked to you about that in previous years.

From 2001 to 2006 there was a significant increase in the shrimp allocations and tremendous increase in turbot allocations to Nunavut fishers.

Other events took place in those years. In 2002 the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans agreed that no additional access should be granted to non-Nunavut interests in the territory's adjacent waters until Nunavut had achieved access to a major share of its adjacent fishery resources.

In 2003, the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. completed the Nunavut Economic Development Strategy. That strategy identified the fishery as a key growth area in the territory's future economy. By 2005, the Government of Nunavut's and NTI's Nunavut Fisheries Strategy was published, and it provided clear direction for the long-term development of the territory's fishing industry.

In 2006 the Government of Nunavut released an independent report on the offshore fishing industry. Its intention was to assist in fisheries policy and program development, strategic planning and investment decisions. Also in 2006 the NWMB received written submissions that it requested from the Nunavut fishing industry, from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and from the Government of Nunavut concerning that independent report's recommendations.

As I mentioned at the outset, 2006 was the start of the development of a draft new NWMB allocation policy. With that independent report coming, the NWMB took the opportunity to start to develop its new allocation policy. There was a well-attended two-day NWMB public consultation at the end of November 2006 regarding the new draft policy. It was attended by the fishing industry, the board's co-management partners, and by the public.

At that November 2006 consultation, and in the period following it, which bring us to 2007, the NWMB received further suggestions from both the fishing industry and its co-management partners regarding improvements to the draft allocation policy.

In 2007 there were further changes to the draft policy, and a two-day NWMB public hearing June 12 and 13 of 2007. That was just after we last met with you. That hearing was attended by the fishing industry, by the co-management partners, and by the public again.

Based upon further suggestions and directions received at the June hearing, a final set of changes was made to the draft policy, and a proposed final draft was presented to the NWMB members at their December 2007 regular meeting. The draft was officially approved at that meeting.

I went through this little chronology to underline the fact that the NWMB took great care in undertaking extensive consultations and developed this policy very much in cooperation with government, Inuit and the Nunavut fishing industry.

On to the second part of the presentation, which is an outline of the specifics of the new NWMB allocation policy. The policy addresses 10 allocation-related issues. The first is the role of the NWMB in Nunavut's fisheries. We talked a little bit about that in our introductory question and answer session.

Second, it goes on to talk about the purposes of the policy and the objective of the policy.

Third, the allocation policy talks about the role of the new Fisheries Advisory Committee, and we will tell you about that. It is a new innovation within the overall scheme of deciding upon allocations in Nunavut.

Fourth, it looks at the principles that guide the policy. Fifth, the policy addresses the matter of responsible stewardship.

The sixth area, and this is really getting to the heart of things, is the allocation guidelines set out in the policy. How do you decide who gets how much? The guidelines are particularly important for that.

The policy also looks at the whole matter of inshore fisheries development. That is the seventh point. I know there has been a lot of interest among Inuit, among politicians and within the fishing industry itself with respect to how we develop the fisheries inshore. It is a huge challenge.

Eighth, the policy introduces the concept of an exploratory fisheries fund. We will talk to you a bit about that.

The whole topic of transparency and disclosure is the ninth issue. We are a public, open board. This is a public resource, but there are commercial applications. The question here is how are you open and transparent and yet recognize legitimate confidentiality concerns.

Finally, we will tell you about the application procedure and deadlines, just to round out the talk.

I will briefly present each of those 10 allocation-related issues to you. First I will go through this map, which I think you may have seen in our last presentation as well. There is some writing on it, but you do not have to worry about that. The main point I want to you to get is that you can see the Nunavut Settlement Area in the upper middle part of the map.

As we mentioned, the NWMB exercises decision-making authority within the Nunavut Settlement Area. Outside, down in Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait, is zone 2. The land claim refers to this area outside of the Nunavut Settlement Area. The Nunavut Settlement Area is the 12-mile zone from the land out into the territorial sea, which the NWMB has decision-making jurisdiction over. Then you have zone 2 in Hudson Bay and Hudson Strait. Off to the east in Davis Strait and Baffin Bay you have zone 1, again where the NWMB exercises advisory jurisdiction.

I will start with the NWMB role in Nunavut's fisheries inside the Nunavut Settlement Area. I will not spend much time on this, but I will say that inside that area, within the land claim area, the NWMB and Fisheries and Oceans Canada share that co-jurisdictional decision-making relationship with respect to the establishment, modification or removal of any harvesting limitations.

Outside the Nunavut Settlement Area, in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, where as I mentioned most of the commercial fishing takes place, the NWMB exercises that advisory jurisdiction. Under that advisory jurisdiction, it provides information to the department that would assist in wildlife management beyond the marine areas of the Nunavut Settlement Area — in Davis Strait and the offshore of Davis Strait, Baffin Bay, for instance.

As well, the board provides advice requested from DFO regarding decisions that would affect Inuit harvesting rights and opportunities within the Nunavut Settlement Area.

Our view is that what takes place in the offshore will inevitably affect harvesting rights and opportunities within the Nunavut Settlement Area. You have to have a strong and successful offshore fishery to be able to develop your inshore fishery.

Also under its advisory authority, the board makes recommendations that the department must consider when it is making decisions that affect the marine areas of the Nunavut Settlement Area. All of this is straight out of the land claim.

Not in the land claim but captured by it, the NWMB makes individual commercial allocation recommendations to the department with respect to Nunavut's regional turbot and shrimp allocations. It is under that heading that the NWMB has developed this allocation policy to assist it in a transparent way to be able to make responsible individual commercial allocation recommendations.

There are six purposes to this allocation policy. The first purpose is to explain the principles and guidelines to be considered by the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board in fairly determining individual commercial allocations of Nunavut's adjacent marine fisheries resources.

The second purpose of the policy is to describe the mandatory requirements for responsible stewardship applying to all participants in Nunavut's commercial marine fisheries.

The third purpose is to make clear the role of the committee I mentioned earlier, the Fisheries Advisory Committee, in Nunavut's commercial marine fisheries.

The fourth purpose is to set out the NWMB's plan for inshore fisheries development, which is still very much in the beginning stages.

The fifth purpose is to explain the NWMB's recommendation for the establishment by industry of an exploratory fisheries fund. This is not a government fund. We are suggesting to industry that they consider establishing this exploratory fisheries fund.

The sixth purpose is to describe the mandatory requirements for transparency and disclosure in the management and development of Nunavut's marine fisheries resources.

Those are the six purposes. Following the next slide, which deals with the objective of the policy, I want to take a closer look at each of the six purposes we just introduced.

The NWMB's allocation policy seeks to achieve an ambitious four-part objective. It is four parts, but all in a single sentence.

It is, first of all, to facilitate a cooperative, professional and diversified approach to ecosystem-based fisheries development. The second aspect is maintaining compliance with the principles of conservation. The third is relying upon reinvestment in the fishery by Nunavut fishers. The fourth point is ensuring the wide distribution of tangible benefits to Nunavummiut. We judge our policy by this objective.

I will return to the six purposes of the policy. First we want to look at the role of the Fisheries Advisory Committee, the new committee that is just being established now. The committee is composed of five members. One is selected by the NWMB; two are chosen by the Government of Nunavut; and two are selected by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. The committee provides allocation advice to the NWMB.

You may ask why the Government of Nunavut and NTI are appointing not just some members but four out of the five members, while the NWMB appoints only one. From the board's perspective, it has to do with the type of expertise that the NWMB wishes to rely upon when it is considering commercial marine allocations.

