Byrne claims moral victory
Newfoundland MP Gerry Byrne claimed the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Fisheries scored a moral victory last week in favour of the Newfoundland fishery.
The committee, of which Mr. Byrne is a member, voted late Tuesday in favour of a motion tabled by the MP against proposed controversial Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) amendments. They included a change to NAFO’s voting system feared to make it difficult for Canada to gain support for conservation decisions and a proposal compromising Canada’s sovereignty over its 200-mile exclusive economic zone.
The Liberal MP for Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte said his motion to condemn the amendments was passed with a six-to-five vote, including support from Liberal, Bloc Quebecois and NDP members on the standing committee.
Mr. Byrne indicated the decision of the committee was tabled in the House of Commons Wednesday, while the amendments themselves were tabled Thursday, with a final vote taking place in the House by today, Nov. 24.
He said if the committee vote is any indication, the amendments could be voted down in the House of Commons this week, but that vote is still not binding on government. The federal cabinet can decide against the House vote. Mr. Byrne suggested “At least we’ve got a moral victory here.”
He noted the vote of the standing committee is now a recorded vote on the NAFO treaty.