Mr. Speaker, I recently received a fax from a constituent, Phylys Wolfe, who wonders just how many more hare-brained scams the government can think up to drive fishermen crazy and into the poor house.
This time it is a MED and safety and firefighting survival course on board fishing boats. This law was supposed to be in effect since 1997 but no one thought to tell the fishermen about it until this winter.
There are 3,200 licences in the Scotia Fundy region, representing about 10,000 fishermen. The government expects all these fishermen to take this course. This will cost every fisherman $700 out of their own pockets for this five day course. There are only five people in all of Nova Scotia to teach this course and they can handle only 24 people per course. Those who do not have a certificate for this course are liable to lose their boat, their licence or receive a fine.
If a skipper hires a crew for one week, one month or two days, that person is supposed to have this course. Now—