This is what I say, Mr. Boyd

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Recently I read what was essentially a public memo to me from David Boyd of Twillingate (“What do you say, Bill Barry?” Feb. 3), basically saying if I answered his questions in his favour that he would vote for me.

I am not in the habit of trying to bribe anyone for a vote, but for sure, David’s thoughtful letter to the editor and his interest in rural Newfoundland and Labrador deserve a response.

• First, on the “open border policy” to give fishers the opportunity to sell their products outside of the province: I am 100 per cent in favour of no restrictions, provided there is a level playing field which allows our processing sector to compete.

In other words, our province under such a scenario should not have a cost structure for our fish processors that makes them uncompetitive with Nova Scotia or New Brunswick.

In another respect, I would support the current policy which would provide exemptions in cases where there is insufficient local demand for fishers to have a successful harvest.

• With regard to increasing processing capacity by allowing anyone to spend their own money to do small volumes of local species: there have been endless independent studies which have all concluded that our province has excess capacity and return on investment for the industry is poor.

If I was premier, I would seriously consider an exemption for you, David, to set up your own small community operation with your own money.

Views can change

I am willing to bet that after a short time your views on the viability of small local processing would change.

There is a big difference in signing the front of the cheque versus the back.

I wish you well; vote or no vote, you’re a passionate Newfoundlander and I respect you for that.

Bill Barry

Corner Brook

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick

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Recent comments

  • Be careful who we elect in the future as Premier
    February 17, 2014 - 14:49

    709EastCoaster, I want to Thank You for your great response to Bill. I hope Newfoundlanders and Labradorians smarten up and understand that the Fish Resource is the main resource in the abundant resource rich larder of our province, after all it is a renewable resource.. So far the processors who have gotten control over the precious fish resource have had that industry solely for themselves in the province while sharing it with Ottawa for international trade, for instance the European Union countries. The processors have had the politicians in their pockets, both Federal and Provincial, to make sure they do what they want. The fish resource is very important to the major fish processor and the Federal Government and our Provincial Government has gone along with the plan. My God we cannot elect Bill to be the Fox to look after our natural resources, especially the fishery to keep the status quo over the fishery in place.

  • 709EastCoaster
    February 13, 2014 - 09:53

    Wow Bill, As a total outsider to the fishing industry I will be the first to admit I am hardly and expert. But one thing that does stink in your response in is your condescension towards the fisher. Long has the NL fishery been wrought with merchant/processing class versus the fisher and where has this gotten us? Your caveat "I am 100 per cent in favour of no restrictions, provided there is a level playing field" undermines your argument. NL fishery reformation is needed, reformed by a government that will faced tough decsisions that may not be popular with with neither the fisher or the processor. Decisions that look out for the long term sustainability of our industry. I am am not sure having a governing party lead by a processor who's views are hardly unbiased is the correct answer. I have been patiently waiting for a glimpse of where you stand on the fishery....your response to Mr. Boyd is hardly encouraging.

    • wtf
      February 13, 2014 - 10:24

      Do you even know what Barry means by "a level playing field"? If not then how is he undermining his own argument?