Copyright © 2019 Senator Dennis Patterson.

Natural Resources – Fisheries, Wildlife Management, Extractive Sector

Senator Dennis Patterson

Divisive measure overhauls assessment process for major construction projects

Senator Dennis Patterson

Bill C-48 is one of two government bills Conservatives in both the House of Commons and the Senate say are kneecapping Alberta’s oil industry by limiting the movement of its oil. It passed the Senate by a vote of 49 to 46.

Senator Dennis Patterson

The Senate passed four priority government bills back to the House with amendments late last week.

Senator Dennis Patterson

Independent and Conservative Senators are drawing up amendments to create a shipping corridor for oil tankers along the northern B.C. coast, despite the Transport minister's rejection of that idea last month.

Senator Dennis Patterson

Whoops! The federal government may have unintentionally erased the Government of Nunavut’s legal authority to regulate the harvest of caribou, muskox and polar bear four years ago, members of the Senate special committee on the Arctic heard last week in Ottawa.

“The situation creates a regulatory gap and uncertainty for the Government of Nunavut in its ability to manage wildlife,” Wayne Walsh, a civil servant with the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, told the Senate committee at a hearing May 7.

Ottawa is now quietly moving to fix the legal glitch, which dates to April 1, 2014, after Parliament passed the Northwest Territories Devolution Act…

Senator Dennis Patterson

More than six months after a Senate committee voted in support of a bill that would ban whale and dolphin captivity in Canada, the report has finally been adopted in the Red Chamber.

The Senate’s Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans voted in favour of Bill S-203 on Oct. 26 by a vote of 9-5. It was finally moved by committee chair Sen. Fabian Manning in the Senate in late November, only for Sen. Don Plett to immediately move to adjourn debate. Yesterday, after repeated stalling tactics by Conservative senators, the bill was unbeached by a vote and will now move on to third reading, which could come as early as next week…

Mining future looks bright

Senator Dennis Patterson

With a mine in production in each region as of mid-February – when TMAC poured its first gold bar at Hope Bay – the mood was celebratory at the 20th Nunavut Mining Symposium.

Almost 400 people gathered to discuss mining in the territory around the theme Reflecting on the Past, Looking to the Future.

Senator Dennis Patterson

An Inuit elder pointed to a ridge on the barren landscape where Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. had proposed to build its Meadowbank gold mine. Out there, he said, is where his ancestors were buried. But that wouldn’t stop him from supporting the miner’s development, which proved local folklore right: The area was rich with gold…

Nunavut fisheries win more shrimp

Senator Dennis Patterson

Nunavut fishers will have access to 1,084 tonnes more northern shrimp for 2016-2017.

“This increase in Nunavut’s shrimp fishing allocations is reflective of the Government of Nunavut’s longstanding position that 100 percent of any fisheries quota increase in adjacent waters must go to Nunavut until we reach an equitable share of our adjacent resources,” Environment minister Joe Savikataaq told the legislative assembly Oct. 31. 

Senator Dennis Patterson

The federal government is not yet ready to support one of the Government of Nunavut’s biggest infrastructure dreams: the 227-kilometre Grays Bay road-port project in the western part of the territory…

Nunavut fishing boats deserve lion’s share of shrimp

Senator Dennis Patterson

The importance of the Northern shrimp fishery to Nunavummiut and an external review of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Last In, First Out policy was thrust into the spotlight June 17 in an unlikely place.

It was Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson who blew the whistle on the policy review from the floor of the Senate, stating the policy, introduced in 2003, is discriminatory against Nunavut commercial fishing operations.

Senator Dennis Patterson

Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson is standing up for his territory’s shrimping industry.

On Friday Patterson called on federal fisheries and oceans minister Dominic LeBlanc to consider Nunavut’s position when reviewing changes to the Northern shrimp quotas…

Nunavut stakeholders overcame lack of representation to effectively lobby to scrap shrimp policy

Senator Dennis Patterson

Hunter Tootoo abandoned his position as minister of Fisheries and Oceans just before debate over the controversial “Last in, First out” shrimp policy began, but a concerted effort from Nunavut stakeholders saw the territory achieve a positive outcome anyway.

“I was delighted on July 6 when the minister (Dominic Leblanc) clearly stated that policy is not a sustainable instrument of public policy and should be replaced by a system that they described as proportional sharing,” said Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson. “This is a great step forward but it’s not the end of the story.”

