June 14, 1993

PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS

FISHERIES


The House resumed from Wednesday, March 17, consideration of the motion of Mr. Mifflin: That, in the opinion of this House, the government should take immediate action to extend custodial jurisdiction for northern cod over the nose and tail of the Grand Banks.


LIB

Roger Simmons

Liberal

Hon. Roger C. Simmons (Burin -St. George's):

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in support of a motion of my friend and colleague from Newfoundland, from Bonavista-Trinity-Conception. Let us remind ourselves what the motion says.

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should take immediate action to extend custodial jurisdiction for northern cod over the nose and tail of the Grand Banks.

This is not a new idea but it is a timely one. That is why my colleague said in the motion that immediate action should be taken. The time for delaying any further on this one is gone. It is not justified. We ought to move.

I was looking back over the transcript of the earlier interventions in this debate. A couple of things immediately leaped out at me. One was the remarks of my good friend, the parliamentary secretary for fisheries and oceans. He said in part that the Prime Minister has played a key role. Indeed, the Prime Minister has played a key role in this. I will come back to that in a moment.

First, I want to make reference to some words by my good friend from Nanaimo-Cowichan who I see in the Chamber. He said in part: "This is not a new problem. It

has existed for a decade and a half at least." As so often with the members in the NDP, they are half right. He said two things. "This is not a new problem" and he is right. Then he went on to say: "The problem has existed for a decade and a half".

I say to him, not quite, but I understand where he was going. Listen to the next sentence and you will see what is always and forever the NDP agenda. The next sentence says: "We have had Liberal governments and we have had Conservative governments and both have given assurances that the problem is being worked on". I say to him that is a good line. It is a great line and part of their continuing strategy to lump us all together. The facts have never really stood in the way of members of the NDP when they wanted to do that. Let us look at the facts. He says: "The problem has existed for a decade and a half". In other words 15 years, and that would take us back to about 1978.

He will want to check the facts on this but we did not have overfishing on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks in 1978. The reason we did not have overfishing at that time was because of the Liberal government of the day led by Mr. Trudeau and the efforts spearheaded by the late Don Jamieson whom I succeeded in this particular seat of Burin-St. George's. These men and others in the cabinet of that day succeeded in getting the jurisdiction extended to 200 miles. With it and with NAFO, the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, there came a very orderly pursuit of the fishery by all the countries involved, including the countries of the European Community, particularly Spain and Portugal.

The gentleman from Nanaimo-Cowichan has access to this information, he reads well and he knows this information. He skated on it here but he knows the information. The information is clear. It is not in dispute. It is information from the statistics of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. For the year 1978-79, which he was talking about, there was no foreign overfishing. The Spanish stayed within their quotas. The French stayed

June 14, 1993

Private Members' Business

within their quotas. The Portuguese stayed within their quotas. Everybody without exception stayed within their quotas from 1978 to 1984.

The quota for the cod stock we are talking about in this resolution in 1984, for example, for the European Community was 23,200 metric tons and that is what the Europeans took. They stayed within quota.

What did they do the next year, 1985? There is the rub. In 1985 the quota for the European Community was also 23,200 metric tons and they took 172,000 metric tons. They took eight times their quota. In 1986, they took 12 times their quota.

Has the problem existed for a decade and a half? No, I say with respect to my friend from Nanaimo-Cowichan. It was a good point to try to lump the Tories and Liberals together again. It is a good try and a good NDP tactic, but as most NDP tactics it is fairly hollow and not based on a lot of facts. I say to the hon. member, the problem did not begin a decade and a half ago.

The problem began nine years ago and that is where I now come back to the earlier original quote by my friend the parliamentary secretary who said: "The Prime Minister has played a key role". Indeed he has played a key role in this one. The new prime minister to be, the now minister of defence, did play a key role as did others.

I come from an evangelical tradition in which we talk not only about the sins of commission but also the sins of omission. It is one thing to do the things you should not have done but it is equally wrong to omit to do the things you should do, the sins of omission.

