March 12, 1992

LIB

Charles L. Caccia

Liberal

Mr. Caccia:

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague from Bonavista-Trinity-Conception for his intervention.

On the question of functional jurisdiction that we are proposing, which is a technical term but which in essence means that Canada has jurisdiction on the management of a resource that affects its economy because it is in proximity of our coastal lines and because of historical

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reasons. The position of the government, it seems to me, is weak.

I detect from the speech of the minister of fisheries a certain hesitancy, a certain fear and also a lack of historical knowledge from which he actually could draw, not only inspiration but also the necessary determination.

The most recent example was given by Iceland less than 20 years ago. It is a small nation which decided one day that it had to defend its economic survival by asserting its jurisdiction over its fish resources. It is clear in the memory of the international community.

This then leads me to answer the question by my colleague, to the effect that if one were to attempt to give an interpretation as to what might be the reaction of the international community, I would be inclined to suggest that world opinion would be on our side. It would be on our side for the very simple reason that the thinking of the public which has been educated, which we all have been in recent years by the report of the Brundtland commission, Our Common Future, the understanding of the management of common resources globally, would be such that it would applaud Canada for having taken such an initiative.

All that is needed at this point is the political will to act, to take certain risks, but to take a strong stand and give leadership in the international community. This is what we are expecting the government to do.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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LIB

Fred J. Mifflin

Liberal

Mr. Fred J. Mifflin (Bonavista-1IVinity- Conception):

Mr. Speaker, I am privileged and honoured to rise on this motion today, a motion to extend, among other things, the functional jurisdiction to the nose and tail of the Grand Banks.

I say, in all sincerity, that this is probably the most important day that I have spent in this House of Commons. This is a parliamentary debate on a subject that is very important to all of us here. It is particularly important to me because I represent so many people involved in the fishing industry. With 57 plants in my riding and the livelihood of a large part of those who are involved and those for whom I am responsible that rely on the fishing industry, it is so germane and pertinent to the points that are being made here today.

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As I reflect on what I have heard here today, both from sitting in the House and watching on the monitor in my office, there are five points that strike me and I would like to share them with you.

The first point is related to the facts, not interpretation, not political rhetoric, not speeches, not political will, but the state of affairs as it exists today.

The second point I am struck with is the response of the hon. minister of fisheries. His response on what could be done, what should be done, what might be done, and in particular why he did not feel that he could vote for this motion. I will comment on that in a few moments.

The third aspect that I was struck with is the talk that is going on, and I have related to what has happened, what has been the result of all this.

The fourth aspect is the tone of the presentations in the House itself.

The final thing is, where are we after all is said and done?

Let me start with the veiy brief facts, Mr. Speaker. Before I do that I want to make some definitions clear. I am talking about foreign overfishing outside the 200-mile economic zone of Canada. I am talking about not just northern cod. I am talking mostly about cod, but I am talking about groundfish as well that are processed in Newfoundland and Atlantic Canada. I am talking about the nose and tail of the bank, which are those two parts outside our economic zone.

The nose, which is like a segment of a circle, is about 60 miles long and the furthest part of the circle comes out to about 40 miles; the tail is about 100 miles long and the segment goes out to a maximum of about 60 miles. It is not a very large part of the ocean, not a very large part of the continental shelf. But large enough, that in the spring of this year it holds 10 per cent of the biomass of cod in that area. In previous years on record it was 5 per cent, and in one year it doubled.

Whatever is happening there, a lot of fish are hanging out there. And it is very important that we zero in on this. This is what we are doing today.

The fact of the matter is that plants are closing, trawlers are being tied up, inshore fishermen have their nets empty and people are without work. The fact of the matter is that foreigners are illegally catching more and

Atlantic Canadians are legally catching less. The fact of the matter is that if we had the 380 million pounds of fish that was caught by foreigners last year we would be able to open all the fish plants that were closed in Atlantic Canada.

The fact of the matter is that the fishing industry is on the verge of decimation. The fact of the matter is that people are being alarmed, there is a human face on this. Those are the facts. I think most of that was put on the record by the hon. member for Burin-St. George's who spoke very eloquently on the subject.

