No income support for displaced workers
The mayor of Bay de Verde hoped different levels of government would come on board to assist those who will lose out on income as a result of last month’s devastating fish plant fire.
But Mayor Gerard Murphy said that in speaking with different government officials at the provincial and federal levels, such help doesn’t appear to be on the horizon for plant workers.
“My specific request on behalf of the workers affected would be something in the form of an income supplement or a wage subsidy,” Murphy told The Compass last Thursday, noting many people will see their income cut in half as a result of the fire.
Premier Dwight Ball visited the community last month with Fisheries Minister and local MHA Steve Crocker and Municipal Affairs Minister Eddie Joyce, just before the provincial budget was released. Murphy said “nothing substantive” was offered.
Bonavista-Burin-Trinity MP Judy Foote also visited the community last month and has sent some of her people there as well.
“There’s nothing really forthcoming from either level of government in that regard,” said the mayor.
Quinlan Brothers managed to find employment for most of the displaced workers at plants elsewhere, though their hours are reduced compared to previous years.
“Quinlan Brothers has indeed come through and got their employees back on the job,” said Murphy. “Of course, their locations are spread out somewhat.”
Murphy remains hopeful the situation will be much better this time next year. Debris from the site where the fish plant once stood has vanished, leaving smooth concrete. Last month, the company issued an expression of interest for engineering firms to work on planning and project management to design and construct a new plant.
“The clean up was done very expediently,” said Murphy. “As you can see right now, we have a very, very large concrete slab on the waterfront, and I’m very optimistic that this time next year, it will be occupied by a large processing facility.”
“There’s nothing really forthcoming from either level of government in that regard.”
Mayor Gerard Murphy