Mr. Speaker, I appreciated the remarks of the member because I too am deeply troubled by the supreme court decision in the Marshall case.
I do not agree with him however that we should seek a stay and go back to the courts for interpretation. I suggest to the hon. member that the courts have already done enough damage with their decisions. To leave it to the courts to determine what a moderate livelihood is would be like a game of Russian roulette. I am afraid parliament and both sides of the dispute will be the ones who will suffer from it.
I address my remark to the member. My own feeling is that surely the better way to approach this problem is for parliament, through its elected government and through the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, to put his own interpretation on moderate livelihood and apply that interpretation. That court decision is so vague. As somebody who has spent my life in words, I find that the judges have actually put words into a treaty that did not exist and used that as a basis for an interpretation. It really reduces this place to insignificance when courts can apply judgments to laws that we have not created, as they have done in this case with the British treaty of 1760.
I ask the member, if it were a choice, is it not better for the government to act swiftly and unilaterally and do its own interpretation?