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House of Commons Hansard #19 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was fishery.

Topics

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I appreciate the hon. member's wishes. Unfortunately, the rules do not permit me to add the extra time to the 10 minutes allowed for questions and comments following on the hon. member's speech, unless the House gives its consent to do that. We will start with questions and comments.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:25 p.m.

Victoria B.C.

Liberal

David Anderson LiberalMinister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, now you are sitting down and my mike works. It is the part of your body that activates the mikes that intrigues us all.

The hon. member has said that nothing has been done to assist displaced west coast fishermen. I want to ask him this question. Is he aware that 54 weeks ago the job protection commissioner of the province of British Columbia and the province of British Columbia requested that the federal government spend $20 million on assistance for displaced fishers?

Is he aware that since then we have in fact under programs with HRD in co-operation with local community groups spent $21 million under that initial program, that we have another $7.6 million being spent under that program and that we have in addition $15 million for habitat programs out of the Department of the Environment, of which $7.25 million will be put out this year and the remainder in later years?

Is he aware we have spent more than 50% over and above what was requested by the job protection commissioner and the province of British Columbia over one year ago?

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, the $15 million the minister refers to is a separate announcement. It has nothing to do with the $30 million that was promised.

The political apparatus of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is playing a shell game with people in British Columbia. It wants to count the same money two, three or four times and make two, three or four announcements.

I understand that the money that has been allocated, without the shell game and depending on how you count it, is somewhere between $12 and $18 million. These are the best numbers I have. The minister is saying it is $21 million and $7.6 million. If those numbers are correct, I would be very happy to receive documentation from the minister. I will certainly go out of my way to apologize to him if those numbers are clean and do not reflect previous announcements, which is what keeps happening in most people's opinion.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:30 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, my question for the Reform member from Vancouver Island is more or less a statement and is a clarification of what the minister said earlier.

I believe that no one has defended the rights of scientists to speak more than I have in the House of Commons by continually asking for a judicial inquiry.

I reiterate two points for the member from the Reform. First, because he has a lot of concerns with the science that is going on and the misinformation that is appearing, will he join me in calling for an inquiry?

Second, the minister spoke earlier about the faith that he has in the expertise of the scientists within the DFO. He failed to mention that the DFO still has to go through another two years of cuts. He failed to mention that the coast guard, since its merger with DFO, has turned one of the finest institutes in the world, the Bedford Institute of Technology, into a morale mess. It is one of the finest institutes of the world for fisheries and oceans studies. The morale in that building in Bedford, Nova Scotia is at an all-time low because of the policies of the federal government.

Will he now join with me in asking the minister and the government to remove this suppression or gag order from scientists so that they can speak freely about their findings and their interpretation of science, without fear of losing their jobs?

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1:30 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the questions.

I would like to take the three questions I detected in the intervention in reverse order.

In regard to the DFO and the coast guard, depending on which part of the country you go to, there are regional differences as to who has had the most dramatic impact on whom. In some cases the coast guard has been the loser. In other cases DFO has been the loser in this amalgamation.

We do not think there has to be a loser. We think the mandate of the coast guard is best fulfilled not through an amalgamation with fisheries and oceans. They have a mutually exclusive mandate. We think the coast guard should be a part of the military. That would fix the whole problem. We are in some general concurrence.

This certainly has created problems with respect to the cuts the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is suffering. Our major observation is that the field operations and the regional services are the ones that take the brunt of the cuts. The centralized operation, particularly in Ottawa, has actually added personnel in a high-priced category over the last two or three years. We think this is absolutely and totally inappropriate.

As for calling for an inquiry, we are talking about the rights of scientists. Science should be on the table. The public should know what the science is. That will keep the politicians honest when they make moves which might go against the science. The way to make that happen is through structural change and legislation which ensures that scientists have freedom in making their opinions known.

That is the way to go, as opposed to a full blown inquiry, because an inquiry will inevitably get bogged down. As well, if the inquiry is not going the way the administration wants it to go, it will end up being ineffectual, just like several of the inquiries we have seen in recent times.

