House of Commons Hansard #115 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fishing.

Topics

Fisheries Act
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

George Baker Gander—Grand Falls, NL

That is right. He is presently the governor general. In fact some fishermen have commented that they wish that orders in council would actually come from the governor general because they appreciated those orders so much when he was the fisheries minister.

That piece of legislation unilaterally declared a 200 mile exclusive fishing zone in Canada. That is not the same as the exclusive economic zones, the EEZs, in other nations of the world. This was a unilateral action by Canada to save the fishing resource. That was in 1977.

When was the next piece of legislation that really broke new territory on behalf of the fishery in Canada? From 1977 until 1996 we had 10 years of Tory rule and not one piece of legislation was passed by this Chamber which we could call a historic piece of legislation.

Then we come to the year 1996. Again under a Liberal administration, this time under the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans who is the member from the historic riding of Bonavista-Trinity-Conception, legislation was brought in to do what the other nations have done. Instead of the exclusive fishing zone, we have declared an exclusive economic zone for Canada so that Canada can be a

part of the team of nations around the world that are trying to save the fisheries. We would have identical legislation.

Today this bill is truly a historic piece of legislation. Why is that? It is for the very reason that countries in Europe do not like the legislation. It is for the very reason that some countries in Europe, and yes the United States and quite a few other countries are objecting to this bill. The reason is that it gives the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans unusual powers to seize foreign fishing vessels which are fishing illegally, according to what the Canadian government is declaring, on the high seas adjacent to Canada's territorial zone.

When the opposition parties complain and say that this bill gives the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans too much power, they have to realize that we either have to do it or we do not do it. We have to give the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans the power to do things which are unusual under international law in order to save the fishery of Canada.

In Europe they are saying there are 14 articles which have extraterritorial effects. I have looked through this bill in the last 15 minutes trying to find those articles. I found some of them. One of the articles for example will allow the government in the future when an offence has been committed to seize a vessel that is owned by the same company that owned the vessel that committed the offence.

Let us say we had a fishing nation which violated the rules on bycatch in the NAFO zone which the hon. member was talking about.

What is a bycatch? A fisherman once defined it as a catch you accidentally catch when you're trying to catch another catch. It means that some fishermen use the bycatch rule of 10 per cent to catch more than 10 per cent of what they are allowed to catch.

Suppose the records of that vessel reach Canada after the fact. The vessel is gone. The skipper probably will not be seen in Canadian waters again and no charges under the present law can be brought against the company that owned the vessel. Under this bill Canada can now seize a vessel that belongs to the same company from the same foreign nation that committed the offence to satisfy a judgment.

An internal audit was done when the Tories were in power in 1985. It showed many cases of bribery, of money being exchanged, money being put in people's mailboxes to try to buy influence with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans by these foreign captains. A fisheries officials in one case found $25,000 in a mailbox. He immediately reported it to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Fisheries and Oceans knew who did it but they could not charge that fishing captain because he did not show up in Canadian waters again.

Under this legislation DFO will now be able to seize another vessel that belongs to that company from the foreign nation to satisfy the judgment.

I do not know the entire 14 articles to which the European Union is objecting, but one to which it is objecting is this. Under the bill the Canadian government will be able to bring charges against a stateless vessel on the high seas that is in a management zone of the northwest fishing organization to which the hon. member from the Bloc referred a few moments ago.

If a vessel from the United States of American-and we have them-constantly violates the fishing agreements entered into with countries that belong to the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, charges cannot be brought against the American vessel because the U.S. does not belong to the organization. Under this bill we will be able to do that. There is a whole section on stateless vessels.

These are some of the things that the Bloc and Reform Party should be standing up and saying: "What a marvellous piece of legislation. Canada will be the first nation in the world to put some real teeth into enforcement to try to save the fishery" because the fishery needs to be saved. I think everybody would agree with that.

In the past, prior to 1993, Tory governments gave quotas to foreign nations. In the fall of 1979 Russia received a quota of 100,000 tonnes of capelin, the food of the cod fish. That Tory administration gave it a 100,000 tonne quota for 1980, thereby giving the Russians a higher quota of capelin than the entire Canadian fleet has ever caught in its entire history and then you wonder what happened to the fishery.

