Fin in the House: The Liberals must pass S-238 without delay

Mr. Fin Donnelly (Port Moody—Coquitlam, NDP): Mr. Speaker, sharks play a critical role in maintaining ocean health, but shockingly, nearly a billion have been slaughtered since 2011. Canadians expect us to be part of the solution to protect them and ensure their survival. Bill S-238, an important piece of legislation, would do just that: prohibit the import and export of shark fins into and out of Canada.

    The bill is similar to my 2013 private member's bill which had the support of the Liberal caucus, but was defeated by only five votes. If we fast forward to 2019, the Liberals have enough votes to ensure swift passage of this important bill, but in typical say one thing and do another Liberal fashion, government members are dragging out debate and hinting the bill needs amendments. Shame on them. Those stall tactics will ensure that Bill S-238 will not pass before the House rises this June.

    Sharks and our ocean ecosystems that depend on them cannot wait another election. The government has an opportunity to do the right thing here. Let us pass this bill, end this destructive practice and move forward on restoring ocean health.