OTTAWA – Environment – Bruce Hyer MP Thunder Bay Superior North and Deputy Leader of the Green Party of Canada) issued the following statement regarding the passage of Bill C-61 An Act to amend the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act, by the Senate:
“After eight years of postponement on a promise made by Prime Minister Harper in Nipigon in 2007, I was pleased to see all Parliamentarians, in both the House and now the Senate, unanimously support my non-partisan, cross-party motion to pass Bill C-61. Without my motion last week, Bill C-61 would have died in the House of Commons. The passage of this Bill is an important milestone for the people and ecosystems of Northern Ontario, and indeed all of Canada and beyond. This is now the largest freshwater marine protected area in the world.
“I am very excited, as this has been a 35 year project for me. I helped to introduce this idea in 1980 and have stayed on it through many stages in my life. I want to thank all parties for their unanimous support. I very much appreciated a phone call from Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Environment, who thanked me for getting this bill through the House. I also want to thank all Senators for helping to make this bill a reality. Finally, I want to thank Mayor Richard Harvey, for his support in both Nipigon and Ottawa, as well as Patty Hajdu, who contacted Liberal Senators.
Hyer concluded, “Now that the bill is set to become law, Northwestern Ontario communities, including Thunder Bay, Terrace Bay, Red Rock, Nipigon, Dorian, Rossport, Schreiber, and the Pays Plat and Lake Helen First Nations, will see many positive benefits. This bill will enable injection of tens of millions of dollars into these communities and create new jobs. The bill will also introduce conservation efforts for islands, marine ecosystems, fisheries, and threatened species. Finally, this bill will pave the way for a new Administrative and Interpretive Centre in Nipigon.”
Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP (Saanich – Gulf Islands), continued:
“I am thankful that Bruce intervened to ensure this bill could pass before Parliament rose for the summer. This is a tremendous victory, not just for Greens, but for all Northwestern Ontario communities. It demonstrates that even a few Green MPs can foster collaboration and consensus. We will continue to strive for a Canada that works together. That’s what all Canadians expect and what they deserve.”