John Cummins, M.P. --- Delta - Richmond East, British Columbia, Canada
 
www.johncummins.ca  
 
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Alexandra Morton Makes Presentation of Her Book, "Beyond the Whales"


LATEST NEWS 


March 24 2011 - Cummins - Farewell
March 1, 2011 - Cummins - Earthquake Preparedness

February 22, 2011 - Cohen Hearings - Dennis Brown

February 22, 2011 - Cohen Hearings - Dennis Brown - Examination by Phil Eidsvik (Area E Gillnet Fishermen & B.C. Fisheries Survival Coalition) 
February 21, 2011 - Cohen Hearings - Brent Hargreaves & Gordon Curry (DFO Aboriginal Fisheries) Examination by Phil Eidsvik (Area E Gillnet Fishermen & B.C. Fisheries Survival Coalition)
February 10, 2011 - Cohen Hearings - Carl Walters (UBC) & Jim Woodey (PSC retired) - Examination by Federal Government Lawyers (DFO)

February 10, 2011 - Cohen Hearings - Carl Walters & Jim Woodey - Examination by Don Rosenbloom (Area D Gillnet Fishermen & Area B Harvest Commitee)

February 10, 2011 - Cohen Hearings - Carl Walters & Jim Woodey - Examination by Phil Eidsvik (Area E Gillnet Fishermen & B.C. Fisheries Survival Coalition)

February 10, 2011 - Cohen Hearings - Carl Walters & Jim Woodey - Examination by Keith Lowes (B.C. Wildlife Federation) 

February 9, 2011 (a) - Cohen Hearings - Carl Walters, Jim Woodey, Brian Riddell
 
February 9, 2011 (b) - Cohen Hearings - Carl Walters, Jim Woodey, Brian Riddell
February 8, 2011 - Cohen Hearings - Phil Eidsvik (Area E Gillnet Fishermen)


February 2, 2011 - Cummins - Integrity of Cohen Inquiry

December 29, 2010 - The Delta Optimist - MP's Comments Hurtful   
December 21, 2010 - Globe - For a Group of Fishermen, Another Caledonia   

December 13, 2010 - Cohen Inquiry - Aboriginal Worldview - Area E Gillnetters Question Witnesses


December 13, 2010 - Cohen Inquiry - Aboriginal Worldview - B.C. Wildlife Federation Question Witnesses

December 13, 2010 - Cohen Inquiry - Aboriginal Worldview - Federal Government Question Witnesses 


December 8, 2010 - Cummins - DFO the Puppeteer       
November 25, 2010 - Proceedings in Sentencing of Fishermen - 2002 Protest of DFO Mismanagement of Food Fishery
November 24, 2010 - Delta Optimist
- Gives Fish Inquiry A Failing Grade


November 23, 2010 - Cummins - Time to Salvage the Cohen Inquiry
November 13, 2010 - CKNW (Sean Leslie Program) - John Cummins on Cohen's Interim Report

November 8, 2010 - Cummins - Cohen's Interim Report Gets an "F"

October 27, 2010 - Hansard  (John Cummins) - Tribute to Bill Otway
October 26, 2010 - Cohen Inquiry (Keith Lowes) - Tribute to Bill Otway
October 26, 2010 - Cohen Inquiry (Keith Lowes) -
Foundations of Fisheries Law

September 16, 2010 - Cummins
- Native Aboriginal Fishery Continues


September 14, 2010 - Peace Arch News - Tsawwassen Treaty Lands Soar in Value 
September 14, 2010 - National Post - Only 11 Wild Salmon Got Past Fish Farms (Bill Taylor)
September 9, 2010 - Cummins - Cohen Hires DFO Fisheries Manager to Access DFO

"Bert Ionson is a retired DFO Regional Salmon Manager.  Throughout his career he worked with First nations and commercial and recreational fishermen in the planning and management of their fisheries as well as developers and land owners in fish habitat related issues.  As well, in many of these positions, he had a role in developing and implementing fisheries policies (mostly focused on salmon)."  

STIRLING:  You mentioned that Prime Minister Stephen Harper, when he set up this inquiry, he wanted it to be independent,  Now we've heard that the inquiry has contracted, is it a former media spokesman for the DFO?  What is the significance of this?

CUMMINS:  Project 11 is o investigate basically the science management of the Fraser River fishery.  And two of the people that are involved in that are Bert Ionson and Mike Staley.

Ionson was at one time the DFO media spokesperson of the year.  He interestingly enough, he appeared before the Williams Inquiry and when he asked whether or not there was any effort made to require aboriginals to report the number of fish they had caught, he said well, you really can't do that. He said that would be an infringement of their rights.


September 7, 2010 - Cummins - Why the Double Standard?

September 3, 2010 - Cummins - Keep the Commercial Guys Fishing  


August 28, 2010 - National Post (Kevin Libin) - Salmon's Bittersweet Return

August 26, 2010 - Cummins - Application made for Removal of Cohen Researcher


August 25, 2010 - Cummins - Problems Aplenty Even with Massive Salmon Returns


August 23, 2010 - Cummins - What Has the Cohen Inquiry Got to Hide?  
July 21, 2010 - Cohen Inquiry Compromised by Appointment's History

July 15, 2010 - Cummins - Cohen Hires Cheam Fishery Advisor



more on Cohen Inquiry


Bill C-232 - Limits BCs Representation - Unconstitutional

May 6, 2010 - Calgary Herald  (John Cummins) Supreme Difficulty   
 
Lorne Gunter is right to fear that Bill C-232 will exclude the West from appointments to the Supreme Court of Canada.  Our constitution protects just such provincial and regional interests from unilateral changes by parliamentarians in Ottawa.  In fact, any unilateral move by Parliament to change the qualifications for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada may well be unconstitutional as it appears to contravene section 41(d) of the Constitution Act, 1982.  This section of the constitution advises that changes to the "composition of the Supreme Court of Canada" may only be made "where authorized by resolutions of the Senate and House of Commons and  the legislative assemblies of each province."

   
April 27, 2010 - Calgary Herald (Lorne Gunter) - The Folly of Putting Language Above the Law

In practical terms, the bill will restrict appointment to a very small number of bilingual legal scholars and lower-court judges.  It will make it difficult for Canadians outside a narrow strip from Ottawa, through Montreal and Quebec City, and into Moncton, to ever be appointed to the court that has the final say over how the Charter will be interpreted and what rights we may have.

It will make it difficult for English-speaking Canadians to sit on the Supreme Court and almost impossible for western Canadians.

May 4, 2010 - Ottawa Sun (John Cummins) - Supreme Dilemma

Worthington is right when he suggests that the proposed law limiting appointment of judges to only those who speak both French and English is too important to be left to parliamentarians in Ottawa to decide.

In fact any unilateral move by Parliament to change the qualifications for appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada may be unconstitutional as it appears to contravene section 41(d) of the Constitution Act, 1982.


    May 3, 2010 - Ottawa Sun (Peter Worthington) -
Non to Bilingual Judges

Even if it's well-intended, the private member's bill (C-232) to require all Supreme Court justices to be fully bilingual is foolish and destructive.

Legislation forcing Supremes to be fully bilingual is almost too important for parliamentarians to decide.


    April 26, 2010 - John Cummins -
Letter to the Attorney General of British Columbia

Regional representation on the Supreme Court of Canada is threatened by Bill C-232's absolute requirement that any appointment from British Columbia must be able to understand both French and English without the aid of an interpreter.

Section 41(d) of the Constitution Act, 1982 requires that changes to the "composition of the Supreme Court of Canada" may only be made "where authorized by resolutions of the Senate and House of Commons and legislative assemblies of each province."

The composition of the Supreme Court is set out in sections 4, 5, and 6 of the Supreme Court Act.  Bill C-232 will amend section 5 as to who may be appointed as a judge by adding the requirement that no one may be appointed to the Court unless they understand French and English "without the assistance of an interpreter."

This amendment alters the composition of the Supreme Court of Canada by fundamentally changing who may be appointed a judge from British Columbia and brings into question the ability to even appoint judges from our Province.

I would urge your government to voice its concerns about this Bill which will impose serious and unnecessary restrictions on British Columbians who otherwise might be considered for appointment to the supreme Court of Canada.


April 14, 2010 - John Cummins
- British Colombians Need Not Apply - Passage of Bill C-232 a Cause of Concern

"The Passage of Bill C-232 in the House of Commons is a cause for concern.  It would require that anyone appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada should understand both English and French without the aid of translation.  That is an impossibly high standard when it comes to highly complicated issues of law,” said John Cummins, M.P. for Delta-Richmond East. 

This Bill is not talking about the fluency to carry on an ordinary conversation in English or French. It is the fluency required to understand oral arguments in extraordinarily complex legal cases and to interpret arcane legal texts and documents without benefit of translation: an extremely rare ability even among those who consider themselves fluent in both English and French.   

Only a handful of areas in the country are likely to produce lawyers and judges with an ability to understand complex legal issues in both English and French without the assistance of an interpreter.  British Columbia is not one of them.  

    How MPs Voted on Third Reading        

    April 8, 2010 - Ottawa Sun - Bilingual Judge Bill Bad Precedent   

    April 9, 2010 - Toronto Sun
- Supreme Court Bilingual Injustice


    April 10, 2010 - Ottawa Citizen - Most of Need Not Apply For the Top Jobs

    April 18, 2010 - AM1150 - Supreme Court for Bilingual Judges Only  

    April 20, 2010 - National Post Editorial - How to Ruin the Supreme Court   

    April 21, 2010 - Delta Optimist - British Columbians Need Not Apply  

    April 21, 2010 - Globe (John Carpay) - There's No Justice At the Supreme Court  
   
    April 23, 2010 - National Post (Karen Selick) - If the Supreme Court's Not Broken ... 

    April 25, 2010 - Edmonton Journal -  (Lorne Gunter) - Bill C-232 Would Restrict Supreme Court Appointments to a Very Few  

    April 25, 2010 - Chronicle Herald - Former Supreme Court Justice, Lawyers Critical of Bill


Documents relating to Bill C-232

    Supreme Court Act  
    Constitution Act, 1982 - changes to the composition of the Supreme Court of Canada
    Bill C-232 as passed by the House of Commons on March 31, 2010 
    June 17, 2009 - Justice Committee - Mr. Justice John Major


March 11, 2010 - Hansard - Tribute to Edgar Dunning
New Treaties with Sockeye Allocations And Sockeye Inquiry


February 24, 2010 - BC Wildlife Federation - Disagreement Over Yale Treaty

February 12, 2010 - Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadow Times - Yale Treaty Stinks

February 10, 2010 - Delta Optimist - Treaty is a blow to Fraser sockeye inquiry
February 9, 2010 - Chilliwack Progress - Yale Treaty Fatal Blow to Fraser Inquiry
February 8, 2010 - Province - If It's Truly a Treaty, Then Why Does This Yale Deal Still Stink?

According to Conservative MP John Cummins (Delta-Richmond East), ratification of the Yale agreement could seriously tie the hands of Chief Justice Bruce Cohen, who is in the preliminary stages of setting up a federal government-ordered judicial inquiry into the decline of Fraser River sockeye salmon.

This is a full inquiry, armed with witness-subpoena powers that many stakeholders had sought.

"Mr. Justice Cohen has to investigate the Fraser Canyon fishery and its impact on migrating sockeye," says Cummins, himself a one-time commercial angler.

"These treaties represent constitutional change, so if Justice Cohen decides changes need to be made in the canyon, then the Yale treaty will tie his hands before his hearing starts," Cummins adds.

Are we seeing politics trump fish on the Mighty Fraser?


February 5, 2010 - Hope Standard - Yale Treaty Moves Ahead Under Protest
February 5, 2010 - Province - Yale Treaty Sparks Protest Over Fishing Sites

February 5, 2010 - Statement from John Cummins - Yale Treaty Fatal Blow to Cohen Inquiry?

"The initialing of the Yale Treaty is certainly not a hopeful indicator for either the Cohen Inquiry or for the government’s desire for or commitment to making fundamental changes in fisheries management.

January 29, 2010 - Globe - Treaties Changing History

"Later next week, federal Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl ... and Chief Robert Hope of the Yale First Nation are expected to sign a final agreement that, when ratified, will grant the Yale land title, self-government and expanded fishing rights in the canyon."
January 28, 2010 - Letter - Cummins to Strahl - Impact of Yale Final Agreement on the Cohen Inquiry

"If the Yale Final Agreement is to be signed off, our Government’s commitment to the Cohen Inquiry will be put in doubt.  Fishermen will rightly conclude that Mr. Justice Cohen’s work will be a waste of time.  These same fishermen who have been the most fervent supporters of the Prime Minister’s efforts to establish the Judicial Inquiry will be left to conclude that our Government is not committed to the successful conclusion of the Inquiry.

It would be folly to sign a Yale “Fisheries Treaty” prior to May 1, 2011 when Mr. Justice Cohen reports his findings and recommendations to the Prime Minister."

    Backgrounder on Yale Treaty Impact on Cohen Inquiry
Yale Background Documents

    Yale Registered Population

    Yale AIP -  Chapter 5 Fisheries
   
Yale AIP - Appendix H - YFN Right to Harvest Fish Allocation  
    
Yale Final Agreement - Chapter 8 Fisheries

    Yale Final Agreement - Schedule 8-A - YFN Allocations for Fish   
   
Yale Fnal Agreement - Maps of Fishing Area - Map (1), Map (2) Fraser Canyon, Map (3) Ruby Creek


Fraser River Fishery Disaster - 2009 Season

Campbell Promises to Recognize Aboriginal Title


June 11, 2009 - Prince George Citizen - No Aboriginal Title

Gordon Campbell's proposed Recogntion and Reconciliation Act would recognize aboriginal title over all Crown land, and some suggest over privately held lands.  The Supreme Court rejected the conferring of aboriginal title in the absence of clear evidence of regular and exclusive pre-sovereignty occupation.  The court made clear that mere seasonal or occasional visits to an area was not sufficient to establish aboriginal title.

Also, the free movement and welcoming of fur traders, explorers, prospectors, miners, missionaries, Hudson's Bay Company personnel and government officials would work to undermine claims to exclusive control, and would make it virtually impossible to establish aboriginal title in B.C. except for a few village sites.  Furthermore, the Supreme Court of Canada does not conclude its decisions with a request for the government to negotiate.

 

Unfortunately, the Campbell government, in its apparent rush to recognize aboriginal title, has chosen to ignore the Supreme Court rulings on aboriginal title rather than be guided by them.  His government which was elected by about 26 per cent of B.C.'s registered voters, has no mandate to give away title to B.C. lands to a small group based on race.


June 10, 2009 - Globe - Federal Officials Scolds B.C. for Native-Rights Bill

But it was the last-minute decision to pull out of a native fishing court case - a manoeuvre that was tied to winning aboriginal support for the Recognition Act - that seems to have rankled Ottawa even more.

Mike de Jong, B.C.'s Aboriginal Relations Minister, met the province's native chiefs in March.

He was seeking support for the unprecedented legislation that would recognize aboriginal rights and title and lay the groundwork for revenue-sharing on such resources as mining and forestry.

On the eve of that meeting, he let it be known that the province was dropping out of a native fishing-rights case that had been before the B.C. Supreme Court for 125 days. In the week after that meeting, Madam Justice Nicole Garson had expected to hear final arguments from federal and provincial lawyers disputing the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council's fishing claim.

Instead, the province decided not to submit a final argument, leaving Ottawa alone to carry the case to its conclusion.

"It is in this context that I would like to express our concern," Mr. Wernick wrote. "You will understand that such an unprecedented, unexpected and last-minute decision founded explicitly on the legislative proposal raises many questions as we think forward to what the province is thinking . . . in any number of matters." He went on to note that Ottawa will eventually have to respond to media questions that have been raised about the proposed recognition act. Those answers "are likely to create at least some controversy," and a courtesy briefing from B.C. would help "avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and wrong impressions." The proposed recognition act is still being drafted.

June 9, 2009 - Globe - Gary Mason
- It's Time Campbell Talked About Native-Relations Plan

Mind you, all that most British Columbians know about the Premier's intentions comes from a discussion paper released a couple of months ago...

The proposed Recognition and Reconciliation Act would supersede all other provincial laws dealing with land use and resource management, completely altering the province's political and economic landscape in the process...

There also seems to be frustration, shared by non-aboriginals, about the process behind the planned legislation, one conducted entirely in private.  Many believe there should have been wider consultations - among aboriginals and non-aboriginals alike - before any discussion papers were written and legislation drafted.

The whole matter seemed to come out of the blue and, for policy that is potentially so groundbreaking, you would have thought there would have been some type of public discussions beforehand...

The debate that should have happened during the provincial election may yet take place.  If Mr. Campbell hopes to change the aboriginal-relations landscape in the province, he is going to have to sell the merits of his vision and sell them hard.
June 8, 2009 - National Post - John Carpay & Jeffrey Rustand

A "Seismic Shift"?  Most Certainly

In February, the provincial government and the First Nations Leadership Council agreed in a joint discussion paper to support new legislation to recognize 30 "reconstituted" indigenous (aboriginal) nations, and divide B.C. into aboriginal territories, each with its own aboriginal government and aboriginal laws.  This "Recognition and Reconciliation Act" would also recognize that these indigenous (aboriginal) nations, and divide B.C. into 30 aboriginal territories, each with its own aboriginal government and aboriginal laws.  This "Recognition and Reconciliation Act" would also recognize that these indigenous nations have aboriginal title throughout British Columbia, including the power to make laws.

                                                               ***
The proposed act would extend aboriginal title over all or most of the province.  Aboriginal title includes the right to exclusive occupation and land management, and entitlement to rents, such that 30 indigenous nations would have effective ownership over most of B.C.  This is fatally flawed because aboriginal title, as defined by the Supreme Court of Canada, gives aboriginal peoples only a fraction of the province's land base:  those areas over which they can prove continuing and exclusive occupation.  Moreover, aboriginal title does not include the power to make laws.
                                                              ***
Gordon Campbell's proposed act would also give these new aboriginal governments shared decision making power with the provincial government regarding economic development of land and resources.  This power would be very real, providing the new layer of aboriginal government with a potential veto over new economic activity anywhere in B.C.  The legislation would lay the foundation for a whole new set of compensation claims, and would create mechanisms for "revenue sharing" to divert revenues from taxes and royalties to the aboriginal governments.

May 25, 2009 - BC Chamber of Commerce - News Release

Business Leaders Urge Great Care with Recognition and Reconciliation Act

"We'd like to be very clear on this," said John Winter, President and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce.  We think this legislation is extremely important .... We have one chance to do this right."

The contents of the proposed Recognition and Reconciliation Act were released in an outline document entitled "Discussion Paper on Instructions for Implementing the New Relationship," in March, 2009.  Although the document contained very little in the way of specifics, it included reference to dramatic changes including "shared decision-making" and recognition of aboriginal title throughout the province "without requirement of proof or strength of claim."


May 19, 2009 - Prince George Citizen - Julia Serup - Who Owns B.C.?

Campbell, after announcing the intention to introduce recognition legislation, apparently told the Supreme Court that it was withdrawing from the Ahousaht case because the government was no longer able to take "a strictly legal position regarding the test for aboriginal title."

This was a signal that apparently aboriginal title in B.C. is henceforth to be based not on the law, but on Campbell's whim.

With Gordon Campbell's re-election as premier as B.C., there is a need to stop him from implementing these proposals by using referenda and recall.

    May 23, 2009 - Norman Dale - responds to Julia Serup's "Who Owns B.C.?" 

    Fact Check of Norman Dale's criticism of Julia Serup's "Who Owns B.C.?" 


May 13, 2009 - Talk 1410 Radio Vancouver - John Cummins

May 11, 2009 - National Post - John Cummins - Who Owns B.C.?

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell has proposed legislation that would:

        Recognize that aboriginal title exists throughout B. C.;

        Give unelected native leaders a veto power over mining, forestry, recreation and other development activities on Crown land; and

        Require that all revenues from stumpage fees, mining royalties and recreational fees be shared with the native leadership.

More than 95% of B. C. is Crown land. Title is currently held by the province on behalf of all British Columbians. If Mr. Campbell's recognition legislation becomes law, title will be held instead by about 30 powerful yet-to-be created "indigenous nations," which would be entitled to the revenues from all activities on Crown land.

***

Document Referenced in Who Own B.C.?

"We are counsel for the defendant, Her Majesty the Queen in right of the Province of British Columbia, in the above-captioned matter.  The trial of this matter is being heard by Madam Justice Garson.  We ask that you bring this letter to her attention in regard to the legal submissions by the Province due last week."

"Our client feels that it cannot continue with its productive discussions with First Nations while it is at the same time taking a strictly legal position regarding the test for aboriginal title in this case.  As such, we are instructed that the Province has determined it can take no position in upcoming closing arguments in the Ahousaht litigation.  In that regard, we can advise that we will not be filling a legal argument, nor will counsel for the Province appear at the closing arguments except to advise this Court of this decision and to respond to any questions or concerns."   


May 10, 2009 - Vancouver Sun - Geoff Plant Attacks Cummins on Aboriginal Title

    May 11, 2009 - Cummins responds -
Letter to the Editor


Mr. Plant seems offended by my observation that on aboriginal title Gordon Campbell "snatched defeat from the jaws of victory."  So be it.

I am sure that Mr. Plant knows full well that the Supreme Court of Canada made the issue of aborignal title largely irrelevant in British Columbia in 2005 when it rejected the approach to aboriginal title now espoused by Gordon Campbell.

