Skip to Content

Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources

Issue 21 - Evidence

OTTAWA, Tuesday, September 19, 2000

The Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources, to which was referred Bill C-27, An Act respecting the National Parks of Canada, and Bill S-20, An Act to enable and assist the Canadian tobacco industry in attaining its objective of preventing the use of tobacco products by young persons in Canada, met this day at 5:05 p.m. to give consideration to the bills.

Senator Mira Spivak (Chairman) in the Chair.


The Chairman: Honourable senators, the first part of our agenda concerns Bill C-27, and our first witness this evening is Mr. Alan Latourelle. Welcome, and please proceed.

Mr. Alan Latourelle, Chief Administrative Officer, Strategy and Plans, Department of Canadian Heritage: Thank you for the opportunity to address you. I will first cover the key elements of the bill and then follow that by talking about the evolution of the Parks Canada budget and give you a bit of perspective as to where we have been and where we are at currently, in terms of funding.

As honourable senators are aware, the key focus is on ecological integrity, reconfirming and clarifying that maintaining or restoring ecological integrity is the first priority. Other key elements of the bill are new parks. The bill brings seven new national parks and one national park reserve under the protection of the act.

Commercial development growth in the park communities is capped through the preparation of land use plans and ensuring that key elements of the plans can only be changed after national debate in Parliament.

This bill removes all taxation authorities that were in the previous legislation. Therefore, community services will continue to be provided within the Parks Canada budget.

The bill provides the legislative framework for working with aboriginal people in the management of national parks.

Finally, in terms of wildlife protection, the bill increases the maximum fines and penalties for certain poaching offences and creates a new offence for trafficking in wildlife and other natural resources.

Parks Canada's annual appropriation from Parliament was reduced from $374 million, which was the amount in 1994-95, to $283 million, which we are getting this year, for a reduction of approximately $91 million. All new investment in national parks, national marine conservation areas and national historic sites that have come on stream since 1994 are being funded within Parks Canada's existing budget.

Overall, since 1994, the activities of Parks Canada have had to be adjusted by $107 million. That adjustment includes the following items: $91 million as a result of reductions in parliamentary appropriation; and $16 million as a result of investment in new parks and sites.

Parks Canada has taken the following actions to adjust its program to available funding. We have implemented revenue generation initiatives to offset the budget decreases. They have amounted to $35 million. We have reduced the overhead costs throughout the organization, including regional offices, and that has resulted in savings of $19 million. That is about a 30 per cent reduction to our overhead function.

We have had to reduce the highways capital program by $17 million. We have made reductions in the amount of $20 million to the parks and sites capital rehabilitation program. That is basically the ongoing capital improvement or capital upgrades that we need to do to our infrastructure. We have reduced the operating budget of parks and sites by $9 million. As a result of reductions to our capital program, in terms of highways and capital rehabilitation, we have reduced our architectural and engineering function by some $7 million.

The impact of these reductions is serious, especially with respect to maintenance of our assets. Parks Canada has approximately $7 billion in assets such as highways, historic sites, and recreational assets like visitor centres. The challenge we have as an agency therefore is in being able to maintain those assets at the appropriate standard.

Parks Canada has had an independent, third-party review to assess the existing condition of our assets. That review concluded that there is currently a capital budget shortfall of about $475 million for Parks Canada to maintain its existing asset base. That amount is not annual but over a five-year period.

The other impact of the adjustment that we have had to make is that it has limited our ability to communicate the values of our natural and cultural heritage to Canadians who may not be able to visit our parks and sites. Thus, we are looking at alternative methods of delivering Parks Canada's values and messages to Canadians in urban centres or to youth.

I have tried to give an overview of our budget. We are now prepared to answer any questions that you may have.

The Chairman: Could you explain the highways? Are you talking mostly about Banff?

Mr. Latourelle: There is the Terra Nova Highway in the east, while in the west the highways include Banff. They are through highways that are part of the Trans-Canada system. Gros Morne is another example.

Senator Kenny: There are to be seven new parks with no new funding. That is disgraceful. Can you tell us how many new facilities there have been since 1994 when the funding was frozen?

Mr. Latourelle: One point I would like to make is that seven new parks in the park reserve are being added to the act. Some of them have been in existence since 1970. For example, the Pacific Rim national reserve has been in place since then. We have within our existing appropriations the funds to cover their operating and capital costs.

Senator Kenny: Did you say that there has been no increase in funding since 1994?

Mr. Latourelle: Yes.

Senator Kenny: You have been adding parks and facilities since 1994; is that correct?

Mr. Latourelle: Yes.

Senator Kenny: Can you tell us what you have added since 1994 that is being absorbed in this $107-million budget?

Mr. Bruce Amos, Director General, National Parks, Parks Canada Agency, Department of Canadian Heritage: Three new national parks have been established since 1974, the costs of which have been absorbed in our existing budget.

Senator Kenny: You are paying for that not only by bleeding the existing parks but by the fact that there has been an overall reduction in your budget in any event that has been bleeding the parks.

Mr. Amos: Yes, that is part of the impact that we have had to absorb. We have had to pay the start-up costs for those three parks since these budget reductions started.

Senator Kenny: I am not cross at you folks. I am outraged, however, that this has been allowed to happen.

With this bill, all of the plans are being locked in. If I understand it correctly, no one can change any plans that exist currently without a change made by Parliament.

Mr. Latourelle: Senator, I assume that when you refer to "the plan" you are referring to the community plans or the land use plans in terms of control and development.

Senator Kenny: Yes.

Mr. Latourelle: This will provide the legislative framework to cap limits to growth in three ways. First, it will cap the total commercial square footage that will be allowed in each townsite. Second, it will govern the commercial boundary within that townsite. Third, it will cap the boundary of the overall townsites, including the residential areas. Basically, those are the three components that will be in legislation.

Within the plan there are other components of an operational nature that are usually covered in land use plans that could be changed without having the approval of Parliament. However, those are mostly operational. Total limits to growth would require a debate in Parliament.

Senator Kenny: How can this committee easily understand what we would have to legislate and what could be changed by executive decision? Is it possible to come up with a graph, a chart or a document that would make it easy for us to understand?

Mr. Amos: The only things that are to be embedded in the legislation in future by means of an Order in Council are three carefully defined aspects of the community plans. I refer to the boundary of the park community, the boundaries of the commercial zones, and the maximum commercial square footage. Those are the only three elements that the bill specifies be placed in the schedule to this legislation by means of a subsequent Order in Council.

Senator Kenny: On the subject of the highways, you have talked about two in Newfoundland and the Trans-Canada Highway, which goes through the mountain parks. The one that starts at Canmore and which is twinned as far as Castle Junction appears to be a much safer highway. I mean to say that it is safer for animals and for humans because of the overpasses. Can you tell us something about mortality rates? Can you tell us what the mortality rate was before the highway was twinned? Can you tell us the mortality rate of humans who still drive on the divided or, in some cases, three-lane highway between Castle Junction and Lake Louise?

Mr. Latourelle: I would be pleased to provide that information to the committee at a later date. I do not have it with me today.

Senator Kenny: I am equally concerned about the mortality rate of animals coming onto the roads in Gros Morne and those in the park on the East Coast of Newfoundland. There appears to be an inordinately high mortality rate in terms of animals grazing. It seems that there is no funding to adequately fence these areas. Likewise, railroad tracks appear to pose a continual hazard to animals throughout the mountain parks. What has this funding done to separate the railroad tracks from the paths followed by animals?

Mr. Latourelle: In terms of the mountain parks and the railroad tracks, there are several studies that are being undertaken or have been carried out to look at the issue of wildlife mortality. Committees with external stakeholders have been put in place to discuss the issues.

That is all I can comment on today. I cannot say, for example, how much we have spent in terms of studies.

Senator Kenny: Will you provide the committee with information on that aspect, as well as the mortality rate issue?

Mr. Latourelle: Yes.

Senator Taylor: You estimate that over the next five years you will need $475 million to deal with these assets. That does not seem like a great deal of money when you consider the fact that you have said that you have $7 billion in assets. The sum of $475 million accounts for just 5 per cent of that total, or 1 per cent of your capital assets over five years. You would not get very far in business with estimates like that. Are you sure that your estimates are good enough? It seems to me that they should be double that.

Mr. Latourelle: Basically, the industry standard in terms of asset recapitalization for these types of resources averages about 2 per cent per year. You must remember that we include historic sites in those assets.

Senator Taylor: Even 2 per cent per year would be double what you have set out.

Mr. Latourelle: Two per cent per year would bring us to about $140 million per year.

Senator Taylor: You have $7 billion in assets. Ten per cent of $7 billion is $700 million.

Mr. Latourelle: Yes, and 2 per cent of that is about $140 million. Currently, we have $45 million in our base. There is a shortfall of approximately $95 million.

Senator Taylor: I suppose that is what you are after.

Mr. Latourelle: Yes.

Senator Taylor: What I am saying is that that is not asking for too much.

In your presentation, you said, with respect to taxation authorities, that the bill removes all taxation authorities in the legislation and that community services will continue to be provided with Park Canada budget. I have two questions. Where does local government fit in? Banff and Jasper are a good size. How do they generate capital? Second, you have begun to allow some of the park administrators to charge admission fees to parks. I am not so sure I like that idea. How much of that income that you are hoping to generate will you get by either increasing the fees or charging rent for development within the parks?

I am concerned that there will be an incentive to allow hotels to go ahead because they pay large rents, especially when they are getting a percentage of the sale of liquor and gambling. This practice has destroyed many governments and might do the same to your department. How do I know that if we approve this, and you must go out and generate your own money with no local government in here, you will not be dealing with casinos, hotels and bars in order to generate the cash needed to run the parks?

Mr. Latourelle: There are a few components to the answer. In terms of municipal taxation, for example, currently we do recover and will continue to recover costs of providing utilities. For example, water, sewer and garbage services are currently being cost recovered from the communities, and that will continue. We will not, as was allowed under the previous legislation, recover general municipal fees for things like snow removal and road maintenance, which are services that are broader to all of the community but not specific to an individual or to a residence. That part of it we will not recover.

In terms of fees, we are identifying the appropriate uses through the community planning process for each town or each town site. Your examples would not be permitted use within a national park and would be addressed through the community planning process that identifies appropriate use. In terms of ensuring that fees remain affordable, the approach is through land rent -- leasing the land to leaseholders who then have their residence or their businesses on that land. The current regulations would have seen a significant increase in land rent and land rent cost for the leaseholders.

Minister Copps issued a press release on March 8 of this year in recognition that there has been a significant increase in land values, for example, in Jasper and Lake Louise, especially in the mountain parks. She has placed an interim freeze on land rent and she has directed that the CEO of Parks Canada consult further with the communities to come up with land rent that is fair, affordable and comparable.

Senator Taylor: I am having trouble following you. Would you then be taxing these people, as you say, for their services? I gather you will be trying to do away with local government. The last people who tried to do that got tea dumped in Boston Harbour. I am wondering what system you are using if you are to fix a fair rent on these communities. What someone in Ottawa thinks is fair and what someone elsewhere thinks is fair will probably be different.

You must also decide whether or not to remove snow at your expense. You will charge them for sewage and charge them for rent. What is the counterbalance to you running amuck by upping the rents too much, or maybe even worse, insisting that a new business must have such a high profit that it would need to be something like a hotel, a bar or a casino that could afford your rent?

Mr. Latourelle: From a perspective of level of service, we do work with townsite advisory committees to establish a level of service in snow removal and those types of municipal functions. That would continue.

Senator Taylor: Would they be appointed?

Mr. Latourelle: They are elected.

Senator Taylor: Will there be locally elected government?

Mr. Latourelle: Currently there is a locally elected advisory committee to the park superintendents. For example, in Jasper there is an election process to elect representatives that then advise Parks Canada on Parks Canada issues. We have the same approach in all of our communities except Saguenay because that community decided to have representation by type of leaseholders instead of general election.

In terms of land rent, we are not proceeding with municipal taxation, and that is dealt with in this bill. We are consulting with all of the communities, and several of them are generally comfortable with the latest proposal, but it is difficult to come to a national solution because of land value fluctuations between townsites. We want a national approach and we are working collaboratively with the local individuals to discuss issues of interest to them. We hope to determine land rent that is affordable, fair and comparable.

Senator Adams: Part of my question was asked by Senator Kenny. I would like to find out a bit more about the national park reserve that exists now. Can you give me any idea of what a reserve means at one national park?

Mr. Amos: The national park reserve that is referred to in Mr. Latourelle's paper is Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. This national park was the subject of a federal-provincial agreement in 1970. There were several amendments to that agreement in the early 1970s. Since then, Parks Canada has been managing the land as a national park.

Perhaps some of you have visited Pacific Rim. It is well known and it looks to the visitor as if it is a national park. It is certainly managed that way. However, it has never been brought under the National Parks Act. There have been a series of issues over the years that needed to be resolved. I could go through those if you wish.

