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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Fisheries

Issue 21 - Evidence


OTTAWA, Tuesday, June 11, 2002

The Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries met this day at 7:06 p.m. to examine matters relating to oceans and fisheries.

Senator Gerald J. Comeau (Chairman) in the Chair.

[English]

The Chairman: We are continuing with our examination of matters mainly related to habitat, as well as the fisheries and the fishing industry. Tonight, we are very fortunate to have two witnesses, Mr. McLean and Mr. Harris, from the Canadian Wildlife Service. We are pleased to have you appear before us and give us your ideas.

I understand you have an opening statement, after which we will get on to the fun part, which will be question and answer.

Mr. Robert McLean, Director, Wildlife Conservation, Environment Canada: Thank you for the opportunity to come before you and discuss the efforts being made by the conservation community to protect Canada's marine and aquatic habitat resources. This is a subject dear to my heart, and one that I love to talk about, so I am truly pleased with your interest in this important topic.

My presentation today will include many specific examples of the type of work that Environment Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service carry out, support and fund. I would like to start with an overview of our approach to habitat conservation.

Canada has a multi-tiered system of government, with assigned constitutional jurisdictions, and hundreds of pieces of legislation, policies and programs in the environmental field alone. Canada has many agencies and organizations — both government and non-government — that strive in their own ways to work towards environmental conservation. The dedication and capacity they add to government efforts is one of the greatest strengths of the conservation community in Canada.

However, because of the number of fingers in the conservation pie, it is all too easy for us to unknowingly duplicate effort and ultimately end up competing for scarce financial resources. The result is that the whole is sometimes less than the sum of the parts.

There is only one landscape, or one seascape, in which we all live. We all expect it to be managed to sustain livelihoods, maintain ecological health, and provide for our cultural and social needs. How do we best manage this situation? How do we move from thousands of random acts of habitat conservation to a thousand coordinated acts?

We need to step back occasionally and analyse who is doing what and how the strengths of our organizations can be best applied to environmental conservation. This is where Environment Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service play an important role. We call it ``enabling conservation'' — providing a stable foundation, fundamental tools and removing barriers to conservation.

At the Canadian Wildlife Service, we strongly believe that all of the different jurisdictions, various pieces of legislation, programs and pots of money are just tools in the toolbox of habitat conservation. Like any good carpenter building a house, we need to use the right tool for the job, and we need to make sure that all of the jobs we do are part of the blueprint.

The concept of a blueprint for conservation is what we call ``conservation by design.'' It is essential for all of us to pause, step back and collectively develop conservation designs at a regional scale, allowing each partner to see themselves in the roles for which they are best suited.

By adopting this approach, energy and funds are maximized, duplication is minimized, and each partner has a clear idea of what is expected of them. By taking this approach, we move away from artificial borders between ``fish habitat'' and ``wildlife habitat'' and begin to simply manage habitat as the integrated system that it is.

As Canada's national wildlife agency, the Canadian Wildlife Service considers leadership on this concept to be part of our mission, to unleash and focus the potential of communities and citizens to be the actual on-the-ground agents of conservation in Canada.

We make decisions every day at the Canadian Wildlife Service. In making those decisions, we are always thinking strategically so we continue to evolve, both in how we organize ourselves and the programs we fund, into a national organization that is the best it can be, one that plays a significant coordinating role in habitat conservation.

We are doing this in three ways.

[Translation]

The first is through strategic, targeted, direct protection of species at risk and crucial wildlife habitats across Canada. Some of the tools we use are: the proposed Species at Risk Act (SARA), and the critical habitat protection provisions it contains. Despite what critics of the bill say, SARA will be an enormous help for us in protecting critical habitat. It will give us tools to work more effectively with other governments and stakeholders; securing protected areas such as national wildlife areas, including marine national wildlife areas, and migratory birds sanctuaries; the Habitat Stewardship Program provides a framework to work directly with partners and community groups all across Canada. Species, habitats and entire landscapes and seascapes are benefiting from this program, as you will see in a few moments.

[English]

The second is by providing seminal information and science that informs and directs habitat conservation across Canada. Examples include habitat status and trend indicators; population assessments of migratory birds and species at risk; supplying habitat mapping and species knowledge for landscape planning and coastal planning; habitat modelling science; and public education and awareness activities.

Finally, the third way we enable conservation is through representation, at the national level, of conservation goals and concerns with key industrial sectors that affect habitat. We are active in the agricultural sector and the forestry sector, and we work closely with professionals in the urban development community.

Now that I have given you a brief overview of the conservation framework under which we operate, I would like to highlight some specific examples. I have deliberately chosen a wide range of conservation activities that the CWS is involved in or supports, from the establishment of a high-profile national wildlife area to a project to clean up riverbanks in Manitoba. I hope this illustrates the many different types of activities — large and small — that make up a good conservation strategy.

The examples I have selected all have an aquatic flavour. I will start on the West Coast and move to the East.

On the West Coast is the Scott Islands Marine National Wildlife Area. The first example I would like to tell you about is the establishment of a marine national wildlife area, or MNWA, off northern Vancouver Island. The Canadian Wildlife Service has begun a process to identify and designate a MNWA in the area around Scott Islands, which sustain the largest and most diverse assemblage of breeding seabirds in the Eastern Pacific. The populations of birds on and around these islands have international and national significance.

The proposed Scott Islands Marine National Wildlife Area will be designated under the Canada Wildlife Act and will likely be the first formal MNWA designated by CWS.

The MNWA will protect the essential feeding areas that support not only these breeding populations but also other migratory birds using this region. This is an excellent example of federal-provincial-First Nations cooperation to protect crucial habitat areas. The terrestrial habitat on the Scott Islands is protected under provincial legislation, while federal legislation will be used to protect the marine habitat. We are working to complete this initiative by fall 2003.

An increasing number of stakeholders are creating tremendous pressure upon the marine habitat located in the coastal waters of British Columbia, in and around the North Island Straits. The federal and provincial governments have recognized the need for marine planning to determine the types of activities that should be allowed in various locations along the coast.

The Province of British Columbia is leading the North Island Straits Marine Planning Initiative. The plan will identify suitable marine areas for marine use zoning. This will include aquaculture siting, log handling facilities, ecotourism and aggregate extraction.

