Mr. Speaker, the lobster fishery opens today in Nova Scotia. A cloud hangs over the usual excitement and expectations of opening day, a cloud largely created by the Liberal government's fishery policy, a policy which seeks to displace currently licensed fishermen with aboriginal fishermen.
It appears that the fisheries minister has proposed a plan to his cabinet colleagues which would allow for the purchase of three-quarters of the commercial licences in some areas, at a cost of $300 million to $500 million. The impact on coastal communities is something this minister seems to have forgotten with his hare-brained scheme.
Taking three-quarters of the licences will cut the heart out of these vibrant communities. Without the income from lobster, the need for many businesses would vanish. The communities would lose their reason for being. Welfare would replace wages. Out migration would be the order of the day. Killing one community in a misguided effort to inject life into another is not good policy.