That is a more practical and immediate way for us to go. That is what I would promote.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:35 p.m.

Reform

Eric C. Lowther Reform Calgary Centre, AB

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the member to comment on a news item which was recently reported. A well known premier in the Atlantic region decided to step down and, having stepped down, he was free to speak his mind. Mr. Frank McKenna announced that he felt the grants and subsidies which had been provided to the Atlantic region had effectively become an opiate for that region. He was advocating that maybe one of the best thing that could be done would be to have a tax reduction in that region.

I wonder if the hon. member would be willing to speak to that particular item.

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1:35 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan Reform Vancouver Island North, BC

Mr. Speaker, I certainly spoke about tax measures which could be taken. We also have other things in mind for the Atlantic region which we think are very positive.

There is a market of 14 million people between the Atlantic provinces and New England and there are very poor infrastructure links at the current time. A very solid way for government to invest in the Atlantic region would be to ensure that those infrastructure links are strengthened.

We have seen a strong report from the port of Halifax. The Halifax Chamber of Commerce estimated in 1996 that conversion to a post panamax port would result in 24,000 full time permanent jobs in that area. That is the kind of proposal which we think the federal government should be strongly behind.

We know that one of the major problems in developing a non-subsidized seal industry on the east coast is the bureaucratic inspection system on meat products coming from seals which basically categorizes the seal as a fish rather than a mammal. It has become a real problem.

We think the government has shown a lack of resolve on the Voisey's Bay operation. This is a major employer. Thousands of people could be put to work and it is being held up because of bureaucratic red tape and a lack of resolve emanating right here in Ottawa.

Those are some very strong ideas. As I mentioned before, we have alternative fisheries, we have aquacultural opportunities, and they just get totally bogged down because the department is playing by old, timid rules. There is no advocacy going on, other than for the way things have been done before. It is just not working. We need major structural, systemic change. We need to re-focus.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Hubbard Liberal Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time this afternoon with the hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway.

This morning the fisheries committee met and we heard from various fisher people in Atlantic Canada and some of their concerns with the TAGS policy. They are concerns which we hope we can hear in the committee on fisheries and oceans.

In the weeks ahead under the capable leadership of our chairperson, we will try to hear the reports from Atlantic Canada and the concerns with the fishery, and hopefully provide some solutions to what their concerns might be.

I come from a community in which the fishery is very important. In fact, the community has approximately 10 small fishing wharves and approximately 400 boats that are out on the water during the fishing seasons. There are three fish plants relying on the resources from the sea.

I think we in Atlantic Canada appreciate the fact that the sea is a great resource for all of us. We go out with our boats, we get our gear, our nets together and of course, hopefully we will have a successful fishing season.

For those involved with the groundfish, especially cod, the last 10 years have not been good. In fact the past five years when they were not able to fish in most areas has been a tremendous blight on the economy in Atlantic Canada. I am glad that the House has taken a day to look at these problems of the Atlantic fishery, and also to discuss some of the problems on the west coast.

This year we celebrated the 500th anniversary of the landing of Cabot's ship on the shores of Newfoundland. For at least 500 years, in fact before 1497, the Grand Banks and those waters off the coast of Newfoundland were looked on as a tremendous resource for fish, that great protein source that our people have. For almost 500 years we have had a successful fishery.

I think all of us in this House recognize that in the last 30 or 40 years our fishing techniques, our new methods and all those ships that are coming from offshore to visit our waters have put a tremendous drain on that great fishery.

In terms of our own area, the Miramichi, which I mentioned before, we have had to look at difficult situations in terms of our own fisheries. In fact, if we look at the last decade, most of the fishermen on the Miramichi who hold groundfish licences have not been able to fish groundfish.

