November 3, 1964

FISHERIES

AMENDMENT OF REGULATIONS RESPECTING KILLING OF SEALS

LIB

Hédard-J. Robichaud (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. H. J. Robichaud (Minister of Fisheries):

Mr. Speaker, I have stated on several occasions in reply to questions by hon. members that all aspects of Canadian sealing operations conducted off the east coast of Canada were being carefully examined with a view to bringing more restrictive regulations into effect before the next sealing season starts next March. I am pleased to be able to inform the house that new regulations to conserve the seal stocks and to ensure the use of humane methods were passed by order in council P.C. 1964-1663 on Thursday, October 29.

In view of the interest shown by many hon. members I wish to outline a few details of the new amendments to the existing seal protection regulations.

During the sealing season of March and April, 1964 newspapers and television stressed that very young seals were taken in this fishery and were killed with clubs. Unfortunately the inhumane aspects of the fishery were exaggerated by giving prominence to the few instances when inexperienced hunters did not kill the seal with the first blow. Hundreds of letters and petitions of protest were received from interested individuals and societies in Canada and the United States.

A month or two later another storm of protest arose when an erroneous article appeared in a German weekly newspaper which was widely reprinted by other European papers and, more recently, by certain Canadian newspapers. Indignation was aroused because the article stated that the seal herds off the east coast of Canada had declined from 20 million to 1 million animals during the last two years. The estimates of our scientists, based on aerial surveys and tagging experiments conducted for many years, indicate that the decrease has been from 3 million to 1J million animals over a ten year period. The feelings of humane persons were 20220-614

shocked by the statement that the animals were deliberately skinned alive in order to produce a more beautiful pelt. This statement was completely without basis.

Because of the widespread public concern I instructed officials of my department to examine all aspects of the seal fishery, including the considerable body of scientific evidence on the condition of the stocks, the effectiveness of the current seal protection regulations and their enforcement, and the methods used in commercial sealing operations. A meeting was then held in Moncton on May 20 with representatives of the Canadian sealing industry to discuss proposals to amend the seal protection regulations. A draft of the new regulations was prepared, and this was discussed again with industry representatives at a meeting in Ottawa on October 1. I then invited representatives of the major Canadian conservation and humane societies to meet with me on October 14 to obtain their views on the draft regulations. Careful consideration was given to all the views expressed by the representatives of these various interests.

The new regulations provide for much stricter control both to conserve the seal herds and to ensure against inhumane practices. To give better control over sealing operations, all vessels over 30 feet and all aircraft used in sealing will now require licences, as will all the seal fishermen they carry. As a conservation measure, the season for licensed vessels and aircraft will be shorter both in the gulf of St. Lawrence and in outer areas. To protect the mature females, which are most important for the maintenance of the herds, the killing of adults is now prohibited in the so-called breeding patches where the seals have their pups. To reduce waste it will be required for the first time that all seals killed in any one day must be landed ashore or on the sealing craft that same day.

The new regulations limit the use of aircraft for transporting sealers or skins to the gulf of St. Lawrence south of 50 degrees north, where their use is now well established, and in this area the number of young harp seals taken by vessels and aircraft will be limited to 50,000. This is an important new measure. To reduce inhumane practices the new regulations require that the clubs used

Regulations Respecting Sealing be long and heavy enough to kill at one blow, and that no seal shall be skinned before it is dead. The use of set lines with hooks for catching seals is also prohibited.

I am confident, Mr. Speaker, that these measures will assure the maintenance of the seal herds and will go a long way to reduce inhumane practices and waste. I wish to assure the house, however, that my department will maintain the closest possible surveillance of the seal fishery so that, if necessary, further restrictions can be put into force. During the coming season commencing early in March, 1965, our patrol of sealing operations by land, sea and air will be greatly intensified to assure that the regulations are observed. The results will be carefully studied.

At the request of major Canadian conservation and humane societies I shall provide an opportunity for representatives of these societies to visit the site of sealing operations and obtain first hand knowledge. After the 1965 season it is proposed to hold further discussions on the regulation of the fishery both with the industry and with the humane societies.

I firmly believe, Mr. Speaker, that these measures will maintain the seal herds and permit the Canadian industry to develop in an orderly manner. This industry is very important to many coastal communities dependent on the resources of the sea.

Topic:   FISHERIES
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF REGULATIONS RESPECTING KILLING OF SEALS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I am sure there will be general satisfaction with the announcement made by the minister, although I was somewhat surprised that he went out of his way to criticize various Canadian newspapers which in the interests of the preservation of humane methods of killing gave publicity to what was apparently gross cruelty among certain sealers though not by any means the majority of those who participate in sealing.

I want to say, too, that what is set forth in the announcement is further evidence of the beneficial effects of public opinion when aroused. All over this nation men and women in all provinces were asking for action. I am glad that action has been taken, and also that in the regulations now to be promulgated provision will be made for conservation so the industry may flourish and expand while at the same time ostracizing everything in the nature of cruelty.

[Mr. Robichaud.)