The Canadian Wildlife Service has developed a GIS-based custom planning tool that integrates our seabird database, our protected areas and critical habitat database, and our coastal waterfowl database. This tool is being made available to the B.C. government, which will use it to identify bird-breeding sites, marine areas used for foraging, staging or resting, and seasonal concentrations of migratory bird species.

By providing this information, which is both credible and defensible, the impact of marine area siting decisions on migratory birds will be minimized. This planning tool is also available for use along any portion of the B.C. coast.

Moving to the Prairies now, I would like to highlight Environment Canada's Ecoaction Community Funding Program. Ecoaction is an initiative designed to help locally based non-profit organizations undertake environmental projects and leverage non-government funding for those projects.

In February, Environment Minister David Anderson announced $2.1 million in funding for 65 environmental projects in communities across Canada. The three Prairie Provinces received more than half a million dollars in funding from the Ecoaction Community Funding Program.

Successful projects in Saskatchewan include an invasive species control and eradication project, a water quality risk assessment and decontamination project in the Weyburn-Estevan area, the development of a wildlife sanctuary, and a Prairie habitat restoration project.

In Alberta, the Gift Lake ``People for Community'' group and the Gift Lake Metis settlement will undertake a comprehensive clean-up project to remove residential waste along the areas of the Gift River, Long Lake, Gift Lake and Little Whitefish Lake.

In Manitoba, an innovative project involves environmental education and a call to action in which teachers and students will develop a variety of activities surrounding local wetlands. Students will research the issues surrounding the role that healthy wetlands play in contributing to clean water within their own community. Along with teachers, students will be encouraged to visit a wetland site to conduct research and then submit their results, findings and projects. They will have the opportunity to discuss their findings online with experts. Students will be asked to become ``wetlands winners'' and do something positive in their own community to make their wetland healthier. This could include activities such as cleaning up a wetland, removing purple loosestrife, or adding nesting boxes, feeders or loafing logs.

Moving east to Ontario and Quebec, I would like to specifically highlight the habitat stewardship program. HSP, as we call it, is a national program that was launched in 2000 and is managed cooperatively by Environment Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and Parks Canada.

The main goal of the HSP is to protect habitat and contribute to the recovery of species listed as endangered, threatened or of special concern through community action. The HSP is an important part of the Canadian strategy for the protection of species at risk, and the Government of Canada has allocated $45 million to the habitat stewardship program over five years.

In the program's first year, 2000-01, $5 million was distributed to 70 partners. In the second year, the program was significantly expanded with $10 million going to about 150 projects in all regions of the country. Every major ecosystem is represented. Minister Anderson announced funding for the third year of the program earlier this month. Another 166 projects will share $10 million in funding.

There are many excellent projects under the HSP. I would like to highlight a few of them.

The Sydenham River recovery project in Southwestern Ontario received $152,000 this year as part of a continuing effort in which stewardship projects are initiated with landowners whose properties are located on parts of the Sydenham River where endangered species are found.

A number of demonstration projects have been set up to profile alternate pasturing options designed to keep pasture cattle out of the river. This reduces soil erosion and nutrient contamination, thereby improving water quality and aquatic wild life habitat. Projects funded last year included solar-powered water pumps for pasture cattle and installing water crossings for cattle.

[Translation]

Thirty-six HSP projects, with a dollar value of $1.6 million, are being funded in Quebec this year. Most of the projects are located in three ecoregions: the St. Lawrence lowlands, the Appalachian area, and the estuary and Gulf of the St. Lawrence River. These regions were selected because of the heavy pressure on habitats there, the urgent need for action and the fact that most of Quebec's endangered species are found there.

The projects vary in nature. Some are geared to protecting landscapes, such as the conservation of the Appalachian corridor in the area of Mount Sutton. Others protect shoreline habitats, such as on the Baie de Saint-Augustin on the outskirts of Quebec City.

Other projects still are designed to protect the habitat of rare wildlife species, such as the wood turtle or Bicknell's thrush, or flora such as ginseng.

Projects that protect marine species, including the beluga whale, the harbour porpoise and the hump-back whale have also received funding. To date, some 65 of Quebec listed species have benefited from the Habitat Stewardship Program for species at risk.

While I have only discussed the scope of the HSP in Quebec, it is a national program, with projects in every region of the country. I have a similar breakdown of the dollar value of projects, the number of projects and the number of species that have benefited for each region, if you would like them.

The Chairman: Perhaps you could send us that information.

Mr. McLean: Certainly.

[English]

Environment Canada has been very active in Atlantic Canada for many years enabling action at the community level. I have two examples from Atlantic Canada — one quite broad, and one quite local.

In 1991, faced with an urgent need to restore damaged coastal environments, Environment Canada initiated ACAP, the Atlantic Coastal Action Plan, to mobilize local communities to address their own environmental and developmental challenges.

ACAP is a community-based program that relies on local involvement and support at 14 sites across Atlantic Canada — two in Newfoundland, two in Prince Edward Island, five in Nova Scotia and five in New Brunswick.

Each site has incorporated non-profit organization with its own board of directors. Each site maintains a full-time paid coordinator and an office. Environment Canada contributes to project funding but community stakeholders contribute most of the resources through volunteer labour, incoming contributions and financial support.

ACAP helps communities define common objectives for environmentally appropriate uses of the resources and develop plans and strategies to achieve them. The fundamental basis for ACAP is the recognition that local communities are the best and most effective proponents for effective action leading to sustainable development.

The local example involves the Sackville River in Nova Scotia. It once had abundant Atlantic salmon and brook trout. Over the years, as development occurred along the river and the area became more urbanized, the trout and salmon disappeared from the river.

To help reverse the destruction and degradation of the river, approximately 1,600 metres of salmon spawning and rearing habitat was restored. This involved installing in-stream structures, including digger logs and deflectors.

Forty-three in-stream structures were built to specification and put in place. Inmates from the Halifax Correctional Centre helped to install them. Members of the Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corps and the Human Resources Development Canada Section 25 Program helped with the installation and maintenance of the digger log structures.

Population estimates in sections of the watershed were completed to determine if salmon spawning and rearing habitat had in fact been restored. So far, the results look good. Salmon have been seen in parts of the river where the restoration work was carried out. It is estimated that 233 adult salmon on the Sackville River were captured and released by the river's counting fence. These results show that efforts are having a positive impact on the river and in restoring salmon populations.

