MacKay chal­lenged on fish­ery

The Compass - - SPORTS -

Edi­tor’s note: the fol­low­ing let­ter was sent to Peter MacKay, the Min­is­ter of Na­tional De­fence and the cabi­net min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for Nova Sco­tia and New­found­land and Labrador, and for­warded to The Com­pass. It was also for­warded to Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper, Premier Danny Wil­liams, fed­eral Fish­eries Min­is­ter Gail Shea and other me­dia. Dear Mr Mackay,

Oh, it’s so won­der­ful for Ot­tawa to help New­found­land and Labrador with fu­ture em­ploy­ment. Thank-you, Mr Mackay. We all know how concerned you must be for the fu­ture of our peo­ple.

Af­ter all, it’s the tax and roy­alty money off our backs and re­sources that you are putting into it, and over the past 20 years the fed­eral govern­ment has al­lowed the de­struc­tion of at least 25,000 fish­eries jobs and the cul­ture of coastal New­found­land and Labrador by per­mit­ting for­eign fish­ing fleets to con­tinue the piracy of our re­source.

Thank-you, for how at­ten­tive you are to this is­sue of the loss of our her­itage in­dus­try and fish­eries jobs which are still on­go­ing and in fact in its fi­nal few years of ex­is­tence.

Mr Mackay, since you are so ac­tive and concerned for me as my rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Ot­tawa, I just have one ques­tion for you: If you did, or fol­lowed up on, what your leader, the prime min­is­ter, promised us in New­found­land and Labrador be­fore his elec­tion a few years ago (im­ple­men­ta­tion of Cana­dian cus­to­dial man­age­ment of our ground­fish on the con­ti­nen­tal shelf and re­strict NAFO na­tions from its de­struc­tive fish­ing of our stocks), how many jobs would be re­turned to us and what af­fect would it have on our lost mar­itime cul­ture?

Af­ter all, since you’re from the Mar­itime prov­ince of Nova Sco­tia, whose lob­ster and shell fish­ery is the back­bone of your sea­far­ing coastal peo­ples, whose beau­ti­ful char­ac­ter glints with salt, you must know — like I do — if for­eign­ers came and fished away at your prov­ince’s pre­cious re­source in a few years it would de­stroy the eco­nomic heart of your beau­ti­ful ma­rine way of life?

Surely, then, you can ap­ply this sim­ple pic­ture to New­found­land and Labrador, her coastal peo­ples way of life and the loss of our ‘spirit fish,’ the cod? Do you un­der­stand this? If you do, why don’t you stand up like a man, and do what you’re sup­posed to do — fight to pro­tect and re­store New­found­land and Labrador’s fish­ery?

If you don’t un­der­stand this sim­ple request, or do un­der­stand it and do noth­ing about it, there is only one thing I would like you to do — re­sign your po­si­tion as New­found­land and Labrador fed­eral govern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Ot­tawa and let some­one else take your place who will at least speak for us and not be a phoney and big bluff.

Thank you. Dr Philip Earl


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