The NWMB's own expertise is primarily with respect to wildlife and fisheries management: how many animals there are, how many you can safely harvest, what kind of gear restrictions you may have to put in place, what seasons there should be. You will recall that the Government of Nunavut and NTI are the authors of the Nunavut Economic Development Strategy and the Nunavut Fisheries Strategy. They have more experience, more authority and more knowledge concerning fundamental socio-economic governance, business, employment and development issues. Therefore, the NWMB decided that with respect to commercial marine fisheries allocations, its own management expertise would benefit considerably from the additional experience, authority and knowledge available from this advisory committee, most of whose members will be selected by the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

The advisory committee's advice will be subject to the transparency and disclosure requirements of the allocation policy, which we will get to towards the end of this presentation. They must act in a transparent and open manner, as virtually all participants in the fishery must.

The committee's advice will be based primarily upon the NWMB's allocation policy as well as upon a review and analysis of governance, business, benefits and stewardship plans and annual reports, all of which are provided by applicants to the turbot and shrimp fisheries in the offshore.

I will move on to the principles that guide the allocation policy. The board took a lot of care in selecting the principles that it felt would guide the policy. When we get to the guidelines, you will see that they are based upon these principles.

The following nine principles will be used to guide the NWMB in its allocation of these commercial marine fisheries resources, for both inside and outside the Nunavut Settlement Area.

First, healthy marine populations and habitat are essential to sustain the economic, social and cultural harvesting needs of Nunavummiut for both present and future generations.

Second, the fishery is a valuable and vital common property resource to be managed in an open, transparent and accountable manner for the equitable benefit of all Nunavummiut.

Third, there is a need for the fishery to be diversified, striking a healthy balance between inshore and offshore operations, and between community entitlements and entrepreneurial initiative.

Fourth, in allocating commercial marine fisheries resources, preference needs to be given to Nunavummiut and to operations providing direct benefits to Nunavut's economy.

Fifth, in order to achieve a prosperous Nunavut-controlled fishery, there is a need for people to work together in harmony. This is very much a part of the principles that govern Inuit relations. This particular principle is known in Inuktitut as piliriqatiginngniq.

Sixth, a prosperous Nunavut-controlled fishery requires substantial involvement of viable commercial ventures sponsored or owned by regional wildlife organizations and hunters and trappers organizations. We did not talk about them in my opening remarks, but I can refer to those organizations because they fit within that overall scheme. They work closely with the NWMB, but they are Inuit organizations whose members are all the fishers and hunters in Nunavut.

Seventh, there is a need to give special consideration to adjacency in the allocation of commercial marine fisheries resources, particularly within the Nunavut Settlement Area.

Eighth, in allocating commercial marine fisheries resources there is a need to give special consideration to the economic dependence of communities on those resources. Again, many of these principles echo provisions of the land claim itself.

The final principle states that in allocating commercial marine fisheries resources, there is a need to give special consideration to economically viable fishing enterprises and to fishers that have a successful history in a particular fishery.

I will turn now to the mandatory requirements for responsible stewardship. There are five mandatory responsible stewardship requirements applying to all participants in Nunavut's commercial marine fisheries. First, there is compliance with relevant law and policy. To no one's surprise, fishers are expected to comply with fisheries legislation, with management plans, with conservation harvesting plans, and so on.

The second mandatory requirement is compliance with relevant research and reporting initiatives. If the NWMB or the Department of Fisheries and Oceans sponsors or organizes particular research initiatives or requires particular reporting on fishing operations, fishers are expected to cooperate.

The third mandatory requirement is compliance with responsible habitat and ecosystem protection requirements. This could include, for instance, adopting reasonable measures to avoid the disturbance of marine mammals.

The fourth is compliance with responsible vessel and training requirements. Examples of that would be sound waste management practices and responsible and sustainable fish harvesting practices.

The final requirement is compliance with responsible fishing practices and gear use. Fishers are expected to employ practices that minimize the risk of gear loss and the harvest of undesirable bycatch, including marine mammals.

All of this is mandatory. You have to meet these requirements if you want to get an allocation in these commercial marine fisheries. All applicants for allocations must submit a stewardship plan detailing their intended measures to comply with those five requirements.

The NWMB encourages and supports international recognition of Nunavut's sustainable fisheries management through independent certification. Currently, that international recognition is envisioned to be Marine Stewardship Council, MSC, certification. I am not sure whether people are familiar with that, but more and more fisheries are opting for MSC certification, and the expectation within key markets for such certification appears to be growing. MSC certification is internationally recognized and should provide market benefits and legitimacy to Nunavut fishers.

Next are the crucially important allocation guidelines. In accordance with the nine principles we reviewed a few moments ago, the NWMB will apply three guidelines in deciding upon individual commercial marine fisheries allocations. In applying these guidelines, both the board and the Fisheries Advisory Committee will need to carefully review the governance, business, benefits and stewardship plan completed by each applicant for a commercial marine fisheries allocation.

We have provided you with our PowerPoint presentation, and we have also provided your clerk with a copy of the full allocation policy. Attached to the policy are three appendices. Appendix D to the allocation policy sets out a template for this four-part plan — governance, business, benefits and stewardship plan. It includes key factors to be taken into account and included in the plan, and it also has a table of contents so that the applicants have a guide as to what the NWMB requires in these plans.

Appendix A contains the terms of reference for the Fisheries Advisory Committee and lots more details than what I have provided to you today.

Before we get into the guidelines, I want to point out one other matter. Fishing enterprises with existing allocations will not only have these four-part plans, but the NWMB and the Fisheries Advisory Committee will be seeking from them annual reports. The board and the committee will need to carefully review these annual reports which would set out updates on their governance, business, benefits and stewardship commitments as well as detailed financial information.

Appendix C to that allocation policy sets out a template for the annual report.

Now we are getting a little deeper into the guidelines. They are organized as a cumulative point system. The maximum score that an applicant could receive would be 100 points.

The first guideline is governance and business capacity. An applicant can score up to 30 points under this guideline and must achieve a score of at least 18 points, which is 60 per cent. There is a minimum score you have to achieve or else you do not get an allocation.

The guideline itself is divided into three subsections, again with respect to governance and business capacity. Under the first of these subsections, you have to be able to demonstrate that you have proper governance procedures, including openness, transparency and accountability in your operations.

Under the next subsection, you have to show that you are a viable commercial venture. Viability includes such considerations as suitable business planning, capacity to fish, responsible stewardship, relative economic return, value added to the fishery, stability of employment and economic benefits to Nunavut. There are many indicators of viability.

Under the third subsection, you can demonstrate a positive history in the fishery. Do you have a proven record in the fishery? If so, the board wants to hear about it, and you will get points for that.

Each applicant must demonstrate transparent and accountable operations, subject to relevant confidentiality and privacy concerns, of course.

The second of the three guidelines is Inuit involvement. An applicant can score up to 40 points under this guideline, as compared to the 30 points for the previous guideline. The second guideline is subdivided into four subsections. First, the board looks at whether the economic enterprise is owned or sponsored by a regional wildlife organization or by hunters and trappers organizations. Is the community involved in this in some way? Second, do you have Inuit ownership of the economic enterprise? Third, is your community adjacent to the fishing area? Fourth, is your community economically dependent on the resource?