On the orders of the day:

Topic:   FISHERIES
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF REGULATIONS RESPECTING KILLING OF SEALS
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PC

John Angus MacLean

Progressive Conservative

Hon. J. A. MacLean (Queens):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the Minister of Fisheries a question to clarify an aspect of the welcome statement he made regarding sealing regulations. Is it anticipated that nationals of other countries will be excluded from hunting seals in the gulf of St. Lawrence? Will the coordinates under the legislation that was passed be established in time, and will this have the effect of excluding all nationals from sealing in the gulf of St. Lawrence and other national waters? Second, what initiative is the Canadian government taking with regard to the general problem of the conservation of the seal herds as far as sealing on the high seas is concerned?

Topic:   FISHERIES
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF REGULATIONS RESPECTING KILLING OF SEALS
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LIB

Hédard-J. Robichaud (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. H. J. Robichaud (Minister of Fisheries):

Mr. Speaker, in reply to the first question I wish to assure the hon. member and all hon. members of this house that there will be no discrimination in so far as Canadian or foreign vessel operators are concerned; in other words, all foreign vessels will be subject to the Canadian regulations. In connection with the effect these further regulations will have on operations outside the gulf of St. Lawrence, this matter, as I have stated before in the house, is under consideration by ICNAF. New regulations have been suggested for discussion. They have already been ratified by a certain number of countries, but I understand that more countries are going to accept these regulations so that we can make them effective according to the ICNAF terms of reference.

I may also add that in so far as the operation of foreign vessels in the gulf of St. Lawrence is concerned, they will be subject to the implementation of the law of the sea.

Topic:   FISHERIES
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF REGULATIONS RESPECTING KILLING OF SEALS
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LIB

Gerald Augustine Regan

Liberal

Mr. Gerald A. Regan (Halifax):

A supplementary question, Mr. Speaker. Would the minister indicate whether regulations have yet been made to govern the use of helicopters in the seal hunt?

Topic:   FISHERIES
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF REGULATIONS RESPECTING KILLING OF SEALS
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LIB

Hédard-J. Robichaud (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. Robichaud:

Mr. Speaker, I made it very clear in my statement that helicopters were affected by the new regulations.

Topic:   FISHERIES
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT OF REGULATIONS RESPECTING KILLING OF SEALS
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CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION

RECOVERY OF CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP BY LORD THOMSON OF FLEET


On the orders of the day:


PC

Wallace Bickford (Wally) Nesbitt

Progressive Conservative

Mr. W. B. Nesbitt (Oxford):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the

Secretary of State and I should also like to draw this question to the attention of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. In view of the fact that, as reported in this morning's Globe and Mail, the premier of Quebec, Hon. Jean Lesage, has accepted a decoration, namely the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Phoenix, from His Majesty King Constantine of Greece, and presumably the premier of Quebec is retaining his Canadian citizenship, can the minister inform the house whether Lord Thomson of Fleet, who accepted an honour from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, will now be permitted to recover his Canadian citizenship?

Topic:   CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   RECOVERY OF CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP BY LORD THOMSON OF FLEET
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LIB

Maurice Lamontagne (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Maurice Lamonlagne (Secretary of Slate):

I will be pleased to look into this matter.

Topic:   CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   RECOVERY OF CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP BY LORD THOMSON OF FLEET
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CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

CANCELLATION OF PROGRAM OF COMMENT ON ROYAL VISIT


On the orders of the day:


RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Real Caoueile (Villeneuve):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Secretary of State.

Is the minister aware that, according to an editorial in yesterday's VAction Catholique, the C.B.C. refused to present or produce a program on which Mr. Lorenzo Pare had been invited to express his views on the occasion of the Queen's visit to Quebec City? The C.B.C. claimed that the subject was too controversial but, on the other hand, they invited Mr. Berque, from France, whose program was recorded at the Palais Montcalm last October 2, to describe to Quebec the beauties of the separatist-communist revolution.

Is the Secretary of State aware of those facts?

Topic:   CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CANCELLATION OF PROGRAM OF COMMENT ON ROYAL VISIT
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?

Maurice Bourget (Speaker of the Senate)

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. In accordance with the instructions given to me by the house itself, it is not in order to comment upon statements made in newspapers. [Later:]

Topic:   CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CANCELLATION OF PROGRAM OF COMMENT ON ROYAL VISIT
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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Caoueile:

Mr. Speaker, I wish to direct a question to the Secretary of State.

Inquiries of the Ministry

Could the minister inquire of the C.B.C, authorities as to which Montreal clique, within the corporation, decided not to present an interview with newspapermen on the occasion of the Queen's visit in the province of Quebec, under the excuse that the matter was too controversial, while at the same time the same clique gave to a notorious communist the opportunity to be heard over the C.B.C.?

Would the minister inquire about the reasons behind such action and then tell the house what is going on in the C.B.C.?

Topic:   CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CANCELLATION OF PROGRAM OF COMMENT ON ROYAL VISIT
Permalink
LIB

Maurice Lamontagne (Secretary of State of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Maurice Lamonlagne (Secrelary of Slaie):

Mr. Speaker, I will be pleased to get the information for the hon. member and the house.

Topic:   CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
Subtopic:   CANCELLATION OF PROGRAM OF COMMENT ON ROYAL VISIT
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November 3, 1964