William D. Casey, M.P.

Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley
646S Centre Block

House of Commons

Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6

 

House of Commons

Chambre des communes

Canada

 Press Release

 

Ottawa Tel: (613) 992-3366

Ottawa Fax: (613) 992-7220

Amherst Tel: (902) 667-8679

Truro Tel: (902) 893-2455

 

 

           

 

    Casey protests fisheries committee treatment of Nova Scotia

 

June 18, 2008

 

Ottawa    Last evening Nova Scotia MP Bill Casey denied a motion by the Conservative government whip to allow the Fisheries Committee to travel to Brussels, Belgium to hold hearings on the seal hunt this September and October.  The motion required unanimous consent and Casey killed the motion with his vote against it.

 

Casey stood on a point of order and explained that this was a protest vote on Casey’s part because the same committee held public hearings on small craft harbour issues in every province with a fishery except Nova Scotia.  The purpose of the hearings is to draft a report outlining small craft harbour problems in the Canadian fishery and find solutions.

 

Casey had written two letters to the chair of the committee asking that Nova Scotia be included in the schedule of public hearings, and that the committee “publicly document the issues”.

 

Casey said “Nova Scotia has the largest fishery of any province and is the only province to experience fishery problems such as the harbour blockade in Sydney, unsafe wharfs on the Northumberland Strait, required breakwaters, mysterious declines in the lobster stock, and the inability of fishermen to have a viable fishery, etc.   Without hearing from the fishermen affected by these unique problems, the committee’s report will be incomplete, and the problems never resolved”. 

 

In every other province public hearings were held for all stakeholders from the entire province. Newfoundland and Labrador had two sessions in two communities.  P.E.I, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and British Columbia all had public hearings.  Nova Scotia had none.

 

Casey says it makes no sense for the committee to hold fishery hearings in Manitoba but not Nova Scotia.  Nova Scotians have been denied the opportunity to voice their concerns as the committee puts their report together.

 

Government representatives justify this because members of the committee were present for informal events on the south shore of Nova Scotia.  The clerk of the committee has confirmed that there are no official records or transcripts of the south shore events as they were not public hearings as they were in other provinces. 

 

Casey said in the House, “If the committee can’t bother to hold public hearings in Nova Scotia, then they shouldn’t be going to Belgium.”

 

The cost of taking the committee to Belgium is budgeted to be $151,248.00.

                       

For further information:

Bill Casey, M.P.

Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley

(613) 992-3366

(902) 667-8679

(902) 893-2455

 

 

 

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