moved for leave to introduce Bill C-629, An Act to amend the Fisheries Act (invasive carp).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduced an act today to amend the Fisheries Act to deal with invasive carp.
Currently, more than 20 federal and provincial policies and regulations are used to keep Asian carp out of the country, but they vary from province to province, and fines are often subjective and issued by judges.
Why would we need to do this? It is because we need to provide protection for our ecosystem, protection for our fishing industry, and protection for our sport fishing industry. Asian carp are intrusive and eat the types of materials that other fish do, which ends up starving our fish population. They are very dangerous, as we have seen in the Mississippi River.
The bill would change the system and would be a pan-Canadian strategy. First, it would make it illegal to import live, invasive carp of all types and would require that any dead carp be eviscerated or technically gutted. Second, it would allow the Canadian Border Service Agency to seize and send carp back to their country of origin immediately. This is important for our men and women on the front lines in Canada so that they are able to defend us with this actual protection.
Last, it would increase fines. They would be $15,000 for individuals and $75,000 for companies guilty of smuggling in Asian carp on the first offence. The fines could rise to as much as $1 million and $4 million respectively for repeat offences.
It is vital that we start protecting our Great Lakes and other Canadian waterways from these invasive species. This bill is a step in that direction.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)