moved for leave to introduce Bill C-500, An Act to amend the Navigable Waters Protection Act (ocean watersheds).
Mr. Speaker, this bill is designed to protect Labrador watersheds. Changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act mean only a handful of the millions of lakes and rivers in Canada will now be protected, none in Labrador. No rivers or lakes in Labrador will be protected, which means projects that could affect navigation and projects that could affect habitat and passage of fish can proceed without the permit that once would have been required.
Newfoundland and Labrador has more than 60% of North America's best Atlantic salmon rivers, with some rivers having annual runs of up to 30,000 fish, but that is nothing compared to the salmon runs of decades ago. Labrador's commercial salmon fishery has been shut down since the early 1990s because of low salmon returns, and now the Conservatives are going to put what is left of our salmon in further jeopardy.
The Conservative government should be ashamed of itself. Its management of the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery has been a disgrace, and this is yet another slap in the face.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)