The second point that I was impressed with today was the response of the hon. minister of fisheries. I thought he gave a fairly good statesmanlike presentation, but certain parts of it had what I would call "statesmanlike weasel-wording". The minister acknowledged, in my mind-this is my interpretation of what he had to say-that something could be done about this. But he seemed to believe that the timing of it was more important than the principle. He gave us a litany of what has been done. He also said that while he seemed to like the motion, that because it was a non-confidence motion he believed that he would not be able to vote for it, or would not be able to advise his colleagues to vote for it. The minister of fisheries has been around this place longer than I have been and he knows that with the stroke of a pen or an amendment this can change. So I do not buy that, quite frankly.

I am saying that this is a motion which will allow his government to put in place action to stop this problem and put an end to all that is going on, not next year, not in six month's time, but now. Now is when we need the action. The minister has said he believes it can be done. He believes in the principle but he does not believe the time is right.

The third point I want to mention is, what has happened with all this talk, all the litany of things that the minister has spoken about? Nothing. In fact, the more we speak, the more the foreigners overfish illegally. There is a direct proportion to the diplomatic action and the overfishing. This year, 47,000 tonnes of northern cod alone were caught illegally, 40 per cent of what all Canadians caught legally. That is what is happening with the diplomatic talk.

March 12, 1992

Portugal says: "I do not see that they have a problem". Spain says: "Canadians are catching too much anyway". They are throwing it back in our face. We are the laughing stock of the European Community because we are not doing the things we should be doing. So that is where we stand.

The fourth aspect of this is the tone of the debate today. The minister of fisheries says this is not a national sovereignty issue. Well, I beg to differ. There are 8,000 people being affected by this in Newfoundland alone. There are 32,000 people in the industry, so that makes 25 per cent, 25 per cent of the automobile industry in a province, 25 per cent of farmers, 25 per cent of textiles. If that is not a national sovereignty issue, what in the name of God is? It is national. Look who got up and spoke today. We have had speakers from British Columbia to Newfoundland. We have had my hon. colleagues from the prairies, from Ontario, from Quebec. And we will have speakers from every one of the Atlantic provinces. If this is not a national sovereignty issue and if this is not something that preoccupies this House as a national subject, given the range of speakers and where they come from, I do not know what is.

Where are we left? Where are we with all this? With the speeches, with the talks and with the litany of action that the minister has promised, with the United Nations conferences and the speeches that are being prepared for ministers who will speak here today, where are we?

A picture is worth a thousand words. In the first two minutes of the speech of the hon. member from Burin-St. George's today he mentioned two graphs, one with foreign fishing going up with time and one with national, legal fishing going down. That is what is happening.

So what we are left with is a motion that both sides of the House agree is doable. It is recognized. There is precedent for it. We do not disagree on the principle. We are disagreeing on the timing. We have the evidence. We have the agreement on the principle, so now we are down to one little itsy-bitsy thing, the timing.

The solution is there, we are waiting for the time. When is the time going to be right? If you come to a brick wall and it is in the way of your goal, you butt your head. If that does not work you use a hammer. If that does not work you use an axe. If that does not work you use a sledge-hammer. If that does not work you might have to get a bulldozer. You may have to pay for it. You

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may have to pay a man to work on the bulldozer. That is the price you have to pay.

We may have to pay a price for doing what I am suggesting and what has been suggested by this motion that we do. I have no doubt that we will, but the price will be worth it because national sovereignty, the face of this country, the livelihood of people are at stake.

What are we waiting for? How many more anxious faces do we need to see? How many more fish plants and processing plants do we have to see close? How many locks on gates do we have to see? How many more mayors of communities have to come to my office here in Ottawa and my office in Bonavista? There is one sitting there right now. I would suggest, no more, no more time, we must do it now.

I am saying this government should have the political will to act now to extend the functional jurisdiction so that we can put an end to this difficulty that will, if we do not do something, cause the end of the fishing industry and the dignity and the livelihood of those people involved.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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LIB

George Baker

Liberal

Mr. George S. Baker (Gander-Grand Falls):

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member for Bonavista-Trinity-Conception has a history of involvement with the fishery that perhaps no other member of this Chamber has.

We have witnessed in the last month one of the largest fish plants I suppose in Atlantic Canada close its gates just a short distance from where the hon. member grew up and who is so intimately involved with the fishery. If there is one person who knows the industry as an industry, that is as a business, it is the hon. member who just spoke, and his family too.

I want to ask him to elaborate on this fact that right within a gunshot, as we would say, from his home where he grew up, the only employer either just shut its doors or is about to shut its doors. Could the hon. member tell us how many people are involved?

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Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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LIB

Fred J. Mifflin

Liberal

Mr. Mifflin:

I thank my hon. colleague from Gander-Grand Falls for giving me the opportunity to get into this kind of detail because a 10-minute presentation does not allow it. The hon. member is right and I do thank him for his comment.

