OTTAWA – Liberal Fisheries and Oceans critic and Member of Parliament for Cardigan, Lawrence MacAulay, made the following statement on the decision of Conservative government to block a Liberal motion to study the removal of DFO’s fleet separation and owner-operator policies, including travelling to hear from affected stakeholders:
“I truly cannot believe that the Conservative members voted down my motion. What it was intended to do was to make sure that fisheries groups and all affected stakeholders across eastern Canada had their voices heard, since the Minister has refused to properly consult with them. A real analysis on these policies needs to be done and that is what the Fisheries Committee would have undertaken had the Conservative members voted for my motion.
Instead, it appears that the Conservative government is going to ignore everyone and go ahead with these changes with absolutely no analysis or study done on the resulting effects whatsoever. This is incredibly unfortunate. It will completely destroy Atlantic Canada. Our fisheries will become corporatized and centralized and our small rural fishing communities will disappear. 30,000 jobs will be directly affected and thousands more will be indirectly affected. This may well be the biggest economic disaster to hit Atlantic Canada since the collapse of the cod fishery, and all so that this Conservative government can hand over our fisheries to their corporate friends.
I am especially disappointed that no one on the government side of the Committee stood up for Atlantic Canada and Coastal Quebec and for the independence of our Atlantic fishermen.”