Government refusing paper copies of document on aquaculture development

The Telegram
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

The president of the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland (SAEN) says the province’s Department of Environment is denying access to a public document by not providing paper copies upon request.

Marystown sign

In a statement issued Tuesday, Sean Vardy said there have been “numerous public requests” for a registration document for the environmental assessment of the Grieg NL Nurseries Ltd. and Grieg NL Seafarms Ltd. aquaculture development in Marystown and Placentia Bay.

The Department of Environment is welcoming comments on the plans until March 26. A minister’s decision is expected April 5.

“Like all registration documents, this document is publicly available on the Department of Environment and Conservation website,” a spokeswoman stated when provided with Vardy’s statement.

“Given that this document consists of more than 500 pages, and weighs several pounds, providing multiple hard copies is not fiscally or environmentally responsible.”

Hard copies are available for viewing at five public libraries, in St. John’s (A.C. Hunter), Clarenville, Marystown, Gander and Corner Brook.

Related story:

Marystown salmon hatchery proponents told to provide more information

"It is simply not acceptable to expect people to read and study 500 pages on a computer screen or to travel over 200 kilometres to a library to share a paper copy," Vardy said, calling on government to provide the document on request and extend the deadline for response.

"'To do otherwise is simply to deny the opportunity for public input and to muzzle potential criticism.'"

The department, asked for response to that request, reiterated the original statement.

The document can be readily accessed through the Department of Environment and Conservation website.

Organizations: Department of Environment and Conservation, Grieg NL Nurseries, Grieg NL Seafarms Placentia Bay.The Department

Geographic location: Marystown, Corner Brook

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • DC Reid
    March 19, 2016 - 14:11

    If the people of NL want fish farms out of the water, the best time is before they get in the water. Note that actual employment, based on the experience in BC, is only 13% of what is claimed. It is a conflict of interest for the government to buy into a fish farm project.

  • Oisin
    March 16, 2016 - 11:04

    There has to be some scepticism involved whenever an interest group asks for an extension. In this case asking for a hard copy to be mailed out to anyone who asks feels like a delay tactic from an interest group cited in the above article. Maybe SAEN is delayed in their response but other groups are not. The president here should realize that not everyone in the public will read " Bathometry Map of Western Placentia Bay," in order to make a comment. Those that care will take the time to read the proposal. It really doesn't take that long to gain an understanding of what the project entails and maybe if some of the interest groups and parties opposed did so the discussion could be furthered.

  • Samuel J.
    March 16, 2016 - 10:52

    If the association doesn't own a printer, it can avail of a local print shop. You should be able to get it printed for $50. For an unposted document, the cost of having government print it is $125 plus shipping. But this document is posted and hence - as I understand the access rules - government has met its obligation. I support your cause but I don't believe this complaint does anything to further it. Don't waste your time and resources haggling over minutia. Download your document and get on with your work. You have salmon to protect and the province has the taxpayer to protect.

  • Taylor
    March 15, 2016 - 22:02

    This is totally ridiculous. There is no way that Government should print out over 500 pages to anyone who asks. It's on the website. It's at the library. Go to one of the stations. Please don't use people, resources etc to print something like this.