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Friday, April 07, 2006

Harper Supports Farmers but Forgets Fishers

During the recent throne speech Stephen Harper’s government outlined their top priorities for the upcoming session including recognizing the value of those who work “On the land and on the sea”. Wonderful words to hear, but unfortunately in the text following that statement the poor folks who work “on the sea” were completely omitted.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with introducing programs to assist farmers. God love them all, what would we do without them. As those fine folks like to say, “Farmers feed cities”. Indeed they do, but so do fishers. Which is why it ticks me off that they are always forgotten when it comes to protecting and supporting those who feed us all.

The Harper government has vowed to stop neglecting Canadian farmers and have already committed to increasing farm support programs by half a billion annually. They have identified financial, fuel and subsidy program changes all geared toward helping the farming industry. Great stuff, but what about fishers and fish plant workers who live in dying communities across this Country?

During the recent election, when Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams asked Mr. Harper about cost sharing an early retirement plan for the fishing industry he was stonewalled. The only response from Stephen Harper was that they were not interested but would consider retraining displaced workers. Not exactly heartwarming for a 60 year old fisherman who’s future may well rest in spending a few years retraining for another profession and then looking for gainful employment at 63 or 64.

One of the biggest problems that has faced the fishing industry over the years is the total lack of support offered by Ottawa. Politics has been played in the industry like in no other and as a result stocks have been annihilated. Despite this reality, there was no mention of protecting those stocks by enforcing custodial management, increasing science or even encouraging a downsizing of fishing enterprises. No subsidies or help for fishers was even hinted at.

As I’ve said, farmers deserve every ounce of help that can reasonably be afforded them, but so do fishers. Farmers across this Country face many hardships, often caused by unforgiving environmental or weather conditions. Often this reality leads them to require help. Those in the fishing industry also face hardships, but their hardships are more often caused by a lack of fish stocks. The big difference between the two groups is that the main problem in the fishery can be laid squarely at the feet of our politicians and their mismanagement of the industry.

In a recent statement Mr. Harper said, in reference to the farming industry, "I do not say we can fix the neglect of a decade overnight, and I know that our producers don't expect that, but in the weeks, months and years ahead, our government is going to move ahead, not with mere words but with actions."

I’m sure many farmers were heartened by those words Mr. Harper, but I doubt any fishermen or their families were. Yes there has been a decade of neglect in the farming industry and it should be rectified, but there has been at least five decades of neglect in the fishing industry. What about that?

It takes at least two primary groups of hard working people to feed our cities, farmers and fishers. It’s nice to see a plate full of healthy vegetables at dinner time, but the next time you sit down to a meal Mr. Harper you might want to consider how nice it would be to enjoy a piece of salmon, cod or sole with those veggies. You might also want to think about the men and women who work so hard to provide it.

25 comments:

NL-ExPatriate said...

I to was dismayed with all the attention the farmers are getting mainly due to the protest on Parliament hill by the farmers who can afford to transport their tractors to Ottawa and parade up and down sussex dr.

I was reticent to cry foul mainly because I think the fishery has it's own unique problems and I wouldn't want to burden the farmers by crying foul as if to say I want some also.

But the reality is Fishers and farmers are in the same boat so to speak.

You mentioned Harpers lack of commitment for an early retirement package for fishers but you failed to mention his lack of commitment for aquaculture as well.
The knowledge these older fishermen could bring to an aquculture industry would be invaluable IMHO.

MAybe if the Feds made a commitment to help process the seal carcasses into fish and animal food to help support the seal fishery and our blossoming Acquaculture industry.

That is Once they change the regulations surrounding the seal fishery so as that it isn't prohibitive to harvest the entire seal as opposed to the first come first serve quota system we have right now where by it is prohibitive to transport the entire seal back to land when the big money is in the pelts and transporting the entire seal would cut down on your total quota available.

Here is his reponse to OUR Premiers list of issues affecting NL.

http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2006/exec/01harper.pdf

MrChills said...

It’s amazing the way people think here in the Dominion of Canada.

The Government can spend untold billions on helping out the Farming and Auto industry and the average mainland citizen will not open their mouths. The thought more or less is that we need these industries and that the government should help them out in any way that they can. However, the moment a dime is spent on assisting the fishing industry; fishermen are labeled as being lazy and shouldn’t deserve any handouts.

Patriot said...