The gentleman from Baie Comeau, the Prime Minister; the lady from Vancouver, the prime minister-designate; the runner-up in the weekend leadership, the Minister of the Environment; the minister of fisheries from Newfoundland, and I could name others, by their sin of omission, by failing to do something about this problem, allowed the problem to come to the impasse it is at today.

.(1115)

We have to be particularly critical of the people who have been here since 1984.1 recognize that the lady from Vancouver did not make it here until 1988. She became somewhat of an accomplice after the fact. She continued to aid and abet the sin of omission. However the

gentleman from Baie Comeau, the Prime Minister, and the gentleman from St. John's West, the minister of fisheries, are the people who, as my friend the parliamentary secretary unwittingly said, played the key role by standing idly by and allowing the European Community, the Spanish and the Portuguese to take eight times their quota in 1985 and 12 times their quota in 1986. That is the key role they played and that is the key role we will not allow them to forget.

Why present this motion now? This is not the first time we have presented such a motion. I moved a similar motion in March 1992. We have been trying for some time. The reason I moved it in March 1992 was that I took some encouragement from the words of my friend, the minister of fisheries. While he did not say it in the House, he did say outside the House that he foresaw that the taking of custodial management would be the only alternative. That was what he was telling his friends in Newfoundland in small groups. We never could get him to say it here but he said it in fairly public ways back in Newfoundland.

It is only a 10-minute speech and I have received the signal that already, although I was just warming to the subject and getting comfortable with it, my time is just about up. Good morning. We are here every Monday morning this time. Thank you for dropping in. Good to see you.

The point of this resolution is that the time has come to act. The time has come for us to do what has to be done. We have tried every other route, and we are not advocating that we abandon any other routes. Let us keep talking if that helps. If more diplomacy does something then let us do it. In the meantime, let us now give notice that we are tired of waiting, we can no longer have our fishery pillaged and we can no longer stand idly by while thousands of our fish plant workers and fishermen are walking around jobless, not because they are lazy but because there are no fish out there.

Why are there no fish out there? It is because the Spanish, the Portuguese and the French have taken them. Why have they taken them? They have taken them because of the key role played by the Prime Minister in standing idly by for years and years and allowing it to happen. We are saying in this resolution that the time for that kind of key role is over and the time for standing idly by is over.

The time has come now for people of good will, for people of all parties to get behind the fishermen on the south coast of Newfoundland and throughout Atlantic Canada, to get behind those plant workers, to stand up for our sovereignty, to protect our fish stocks and do what has to be done to now assume custodial management over those stocks. They are really our stocks. I know they spend some time on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks but they are our stocks. This is the vehicle by which we can move.

I invite members of all parties to join with us in this important resolution.

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Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
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PC

Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence; Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charles A. Langlois (Parliamentary Secretary to Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and to Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased this morning to take a few minutes to talk about the motion of the hon. member who represents a riding in Newfoundland. Of course, this issue of fisheries is of particular interest to me because the eastern part of the riding I represent is heavily dependent on the groundfish fishery.

I would like to take a few minutes to address the House on this issue due to the fact that several communities in the eastern part of my riding, in the area known as the lower north shore, are dependent on groundfish activities, mainly codfish. I would like to point out some facts relevant to this issue.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency has risen in this House on more than one occasion to describe what would happen if Canada unilaterally extended its jurisdiction for cod or any other species beyond our 200-mile limit. Such gunboat diplomacy may be in violation of international agreements. [DOT]

It would invite retaliatory action and it would threaten the co-operation we are succeeding in obtaining from many states in our efforts to develop rules for fisheries that would promote sustainable development of the fish resources on the high seas.

Private Members' Business

I am surprised that this motion has been put forward at this particular time when Canada and other like-minded states are preparing for their participation in the United Nations Conference on High Seas Fisheries.

