Libby DAVIES

DAVIES, Libby

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Vancouver East (British Columbia)
Birth Date
February 27, 1953
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libby_Davies
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=8edb5e32-fc50-4216-bbe1-b112eada513c&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
human resources co-ordinator

Parliamentary Career

June 2, 1997 - October 22, 2000
NDP
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
  • Deputy Whip of the N.D.P. (February 1, 2000 - February 5, 2003)
November 27, 2000 - May 23, 2004
NDP
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
  • Deputy Whip of the N.D.P. (February 1, 2000 - February 5, 2003)
  • N.D.P. House Leader (February 6, 2003 - May 25, 2011)
June 28, 2004 - November 29, 2005
NDP
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
  • N.D.P. House Leader (February 6, 2003 - May 25, 2011)
January 23, 2006 - September 7, 2008
NDP
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
  • N.D.P. House Leader (February 6, 2003 - May 25, 2011)
October 14, 2008 - March 26, 2011
NDP
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
  • N.D.P. House Leader (February 6, 2003 - May 25, 2011)
May 2, 2011 - August 2, 2015
NDP
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
  • N.D.P. House Leader (February 6, 2003 - May 25, 2011)
May 2, 2011 -
NDP
  Vancouver East (British Columbia)
  • N.D.P. House Leader (February 6, 2003 - May 25, 2011)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 464 of 467)


October 23, 1997

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, that is not good enough. The government has cut billions of dollars from social programs and thrown in the towel on jobs and housing. Its child tax benefit does not help the poorest of the poor.

When will the minister establish national standards and give real support to ensure that no one goes hungry or homeless because their income has been pushed below survival levels?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Finance
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October 23, 1997

Ms. Libby Davies

Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his comments and I agree that it is important to listen.

I invite the member to British Columbia so he can hear firsthand and listen to the concerns of fishers in coastal communities who feel they have been abandoned by the federal government. When the member says that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has been fully engaged, fully engaged in what? Certainly not in defending the interests of fishers in B.C. and supporting the Government of British Columbia which has been standing up for the fishers.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has been engaged in soft peddling this issue. Yes, it is important to listen. It is important to listen to the people who are directly affected by the lack of a national fisheries program. That is what this issue is about.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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October 23, 1997

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP)

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance.

Emergency shelters for the homeless across the country are running out of space and the cold weather has not yet hit. The government has abandoned programs that help the poorest and most vulnerable in society. The cuts have been devastating, including in my own riding of Vancouver East.

Will the minister take responsibility for this crisis of growing homelessness and outline what specific steps his government will take to shelter the homeless?

Topic:   Oral Question Period
Subtopic:   Finance
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October 23, 1997

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP)

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with my colleague, the hon. member for Acadie—Bathurst.

It was very interesting to hear the history lesson by the government member from Gander, Newfoundland. However, it is very curious that his history only went up until 1993. What we are concerned about today is what is happening in terms of our fisheries on the east coast and the west coast.

Pacific salmon stocks have been depleted to crisis proportions. The impact that this depletion has had on the environment and on the lives of west coast fishers and their families and on coastal communities has been devastating.

Not only has the federal government refused to support B.C. fishers against the tide of American commercial exploitation of the fisheries, but it has taken action that has devastated coastal communities and small and independent fishers and their families.

In my constituency of Vancouver East, many of my constituents are reeling from the government's utter lack of commitment to the Pacific fishery. There are 10,000 commercial fishers and 6,400 shore workers in B.C. who depend on salmon for their livelihoods. The average annual wholesale value of the salmon harvest in B.C. is approximately $500 million. The Americans are overfishing the Canadian salmon and the cost to all Canadians is $60 million a year. That means that four million fish are being illegally harvested by the Americans.

The basic problem is that the U.S. is ignoring the terms of the Pacific salmon treaty originally signed in 1985 and under renegotiation since 1995. Instead of respecting the principle that salmon belong to the country of origin, Alaskan fishers are stealing Canadian sockeye salmon returning to spawn in Canadian waters where they were born. As they pass through Alaskan waters American fishers are taking four or five times more sockeye than they are entitled to under the terms of the treaty.

Even more recently, the U.S. has been aggressively overfishing the early run of salmon heading up the Fraser River in the south.

