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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was fish.

Last in Parliament September 2021, as Liberal MP for South Shore—St. Margarets (Nova Scotia)

Lost her last election, in 2021, with 37% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Fisheries and Oceans June 21st, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I actually agree with my hon. colleague. We absolutely have expertise on the west coast with regard to the wild Pacific salmon, the declines that we are seeing. That is why we are developing, in collaboration with those organizations, communities, first nations and the Province of British Columbia, the Pacific salmon strategy. This government is very proud of the fact that we are investing $647 million in that strategy.

We know we have to do everything we possibly can to restore wild Pacific salmon.

Fisheries and Oceans June 16th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, we have worked very hard to ensure that we are able to make sure that first nations are able to exercise their right to fish as well as sell fish. We are going to continue to work with the Nuu-chah-nulth first nation to ensure these rights are upheld.

Questions on the Order Paper June 11th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans small craft harbours program, broken down by harbour authority, in response to (a) and (b), the program does not track harbours or harbours authorities by county.

Fisheries and Oceans June 10th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his tireless advocacy on behalf of the hard-working fish harvesters in Bonavista—Burin—Trinity.

Sustaining healthy and protected fisheries, which many communities depend on, is a top priority for this government and we rely on the best available science when making management decisions. Support and confidence in science models and assessments used to determine stock health is critically important, particularly to those whose livelihoods will be impacted by the results and outcomes, so we will be convening a small group of scientists, as requested by the industry, to provide a consensus-based analysis of our assessment models for 3Ps cod over the summer.

We will continue to consult with harvesters on the path forward for this—

Fisheries and Oceans June 8th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam for his advocacy on this file.

I am pleased to announce that through budget 2021, our government is investing $647 million. Today we launched the Pacific salmon strategy initiative. This strategy represents the largest-ever government investment in efforts to save Pacific salmon and is aimed at stopping the declines now, while helping to rebuild populations over the longer term.

We will be working closely with indigenous communities, harvesters, industry, environmental organizations, and provincial and territorial partners to advance actions under each pillar: to stabilize the species and to support a more modern, sustainable and economically resilient sector.

Fisheries and Oceans June 1st, 2021

Mr. Speaker, we have been very clear that first nations have an absolute right to fish for a moderate livelihood. We have put in place a plan this year that allows them to fish for that moderate livelihood as we work toward long-term agreements. The plan we put in place for this year is flexible, it allows first nations to sell their catch and it ensures they are the ones who develop their fishing plans.

We will continue to negotiate for longer-term agreements, because we know how important this is to first nations.

Questions on the Order Paper May 31st, 2021

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Small Craft Harbours program has invested $40,366.50 in the Harbour Authority of Little River, Digby County since 2019, up to and including fiscal year 2020-21. It will invest $50,580 over the next five years, based on existing contribution agreements between the harbour authority and the program.

Please note that the Harbour Authority of Little River ceased to exist in 2018, at which time it was replaced by the Digby Neck Harbour Authority Association. The investments cited in this response include those made or to be made to both entities.

Fisheries and Oceans May 31st, 2021

Mr. Speaker, DFO uses all the best available science in making its decisions with regard to steelhead trout, salmon and every species. We will continue to work with our indigenous partners, the provinces and territories to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect these very endangered species.

Fisheries and Oceans May 27th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, with regard to the ongoing situation concerning moderate livelihood, we are continuing to have negotiations with first nations, as well as making sure that industry is well communicated with. We have put a plan in place for this year where fishers are able to get out on the water with the moderate livelihood fishery. It is a flexible plan. It is a plan that allows them to develop their own fishery plans.

We are committed to finding a path forward. I look forward to working with the hon. member opposite to make sure that we do that.

Questions on the Order Paper May 26th, 2021

Mr. Speaker, Fisheries and Oceans Canada understands how important the Pacific prawn fishery is to British Columbia’s economy and culture. That is why we are making sure that tubbing can continue and harvesters will be able to sell their catch to Canadians to enjoy. This season, we have confirmed our support for an interim protocol that was developed by the industry, which will help prawn harvesters ensure that their catch continues to be sustainable and will be available for sale. We will continue to a take a cautious approach to fisheries management, one that prioritizes the conservation and sustainability of the stocks while also supporting this important industry.