The processing plant on the border of Catalina and Port Union is the largest and the most up-to-date processing plant in Canada. It is owned by FPI and it was built not that long ago. FPI and in fact all of Atlantic Canada boasted that it was probably the most modem in

March 12, 1992

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the world. The maximum depends on the season, but the plant can employ up to 1,200 workers.

Now 1,200 workers on the Bonavista peninsula, and I represent 250 communities, that plant services about 75 communities, some more than others, some less than others. But the hub of the area if you like, the towns of Bonavista, Catalina, Port Union, Melrose, Elliston, Newmans Cove, Kings Cove, Trinity, Port Rexton and I could go on, up the peninsula every community is affected by it. Not just the worker, the fishermen, the trawlermen, the plant worker, the family of the plant worker, the corner store.

To put another end on this, I spoke with a businessman in St. John's, Newfoundland, who was a director of an organization called Atlantic Building Materials. It is a hardware building store. He said: "We can tell you how good or bad the fishery is by looking at our volume of sales." So it is not just the corner store, the Foodliner, Foodland or Sobey's store that is affected. It is the big stores, the hardware stores that sell building materials, the gas stations, the provisioners. The main provisioner in my riding in Carbonear is affected by this. I speak to them, I know.

So you can imagine and you can perhaps forgive my somewhat unusual-not antagonism, but frustration if you like, which I share with hon. members on this side of the House and I think, to a certain extent, on that side of the House, when your brother and sisters and brothers-in-law and cousins and friends, today, as I stand here, do not have jobs. They are not sure when they are going to have jobs, how long they are going to have jobs this year and God knows what is going to happen next year.

This is the human face. This is what is involved and this is what we have to put an end to.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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PC

Charles-Eugène Marin

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Charles-Eugene Marin (Gaspe):

Mr. Speaker, I welcome this opportunity today to address the issue of the 200-mile limit and the pillaging of resources in that area.

Mr. Speaker, I will share my speaking time with the hon. member for Fredericton-York-Sunbury, and I might speak for just a bit more than 10 minutes.

I would like to acknowledge the depth of concern expressed by the hon. member for Burin-St. George's in his motion concerning the pillaging of transboundary fish stocks off Canada's east coast and the possibility of extending Canada's functional jurisdiction in an effort to combat the problem.

His sincerity in raising the issue is beyond question. However, sincerity alone will not cany the day. The government must deal in facts. As you know, the February 1992 report of the Canadian Atlantic Fisheries Scientific Advisory Committee on the state of the northern cod stock revised downward the estimates for the over-all biomass and for the age seven years and older biomass. The over-all biomass level is thus estimated to be at approximately the same level as in 1980 and the spawning stock biomass level to be slightly below that in 1979.

In each of those years the TAC was set at 180,000 tonnes. The CAFSAC report went on to state that 1992 catches for the first half of the year should be restricted to the lowest level possible. CAFSAC will provide advice in July for the remainder of the 1992 fishery.

In recognition of the current state of the northern cod fishery, the Minister of Fisheries and Ocean introduced, on February 24, a conservation ceiling for managing the resource. The ceiling of 120,000 tonnes for 1992 represented a 65,000 tonnes reduction in the total allowable catch for northern cod and was announced as part of a six-point program.

The first point concerns management of the fishery. CAFSAC recommended that the catch during the first six months of 1992 be reduced to 25,000 tonnes, about half the level for the same period of 1991. This measure was adopted, effectively ending the winter fishery by offshore trawlers in Divison 3L. Other measures to conserve the stock will be worked out in consultation with industry representatives as events unfold.

In view of the reduced state of capelin stocks, upon which northern cod feed, the offshore capelin fishery in the Canadian zone in 1992 has been closed. Harvesting of cod by offshore trawlers during peak spawning periods has been banned. Fisheries, where cod is a by-catch, can be undertaken during the first half of 1992, provided this by-catch remains within acceptable limits.

March 12, 1992

The traditional inshore fishery will continue to operate without limits on catches, and this is important, Mr. Speaker. Larger inshore vessels operating in offshore areas will have catches restricted. In September, further limits will be placed on the fall offshore fishery, as necessary, to ensure that Canadian catches do not exceed 120,000 tonnes. These measures do not reflect traditional management patterns for the northern cod fishery. However, they fit the exceptional circumstances confronting us at the moment.