I would like to include one last example, just to prove that good things can happen in Ottawa too. That example is the National Wetlands Inventory and Classification Project. The Canadian Wildlife Service is leading the development of a national wetlands inventory and classification project. Our partner in this exciting initiative is the Canada Space Agency. We are using Canadian Landsat and RADARSAT, remote sensing imagery, to find wetlands, map them and classify their content and characteristics.

Once this project is implemented at the national level, this technology will allow for a complete assessment of Canada's enormous volume of wetlands ecosystems and allow us to detect trends in those sensitive ecosystems as they react to human induced changes in the environment.

I could go on for hours telling you about all of the exciting projects in which the Canadian Wildlife Service and Environment Canada are involved but I will stop here.

I have selected just a few examples of our support to conservation across the country. There are literally hundreds from fundamental science development and space-based remote sensing down to streamside restoration of habitat. I hope that I have been able to give you a flavour of what we do and our philosophical approach to doing it.

I thank you for your invitation and time, and welcome any questions you may have.

The Chairman: I appreciate the presentation, Mr. McLean. I would like one quick clarification. You noted that it looked as if some salmon and trout might be returning to the Sackville River. Was this natural? Did salmon actually go back to the river without having to give the signature to be reintroduced?

Mr. McLean: It is natural, but I will turn to Mr. Harris.

Mr. Ken Harris, Chief, Habitat Conservation Division, Environment Canada: So far, they have been natural returnees. They were not stocked as fingerlings or fry.

The Chairman: They might have been going to some other river for years.

Mr. Harris: They could be from a stock that originally used the Sackville River and had moved to a secondary habitat because of the condition of the river and then came back.

The Chairman: Thank you.

Senator Cook: I am a Newfoundlander, if you have not gathered by the accent. My first introduction to conservation and the environment was in 1969 when I did an outdoor project at the Albion Hills Conservation Area run by the University of Toronto. Living on an island in Newfoundland and looking at the problems that were becoming apparent in 1969 were completely foreign to me.

I saw my first sewage treatment plant in 1969. I would like to zero in on ACAP in St. John's harbour. I jumped 30- odd years or more.

I am interested in the list of 14 initiatives that you have here. I am wondering, from a dollar perspective, do you have any evidence-based information on measurable outcomes? What have you received from your investment money from those initiatives? I would be interested in hearing about them.

What are the two projects in Newfoundland? Perhaps you could tell me.

Mr. McLean: I would have to double-check on the particular project. We have a number of projects that are ongoing in Newfoundland. Since 1986, we have had a program called the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. We have used a community-based approach in Newfoundland as a primary implementation approach. We also have projects under the habitat stewardship program that I described. I expect that, in partnership with the province, there would be other projects on the go. I would have to double-check on the particular project, and why we are doing it.

Senator Cook: Would you be working in partnership with the provincial governments in each province then, in addition to the people of the land, if you would?

Mr. McLean: Maybe I am biased. However, I believe we have enormously successful partnerships with the provinces and territories.

The North American Waterfowl Management Plan is, by definition, focused on waterfowl and particular habitats for waterfowl. We are trying to broaden that into an all-bird, all-habitats program called the North American Bird Conservation Initiative.

I have some numbers that I could share with you in terms of the relative contributions of the partners in this particular program. We receive a significant amount of funding from the United States. I will run through the numbers for 2001. These numbers are not complete. The contributions from Canadian partners will grow. We are still gathering the data.

In 2001, the U.S. federal government, primarily through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, provided $28.4 million for habitat conservation in Canada. U.S. non-government partners provided $32 million, for a total of over $60 million Canadian provided from the United States to Canada. The Canadian federal contribution was nearly $10 million. The provincial contribution was nearly $9 million. The provinces are significant partners. Finally, Canadian non- governmental organizations provided $4 million. Those Canadian numbers will definitely go up.

Over the life of the program, we spent over $700 million from all of those sources on waterfowl and bird habitat conservation. That shows me the strength of the partnership. The federal contribution to that program is only $115 million. There is tremendous leverage happening through this. That is a demonstration of the strength of the partnership.

Senator Cook: This study in which we are engaged at present addresses maritime habitat more than the land. Are there any maritime habitat programs in the schools? How much of this activity is actually curriculum-based?

If we are to change this planet around, the next generation will be the group to do it. Continuing education awareness is great, but we must get into the classroom. What would be your opinion in that regard?

Mr. McLean: I could not agree more. There are programs such as Project WILD that provide information at the school level. More must be done both in terms of the elementary and high school curricula, but also through faculties of education to bring stewardship and sustainability ideas to the educators, so that these subjects would be part of the curriculum as well as part of the training that teachers receive.

Environment Canada has been engaged with the species at risk legislation. In the early versions, where we did not give enough recognition to stewardship, we have spent a significant amount of time in the last few years dealing with stewardship, emerging through that stewardship process. In addition to the program I described, we have been working with other federal departments, the provinces and territories and non-government groups on something we are calling Canada's Stewardship Agenda. We have identified a number of needs through that.

This is a broad, collective partnership. We had some consultations last year through the voluntary sector initiative, which involved a couple of hundred organizations, if I recall correctly, representing over 700,000 Canadians. The education you speak about emerges as one of those priority issues. We are doing something, but it is equally fair to say that more needs to be done at the school level.

Mr. Harris: Prior to joining the federal government, I spent 13 years with the Government of Ontario in the Ministry of National Resources. I was the Project WILD leader. Project WILD was exactly what you described; it was designed for integration into the curriculum. For example, they do not have an hour in classroom teaching about the environment; they are teaching math, art and English. However there is an environmental theme in doing so — it is almost subliminal. While they are learning and graphing, they are actually graphing the response of the deer population to hunting and so forth.

It is a tremendously well-designed program. It always brought home to me, as a biologist, the fundamentals so well of what the universities teach us at a much higher level.

Project WILD still exists. It has fallen into disuse to some extent. Although the Canadian Wildlife Federation and the Ontario ministry created the source materials, the delivery mechanisms were provincial resource management agencies and their staff, including people like me when I was a field biologist. We were glad to do it, but it was piggy- backed upon our normal jobs.

Perhaps in the late 1970s and early 1980s we had the time and the bench strength to do that. However, as finances and other things caught up to us at the provincial level we could not deliver. It fell off the end of the table. It was a ``nice to do thing,'' not a ``need to do thing,'' at least it was considered that way.

