George Murphy Question Period (06.19.2012)

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's East.

MR. MURPHY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, the regulations dealing with disabled angler designations say that a disabled person has to be within 100 metres of the person doing the angling for that person. The guiding principle for disabilities, however, under present laws, runs under reasonable accommodation.

I ask the minister: Will he revisit the legislation governing present salmon fishing laws to include those with disabilities?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Environment and Conservation.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FRENCH: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, in actual fact, we are reviewing the current legislation and the current rules, but I want to be clear about something. Our whole idea of disability angling and disability hunting, Mr. Speaker, is about inclusion and about getting people involved. It is about getting people out in our fresh air and out in our country. Obviously, there are limitations, Mr. Speaker; this is why this was designed. It is heralded right across the country. We are the only one in the country currently who has a disabled angling program, Mr. Speaker, something that we are very, very proud of.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FRENCH: We will continue, Mr. Speaker, to work with people with disabilities and do whatever we can to include them in everything possible in our outdoors in Newfoundland and Labrador.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's East.

MR. MURPHY: Mr. Speaker, I believe the Province of Nova Scotia also has rules when it comes to disabled fishing.
Part of being an inclusive society for everyone is the removal of barriers where possible.

The federal government does not have the 100-metre designation for the recreational food fishery; why does the provincial government even have these designations in place in the first place?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Minister of Environment and Conservation.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. FRENCH: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
I will repeat for the hon. member. Mr. Speaker, our fishery is not about – our angling and salmon fishing is not a food fishery. This is about inclusion. The food fishery, I believe, is what the federal government has; you get the ability to go out and catch cod for your table, Mr. Speaker. This is about inclusion and this is about recreation. Those are the principles that it was based on. We have worked with the disability office, Mr. Speaker, we have worked with persons with disabilities, and we will continue to do that into the future.

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