IN THE HOUSE ~ Application for Emergency Debate ~ on the collapse of the sockeye salmon run in British Colombia

40th Parliament, 2nd Session
Speaker : Mr. Julian
Context : Applications for Emergency Debate

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP): Mr. Speaker, I rise on a matter requiring urgent consideration, of immediate relevance and concern throughout Canada.

The sudden disappearance of nine million sockeye salmon a few weeks ago during the summer's migration to the Fraser River highlights a crisis of unprecedented scale which is dramatically affecting the way of life and the livelihoods of west coast communities, first nations, recreational fishers, commercial fishers and businesses.

This crisis is similar in magnitude to the collapse of the Atlantic cod stocks which devastated the east coast, and you will recall, Mr. Speaker, that this House was able to debate the collapse of the cod stocks in an emergency debate held on May 1, 2003.

An emergency debate is required in order to allow parliamentarians to immediately explore the facts of this crisis and address whether or not the government has fulfilled its duty to effectively and responsibly manage this fishery. There is no government legislation on this issue before the House which would allow a debate at this critical time on the collapse of the sockeye salmon run in British Colombia.

It is for these reasons that I request, seconded by a number of my B.C. and Atlantic Canadian colleagues, including the member for Sackville—Eastern Shore, an emergency debate on this issue.