The second point has to do with protection of individuals and communities. The immediate effect of the problems with 2J3KL cod will be lay-offs of offshore plant workers and trawler fishermen. With very few exceptions, these individuals will be eligible for unemployment insurance. This will provide reduced but ongoing incomes for them until the time when a fall fishery would be prosecuted, if they are not engaged in other harvesting or processing activities in the interim.

Fisheries and Oceans has begun work, in conjuction with other departments, to identify measures to meet the needs of those affected this year. They will soon be in contact with fishing companies, unions and provincial governments in this regard. However, the nature and extent of assistance needed will depend in large measure on the results of the fishery for the remainder of this year.

What can be stated now is that assistance will be extended to affected individuals and communities where this is needed. This could consist of an extension of measures under the Atlantic Fisheries Adjustment Program and the Quebec Federal Fisheries Development Program. We must not forget that the problems we encounter in Atlantic fisheries also exist in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and, of course, the St. Lawrence itself.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, the Atlantic Fisheries Adjustment Program was introduced in May 1990 to help ensure a viable fishery for Atlantic Canadians. AFAP takes the form of a package of policy and program initiatives aimed at rebuilding fish stocks while helping fishermen, fish plant workers, and communities in Atlantic Canada adjust to the impact of reduced fishing quotas. These reductions have caused disruptions in

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employment and income stability. AFAP initiatives are intended to help bridge the gap to sustained levels of employment and higher incomes as stocks rebuild. The range of operational activity required to successfully implement such a comprehensive program has been extensive.

In addition to this program, Mr. Speaker, the government launched in the summer of 1990, the Quebec Federal Fisheries Development Program following a series of consultations with fishermen, processors and other interest groups. The over-all goal of this program is to ensure the long-term viability of the fishing industry, while providing help to workers and communities in fishing regions. The Quebec Federal Fisheries Development Program has four operational components: marketing, processing, harvesting, and research and infrastructure.

While much remains to be done, there have been significant achievements since the inceptions of these programs. These include: new inputs to the stock assessment of nothern cod; major extension of our surveillance and enforcement activities, resulting in increased compliance with all aspects of fisheries regulations by both domestic and foreign fleets; direct payments to fishermen and plant workers affected by catch failures and plant closures; financial assistance to individuals and companies for diversification initiatives both within and outside the fishery.

The minister will soon announce members and terms of reference for a task force on the income and adjustment problems facing individuals dependent on the Atlantic fishery. This task force, to be composed of industry and union representatives, will be appointed in the coming weeks, Mr. Speaker. It will have a broad mandate and the full support of federal departments and agencies in its work. It can play an important role in charting the course ahead after 1993.

Mr. Speaker, the third point is foreign overfishing. The Prime Minister recognizes the gravity of the problem and will be pressing European leaders to take measures without further delay to abide by decisions of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, including the moratorium on catches of cod in 3L outside the 200-mile zone.

March 12, 1992

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Representatives of the European Commission and member countries of NAFO were recently briefed on the Canadian position on foreign overfishing. This government, Mr. Speaker, is placing high priority on the issue of foreign overfishing. Just this week, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans went to New York City to meet the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development to stress the importance Canada places on conservation of marine resources.

We hope to place it on the agenda at the earth summit conference of world leaders in Rio de Janeiro in June. Canada will call for a follow-up conference to deal specifically with the high seas fisheries. At Canada's request a special NAFO session will be held in May to focus on effective control measures outside the 200-mile zone to ensure that catches do not exceed NAFO decisions.

In the next two months, the minister will be travelling to Cuba, Norway, Russia, Poland and other NAFO contracting parties to reinforce this position.

Concerning non-NAFO fleets, Mr. Speaker, there have been encouraging signs very recently that the problem of Panamanian and Korean fleets may be approaching an end, including commitments by the Korean government regarding their vessels now operating outside the 200-mile zone. While we are making progress, this government recognizes and shares the frustration of those in the Atlantic fishery that see these and other activities undertaken against foreign overfishing, but with little in the way of concrete results. This cannot go on.

There are those who say Canada should take immediate steps to extend its functional jurisdiction to the nose and tail of the Grand Banks. But, as the minister said recently in London and Tokyo, all avenues available to us must be explored if we are to achieve tangible progress toward ending foreign overfishing.

Other measures, including unilateral measures, will be contemplated only after all other options are exhausted.

