Mr. Speaker, as fisheries critic for the Progressive Conservative Party, I am proposing this motion for an emergency debate, seconded by the hon. member for Beauséjour—Petitcodiac.
Tensions are heightening across the country as transportation is threatened and the potential for civil unrest is extremely real. I have a report this morning that as many as 850 boats in Nova Scotia are prepared to steam to Burnt Church, New Brunswick, and there is more talk of native roadblocks going up across the country.
A search for a solution appears to have collapsed. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans appears to be in conflict with the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. The Government of Canada is not speaking with one voice on this issue and the House needs to hear from the government.
Again, there is a real danger of civil unrest if the people affected do not see that there is a possibility for future discussions. A House debate would offer another opportunity for dialogue and movement on this issue.
The House and the Speaker should give the government another opportunity to talk to the communities affected by ordering a special debate. We have no other chance to raise this issue and a full airing must be presented to the House to avoid confrontation.
We, the Parliament of Canada, must be the voice to raise this issue and, through our debate, get people talking again. If we fail in this duty, it is my great fear that the people around Miramichi Bay, representing both natives and non-natives, will see this as an abdication of our duty and take matters into their own hands.