Higher points are given for the following: ownership of a fishing enterprise by a regional wildlife organization or multiple hunters and trappers organizations. One might well ask why ownership by multiple hunters and trappers organizations should earn higher points than ownership by a single hunters and trappers organization, or HTO as we refer to them. Here is the reasoning. All things being equal, if the harvesters in two communities jointly own a productive fishing enterprise, involvement in that enterprise and any benefits received from it will necessarily be distributed among both communities. If just a single community owns the fishing enterprise, then the involvement and the benefits will be focused in that single community.

The idea behind this approach is based on the understanding that the more HTO owners there are, the more Inuit involvement there will be. All of this is also reflected in the objective of the allocation policy, which we referred to earlier, which calls for the wide distribution of tangible benefits to Nunavummiut. It is also echoed in the land claim itself.

Higher points are also awarded for Inuit ownership of the fishing enterprise. The level of scoring would be dependent upon the percentage of Inuit ownership of the fishing enterprise, as well as the number of Inuit owners. There are higher points for community adjacency to the fishing area and higher points for community dependence on the resource.

The third guideline, again for 30 points, deals with benefits to Nunavummiut. As in guideline 1, an applicant must achieve a score of at least 18 points, 60 per cent, to be eligible for an allocation.

This guideline is also divided into three subsections. The first is employment of Nunavummiut, especially Inuit. Points are awarded for the number of people employed. That does not just include people on the boats; it could be land-based employees as well. The board looks at the level of position filled. The higher the level, the more points. It also looks at whether you have a demonstrated record of retaining Nunavut employees, especially Inuit.

The second subsection is ownership of the economic enterprise or the vessels by one or more residents of Nunavut. More points are awarded for multiple Nunavut owners, as I mentioned earlier.

The third subsection for benefits is participation in the exploratory fisheries fund, should it be established, and the provision of other direct benefits to Nunavut. Examples of other direct benefits might be economic benefits to dependent communities; market development; perhaps investment in training, research or inshore processing, or infrastructure, which is crucial.

That is it for the guidelines. I will move now to inshore fisheries development. Inshore fisheries development refers to two different aspects of the inshore. One has to do with the geographic inshore. Again, back to the Nunavut Settlement Area, it is those waters that are relatively close to the shore of Nunavut, specifically the waters of Canada's territorial sea adjacent to Nunavut. They comprise the marine areas of the Nunavut Settlement Area. We want to develop a fishery within the waters covered by our land claims agreement.

The other aspect of inshore fisheries development has to do with small boat fisheries, fishing conducted with vessels under 100 feet in length.

We will start with fisheries development with the Nunavut Settlement Area. The NWMB wants to encourage fisheries development within the Nunavut Settlement Area, and it proposes to establish a Qikiqtaaluk regional turbot total allowable harvest of 100 tonnes. In other words, for the Baffin Region, it wants to start off by establishing a modest total allowable harvest within the Nunavut Settlement Area of 100 tonnes. That comes from the overall allocation that we have. It is not on top of what we are harvesting. Right now it is all being harvested from the offshore. The NWMB is taking 100 tonnes and saying this is exclusively for the inshore, for the area close to the land.

In addition, the NWMB is recommending that the Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board, which is the regional wildlife organization for Baffin Region, commence discussion with the region's communities regarding potential identification and establishment of exclusive community economic fishing zones within the Nunavut Settlement Area.

The Chair: I have a question. Is there a Baffin wildlife board as well as a Nunavut wildlife board?

Mr. d'Eca: You brought up a good point. In future talks of this nature I will have a chart at the beginning that shows it, because we take the structure for granted, but it is a complex group of organizations.

The Chair: I do not know about other senators, but I am having trouble figuring out who is who and what is what. There is the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, but there is also another wildlife management board, a Baffin wildlife management board.

Mr. d'Eca: It is a regional wildlife organization.

You have three parties: government, Inuit and this administrative tribunal that is not beholden to either and does not take instructions from either. The administrative tribunal, this institution of public government, this regulatory agency is the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board.

On the government side, you have various departments. They could be federal or territorial, and they specialize. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has fish, and so on.

On the Inuit side, you have the party from the land claim representing Inuit interests, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated.

Then you have regional wildlife organizations, which are Inuit organizations that represent Inuit hunters. We have three regions in Nunavut: Baffin Region, Kivalliq Region, and Kitikmeot Region. They are the three administrative regions. Each has an Inuit harvester organization known as a regional wildlife organization. Beneath them are all these individual communities, hunter and trapper organizations. They are also Inuit organizations.

They are close to NTI, but they are separate from it. They are also close to the NWMB because they work closely with us since we are all involved in wildlife matters. Under the land claim these Inuit organizations have certain responsibilities, and the NWMB works with them to assist them to exercise their responsibilities.

In a sense, the regional wildlife organization is a supervisor of the hunters and trappers organizations, all the different communities.

The NWMB recommends to the Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board. It is not in a position to direct them to do something, but it recommend it is a good idea; it falls within their authority as sort of the supervisor of the hunters and trappers organizations.

If we are going to develop an inshore commercial fishery, you want to know what zone each community has so that they know where their boundaries are. It makes sense to us that the Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board, the regional Inuit wildlife organization, discusses with the region's communities the identification and establishment of these exclusive community economic fishing zones within the Nunavut Settlement Area.

I hope that helps. I know it takes a while for all this to soak in. We are giving you lists of this and lists of that, but such is the nature of our allocation policy. This is basically an introduction. If you have a further interest, you will have all the documents.

Senator Robichaud: We will never get out of the introduction.

Mr. d'Eca: You are mere slides away from the end.

The other aspect of inshore fisheries development is what I referred to as the small boat fisheries development. To encourage that, the NWMB proposes to allocate 400 tonnes of turbot in division 0A, which is the northern part of Davis Strait and into Baffin Bay. It wants to allocate 400 tonnes of turbot up in that northern area exclusively for vessels under 100 feet in length.

Again, this is not new allocation. We have 6,500 tonnes. It is a modest amount coming out of that. We are just wanting to get things started and see how it goes. In fact, the NWMB is concerned that the small vessels may not be able to catch even that much. Therefore, the board reserves the right that if small boat allocation is not fished by November 1, then it can be reallocated by the NWMB, probably to those large offshore vessels, so that we do not leave fish in the water that can safely and legitimately be fished.

Individual allocations will be decided by the NWMB in accordance with this policy. The board plans to do periodic reviews, probably once every three years, and to get assistance from the Fisheries Advisory Committee on both these aspects of inshore fisheries development. We expect it to be somewhat dynamic and to change and hopefully to grow in the years to come.

Here is a point that should be underlined because it is so important: if you want to successfully develop the inshore fishery, you have to have infrastructure. In our view, and in the view of many, this requires major investments by government in infrastructure. The NWMB's policy explicitly states that the governments of Canada and Nunavut need to develop and implement on an urgent basis a fisheries infrastructure plan for Nunavut. We need port facilities, marine service centres, additional or expanded processing capacity, all these different elements in order to really make the inshore fishery happen.

I want to introduce briefly the NWMB proposal for an exploratory fisheries fund. This would be an industry generated fund, recommended by the NWMB to industry to help finance fisheries research in Nunavut's marine waters. The purpose of the fund would be to support fisheries development through species assessment, gear technology, assessment of fishing-related ecosystem interactions, and other research aimed at support for an expanded and sustainable fishery.