The fourth point concerns Canadianization of underutilized species fishery. To alleviate harvesting pressure on northern cod and other traditional species, the

government is encouraging the development of new fisheries.

While foreign allocations will not be eliminated, they will be reduced to a minimum.

Soon, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans will be announcing the approval of industry proposals to harvest underutilized fish stocks. This will increase employment in fish plants and will diversify and add value to Canadian seafood products.

In addition, we will soon be establishing an advisory board on the use of foreign vessels and foreign allocations within the Canadian zone. This board will be composed of persons from outside government who are knowledgeable with respect to the Canadian fishing industry. The board will operate in a manner open to the public and will have a mandate to provide advice as to what is in the interest of Canada.

The fifth point deals with scientific research. There is a need to restore confidence in the reliability of fisheries resource assessments. To do this, we need to integrate into the process the experience of fisherman, inshore and offshore. Scientists analyze the inshore catch-and-effort data and collaborate with inshore fishermen in studying ocean conditions. At the same time, scientists invite fishermen on research cruises and accompany them on commercial trips.

Industry has proposed that special scouting charters be undertaken to identify concentrations of northern cod, and to provide further information on catch rates and stock availability, particularly in divisions 3K and 3L inside and outside the 200-mile zone. The minister has asked the department to make the necessary arrangements for these scouting charters.

Fisheries and Oceans is committed to a further major increase in research on cod inside and outside the 200-mile zone. Important initiatives will focus on oceanographic factors-such as water temperatures, salinity and currents-which influence the migration of cod and capelin, and may also contribute to the mortality rate.

The sixth and last point, concerns control of the seal population. The population of harp seals off the east coast is estimated at 3.5 million. This is a substantial increase from the estimate of two million made by the Royal Commission on Sealing in 1985.

March 12, 1992

As you know, Mr. Speaker, until now, measures to control seal populations have been constrained by concerns regarding possible effects on markets for fish products arising from anti-sealing groups. However, representatives of the fishing industry have been unanimous in their advice that, notwithstanding the concerns with respect to markets, measures should now be taken to start bringing the seal population under control.

The Government of Canada is committed to the rational management of all marine resources based on the principles of conservation and sustainable development.

In conclusion, I would like to point out that the establishment of a conservation ceiling of Canadian catches for 1992 of 120,000 tonnes, in effect a TAC reduction of 65,000 tonnes, is a severe mesasure. It goes beyond the 25,000-tonne reduction suggested by CAF-SAC because, in light of the circumstances, more stringent measures to protect fisheries resources are needed.

The management arrangements for 1992 that I have described are of an interim nature. Other measures to improve our understanding of the resource, especially predator-prey relationships and oceanographic factors, will be pursued urgently. Many details have to be worked out. This will be done in co-operation with the fishing industry, unions and provincial governments.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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?

Léonard-David Sweezey Tremblay

The Acting Speaker (Mr. TVemblay (Quebec-Est)):

understand that the hon. member for Gaspe is sharing his time with his colleague, the hon. member for Bona-venture-iles-de-la-Madeleine. But before that, I will give the floor to the hon. member for Malpeque for questions and comments.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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LIB

Catherine S. Callbeck

Liberal

Ms. Catherine Callbeck (Malpeque):

Mr. Speaker, I have listened with interest to the hon. member. I have a question for him but before posing the question I would like to make a couple of comments.

I am very pleased today to support this motion before us because foreign overfishing is costing Atlantic Canadians thousands of jobs. In the Atlantic provinces the fisheries employ over 100,000 people. That is a lot of jobs. On top of that, they employ roughly 8,000 in coastal Quebec.

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Foreign overfishing is a very serious problem and it is one that the federal government has to address now. The fact is that while Newfoundlanders and other Atlantic Canadians are losing their jobs, foreigners are fishing hundreds of thousands of tonnes of fish off our east coast far in excess of the quotas that have been set for them.

This government's lack of action in this area is hard to understand. It simply ignores the needs of Atlantic fishermen.

Another example of ignoring the needs of fishermen is in a recent proposal to change the boat safety regulations. This is a proposal which is causing a great deal of concern to fishermen in my area, Prince Edward Island, because these new regulations call for fishermen to equip their boats with life rafts, with survival suits for each fisherman and with a second set of running lights.

I know that all fishermen would agree safety is the primary concern. There is no question about that. Most fishermen are happy to abide by sensible safety regulations. I underline the word sensible because this proposal does not make sense in a lot of situations. Why would an oyster fisherman be required to carry a life raft in a boat that is too small to hold it in the first place?