Despite the devastating effect of this overfishing on the west coast and the blatant disregard that the Americans have shown Canadian sovereignty, the federal government has done little to change this situation. In fact, the plan that the federal government has put in place is woefully inadequate.

If anything it does more to hurt the majority of B.C. fishers than help them, indeed the Mifflin plan named after the former Liberal fisheries minister actually punishes Canadians because it forces B.C. fishers to choose one specific zone to fish and allows licence staffing.

The Mifflin plan has been an ecological and sociological disaster. Internationally it has been proven that fisheries work when they are community based. However, what is the federal government doing? The federal government has undercut the community in favour of mega-companies that care more for the bottom line than for the preservation of our environment and our coastal communities. It edges out the fishers who live and work and raise their families in these communities and who have a real vested interest in the preservation of salmon stocks.

Simply put, the Mifflin plan has been a disaster in Atlantic Canada. It has been a disaster in western Canada and it has been a disaster for all of Canada. Even the promises that have been made about transitional funds have been a disaster.

The federal government had promised $30 million to the transitional funds for community fisheries development program. In a meeting with the president of the fishers union in B.C., Mr. John Radosevic, I was told that the people involved in that transitional plan are still waiting to have an answer from the federal government as to whether there will be multi-year funding.

My colleague, the member for Burnaby—Douglas, who is the critic for the west coast fisheries for our party, raised this in the House on October 1. What did the minister say? He said be patient.

The fishers of the west coast and the east coast have been more than patient. They have been waiting to see if this government will put an action plan into place to ensure there is preservation.

The only real leadership that we have seen in dealing with the west coast fisheries crisis has come from the premier of British Columbia and from many other people in my home province who clearly recognize that the time has come to take a stand. Premier Clark has been making tough decisions and what has the response of the federal government been? When the premier of B.C. moved to cancel the sea bed lease at Nanoose, did the federal government move to support B.C. efforts? No. The federal government is now suing the B.C. government and claiming that B.C. does not have the power to cancel the sea bed lease.

I can tell the House that the federal NDP has long held the position that Nanoose should be closed as a sea bed testing range for U.S. submarines. Why? It is a relic of the cold war and an environmental hazard. My colleague, the member for Burnaby—Douglas, tabled a motion on this precise issue in the House on September 23.

Second, when Mr. Clark initiated legal action against Alaska and Washington to enforce the terms of the treaty, the federal government refused to support the action and went even further and undermined the B.C. position by releasing legal opinions.

In a more recent development, when the U.S. Congress recently held congressional hearings on the issue, the federal government refused to send government representatives. So Canada's position was not at those hearings.

The leader of the NDP raised this issue in the House on September 25. Now there is real concern that the U.S. may walk away from the treaty altogether. Clearly the federal government has to do everything in its power to prevent this from happening because chaos will ensue.

The present fisheries minister, a British Columbian who we had hoped would take tough action, has done little to ease the burden of west coast fishers. By contrast, the minister did not even meet with B.C. fishermen until they had been driven out of frustration and need to take desperate measures in blocking the passage of an American passenger ferry. Even then, I am sure that the minister was persuaded more by American reaction than he was by Canadian desperation.

A recent provincial public opinion polls shows that the majority of British Columbians support the strong actions taken by our provincial government to achieve a fair and workable Pacific salmon treaty. Why will the federal government not do the same?

The Liberals say that they want to address westerners' feelings of alienation, but when push comes to shove they continue to ignore western concerns.

It is not good enough for the finance minister to attend a meeting on the west coast as he did last week and say “we are addressing your concerns”. Instead of spending his time publicly bashing the premier of B.C. as he did in the House of Commons, the minister of fisheries should be trying to emulate the tough stand that our premier has taken on behalf of B.C. fishers and coastal communities. The only real action that the federal Liberals have taken is to appoint someone to monitor the situation.

New Democrats have stood up in the House and will continue to stand up in the House to fight for the survival of coastal communities and sustainable jobs and a healthy fishery. We believe this must be the primary goal of the federal fisheries policy. The most important step toward achieving this goal is to genuinely share the control of the fishery with the women and men in the coastal communities that catch the fish.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
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October 23, 1997

Ms. Libby Davies

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time.

Topic:   Government Orders
Subtopic:   Supply
Full View Permalink