Something fishy?

Dave Bartlett
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Hedderson criticized over shrimp licence decision

A controversy over shrimp is anything but small.

In the House of Assembly Tues-day, Liberal Lea-der Yvonne Jones asked Fisheries Minister Tom He-dderson why he overruled a decision by the prov-ince's Fish Proces-sing Licensing Board to award a shrimp licence to the Beothic Fishplant in Valleyfield.

Hedderson told the House that until the current plants which process shrimp are processing at capacity, no new shrimp licenses will be issued.

A controversy over shrimp is anything but small.

In the House of Assembly Tues-day, Liberal Lea-der Yvonne Jones asked Fisheries Minister Tom He-dderson why he overruled a decision by the prov-ince's Fish Proces-sing Licensing Board to award a shrimp licence to the Beothic Fishplant in Valleyfield.

Hedderson told the House that until the current plants which process shrimp are processing at capacity, no new shrimp licenses will be issued.

But even one of Hedderson's Tory colleagues isn't happy with the decision.

Bonavista North MHA Harry Harding, who worked at the plant for 10 years, told CBC's The Fisheries Broadcast recently that he believes the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture was misled by other processors.

"I believe that it's the processors wanting to protect their own turf, just as Richard Cashin said in his report, moreso than their concern about excess capacity," he told the radio program.

Cashin - the chairman of the licensing board until last month - was also recently on the Broadcast where he called the decision the most egregious decision he's ever seen regarding the fishery in his 47 years of experience.

Harding's comments were also brought up by Jones in the House.

But Hedderson denied pressure from other processors played any part in his decision.

Jones also asked why have an independent board issue processing licenses if the minister isn't going to follow its advice.

Hedderson said 99 per cent of the board's decisions have been accepted but he couldn't approve this one.

"So the board is independent as long as it toes the government line," retorted Jones.

Outside the House, Hedderson told reporters he based his decision on three criteria; feasibility, threshold capacity and regional balance.

He said to give shrimp to Valleyfield would mean no shrimp, or less shrimp to another plant.

"It's the ripple effect that it would cause, and it would cause grief to another plant who would lose that capacity," said Hedderson.

Jones also spoke to reporters and said the board was formed to remove political interference from the licence granting process.

She also said, even though this is the first rejection of a board recommendation by a minister, it's also probably the first licensing issue that's been either bit controversial.

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael said she doesn't understand why the minister hasn't accepted the board's recommendation, as has always been done in the past.

And she said Harding's opinion on the matter raised a red flag for her.

"You don't get MHAs in this government, backbenchers in this government, speaking out very much against their leader or one of the other ministers, so it really makes you sit up and wonder," she said.

Hedderson also said that Cashin made the decision that he didn't want to continue in the role as chairman when his term was up in March and said he hopes to name Cashin's replacement in the very near future.

But Cashin says that's not true.

Reached by The Telegram while vacationing outside the province, the former chairman blamed the whole mess on a bureaucratic decision which lacks imagination.

"I don't think it's political, I just think that (deputy minister) Alastair O'Reilly is running the Department of Fisheries and Mr. Hedderson is a nice man and has undoubtedly got as much knowledge about the fishery as I do about life on the moon," said Cashin.

Cashin admits he was planning to resign over another dispute, but stayed on to hear the Valleyfield case.

But he said the minister didn't know that until afterwards and never asked him to stay on as chairman.

Cashin said the board is no longer independent, and because of that and the way he was treated, he wouldn't have accepted another term if he was asked.

"You'd only need to have an IQ of room temperature to know that I wouldn't have accepted after they had just treated (the board) with contempt," he said.

dbartlett@thetelegram.com

Organizations: House of Assembly Tues, Licensing Board, CBC The Fisheries Broadcast Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture The Telegram

Geographic location: Valleyfield

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • randy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    It's very easy to see ,how well the MHA Harry Harding is listened to.Does Danny even know your still involved in provincial politics Harry? 6 years of not being heard,would certainly make me mad,but no sir,not Harry and the other ignored backbenchers.Don't worry Harry ,your pension is comeing soon

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    Randy, Harry has been lobbying for this plant way before he ever became MHA. He was an employee of Beothic for many years before that. A finer man you will not meet. Perhaps the Fed's decision to offer a larger Quota to PEI has something to do with this?

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Ask Danny what his connection is with is good friend John Risley? That would be interesting to hear.