The reason it is being proposed in this legislation as a national park reserve is that those lands are subject to outstanding treaty negotiations of a number of First Nations on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Therefore, under the proposed legislation it is proposed as a reserve, which would mean that it would be managed under the act but without prejudice to the final outcome of the land claim settlement.

Parks Canada is working with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, the British Columbia government and First Nations on those land claims. In a sense, it is similar to national park reserves that were established in Nunavut at Auyuittuq, for example, which stayed that way for some years. A national park was created when the land claim was settled.

Senator Adams: Who will make decisions under Bill C-27? You talk about the boundary and the town. If we allow people to live in the park and run businesses, where is their boundary?

I live in Rankin Inlet. With a hamlet, at least you have control of up to 25 miles. That is a big area, and perhaps it is really too large for the municipality or the community to control. I expect we will no longer have a mayor in the park, or will they just be elected for the park and the community? How much land will people who live and work there in the future have up to the boundary?

Mr. Amos: During the preparation of the park community plans, one of the issues discussed is the boundary of each of the park communities. This is known and is part of open discussion with residents in the park communities.

Some of the parks have year-round communities, like Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise. Other parks have seasonal communities, where businesses and residents come in just for the summer.

In every case, as the minister explained, we need some tools to control the growth of the park communities and commercial development. One simple tool is the identification of the parks' outer boundaries within which development can occur. The two other factors in the bill are the commercial zones and the maximum commercial square footage.

Senator Adams: In the past, this committee has visited places like Lake Louise and Banff. We have heard the concerns of the mayors about setting maximum population limits. Already we can see development pushed right up to the boundaries of the parks. If business grows, where will all the staff live?

Mr. Latourelle: The community planning process addresses several issues, and estimating population is one of them. Staff-housing needs is another issue. We have already approved community plans for Banff and for Field, British Columbia.

That planning process identifies a maximum growth limit for commercial operations. Then we look at the corresponding needs for staff housing. A hotel would be permitted x-number of employees per room on average. Those types of models help us to forecast staff housing. We first define the commercial boundaries and the town site boundaries; then we ensure that appropriate staff housing exists within the town site.

Senator Banks: I would like you to put some meat on some of the language contained in "Unimpaired for Future Generations?", Volumes I and II, Volume II in particular.

I have read the proposed act and the rationale behind it, which, I think it is fair to say, is contained in this publication. I noted the lack of the word "balance." As Senator Kenny said, everyone agrees that ecological integrity is of primary importance in national parks. That is why we have national parks. However, certain facts have existed historically and culturally and, to some degree, those facts continue to exist in some of our national parks.

If I were the proprietor of a legitimate, existing, tourist-oriented business -- this relates in part to Senator Kenny's earlier reference -- I would be concerned with some of the language I have read. Look, for example, at page 116, which states that a park manager can maintain current levels or actively intervene to restore a park's ecological condition.

Volume 1 of "Unimpaired for Future Generations?", at page 14, states that Parks Canada is required in all its actions and decisions henceforth to unequivocally protect ecological integrity. Please describe for me actions that might be taken wherein Parks Canada would unequivocally protect ecological integrity. Let me give you a hypothetical and exaggerated example.

Suppose that a hotel was built on Norquay Mountain and it was found, 20 years later, inadvertently and unbeknownst to anyone, to be bumping into a flow of aquifer. Suppose there are two solutions to this problem. First, we could tear down the hotel and return the site to a pristine condition. The second hypothetical solution would be to dig a tunnel underneath or around the hotel to allow the flow to return to a state of ecological integrity.

To your knowledge, does the minister or Parks Canada contemplate a circumstance in which the quoted decision would cover shutting down or removing or downsizing any extant commercial undertaking that exists in the mountain parks?

Mr. Latourelle: That is not a simple question.

Senator Banks: This is not a simple book, nor is this proposed act simple. Some employers and residents of the parks have been there for a very long time and they, too, want to maintain ecological integrity.

The term "ecological integrity" was once used to acknowledge the ecological stresses caused by a human presence in the parks. Ecological integrity was seen to exist when those human stresses operated so as not to further damage the natural conditions in the park. The proposed act no longer says that. The word "human" does not appear in our definition of ecological integrity anymore.

Mr. Latourelle: The proposed legislation is clear that the first consideration is ecological integrity. You are quoting from the panel report and I will repeat some of statements made by the minister when that report was released. For example, no new ski hills or golf courses will be permitted, but there is no intention of removing historic uses, such as the existing golf courses and ski hills. Those areas will be carefully managed to mitigate and reduce their impacts.

Our management planning processes have significant public involvement and consultation through which we will assess the future use of an asset in terms of ecological integrity and appropriate mitigation measures.

Senator Cochrane: This proposed legislation will impose some severe restrictions on commercial development. I understand you have had consultations with people in these various park communities. What did they have to say about this bill? Did they object to these new restrictions or did they agree with them?

Mr. Latourelle: I cannot speak on their behalf but I can speak of some of our experiences for the plans that have been finalized and approved, for which specific limits are established. For example, in terms of the Banff townsite, the limits have been clearly established and the mayor of Banff at the House committee confirmed that he was supportive of clear limits to growth. I cannot quote him verbatim, but that is the message he gave at the House committee.

In terms of field committee plan, for example, that plan has been approved and we had the full support of the advisory committee to establish the specific limits. As we look at each community, we are working with those communities to establish long-term limits to growth, taking into consideration that ecological integrity is the first priority.

Senator Cochrane: I was on another committee yesterday, the aboriginal affairs subcommittee. We had a witness there whose name was Kevin McNamee, who is the Director of Wildlife Campaigns, Canadian Nature Federation. I am sure you know of him. He said that the last three park establishment agreements, including Sirmilik, were funded by taking money from existing national parks. To fund Sirmilik, money may have been taken from Kejimkujuk or Gros Morne or somewhere else, because there was no new money.

Could you tell me which parks were affected? Which parks had used up some of that parks money to fund other new parks? Did these parks already have excess money, and, if not, what areas within these existing parks were affected by having to contribute to these new parks?

Mr. Latourelle: Specifically, we use an annual budget review within the Parks Canada to look at the funding requirements. For example, as three new parks come on stream, we would identify the funding requirements, look at the overall budget of Parks Canada, and identify the areas of priority.

As part of the $107-million reduction, we have taken several steps. It is within that overall amount that we have been able to fund the three new parks to which you refer. I cannot identify specifically from which park the money has come, but many of the reductions came from reductions to overhead, some through reductions to our highways programs or capital rehabilitation programs, and through user fees.

Senator Cochrane: Are you saying that these parks may have had excess money?

Mr. Latourelle: No. We have had to make very tough decisions within the organization as to what are the clear areas of priority that would be funded first, but we have had, unfortunately, to reduce some of our capital programs. We now have a situation where we have a significant shortfall in terms of capital programs.

Senator Cochrane: Has Parks Canada any intention to replenish this fund?

Mr. Latourelle: When the minister was here, she made some commitment in terms of funding for new parks and sites. For example, I can quote her saying that we will not meet our year 2000 target in terms of new parks establishment, because in order for legislation for new parks to be implemented, it must be funded. "If it is not funded, we do not proceed," was the message that the minister provided.

Senator Christensen: Gentlemen, thank you for being here. I have two short questions. Perhaps they are more observations than questions. As is Senator Cochrane, I am involved with another committee, dealing with aboriginals and economic development. This bill, of course, provides the legislative ability to work with First Nations to develop their management abilities within national parks.

From a financial perspective, is your department anticipating funding for training, facilities and other things?

Mr. Amos: When the minister was before the committee, she did indicate that she was working with her colleagues in cabinet to seek additional funding for Parks Canada. One of the items she highlighted was the need to respond to the recommendations of the panel on ecological integrity. That panel made a number of specific recommendations about improving working relationships with aboriginal people. The panel identified in their recommendations specific funding that they felt Parks Canada should have to be better able to build partnerships with aboriginal people, to foster cooperation and provide training problems, interpretation programs, management and the like. Those recommendations are in the public domain and the minister has made it clear that she intends to pursue those through discussion with her cabinet colleagues, including seeking additional funding for implementation.

Senator Christensen: Looking specifically at northern parks, which are very large and isolated, and dealing again with the aboriginal portion of it, in looking at economic development do you see anything in this bill that would perhaps deter from that ability to be able to develop? They would have to be in those areas. This puts caps on development and does not allow additional development.

Mr. Amos: The caps on commercial development are specifically related to the seven parks communities in the existing parks in southern Canada. The caps on commercial development have no specific reference to the northern parks. They are clearly defined in relation to those park communities. The answer to your question is: No, there are no impediments in this legislation to the kind of cooperation that you are suggesting and that we are hoping for.

Senator Rossiter: Some years ago, an agreement was made between Parks Canada and the Town of Banff, which now has a certain amount of autonomy, subject to the land plans, which are more or less approved by the department. Is that right?

Mr. Latourelle: Yes, it is.

Senator Rossiter: Does Jasper as well have that under the present act, the ability to enter into an agreement?

Mr. Latourelle: The present act provides the ability to enter into an agreement, for example, for the delivery of community services by the community in Jasper. It does not allow for the responsibility for land use planning and development to be delegated to the community. That responsibility will remain the minister's and Parks Canada's responsibility.

Senator Rossiter: So it is in the same situation as Banff was before this agreement was signed in 1989; is it not?

Mr. Latourelle: That is correct.

Senator Rossiter: Why can Jasper not aspire to that?

Mr. Latourelle: When we look at the ecological integrity of our national parks and the responsibility that we have to manage those national parks, we felt that the responsibility for land use planning and development, as the areas that have the most impact in terms of the ecological activity of the parks, would remain within the responsibility of the federal government.

Senator Rossiter: So you are saying that Jasper would not have an opportunity to ever enter into a similar agreement?

Mr. Latourelle: There is an important component respecting land use planning and development and that is the role for community input into the processes. The processes are led by Parks Canada.

I will take the community plan, for example. We have been consulting with the community for about 18 months. The community provides us with their perspective and we adjust our plans or consider their proposals as we are developing the community plan in this specific case.

In terms of land use planning and development, they have an advisory role that will continue. In terms of the provision of municipal services -- snow removal and so on -- there is an opportunity to enter into an agreement with the local community to deliver those services.

Senator Rossiter: Are there any other communities in that area that could be eligible for agreements or aspire to be eligible for them?

Mr. Latourelle: As drafted currently, the act would allow for the minister to enter into agreement.

Senator Rossiter: Yes, but are there any now? What are the other perspective communities?

Mr. Latourelle: Currently, we have advisory committees, for example in terms of land use planning and development, in all of our communities except Banff, which has a different model.

Senator Rossiter: Why?

Mr. Latourelle: Because of the agreement that was put in place in 1990.

Senator Rossiter: What is the difference between the communities if one has the ability to do these things but the others do not? That makes one community higher on the scale -- and, consequently, it has more community involvement -- while the other is lower.

Mr. Latourelle: In terms of community involvement, all our park communities are involved in an advisory capacity in terms of land use planning and development.

Senator Rossiter: I see.

Senator Taylor: Does this act forever preclude the Town of Jasper from attaining self-government as is the case with the Town of Banff? In other words, will Jasper have no hope of ever having the same type of self-government system that the Town of Banff has?

Mr. Latourelle: That is correct. The act states clearly that the land use planning and development function would remain the responsibility of the federal government.

Senator Buchanan: I have no criticism whatsoever of the national parks. I wanted to be here to congratulate you on the work of Parks Canada in Nova Scotia. This summer I cannot recall any criticism of the Cape Breton Highlands, Louisbourg, Kejimkujik, and so on. All comments have been very positive. Congratulations.

Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!

Mr. Latourelle: I will pass your kind words on to the people on the ground who deliver the services.

Senator Taylor: I have a question about ocean parks. Are ocean parks covered under national marine conservation areas? Is that what we would call an underwater park?

Mr. Amos: Yes. It is our intention to address the issue of national marine conservation areas in the bill currently before the house, Bill C-8. There are some vestigial remains of references to national marine parks in this legislation.

Senator Taylor: It will come under other legislation?

Mr. Amos: Yes.

Senator Taylor: As you did on the surface, you will be selecting underwater areas?

Mr. Amos: That is correct.

Senator Taylor: In the budget you are talking about there is reference to restoration of facilities. I am in the oil and mining business. Restoration means that you go after the original owners to have them fill in the holes, grow the trees, bring the buffalo back, and so on. Would that situation apply if Parks Canada decided that a particular house, in Jasper or Banff, say, is in the way of buffalo on their say to water or grizzlies on their way to the summer blueberry patch? In other words, would Parks Canada say that the house should be removed? Would that restoration clause apply to the people who currently own that house so that not only would they lose their house but also they would have to pay for the cost of removing it and restoring the land to its previous condition?

