Yvonne Jones, Opposition Critic for Labrador Affairs and MHA for the
District of Cartwright - L’Anse au Clair, says the Raw Material Sharing plan
imposed by the Williams government is having a negative impact on the crab
fishery in southern Labrador.
"A special provision in government’s RMS
plan could force the crab plant in Black Tickle to temporarily shut down as
early as tomorrow," said Jones. "The plant has processed greater than 20 per
cent above the provincial average at this point in the season and will be
forced to close its doors until other plants catch up.
"This is unacceptable for Labrador plant workers because of the shorter
season that will close on June 20th. Other plants on the Island
will have a much longer season in which to catch and process their quotas.
We have a situation here where 50 workers will be forced out of work and
without enough hours to qualify for Employment Insurance benefits. I see no
point in closing a quality producing plant for a day or two at a time under
"The company wrote the Minister of Fisheries who has told the impacted
workers that he is unwilling to alter his plan. I find his position
completely unreasonable and I am calling on him to make a special provision
for areas, like Labrador, who through no fault of their own will be forced
to shut down early and lose essential work hours.
"This plant should be allowed to continue to process crab until their
quota is exhausted or the season ends on June 20th, providing
they do not exceed their assigned plant quota. There is just two weeks
remaining for plants in my district to process their remaining quota."
Jones, who has four crab plants in the district employing approximately
300 workers, feels government flexibility in its regulation is required to
rectify this situation.