Fisheries issues raised in House

Dave Bartlett
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Marketing, the MOU and the fishplant in New Ferolle all raised by Liberals

Fisheries Minister Clyde Jackman told the House of Assembly Thursday that if both sides of the fishery keep their commitments, a marketing strategy for the province's seafood should be in place before next year's fishing season.

Jackman made the comment to Liberal fisheries critic Marshall Dean after he asked a number of questions about the fishery and the memorandum of understanding (MOU) during question period.

Fisheries Minister Clyde Jackman told the House of Assembly Thursday that if both sides of the fishery keep their commitments, a marketing strategy for the province's seafood should be in place before next year's fishing season.

Jackman made the comment to Liberal fisheries critic Marshall Dean after he asked a number of questions about the fishery and the memorandum of understanding (MOU) during question period.

Last summer, an MOU was signed by the province, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union and the Association of Seafood Producers to look at ways to rationalize and restructure the fishery.

Dean also asked the minister about previous comments that communities would have a voice during the MOU process.

"I ask the minister today, will he commit to formally including community representation in the MOU process, specifically by modifying the agreement itself, so that communities will have a direct voice in the industry as it undergoes the many changes required in the months and years ahead?" he asked.

Jackman said it's important communities have a say on the future of the fishery, but stopped short of reopening the agreement.

"At the appropriate time, when we feel, and the process feels, there is a place for community input, then we will be seeking it," the minister said.

Dean then asked about the status of the New Ferolle fish plant on the Northern Peninsula, which has remained shuttered this year.

"I understand a meeting was held a couple of weeks ago with the owner, Greg Mullowney, who again promised the (workers) of the plant that it would reopen. Other than a few pieces of old furniture and dated equipment going into the facility, the plant remains idle and it is increasingly frustrating for the residents," Dean said. "Why is the owner not being more accountable to the people of New Ferolle and the area?"

Jackman said that as far as he knows, Mullowney still intends to open the plant.

"We have a number of plants on the Northern Peninsula that (just) opened this week. The member for St. Barbe (Wally Young) has met with the group, he has met with me, and we will continue to monitor (the situation)," the minister said.

But Dean suggested the minister's answer gave him a bit of deja vu.

"They met last year as well and, of course, we all know how much work they had last season," he said. "Given the uncertainty that has plagued this plant in the past several years, the plant committee in that community has sent a letter to the minister of fisheries requesting that the processing licence be transferred back to the community."

Dean asked if Jackman would meet with the committee.

Jackman said he would meet with "any group at any time" and would wait for the letter.

dbartlett@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Allied Workers, Association of Seafood Producers

Geographic location: New Ferolle, Northern Peninsula

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Recent comments

  • Maurice E.
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    It is shamefull that Danny (the people's? premier), Mr. Jackman, the Province, after all this time and all the effort being put into this MOU process, that the communities --- those who are adjacent to, and depend on the fishery resource, have no say in what will happen to THEIR resource ---- a resource that is the lifeblood of their communities and all of rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

    As a former federal bureaucrat, I know all too well what it means when it is said that the communities will be brought into the process AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME ---- that is when all the key options, strategies, processes and decisions have already been made IN FAVOUR of those who are interested only in maximizing profits ---- and that means shutting down plants, sending our resources offshore for processing jobs in China and elsewhere, increasing the offshore (big boat) fishery at the expense of the ecologically, sustainably, and rural Newfoundland friendly small boat inshore fishery.

    Will rural Newfoundland and Labrador survive Danny Williams? It doesn't look good.

  • Maurice E.
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    It is shamefull that Danny (the people's? premier), Mr. Jackman, the Province, after all this time and all the effort being put into this MOU process, that the communities --- those who are adjacent to, and depend on the fishery resource, have no say in what will happen to THEIR resource ---- a resource that is the lifeblood of their communities and all of rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

    As a former federal bureaucrat, I know all too well what it means when it is said that the communities will be brought into the process AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME ---- that is when all the key options, strategies, processes and decisions have already been made IN FAVOUR of those who are interested only in maximizing profits ---- and that means shutting down plants, sending our resources offshore for processing jobs in China and elsewhere, increasing the offshore (big boat) fishery at the expense of the ecologically, sustainably, and rural Newfoundland friendly small boat inshore fishery.

    Will rural Newfoundland and Labrador survive Danny Williams? It doesn't look good.