MacKay challenged on fishery
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