Ottawa, ON — Rick Perkins, Member of Parliament for South Shore—St. Margaret’s, and Conservative Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry, issued the following statement in response to a motion moved at Fisheries Committee calling for the reopening of the elver fishery:

“Yesterday, Common Sense Conservatives on the Fisheries and Oceans Committee moved a motion calling on the Minister of Fisheries to immediately reopen the elver fishery. In response, Liberals gutted the conservative proposal and called for the fishery to remain closed until DFO develops new rules for criminals to break.

“After six Ministers in eight years, this Trudeau government still doesn’t understand that you can’t stop poaching by banning legal fishing. The decision to close the elver fishery has done nothing to stop the unprecedented level of organized crime being faced by rural communities across the Maritimes.

“The Liberal decision to close the elver fishery has not resulted in decreased violence or poaching as evidenced by testimonies and photographic evidence presented to the committee that detail arson attacks, assaults, threats, and attempted murder, since the closure of the fishery. All that has been achieved is harming Nova Scotians seeking to make a living in the blue economy. The Minister’s unnecessary and reckless decision to close the fishery has resulted in 1100 job losses, coming at time when many Canadians are struggling with an affordability crisis created by this NDP-Liberal government.

“The botched Liberal management of our fisheries has now become an out-of-control public safety issue. The only way to prevent increased violence and poaching is by enforcing the rule of law. Only a Common Sense Conservative government will stop the crime and bring home a safe and sustainable commercial fishery.”