The conference held its organizational meeting April 8 to 23 in New York City. Its first substantive session will be held in New York City from July 12 to 30. The conference is expected to complete its work no later than the fall of 1994. If it is successful it could go down in history as a major step toward conservation of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks.

This international conference is crucial not only for Canada but also for the rest of the world because, like many other maritime nations, Canada is now going through a serious crisis in the fishery. Scientific indicators show that the biomass of northern cod has reached a critical low, which has led the Canadian government to impose a moratorium on fishing for this species on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. It has been supported in this by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, on behalf of its 14 contracting parties. In the past six years, with accumulating scientific evidence showing that the biomass of various other regulated stocks is below the threshold of viable harvesting, the quotas have been lowered every year.

All the members of this House are well aware of the costs of these declines in terms of unemployed people and plant closures. As members of this House know, we have initiated compensation and retraining programs for unemployed fishermen and plant workers as an industry restructuring program.

However Canada is not the only nation faced with declining fish stocks. This is the fate of straddling stocks in many other parts of the world: hake in the southwest Atlantic on Argentina's Patagonian shelf; orange roughy on the Challenger Plateau off New Zealand; blue whiting and jack mackerel in the east central and southeast Pacific off Chile and Peru; and pollock in the so-called doughnut hole in the central Bering Sea between Russia and the United States.

This is also happening in the Sea of Japan where exclusive economic zones have not been established and

June 14, 1993

Private Members' Business

the high seas begin at the limit of the 12-mile territorial sea. However some positive steps were taken in 1992.

While there are several causes for these stock declines including, in Canada's case, climatic change, a major factor has been unremitting and undisciplined overfishing by distant water fishing fleets. No matter how well coastal states manage straddling or highly migratory stocks inside their own waters they have no control over what happens to those stocks when they migrate to the high seas where they are subject to over-harvesting by distant fishing fleets.

The specific rights of coastal states and the obligations of the high seas fishing states are only vaguely sketched out in the Law of the Sea. The resultant legal uncertainty leaves these stocks vulnerable to overfishing on the high seas by fleets from distant water states.

To resolve these tragic situations the UN conference on high seas fisheries must result in an effective regime for the conservation and management of straddling stocks and highly migratory species. By effective I mean a regime that is workable and that does the job it is intended to do, which is to allow depleted stocks to renew themselves to levels of sustainable development.

Since 1989, Canada has made a whole series of high level diplomatic efforts to stop foreign overfishing in its economic zone. The Canadian government would like to establish better international co-operation to conserve fish stocks straddling the 200-mile line, especially cod, halibut and ocean perch, which are being relentlessly overfished outside its economic zone. The Prime Minister, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and other federal ministers have had discussions with the leaders and fisheries officials of several countries to convince them of the need to stop overfishing.

These initiatives have achieved several notable successes in the past year and a half. The European Community stopped fishing for northern cod on the nose of the Grand Banks at the beginning of June 1992. An agreement between Canada and the European Community, announced on December 21, 1992, has been hailed as a victory for common sense and sound conservation.

The European Community and Canada agreed to comply with all NAFO conservation and management decisions, including quotas. From 1986 to 1992 the European Community set for itself unilateral quotas higher than those set for it by NAFO.

The European Community will ensure that catches by its fleets do not exceed NAFO quotas. From 1986 to 1991 EC catches exceeded most NAFO quotas and in some cases the European Community's higher unilateral quotas.

Canada and the European Community will work together to end fishing by non-NAFO fleets. These fleets, largely comprising Korean and re-flagged European Community vessels, have become an increasingly serious threat to resources outside the 200-mile limit.

Canada and the European Community will work together to revitalize NAFO through joint proposals to add a dispute settlement mechanism to avoid abuse of the objection procedure.

Canada will set a total allowable catch for northern cod based on advice from Canadian and international scientists. Scientific advice indicates that on average 5 per cent of the biomass is outside the 200-mile limit. Canada and the European Community will propose that NAFO make allocations of 2J3KL cod equal to 5 per cent of the total allowable catch. Canada will retain 95 per cent of the TAC.