I hold out a hope that Project WILD or something like it will be resurrected at some point. Project WILD did have spin-offs that were also tremendous tools for teaching children, and integrated into the school curriculum. It was a tragedy to see them get downplayed the way they were. This was strictly a resourcing issue at the provincial level.

Senator Cook: How do you see the environment becoming integrated into an educational system? I come from the thought process that if we are to do things differently, if we are to fish differently, if we are to have aquaculture, and look at the sea as a resource through a different kind of lens, surely the first step will be to look at the curriculum in schools.

Mr. Harris: Absolutely. I am a critic of the way biology — using the term loosely — has been taught in the Canadian school system. The internal workings of a frog are kind of neat, but they are probably not all that useful to the average citizen once they become a non-biologist.

Undoubtedly the most vital piece of knowledge you can give children who go on to become things other than biologists in their professional lives is a knowledge of how species relate to each other, to human beings and their habitat — ecology, not biology. We have done a tremendously poor job of teaching that. We do not teach children about what is good and bad development, you teach them the facts and let them draw their conclusions. Project WILD was very good at that.

Honourable senators must realize that within the education system in Canada, teachers are under tremendous pressure to incorporate this, that and the other thing into their curriculum. There are only so many hours in the day.

My preferred solution was the approach that Project WILD and its companion programs took. Do not ask a teacher to carve out an hour a week to teach ecology. While they are teaching graphing, equations, arts, drama or any of the core curriculum, they use a theme and source material that also teaches ecological principles.

Senator Cook: From an Atlantic provinces' perspective, if we do not look at our young people in the educational system, how will they manage the environment and marine habitat properly?

We run into problems now with aquaculture sites. We do not know. That is one part of an industry, muscle farming and whatever.

In some way we must obtain a curriculum-based approach to the environment.

Mr. McLean: In addition to the curriculum, the kind of issue you raise in your last comment, we speak about conservation by design. We need to be able to bring much better information to the table, to the state of the debate on what is happening to habitat. What is its status and trend?

A question was asked earlier if we know whether we are making a difference? We do track the number of acres we protect, however, we need more complete information on what is happening to the landscape. Then we can begin to predict. If we are to put an aquaculture operation in this place along the Newfoundland coast, what does that mean for the species? Mr. Harris spoke about species interaction and the interaction between species and their habitat. We need better information to make predictions.

In addition to what is happening in the schools, we also need to provide decision-makers with much better information on what I would characterize as the implications of their actions or their decisions. Often we make the decisions and determine the results afterwards. If we could begin to be a little more predictive, I think we could anticipate problems and avoid them.

Senator Cook: Perhaps the community colleges could begin to take up some of the slack. People get into the business and do not really understand it. They start up with a government grant and pump a whole lot of money into it, and all of a sudden they realize they do not really know how to do it.

Senator Robertson: Your presentation is refreshing. It has been a while. I had contact with the Canadian Wildlife Service back a few years ago with wildlife habitat. It was always a pleasure. The advice and the cooperation you gave were always wonderful.

Senator Cook spoke briefly about the harbour at St. John's. I do not mean to be too parochial, but are you familiar with the problems of the Petitcodiac River? Has your division been involved with the Petitcodiac?

Mr. Harris: I do not believe so. I have only been in the Wildlife Services since January, but certainly not that it has reached our ears in Ottawa. It has been largely Fisheries and Oceans that dealt with it.

Senator Robertson: They are just launching another environmental assessment process. They cut a causeway across the Petitcodiac River, which had a magnificent tidal bore at one point. This has stopped. Then the City of Moncton beautifully constructed a humungous dump right on the banks of the Petitcodiac River, and a lot of leaching was going on into the river. They want to tear out the causeway, but some of us are worried about how to protect the water from the leaching. You have not been involved in that to this point?

Mr. Harris: Not to my knowledge, other than to say I had some awareness of it when I was with Fisheries and Oceans. It is one of those examples of cascading environmental issues caused, one could almost say, by a misguided approach to a problem based on the assumptions of the time. All the cascading habitat degradation affects the sediment loading in the outer bay and has other ecological effects. It is one of those things where something fairly simple was done — and they thought it was the right thing at the time — but it has unleashed a whole range of things. There are many examples of that in Canada.

Senator Robertson: It was just altogether dreadful.

I was pleased to see that the money from the Americans is still coming in. That is mostly out west, is it not? Is it being spent out there, or is some coming east to the habitat?

Mr. McLean: We are increasing the investment in Eastern Canada. I think that is one of the key benefits of evolving from a focus on waterfowl to a focus on all birds and all habitats. For example, in Eastern Canada we had a $200,000 project in the Bay of Fundy that focused primarily on shorebirds.

The legislation that provides the U.S. government funding to which I alluded is being re-authorized, and the current version of the bill would essentially reduce by half the funding that is being provided to Canada. That legislation has not completed the House, the Congress and the Senate processes in the United States. However, it does have some amendments that could see a relatively significant reduction in the amount of funding coming to Canada.

The Canadian position has been not to bog down in what percentage of money should go to Canada, the United States, or Mexico, but rather aim to provide stable funding to the countries involved and all of us working as hard as we can to increase funding for habitat conservation in each of our three countries.

Senator Robertson: I would like you to explain to the committee the program that they developed out west parallel to the American work done out in their farming country in particular, because it is quite interesting and has been rather successful.

The Americans have been more successful, in a sense, than we because they pay their farming community — or they used to pay their farming community — through that protective planning around water sources in the farming areas. It would take away some of the farming land but would give the population, especially the waterfowl, an opportunity to rest.

The way they included that in the financing was fascinating. You might find it interesting, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. McLean: Cows and Fish is an example of the kind of habitat conservation restoration process that makes a big difference ecologically, for habitat conservation and water conservation and soil conservation.

I had the pleasure of serving as a member of the Prairie Habitat Joint Venture, a federal-provincial non-government organization partnership that delivers this North American Waterfowl Management Plan and North American Bird Conservation Bird Initiative to which I alluded. The approach that we have taken is that it is not just good enough to conserve the wetland, but you have to also conserve the uplands around the wetland to get the benefit across a number of fronts — certainly for the waterfowl that were the original target of the North American Waterfowl Management plan.