The Chair: I want to interrupt you for a minute to introduce John Amagoalik, who is known as the Father of Nunavut. I would like the committee to acknowledge him and to welcome him. He is an old friend of mine, and an old friend some of us. He has another engagement now, but he will come back and talk to us at seven o'clock tonight. I know that we can learn a lot from his experience and his wisdom. Welcome, Mr. Amagoalik, and we will see you later.

Mr. d'Eca: John Amagoalik is a historic figure in Nunavut's development.

The exploratory fund is to help finance fisheries research in Nunavut's marine waters.

In our consultation, the industry members said that they do not want DFO to then be able to back off on its responsibilities. We are clear on the policy that although the fund would be financed through a levy collected from participants, in Nunavut's commercial marine fisheries it would not reduce any fisheries requirements or commitments of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

In fact, we expect that if the industry buys into this fund, and they have shown interest in it in our consultations, it could be used to leverage additional research dollars from federal, territorial and other sources. We certainly need a lot more research into various aspects of the fisheries in Nunavut.

The second last topic, and a very important one, is the issue of transparency and disclosure. As you all know, fish resources are common property. The development, management, allocation and harvesting of those resources must be done in an open and transparent manner.

That necessarily means that everyone involved in the fishery, the NWMB, the Fisheries Advisory Committee, the Government of Nunavut, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the industry members themselves must be prepared to operate in a manner that is open to the public. However, at the same time, business confidentiality and privacy interests need to be respected.

The public disclosure of certain commercial information can reasonably be expected to cause significant harm to the competitive business that owns that information. The NWMB is keenly aware of the importance of maintaining confidentiality with respect to certain aspects of any competitive business. At the same time, the NWMB and the public require at least the same degree of transparency in the fisheries industry as in other competitive resource sectors.

Accordingly, the board has developed an exclusion list of commercial information that deserves to be maintained as strictly confidential. If a document is on that list it is because the NWMB has determined that the need for confidentiality with respect to that type of document outweighs the public interest in disclosure. Our policy itself sets out the list. A couple of examples are copies of an applicant's most recent audited consolidated income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements. We say that those will be kept on the exclusion list. They are confidential. Specific details of the harvesting plan for each target species for the calendar year are also confidential. However, and we do this for a number of items on the exclusion list, the applicant still has to provide a public summary of that plan, but not the plan itself, which will have some sensitive and confidential information in it.

The applicant can still request that records on the exclusion list be classified as confidential. Confidential records will not be made public or provided to any person subject to specific legal requirements or obligations.

The general test adopted by the NWMB for non-disclosure is the following: the information is commercial in nature and deals with financial, scientific, technical or labour relations matters, or is a trade secret; and its disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause significant harm. It is a fairly high test or strict test. You have to be able to show that it would cause significant harm in order to keep it confidential.

The last couple of slides are about the allocation policy's application procedure and deadlines. The NWMB will issue a call for applications for established fisheries by June of the preceding year. We will be issuing a call this month for the 2009 fishing season. Right now we are on the cusp of full implementation of this allocation policy.

At a minimum, the call will be sent to the Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board, all current Nunavut fishing interests, and all hunters and trappers organizations that are adjacent to the fisheries; and it will be published in the Nunatsiaq News.

By no later than six weeks after the call for applications, an applicant must deliver to the NWMB a completed commercial marine fisheries allocation application form — not too demanding — and then a detailed governance business benefits and stewardship plan.

The NWMB will normally make its allocation decisions or recommendations by no later than November or perhaps December of the preceding year. By November or December 2008, the board expects to make its allocation decisions and recommendations.

That is it, Mr. Chair. I want to thank the committee for allowing us to walk you through this. We know that this Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans has been a true and effective advocate for the development of Nunavut's fisheries for quite some time now. In anticipation of the completion of your study, and the release of a report that we trust the Government of Canada will seriously consider, we offer the following four recommendations for your consideration and hopefully for your endorsement.

First, the federal government should continue to support the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Government of Nunavut in their ongoing efforts to responsibly develop Nunavut's fisheries for Nunavummiut. While the last six or seven years have been dynamic and successful, we have a long way to go and we face many obstacles and challenges.

Our second recommendation is that the federal government should increase its efforts to expand access and allocations for Nunavut fishers in their adjacent waters with the goal of achieving equity with all the other Atlantic jurisdictions. That is allocations of 80 per cent to 90 per cent and 95 per cent of their adjacent fish resources.

Third, the federal government should substantially increase its budget for scientific and exploratory research on the marine resources adjacent to Nunavut. It was through the scientific research that we developed division 0A, which now yields 6,500 tonnes of a renewable turbot resource. A solid scientific platform is the cornerstone of the successful development of Nunavut's fisheries.

The final recommendation is that the federal government should develop and implement in full collaboration with Nunavut a plan to build a fishery infrastructure within Nunavut comparable to that in the southern Atlantic fisheries, as well as a licensing regime that reflects and supports the interests of Nunavut's emerging industry and that takes account of the terms of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.

With that, Mr. Chair, if there are any comments or questions we are happy to receive them and to try to answer them.

The Chair: Thank you. I want to congratulate you on a trilingual presentation. I have not seen any of that nature before.

Senator Hubley: I would also like to compliment you, not only on your trilingual presentation, but also on the work that you have been doing with regards to allocation and its fair distribution.

We did a study at one time on promoting the prosperity or benefits from the fishing industry for smaller communities, certainly in Nunavut. When you are speaking of infrastructure, are you looking only at port facilities, or have you also looked at fish processing plants that might be established to help with employment in these rural communities? I think at the time of our study we were looking at women who might be able to work in that particular field. That is my first question.

My second question is about the introduction of new fishers into the industry. Does your application system encourage or invite younger men and women to become more involved? If they were having difficulty with the requirements for applying, would there be any assistance for them to help them make their application for an allocation?

Mr. d'Eca: First of all, with respect to our trilingual presentation for which we have received some compliments, I have to mention your clerk, Lynn Gordon. She led the charge on that. I am not sure when Ms. Gordon takes time off, but she and I had conversations evenings and Sundays and all the rest of it.

The Chair: She gets Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Mr. d'Eca: This presentation document is hot off the press. Just before we came here we were stuffing them in the folders. Thanks very much to Ms. Gordon for that.

In terms of infrastructure and what elements that would include, you mentioned fish processing plants and looking at smaller communities. All of those and others have been the topic of conversations. I do not want to pass the buck exactly, but the NWMB looks to government, to the territorial government and to the federal government, to work out the details. We see ourselves somewhat as trying to motivate. In policy, therefore, we underline the need for this infrastructure plan, but we do not set out the details of the plan. We hope to be able to comment on it as a plan is developed, but to date we have not seen any plan arising anywhere.

The motivation behind your question, I think, is exactly what motivates the NWMB. We want to see widespread distribution of benefits, and that means that the communities up and down the Baffin coast have to have some tangible infrastructure, which should result in employment.

Jim Noble, Chief Operating Officer, Nunavut Wildlife Management Board: One thing in developing infrastructure is that you have to find resources at the same time. Test fishing in the communities is a big thing going on right now. The Department of Economic Development and Transportation has been assisting the hunters and trappers to do test fisheries in Broughton Island, Clyde River and Pond Inlet. We have to find out whether the resource is there to provide for infrastructure. We have also been trying to do little test fisheries with smaller boats, 65-footers, to see what is available. That is crucial. Also, before we start looking at infrastructure plants, like freezers, maybe we need to establish reefers to store the fish that arrives in the winter that can be transshipped in the summer. We have to work our way through that to find out where we are going.

