Mr. Speaker, I rise today to propose an emergency debate on the urgent need for the federal government to address the domestic violence against the Mi'kmaq fishers in Nova Scotia and their constitutionally affirmed right to fish, as confirmed by the Marshall decision in 1999 to earn a moderate livelihood through fishing.
With increased incidents of domestic terrorism, I believe this meets the bar of Standing Order 52, section (6)(a) that the matter proposed be a “genuine emergency, calling for immediate and urgent consideration”. The debate is urgent and must take place tonight due to the government's inadequate response to this crisis.
As parliamentarians, we must take immediate action to protect the constitutionally enshrined rights of Mi'kmaq fishers and make sure they are kept safe from ongoing threats and acts of violence. We must ensure that the federal government is taking immediate action to provide justice for the Mi'kmaq victims of violence.
Lastly, we must make sure that the government is at the table, protecting the human rights of the Mi'kmaq people and their right to fish for a moderate livelihood, as was affirmed 21 years ago. The right was already determined in the Marshall case and the 1752 treaty.
Given the urgency for a peaceful and equitable resolution to this crisis, I believe it is important to hold an emergency debate in Parliament today.