Mr. Plant fails to mention that on February 27, 2009 John Hunter QC, former president of the Law Society of British Columbia, who acts on behalf of the Province on aboriginal matters, stated that the territorial approach to aboriginal title that is central to Mr. Campbell's proposed aboriginal title legislation had been "decisively rejected by the Supreme Court of Canada."  more

***

Mr. Plant is a former B.C. Attorney General and an advisor to the Campbell government on aboriginal issues.

The former Attorney General appears to be referencing an observation made in an April 27 opinion page article in the Vancouver Sun by Cummins entitled, "Aboriginal Title?  Mr. Campbell, Meet Mr. Harcourt," where Cummins stated:

"Again, as Harcourt had done in 1992, Campbell snatched defeat from the jaws of victory."

The Supreme Court of Canada made the issue of aboriginal title largely irrelevant in British Columbia in 2005 when it rejected the approach to aboriginal title now espoused by Gordon Campbell.

Mr. Plant fails to mention that on February 27, 2009 John Hunter QC, former president of the Law Society of British Columbia, who regularly acts on behalf of the Province on aboriginal matters, stated that the territorial approach to aboriginal title that is central to Mr. Campbell's proposed aboriginal title legislation had been "decisively rejected by the Supreme Court of Canada."

Mr. Plant also fails to mention that on March 4th Mr. Hunter, acting on behalf of the Province, advised the B.C. Supreme Court that the Province was withdrawing from the Ahousaht trial as it was no longer able to take "a strictly legal position regarding the test for aboriginal title."  Mr. Hunter went on to advise the Court that he had been instructed by the Province that it would take "no position in upcoming closing arguments" and that the Province would not be filing a legal argument, "nor will counsel for the Province appear at the closing arguments."

Apparently Mr. Plant supports the Province's refusal to argue the law in the B.C. Supreme Court.  This is surprising as it is normally considered the job of the B.C. Attorney General and his solemn duty to put sound legal arguments before the courts and to leave the politics to others.   


April 27, 2009 - Vancouver Sun - John Cummins  - Aboriginal Title?  Mr. Campbell, Meet Mr. Harcourt

There is again a political desire to breathe life back into "aboriginal title," a moribund concept that has seduced politicians and bedevilled the courts for nearly four decades.  History has a way of repeating itself in British Columbia politics and nowhere is this truer than in the recognition and reconciliation legislation promised by Gordon Campbell.

  • March 9, 2009 - Legal Observations concerning the "Discussion paper on Institutions for Implementing the New Relationship"

 - 1.  The legislation will give First Nations a veto.

  • In short, First Nations will have a veto over every aspect of resource development in B.C. 

  •  Also, First Nations have a clear view as to what is intended by the phrase "shared decision-making" - namely a veto, as expressed in the numerous documents recently made available on the B.C. Union of Indian Chiefs' website associated with the November 2008 "All-Chiefs Assembly on Proposed Recognition Legislation" (see in particular the discussion paper entitled "Shared Decision Making"). 

 - 2. The legislation will recognize aboriginal title throughout all of  B.C., potentially giving enormous power and control to First Nations and inconsistent with current law relating to aboriginal title

  • Discussions with senior official regarding the paper appear to confirm that there is a fundamental lack of understanding by the persons who drafted this Paper for B.C. concerning the significance of recognizing aboriginal title throughout all of B.C.

  • No final court decision has actually found aboriginal title anywhere in Canada.

  • The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled specifically on aboriginal title in two decisions (Delgamuukw (1997) and Marshall/Bernard (2005)), which confirm that aboriginal title ... is very difficult to prove, and when proven will not be over expansive 'traditional territories' but rather will be found in limited areas where the evidence supports physical occupation of defined tracts of land.

  • In our view, a paper delivered on February 27, 2009 by John Hunter Q.C., former President of the Law Society of British Columbia, who has also acted on behalf of the Province in many aboriginal law cases, accurately sets out the law relating to aboriginal title.  Mr. Hunter's paper concludes that the territorial approach to aboriginal title that is central to the proposed recognition legislation has been "decisively rejected by the Supreme Court of Canada."

  • It is because aboriginal title is so significant - giving a right to choose the use to which the land is put - that the courts have been so careful about it and have indicated that it will be found only very rarelyAboriginal title is not commonplace and certainly does not exist throughout the entire province as is proposed by the recognition legislation "without requirement of proof or strength of claim."

3.  The legislation proposes power and control to the First Nations well beyond what has been established by the Supreme Court of Canada.

4.  The legislation has core legal defects.  

"Our client feels that it cannot continue with its productive discussions with First Nations while it is at the same time taking a strictly legal position regarding the test for aboriginal title in this case.  As such, we are instructed that the Province has determined it can take no position in upcoming closing arguments in the Ahousaht litigation.  In that regard, we can advise that we will not be filling a legal argument, nor will counsel for the Province appear at the closing arguments except to advise this Court of this decision and to respond to any questions or concerns."     

- The purpose of the legislation will be to: recognize that Aboriginal rights and title exist in British Columbia throughout the territory of each Indigenous Nation that is the proper title and rights holder, without requirement of proof of strength of claim.

- The Province would adopt as a guiding standard for all of its conduct and negotiations with Indigenous Nations, including the creation and implementation of all enactments, policies and mandates affecting lands and resources, the following recognition principles:

  •  That Aboriginal rights and title exist in British Columbia throughout the territory of each Indigenous Nation that is the proper title and rights holder. The Crown recognizes and affirms this without requirement of proof or strength of claim;

  • That Crown title exists with Aboriginal title throughout British Columbia;

  • That Aboriginal title is a pre-existing interest in land, is held collectively and includes a jurisdictional and economic component;

more on Aboriginal Title

New Pacific Salmon Treaty Signed

January 12, 2009 - CBC Radio - Kathy Scarfo Interview on Salmon Treaty

"On principle alone, there's an issue that needs to and should have had serious debate as to the ethics of whether or not Canadian natural resources are up for sale?"

"In principle we disagree with selling our resources, but if you're going to do that, at least get good value for them.  They're worth an incredible amount to Bonneville Power on the dams on the Columbia, who spends $800 million a year on fisheries programs trying to make sure that they get fish back to the ground.  If they have to cut back on water flows this year, if we didn't give these fish, they would be losing billions of dollars of power, so why are we giving up valuable jobs in a region that desperately needed jobs that we've invested in , that we continue to invest in over the years.  Why are we giving that up for so little value?"


January 10, 2009 - Times Colonist - Trollers Take Biggest Hit

Ucluelet`s Mike Smith has no doubt about what the new U.S.-Canada salmon treaty means to trollers on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

``It's pretty much the end of us, ``he says.  ``They gave away all our fish, eh?``

That leaves the 62-year-old with a salmon licence he can't use and a 41-foot boat, the Blue Eagle One, that's really not much good for anything else.

Smith says the loss of the Chinook is enough to scuttle trollers, the stubby little hook-and-line boats long synonymous with the coast...

But trollers figure they're just the scapegoat, that the Chinook allowed to escape here will only be caught in the United States. 

The ripples go well beyond the trollers; fuel docks disappear, fish processors lose their profit margin, the infrastructure that props up the rest of the commercial fishery is weakened... 


January 8, 2009 - Area G Troll Fishermen - Sells Out B.C. Fishermen

``Rural fishermen on the West Coast of Vancouver island are outraged at Ottawa's recent deal, as part of a renewed Pacific Salmon Treaty, that cuts the Canadian Chinook salmon commercial catch by at least 50 percent for ten years and leaves Canadian fishermen with only $30 million in compensation.``

``Estimates place the direct value of this 50 percent Canadian catch reduction at $100 million over ten years, plus another $200 million generated in economic multipliers through processing and fishing fleet activity.``

``American fishermen and U.S. hydroelectric power companies drove the deal with threats of lawsuits against their own federal government prior to the actual negations.  American power companies and fishermen are expected to reap from this Chinook agreement more than $400 million a year in extra hydroelectric power and salmon catches.   Alaskan fishermen are only reducing their catch by 15 percent under this new agreement.``

``Both Alaska's 15 percent reduction and Canada's 30 percent reduction will mean more Chinook to the Columbia River making it easier for the U.S. hydro companies and American commercial fishermen to comply with the U.S. Endangered Species Act, which protects several depleted Chinook salmon runs.  However, the Canada-U.S. salmon agreement does not force American governments and power companies to rebuild and protect habitat that is the real cause of the problem and necessary to save salmon.``


December 12 2008 - Letter of Area G Fishermen to the Prime Minister

"Within the Proposal is an unprecedented recommendation that Canada sell its fishing licences on the West Coast of Vancouver Island to the U.S. for $30 million."


December 8, 2008 - Letter of Area G Fishermen To Fisheries Minister

In particular, we are concerned with the amount of mitigation being proposed and the cost to our fleet in loss of livelihood and direct investments in our enterprises.  This exceeds the amount of $30 million being  discussed.

We are concerned that the deal is to trade off anywhere from $100 to $300 million in Landed Values of fish for far less than product value, not to mention jobs and related values.


November 13, 2008 - Letter of Area G Fishermen to Fisheries Minister

The southern U.S. wanted more reductions in Canadian harvest.  Presently, they are being forced legally by the Endangered Species Act to take significant domestic action, in particular on the heavily dammed Columbia River salmon stocks.  This action already costs them over $800 million in fisheries mitigation programs per annum to maintain hydro production.  More access to Canada's share of the fish would reduce pressure on them to take further domestic action such as increasing water flows (reducing hydro production), further limiting U.S. terminal fisheries and investing in habitat restoration.

    Costs of the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program

"In Fiscal Year 2006, the Bonneville Power Administration incurred costs totalling $851.7 million to mitigate the impacts of hydropower dams on fish and wildlife of the Columbia River Basin.  (Approx 90% are Fish related costs, 10% Wildlife)"


May 24, 2008 - Globe - Salmon Deal Sells Out Fishermen

Commercial fishermen in B.C. are being sold out for a pittance under a proposed Canada-U.S. settlement on Pacific salmon, angry trollers say.

"It's absolutely shocking," said Kathy Scarfo of the West Coast Trollers Association.  "Here we have a Canadian natural resource, the U.S. needs it because, let's face it, they have destroyed their habitat... so instead of paying the price, they are buying ours.  And it's a sweetheart deal."


May 24, 2008 - Times Colonist - Deal Fatal to Fleet; Island Communities

The West Coast Vancouver Island troll fleet will be annihilated and small coastal communities irreparably damaged if Canada agrees to cut the Chinook salmon catch off the west coast of Vancouver Island by 30 percent, critics said yesterday.


May 24, 2008 - Nanaimo Daily News - B.C. Industry Slams U.S. Salmon Treaty

Fishermen, politicians and business owners said Friday the Island fleet is being asked to take the hit without adequate compensation or guarantees that stocks will be conserved once the fish reach Oregon and Washington.


May 23, 2008 - Seattle Times - Treaty Could Bring Salmon Home to Spawn

With fewer Chinook caught to the north "we might be able to maintain a skeleton fishery down here while wild [Chinook] stocks are recovering," said Doug Fricke, president of the Washington Trollers Association.

Dale Kelley, of the Alaska Trollers association, said the cuts in Alaskan fishing were just a bargaining chip, traded so the Canadians would agree to less fishing off Vancouver Island.

But the real source of the salmon's plight, she said, lies with habitat destruction in places such as Puget sound.

"The people that do not want to gin up political will to deal with that problem just got a free pass," she said.


LATEST IN KAPP DECISION ON RACE-BASED FISHERIES

October 30 2008 - Supreme Court Refuses Rehearing in Kapp

2008-10-30

Decision on the motion for a rehearing of the appeal, UPON APPLICATION by the respondent Stewart (Stuart) McDonald for a rehearing of the appeal;
AND HAVING READ the material filed;
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
The motion for a rehearing of the appeal is dismissed without costs.
Dismissed, without costs

(from Supreme Court of Canada website) 


Excerpt from Stewart McDonald's Motion filed in the Supreme Court of Canada for a Rehearing in Kapp:

PART I

OVERVIEW AND STATEMENT OF FACTS

 

1.             Until June 27, 2008, when this court delivered its ruling, R. v. Kapp had never been about affirmative action programs under s. 15(2) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  In the view of the Appellant fishermen, Kapp was about racial segregation of their own workplace.  In the view of the Crown, Kapp was about fisheries management.

 

2.             The position of the parties offered the Court two choices.  It could adopt the approach of the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson 163 U.S. 537 (1896) in which it held that the police powers of the state authorized the segregation of American citizens into separate rail cars based on skin colour under the guise of “separate, but equal.”  Or the Court could adopt the principles espoused fifty years later by the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. the Board of Education 347 U.S. 483 (1954) in which it declared that separate is inherently unequal.

 

3.             This learned Court adopted the Plessy approach by focusing on the question of legislative authority which precluded an analysis of whether racial segregation of Canadian citizens is consistent with the equality of a free and democratic Canada.  Harlan J. was the courageous dissenting Justice in the Plessy appeal.  His words are as applicable in this appeal as they were in 1896 in the United States:

 

“In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law.  The humblest is the peer of the most powerful.  The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved. It is therefore to be regretted that this high tribunal, the final expositor of the fundamental law of the land, has reached the conclusion that it is competent for a state to regulate the enjoyment by citizens of their civil rights solely upon the basis of race… the judgment this day rendered will, in time, prove to be quite as pernicious as the decision made by this tribunal in the Dred Scott Case…The thin disguise of ‘equal’ accommodations for passengers in railroad coaches will not mislead anyone, nor atone for the wrong this day done. (Plessy v. Ferguson)

 

4.             The Appellants do not claim to be in the same position as Americans who fought the odious “separate, but equal” doctrine for 50 years from Plessy to Brown (such a claim would dishonour their struggle), but as held by this court in the appeal concerning an off-reserve Indian prosecuted for consuming alcohol alongside Canadians of other races: 

 

“The social situations in Brown v. Board of education and in the instant case are, of course, very different, but the philosophic concept is the same.” (Drybones

 

5.             Until Kapp, it had been more than 60 years since this court held that a “Negro” could be refused entry to a bar (Christie v. York) or a “Chinaman” could be barred from working under a B.C. timber licence (B.C. v. Brooks-Bidlake & Whittall).  Without further clarification, Kapp means that enshrining equality rights in the Constitution Act, 1982 turned back the clock to the time when government and this Court could cast aside non-favoured racial groups at their pleasure.  As it stands today, this Court is the only court in any western democracy to rule that segregating its citizens by race in the workplace is a step towards equality.  

 

6.             The Appellants do not challenge affirmative action programs for Canadians of aboriginal ancestry.  Non-segregationist programs have been a factor in the B.C. commercial fishery since prior to 1968, more than fifteen years before the 1984 Report of the Commission on Equality in Employment.

 

7.             The Appellants do not Challenge the racial segregation of their workplace under the thin guise of affirmative action which is the result of this Court’s “basic starting point” in the development of s. 15(2).  The Appellant brings this motion to speed the further development of the principles of s. 15(2) and reverse serious errors in the decision of this honourable Court which changed the result of the Kapp appeal and eliminated the equality rights of the appellants in their workplace:

 

a.             The Court erred in transforming the Crown’s pleading that the object of the program was fisheries management into a pleading that the object of the program was the amelioration of conditions of a disadvantaged group, thus immunizing racial segregation from Charter scrutinizing by redefining it as affirmative action under s.15 (2).  In doing so the Court took the conduct of the prosecution out of the hands of the Crown and prevented the Appellants from knowing or responding to the case against them.  The Court convicted the Appellant fishermen on a ground expressly denied by Parliament, the Crown, the evidence and principles established by this Court.

 

b.             The Court erred in reversing the trial judge’s findings of fact on the tow issues required to establish a program as protected under s. 15 (2):

 

i.                     The trial judge, based on evidence of valuable real estate, businesses, substantial income and the number of millionaire band members, held that the Musqueam and Tsawwassen were financially healthy. Relying on a stereotype, this court held that all aboriginal groups in Canada are economically disadvantaged and therefore the Musqueam and Tsawwassen bands are economically disadvantaged.

 

ii.                    The trial judge held that the object of the program was not ameliorative based on the plethora of inconsistent reasons offered by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and a legislative declaration by the Minister of Fisheries that the object of the program was to control aboriginal poaching;

 

This Court has long held that a fundamental principle of appellate review is that findings of fact by a trial judge may not be reversed except in the case of a palpable and overriding error;

 

c.            The Court held that when a legislature declares that a particular program is an ameliorative program it should be granted “significant deference,” but the Court erred when it granted no deference to the legislature’s and Crown’s denial that the object of the Musqueam and Tsawwassen-only commercial fishery is amelioration;

 

d.            The Court erred when it did not consider that the rights guaranteed by the Charter are subject “only” to such reasonable limits as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society by way of s. 1.  Racial segregation of a workplace is not a reasonable limit on the guarantee of equality in the Charter in a free and democratic society.

 

8.             These verifiable errors were not ancillary or unimportant topics:  these demonstrable errors were explicitly and substantially relied upon by the Court.  Individually, and in combination, each error is fatal to this Court’s conclusion that a fifteen year old racially segregated commercial fishery for the Musqueam and Tsawwassen bands is a forward step along the journey to achieving equality in Canada.

 

***

 

13.           This Court mischaracterized the exclusive fishery enjoyed by Musqueam and Tsawwassen fishermen as merely a 24-hour head-start on one particular day during the fishing season.  This reflects a serious misunderstanding of the nature of the segregated fishery.  It is a fifteen year old completely separate commercial fishery operating under its won licensing, catch reporting and regulatory regime.  The claim of the Appellants requires a clear understanding and appreciation of the form and breadth of the racial segregation endured by the appellants:

 

a.             This segregation is in law.  The Musqueam and Tsawwassen bands fish under preferential rules allegedly authorized by the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations.  The public commercial fishery, in which the Musqueam and Tsawwassen also fish, is authorized by the Fishery General Regulations and the Pacific Fishery Regulations.  

 

b.             This segregation is institutional.  The Musqueam and Tsawwassen fishery is managed through private discussions between the Musqueam and Tsawwassen and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans from which the Appellants are excluded even though the fishery is a public resource.  The public commercial fishery is managed by the Pacific Salmon Commission, a joint U.S./Canada commission created by international treaty to eliminate the damage caused by management balkanization.

 

c.             This segregation is physical.  Musqueam and Tsawwassen fishermen fish in private openings under preferential rules and regulations while all other Canadians must remain tied up watching from the dock or face arrest, jail, prosecution, fines and possible loss of their catch, vessel and licence.

 


PART II – THE ISSUES

 

16.           The issues “B,” “C” and “D” below demonstrate the need for this Court to further develop the law with regards to s. 15(2):

 

A.            Whether this Court overturned findings of fact by the trial judge in the absence of a palpable and overriding error and transformed a material ground taken by the Crown and, if true, what remedy is appropriate?

 

B.            Whether s. 15(2) programs are immune from scrutiny under the Charter?

 

C.            Whether an affirmative action program is constitutional when the target group is highly over-represented in the target workplace, has suffered no discrimination or barriers to entry in the target workplace and is already advantaged in the target workplace?

 

D.            Whether racial segregation of a workplace can ever be justified in a free and democratic society?


PART III - ARGUMENT

(A)

Whether this Court overturned findings of fact by the trial judge in the absence of a palpable and overriding error and transformed a material position taken by the Crown and, if true, what remedy is appropriate?

 

A. The Musqueam and Tsawwassen Are Not Economically Disadvantaged

 

18.           As this learned Court held at para. 37 in Kapp “the focus of s. 15(2) is on enabling governments to pro-actively combat discrimination,” but there was no history of discrimination against Canadians of aboriginal ancestry in the B.C. commercial fishery and the Musqueam/Tsawwassen are not disadvantaged in the fishery or economically, so there is nothing to ameliorate and no historical or factual basis to justify a s. 15(2) program.

 

19.           Citing a stereotype, this Court held that the Musqueam/Tsawwassen are economically disadvantaged at paras. 59-60:

 

… More particularly, the evidence shows in this case that the bands granted the benefit were in fact disadvantaged in terms of income, education and a host of other measures…If the target group is socially and economically disadvantaged, as is the case here…. (emphasis added)

 

20.           The trial judge found that there was no discrimination against aboriginals in the B.C. commercial fishery and that aboriginals are advantaged and over-represented.   Reliance on this paragraph to justify a s. 15(2) program in the commercial fishery is misplaced.  Further, it is the Musqueam and Tsawwassen bands who participate in the impugned program - not all “aboriginal people” in Canada.  The trial judge firmly rejected this false stereotype that all aboriginal groups in Canada, including the Musqueam and Tsawwassen, are economically disadvantaged:

 

[194] . . . it is unlikely that financial disadvantage is one of their problems . . . both of these bands and their individual members are likely healthy financially.  [197] From the evidence I was led to conclude that the Musqueam Band is located on a well-situated urban reserve on the outskirts of Vancouver and controls relatively valuable property.  This property and other business interests of the band produce a substantial income available to the band for the benefit of the band and the members of the band.  As a result, the real estate and personal possessions of the band members, described by the witnesses and evidenced by photographs, are at least of a standard and quality representative of the community at large. There was other less tangible evidence that was consistent in indicating that finances are not a particular problem for band members. [198] . . . With regard to the Tsawwassen Band also I conclude that in some respects they are disadvantaged, but financial disadvantage is not one of the problems. (emphasis added)

 

21.           Evidence heard by the trial judge included that there were 1,069 Musqueam members as of December 31, 2000 of whom 501 lived on the reserve and the reserve comprises 254 hectares or just over acre per every man, woman and child.   Further, the band owns the Musqueam Park sub-division which has 74 homes whose owners pay tax and lease payments of $15,800 to $16,000 per year to the band for a total of $1,169,000 annually.   The Band also collects tax revenue from a second housing development which is twice the size of Musqueam Park.   The Band owns a townhouse development of approximately 150 units which produces gross revenues of about $4.5 million annually.  The Band collects also collects land lease revenues from the Shaughnessy Golf Course and the Eaglequest Golf Course.  The Musqueam also have a number of commercial lands and activities off-reserve including a hotel, warehouses and docks for building and repairing ships.   The Band received $10 million in 1984 for damages relating to the Shaughnessy golf course and compensation for the expansion of the runway at the Vancouver International Airport.   There are also many businesses on the reserve including a catering business, cigarette sales, hair salons, art studios, legal services, a native personnel service.   The business affairs of the band are of sufficient scope and complexity that the band retains full-time legal counsel.   Some band members are very well-to-do, some send their children to private school, some are on social assistance – it was reported that there are at least six millionaires living on the reserve.   There was no evidence submitted to the Court of the level of Indian Affairs or other government funding provided to the band or additional assets and income that the band may have. 