The Chair: Are you funding those test fisheries?

Mr. Noble: The Government of Nunavut is funding them.

The Chair: The Government of Nunavut, not DFO?

Mr. Noble: No.

The Chair: DFO does fund test fisheries.

Mr. Noble: Yes.

The Chair: But they are not funding yours?

Mr. Noble: They may be co-management partners in this test fishery; I am not sure. However, I think most of the money is coming from Government of Nunavut.

Senator Hubley: I did have the question on young fishers and their getting involved in the industry.

Mr. d'Eca: I will go to your third question, which is related to that, encouragement of people entering the fishery. In terms of motivating young people to come in, the training programs and so on are oriented towards getting people who are looking for work or looking for training to take. That would in most cases be young people. This is not an NWMB initiative. Mr. Noble knows more about the training program than I do. It is an example of successful collaboration between industry and government, and it is quite a successful training consortium. A number of people have been trained. That is all set up.

The policy itself wants to make sure that everybody knows that the policy is there and that it encourages applications from Nunavummiut. It indicates that it will seek to provide assistance in developing your plans. The Baffin Fisheries Coalition, for example, is a sophisticated organization that will have the people to put together a very nice governance business benefits and stewardship plan. On the other hand, the policy recognizes that an individual or even a community just starting out does not have ready access to that kind of expertise. The policy tries to take steps to assist, so that if you have good ideas, if you have the initiative, if you want to do it, you will not be handicapped by the fact that someone else is already established and has all of the expertise in-house.

Having said that, as with fisheries probably all around the country, demand exceeds supply. Once the fishery is fully harvested, it is difficult, it is a challenge, for someone new to come in. That is the way it is. But the policy seeks to diversify, and we talk about that in the objectives. As a bottom-line requirement, it wants to see benefits as widespread as possible.

Mr. Noble, did you want to say anything more about the training program?

Mr. Noble: I am not sure whether the economic development department or the Government of Nunavut already talked to you, but they do have a consortium made up of the Nunavut Department of Economic Development and Transportation, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and the Baffin Fisheries Coalition. They have a board that works on training, and they bring in young people and train them in plant management and processing. I think there was just a course on for diesel mechanics. They also have the MED 3 program to train them in safety. All of these courses happen on a regular basis to help the young people if they want to train.

Senator Hubley: Where are the courses held?

Mr. Noble: Most of them, I think, are held here locally in conjunction with the Nunavut Arctic College. They bring trainers in from Nova Scotia's School of Fisheries or wherever to assist.

Senator Hubley: Would there be assistance for any young person not living in Iqaluit to come here to take those courses? Would there be any resources available to help them to do that?

Mr. Noble: I believe they are. I think they pay for transportation, and there is Nunavut Arctic College lodging.

Senator Robichaud: You just mentioned the Baffin Fisheries Coalition, but there is another comparable association, is there not? It used to be that we heard only about the Baffin Fisheries Coalition, which was an association of hunters. Is there not another such organization?

Mr. Noble: Yes. There is also a new group starting up in conjunction with the Broughton Island or Qikiqtarjuaq Company. They are working with the northern Baffin communities to come up with another consortium of local communities. So yes, it is growing.

Senator Robichaud: In your evaluation you mentioned an allocation of points, and one of them was the benefits to the community. I would expect that more benefits would accumulate for the community if it had some infrastructure, because then they can land, and if it had a fish plant, because then they can process. However, not too many communities have that. When allocating the quotas, how do you consider and evaluate those communities that have in relation to those that have not?

Mr. d'Eca: Sadly, that is not too difficult because almost no one has anything. Pangnirtung has the fish plant; it is a special case, and that is taken into account. I think maybe the concern that underlies your question is that those who are lucky enough to have infrastructure will all of a sudden also get the lion's share of everything because they can show the benefits to their community.

Senator Robichaud: That is how your system is. There are so many points for that, are there not?

Mr. d'Eca: Yes. You can get 30 points. However, this is where you have to look at all those objectives and the principles. Neither the Fisheries Advisory Committee nor the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board will concentrate benefits just in one community. We want to spread them out. Presumably Pangnirtung would have more employment than many other communities because it has the fish plant. It would get high points there, but that would be taken into account. There are other ways to provide benefits to your community, and the NWMB would not fall into the trap, nor would we expect the Fisheries Advisory Committee with presumably its experience and its sophisticated knowledge of these things to fall into the trap of loading just one community that has certain advantages that others do not.

Senator Robichaud: Then there are exceptions to your system?

Mr. d'Eca: No. First of all, the system is about to be implemented, so we do not have any history of it. However, I think that the implementation of the benefits guideline will take into account differences among communities. For instance, let us say an enterprise is asking for a modest allocation, but so are three or four other enterprises. The guideline will ask, within the scope of what you hope to achieve, what benefits will you bring to your community. You may not be able to say that you will give all the fish plant workers work, but you can say that you will invest in vessels. You will have a certain amount of employment. You will have various benefits that your community can provide. I gave you a list, which we could go back to. You will get your points, and there are 30 points for benefits out of 100. There are also the Inuit involvement and the governance and business. It is an overall package.

Senator Robichaud: Would the Inuit involvement not be the same or close to the same in all communities?

Mr. d'Eca: Not necessarily. Currently, yes, all of the fishers are Inuit. However, that will not stop an enterprise elsewhere that has money, resources and experience from applying for an allocation. The NWMB wants to ensure that the fishery remains owned and controlled by Inuit. We look to the applicant and see who the field of applicants are and then we have the guidelines. The guidelines are set up in such a way that Inuit applicants have a step up on others, but others could apply.

Senator Robichaud: I agree with that. I have no problem with that. I am just looking at the communities and thinking they should get an equal number of points because they are all communities along the coast and mostly composed of Inuit. I am wondering what difference there would be in points from one community to another. I am sure you understand your system very well, but probably I do not.

Mr. d'Eca: Let me respond to your last point. Let us say an individual Inuit applies for a fishery allocation. At the same time, a hunters and trappers organization applies for the same allocation, and a consortium of two or three hunters and trappers organizations does as well. Everything else being equal, the highest points will go to the consortium of HTOs because there are more Inuit and it is more spread out. Second highest points would go to the single HTO, and the individual would be third. There are individual Inuit fishers who have the capability and the interest and the experience to seek and to obtain an allocation. There are variations within the communities and within the applicants, so there will be higher and lower points depending on who is applying and what the overall program they are putting forth entails.

Senator Robichaud: There is a deadline to apply. In June you will be sending out a notice for people who are interested to submit an application. Do people have to apply every year?

Mr. d'Eca: Up to this point the NWMB had three-year renewals. Fishers would apply once every three years, but every year they would have to provide proof that they met all the requirements for the previous year's fishery. As long as they did that there was no reapplication.

The board has suspended that for the next few years. They have a particular date. I think it is probably the 2011 season, about three seasons. The board is telling the fishers we want to maintain stability, and we understand that if they are buying vessels to harvest they want to be able to count on getting their allocation for more than one year at a time.

Senator Robichaud: I would think they would want it for more than three years.

Mr. d'Eca: Yes. The NWMB is saying that for these first few years we have to leave it somewhat open, but we will not make any dramatic changes unless there is a real problem with the way someone is fishing. When that day comes, in 2011 or 2012, then it will be a minimum five-year period cycle, which is in line with the way that DFO is looking at these matters as well.

