May 5, 2017
For Immediate Release

Budget 2017 Reveals Scope of Giveaway on NL Fisheries Fund

Kevin Parsons, Fisheries Critic for the Official Opposition, is concerned that with the crisis in the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery, the Ball Liberals seem to be doing very little to help address the challenges and seem content to sit back and wait for the Federal Government to tell them what to do next.

“In Budget ’17 estimates meetings, the Minister of Fisheries confirmed that Newfoundland and Labrador will receive only $7 million in federal funding in 2017 if an agreement can be reached. The Liberals still don’t have an agreement, timelines or details on how the Atlantic Fund will help industry in our province. At a time when people are struggling – it is not good enough,” said Parsons.

“How did the Ball Liberals manage to let fisheries funding fall from $400 million, when we had a public commitment from the Prime Minister to honour the $400 million agreement our government had achieved? How pathetic has the province’s representation been when they’ve settled for just 2.5% of what we were promised?”

Parsons added, “How does that even begin to compensate Newfoundland and Labrador for the decision to relinquish Minimum Processing Requirements (MPRs) with respect to the European Union under CETA? We are the only Atlantic province with MPRs, and the $400 million fund was intended to be exclusively for our province’s use as a condition of our decision to relinquish MPRs for EU countries. The Ball Liberals let Ottawa turn our exclusive fund into an Atlantic-wide fund, of which we are getting a pathetically small share.”

“How does that amount of funding even begin to prepare our fishing industry to seize the opportunities that are opening up before us? Why doesn’t the Ball government care about maximizing Newfoundland and Labrador’s opportunities in one of our province’s most important rural industries at a time when our economy desperately needs new opportunities for growth?

“Premier Ball has become the master of giveaways. To keep the peace with Liberals across the country, he is giving away the opportunities and funding that Newfoundland and Labrador ought to be fighting for. Who is fighting for our province while Mr. Ball sells us out? It is a shameful neglect of duty, and our people and economy are suffering because of it,” said Parsons.

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