Race Rocks Public Advisory Board meeting /2011-03-30

Meeting Notes
Race Rocks Public Advisory Board Meeting #6
10:00 – 15:00, 30 March, 2011
B.C. Ministry of Environment, Victoria, British Columbia

Meeting Notes Race Rocks Public Advisory Board Meeting #6
These minutes were available originally on the DFO website.
Meeting Goal

To receive feedback and input from the Race Rocks Public Advisory Board (the Board) in order to move the designation process forward.


To update the Board on progress to date
To receive feedback on the regulatory approach
To receive feedback on all impacts resulting from the regulatory intent
To identify opportunities for collaboration in management and administration with the ecological reserve
To identify and discuss future MPA management measures

Philip Akins, University of Victoria
Nicole Backe, Fisheries & Oceans Canada
Stefan Beckmann, Fisheries & Oceans Canada
Doug Biffard, BC Parks
Chris Blondeau, Pearson College
Chris Bos, Sportfishing Advisory Board
Erin Bradley, Ogden Point Dive Centre
Christie Chute, Fisheries & Oceans Canada
Chantelle Coulson, Fisheries & Oceans Canada
Mike Fenger, Friends of Ecological Reserves
Garry Fletcher, Race Rocks Ecological Warden
Hilary Ibey, Fisheries & Oceans Canada
Sabine Jessen, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, BC
Dan Kukat, Pacific Whale Watch Association
Angus Matthews, Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre
Mika Ogilvie, Pacific Whale Watch Association
Glen Rasmussen, Fisheries & Oceans Canada
Aaron Reith, First Nations Liaison
Danielle Smith, Dept. of National Defence Esquimalt
Tomas Tomascik, Parks Canada Agency
Items for Discussion

Welcome – Glen Rasmussen on behalf of Fisheries & Oceans Canada (DFO)
Welcome to everyone and great to see such a wonderful turnout.
As per previous Board comments, the meeting today is being held closer to town.
Thanks to the province for allowing us use of the B.C. Ministry of Environment building; this illustrates the cooperation and support that exists between DFO and the Province of B.C. regarding the Race Rocks Marine Protected Area (MPA)

General Notices
This will be the final meeting of the pre-designation Race Rocks Public Advisory Board before submission of the regulatory package
DFO intends to integrate comments by Advisory Board as best as possible into MPA Regulations; regulatory process approximately 10 months

Round table – refer to list of attendees

Meeting #5 Agenda – Nicole Backe, DFO
Agenda approved

Meeting #5 Minutes – discuss comments/amend/approve – Nicole Backe, DFO
Review of Action Items :
Log Number: 10-11-01
Responsible: DFO
Action: DFO to refer to values input document and synthesize into the compatible/incompatible activities table.
Status: Done

Log Number: 10-11-02
Responsible: DFO
Action: DFO to confirm DND’s governance role in the buffer zone of Whiskey Quebec.
Status: Done

Log Number: 10-11-03
Responsible: DFO
Action: DFO to mail out consultation letter to commercial fishing industry and to First Nations holding communal commercial fishing licenses
Status: Done

Log Number: 10-11-04
Responsible: DFO
Action: S. Beckmann to look into existing models of activity plans
Status: Done (see Updates below)

Socio-Economic Report has been finalized, and is in process of being made available on DFO WAVES library online
Ecosystem Overview and Assessment Report is also being finalized – DFO Manuscript Report
Corrections are being made to maps for Race Rocks MPA – GIS work
DFO investigated existing models of activity plans
Stefan Beckmann provided a list of examples ranging from Gwaii Haanas to U.S. parks
Board concerned about the Department of National Defence (DND)’s jurisdiction regarding foreign vessels shooting in the area and about joint exercises in the area
It was explained that DND has limited jurisdiction on the water
Foreign vessels are required to follow Canada’s policies in joint exercises

Minutes from Meeting #5 adopted.

