Mr. Speaker, first I would like to get some clarification from the NDP member who just spoke. I also want to congratulate him for caring about the groundfish fishery.
Did I hear that the government set up a committee with a majority of members from the Liberal Party of Canada and some opposition members? The committee drafted the report after hearing a number of witnesses from all over Canada, people who were experiencing problems relating to the fisheries, people who had been invited or who had asked to be invited by the committee to make representations.
You will agree that the government spent a lot of money on that committee, which was nothing but window dressing. The whole thing was just for show. The government said “We are listening to you, we are taking note of your claims and we will ask the minister, following your testimonies, to amend various clauses of the bill”.
The report was unanimously approved and signed by all committee members. If I heard right, when the time comes to vote in this House, some members will go so far as to renege on their commitment and deny their involvement as well as the seriousness of the report, supposedly because the government does not recognize the time that members from the NDP, the Reform Party, the Bloc Quebecois and the Progressive Conservative Party have put into the report. We worked with diligence to produce that document. We members of this House have better things to do than just go through the motions when we sit on a parliamentary commission or committee.
I am asking the government and the members who sat on that committee to show some respect. When the House votes on the report, I hope that government members will rise and support it. I would appreciate it if the NDP member could tell the House, or explain more clearly, what happened to make these members vote against a report that they endorsed.