Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.
The west coast fishery is on the brink of disaster. The department of fisheries has reduced its number of officers from 153 to 85, with a further 25 per cent reduction over the next three years.
Some have been replaced by native fisheries officers whose only mandate is to monitor the fishing activities of their own reserves. As a result of this and other closures fish stocks are being decimated.
Given these facts why is the minister closing the fisheries office in Sooke, B.C., and decreasing the number of fisheries officers who are on the front lines of the war on poaching in this area?