moved for leave to introduce Bill C-636, An Act respecting the Marine Mammal Regulations (seal fishery observation licence).
Mr. Speaker, our government supports the legitimate economic activities of all Canadians, and that includes the 6,000 Canadian families who derive part of their income from the sealing industry. Whether it is opening new markets or protecting traditional ones, Canadian sealers know our government has their back.
The bill I am introducing today is about protecting our sealers on the very ice where they conduct the seal hunt. In fact, in 2008 the Canadian Coast Guard had to seize a vessel and arrest European activists who were putting sealers' lives at risk by coming dangerously close to the hunt. This practice was breaking up the ice floe under which our sealers' feet tread while they are trying to conduct the hunt.
Canadian sealers have nothing to hide from legitimate observers. However, for dangerous radicals like this, with the stated aim not of observing the seal hunt but of disrupting the seal hunt, this bill proposes to amend the marine mammal regulations to increase the distance these individuals can get to the hunt.
It is about protecting our sealers, and it is the right thing to do.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)