I agree with you both. I was also reticent about saying anything because I didn't want to seem like the commentary was picking on the farmers for getting recognized. I also didn't want to make it look like we were stomping our feet and saying "me too, me too". But I quickly got over that.

I don't have a problem with farmers being supported as the article clearly says. I included that sentiment specifically because of the possible mis-perception.

I also realized that even though it may look like we are screaming for handouts it is Ottawa that continues to put us in that position by forgetting our issues. In that light I refused to be silenced because it was likely intentional on the crafters of the throan speach to put us in that weakened position.

Anonymous said...

FISH IS THE ENABLER THAT ALLOWS CANADA SO MUCH FREEDOM IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS!

YES MR. CHILLS, isn't it amazing how differently the AGRICULTURE and AUTO industries are treated by Canadians and Ottawa, as compared to the FISHING industry. Despite the fact Ottawa holds in the palm of its hand A VIRTUAL BANK, NAMELY, THE FISHING Industry that was brought into Canada only because by hook or by crook Ottawa was successful in getting the province of NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR to join Canada in 1949; and, of course, which territory gives Canada its complete Eastern Flank. If they hadn't gotten Newfoundland and Labrador to join, there would be a foreign country off its Eastern Coast at this moment. That makes this province more important, in my opinion, than any other province in Canada. except for British Columbia which gives Canada its Western Flank. Ottawa uses the Fish that grows on the prolific Grand Banks of Newfoundland to bolster its International Trade and Foreign Affairs clout. And believe me that fish which they hold custody of, gives Canada immense clout in International Trade and Foreign Affairs circles.

In other words NO OTHER INDUSTRY IN CANADA pays its way like the Fishery does. What do the Auto Industry and Agriculture Industry give to Ottawa, NOTHING, as both of these industries need another resource to be the ENABLER for their products to be traded. And that resource is the FISH that this province brought into Canada. Without that fish, which Ottawa, holds in the palm of its hand, the Auto and Agriculture industries would be worth precious little.


I am sure Ottawa knew full well what it was getting in 1949 when by hook or by crook Ottawa got us on side.

How come at one time there were only 4 countries fishing off Newfoundland and Labrdors waters and now there are many, many countries from the Atlantic to the Pacific out there. You might ask WHY? It is because these foreign countries were given quotas of fish in order for these countries to buy wheat, auto parts from Canada, and everything else that is manufactured in Canada. The only ones benefiting from our fish is the other 9 provinces. They have market economies created on our fish, Ottawa created make work projects for Newfoundland and Labrador's rural economies and now they want everyone to pack up and move to Alberta, since Ottawa has all the quotas dispensed to other countries. Now Ottawa does not want to play the game of creating make work economies anymore. Ottawa now has everything structured the way it wanted it to be with the fish. A lack of transparency paid off very well for Ottawa/Canada didn't it? All the time, we, in Newfoundland and Labrador did not know what was happening. Corruption, through lack of transparency, sure pays off, doesn't it?

Bayman said...

OK Anonomous you've identified the problem with no supporting links I might add just conjecture albeit very releant conjecture where is the proof that we as NL's can take to the bank like PEI did with their Supreme court challenge of the abuses perpetrated against NL and it's fisher people.

http://www.gov.pe.ca/courts/supreme/reasons/20819.pdf

WJM said...

In other words NO OTHER INDUSTRY IN CANADA pays its way like the Fishery does. What do the Auto Industry and Agriculture Industry give to Ottawa, NOTHING, as both of these industries need another resource to be the ENABLER for their products to be traded. And that resource is the FISH that this province brought into Canada. Without that fish, which Ottawa, holds in the palm of its hand, the Auto and Agriculture industries would be worth precious little.
[...]

How come at one time there were only 4 countries fishing off Newfoundland and Labrdors waters and now there are many, many countries from the Atlantic to the Pacific out there. You might ask WHY? It is because these foreign countries were given quotas of fish in order for these countries to buy wheat, auto parts from Canada, and everything else that is manufactured in Canada.


You might wish to come up with some supporting documentation for that bizarre allegation.

I don't know if he'll ever release it, but Loyola Hearn has a report on his desk, the result of an in-depth study by Art May, that completely and thoroughly debunks the Newfoundland myth that fish was traded for Ontario auto parts, Prairie wheat, or anything else.

Someone should AtIP it.