  • Chris Avery
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    In case you care Bert John Risley was on the board of directors of FPI the same John Risley who was the direct competitor of PPI at the time Clearwater Fine Foods. That in itself was a direct conflict. Danny had no problems with that. Risley orchestrated the sale of FPI and made a small fortune Danny had no problem with that. Hundreds if not thousands of people lost their jobs and guess what Bert Danny had no problem with that either. You Bert must either be retired or on welfare because it seems you dont really give a tinkers dam about anyone or anything except the Great all powerfull Danny Williams. God forbid we say anything about Danny that dosent fall into your relm of thought. It seems Graham has a way of getting your stinky shorts in a knot Bert whenever he feels like it. That shows me Bert that you are very easily led and even more easily confused. You have one train of thought and thats how great and wonderfull Danny Williams is and as soon as anyone breaks that train of thought Betrt your lost and can only come back with mindless insults to any and all who dont kiss Dannys arse the same way you do. Sad life you have Bert. Thank God you have it and I dont. A B C D

  • Jerry
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Bert do you mean comments as well structured as yours? All you ever do is bash anyone who dare to ask any questions about youd idol Danny Castro. You do know who John Risley is do you bert and his connection to the fishery and to Williams? The same John Risley who made even more millions when FPI was sold years ago. That too with Dannys blessing. Some of us want to know how and where we are being ripped off Bert apparently you dont give a dam.

  • Brian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Here we go again, ministers of dept's that are
    just puppetts, deputy ministers and others with their own agenda's.
    Remember minister Osbourne and the
    fiasco with then deputy minister Abbott. The
    minister not being told/not knowing.
    How can we have any trust in government and
    elected officials

  • Bert
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Graham, its so nice to hear your completely unbiased remarks on all govt. issues. Its always will-based filled with good reasoning. You are a real breath of fresh air. Again thak-you very much.

  • Graham
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    Your very welcome Bert. Its nice to see you are finally paying attention and seeing Danny the way a lot of us have seen him for years. Im proud of you Bert. Just when I thought there was no hope you proved me wrong. You made my day Bert. A B C D. Never too late to join Bert.

  • randy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    It's very easy to see ,how well the MHA Harry Harding is listened to.Does Danny even know your still involved in provincial politics Harry? 6 years of not being heard,would certainly make me mad,but no sir,not Harry and the other ignored backbenchers.Don't worry Harry ,your pension is comeing soon

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    Randy, Harry has been lobbying for this plant way before he ever became MHA. He was an employee of Beothic for many years before that. A finer man you will not meet. Perhaps the Fed's decision to offer a larger Quota to PEI has something to do with this?

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Ask Danny what his connection is with is good friend John Risley? That would be interesting to hear.

  • Chris Avery
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    In case you care Bert John Risley was on the board of directors of FPI the same John Risley who was the direct competitor of PPI at the time Clearwater Fine Foods. That in itself was a direct conflict. Danny had no problems with that. Risley orchestrated the sale of FPI and made a small fortune Danny had no problem with that. Hundreds if not thousands of people lost their jobs and guess what Bert Danny had no problem with that either. You Bert must either be retired or on welfare because it seems you dont really give a tinkers dam about anyone or anything except the Great all powerfull Danny Williams. God forbid we say anything about Danny that dosent fall into your relm of thought. It seems Graham has a way of getting your stinky shorts in a knot Bert whenever he feels like it. That shows me Bert that you are very easily led and even more easily confused. You have one train of thought and thats how great and wonderfull Danny Williams is and as soon as anyone breaks that train of thought Betrt your lost and can only come back with mindless insults to any and all who dont kiss Dannys arse the same way you do. Sad life you have Bert. Thank God you have it and I dont. A B C D

  • Jerry
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Bert do you mean comments as well structured as yours? All you ever do is bash anyone who dare to ask any questions about youd idol Danny Castro. You do know who John Risley is do you bert and his connection to the fishery and to Williams? The same John Risley who made even more millions when FPI was sold years ago. That too with Dannys blessing. Some of us want to know how and where we are being ripped off Bert apparently you dont give a dam.

  • Brian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Here we go again, ministers of dept's that are
    just puppetts, deputy ministers and others with their own agenda's.
    Remember minister Osbourne and the
    fiasco with then deputy minister Abbott. The
    minister not being told/not knowing.
    How can we have any trust in government and
    elected officials

  • Bert
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Graham, its so nice to hear your completely unbiased remarks on all govt. issues. Its always will-based filled with good reasoning. You are a real breath of fresh air. Again thak-you very much.

  • Graham
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Your very welcome Bert. Its nice to see you are finally paying attention and seeing Danny the way a lot of us have seen him for years. Im proud of you Bert. Just when I thought there was no hope you proved me wrong. You made my day Bert. A B C D. Never too late to join Bert.