Opposition Leader Gerry Reid says he is upset that a British seafood company
recently purchased by Fishery Products International (FPI) will be permitted
to process Canadian fish in Europe, while in this province the company is
shutting down operations due to lack of resource.
FPI recently purchased
The Seafood Company, a British fish processing company for $40 million. This
purchase was made even though FPI says they are suffering financially and
will have to undertake an overall review of its Newfoundland and Labrador
In the October 21st edition of the Eastern Daily Press, a
British newspaper, it states that FPI plans to grow, expand and create new
jobs at its Great Britain operations by importing Canadian fish for
processing. This expansion will take place as FPI has laid off hundreds of
people, closed plants and broken commitments to the people of this province.
"Is any of the fish being shipped to Europe for processing the fish that
was traditionally processed in Newfoundland and Labrador," asked Mr. Reid. "FPI
is undertaking a review of its operations in this province, while at the
same time they are expanding in Europe. If the British media reports are
correct, European operations will grow thanks to Canadian fish.
"During question period today, Minister Rideout tried to defend the
actions of the company. Instead of standing up for the people who rely on
FPI for their livelihoods, he seemed satisfied to stand by and allow the
company to ship our unprocessed fish to Europe for the benefit of European
workers. Whether it be shrimp, crab or groundfish, the provincial government
should be forcing FPI to process our resource in this province.
"The time has come for the government to launch an inquiry into the
business activities of FPI. If this company is going to conduct a review
that could lead to the elimination of plants and jobs in this province,
while at the same time spending money and using our resource to expand in
Europe, we deserve to know exactly what is happening. If Minister Rideout
has any interest in the fishery in this province, I call upon him to
initiate an investigation to ensure the best interests of the people of
Newfoundland and Labrador are being served."