None of them have participated in the TAGS program because, as fishermen, they saw the decline of the cod stocks in the last generation as a reason why they should not be out fishing that resource. They have waited for a return of the cod fishery and they have waited in vain because right now, we still do not see prospects of the cod returning to Miramichi Bay.

We have seen in terms of our Atlantic salmon that, since the 1970s, the Atlantic salmon has no longer been a commercial fishery. In fact, the several hundred fishermen who had that as part of their licences in the early 1960s and into the 1970s, have had to give up those licences.

Many of them sold them back to the government. In any case, the Atlantic salmon fishery has declined to the stage where today it is only a recreational fishery and then only in terms of a limited catch that can be kept by any recreational fisherman.

In fact this year the recreational fishery in the Miramichi is allowed approximately eight tags. Among those eight tags, they are only allowed to keep the smaller fish which are referred to as grilse, which are less than 26 inches in length.

We heard across the House the problems of the hatcheries. I think I would be remiss if I did not point out that I was a bit disappointed to find that this year DFO has closed all the hatcheries in Atlantic Canada.

In my own case of the Miramichi, we had the oldest fish hatchery in Canada trying to promote and enhance the Atlantic salmon. That hatchery, which existed since before Confederation is a historical site in terms of our sites and monuments. It is sometimes called the oldest hatchery in North America and was turned over this month to a local group that is attempting now to run it on a limited budget. DFO should be criticized for having closed the Atlantic salmon hatcheries.

In terms of our lobster fishery we have to look at the concept of gear. Most of our lobster fishermen, for example, had 350 traps they could put in the water. Historically they were traps made of wood approximately three feet in length. Putting out 350 traps has been changed now to the concept of putting out steel traps which are four feet in length. Many lobster fishermen are concerned what effect a change in gear will have on that fishery, the main source for fishermen on Miramichi Bay.

We also have to think about what fish really are. They are a resource. They travel across the great oceans of this continent. They are available not only to Canadian fishermen but to many other fishermen who visit our waters and fish sometimes within the 200 mile limit with the permission of our country and often times outside the 200 mile limit.

We think of the Americans, our neighbours. We think of the French fleet that sometimes fish off the shores of St. Pierre and Michelon. We think of the Spaniards and other members of the European Union who fish off our shores. In other words, they have tremendous pressure on the Atlantic fishery.

The minister and his officials have worked hard through such organizations as NASCO and NAFO to try to make international arrangements by which our fishing resources could be enhanced and conserved for future generations. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Department of External Affairs have to look at concepts and agreements among the various nations of the world.

We think of the tremendous tuna resource we have today. It is worth as much as $30 a pound to some of our Atlantic fishermen. Those tuna are being chased not only by our Atlantic fishery but by other nations of the world, especially Japan.

I hope the minister will look at some of the communications problems of his department. If we look at politicians in the House today, some criticize us for what has happened to the fishery. Others will criticize our scientists. Some criticize the very management of DFO. We have to recognize that there has to be better communications.

For a good period of time we have heard concerns about seals and how they are affecting cod stocks off the coast of Atlantic Canada. A tremendous report produced by our science division indicated that the seals were not a major source of difficulty in terms of how many cod stocks they were eating. The report went on to say that seals were caught and dissected and their stomach contents indicated they had eaten very few cod.

I showed that report to some fishermen in the area of Hardwicke. After reading the report an elderly fisherman said to me “When there is no codfish for fishermen, how could there be codfish for the seals?”

Sometimes we look at science but science has to be measured against the people who are out there fishing, the people with experience, the people who know what their jobs are all about.

Today we hear of the many changes happening within DFO. We hear that fees are being charged. We hear there are observers out there and that various methods are being used. We commend the department for some of those steps it has taken.

In any case, as a member from Atlantic Canada I want to say that it is very complex. We cannot point fingers but we have to look at the fact that this resource has tremendous pressure on it. We cannot really blame those who are here today or those who were here before us. Many people have relied on that source of income. Certainly many fishing people, especially in Newfoundland, relied on TAGS and are concerned. We have to be concerned that the human needs of every person in this great country of ours are met.

