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Letter: Dominic LeBlanc — goodbye and good riddance

I wish to respond to The Telegram’s July 20th editorial, “Sea Change in cabinet,” and reiterate my assertion that Dominic LeBlanc was the worst minister of Fisheries and Oceans in living memory.

The Telegram may call that “hyberbole,” but allow me to rehash:

• LeBlanc is under investigation by the federal Ethics Commission for expropriating a clam quota, a move that will cost jobs in N.L.

• LeBlanc allowed offshore draggers back at the delicate south coast (fishing zone 3Ps) cod stock.

• LeBlanc put indigenous groups/Bill Barry at the front of the line for future redfish quotas in the Gulf, ahead of struggling inshore harvesters from the Great Northern Peninsula/west coast.

• LeBlanc refused to include the principles of adjacency/historical attachment with amendments to the federal Fisheries Act. His first concern was indigenous/Maritime/Quebec fishermen — not N.L. harvesters.

• DFO management plans for just about all species are released late, at the last minute, with no consideration for small businesses/harvesters.

• Marine Protected Areas are closed to fishing, but open to oil and gas activity.

• The 2016/2017 northern cod management plans were the work — not of the DFO, which has a constitutional responsibility for fisheries management — but of the FFAW-Unifor and the Barry Group. DFO abdicated its responsibility, and the stock decline another 30 per cent.

LeBlanc may have been a good friend to FFAW/Unifor president Keith Sullivan, but not to Newfoundland and Labrador.
The irony of LeBlanc’s new job as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs is that he will be Ottawa’s point man with the N.L. government. God help us.

Ryan Cleary,

President, FISH-NL

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