St. Lawrence dis­ap­pointed by aquaculture de­lay

They were hop­ing for 200 jobs from Greig pro­ject

The Southern Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BY COLIN FAR­RELL THE SOUTH­ERN GAZETTE Colin.far­rell@south­erngazette.ca

St. Lawrence, NL— A re­cent de­ci­sion by the New­found­land and Labrador Supreme Court or­der­ing a full en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact state­ment (EIS) for Grieg NL’s pro­posed aquaculture in Marys­town and Placentia Bay, is hav­ing an af­fect on the Town of St. Lawrence.

Mayor Paul Pike told The South­ern Gazette, “I’m re­ally dis­ap­pointed, and coun­cil is dis­ap­pointed in the re­cent court de­ci­sion for a full en­vi­ron­men­tal review of this pro­ject.

“From our per­spec­tive, the St. Lawrence fish plant was go­ing to be used as pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity and we were very hope­ful that this pro­ject would be much­needed em­ploy­ment to the com­mu­nity and to the re­gion.”

He added the pro­cess­ing of fish from the pro­ject would have pro­vided up to 200 full­time year-round po­si­tions at the fa­cil­ity.

Pike says that in ad­di­tion to pro­cess­ing, the plant would have been mak­ing oil from the byprod­uct.

Pike said news of the de­lay is very dis­ap­point­ing es­pe­cially since pro­jected num­bers show a de­cline in the pop­u­la­tion in the re­gion within the next 10 years.

“We felt this was an op­por­tu­nity to keep peo­ple at home and pro­vide much need em­ploy­ment. It is a big blow to this re­gion – our town cer­tainly sup­ports the prov­ince ap­peal­ing this de­ci­sion.”

Pike added lo­cal cit­i­zens who re­lied on the fish plant for their liveli­hood, the work from the Greig aquaculture pro­ject would have been im­por­tant to them.

“Ev­ery­body was re­ally hope­ful this pro­ject was go­ing to be a re­al­ity, and that we would see em­ploy­ment at the plant guar­an­teed for the next num­ber of years,” said Pike.

“Right now with the de­clin­ing fish stocks…es­pe­cially in the crab fish­ery it is get­ting tougher for th­ese peo­ple to get enough em­ploy­ment to be able col­lect EI over the win­ter.

“And most peo­ple would pre­fer full-time year-round em­ploy­ment than sea­sonal.”

FILE PHOTO

St. Lawrence mayor Pike Pike says his town was look­ing for­ward to the em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties from the Greig aquaculture pro­ject in Marys­town.

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