Northern shrimp report completed

Senator Dennis Patterson

An independent review of the Last In, First Out policy (LIFO) for the Northern shrimp fishery is in the hands of a Liberal cabinet minister while Nunavut fishers now wait for an expected decision.

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc stated in a news release he appreciates the economic importance of the shrimp fishery for all harvesters and their communities in Atlantic Canada. 

Senator challenges fisheries policy

Senator Dennis Patterson

A Department of Fisheries and Oceans policy on commercial fishing is discriminatory against Nunavut fisheries, Sen. Dennis Patterson argued on the Senate floor June 17.

The federal government department introduced Last In First Out (LIFO) in 2003 as part of its Integrated Fisheries Management Plan. Under LIFO, as quotas are reduced due to climate change, new licence holders lose their shrimp quotas before older ones.

Senator Dennis Patterson

The federal government is calling for proposals for the $5.7 million allotted to bolster the seal industry in Indigenous communities, a signal that attitudes around seal products may be changing…

Territory’s strengths highlighted in talks

Senator Dennis Patterson

A flurry of activity – a literal one with the mid-week blizzard – at the Frobisher Inn April 4 to 7 saw delegates from every company, government department and organization involved with mining in the territory gather to network and discuss the industry’s current state.

Panel discussions were well attended, filling up both Astro theatres during the day, while the trade show remained busy for delegates all week.

Optimistic outlook for sealskin product sales

Senator Dennis Patterson

Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson looked especially dashing in a sealskin winter jacket with fur trim during his visit to Iqaluit last month when he spoke about his push to change worldwide perceptions toward seal products.

Heads-up on Hudson’s Bay offshore oil

Senator Dennis Patterson

“There’s another sleeping giant in this story,” said Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson. “And that’s oil and gas.”

Patterson was talking to Nunavut News/North about Quebec’s floated idea under Plan Nord to extend its borders, potentially capturing the Hudson Bay community of Sanikiluaq in that.

Senator backs national seal day

Senator Dennis Patterson

Although the move would be largely symbolic, Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson hopes a new National Seal Products Day can fight against what he calls the tremendous power of anti-sealing groups.

“It would mean basically promoting Northern seal products and trying to overcome the tremendous power of the animal welfare movement, who portray Inuit as being barbaric and savage, cruel hunters of seal,” Patterson told Nunavut News/North in an interview. 

Quebec wants to extend Plan Nord into Nunavut

Senator Dennis Patterson

Nunavut’s senator is sounding the alarm about the province of Quebec’s desire to extend its northern border for economic development.

Extending Quebec’s offshore border into Nunavut would directly impact the community of Sanikiluaq and several other jurisdictions, Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson said in senatorial chambers Dec. 10.

Mine training society seeks funding renewal

Senator Dennis Patterson

The Kivalliq Mine Training Society (KMTS) in Baker Lake is planning to meet with Leona Aglukkaq, minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson about the organization’s expiring federal funding, after Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the region last month with no funding renewal announcement.

“In a region noted for its crippling rate of unemployment and limited pool of skilled labour, KMTS represents hope for our youth, and the opportunity to develop real skills, meaningful opportunities and lifelong careers in communities where all three are in short supply,” Geoffrey Kusugak, mine training society chairperson, said in a written release.

Golden opportunity for Nunavut

Senator Dennis Patterson

Jose Kusugak says he still remembers when he went to Baker Lake 16 years ago on a community visit to attend what he calls “the saddest meeting” he had ever been to.

Fast forward to 2010 and times have changed for the residents of Baker Lake and the Kivalliq region thanks to the opening of the Meadowbank Mine.

“There is hope for the future,” said the Kivalliq Inuit Association president at the official opening of the gold mine on June 18.

Commercial Arctic char industry should be developed in Nunavut: report

Senator Dennis Patterson

A commercial Arctic Char fishery should be further developed across Nunavut, not just off Victoria Island, according to a recently released Senate report.

Harvesting the fish commercially would create jobs and help the country assert its Arctic sovereignty, said Senator Dennis Patterson, vice-chair of the Senate committee on Fisheries and Oceans. He added the committee was “impressed” with the potential for social and economic benefits a commercial fishery could bring to communities.