moved for leave to introduce Bill C-518, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act (closed containment aquaculture).
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to introduce a bill that aims to strengthen the Fisheries Act by requiring fish farm operations on B.C.'s west coast to move to close containment. The bill directs the fisheries minister to develop, table and implement a transition plan outlining how fish farm operations would make that move. The plan must ensure that those currently working in the industry would be protected during this transition.
New Democrats believe environmental protection not only can but must coexist with economic prosperity. In fact, British Columbia's well-being, indeed Canada's well-being depends on it.
The idea for this bill came from Thea Block, a 16-year-old student from Glenlyon Norfolk School in Victoria. Her entry was the winner in the hon. member for Victoria's, “Create Your Canada” contest which was held late last year.
Last summer Thea worked on a fish boat with her dad. They run a small fish operation that relies on healthy wild salmon. Thea wants future generations to be able to enjoy wild salmon just like she and so many others have. She does not want it spoiled because we did not take steps to protect B.C.'s wild salmon.
Amending the Fisheries Act and moving to closed containment is a step toward ensuring our wild salmon remain healthy for generations to come. I hope all members of the House will support this bill.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)