'Can't constantly turn to government': premier

James
James McLeod
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Dunderdale had a clear message for the province's processing sector Friday: don't expect me to save you.

Speaking about an hour before Ocean Choice International announced that it would be closing the Marystown and Port Union fish plants, Dunderdale said the government can't be relied on to keep them open.

"Some of them who have an instrumental role to play in a resolution of the issues in the fishery, use the easy way out and the cop out by calling on the government to come in and fix the problem," Dunderdale said. "What can you do? Businesses in this province have to operate profitably. That's for the fishery as well as for any other business."

She didn't offer much in the way of specific solutions.

With plants closing, she said the government will come in with the usual supports, helping workers transition to other industries.

However, anyone looking for a taxpayer subsidy to keep the plants open will be out of luck.

"Everybody in this province can't constantly turn to government and say, 'you fix it. You subsidize it.' We can't pay people to work. We can't pay people to live in communities in this province," she said.

In Marystown - the part of the province Dunderdale is originally from - she laid a lot of the blame at the feet of the union, which rejected a plan to keep the plant open earlier this year.

Union members voted against a plan to keep the plant open for 18 weeks per year for the next three years.

"Eighteen weeks' work opposed to no weeks work - that's what people have got to ask themselves now," Dunderdale said.

jmcleod@thetelegram.com Twitter: TelegramJames

 

Organizations: Port Union

Geographic location: Marystown

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Recent comments

  • BenNL
    December 07, 2011 - 13:50

    I dont think the government should bail out the plants, however I do feel the government bears part of the responsibility for allowing the industry to be in the mess its in. No I dont work in the fishing industry. The industry is very unigue and should not be compared to private sector companies. Govenment has to step in with leadership and with a plan of action. Ken above represents to me the attitude that we dont need anymore in this province. Very little fishing in St John's Ken? ..the majority of fishing vessels and enterprises today in this province is located on the NE Avalon, and St Johns is one of the top fishing ports....ignorance ! Lets stand behind each other - not tear them down.

  • Chris
    December 06, 2011 - 13:57

    Considering the fact of a changing society in terms of resources, I think the people of NL should stop complaining about the fishery and adapt to the new way of life. Dunderdale makes a valid point, that reliance on government to get you out of every hardship will not help anyone in the long run. Since the moratorium in '92, there's been more government handouts to try and revamp the fishing industry to no avail. Look where we are now, pretty much no further ahead than we were in '92. If there's no work where you live, then looks like it's time to move.

  • Chris
    December 06, 2011 - 13:54

    Considering the fact of a changing society in terms of resources, I think the people of NL should stop complaining about the fishery and adapt to the new way of life. Dunderdale makes a valid point, that reliance on government to get you out of every hardship will not help anyone in the long run. Since the moratorium in '92, there's been more government handouts to try and revamp the fishing industry to no avail. Look where we are now, pretty much no further ahead than we were in '92. If there's no work where you live, then looks like it's time to move.

    • David
      December 06, 2011 - 15:53

      St. John's never had any fish, yet built itself up into a major city in its day on the backs of the common Newfoundland fisherman...it's a tad convenient and incredibly hypocritical of anyone to suggest going down this "if you don't have the oil that we are getting all the benefits from, you should move" More totally selfish, revisionist, St. John's-centric BS.

    • wtf
      December 08, 2011 - 09:41

      'St. John's never had any fish' , there's the winner for ignorant comment of the day.

    • David
      December 12, 2011 - 20:04

      WTF, St. John's was a city of merchants in the business of selling other people's fish. If you think that actual prosecution of the fishery was a material activity in St,. John's, it is you who needs the visit ti the library for an emergency ignorance removal..the facts will surely blow your mind. (Here's one more for the road....St. John's gets to enjoy all the oil money, but no one there found or made or produced any of the oil...crazy, hey!?)

  • billy
    December 06, 2011 - 09:22

    Maybe it's time to revisit "resettlement" again. These communities are dying a slow death.

  • Ken
    December 05, 2011 - 08:16

    Exactly, just like Thatcher. Look how well the UK is doing now. Economy is shot, unemployment at an all time high, and even the Queen is taking a big pay cut!!! BTW, exactly what does St. John's contribute to the economy? The city has no oil, minerals, or forestry, and very little fishing. Oh yes, it has government jobs. The whole area is propped up with government jobs. That, Brandy, is an example of government supporting a community.

    • er yeah
      December 05, 2011 - 11:46

      There's more to a community than raw resources. You forget all the manufacturing and services industries in SJ. Brandi's comment is moronic, no other rebuttal is necessary.

  • Brandi Neary
    December 04, 2011 - 19:45

    Ms. D is correct. Tax payer's money should not be used to sustain an outport community if that community contributes nothing. Unions support lazy, unproductive workers always calling off sick. Ms. D. should act like Ms. Thatcher and SMASH the UNIONS!!!!!

    • Franko
      December 07, 2011 - 11:34

      The big point being missed here is that thses companies want their quotas to be shipped out of the province as 'whole fish' to be processed in China. Where is the kathy Dunderdale who stood up for the people who blocked the road to the Burin fish plant to keep the company from removing the equipment. Back then Kathy railed about sending 'cod block' out of the province. Now it's going to be whole fish to China? Kathy is turning her back on her own people and ancestors as he turns her back on the fisheries and outports. here is where the renewable resources lie. Soon the oil will be gone and so will Newfoundland but of course so will Kathy to some tax haven in the Caribbean. Shame.

  • David
    December 03, 2011 - 17:13

    This is as distasteful as telling your kids there's no Santa Claus....the processors have been created and weaned in a politically poisoned, non-business-oriented activities for decades. Under the explicit expectations and instruction of numerous governments, they learned entire behaviors and rules in direct conflict with common sense, profit-driven practices....NOW you expect them to act differently? Now that you have oil money to keep the government stove lit, and when there's nothing left to even try to profit from? Really?

  • Joe
    December 03, 2011 - 16:36

    Too bad this wasn't announced before the election. May have been a different turnout in a couple of ridings.