Question Period: Great Lakes Fishery Commission

By: The Hon. Jane Cordy

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Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, for 68 years, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission worked in partnership with Ontario, with eight Great Lakes states and some 40 Indigenous governments, with countless academic stakeholders and with the federal governments here and in the United States. Their objectives are mandated in a binational treaty, but now this positive legacy is under threat. Canada has failed to fund this work at the agreed-upon levels, and our U.S. partners are very frustrated with Canada.

Last month, the U.S. section walked out because Canada has failed to deliver on its promises. The U.S. section said it would not return until Canada funds the commission at the agreed-upon levels. The Great Lakes Fishery Commission is an essential tool for our binational relationships.

Senator Gold, the government promised $19.6 million in Budget 2022, which we passed and voted on, to fund the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, but why has the Department of Fisheries and Oceans withheld the promised funds to the commission? Thank you.

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Honourable senators, I don’t know the answer to that. I am glad the funds were allocated. I will make inquiries.

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