As the European Community will now be co-operating with Canada in conservation of fisheries resources outside the 200-mile limit, as soon as both parties have given formal approval Canada will treat the European Community in a non-discriminatory manner regarding access to ports, any surplus allocations and any commercial arrangements.

If problems arise with the agreement there will be consultations to seek to resolve them. Either Canada or the European Community can terminate the agreement on 60 days notice.

At the annual meeting in September 1992, all contracting parties of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization agreed to comply with the ban on fishing for northern cod within the Canadian economic zone. In addition, the European Community announced that it

June 14, 1993

intended to respect all the resource management decisions which NAFO would make in 1993.

At their meeting, the contracting parties also approved new management and surveillance measures to be implemented in 1993, including the imposition of a new minimum mesh size and minimum landing sizes. Furthermore, as part of an experiment, NAFO observers will be put on board ships of each contracting party.

I think that Canada in recent years has implemented measures to protect migratory groundfish stocks and of course to ensure as well that our Atlantic fishing industry will survive the present difficult period, while permitting the industry, fishermen and plant workers to meet their needs and continue to support their families.

[English\

I would like to assure the House that the Government of Canada is taking every step possible to ensure the sustainable viability of the fisheries sector. I do not think that taking custody of the nose and tail of the Grand Banks would help Canada to achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves and for our industry.

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Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
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LIB

Bill Rompkey

Liberal

Hon. William Rompkey (Labrador):

Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to congratulate my colleague from Bonavis-ta-Trinity-Conception on bringing this bill forward and having this debate today. I share his sentiments. I believe this is a measure that we must take now, simply because nothing else has worked. We are left with the only option we have, as far as I can see.

He is behind this and I congratulate him for bringing it forward. It would be very interesting to know where his opponent stands on this bill. His opponent is the former minister of fisheries from Newfoundland who went to Europe time after time to try to convince the Europeans of our case and try to get them to stop overfishing. He did that time after time and he failed. I failed. We all failed. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans failed. Everybody who tried negotiations failed.

It seems to me that it is very important to know where he stands. Does he support this, or does he support the government in saying: "No, we must not take possession of the jurisdiction of the nose and tail of the Grand Banks. We must just continue to negotiate and try to talk our way out of this. We must just try to invoke international agreements to our benefit". Does he take that

Private Members' Business

position or does he take the position of the Conservative opposition members in Newfoundland? They believe that not only must we take jurisdiction over the nose and tail of the Grand Banks, but we must call in the navy, not just the Canadian navy but the American navy as well.

I listened to an interview with Mr. Matthews, the Official Opposition critic for fisheries in Newfoundland, on CBC radio two weeks ago. He said very clearly that the time had come to stop talking. On that day there were 103 foreign vessels fishing just outside the 200-mile limit. There were 103 foreign trawlers, mostly Spanish and Portuguese, fishing outside the 200-mile limit on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks. It was after the election so there was obviously no election agenda, no election ploy and no votes to be gained. He said very clearly that the time had come to stop talking. The time had come to not simply take jurisdiction but to bring in the navy to enforce that jurisdiction.

He is right because this is our only option. Why is it our only option? Because this is our life. What is happening in our province now and I suspect will start to happen throughout other parts of the Atlantic region too is that we are bleeding to death. In terms of our life, our culture and in terms of what we are about as a people and what we have been, we are bleeding to death. Somehow or other we have to stop that.

I listened to the hon. member as he said: "What would happen if we did retaliate, if we did take this action? Would they not retaliate?" That seems to be the same as the Muslims saying: "If the Serbs attack we must not fight back otherwise they will retaliate", or in Somalia if the Somali war-lords attack the UN the UN must not attack back otherwise the Somali war-lords might retaliate. Sure they are going to retaliate. We have been attacked and we must fight back.