Anonymous said...

WJM

Why did the number of countries fishing off Newfoundland and Labrador for hundreds of years multiply from 5 countries centred around the Atlantic Ocean, namely France, Spain, Portugal, England and of course Canada. The number of countries have increased to many, many more which stretch from the Atlantic to thePacific.

All these extra countries came to our waters since free trade appeared on the scene. Would not Canada be responsible for giving those countries the rights to fish in our off shore waters? I cannot, for the life of me, see these countries appearing off our coast without knowledge and without consultation with Canada. If Canada didn't get something in return for this in the name of international trade and foreign affairs, it would not have happened. Just harken back to the soft wood lumber dispute Canada has with the US. Look how hard Canada is fighting to get it just desserts out of that with its number one trading partner.

There is no way in god's world would Canada have foreign countries off and on its continental shelf without its approval.

You mentioned a name of somebody with a study on his desk, WJM, I am surprised that you are taken in by this, especially in today's world where there is such lack of transparencies and documents are compliled just for the sake of cover up. WJM there is an old adage that says, there are statistics and there are damn lies. I say most of the studies that have been done by our DFO have been damn lies.

Hamilton River said...

WJM - Newfoundland and Labradors Benedict Arnold.

His forefathers were probably apart of the Canadian negotiatng team who sold us down the river.

Like father Like son.

WJM said...

Why did the number of countries fishing off Newfoundland and Labrador for hundreds of years multiply from 5 countries centred around the Atlantic Ocean, namely France, Spain, Portugal, England and of course Canada.

Because in the mid part of the last century the technology came together to allow long-distance process-at-sea fishing, before the law caught up to it.

All these extra countries came to our waters since free trade appeared on the scene.

Please itemize for us: when did Free Trade come on the scene, and when did each country start coming?

Would not Canada be responsible for giving those countries the rights to fish in our off shore waters?

Not beyond the limits over which Canadian laws apply, nope.

You mentioned a name of somebody with a study on his desk, WJM,

Loyola Hearn is the guy's name. Minister of Fisheries. Newfoundland MP.

I am surprised that you are taken in by this, especially in today's world where there is such lack of transparencies and documents are compliled just for the sake of cover up.

I know that this document exists, and I hope Loyola will release it soon.

WJM there is an old adage that says, there are statistics and there are damn lies. I say most of the studies that have been done by our DFO have been damn lies.

Whether or not they have been -- and everyone involved in the fishery believes DFO studies when those studies support increasing quotas, while no one beleives them when those studies suggest quota cuts -- this study in particular is not done by DFO.

It was done by Art May.

It's on Loyola's desk.

Hi, Loyola!!!

Anonymous said...

WJM - Do you know of an instance where Ottawa has ever had control over produce from a farmers field or car parts from an automotives manufacturing plant to pay for favors rendered to a political party, by some person volunteering his/her service to politicians? Of course, we know those volunteer who receive a quota of fish were lobbying the politician for something in return for favors rendered.

Well, one of Newfoundland and Labrador's well known politicians, George Baker, who was a MP in Ottawa, but who is now a senator told the VOCM Open Line show on one occasion that the shrimp quotas that were given out by Ottawa, at the time he came to the Open Line Show, were given to 17 foreign nations and there were a number of quotas given out to Canadian companies, and amongst the Canadian quotas were quotas given to 2 Canadian Doctors, just ordinary citizens who immediately sold the quotas to some fishing conglomerate and, as a result, pocketed $5 to $6 million dollars each.

WJM - did you not say that Ottawa had no control over which foreign nation fished off our coast? Here was a case where 17 foreign nations and 2 ordinary citizens received quotas of shrimp in our waters, doled out by Ottawa. The recipients were foreign nations and 2 ordinary citizens amongst Canadian recipients. Could you please explain that.

The fish resource that Newfoundland and Labrador brought into Canada; and Ottawa holds in the palm of its hand,is the equivalent of Ottawa having a virtual bank in its possession. When quota distributing time comes around, Ottawa can dip in and pass out quotas to whomever they want. To persons who have rendered favors, to politicians, and to foreign countries so that international trade can be conducted for Canadian made products and Canadian grown products. As I said the fish is the enabler for wheat and car parts and other things manufactured in Canada to be traded, and of course, that fish gives Ottawa much foreign affairs clout.

