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View Blaine Calkins Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Chair, you're in an unenviable position and I know there are a lot of serious things going on here at the table.
From my conversation with some of my colleagues across the way, I do believe that there is an urgent need to at least hear and get an understanding of what the commercial fishery is going to be facing if they don't have adequate bait for their crab traps and their lobster traps. Not knowing for certain how this is going to play out, it seems to me as if there are some relatively quick solutions to this. I would like at least one of those meetings in the week that we come back. I can't speak for everybody else at the table, but I would even be willing, as a matter of urgency, to have a meeting outside of the regularly scheduled hours if we decide to pursue the Big Bar issue, which as a western Canadian I find very disconcerting.
I find those two issues to be the most time-sensitive and pressing issues. I think it's a matter of urgency. I'm not casting any aspersions here, but this committee has not actually heard a witness since June of last year, because of elections and everything that's happened and standing up a minority Parliament. I get those things and I'm not blaming anybody, but that's the reality that's facing this committee. I think we have some very serious work in front of us and we need to address this issue because those fishermen in Atlantic Canada need a reliable source of bait. I want to make damn sure that, if this committee is an obstacle, we remove whatever obstacle that is, so they can get out there and fish.
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