The hon. member knows just as well as I do because of where he comes from that this is our life. He knows that. He knows that this is the life of the Quebec north shore. He and I share a constituency. The people who fish north of Blanc-Sablon and the people who fish south of Blanc-Sablon share that way of life and have no option. It seems to me we have k responsibility to protect those people who cannot protect themselves. They are the real victims of overfishing because they have not been able to

June 14, 1993

Private Members' Business

catch those fish inshore and they also have no alternatives.

I want to get back to what I said about the present situation. As a result of the moratorium we have people drifting in our province now. They see no future in the road ahead. They are confused and frustrated. Some are even getting into a situation of despair about the future. Those are the people we have a responsibility to protect.

Regarding the EC agreement, we have talked to the European Community and we have some things written on paper. However, it is very clear the European Community has no control over Portugal and Spain. That is obvious.

Not only does the European Community have no control in North American waters, it has no control in European waters. My impression is that what is happening off the coast of Norway is the same as what is happening off the coast of Newfoundland. The European Community can put all it likes on paper, but it cannot back it up. It cannot put that agreement into effect because it has no real control.

The European Community at the present time is completely immersed in its own agenda. It has problems of its own. It has to try to draw some unity out of the disparate states that presently make up Europe. I hope it succeeds in doing that, but that is where its focus and energy is and that is where its problems are.

The European Community does not see this as a top priority problem at the present time. Neither does it presently have the means to enforce any agreements it makes with Canada. Those agreements are not worth the paper they are written on. If the government is putting all its hopes on the agreements that we have and the fact that we may be able to talk the Europeans into living up to those agreements, I think it is a false hope. I think that is an empty hope. It is a hope that has proven to be ineffective.

As I said at the beginning, we have tried all other options. We have tried discussion. We have tried diplomacy. We have tried agreements. They have not worked.

At the present time people who depend almost wholly and solely on the fishery, people who are vulnerable, people who have no alternatives, people who have seen

their resource destroyed through no fault of their own are now asking what we are going to do about it. They want to know if we are going to take meaningful action or if we are going to continue talking.

The only answer is the one the member for Bonavis-ta-Trinity-Conception has put forward today. The government has to listen to this debate. It must take it seriously and act on the suggestion that has been put forward. It seems it is the only answer for us. I hope that the House as a whole will take this seriously, see the wisdom of this motion and support it.

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Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
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LIB

George Baker

Liberal

Mr. George S. Baker (Gander-Grand Falls):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to say a few words concerning this motion. The person who has moved the motion is the hon. member for Bonavista-Trinity-Conception. Bo-navista Bay, Trinity Bay and Conception Bay are three bays, enormous areas on the east coast of Newfoundland.

The hon. member for Bonavista-Trinity-Conception represents practically the entire east coast fleet of Newfoundland. That fleet involves very small vessels compared to the foreign vessels we are talking about today.

The hon. member for Bonavista-Trinity-Conception perhaps knows more about the ocean than any other member in this Chamber. He was a rear admiral in the Canadian navy. There are only five rear admirals in the entire country, a couple of them on the east coast. However, the hon. member for Bonavista-Trinity-Conception was a rear admiral in our navy.

The zone he is talking about trying to kick the foreign vessels out of is the nose and the tail of the Grand Banks. Why it is called the nose and the tail, I do not know. It does not look like a tail and it does not look like a nose. I suppose the nose and chin might be better. However, the nose and the tail are the two areas that lie outside the 200-mile zone.

About 5 per cent of Canada's continental shelf goes outside of the 200-mile economic zone. It is those two areas that this motion is about. The motion reads that Canada should extend jurisdiction and kick out all of those foreign vessels fishing on the nose and the tail of the Grand Banks, that 5 per cent of our continental shelf outside the 200-mile zone. Who is out there? Canada is the only country in the world today that has foreign

June 14, 1993

vessels fishing on its continental shelf without permission.

