Charles HUBBARD

HUBBARD, The Hon. Charles, B.A., B.Ed., M.A.

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Miramichi (New Brunswick)
Birth Date
October 29, 1940
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Hubbard_(politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=20900943-4d26-4f59-b0ba-6330e09cef71&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
school principal

Parliamentary Career

October 25, 1993 - April 27, 1997
LIB
  Miramichi (New Brunswick)
June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
LIB
  Miramichi (New Brunswick)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
LIB
  Miramichi (New Brunswick)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (January 13, 2003 - December 11, 2003)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
LIB
  Miramichi (New Brunswick)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport (October 7, 2005 - February 5, 2006)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
LIB
  Miramichi (New Brunswick)
  • Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport (October 7, 2005 - February 5, 2006)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 42 of 46)


October 23, 1997

Mr. Charles Hubbard

Mr. Speaker, it is not often one is given an opportunity to speak of constituent concerns directly on the floor of the House.

We do have 10 wharfs. We are very pleased that in most of those areas fishermen's committees have been set up. In terms of the member asking the question, the nearest one I have to her constituency is the wharf at Saint-Louis de Kent which together with the wharfs at Point Sapin and Escuminac are attempting to provide resources. A significant amount of money was granted to the wharf at Saint-Louis. The committee, under the leadership of Gerald Robichaud, has done very well in trying to meet the needs of the fishermen in that area.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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October 23, 1997

Mr. Charles Hubbard

Mr. Speaker, the member mentions a good point. Only this morning our committee met by video conference with Mr. Sam Ellsworth, president of the Halifax West Commercial Fishmen's Association, and Mr. Ron Newell, president of the Southwest Fishermen's Quota Group, Halifax. Our committee will certainly be visiting the east coast. I hope we will hear input from all.

As my speech indicated, fishermen with experience are just as important to us as those scientists who have Ph.Ds but have never set foot on some of the great ships and boats out there fishing on our waters.

I think we will hear from all groups. I know the minister will be interested in hearing our report.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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October 23, 1997

Mr. Charles Hubbard (Miramichi, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time this afternoon with the hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway.

This morning the fisheries committee met and we heard from various fisher people in Atlantic Canada and some of their concerns with the TAGS policy. They are concerns which we hope we can hear in the committee on fisheries and oceans.

In the weeks ahead under the capable leadership of our chairperson, we will try to hear the reports from Atlantic Canada and the concerns with the fishery, and hopefully provide some solutions to what their concerns might be.

I come from a community in which the fishery is very important. In fact, the community has approximately 10 small fishing wharves and approximately 400 boats that are out on the water during the fishing seasons. There are three fish plants relying on the resources from the sea.

I think we in Atlantic Canada appreciate the fact that the sea is a great resource for all of us. We go out with our boats, we get our gear, our nets together and of course, hopefully we will have a successful fishing season.

For those involved with the groundfish, especially cod, the last 10 years have not been good. In fact the past five years when they were not able to fish in most areas has been a tremendous blight on the economy in Atlantic Canada. I am glad that the House has taken a day to look at these problems of the Atlantic fishery, and also to discuss some of the problems on the west coast.

This year we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the landing of Cabot's ship on the shores of Newfoundland. For at least 500 years, in fact before 1497, the Grand Banks and those waters off the coast of Newfoundland were looked on as a tremendous resource for fish, that great protein source that our people have. For almost 500 years we have had a successful fishery.

I think all of us in this House recognize that in the last 30 or 40 years our fishing techniques, our new methods and all those ships that are coming from offshore to visit our waters have put a tremendous drain on that great fishery.

In terms of our own area, the Miramichi, which I mentioned before, we have had to look at difficult situations in terms of our own fisheries. In fact, if we look at the last decade, most of the fishermen on the Miramichi who hold groundfish licences have not been able to fish groundfish.

None of them have participated in the TAGS program because, as fishermen, they saw the decline of the cod stocks in the last generation as a reason why they should not be out fishing that resource. They have waited for a return of the cod fishery and they have waited in vain because right now, we still do not see prospects of the cod returning to Miramichi Bay.

