If the government of the U.S.A. and the fishing fleets of foreign countries behaved in their fishery like they do here in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Americans would have a civil uprising; it would never be allowed to take place.
In England and France a few years ago when governments wanted to change some policy which would have destroyed thousands of small fishers’ operations, the fishers blocked the channel tunnel.
A day later, the government withdrew its plans.
Where will you find people to stand up like this here?
The most productive fishing grounds of its kind on the planet, God given to us for a $10-billion industry yearly, forever, and what did the Canadian government do with it when it took over 65 years ago?
What did our local government allow them to do? And both are still doing at present.
Imagine if the governments spent a quarter ($2.5 billion) of what they are planning to spend on Muskrat Falls on developing and trying to restore the forever renewable fishery.
What it would do to our economic stability, the future of our coastal and provincial economy and tourism?
You don’t have to imagine because across the pond, in Iceland and Norway you see $8-billion to $15-billion fisheries.
No government official here wants to take on the powers of Ottawa and the large fish companies.
They don’t want to battle an enemy of wrong because it is too difficult, long-sighted and long-term, with no immediate reward of popular vote in their term, no immediate acclaim to better their image, ego and position.
What have voices in the wilderness got for proclaiming the truth about the wrongs in our fishery? A pat on the back or praise.
What the hell does that do for the fishery, the children of the future and their right to live a fisher’s life of good hard work, self-reliance and the dignity of providing for their families?
Those in power have lost their souls, the soul which would care for the lives of fisher people and their provision, the only ones that can enact changes in fisheries policies that can restore sanity to stop the destruction of the resource.
Dante said, “he who does not stand up in times of crisis is destined for hell.”
Where do you think our people are headed?
Part of the history of mankind
is written in wars fought between countries and nations over natural resources — a bad thing, a form of man’s insanity to himself and Mother Earth, to be sure, but at least they wanted and recognized the value of natural resources to people and their countries.
Indeed, didn’t we for some hundreds of years fight and struggle with the French, Spaniards and Portuguese over our valuable fishing grounds?
So valuable that 400 years of treaties between European fishing nations all included rights to access and catch the fish off our shores?
Well, our fishery isn’t fought for anymore, nor even stood up for here in Newfoundland and Labrador.
It’s allowed to be taken by Ottawa and given away to outsiders, without a word from us.
A boundless treasure of potential wealth and societal stability given away with out a whimper.