The last country which allowed that to happen was Namibia in Africa. Little Namibia turned around a year and a half ago and said to Spain and Portugal: "If you do not get off of our continental shelf we are going to send out our warship". It did not even have a warship. I understand it had a 30-fool vessel with a 12-gauge mounted on the front. Namibia went out there with that 12-gauge and shot a couple of shots across the bow. That is what happened a year and a half ago. That is history. One hundred and fifteen Spanish factory freezer trawlers left Namibia and went to the nose and tail of the Grand Banks of Canada with no objection from the Canadian government.

These are foreign factory freezer trawlers 400-feet long. We do not have one factory freezer trawler in Canada, not one. Well, there was one brought over from Europe, the Cape North, however we do not have any that are fishing. Why? We do not allow that technology in Canada because it destroys our environment. It destroys the bottom of the ocean. It destroys the spawning grounds. It really destroys the fishing resource.

It takes 15 years for a flatfish living on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks to reach maturity and reproduce. It takes that same fish six years off the European coast. Therefore when a spawning ground is destroyed off the Canadian coast it is being destroyed for a long time. That is the reason for this motion presented by the hon. member for Bonavista-Trinity-Conception.

What has been the response of the Canadian government? I will tell you what it has been. There has been a press release. What did the press release by the Government of Canada this summer say? I will table it. It said: "In 1993, 50,700 tonnes of fish"-which is enough to keep five fish plants going the whole year round, and this is from external affairs-"will be allocated to foreign countries inside our 200-mile zone."

Starting now, we allow foreigners this summer to come inside our 200-mile zone and fish 50,700 tonnes of fish with those factory freezer trawlers. We will leave them alone on the nose and tail. We will also allow them in to

Private Members' Business

catch enough fish to keep five fish plants going year round in Canada.

On top of that, what else? Before the minister made that statement, there was a dandy one called domestic allocations. He listed 17 Canadian companies from British Columbia, to the north, to the east, to the central region, that are allowed to fish in 1993 inside Canada's 200-mile zone using foreign vessels.

One hundred of the same factory freezer trawlers today that are outside the 200-mile zone destroying our fishing resource are now going to come inside as well, hired by Canadian companies. On top of that, there are

50,000 tonnes just to the foreigners themselves inside 200 miles.

We look at these observer reports. One observer report is marked "secret" but it sure ain't secret after it gets in my hands, not from fisheries and oceans. What does this secret report say about these foreign vessels?

A foreign vessel is catching argentine. I have never seen an argentine; it is like a large smelt. I have seen a smelt, a silvery smelt. It is like a large smelt. It swims in the middle of the ocean. What did this factory freezer trawler from Russia and one from Cuba catch? This fellow caught 5.6 tonnes of crabs. What was he doing, digging for oil? Crabs crawl along the bottom of the ocean. He was fishing in the middle of the ocean. He caught 25 tonnes of lobster.

I did not know crabs could swim. Lobster can a little bit, backward.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
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?

An hon. member:

Like the Tories.

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Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
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LIB

George Baker

Liberal

Mr. Baker:

No, they can't even swim. To complicate matters, 1,000 tonnes of herring were caught. Herring swims on top of the ocean.

So we have foreign vessels trying to catch fish in the middle of the ocean catching crabs on the bottom of the ocean and catching herring on top of the ocean. They must be using a vacuum cleaner. That is what they arc using, two-inch mesh size, raking the bottom of the ocean floor for as far as they can go and the Canadian government allows them to go everywhere: on the nose and tail, inside, around.

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Private Members' Business

Meanwhile Canadians are sitting back, getting their packages. Canadian fishermen are not allowed to put a net in the water. Our small boat fishermen and our fish plant workers at home doing nothing have to be paid by the taxpayers of Canada. Why? Because we bend over backward to eveiy other nation in this world. External affairs runs the whole show. Where are they going to have cocktails tomorrow? That is what governs our policy when it comes to the fishery. It is a disgraceful situation.

