OCI says Fortune deal has spin-off benefits

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Martin Sullivan, CEO of Ocean Choice International, speaks with reporters in a Telegram file image.

Ocean Choice International (OCI) is calling a deal it reached with the provincial government to allow for more of the company’s fish quota to be shipped overseas one with “many spin-off benefits” for the province.

“This agreement will not only bring secure jobs for our employees at Fortune, but also for the employees at sea on our fishing vessels,” said CEO Martin Sullivan, in a news release issued late Friday evening. “This will also lead to significant investment in new processing technology at our Fortune plant and in new harvesting technology on our vessels.”

Under the agreement announced Friday, 236 year-round jobs will be split between the Fortune plant and OCI vessels at sea, and the company will invest $1 million for capital improvements at the plant. It is a five-year deal.

In exchange, the province will allow the company to ship up to 75 per cent of its yellowtail flounder quota overseas and all of its redfish quota.

“All of our stakeholders, especially our plant and vessel employees and our customers around the world, have looked forward to the day we would have more stability in this business and this agreement now provides that opportunity,” said Sullivan in the release.

He went on to state the company intends to make operations in Fortune work, adding that OCI already has a good working relationship with its employees in the community and the Town of Fortune.

OCI made a similar offer to the province earlier this year. The province rejected that offer in February, stating then it wanted 36 per cent of yellowtail processed in Fortune instead of 25 per cent.

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers union has been at odds with workers in Fortune over concerns such a deal will require the use of foreign vessels on Canadian waters and send too much fish off of the island for processing.

Organizations: Allied Workers union

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Recent comments

  • a business man
    December 27, 2012 - 07:35

    I am not suggesting that the fishery people are committing some criminal act. If they were, I would have called the police, the RCMP and anything other body to have it stopped. That said, I absolutely am suggesting that eliminating the fishery people is the answer to my EI concerns......it is not the only answer, but it is an answer that will certainly get the job done. I realize that it is a is a very dangerous game. but I am okay with that because I get absolutely nothing from the fishery.....thus I have nothing to lose. You are right - as a lawyer I know that a loophole used by anyone is not an illegal undertaking, but you said it yourself - it is a loophole. I want it closed, no matter the cost. I would rather not pay EI contributions to benefit someone else's family. That is why I offshore jobs - to avoid these Canadian taxes. Hell, in SOME cases, I choose to pay EI to some other country just because I am so sick of the abuse in Canada. From my point of view, I just want to prevent and stop the abuse in Canada, even if it means paying it somewhere else. I do this to take some money out of the abused system. I don't want to take care of anyone's family but my own. I certainly believe in a caring society, but I don't want to foot the bill. I understand the importance of EI, but I fully disagree with the same people using EI on an annual basis. I apologize if I have cause offense to anyone, but I stand by my comments and positions as a taxpayer, citizen and voter. The EI abuse has to stop. I voted for this government and I am pleased with the OCI decision.

  • a business man
    December 27, 2012 - 07:24

    CASEY - Yes, my comments are extreme and I apologize for any offense that I have caused. That said, I am a NL citizen, voter and taxpayer and I stand by position. I have contempt for the fishery because I get nothing from it, an I am sick of the special treatment that it receives as an industry. Look , I pay lots of taxes, but I don't get the kind of support that the fishery does. My tax dollars do more to help the fishery than it does to help me. The same can be said about my Ei contributions. I have never once drawn EI, yet I have to pay while other take more than they put in on an annual basis. I am no means suggesting that the fishery people are doing anything illegal....because they are not. Rather, I am saying that they are doing something that I disagree with, and I want it to stop, and the death of the fishery will stop it. It doesn't matter how it stops, as long as it stops. So I support the decisions of the government that have prevented the creation of more fishery jobs. That is one of the things I look for when casting my ballot. Also, I am suggesting that the majority of NLers agree with me.

    • Casey
      December 27, 2012 - 12:58

      So Business Man do you also want to see the tourism indusrty fail, agriculture,manufacturing and other industries in other provinces? Your attitude smacks of self-righteousness and ignorance. Tourism, agriculture, forestry and yes manufacturing all across Canada get government support whether in the form of EI or some subsidy or even huge bail-outs. I am quite happy to see my tax dollars help out any struggling industry and I suggest that most NLers agree with me. Count your lucky stars that you have never needed to draw EI and get over yourself.This world is not black and white, that is just your limited perspective. Instead of spewing your contempt online anonymously why don't you team up with someone like Ryan Cleary and find the root cause of most of the problems with the fishery. Hint...look at the custodians of NL's fishery sice 1949!

  • Casey
    December 26, 2012 - 11:42

    Business Man...With such an extreme view your comments are very disturbing. It is hard to believe that anyone in NL could have so much contempt for the people involved in the fishery. Also it is very easy to spew such contempt online under the cover of anonymity.I'll bet that you are extremely careful where you spout your opinions in the real world. You're out of line as far as I am concerned, especially with the outports struggling to survive.