From the west coast we have the hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway. I am sure she will take some time to talk about the west coast fishery, but in terms of the east coast I hope we as parliamentarians can work together to offer some vision and some possible solution to a very complex and difficult problem.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Lee Morrison Reform Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Mr. Speaker, I am interested in the fact that although he comes from the Miramichi the hon. member has extended his comments to the outer shelf, which is what I want to address in my question. I know there are no sharks in the Miramichi except perhaps for a few Liberal bagmen, but we will not worry about them.

I want to speak for the sharks. I wonder what the hon. member thinks about the fact that the shark population in the north Atlantic, including our territorial waters, is being decimated. The sharks are being taken in almost unlimited quantities. It is a fishery of unbelievable cruelty. It makes any other branch of the fishery or the sealery seem utterly benign.

When they destroy sharks as they surely will—these things will become extinct—we will lose the main control on the seal population that exists. This in turn filters down to the fish which provide the increased numbers of seals with their sustenance.

Why is the DFO not out there doing a little surveillance, some controlling and keeping people from decimating the shark population?

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Hubbard Liberal Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, I certainly want to try to reply to the hon. member. I know he has been in the cattle business and in the oil business. I believe he has a son who has been connected with the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. He has a very broad knowledge in terms of all this, a knowledge that probably surpasses some of my own.

We have to look at the fact that Canada alone cannot control all of that. In terms of the tuna, swordfish and sharks, it is part of our international obligations. We have to negotiate with other countries in terms of those species.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, I have the pleasure of representing Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough which is almost three-quarters surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. I have a great number of fisher persons in that riding who are having tremendous difficulty in getting consultation with the government, members of DFO, and in particular members of the ministry of fisheries office.

With respect to consultation and the idea of fisher persons having direct input into the policy process and procedure by which they are governed, what is the government doing in a substantial way to foster this ability for actual input and consultation?

The Canso Trawlerman's Association and Pat Fougere have been repeatedly trying to have a meeting with the minister of fisheries as have the zone 18 fishermen and crab fishermen. The idea of information flowing back and forth is a substantial problem that needs to be addressed.

I am very interested to hear what the hon. member proposes in terms of increased consultation and input from those in the industry who have the most working knowledge of the problems that face fishermen on both coasts of this great country.

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1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Hubbard Liberal Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, the member mentions a good point. Only this morning our committee met by video conference with Mr. Sam Ellsworth, president of the Halifax West Commercial Fishmen's Association, and Mr. Ron Newell, president of the Southwest Fishermen's Quota Group, Halifax. Our committee will certainly be visiting the east coast. I hope we will hear input from all.

As my speech indicated, fishermen with experience are just as important to us as those scientists who have Ph.Ds but have never set foot on some of the great ships and boats out there fishing on our waters.

I think we will hear from all groups. I know the minister will be interested in hearing our report.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

NDP

Angela Vautour NDP Beauséjour—Petitcodiac, NB

Mr. Speaker, the member for Miramichi is quite aware of the situation in our region where the cost of unemployment insurance has made it extremely difficult for people to survive in rural communities. On top of that the federal government, DFO, has opted out of the funding of wharfs.

Does the member for Miramichi recognize that this is a problem? Is he willing to work on making sure that our fishermen have secure decent wharfs from which to fish?

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Hubbard Liberal Miramichi, NB

Mr. Speaker, it is not often one is given an opportunity to speak of constituent concerns directly on the floor of the House.

We do have 10 wharfs. We are very pleased that in most of those areas fishermen's committees have been set up. In terms of the member asking the question, the nearest one I have to her constituency is the wharf at Saint-Louis de Kent which together with the wharfs at Point Sapin and Escuminac are attempting to provide resources. A significant amount of money was granted to the wharf at Saint-Louis. The committee, under the leadership of Gerald Robichaud, has done very well in trying to meet the needs of the fishermen in that area.

SupplyGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Deputy Speaker

I believe the time for questions and comments consequent on the hon. member's speech has expired. In light of the hour we will proceed to statements under Standing Order 31.

Réal CaouetteStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Guy St-Julien Liberal Abitibi, QC

Mr. Speaker, those who knew Réal Caouette remember his famous phrase: “Write me in Ottawa. No need for a stamp, it will get to me”. Now he has his own stamp.

We are paying tribute not just to a politician, but to a friend. Mrs. Suzanne Curé-Caouette said that her husband would have been very pleased and honoured to know that Canada was recognizing what he had done for the country. She said that “throughout his career, he tried to bring people together and to make politics understandable”.

Réal Caouette was born in Amos in 1917. He became a national political force when he took up the leadership of the Quebec Social Credit movement in 1939 and was elected to the House of Commons in 1946. Everyone will remember his television broadcasts in which he sometimes used a blackboard to get his point across.

Thank you, Réal, and thank you, Suzanne.

Rights Of VictimsStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Chuck Cadman Reform Surrey North, BC

Mr. Speaker, last week I spoke with a woman in Duncan, British Columbia, whose sister was killed by her husband six years ago. He got one year because he was drunk. She told me that at that time the family was assured it would be notified of any change in the offender status.

A few weeks ago a friend called to tell her that her sister's killer was spotted in a nearby town. He was released on early parole and they were not told anything. This woman and her family are terrified of him. There is also a very real concern that he may attempt to gain custody of his daughter who witnessed the killing.

I asked if they had made request for notification in writing as is required by the parole board, and she told me that they had not because nobody told them that they should. They were merely told that they would be notified.

Although this case is provincial due to the light sentence, it is typical of stories coming out of the federal system. It is high time the solicitor general took appropriate steps to ensure that victims are properly informed of their rights.

Small Business WeekStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, we must take advantage of Small Business Week to recall the importance of small businesses to the economy of Quebec. In 1995, there were 177,000 businesses with fewer than five employees. If we add to that the 436,000 self-employed workers, we have some idea of the changes the work force is currently undergoing.

Moreover, between 1978 and 1995, the proportion of total jobs which were in businesses with 50 employees or less rose from 28% to 38%, while the proportion for large businesses dropped from 46% to 37%.

These entrepreneurs and self-employed workers work hard. Often, their businesses are less cost-effective. They have trouble getting credit, and even more trouble obtaining the risk capital that is so indispensable for startup and for growth, which is always a perilous undertaking.

Women are increasingly achieving success in these areas. Let us pay homage to these men and women, whose efforts must be given more than mere lip service.

Green-A-ThonStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Julian Reed Liberal Halton, ON

Mr. Speaker, cleaning up our environment and making a difference in our community is not only on the minds of our leaders but is important to Canada's youth as well.

On Friday, October 24, 1997 McKenzie-Smith Bennett public school, Robert Little public school and St. Joseph's separate school, all of Acton, Ontario in my riding of Halton, will be holding a Green-A-Thon.

Some 1,300 students will participate in this event along with teachers and supervisors. The Credit Valley conservation authority has also been working very closely with the schools in planning the activities. The children will be raking leaves for seniors and the town churches in addition to cleaning up creeks as well as school property.

I commend the efforts made by all the teachers and students in making this event possible. I wish them much success in this endeavour.

FisheriesStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Charles Caccia Liberal Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, what is the real cause of dwindling fish stocks? Is it greedy seals or is it overfishing?

Until a few days ago fisheries officers were engaged in a seal cull in British Columbia. The purpose of the cull was said to be saving endangered stocks of chinook salmon, cutthroat trout and steelheads.

Is killing seals a desirable solution or should we instead sustain the fishery? Should we harvest more than nature can replace or instead stay within the limits imposed by nature?

To achieve sustainable development we need long term sustainable solutions. The recovery of an endangered species does not justify the destruction of another species.

The problem lies not with seals but with us.

