REPORTING · 27th April 2011
Dave Wahl asked the third question, also about the Halibut. He said it was controlled, it was brought in by the Liberals and the Conservatives supported it. He wanted to know if Nathan Cullen was going to do anything about it as, “Barring your getting run over by a truck, you will be back in.”
Cullen said Kitimat needs to be congratulated as one of the few communities in BC which has made this an issue. He said Ron Wakita ‘went nuts’ organizing this and put enough pressure on the members across BC. He said this one issue could have an impact in the Federal Election on the West Coast. He said Canadians are stewards of the Halibut but an investor from China could buy up all the halibut quota without the government telling Canadians, and allowing it to happen is offensive to him. They know the Halibut quota is being bought up from behind the scenes and it is wrong. He promised to fight it every step of the way.
Clay Harmon said he was honoured to meet with the task force and he promised to do everything he can to find out the facts. He said he has no authority at the moment. He passed on the information. “Maybe, just maybe, the reason that we’re not getting any results is that we don’t have a member of parliament who is part of this government,” said Harmon. The audience booed this notion. He said he will work very hard to bring a long lasting solution to this issue.
Maggie Braun said she would end the international agreements which allow the halibut to get bought up as well as finding out who are these private companies. She would get people back the right to fish the waters and feed their families.
Kyle Warwick stated NAFTA was bogus free trade where the Americans do not have to trade in a free way. He cited the softwood lumber as an example. He said Canadians could hold their own with free trade but not with the softwood lumber. He added people should not have to go through an expensive middle man for a day fishing.
Roger Benham said he was unaware of the issue as he did not have the money. He took Nathan Cullen’s wisdom on this as he was unaware the Chinese were fishing our fish away.
Rod Taylor stated the resource was a sport fishery and a food fishery. People fishing for salmon was practical and had some value. It had to be accessible for Canadian’s and affordable for Canadians which is not controlled by the wealthy or foreign interests. He said he would find out who owns the quota.