UVic Research Project on Stakeholder Interactions – Philip Akins, University of Victoria
(please refer to presentation under seperate cover)
Research interest is in collaboration in the fields of resource management and conservation
Interested in studying how different stakeholders collaborate, with whom they collaborate, and why
Questions to be asked of stakeholders in research:
Why are you here contributing to this formal set of interactions today?
What are the other ways in which you interact with others at this table, as well as with people who are not here today?
What are the norms and practices that shape how you collaborate?
Where do these norms come from?
What do you get out of a formal interaction versus an informal interaction?
Interested in potentially using the Race Rocks MPA designation process as a case study

Comments from the Advisory Board :
Board member highlighted that engagement with First Nations on Race Rocks process is key in completing a case study of the Race Rocks MPA stakeholder interaction process
Board member suggested that it would be valuable to ask stakeholders what they would like to see done differently in the advisory process next time (i.e. how to streamline process) should Race Rocks be chosen as a case study for Philip’s research
Board member commented that certain members also act on other advisory boards, so it would be virtually impossible to look at Race Rocks in an isolated bubble
Board members cross paths on various issues all the time that have nothing to do with Race Rocks and so would be hard to isolate what interactions were attributable to the Race Rocks consultation process (often extensive overlap in professional and personal lives)

First Nations Update – Glen Rasmussen, DFO & Aaron Reith (First Nations Liaison)
DFO is moving forward with discussion of Government-First Nation Management Board Terms of Reference; ToR 99% complete with only small issues to address, supported by Chiefs and still want to see it move forward; ToR will incorporate DFO’s financial commitment
It was clarified to the Board that MPA management will involve a management board (DFO, First Nations, and with the possibility in the future of the Province) that provides advice to the Minister
Clarification provided by Aaron that FN do not consider themselves stakeholders of the area as ownership was never relinquished
Separate stakeholder public advisory group will exist to provide advice to and to communicate with government management board
DFO and First Nations will discuss issues around their interests on management board, and that advice will be synthesized with the advice from the stakeholder board
DFO seeks to consult with all affected parties and work within constraints
DFO working towards the planning of community meetings with T’Sou-ke Nation, Songhees Nation, and Beecher Bay First Nation, where Chiefs and DFO will discuss concerns about the MPA, arrangement of management board, and cultural uses of marine resources in the Race Rocks area.
DFO does not yet have formal records or written reports on First Nation cultural interests in Race Rocks area
These community meetings are an important part in DFO consultation process
DFOs intention is to have these meetings in April or May 2011
DFO has attempted to contact Esquimalt First Nation several times after initial meeting to further consult on the issue but response has been that they are ‘not interested in consulting on this issue at this time.
DFO investigating what this response means for consultation requirements
DFO responded to Esquimalt asking for reasons for not participating, adding that DFO is willing to re-engage with Esquimalt Nation at any time and will keep sending information as process moves forward
In a previous meeting with Chief Thomas of the Esquimalt Nation, DFO had permission from other Chiefs to present what their arrangements with DFO were and if there is interest at any time from Esquimalt for a similar agreement, DFO will remain open and flexible
DFO addressed a comment received about how MPA will work layered onto existing Ecological Reserve on a day-to-day basis
Explained that on an operational level, both DFO and Province of B.C. see things working well
Doug and Glen will address how DFO and the Province will work together to align MPA and Ecological Reserve in upcoming presentation
An important component of the post-designation boards will be to make things run as smoothly as possible with the MPA layered onto the Ecological Reserve

Major Board Comments/Concerns:
Board member expressed disappointment in split consultation process and split management (First Nations split from public advisory board)
Wondered if there has been any consideration given to merging the First Nations and the Board back together for consultation/management rather than continuing with these two groups on two separate tracks
Concerned about mistrust that could develop with separate boards and hopes to have connection between First Nations and the public
Also concerned with the bureaucracy that DFO has brought with it to Race Rocks and questions the value added from an MPA designation
DFO explains that a joined board could be a possibility, but if First Nations wish to continue consulting with DFO on separate grounds, then that is what DFO will continue to do
Post-designation advisory board will have First Nations member, so there will be a connection there, although DFO cannot predict with certainty how the management board/advisory board will evolve at this time
DFO understands importance of linkage happening between First Nations and public advisory board members and of a line of communication existing in management discussions
Aaron explains that communication does exist, and that there is an outreach tool in Terms of Reference agreement in order to allow transparency and to establish important connections between First Nations and others (Esquimalt not involved in Terms of Reference agreement at this time)
Additional Board member wishes to encourage continued DFO outreach to Chief Thomas of Esquimalt in order to include him in this process
Would be a shortcoming on the part of DFO and of the Board if we are not able to include them in this process at every stage and before Regulations are finalized

