When Ottawa sells out the fishery to score international political points, it raises questions about our current – and future – relationships
2014 marks the centenary of the Great War. In Newfoundland and Labrador it also marks the centenary of the founding of the International Grenfell Association in St. Anthony, and the ‘Newfoundland’ sealing disaster. This essay is on the latter event, and in particular the diary that President of the Fisherman’s Protective Union William Coaker kept while observing that year’s hunt from the steamship ‘Nascopie’.
Documentary seeks answers to dwindling salmon stocks
As the enormously controversial Canada-European Union free trade deal looms, details of the negotiations are being kept secret by the federal and provincial governments. At risk are our natural resources and livelihoods.
How we’re selling ourselves short
In the second half of our feature interview with former premier Brian Peckford, he talks about his former party, the past (and future) of the fishery, Meech Lake and why Brian Tobin’s turbot war enrages him to this day
The system does need reforms – but not necessarily the ones proposed. Those on both sides need to start thinking sensibly, not just ideologically.
The use of temporary foreign workers in Bay de Verde is a problem on many levels. Our government needs to act now to ensure it doesn’t become worse.
Yes, the fishery is in crisis. And no, it’s not just everybody else’s fault.
The column I swore I would never write
Ocean Choice International is getting knocked from all directions – this time from the provincial Liberal party. The CBC has reported that the party’s fisheries critic Jim Bennett has asked the federal ethics and conflict of interest commissioner to investigate whether or not Loyola Sullivan’s employment with OCI is breaking the rules. Sullivan was Canada’s fisheries conservation ambassador until taking a job with OCI; current rules require bureaucrats sit out for a one-year cooling-off period before taking on private-sector employment which relates to their former public work. “Prior to taking this job, I did submit, to (the) conflict of interest (commissioner) last June, my job description to them,” Sullivan told the CBC. “I spoke to them on at least two occasions, and was given the go-ahead to be able to accept this employment.” OCI continues to get hammered in the public arena, and this latest accusation is a kick while…
“As long as one Newfoundlander wants to harvest one seal, to make a flipper pie, or to use the pelt to make one of those splendid sealskin hats – on with the Hunt! Doing otherwise would be a surrender of our character as Newfoundlanders, and an apology for the rigorous and demanding way of life we have known, and which has earned us tenure here for half a millennium.” Read Rex Murphy’s full article in the National Post via the link below. Source: National Post
A tough and candid look at what may be best for the future of the fishery
Ocean Choice International, owner and operator of seafood processing plants across the province, has announced this afternoon that it is closing its operations in Marystown and Port Union. Just last week an external audit performed by Deloitte confirmed the company’s assertion that processing yellowtail at the Marystown plant has cost the company nearly $10 million in just the past three years. A strong Canadian dollar and high fuel costs were the primary causes. Meanwhile, the shrimp processing plant in Port Union has been closed since the Fall of 2010 after severe damage was caused during Hurricane Igor. As the company cited delays in working with its insurance companies as a cause, rumours have been circulating that OCI would not reopen the plant at all. Lower shrimp quotas and availability at other Newfoundland plants have perhaps made the plant redundant. Recently Ocean Choice CEO Martin Sullivan has been very outspoken about…
Many would rather forget about the fishery. The responsible among us know we dare not.
Late last week a sustainability and conservation plan developed by the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) on behalf of lobster harvesters in the Newfoundland and Labrador Region of Canada was approved under the Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures Programme. The plan comprises three elements: a science and conservation plan to be implemented in all Newfoundland and Labrador Lobster Fishing Areas and in southwest and western Newfoundland, trap reductions, and a lobster enterprise retirement program. By working together to reduce the number of traps in the water and facilitating the retirement of some fishers, the Federal and Provincial governments along with the union have taken steps to rationalize the industry – a format which some say may pave the way for future rationalization of other elements of Newfoundland and Labrador’s fishery. Source: fishnewseu.com
Churence Rogers, mayor of Centreville-Trinity-Wareham, is the new president of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador and he has plans for his two-year tenure. “There is a major imbalance in equity in terms of the fiscal ability of our municipalities,” he said to The Western Star. “We need to deal with that, now, not later.” Rogers has indicated that discussions of a new fiscal arrangement for municipalities is high on his agenda. “The current system of taxation is unfair,” he said. “A lot of inequities exist in the current system, so we need to look at alternative sources.” The Western Star also reports that municipal representatives want to have their say in future of the fishery; in consultation with Memorial University’s Harris Centre he said they will establish an advisory committee and formulate a position paper on the governance and management of that industry. Source: The Western Star
On Friday the House of Commons in Ottawa debated a bill put forward by Newfoundland and Labrador NDP MP Ryan Cleary – a bill that would launch an inquiry into why cod stocks collapsed off Newfoundland and Labrador two decades ago, and how to go about rebuilding the industry. The idea of a fisheries inquiry is an idea that Cleary campaigned on during the 2011 federal election. Unfortunately, the Conservative government had already categorically dismissed the idea of an inquiry, and a debate in the Conservative-powered House of Commons didn’t change things. “While some may prefer to live in the past, our government has no intention of conducting a formal review into the collapse of the cod fishery,” said Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield. Source: CBC
“Almost half of the nearly 400 residents in the area moved away and never came back. Kit Ward, a retired schoolteacher when the fishery collapsed, said she was determined to keep her community intact. So she teamed up with a few friends to promote a couple of local attractions, including a fossil site, ‘which we knew was important,’ she says. They didn’t quite know just how important.” America’s National Public Radio (NPR) features Portugal Cove South, and how the presence of fossils – fossils from the first complex animals that appeared on our planet during the Ediacaran period – have become an economic blessing in the form of a tourist attraction. Read the interesting article via the link below. Source: NPR
Enough vague promises. This is our last chance to get something right.