New Democrats Speak Out Against Cuts to Fisheries and Oceans

The NDP is raising concern about new cuts to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans budget outlined in the 2013 budget. The $108 million to be slashed is in addition to the deep cuts already announced last year. All told, the department's budget will be cut by $442 million by 2018.

“Fish are a renewable resource that has provided employment and economic growth in Canada for generations,” said NDP Fisheries critic Robert Chisholm (Dartmouth – Cole Harbour). “Unfortunately the Conservatives are putting our fisheries at serious risk. Their irresponsible budget cuts and policy changes threaten thousands of coastal communities across our country.”

There is little detail in the budget on what programs and services will be affected by the cuts but language in the budget suggests further closures of regional DFO offices through ‘consolidating decision-making authorities’.

“Cutting science, centralizing decision making, ignoring habitat protection; these are the great failures of past federal governments and the Conservatives seem determined to make them the failures of the future as well,” said Chisholm.

Canada’s fishing industry is worth over $5 billion annually and provides more than 130,000 jobs to Canadians.