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- How to Vote
Fishing is one of Canada’s founding industries and has a long and proud history of supporting families and communities and supplying the world with food. Canadians from coast to coast to coast are world leaders in fisheries and marine conservation. As Prime Minister I will ensure the sector receives the investments and other supports that are needed to ensure it grows to provide even more jobs and opportunities to Canadians in the years ahead and the generations that follow.
Small Craft Harbours are essential to the livelihoods of many rural regions of our country. These properties -- owned by the federal government and managed by local harbour authorities -- are critical to the wild fishery sector as well as the aquaculture sector and recreational fisheries. They also provide jobs in the tourism sector and for marine research.
These assets are under increasing stress by the effects of harsh weather. As Prime Minister I will support investments for small craft harbours to ensure they can continue to support jobs and economic development.
Fisheries Management/Stock Rebuilding
Canada’s fisheries management is subject to a number of jurisdictional challenges. Aquaculture, near-shore and offshore fisheries require numerous approvals from up to three levels of government.
As Prime minister, I would lead the effort to bring the federal, provincial and territorial governments together to deliver a more coordinated, efficient and effective management of the entire fisheries sector. This includes quotas, allocations, research and harvesting coordination. Fisheries have evolved and the approach governments take to managing them must be modernized.
Seals and Predator Management
A Conservative government will work with stakeholders, First Nations and other jurisdictions to develop a comprehensive predator management program to rebuild our iconic BC salmon and Atlantic groundfish stocks, as well as other vulnerable fish species.
The Trudeau Government has increased research and science budgets in DFO by deploying most of the new resources on the “Oceans” side rather than on the “Fisheries” side of the department. This has resulted in a focus on ocean protection at the expense of the needs of the commercial fishery. Properly managed, the fishery is the most sustainable resource in Canada with a reproduction period that has enabled economic growth in our ocean provinces for 400 years.
DFO requires more focus on the fisheries side of the department so that it can better determine the biomass of each species and the sustainable commercial development of those species.
The goals of each federal department must be realigned to prioritize the sustainable development and use of Canada’s resources. Whether it is our forests, oil and gas, agriculture or the fishery, a government that I lead will focus on our country’s competitive advantage to create jobs and growth, especially in our rural communities.
The aquaculture sector has grown steadily in Canada over the past 40 years and will continue to grow to supply the world’s food needs. In fact, aquaculture helps take the pressure off endangered wild fish stocks.
As Prime Minister I will:
- Adopt a national sustainable Aquaculture Plan;
- Introduce a federal Aquaculture Act;
- Respect the jurisdictional balance that exists in the sector; and
- Ensure the aquaculture sector has the same federal supports available as other farming sectors.
Marine Protected Areas
Marine Protected Areas are important for the preservation of sensitive marine areas and serve as protection for marine areas under ecological threat. In Canada's recent history, arbitrary amounts of our marine and coastal areas have been designated for protection, often without legitimate scientific justification and set aside simply to attain a percentage target. Too often this has occurred without sufficient consultations with affected stakeholders. Even for fish stocks that are highly migratory, MPAs often impose unrealistic bans on responsible commercial activity within such areas. This negatively impacts responsibly regulated economic opportunity from fisheries, petroleum development and even tourism.
As Prime Minister, I will use science and extensive stakeholder consultations as the basis for marine protection and will not exclude economic opportunity - both current and potential - from existing arbitrarily designated protection zones. I will incorporate the advice of those who may have an economic stake in the proposed area in any final MPA designation. Our rural families and coastal communities deserve at least an equal voice in this discussion.
Millions of Canadians enjoy recreational fishing, and a robust guiding and outfitting industry has grown to support it. Indeed, Salmon angling, deep-sea fishing in our ocean waters, and inland and freshwater fishing throughout Canada are part of our heritage.
Sadly, the current Liberal government has badly mismanaged our public fisheries and failed to adequately listen and respond to key stakeholders within this community. A case in point are the endangered Pacific Salmon stocks on B.C.’s west coast, where DFO has wrongly made our recreational anglers the scapegoat for declining salmon populations. The government has also failed to implement eminently reasonable proposals from the recreational fishing stakeholders to sustain this fishery.
More Focused Support
To ensure that our public fisheries are well-supported by government, I will establish a separate high level position within DFO to oversee the recreational fishing industry in Canada.
Mass Marking & Mark Selective Fisheries
As Prime Minister, I will promote the mass marking of hatchery salmon already being released into B.C. waters and support a mark selective fishery for Chinook and Coho Salmon. This will help protect the over 9,000 jobs and the $1.4 billion dollars annually that the public fishery contributes to Canada’s economy on the west coast. This will also allow the B.C. recreational fishing industry to compete with Washington State, which already marks 100% of their hatchery fish.
Selective Fishing Technologies
A Conservative government led by me will also support the development of selective fishing technologies that will reduce bycatch and benefit salmon, sturgeon and steelhead recovery on the west coast and aid groundfish recovery on the east coast. Selectively caught fish can be marketed as “environmentally friendly” and be sold for higher prices, thereby strengthening the Canadian economy. This will protect Canada’s fish and seafood supply, create employment, and bolster the public fishery that has also been decimated by Covid 19 restrictions.
I will support strategic, scientifically justified hatchery enhancement to support sustainable fisheries for all stakeholders and allow Canada’s endangered fish species to recover.