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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Hi folks, Below is a great article by Averill Baker issued today. Enjoy.

“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”

Averill Baker
The Nor'wester

They are dirty rotten scoundrels in the tradition of the two con men in that 1988 movie.

The scoundrels are in this case our politicians, and other so-called fisheries experts, who declared publicly that they support bottom dragging on the high seas.

These scoundrels now include our MP’s and even some of our own cabinet ministers in this province who displayed their ignorance in public pronouncements that if the United Nations banned bottom dragging on the high seas that Canada would then be forced to ban it inside 200 miles.

What a stretch. What a display of unmitigated stupidity. Or, if they knew the difference, what a lie they told and are allowed to continue to tell by our publicly funded CBC media.

In my first year at law school I learned enough about the Law of the Sea to know that a coastal state has absolute jurisdiction within 200 miles. You don’t have to go to law school to learn that. All you need is an ability to read or to listen. Perhaps therein lies the problem - our representatives may either be totally illiterate or refuse to listen to the truth, or both.

What we have here is an intentional obstruction of the truth by those in power who have now intentionally turned the tables into a discussion of what would happen inside 200 miles if it were outside 200 miles.

I even heard a fisherman on CBC national radio claim that a lot of the fish processed in Newfoundland comes from draggers, so he was against the ban. The poor unfortunate fisherman actually thought that what was under discussion was a ban inside 200 miles. The host of the national show also didn’t know the difference. It is behavior like this by the CBC that makes people want to take away that one billion dollar-a-year subsidy taxpayers give to the CBC. On issues like this, the CBC has a job to do and they have failed miserably because they are just too lazy to do some investigative reporting or at least try to be impartial.

So what is the answer – do we just grin and bear it? Do we bow to the lies and deception of those in power who want to continue the destruction of our natural resources?

There are 17 foreign nations out there bottom dragging, and Canada is not one of them, ripping the daylights out of the spawning grounds of our Groundfish on our Continental Shelf outside 200 miles and we have a bunch of people in power who think more about those foreigners than they do their own people.

Maybe they just don’t know the difference. Maybe our Ministers of Fisheries take their advice from their deputy ministers. In Ottawa the deputy minister is the same person who holds the job of president of NAFO. In St. John’s the deputy minister is a member of the board of Directors of the Fisheries Council of Canada and a well-known delegate to and supporter of NAFO. I found it strange that Tom Rideout, when he first heard of Canada’s position stated publicly that it sounded rather strange but later in a prepared release said that he supported Canada’s position. I bet he checked with his deputy minister.

The Fisheries Council of Canada declared their support for Canada’s position saying that a Decima poll showed that 87% of Canadians did not support a ban on bottom dragging. I do not believe that Canadians are that stupid and I publicly challenge them to produce that poll.
I don’t believe they can produce it because I don’t believe it exists.

One thing should be pointed out in this discussion and that is the use of the term “bottom trawling”. I spend a lot of my time defending fishermen in court and if there is one thing that I learned over the years it was never to be opposed to trawls. Ordinary fishermen used trawls – a long line with hooks attached close to the bottom – to catch fish. It is the best fishing method known to man – a baited hook. That is why the scoundrels call it bottom trawling and not bottom dragging which is what is really happening on the high seas.

So, in this discussion, you will note that I use the words “bottom dragging” and not the words used by those who seek to mask their outrageously destructive methods of dragging the ocean floor.

And don’t let anyone tell you that Canada does this on the high seas – we do not. We have only shrimp draggers, limited to 65-feet long by law, who drag in defined areas of the bottom that amount to a needlepoint on a large map inside our 200-mile limit. We do not own any of those 100 large draggers five times 65-feet long who drag every day of the year on our continental shelf outside 200 miles – all because we have a government in Ottawa who care more about foreigners than they do about Newfoundlanders or the resources of the ocean.


Anonymous said...

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels:
The same people who support and defend the seal hunt!

Anonymous said...

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels:

And You who say you defend the seals, are the same people WHO DO NOT utter a word about the killing of human beings in Iraq for the sake of Oil.

Anonymous said...

Averiall Baker quoted in her column that "The Fisheries Council of Canada declared their support for Canada’s position saying that a Decima poll showed that 87% of Canadians did not support a ban on bottom dragging".

I bet that poll was conducted on Parliamentarians who have been taught to toe the Federal Government Line, so as to keep all those foreign countries out there fishing away, and creating foreign affairs clout and international trade for the rest of Canada.