Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to both of our witnesses today.
My question is directed to you, Mr. Henley. It's great that you're in support of the bill, by and large, and I know that Mr. Kamp touched briefly on the one amendment you proposed. Since that is the one piece of concern you have, I figure it's worth exploring that a little bit more.
I've listened to a fair bit of your testimony on the who, the how, and the when IUU fishing comes into Canada and who is involved. I fully appreciate your perspective on the natural justice application of that and the decision of the court over the minister in respect of that section 13 piece.
I gather though that seizures, by and large, are done for two reasons, either to prevent the continuation of the offence, or in respect to securing and preserving any evidence that might be there.
In that regard, we say that in theory the minister could create a cost-prohibitive sanction or not release at all if he doesn't deem the monetary value to be of significance. But of course in theory that begs the question, what are we observing in actual practice?
That will form the basis of my question around how many occurrences do we know exist where the minister has deployed that. As well, by and large, who is it applied to? Are these Canadian vessels or are they international vessels?
In that respect, if we're dealing with international vessels, and again, respecting your point on this, it would seem to me that if we have international vessels—and in the best case scenario, or in the worst case scenario, depending on what side of the seizure you happen to be on—as you indicated, you're going to get the cost of the vessel in terms of cash, if that's the price the minister or a court were to set.
But it would appear to me that if we have an international vessel coming in with IUU fisheries, subject to seizure—so we can prevent the continuation of that offence and secure and preserve any evidence—Canada, as a nation, would be better off having the vessel than the cash, and having that vessel slip out of our waters again and then continue the harmful practice. I assume the point of having the minister retain that discretionary ability is perhaps prescribed by regulation and monitored by their own precedence, which could and would reasonably be set simply by the principles of natural justice. But it would seem to me that Canada would be far better off having that vessel, to prevent the continuation, than having the value of the vessel in cash and watching that vessel leave Canadian waters to continue the damage for which it's been seized in the first place.
Your comments on that are welcome.