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September 7, 2010

Assistance Available for Workers Affected by Closure of Gaultois Fish Plant

At the request of the Town of Gaultois and plant workers, the fish processing plant in Gaultois has been deemed permanently closed. As a result, workforce adjustment measures will be made available to approximately 70 displaced plant workers affected by the permanent closure. The decision was made today by the Ministerial Committee on Fisheries, chaired by the Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

“I commend the community of Gaultois for their direct input into the decision to close their plant,” said Minister Jackman. “The people of Gaultois can be assured that they will have the support of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador as they seek economic development and employment opportunities, such as those existing in the aquaculture industry, which is rapidly growing in the Coast of Bays Region.”

The plant has not operated since 2009, and is owned by the Gaultois Investment Corporation, and was most recently operated by G.B. Seafood International Limited. Assistance will include labour market and counselling services; short-term job creation measures through the Fish Plant Worker Employment Support Program; wage subsidies to support transition to other jobs; and regional economic diversification opportunities through programs set up to help small businesses, cooperatives and economic development organizations. The Departments of Municipal Affairs, Human Resources, Labour and Employment, and Innovation, Trade and Rural Development will be involved with the support services. In the coming weeks, information sessions will be held in Gaultois for the affected workers.

“Transitional supports will allow those individuals affected by the plant closure to gain access to programs and services which will allow them to better prepare themselves for future employment opportunities, and participate in employment assistance,” said the Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “The department has approved a job creation project to provide support to individuals who may require immediate employment, and will work closely with the town and those affected to help address the challenges caused by the closure of the fish plant.”

Applications and program administration guidelines for the Fish Plant Worker Employment Support Program may be obtained by calling the Department of Municipal Affairs toll-free at 1-866-508-5500. The department will liaise with towns and development organizations to develop additional projects as required in support of the employment program.

“Transition support services will help displaced workers develop a plan to help identify options to secure long-term employment,” said the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. “Services will be co-ordinated through the Employment Assistance Office in Harbour Breton, and officials will visit Gaultois and work with the displaced plant workers to ensure that individuals have access to important information concerning programs and services.”

The Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment will co-ordinate services through its Employment Assistance Service (EAS) office to provide local access to support services. Affected workers may call toll-free at 1-800-563-6600 for additional information.

“The Provincial Government has introduced a broad set of business development programs and services to respond to market and industry changes,” said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. “In collaboration with local businesses and economic development organizations in Gaultois and the surrounding area, we will be utilizing those support mechanisms and targeting opportunities for new economic activity.”

The Integrated Transition Framework for Displaced Plant Workers was established in 2006 to respond to communities and individuals impacted by fish plant closures. It is intended to provide one-time transitional employment assistance, and offers participants access to transitional counselling services to better prepare for future employment opportunities.

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Media contacts:

Lori Lee Oates
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
709-729-3733, 690-8403
Heather MacLean
Director of Communications
Department of Municipal Affairs
709-729-1983, 697-4137
Bradley Power
Director of Communications
Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment
709-729-0753, 690-2498
Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 690-6290 

2010 09 07                                                  11:00 a.m.

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