The following statement was aired on CBC’s Fisheries Broadcast this evening in response to a rant on the same show last week by Con Senator Fabian Manning. Find a personal review of Manning's rant here.
I disagree with recent statements by Fabian Manning to the effect that he has little influence in Ottawa over the Harper Conservatives to change fisheries policy — even from where the Senator sits as Chair of the Senate Fisheries and Oceans Committee.
Manning may not know it, but he does have the power to turn the Harper administration on its ear.
He has the power to spark a revolution in federal fisheries management, and a revolution has been a long time coming.
He has the power to force the Canada that ends at Quebec, as he puts it, to sit up and take notice of Atlantic Canada and rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
Manning was a maverick when he broke away from Danny Williams and sided with fishermen.
He can do it again.
Manning also has the ear of the Prime Minister himself — having twice been appointed to the Senate as Stephen Harper’s handmaiden.
Manning could do the right thing for all of Newfoundland and Labrador, for the good of us all — and resign.
If he wants to effect change in fisheries policy, if he’s prepared to take the high road, to take a stand for our traditional fishery, he would submit his resignation like he did before.
Nothing would draw attention to the broken fisheries like his resignation from the Conservative Senate of Canada.
He could force the fisheries to the front of the media spotlight and we could begin to fix what’s broken.