In 1985, 1986 and 1987 when fishermen were telling the politicians that there was a problem in the fishery the administration in power here in Ottawa continued to give out foreign licences. The Tories turned their backs and looked the other way when all the dragging was going on. They even encouraged it.

The hon. member from the Bloc represents an area of Quebec that has the best spawning area in the world for mackerel. The Tory administration actually gave Norway and Sweden licences for mackerel in Canadian waters which would stop the mackerel on their way to the spawning grounds at the end of May.

The Tory government, in the mid to latter part of the 1980s, gave licences to Cuba, Japan, Russia, to five fleets to catch another food of the cod, the squid, off the province of Nova Scotia. Can anyone imagine that?

For the Government of Canada to constantly say that it does not know if it is going to harm the cod fishery if it gives licences for fishing the food of the cod, it should know that the squid that were once in abundance on the coast of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, have disappeared. Why did they disappear? It was not Canadians who made them disappear. It was not Canadians who made the capelin disappear either.

They disappeared because of the foreign nations fishing in Canadian waters with licences given by the Tory administration in Ottawa. The squid come up in a narrow line. They are born in Florida, live for only one year and then go back. They know where to go. They die in Florida at the end of the year. However, the circle they make goes up the east coast of Canada in a thin line. Fishermen refer to it as the trans-Canada highway of squid.

Lo and behold, the previous Tory government gave licences to the Japanese, the Cubans and the Russians to block that passage of squid every single year in the 1980s. That is why we had no squid in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland.

As well, the Tories gave licences for all the fish we do not even think about here like argentine. They also gave licenses for another fish, a scrawny thing with a big swelled head, which reminds me of some of the politicians across the way. They gave licences for every species of fish in our waters and they gave them to foreigners.

Today these opposition parties should be standing up and congratulating the government by saying that this is the best news they have heard since the depletion of the cod fishery. Perhaps it is the single best piece of legislation that could ever be brought before the House of Commons, to be able to arrest stateless vessels that fly no flags and vessels on what is called the high seas outside of Canada's zone.

We need legislation to be able to govern what happens on the high seas, just as we need it when it comes to the attachment of wages act. Certain people in our society are excluded from the attachment of their wages. One of them is somebody who is on the high seas or somebody who is a seaman and another one is somebody in a foreign embassy. However, the government is bringing in legislation so that child support payments and so on can be retrieved from these people. Here is another piece of legislation which will grant the government powers on the high seas.

To conclude, the Bloc is against it, the Reform is against it, the NDP is against it and the Tories are against it. All of these nations quoted by Canadian Press are against it because those nations do not want to have their gigantic, huge draggers stopped around the Canadian coastline from ruining our fishery.

It is a historic day and a historic piece of legislation. Once again it has been brought in by a Liberal administration, the third such piece of legislation we have had in the past 20 years.

Fisheries Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Reform

Mike Scott Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, as always I was very interested to hear the words of my hon. friend. I appreciate the work he does on this issue.

However, as he was speaking he held up a copy of the Fisheries Act amendments and it was plain to see the thickness of that document. There is a lot in that document that goes well beyond what the member was talking about.

We support the idea that Canada should play a much stronger role in managing the fishery in international waters where they affect Canadians and Canadian fishermen. I certainly agree with many of the remarks the member made about the Tories. However, we have all heard the expression: "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water". I am suggesting that with this bill Canadian fishermen and the Canadian people are going to be asked to drink a lot of stinking, rotten bath water to see a baby and that is not acceptable. There is a lot in this bill that is not acceptable and goes well beyond what this member was talking about.

Fisheries Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

George Baker Gander—Grand Falls, NL

Mr. Speaker, I do not know. I did not see anything about dish water or anything like that in the legislation. I have sifted through it for about 15 minutes. I certainly do not see anything there. I suppose the hon. member is talking about the powers that are given to tribunals on each coast.

However, we have not heard the other side of that argument. Under this legislation some decisions are put directly in the hands of those people who are affected by the policies of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. I do not see anything wrong with that. The government should have done that a long time ago.

