Where was the fishery in the budget?

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What was once the most important and respected government department in our province has been reduced to just a shadow of its former glory under the current PC Government.

Budget 2014 reveals that just $17 million was spent on the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture last year, despite allocating $32 million this government could not and did not spend that money. In fact, all that they did spend was a mere two-tenths of one percentage of the total spending by this government last year. It's not even a blip that registers in the fiscal pie.

The fishery is a billion-dollar industry in Newfoundland and Labrador that employs close 18,400 people and supports hundreds of communities. Yet the minister only saw fit to spend just 53 per cent of the allocated budget.

Budget 2014 is no better, as it underscores that few new ideas are coming out of this government for the fishery.

With a budget of just $29 million, the fishery falls far off the list of top priorities when you consider that more than double that number was given to Tourism, Culture and Recreation. In fact, the Justice Department budget is eight times bigger than Fisheries and Aquaculture and the budget for Natural Resources is 22 times bigger, at $646 million compared to just $29 million.

Even the small amount of money allocated in Budget 2014 is being given to old programs. Marketing, for example, should be 50 per cent of the fisheries budget. Instead, the current government spent only about a million last year!

Contrast this with Alaska’s 2013 marketing budget of $21.3 Million.

If we don't market, we don't play!

This budget could have been an opportunity to prioritize fisheries and aquaculture and lead it back to greatness.

Sam Slade,

MHA for Carbonear-Harbour Grace

Organizations: Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Justice Department

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Alaska

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Recent comments

  • a business man
    April 09, 2014 - 08:20

    I applaud the government for spending less on the fishery. I am happy that the fishery is not on the list of government priorities because it is not on my list of priorities. Simply put, I want a government that supports my interests, and the fishery is not one of my interests. On the other hand, I support the spending of the Justice Department because I am a lawyer, and justice spending results in more work for lawyers and the police and corrections officers too. Simply put, I am happy with this government and happy with this budget. This is why this government will have my vote, and this is why I will donate lots of money to my Conservative candidate and go door knocking to encourage othters to vote Conservative. I realize that my postion will cause suffering and hardship to the fishing communities, but I am okay with that because I don't live in those communities. Furthermore, as a business man with investments in St. Johns, I want rural Newfoundland to fail and die, so that everyone will be forced to move to the city. I want this because it will me more city-based customers. It is completely self-serving, but I am allowed to be self-serving and I am allowed to vote for candidates that do not care about the fishery. So I do. Democracy is great. The funny thing is that the fishing communities really have no say in the matter because they repsresent so few of the voting population. So on that note, ignoring the interests of the fishery communitieis is a good strategy to get elected because they are a rather meaningless voting block, from a purely mathematical point of view.

  • John
    April 07, 2014 - 06:59

    The Liberals complain that the government is overspending, yet criticize them for not spending. This Zebra Party is a joke.

    • Joebennett
      April 07, 2014 - 12:51

      John boy, you're the joke. You want to keep all " old boy's club " in tact in order to keep all their business friends happy. I' m sure you realize that DW still calls all the shots. Pity.

  • John
    April 07, 2014 - 06:58

    The Liberals complain that the government is overspending, yet criticize them for not spending. This Zebra Party is a joke.