Opposition Leader Gerry Reid is calling on government to finally be up-front
with the people of the province and initiate a public inquiry into the
ongoing situation regarding Fishery Products International (FPI) operations.
"I was very surprised to learn that government is contemplating an
arrangement that would allow FPI to sell all, or substantially all of their
company," said Mr. Reid. "If this were to happen, government would in
essence be eliminating the power of the FPI Act that governs the company.
"I am also concerned that by allowing the Barry Group to purchase FPIís
assets, FPI and John Risley will be accomplishing through the back door what
they couldnít accomplish through the front door a few years ago. At that
time, the NEOS bid was comprised of Mr. Barry and Mr. Risley. I am surprised
and very concerned that government would even contemplate allowing this to
"First of all, eliminating the FPI Act would not protect the employees of
that company. In addition, nobody knows how many plants Bill Barry would
keep open; how many people he would employ; what will happen with FPIís
groundfish quotas; and how much fish would be processed in this province.
There are so many questions that it reiterates the need for a public
"Furthermore, for a government to have known this information when the
House of Assembly was open and not reveal it to the people of the province
is unacceptable. We are learning new revelations regarding this fiasco on a
daily basis, while the companyís employees in Fortune and Marystown are left
hanging in the balance. It is unfair and government is morally obligated to
put everything on the table immediately. If the NEOS bid was unacceptable to
Premier Williams in 2002, why is he considering accepting it now?
"If this government wants to find a solution to the FPI issue, I suggest
they begin by initiating a public inquiry to ensure everything is made
available for full public scrutiny. It is unacceptable for back room deals
to take place with Bill Barry that may do nothing but destroy FPI and allow
John Risley to walk away from the province with FPIís most valued assets in
the United States. The people of the province must be consulted and I call
upon this government to move forward with a public inquiry immediately."