April 22, 2017
For Immediate Release

Opposition Calls for Leadership and Action from Minister of Fisheries

The Official Opposition is calling on the Ball Liberal government to step up and demonstrate leadership to help address the uncertainty which exists in the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery. Paul Davis, Leader of the Official Opposition has written the Federal Minister of Fisheries, Dominic Leblanc and the Provincial Minister of Fisheries, Steve Crocker to express concern about the unrest and to encourage immediate action from both Ministers.

“We believe that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are united in the belief that action is needed immediately to help address challenges and the future of the fishery. This includes a management plan, improved research, an open and honest understanding of the science, respect for the experience and knowledge of harvesters, and improved communications and partnership with all stakeholders, “ said Davis. “Where are the Federal and Provincial Ministers of Fisheries, the Premier, and Federal Members of Parliament who represent the people of our province? What actions have they taken to address the escalating situation with the fishery?”

There are a number of avenues that could be pursued which include: a federal summit led by the Federal Government to be convened immediately in Newfoundland and Labrador; an immediate process to set up a joint management structure for the fishery; reinstatement of an all-party committee; reinstatement of the $400 million dollar fisheries fund which was promised by the Prime Minister, and the release of details of new science investments that have been established and how research will review the fishery ecosystem.

“We are concerned for the well-being of Mr. Richard Gillett whose circumstance is symbolic of the unrest and frustration in the province,” said Kevin Parsons, Opposition Critic for Fisheries. “We have encouraged both Ministers to act now, demonstrate leadership and show a willingness for a cooperative effort to ensure the best interests of the fishery, all harvesters, processors and Mr. Gillett.”

“It is critical that both the Federal and Provincial Minister of Fisheries and the Liberal government take immediate action to ensure the people of the province that they will stand by the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery, and put the needs of the people of the province first,” said Davis.

-30-

Media Contact:
Heather MacLean, Director of Operations and Communications
Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca