April 25, 2003
(Fisheries and Aquaculture)
Minister meets with municipal leaders
Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Yvonne Jones, today met with leaders of the municipalities along the south coast of Labrador to discuss the closure of the cod fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. "The impact of the closure of the cod fishery and the 40 per cent reduction in crab quotas in this area will have enormous economic consequences for this area. I believe the economic viability of these communities is uncertain. If the feedback I am getting from the people here is anything like what is happening in other communities throughout the province, there is a lot of fear and anger," said the minister.
"These communities have no other means of employment. Therefore we will see more of our people leaving," said Minister Jones. "Minister Byrne stated that the economic impact of these decisions is not the same as that of earlier circumstances and those who think so clearly do not understand very much about the industry. I would like for him to be here today and experience the disappointment and sadness of these people. He clearly does not understand the significant impact on these communities.
"The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is working to have the federal government increase the very inadequate compensation package and to ensure the federal government does work directly with the communities and all stakeholders to develop a long term investment strategy. Minster Byrne did say he anticipates that this work can be done very quickly. I certainly hope that means that the communities and all stakeholders, including the provincial government, will be engaged and that we really do have a say in what is developed. The announcement yesterday demonstrated the pure arrogance of the federal government toward the people of this province. So far anything our communities and stakeholders have said to the federal government has been ignored."
Media contact: Cynthia Layden-Barron, Communications, (709) 729-3733, cell (709) 682-6765
2003 04 25 3:50 p.m.