June 13, 2017
For Immediate Release

What Are the Liberals Doing for Plant Workers and Wharf Monitors Sidelined By Ice?

Kevin Parsons, Fisheries Critic for the Official Opposition, said, “The Liberals have let people down by helping fish harvesters sidelined by ice while ignoring fish plant workers and wharf monitors who are sidelined for the very same reason‎.”

Last week, the federal government announced up to $5 million to assist ice-bound fish harvesters under the Ice Assistance Emergency Program.

“The fish processing sector falls under provincial jurisdiction, so it was the obligation of the province to work with Ottawa to ensure the assistance for people impacted by the severe ice conditions also included something for sidelined plant workers and wharf monitors,” he said.

“Is any assistance coming for plant workers and wharf monitors, who can’t work without fish to process? If the government can compensate the people who catch the fish because of severe ice conditions, why would it ignore plant workers and wharf monitors who are in the same situation? They have no income and need income bridging to tide them over until the harvesters can deliver fish for them to process.”

“The silence from the provincial Minister of Fisheries and Premier Dwight Ball on this issue is deafening. We’re witnessing some of the worst ice conditions we’ve seen in years, and the impact on rural fishing communities of being unable to catch, land and process fish is enormous. In past years, the Liberals promised they would pay attention to the needs of rural communities that rely on the fishery, but now that the obligation is on their shoulders, they are ignoring the very communities, plant workers and wharf monitors ‎that they promised to look out for,” he said. “Don’t they care?”

“I challenge the Premier and Minister Crocker to stop ignoring the crisis facing fishing communities ‎this fishing season. Come out from hiding, listen to people, and start providing answers and solutions to help those who feel abandoned by their government,” 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