Madam Chair, the fallback position of the government seems to be to question the opposition, as if they were currently the minister of fisheries and oceans.
We are not the minister of fisheries and oceans. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans office is with the government side. The fallback position betrays something. It betrays the fact that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans did not act on science. The science was clear. The evidence of the existence of the science was clear.
For the record, I read again what Marc Lanteigne, a DFO crab scientist based in Moncton, said to each and every one of us, “The decline has been quite dramatic over the last few years”.
That shows that DFO science was providing advice to this minister for several years, telling the department and the minister, whether it be the former minister prior to October 2008 or the current minister of today, that the crab stocks in the southern Gulf of Saint Lawrence were in trouble.
If that indeed was the case, it was either that science failed in its responsibility to provide that advice or that the minister failed over the last several years to do what was necessary. There is no fallback position here. The buck stops with the minister. Under the act, the minister has the ultimate final authority.
I would like to know from this member for Acadie—Bathurst whether or not that minister has served the people of Acadie—Bathurst, of the southern Gulf of Saint Lawrence, well.