Impaired DrivingStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

Dick Harris Reform Prince George—Bulkley Valley, BC

Mr. Speaker, in 1996 impaired driving killed over 1,700 people in Canada and injured more than 100,000. This epidemic which is causing these terrible tragedies shows no sign of decreasing.

Representatives of MADD Canada are in Ottawa this week to talk to members of Parliament and reinforce just how serious this problem is.

It is crucial that federal and provincial governments stop treating impaired driving as simply another social ill. In fact, impaired driving is a senseless crime that can be eradicated if we have the will to do it.

Governments must adopt a zero tolerance policy toward impaired driving. Anything short of this will simply result in more senseless deaths.

I ask my colleagues in the House to join with me to fight against impaired driving, to ensure that more innocent Canadians do not become victims of irresponsible impaired drivers.

MiningStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Bonin Liberal Nickel Belt, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the mining industry's continued support to community development throughout Canada.

Last week Falconbridge Limited pledged a $360,000 donation to the Cambrian College Special Needs Regional Resource Centre in the region of Sudbury. In turn, the membership of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers CAW Local 598 pledged an additional $10,000 and the United Steel Workers of America Local 6855 pledged $3,000 to the centre.

The special needs centre is a world class institution that provides students with disabilities the tools and skills to reach their full academic and employment potential.

The generosity of the Falconbridge nickel mines and its employees clearly demonstrates their commitment to the community. We thank them and applaud them.

Small Business WeekStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Robert Bertrand Liberal Pontiac—Gatineau—Labelle, QC

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday the Business Development Bank of Canada presented the prestigious Young Entrepreneur Awards for the 10th year in a row.

At a special awards ceremony held at the Metro Toronto Convention Center, 12 outstanding young business people aged 29 and under from each province and territory were honoured. This ceremony officially launched Small Business Week.

Winners were chosen by a panel of judges made up of business professionals, entrepreneurs, members of local boards of trade and chambers of commerce, and representatives from the Export Development Corporation and BDC.

They were judged on operating success, connection with new economy activities, innovation and community involvement. The bank also introduced the Export Achievement Award, which was presented to one of the 12 winners. This award is presented by the Export Development Corporation in partnership with BDC.

Congratulations to the young winners.

Marine PilotsStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, QC

Mr. Speaker, a momentous event recently took place in the port of Quebec City.

One of the largest drilling rigs in the world, the Spirit of Columbus , arrived in Quebec City. Anyone who knows the St. Lawrence River well can appreciate that, were it not for the skill of the St. Lawrence pilots, this rig would never have made it into the port in Quebec City.

I would like to pay special tribute to all members of the Corporation of the Lower St. Lawrence Pilots, who, through their determination, courage and expertise, were able to convince the port of Quebec City, Hydro-Québec and Petrobas officials that their rig could arrive safely in port.

The association's president, Paul-Yvan Viel, and the president of the international association of marine pilots, Michel Pouliot, themselves acted as pilots to guide the Spirit of Columbus to Quebec City.

Congratulations and hurray for our Quebec marine pilots.

ViolenceStatements By Members

October 23rd, 1997 / 2:05 p.m.

Liberal

Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, from October 19 to October 25 the YWCA of/du Canada is holding the second annual YWCA Week Without Violence.

This important international initiative is being held in 17 countries and recognizes the devastating economic, social and health consequences violence produces.

Consider these statistics. More than 100 women are victims of domestic homicide every year by an actual or former husband or common law partner. Approximately one-half of women 16 and over have been victims of violence as defined by the Canadian Criminal Code. The great majority of personal crimes committed against women are not reported to the police. Sixty per cent of women in Canada are afraid to walk alone in their neighbourhoods after dark. Boys who have witnessed violence against their mothers eventually tend to be more violent toward their spouses. Violence costs the Canadian economy approximately $4 billion every year.

This year 36 YWCAs and YMCAs across Canada are working to find solutions to violence. I am proud to offer my support to the YWCA—