Da Legal Stuff...

All commentaries published on Web Talk are the opinions of the contributor(s) only and do not necessarily represent the position of any other individuals, groups or organizations.

Now, with that out of the way...Let's Web Talk.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Temporarily Offline

Web Talk articles and archives will still be available however there will be no new posts for the next several weeks. With the heat of summer upon us it's time to get out and enjoy this beautiful place I call home. Anyone fortunate enough to be living in Newfoundland and Labrador might want to do the same.

I hope to meet you all back here once again in August. In the mean time feel free to visit and read any articles you might have missed in the past. Just visit the archives and enjoy.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Letter to Loyola Hearn

The following is a letter sent to Fisheries Minister, Loyola Hearn, earlier today.

If you wish to contact Minister Hearn directly about his apparent lack of concern or competence related to the fisheries portfolio, his email address is: hearn.l@parl.gc.ca

To: Loyola Hearn
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

From: Myles Higgins

July 3, 2008

Minister Hearn,

After listening to your continuous self-serving statements in the past 2 years there is no longer any doubt left.

As my dear mother is wont to say, “You’re full of shellac”.

At a recent St. John’s board of trade function you had the gall to stand before those assembled and defend the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO).

In doing so you said:

“NAFO rules for prosecuting vessels that are over fishing provide the same control that most people associate with custodial management.”"We are dealing with the international community and they have rights to fish, every right. No right to over fish and that is what we have stopped. But their own countries are not putting up with the foolishness either.”

You then spoke of recently coming back from a meeting with North Atlantic fisheries ministers, and said they have not had one violation of fishery regulations this year to date.

Well, that’s great. Will your next magic trick be another vain attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of voters or to pull your head out of Stephen Harper fat ass?

The number of fishing infractions has fallen to almost zero in the last couple of years but it isn’t because the regulations you are so proud of are being enforced or because other nations are getting serious about protecting the stocks.

The reason there are less infractions is because the cost of fuel is making it less profitable to travel all the way to Newfoundland and Labrador to rape the seabed. It is also because those who make the voyage get nothing more than a nod and a wink from foriegn patrol boats belonging to their home nations. Patrol boats that you sir have turned loose on unsuspecting fish stocks, a move that was made because Canada doesn’t have the necessary budget, equipment or the will to carry the mission.

Simply put you are wrong.

Foreign nations do not have the right to fish in this area. Not in Canadian waters they don’t. Not unless you and the Canadian government give them that right and why would you do that when Canada’s fishing industry is suffering and stocks are so low?

Perhaps what you intended to say is that they have a right to fish outside the 200 mile limit? Once again you would be wrong, as wrong as a Newfoundlander in cowboy boots and a Stetson.

We all know foreign vessels are given quotas inside Canadian waters and this has to stop. In addition, if you and your PM actually enacted custodial management and utilized the United Nations Law of the Sea to extend Canada’s economic territory, as you promised to do before forming the government, Canada alone would decide who has the right to fish in that area and who doesn’t.

But you don’t want to be saddled with that responsibility do you?

Clearly you would rather oversee the destruction of fish stocks in order to appease foreign governments and enhance international trade for the manufacturing sector in Ontario and Quebec. Clearly this is more important to you than doing your job and protecting the fish off our coasts along with the jobs of Maritimers or Newfoundlanders and Labradorians alike.

You sir were elected on a platform that promised custodial management. To compare the mess that is NAFO with having full control of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap is an insult to the intelligence of every person who voted for you and to anyone who lives within a hundred miles of any coastline.

One of two situations clearly exists in your office today Mr. Hearn.

Either you have sold out your people and are desperately trying to convince them otherwise or you are a bigger idiot than anyone could have imagined. Either way you are a dangerous man to hold elected office and an even more dangerous one to be guarding the Atlantic fishery.

Myles Higgins