 

22.           There are 301 members in the Tsawwassen Band of whom about 180 members (60%) live on the reserve.   The Band received more than $4.5 million in Indian Affairs funding during 2002-2003 or about $25,000 per man, woman and child living on the reserve, plus additional funding from other federal departments.   The Band or band members own businesses or lease land to a variety of businesses on the reserve including billboard leasing, restaurant, water slide, go-cart track, paint ball games and consulting businesses.   Some of the band land is leased out to farmers.   The band also developed and receives taxes from an 85 unit condominium development, it received lease revenue and continues to receive tax revenues from a 99 lot housing development and it has developed 21 beach lots.   The band itself also employs a number of band members in various band departments.   The band owns 650 acres of valuable real estate in metropolitan Vancouver or over 2 acres per each man, woman and child.

 

23.           Although the Defence led evidence to establish the economic status of the Musqueam and Tsawwassen, the Crown refused to provide Musqueam and Tsawwassen financial statements.   The government never, in fact, even conducted any financial analysis of the bands eligible for the program.  As held by the trial judge at para. 199:

 

“Even if financial disadvantage were an issue there was no economic study or assessment done prior to or during the pilot sales fishery concerning the economic need of the bands and the financial rewards the fishery would produce…”

 

24.           The trial judge also held that Musqueam and Tsawwassen housing was comparable to housing in the greater Vancouver area  at paras. 197 and 198:

 

the real estate and personal possessions of the band members, described by the witnesses and evidenced by photographs, are at least of a standard and quality representative of the [Vancouver] community at large. . . there was no evidence of housing problems

 

25.           The stereotype that all aboriginal groups are economically disadvantaged does not correspond to the actual circumstances and characteristics of the Musqueam and Tsawwassen bands.  Nor does it justify reversal of Kitchen P.C.J.’s finding of fact that “the evidence demonstrated that both of these bands and their individual members are likely healthy financially.”   At para. 200, the trial judge summarized the problem with holding that the fishery is an ameliorative program:

 

Since financial disadvantage is not a consideration with these bands, and if the Department demonstrated no interest in the financial aspects of the pilot sales fishery, it is difficult to understand what other disadvantages the pilot sales program was intended to remedy.

 

26.           As stated by Mendez in Complaint and Redress Mechanisms Relating to Racial Discrimination in Canada and Abroad:

 

A]ffirmative action programs are only legal if they rest on findings of disadvantage….

 

27.           In Law, this Court held that “…one should not unwittingly or otherwise use judicial notice to invent stereotypes or other social phenomena which may not or do not truly exist.”   As restated by Abella J. and McLachlin C.J. at para.18 in Kapp, it is discriminatory to base a decision on a stereotype or generalization “that does not correspond to a claimant’s or group’s actual circumstances and characteristics.”

 

B. The Object of the Impugned Program was Not Ameliorative

 

28.           The Court held at para. 61 that the impugned program:

 

. . . is protected by s. 15(2) as a program that “has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups.”

 

29.           The Court based its decision on two principals it established in Kapp for determining whether or not a program qualifies for s. 15(2) protection:

 

a.             the legislative goal rather than the actual effect is the paramount consideration (para. 44);

b.             a legislative declaration of an affirmative action program should be granted “significant deference.” (para. 49)

 

30.           In May 1993, the Minister of Fisheries who imposed the program testified before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Forestry and Fisheries that the purpose of the impugned program was to control aboriginal poaching:

 

With respect to these experiments, the three experiments with reference to the sale of fish, hey are not dictated by Sparrow case. We are not saying that we have to do this because of Sparrow.  We are doing this because we think it’s the best public policy, because we know for years and years in British Columbia and elsewhere there’s been poaching of fish.  We call it poaching.  The aboriginals say they have the right to do it.  The aboriginals have been taking fish and selling the fish illegally in great quantities… We are trying to avoid that by getting so that we know and agree with the aboriginals, on an experimental basis, how much fish they can take and sell, and we can regulate how it’s being sold...

 

31.           The Minister of Fisheries never suggested, inferred or mentioned in any way that the object of the program was to ameliorate the conditions of a disadvantaged group.  This may explain why the Crown denied an ameliorative object at paragraph 11 of its factum:

 

The position of the Respondent is that the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy and Pilot Sales Program were primarily aimed at the management of the fishery, and did not have as their sole or primary object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged groups or individuals.

 

32.           The trial judge also found that DFO’s object was not ameliorative:

 

[186] It is difficult to discern the real purpose of the pilot sales fishery . . . Fisheries Minister John Crosbie gave control of poaching as the reason for the program. [187] . . . he also mentioned that the program was to be an experiment. This is a second justification given for the program. [188] . . . This literature also asserts that the Sparrow Case requires that this type of opportunity be afforded to Aboriginals. This is clearly not the situation. [189] . . . Department literature also mentions the fiduciary duty society has to the Aboriginal community and how this has prompted the Department to move ahead of case law . . . [191] Most significantly, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have given economic development and an ameliorative purpose as the reason for pilot sales program. But there is a real suspicion that this is an ex post facto justification . . . [210] . . . Several reasons have been proffered at various times. There has been no consistent rationale for the program.

 

33.           This evidence and the position of the Crown proves that the impugned program did not have “as its object the amelioration of the conditions of a disadvantaged individual or group” as is required if the program is to be protected by s. 15(2) of the Charter.

 

C. Applying the Standard of Review

 

34.           An appeal court cannot overturn the findings of a trial judge in the absence of a palpable and overriding error.  This fundamental principal of appellate review was summarized by Iacobucci and Major JJ in Housen v. Nikolaisen, [2002] 2 S.C.R. 235 at paras. 1- 4:

 

A proposition that should be unnecessary to state is that a court of appeal should not interfere with a trial judge’s reasons unless there is a palpable and overriding error.  The same proposition is sometimes stated as prohibiting an appellate court from reviewing a trial judge’s decision if there was some evidence upon which he or she could have relied to reach that conclusion. . . .  The role of the appellate court was aptly defined in Underwood v. Ocean City Realty Ltd. (1987), 12 B.C.L.R. (2d) 199 (C.A.), at p. 204, where it was stated:

 

The appellate court must not retry a case and must not substitute its views for the views of the trial judge according to what the appellate court thinks the evidence establishes on its view of the balance of probabilities.

 

While the theory has acceptance, consistency in its application is missing.  The foundation of the principle is as sound today as 100 years ago.  It is premised on the notion that finality is an important aim of litigation.  There is no suggestion that appellate court judges are somehow smarter and thus capable of reaching a better result.  Their role is not to write better judgments but to review the reasons in light of the arguments of the parties and the relevant evidence, and then to uphold the decision unless a palpable error leading to a wrong result has been made by the trial judge. (underlining added)

 

35.           At para. 59, Abella J. and the Chief Justice refer to unspecified “evidence” of economic disadvantage, but as further stated by Iacobucci and Major JJ in Housen at para. 56:

 

…the narrowly defined scope of appellate review dictates that a trial judge should not be found to have misapprehended or ignored evidence, or come to the wrong conclusions merely because the appellate court diverges in the inference it draws from the evidence and chooses to emphasize some portions of the evidence over others.

 

36.           By the standards developed and enforced by this Court, it was a serious error to reverse Kitchen P.C.J.’s findings of fact that the Musqueam and Tsawwassen bands are financially healthy and that the object of the program was not ameliorative.  Had this Court abided by the palpable and overriding error test, it could not have held that the Musqueam and Tsawwassen  bands are economically disadvantaged or that the impugned program has as its object amelioration.  Instead of being protected by s. 15(2), it would have been plain that the program is prima facie discriminatory (as held by Bastarache J. at para.116) and the heavy burden would have been on government to justify racial segregation of the Appellants’ workplace.

 

  1. Further, in raising the ground that the challenged program is an ameliorative program, the Court amended a material ground of argument on appeal, but such action is not even permitted in civil litigation. Lamer C.J. held in Delgamuukw v. British Columbia, [1997] 3 S.C.R. 1010 at para. 76:

 

Although that argument carries considerable weight, it does not address the basic point that the collective claims were simply not in issue at trial.  To frame the case in a different manner on appeal would retroactively deny the respondents the opportunity to know the appellants’ case.

 

38.           Individually and in combination, each fact and process problem is fatal to the conclusion that a race-based commercial fishery for the Musqueam and Tsawwassen is an affirmative program protected from Charter scrutiny by way of s. 15(2).  The end result of the Court transforming the object of the impugned program from fisheries management to affirmative action is that it resulted in the Appellant fishermen being convicted on a ground denied by the prosecution.

 

39.           The Appellant fishermen do not object to s. 15(2) becoming the primary issue before this Court for the same reason that they did not object to s. 25 being introduced on appeal by an intervener - the Appellants want a definitive answer from this Court on the constitutionality of the racial segregation of their workplace.  Their simple request is to know and meet the case against them and have the case based on the trial judge’s findings of fact except in the case of a palpable and overriding error.

 

40.           As to the power of this Court to provide a remedy, Parliament and the justices of this Court anticipated a rare need to correct errors, clarify difficult analysis or further develop the law respecting an appeal by establishing Rule 76 which permits rehearing, clarification or the submission of further argument as per the request of the Appellant fishermen.


PART III - ARGUMENT

 

(B)

 

To what extent is an affirmative action program

subject to Charter scrutiny under s. 1 or s. 15(1)?

 

41.           Affirmative action programs under the authority of s. 15(2) of the Charter are an exception to the general rule of equality.  As such, these exceptions should be narrowly construed; however, as a “starting point,” Kapp virtually eliminated Charter scrutiny of affirmative action programs.  The immunity begins with its interpretation of the purpose of s. 15(1) at para. 37:

 

The focus of s. 15(1) is on preventing governments from making distinctions based on enumerated or analogous grounds that have the effect of perpetuating disadvantage or prejudice or imposing disadvantage on the basis of stereotyping.

 

42.           Nothing in s. 15(1) restricts its operation to discrimination that is “perpetuating disadvantage or prejudice or imposing disadvantage on the basis of stereotyping.” The s. 15(1) equality guarantee is unequivocal: “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and benefit of the law ….”

 

43.           This Court applied each factor in the s. 15(2) analysis in a manner that minimized the possibility and scope of Charter scrutiny of s. 15(2) programs. Some of these factors include:

 

a.             Creating a one way street between subsections (1) and (2) by holding that s. 15(2) informs s. 15(1), but subsection (1) does not inform 15(2) (para. 37);

 

b.             Prohibiting an analysis of the means or effect of a program except for the benefit of those inside the program (para. 49);

 

c.             Moving directly from a finding of differential treatment to determining whether the treatment stems from a s. 15(2) program to avoid the “symbolic problem” of finding that the program discriminates (para. 40);

 

d.             Allowing a program with many objectives, or as in the case of this appeal, an alleged incidental ameliorative effect to satisfy the “has as its object” requirement stated in s. 15(2) (paras. 50-52);

 

e.             Allowing disadvantage based on an invalid stereotype of historical discrimination to justify an affirmative action program without regard to the current status of the M/T bands or even a cursory review of the history of the specific workplace in which the program is targeted (para.53).

 

44.           The Court also immunized s. 15(2) from Charter scrutiny by not answering issues which are very important to those excluded or being discriminated against by a s. 15(2) program such as: When is a program finished?  What percentage of existing workers in a workplace can be displaced to make way for the target group?  These questions are highly relevant to the Appellants’ workplace.

 

45.           It was not the intention of the framers of the Constitution to exempt s. 15(2) programs from Charter scrutiny.  Testifying before the Special Joint Committee on the Constitution of Canada, Jean Chretien, the Minister of Justice stated in reference to s. 15(2):

 

It is simply an assurance that an affirmative action program based on a recognized ground of non-discrimination will not be struck down only because it authorizes reverse discrimination for the purpose of achieving equality. (emphasis added)

 

46.           The statement of the Minister of Justice is very helpful because it shows      that:

a.             Parliament accepted that s. 15(2) would result in “reverse discrimination” but expressed confidence that Canadian citizens would share its belief that differential treatment was sometimes necessary in the pursuit of equality and did not feel it necessary to avoid a purely political symbolic problem by pretending that no discrimination would occur under s. 15(2);

 

b.             Parliament expected judicial review of s. 15(2) programs but wanted to ensure that a program would not be struck down “only” because it authorizes reverse discrimination, rather it would take something more serious to strike down a s. 15(2) program.

 

47.           The Minister’s statement is also useful because it is consistent with the plain language of s. 15(2).  “Does not preclude” is not the language of notwithstanding or immunity.  It simply means that the object of the program cannot be attacked, but it ensures Charter scrutiny of the means and effect of the program.  As Professor Gibson [The Law of the Charter:  Equality Rights (1990) at p. 300] wrote: 

 

In other words, although an affirmative action program cannot be struck down...because it has an ameliorative object, it can be invalidated if the means employed to achieve that goal impinge unjustifiably upon equality rights or mobility rights.  Any other interpretation would mean that a law program or activity would be immune from constitutional scrutiny, no matter how unacceptably it might violate equality or mobility rights in the course of implementing that object.  Since restrictions upon constitutional rights ought to be narrowly construed, that interpretation should be avoided . . .

 

48.           Michael Peirce, a proponent of expansive affirmative action programs, whose law review article [A Progressive Interpretation of Subsection 15(2) of the Charter, (1993) 57 Sask. L. Rev. 263] advocating a “progressive” interpretation of 15(2) was quoted approvingly by the Court concluded in the quoted law review article that:

 

If the dominant purpose of the program [as in this appeal] is not amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged groups, and the program is discriminatory even in light of s. 15(2), then the scheme may be struck down under s. 15(1).

 

49.           The language of other sections of the Charter also informs the scope of s. 15(2).  Section 32(2) stated “Notwithstanding subsection (1), section 15 shall not have effect until three years after this section comes into force.” 

 

50.           Section 33(1) states that “Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.” 

 

51.           Unlike s. 15(2), these sections clearly exclude legislation from s. 15(1) review. The absence of the words of immunity and notwithstanding from s. 15(2) were not a mistake. As noted in Sullivan and Driedger on the Construction of Statutes [at 162]:

 

It is presumed that the legislature uses language carefully and consistently so that within a statute or other legislative instrument the same words have the same meaning and different words have different meanings.

 

52.           The drafters of the Charter also included a limitation on the scope of s. 15(2) with the words “has as its object.”  In recognition of the fact that s. 15(2) programs may be  discriminatory, but may help attain Canada’s objective of equality, the “has as its object” provision limits s. 15(2) programs to those which are carefully designed and implemented with the “object” of ameliorating the conditions of a disadvantaged individual or group. This helps to protect the sanctity of the equality guarantee by only allowing programs to violate s. truly have an ameliorative object.  Programs with incidental ameliorative effects or a pith and substance that is at its heart fisheries management, for example, do not satisfy the “has as its object” test. 

 

53.           Most important, there is also the Charter guarantee.  The unequivocal language of s. 1 guarantees the rights of the Charter “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”  Affirmative actions programs do not enjoy blanket immunity from s. 1, but s. 1 does protect carefully developed and implemented affirmative action programs that “can be justified in a free and democratic society.”

 

54.           This Court in Law v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration), [1999] 1 S.C.R. 497, at page 537 reached the same conclusion:

 

At the same time, I would not wish to be taken as foreclosing the possibility that a member of society could be discriminated against by laws aimed at ameliorating the situation of others, requiring the court to consider justification under s. 1, or the operation of s. 15(2). The possibility of new forms of discrimination denying essential human worth cannot be foreclosed.

 

55.           The net effect of the starting point in this Court’s s. 15(2) analysis is that it grants government a blank cheque to discriminate against Canadians for broad purposes not related to any specific disadvantage and entirely at the arbitrary discretion of any Minister with the assurance that those excluded or negatively affected cannot seek justice in any Canadian court.  


PROBLEMS IN KAPP DECISION

Fisherman Seeks Rehearing - Motion Filed - August 27, 2008

Stewart McDonald, one of the fishermen in the Kapp case, has filled a motion with the Supreme Court of Canada asking that the Court rehear some of the issues arising out of the June 27, 2008 Supreme Court decision.

Fisherman Life - August 2008 - Editorial on Kapp Decision

"What the Court did do, however, is confirm that awhile all Canadians are equal under the Canadian Constitution, some are more equal than others.  In short, our government has the right to discriminate against some Canadians in order to carry out Affirmative Action programs to individuals or groups the Government deems disadvantaged.  There is no need for the government to prove the necessity for any such program or to validate that it is accomplishing that goal.  Government simply has to state the program's intent to improve on some perceived disadvantage and then they are free to discriminate against other Canadians.

What is said about this judgment is that it is clear that the Court failed to take into account certain facts of the case.  Even though the Crown admitted that the primary function of the Pilot Sales Program was not to ameliorate a disadvantaged group, the Court ignored this.  The previous trials had all shown that the Musqueam and Tsawwassen bands are, in fact, two of the wealthiest in the Province.  But the Supreme Court ignored this evidence and took the position that as some First Nations are disadvantaged, ergo, all are disadvantaged."

National Post - July 26, 2008 - Orwell Goes Fishing

"John Carpay's analysis of the precedent-setting Supreme Court decision on race-based fisheries is unfortunately accurate.  It is troubling that the court is prepared to use the Charter to protect racial segregation in the commercial fishery."

Vancouver Sun - July 23, 2008 - Supreme Court Should Reconsider Its Fishing Decision

"The Musqueam, one of the wealthiest aboriginal bands in B.C., was found by the court to be an economically disadvantaged group.

(The trial judge, on the other hand, reviewed the same evidence and concluded that the Musqueam were in the enviable position of being financially well-off.  This was not a disputed fact at trial.)

The Supreme Court based its legal conclusions on a demonstrably mistaken view of the record.  Given what can charitably be called a bizarre decision riddled with obvious errors, it now has an obligation to reconsider its decision."

* * *

    The Trial Judge, in his decision at trial, stated:

  • From that evidence I conclude that it is unlikely that financial disadvantage is one of their problems…. However, the evidence demonstrated that both of these bands and their individual members are likely healthy financially.” (paragraph 194)

  • From the evidence that was led I conclude that the Musqueam Band is located on a well-situated urban reserve on the outskirts of Vancouver and controls relatively valuable property. This property and other business interests of the band produce a substantial income available to the band for the benefit of the band and its members. As a result, the real estate and personal possessions of the band members, described by the witnesses and evidenced by photographs, are at least of a standard and quality representative of the community at large. There was other less tangible evidence that was consistent in indicating that finances are not a particular problem for band members.” (paragraph 197) 

  • “The Tsawwassen Band has a reserve further from the Vancouver metropolitan centre, which is therefore less valuable. The band leases properties and h8as business ventures however, and there was similar evidence concerning quality of housing and the possessions of band members. The Crown did call a witness regarding the Tsawwassen Band. Frederick Jacobs, former Chief and band councillor, described the band's circumstances. He told of considerable resourcefulness by band members to take advantage of their proximity to the highway and the ocean in developing income-producing properties. It is apparent that there are educational and unemployment problems on the reserve but there was no evidence of housing problems nor of poverty generally. With regard to the Tsawwassen Band also I conclude that in some respects they are disadvantaged, but financial disadvantage is not one of the problems.” (paragraph 198)

 

  • Since financial disadvantage is not a consideration with these bands, and if the Department demonstrated no interest in the financial aspects of the pilot sales fishery, it is difficult to understand what other disadvantages the pilot sales program was intended to remedy. I have concluded that it may be that there are other non-financial disadvantages in common with Aboriginals generally that these bands experience but the program would do nothing to remedy them; it produces only financial rewards…. There was no suggestion anywhere in the evidence that any of the money from the pilot sales fishery went to any type of program intended to deal with any of the real disadvantages actually experienced by the bands.” (paragraph 200)

National Post - July 22, 2008 - Dividing the Catch

"On June 27, the Supreme Court of Canada gave its stamp of approval to racially segregated commercial fisheries in British Columbia, and did so in the name of "substantive" equality."

"In R. v. Kapp, the Supreme Court of Canada reversed its 80-year-old precedent, ruling that race-based policies and programs do not violate the Charter's section 15 equality rights as long as the government declares that the program is intended to help a disadvantaged group."

"In short, the Supreme Court upheld as constitutional a race-based policy which is ineffective and counterproductive, and which applies to a workplace that doesn't need it."

Vancouver Times Colonist - July 17, 2008 - Supreme Court Erred on Race-Based Fishery

"It is also troubling that our highest court would make findings of fact contrary to the evidence.

The Musqueam, one of the wealthiest aboriginal bands in B.C., was found to be economically disadvantaged by the Supreme Court.

The trial judge on the other hand reviewed the dame evidence and concluded that the Musqueam were in the enviable position of being financially well-off.

Given what can only be called a bizarre decision riddled with errors, the Supreme Court now has an obligation to reconsider its decision."

