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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fishermen demand public inquiry

The following appeared in the Sou'Wester and it's worth a read if you ever wanted to see a clear example of how the fishery has been mis-managed by Ottawa.

Fishermen demand public inquiry
April 27th 2009

By Pam Snow

GREEN BAY/WHITE BAY, N.L. - There are 262 core licence holders, plus crew represented by the Small Boat Committee for Green Bay and the White Bay area, and all members are tired of a mismanaged fishery.The chair of the committee, Ray Wimbleton, said the blame rests on the shoulders of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

“It has been mismanaged for years,” claims Wimbleton.

“There are fish being dumped when it really isn’t necessary.”

Wimbleton said the individual quota laws for fishermen to follow, need to be revamped.

“If I have a quota of 20,000 tonnes and I drop a seine and get 25,000 tonnes; those fish are already dead, but I can’t give that extra 5,000 to a fisherman to meet his quota,” said Wimbleton.

“Instead, I have to dump that 5,000 tonnes of dead fish back into the water. It’s not because we want to do it – it’s because by law we have to do it. As fishermen we think it’s ridiculous because we want to utilize our resource, not completely destroy it.”

On behalf of the committee, Wimbleton has been writing letters to the Member of the House of Assembly (MHA), Member of Parliament (MP) and members of the opposition, in hopes of getting an inquiry the fishermen demand into fishery management by DFO.

“The general public says that all our marine resources are public property, to be managed by those in power for the good of the country and its people. Anyone managing a public property must be accountable to the public,” stated Wimbleton in a letter to MP for Humber-St. Barbe and Baie Verte, Gerry Byrne.

After recieving Wimbleton’s letter, MP Gerry Byrne said the concept of a public inquiry is a great idea.

“Reading the letter and listening to Wimbleton’s comments, it really makes you think about how the fishery has almost slid onto the backburner, so to speak,” he said. “The committee is expressing a great deal of frustration because the fishery is not on the fore-front of any agenda.”

Byrne fully supports an inquiry into the management of the fishery.“I have encouraged Wimbleton to focus on specific issues and what a commissioner should focus on,” he said. “Right now the committee has a broad based inquiry, the focus on the objections need to be tighter. “Then there’s the question of who should be the head commissioner as well.”

The fishermen are demanding to know why DFO has eroded the buddy-up system they have always had and who has access to the fish resource.

“How many processors, business people and foreigners have quotas of different species that can be sold?” questioned Wimbleton.

Wimbleton said it would be interesting to know exactly know much of Newfoundland and Labrador’s resource has been traded off over the years to foreign countries for industry development and how much is still harvested inside the 200 mile limit today.

“DFO operates on tax payers dollars, so how much is spent on real science? Who has received funding from DFO and for what purpose?” he said. “Is the money being spent to wisely manage and conserve our fish stocks or is millions of dollars being wasted through third party involvement?”

Wimbleton charged that knowledgeable advice is being ignored by DFO from fishermen.

“These are just a few concerns that really bother the fishermen.”Leo Seymour, from Harbour Round on the Baie Verte Peninsula, has been a fisherman for 38 years and said the demand for an inquiry is high.

“I talk to a lot of fisherman around the area and there are even people besides fishermen who want to see a public inquiry,” he said. “DFO is saying to us that there are too many fishermen and too little fish, but that’s not the case. There are not too many fishermen and too little fish.“There’s a big difference in what DFO is saying and what fishermen are saying about the number of cod stocks around the island. An in-depth inquiry would bring it all onto the table and would put the information out there for people to see.”

With 18 fishermen making their living from the sea in Harbour Round, Seymour said that’s the only life the residents know.“You take the fishermen out of Harbour Round and there would be nothing left,” he said.

“With all these tourism advertisements that the government have been releasing on television, they all focus on outport Newfoundland. But DFO and Government are slowly cutting the life line of outport Newfoundland, and I think if rural areas were to disappear tomorrow, there wouldn’t be one tear shed from anyone in government.”

Wimbleton agrees that the impressions from a recent meeting with DFO in Grand Falls -Windsor were the soon-to-be extinction boat fishery.

“There will not be a next generation of small boat fishermen, under DFO policy the door only swings one way, you can get out, but not in,” he said.

“ Why have the federal government of Canada and DFO decide that the small boat fishery of Newfoundland and Labrador must go, to become a page in history? If we are to become history, we must know why.”

DFO was unavailable for comment at the time this story was written, however in the Stock Assessment of Northern 2J3KL Cod for 2009 that was released in March, the report states “any fishery should be managed such that catches are not concentrated in ways that result in high exploitation rates on any stock components.”

