Statement made on 29 May 2012 by Senator Grant Mitchell
Hon. Grant Mitchell:
Honourable senators, the government's continued intense, destructive attacks on the environment are now washing over into the Fisheries Act. There are many Canadians — some significant Conservatives — who feel that the Fisheries Act will pretty much be gutted by Bill C-38. Some include, for example, former Conservative Fisheries Minister Tom Siddon. He says:
This is a covert attempt to gut the Fisheries Act, and it's appalling that they should be attempting to do this under the radar.
A former Conservative MP and Conservative leader in British Columbia, John Cummins, aggressively criticizes the changes:
There is that potential for serious damage to the fisheries resource if we move in the way that's proscribed.
Mr. John Fraser, a Conservative and former Fisheries Minister, reports that at a recent meeting of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, many people came up to him. He quotes those who presented to him in this way:
"Fraser, what the hell is the government doing with the Fisheries Act? I'm not making this up," he said. "When you get two lifelong Conservatives like Tom Siddon and myself, who are prepared to go public with the very government we support, somebody ought to wake up."
I wonder if this government would be prepared to wake up, decouple the Fisheries Act provisions from Bill C-38, and consult those people in the know, in the boats, in the regions and in the industry that are affected?
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