Gerry Reid, Opposition Fisheries Critic and MHA for the District of
Twillingate-Fogo, says the awarding of a crab license to St. Anthony proves
that the newly established Fish Processing Licensing Board is just another
level of bureaucracy and has no real or final authority when awarding
Last week, Minister Taylor established a Fish
Processing Licensing Board, a decision that did not follow the
recommendation of the Dunne report to establish an independent
decision-making body on the awarding of fish processing licenses in the
province. The final decision on the awarding of these licenses still remains
with the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
"I said last week that this Fish Processing Licensing Board was much ado
about nothing," said Mr. Reid. "The Dunne Report recommended the
establishment of an independent, arms-length board that would make decisions
related to who would receive fish processing licenses in this province. The
Minster of Fisheries and Aquaculture still has the authority to grant
licenses and overrule the board. This is not independent, arms-length or
removed from politics, as was evident yesterday with the awarding of a crab
license to St. Anthony.
"Yesterdayís awarding of a crab license to St. Anthony demonstrates that
this newly established board is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. It is
ironic that the board wasnít even consulted about Minister Taylorís decision
to award this license. This board hasnít been in place for even a week and
the minister has already decided to ignore their presence.
"In the past year, other communities and plants have requested new
licenses or the reactivation of old licenses, but were turned down on the
premise that they would have to go through the new licensing board. It is
ironic that the same treatment wasnít given to the St. Anthony request in
Minister Taylorís own district.
"If Minister Taylor truly wanted this to be an independent board, he
would have asked them to review the St. Anthony license application and come
to their own decision. If all of the evidence was placed in front of them, I
am certain they would agree that there is already overcapacity in the crab
industry. This new license will only create more hardships for the workers
who are already struggling to make a living from this sector."