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Minority Government an Opportunity to Advance Fisheries Issues

October 23, 2019

This week’s federal election result of a minority government provides an opportunity for Newfoundland and Labrador’s fishing industry to see movement on key issues impacting inshore fish harvesters and plant workers in the province.

“The election of a minority government should send a clear message to our elected officials that Canadians want to see more co-operation amongst the parties,” said Keith Sullivan, President of FFAW-Unifor. “FFAW-Unifor will work with both Liberal and New Democratic Members of Parliament for Newfoundland and Labrador and hold them to the commitments made during the campaign.”

In response to FFAW-Unifor’s Federal Election Questionnaire, both the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party made strong commitments to improve enforcement of owner-operator and fleet separation policies, to continue supporting the allocation of the first 115,000 mt of northern cod to inshore harvesters, to take immediate action to address rising seal populations, to reform Employment Insurance in order to make it fair for seasonal workers and to ensure fish harvesters have a voice and a seat at fisheries science and management decision-making tables.

In the Liberal Party’s first term in government, some progress was made on protecting the independence of inshore, owner-operator fish harvesters through the passage of amendments to the Fisheries Act that enshrined owner-operator and fleet separation policies in law. However, there is much work left to be done when it comes to fair quota allocations for Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters, meaningful consultation with the industry and consideration for social, economic and cultural factors in fisheries management.

“Fighting for vibrant, sustainable coastal communities has always been a top priority for our Union. We are optimistic that this progressive, minority government will share this goal and swiftly work to implement election commitments that will secure a future for the thousands of workers and families who rely on Newfoundland and Labrador’s inshore fishery.”


For media inquiries, please contact Courtney Glode at or at 709-743-4445.