By Myles Higgins
Thursday, November 23, 2006
I’ve always believed federal politicians are essentially self centered and arrogant, but I’ve never before had the overpowering urge to call one an all out liar. Not until reading the latest press release from federal Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn. I can’t think of any other way to say it than to say that Loyola Hearn is completely and unequivocally full of S*&t.
Tuesday, November 21 was World Fisheries Day. A day meant to bring the world’s attention to the importance of our oceans and the life they contain. To mark this event Canada declined to support a UN sponsored move to protect high seas fish stocks and Loyola Hearn issued a press release touting the great work Canada is doing to protect the oceans. What a useless waste of oxygen this guy is.
Let me quote a few lines from the propaganda message the Dis-Honorable Loyola Hearn put out on such an important day.
“…We are still confronted with rampant overfishing on the high seas… Scientists are also warning of a collapse of Atlantic bluefin tuna if fishers of the eastern stock don’t start following the rules.”
“…When members of the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission decided to deal with shrinking Pacific salmon stocks, they stopped high seas salmon fishing in the North Pacific Ocean and pooled their efforts to enforce the changes. Strong cooperation on monitoring and surveillance has cut illegal driftnet fishing in this area by 90 per cent.”
Boy, reading those quotes might fool anyone into thinking the Canadian government is actually concerned with marine ecosystems. Sorry, but that’s where the problem lies and unfortunately it’s also where the politician himself is lying to Canada and the entire world. The statement is pure propaganda, plain and simple.
The minister’s message went on to say:
“…It means…considering fish habitat and sensitive marine areas when we make decisions. It also means erring on the side of caution when we don’t have all the facts on how the fish are doing.”
Yet, when asked by the United Nations to support an initiative that would, “err on the side of caution” by temporarily prohibiting bottom dragging on the high seas, Loyola Hearn and the Conservative government sided instead with nations like Russia, Japan and Spain. Nations who are the worst offenders when it comes to fish stock destruction. Canada declined to support the UN initiative intended to protect unregulated areas until scientists can determine where sensitive environments exist that might be destroyed forever.
The release also included the following statement:
“…We also need to remember to act sooner than later; to forget the short-term gains and to focus on long-term interests.”
The statement may make a nice sound bite but it’s a lie. Canada and NAFO continue to allow fishing fleets to rape the high seas and even the edge of Canada’s continental shelf. This is exactly what the minister is supporting by continuing to allow foreign vessels to ply the Grand Banks and the entire continental shelf outside the 200-mile limit.
The ultimate insult, from a Canadian perspective, has to do with Loyola Hearn’s statement in reference to the previously mentioned moves to protect Pacific Salmon:
“…Canada and its allies were determined to get similar results at the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization this September, and it worked.”
What worked? What exactly did NAFO accomplish to protect North Atlantic fish stocks in September? Anyone who has watched the corrupt and business focused meanderings of this organization over the years will tell you they have accomplished exactly what they always accomplish, absolutely nothing. Instead they’ve brainwashed much of the public into believing that something has been done when absolutely nothing has.
A release by Loyola Hearn in September spoke of the great strides NAFO had made in protecting the North Atlantic from illegal fishing and from nations who disregard the rules and regulations. If you ask Loyola Hearn today he’ll tell you that these new regulations were put in place to ensure that rogue vessels return to port and face penalties for breaking the law. Perhaps they do, though returning to their home port and being put at the mercy of their own governments, which often subsidize their efforts, is not much of a disincentive.
Regardless of that, since the rules were put in place only one vessel has been reported to have been charged and sent home. It remains to be seen how the captain of that vessel makes out, but does it really matter? Does it matter at all when you consider that some estimates put the number of boats illegally fishing off our shores at a hundred or more each and every day? I’m no math whiz but if that number is even close to correct it means that about 9,000 vessels have plied those waters since the new regulations were put in place and only one has been charged. Does anyone really believe this approach will make any difference at all and can anyone believe anything Loyola Hearn says anymore?
I remember following Mr. Hearn’s career for years. I remember his heart felt speeches about taking control of the Grand Banks. I remember his calls for custodial management and his statements about the need to protect and grow the fishing industry in Atlantic Canada. I remember writing an article in which I supported his position and looked forward the day when Loyola Hearn would take on the mantle of Fisheries Minister for Canada. With that in mind, I’d like to apologize to anyone who read those articles and promise you that I won’t make the same mistake again.
I guess like the man says, you get what you pay for. In this case we paid with our votes for a man who has decided to sell out his principles and his people for political reasons. That said there is an end in sight. There will be another election, likely within the next year and this voter plans to do his best to ensure that Loyola Hearn is returned to whatever rock he crawled out from under.
Good luck on your next election campaign Mr. Hearn. I believe the people are finally beginning to wake up and that they’ve had enough of the mess that’s been made of the fisheries in Atlantic Canada as well as the politicians who have stood idly by and let it happen.
See you on the campaign trail, Mr. Hearn.
Originally posted at http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/higgins112306.htm Myles Higgins