OTTAWA– The Conservative government’s decision to download essential fisheries management and conservation tools to Canada’s fishers, including the cost and management of at-sea observers, gear tags/tabs and logbooks, is unacceptable, said Liberals today.
“Canadian fishers are continuing to claw their way back from the economic recession, not to mention dealing with rising costs and declining prices for their catch so for the Conservative government to dump more costs on them is simply shameful,” said Liberal Leader Bob Rae. “Canada has one of the most successful inshore fisheries in the world, but it depends on good conservation practices, and strict control of licences and tags. By walking away from its critical responsibilities, the Conservatives are threatening the integrity of what we have built up over many years.”
Liberal Fisheries and Oceans critic Lawrence MacAulay raised the issue during Thursday’s Question Period, asking the Conservatives to keep essential fisheries management and conservation tools a federal responsibility.
“These programs are absolutely critical for the conservation of Canadian fish stocks and yet this government is content to abandon its responsibilities and download these costs onto fishers,” said Mr. MacAulay. “Meanwhile they are also cutting back or closing DFO research stations around the country. It is clear that the Conservatives are taking us down the wrong path, a path that is going to place our fisheries in a very dire situation.”