  • Harold
    December 24, 2012 - 20:19

    A business man you seem to be suggesting that the fisher people are committing a criminal act. as a lawyer you must know that you should provide proof. you also seem to be suggesting that eliminating the fisher people is the answer to EI concerns. you need to open your eyes "a business man" the fix all that you are hoping for is a very dangerous game. i know much more about EI fraud then i will print here. also since you are a lawyer you must know that a loophole used by anyone is not an illegal undertaking, weather it be fisher people or other members of society. I also pay into EI but if my contributions keep some family from being homeless then I consider that a small price to pay. i do not for 1 second believe that i have all the answers to the worlds wrongs but I do believe in a caring society and i also believe in the saying" what goes around, comes around". this is where i would normally wish you a Merry Christmas but i think you place a monetary value on everything and Christmas is for sharing.

  • Harold
    December 23, 2012 - 19:05

    "a businees man" your back with your small narrow minded attitude. sit back and relax, the remaining fishing jobs will be the next thing exported and sooner then you think, don't pretend that your looking out for the 500,00 people of Newfoundland, the only person your looking out for is yourself. read some of the posts you made during the last year.

    • a business man
      December 24, 2012 - 10:12

      Harold, make no mistake, I am completely in it for myself. When I vote, even though I am voting for a party, I am really voting for ME and MY interests. I am not here to make the world a better place. I am here to accumulate as much as a possible for as many future generations of my linage as possible. That said, you are failing to consider that my position on this issue is inline with the interests of the majority of 500,000 NL citizens. I certainly do not form my positions to look out for NL citizens, but that does not mean that my positions are contrary to the interests of the majority. Look, the majority of citizens in NL have nothing to do with the fishery, yet our tax dollars are being used on the fishery, and our EI contributions are being abused by the fishery workers on an annual basis. We have fishery workers who take more from EI than they put in, and on the other hand you have hard working NLers like me and the non fishery workers who put in to EI and never take anything out. The cycle of abuse has to stop...The same people cannot be allowed to use EI year after year while I am forced to pay for it. SO, I am happy that the fish is being exported raw because it will prevent more fishery workers from getting the hours they need to qualify for EI on an annual basis. If they can't qualify, then they cannot continue to abuse the system. I hope that makes sense for you.

  • K
    December 23, 2012 - 12:16

    Royalty ? Where does 75% go to? Who does the processing. I for one would love to see the contract. This Goveernment has one goal put NL. in the whole so far even dunderass great grandchildren will be paying for it. Business controlled by one company ( nalcor ) My God . We have seen this before . Small example Propane was available by one company . What a price we paid. MONOPOLY is A dictatorship. What else is going on ,while the muskrat sham is being forced to the forefront. GOOD BY NL. Hello pop QUEBEC. Where are the adoption papers? Spinoffs. Every employee bys things. Stupid.

  • MBC
    December 23, 2012 - 09:24

    will the 1 million capital investment come from government fuunds.?

  • Jeremiah
    December 23, 2012 - 07:18

    This is nothing more than a throwback to the "Joey" days when we shipped our fish out without adding any value whatsoever. If value cannot be added to a resource, it should be left where it is for the future. Disgusting deal and the province should be ashamed for this sellout.

    • a business man
      December 24, 2012 - 12:26


  • Ken Collis
    December 23, 2012 - 01:28

    I'm sure that the Sullivan bro's would agree that fishers should be entitled to exactly the same deal. Other Canadian fish companies should be able to offer Newfoundland fishers a price for thier catch and if OCI wants to process it instead all they would have to do is offer more, or even the same. It just makes good business practices laws even for all involved.

  • KD
    December 22, 2012 - 17:27

    Finally a good news story for the honest and hard working people of fortune now if marystown could only turn back the clock and take a page from the fortune story instead of following the unions around who for the most part are running for the ndp or support them just looking for political points merry christmas my fortune friends

  • Maurice E. Adams
    December 22, 2012 - 15:57

    Why should we spend our time, money and resources exporting anything? Our visionary government should just have foreign vessels do all the work, spend their money to catch and export the fish. Then these companies could just pay a small royalty to whomever happens to be the Minister (or perhaps, under cover, pay a small stipend to the appropriate political party), then the party in power could provide a few crumbs, a fire truck here and there, a new roof for a school or pay the electricity to put some ice on a stadium around election time. Everybody benefits. It will cost NL citizens nothing, and we then would be able to thank the corporate sector, and later the NAFO countries for all the benefits we receive ----- UTOPIA.

  • a business man
    December 22, 2012 - 12:48

    While allowing the company to export the fish raw is certainly a good thing, I would have preferred it if we let the export everything in exchange for a slightly higher royalty rate. In other words, the province as a whole would have been better served with royalty money. The 110 jobs only benefit the people who get the jobs, whereas royalty money could benefit everyone. While I am happy the company gets to export fish raw, we could have got more money if we didn't insist on local processing. We could have cut out 110 workers and benefit 500,000 citizens. In any case, hopefully the remaining fishing jobs will be the next thing exported.