Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Minister, for being here.
Early in the process, fish harvesters and processors and provincial governments repeatedly asked for guidance from the federal government in their efforts to make their workplaces safe for Canadians. Time and again, these requests for guidance were ignored and the federal government didn't provide any guidance. This created uncertainty and delays across our fish and seafood sectors.
Yes, the provinces have a responsibility for workplace safety, but they wanted federal guidance with regard to the unprecedented threats of COVID-19.
Last week, the committee heard that the Coast Guard started developing onboard safety protocols for all vessels and bases in February, as soon as they heard that the COVID-19 crisis was coming.
Minister, why did you refuse to provide workplace safety guidance such as the protocols that the Coast Guard has in hand for vessels of all sizes, or the protocols that the CFIA has provided for meat-processing plants?