If you would like to support the call for a full inquiry into the Atlantic Fishery you can find contact information for your federal MP and various media outlets in the links section at the upper left side of this page.


Anonymous said...

Patriot you asked the question:
“ Why have the federal government of Canada and DFO decided that the small boat fishery of Newfoundland and Labrador must go, to become a page in history? If we are to become history, we must know why.”

As far as I am concerned this was all part of the program put in place when fishers were given a few pounds of fish to harvest along with EI subsidization.

That program was not meant to last forever, the Feds figured that starvation diet given to the fishers would have pushed the inshore fishers out of the system a long time ago, and then they would have the inshore fish resource producing yearly to subsidize the offshore stocks.

The offshore fish stock is the enabler which keeps the Canadian/International Trade system in orbit and without it Canada will have a much harder time in finding markets for products produced in Canada.

It is time for the fishers of Newfoundland and Labrador to wake up and understand why matters came down the chute the way they did.

Ottawa did not devise that system for the good of the Newfoundland and Labrador fishers, but instead so that there would be quotas to dole out to foreigners to conduct International Trade for the Manufactured and Agriculture goods which are produced in Canada.

Can's Newfoundalnd and Labrador fishers see from what has happened that Ottawa wanted them out of the fishery all together.

When the final fish net is pulled our of the water by the last Newfoundland and Labrador inshore fisher, that will be the day when Ottawa/Canada will have complete control over the fishery for the Manufacturing and Agriculture Sectors of Canada and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador will have lost that precious resource and the resulting industry that could have been, if the fishers had paid due attention to how the Federal Government was utilizing it for the good of the rest of Canada and not for them.

It doesn't pay to be asleep on the job and as far as I am concerned that is what our fishers did. They were too complacent and now they are losing the chance of making a livlihood from their own renewable natural resource right on their own doorsteps.

What is the matter with us Newfoundlanders and Labradorians?Why did we put everybody on autopilot and allow others to rape and pillage us of our natural resource base?

We have to wake up IMMEDIATELY, since the last I heard Ottawa is about to allow the European Union countries inside of our 200 mile limit right up to the land that abuts our front doors.

Ussr said...

Patriot I would love to know the answer to that very question. What has made us so complacent to Ottawa? Its sickens me to hear other regions of the province say how their resources have been plundered and stolen WHEN IT IS THE ENTIRE PROVINCE that has felt the heavy hand of Ottawa come down in a crushing manner on it’s citizens. It is Ottawa and only Ottawa that has managed to displace thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans to places that they had no wish to see. It is Ottawa and Ottawa alone that must answer the question , “ why has Newfoundland and Labradors resources been raped and plundered for sixty years “ to benefit Ontario and Quebec while the people of our province have had to watch their sons and daughters walk away from their families and friends to find a different path in life.

Now as most here know Patriot, when someone here at Web Talk starts to ask these questions we get those that have sold their soul to this very anti-Christ, saying that “Oh, you had the choice to stay or go. You had freedom of choice to start a business or go away” They won’t tell the truth of how they raped and blackmailed families into selling what little they had just to feed their families when the bankers came calling. No four billion dollar bailout for this industry. No grants or loans for these people, unlike the tobacco farmers in south western Ontario.

This is pure hypocritical H@^$% SH&$, and they know it. How are you supposed to support a business when the core industry that has supported all these families has been raped and pillaged from these mainland overlords? Raped for the benefit of Canada and her spoiled brats. ( Ontario and Quebec. How much does Quebec receive in equalization payments? How much more would it get with the money the ChurchHill) and yet they call us welfare case and bums that want nothing more then a bottle of rum to suckle as we abuse our families. And, most in our province still have the need or want to call these people countrymen. How much egg in the face can one people handle? How many insults and hurt feelings do we have shared before we start to feel that we have had the wrong end of the stick for so long?

Those in Labrador are crying for a decent way of life, yet we send our sons and daughters to Alberta to work for their economy while we are so desperately needed here to develop our own.

You want to know why we will never have an inquiry into the fishery patriot because the truth will have to come out. On how we let out port Newfoundland and Labrador die so, Ontario and Quebec could sell their products. So the wheat kings could be competitive, selling their western products. The free trade agreement with Europe is being drafted on the backs of our provinces fishery.

Why do you think that the Icelanders are so hesitant to join the E.U.? Because, they don’t want Spanish and Pork Chop trawlers off their banks dragging up and destroying their banks and their cod stocks.

But, that all right, were from Newfoundland and Labrador. We are just going to shut up and let this country called Canada walk al over us yet again. This is the same country that wouldn’t allow us our constuitional right to sell our resources like any other province.

The joke was and has been on us since 1949.And, was just too nice to see how we are being screwed over.