Fishers always have to provide their annual report, and we have it all set out within the policy that they have to meet the standards through their annual report in order to maintain their allocation. As long as they do that they know they can count on their allocation for a minimum of a five-year period.

Again, there is always a tension: we do not want to lock it in for too long because we talked about other fishers wanting to enter and new blood coming in and expansion and so on. We do not want to have it all locked up completely, but we want to face the reality that fishers require assurance that that allocation will not disappear. If the fishers are borrowing to buy boats, their bankers also require that assurance.

Senator Robichaud: That is the point I am trying to make.

Mr. d'Eca: We do recognize all that and try to find a balance.

Senator Robichaud: You must have a hard time trying to find a balance.

Mr. d'Eca: Luckily, I am just the advisor. It is the board members who have the tough decisions. That is why we have this —

Senator Robichaud: Complicated process.

Mr. d'Eca: It is a sophisticated process, because when demand exceeds supply you have a tough job on your hands. You want to make sure that the process is transparently fair and that it takes into account all the various factors, some of which sort of bump up against each other. However, that is the way it is, and that is the hand you are dealt, and you have to do the best you can.

Senator Robichaud: By how much does demand exceed the resource?

Mr. d'Eca: Mr. Noble, can you give an indication from previous years? If you were to give everyone what they asked for, what would the number be? I have seen it a few times and it is a huge number. Do you know it off the top of your head?

Mr. Noble: I believe the requests were double or triple what we had.

Senator Cowan: Senator Robichaud already touched on some of my questions. Further to that line of questioning, how do you ensure that you know who ultimately benefits? In some parts of Atlantic Canada at least you end up with individual licence holders, but real, beneficial ownership is in somebody else's hands, partly because the cost of entry into the fishery is so large that individual fishers cannot afford it and because the licences do not belong to them. The licences given to those fishers belong to the government or to the board. For example, if I want to get into the fishery, I cannot possibly afford to get in, so some backer in the background provides me with the money to get in, and we have some sort of arrangement under the table that disguises the ultimate, true beneficial ownership of the licence or the quota, as the case may be. How do you get to the bottom of that in this process you have described?

Senator Robichaud: Can they invoke the Fifth Amendment?

Mr. d'Eca: We do it by requiring very complete disclosure to the Fisheries Advisory Committee and the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board through the governance, business, benefits and stewardship plan. When you have a chance you can review the appendices that set out the details that the board is seeking. The NWMB and the Fisheries Advisory Committee should have the full picture when they make their decisions. A number of matters may remain confidential if they pass that exclusion test, which as I mentioned is a high test. Applicants have to show that significant harm would result from something's not being made public.

We have heard this concern before, and I know it exists in other fisheries as well. In short, the NWMB addresses it through the requirement for detailed plans that set out all of the confidential and non-confidential information, and that is how the decisions will be made.

Senator Cowan: I am sure you know about arrangements that exist not only in the fishery but in the trucking industry and the pharmaceutical industry and other areas where there is a requirement that you have to have control of the pharmacy in the hands of registered druggists, and yet you have in effect corporate control of these enterprises. I just caution that that might be lurking out there. I am glad you have addressed it, because I think it is an issue, and it is a problem once you have it. Once you have it, it is very difficult to stop it. As I understand it, in the lobster fishery, for example, DFO is saying they want to get rid of this; they do not like it. However, to actually get from that statement to eliminating the practice, whether it is right or wrong to do so, is not easy.

The second point had to do with research and your views or your experience with respect to the willingness of governments — not only provincial and territorial governments but also governments of other countries in the world — and governmental agencies and industry organizations to exchange reliable scientific data for your use. What has been your experience?

Mr. d'Eca: Our experience with the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, NAFO, has been quite good. There is never enough research done. There is always such a great need, and funding is either not there or has priorities elsewhere. However, that organization has a scientific community that works together, that shares all of the information and policy approaches. Canada meets with the other signatories to the treaty that governs that organization. My sense is that it works rather well up in the Northwest Atlantic in terms of sharing the turbot resource. I am not so sure about how the shrimp resource works. From my personal knowledge, which is not that great, NAFO is actually a positive and well-arranged set-up.

Senator Cowan: Presumably research is being done by the Government of Canada, by your government here, by the board and by Greenland. Is there a free and full exchange of data and information between all of those agencies? I am sure that on the Danish side they have fisheries organizations, as Canada does.

Mr. d'Eca: I do not know whether the Government of Nunavut is doing any research. I think it is the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The NWMB has a research trust fund that government comes to, and it will review research proposals. I know it has funded a lot of research in the Davis Strait and in Baffin Bay. Greenland is very active. They have quite an active fishery. I believe it is very open and there is a lot of transfer of information. Mr. Noble can correct me if I am wrong.

The Nunavut Wildlife Management Board is required by the land claim to keep a file open to the public of all the research it is involved in, and we share that, I think, with DFO and with the Government of Nunavut. It is web-based. Anybody can go look at the research that has been done and what the results are.

Senator Cowan: I do not mean to suggest anything sinister. I am glad to hear your answer and am encouraged that that is the case. As you said, you can never have enough research and you hate to see scarce research dollars being spent on studies that are duplications of other studies that could be relied on.

Senator Adams: I am a bit disappointed that none of the witnesses is really involved with the fishermen up here. I thought that someone from the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, perhaps the chairman, based here in Iqaluit, should be here. Is he?

Mr. Noble: We regret that we do not have a better team with us. We tried. There are many meetings going on right now. We are currently missing our chairperson, who is on personal leave. Our acting chairperson is in Ottawa. What you see is what was left in the community at this time.

Senator Adams: At least those people there are supposed to be representing the Inuit. You have a lawyer here, and all we hear about is the policy. You did not say how many people are interested in commercial fishing. I know that Baffin Fisheries Coalition has some funding through the Nunavut Arctic College to train people to work on the boats, but there is nothing in the future for the commercial side of things, getting into business. Is that true?

Mr. Noble: I believe that the Baffin Fisheries Coalition is working to help with the commercial side. They have offered to do a test fishery in Cumberland Sound, which we have not done before, and get people working with small boats. They have been working with Broughton Island and Clyde River up the coast on the test fisheries and providing vessels for small test fisheries. They have also put considerable funds into research.

Senator Adams: Cumberland Sound has 500 tonnes. In 0A there are 6,500 tonnes. Now you make a regulation of only 100 tonnes of turbot quota for all of the Nunavut inshore fishery. I think you are using a NAFO regulation in all your talking today. Is it a NAFO regulation when all we have is shrimp and turbot in Nunavut? To me the regulation is about shellfish, too. We do not have shellfish up here. If anyone wanted to get into business, it looks to me like you are scaring them with all your policies and regulations. All we have right now in Nunavut are turbot and shrimp. Everything you have said today took over one hour, and if anyone wanted to go into business they would have to read all the regulations.

Mr. d'Eca: I am not sure what alternative you are suggesting. First of all, every member of the fishing industry was consulted on the policy that the NWMB has come up with. Everybody who is active in the fishing industry was consulted many times, and there is a consensus; or, if there is not a consensus then people did not speak up when they had opportunity, and they still have opportunity. I think by any reasonable measure this policy is one that the Inuit, the government and the fishing industry are very happy with.

