Monday, November 28, 2011

Who hears the scaly elephant in the room when it cries?

In answer to John Crosbie’s question from the early ’90s: the office of the Auditor General of Canada hears the fishes when they cry.

It took 20 years, but the AG has apparently caught a sob or two.

I’ve been demanding an inquiry into the management of the NL fisheries since since election Day 1, and, turns out, the office of the federal AG has been carrying out a sweeping review for some time.

The 2011 December Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development — who works directly under the auditor general — is due Dec. 13, and investigates the challenges of operating fisheries in a sustainable way.

Challenges the Department of No-Fish and Empty Oceans hasn’t exactly lived up to in terms of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland.

Ottawa’s mismanagement has been epic — and largely ignored.

Until now.

Chapter 4 sounds like a must-read: A Study of Managing Fisheries for Sustainability.

Sustainable isn’t exactly how I’d describe DFO management practices.

Not if fish is the measure.

Mark Dec. 13th on your calendars.

•••

I wrote John Weirsema, Interim Auditor General of Canada, in July, asking him to launch an investigation specifically into DFO’s management of commercial groundfish stocks off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

And to answer this question: “What role, if any, have DFO’s management practices played in the failure of groundfish stocks to rejuvenate?”


The upcoming report by the commissioner of the environment and sustainable development studies marine fisheries right across Canada, including First Nations, commercial and recreational users.


The study doesn’t say it looks into the NL fishery directly, but how could it not?


The collapse of rural Newfoundland is one of many elephants in the Canadian room.


Who hears the scaly elephant when it cries?

•••

The study describes itself as “a step toward identifying a framework and criteria for our future audits to determine whether fisheries management practices are supporting sustainable fisheries.”

Future audits?


Don’t be too sure.


Stephen Harper is not a fan of thorns.


And the Office of the AG may soon lose some of its prick.

1 comment:

Cyril Rogers said...

Mr. Cleary...Harper's government takes a look at the evidence and then cheerfully ignores it. They operate on their belief system, no matter what evidence is available to refute their cherished beliefs.

That, in fact, is what makes them so dangerous. They will skewer most of us to develop and preserve a vision of Canada that most of us don't want.

I want a Canada that enables people to get treatment rather than jail time.

I want a Canada that gives ordinary people a reasonable standard of living, not have a tax system that grossly favours some groups.

I want a Canada that treats each with equality and respect, not one that continues to add more seats and more clout to those that are already hoarding most of the power.

I want a Canadian government that will listen to the voices of ordinary Canadians not ignore them while hiding behind the twisted words of a prescripted response to every question. Question Period has become a joke because the CONS have stolen any semblance of democracy from us.

I want electoral reform that denies a minority vote the majority of the seats and that engages most of us in the election process.

This government will not move away from its ideological stance and will seriously erode the fabric of a moderate and compassionate Canada over the next four years. One can only hope that the Opposition will be able to prevent them from dismantling it completely. I firmly believe that four more years of this government will see them lose power in a big way if they keep on the path they are travelling right now.