Hon. Percy E. Downe:
Supplementary to the question asked earlier on the importance of balancing the safety of the whales that, I understand from aerial photos, actually do come very close to the shore and the importance of the American seafood market so that our products aren’t banned and, particularly, as well, the European market. We all understand, on the East Coast, the value of the fisheries, lobster and others. We also understand what happened to the seal industry when activists, particularly in Europe, basically destroyed that industry, and if any more whales happen to be killed or die for whatever reason, we could be in a similar situation. I assume the government is also taking that balance into consideration in their studies.
Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate): I thank the honourable senator for his question. When I referenced that the Minister of Fisheries is taking the best interests of the fisheries into account, that’s exactly the situation. The minister’s responsibility is the long-term interests and viability of the fisheries, not just from an ecological point of view but from a potential market point of view.