I am not sure what you are getting at in terms of NAFO regulations. This is an NWMB-generated policy that will assist the board in making recommendations to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. It has the backing of industry, of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., of the Government of Nunavut, of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and of the various hunters and trappers organizations right up and down the coast.

Maybe I am not following you, senator, but it sounds like you are dissatisfied with this policy. I would be interested to get some details from you. We have not run into people who are dissatisfied with it as yet. If you think it unfair or discriminatory, then please give us the details. I know the board members would very seriously look at your concerns, especially coming from you.

Know that in the consultations, in the hearings, in the various correspondence we have had with Inuit and with the fishing industry, people have been very positive about this allocation policy. It is designed to be as equitable and fair as it can possibly be in difficult circumstances. As I have said many times today, you know you are in a situation where demand exceeds supply. Knowing that, the board is trying to be as fair as it possibly can be, and it feels confident that Inuit and government and the industry are saying yes, this looks good. Let us implement it and see where it goes.

As I said, if you have concerns, give us some details; we will bring those to the board, and it will respond to you.

Senator Adams: Yes, I understand. In the meantime, I know the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board has a few other things besides the shrimp and turbot. Right now Pangnirtung has Arctic char, and you have to go through the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation in Winnipeg, not Ottawa. In the summer 25 tonnes of char are available, and in the winter there are another other 25 tonnes in the fish plant in Pangnirtung. To apply for quotas for inshore Arctic char, you do not go through the minister in Ottawa; you have to go through the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation and DFO. It seems to me that in Nunavut they have more ministers from Winnipeg instead of DFO in Ottawa.

Mr. d'Eca: I am not sure how DFO organizes itself internally. I know Winnipeg is a big regional centre. In terms of char or any animals in Nunavut, it is the NWMB that would decide what the level of harvesting is, but in a co- jurisdiction relationship with the minister. If the minister goes to Winnipeg and asks what he should do, that is his business. However, the NWMB consults closely with Inuit, listens to all parties, makes a decision pursuant to the terms of the land claim as to what the level of harvesting is and then passes it on to the minister.

Again, that is the relationship the NWMB has with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. It is one of the important features of the land claims agreement. It is between the two of them acting under the terms of the land claims agreement that decisions are made.

Senator Adams: Since the beginning, the board was meant to represent every community, especially here in Baffin. I would like to find out more about how many people have applied for quotas.

Everything has been set by the land claims agreement. We heard about the problem with 0B quotas being held by a southern company. Look at the 1,900 tonnes. We were told it was between the industry members and that the minister could not do anything to change them because the industry members are in the South. What are we going to do about that? How much do we have here, and how will we take control over the quotas under the land claims agreement? How will we get them back?

Mr. d'Eca: That question has occupied the NWMB and the Government of Nunavut and NTI since before the land claim came into being. From the NWMB's perspective, when it came on the scene Inuit had about 27 per cent of the entire resource of groundfish adjacent to Nunavut. It is now well over 60 per cent. While I do not say that that is all the NWMB's doing, the NWMB has been a champion of trying to convince, and successfully, the Government of Canada that this is an untenable situation when you look at all the other fisheries in the country where the adjacent jurisdiction gets 80 per cent, 90 per cent, 95 per cent of the resource and we had 27 per cent. Overall, we are still under 50 per cent when you add shrimp and turbot together.

As I said earlier, there is a long way to go and it is a tough battle. However, if you review the history of the NWMB, you see it is one of the champions of change and it has the results. From 1994 to today there has been a massive increase in allocations for Nunavut, especially in turbot but also in shrimp. That has been a concerted effort on the part of the Government of Nunavut, NTI and the NWMB, with assistance from this committee and from the House of Commons standing committee. Many people looking at it have seen that is not fair and have done their bit, and we have had some good success. We have a long way to go to reach true equity with others.

The Chair: Just to be clear, are you saying that Nunavut has more than 27 per cent in 0B at the present time?

Mr. d'Eca: No. Actually, we have a little bit more because we have our 1,500 tonnes out of 5,500 in 0B, but a couple of years ago, I think in 1994 or 1995, the NWMB established a 500-tonne total allowable harvest, which is technically in 0B — it is also in the Nunavut Settlement Area — for the community of Pangnirtung. That is another 500 tonnes besides our 1,500 tonnes. Of course, 0A is a different matter altogether.

0B has not changed much in 10 years, except for that 500 tonnes I just mentioned.

The Chair: Should the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board apply to 0B as well as to 0A?

Mr. d'Eca: The NWMB has made repeated recommendations to government over the years on the grounds of equity and law and so on that the Nunavut share of 0B has to be more than 27 per cent, but those recommendations have fallen on deaf ears. However, to give government its due, I think what government says is that if new fish show up they will give it to Nunavut because they are uncomfortable.

The Chair: That is not what we have heard from the ministers or the premier. The testimony we have heard is very clear that they should have had the first right of refusal and they did not, that an enterprise allocation went from one enterprise to another while the Government of Nunavut was prepared to pay to buy that particular enterprise. That is the testimony we heard from the ministry this morning.

Senator Robichaud: That was not new fish, though.

The Chair: No, it was not new fish; it was existing fish. It was an existing quota that passed from one enterprise to another. Nunavut did not get the opportunity to bid on the transfer of that allocation.

Mr. d'Eca: That is correct. As a matter of fact, the NWMB, as part of its advisory jurisdiction, should have had the opportunity to advise the minister of exactly that. I do not want to say too much more except that this matter is before the courts, and the NWMB has filed an application for judicial review of the minister's decision.

The Chair: It is rather sad that negotiations have to take place in court. It does not say much for the health of the partnership when one partner has to go to court to get justice.

Mr. d'Eca: Yes. This is the first time the NWMB has had to do this. It is unfortunate. It is a failure of the system. The court is a blunt instrument to deal with these things, but that is where it stands.

Just to make the point, the NWMB is well aware of this and is taking an active role with respect to that matter. However, I agree with Senator Robichaud: it was not new fish. Still, one would think that Nunavut ought to have an opportunity to seek that and not for it to just be bypassed once again, knowing the overall situation that we are in, with 27 per cent of 0B. You do not see that anywhere else in the Atlantic fishery.

Senator Adams: You are saying that the Nunavut Wildlife Board will go court for that 1,900 tonnes?

Mr. d'Eca: Yes, it is. It is already.

Senator Adams: If you lose in court, what will happen in the future?

Mr. d'Eca: The NWMB is simply saying that in terms of the land claim, the minister has to seek the NWMB's advice when making this decision, and its advice was not sought. It is saying that before this decision is valid, the minister has to seek the NWMB's advice. The court will not decide whether or not Nunavut gets the 1,900 tonnes. It will decide whether the minister has to receive the NWMB's advice before he can make a decision. If it decides he does have to receive the NWMB's advice, then the NWMB will provide full and reasonable advice in the hope that the minister will be convinced of its position.

The Chair: Which court is it before?

Mr. d'Eca: The Federal Court.

Senator Cochrane: The NWMB was set up in 1994; is that right?

Mr. d'Eca: It was created under the land claim in 1993, but the members were appointed in 1994.

Senator Cochrane: As a result, you report to the Government of Canada and to the Government of Nunavut?

Mr. d'Eca: The NWMB develops work plans every year and does some reporting to the government. The government department that addresses that is the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. That is who the NWMB reports to, who provides it with its funding and so on.

