Opposition Leader Roger Grimes says he is very pleased that Premier Danny
Williams has confirmed that he will allow a free vote on an Opposition
motion regarding the crab production quota system. The Premier stated during
question period Tuesday afternoon that all government MHAs will be free to
vote as they wish.
The Private Member’s Motion will ask government to
remove the controversial crab production quota system from the table for at
least one year until government fulfills its promise to consult with fish
harvesters. The debate will take place on Wednesday afternoon.
"Wednesday’s debate will allow all government members to stand up for
their constituents and support or reject this motion," said Mr. Grimes.
"There has been much discussion and conflicting reports regarding the
feelings of government MHAs towards this production quota system. Now, with
this upcoming debate, each member will have the opportunity to stand in the
House of Assembly and be held accountable for their position.
"If government members vote for this motion, it will send a strong signal
to Premier Danny Williams not to force this production quota system down the
throats of fish harvesters. Instead of playing games with their
constituents, each member will have to stand in their place and vote. Will
government members vote with the people who elected them, or will they turn
their backs on the very people they are supposed to represent?
"We consider this vote to be very crucial. If government members support
the wishes of their constituents, there is a very good chance this
ill-conceived production quota system could be forced from the table. We
hope that MHAs such as Loyola Sullivan, Tom Hedderson, Tom, Osborne,
Charlene Johnson, Harry Harding, Paul Oram, Roger Fitzgerald, Ross Wiseman,
Clyde Jackman and Ray Hunter take a stand for their constituents and support
"Now is the time for government members to vote freely without having to
worry about repercussions. If the Premier stays true to his word, members of
the PC caucus will be permitted to stand with their constituents. It will be
interesting to see which members turn their back on the people who supported
them just 18 months ago."