Madam Chair, I want to be clear about something. The ultimate responsibility for the management of the fisheries lies with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. It has been said here that the advice we got and which we acted upon last year in the southern gulf said that we should not cut. We acted on that advice.
My son is seven years old. He was riding his bike the other day and he rode it down a hill with his friends. He ran it over a cliff and he bruised his knee. I asked him what he did that for. He said that his friends told him to do it. I told him not to just follow his friends, but to do what is right.
It seems to me there is a disconnect here. The minister is saying that they told her to do it, so she had no choice, that she just did what she was told. The truth is that the minister was told by DFO science for several years previous to this year to make cuts. She did not listen. She skinned her knee and the problem is that she skinned the knee of every crab fisherman in the southern gulf. If there was one responsible action that could have been taken, it would have been to take the necessary cuts when they were prescribed by DFO science, not to wait for it to build up.
There is an illusion here that they will not do what happened to northern cod. They did exactly that, because this is exactly what happened with northern cod. Scientific advice came in to Bernard Valcourt, Tom Siddon, John Crosbie and Ross Reid in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and finally in 1992. They did not take the advice. Finally, John Crosbie had to shut the whole works down.
That is exactly what happened in the southern gulf. Scientific advice was coming in. The ministers just did not do anything about it and that seems to be a shame.