From a recent letter to the editor (“This is what I say, Mr. Boyd,” Feb. 13), I am pleased to know that Bill Barry, if premier, would consider permitting an “open border” policy with regard to outside buyers being permitted to compete for Newfoundland fish products, providing the playing field was level for all concerned.
On the issue of permitting anyone to build a small processing plant to buy limited quantities of pelagics or cod from inshore fishers, I am disappointed that he has adopted the currently existing policy that such would be an exercise in futility, as such endeavours, he suggests, would be bound to fail.
Such a policy which disallows the chance of failure denies the opportunity of success and has the effect of driving the final nail into the coffin of rural Newfoundland.
With little opportunity or encouragement for young people to enter the fishery on a small scale, and with the average age of the province’s fishers now approaching 60 years, what do we have to lose by permitting anyone with a creative idea and a plan to use their own capital to construct a cottage-type plant catering to local and national markets with speciality products?
The provincial government’s failure to permit creative people to build on a dream, because by some chance they may fail, ensures little hope for outport Newfoundland and Labrador, nor for the larger centres than depend on the trickle of wealth from numerous smaller communities.
I see no one currently in government with the courage and vision to restore democracy to the fishery and the denial of the right to fail in and of itself guarantees failure.
Good thing Zeta Cobb was not constrained by such archaic laws limiting free enterprise, or her dream of The Fogo Island Inn, now No. 10 on Oprah’s WOW list, would never have become a reality.