Mr. Latourelle: I can give you a few examples where we have had to remove some facilities. Mainly, they have been Parks Canada facilities. For example, we had to remove a horse coral in Banff that was impeding a significant wildlife corridor.

Senator Taylor: You paid for it yourself, though. You did not ask the tenant to do that.

Mr. Latourelle: Exactly.

Senator Taylor: You did not shorten the lease on them but waited until the lease expired and then you paid your own costs. The act gives the impression that the present occupier of that space could be forced to bear the cost of the restoration. There is no intention of doing that?

Mr. Latourelle: No.

Senator Kenny: Mr. Latourelle or Mr. Amos, what was the essence of the Banff Bow Valley Study? Can you tell the committee what it said about the pressures being placed on Banff, both on the park and on the community?

Mr. Amos: The Banff Bow Valley Study indicated that there are significant ecological pressures as a result of visitor use inside the park, certain actions taken by management -- that is, facilities that we have put in place -- growing numbers using the park, and implications of development outside the park. That study led the government to conduct a broader study of the national parks system as a whole, which was the genesis of the panel on ecological integrity.

Senator Kenny: The Banff Bow Valley Study indicated that if things keep on as they are there at some point it will be gone forever. Is that right?

Mr. Amos: I am not sure if a specific time was put on it, but they certainly indicated that there were serious troubles that needed to be addressed immediately. The minister's main response to that was to quickly prepare a revised management plan for Banff with a series of actions that we are currently implementing, including removing a number of our own facilities, which Mr. Latourelle mentioned.

Senator Kenny: Parks Canada is adding some facilities, though. I notice that a new house is being built beside the superintendent's house. Parks Canada is adding as well as subtracting facilities. Having said that, I want to return to the ski hills. What better way to take pressure off Banff -- and I am talking about the park here -- than by removing Norquay, Louise and Sunshine?

Senator Banks: The ski hills?

Senator Kenny: Yes. Why are you so keen on letting those ski hills remain there?

Mr. Latourelle: We are not keen. I would not use the word "keen" in reference to those ski hills remaining there. As I mentioned previously, the minister made it clear in her response to the I panel that historical uses will be respected but that we are working with the ski hill operators to ensure that those operations are managed in an ecologically sensitive manner. For example, the minister's perspective on existing golf courses and ski hills was quite clear in her response to the panel.

Senator Kenny: Would you concede that if you removed the ski hills you would take a lot of pressure off of the park?

Mr. Amos: Madam Chair, that question is, perhaps, too hypothetical for me to answer. I need to go back to the minister's response to a similar question when she was here before the committee. The minister was quite categorical on the question of expropriating ski areas. When asked whether she was considering that, she said no.

Senator Kenny: Her answer was very unsatisfactory. I wish she were back here now so that I could put the question to her again. The scenario is this: There are three second-rate ski hills in the park. None of them functions well. None of them is comparable to Whistler or Blackcomb. The ski operators in there are stuck. They cannot go forward and they cannot go backwards.

It seems to me to make perfect sense, if Parks Canada wants to expropriate them, to pay them fair market value and let the land return to its natural habitat. I understand that. On the other hand, the ski hills can be left to continue operating. They could be allowed to stay in business, stay within the footprint they are in, but in this scenario Parks Canada should stop harassing them with little regulations, making it difficult for them to make a living. Perhaps I am oversimplifying it, but I would like you to comment on why you do not go one way or the other.

The Chairman: Senator Kenny, I think this is a policy question that is better addressed to the minister.

Senator Kenny: I might have had a chance for an answer, if you had not jumped in, Chairman.

The Chairman: I think you got your answer, but go ahead and try.

Mr. Amos: I think I have covered the perspective of the historical use. In terms of the existing processes, we are in the process of finalizing the ski area guidelines. Through this process, there has been extensive consultation. Coming out of the process will be clear definitions of principles governing ski areas in the future, principles that I think will allow for some stability or at least some predictability as to what the policies are. That is being developed through the ski area guidelines process.

Senator Kenny: Chairman, do we have the ski operators scheduled as witnesses?

The Chairman: No.

Senator Kenny: Have any requested to appear?

Mr. Michel Patrice, Clerk of the Committee: We have requests to appear.

Senator Kenny: Will we accommodate those requests?

The Chairman: Absolutely.

Senator Finnerty: Has the number of people participating in the park facilities been decreased? My second question is this: Is there any provision to increase user fees?

Mr. Latourelle: In answer to your first question, we have seen throughout the system of national parks and national historic sites a consistent increase in visitors on an annual basis. If I remember correctly, the number last year was close to 26 million visitors to our national parks and national historic sites.

As to user fees and the amount of those fees, they have reached maturity. It is the minister's prerogative to establish those fees, so she would be in the best position to answer that question.

Senator Banks: I do not have the bill in front of me, but I believe I am referring to clause 8(2) of the bill where the words "maintenance or restoration" appear. Am I in the right place?

Mr. Amos: That is correct.

Senator Banks: Either of you may answer. In your understanding, is that wording there for the purpose of, on the one hand, providing the minister discretion to deal with those matters or, on the other hand, to place upon the minister an obligation or a duty?

Mr. Amos: I would say the clause in general places an obligation on the minister in its broadest context, clearly. The factors that are mentioned shall be the first priority when considering all aspects of the management of parks. In general, the clause is worded to set direction in the minister's decision making. You are referring to the phrase "maintenance or restoration," correct?

Senator Banks: Yes.

Mr. Amos: There were significant discussions in the other place over the wording of that part of the clause. There were some recommendations. The existing act refers to maintenance; it does not include restoration. There were discussions around whether the wording should be "maintenance and restoration" or "maintenance or restoration." The bill, as you can see, printed out of the House of Commons, refers to "or."

You are asking me for an interpretation of that. This is sort of a layman's interpretation. The word "or" would seem, in an individual situation, to give the minister the possibility of deciding whether restoration was an appropriate activity in a certain circumstance. The word "and" would seem to imply that both maintenance and restoration were always there. It could be restoration in one case; it could be maintenance in another. As an example, a restoration activity could be restoring a gravel pit. That is not maintaining ecological integrity but rather putting it back, so that is a restoration activity. Others could be addressing introduced or exotic species that have found their way into the park, trying to eradicate those, or even the reintroduction of species that have be extirpated from a park. That activity is not technically maintaining the ecological integrity but is restoring it. In the case of the pine martin in Gros Morne, for example, we are working hard with the province to restore it to the park. That is our sense of what that means.

The Chairman: I thank you for your presentation, but before you go I wish to put a question on the table. You may wish to provide a written response. My question is not central to the bill; it has to do with the contravention of section 21 of the National Parks General Regulations. I understand that that section prohibits the use of personal watercraft or jet skis, and they are at the moment permitted in Clear Lake, my area, in Riding Mountain Park. I would like to know where else this regulation is being ignored. It would be appreciated if you could send us information about the use of jet skis in parks.

Senator Taylor: They should be thankful they are not in charge of the Sydney tar ponds.

The Chairman: Our next witnesses will comprise a panel representing the Jasper Town Committee and the Association for Mountain Parks Protection and Enjoyment. Please present your brief. I know there will be many questions, so please be brief.

Mr. Richard Ireland, Chairman, Jasper Town Committee: I have a prepared brief that I trust has been distributed. I will abbreviate my remarks so that we can get to the questions that are of interest to you rather than you just hearing what is of particular interest to me.

I wish to give you a little background to start with. In your discussion with Mr. Latourelle, he indicated that there is an advisory council in some of the national parks community. In Jasper, there is such a council.

I am the chairman of an elected advisory council. Mr. Leggett, appearing with me, is the vice-chair of that committee. We are elected individuals from the community; we deal with Parks Canada on an advisory level only. On behalf of that committee and the residents it is an honour to appear before this committee and we thank you for the opportunity.

The first item I wish to draw your attention to is the Jasper Community Vision Statement. That document is reproduced in total at page 5 of our brief. The community voluntarily and without input from Parks Canada engineered the vision statement. We were looking for direction within the community.

For years our unofficial motto has been "Not Another Banff," but that did not sound like a very positive motto. Subsequently, we came up with our own vision statement, about which we are very proud. It is a good reflection of community attitudes. You will see that the superintendent of Parks Canada has endorsed it. We understood that we shared a vision for the future of that community.

One of the reasons we are here today is that we fear that the proposed legislation will not allow our vision to be achieved in some of its key aspects. In particular, we are concerned about clauses 10 and 35 of Bill C-27.

A key element of our presentation is an excerpt -- which we have put in italics, for easy reference -- from a document prepared by Parks Canada in 1994 called "Operational Review Number 29." That internal review document was prepared by Parks Canada and addresses the operation of national park communities. Reading from page 4 of that document:

Administratively and politically, the reliance on what is essentially park management-related legislation has proven to be cumbersome, limiting in terms of municipal requirements and, generally, far less satisfactory than provincial legislation. The reliance, in some cases, on non-elected advisory groups distances affected residents from effective decision-making.

These weaknesses in the present system, with few exceptions, result in regulations used to administer communities (sign, building, development, etc.) that are national in application, invariably out of date, and do no take into account local conditions and circumstances. Moreover, they are costly to amend through the Order-in-Council process and reaching national consensus prior to change is frustrating, time consuming and, in some cases, impossible.

That was Parks Canada's own review of municipal administration in national park communities, and we think they hit the nail right on the head. Unfortunately, the proposed legislation does not address that problem and further entrenches the weaknesses that have been identified.

Specifically, clause 35 of the proposed legislation does not include the words "and Jasper." Section 8.1 of the existing National Parks Act says that the minister could enter into agreements for the creation of local government in Banff and Jasper. Clause 35 is silent as to Jasper.

Our concern is that, although clause 10 contemplates the minister entering into agreements with local governments, it does not contemplate the establishment of local government. We do not have a local government in Jasper. Although the minister could, by virtue of clause 10, enter into an agreement with a local government, we are not one and there is no provision in the bill to create one.

We are not here looking to usurp Parks Canada's functions in any respect. We recognize, accept and support all of the ecological things that Parks Canada is trying to do, and we support the legislation as it relates to those aspects. Our concern is that we could be more effective municipal managers thereby allowing Parks Canada to concentrate on their primary mandate, which revolves around ecology and not municipal administration. We are concerned that the proposed legislation has missed that aspect.

We look to be allies with Parks Canada. We are not in combat here. If we had some empowerment, we could look after municipal affairs. We think we could do it effectively, accountably and in a manner with which Canadians across the country are familiar.

It is not an issue of encroaching on any of the must-haves that Parks Canada has indicated that it requires -- that is, land use development and environmental concerns. We are quite prepared to agree that those are national park matters and should remain that way. However, matters of purely local concern ought to be handled at a local level.

I wish to recite an example of something that is frustrating in a community. We required a rescue vehicle to complement our volunteer fire department, and that requirement was recognized by Parks Canada. Some funding was found, a rescue vehicle was requisitioned, but it did not fit in the fire hall because some person in Ottawa did not know how big the fire hall was. Thus, we received a rescue truck that has good equipment on it, like the Jaws of Life, but which must be parked outside in winter, sometimes when it is 40 below zero. The Jaws of Life is a hydraulic, mechanical item; it must be unloaded from the truck and stored inside the building. When there is an emergency, someone must rush out with the Jaws of Life, put it in the truck, hope the truck starts, and drive off to the accident scene. It may seem like a minor matter, but it is a function of the fact that local decisions are not made locally. It has little to do with environmental matters or matters that are quite properly Parks Canada's concern.

What we are looking for in the proposed legislation is the recognition that municipal government is a good idea and is achievable and workable within the context of a national park. We are not asking for the legislation to identify or define the exact limit of that municipal government, only to recognize that it is desirable and achievable and to authorize it in some sense in the legislation. We could then work with Parks Canada to define the model that will work best in Jasper. We fear that the proposed legislation dismisses the idea of municipal government entirely. We think that hurts the park and the town. That is the only change we are looking for in the legislation.

Ms Julie Canning, Executive Director, Association for Mountain Parks Protection and Enjoyment: Honourable senators, with me today is Mr. Brad Pierce, past president of AMPPE, who has been with us since the organization's inception six years ago.

AMPPE does not have $2.5 million with which to lobby. We also do not have a voice at many of the fora where we should, as key stakeholders in our national parks. That is why today's presentation to you is so vitally important to our membership.

Our membership shows its voice through park user fees and active usage of the parks by over 8 million people a year. We are Canadian citizens who are devoted to ensuring that the future of our national parks includes people. All the people who participate in recreational activities within our parks clearly believe the same. They have voted on this issue and they vote every day with their feet.