There is no other resource belonging to any other province that Ottawa has such control over.

NL-ExPatriate said...

Great points Anon

I remember hearing about those private citizens receiving those quotas. I believe one was a dentist and still holds one while he lives in Florida and reaps the benefits.

The fisheries on the great lakes makes up their own conservation and fisheries strategies and it gets rubber stamped by DFO.

Apparently there is a high ranking official in DFO who is on the board of directors of these same ARA groups who are making millions slandering our seal fishery as well and he or she has permitted the distances for the observers to be reduced over the years from miles down to 10 metres LOL.

We do have control of the entire continental shelf Nose Tail and flemish cap include according to the United Nations Law of the sea Article 76. 350 nautical miles to the slope of the continental shelf.

Just Canada doesn't have the political will to take control of what is rightfully ours. Or doesn't want to lose their bargaining power for the sake of a few newfies right.

http://www.globelaw.com/LawSea/ls82_2.htm#article_76_definition_of_the_contin

Breanne Milley said...

THANK YOU!!!

NL-ExPatriate said...

Forgotten province land is what our place in Canada should be called.
I point out the statement by Stephen Harper during the election that he would return a regular army presence to BC. The only province without a regular army presence according to him.

Well I guess if you think like most canadians specifically Ottawa that canada is from Victoria to Halifax that might be true.

Since Newfoundland and Labrador doesn't have not only a regular army presence it doesn't have any worthwhile regular Navy presence not Airforce presence and he is making election promises to BC to return their regular army presence while NL doesn't have any presence period.

http://www.cpcenergy.ca/media/20051217-podcast-Victoria.mp3
He talks about returning regular army presence to BC at around the 13 minute mark.

Meanwhile the rest of the maritimes is littered with military presence in an area 3 times smaller than NL combined and in a less strategic location.
IE: Halifax, Greenwood, Dartmouth, Charlottetown, Gagetown etc

WJM said...

WJM - did you not say that Ottawa had no control over which foreign nation fished off our coast?

No, I said Ottawa has no such control outside of areas that are under Canadian jurisdiction.

Read next time.

The fish resource that Newfoundland and Labrador brought into Canada; and Ottawa holds in the palm of its hand,is the equivalent of Ottawa having a virtual bank in its possession. When quota distributing time comes around, Ottawa can dip in and pass out quotas to whomever they want.

As they have -- I don't remember Newfoundlanders complaining when Ottawa gave them turbot and shrimp off Labrador or Nunavut. Do you?

There is no other resource belonging to any other province that Ottawa has such control over.

Fisheries don't belong to provinces.

WJM said...

Meanwhile the rest of the maritimes is littered with military presence in an area 3 times smaller than NL combined and in a less strategic location.
IE: Halifax, Greenwood, Dartmouth, Charlottetown, Gagetown etc


Are military presences to be doled out base on geography?

If so, watch out: NL is the fourth-smallest province or territory.

By that logic, Yukon should have the same or just slightly large military presence as NL. Ontario should have 2.5 times. Quebec should have almost 4 times. Nunavut should have five times.

WJM said...

We do have control of the entire continental shelf Nose Tail and flemish cap include according to the United Nations Law of the sea Article 76. 350 nautical miles to the slope of the continental shelf.


You may wish to re-read that Article.

WJM said...

Miles, why did you delete this comment the first time I posted it?

Hamilton River said...
WJM - Newfoundland and Labradors Benedict Arnold.


A very brave comment coming from a very brave fighting Newfoundlander who is too cowardly to post other than anonymously or pseudonymously.

His forefathers were probably apart of the Canadian negotiatng team who sold us down the river.

Nope, but they were proud Labradorians who rightfully felt that Newfoundland had done nothing for them, and rightfully foresaw that our place was within Canada.

Like father Like son.

Myles, if you're going to delete this comment again, you can delete "Hamilton River's" original comment, too, OK? Otherwise you're being inconsisent.

Anonymous said...

WJM

Why did you not comment on the 2 Doctors who received quotas of shrimp from Ottawa which I mentioned in my last post. This information is according to a statement made by then MP and now Senator George Baker on VOCM Open Line a couple of years ago.

I would like to know why Ottawa did this and where did Ottawa get the authority to give 2 Doctors $5 to 6 million dollars worth of shrimp each to be sold to some fishing company and according to Mr. Baker the million were then pocketed and the Doctors went on their merry way. Was this shrimp given for some crony act performed?