I think all members of this House, regardless of political affiliation, should vote in favour of this motion by Rear Admiral Mifflin who is now the MP for Bonavis-ta-Trinity-Conception. They should vote for the motion and send a signal to external affairs that we are fed up and we are not going to put up with this any more.

Mr. Francis G. LeBlanc (Cape Breton Highlands-

Canso): Mr. Speaker, could I have an indication of how many minutes I have, please?

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Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Five minutes.

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Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
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LIB

Francis G. LeBlanc

Liberal

Mr. LeBlanc (Cape Breton Highlands -Canso):

Thank

you, Mr. Speaker.

I would like to just pick up from the discussion of my learned colleague from Gander-Grand Falls on the points that he was making in his speech. I have heard my colleague on numerous occasions speak in this House and outside of this House about the problems of overfishing both outside and inside of our 200-mile zone. He has a veiy interesting, entertaining and colourful way of making what is a very serious and very important point.

I think the point bears directly on this issue that has been raised by my colleague from Bonavista-Trinity-Conception who did a great deal of research prior to putting forward this motion on the whole issue, legal, ecological and fisheries related, to justify our taking this step of extending functional jurisdiction in these areas.

There is no question that the research has been done. We have been patient as a country for far too long with the kind of pillaging which is taking place on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks of Canada. It is time finally that this government or the successor government act on

this very important issue. It may well be too late, but it is certainly time.

I would like in the short time that I have available to raise an issue which is central to this whole debate. The issue is the distinction between what has traditionally been called utilized and under-utilized species of fish which are considered to be in excess of the needs or the capacity of Canadians to catch them.

When the 200-mile limit was declared by Canada in 1977 one of the ways in which our government at the time proceeded in order to obtain compliance from other countries and co-operation from them in not overfishing our stocks was to make it possible for these countries to catch fish which were considered to be surplus to Canadian needs. They were fish which Canadian technology could not catch at the time or which Canadian consumers could not consume, so other countries were allowed under permits by Canada to come inside our zone and fish these so-called surplus species. In addition we were hoping at the time and I think the hope was well placed that other countries would behave and co-operate outside of the 200-mile zone in the areas where there are fishing activities, principally on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks.

As we have seen, and it is particularly sad to say, since this government took office there has obviously been no co-operation by those vessels fishing outside our zone. The result is that the fish stocks in those areas have been decimated.

It raises a very profound and fundamental question. The question I want to bring to the floor of the House in the very brief time I have available is the distinction between under-utilized and utilized species.

I think we as a government and as a country have to begin to question the validity of that distinction because we are now learning that really all fish in the water are related in an ecological sense.

To declare, for example, that capelin is an under-utilized species and therefore can be fished by a foreign government is no longer relevant because capelin is a food fish for other fish which we use. Other fish in the

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Government Orders

water live in the environment with the fish that are our traditional species.

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Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
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PC

Steve Eugene Paproski (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Paproski):

You have 10 seconds to finish.

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Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
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LIB

Francis G. LeBlanc

Liberal

Mr. LeBlanc (Cape Breton Highlands -Canso):

My

point quite simply is a plea to begin to re-examine, reassess and question this fundamental distinction which has been used to allow foreign fishing in and around our 200-mile limit. That distinction is no longer valid and relevant in this day and age.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
Permalink
PC

Steve Eugene Paproski (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Paproski):

It being 11.51 a.m. o'clock and pursuant to Standing Order 93 the time provided for debate has expired. Is the House ready for the question?

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
Permalink
?

Some hon. members:

Question.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
Permalink
PC

Steve Eugene Paproski (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Paproski):

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
Permalink
?

Some hon. members:

Agreed.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
Permalink
?

Some hon. members:

No.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
Permalink
PC

Steve Eugene Paproski (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Paproski):

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
Permalink
?

Some hon. members:

Yea.

Topic:   PRIVATE MEMBERS' BUSINESS
Subtopic:   FISHERIES
Sub-subtopic:   GRAND BANKS
Permalink

June 14, 1993