(Translation) Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I wish to report to the House on my recent meetings in Vancouver and Ottawa. In Vancouver I met with the Hon. John Crosbie, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Our discussions concerned the developing Baffin fishing industry. Mr. Crosbie was able to assure me of the following commitments:
1) The Tungavik Federation of Nunavut land claim provisions will be considered in decisions relating to the management and harvest of inshore and offshore marine resources;
2) No new northern shrimp licences will be issued. Any increases to the quota will be divided among the existing 17 licence holders, of which 1.5 licences are held by territorial companies; and
3) The Government of the Northwest Territories will continue to participate in the Atlantic Council of Fisheries Ministers and its advisory committees. Through this council, decisions are made on the management of Atlantic marine resources. I extended an invitation to co-host the next meeting of this Ministers' council in Pangnirtung next summer.
After this meeting with Mr. Crosbie, I went to Ottawa. At the National Forest Congress, I and the other Ministers of Forestry signed an accord supporting the new Canadian forest strategy. This strategy sets the direction for forest management in Canada. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that this strategy follows the direction that our government has already established in our forest management programs.
The strategy states that: a) forests should be harvested on a sustainable basis; b) forests are also important as wildlife habitats, for subsistence uses, and for leisure activities and should be managed accordingly; c) forests should be managed with involvement from residents; d) traditional uses and knowledge should be part of forest management.
At the National Forest Congress, I met with Mr. Paul Ramsey, who represented the British Columbia Forest Minister. We discussed the problems being created for trappers by forest companies in the Liard area. Mr. Ramsey made a commitment, on behalf of the Minister, to investigate the problems and to report back to me.
While in Ottawa, I had the opportunity to meet with several other agencies: the Fur Institute of Canada; Indigenous Survival International; the Canadian UNESCO committee; and the organizers of an international environmental education conference called ECO-ED, which will be held in Toronto this July. Each meeting related to promoting the use of renewable resources at national and international forums.
Mr. Speaker, I was encouraged by these meetings because one of my objectives as Minister of Renewable Resources is to educate the people throughout the world about the way we live. Two of these agencies are highlighting the importance of traditional knowledge, especially in resource management. The Government of the Northwest Territories is recognized as a leader in this field, in large part because of the efforts of Mr. Jim Bourque, the former deputy minister of Renewable Resources.
Although I was busy, I can also report that it is already spring in Vancouver, still winter in Ottawa, and I am glad to be home. Mahsi cho.