I use that as an example to illustrate how out of touch this government has become with the needs of fishermen.

Would the member agree with me that government's lack of action now in dealing with the whole issue of foreign overfishing simply demonstrates the government's lack of concern for fishermen in Atlantic Canada?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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An hon. member:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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PC

Charles-Eugène Marin

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Marin:

Mr. Speaker, I understand the frustration and the conflicts which can arise in fishing communities where resources are increasingly scarce. It will be hard for me to agree that the ultimate responsibility lies with the government, whatever it is, for inaction.

I would take this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to thank my colleague who asked the question. She is getting up to leave the House before I have answered her.

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It is very important to realize that what is happening now in the fisheries is not the government's fault. It is the fault of a system which for years has been very poorly supervised. When we talk about overfishing by foreign boats inside or outside the 200-mile limit, we must not forget that Canadians also overfished in those areas. We must not forget that when we wanted to restrain the increase in the number of seals, these same people who are telling us that it is the government's fault were there telling us to do nothing.

I believe it is a biological phenomenon which is very hard to control and honestly I cannot believe that it is my government's fault if the resource within the 200-mile limit or the Gulf of St. Lawrence is at such a low level.

In any case, I would ask the hon. member who asked me the question to read the notes, since she left the House before I finished my statement.

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Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Resuming debate. I am quite prepared to recognize the hon. member for Bonaventure-Iles-de-la-Madeleine, but I would point out to him that five minutes remain of the 20 allocated to his party. The hon. member for Bonaventure-iles-de-la-Madeleine.

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PC

Darryl L. Gray

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Darryl L. Gray (Bonaventure-iles-de-la-Made-leine):

I do not know if five minutes will be enough, Mr. Speaker. I would prefer to have 10 minutes, as someone who has chosen to live in the Magdalen Islands. In any case, I will try to make my point as briefly as possible.

I had the privilege a few minutes ago to meet with Mr. Cashin and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. Without speaking on behalf of the minister or on behalf of Mr. Cashin, one thing that we did agree on is that problem of the northern cod should not be a partisan political area. We should work together on it.

I am sure I will get agreement from the other side of the House that there are three problems. First, there is the problem of northern cod on the nose and the tail of the Grand Banks. That is, the problem with external affairs in the foreign fishing. Second, there is the problem of our overfishing in our own waters, which has been addressed to the satisfaction of some fishermen but

not to others. Third, there is the problem of our seal herd.

I get very touchy when we talk about seals. I am an old seal hunter. I believe that with the herd of seals we have in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and off Newfoundland, off the Madeleine Islands, after having met with Mr. Cashin and the minister of fisheries, we have to go through, like it or lump it, our external diplomacy, international etiquette, call it whatever you wish. It is frustrating for the fishermen, but we have to do that. We cannot run out with the gunboats.

Even from a Madeleine Islander's point of view, I would hope that Newfoundlanders would not go out with their fishing boats and lose their lives to try to make an example of a Portuguese or a Spaniard who is over there fishing. I would hope that we could have a little bit of patience and see what will happen.

I am assured that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, with the good advice of Mr. Cashin and other Newfoundlanders, will take appropriate action if we do not get action from the foreign side.

Regarding the restraint that has been asked of the fishermen with the reduction in the quotas, the government side has had to be responsible for the loss of revenue of the people involved. If it is not good enough it should be improved. Again, I would ask the opposite side and my colleagues in the government that we make it the least painful as possible for the fishermen.

In the four minutes that I have left I wish to talk about seals.

When I was elected on September 4, 1984,1 met with my friends, the Magdalen Islanders, who told me that under the former government-and I am not getting into partisan politics here, Mr. Speaker-they said to me, "How come those damn Greenpeacers are shocked, which means that we will lose money because we can no longer hunt seals?"

I took a stand in 1984 and I have not changed my position since. I fully agree with the seal hunt. We should never forget that hunting seals, just like hunting deer or moose in Newfoundland or Labrador, or hunting partridge or whatever is an important activity. It is very

March 12, 1992

important income for people both in the Magdalen Islands and in Newfoundland. What is even more important for us in the Magdalen Islands, is that we have a system whereby every ounce of liver and of seal meat can be used. We can take every ounce of oil and process it and it will all go on the market.

I am a former farmer. I did slaughtering on my bam floor. You go to a slaughterhouse for pork or chicken, nobody worries about it. They hang the pigs up, cut their throats and they bleed to death.