One difference between Canada and the United States is the farm bill in the United States, which has a number of habitat conservation elements or programs, including the wetland reserve program and the conservation cover program, the wildlife habitat investment program, and several others. All of these are switching land use in prairie United States from an annual crop approach to what you could call a permanent cover. It is not completely removed from production. The vast hectares of cover that have been put out on the prairie landscape now show up in terms of the number of waterfowl that are breeding for the first time literally in one hundred years.

In the last two or three years, the United States prairies are producing more waterfowl than the Canadian prairies. The Canadian prairies had always produced far more waterfowl. It is an example of how a government program can have a significant impact.

Ducks Unlimited Canada is one of the major partners in this program and has been advocating and encouraging a conservation cover incentive program. There needs to be more discussion between the conservation community and the agriculture community on what I would call the program design, but that is something that we need to deal with on a provincial, local or prairie regional scale rather than being too specific here in Ottawa on what such a program might include. There is no funding for that program, but it is very clear from the experience in the United States that that kind of program can make a big difference.

The final comment I would make on this example is that it shows that working with those other sectors, the agriculture and forest sectors, and influencing their programs, can make a big difference to the environmental conservation community. We can achieve our waterfowl and, indeed, fish habitat objectives by working quite closely with a department like Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, should a conservation cover incentive program ever be funded.

Senator Robertson: To go back to the Department of Fisheries, if I may, Environment Canada is responsible for pollution prevention measures in the Fisheries Act. How do the DFO and Environment Canada coordinate and consult in regard to pollution? Perhaps it might be easier for us to understand if you could provide us with an example of how that cooperation develops and matures.

Mr. Harris: First, the enforcement of section 36 is a part of Environment Canada that is not the Canadian Wildlife Service but what they call the Environmental Protection Service. I am speaking out of corporate turn since it is not directly our job. Under section 36 of the Fisheries Act, the administration is delegated or is done by Environment Canada, even though the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is still responsible for it in Parliament.

It is a complex relationship, as I know it. Environment Canada has a number of different pieces of legislation for water-borne contaminants, and section 36 of the Fisheries Act is just one of them. Our officers in Environment Canada will use the right tool for the right job. While there might be a violation of section 36 of the Fisheries Act on a site, Environment Canada might not use a charge under 36 to go after that problem. It might use another piece of legislation. That leads to criticism that we are not enforcing section 36, but that is not necessarily true.

The situation is variable across the country, according to the bench strength or capacity of the organizations in various places. In British Columbia, as I understand it, Fisheries and Oceans takes an active role in enforcing section 36 because they have a lot more staffing in the Pacific region than does Environment Canada has in that region, even though, technically, it is administered by Environment Canada. In Ontario, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has very little to do with section 36. The Province of Ontario does most of the legwork of section 36.

As you move from one part of the country to another, the list of players who use and enforce section 36 changes. By and large, Environment Canada concentrates its section 36 efforts on regulated industries. By that, we mean there is a general prohibition under section 36 — thou shalt not discharge deleterious substances into fish bearing waters — and it is modified by regulations for specific industries, such as pulp and paper, metal mining effluent regulations and so forth. Environment Canada, as I understand it, concentrates on those industries where regulations have been put in place, and it does the inspections on that basis.

In much of the country, the more random acts of pollution that are outside regulated industries are provincial resource management. Provincial environment ministries do much of that enforcement. For example, in the case of fish kills that are due to a random event such as manure seepage or a chlorine spill, provincial agencies, under an MOU they have with Environment Canada, do much of that enforcement. It is not a clear picture across the country.

Senator Robertson: You are giving us a clear picture of the complexity of the habitat, shall we say.

Mr. Harris: It is important to note that it is hard to get inside the minds of the people who drafted the Fisheries Act. Sections 35 and 36 were likely meant to be used in concert. One section was to protect physical fish habitat, and the other was to protect against water-borne pollution. The two were to be used in concert to protect fish in general.

Using section 36 by itself has been problematic. You are usually looking at a section 35. You could use one or the other. Working for the Province of Ontario for all those years, we always had a problem determining which section of the Fisheries Act to use in a specific case. Sometimes we used both.

The Chairman: The Fisheries Act was passed in 1868, so possibly the drafters back then might have had other thoughts in mind when they were drafting it.

Before I go on to Senator Mahovlich, you mentioned that Ducks Unlimited was involved with some of the projects that were the subject of questions from Senator Robertson. Ducks Unlimited appear before us a few weeks back. I do know that they spoke well of their partnership with you and your department. We intend to get back to them shortly on one of the questions they asked. I think they wanted us to support some kind of a motion in Parliament. That is one of the things we will be doing shortly, I hope.

Senator Mahovlich: You mentioned the projects designed to protect the habitat and rare wildlife species, and you mentioned flora and ginseng. I did not know we had wild ginseng in this country. I know they farm it in Ontario now. It is a very tricky type of farming. Do we have it in the wild?

Mr. McLean: Yes, we do. It is a species. I do not recall its status, but the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada has looked at it. North America has its own indigenous species of ginseng, which is different from that found in Asia. It is subject to international trade regulation because the species is at risk.

Senator Mahovlich: Is it correct that the ginseng they farm is probably an Asian type. I know they can only farm it for a number of years, and then the topsoil is ruined and they have to move their farms.

Mr. Harris: The ginseng produced commercially is Asiatic.

Senator Mahovlich: That is exported from this country?

Mr. Harris: The habitat of the wild ginseng is largely middle-aged deciduous forests — not something we see very often in Canada any more.

Senator Mahovlich: I never saw it in my life in Northern Ontario.

Mr. Harris: You could you trip over it and not know it is ginseng. It was harvested very heavily in the last hundred years. Its habitat conditions are very particular. As the old middle growth and old growth deciduous oak and maple forests have been cut down, it declined and was harvested at the same time. It got a double whammy.

Senator Mahovlich: With respect to the habitat stewardship program in Ontario, how many projects do we have in Ontario?

Mr. McLean: We have twenty-one projects, with an investment of $2 million, and more than 80 listed species have benefited from the projects in Ontario.

Senator Mahovlich: Eighty species have benefited from this? That is interesting.

In your brief, you say:

The Great Lakes 2000 program was launched in 1989 to fulfil Canada's commitment out of the 1972 Canada- U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. ... Eighty per cent of the pollution in the great lakes is said to originate from the United States.

Would you consider this program a success? Have contaminant levels in the Great Lakes been reduced?

