Hon. Geoff Regan
Mr. Speaker, I mentioned earlier during my comments the fact that we have the mentoring process. In fact, we have seen a successful development of the mentoring process and the relationships between first nations and commercial fishers. That has been very important in developing the aboriginal fishery.
My colleague stated that it takes a long time to learn to be a fisherman, and in fact that is true. If one wants to be successful and have a profitable fishery, one does not just get a licence, go out, and put a bunch of traps in the water. There are many skills that one has to learn. Whether fishing lobsters, mackerel, halibut or whatever it may be, it is important to learn those things and it takes time.
That is why we have put in place supports for things like the mentoring program that provides a mentoring process to aboriginal fishers and improves the linkages between the commercial fishing community and the aboriginal community. That is the kind of thing in which we can see positive results. My colleague would recognize the benefits of that kind of relationship.
In fact, by having regulations that allow the mentoring process and these licences to exist, we are going to be able to carry on that kind of mentoring in order to allow people in the aboriginal fishery who are getting started to have the time, which can take as much as 9 or 10 years, to learn to run a profitable fishery.
Subtopic: Fisheries Act