IN THE HOUSE ~ Question Period ~ Wild salmon crisis

40th Parliament, 2nd Session
Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, Conservatives used to care about the B.C. salmon industry that supports tens of thousands of jobs. With the loss of two million fish in 2004, some B.C. Conservatives actually spoke on the issue, not very well of course, but at least they spoke. That was then, this is now.

In 2009, with the disappearance of nine million sockeye salmon, far worse than in 2004, the sound of B.C. Conservative silence is deafening.

When will an emergency summit be held on this crisis? When will the fisheries minister take effective action to address this catastrophe?

Mr. Peter Julian (Burnaby—New Westminster, NDP):

That is the whole point, Mr. Speaker. Where is the action plan? Where is the rescue package? In 20 years, salmon enhancement funding has been slashed in half under Liberals and Conservatives. Decisions being made in Ottawa by Conservatives are crippling our B.C. salmon industry. The minister has not held a summit or provided funding to move to close containment for fish farms. The minister has not undertaken any meaningful action to address this crisis.

Why did the Conservatives commit to taking action in 2004 if they had no intention of doing so in government? Why the utterly deplorable lack of action?