Ottawa Citizen - July 16, 2008 - Top Court Must Reconsider Race-Based Fisheries Ruling

"Columnist Leonard Stern's analysis of the precedent-setting Supreme Court decision on race-based fisheries is unfortunately accurate.  It is indeed troubling that the court is prepared to support racial discrimination.

The fundamental provision of the Charter guaranteeing equality under the law is designed to protect Canadians from racial discrimination.  In an Orwellian interpretation of the Charter's section 15 protection against discrimination, the court has decided that section 15 is really a stick by which government can impose racial discrimination to achieve economic equality between groups."

Sault Star - July 16, 2008 - Supreme Court of Canada Ignored Facts

"The Supreme Court of Canada acknowledged that a government program caused fishermen to suffer racial discrimination.

Justice Basterache concluded that 'the fact that the program is race-based is established beyond doubt' and that 'the disadvantage' suffered by commercial fishermen 'related to racial differences,' as did the majority decision."

Windsor Star - July 15, 2008 - Supreme Court Ignored Facts

"The majority concluded that the racially segregated fishery was saved from being unconstitutional because the discriminatory program's 'aims correlate to the actual economic and social disadvantage suffered by members of the three aboriginal bands.'

But that is where the wheels come off.

At trial, the court actually examined the financially privileged position of the Musqueam and Tsawwassen Bands and concluded 'that it is unlikely that financial disadvantage is one of their problems ... the evidence demonstrated that both of these bands and their individual members are likely healthy financially.'"

Calgary Herald - July 14, 2009 - No Right to Fish

Traditionally, both Parliament and the Supreme Court of Canada were guardians of our rights and liberties, but no more. With the ratification of the Tsawwassen Treaty by Parliament and the Supreme Court decision in Kapp, racial segregation is the law in Canada.  Equal access to the fishery, enjoyed for 800 years since Magna Carta, is out the window.

Belleville Intelligencer - July 9, 2009 - Supreme Court Ignoring the Facts

"The Supreme Court ignored the facts and found that the Musqueam and Tsawwassen Indian bands, amongst the wealthiest in the country, were disadvantaged thus triggering the affirmative action provision in the Charter that protects an otherwise unconstitutional program.

Given its error in interpreting evidence essential to its finding, the Supreme Court has an obligation to reconsider its decision.  Both the Crown and the appellant should apply to the court for a rehearing."

Victoria Times Colonist - July 8, 2008 - Bad Decision on Race-Based Fisheries

"Traditionally there are two arguments invoked to justify racial preferences in allocating resources and opportunities:  First, that such preferences are necessary to compensate for past wrongs and to give disadvantaged groups a leg up; and second that they are necessary to ensure diversity of perspectives and ideas.

The court declared that the system for allocating fishing rights is legal, but what's disconcerting is that the court relied on the first argument.

The problem with using reverse discrimination to compensate historically disadvantaged groups is that this approach was discredited long ago."

Calgary Herald - July 6, 2008 - Our constitution's illiberal approach to race

"In R v. Kapp, released just before the recent long weekend, the Supreme Court of Canada said it was fine for the federal government to discriminate and to divide Canadians in the West Coast commercial salmon fishery."

Ottawa Citizen - July 5, 2008 - Racism Goes Legit

"The Court's good intentions, expressed in a troubling decision last week, take the country to a place we don't want to go, one where it's acceptable to confer and withhold rights according to race."

National Post - July 2, 2008 - Dealing With Our First Nations


What was the Object of the Race-Based Program?

The federal government, in defending its race-based program, said that the program did not have as its sole or primary object the amelioration of a disadvantaged group.

  • "The position of the Respondent is that the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy and Pilot Sales Program were primarily aimed at management of the fishery, and did not have as their sole or primary object the amelioration of disadvantaged groups or individuals." 

Yet the Supreme Court held that the object of the program was the amelioration or relief of a group suffering disadvantage. 

Are the Musqueam Disadvantaged?

No one would seriously consider the Musqueam and Tsawwassen economically disadvantaged yet the Supreme Court in a bizarre finding concluded these economically secure communities were "disadvantaged."

It is a counterfactual finding because appeal courts have no authority to create new facts or new evidence, they must rely on the evidence and facts given and established at trial. Their job is to ensure there were no errors of law.  They must rely on the evidence on the record.

The Supreme Court said the evidence proved disadvantage.

The Supreme Court stated:

  • “The bands tended to be disadvantaged economically, compared to non-Aboriginals.” (paragraph 5)
  • “The government’s aims correlate to the actual economic and social disadvantage suffered by the members of the three aboriginal bands....  More particularly, the evidence shows in this case that the bands granted the benefit were in fact disadvantaged in terms of income, education, and a host of other measures.  This disadvantage, rooted in history, continues to this day.”  (paragraph 59)

The Supreme court never explains what evidence of disadvantage if any in the trial record that it is referring to. 

Not Economically or Financially Disadvantaged

The Trial Judge, based on the evidence, concluded that the Musqueam and Tsawwassen were not disadvantaged. In his decision at trial, the judge stated:

  • From that evidence I conclude that it is unlikely that financial disadvantage is one of their problems…. However, the evidence demonstrated that both of these bands and their individual members are likely healthy financially.” (paragraph 194)

  • From the evidence that was led I conclude that the Musqueam Band is located on a well-situated urban reserve on the outskirts of Vancouver and controls relatively valuable property. This property and other business interests of the band produce a substantial income available to the band for the benefit of the band and its members. As a result, the real estate and personal possessions of the band members, described by the witnesses and evidenced by photographs, are at least of a standard and quality representative of the community at large. There was other less tangible evidence that was consistent in indicating that finances are not a particular problem for band members.” (paragraph 197) 

  • “The Tsawwassen Band has a reserve further from the Vancouver metropolitan centre, which is therefore less valuable. The band leases properties and h8as business ventures however, and there was similar evidence concerning quality of housing and the possessions of band members. The Crown did call a witness regarding the Tsawwassen Band. Frederick Jacobs, former Chief and band councillor, described the band's circumstances. He told of considerable resourcefulness by band members to take advantage of their proximity to the highway and the ocean in developing income-producing properties. It is apparent that there are educational and unemployment problems on the reserve but there was no evidence of housing problems nor of poverty generally. With regard to the Tsawwassen Band also I conclude that in some respects they are disadvantaged, but financial disadvantage is not one of the problems.” (paragraph 198)

 

  • Since financial disadvantage is not a consideration with these bands, and if the Department demonstrated no interest in the financial aspects of the pilot sales fishery, it is difficult to understand what other disadvantages the pilot sales program was intended to remedy. I have concluded that it may be that there are other non-financial disadvantages in common with Aboriginals generally that these bands experience but the program would do nothing to remedy them; it produces only financial rewards…. There was no suggestion anywhere in the evidence that any of the money from the pilot sales fishery went to any type of program intended to deal with any of the real disadvantages actually experienced by the bands.” (paragraph 200)

 

Not Disadvantaged in the Fishery

 


SUPREME COURT OF CANADA RULES ON KAPP

Issue before the Supreme Court (Case Summary):  Whether federal action to segregate a workplace by race or ancestry is consistent with section 15 of the Charter - Whether a federal fisheries program which imposes segregation, by race or ancestry, on the commercial salmon fishery in public navigable waters is consistent with section 15 of the Charter.

Held:  The majority acknowledged the racial basis of the distinction made by the federal government program.

 

         “In our view, the appellants have established that they were treated differently based on an enumerated ground, race.” (paragraph 29)

         “Therefore, we are satisfied that the appellants have demonstrated a distinction imposed on the basis of race, an enumerated ground under s. 15.” (paragraph 56)

 

But the Court held that the race-based program had as its “object the amelioration of the conditions of a disadvantaged group.”

 

The Court specifically found that the Musqueam and Tsawwassen Bands were economically disadvantaged:

 

  • “The bands tended to be disadvantaged economically, compared to non-Aboriginals.” (paragraph 5)
  • “The government’s aims correlate to the actual economic and social disadvantage suffered by the members of the three aboriginal bands.”  (paragraph 59)

Therefore the claim of discrimination under section 15(1) of the Charter failed not because there was no discrimination but because the race-based program had as its object the amelioration of the conditions of a disadvantage group as described in section 15(2) of the Charter and the Musqueam and Tsawwassen were held to be disadvantaged as compared to non-aboriginals.

Decisions on Racial Segregation/Discrimination - Pre Charter

John Murdock v. Quebec Labour Relations Bd., Quebec Superior Court (1955)

Rogers v. Clarence Hotel (B.C. Court of Appeal, 1940))

Christie v York, Supreme Court of Canada (1939)

Loew`s Montreal Theatres v. Reynolds (Quebec Court of Appeal, 1919)

Barnswell v. National Amusement (B.C. Court of Appeal, 1915)

Johnson v. Sparrow (Quebec Superior Court, 1899)

Documents Relating to Discrimination/Non-Discrimination

Queen Victoria - No Exclusive Fishery Granted - British Columbia

Factum - Fishermen of Japanese Origin in B.C. - Exclusion from Fishery - Reference to Supreme Court of Canada

Fishermen of Japanese descent seek fishing licences (1927)

"It is our opinion that the licensing powers of the Dominion Government in this regard are purely regulative, and so that they can keep a record of fishermen, but that when fishing is to be allowed all [Canadian citizens] have a right to partake of that privilege without distinction or preference.  Any other attitude on the part of the Department in our opinion is depriving these [Canadian citizens] of their right to fish, and is not a regulation for the protection of the fish, but would be a regulation against the civil rights of these people."

Annual Report 1924-1925 - Reduction in Orientals in the Fishery

Annual Report 1925-1926 - Reduction in Orientals in the Fishery

"The department's policy of eliminating the Oriental from the fisheries of the province with a view to placing the entire industry in the hands of white British subjects and Canadian Indians appears to be working out well as is shown in statement  No. 10, which covers a very large proportion of the total number of licenses issued which Orientals were permitted to hold."

Elimination of Orientals from Herring Fishery - 1924 (from National Archives)

"Primarily the reason for the present Act was the desire to eliminate the Oriental and make it possible for the white man or Canadian Indian to enter the herring dry salting business."

Legislation - Racial Segregation/Discrimination

White Ladies Employment Act, (Saskatchewan, 1912)

The Separate Schools Act, 1886 (Ontario)

Education Act, 1865 (Nova Scotia)


Trial Court Decision


Nisga'a Treaty and the GST

Letter to Prince George Citizen, June 3, 2008

Cabinet Exempts Nisga'a from Federal GST

The Order-in-Council issued under the First Nations Goods and Services Tax exempts the Nisga'a from paying the GST to the federal government and provides that a Nisga'a GST will be collected on Nisga'a Treaty lands for all transactions whether they involve Nisga'a citizens or non-Nisga'a citizens. The tax money collected will go to the Nisga'a Band government.


Tsawwassen Treaty Before Parliament

BC Outdoors - Sept/Oct Issue - Parliament Rejects BC Concerns on Treaty

Third Reading

John Cummins was not given an opportunity to speak in Parliament at Third Reading.

Here are the notes for the first part of the speech Mr. Cummins would have given if he had been allowed to speak.

The second part of Mr. Cummins' speech would have involved reading excerpts from the presentations to the House of Commons Committee that Bertha Williams and Bill Otway sought to make.  The House Committee studying the Treaty Bill had refused to hear from members of the public impacted by the Treaty.

There was not a Third Reading debate as such.  Instead the House agreed to "deem" there had been a Third Reading. ("deem that bill read a third time and passed")

Second Reading Report Stage Debate (Cummins Amendments)

The Cummins amendments were printed in the House of Commons Notice Paper on June 11, 2008. 

The amendments dealt with land, fisheries, taxation and the protection of Parliament's ability to protect the rights of Canadians. 

Debate on the Cummins Amendments

Speech by John Cummins, with Comment from Bloc M.P. Lemay and response.

Speech by Liberal M.P. Bagnell, with Comment from Mr. Cummins and response.

Speech by Bloc M.P. Lemay, with Comment from Mr. Cummins and response.

Speech by NDP M.P. Crowder, with Comment from Mr. Cummins and response.

Speech by Liberal M.P. Russell, with Comments from Mr. Cummins and response.

Speech by Conservative M.P. Albrecht, with Comments from Mr. Cummins and response.

Some of the M.P.s made reference to the taxation provisions in the treaty, particularly with regard to the taxation by the Band government of non-band members who form the majority of residents on the Tsawwassen Reserve or what will become Treaty Lands.

    Library of Parliament - Taxation Of Non-Members

Study by House of Commons Committee

The Committee met on June 4, 2008 following a two day visit to Nunavut. 

The Committee did hear from the Minister of Indian Affairs whose department negotiated the treaty on behalf of the federal government and Chief Baird who negotiated on behalf of the Band.

The Committee declined to go to British Columbia or even to hear witnesses from British Columbia who are impacted by the Tsawwassen Treaty Bill.

It chose to hear only from those who supported the Treaty and Treaty Implementation Bill.

The Committee completed within about sixty seconds its detailed clause by clause consideration and passage of the Treaty Implementation Bill and the two volume Treaty together with the numerous side-agreements on fisheries, taxation and other matters.

Refuses to Hear Witnesses From British Columbia

Letter to Aboriginal Affairs Committee, June 3, 2008

The Final Agreement was negotiated behind closed doors.  The public, both aboriginal and non-aboriginal, were shut out of the process so it is essential that those most affected by the treaty now have the opportunity to be heard.

The Committee's Clerk has advised me that the Aboriginal Affairs Committee is not prepared to meet those impacted by Bill C-34.  A Committee that is not interested in knowing if there are deficiencies in the legislation and in correcting them is a sham.

Request to Committee - BC Fisheries Survival Coalition - June 2, 2008

We are wiring a second time concerning Bill C-34 which is the legislative foundation for the Tsawwassen Final Agreement to request that the Committee travel to BC so we and others with and interest can make submissions.

Refuses to Hear Bertha Williams - June 2, 2008

Second Reading

Hansard - Second Reading Debate - May 15, 2008

Hansard - Second Reading Debate - May 16, 2008

Notes for Speech at Second Reading - May 16, 2008

Let the record show Mr. Speaker, the Real Beneficiaries of the Treaty are the new band members, many of whom live outside of Canada and the Vancouver Port Authority who was able to get port expansion without environmental objections from the Band.

Mr. Speaker, this treaty negatively impacts lifelong band members and reserve residents like Bertha Williams.

It will mean the destruction of valuable farmland and the loss of habitat for migratory birds.

Its legacy will be a more segregated and divided nation.

To vote for this Treaty would do a disservice to my constituents both aboriginal and non-aboriginal and a disservice to the people of my province and my country.  I will not do that.


Problems in New Fisheries Act

B.C. Wildlife Federation - May 1, 2008

Statement on New Fisheries Act now coming before Parliament

Sportfishing Defence Alliance - May 1, 2008

Letter from Bill Otway to Minister of Fisheries

B.C. Wildlife Federation - May 5, 2008

Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper

    Letter to the Minister of Fisheries - October 5, 2007


Richmond News - April 29, 2008

MP Swims Up Stream on Fisheries


Delta Optimist - April 23, 2008

Hearn Tells Cummins There Are Enough Salmon in River

    Letter to Fisheries Minister - April 8, 2008

"Your response to my analysis is a serious concern because it appears that your department simply does not understand the implications of the Tsawwassen Treaty's salmon allocations to the Tsawwassen Indian Band."

    Letter from Fisheries Minister - March 3, 2008

"In this report you contend that First nations will become entitled to the entire allocation of Fraser River sockeye, and that the commercial and recreational fisheries on these stocks will end.  Actually, the treaty process will provide certainty and predictability for all harvesters."

    Letter to Fisheries Minister - November 26, 2007

"I am enclosing a copy of my report on the Tsawwassen Treaty ....  The report raises serious questions about whether the federal government and its treaty negotiators have a handle on the quantity of fish consumed by the Tsawwassen Treaty and other treaties to be signed in the coming months and years."

    ReportReview of Commercial Salmon Allocations -
   
Impact Analysis Applying Tsawwassen Benchmark to Fraser River Fishery


Garden City Lands

Letter - President of Canada Lands Company - April 2, 2008

    Richmond Review - March 12, 2008 - Musqueam Own Half   

    DFO Release - March 18, 2005 - Announces MOU

    DFO Backgrounder - March 18, 2005 - Garden City Property MOU


Home Buyers' Plan - Bill C-520

News Release - March 3, 2008

First Time Home Buyers' Plan to be Improved

Bill C-520 - An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Home Buyers' Plan)

    Hansard - January 31, 1994

    Feds Hike Limit - Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows Times - March 7, 2008

    Letter - Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver - March 26, 2008

Debate - Second Reading - April 15 2007

    Speech 

Bill C-520 will increase from $20,000 to $25,000 the amount of money first time home buyers can borrow from the savings they have accumulated in their RRSPs.  This is the first adjustment in the borrowing limit since the Home Buyers' Plan was created in 1992.

A home is more than just a roof over one's head or a place to hang one's hat.  It is a symbol of permanence with the community.

    Speech - Bloc Quebecois - Paul Crete M.P./Depute


Developments on Tsawwassen Treaty


News Release - April 18 2008

Court Decision Undermines Tsawwassen Treaty

The recent decision of the British Columbia Supreme Court in Lax Kw'alaams undermines the legal basis basis of the fisheries component of the proposed Tsawwassen Treaty.

The legislation to implement the proposed Tsawwassen Treaty must not come back to Parliament for Second Reading until the fisheries component of the treaty has been removed.


Indian Affairs Minister Responds to Cummins

Letter from Indian Affairs Minister - April 2, 2008

  • Never done a detailed analysis of treaty impacts

"In response to your request for a detailed analysis of the effects of treaty allocations on other fishers, the Department has not conducted such an analysis."

  • Declines to answer questions posed by Cummins.

"... the Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, will also be responding to your correspondence addressing your specific concerns regarding fish allocations and possible impacts on the fishing community."

    Letter - to Indian Affairs Minister - January 28, 2008

"I would ask that you:

  1. Provide me a copy of the detailed statistical analysis on which you base your assumption that fishermen in the public recreational and commercial fisheries will not lose access to Fraser sockeye and will not be driven out of the fishery.
  2. Explain your rejection of the findings of my report, a report based on Indian population statistics from your Department and Fraser sockeye statistics from the Pacific Salmon Commission.
  3. Show me how these new treaty allocations for Trade and Barter and Commercial fisheries are consistent with the government's promise to end racially divided fisheries."

    Letter - from Indian Affairs Minister - January 21, 2008

"Analysis by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of the potential, cumulative result if all treaties were settled, has concluded that there will be room in the fishery for non-Aboriginal fishers.  There is no justification for vies that the present approach for treaties will leave no place for non-treaty participants."

    Letter - to Indian Affairs Minister - November 26, 2007

"I am enclosing a copy of my report on the Tsawwassen Treaty ....  The report raises serious questions about whether the federal government and its treaty negotiators have a handle on the quantity  of fish consumed by the Tsawwassen Treaty and other treaties to be signed in the coming months and years."

    Report Review of Commercial Salmon Allocations -
    Impact Analysis Applying Tsawwassen Benchmark to Fraser River Fishery


Cummins Responds to Fisheries Minister

Letter to Fisheries Minister - April 8, 2008

"Your response to my analysis is a serious concern because it appears that your department simply does not understand the implications of the Tsawwassen Treaty's salmon allocations to the Tsawwassen Indian Band."

    Letter - from Fisheries Minister - March 3, 2008

"In this report you contend that First nations will become entitled to the entire allocation of Fraser River sockeye, and that the commercial and recreational fisheries on these stocks will end.  Actually, the treaty process will provide certainty and predictability for all harvesters."

    Letter - to Fisheries Minister - November 26, 2007

"I am enclosing a copy of my report on the Tsawwassen Treaty ....  The report raises serious questions about whether the federal government and its treaty negotiators have a handle on the quantity  of fish consumed by the Tsawwassen Treaty and other treaties to be signed in the coming months and years."

    Report Review of Commercial Salmon Allocations -
    Impact Analysis Applying Tsawwassen Benchmark to Fraser River Fishery


Bertha Williams - Tsawwassen Community Leader 

    Hansard - Members Statement - April 2, 2008

    Speech - Bertha Williams - February 23, 2008

    YouTube - Bertha Williams


Canadian Geographic - April 8, 2008 issue

    John Cummins, M.P.

    Harold Steves, M.L.A.

    Mayor Lois Jackson

    Bertha Williams - Lifelong Tsawwassen Resident


Land Use Plan

Letter to Minister of Indian Affairs - March 4, 2008

Land Use Plan - Option # 1

                          Option # 2

                          Option # 3


Tsawwassen Resident, Bertha Williams, February 23, 2008

Williams - Address to Delta-Richmond East Conservative Association AGM


National Post - February 8, 2008

End the Double Standard - by Mark Milke - The sort of racial discrimination embedded in the Tsawwassen Treaty, and others like it, represents the antithesis of an ethnically neutral and liberal society.


GOVERNMENT ANALYSIS OF IMPACT OF TREATY ALLOCATIONS ON FISHERMEN

Letter from Office of Minister of Indian Affairs - February 1, 2008

Letter to Minister of Indian Affairs - January 28, 2008

Letter from Minister of Indian Affairs - January 21, 2008


TREATY WORKSHOP - TAX MATTERS

Letter to Minister of Finance - February 4, 2008

Department of Finance Presentation to Tsawwassen Band Members

Tax Matters

B.C. Government Presentation to Tsawwassen Band Members

Tax Matters (B.C.)

