May 29, 1930 (16th Parliament, 4th Session)


William Garland McQuarrie

Conservative (1867-1942)


No, not at all; I am just coming to a point which I think the Prime Minister will appreciate. What is going to happen to the fishermen who are now engaged in that occupation? There is no doubt it will assist other fisheremen who may be there in years to come, but as to the men engaged in that industry I am afraid they will suffer by reason of the fact that they are going to be prohibited for a certain number of years from catching sockeye salmon at all, or they are going to be prohibited for a certain period every year during sixteen years or longer from catching sockeye salmon, which is prehaps one of the most profitable branches of their business. As I say, I am interested in these fishermen and I am afraid they will suffer also in connection with other vari-ties of salmon, because when the catching of sockeye salmon is prohibited it may be necessary also to prohibit the catching of other varieties of fish which may be running at the same time. The sockeye salmon is not the only class of salmon that we have on the Fraser river, as of course is well known.

That matter was discussed in the committee with Mr. Found, and I would refer the house to page 92 of the evidence of the same proceedings of the committee. The following are the questions asked by myself and the answers given by Mr. Found:
Q. What about other varieties of fish during the close season for sockeye? There will be other fish running?
A. Not to any considerable extent; and that is the reason why the time is limited during which the commission is to take full control.
Q. Well, does not the cohoe season overlap the sockeye salmon?
A. To some extent; but not during this
Q. That is, there would be no cohoes?
A. I would not say there would be no cohoes; but there would not be a large run.
Q. Cohoe fishing also will be prevented during that period?
A. To the extent that may be necessary to protect the sockeye.
0- When sockeye fishing is prevented, cohoe fishing will also be prevented?
A. To the extent that it will be necessary to carry out the regulations provided bv the commission for the protection of the sockeye.
Q. If sockeye fishing is prevented then, naturally, and necessarily, cohoe fishing will also be prevented?
A. That is why other fishing is prohibited.
Q. Yes?
A. Quite so.
Then on page 93:
Q. As to other varieties of fish-the pinks, for instance-will they be covered by the size of the mesh? Or will fish like chums and pinks be also prohibited when the fishing for sockeye is prohibited?
A. If the prohibition in the fishing of sockeye necessitates the removal of nets from the water, then, of course, the catch of other kinds of fish will be affected to that extent.
Q. So, it may be that all fishing-all salmon fishing will be prevented during those prohibited times?
A. That was the reason for limiting the control of the commission to the period that is mainly affected by this run.
Q. So you would have the chums and the pinks and the cohoes in the same class as the sockeye so far as prohibition is concerned during the period that the commission decides shall be a close season for sockeyes?
A. But the fact is that they are not there at that time in any considerable number.
Q. It will be so with those fish which are there?
A. Oh, yes.
It will be noticed by reference to the treaty that no fixed period is given as to when prohibition shall be effective. Under the terms of the previous treaty I believe that time was fixed as being from June 1 to August 20. Under the present treaty it is left wide open to the commission, and if it sees fit the commission may prohibit and prevent the fishermen from catching fish during the profitable season. The point I wish to make, and one

Sockeye Salmon Fisheries
I think which will appeal to the Prime Minister, is that although this treaty may be of great advantage to Canada as a whole, it is possible that it may injuriously affect the men engaged in the fishing industry. I would suggest that the Prime Minister make a declaration that if such proves to be the case and it is shown later on that the fishermen have been injuriously affected by this treaty, then some fair and reasonable compensation will be made to the men. That is my only object in rising to-day. I think that proposal is a reasonable one, I think it is a fair and just one, because if any class is to be injured by a treaty of this kind entered into for the advantage of Canada as a whole, then I think they should receive some kind of consideration.
I have in my hand sessional papers No. 79, dated February 9, 1916, brought down upon the motion of the late Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who took this same stand regarding the men engaged in the sealing industry and who were prevented from carrying on their occupation by reason of the Washington treaty of 1911 and the Paris regulations of 1893. This return contains the report of Mr. Justice Audette, who was then a judge of the Exchequer Court of Canada, and certain amounts were allowed as compensation to the men engaged in the sealing industry. It may be said that the salmon fishermen have no legal right to compensation. I will admit that, and I will admit also that this parliament can enter into a treaty which may effectively obliterate the occupation of any man and no legal claim for compensation could be made. This was the case in connection with the sealing treaty, but I would like to read a short statement which appears on page 25 of this return, as follows:
These claims, as has already been said, do not rest upon legal right; they originate from the benevolence, grace and bounty of the crown.
I submit that our salmon fishermen will be in a similar position and will be entitled to the benevolence, grace and bounty of the crown. I should like the Prime Minister to make two statements: first, that this country is not going to encourage or permit the catching of salmon by means of traps and, secondly, that if the fishermen should be injuriously affected by this treaty they will receive consideration.
Mr. ICING' (Kootenay): Mr. Speaker, I have been keenly interested in listening to the speeches of the two hon. members opposite, the hon. member for Vancouver North (Mr. McRae) and the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. McQuarrie). It takes me back 2419-177i
to last year when both of these hon. gentlemen intensely opposed this treaty being entered into with the United States. If I remember rightly, there was a desire at that time on the part of some members in this house to create throughout Canada an anti-American spirit, and for the purpose of creating such a feeling in this country our friends opposite were prepared to sacrifice the treaty in order that they could accomplish some political effect.

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