Honourable senators, I am asking for your leadership. I am asking you to please ask the questions that need to be asked, to question motivations, including ours, and to clarify beyond a shadow of a doubt that Canadians have the right to utilize our national parks for the purposes of education, recreation and enjoyment. To members of this committee this request may seem "basic" and "assumed." What I will present to you over the next few minutes will prove to you that there they are anything but assumed and are unconditionally in jeopardy.

The EI panel has made their objectives very clear. They have said:

We are firm in arguing that product marketing of national parks should end and that the focus be placed on social marketing, policy marketing, and even de-marketing of the parks.

What does this mean? I would refer the committee to an article in the well-known magazine Marketing, which is entitled:

Please Don't Visit...Crowds and over development are hurting our national parks. But what if Parks Canada were to try a little 'demarketing' to encourage potential visitors to stay away?' Fellow Canadians and International guests..."You're not welcome"...please stay away...

The article continues:

Recreational activities that are not inherently related to the nature of national parks should be declared as not allowable in national parks...

What does this mean? "From rafters to skiers, from trail riders to mountain bikers, and all of our members who are recreational users, you are not welcome in our parks." That is what this says.

The article continues:

Facilities and activities that do not meet the criteria for appropriateness should be discontinued...large-scale facilities that are deemed not allowable and/or appropriate should be managed as "non-conforming"...If non-conforming facilities become economically non-viable, no longer popular, or are determined to have undue impacts on ecological integrity, Parks Canada should take steps to permanently remove them from the parks.

For our membership, if they are deemed to be non-conforming, and if they have a bad year, they are not only unwelcome in our parks, they are out of the parks.

Does this committee, do these recorded statements and does this legislation really have to say that riding a mountain bike, or going canoeing, or going downhill skiing, or ridding a toboggan, or staying at the Château Lake Louise are "appropriate" activities"? Apparently, and very clearly, that is something that has to be stated.

Where does human use fit into the context of ecological integrity and, more important, the concept of restoration? The objective here is clear -- re-wild the parks. I refer the committee to the graph from the EI panel's own report which shows that at the pinnacle of the curve for restoration the benchmark is large, isolated and uninhabited. That is the benchmark. There is no room for people. A picture in this case is telling us 1,000 words.

What we are asking this committee is clear. First, the definition of "ecological integrity" included in the legislation leaves no room for humans. As illustrated, it will be used to permanently remove recreational and tourist opportunities from the park. It is stated very clearly. We are asking for the definition of "ecological integrity" to be amended to what it was originally. I refer to the definition that was used in the Banff Bow Valley report and the one that was accepted by Parks Canada.

Second, the legislation now states that the "maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity" is the first priority. This raises the issue of the removal of facilities and activities from the park at substantial cost to Canadians. The prospect of this and its costs has not been discussed or debated within the government, let alone the affected public. I live in Banff. We are asking that the words "or restoration" be removed from this legislation.

At this time, we would also ask you for your support as senators in seeking a place for visitors at the table in parks planning and policy deliberations. Clearly, and specifically, the minister is hosting a number of round table discussions and forums for the next few months at which a voice for visitors must be added. Currently, it is not there.

What has been acknowledged time and again in all the study and research, including the Banff Bow Valley study, the panel on ecological integrity, and by the minister herself, is that we do not know enough about people and our parks. Simply stated, we do not know enough about people in our parks. The interests of visitors have been consistently under represented and underfunded in Parks Canada's planning and policy-making process.

As stated by the new superintendent of Banff National Park, the biggest challenge faced by our parks today is to ensure, while maintaining or restoring ecological integrity in our parks, that we continue to provide high quality experiences for our visitors. All we are asking you to do today is to give us the tools to meet this challenge.

Senator Taylor: My question is addressed to Mr. Ireland who was in the room earlier when we heard from witnesses from the parks department. I think I detect a conflict. In asking about self-government, I was left with the impression that there would be elected advisory committees from the area. However, you seem to think that this bill goes even further and forbids the minister to have elected bodies. I think there is a misinterpretation between the two. Personally, I do not think it stops the minister from having such committees. On what basis do you say that this bill precludes the minister from having an elected advisory committee?

Mr. Ireland: The bill does not speak about not having an elected advisory committee. We are an elected advisory committee. As I read the proposed legislation, that is what we shall continue to be, that is, an advisory committee. We do not consider that an advisory committee is a local government -- it is an advisory committee. We acknowledge that we are elected. The legislation contemplates that we will continue to be elected. However, that puts us in the unusual situation of the elected people advising the administrative people. Thus, there would be no proper accountability in the management of the community. As was mentioned earlier in the discussion, it is sort of like the Boston Tea Party all over again.

Senator Taylor: I am a little troubled. School boards are elected. They do not have any taxation rights. As you know, in Alberta, those funds go into a foundation plan. I am not so sure that taxation rights have to be an element of an elected body. Do you feel that they have to be tied together? If you do not have the right to tax, you are not a government.

Mr. Ireland: It is more than just a right to tax. It seems to me that governance is about setting policy. We cannot set policy. The clear contemplation of the bill is that we shall not set policy. We might be able to advise on policy set by parks or policy as interpreted or administered by Parks Canada. However, we are not a government and will not be a government in the sense that we can set any policy, even with respect to purely local concerns. Clearly, that is the indication in the bill.

Senator Taylor: I have been involved in municipal government which are creations of the provincial government, and they have at times dismissed school boards and councils.

The idea of elected municipal government in the parks is no worse than an elected municipal government anywhere. If you have an elected body that will make the capital expenditures in any event, perhaps you are complaining prematurely.

Mr. Ireland: With respect to taxation, over the last several years of discussion with Parks Canada our proposals have been that we as a community would be happy to tax and spend for municipal outlays, like all other Canadian communities. We recognize that as a responsibility that should be ours. It should also be our duty, and we are prepared to take that on. Parks Canada prefers not to have that, and you heard discussion earlier about the fact that they have removed these taxation provisions, but the truth is that we still spend the money. We give them the money. They spend it on services for us. They do not call it taxation, but it sure looks like taxation to us. They take our money and spend it on services. We wish to have local control over our spending in order make sure that we get such things as a rescue truck that actually fits in the fire hall.

These are not issues that go to Parks Canada's primary function as a resource and an ecological protector. We are not looking to go that route. However, we would certainly like to have some local accountability and we believe that requires more than an advisory role. It requires some sort of local government body, properly restricted, so that we do not stray into areas where we do not belong and do not wish to go.

Senator Taylor: I still think you are worrying too much.

Ms Canning, with so many people wanting to visit our parks -- you say that they enjoy it and I am sure they do -- your concern is related to the Parks Canada statement that their primary concern is ecological integrity. What do you think about quotas or permits to use the parks?

Ms Canning: On the whole discussion around permits and quotas on park visitors, I would again refer to the fact that we do not understand the implications and the impact of people in our parks. What is an acceptable number? Who determines that? If you look at the attached graph, you will see that the benchmark being set is for an isolated community up North where no one goes. Our concern relates to the quality of the science used to make those decisions, and this has been recognized by almost every decision-making group that has addressed the issue. It then comes down to who has the most money to influence the decision-making process on the establishment of benchmarks.

Senator Adams: Mr. Ireland, how long have you been living in the park?

Mr. Ireland: I was born in the park.

Senator Adams: I asked the people from the department about the boundaries. It sounds like even if you have elected people you will have no authority to make decisions. That is my concern about the passing of Bill C-27. If you and your family wish to live there, you will have no more authority to live there, you will have to move to another place. It looks to me as though Bill C-27 says that to the people in the park.

I live in a big territory. I do not mind if others are there. Even before the creation of Tuktut Nogait Park I believed that land should be set aside for the caribou herds. They may not show up there this year or the next, but that space is there for them.

I understand that there is a major concern about mammals in Jasper, Lake Louise and Sunshine. Just as eagles fly to look for fish in another river, mammals move too. I live on the land and I like to hunt, but people who visit our parks are not there to hunt, so there is no danger to the animals in the parks.

You talked spending and buying a rescue truck that would fit into your fire hall. People in the North were faced with similar situations, but now changes are being made and people in our communities are finally being heard. If Bill C-27 passes through the Senate and receives Royal Assent, even if you have elected members you will have no control if the municipal boundaries are already set up.

Parks Canada officials told us that staff housing will be built, but if people are not encouraged to visit the parks, there will be no future for the people who want to live there. How do you feel about that?

Mr. Ireland: I appreciate the question and it seems almost as if you read the brief that I did not read. I am here because Jasper is my home. It is Mr. Leggett's home, and it is home to 5,000 of our fellow residents. We love the place, and we want it protected and preserved. The vision statement outlines how we want to preserve it, but we need tools to do that.

I was born there, and my wife was born there. My children are fourth generation Jasperites and my family has a long attachment to the area. We do not want to ruin the park and we want to ensure it is not ruined by outside forces. However, we need some municipal tools to help get the job done. I give credit to Parks Canada. We are not here to disparage Parks Canada, but I believe they have different concerns. They have park management concerns.

You refer, for instance, to legislated boundaries for the community. We are not opposed to that. We understand what that means to us and the constraint it puts on us, but it is a constraint that we accept because we understand that for a national park community there will be constraints; and that is acceptable. However, within that physical boundary there are many things that ought to be done to improve the quality of life for the residents, and in a way that is consistent with national park values and objectives. We are not trying to run away from that, we are attempting to face it square on, but it is home for us and we would like to be able to manage and maintain the park. This legislation, as we see it, does not permit us to do that.

Senator Adams: In the future, more people may want to develop businesses in the parks. You have the facilities necessary for that right now. If Bill C-27 passes, no additional facilities or upgrading of facilities will happen in the future, but you will have more tourism.

Mr. Ireland: We recognize that there must be limits to growth. We disagree with the way in which Parks Canada is approaching the matter. We think that their notion of growth management is target based rather than principle based. In other words, we say that there ought to be limits to growth in a national park community, but that they should work at it from a different perspective. We think that we should decide what the residential carrying capacity of this community ought to be. We should look at our physical boundaries and consider densities that make people comfortable within those boundaries and, based on those sorts of principles, determine how much residential accommodation we have room for. That translates to some amount of commercial build-out. When you have used up all the room for people, there is no point building anything more.

The problem that we see with the approach Parks Canada has taken to the community plan, and in particular to the development scenario, is that they have picked a number and said that there can be so many thousand square feet of new commercial development. That is a target that developers will work to achieve, but how do we accommodate the people? We want to start at the other end, because we have social concerns that are not factored into the ministerial directions set forth in the proposed legislation.

The minister said that the community plan will deal with these matters. We argued long and hard and eventually, and somewhat ironically, an amendment was made in the other place to say that "community plan" now means a land use plan, because we had said that a community plan is much more than a land use plan and much more than setting commercial zones.

We think that Parks Canada heard that and acknowledged that there are social and other aspects to community planning that the community ought to look after. That is great, but now we need some municipal authority and some tools to do that job. Ironically, they are not in the legislation.

Senator Finnerty: Are you saying that, with the vast number of visitors going into the park, you have no control over accommodation for them? Are you saying you cannot allow people to have access to bed and breakfasts, hotels or parking? You have no authority in those areas.

Mr. Ireland: We cannot allow or disallow anything. There are Parks Canada regulations, policies and guidelines at lots of levels that determine what ought to happen. Whether they actually do happen is another matter. "Private home accommodation," as it is called in Jasper, is people renting rooms in their homes to tourists. We have about 300 licensed rooms and at least an equal number of unlicensed rooms. However, Parks Canada has no management tool for that either. In order to enforce a regulation that deals with an infringement of a zoning matter, they can only take away a person's lease. If that were to go to court, I do not think there is a judge in the province who would take away someone's home because they rented a room to a tourist. Parks Canada only has one giant hammer to deal with everything, and that is removal of a lease.

We think that with access to typical municipal legislation we, as a community, could take some interim steps. We could fine people, for instance, as they do in other communities. However, that ability exists on neither a local nor a national level.

Senator Rossiter: Mr. Ireland, you have already answered very well some of the questions I had.

I have a question for Ms Canning. You state in your paper:

...we also don't have a voice many times in the forums we should as key stakeholders in our national parks - that is why today's presentation to you is so vitally important to our membership A membership that shows its voice through park user fees, active park usage...

Do you get funding from park fees, or what does that mean?

Ms Canning: No, we are not funded by any park user fees. In fact, our members are actively sought after. We represent organizations such as mountain bikers' associations. These people use the parks every day. The 8 million people who actually come in and out of the doors of the national parks are utilizing the parks for a number of different activities. Every person who attends a ski hill in a national park, every person who goes for a mountain bike ride or for a trek, is participating in recreational activities and, short of AMPE, there is no voice for them. We are trying to represent those groups that have always and continue to be under-represented and underfunded. We have been successful in bringing a number of them together.

Senator Rossiter: Are you funded by them?