Overriding all of that is the point that the government is being criticized by many nations today because of this legislation, as per the Canadian Press articles.

This is a great day for Canadian fishermen because the government is finally putting its foot down, putting some teeth in the legislation. The Reform Party and the Bloc should be standing up and saying: "This is a great day. We are going to just cut off debate on this and put it through in one day".

Fisheries Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

The Speaker

Dear colleagues, I know you want to ask questions. Maybe we will be able to hear them after question period.

It being 11 o'clock p.m., the House will now proceed to statements by members.

Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Georgette Sheridan Saskatoon—Humboldt, SK

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak out against violence against women. Less than a decade ago this act was met with snickers in this House.

It is not so today, in part because of the greater number of women who now are represented in Parliament. But it is also because of the many women who refuse to remain silent any longer; groups like Saskatoon's December Memorial Committee, a collective of concerned women and women's groups who recognize that silence allows the violence to continue and who organized "Speaking Out: A Portrait Violence", a two-week awareness program designed to educate and increase public awareness through community events.

I commend the committee for its "Speaking Out" event, a memorial to the tragedy at École Polytechnique, but also a public forum in a safe environment for the survivors of violence to speak out their stories through art, music and words.

The power of their creative works and words brings our society one step closer to zero tolerance of violence against Canada's women and children.

Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Bloc

Maurice Godin Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this national day of remembrance and action on violence against women, it is with sadness that we remember the tragic event at École Polytechnique in Montreal in which 14 young women lost their lives.

That event has deeply marked the collective memory of Quebecers and Canadians. It compels us to think of the actions we must take to counter violence against women.

Too often, men use their physical strength to force women to accept their points of view. We must act on ingrained prejudices which perpetuate the inequality of women at home and in the community. Mentalities are changing but not fast enough. We must act in our families and in our communities to make sure that women always feel safe everywhere.

We must say no, loud and clear, to violence against women. From now on, it is zero tolerance.

Impaired Driving
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Reform

Darrel Stinson Okanagan—Shuswap, BC

Mr. Speaker, today is the national day of remembrance and action on violence against women. One of the greatest sources of violence against women, families and society is drunk driving.

Therefore I ask all hon. members to support Motion No. 78 from the member for Prince George-Bulkley Valley to strengthen penalties in the Criminal Code that deal with impaired driving offences. This would deter others and make penalties reflect the seriousness of this crime.

Representatives of Mothers Against Drunk Driving were here in Ottawa recently. Their executive director told my office: "All the polls we have done say this government has not been proactive on the whole issue of impaired driving".

Yearly over four times more people are killed by drunk drivers than are murdered. Yet this government enacted compulsory gun registration against law-abiding gun owners while it refused to pass Bill C-201 which would have sent drunk drivers who kill to jail for seven years. I urge this government to get its priorities straight and stop drunk driving.

Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Sue Barnes London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, today in communities across Canada, men, women and children are gathering to remember the horrific events which occurred seven years ago at l'École Polytechnique in Montreal. On that December 6, 14 bright young women lost their lives in a senseless act of violence. In my community of London, Ontario there are several events planned to mark this anniversary and to remember all women who suffer violence.

We must help to end the violence with better understanding and education through governmental and non-governmental assistance. We must also do our part as legislators to pass relevant legislative measures.

I commend those who strive every day not only to reduce violence against women but who work with the victims of violence including the husbands, wives, children, siblings and friends who also become victimized, sometimes to the extent that later in life cycles of violence are repeated.

One day a year is set aside to recognize Canada's national day of remembrance and action on violence against women. Today the flag on the Peace Tower is flying at half mast. I strongly urge every Canadian-

Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Nepean.

Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Beryl Gaffney Nepean, ON

Mr. Speaker, 7 years ago 14 bright, promising young women experienced hell on earth. Their crime? They were women. Their sentence was death. As I speak, other Canadian women are experiencing the horror of violence and intimidation.

The only fitting tribute to the slain women of l'École Polytechnique and to all victims of violence is to stop the violence and to say never again. Much is being done and I applaud those working with abused women and children. Services like those offered by the Nepean Community Resource Centre in my Ontario riding are providing counselling, outreach and services for children who witness violence. Those services strive to undo the damage.