Mr. McLean: I am not closely associated with that program. I am not in a position to say whether it has been a tremendous success or not, but what is good about the program is the effort to take a broader landscape level look and work throughout the Great Lakes basin on the conservation issues that confront what is a heavily developed ecosystem.

I was born and raised in London, Ontario, so I know well the kind of change that has happened to that ecosystem. In terms of strategic direction and so on, it is going in the right place, but there are additional program needs such as better information on change across the landscape and on land use, and moving to more of that predictive model. However, a great deal of work has to be done yet.

We will not achieve the ecological objectives in that landscape without the cooperative approach that we have with the United States and within the Canadian provinces that are working on it.

Senator Mahovlich: Are we heading in the right direction?

Mr. McLean: I think so. The alternatives are not clear to me. If it is not the right direction, the alternatives are not clear to me.

[Translation]

Senator Gill: My region is primarily affected by hydroelectric development work, bank works and so on.

Does Environment Canada play any role in approving or inspecting these projects — in other words through Hydro-Québec, when the construction of dams bank works is under consideration?

Mr. McLean: That responsibility rests with the Quebec government. The federal government probably has a role to play in terms of environmental assessments, but most of the responsibility rests with provincial authorities.

Senator Gill: The environmental impacts of such projects are considerable in terms of both the weather and the environment in general. Is the federal government not required to give its approval before such a project can get underway?

Mr. McLean: The Fisheries Act may provide for such approval by federal authorities, but it would depend on the circumstances.

Senator Gill: So, in the case of work being carried out in Churchill, on James Bay, for example, provincial authorities would be the ones to approve the project?

Mr. McLean: Both levels of government work together when it comes to making decisions about such projects.

[English]

Senator Gill: Is it the same thing in mining, for example? Do you not need any inspection or approval for mining to take place? For example, in the North we had a big mining exploration in all kinds of iron mines. Do you not have anything to do with that?

Mr. McLean: Mining would be different than hydroelectric development, which clearly will have an impact on fish habitat. The mining would depend on whether there was an impact on fish habitat or whether any other triggers under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act would come into play that would allow the federal government to play a role in decision making with respect to those projects.

With regard to mining, it is a bit more difficult to answer in the abstract. I believe that on the hydro example it is more evident that there would be an impact on fish habitat.

Mr. Harris: Environment Canada, as opposed to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, has a smaller regulatory role in those kinds of things. Fisheries management is a federal responsibility therefore a direct involvement of federal agencies exists.

Environment Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service have a direct regulatory role for migratory birds. If there is a migratory bird issue, with an impoundment being created by a dam or a mining project, then we would become directly involved and there might have to be a permit issued or not issued depending on the circumstances.

We would also become involved if the project triggered the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, as Mr. McLean stated. If an environmental assessment were conducted, we would be consulted, as one of the federal authorities, to see whether we had an interest or we felt the project was going to affect the environment in some way.

Outside of migratory birds and fish, most of the aspects of natural resources and environment management in Canada are provincially delegated, so the provinces have jurisdiction over them. The environment is one of those strange things in Canada that is fragmented up under the Constitution and it challenges all of us.

Senator Gill: Do you have responsibility for caribou?

Mr. McLean: Our involvement with caribou would be in regard to the Porcupine caribou herd that migrates between the Yukon and Alaska, and of course the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. The potential for oil development there is an issue in which the federal government has played a big role. In terms of other caribou populations it would definitely be provincial or territorial.

Senator Gill: Do you have anything to do with caribou moving from Quebec to Labrador?

Mr. McLean: That matter is managed cooperatively between Newfoundland and Labrador and the Province of Quebec.

Mr. Harris alluded to migratory bird habitat. We do not have the equivalent of a section 35 under the Migratory Birds Convention Act therefore we do not have regulatory authority for migratory birds. That is why we have focused so much on cooperative stewardship approaches. However, it is also why we end up not being too involved in environmental assessments. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are the big federal players when it comes to environmental assessment. It is also why Environment Canada is not overly active.

Senator Gill: You were talking about how to educate people and you were talking about schools. In regard to the engineers or architects who are responsible for big projects, is there something done to help those people understand the environmental impacts in the North or anywhere else?

Mr. McLean: Not in what I would tend to characterize as a strategic approach, but it is clear that industry sectors such as forestry, agriculture or mining are increasingly realizing that their members need to be environmentally friendly. There is tremendous variation among the sectors, in terms of how far along they are in making a constructive effort to take into consideration the environmental consequences of their development.

However, there are changes. I think the forest sector more than any other, driven in particular by the trade aspects of what they do, is much more proactive in terms of trying to understand how to manage forests for the timber production that they need and to maintain biological and ecological characteristics of an area.

The Chairman: I should note in passing that the Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development appeared before our committee a couple of months ago and did indicate there was little presence in Quebec of DFO's fish habitat and fish habitat presence in that province.

Senator Adams: I want to find out a bit more about teaching kids in the schools. Our culture is perhaps a bit changed now. When I was a child, we lived mostly out on the land. Things have changed after 60 years; Arctic communities have changed. Much of the time the people who live there are a bit confused. People who do not live in the North come and tell us how the habitat is being damaged.

Last month I went up to Rankin Inlet by skidoo and travelled over 800 miles. That is how we live. Often the wildlife management people will come up to the North, count the caribou from their helicopters and tell us that their numbers are decreasing. They also tell us that the polar bears are becoming extinct. We fish in the ocean and people in our communities say there are many polar bears. I saw more last year than the year before, and they have more this year, yet the wildlife people are telling us there are not as many. Sometimes this causes confusion for the people living in the Northern communities.

I am a hunter. In the schools, they are more concerned about teaching kids about the environment and about the animals. Your brief does not mention Nunavut Territory in the Arctic. Are you more concerned about the southern areas of Canada?

Mr. McLean: No, in fact, we are not. Certainly, under the Habitats Stewardship Program for species at risk, there are projects in Northern Canada that are particularly focused on some of the marine mammals. I do not have a list of the projects in front of me, but we are active there.

The other area where we are active is the wildlife management boards. The Canadian Wildlife Service, for various reasons, has had a good and constructive relationship with Aboriginal people throughout Canada. For us, a hallmark of that relationship would be the amendments we made to the Migratory Birds Convention in the late 1990s. We amended that 1916 agreement in negotiations with the United States. We had Aboriginal people at the table as part of the Canadian negotiating team to affect those changes, which recognize and provide year-round access by Aboriginal people to migratory birds.