Ms Canning: Yes. That is right.

Senator Kenny: Mr. Ireland, would you be good enough to provide the committee with the amendment or amendments that you think you need to achieve your ends?

Mr. Ireland: Are you speaking of a word-for-word proposed amendment?

Senator Kenny: Yes, although not right now. You can send it to us by mail.

Mr. Ireland: Yes, we will do that.

Senator Kenny: Ms Canning, tell me more about who you represent. I heard about bikers and hikers and skiers. How many of them are actually members of your association?

Ms Canning: I will refer this question to Mr. Pierce who has been with the association for a number of years. He can give you a more succinct answer to that question.

Mr. Brad J. Pierce, Past President, Association for Mountain Parks Protection and Enjoyment: A number of different associations are part of our group. We have no fixed numbers. Operators within the parks are also our members. We decided a long time ago that that was a mug's game. There are all sorts of associations that are associations of associations that claim to represent 16,000 members, or whatever. Our association is a like organization. I do not think that is appropriate or interest based. Our membership represents a broad range of recreational users, operators within the parks, and other people like myself who have no interest other than wanting our parks to continue to be accessible to Canadians.

Senator Kenny: What operators are members of your association?

Mr. Pierce: Our bylaws provide for different categories of operators and users within the parks. Our bylaws allow board membership from different groups: some from transportation providers, some from tour operators, some from users' associations, and some from general citizens. It is defined fairly clearly in our bylaws, which I would be happy to provide to the committee.

Senator Kenny: Is Brewster on your board?

Mr. Pierce: We have the general manager of The Icefields Parkway, who is an employee of Brewster.

Senator Kenny: Are any of the Château hotels on your board?

Mr. Pierce: A member of CP is on our board as well, yes.

Senator Kenny: Are any of the ski hills on your board?

Mr. Pierce: We do have a representative of the skiing industry from Ski Banff/Lake Louse.

Senator Kenny: Do you have merchants from along Banff Avenue?

Mr. Pierce: Yes, members of the restaurant and bar association are members of our board.

Senator Kenny: It sounded at first as though your members were bikers, hikers and skiers. Are they bikers, hikers and skiers? If so, how many bikers, hikers and skiers have paid their dues, or is this really an organization on behalf of the business interests in the community?

Mr. Pierce: It is both, sir. We have members of the Calgary ski club on our board. We have recreational users and citizens at large on our board. We do not necessarily have all operators on our board. It is fairly clearly defined in our bylaws, so it is both. It is difficult to say how that coalition came together. I would not mind having a chamber also sitting here, but there is not one. They are all people who are looking for a more reasoned and balanced approach to our parks.

Senator Banks: My supplementary question follows on Senator Taylor's question, Mr. Ireland. On a scale of one to ten, how happy, or how less unhappy, would you be if you were funded to provide the municipal services, such as snow clearance, parking and fire, and if you had the discretion and authority as to how to spend that money and where to spend that money and tendering for it? Notwithstanding that you did not have taxation authority, if the money fell down from on high and you had the discretion as to how to achieve the ends, would that allay some of your concerns? Would that go some distance toward where you would like to be?

Mr. Ireland: It might get us talking. I am not sure it would get us agreeing.

Senator Banks: How happy would you be if that were to happen?

Mr. Ireland: That sounds hypothetical.

Senator Banks: It is hypothetical.

Mr. Ireland: It sounds like something that has been hypothesized before. The arrangement of which you speak is external funding directed by the community.

Senator Banks: Just to be clear: you would not be advisory but would be determining how the money is to be spent.

Mr. Ireland: I hate to appear to be ducking the question, but the concern is to what extent the community or group, whatever it is that has some discretion, would be a contractor, then, with an allowance, and to what extent Canada would actually set policy and decide into what avenues the spending should go. If you get so much for snow removal and you can decide how many times you plough the street, that is one thing. If you get another infusion of cash and get to decide generally how it gets spent, whether it gets spent on subsidizing local daycare or anything else that might come up as a community need, that is something else. I would really need some further particulars on what parameters were placed upon the local board.

Senator Banks: Let me come at the question from another direction. There is a thing in Alberta called an improvement district, which is something shy of a town or village. It is not municipal, but it exists. Members of the town advisory council are also members of the improvement district council.

Mr. Ireland: Correct.

Senator Banks: Does the improvement district now have responsibilities in the social fields like recreational services and community services and libraries and things like that?

Mr. Ireland: Yes. I will not get into a bunch of history, but, while the improvement district is an unusual bird in Alberta, it does exist. We have one. It has taken up some of the slack, because through regionalization we have lost what used to be our local school board and our local hospital board. As an improvement district, we have six specific functions. One is culture and recreation, so we operate a swimming pool and an arena complex. We fund the library, although we do not run it, and the same applies to the museum. We administratively assist the operation of something called FCSS, which is Family and Community Social Services. We do not run it, but money is channelled through the improvement district. We look after a number of parks, so there are children's playgrounds and the ball diamond. Those are the functions of the improvement district, and they are specifically limited by provincial legislation. There is a provincial order in council that says that the Jasper improvement district can do those six things.

Senator Banks: That would also apply under any municipal act, but the limits are different.

Mr. Ireland: Under a municipal government act, an incorporated municipality can do anything.

Senator Banks: Yes. Well, not quite, but I understand what you mean.

Ms Canning, I shall be argumentative for the purpose of straightening out my perception. I am worried about the argument you made in which you said you do not know what the impact of people in national parks might be. Now, if I am undertaking an action such as throwing a liquid onto a fire, and if I do not know what that liquid is, and if I do not know what is going to happen, then I will err on the side of caution.

I am worried about your argument. If we do not know what the impact of people is on the park, my first reaction would be, "Well, then, do not let anyone go in the park until we know." It would not be, "Well, then, let us open the floodgates and put as many people as we possibly can in and find out what happens." I am worried about the nature of your argument leading to a conclusion that you would not be happy with. Do you have an answer?

Ms Canning: We do not know. A great example is throwing that liquid on the fire. If it is gasoline, it will have one reaction; if it is water, it will have a completely different reaction. When we look at the impact of people within our parks and look at responsible human use, the question is what is an acceptable stress on ecological integrity that would allow for human use. There is no agreement on that. That is where we get into this big discussion about what is an appropriate use and what is an inappropriate use. Someone could very possibly come forward and say that downhill skiing is not an appropriate use of our national parks; therefore, it is deemed an inappropriate activity in our national parks, and according to the EI studies we should move to close all skiing down.

The quality of our science where these two thing cross over is "best understanding." Where the stresses of human use actually begin to affect ecological integrity, what are acceptable uses or stresses within that equation of ecological integrity? Those are the things that we cannot quantify. A perfect example of that is an upcoming debate on what are appropriate uses. How is ecological integrity still intact with human use? Our concern is that you are taking that liquid and throwing it on the fire of restoring our national parks, and instead of it being water it is gasoline.

Mr. Pierce: No carrying capacity studies have been done on our most visited parks, unlike perhaps in the United States. All the advisory panels to the minister have consistently pointed out that we do not know enough about how many humans use our parks or can use our parks in any way. All we know is what the science says, which is that in many cases there is a problem with ecological integrity in some parts of our park. There have been no comprehensive social or economic studies to say what the impact of people is, because all the money has been spent on the biosciences side. That is where we have a fundamental problem; we need to fill that knowledge gap in some fashion. I know Parks Canada is challenged in its resources, but we cannot be making decisions with only one side of the equation being understood.

Senator Cochrane: Mr. Ireland, do you have park officials in your park?

Mr. Ireland: Yes.

Senator Cochrane: Do you have park officials who have some authority in your park?

Mr. Ireland: Authority for some things, surely.

Senator Cochrane: Does your group have communication with these park officials?

Mr. Ireland: Yes, we have regularly scheduled monthly meetings with the superintendent and someone who is now an acting town site manager, and typically there is another park person there as well.

Senator Cochrane: It just seems to me that some of the issues, like the Jaws of Life machine that you mentioned, are sort of common sense issues. If you and your park officials have these meetings, would you not tell them a specific size of this machine and how you would find a place to put it and so on?

Mr. Ireland: That specific issue was not brought to the town committee. As an advisory body, the town committee responds to requests for advice from the superintendent; when we are asked to provide advice on a matter, we do. However, unless we are asked specifically, we sometimes do not know what is going on. Occasionally, perhaps more than occasionally, we offer advice on things that concern us, whether or not they concern the superintendent, but if there are matters going on internally in Parks Canada and we are not asked for advice, then we do not know that we should be commenting. We do not know what is happening, so we cannot comment.

Senator Cochrane: Would you say there is a lack of communication here?

Mr. Ireland: Yes and no. I do not deny that there is ongoing communication, but sometimes there are gaps in the system.

Senator Cochrane: We have some Parks Canada officials here, and I am sure they are listening, so maybe some of these things can be cleared up.

Mr. Ireland: I give full credit to the Parks Canada officials for their efforts. I certainly agree with the comments of Senator Buchanan earlier. I have grown up in the parks. I love parks. I think the officials are doing a really good job, but I think that they are underfunded, that they do not have nearly the equipment or the tools that they need. Certainly in respect to municipal management, they do not have any tools. It is just not a federal matter. It has always been a provincial matter, and if we could get some access to provincial tools, municipal tools, then I think we could help relieve some of the pressure on Parks Canada. I would love to do that. I would like to see Parks Canada, as Mr. Pierce said, spend some time looking at the social impacts of visitation in the national parks and not just the biodiversity aspects, but they need money to do that and they need some tools, and if we could help out by taking some of the burden and worrying about our local concerns, I would love to do that and I think everyone would benefit.

Senator Cochrane: I listened intently to what Ms Canning had to say. When we are talking about parks, we are talking about national parks. The parks in Banff and Jasper are quite different from parks in other parts of the country, but a parks bill will have to represent all of Canada's parks. I think that is probably one of the problems.

Ms Canning, I come from Newfoundland, and in my province we have Gros Morne National Park. If you were to put up a sign that said, "Please do not visit" or "You are not welcome" or "Please stay away," I have to tell you I would not be very happy, and neither would the people of my province. I know you are referring to recreational activities, but we are still talking about national parks. We probably have some of the problems you refer to regarding recreational activities, but I think you are a bit strong here.

Ms Canning: Senator, you are from Newfoundland?

Senator Cochrane: Yes.

Ms Canning: I lived in Newfoundland for six years. I have been to Gros Morne. I have been to Prince Edward Island. My family is from Prince Edward Island. I understand what you are saying. I also understand very clearly that this is a national policy affecting all parks. Do we not think that Green Gables House or Gros Morne or Cavendish or the parks all over this country are affected when an article goes out in a North American publication mentioning the de-marketing? That is not our article. Our suppliers got phone calls about that article; people are asking what is going on. I know of the tourists who visit Green Gables House every single year. They buy the hats with the braids and go to see Lucy, and it is fabulous. Many people make their living now from that and I wonder what they are going to say when they pick up that magazine that says that Parks Canada is going to start de-marketing the parks. As you said, this is a national policy, and it affects everyone. It is not a mountain parks issue. I hear you and I agree.

The Chairman: I want to correct something. I do not believe that Green Gables is a national park.

Ms Canning: Sorry, it is a national site.

The Chairman: Thank you for appearing.

Honourable senators, our next witnesses are from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. Welcome, Mr. Hazell. Please proceed.

Mr. Stephen Hazell, Executive Director and General Counsel, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society: Madam Chair, honourable senators, I wish to do three things this evening, all of which are quite short. First, I should like to explain a bit about what CPAWS does. Second, I wish to talk a bit about the bill and why we think it should be passed by the Senate, unamended and without delay. Third, I wish to address briefly the question of national parks funding, which I understand was at least one of the reasons for the genesis of this bill.

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society was founded in 1963 in response to a plea from the minister of the day for a citizens' group that could actually speak up for national parks. CPAWS is Canada's grassroots voice for wilderness. We have about 20,000 members across Canada. They include hikers, skiers, mountain bikers, and people who do not visit parks but who love the fact that they are there. Thus we represent individual Canadians across the country. We also have 10 chapters across the country. They do much of our education and conservation work. We have hundreds of active volunteers.

CPAWS focuses on educating Canadians about the importance of wilderness and nature, establishing new parks, and making sure the needs of nature come first in their management. CPAWS has contributed to the protection of over 100 million acres of Canada's wild places.

The current conservation programs at CPAWS fall under three leading streams, as we call them. Great Ecosystems is a program intended to establish interconnected networks of protected wild areas linked by functional wild habitat across some of Canada's greatest ecosystems. Perhaps you are familiar with the Yellowstone to Yukon initiative. Ecological Integrity of Parks is the second leading theme, and it is, I suppose, why we are here this evening. CPAWS campaigns to better protect wilderness park ecosystems by ensuring that the needs of nature come first in parks management. Under the third stream, called Healing Nature, we continue to protect ecologically representative and unique sites and to "rewild" -- an important word -- habitat areas. I refer here to grasslands, remnant forests and wetlands. Very few of the original grasslands on the prairies are left.