Band's Presentation to Tsawwassen Band Members

Tax Overview (1)

Way Forward (2)

Tax Impact for Individuals (3)

Offsetting Factors (4)

Benefits to TFN Government (5)

Treaty Benefits (6)


Response to Question - Overlapping Claims to Tsawwassen Territory

Question - What other Bands, Tribes or Aboriginal Organizations have territorial claims that overlap Tsawwassen Territory?

Response


News Release - December 6, 2007

Federal Bureaucrats Up to Dirty Tricks


Editorial - Delta Optimist - December 5, 2007

Treaty Not Living Up to Its Billing


News Release - December 5, 2007

The Tsawwassen Treaty - Who Gets the Money?

    Tsawwassen Registered Population, March 2007

    Tsawwassen Registered Population, October 2007

    Tsawwassen Registered Population, 1976 - 2006


News Release - December 5, 2007

Cummins Opposes Tsawwassen Treaty Motion in Parliament


News Release - November 30, 2007

Report on Taxation and the Tsawwassen Treaty - Follow the Money: 
Who Pays and Who Gets to Keep the Money


Report - November 30, 2007

    Who Pays and Who Gets to Keep the Money


Article in Delta Optimist - November 28, 2007

    There's Not Enough Fish in the River - M.P.'s Report


Report - November 27, 2007

Review of Commercial Salmon Allocations:
Impact Analysis Applying Tsawwassen Benchmark to Fraser River Fishery


News Release - November 27, 2007

Report on the Implications of the Salmon Allocations in the Tsawwassen Treaty


Editorial in the Delta Optimist - October 31, 2007

    Little Time Left for any Real Debate


Backgrounder on the Tsawwassen Treaty - October 31, 2007

    Tsawwassen Treaty: Right of the Band Government to be Consulted

Statement on the Tsawwassen Treaty - October 30, 2007

    Tsawwassen Treaty:  A Final Settlement?


Article in Vancouver Province  - October 24, 2007

    Some Libs can't stomach Tsawwassen Treaty  


Letter to Editor, Vancouver Sun, October 24, 2007

   Response to Commentary on Treaty - "Trust Tsawwassen Nation"


Motion for the Production of Papers in Parliament - October 19, 2007

    P-31 - Impacts of Roberts Bank Expansion - Tsawwassen Band-VPA


Questions in Parliament on Tsawwassen Treaty - October 19, 2007

    Question 62 - Area and Population of Tsawwassen Territory

    Question 63 - Roberts Bank Port Expansion and Tsawwassen Treaty


Debate in B.C. Legislature on Tsawwassen Treaty - October 17, 2007

    Blair Lekstrom, M.L.A. (Peace River South)

    Dennis MacKay, M.L.A. (Bulkley Valley-Stikine)


Op-Ed in Delta Optimist - October 13, 2007

    MP Says He Must Vote Against TFN Treaty   


Article in Delta Optimist - October 10, 2007

    Fifth Generation Farmers


News Release - BC Fisheries Survival Coalition - October 5, 2007

    Coalition to Hold Tsawwassen Treaty Plebiscite in Delta


Statement on the Tsawwassen Treaty, October 4, 2007

    Tsawwassen Treaty:  Where I Stand


Developments in Kapp Appeal in Supreme Court of Canada

Article in Delta Optimist - October 6, 2007

    Kapp Case To Be Historic


Op-Ed in Globe & Mail - October 4, 2007

    Still Hooked by the Fight for a Race-Free B.C. Fishery


Article in Globe & Mail - September 14, 2007

    Key Challenge to Fishing Rights Leads Court's Fall Agenda


Factum of B.C. Fishermen

    Part I - Overview

    Part I - Facts - Finding of Fact by Trial Judge

    Part I - Facts - Factual Errors of Appellate Courts


Letter to the Minister of Fisheries - October 5, 2005

    Problems in New Fisheries Act


News Release - August 3, 2007

    Fisheries Announcement about Elimination not Integration


Letter to the Editor - Globe & Mail - July 19 2007

    No Special Rights, OK?

    Response to Fontaine

    Fontaine Letter

    AFN's Actual Comments to Indian Affairs on Poll


Tsawwassen Treaty Ratification Referendum

Bertha Williams on You Tube


Op-Ed in Delta Optimist - July 18 2007

    TFN Deserves Better Than Gov't Vote-Buying Tactics


Article in Toronto Star - July 16 2007

    Ottawa, B.C., Dangling Cash to Get Treaty Signed, MP says


News Release - July 13 2007

    "Guilty as Charged" - The Tsawwassen Deserve Better


Article in Hamilton Spectator - July 13 2007

    Vancouver MP Says Province Bribed Natives to OK Treaty


Getting Gateway and Corridor Project Right


Article in The Tyee by Rafe Mair - July 23, 2007

    Debacle in Delta


Statement by John Cummins on Alternate Rail Corridor Route

    Better Way For Gateway

    Map   Proposed Route for Rail Line

    Map   Loss of Environmentally Sensitive Farmland to Container Storage


Article in Langley Times - July 11 2007

    Delta MP Pushes Rail Alternative


Article in Vancouver Province - July 10 2007

    MP Pushing Electric Freight-only Rail Route

Editorial in South Delta Leader - July 6 2007

    John Cummins Pitches A New Route

Port Merger

Article in Delta Optimist - June 23, 2007

    Cummins Has Concerns on Possible Port Merger


Funding Science:  Has DFO Complied With Fisheries Act (Larcoque)?

    Letter to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans - February 20, 2007

    Response from the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans - March 19, 2007


House of Commons - Order Paper - March 30, 2007 (not yet answered)

Question (Q-190)   Selling Fish to Fund DFO?

          Related Documents


House of Commons - Order Paper - March 30, 2007 (not yet answered)

Question (Q-189) Roberts Bank Port Expansion


Statement - Roberts Bank Port Expansion - March 22, 2007

Massive Deltaport Expansion Will Jeopardize Quality of Life

Rail operators are already out there trying to buy land from farmers adjacent to Deltaport in order to build a huge new rail yard next to the container yards.

Backroom planning has gone on without public knowledge and those negotiating the Tsawwassen Treaty settlement package must have been part of it.  Were all members of the Tsawwassen Band aware of how much their backyard will change as a result of these plans?  Just like everyone else who lives in South Delta, Tsawwassen Band members are going to see their own quality of life seriously eroded with a port development as massive as this unfolding next door to them. (printed in Delta Optimist, April 7, 2007)


Article in National Post - March 8 2007

British Columbians Cool to PM's Fishery Probe Pledge, Says Minister

Letter to Editor - Vancouver Sun - March 8 2007

Cummins Says Fraser River Fisheries Inquiry Up to the Prime Minister

The Department resisted providing a key report on their enforcement failures to the review conducted by Justice Bryan Williams until after Williams had completed his report.  The Department then undertook an internal inquiry and concluded that too much information had been turned over to the review.  It vowed not to be so open in the future.

I accept that the Minister might prefer not to have an inquiry but it was not the Department or the Minister who promised to undertake a judicial inquiry into the Department's failures on the Fraser; it was the Prime Minister who made the commitment.

The Department of Fisheries and its Minister can fight the Prime Minister on the inquiry but in the end the decision to call an inquiry rests with the Prime Minister.


House of Commons - Order Paper - March 2, 2007

Question (Q-184) - Effect of the Tsawwassen Treaty and related Side-Agreements on the fishery in the lower Fraser River and the Gulf of Georgia.


House of Commons - Order Paper - February 28, 2007

Question (Q-181) - The Tsawwassen Treaty covers all or part of about 15 B.C. municipalities.  The question seeks to identify the people and municipalities now in the so-called Tsawwassen Territory as set out in the Treaty. 

It appears that the Tsawwassen Territory covers all of Richmond, Delta and Langley City together with all or part of Vancouver, White Rock, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Township of Langley, GVRD Electoral Area "A", Galiano, Mayne, North Pender, South Pender, Saltspring and Saturna.


Letter to the Prime Minister - Fraser River Flood Control - February 27, 2007

There has been an increasing awareness and a growing concern in Lower Fraser communities of the dangers of flooding in the late spring or early summer. ...

Action must be taken now that demonstrates the federal concern for and understanding of the likelihood of flooding.

    Response from Prime Minister - May 1, 2007


House of Commons - Order Paper - February 16 2007

Notice of Motion for the Production of Papers

P-11 - .... A copy of the document entitled "Without prejudice proposal to Tsawwassen First Nation regarding settlement of alleged impacts relating to the Roberts Bank Development and the proposed expansion" as referenced n the 2004 Memorandum of Agreement between the Tsawwassen Indian Band and the Vancouver Port Authority with regard to the expansion of the Roberts Bank Port.

P-12 ... A copy of the 2004 Memorandum of Agreement between the Tsawwassen Indian Band and the Vancouver Port Authority with regard to the expansion of the Roberts Bank Port.

P-13 - ... A copy of the Tsawwassen First Nation Own Source Revenue Agreement, a side agreement to the Tsawwassen Final Agreement between the Tsawwassen Indian Band, Canada and British Columbia.

P-14 - ... A copy of the Tsawwassen First Nation Tax Treatment Agreement, a side agreement to the Tsawwassen Final Agreement between the Tsawwassen Indian Band, Canada and British Columbia.

P-15 - ... A copy of the Tsawwassen First Nation Implementation Plan, a side agreement to the Tsawwassen Final Agreement between the Tsawwassen Indian Band, Canada and British Columbia.

P-16 - ... A copy of the Tsawwassen First Nation Real Property Tax coordination Agreement, a side agreement to the Tsawwassen Final Agreement between the Tsawwassen Indian Band, Canada and British Columbia.

P-17 - ... A copy of the Tsawwassen First Nation Fiscal Financing Agreement, a side agreement to the Tsawwassen Final Agreement between the Tsawwassen Indian Band, Canada and British Columbia.

P-18 - ...A copy of the Tsawwassen First Nation Fisheries Operational Guidelines, a side agreement to the Tsawwassen Final Agreement between the Tsawwassen Indian Band, Canada and British Columbia.

P-19 - ... A copy of the Tsawwassen First Nation Harvest Agreement,a side agreement to the Tsawwassen Final Agreement between the Tsawwassen Indian Band, Canada and British Columbia.

P-20 - ...A copy of the long term lease for Water Lot "A" at the Deltaport in Tsawwassen transferred to the Vancovuer Port Authority from the province of British Columbia as part of the Deltaport Third Berth Project.


Letter to Editor - Victoria Times Colonist - January 31, 2007

Few Fish Left For Non-Natives

In his letter, my colleague Loyola Hearn, Fisheries and Oceans Minister, would have us believe that treaties will have little impact on non-aboriginal fishermen.  I would remind Mr. Hearn that there are more than 90 bands on the Fraser River and he has already signed off on three treaties, at Tsawwassen, Prince George and Yale.

If the fisheries allocations from these treaties were replicated for the 90-odd Fraser River bands there would be no fish left for the commercial and recreational fisheries.


PROPOSED NEW FISHERIES ACT

Review of Bill C-45 - British Columbia Fisheries Survival Coalition - April 9, 2007

An Act of Coercion:  The Conservative Fisheries Act

Article in Richmond News - March 6, 2007

MP at Odds with Harper, Again

Statement on Bill C-45 - Sportfishing Defence Alliance - February 9, 2007

Some Thought and Comments on Bill C-45

Letter to Editor - Cape Breton Post - January 29, 2007

New Federal Fisheries Act Shifts Power to Government

The question fishermen should be asking is:  "Why do we need a new federal Fisheries Act?"

The bureaucrats at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have never identified just what the problem is with the venerable old fisheries act that has stood the test of time since Confederation.  Nor have the bureaucrats explained how the new fisheries act would remedy those unidentified problems in the old Fisheries Act.

It is worth remembering that the current Act considers fish to be a resource owned by the people of Canada and that there exists a public right to fish.   The new Act regards fish as a resource owned by the Government of Canada, to be allocated to whomever the Minister of Fisheries wishes.

The new Act considers fishing a "privilege" to be bestowed by the Minister rather than a right.  The new Act gives the Minister and his bureaucrats power and authority never contemplated by the current Act.

News Release - December 18, 2006

Fishermen Will Be Worse Off Under New Fisheries Act

Bill C-45, the proposed new Fisheries Act, may devalue fishing licences held by commercial fishermen.

I am concerned this Bill may be attempting to extinguish the public right to fish and turn fishing into a privilege totally at the whim of the Minister and his fisheries bureaucrats.

The Supreme Court of Canada and Canadian courts over the last two centuries have said that fishing is a right not a privilege.  If the right to fish is extinguished by C-45 the Minister has all the power and fishermen will have no rights except the "privilege" granted at the whim of the Minister.

News Release - December 13, 2006

Bill C-45 May Threaten Public's Right to Fish

The new Fisheries Act, Bill C-45, introduced today by Fisheries Minister Hearn looks much like the Bills introduced by his Liberal predecessors.

Bill C-45 would enable fisheries bureaucrats to enter into fisheries management agreements with aboriginals, large fishing organizations and corporations without seeking the consent of Parliament.


Fishermen Win Right To Appeal to Supreme Court of Canada

Supreme Court of Canada - December 14, 2006

The Nanaimo Daily News, Supreme Court will Hear B.C. Fishery Appeal, December 15, 2006


TSAWWASSEN FINAL AGREEMENT

News Release - February 14, 2007

Land Value of B.C. Treaties May Exceed $113.9 Billion

Total aboriginal treaty settlements in B.C. could cost taxpayers more than $113.9 billion, with the value of land package alone for the Tsawwassen settlement setting the bar for future settlement costs.

News Release - February 8, 2007

Tsawwassen Treaty - Vital Questions: 
Questions that need to be asked and answered publicly prior to ratification of the Tsawwassen Treaty.

Article in Victoria Times Colonist - February 8, 2007

Treaty Worth Millions More Than Estimated, Says Tory MP

The Tsawwassen First Nation treaty initialled by the federal and B.C. governments in December has a value of about $300 million - more than four times the official $70-million estimate provided, says a Tory MP.

John Cummins' estimate of the market value of the 434 hectares of land the band is getting from the Agricultural Land Reserve was endorsed by an official with the Corp. of Delta.

Tim Koepke, chief federal negotiator on the Tsawwassen deal, said the $70.1 - estimate includes the $24.6 million valuation for the two parcels of ALR property.

Tsawwassen Chief Kim Baird, who called Cummins' assessment "misleading" and "extreme," said the band hired an appraiser who put the land value at $66.7 million.

LETTER TO EDITOR - VANCOUVER SUN - JANUARY 8 2007

Right to a Common Public Fishery Is Firmly Rooted (Published January 10, 2007)

There is no Canadian counterpart to the Boldt treaty unless one turns to more recent treaties such as the Tsawwassen treaty signed on December 8th by Jim Prentice.  The Tsawwassen treaty would guarantee a percentage of the Fraser River fishery to the Tsawwassen band.  There are some 90 bands on the Fraser.  If all were to have treaties similar to the Tsawwassen, virtually 100% of the Fraser River fishery would be guaranteed to those aboriginals who had signed such treaties and would exclude those fishermen, aboriginal and otherwise who are not beneficiaries of one of these new treaties.

Article in Delta Optimist - December 20, 2006

Treaty Value Pegged At $70 Million

The Tsawwassen treaty is officially valued at $70.1 million, leaving some local politicians to say it ahs been purposely undervalued.

... the Delta Optimist estimates the treaty to be worth somewhere between $300 million and $600 million.

ARTICLE IN GLOBE & MAIL - DECEMBER 14 2006

MP Fighting Native Treaty Alone

John Cummins knows he's fighting this one alone.

First, the treaty recently signed with the Tsawwassen First Nation affects only his constituents in Delta, B.C.  No one else much cares, especially politicians in Ontario and Quebec.

Second, criticizing the treaty means criticizing his own governing party and its leader, the Prime Minister.  Few of his caucus colleagues have an appetite to do that.  Most are trying to get into cabinet.

LETTER TO EDITOR - NATIONAL POST - DECEMBER 14, 2006

2006 Native Treaty Unfair to Canadians

What we do know is that the 2006 treaty provides not merely the opportunity to fish, but also a guaranteed quantity of fish that takes priority every every other Canadian.  Some of the best farmland in the country is to be removed from B.C.'s Agricultural Land Reserve so it can be used for a port expansion, at great expense to the residents of Delta and of the Tsawwassen Reserve.

ARTICLE IN EDMONTON JOURNAL - DECEMBER 9 2006

PM Promises Native Band Share of Fishery - Treaty Clears Way For Port Expansion

Prime Minister Stephen Harper committed his government Friday to a modern-day treaty that will give a West Coast native band a guaranteed quota of Fraser River salmon, a mover that has angered one of Harper's MPs and disenchanted many of his long-time loyalists.

The treaty, also controversial because it awards the Tsawwassen First Nation more than 200 hectares of prime coastal farmland that can now go to industrial use, is valued by the native band at about $119 million.

Conservative MP John Cummins, a long-time loyalist, publicly criticized the treaty as creating a "racially based" fishery because a side-agreement awards the natives a share of the salmon fishery - from 0.7 to about three per cent, depending on the species.

That has also drawn the ire of some West Coast fishermen, who say Harper has abandoned his promise to oppose a fishery with preferential quotas.

But there are far larger stakes than fish at plan in this treaty.

Both the federal and provincial governments are hoping to expand a container port that sits just off the waterfront property of this tiny B.C. native band.  A treaty will make it possible for a major expansion because the Tsawwassen want to use some of the 207 hectares they will be granted to build warehouses and storage facilities for the millions of containers that could be arriving from Asia in years ahead.

ARTICLE IN GLOBE & MAIL - DECEMBER 9 2006

Will Public Buy Treaties That Change B.C.'s Face?

The treaty signed yesterday by federal and provincial negotiators with the Tsawwassen band is far more controversial.  And will likely be the deal that truly awakens British Columbians to what is afoot here and how the treaty process is going to affect their lives.

News Release - December 12, 2006

Read the Fine Print Before Signing Treaties

News Release - December 8, 2006

Treaty a Step Backwards

The Tsawwassen Final Agreement to be initialled today is not good for the people of Delta, the Lower Mainland, British Columbia or for all Canadians.

Victoria Times Colonist, Other Views, December 15 2006

Conservative MP John Cummins has a good point when he asks why treaties being negotiated with the Lheidli T'enneh, Tsawwassen and other First Nations need to establish quotas for food fish.

Letter to Prime Minister - December 11, 2006

The residents of Delta-Richmond East are perplexed as are sports and commercial fishermen by the decision to have Mr. Prentice sign the Tsawwassen Treaty on behalf of the Government of Canada on December 8, 2006.

Letter to Prime Minister - December 6, 2006

Only last week I raised concerns with you about proceeding with a Final Agreement with the Tsawwassen, an Indian Band in my riding.  Today I am advised by Mr. Prentice that our government is signing the Final Agreement with the Tsawwassen by the weekend.

If Mr. Prentice goes forward with signing the Tsawwassen Final Agreement, I will be forced to vigorously oppose Mr. Prentice and the treaty which he has signed.

Letter to Prime Minister - October 24, 2006

The proposed Tsawwassen treaty must be reviewed to ensure that it does not treat the right to a common fishery as something to be trade in treaty negotiations.  If aboriginals wish to increase their participation in the fishery they should use part of the money given in the treaty settlement to purchase licenses, in that way their participation and right to fish would be on the same terms and the same basis as other Canadian citizens.

The existing treaty mandates that direct federal negotiators were created by the former Liberal government and should be revised in light of the fact that Canada has a new government with a renewed desire to end policies that se rights as race-based rather than common to all citizens.

If fish continue to be on the treaty table then your commitment to end race-based segregation in the fishery will be only a memory.  Treaty negotiators are carving them in stone in our constitution by creating two classes of fishermen.  Your commitment was to end race-based fisheries, not carve them in stone.

      Historical Document - October 31, 1848 - Queen Victoria Approves Public Fishery for B.C.

We the Lords of this Committee, have taken the same into consideration and having inquired into the whole matter, do this day agree humbly to report to Your Majesty that, in our opinion, it is essential, in order to ensure the more effectual colonization of Vancouver's island, that certain amendments should be made to some of the conditions inserted in the said draft grant, and that certain further conditions should be inserted therein; and we, therefore, humbly recommend that Your Majesty should cause amendments and further conditions to be inserted in the said grant, to the following effect; viz, --That the grant of the fishing of all sorts of fish in the seas, bays, inlets and rivers within or surrounding the said island be omitted from the said draft grant.

      Historical Document - June 19, 1849 - Hansard - Debate on Vancouver Island Constitution

By the draft of the Charter as then proposed, the whole of the fisheries in the neighbourhood of Vancouver's Island would have been exclusively confined to the company. It was perfectly monstrous that the Colonial Office should for a moment have entertained such a demand, and still more so that Earl Grey should have approved of such a proposition.  We have before us a copy of his letter approving of this monstrous monopoly.  Why, it was a wonder that they did not call upon the Government for powers to exclude the colonists from the very air they breathed.  This provision has now been altered, and the fisheries are left as free as is the air.


LHEIDLI T'ENNEH FINAL AGREEMENT (PRINCE GEORGE)

Letter to Prime Minister - November 28, 2006

Since we last spoke I have taken the opportunity to review the Lheidli T'enneh Final Agreement with regard to its implications for the fishery and to your commitment to end race-based fisheries programs.

I am enclosing my review of the Final Agreement's fisheries chapter for your consideration.  I would very much like to sit down and discuss the Lheidli T'enneh Final Agreement with you together with its implications for other Final Agreements that will be signed in the very near future.  One in particular is of concern to me, the Tsawwassen Final Agreement which involves the Tsawwassen Indian Band in my riding.

The fisheries provisions are only one of my concerns with the Lheidli T'enneh Final Agreement.  Governance issues, rights to water, forest resources and natural resources all deserve careful evaluation before decisions are taken on signing additional agreements.

