Crocker ready to tackle fishery
New minister understands sector’s importance to local economy
The newest provincial government cabinet has been sworn in, with a local MHA tasked to act in the best interests of an important sector to rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
Steve Crocker has been appointed Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
A cabinet post will be new territory for the Heart’s DelightIslington resident, but taking on this portfolio is something he doesn’t take lightly.
“Obviously I wasn’t a fisherperson,” the MHA for Carbonear-Trinity-Bay de Verde Crocker told The Compass. “I grew up in a family business. And in this region, fishing is the lifeblood of any business.”
Old Perlican, Heart’s Content and Bay de Verde are a few of the communities in the district that still have strong ties to the fishery. And Crocker knows his connection to the region and those directly affected by the industry will play a big role in his cabinet post.
still approxi- mately 20,000 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians employed in the fishing and harvesting industry,” he explained. “Our goal of any department, and our goal for us as government, is to expand and use the fisheries and other natural resources as new sources of revenue and a way to diversify the economy in the province.”
Although Crocker appears to know a lot about the industry, the appointment came as a surprise to him. Not because he didn’t feel qualified, but because he said there were plenty of strong resumes.
“I certainly wasn’t expecting an appointment to cabinet,” he noted. “He had a lot of people to choose from. But like any person that gets elected, (the department) is something I am privileged and honoured to serve.”
Although Crocker has only had one official briefing as of Tuesday night on his department, he did note there is at least one thing on his plate that will be discussed in the near future – working with the federal government.
Since the fisheries industry is subject to federal rules and regulations, Crocker looks forward to being able to make some movement in Ottawa for all those working in our province that are affected by the cod fish- ery, harvesting and anything else that falls on his plate.
“(The fishery has been) forgotten for the last 10 years with a government in Ottawa that wasn’t willing to co-operate … One of our goals would be to repair our relationship with Ottawa.”
(The fishery has been) forgotten for the last 10 years with a government in Ottawa that wasn’t willing to co-operate … One of our goals would be to repair our relationship with Ottawa. Steve Crocker
Liberal Steve Crocker swears an oath at Government House in St. John’s. Last Monday, the Heart’s Delight-Islington native became the new minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.