We have seen in terms of our Atlantic salmon that, since the 1970s, the Atlantic salmon has no longer been a commercial fishery. In fact, the several hundred fishermen who had that as part of their licences in the early 1960s and into the 1970s, have had to give up those licences.

Many of them sold them back to the government. In any case, the Atlantic salmon fishery has declined to the stage where today it is only a recreational fishery and then only in terms of a limited catch that can be kept by any recreational fisherman.

In fact this year the recreational fishery in the Miramichi is allowed approximately eight tags. Among those eight tags, they are only allowed to keep the smaller fish which are referred to as grilse, which are less than 26 inches in length.

We heard across the House the problems of the hatcheries. I think I would be remiss if I did not point out that I was a bit disappointed to find that this year DFO has closed all the hatcheries in Atlantic Canada.

In my own case of the Miramichi, we had the oldest fish hatchery in Canada trying to promote and enhance the Atlantic salmon. That hatchery, which existed since before Confederation is a historical site in terms of our sites and monuments. It is sometimes called the oldest hatchery in North America and was turned over this month to a local group that is attempting now to run it on a limited budget. DFO should be criticized for having closed the Atlantic salmon hatcheries.

In terms of our lobster fishery we have to look at the concept of gear. Most of our lobster fishermen, for example, had 350 traps they could put in the water. Historically they were traps made of wood approximately three feet in length. Putting out 350 traps has been changed now to the concept of putting out steel traps which are four feet in length. Many lobster fishermen are concerned what effect a change in gear will have on that fishery, the main source for fishermen on Miramichi Bay.

We also have to think about what fish really are. They are a resource. They travel across the great oceans of this continent. They are available not only to Canadian fishermen but to many other fishermen who visit our waters and fish sometimes within the 200 mile limit with the permission of our country and often times outside the 200 mile limit.

We think of the Americans, our neighbours. We think of the French fleet that sometimes fish off the shores of St. Pierre and Michelon. We think of the Spaniards and other members of the European Union who fish off our shores. In other words, they have tremendous pressure on the Atlantic fishery.

The minister and his officials have worked hard through such organizations as NASCO and NAFO to try to make international arrangements by which our fishing resources could be enhanced and conserved for future generations. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Department of External Affairs have to look at concepts and agreements among the various nations of the world.

We think of the tremendous tuna resource we have today. It is worth as much as $30 a pound to some of our Atlantic fishermen. Those tuna are being chased not only by our Atlantic fishery but by other nations of the world, especially Japan.

I hope the minister will look at some of the communications problems of his department. If we look at politicians in the House today, some criticize us for what has happened to the fishery. Others will criticize our scientists. Some criticize the very management of DFO. We have to recognize that there has to be better communications.

For a good period of time we have heard concerns about seals and how they are affecting cod stocks off the coast of Atlantic Canada. A tremendous report produced by our science division indicated that the seals were not a major source of difficulty in terms of how many cod stocks they were eating. The report went on to say that seals were caught and dissected and their stomach contents indicated they had eaten very few cod.

I showed that report to some fishermen in the area of Hardwicke. After reading the report an elderly fisherman said to me “When there is no codfish for fishermen, how could there be codfish for the seals?”

Sometimes we look at science but science has to be measured against the people who are out there fishing, the people with experience, the people who know what their jobs are all about.

Today we hear of the many changes happening within DFO. We hear that fees are being charged. We hear there are observers out there and that various methods are being used. We commend the department for some of those steps it has taken.

In any case, as a member from Atlantic Canada I want to say that it is very complex. We cannot point fingers but we have to look at the fact that this resource has tremendous pressure on it. We cannot really blame those who are here today or those who were here before us. Many people have relied on that source of income. Certainly many fishing people, especially in Newfoundland, relied on TAGS and are concerned. We have to be concerned that the human needs of every person in this great country of ours are met.

From the west coast we have the hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway. I am sure she will take some time to talk about the west coast fishery, but in terms of the east coast I hope we as parliamentarians can work together to offer some vision and some possible solution to a very complex and difficult problem.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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October 23, 1997

Mr. Charles Hubbard

Mr. Speaker, I certainly want to try to reply to the hon. member. I know he has been in the cattle business and in the oil business. I believe he has a son who has been connected with the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. He has a very broad knowledge in terms of all this, a knowledge that probably surpasses some of my own.