In terms of decision making, which I think is what you are referring to, if it makes a decision with respect to fish or marine mammals, it sends that decision to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. If it makes a decision with respect to caribou, polar bears or migratory birds, for example, it would go to the territorial government, to the Department of the Environment.

Senator Cochrane: Before changes are made, do these two governments have to approve before any decision is made?

Mr. d'Eca: No. Before a decision is finalized it has to go through the land claim decision-making process, which is shared decision making between the NWMB and the relevant minister.

Senator Cochrane: Is that the relevant federal minister?

Mr. d'Eca: If we stick with Fisheries and Oceans, if the NWMB decides to establish a 500-tonnes total allowable harvest for the community of Pangnirtung, it sends that decision to the minister. On the first round he can accept it and then that is it; it is done and Pangnirtung has its 500 tonnes. If there is something about the decision that the minister is not happy with, he can reject it and send it back to the NWMB. The NWMB will reconsider its decision and make a final decision and send it to the minister. The minister then, while following the terms of the land claims agreement, can either accept the decision or he can reject it, or he can vary it. Then in that final outcome, assuming it has not been rejected, there will be something that has to be done, and the minister and his department will implement the final decision.

The Chair: You have two chances, then.

Mr. d'Eca: Yes.

The Chair: In the Senate and the House of Commons we can send bills back three times.

Senator Cochrane: Is this a new policy that you have developed?

Mr. d'Eca: That is correct.

Senator Cochrane: How sure are you that this policy may be adopted?

Mr. d'Eca: In this case it is up to the NWMB. The board does not have to send that policy to government.

Senator Cochrane: Back to the minister?

Mr. d'Eca: Yes. This is actually the board's own policy. If it did have to go to government, we are quite confident that they would approve it, but it does not have to go to them. However, because of the extensive talks we have had with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Government of Nunavut, Inuit and the fishing industry, we know that everyone is reasonably satisfied with this policy. Therefore, it is a done deal. It is in place now. It is being implemented now, but we will have to see. The product it delivers is a set of recommendations from the NWMB to the minister with respect to who gets how much of the allocations for turbot and shrimp.

Senator Cochrane: It is all policy, right?

Mr. d'Eca: It is all policy. It is not law in that sense. We will have to see how successful it is, how government accepts the recommendations and what the fishing industry thinks of it. All of that will come to pass as time and the seasons go by. Everyone is happy with the policy as it is. Now we have to see how it works in the real world.

Senator Cochrane: Including the stakeholders in the various communities.

Mr. d'Eca: Again, that is correct. The stakeholders have shown confidence in the policy.

Senator Cochrane: Have all the fishermen and the fisherwomen in all the regions that are in that industry agreed with it?

Mr. d'Eca: Their organizations have all attended the consultations and have helped to form the policy. I forget how many iterations there were, but the policy has gone through many changes through the consultation. The respective organizations that represent those individuals you are talking about have all had input into the policy, as far as we are aware, and we ought to be aware because we are the ones who conducted the consultations and held the hearings.

Senator Cochrane: Well, you are developing the policy.

Mr. d'Eca: We are confident of their confidence in the policy.

Senator Cochrane: You talked about an industry-generated fund. How receptive has industry been to this idea? Who are the industry players that will be involved?

Mr. d'Eca: Industry so far has shown that they are positive about the idea; they have not taken it and run with it in any way, but it is still early days. Their main concern was that if they generate a fund that would raise a certain amount of money that would go into research, would government then turn around and say, ``They are doing $200,000 of research; let us subtract $200,000 from our budget.'' Industry does not want that to happen. They were very concerned about that, and we changed the policy to say explicitly that any funds generated by the industry for their exploratory research fund will not negatively affect the budgets and the obligations of government to carry out research.

Industry has shown an interest in it, but it is only a suggestion, a recommendation of the board. We will try to assist if they have an interest. As of now there has not been anything further than simply a positive reaction to the idea. We have not seen any concrete steps taken to actually establish the fund, but it is very early days.

Senator Cochrane: When do you expect this to be implemented then? You still have not really finalized it with the industry. When do you expect this whole thing to be finalized?

Mr. d'Eca: The policy is finalized. It has been distributed to industry. In a matter of weeks, the call for applications will be going out. In a matter of weeks after that, we will be receiving the various plans. The exploratory fisheries fund is finalized as far as the NWMB will go with it, which is simply to say that we recommend this fund and this is what we think its purpose is. We have done background papers to give some further proposed details. We leave the idea on the table for industry to consider and to take up if they want, or to leave if they do not want. The board has done as much as it is going to do in terms of its policy for that. We now simply wait to see whether industry is interested. The board will undoubtedly want to assist, but it is entirely up to industry to take any further steps.

Senator Cochrane: You pointed out that the fund is for research. Would this fund be coordinated with the federal government and the territorial government for science?

Mr. d'Eca: We have not set that level of detail out in the policy. I tend to think that if industry is interested in this idea they will talk to government and try to coordinate — kind of like what we were talking about earlier, where if you are going to do research you want it within an overall setting so you are not repeating what somebody else has done and hopefully you are doing something that builds upon other studies. I expect that if industry is interested in this they will talk to government and work in a way that complements the various research programs that are going on. However, I am saying that only because I think it is common sense. Industry has not said anything further than that they are interested in the idea.

Senator Cochrane: Do they also have questions?

Mr. d'Eca: They did have questions, which were answered. We have not received anything further from them in many months.

Senator Hubley: My question is also on allocation, and it perhaps relates to the fourth and sixth principles, where you are saying that preference would be given to operations that would benefit Nunavut's economy. You also talked about commercial ventures. I am wondering whether under your allocation policy, especially for turbot, you are giving any consideration to the type of fishery they will be carrying out, if it would be longlining versus trawlers. Has that been discussed? From our experience in the Fisheries and Oceans Committee, longlining is perhaps considered economically, and when we are considering the floor of the sea, a better fishing method than trawling.

Mr. Noble: All the way along through the development of our fishery we have been promoting a varied type of fishery, between trawling, longlining, gillnetting and trying to establish what would be best for our waters. You are correct that the longlining does produce a larger fish. However, with longlining they are getting a lot of shark attacks from the Greenland shark. It is a more difficult fishery. The best we found in the last few years is the gillnetting. We are faced with problems with that, as you know, of nets being lost in ice. Right now I think it is a 50-50 split between the trawl and gillnetting in Nunavut. There is a push and better fishing with gillnetting.

Senator Hubley: There is better fishing with gillnetting. Trawling then is not at the top of the list at all?

Mr. Noble: That is correct.

Mr. d'Eca: Do you remember those mandatory requirements for responsible stewardship? One of those is compliance with responsible fishing practices and gear use. Of course you have to comply with the law. If the law outlaws a particular gear, then obviously you do not use that. The NWMB goes beyond that and says we want your stewardship plan to address that. What gear are you using? Demonstrate to us that that is the most responsible gear, that is the most reasonable in the circumstances. The NWMB is addressing that matter in the policy, but not laying down particular rules, which of course it cannot do in the offshore. It can do it on the inshore, and it has set out certain rules for gillnets and so on and has recommended changes to Department of Fisheries and Oceans with respect to that.

The Chair: There is always better fishing with gillnets. The problem with gillnets is that they keep fishing interminably forever and ever.

It has been a long afternoon. We thank you very much for a detailed and thorough presentation. It has helped us to understand the management, and we appreciate that. Thank you for coming.

The committee adjourned.

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