They have a reasonable harvest of the seal herd. There is no problem, and I would hope for the environmentalists and for the Greenpeace people and the hon. member for Gander-Grand Falls from the other side of the floor will support me in this, to do a reasonable harvest of the seals, we will bring more money to Newfoundlanders, more money for the Magdalen Islands, have a good economy and we will not hurt the environment because the seals are hurting our northern cod stocks.

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Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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LIB

Stan Kazmierczak Keyes

Liberal

Mr. Stan Keyes (Hamilton West):

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the hon. member's intervention here this afternoon.

Can the member help me out here a little bit? Given that there has been a charitable action by the minister of fisheries with the stroke of a pen to issue licences to other countries to enter our waters, to fish in our waters, to rob the livelihood of those who depend on the fishery, given that kind of charity, I ask first whether the member could tell me: would he not agree with me that charity should begin at home?

The second question is: Can the hon. member opposite tell me what other country on this entire planet allows foreigners to jump on their vessels and go into the waters of other countries and to fish in those waters? Can he give me that figure?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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PC

Darryl L. Gray

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gray (Bonaventure-Iles-de-la-Madeleine):

Mr. Speaker, I thought one of my principal points when I was making my statement was that we would try to keep this non-partisan.

I guess my hon. colleague does not want to keep it that way. I will say one thing. Having been in the House of Commons for seven and one-half years and regardless of political stripe, the thing that angers and ires me the most is to hear downtown metro people talking about

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seals from Newfoundland or the Magdalen Islands when they do not know what in the hell they are talking about. I do not like it.

If they want to be partisan, I will give an answer. When talking about overfishing, I do not set the rules, you do not set the rules. International law and international trade are things that have been established, but when it is said that we are giving licences to foreigners to the detriment of our own people, there is not a Conservative government, there is not a Liberal government, there is no other government that does not look after the rights of Canadians.

We may differ how we look after them, but the insinuation that the hon. member makes that we are looking after the foreigners and not looking after Canadians gives dishonour, not only to the hon. member, but also to his party.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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PC

Patrick Boyer (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Patrick Boyer (Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence):

Mr. Speaker, I have a very short question for the hon. member for Bonaventure- iles-de-la-Madeleine. I have been in his riding, both in winter and summer, to watch the seals and visit the Magdalen islands with their typical island economy. I would like to ask a very short question about the role played by seals in the islands' economy, since he said this was very important. I agree with what he said, but one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Seals and Sealing in Canada-

In the report of the Royal Commission on Seals and Sealing in Canada recommendation 39 states: "The non-consumptive use of seals such as the viewing of seal herds should be encouraged subject to appropriate regulatory measures to protect the animals and their habitat".

I would like the hon. member to comment on ecotourism, a new dimension of his riding's economy, because I am sure it is a very important factor.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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PC

Darryl L. Gray

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Gray (Bonaventure-Iles-de-la-Madeleine):

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member, who has already been to the Magdalen Islands two or three times.

March 12, 1992

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Although he did not go on a seal hunt, he saw first hand what happens to the seals on the ice in the gulf.

I would like to say, Mr. Speaker, that we are getting a lot of tourists and a lot of development in the Magdalen Islands because people are coming from the United States, Italy and other European countries, in fact from all over the world. We are experiencing a boom in the tourism industry, unlike anything we have seen in the past 10 or 15 years. This is very important, Mr. Speaker.

However, as far as culling X number of seals from the herds is concerned, this will not harm tourism and it is certainly not a threat to the continued existence of the seal herds. In fact, what we call the "harvesting of the herd" benefits everyone.

It is very important not to shock the environmentalists. We can do a reasonable harvest. We can use every ounce of meat, every ounce of oil and we will sell it on the market. CIDA buys all kinds of mackerel in cans. We can sell seal meat too. We will keep our herds. We will have the seal hunters and they will have their jobs.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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LIB

George Baker

Liberal

Mr. George S. Baker (Gander-Grand Falls):

Mr. Speaker, I would like to put on the record a question that the minister of fisheries will undoubtedly have to answer tomorrow at the University of New Brunswick law school.

The minister of fisheries is speaking at the law school on Friday, I think at 1.30 in the afternoon, and the general public is invited to attend together with the media and, of course, with law school students who will be questioning the minister of fisheries on the subject of fisheries management as it pertains to the Law of the Sea and what the minister of fisheries and the Government of Canada intend to do under the law to protect our fisheries.