In terms of implementation approaches, the wildlife management boards in the North are the model. It is that kind of partnership to which I alluded in my remarks, whereby people get together federally, territorially and in the communities to make decisions about wildlife population management.

We have stated clearly to the wildlife management boards, when it comes to habitat under the species at risk legislation, that the mechanism we will turn to for that cooperative work will be those wildlife management boards. They are in place and they work; there is no reason why habitat cannot be done through those mechanisms as well as decisions about harvest, wildlife and marine mammal population management.

Senator Adams: This year with the weather, the mammals and other species have delayed heading north — spring migration. Last year it happened May 20 and this year, it happened June 10. That is one-month difference. I was talking to some of my friends and some of the geese and snow geese are just nesting now. They are dropping eggs in the snow.

Some times it happens because of the weather. Just about one month ago, we had 120 kph winds when the geese were coming in. The wind could blow them back down south. I want to make sure that people are not adding to the harm that can be caused by the environment and the changing weather patterns et cetera. I have never seen such a wind around the middle of May. We have to balance everything for wildlife management. In the meantime, they even have grizzly bears mixing with the polar bears in the Arctic. At one of the copper mines, they have a problem with grizzlies that have been coming north. Everything has started to change; these things did not happen 20 years ago.

Mr. McLean: There are certainly more variations in terms of the climate. You know that better than I do because you come from there. It is important that we maintain our monitoring programs for waterfowl. We have everything from annual harvest surveys to monitoring of breeding pairs in the spring. We monitor the wetland quality and the populations to make good decisions about waterfowl harvest.

One of the hidden success stories over the last nearly 100 years in the conservation field is the Migratory Birds Convention that we share with the United States. Imagine trying to manage these species that migrate from the furthest regions of Northern Canada to the Southern United States and Mexico we have been managing that harvest cooperatively since 1916, when that international agreement was signed.

I am no waterfowl or goose expert, but our biologists have told me that geese have adapted to those highly variable conditions in the Arctic. In fact, they have adapted for those years when there is almost no production. They have adapted in such a way that they can withstand those conditions for a couple of years. Clearly, you cannot last too many years, but they have adapted to the situation. A bad year does not necessarily spell gloom and doom for goose species. Through all of that, we do need to keep monitoring to understand how the populations are changing.

Senator Adams: The environment and wildlife are more monitored than 20 or 30 years ago thanks to modern technology and satellites.

Mr. McLean: We are using space-based approaches. There is some telemetry used to monitor some of the migrations of the larger bird species. There have been surprises as we have done that — birds going to places that we did not know about. We are improving our ability to identify those discreet populations of birds and to understand where they are moving and conservation issues.

Mr. Harris: We have a couple of projects under way using satellite-based sensors — RADARSAT, which is Canadian technology — to track permafrost. The permafrost line is one of the key indicators of global warming and its effect on the Arctic. There is an incredibly fragile ecosystem all the way up the line from the lichens to the mammals such as polar bears. It is difficult to detect change on a site-specific level. We are working on using space-based remote sensing to track it on a large area to know whether that permafrost line is moving. Surprisingly, RADARSAT, which uses radar imaging to bounce radar off the surface, is extremely good at detecting permafrost. I do not know the details but it is incredible technology.

The Chairman: I have a couple of questions before we move to the second round. The Atlantic Coastal Action Program, ACAP, has been around since 1991. I assume it is one of the older programs. You have probably been able to pick up many lessons from it — public attitudes towards the program itself and factors that result in success of the programs or the lack of success. What might you view as being the factors that have led to the success of this program and those that might cause concern, or issues, that you had to change over time?

Mr. McLean: I am a big believer in community-based approaches, certainly to the affairs of conservation. The real roles for the federal and provincial governments are to enable those communities to take those actions for themselves. What would enabling mean? We have learned to ensure that we are providing good information, and the communities will make the decisions. In fact, they will make good decisions about what should happen in their home areas. Clearly, capacity issues arise, whether they are northern communities, communities in Atlantic Canada or British Columbia. There is a real need to ensure that capacity is there. We see that in the Atlantic Coastal Action Plan I described, the importance of having an office, of having a person to actually do some of the grunt work for people who have day jobs and need that sort of assistance. Those would be a couple of key factors. The funding would be not only for capacity, but also to do things out there on the ground to make a difference. Those are the kinds of roles that the federal and provincial governments should be playing.

Then a facilitative or catalytic role is needed to bring those partnerships together, to make sure all the different interests within a community are participating in the process.

The Chairman: What often happens with government in Ottawa is that they get these great ideas and attempt to sell them to the coastal communities — ``They will love it. We are going to go out there and tell them how it is done.''

We have the perfect example of that at Canadian Heritage with the Canadian Parks Agency, which is in the process of introducing a bill — it is at the report stage now in the Senate and will soon become law — that will establish these fabulous marine conservation areas to help the coastal communities in conserving our coastal marine areas.

I do not think it has dawned on anybody within that service just yet that nobody out there wants it. Nobody has been out there to do the grunt work. You just mentioned imparting the information to these communities that this is under way. Those finding out about this new piece of legislation are dead set against it.

What worries me about initiatives of this type is that departments such the Canadian Wildlife Service and certain sections of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have done a lot of work in getting the communities onside on these kinds of initiatives. I like to praise government departments. You have done a lot of work in those areas. DFO has also done so in areas of habitat protection and so on. The communities are accepting it.

Yet, we have this brand new department coming into coastal communities. Now, the people with day jobs have to deal with another group, who say, ``We are here to implement marine conservation areas, are they not great? It will be a monument to the minister.'' Have you considered how this will possibly impact negatively on your department, and what your service is trying to offer these communities where people will start saying, ``a plague on all your houses, we do not want to see you''? Could this possibly happen if the marine conservation areas legislation backfires on government?

Mr. McLean: I will not talk about whatever approach the Parks Canada Agency might take. Certainly, from an Environment Canada perspective, it is very important to listen to what the communities are saying.

I talked about conservation design and working at that broader landscape or seascape level. The ocean strategy talks about integrating resource management. That is listening to what communities say in terms of how their particular area might be developed. If there are natural areas that might be important to the communities, and they want to protect them, we have to listen to what communities say about the tool they want to use to protect them.

