Monday, July 31, 2006

 

Averill Baker's article: The minister should be educated about foreign fishing


Averill Baker
The Packet

I almost drove into the ditch when I heard our Department of Fisheries and Oceans Minister say: "Those 19 foreign nations fishing on the nose and tail of the Grand Banks and the Flemish Cap have every legal right to be there. Those foreign nations have an historic right to fish on our Continental Shelf and we must respect that."

So said the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Loyola on Randy Simms’ Open Line Show on a Thursday morning in sunny July, 2006.

What a lot of baloney.

What a lot of unmitigated blarney.

Those statements are falsehoods, lies and unrepeatable insults to every living and deceased Newfoundlander who lives or lived on our coastline. I am not calling the Minister of Fisheries a liar. No, he is not guilty of lying because he does not have the mens rea.

"Mens rea" in law means the guilty mind. In other words, in order for the minister to be guilty of lying, in repeating this falsehood, he would have to have the state of mind of knowingly stating a lie. In this case he does not know the difference.

In law, the telling of the lie is called "actus reus." That he did do. But he did it unknowingly and that frees him from the guilty mind, the state of mind necessary for me to call him a liar.

He is repeating what the lawyers in Fisheries and Oceans and Justice and Foreign Affairs tell him. He is repeating what he was told in his briefings. He is repeating what is in his briefing notes. So, we can’t blame the minister.

He is telling lies unknowingly.

The lawyers in Justice, DFO and External Affairs in Ottawa have as their client the Federal Government. They work for Ottawa. Ottawa pays them and they present the position in law that Ottawa wants. They have solicitor-client privilege.

If those 19 foreign nations have historic rights, as the minister claimed, then why did the United States only join NAFO in 1995, Ukraine in 1999, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania in 1992? In fact, not one of the foreign nations belonging to NAFO, under the law today, especially the Law of the Sea, have any right to fish on our continental shelf. Not one of them.

Why was the Republic of Korea given quotas for the first time in 1992? The speculated reason was because Kim Jong Il became the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army in that year and as a 60th anniversary present to the KPA, one of the things he did was ask all foreign nations to give his people fishing rights off their coasts. Canada and the other nations in NAFO agreed.

So, the question for the Minister of Fisheries becomes: Is ignorance of international law really bliss and, if it is, should it be allowed to continue?

If ignorance truly is bliss, then everyone at DFO in Ottawa must be in a continual state of sublime happiness.

"Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise," said the English poet Thomas Gray.


Knowledge then, must be an impediment to happiness in Ottawa.

Knowledge about the Law of the Sea, knowing that those foreign nations have no rights whatsoever to fish on our Continental Shelf, would bring about a depression — almost a clinical illness — to a Newfoundland Minister of Fisheries.

To realize that people from Japan and 18 other foreign nations have more rights than Newfoundlanders to fish on the Continental Shelf is depressing.

I mean, to a Newfoundlander, it’s enough to drive you crazy. It’s enough to make you go to the doctor and ask for one of those drugs that will shut down the area of the brain that makes you unhappy.

Is there an alternative?

In this case education is the answer. It will open up a whole new world for the minister. DFO would become an exciting place to be and everyone who becomes educated with the knowledge that these foreign nations have no rights at all and could and should be kicked off our Continental Shelf under international law today, all of those educated people would be anxious to do something about it.

Read this and other very informative articles by Averill Baker by visiting Atlantic news net.

Update:
Minister Hearn responds with a letter to the editor.

Loyola Hearn
Dear editor

I would like to respond to the column entitled, Fisheries minister needs to be educated, by Averill Baker that appeared in your paper on Aug 1.

I would suggest that Ms. Baker get her facts straight before accusing a minister of being misinformed.

Foreign nations do have a qualified right to fish in international waters in the Northwest Atlantic. The 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea recognizes this right - as well as the interests of coastal states. In the case of Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO), Canada is the most relevant coastal state.

NAFO was established by treaty to manage fisheries. While there are currently 13 members of this organization, the European Union is one such member and several EU countries fish in the Northwest Atlantic. The Baltic States became NAFO members in their own right in 1992 when they were liberated upon the break up of the Soviet Union. From 2005, the fisheries interests of the Baltic States and Poland were represented by the EU.

Not all NAFO members enjoy extensive fishing rights; the United States and South Korea, for example, have minimal quotas.

And, to correct another error made by Ms. Baker, Kim Jong Il is the leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, which is not a member of NAFO. They did not therefore get fishing rights in NAFO.

My department would be happy to provide all the facts to Ms.
Baker on NAFO, overfishing, and international law before she pens her next opinion piece. She may also want to check out our overfishing myths and realities at www.overfishing.gc.ca.



Certainly seems like a lot of symantics and nit picking going on here. Not much substance other than to try and justify why Canada hasn't challenged the UNCLOS 200 mile Economic Giveaway zone as is allowed by UNCLOS for continental shelves which extend out past the 200 mile.

Very telling indeed that. The fact that they would rather expend their energy spreading propaganda and lies to curb a growing rightious rebellion within their own borders than demand what is rightfully ours.

As for the facts and myths if they come from another Kanukistan propaganda fisheries/Foreign affairs document which I recently read not much odds.

The real issue at hand is finally starting to see the light of day it isn't so much the giving away of our fish through quotas and bycatch which are directly correlated from our own catch? Which if you believe what the Department of Foreign affairs Officianados tells us the stocks on the nose and tail are separate stocks from inland waters thus allowing them to continue perpetrating the greatest giveaway in history to the detriment of NL and the betterment of UPPer Canada's manufactring industry and foreign affairs.

They are even now floating the idea that the stocks on the Flemmish cap are a separate and distinct stock to hedge their bets and protect their foreign affairs giveaways incase the natives get to restless and they have to end the charade that is called straddling stocks.

Just to much cow towing to foreign interests here iMHO and not enough if any at all of protecting Atlantic Canadians interests.

Just another example of how Kanukistan is a systemically flawed country with little or no equality for the colonies of Ontario and Quebec.

What is best for Canada isn't what is best for Atlantic Canada Loyola and you should either quit your post or come clean.
At least Efford was in there a year or two before he became a yes man to the Ontarians. I realize you are outnumbered but if you ever want to live in this province again I suggest you stop buying into this propaganda charade and start doing what you said you were going to do.
Comments:
Ignorance is bliss...that is a joke comparitive to what is happening to the Lower Churchill. If we do not educate ourselves soon count our hydro-power lost like our fishery.
 
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