The bill’s short title is the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery rebuilding act. It has been almost 20 years since John Crosbie, then federal minister of fisheries and oceans, shut down the northern cod fishery off Newfoundland’s northeast coast and Labrador. It is 19 years and 4 months later and the commercial groundfish fisheries off Newfoundland and Labrador have seen little, if any, recovery. Most fisheries are in desperate shape.
Five years after Confederation in 1954, we handed over responsibility of our fisheries to the Government of Canada. I would describe our fisheries as Confederation’s greatest failure, a national embarrassment, a national shame. A commission of inquiry is not about pointing fingers of blame, but pointing the way forward with a recovery plan, with a blueprint for the future.
Seconded by Elizabeth May October 21, 2011.