Bill C-27 is the legislative follow-up to commitments made by the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Secretary of State for Parks in June of 1998. CPAWS takes the view that these commitments should be delivered as soon as possible, given that the federal legislative process has already been lengthy.

CPAWS was pleased to assist in the development of Bill C-27. We suggested a number of amendments in the House of Commons. We support the amendments to Bill C-27 that were made in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. I might run through a few that we believe are quite important.

The so-called ecological integrity clause makes ecological integrity the first priority of the minister when considering all aspects of the management of parks. I had the opportunity to review the definition of ecological integrity and found no reference to humans whatsoever. I see no basis for the idea that somehow this particular definition of ecological integrity in the bill excludes humans.

Senator Banks: You mean as it is stated.

Mr. Hazell: Yes. A second important amendment is one that requires that new park management plans be tabled in Parliament. We think that that is a good amendment. Also, and actually part of the same subclause, there is the requirement for park management plans to contain a long-term ecological vision for the park, a set of ecological integrity objectives and indicators. Another amendment we support is the requirement for the minister to recommend the designation of a wilderness area within one year of such an area being identified in new or amended park management plans. Finally, we support the cap on new development in existing park communities.

CPAWS thinks that this bill will be a law that every Canadian should be proud of. Bill C-27 will establish the Canadian national parks system as a world leader in the effort to maintain and protect ecological integrity on the planet at a time when all the trends are in the opposite direction.

We think that Bill C-27 is a strong bill. It is a good bill. Although not all of the amendments that we wanted have been included in the legislation, the imperative to enact the bill is now so great that it should move forward now so that implementation of its provisions can proceed. CPAWS strongly supports Bill C-27 in its current form without further changes. The bill reflects the policy direction of the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks and the strong commitment made by the Minister of Canadian Heritage to implement the panel's recommendations. In the 20 years that I have lived in Ottawa I have never seen a minister state so unequivocally that she will implement all of a panel's recommendations. That was an absolutely tremendous day for national parks. CPAWS therefore requests that this committee recommend that the Senate pass Bill C-27 without amendment and without delay.

The third item I want to touch on is the question of funding. In that regard, I wish to bring to the attention of honourable senators an initiative that CPAWS is involved with. It is called the Green Budget Coalition, and the coalition includes such diverse groups as Ducks Unlimited, World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace -- a very broad constituency. For the past year and a half or so, beginning with the last budget cycle, the Green Budget Coalition has been pushing for a budget that is truly green, one that would include not only new spending on environmental matters but also cuts to programs that are environmentally unsound.

Last year, the Green Budget Coalition was successful in achieving a substantial stewardship program for species at risk. We are continuing that work this year. I am pleased to say that this coalition has made funding for national parks one of its top priorities. The priorities that we are advancing are very much in line with the recommendations of the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks. They include money to create new national parks. I believe the figure mentioned was $185 million. There is a recommended expenditure of $328 million to fund the recommendations of the EI panel and to reverse the decline in park ecosystems through concerted actions. On this particular point there is a desperate need for scientific research about park ecosystems and about the wildlife that lives in parks.

I should like to tell you a very short story about the Cheviot open pit coal mine. As some of you may know, that mine has been through two sets of panel reviews. After the first set of hearings, the panel made the statement that there would be no harm to grizzly bears that live in the park. This was shown to be false by a subsequent Parks Canada study. My point is that they did not even know what the impact of that open pit coal mine was going to be on the grizzly bears of Jasper National Park. That particular site is prime grizzly habitat.

My point is that the basic scientific research on perhaps the most charismatic of the large mammals that we have left is incomplete. We do not know anything about them. CPAWS believes that scientific research on the biology of wildlife and ecosystems needs to be strengthened tremendously. Once we figure out what the carrying capacity of parks is for grizzly bear populations, then perhaps we can talk about the carrying capacity of other large mammals as well. However, parks are supposed to remain unimpaired for future generations. The only way to know that that will happen is to do the basic biological research. That research has fallen badly over the years as a result of budget cuts, with which we are all familiar.

The final area where funding is required -- we have suggested $250 million -- is a new, independent foundation to support innovative partnerships on lands outside national parks. This is important because the boundaries of parks have too often been treated as sacrosanct, whereas we all know that ecosystems transcend those boundaries. We have suggested a foundation that would work to try to bridge that gap in order that we might look at the greater park ecosystems as a whole and provide funding to initiatives that are occurring outside parks that could bring together local communities. The town of Hinton, for example, has this great resort to help them take better advantage of the fact that they have the park right next door and to support ecological integrity initiatives which can also be of economic benefit.

Those are the three planks of the Green Budget Coalition's efforts as it pertains to national parks. I put forward those suggestions for your consideration.

The Chairman: Before I go to questions, could you briefly remind members of the committee what the categories of parks are? Are there four wilderness categories?

Mr. Hazell: Are you talking about the categories within the parks?

The Chairman: No, I understood that there are four different categories of parks, which relates to their use by human beings.

Mr. Hazell: Perhaps I heard someone mention IUCN categories that have been established. I thought there were more than four, though. The IUCN, the World Conservation Union, has established roughly 10 categories with different increments relating to human use. Towards the upper end, those would be wilderness protection with no commercial or industrial tourism.

Senator Adams: You have been here for 20 years. Were you born in Ottawa?

Mr. Hazell: I was born in Toronto, actually. I grew up in Toronto. I have spent time all over the country, much time in the Purcell Mountains of southeastern B.C. I have lived all over the country.

Senator Adams: How much do you know about parks? You say you have 20,000 members?

Mr. Hazell: That is right.

Senator Adams: How much do you make in fees per year?

Mr. Hazell: Our membership revenue is approximately $500,000 or $600,000.

Senator Adams: Did I understand you to say that you have been hired by Parks Canada to do a study of how parks should be run?

Mr. Hazell: I am not aware of any contracts that have been let by Parks Canada to CPAWS, but I should say that I have been with the organization for only the past five months.

Senator Adams: I thought you said that you have been working in the field for 20 years.

Mr. Hazell: I have lived in Ottawa for 20 years. In a previous life I was a consultant, based in Ottawa, and in that capacity I did environmental policy work in the Caribbean and southern Africa as well as work in Canada. Prior to that I was an official with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, and I was responsible for bringing in the regulations relating to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Prior to that I was the executive director of the Canadian Arctic Resources Committee. Before that I was with the Canadian Wildlife Federation for five years. That is pretty much my professional history.

Senator Adams: That is why I am asking. You live most of the time in Toronto and you have been here for 20 years. You are telling me about the wilderness, when most of my time is spent hunting and living out of doors. I understand what animals do. How much would you learn about grizzly bears living in Toronto? That is my question.

Mr. Hazell: I have a master's degree in biology and I have spent a significant amount of time in wilderness areas across the country as well.

Senator Adams: Those of us who live in the community need some kind of economy. We are told that the hunting of certain species should not be allowed. We have been protecting it. We know the species. Sometimes I do not like people who live in Ottawa telling me what to do.

Mr. Hazell: That is not how CPAWS works. A strong feature of what we do is working with local communities. I will give you a good example of something that just happened. Our Northwest Territories chapter has been working closely with northern communities to establish a national historic park in the Great Bear Lake area. We have been working closely with them. The community wanted this national historic park and we have been helping them to achieve that.

Senator Adams: You tell me you have lived here for 20 years and were raised in Toronto. Some of the people I work with have been up there in the territory. I dislike it when some people tell us that there should be no amendments in the Senate.

The Chairman: Senator Adams, the witness is expressing the opinion of an organization. It is your right to disagree with it, but do not abuse him.

Senator Adams: Madam Chairman, that is what we are here for. I do not want the witnesses to tell us what to do.

The Chairman: I do not think that is the case, but please continue.

Senator Adams: I have finished my questions.

Senator Kenny: Mr. Hazell, how often does legislation relating to parks come before Parliament?

Mr. Hazell: I believe the last piece of legislation came before Parliament in 1988. The original act was passed in 1937.

Senator Kenny: Since we do not often have a crack at parks legislation, why should we pass a bill that creates new parks before we have a bill showing adequate funding for the existing parks?

The Chairman: Before you respond, Mr. Hazell, I wish to introduce Mr. Locke and welcome him to the table.

Mr. Harvey Locke, Vice-President, Conservation, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society: Senator, I believe your question ties funding to the question of reviewing the act. We see those two activities as distinct but obviously related. This act was up for review in 1988 and is again now. The act has been in the public sphere for debate for some time. The policy direction of this particular bill was announced in June 1998.

We have much scrutiny at the public level. The Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks toured the country, taking input from Canadians from coast to coast. This issue has been mooted in the media very heavily for a long time. I remember addressing this Senate committee in Banff in 1995 as it was considering national parks issues. A very thoughtful committee report was issued thereafter.

Coming forward to today, we feel a great sense of urgency to get this bill passed in the year 2000. The environmental community has a perception, solidly backed by science, that we live in a time of rapid environmental change and degradation. This bill addresses those fundamental problems well, and every Canadian can be proud of this piece of legislation. We will truly be setting an example to the world by passing this bill.

I am excited about that. I do a lot of public speaking in the United States and they have nothing that can compare to this bill. Yes, we have a funding problem. George Bush said the other day during his campaign for the U.S. presidency that parks issues should not progress until funding problems are resolved. Sure, we need to fix the funding problems, but we do not need to hold up this bill to do that. We should pass it promptly. We urge this committee to pass the bill as it is because we think it is awfully good. Could it be better? Yes, it could perhaps be a tiny bit better, but it is a great bill, a world-leading bill.

Senator Kenny: Mr. Locke, I think the funding stinks. Earlier witnesses described that there has been no change in funding since our 1995 visit to Banff. We do not get a crack at the department very often on parks, but we have a crack now. The committee has some leverage now. We can sit here and say it is fine for ministers to notch their belts by creating new parks -- we have seen many ministers do that -- but where is the funding? When will we get it? If we do not ask for it now, will you have a plan to get it? Can you show us how to get that funding?

Mr. Locke: Our perception is that money is a means to an end and not an end in itself. Until this bill is passed, with the new direction included here, we do not think the money is important. The report of the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks, which I did not author but which I think is very strong, states that we need to change direction. We are not doing an adequate job. We need to realign and we need funding that will speak to the issues within this bill.

It is not a question of dumping a truckload of money. We must build a foundation for a parks system as we move forward. The essential edifice is this bill. Once we have this rock-solid edifice in place, we can add money to address the problems of declining ecological integrity, accelerated new park creation, and the need to beef up science capacity. I see the stages set out in that way.

I agree with the government's priority to pass this bill first. We are putting a lot of energy into the next budget. We believe the next budget should include a significant appropriation for parks. Parks Canada's basic operating budget has been starved and must be increased. Separate funds must be made available for measures that protect ecological integrity in parks. There is a deep and abiding problem, but the solutions must be built on the solid foundation of this bill. Without this bill, more money will not matter, to be blunt.

Senator Kenny: Let us talk practical politics. The last parks act revision was 12 years ago. We may need to wait another 12 years to have this leverage again. In reality, those members on the government side in the other place must vote for the budget, no matter what is in it. They cannot pick and choose. They cannot amend it. They cannot fiddle with it. It is a confidence measure that could precipitate an election sooner than planned. The budget comes forwards and the members take whatever is offered.

Here we have something the government is anxious to see passed. We want some assurance of increased funding. There is room for accommodation here, but not if we rubber-stamp it as you suggest.

Mr. Hazell: Senator, in the course of doing this Green Budget Coalition work, we met with a number of senior officials in government, including policy advisors in the Prime Minister's Office and the Assistant Deputy Minister of Finance, who is in charge of this file. We have been delighted at the responses received. Obviously they cannot promise anything, but they are listening very carefully.

We are getting meetings all over town, whereas last year we had a lot of trouble getting meetings. We have met with people from Industry Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, all over the place. No one knows how things will actually pan out. All sorts of factors are at play. I am as confident as I can possibly be that there will be substantial new funding for parks this year; whether it is in ways that CPAWS would wish, who knows?

Senator Kenny: Do we need ski hills in Banff National Park? Can we do without Norquay, Sunshine and Lake Louise?

Mr. Locke: If the world were a tabula rasa and we could start over again, we would probably not build them. Is it important today to decommission those hills, eliminate them and move on with other necessary business?

Senator Kenny: Should we "rewild" them? I believe that is the term being used.

Mr. Locke: I am not advocating rewilding. "Rewilding" is a term that perhaps needs some definition. It means having all elements in the landscape, including carnivores. It is a technical term that comes from the writings of Dr. Michael Soule and Dr. Reed Noss, with which I am quite familiar.