Eliminating violence requires a commitment from all individuals. We must reject the stereotyping of women. The media must stop its glorification of violence and legislators at every level must enact laws to better protect our citizens. Canadians must unite against those who wreak death and terror. We must stand up and say never again.

Dr. Charles Huggins
Statements By Members

December 6th, 1996 / 10:55 a.m.

Liberal

John Murphy Annapolis Valley—Hants, NS

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to an exceptional doctor and an outstanding Canadian, Dr. Charles Huggins.

During his career Dr. Huggins was a leader in the field of cancer research. His accomplishments provided a stimulus for future developments in chemotherapy. It was 30 years ago, in 1966, that Dr. Huggins received the Nobel prize for his work in cancer research. Dr. Huggins developed the first non-radioactive, non-toxic chemical treatment for cancer. Prior to receiving this award, only one other surgeon had ever received the Nobel prize.

Dr. Huggins spent most of his working life in the United States but he is a native of Nova Scotia and a graduate of Acadia University in my riding of Annapolis Valley-Hants. As well, he is past chancellor of that university.

I ask all members of the House to join me in recognizing the efforts this exceptional Canadian.

Violence Against Women
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Bloc

Benoît Sauvageau Terrebonne, QC

Mr. Speaker, on this national day of remembrance and action on violence against women, I would first like to address the families and loved ones of the 14 young women killed on December 6, 1989 at the École Polytechnique. All of Quebec and Canada continues to mourn your loss with you.

Such a tragedy must never again be allowed to happen. So that all women can live in safety, not only must we remember the violence experienced by thousands of women every day, but we must also demonstrate a genuine political will to help ensure respect for the integrity of women.

In addition to community action and court challenges, the fight to end violence against women must be added to the political agenda. The safety of 50 per cent of the population concerns everyone. It is up to us to act, and act now.

Taxation
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Reform

Allan Kerpan Moose Jaw—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, recently one of my Reform colleagues introduced a private member's bill extending the child care tax deduction. The key is that the deduction would be converted to a refundable tax credit which would benefit those parents who choose to care for their own children.

Presently a tax deduction can be received if someone else cares for your children but not if you choose to stay home and raise them yourself. As usual, the Liberal government refused to support the bill.

Its solution to helping families cope with the stresses of the nineties is to implement a national day care strategy, a new $700 million bureaucracy. I can well imagine the chaos a program like this will create for families in rural Saskatchewan and indeed in rural Canada.

We all know that an institution is no substitute for the family. In fact, in a Maclean's poll last year, 70 per cent of Canadian families said that if they had the choice they would prefer to have one parent stay home with the children.

Our children are our future and no costly bureaucracy can serve as a replacement for an economically stable and happy family.

Manpower Training
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Ben Serré Timiskaming—French-River, ON

Mr. Speaker, today our government will sign an historic agreement with Alberta, showing that we are keeping our promises to renew federalism.

From the date this agreement takes effect, Alberta will be responsible for all active job measures and job training generally.

In addition, we are continuing to negotiate with the other provinces, and are hopeful that agreements can be signed with them in short order. Our government has set aside a budget of approximately $2 billion to implement this new system.

In our view, what is important is that Canadian workers have access to the best training services possible. Quebec shares this objective with us, and we are certain that we will arrive at an agreement in the very near future.

[English]

Liberal Government
Statements By Members

11:05 a.m.

Liberal

Stan Keyes Hamilton West, ON

Mr. Speaker, in a recent poll conducted by Angus Reid, 59 per cent of Canadians surveyed gave the federal government positive marks for its performance in terms of honesty and ethics. This is in sharp contrast to the legacy left by the previous Tory administration which, save two members now in the House, was wiped out in the last federal election. The people cannot be fooled.

It is comforting to know that despite the meanspirited smear campaign orchestrated by members of the Tory old guard in the Senate, people across this great country say the federal Liberal government is doing an honest job.

The Tories in the other place can sling all the mud they like, but the people of Canada see clearly through their thinly veiled, nasty political trickery.

This government has an impeccably ethical record of accomplishment. I know it, you know it and the Canadian people know it.