Regulatory Intent Discussion – Hilary Ibey with Christie Chute, DFO
(please refer to attached docuement for Regulatory Intent feedback from Board)
Regulatory Intent is the final document for consultation in MPA establishment process; final piece for external stakeholders to look at before the regulatory package goes to Ottawa
Describes related management approach, although specific management details are reserved for the Management Plan
This document does show permissible activities within the MPA and how those activities will be managed
This document is a draft and not all wording will appear as is in the final version
Here today to receive feedback on content/wording
Also want to emphasize that the document shown today is a different format than what DFO is required to submit for legal drafting in Ottawa, but DFO wanted to show to the Board that previous recommendations were addressed and are reflected in the document
If the Board feels that specific edits need to be made that are not addressed at the meeting, members are to submit edits to DFO via email/phone after the meeting
Concern from Board about changes being made to document in Ottawa and/or of not seeing the final version submitted to Ottawa
DFO explains that if any changes are made to the wording of the document after this last meeting (based on Board feedback, etc) and before submission to Ottawa, DFO will circulate the new version to the Board via email

Future MPA Management – Glen Rasmussen, DFO & Doug Biffard, Province of B.C. (please refer to presentation under separate cover)
Presentation on how DFO and the Province see the ER and MPA designations working together
Both levels of protection and regulations will complement each other and will result in increased protection and monitoring of the Race Rocks Area

Next Steps – Christie Chute, DFO
DFO explains that input will be taken from today’s meeting along with any feedback received after the meeting and appropriate modifications to the Regulatory Intent will be made
Final version of document will be circulated to Board before submission to Ottawa
After regulatory intent final, it will be submitted to Ottawa
Drafting instructions go to the Department of Justice and regulations are written in both English and French by lawyers to ensure accordance with the Canadian Constitution
Once this process is complete, the regulations become ‘blue-stamped’ and confidential
After this phase, the Minister recommends that the regulations be published in the Canada Gazette for 30 days (public comment phase)
Public input is taken into account and any necessary changes are made, following which the regulations are published in the Canada Gazette Part Two
It takes approximately 10-12 months to complete the necessary steps
Board requested regular updates on the status of the Race Rocks regulations in Ottawa

ACTION – DFO is committed to communicate with the Board and provide updates on the status of the regulations as they pass through the necessary phases

Board expressed concern about Esquimalt Nation’s lack of involvement in the process
DFO explains that if Esquimalt Nations chooses not to consult, then the process must move forward
DFO will continue to provide Esquimalt Nation with as much information as possible about how their interests in the area will be affected
Board member expressed concern about what resources DFO’s is putting into:
Internal office capability to process activity plans?
Enforcement capability?
On-going operational costs at Race Rocks that Pearson College and private donors have paid for in last 10 years (i.e. operation of Eco-guardian)?
Concern about what financial allocation DFO is giving to Race Rocks in upcoming years
DFO explains that program costs are submitted each fiscal year, and that funding has not been an issue in moving this process forward in the past
The Race Rocks MPA has DFO support from three staff members at the South Coast offices, from Regional Headquarters in Vancouver, from National Headquarters in Ottawa, and from the Science department (to give support on conservation objectives and monitoring protocols)
Current budgets for Race Rocks has gone towards the pre-designation process however, future budgets can only be estimated at this point until MPA is officially in place (post-designation)

Final Comments and Adjournment

Race Rocks Public Advisory Board

  • A Board member expressed concern about DFO not asking Board if for or against MPA

—If Board members feel that they cannot agree to certain aspects of the MPA, then it is felt that there should be more commitment from DFO for further consultation
—Supports notion of government management board (DFO, Province, First Nations) but does not feel that the ultimate management decisions should rest with the Minister
—This meeting has been the best in terms of understanding the process; very helpful
—Feels that support for MPA designation cannot be given at this point until certain issues are resolved

  • DFO supports further consultations; Department has proceeded with process based on stakeholders input to this point
  • Multiple Board members noted appreciation of effort and work being put into the process by DFO and would like to see end of process however some feel that at this stage more information is needed to take back to membership with respect to certain definitions discussed, activity plans (possible hindrance to business), etc.
  • A Board member expressed enthusiasm about MPA and about a DFO-Province-First Nations management board coming together to co-manage MPA
  • General support from Board members on moving forward with process but not all members support designation at this point without some further information being provided.

DFO Closing

  • Thank you to everyone for attending the meeting, and acknowledgement that the process is a long one
  • There is still much opportunity to engage in further discussion/meetings with concerned stakeholders to gather more feedback
  • Meeting adjourned