MP Fin Donnelly Asks the Government to Stop Extending Open Net Fish Farm Licences

Fin Donnelly (Port Moody—Coquitlam, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals promised to make evidence-based decisions.

They promised to respect the Cohen Commission, but Justice Cohen said we must address the dangers fish farming pose to wild salmon, yet the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard has actually extended the licences for open net fish farms from one year to six. He did so with no public consultation and no environmental assessment.

Will the minister now stand up for the wild salmon fishery, respect Justice Cohen's recommendations and rescind this decision?

Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, my colleague knows very well that all of the decisions our government will be making on issues like this and allocations and quotas with respect to Canada's fisheries on all three coasts will be made based on scientific advice and the rigorous scientific standards that are required.

 We thought it was unfortunate the previous government did not respond formally at all to any of the Cohen Commission recommendations.

We think it is an important exercise for British Columbia and a critical industry, and I look forward to being in British Columbia and publicly responding to all of the Cohen Commission recommendations.