Letter to the Minister of Indian Affairs - November 28, 2006

I have taken the opportunity to review the Lheidli T'enneh Final Agreement with regard to its implications for the fishery and the Prime Minister's commitment to end race-based fisheries programs.

I am enclosing my review of the Final Agreement's fisheries chapter for your consideration.  It is my belief that the Lheidli T'enneh Final Agreement as a model agreement has far reaching implications for British Columbia.

Letter to B.C. Caucus Chair - November 28, 2006

It is my belief that the Lheidli T'enneh Final Agreement as a model agreement has far reaching implications for British Columbia, in particular those parts of the province outside of the City of Vancouver.

B.C. Caucus may wish to further discuss the Lheidli T'enneh Final Agreement together with its implications for other Final Agreements now prior to decisions on signing additional agreements.

Letter to the Minister of Indian Affairs - October 16, 2006

At the same time as the Prime Minister has publicly committed his government to ending race-based fisheries you are, according to your letter of October 10, 2006, negotiating and signing treaties that will constitutionalize race-based segregated fisheries and treat a common right of citizenship as a commodity to be traded in treaty negotiations.

The agreement that your officials have negotiated with the Prince George Indian Band fits the Liberal model of trading the right to a common fishery in treaty negotiations and constitutionalizing a race-based segregated fishery through the inclusion of fish in treaties or related side-agreements.

Letter to the Chair of Cabinet Committee on Operations - August 2, 2006

I would ask that you review the proposed treaty apparently entered into by federal officials.  If the newspaper story is correct, the treaty provisions should be rejected.  Otherwise, you will have committed the government to a racially segregated fishery, a position that is inconsistent with the principled stand taken by the Prime Minister and yourself, to end government sponsored race-based divisions in the fishery.


PROPOSAL FOR A NEW FRASER RIVER PORTS AUTHORITY

Letter to Minister of Transport - December 8, 2006

A new Fraser River Port Authority should have responsibility for:
  1)  Emergency Planning and Flood Control;
  2)  Maintenance and Dredging of the main and side channels;
  3)  Local Leaseholders;
  4)  Public Safety:
  5)  Gravel Extraction and certain Environmental matters; and
  6)  Navigable Waterways and River Traffic Management

We need a port authority for the Fraser River that will make Public Safety, Emergency Planning and Flood Control, and the Environment a priority.  A merged Vancouver Port Authority cannot and would not.  Its priority is its shippers.

ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER PROVINCE - DECEMBER 3, 2006

Merging Ports A Lose-Lose Situation

At first glance, the proposed merger of Vancouver Port Authority with the Fraser River and North Fraser port authorities looks like a merger made in heaven.

Letter to the Minister of Transport - October 24, 2006

After consulting with fishermen and others who rely on the river, it is clear that there is an additional area of responsibility that should be addressed by the proposed New Port Authority.  The additional area of responsibility is for the Fraser River Debris Trap which has performed an important role in keeping debris out of the lower river thus assisting safe shipping.

Letter to the Minister of Transport, October 2, 2006

The needs of the Fraser River estuary and indeed the entire lower Fraser are vitally important, too important to be left to the vagaries of a fundamentally different port authority whose interests and whose priorities cannot and should never be the Fraser River.

Letter to the Prime Minister, October 2, 2006

We should be mindful of the fact that the Fraser is more than a working river with log rafts and tugboats pulling barges.  It is at its core a living river teaming with salmon and everything we do must recognize and respect this essential nature of the Fraser.

There is no substitute of an authority dedicated to the lower Fraser whose sole responsibility is this vital waterway.  The people who live along the river and who depend upon it know intrinsically that their interests would be lost in a super Vancouver Port Authority.


DELTAPORT EXPANSION

Letter to Minister of Fisheries - July 14, 2006

There have been a number of concerns about the assessment process which I have brought to your office's attention.  Due to these concerns and the importance of the project to the people of Delta it is important that the public have adequate time to reflect on the report and make their concern know.

It would be appreciated if the public consultation period might be extended until at least the end of September to ensure the interested public has adequate time to review the report and respond.


YALE AGREEMENT-IN-PRINCIPLE

Letter to the Minister of Fisheries - March 14, 2006

Following the signing of the Yale treaty agreement-in-principle (AIP) by your colleague the Hon. Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian Affairs, on March 9, 2006 there is now an urgent need for answers to a few of the more obvious questions on the impact of the fisheries component of the Yale treaty.

Given these commitments how do you intend to provide fish for (i) coastal natives, (ii) up-river natives and (iii) commercial and recreational fishermen in the public fishery who rely on Fraser River stocks?

How is the legal trade or barter of these treaty fish to be distinguished from their illegal sale? Does it not make the work of fishery officers even more difficult or even impossible?  Is the Department now simply authorizing the sale of food fish under another name?

Letter to the Minister of Indian Affairs - March 8, 2006

I have learned through the media of the federal government's intention to enter in an Agreement-in-Principle with the Yale Indian Band in British Columbia, what Yale Chief Robert Hope called a "Fish Treaty."

The Yale agreement spells the death knell of the non-racially segregated commercial and recreational salmon fisheries on the Fraser River.  What fish are left to commercial and recreational fishermen operating ni the non-racially segregated public fishery?

I am disturbed by the Yale agreement and would ask that you not sign it.  The Yale agreement is inconsistent with the Conservative Party's B.C. election platform and contrary to the joint fisheries policy agreed to at the union of the Progressive Conservative and Canadian Alliance Parties.


GROUNDFISH MANAGEMENT PLAN

Fisheries Committee - October 17, 2006


Post Election Release of Leaky Condo Documents by CHMC


ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER PROVINCE, JANUARY 16 2006

CMHC Denies Claims:  Agency Responsible, Class-action Suit Says

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has denied all allegations in a class-action lawsuit claiming the federal housing agency was responsible for the West Coast's multimillion-dollar leaky-condo crisis.

In a one-page statement of defence filed in the Supreme Court of B.C., CMHC said it "denies each and every allegation of fact contained in the statement of claim" except for the names of the representative plaintiffs, the addresses of their condo and itself as defendant....

[The lawyer for the plaintiffs], John Singleton, said internal CMHC documents show the CMHC knew the design of stucco buildings, combined with energy-efficient requirements, caused the water damage and it had a duty to pass along that knowledge to homeowners.


RECENTLY RECEIVED DOCUMENTS ON LEAKY CONDOS

Meeting of CMHC Board of Directors - August 20, 1981

The President explained that the moisture problem was first identified approximately three years ago in Newfoundland ....  The problem was now occurring elsewhere in Canada, particularly in coastal areas ....

In response to a question, Mr. Hession said this was not the same kind of problem as the one concerning urea formaldahyde foam insulation and was not expected to result in a class action.

Memorandum to CMHC Minister -  Moisture in Buildings - August 27, 1981

It has become evident to the Corporation that there has been a significant increase in the incidence of moisture induced damage in frame construction.  ... the damage appears to be occurring in the exterior walls.

There is an apparent close relation between energy conservation attempts and high levels of moisture accumulation.  In some cases, structural deterioration of the wall has resulted.  The worst conditions have been encountered in the coastal areas, but there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the problem is confined to those regions.

Minutes of National Building Code Committee - Energy Conservation Measures v. Moisture Induced Problems - September 23 1981

The National Building Code Committee considered a request from the Minister of Energy, Marc Lalonde, to strengthen the Energy Conservation Measures in the National Building Code on an urgent basis.

The Minutes state the position of the B.C. representative:  "Mr. Currie was of the opinion that the Measures should continue to be published as a separate document suitable for adoption by the provinces.  He noted that the Measures have not been adopted in B.C. One reason for the non-adoption relates to concerns about the possible effect of energy conservation on the structure (houses) as a whole.  Problems have been reported ...."

At the same meeting National Building Code Committee heard a conflicting request from the President of CMHC to reconsider the Energy Conservation Measures in the National Building Code because CMHC research had found a link between the Energy Conservation Measures in the Code and the incidence of moisture induced damage in the exterior wall of recently constructed houses.  The greatest incidence of the moisture damage is found in coastal areas.

The Minutes state the position of the B.C. representative:  "Mr. Currie said that there are problems of condensation on the West Coast."

Record of Decision of CMHC Management Review Committee - October 13 1981

The reference to "public statements" in the terms of reference be deleted and no statements be made during the research period.


ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER SUN -  DECEMBER 19, 2005

Possible Compensation For Leaky Condo Victims

While the Tory B.C. platform includes a number of old promises... , the platform includes newer promises to:

 - Review the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's handling of "construction regulations and leaky condos."  The promise stems from MP John Cummins' research indicating that CMHC knew in the early 1980's that federal building codes were causing moisture damage.


HOUSE OF COMMONS - NOVEMBER 25, 2005

Hansard - House of Commons Order Paper

Question in Parliament:  What is DFO's Policy on Malachite Green?

Background Document:  DFO Press Lines on Detection of Malachite Green in Two Fish Farms and Q & A.

Background Document:  DFO Policy on Use of Drugs and Chemicals on Fish

Background Document:  CFIA Checks Outs DFO Use of Malachite Green


HOUSE OF COMMONS - NOVEMBER 24, 2005

Hansard - House of Commons Order Paper

Motions for the Production of Papers:  Aquaculture - Handling of Malachite Green by Department of Fisheries.

Background Document:  Dorothee Kieser email of May 20, 2005 - DFO' Use Of Malachite Green at a Hatchery

Background Document:  Aleria Ladwig email of June 14, 2005 - Malachite Green Stored at Hatchery and DFO Office


HOUSE OF COMMONS - NOVEMBER 23, 2005

Hansard - House of Commons Debates - Routine Proceedings

Ridley Terminals - Failure of Minister of Transport to Table in Parliament  2004 Annual Report and 2005 Corporate Plan Summary


HOUSE OF COMMONS - NOVEMBER 23, 2005

Hansard - House of Commons Order Paper

Question in Parliament:  Leaky Condos - Why Did Government Only Seek to Protect Itself?


NEWS RELEASE - NOVEMBER 22, 2005

Doumet Family's Fortune Minerals Wrong Choice for Ridley Terminals


HOUSE OF COMMONS - NOVEMBER 22, 2005
Hansard - House of Commons Order Paper
Motions for Production of Papers - Sale of Ridley Terminals to Fortune Minerals

HOUSE OF COMMONS - NOVEMBER 22, 2005
Hansard - House of Commons Order Paper

Motions for Production of Papers - Uncovering What the Government Knew About Leaky Condos


HOUSE OF COMMONS - NOVEMBER 18, 2005

Hansard - House of Commons Order Paper

Motions for Production of Papers - Uncovering What the Government Knew About Leaky Condos


NEWS RELEASE - NOVEMBER 16, 2005

Cover-up Continues in Leaky Condo Fiasco:  Liberals Refuse to Allow Tabling of Documents

OTTAWA--  Today both the Minister of Natural of Natural Resources and the Minister of Housing continued the leaky condo cover-up refusing to answer a question in the Commons from John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East) into the demand from the Department of Natural Resources (formerly Energy, Mines & Resources) to CMHC to cover up the leaky condo disaster.

Cummins then sought to table in the Commons the letters of warning from the President of CMHC to the Deputy Minister of Energy informing him that his department's energy conservation measures were a major source of the problem.  The letters reference the request to cover up the problem.  Liberal Members of Parliament denied the unanimous consent necessary for the tabling of the letters.

For  complete text click here: 
(more)


Background Document:  Hansard, Oral Question on Leaky Condos, November 16, 2005


HOUSE OF COMMONS  - NOVEMBER 15, 2005

Hansard - Opposition Motion on Access to Information Act

Degradation of Access to Information

Background Document:  DFO Tracking of John Cummins Access To Information Request on Sablefish Transfers

Background Document:  DFO Tracking of John Cummins Access to Information Request on Cap Rouge

Background Document:  DFO Tracking of John Cummins Access to Information Request on Fish Farm Sites

Background Document:  Letter to Justice LaForest, October 31, 2005 -  Political Tracking and Intervention of Access to Information Requests at Fisheries and Oceans

Background Document:  Letter to Justice LaForest, October 12, 2005 - Problems in CMHC's Handling of Leaky Condo Issue and Administration of Access to Information Act


HOUSE OF COMMONS  - NOVEMBER 15, 2005

Hansard - Speaker's Ruling in Government's Claim That It Is Unable to Answer Leaky Condo Question Due to the Dan Healy Case

Media Report:  "B.C. MP Loses Bid to Get Condo Information", Vancouver Sun, November 16, 2005

Background Document:  Original Complaint to Speaker, Hansard, October 3, 2005

Background Document:  Original Complaint to Speaker, Hansard, September 28, 2005

Background Document:  Government's Answer to Question 151 on Leaky Condos, September 26, 2005


NEWS RELEASE - NOVEMBER 10, 2005

Ridley Sell-Off to Doumet Family Contrary to Government's Stated Divestiture Policy

OTTAWA-- "The scramble by Minister of Transport to sell-off Ridley Terminals to the Doumet family is contrary to his own stated policy on Port Divestiture," said Cummins.  "The Minister has failed to ensure the international competitive position of the port, has failed to establish a publicly accountable rate setting agency, and has failed to ensure that Ridley will be managed in a competent and responsible manner."

For complete text click here:  (more)


NEWS RELEASE - NOVEMBER 10, 2005

The Smoking Gun: CMHC Under Pressure to Cover-up Wet-Wall Problem

OTTAWA-- “A smoking gun exists.  There is now clear and unassailable evidence that not only did CMHC know full well there was a serious wet-wall problem caused by the federal government’s energy conservation measures but that CMHC was under pressure to cover up the problem to protect the National Energy Program,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond-East)

For complete text click here:  (more)

Background Documents:  Letters from CMHC President to Deputy Minister of Energy


LETTER TO CMHC MINISTER - NOVEMBER 9, 2005

End the Cover-up Now

"What you have written is untrue.  Your letter continues the cover-up of CMHC's knowledge of the wet-wall problem in 1981 and if failure to warn home owners of the problem in those early years."

For complete text click here: (more)

Background Document:  Letter from CMHC President to National Building Code Committee of National Research Council

Background Document:  Response to CMHC President from National Building Code Committee of National Research Council


CHECK OUT OUR NEW LEAKY CONDO SECTION

 


NEWS RELEASE - NOVEMBER 4, 2005

Who Will Profit From Ridley?

OTTAWA-- “Ridley Terminals will be very profitable by the end of 2006 according to the terminal’s corporate plan,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East).

“But who will profit from Ridley?” asked Cummins. “Will it be the corporate friends of the government?  Will it be Fortune Minerals of London, Ontario?”

For complete text click here:  (more)

Ridley Terminals - 2005-2009  Financial Projection


LETTER TO JUSTICE LA FOREST - OCTOBER 31, 2005

Political Tracking and Intervention of Access to Information Requests at Fisheries and Oceans

DFO administers the Act so as to allow the (i) Legislation and House Planning Branch of the Privy Council, (ii) the Minister’s Office, (iii) the Executive Secretariat that supports the Minister, and (iv) the department’s Communications branch to track and intervene in the handling of  information requests in a manner designed  to protect the government from embarrassment rather than to dispassionately provide the public access to departmental records.

For complete text click here: (more)


NEWS RELEASE - OCTOBER 26, 2005

Feds Set to Repeat Australian Failure in Ridley Privatization

Privatization of Australia’s Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal in 2001 has been a disaster the federal government seems determined to impose on Ridley Terminals,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East).

For complete text click here: (more)


NEWS RELEASE - OCTOBER 24, 2005

Don`t Sell B.C. Short Mr. Lapierre

 “If Fortune Minerals is allowed to become the sole owner, the strategically located terminal will only enrich the owners of Fortune Minerals and in the process we will have jeopardized the future of our province’s massive coal projects,” concluded Cummins. “The movement of resources through Prince Rupert depends on internationally competitive rates not fire sale pricing for the well connected.”

For complete text click here: (
more)

Fortune Minerals Offer of $20M Over 40 Years For the Ridley Terminal - September 30, 2003


NEWS RELEASE - OCTOBER 20, 2005

WHO BENEFITS FROM RIDLEY TERMINAL DEAL?

The future of Ridley would now be bright except for a recent decision of the federal cabinet.  On September 29, 2005 the Martin cabinet took the highly unusual step of issuing a Cabinet directive with the force of law ordering Ridley’s Board of Directors and Management not to enter into long term coal contracts, contracts that would guarantee the future of Ridley as a profitable coal port. 

For complete text click here: (more)

Cabinet Directive - Ridley Board Ordered Not to Enter Into Long Term Contracts - September 29, 2005


LETTER TO JUSTICE LA FOREST, OCTOBER 12, 2005

Problems in CMHC's Handling of Leaky Condo Issue and Administration of Access to Information Act Brought to Attention of Justice La Forest

While [CMHC lawyer Tyler] is acting on behalf of CMHC in court on "leaky condos" he is at the same time, in his capacity as Access to Information Co-ordinator, withholding "leaky condo" documents from me under the Access to Information Act and drafting answers for the Minister to my letters and Parliamentary questions on "leaky condos". 

For complete text of letter click here:  (more)


ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER SUN - OCTOBER 6, 2005

Leaky condo lawyer in 'conflict': MP: Representing CMHC in condo case, he also was responsible for disclosing documents in B.C. cases

OTTAWA - A federal lawyer who was scolded by a B.C. judge earlier this year for "unacceptable" and "sloppy" disclosure of documents in a leaky condo court case is the same official responsible for ensuring release of documents to the public through the Access to Information Act, Conservative MP John Cummins complained Wednesday.

For complete text of article click here: (more)


ARTICLE IN DELTA OPTIMIST - OCTOBER 5, 2005

MP can't get leaky condo answers:  Cummins Trying To Determine Role Federal
Building Regulations Played in Disaster

The federal government won't be answering allegations that it knew a building code regulation would lead to leaky condos, MP John Cummins has been told.

Last week in Parliament, Cummins, the Conservative MP for Delta-Richmond East, said the government was aware starting in 1980 that stringent federal home insulation requirements designed to save energy actually prevented homes in wet climates from "breathing" and drying out quickly after rainfall.

For complete text of article click here: (more)


HOUSE OF COMMONS  - OCTOBER 3, 2005

Hansard - Cummins Seeks Answers on Leaky Condos

If ministers do not wish to answer they ought to say so, but they ought not claim that they are unable to answer, as the Minister of Industry and the Minister of Labour have done. They are able to answer, but have chosen not to.

The government has chosen to treat the House with contempt. It is hiding behind a civil case not yet gone to trial and may well never go to trial. One of these cases referenced by the government as the reason it was unable to answer my question started in the B.C. courts in 2001 and may not go to trial for
several years. Following the government's logic, ministers have been unable to answer questions such as I have put for the past four years. That is nonsense.

There is no convention of this House that prevents a minister from responding to a general question while the government is party to a civil suit prior to the actual trial. The parliamentary secretary and ministers are
purporting to use a non-existent convention to shield themselves from answering a simple question. The ministers are treating the House with contempt.

For a complete text of statement in Parliament click here: (more)


ARTICLE IN RICHMOND REVIEW - OCTOBER 1, 2005

MP claims leaky condo cover-up John Cummins says feds are stonewalling his pursuit of answers

If Ottawa was complicit in the development of B.C.'s billion-dollar leaky condo disaster, it doesn't plan to release any more potentially damning documents to the public.

That's apparent from the hundreds of pages of censored documents it recently delivered in response to a detailed 20-part question Delta-Richmond East MP John Cummins formally asked the House of Commons last May.

For complete text of article click here: (more)


ARTICLE IN VANCOUVER SUN - SEPTEMBER 29, 2005

Ottawa covered up leaky condos, MP claims: It knew about problems with insulation regulations since 1980, a Delta MP says

OTTAWA - The federal Liberal government was accused Wednesday of covering up its alleged complicity in the $1.5-billion leaky condo crisis in B.C. after the government released hundreds of whited-out pages of internal documents and correspondence on the issue.

Conservative MP John Cummins, citing internal documents he obtained earlier this year, alleges the government was aware starting in 1980 that stringent federal home insulation requirements brought in to save energy prevented houses in wet climates -- particularly in B.C. and Newfoundland -- from "breathing" and drying out quickly after rainfall.

For complete text of article click here: (more)

Ottawa accused of cover-up over leaky condos - National Post - September 29, 2005 (more)

Feds accused of cover-up; Obscured role in leaky condos, rot caused by insulation standards,
The Telegram
(St. John's): (
more)

Hansard - September 28, 2005 - Government Refuses to Answer on Leaky Condos: (more)

CMHC REFUSES TO RELEASE DOCUMENTS UNDER ACCESS TO INFORMATION - AUGUST 25, 2005 - LETTERS TO MINISTER (more)


NEWS RELEASE - SEPTEMBER 28, 2005

Government Refuses to Answer Leaky Condo Question

OTTAWA—Today in the House of Commons John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East) raised the issue of the government’s refusal to answer questions on their complicity in the leaky condo disaster in British Columbia. (more)


NEWS RELEASE - SEPTEMBER 28, 2005

Parliamentary Tribute to Chuck Cadman

OTTAWA – John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East) made the following tribute to Chuck Cadman today in the House of Commons:

"Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me today to rise to say a few words about our friend, Chuck Cadman." (more)

Text of tribute to Chuck Cadman as it appears in Hansard: (more)


HOUSE OF COMMONS ORDER PAPER - SEPTEMBER 26, 2005

USE OF DRUGS AND CHEMICALS AT FISH FARMS

QUESTION Q-179  — Mr. Cummins (Delta - Richmond East): With regard to the regulation of fish farm sites to govern the environmental consequences of fish farms on wild species, parasites, release of drugs, chemicals and toxins in the marine environment and human health.