I will try to present the question in the seven minutes I have. The question is this: According to the department's own information sheets, in 1990 it gave 195,000 tonnes of fish as foreign allocations within our 200-mile zone and it issued 117 foreign licences, foreign allocations within Canada's 200-mile zone, enough to keep 19 fish plants going in Canada. That is the department's own background material. This is Fisheries and Oceans

Canada. At least, I don't know, 10,000 jobs in 20 fish plants.

The rationale, as given by the minister and the department, for giving out these foreign allocations inside the 200-mile zone is that Canada has an obligation under the Law of the Sea. This is the information package or backgrounder of Fisheries and Oceans. The Law of the Sea requires coastal states, and it goes on and on and on.

The question is if the Law of the Sea required Canada to give 119 foreign licences last year and 195,000 tonnes of fish to foreigners, then why can we not extend our jurisdiction over straddling stocks that is also required under the Law of the Sea?

The government says that it cannot extend it for transborder stocks because we did not ratify the Law of the Sea. There is no Law of the Sea. There is a Law of the Sea by custom which was signed by 119 nations at the United Nations in 1983. But then it required 60 to ratify it in their own countries and to date, only 43 have done so.

So there is no Law of the Sea. But the Law of the Sea is used to give foreigners allocations of fish within our 200-mile zone. The minister of fisheries stood in this House a few moments ago and said: "Oh, but fish that Canadians do not want are given to the foreigners". I am sorry but I have them in my riding as other members do.

Why Canadians cannot get licences to catch squid unless they are a certain group of Canadians. A man on welfare cannot get a licence to catch squid; a woman on welfare cannot get one. I cannot get one. Nobody can get one unless he or she qualifies as a full-time fisherman and has certain other qualifications. But the Cubans can get one. Oh yes, 12 miles off the coast, there is the Cuban flag. Japanese can get one. Russians can get one.

If you go out and you catch a fish that a foreigner is catching under a Canadian licence you are thrown in jail. Then you spend your time in jail. A great many Canadians have spent their time in jail, because they cannot get a licence.

Last year, Fisheries and Oceans said they gave 117 foreign vessels licences 195,000 tonnes-that is their publication-to vessels that are over 400 feet long. Why, you could drop the biggest Canadian vessel in the hold of

March 12, 1992

one of those foreign vessels and you would need search and rescue to find it.

If the Law of the Sea forces Canada to give licences to foreign nations and allocations as the minister said it does in this House today, how can he turn around in response to this motion and say: "but the Law of the Sea is not law".

Under section 62 of the Law of the Sea, it says that you must give allocations that are in excess of Canada's needs, or a coastal state's needs, to a foreign nation if you are not using it. Then the next section says that in the case of transborder stocks you have the right under international law to enforce their conservation.

So the Government of Canada uses one section of the Law of the Sea and says: "We have to give to 11 foreign nations quotas because of the Law of the Sea". Then it turns around and says: "Well, we cannot stop the foreigners from overfishing outside the 200-mile zone because there is no Law of the Sea".

It is going to be interesting. Tomorrow we will have our lawyers, our law school students and perhaps law professors, perhaps a judge or two, ask the minister of fisheries on the spot in Fredericton at the University of New Brunswick law school. I wish I were there to listen to the sort of logic the minister of fisheries is going to come out with when he talks about the Law of the Sea.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

It being two o'clock p.m., I must interrupt the debate.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ALLOTTED DAY, S. O. 81-FISHERIES
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STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. 0. 31

PC

Alan Redway

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Alan Redway (Don Valley East):

Mr. Speaker, when the free trade agreement was signed neither the United States nor Canada could agree on fair trade rules. So it was decided that they would be negotiated over the next five to seven years.

Three and a half years later we still have not started to negotiate the fair trade rules. As a result, when the Canadian softwood lumber industry or Canadian manufacturers such as Stelco or Honda increased their exports to the United States by being price competitive, the U.S. uses or threatens to use its anti-dumping and

anti-subsidy countervail laws to eliminate this increased competition.

Apparently Canada has decided to defer fair trade rule negotiations until after the current GATT negotiations are completed. Meanwhile, the lack of fair trade rules is destroying the truly open North American market contemplated by supporters of the free trade agreement and is threatening Canadian jobs.

We can compete but we need fair trade rules now. We need a level playing field, but once again we appear to be one of our own worst enemies.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   STATEMENTS PURSUANT TO S. 0. 31
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ARCTIC WINTER GAMES

March 12, 1992