Supporting salmon anglers
Are you a little salmon hoping to visit the province of Newfoundland and Labrador this summer? Do you have intentions of bringing both members of your immediate family and extended family to explore our rivers? Before you pack your bags and book that sojourn on Trip Advisor, you should know this province has the welcome mat rolled out for you and your salmon buddies.
Not only is the welcome mat out but also there are a plethora of groups hoping your holiday stay will be an enjoyable one. Groups like SAEN (Salmonoid Association of Eastern Newfoundland), CORA ( Citizens Outdoor Rights Alliance), SPAWN (Salmon Prevention Association for the Waters of Newfoundland), ASF (Atlantic Salmon Federation) and the Bay St. George Salmon Stewardship Group (to name a few) all want to ensure a memorable swimming experience for you in our waters. Without a doubt, bring a communications team to handle all your publicity. Whether it be media in print, radio, television or digital platforms, the media will want to speak with you. Right now all matters pertaining to salmon are in the news cycle 24/7. Letters to the Editor, suppertime TV news coverage, focused reporting on NTV’s “Carter File,” VOCM’s “Nightline” panel and CBC’s “The Broadcast,” all will keep your communication specialists managing their Blackberry’s at lightning speed. Also be prepared for our premier’s media call to a news conference in his own district (as he did May 25th to announce the price of a $5 licence to catch one of you guys). Yes, upon your arrival here you will be the darlings of the media circuit.
But, little salmon, you should be aware of an important fact. While the waters you swim in here might be enjoyable, there is a not too distant storm brewing that will make the financial waters in this province unbearable for many of our residents.
You see, we have this project called Muskrat Falls ready to come on stream that will negatively impact citizens. Electricity rates associated with this project are expected to double. Many families will struggle financially to pay their electrical bills. Out of a population of about 525,000 of us 155,500 receive government income support to the tune $65 million and another 47,000 seniors receive $56 million in seniors’ benefits (source: provincial budget 2018). To put it another way, approximately 39 per cent of our population relies on some form of government financial assistance. How pray tell will these families manage a doubling in electrical rates? To quote The Telegram’s Pam Frampton from her recent article “The burden on those who will have to pay for Muskrat Falls is the most pressing crisis facing this province.”
If the effort being put in to rate mitigation (a help to offset high electrical bills) only slightly mirrors the Herculean effort of the salmon prosperity plan that includes such notables as:
(1) addressing salmon issues in the various media
(2) garnering public concern via public forums on catch and release or catch and retain and
(3) launching the sale of salmon licences by holding a special media announcement hosted by Premier Ball in his own district, then rate mitigation measures to help all our people will be a slam dunk.
So enjoy your summer vacation in our beautiful province little salmon. Always remember, we’ve got your back. Let’s just hope the powers that be have the backs of the rate payers.