In response to (a), the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, DFO, has not banned the flash-freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea. The practice of flash-freezing prawns whole and individually finger-packed at sea has occurred since the 1990s and remains the predominant product type since the mid-1990s. Tubbing prawn tails at sea in frozen sea water has occurred for a number of years but has not been prevalent, and has grown in recent years. The industry estimates that about 10% of the total prawn catch is tubbed. Prawns are also delivered live.

In response to (b), the requirement to pack prawns in a way such that the size can readily be determined is not a new or recent decision, nor has DFO recently changed its interpretation of the regulations. Any person who catches a fish while commercial fishing must have it packaged in a way that allows for the species, number, weight, and size to be readily determined. This regulation has been in place since 1993 and is essential for DFO to verify harvesters’ catches and properly manage fisheries, particularly in situations where size restrictions apply.

DFO has been actively working with the commercial prawn industry on market traceability for packaging and labelling of prawns frozen at sea. Among the objectives of this project is to limit access to markets for illegal products, and for packaging to be done in a manner that will meet all existing federal and provincial regulations. Over the course of this work, DFO identified our concerns about packaging spot prawn tails in frozen sea water, also known as “tubbing”, in late January 2021.

DFO’s concerns with onboard packaging of prawn tails in tubs of frozen sea water are that this packaging does not enable the determination of the size of prawn tails in the tub, which is a requirement outlined in subsection 36(2) of the fishery general regulations, 1993. Size limits are an important component in managing conservation and the sustainability of the spot prawn. It is important that all packaging at sea allows for size limits to be readily determined by a fishery officer.

In response to (c), over the course of the market traceability work, DFO Pacific region fisheries management and conservation and protection staff identified DFO’s concerns to industry representatives about packaging spot prawn tails in frozen sea water.

In response to (d), as described in earlier responses, there was no decision made to ban freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea. The minister and her office were made aware of industry concerns about the prospect that tubbing may not meet regulatory requirements through industry outreach to her office and briefings from DFO officials in early March.

In response to (e), size limits were first introduced in 1988 based on scientific research published in 1985. Size limits are an important component in managing the sustainability of the prawn fishery and are based also on recommendations from industry. A size limit allows prawns to grow, reach sexual maturity, and mate prior to being harvested. It also allows for increased growth prior to harvest. Harvesting prawns at a larger size increases the weight and value, price paid per pound, improving economic return.

In response to (f), an analysis was conducted in 1985 estimating the increased dollar value and price to harvest prawns at a larger age and size. Size limits are an important component in managing the sustainability of the prawn fishery and are based also on recommendations from industry.

In response to (g), as described in earlier responses, there was no decision made to ban freezing or tubbing of prawns at sea. As a result of DFO’s collaboration with industry, the Pacific Prawn Fishermen’s Association, which represents commercial prawn fishery licence-holders, has developed a protocol that provides guidance to harvesters on steps they can take this year to help them comply with the regulations that require them to keep their catch readily available for inspection by fishery officers, including catch frozen in tubs. DFO supports its use as an interim approach for 2021. The commercial fishery is scheduled to open May 14, 2021 and usually closes by end of June. DFO will continue to engage with industry over the coming year to determine a longer-term solution.

In response to (h), DFO officials have been meeting with commercial prawn fishery representatives on this issue over the past several months. DFO recently convened a working group with fishing industry representatives to explore options for addressing the tubbing issue for 2021. The protocol is a result of this work. DFO will continue to work with industry to transition to packaging practices or other measures that will allow size limits to be readily determined over the coming year.

In response to (i), no negative impacts are expected for export or domestic markets. DFO does not anticipate higher expenses for fishermen or higher prices for Canadian consumers. DFO is aware of the importance of tubbing to some harvesters. A protocol has been developed to provide guidance to harvesters on steps they can take this year to help them comply with the regulations that require them to keep their catch readily available for inspection by fishery officers, including catch frozen in tubs. DFO conservation and protection will apply discretion in its enforcement approach for the 2021 fishing season, recognizing the effort industry has made to establish the protocol and the challenges industry faces this year, while the development of different packaging practices or other measures is completed over the coming year.