Paul Martin's speech to the International Fisheries Conference was all bark and no bite.
"for fishing fleets that break the rules, we need real sanctions with real bite. Unfortunately, illegal fishing occurs because the profits far outweigh the penalties. Giving violators a mere slap on the wrist and sending them back to their home port isn’t good enough. Too often, fines for breaking the rules are seen as “just another cost of doing business.” This is unacceptable. We need to correct this imbalance, put good before greed, stop pretending that certain nations aren’t breaking the rules and instead put in place tough sanctions for those who do."
Okay -- tough sanctions? Any suggestions Paul?
For National Post subscribers, George Jonas has an enlightening column. He's making the case for strengthening our military, and he sites the Swiss as an example of a 'neutral' country that defends it's neutrality with considerable military strength. Jonas says:
"Few people realize that the home of the Geneva Conventions has the largest militia in the world (200,000 including reserves). The federal constitution makes military service obligatory for Swiss men . . . Citizen-soldiers must keep their service weapons at home, making the land of international peace conferences bristle with submachine guns."
The show of force in protecting our valuable resources is crucial lest the perception of weakness provide an enormous hole through which foreign vessels will sail with impunity.
Jonas says about the show of strength:
"Historically, palace guards and peace officers were selected for size and fierce appearance, often enhanced by busbies to make them appear even taller. It was understood that the best way to keep the peace was to make breaching the peace appear to costly. This was an instinctive rather than a rational calculation: Many species of animals puff themselves up when alarmed. Animal instincts may not be sophisticated, but they're seldom wrong.
'May your enemies always underestimate you' is useful advice when fighting is inevitable. But when the aim is to avoid fighting, 'may your enemies always overestimate you' is by far the wiser counsel."
The successive Liberal regimes have abdicated their duties with regard to safe-guarding our fish stocks. The Prime Minister's speech suggests 'stronger sanctions' might help.
The gutting of our military over the past 40 years has played an integral part in the plundering of our waters by foreign fisherman. Our weakness is a point of pride for the Liberal regimes, who refuse to acknowledge the proud military heritage of our country.
The only way to prevent foreign overfishing in Canadian waters is to make breaching our boundaries too costly. Under a Liberal regime there is neither a will nor a way to make this happen.