In Environment Canada, we do not believe it must be protected under federal legislation. We have other tools: Biosphere reserves, Ramsar sites — Ramsar is an international agreement where we designate wetlands of international importance — or important bird areas. Those are community-based approaches where people work together to protect habitats. You do not need to designate.

There are other situations where the communities may want designation, whether it is the Parks Canada form, a DFO marine protected area or our own marine protected area. It is important we listen to what the communities want.

We feel good about our approach. As we develop the management plan for our protected areas, we work together with the community. There are places in Canada where we have examples of them wanting the Environment Canada designation. That speaks to our approach.

The Chairman: I hate to single out Parks Canada Agency on this, but I will. I suspect they are being driven by a group of conservationists, who I do not think have any understanding whatsoever of the fact that many coastal communities are very environmentally, ecologically and sustainably conscious of protecting the marine habitat. I think you understand this, but I do not think the Parks Canada agency has understood. They are being driven by an agenda completely different than yours.

Mr. McLean: One of the important things for the three federal departments with marine protected area legislation to do is to work on what I would call a federal protected areas strategy. That would have to get at some of the concepts that Environment Canada and I have advocated tonight. We need that federal protected areas strategy. If we can develop that, we need a federal-provincial protected areas strategy.

It is not only about federal protected areas. Mr. Harris produced a map of the Bay of Fundy. In a 160-kilometre radius, there are 161 protected areas. We did not care whose protected area it was — I think three are national parks.

The Chairman: We heard nothing negative about it. I live in that area and in that community. You must have done your homework.

Mr. Harris: One of the things to remember about Parks Canada is that they operate on a representivity formula. They have the country carved up into eco-regions. Their mandate requires at least one national park in each of those eco-regions: the best representative site to preserve for future generations. That is a legitimate way to build a national park system; you have the finest example of each eco-region in Canada. They are operating roughly on the same mandate in marine areas. You have to understand who they are; they are a national park system.

National wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries are the two types of formally protected areas we operate. Both fall under habitat conservation, which is my division. We do not use representivity; we use ecological importance. If the Bay of Fundy has 17 sites that are ecologically important enough to be a national wildlife area, then that is how many there will be, simple enough, if we can get it. We have to own the site, and there are issues that come along with it.

I would not be overly critical of Parks Canada; they have a certain mandate, which they pursue. I am not sure they single-mindedly pursue a site in opposition to a local community. I do not know if it happens or not. I could not conceive of the situation where Environment Canada would create a national wildlife area in opposition to a local community.

The Chairman: That is not what I am suggesting. I do not think they would. I do not feel they actually would go against the community. What is happening, though, is they are bringing in a piece of legislation against the wishes of the people. People out there do not want this legislation as it is now.

If they do impose it now, it will create longstanding animosity towards the legislation. There will be resistance. There will be a negative attitude towards it. You will suffer some of the consequences yourselves. People on the West Coast, who are dealing with the softwood lumber issue and the mountain pine beetles, do not want it right now. This is not the time to bring in those kinds of bills.

We are suggesting that they not push it, that people will come around. Yet, come what may, they are trying to bring it in. They will in spite of people's concerns about it. Undoubtedly that will result in fierce resistance to any measures to expand the number of conservation areas, whether they are representative, protected or eco-sensitive.

Mr. Harris: You might be interested to know that in 1994 the Canada Wildlife Act was specifically amended to allow for the establishment of what we call ``ecocultural national wildlife areas'' — which we do not yet have.

Traditionally, we established national wildlife areas based on the importance of the habitat that is there for wildlife. That is a legitimate way to go about it. However, there are features — zones of habitat — that are extremely important from a habitat perspective. They may not be high enough in ecological importance to qualify strictly on their wildlife merits alone, but they may be an area of historical importance to a local community. It could be an Aboriginal or non- Aboriginal community.

Canada's history has highlighted the interdependency between wildlife, the environment, and people. The amendment to the Canada Wildlife Act was meant to get at that very thing. If there is a community — Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal — that finds an area important to its ecological history, in certain situations that should qualify as a national wildlife area as well.

It is largely thought of in Aboriginal terms right now. In fact, we are pursuing that line. There are opportunities in Atlantic Canada specifically where there might be a marine or coastal area that has played an important historic role because of the biological resources there. Why would that not qualify as a national historic wildlife area? That is certainly there as a mechanism.

Mr. McLean: I wanted to comment about the national wildlife areas and migratory bird sanctuaries. It is the second largest protected area system in Canada, and it is one of those hidden secrets. We do not extol the virtues of our protected area system. It is half the size of the national park system. We have some absolutely marvellous sites. I thought I would throw a promotion in there.

Senator Robertson: I am interested in the St. Lawrence Action Plan. Most of us are concerned about the condition of the belugas and the humpbacks in the St. Lawrence, the diseased whales, and we are sad and upset about them.

I should like to know a few things. Has your action plan been successful? Can the results or the outcome of the plan be measured in terms of a percentage in reduction in toxic effluent discharge or an increase in the beluga whale population?

A few questions on the same issue: How many community groups have been set up along the river? Are there partners involved in the initiative, for instance, private sector partners, universities, environmental groups, research centres, or local organizations? Lastly, what is the focus of the third phase of the St. Lawrence action plan?

Mr. McLean: Senator, I will commit to get back to you with answers to those questions.

The one comment I would make is that our Quebec region impresses me with their efforts to try to measure success. I know they will be trying to monitor progress over time. I do not know the extent to which they are able to do that at this particular point in time, but I will get back to you with that information.

It might be useful if we put together some information on what we call our ecosystem initiatives — ACAP, the St. Lawrence Action Plan, the Great Lakes Action Plan, and the Georgia Basin Ecosystem Initiative.

Senator Robertson: That would be helpful.

The Chairman: The committee is extremely interested in this subject. We realize it is a little unorthodox for the Canadian Wildlife Service to appear before the Fisheries and Oceans committee, but given the subject area we have tackled, I think it fit in very well with what we have been hearing over the past number of months.

It has been an informative session this evening. We appreciate the time and effort you have taken to give us an idea of what your department does. Do you have any closing remarks before we conclude?

Mr. McLean: Simply to express our appreciation for the opportunity to be here and for the interchange that we have had tonight.

The Chairman: On behalf of the committee, thank you very much.

The committee adjourned.