Opposition Leader Roger Grimes says the public comments yesterday by Premier
Williams concerning the ongoing crisis in the crab industry have done
nothing but show his highhanded approach and has hurt the prospects of a
resolution to the current dispute.
"The arrogant attitude of the Premier
and his government caused this crisis and it is getting in the way of any
possible solutions," said Grimes. "I cannot understand how the Premier and
Minister of Fisheries can impose production quotas for crab upon harvesters
without any consultation or negotiation. He must admit that his approach has
been wrong, reverse this ill conceived plan to implement productions quotas
for crab and prevent this situation from deteriorating even further.
"To have the Premier publicly incite fisherman by telling them the only
solution is for them to change their minds and go fishing was like throwing
gasoline on a fire. His my way or the highway stand, saying I have made up
my mind and that's all that's to it, only entrenches positions and pushes a
$500 million industry further into chaos.
"It is bad enough that this Premier and his Fisheries Minister have
broken a commitment to consult with the industry and get concurrence from
the harvesters and processors before implementing production quotas for
crab, but now they are prepared to ram this down their throats. There was no
attention paid to the recommendations in the Dunne Report and no regard for
the impact this will have on the industry and the provincial economy.
"What we want to see now is leadership from the Premier to save this
lucrative fishery for this season before it is too late. He needs to
negotiate an end to this impasse so that harvesters can set to sea and plant
workers can start work before the entire season is lost and the rural
economy is further devastated by misguided Conservative policies."