MEDIA RELEASE: FFAW RESPONDS TO THE PREMIER'S ECONOMIC RECOVERY TEAM REPORT
May 6, 2021 – FFAW-Unifor is appalled and incensed at the Greene Report.
“This is not the Big Reset; this is the Big Regression,” said Keith Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor President. “This report is critical of every important structure that sustains the inshore fishery and rural communities in this province. It is a blueprint for the destruction of rural Newfoundland and Labrador”.
FFAW met with Moya Greene on two occasions. At both meetings, she professed to know very little about the fishery. The report, in particular, the recommendations to reimpose resource thresholds for the issuance of new processing plants is proof that the team has no understanding of the economics of the inshore fishery.
“The section on the fishery reads like a press release from the Association of Seafood Producers,” Sullivan continued. “We face a crisis of corporate concentration in the fishery that keeps prices down and inhibits competition for raw material. The only glimmer of hope in this system is that new licenses can now be issued. The people of our province, the provincial government, and the federal government all support a community-based inshore fishery” noted Sullivan.
The fishery is the economic bedrock of rural Newfoundland and Labrador. Fish harvesters are the new middle class of rural NL and contribute a hundreds of millions of dollars each year to their local and regional economies. Unlike the assertion from Task Force, harvesters are focused on fishing for value for years to come and any rudimentary assessment of the inshore fishery would have shown that to be the case.
“This report is beyond disappointing,” Sullivan stated. “There is no mention here of landed value increases – between 2013 and 2019 landed value increased by $140 million – or of how strong the fishery performed during the pandemic and how strong it will be this year when landed values should reach record levels.”
“We call on the Furey government to dismiss the fishery portion of this report with great haste. There is nothing here to consult on,” Sullivan concluded.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Courtney Langille, FFAW-Unifor Communications Officer