For complete text of parliamentary question click here: (more)


LETTER TO FEDERAL PUBLIC SAFETY MINISTER - SEPTEMBER 22, 2005

CUMMINS QUESTIONS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S ABILITY TO DEAL WITH WEST COAST NATURAL DISASTER

For complete text of letter click here: (more)


LETTER TO VANCOUVER SUN - SEPTEMBER 22, 2005

Re: Facts, not myths, about sockeye run, Sept. 20

Paul Ryall, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' salmon team leader, one of those responsible for the wretched state of salmon stocks on the Fraser River, unwittingly admits Dennis Brown's concerns are in fact true.

For complete text of letter click here: (more)


LETTER TO RCMP - ADVISING OF BLACKMARKET ACTIVITY - SEPTEMBER 12, 2005

Cummins asks RCMP to shut down black market fish sales

Dear Deputy Commissioner Busson:

I have received calls from usually reliable sources concerned that it is the intention of some to use the commercial openings this week as cover to launder the considerable quantities of “food” fish now held in cold storage.


For complete text of letter click here: (more)

UPDATE: RCMP DEPUTY COMMISSIONER RESPONDS TO LETTER

"Thank you for your letter dated September 12,2005 regarding the intention of some to use the
commercial openings this week as cover to launder the considerable quantities of 'food' fish now
held in cold storage."

"Given that this matter falls under the mandate of the Department of Fisheries and Ocean, they will be conducting inquiries into your concerns and will respond to you directly."

For complete text of letter click here: (more)


NEWS RELEASE - SEPTEMBER 9, 2005

Reality Therapist/Prison Warden a New Top Dog at DFO (No Kidding)

DELTA—
“Pundits predict an expanded catch and release program under the watch of Paul Martin’s latest appointment to the DFO bureaucracy,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta – Richmond East). (more)


LETTER TO JOHN CUMMINS - SEPTEMBER 8, 2005

Access to Information Commissioner Condemns DFO

"In my view there was no lawful justification for the poor service that you received and I will so inform F&O."

The Hon John Reid, P.C.

Access to Information Commissioner of Canada


For complete text of letter click here: (
more)


NEWS RELEASE - AUGUST 30, 2005

THEY LOVE ME, THEY LOVE ME NOT

DELTA—“DFO spent yesterday picking petals off daisies,” said John Cummins, M.P., Delta - Richmond East. “In the end they chose continued black market sales over fish for commercial and sport fishermen.” (more)


NEWS RELEASE - AUGUST 29, 2005

NO TO DFO

DELTA – “BC fishermen should reject the government’s latest offer of a limited commercial fishery,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta–Richmond East). (more)


NEWS RELEASE - AUGUST 17, 2005

Fishery Officers Face Threats to Their Safety

Delta, B.C. —“Greg Savard, Director of Conservation and Protection for Fisheries and Oceans in the Pacific Region, is misleading the public when he downplays the violent reaction of Cheam fishermen to DFO enforcement efforts,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East). (more)

Related pieces of information:

Sportfishing Defence Alliance letter to federal Minister of Justice and Attorney-General and BC provincial Attorney-General (more)

Scientists hold out faint hope for salmon runs: Water temperature blamed as experts give the fish another week to show up, The Vancouver Sun, August 16, 2005 (more)

Fishermen await salmon returns as river tensions rise, Chilliwack Progress, August 16, 2005 (more)

RCMP probe clash between natives and fisheries officers: Fraser River tensions rise after DFO boat rammed and Cheam band ignores regulations, The Vancouver Sun, August 18, 2005 (more)


LETTER TO EDITOR OF VANCOUVER SUN - AUGUST 3, 2005

Your editorial suggests that the recent rejection by the Supreme Court of Canada of aboriginal demands for preferences involving timber in the Maritimes should lead to the negotiation of race-based preferences in British Columbia. When the Supreme Court has already concluded there is no basis for special preferences, it makes no sense why we would ignore this decision and create special raced-based preferences for resources.

For complete text of letter: (more)

Vancouver Sun editorial, "Court Ruling Give Natives Reason to Negotiate," August 3, 2005


LETTER TO EDITOR OF NATIONAL POST - JULY 27, 2005

I agree with your editorial that it is absurd to conclude that the intent of treaties written in 1760 and 1761 would be to “guarantee members of one race the right to flaunt Canadian commercial and environmental laws” in the 21st century.

It is also wrong to conclude that the Mi’kmaq had been selling fish to the French and the British and that the British “set up trading lodges (truck houses) to buy Mi’kmaq goods – mostly fish.”

Evidence presented at court made clear the purpose of the truck houses was to discourage the Mi’kmaq from trading with their former allies the French. The system of truck houses was short-lived but while in existence the trade at them was overwhelmingly in pelts. The court in Marshall I referenced an actual truck house price list that used pelts as the currency of exchange. Fish were not mentioned as a trade item.

The notion that it was not the intention of the British to recognize a Mi’kmaq priority to trade in fish is clear in the words of the Supreme Court in Stephen Marshall. There the justices in discussing Belcher’s Proclamation note the directive given by the Lords of Trade in London that “if it were necessary to reserve` lands for the Indians it should not have been the lands along the coast ‘but rather the lands amongst the woods and lakes where the wild beasts are to be found in plenty.’”

It is remarkable that the Supreme Court in Stephen Marshall mistakenly reported that Nova Scotia “accepted Marshall I and II” even though the province claimed in its appeal that “key constitutional arguments” were never considered in Marshall I and II.

This misstatement reminds one of a similar mistake in Marshall I where the Supreme Court misrepresented the pivotal testimony of the chief government witness and was later forced to rewrite a crucial section in its decision.

For complete text of letter: (more)

National Post editorial, "Shrinking Native Preferences," July 22, 2005


NEWS RELEASE - JULY 25, 2005

TIME FOR OTTAWA TO SHOW LEADERSHIP IN PORT STRIKE

RICHMOND – Conservative MP John Cummins (Delta – Richmond East) today challenged the federal government to show leadership and bring an end to the five-week-old truckers’ strike that is blocking business at Vancouver ports. (more)


NEWS RELEASE - JULY 20, 2005

Supreme Court Decision May Prove Helpful in BC

The court’s reasoned approach to treaty rights in Marshall and Bernard offers encouragement to those who seek to reconcile aboriginal demands for special rights with the realities of modern society.

“The Supreme Court has established a standard upon which to both understand existing treaties and to negotiate new ones,” concluded Cummins. “It is time to rethink our approach to treaty negotiations and demands for exclusive aboriginal rights.” (
more)


SUPREME COURT OF CANADA DECISION - JULY 20, 2005

Supreme Court rejects aboriginal logging claim

R. v. Marshall; R. v. Bernard

In summary, what the treaty protects is not the right to harvest and dispose of particular commodities, but the right to practice a traditional 1760 trading activity in the modern way and modern context. The question is whether the logging here at issue is the logical evolution of a traditional Mi’kmaq trade activity, in the way modern eel fishing was found to be the logical evolution of a traditional trade activity of the Mi’kmaq in Marshall 1.

The trial judge in each case applied the correct legal tests and drew conclusions of fact that are fully supported by the evidence. Their conclusions that the respondents possessed neither a treaty right to trade in logs nor aboriginal title to the cutting sites must therefore stand. Nor is there any basis for finding title in the Royal Proclamation or Belcher’s Proclamation.


NEWS RELEASE - JULY 15, 2005

Supreme Court to Render Decisions on “Marshall Treaties"

OTTAWA - “The Supreme Court of Canada will be issuing decisions on the so–called “Marshall Treaties” on Wednesday, July 20th in the Joshua Bernard and Stephen Marshall appeals,” said John Cummins, M.P. Delta-Richmond East.

The Bernard appeal from New Brunswick and the Stephen Marshall appeal from Nova Scotia consider whether there is a treaty-right to timber, based on the 1760-61 treaties, the same treaties considered by the Supreme Court in the Donald Marshall decisions. The original Marshall decisions in 1999 involved a treaty right to eels.

“The upcoming decisions will be of interest to more than the governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The claim of a treaty right to timber on Crown land provides the Supreme Court of Canada its first opportunity since 1999 to address who are the beneficiaries of the treaties and what is the nature of the benefits. The decisions in Bernard and Stephen Marshall may well assist fishermen and the Department of Fisheries in better understanding the nature of the treaty right involving the fishery - who has access to the right and what the right applies to,” Cummins concluded.
(more)

Supreme Court of Canada Announcement on Court Decisions: (more)

Statement of Facts and Law of the Attorney General of Nova Scotia argued before the Supreme Court of Canada (more)

Stephen Marshall - Nova Scotia Supreme Court Decision: (more)

Stephen Marshall Appeal Decision (NSSC) - April 9, 2002 News Release: (more)

Stephen Marshall on Donald Marshall (NSSC) - April 17, 2002 News Release: (more)

Oral Traditions, Wampum Belts, Land and Logs: An Assessment of Testimony in a Nova Scotia Mi'Kmaq Case (expert testimony at trial for the Attorney-General of Nova Scotia) by Alexander von Gernet, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto at Mississauga (more)

Chief Augustine at trial, direct and cross examination on qualifications and expert testimony, December 2, 1999 (more

Marshall's lawyer's attempt to withdraw Augustine's testimony following the von Gernet report, May 17, 2000 (more)

Bernard Decision - Trial - April 13, 2000 (more)


Vancouver Sun, July 5th, 2005

'Ottawa losing' in fish farm PR war: Richmond MP Cummins says environmentalists are 'telling the truth'

"To a large extent, the department is seen as not fulfilling its duties as regulator of the aquaculture industry and preserver of B.C.'s wild Pacific salmon stocks," states the analysis, obtained through Access to Information by Conservative MP John Cummins.

The five-page report, called Pacific Region Sea Lice Communications Strategy, was prepared by B.C.-based communications official Diane Lake and approved in March.

The report was based on a number of focus group studies in Canada, including several throughout B.C., which involved bringing in randomly selected individuals who met to discuss public policy issues with a professional facilitator. The report focuses on the controversy over whether sea lice that often thrive in crowded fish farm pens end up infecting nearby juvenile wild salmon populations.

Cummins (Delta-Richmond East) said Monday the document's conclusion about the public's lack of faith is dead-on, but he rejected Lake's assertion that misinformation is a factor. "The environmental groups are winning the PR [public relations] war because they're telling the truth" about the dangers fish farms pose to wild stocks, he said.
 
He said the federal government is reluctant to admit any failures, given its high-profile political commitment to aquaculture and its $15-million-a-year program to promote the industry and ease its regulatory burden.
"For them to admit any kind of a downside would reflect badly upon them, and I don't think they're prepared to do that."

For complete story: (more)

Access to Information documents on Pacific Region Sea Lice Communications Strategy: (more)


LETTER TO EDITOR OF OTTAWA CITIZEN - JUNE 30TH, 2005

Re: Ottawa Citizen, June 29, 2005, Salmon Farms, Fishing Can Coexist by Hon. Geoff Regan

 

Geoff Regan’s letter extolling the virtues of his Department’s regulation of the fish farm industry is consistent with the media lines supplied by the Department’s Sea Lice Communications Strategy playbook.

The Communications Strategy provides the rationale for writing such letters. “Focus group research recently undertaken indicates that Canadians would feel more reassured about the industry if the Department can be seen as addressing concerns raised by environmental advocacy organizations.” The reason that the public needs reassurance is that the public believes the Department of Fisheries is asleep at the switch. The Strategy admits that “to a large extent, the Department is seen as not fulfilling its duties as regulator of the aquaculture industry and preserver of BC’s wild Pacific salmon stocks.”

The Communications Strategy admits that the sea lice problem is a fish farm problem: “results from the 2004 marine monitoring indicate there are higher levels of the type of sea lice more commonly associated with fish farms.”

Apparently “sea lice abundance, specifically Lepeophtheirus on pink and chum salmon, increased significantly over 2003. … 62 percent of pink salmon and 64 per cent of chum salmon (9 and 7 per cent, respectively in 2003) appear to be infected by Lepeophtheirus. On average, each infected pink salmon carried four sea lice, chum 11.”

The Communications Strategy sets out just how desperate the situation has become for the Department. It is no longer trusted either to effectively regulate fish farms or to protect wild fish stocks, and is an indicator of just how desperate the situation has become for wild salmon on a key migration route, where over 60 percent are infected with lice commonly associated with fish farms.

If the Minister was as candid about the problems brought on by poorly regulated fish farm operations as his Department’s Sea Lice Communications Strategy, perhaps we might actually believe that he understands he has an environmental disaster rather than merely a communications one.

 

For complete text of letter: (more)
 


 

QUESTION IN PARLIAMENT - JUNE 28, 2005

 

CUMMINS QUESTIONS THE GOVERNMENT ON FISH FARMS

 

The government was asked a number of questions today on the use of drugs, chemicals and toxins at fish farms and their impact on wild stocks, the marine environment and human health. (more)


QUESTION IN PARLIAMENT - JUNE 22, 2005

Order Paper Question No. 174 - House of Commons

The Government was asked a series of questions based on the anthropological and historical study undertaken by Professor Alexander von Gernet for the Department of Justice entitled, The Early History of Lobster Harvesting Among Natives and Newcomers in Atlantic Canada, and the transfer to aboriginals in the Maritime Provinces access to lobster for food, social and ceremonial purposes (Sparrow) and commercial purposes (Marshall). (The Department of Justice has used the von Gernet report in a court case in Nova Scotia.)

Does the report find evidence or come to a conclusion that lobster was important to the Mi’kmaq prior to contact or at the time of contact with Europeans?

Does the report find evidence of significant lobster harvest by the Mi’kmaq during the first three centuries after contact with Europeans and, if so, what was the evidence or indication of significant harvest or reliance on the harvest of lobster?

Does the report find evidence of a significant Mi’kmaq reliance on lobster as a food source prior to contact or at the time of contact with Europeans?

Does the report find evidence of a significant Mi’kmaq reliance on lobster as a food source in the first three centuries after contact?

Which Mi’kmaq and Maliseet bands have received licences to harvest lobster for food, social and ceremonial purposes and how much was harvested in each year by each band following the Marshall decisions?

Which Mi’kmaq and Maliseet bands have received licences to harvest lobster for commercial purposes and what was the amount harvested in each year by each band following the Marshall decisions?

Is the decision to provide these food and commercial licences consistent with the findings of the report and, if so, in what way is it consistent with the historical evidence outlined in the report?

Following a review of the report, what action did the Department of Fisheries take to revise its plan to implement the transfer of lobster licences and vessels to aboriginal organizations?

How many licensed lobster fishermen (other than aboriginal organizations) were engaged in the public fishery in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 in (i) New Brunswick, (ii) Nova Scotia, and (iii) Prince Edward Island? (
more)

Excerpts from the study The Early History of Lobster Harvesting Among Natives and Newcomers in Atlantic Canada:

  1. Summary
  2. Introduction
  3. Archaeological Evidence
  4. Written Documents

HANSARD - FISHERIES COMMITTEE - JUNE 16, 2005

MINISTER GRILLED ON HIS RESPONSE TO FRASER RIVER REPORT

Mr. John Cummins (Delta—Richmond East, CPC): Mr. Chairman, I'm not exactly overwhelmed by the response here this morning. The minister suggested that there was urgency in the Fraser River situation, and I agree. He suggested that the urgency was intensified by the low returns of Fraser salmon last year. Well, there were pretty good returns to the river. The problem was an issue of enforcement.
What I'd like to know is just what the commitment to enforcement is. I understand what you've said in your remarks, Minister, but, in particular, how many more fisheries officers can we expect on the Fraser River this year compared to last year?
(more)


LETTER - JUNE 16, 2005

Letter to Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

We continue to discuss Bill C-52 with various commercial and recreational fishing interests across Canada. There are few who agree to granting your officials unfettered authority to create licence conditions that could have the effect of sending a licence holder to jail.

In response to these concerns that the fisheries regulatory regime faced by fishermen should be open, transparent and accountable and your department’s stated objective of greater user group involvement in the management of the fishery, I propose that Bill C-52 be amended ….

In addition I am concerned that Bill C-52 as currently drafted provides officials with the ability to discriminate between licence holders in the same fishery and fails to require publication of licence conditions so that the public can be informed of the conditions that are used in the management of the fishery. I would be happy to work with you and your staff to draft a provision to resolve these problems.

Our common objective must be a fisheries management and enforcement framework that respects our legal and parliamentary traditions while at the same time providing the Department with the necessary tools to protect the fishery resource.

We all must work together to protect the fishery resource.

For complete text of letter: (more)


LETTER - JUNE 13, 2005

Letter to Ontario Federation of Hunters and Anglers

I wish to advise you that I cannot support the amendments to the Fisheries Act contained in Bill C-52.

Bill C-52 would make the breach of any term or condition of a recreational or commercial fishing licence punishable by a criminal sanction of up to two years in jail, $500,000 in fines, and the seizure of vessels, vehicles, or “other things” used in the commission of an offence under the Fisheries Act.

The terms and conditions attached to fishing licences would be written by fisheries bureaucrats. The Bill does not define or limit what constitutes a term or condition.

C-52 exempts terms and conditions attached to licences from the requirement to publish all fisheries regulations in the Canada Gazette. Furthermore these terms and conditions are exempted from parliamentary scrutiny. Bill C-52, in effect, drops a veil of secrecy over such regulation.

C-52 does not require that all fishermen in the same fishery abide by the same licence terms and conditions.

We need to be very cautious when we remove the light of day and parliamentary scrutiny from the day-to-day law that governs fishermen. Sending someone to jail for the breach of an administrative provision enacted by a departmental official is contrary to our legal traditions and the scheme established in the Fisheries Act for dealing with offences under the Act. In our legal tradition we are liable to be sent to jail only for the specific breach of a statute enacted by Parliament or by regulations enacted by the Governor-in-Council under the statute and published in the Canada Gazette. It would be a mistake to give unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats a blank cheque to write fisheries law.

The present Fisheries Act ensures public accountability. It provides for extensive powers to write publicly accountable regulations on every conceivable matter involving fisheries management and enforcement. The Fisheries Act could without amendment easily address the problems the government claims C-52 is designed to remedy.

Recreational and commercial fishermen have no reason to believe fish stocks will be better protected if Parliament gives unlimited powers to unaccountable bureaucrats to write fisheries law but they have every reason to believe that their rights and access to fish might be compromised.

For complete text of letter: (more)


LETTER - JUNE 08, 2005

Letter to Ontario Minister of Natural Resources

"You have not challenged the Committee’s conclusion that s. 36(2) of the Ontario Fishing Regulations is illegal. As a Minister of the Crown you cannot rely on a provision that is patently illegal merely because it is administratively convenient.

Do you understand why the Committee concluded that it “would be remiss in its statutory responsibility if it allowed this policy preference to override the principle that the Executive may not create offenses punishable by criminal sanctions without clear authority granted by Parliament”?

With respect, your response indicates that your office may not understand the objections of the Committee. The objection is not whether your Department’s objective is wise from a policy perspective. Its sole concern must be whether s. 36(2) of the Ontario Fishing Regulations is authorized by the Fisheries Act."
 (more)


NEWS RELEASE - JUNE 07, 2005

Fisheries Ministers Mislead Ontario Fishermen

OTTAWA - “The Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and his federal counterpart are misleading Ontario fishermen,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East). “The Ministers are claiming that they will have to shutdown the Ontario fishery if they do not get their way in Parliament.”

“Their threats and intimidation are only an indication of the need to affirm the disallowance of the illegal provisions in the Ontario Fishing Regulations and to stand firmly against Bill C-52. The Bill would empower bureaucrats to attach terms and conditions to fishing licenses having the force of law,” Cummins observed. “These Ministers are shamelessly acting as a mouthpiece for their bureaucrats.”
(more)


HANSARD - JUNE 06, 2005

Second Reading Debate on An Act to Amend the Fisheries Act

Mr. John Cummins (Delta—Richmond East, CPC): 

"Bill C-52 would make it a criminal offence to break an unpublished secret law written by unaccountable bureaucrats.

Bill C-52 would put no limits on the nature and scope of the terms and conditions that can be imposed on fishermen.

Bill C-52 would put no limits on the penalty, the breach of every secret term or condition that is punishable by imprisonment. The penalty is not tailored to fit the crime.

Bill C-52 would remove the requirements to publish or make public the regulations.

Regulations under the Fisheries Act make those who write regulations accountable to Parliament.

The Fisheries Act provides for open, public and accountable regulations. Bill C-52 would remove that. These amendments would undermine that scheme of open, public accountability that is built into the Fisheries Act." (more)

Bill C-52: (more)

Disallowance Report: The Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations, Second Report (Report No. 75 - Disallowance): (more)


NEWS RELEASE - JUNE 06, 2005

Bill Gives Unlimited Powers to Unaccountable Fisheries Bureaucrats

OTTAWA—“Bill C-52’s amendments to the Fisheries Act puts fishermen at the mercy of unaccountable Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) bureaucrats,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East).

This legislation, if approved by Parliament, will give Fisheries bureaucrats the unfettered ability to put in place their own regulations to govern the lives of fishermen, the ability to give access to fish to friends of the government and to discriminate between groups of fishermen.

Under Bill C-52 fishermen will have no recourse to challenge DFO bureaucrats: fishermen will not be able to challenge such offensive regulations in court because Parliament will have given the bureaucrats a free-hand to put in place their own form of regulations without ever publishing them and without any form of public scrutiny.

Appeals to Members of Parliament will be of little avail if this legislation were passed. The only recourse would be for a Member of Parliament to seek to have Parliament change this dangerous law...(more)


NEWS RELEASE - JUNE 06, 2005

Minister Advised His Changes to Fisheries Act Were “Undesirable”

OTTAWA
—“The Minister of Fisheries was advised in April 2004 that his proposed amendments to the Fisheries Act were ‘undesirable’,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East).