WJM I would love your opinion on this scenario.

WJM said...

Anonymous said...

Why do you post anonymously?

Why did you not comment on the 2 Doctors who received quotas of shrimp from Ottawa which I mentioned in my last post.

Do they have names?

If so, please post them.

How much is their "quota"? When did they receive it?

And who are you?

NL-ExPatriate said...

Try reading this one WillJump forMoney

http://seamap.bio.ns.ca/seamapconcept.html

If you think we already have control of our continental shelf and slope. Why then are they doing this survey? And running out of time very quickly since they only have until 2007 to prove our case and ratify out to 350 Nautical miles of the continental shelf according to the United Nations Conention on the Law Of the Sea which came into being in 1997.

FedUpBC said...

Bitch, bitch, bitch. What you guys do best.

Fishing outside the EEZ is not a crime. Period.

Farmers do more for the country than fisherman. They feed us, They feed the world. They are a producer.

Fishermen, however, bring us shame, disrepute and spend four months of the year sitting on their asses collecting the taxes of hard-working farmers as welfare.

On top of which, it is fishermen themselves who destroyed their own industry with their own greed. Not foreign trawlers and not seals or global warming.

So screw you. Save the sob story for someone not paying your salary four months of the year.

Anonymous said...

WJM

Why are you posting anonymously WJM?

What do the initials WJM stand for anyway.

But I do think you are a person who scans blogs, and in all possibility you are getting paid by the Federal Government to rebut anything that appears on the blogs the Federal Government doesn't like.

Again for your information Senator George Baker told VOCM Open Line on one particular day a couple of years ago, after quotas of shrimp had been allocated by Ottawa, that 17 foreign nations had received quotas and with the Canadian licences given out, two doctors from Canada had received quotas of shrimp from Ottawa. Mr. Baker said the 2 Doctors received between $5 and 6 million dollars each worth of shrimp which they turned around and sold on the market immediately. I cannot name the Doctors because Mr. Baker did not name them, but obviously it was true or why would this distinguished gentleman have made that statement. After all he was a Federal MP at the time and he is a Senator at this moment. I believe George Baker and I believe he made this statement to make the public of Canada aware of how our resources were being abused.

WJM you always cover up for the Federal Government. Please stop it and let us do our thing of trying to expose the evils that are going on with our resources.

I am a citizen just as distinguishable as you are WJM with your WJM initials. To me WJM is anonynous and I am sure it is also to the blogging public.

Again Who are you WJM?

Patriot said...

WJM Said:

"Miles, why did you delete this comment the first time I posted it?"

I did not delete it. Sometimes the post doesn't get through when you hit the Login and Publish button. You need to wait until you see it appear in the post area. If it comes back still in the small entry window it didn't make it through and you need to publish again.

I don't delete posts unless two criteria area met.

1. The post has no inherent value to its arguements AND

2. The language is so clearly abusive or racist that it warrants it.

Even then I think long and hard about removing it and have only had to do so 2 times in over a year.

Believe me it takes a lot for me to delete any post as you can see from some of the stuff here that is related to the seal hunt.

In future I would appreciate it if you didn't accuse me of simply deleting a post.

BNB said...

WJM has finished his Fisheries report and now he's back to blog haunting - honestly I have to get a job like that. Pump out one or two reports a year and flog the dog for the other 50 weeks.

MrChills said...

FebUpBC,

You are complaining about ‘us guys’ bitching, after reading your post I would guess you could teach classes on how to bitch, or better yet, on how to be a complete misinformed, misguided twit.

This is not a pissing contest - I agree that farming produces more food - but do think the fisherman are catching fish and selling them to Wal-Mart to be sold as pets? I would also imagine that the fish they catch are feeding ‘us’ and the world, I actually had a big feed of salt fish last night in Ontario, caught in Newfoundland and processed in China, I thank Ottawa on that one ;)

Please enlighten me on how fishermen bring you shame? Are you saying that farmers work 12 months of the year? Last time I checked Corn didn’t grow anywhere in Canada in February.

Screw you? Sorry I am not your type. But, I would like to know when you started to pay my salary or anyone else’s for that matter. That doesn’t even make sense, the entire country pays taxes, and based on that line of thinking, I actually paid your dumb ass to post your worthless opinion.