Some people have decided the term means "four legs good, two legs bad" and that all people should leave. That is not what it means. It means all the elements of nature are in place. Rewilding implies top-down regulation that includes arch carnivores like wolves and bears, which are necessary to ecosystem structure. The term does not imply exclusion of all human activity.

Senator Kenny: My question is about ski hills. Are you in favour of them or not?

Mr. Locke: For a long time, it has been our policy to accept the presence of the ski hills in Jasper and Banff. We do not want to see them expanded. We have had that policy for at least the 20 years that I have been involved in this organization.

Senator Kenny: So the ski hills should stay?

Mr. Locke: Yes, sir, and this bill says that.

Senator Kenny: Are you in favour of them improving their facilities?

Mr. Locke: I am not in favour of improving facilities if that is a euphemism for expansion. We did not object in the past to upgrading from an outmoded, slow, two-seater chairlift. I am conversant with the hills and I enjoy downhill skiing myself. We did not object to replacing the Ptarmigan ski lift at Lake Louise with a four-seater lift. That was fine with us.

We have a grave problem with plans to build new hotels or housing on ski hills. We object to any plan to expand the ski hill boundaries. We object to lifting the agreed caps on skier visits. Those caps have been in place for a long time. We have a big problem with the Norquay ski hill trying to go back on the deal negotiated 14 years ago, which said that they would have no summer use. We were part of that. The agreement there was that they would not operate in the summer if they were allowed to expand and surrender part of the area. They did that, and now they want to change the rules. We fully support this bill staying with the legislated boundaries and saying no expansion of the ski hills. We would urge that the Sunshine boundary be legislated. That has been outstanding since the last time this bill came up. However, we do not advocate the removal of the ski hills. It is a funny thing to me to hear that that is attributed to us.

Senator Kenny: I did not attribute anything to you. I asked you what your position was.

Mr. Locke: I just want to have the record clear. We have never said it. We do not advocate it. We accept them, but we sure do not want them expanded.

Senator Kenny: Do you agree that you have three second-class ski hills compared to what exists in the rest of North America?

Mr. Locke: Absolutely not. I am a very avid downhill skier. I have skied many of the world's most famous ski hills. I have been skiing all my life. My grandfather was on the trip that established the Sunshine ski hill. I absolutely reject this strange notion, which is certainly not in the marketing materials but seems to appear only in the House of Commons or the Senate, that these are second-rate hills. In fact, I read with great interest this winter the Banff/Lake Louise Chamber of Commerce proudly touting the fact that the Banff/Lake Louise ski hills were named the best in the world.

Senator Kenny: What else would you expect them to say?

Mr. Locke: It was either the Observer or The Sunday Times in London that named them the best ski hills in the world. That does not come to me as a second-class ski experience. What they offer, which is distinctive and which is their natural strength, is a chance to ski in a setting that is not covered with condominiums and parking lots. They are different from other ski experiences available, and as someone who has skied this winter, not only at Whistler and Big Sky but also at Banff, I can tell you that these are first-class ski hills, by any standard. I have skied Val d'Isère, I have skied Chamonix. I lived on a European ski hill for a year. The Banff/Lake Louise ski hills are not second-rate hills. In fact, they are very successful, and I believe, sir, the last three years have been their best ever commercially. There have been loads of visitors from Britain, and from talking to them I know those people loved the experience.

It is only when it comes to trying to justify more development that the argument that those ski hills are second-rate comes up. They are not second-rate. They are first-rate.

The committee may know I now live in Boston. I am on an assignment for three years. Across the street from my office in Boston is the American Express travel office. I went there to pick up ski travel brochures for the world from them, and in every case, the Banff/Lake Louise ski hills are considered world-class and rated highly. You can go to a travel agency in Ottawa and find that the people packaging and marketing ski promotions for those ski hills describe them as first-rate and world-class and outstanding places to go to have a unique ski experience. The ski magazines have said the same thing over the last five years, that these are exceptional places. So it is very bizarre to me to hear the arguments that they are second-rate because we do not allow them to have overnight accommodation. That is just not the case.

Senator Kenny: They have overnight accommodation and it is lousy.

Mr. Locke: There is only one ski hill that has any overnight accommodation, and that is Sunshine, which has a 70-room hotel.

Senator Kenny: Have you spent the night there?

Mr. Locke: Many times.

Senator Kenny: Do you like it?

Mr. Locke: Not the way it is run now, but if you ski at Chamonix, which is one of the world's most famous ski hills, you find that the hotels are not at the bottom of the hill. They are a short distance from the hill. At Lake Louise, the hotels are two miles from the hill. The Château Lake Louise, which most people do not describe as a crummy hotel, is three miles away. That is very similar to the experience at Chamonix. You do not just get on the lifts without taking vehicle rides. At a few American resorts you can ski right to your door. You can do that in some places in Europe, too. However, for much of the best skiing in the world, you often move around a little to get to the most interesting terrain. That is just how the business works.

As a consumer of ski products who has more experience than many people in this area and who talks to people who ski in those places, I can tell you that the Banff/Lake Louise ski hills are considered first-rate places.

Senator Kenny: As a last question, Madam Chair, could we have the amendments that this group presented to the Commons that were not accepted, please?

The Chairman: Do you have them with you?

Mr. Locke: I have the brief that we tabled in the Commons.

The Chairman: Does it contain the amendments?

Mr. Locke: It contains what we proposed as amendments. I am afraid I only have the one copy.

The Chairman: We will copy it and give it back to you.

Mr. Locke: I might say that we were pretty happy that a large portion of what we suggested was adopted by the Commons.

Senator Taylor: It bothers me a little bit that the CPAWS membership is made up largely of hikers and skiers and so on.

Mr. Hazell: Canadians from all walks of life.

Senator Taylor: You are talking about putting a freeze on tourism, and yet, as you know, the population keeps expanding. I am having a little trouble reconciling your positions -- your argument that there should be a freeze on tourism and, at the same time, your claim that you have all these users. What is the idea behind that? Is it to try to shove them out of the park and for some of the other areas to take up the slack?

Mr. Locke: No. The idea is to ensure that when people come, they have a quality experience related to nature, not related to tourism primarily. The Americans have had a development freeze in place for a very long time in their national parks. The best example of this is in Yellowstone Park. They replaced a hotel in the last couple of years and they replaced exactly the same building in exactly the same footprint with not a single room more. Yellowstone and Yosemite and the Great Smokey Mountains and the Grand Canyon parks are the most heavily visited parks in the United States. Great Smokey Mountains gets twice the visitation of Banff, just to give you an idea of how busy that park is. All those four parks combined contain, in aggregate, less commercial development than Banff National Park alone contains, by a significant margin. That is the world we are in. Banff National Park is far too heavily developed already. That is why we are so strongly of the view that a freeze is in order. Banff is the most heavily developed national park in North America. It does not need more.

Senator Taylor: Let me move on to an another thing. One of the clauses spoke of restoration. That could concern someone sitting there with, say, a home, a hotel or a bowling alley. That person would be concerned that their building might be torn down to provide for rewilding the area. I am having a little trouble reconciling your idea of freezing development and then telling people that they should be going to other areas. Obviously, if they increase the population, they have to go to other areas. Would that clause not frighten you a bit if you were a business or property owner? With the pressure for ecological integrity and with freezing development, if you swing the pendulum just a little more, you could have de-development -- in other words, going back to nature. Was that clause recommended by your group?

Mr. Locke: We like the restoration clause because there are two studies -- the Banff Bow Valley Study and the Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks -- that indicate a large amount of damage to our parks. We are losing nature in our national parks and we need to turn that around. That is why we like the word "restoration." There are no property owners in our national parks; there are only lessees.

Senator Taylor: There are business owners but only property lessees.

Mr. Locke: If I were a lessee I would be comfortable with this bill because I am protected by the Expropriation Act. The bill states that community plans will be tabled. There is no suggestion -- with the exception of the rundown Pinewoods Hotel -- in the community plans that people will be taken off the landscape in those towns. With respect to the Pinewoods Hotel, which is at the end of Banff Avenue, the suggestion is to get rid of it and build something that relates to or involves national parks, rather than build a gas station and a parking lot, and I totally support that.

If there is no restoration we will continue to witness nature leaving our national parks. We will lose species. We are on a downward spiral. The polls indicate that Canadians want nature in their national parks. The parks are part of the landscape that belongs to nature, and people want to go there and experience healthy nature and enrich their lives by the experience. People want to know, when they sit in Toronto or Yellowknife, that there are places where nature is protected and that this society has the humility to protect nature. We must restore the parks, but I do not see that as something that should cause anyone any fear. The only fear I have, which I believe is shared by a majority of Canadians, is that right now we are doing a bad job of saving nature in our national parks. We must turn it around.

Senator Taylor: I am a bit concerned about justice. This is a case where the 90-pound weakling has grown up into an Olympic champion. In other words, the people who are for nature and for ecological integrity far outnumber and far out-finance the people who are in the parks.

Mr. Locke: I would love to have that economic debate. I will open my books if you get all those businesses in Banff to open their books, and we will see how even those files are.

Senator Taylor: I can see why, with the population growth, our national parks must be based on ecological integrity, but I am concerned about a government that is responding to getting votes in Toronto and Montreal. I am worried about putting in the hands of a government that depends on seats in Toronto and Montreal the right to do what they want in the national parks. Is there enough protection? You are a lawyer; you have defended people like that. Is there enough protection in there, or are we giving a green light to some high-handed practice?

Mr. Locke: We are not giving a green light to any high-handed practice. In fact, our biggest problem is that we have had a green light to high-handed development practice in the last 20 years.

Senator Taylor: I am not talking about vengeance; I am talking about what we do from this point on.

Mr. Locke: I am not talking about vengeance either, Senator Taylor. As you know, I am a fifth generation southern Albertan; my great great grandparents are buried in the Bow Valley, my great grandparents are buried in Banff, and my mother was the first person born at Lake Louise that anyone knows about. I do not feel that I am an easterner telling people what to do in Banff Park.

It is not a case of those dirty eastern people telling us what to do in Alberta. I have a survey by the Angus Reid Group from August 2000 on the views of Albertans concerning development in national parks. According to the survey, in the debate over conservation versus recreational development in Alberta's four national parks, Alberta residents heavily endorse protection of wilderness areas. When asked to choose between two alternative roles for national parks, fully 65 per cent indicate that national parks should be about "conservation and preservation of the natural environment for future generations," compared to 22 per cent who maintain that national parks should be about promoting tourism and showcasing beautiful scenery now and in the future.

The Chairman: Could you table that document?

Mr. Locke: I am happy to table this document. I believe it is very illuminating, because there has been this false suggestion that limiting development is being imposed by evil people in the east, when it is very popular domestic policy in Alberta. In fact, the Banff story is a great story, Senator Taylor. You may remember the controversy over the town boundaries for Banff. The town council was opposed to having development reduced. The unanimous position of the current town council is support of the decision that the minister made about the size of the town. They ran on that ticket and were elected by people in Banff on that ticket. That is the people inside the park.

People do not want development whether they live inside or outside the parks, with the exception of a small handful of people, and that polling shows you it is approximately 12 per cent. I am interested to hear about the power dynamics where that poor put-upon 12 per cent, like Canadian Pacific or the various people who generate some of the $750 million in revenue at Banff every year, are the Davids in a Goliath-like context with our organization. I find that an interesting spin, with our budget of $2.5 million for 20,000 members. There is no contest. We do not have the resources that some businesses generate annually in profit in order to operate our program across the country, let alone in Banff Park.

The work I do on this issue of Banff Park has been as a volunteer. I financed it out of my law practice. I did not make a dime on all the work I did. I was not getting paid anything when I testified at your committee hearing in Banff five years ago. I did it because I love my national parks. I love Banff Park. It is the home of my ancestors and for me that is sacred ground that we absolutely must protect, and we have gone too far. I do not feel like a Goliath in that context.

Senator Buchanan: I feel that I am a bystander here. I am a good listener and I am very concerned about the problems that you have with the national parks in the West. We have no problems with our national parks in the Atlantic region. In fact, we have not even been mentioned here, except by myself and Senator Cochrane, who mentioned Newfoundland. I mentioned Nova Scotia. It is interesting to note that all of the problems talked about here are basically in Alberta. That shows that we in the Atlantic provinces are always the leaders in what could be termed good government.

Senator Taylor: Look what you did to the fish.

Senator Buchanan: I am glad you mentioned that. We did not do it to the fish; the federal Department of Fisheries did it to the fish.

Also, Senator Adams and I know all about the seals. We have over 10,000 seals around Sable Island.

I find it interesting to sit here and listen to all of the people who say more recreational facilities, no recreational facilities, preservation of nature. Do you know that we probably have the only true wilderness national park in Canada? It is called Kejimkujik. Many of the senators have been there. Its provincial extension is its marine section.