We have to look at the fact that Canada alone cannot control all of that. In terms of the tuna, swordfish and sharks, it is part of our international obligations. We have to negotiate with other countries in terms of those species.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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October 7, 1997

Mr. Charles Hubbard (Miramichi, Lib.)

Mr. Speaker, congratulations on your selection as Speaker. We hope all members of the House will co-operate with you. I know you are doing a very fine job with it.

I am from the Miramichi. This is my first speech since the new Parliament began. Today we in the Miramichi have heard of the resignation of our premier. His absence from New Brunswick and the political scene in Canada is certainly going to be a great loss for all of us as Canadians. I want to pay tribute to the many years that Frank spent, some 15 years, representing Miramichi, and for the past 10 years as premier of the province of New Brunswick.

Over that period of time he had to exert a good deal of effort looking at the pension funds in the province of New Brunswick and trying to find some solutions to their funding for future generations.

Today as we consider the Canada pension plan, my constituents and Canadians in general would be shocked to hear some of the statements that are being made by members opposite. I have heard very few complaints about the plan not being effective. I have heard very few concerns about people not wanting to participate in the plan. It is looked upon as a very important part of that great income security system that the Liberal Party and Liberal governments have made for this country over the past several generations.

Today in Canada there are approximately five million Canadians who in one way or another are receiving payments from the Canada pension plan. We have approximately 3.7 million plus another 1.2 million under the Quebec pension plan. Of that group some 2.4 million Canadians and 800,000 under the Quebec plan are receiving retirement benefits. In the disability portion of the plan we have some 300,000 Canadians in other provinces along with another 50,000 people in the province of Quebec.

It is a good plan. However, in the next few years the plan will need more money to support future Canadians as they require the benefits from it.

When I hear of the demands of the opposition that we should move away from a Canada pension plan and toward a system of RRSPs I have to remind the House that RRSPs do not have the great benefits that are shared by those who participate in the Canada pension plan.

Today contributions to the plan are some 5.85% shared by employees and employers. However, future contributions will eventually reach some 9.9% to be shared by those two groups.

The CPP does not only include retirement. It also includes a great number of other benefits to the Canadian people. Those who pay into the plan are protected against disability. Those who pay into the plan have their spouses protected in case of death or disability. Those who participate in the plan have their children protected until they either finish school or if they continue in school, until they are 25 years of age.

This plan is essential and is regarded as being essential by most Canadians. It is a form of income security. There is a basic understanding among the Canadian workforce that workers will be able to receive benefits if they become sick for an extended period of time, if they become injured and they cannot work or if they eventually are not able to participate for other given reasons.

It is very important for us to share in the great benefits the economy of this nation has. We must make sure as members of Parliament that we indicate to Canadians that we are willing to participate in a program where all Canadians can share in the benefits of our country.

We know there are private plans out there. When the committee looks at the Canada pension plan bill it realizes that it has to look at some of the concerns that are being expressed here today.

The member for Saint John, for example, recommended that we should look in terms of maybe trying to reduce income tax as we increase Canada pension benefits. Certainly this might be a fact that could be considered by our Minister of Finance.

We might also look at how various calculations are made. It is certainly important that we look at how the plan will affect us in the future and how the calculations will try to make sure that we get the optimum level of interest in terms of where that plan is invested.

I think it is good that we are moving away from the system whereby the funds were available to the provinces at very low interest rates. It certainly will give a better return to the investment. We have an investment of nearly $40 billion and probably through a better system of investing on the open market the plan can gain more money for future people involved with Canada pensions.

I would hope, in terms of the eventual outcome, as it goes to committee we can look at the many suggestions that are being made to the House today, that we will eventually come up with a good system by which all Canadians can participate and by which all of us, in terms of being members of this Parliament, can ensure that Canadians are guaranteed a safe and secure pension plan that will apply to all workers in the country.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Act
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