“Republic Of”

PS, I just cant believe that we are going to allow the E.U to fish inside our border.The crazieness must stop.Canuckistan simply has to go.The era of this Soviet style country has to come to an end some where.

Anonymous said...

USSR - You are right, we have had people who have said "well you had the choice to go or stay" or why didn't you set up business yourself.

What is most troubling about those statements is that Ottawa kept things so intransparent.

We were programmed by the Politicians of Ottawa, our own in some cases for the best part of 60 years with systematic lies. We were told that we were living on a big bald rock with no resources.

People of yesteryear put a lot of faith in their politicians around our province. Our politicians were quite aware of that, and as a result they were perpetrating a crime on a people who were ignornant to that not being true.

The inhabitants of this province were stripped off their self dignity and self worth with such information as we were resourceless planted in their brains.

We were made dead in the water with such lieing information. We were like prisoners in straight jackets.

I wonder can we do, as other groups have done and bring this matter to the courts of the land? It is shocking what was perpetrated on our people and our province. It makes me so angry!

It was, no doubt, the biggest lie every perpetrated in the history of the World. We were living in a very large forested province, Newfoundland and Labrador, which was well endowed and still is with many natural resources that were coveted by not only Canada but the World.

And our natural resource base will still be coveted when the World Economy picks up again.

The story of Newfoundland and Labrador and how it failed to thrive will be another blight on Canada. I am sure some Canadians are asking questions already, whether they will ever utter those questions of doubt will be another question.

Ussr said...

‘Canada has been a drain on Newfoundland and Labrador'
Despite all that NL contributes to the country, there are still those who see only a welfare ghetto populated by beggars


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Hi. I’m a “Newf,” i.e., a “surly islander” from what “is probably the most vast and scenic welfare ghetto in the world.” My home province, Newfoundland and Labrador, is also “the biggest sinkhole in the country” where “beggars can be choosers.” Worse, we bite the hand that feeds us. Nevertheless, the government of this “welfare ghetto,” is richer than Ontario’s.

This is what we’ve been told in recent years by a columnist in a national newspaper (The Globe and Mail), another columnist in a nearly national paper (the nearly National Post) and one of Canada’s most successful businessmen.

And yet, oddly enough, Canadians look down on Americans because they seem to know so little about Canada. Remember when “surly islander” Rick Mercer went to the U.S. to interview passers-by in the street and the CBC gleefully aired his findings to illustrate the ignorance of Americans about their northern neighbour?

But Rick and the CBC could have saved taxpayers’ money and conducted the interviews in Toronto. And to find egregious examples of ignorance about Canada, they wouldn’t have had to take their chances questioning people in the street. They could have interviewed the presumably well-informed: for example, Margaret Wente of The Globe and Mail, Andrew Coyne of the National Post (now with Maclean’s) and Seymour Schulich, co-founder of Franco-Nevada Mining, philanthropist and entrepreneur.

Their statements represent some of the ill-informed views about Newfoundland and Labrador that are widely held throughout Canada — thanks in part to them.

However, even a cursory examination of a few facts will show that, far from being a drain on the rest of Canada, this province actually gives as much to the federation as it takes — and arguably even more. Quebec, in particular, is a major beneficiary.

Those who calculate the “cumulative net benefit” to the province and conclude, as Seymour Schulich once did, that Newfoundland and Labrador is a “sinkhole,” make the mistake of considering only two things: taxes paid and transfer payments received. They ignore the constant stream of benefits — financial and economic — that the province’s natural resources have bestowed and continue to bestow on the nation. For example:

• Thanks to hydroelectricity from Churchill Falls, Quebec is able to add about $1 billion to its revenues each year. Up to the end of last year, this resource had enriched Quebec by an estimated $19 billion.

• That $1 billion a year cuts the amount Quebec needs to receive in equalization payments, thus reducing the burden on Canadian taxpayers. In the fiscal year 2007-08, Quebec received $7.1 billion in equalization, more than half the equalization funds available. It could have been much higher.

• The plentiful supply of cheap electricity from Labrador also boosts the Quebec economy by stimulating the growth of manufacturing in that province.

• Newfoundland and Labrador gives the Quebec economy another major boost, thanks to its vast iron ore resources in western Labrador where more than 60 per cent of Canada’s iron ore is produced. The resource has created jobs in, and stimulated the economy of, the port of Sept-Iles, Que. since the 1960s. Sept-Iles is now second only to Vancouver in terms of annual tonnage. The Iron Ore Company of Canada’s recent announcement of a $500-million expansion will further benefit the region, including Sept-Iles.

