June 22, 2017
For Immediate Release

Twillingate Fish Plant Workers Left to Fend for Themselves:

No Plan, Even As More Bad News is Expected

Kevin Parsons, Fisheries Critic for the Official Opposition, said, “The fish plant workers of Twillingate have been left to fend for themselves, without any plan from the Ball government.” The plant owners announced this week that the plant will remain closed for the year because of quota cuts and ice conditions.

“Plant workers here and in other parts of the province are wondering how they will make ends meet as quota cuts and ice conditions are taking their toll,” said Parsons.

“The Liberal government saw the consequences of the quota cuts and the ice conditions coming a long way off. More bad news is expected. Where is their plan to deal with the impact on people? Why are the Premier, the Fisheries Minister and the region’s MHA not speaking out with some sort of strategy to help people deal with the impact of this crisis on their lives and their community? Where is the promised $100 million dollar Atlantic Canada Fisheries Fund agreement? Has the agreement been signed? Where are the details? ”

Parsons said, “Ottawa came through with an assistance plan for ice-bound fish harvesters, but Ottawa and the province forgot about impacted fish plant workers and wharf monitors, without answers or a promise to help. Where ice is the problem, people should receive some sort of bridging assistance to tide them over until they can get to work.”

“Quotas are imposed by Ottawa, without the province’s participation. We have been calling for years for Newfoundland and Labrador to be directly involved in the quota-setting decisions. We brought forward a resolution in the spring sitting of the House to urge Ottawa and the province to explore options for joint fisheries management. The Ball Liberals promised to move on this, but they have made zero headway with their federal Liberal cousins. They are letting Ottawa make the quota cuts while our people bear the impacts, and they’re washing their hands of their responsibility to look out for the people who are suffering because of it,” said Parsons.

“How will the Liberal government assist the displaced workers and their community? Why isn’t there a plan? Why have the workers been sent home to deal with this bad news on their own, without even the sympathy of the government that regulates their industry, let alone a plan to help them deal with what they’re facing? What are the Liberals doing about the fishery challenges in our province? The silence is unacceptable, and a plan is needed now,” 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