Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring to the attention of both the minister of fisheries and the minister of aboriginal affairs the concerns brought to my attention by the fishing community of Bella Bella. It is seeking access to an increase in its allocation of the herring spawn on kelp fishery.
The fisheries minister must approve the 2002 management plan for this fishery in two weeks. As time is of the essence I urge the ministers to give serious consideration to the Heiltsuk band request given its current unemployment situation and the spinoff income this would produce for the town of Bella Bella. Obviously conservation and other user requirements must also be taken into consideration when deciding on allocation levels.
As the MP representing this area I urge both the minister of fisheries and the minister of aboriginal affairs to deal with this request immediately. I note for the House that representatives of the Heiltsuk band are in Ottawa today and are prepared to meet.