As well, Wabush Mines’ processing plant is a source of employment and income in Pointe Noire, Que. (Quebec, which covets Labrador, doesn’t need to own the territory; it has most of the benefits of ownership and none of the responsibilities.)

• Labrador’s massive nickel, cobalt and copper deposits in Voisey’s Bay support jobs in Thompson, Man. and Sudbury, Ont. where the ore concentrate is processed (and will be processed until 2011 when a processing plant opens in Newfoundland).

• On top of all this, tens of millions of dollars in royalties pour in each year to the federal treasury thanks to Newfoundland and Labrador’s nickel, iron ore and oil and gas resources. The federal government gets about 90 per cent of the royalties from Voisey’s Bay. From three offshore oil projects, it has already taken in almost $6 billion. And during its 25-year life, the fourth project alone (Hebron) is expected to bring $7 billion to the federal government.

That’s not a bad contribution from a “welfare ghetto.”

In fact, it is clear that not only has Newfoundland and Labrador not been a drain on Canada. Quite the contrary — Canada has been a drain on Newfoundland and Labrador.


Ottawa mismanaged this province’s once-lucrative cod fishery and other groundfish stocks to the point of commercial collapse. The 1992 moratorium led to the largest layoff in Canadian history (40,000 people, 30,000 of them in this province), forced tens of thousands of people to leave the province to find work and turned scores of communities into ghost towns. The loss to the provincial economy has been an estimated $600 million-$700 million a year.

• Ottawa stood idly by while Quebec cut off access to export markets for hydroelectricity from Churchill Falls, leading inevitably (since Quebec could be the only market) to a contract that enriches Quebec and tosses crumbs to the “welfare ghetto.” Newfoundland and Labrador’s loss is an estimated $1 billion a year.

• In 1984 Ottawa took possession of the continental shelf that Newfoundland brought with it into Confederation; and even though it signed the Atlantic Accord saying the province would be the “principal beneficiary” of oil and gas resources offshore, the principal beneficiary has been Ottawa.

In short, Canadian government policy (in one instance along with Quebec’s) has stripped Newfoundland and Labrador of most of the benefits of three of its major resource industries — the cod fishery, hydroelectricity and oil and gas.

So it’s hardly surprising that this province has the highest unemployment rate in the country, the highest net debt per capita (more than twice the national average) and the lowest per capita incomes.

What is surprising is that, despite all that Newfoundland and Labrador contributes to Canada, there are still those who see only a welfare ghetto or sinkhole populated by beggars.

And what is startling is that anyone — given the adverse effects of Canada’s policies on the provincial economy — could suggest, in a nearly national newspaper, that the province is richer than Ontario.

Joan Forsey, a Newfoundlander living in Toronto, has been researching and writing about Canadian economic and political affairs for more than 30 years, including seven years as a writer on the staff of the late prime minister Pierre Trudeau.

I thought that someone might want to read this Patrioit.Seeing that I'm the only one that has such a strong stance on Independance.But, I want to show that a great number of Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans, on the mainland, share my way of thinking.They also hold a great deal of shame and a total disrespect for Ottawa and Canada in general.Few wish to come forward and say whats really on thier mind.Alot of it has to do with the fact that we are such a small minority ,even in our own country. Alot don't, or can't believe that a country like Canada would dare do something like this.A country that has opened its heart with open arms to accept them.

It's an evil empire, created out of a need to secure the western culture.A culture that is not ours.Extinction scares me.I dont want to see my culture or my history die,just so we can say that we are canadain.Its not worth it to me.

" Republic Of "

Anonymous said...

"I wonder can we do, as other groups have done and bring this matter to the courts of the land? It is shocking what was perpetrated on our people and our province. It makes me so angry!"

What we need is somone that would be willing to take this to the courts of the land and have all this dirty laundry aired to the people of Canada.

And, it's just my opinion that it should be done on the world stage.The canadain supreme court has already made it's decision, as has Canada.It will never admit that it had not given the people of the province thier constitutional rights, because that would make them liable in a court of law.And ,how much has Quebec made off of the ChurchHill .I think they are at just over twenty billion.

Thats one hech of a bill to pay back anon.Think about it.Canadas crimes will never come to the light of day.And they wonder why we call them thiefs.

Our only way too prosperity is thru our own state.If you cant do it for yourself dont expect someone else to do it for you.

Jamaica did it why couldnt we.


Anonymous said...

Take a look at the picture in the address below of an Australian Navy gunboat patrolling a fishing boat illegally fishing the Patagonian toothfish in waters south of Australia. Why isn't Canada doing the same?

Australia is one of the most respected countries in the World. Canada is acting more like the European Union by allowing the pillage of the once Newfoundland and Labrador's fish resouce which it assumed under management in 1949to manage and protect.