In addition to that, we have another park that no one has mentioned here, where nature is as nature is and was hundreds of years ago. I refer to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Victoria County. We do not need to say that we must preserve nature; it is preserved. Nature is basically the same as it was 100 years ago. It is a true national historic and wilderness park, along with Kejimkujik.

If you wish to see how it is done properly, come to Nova Scotia. You have talked about these chapters. Do you have chapter-driven groups in Nova Scotia?

Mr. Locke: Yes. We have a chapter in Halifax.

Senator Buchanan: The only historic park in Halifax is Citadel Hill, and it is not wilderness. Citadel Hill is also one of the number one national historic parks.

Mr. Locke: Louisbourg probably is number one.

Senator Buchanan: Louisbourg and Halifax, yes.

Mr. Locke: I did not tell you that my forebears, before they came west, were in the Windsor, Nova Scotia, area.

I wish to comment on the restoration line that comes out of Senator Taylor's question, which is directly relevant to national parks, particularly in New Brunswick at Fundy. Fundy has lost three species since its establishment. There is a good study on how Fundy's ecological integrity is declining notwithstanding that it has been protected for that time. It is happening because we have not addressed processes and made sure that all the species that belong in the system are protected. The amendment to the key clause on ecological integrity, which refers to maintenance or restoration, is targeted at a place like Fundy to make it healthier and better because it is such a wonderful place. It is very important to Maritime parks.

Senator Buchanan: Do you agree with what I said about Nova Scotia parks?

Mr. Locke: Cape Breton Highlands is certainly a fine example of a great national park in Canada.

Senator Banks: I have been in the Senate for only a short while. I always thought, until today, that governments created legislation, but I read in your brief that CPAWS plays a leading role in the passage and reform of conservation legislation. I am delighted to hear that.

Mr. Locke: Governments do it, but we urge it.

Senator Banks: Earlier you talked about Banff being overdeveloped, and I think that, quite aside from the statistics and comparisons that you talked about, Banff is certainly as developed as anyone wants. Does CPAWS have an opinion on the question of municipal self-government in park communities?

Mr. Locke: We think that self-government for park communities is a bad idea. In Banff we witnessed the town vote itself the potential to expand. Currently they will be allowed 350,000 square feet. Their land use bylaw originally allowed for 2.5 million more square feet, and it was external pressure that caused them to bring it down. I believe in the final analysis they voted themselves 850,000 square feet and the federal government imposed 350,000 square feet. During all that time, one person, who was deputy mayor of Banff at one point, said that the federal government has no authority to do anything in Banff because we have this self-government deal. That was completely wrong and completely inconsistent with the incorporation agreement, which I have read. Nevertheless, it became this de facto flag that was run up the pole and it was trumpeted that now we are local and the federal government has no legitimate role in the management of national parks. It was absurd, but that is what happened.

Some people in Jasper are complaining that they will "lose their entitlement." They have never used that entitlement. They have had it since 1988. My understanding is that, when they had a plebiscite on the issue, the people of Jasper voted against the proposal. It has been taken away, and well it should be. It was a privilege that lasted for 10 years and it should not have been given at all. The history of our parks is not that they should be autonomous communities; they have always been about national parks and always should be run and directed by the national parks service or Parks Canada.

Senator Banks: Earlier you said that you want people who go to the parks to have a nature experience, not a tourism experience. Are those two things mutually exclusive?

Mr. Locke: No, sometimes they overlap. If the experience of coming to a national park is about the facility rather than about nature, then it is not a nature experience. For example, if you came to Banff to go shopping and you did not go out and look at the park but you went to Banff Avenue because you were interested in a handbag and a Rolex watch, then you would not have a nature-based experience. You can go shopping at West Edmonton Mall.

If you came to Banff or Jasper or any other park and incidentally used the support services that are there and stayed in a luxury hotel, in my opinion that would still be a nature-based experience. However, in the last 20 years we have seen the pernicious development of things that are attractions in and of themselves for tourism, by tourism and about tourism, not as supports to experiencing the parks. That is what we must stop, and the best example of that is the shopping mall that calls itself "Banff's Great Indoors."

Senator Banks: Can you give another example?

Mr. Locke: I am not a big fan of convention centres that bring in General Motors to have a meeting about car parts. Why are they doing that in a national park?

Senator Banks: They want a nature experience.

Mr. Locke: No, they do not; they want a business experience and they want that experience in a luxurious setting. They can do that at Château Montebello or in St. Andrews. They do not need to do it in Banff National Park.

Senator Banks: That is true; however, you would be hard pressed to find someone who flew to Banff from Japan because they thought they would get a good deal on a Rolex watch.

Mr. Locke: I think the Japanese always come for a nature-based experience. I do not think that they are part of the category that I am speaking about. I believe the Germans come for nature, the English come for nature, and most Canadians come for nature. It is a small group that comes for something else. It is not about ethnicity or origins. In fact, if you look at where people come from and you look at the user surveys of the park, you see that every category shows that nature is what they want.

Senator Banks: CPAWS must have many opinions about this, because you have obviously done a great deal of thinking about the issue. What kinds of human uses existing in the park at the present time are not appropriate? Are there recreational uses that now exist that should not be there?

Mr. Locke: We are not doing badly on the appropriateness of recreation use. It is getting better. I will give an example of one that was banned 20 years ago. The snowmobile was banned 20 years ago. That is an example of an inappropriate recreational use. I believe Waterton Lakes National Park has banned jet skis. That is an appropriate banning of an inappropriate recreational use. Those are good decisions.

Again, people come to parks to experience nature, to have some sense of solitude, peace and quiet, and to see wildlife. Those inappropriate recreational uses are contrary to such things existing. The chair lift at Lake Louise, which is euphemistically called the Lake Louise gondola, is a good example of an inappropriate use. It has not actually been running for many years because it was mothballed a long time ago, and they changed their operation and moved it up the hill, where they are causing big problems for bears. That attraction was designed to draw people to the chair lift and the shopping facilities. It is not an adjunct to nature; it is marketed as an attraction.

I will differentiate that from another ski hill that, incidentally, has nature-based facilities. At the Sunshine ski hill there is a reason to go hiking. The place has exceptional hiking. We do not oppose some summer use at Sunshine because hiking is a legitimate summer recreational activity in that area since nature is laid out for that. If you were a park visitor you would enjoy that experience, as I did this summer.

On the other hand, if you go to the Lake Louise facility for summer use, you go there to use their chair lift, period. It is about the chair lift; the experience is focused on the chair lift and is designed to generate off-season revenue. It is not an experience focused on nature. That is an inappropriate use. The ski hill can be a ski hill, because we have decided we have ski hills. Ski hills run in the winter; they do not run in the summer.

Senator Banks: What is your view on the operation of a chalet at Maligne Lake?

Mr. Locke: The Maligne Lake chalet is not an overnight facility, and that is a very good thing. It is a facility many people use. It could be improved. The biggest issue around winter use in Maligne Lake is the caribou range there. Whether it should it be running in the winter is a good question. Perhaps it should not, because the caribou need to use that valley. In the summer it is okay. It is mostly a summer facility and it was developed as such.

There are serious issues around caribou in Maligne Valley in the winter. The caribou are in real trouble. The mountain caribou that use our national parks are in very serious trouble, and that is not so much because of the way we are running our parks as it is because of what is going on around them. The caribou in Alberta are in serious trouble generally; therefore, we must be very careful.

Senator Banks: Caribou as distinct from elk.

Mr. Locke: The elk are not doing badly. In some cases the elk are a problem because they get away from carnivores. That is why we need to ensure good carnivore habitat to keep the elk honest.

Senator Banks: I know that all generalizations are wrong by definition, but would it be fair to say that, in the main, CPAWS is saying in effect that we must stop expanding tourist facilities, the various footprints that exist, and we must run what is there more appropriately, but we do not want to start tearing down hotels and pylons for ski lifts? Is that a fair characterization?

Mr. Locke: In the main, that is our position. We are very adamant that the Banff airstrip be removed, because it was right in the way of the functioning of the valley. We think much can be done with retrofitting and improvement. You have it right: our position is that we should not make it bigger and we should fix what we have done wrong.

Senator Banks: If I were a business owner in Banff operating reasonably and responsibly, would I have anything to fear from CPAWS?

Mr. Locke: No, you would have nothing to fear and lots to profit from, because if the park is healthy your visitors will be happier.

The Chairman: I recall that when we did our swing through the western parks there was a huge problem at Waterton, but not just there, and that was the park surroundings. At the time, we suggested easements for the ranchers. I am not sure it has to do with this bill -- I do not think there is anything in this bill for that purpose -- but could you give us some idea of what you have been doing in terms of the areas adjacent to the parks? It is a big problem, for example, at Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba. Can you tell me whether things have improved since then, and what improvement there has been since this committee visited that area?

Mr. Locke: There is a bit of good news from around Waterton Lakes National Park, in an area they call the Waterton Front, which is the area where the grasslands meet the mountains. It is one of the most beautiful places in our country. Many ranchers have done conservation easements on their land with the nature conservancy. I actually had the privilege of representing 45 of those ranchers in a hearing a few years ago. They retained me when I was still practising law to help them prevent a big resort subdivision from going in what they called the Waterton Homestead Campground. My clients were basically everyone in the neighbourhood except the person who wanted to build the resort. The ranchers around there really love that park and they are trying to manage their land to keep it intact. It is actually a pretty good news story. However, there is a large amount of work to be done on the other side of the Waterton Park, in the Flathead drainage where logging continues, and work needs to be done there. I am working hard on that issue.

The Chairman: If I recall, many of those ranchers used to be outside of Calgary and left because it got too urban.

Mr. Locke: Some of those ranchers are from Millarville, which is an area southwest of Calgary that has been transformed into acreages. The land values have gone through the roof, and the acreages have become untenable to ranch because Calgary has become such a big city and Millarville is a beautiful area. Some of them moved down there to have big intact pieces of land that they could ranch, and they liked the intactness. I am actually pretty encouraged that that is an example.

To swing back to the question of money, we need more money in the parks system to deal with such questions, and we need a pot of money in the parks system to deal with issues around the parks so that we can invest in easements and that sort of thing.

Mr. Hazell: The specific agenda item that we are pushing here in Ottawa is the idea of an independent foundation that could do this ecological restoration adjacent to national parks to facilitate in all sorts of ways what Parks Canada cannot accomplish on its own or what governments generally cannot accomplish on their own. It must be a community-based thing -- an initiative of people who want to protect the ecological integrity of that area close to the park.

The Chairman: Is there any other tax or fiscal financial legislation that might help the situation?

Mr. Locke: You could do a couple of things. You could make conservation easement donations much more attractive. Some progress was made in the last budget.

The Chairman: Do you have any information on that?

Mr. Locke: I would defer to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. They have worked on this thoroughly, and they have a very thoughtful position document. They have evaluated what the tax system can do to help the question of voluntary nature protection.

The Chairman: Do you have any further comments?

Mr. Locke: Five years ago this committee came to Banff and issued a very thoughtful report. The bill in front of you is a reflection of what you suggested in your report. I cannot tell you how important it is to us that this bill happen be passed quickly. It has been a long time coming. Bill C-27 is the best piece of such legislation anywhere in the world that I know of, and I pay attention to these things. Sure, we can improve the fiscal position and everything else, but on behalf of our 20,000 members we implore you to pass the bill.

The Chairman: We hear you. Thank you so much for coming.

Our next agenda item is the clause-by-clause consideration of Bill S-20. Before I start into the clause by clause, I think we would be remiss if we did not congratulate Senator Kenny for what I think is a virtuoso performance.

Senator Kenny: Madam Chair, I take issue with that. It was a team effort and a very impressive effort.

The Chairman: I was going to conclude by saying that it is our privilege to be associated with this bill. Let us get on with the job here.

Senator Kenny: Thank you; that is very kind. It was a team effort that extends to this committee and beyond to many others who have helped.

The Chairman: Yes, that I do know.

The committee agrees to move to clause-by-clause consideration.

Honourable senators, is it agreed that the title stand?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Honourable senators, is it agreed that the preamble stand?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Honourable senators, is it agreed that clause 1 stand?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Honourable senators, is it agreed that clauses 2 to 5 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Honourable senators, is it agreed that clauses 6 to 26 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Honourable senators, is it agreed that clauses 27 to 33 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Honourable senators, is it agreed that clauses 34 to 42 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Honourable senators, is it agreed that clauses 43 to 46 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Honourable senators, is it agreed that clause 1 carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Honourable senators, is it agreed that the preamble carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Honourable senators, is it agreed that the title carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Honourable senators, is it agreed that the bill carry?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Honourable senators, is it agreed that I report this bill as adopted to the Senate?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The committee adjourned.