The amendments to the Fisheries Act now before Parliament as C-52 were previously before Parliament as C-43.

On April 14, 2004 the Joint Standing Committee of House of Commons and Senate for the Scrutiny of Regulations refused to endorse the amendments and in fact expressed concerns about desirability of giving bureaucrats unlimited powers to write terms and conditions of the Fisheries Act that had the force of law and could land a fisherman in jail. The Committee cautioned:

“Our acknowledgement that the amendments included in Bill-43 would resolve the Committee’s objections to the legality of the relevant regulatory provisions does not imply an endorsement of those amendments.

“Particularly as regards the proposed section 10(1), which would impose a legal duty to comply with the terms and conditions of a license, we can conceive that some Parliamentarians might object to subjecting such non-compliance to penal sanctions that include imprisonment.

“To deprive a citizen of his liberty on the ground that the citizen has failed to abide by a requirement imposed by a public official in the exercise of an administrative power, such as a term or condition of license, could be thought undesirable as a matter of legislative policy.” (
more)

Committee's Letter of Concern to Minister: (more)


NEWS RELEASE - JUNE 3, 2005

Bureaucrats Seek Power to Jail Fishermen

OTTAWA—
“The Minister of Fisheries is trying to slide through Parliament an amendment to the Fisheries Act allowing for the jailing of fishermen who might fail to meet a condition attached to their fishing licence by Department of Fisheries bureaucrats,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East).

“Bureaucrats have no business casually attaching conditions to licences that dictate who can fish, where they fish and how much they can catch, conditions that if breached can send result in jail time,” said Cummins.

“I am not prepared to give bureaucrats a blank cheque to legislate. No one in Canada should face jail time unless they have broken a law or regulation authorized by Parliament,” Cummins noted.

The problem in the fishery is not that Fisheries Officers lack the power to protect fish stocks through the enforcement of the Fisheries Act and its regulations. The problem is that fisheries bureaucrats in Ottawa have in some cases ordered Fishery Officers not to enforce the law and in other cases the Ottawa-based bureaucrats have reduced the number of Fishery Officers in the field to the point where there is no one patrolling the water.

“Bureaucrats do not need more power to intimidate fishermen; they need to get out of the way and let Fishery Officers do their job,” said Cummins. “If Fishery Officers need more resources then I support giving it to them. If Fishery Officers need better regulations to assist them in tracking the illegal movement of fish, then I support additional regulations under the Fisheries Act. I do not support giving faceless bureaucrats the power to do almost anything they want without any accountability to Parliament...(
more)


HOUSEHOLDER - SPRING 2005

Dear Constituent,

Your support and feedback on the challenges facing our riding is appreciated. It is a pleasure to serve the residents of Delta Richmond-East, and I am proud to work on your behalf. Your issues, comments, and concerns are being represented in Ottawa.

Crime is always a concern and we are working hard to provide solutions to keep our streets safe. Car theft is on the increase and stolen vehicles are being used to commit other crimes. Seventy-one cars are stolen per day in British Columbia, adding up to over 25,000 cars stolen per year, many from right here in our community. Our justice system needs to address this dangerous crime, which has been the cause of much tragedy.

Our police force should have sufficient resources, to keep our streets and families safe. It is up to government to provide the funding and laws to protect our community. We must deal properly with the criminals who are already in the system. The time has come to consider minimum sentences for repeat and violent offenders.

We are working in Parliament to make this community safer. We want to give police the resources they need to do their jobs, and to see a justice system that actually holds criminals accountable for their actions.

We have many challenges in this government, but we also have many dedicated people that are working to make our community safer, cleaner and more prosperous. I welcome your thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Together we can make this the best community to live in Canada and I am dedicated to that task.

Best wishes,

John Cummins, M.P.
Delta – Richmond East

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE VERSION OF 2005 HOUSEHOLDER IN PDF FORMAT: (more)


NEWS RELEASE - May 19, 2005

CUMMINS SPEAKS ON BEHALF OF B.C. HOMEOWNERS

 “Mr. Speaker, over a month ago I provided the minister responsible for CMHC with documents received under access to information that made it clear that in 1981 CMHC was aware of the “leaky condo” problem in British Columbia but failed to issue a public warning to homeowners and builders because of concerns about liability and defaulting mortgages.

CMHC abandoned its duty to protect the public because it wanted to protect itself. Recently obtained documents show that in 1981 CMHC requested that the national building code be amended to prevent what was to become a two decade long nightmare for B.C. homeowners. Nothing was done.

CMHC failed to take action to prevent this costly disaster. CMHC failed to warn homeowners whose lives were to be devastated by this conspiracy of silence. CMHC failed to advise the builders so that flawed building practices could be changed to protect homeowners.

When will the minister end the cover-up?” (
more)

Listen to the audio clip: http://media.conservative.ca/audio/20050519-Cummins.mp3


LETTER - May 18, 2005

LETTER TO CMHC MINISTER FROM JOHN CUMMINS, M.P. ON BEHALF OF HOMEOWNERS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

"Why then in the years immediately after 1981 was the National Building Code continuously changed to further mandate construction practices which worsened the problems? Why did CMHC fail to effectively to address this disaster in the making?

If the President of CMHC thought it necessary to advise the Government of British Columbia of the problem and direct the Associate Committee on the National Building Code to address the problem, why did CMHC let the matter drop? Why did CMHC not take the decisive measures necessary to ensure that the National Building Code was changed so that it no longer promoted defective construction practices?

If the President of CMHC thought it necessary to warn the Government of British Columbia in 1981, why did CMHC not warn homeowners who were at that very time buying newly constructed homes destined to suffer serious moisture damage?

If the President of CMHC thought it necessary to warn the Government of British Columbia and the Associate Committee on the National Building Code, why did CMHC not intervene to ensure that home-builders in British Columbia were aware of the problem and directed to make fundamental changes in their construction practices?

The people of British Columbia have suffered for decades as a result of CMHC’s failure to properly address deficiencies in building design mandated and driven by CMHC, NRC, and other government departments and agencies and a multitude of government programs. Homeowners deserve answers now.

Homeowners in British Columbia deserve to know what action you will be taking to address the failure of CMHC to warn homeowners and potential homeowners of this disaster."

For complete text of letter: (more)

CMHC Letter to Government of British Columbia Advising of Problem

"The purpose of this letter is to make you aware of a situation we believe requires your attention. It has become evident to the Corporation that there has become a significant increase in the incidence of moisture induced damage in frame construction."

"There is an apparent close relation between energy conservation attempts and high levels of moisture accumulation… The worst problems have been encountered in the coastal areas…."

"I have already written to the Chairman of the Associate Committee on the National Building Code, giving him the same information and requesting that he, with the Associate Committee on the National Building Code and the Provincial Advisory Committee on the National Building Code, take a lead role in providing a focus and impetus towards developing the regulatory standards and technical measures necessary to prevent such problems."

For complete text of letter: (more)


QUESTION IN PARLIAMENT - May 18, 2005

CUMMINS DEMANDS ANSWERS FROM CMHC FOR HOMEOWNERS

With regard to government measures that result in the build-up of moisture in the wall cavity of buildings and their inability to dry-out:

What active measures did CHMC and NRC take to inform homeowners in British Columbia of the wet wall problem and when were they taken;

What active measures did CMHC and NRC take to inform builders and the housing industry in British Columbia of the wet wall problem and when were they taken;

What active measures did CMHC and NRC take to ensure that building practices in British Columbia addressed the wet wall problem, indicating the date of such actions and the success of the initiative; and

Did CMHC liquidate its national portfolio of co-op housing, and if so, (i) when did this occur, indicating by street address the locations, and indicating the number of these co-ops by province, (ii) what was the reason behind the decision to liquidate, (iii) how many of these projects suffered from wet wall and drying problems, (iv) were these problems disclosed to the individuals or government agencies that purchased them, and (v) were engineering reports written, and if so, detail what they disclosed?...(
more)


HANSARD - FISHERIES COMMITTEE - May 17, 2005

Minister Questioned If He Has Read the Melvin Report

The Minister could not recall if had read the Melvin Report but claimed to have been aware of the report and to have been briefed on some aspects of it:

The Chair: I ask the question, Minister, have you had an opportunity to personally review Robert Melvin's report?
 
Hon. Geoff Regan: I am certainly aware of the details of it. I'm aware of the concerns that you've raised, and I'm trying to recall whether I've read the whole report, but I certainly have been made aware clearly of what the issues are that you're referring to, and I am certainly concerned about what I see, but at the same time I think it's very important to recognize a couple of things...(
more)


HOUSE OF COMMONS - May 16, 2005

Tabling Petitions on Judicial Inquiry for Fraser River Sockeye Salmon

Mr. John Cummins (Delta—Richmond East, CPC): "Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition from British Columbians who are concerned about the management of the Fraser River fishery"...(more)


NEWS - May 11, 2005

MR. HARPER'S ADDRESS TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS - MOVES 2ND NON-CONFIDENCE MOTION

Hon. Stephen Harper (Calgary Southwest, CPC): "Madam Speaker, I rise today to perform what is the most essential job for any Leader of the Opposition, and that is to hold the government to account. At the end of this speech I will be holding the government to account in the most direct way possible by moving yet another motion of non-confidence in this government, but before I do so, I feel I owe it to this House to explain the reasons why this step has become necessary.

Click here for the complete text of the speech in PDF format:  


Adobe Acrobat PDF file, 165kb)


NEWS RELEASE - May 10, 2005

No Money for Fishery Officers Yet DFO Had Surplus
For Washrooms at Cheam Fishing Sites

OTTAWA - “Fisheries policy in British Columbia is driven by fear of violence by natives according to Larry Murray, the Deputy Minister of Fisheries,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East)...(more)


NEWS RELEASE - May 7, 2005

A Japanese-Canadian Fisherman’s View
FISHERMEN CONCERNED ABOUT WELFARE OF HUNGER STRIKER


The letter from the Japanese-Canadian fisherman is a follows:

“I was recently informed by a concerned fisherman that a Vietnamese fisherman feeling frustrated and helpless with the plight of trying to make a living as a commercial fisherman has started a hunger strike.

He is the same individual that earlier last month, burned his van in front of the City Hall in Vancouver in protest. I went to visit him yesterday to see how he was doing.

He is a 61 year old Vietnamese fisherman with a small build. He had not eaten in 5 days now and is now showing the toll. He is living on his boat, the Tracey Ann, in Steveston. He is protesting the deterioration of fishing opportunities to the commercial fleet in the past 10 years. He is also upset with the native fishery and its abuse. He wants change and is committed to the cause.

He told me he is doing this for all Canada. I have grave concerns about this individual because of his age. There needs to be some resolution to this crisis"...(
more)

The Petition by Hunger Striker Ngo Thien Hiep

Mr. Ngo Thien Hiep: "Dear sirs and madams, how could we earn enough money to make our living, and from our fish-selling income as such, how could we make enough money to pay for the costs of repairing our boats, nets, and other necessary fishing equipments every year? We are, like other fishermen, human beings, why were we discriminated by a group of people, who was in charge of this business?"...(more)


NEWS RELEASE - May 6, 2005

Hunger Strike in Fifth Day

RICHMOND - “Hiep Thien Ngo is in the fifth day of a hunger strike protesting the fisheries policies of the federal government,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East). Heip Thien Ngo came to this country as an immigrant believing all Canadians are equal in the eyes of the law. He decided to go into the fishing business, worked hard and bought a boat and licence, all in the hope of earning a living for his family... (more)

DESPERATE PLEA FROM VIETNAMESE FISHERMEN'S ASSOCIATION

Hansard - Fisheries Committee, December 2, 2004 - Vancouver Hearing

Ms. Kim Nguyen (Spokesperson, B.C. Vietnamese Fishermen's Association): " This year my husband went out fishing and he caught fewer than 500 fish. According to the statistics, area E gill-netters have caught 239,000 fish, and we have about 403 area E licences. If you take that average, and if each fisherman takes fewer than 600 fish from the water, at the price that fishermen get paid for fish, which is about $10 a fish, the average fisherman's income this year is only $6,000. That hardly pays the start-up costs. Now we have come to the end of the season, and everybody is saying we've lost the fish; we are losing the fish going to the spawning grounds.

Looking forward, four years from now, to 2008, what if we don't have the fishery? How are we going to survive? How is my family going to survive? How is my husband going to pay for the start-up costs."...(
more)

THOUGHT CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP MEANT EVERYONE TREATED EQUALLY

Testimony of Kim Nguyen in 2003 in BC Provincial Court at Kapp trial:

Ms. Kim Nguyen: 1992 when the pilot sales coming, we cannot fish. We sit in dock. We see the pilot sales going out, and we commercial fishing, too, but we cannot go out. The fish is our life. We don't have anything else at that time, just when we depend on the fishing. We really worry. We're frustrated. Where the income from if we don't have any fishing. And we have lots of stress for that time, and things changed so quickly we didn't even know that. It's really hard for us. We never think about that. We thought the fishing is our -- all our life was spent for the fishing.

When I became a Canadian, I remember when I swear, I obey the law. I have freedom to speak. Equal rights, and everything. I thought that's the -- I would have the right to say now. We wants, one fishery do for everybody the same and equal. They can have it; we can have it, too. I got the family; they got the family, too. Really tough to do. They fish; we sit. We don't have any other income to get in for our family. How can we live? We come to this country, to freedom. To speak, and everything right, so we want to treat us right, so we can live in this freedom like Canada... (
more)


Hansard - Fisheries Committee, May 5, 2005

Head of DFO Science Unsure of the Source of Sea Lice

Mr. John Cummins (Delta—Richmond East, CPC): Dr. Watson-Wright, in a March 26 article by Peter O'Neil in The Vancouver Sun, Dr. Brian Riddell said that fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago are the probable source of a huge increase in lice found on wild salmon in 2004. You wrote a letter to The Vancouver Sun shortly thereafter, and you took exception to that, noted that comment, and you said that DFO is looking at all causes of sea lice on wild salmon.

My question is this: Is it not true that the most likely source of sea lice, the millions of salmon with lice on salmon farms has not been investigated as a source in any directed research by DFO to date?...(more)


Hansard from Fisheries Committee, May 3, 2005 - Melvin Report To Be Considered Behind Closed Doors, MPs Prevented From Studying the Report Prior to Closed-Door Meeting

Mr. John Cummins (Delta—Richmond East, CPC):
"I have just a couple of points, Chair.
One is it would be appropriate if some arrangements were made so that ourselves or our staff could view that documentation before the meeting on Tuesday so we have some idea of what it is we're going to be dealing with"...
(more)


NEWS RELEASE - April 28, 2005

Documents Reveal Illegal Activity in Fishery

OTTAWA— “Senior officials in the Department of Fisheries believe that poachers have vandalized the property of honest fishermen who refuse to quietly go along with their illegal activities,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East)... (more)

Document Released under the Access to Information Act regarding vandalism and intimidation by poachers:

docs\VANDALISM  INTIMIDATION BY POACHERS.doc


NEWS RELEASE - April 26, 2005

Deadline Set for Receipt of Melvin Report

OTTAWA - “The Fisheries Committee has issued a formal request to the Deputy Minister of Fisheries for the Melvin Report,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East)... (more)


NEWS RELEASE - April 22, 2005

High Level CMHC Documents Implicate Corporation

OTTAWA - “Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) documents reveal the government agency believed in 1981 that moisture induced problems were causing rot and structural damage in newly constructed homes, particularly in coastal areas,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East).... (more)

CMHC DOCUMENTS:

docs\Addendum to Management Submission - For Moisture Induced Problems in Housing.doc


docs\Memorandum to Management - Moisture Induced Problems in Housing, August 4, 1981.doc


HOUSE OF COMMONS - April 19, 2005

Tabling Petitions on Judicial Inquiry for Fraser River Sockeye Salmon

"Mr. Speaker, I have a petition today from residents of British Columbia concerned about the mismanagement of the Fraser River sockeye." (more)


NEWS RELEASE - April 19, 2005

CMHC Must Address Its Failure to Warn Homeowners

OTTAWA - “Internal Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation documents reveal the Corporation (CMHC) was aware in 1981-82 that a serious moisture problem was causing damage in housing across Canada, particularly in coastal British Columbia and Newfoundland,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East)... (more)

"I would ask that you let me know what actions you will be taking to address the failure of the Corporation to warn homeowners and potential homeowners of this looming problem...." 

See full text of letter to CMHC Minister: docs\LETTER TO CMHC MINISTER ON LEAKY CONDOS.pdf


NEWS RELEASE - April 19, 2005

COMMITTEE AGREES TO REQUEST THE MELVIN REPORT

OTTAWA - On April 14, 2005 the Fisheries Committee agreed to a demand from John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East) that the Committee request a copy of the Melvin Report from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans... (more)


C-38 (The Government's Same-Sex Marriage Legislation) 2ND READING SPEECH IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS - APRIL 19, 2005

"Mr. Speaker, I support the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others." (more)

PDF copy of speech:

Adobe Acrobat PDF file, 145KB


NEWS RELEASE - April 14, 2005

Fishermen Should Beware
- The Minister of Fisheries Has Another Plan

OTTAWA - "The bureaucrats and the Fisheries Minister who brought us the Fraser River disaster in 2004 now see fit to do to fishermen in 2005 what then did to the sockeye in 2004," said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East). "The gang that couldn't shoot straight would now restructure the public fishery without any evidence their plans will lead to more effective management of the resource." ...(more)


NEWS RELEASE - April 14, 2005

Fisheries Violations Alert

OTTAWA - "Fisheries Officers have been advised to expect severe cuts to their ranks in the Pacific Region. We are in danger of repeating the 2004 disaster with a weakened enforcement unit at DFO," said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East)...(more)


NEWS RELEASE - April 13, 2005

Memo Reveals Armed Poachers Still Pose a Threat to Fishery Officers

OTTAWA - “Weapons in the hands of poachers are still a concern for Fisheries Officers patrolling the Fraser River,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East). Internal Department of Fisheries documents received under the Access to Information Act reveal that weapons continue to be a threat to Fisheries Officers. In a January 11, 2005 memo the Detachment Supervisor for Conservation and Protection Field Units in Mission and Chilliwack requested “weapons profiles” on poachers his men have to deal with so that they will not be faced with any “surprises”...(more)

Documents released under the Access to Information Act:

docs\A-2004-00425 - FRASER RIVER SUMMARY REPORT 2004 - WEAPONS (2).doc


HOUSE OF COMMONS - April 13, 2005

Tabling Petitions on Judicial Inquiry for Fraser River Sockeye Salmon

"Madam Speaker, I have a petition today from people in British Columbia requesting a judicial inquiry into the disappearance of 1.3 million sockeye in the Fraser River." (more)


NEWS RELEASE - April 12, 2005

Fisheries Minister Shuts Down Williams
Afraid Williams Committee Getting Too Close To The Truth?

OTTAWA - "The Minister of Fisheries has shut down the investigation into his Department's management of the 2004 salmon fishery in British Columbia," said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East). The Williams Committee was scheduled to finish the second half of its review in the next few weeks and submit Part II of its report in May. It was to deal with the evidence of illegal fishing in the Somass River on Vancouver Island and problems in the management of other Fraser River salmon stocks. The hearings have already been held ...(more)


NEWS RELEASE - April 7, 2005

The Williams Report Offers Crumbs to Fishermen Rather Than An Action Plan

OTTAWA - "Vancouver lawyer Bryan Williams seems to think more negotiations, more studies, more reports and more meetings will protect sockeye runs in 2005," said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East) "Williams knew nothing about the sockeye fishery before he held public hearings throughout British Columbia and unfortunately he appears to have learned little about the fishery after hearing from fishermen and fishery officers... (more)


NEWS RELEASE - March 22, 2005

Commons Committee Critical of Fisheries Department

OTTAWA -“The report on the management of the 2004 Fraser River sockeye fishery released by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans provides some commendable recommendations relating to the long term management of the Fraser fishery but offers little direction to the Department on how to improve its sorry record of fisheries management,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East)...(more)

Ensuring a Future for Fraser River Sockeye - An Action Plan for the 2005 Season
SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT by John Cummins, M.P., Delta - Richmond East:

The purpose of these recommendations is to ensure the survival and enhancement of Fraser River sockeye. Implementation will ensure the adequate management of the 2005 Fraser River fishery and allow time for more comprehensive restructuring of Fisheries and Oceans Canada...(more)



NEWS RELEASE - March 22, 2005

Statement In Parliament on Fisheries Committee Report

OTTAWA - “Today the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans has rejected the government’s claim that warm water temperatures were primarily responsible for the 2004 Fraser River sockeye disaster, laying the blame squarely on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans,” said John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East)...(more)


NEWS RELEASE - March 21, 2005

Committee Set to Unveil Report on Missing Salmon

OTTAWA - The House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries is set to make public on March 22nd its report into the disappearance of Fraser River sockeye in the summer of 2004. It will include a supplementary report, Ensuring a Future for Fraser River Sockeye, by John Cummins, M.P. (Delta-Richmond East)... (more)


The 2004 Fraser River Salmon Fishery Report of the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, Tom Wappel, M.P., Chairman, March 2005

THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON FISHERIES AND OCEANS has the honour to present its SECOND REPORT. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), the Committee has studied the 2004 Fraser River sockeye salmon harvest and is pleased to report as follows: (more)

645633b1.pdf
(Adobe Acrobat pdf file, 2MB)


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Constituency Office

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Delta, British Columbia, V4K 2T9
Telephone: (604) 940-8040
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Email:
cummins@dccnet.com