Mr. Rodger Cuzner
Mr. Speaker, first, I will address a comment made by my hon. colleague at the outset, that not much progress had been made. Particularly in the wake of Marshall, much progress has been made. What we have now is an almost fully engaged native fishery. As was mentioned in the House before, over 1,250 jobs have been created as a result of the initiatives undertaken by the department to deal with the Supreme Court ruling of Marshall.
As I made note of in my remarks, it is the growth within the different fishing communities and the harbours that has been most rewarding. We cannot expect the aboriginal community to come in and take part and engage in a commercial fishery.
I grew up in the fishing community of Glace Bay and in Port Morien. I have married into the fishing community. Fishing is a livelihood that has been handed down from father to son, from generation to generation. The skills acquired are ones that have evolved over the years and traditions have come down over the years.
It is a bit much for us to accept and expect that the aboriginal community will come in and experience tremendous success from the outset without any type of mentoring and without any type of patience or understanding from the outset.
That is why I support in the legislation the ability to deal with the regulations. There is enough latitude within those regulations so we can deal with the aboriginal community on a basis where it can go forward as it continues to gain capacity and experience. As its fishing community continues to grow, hopefully the legislation or the regulations as they evolve from this bill will allow the DFO officials to factor in those types of provisions.
Subtopic: Fisheries Act