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Why Has Gerry Byrne Been Unable to Deliver on Fisheries Joint Management?
While our provincial minister is silent and pretending everything is fine, Ottawa is actually moving in the opposite direction from joint management.
Thursday, August 15, 2019

Office of the Official Opposition 

For Immediate Release

 

St. John’s, NL (August 15, 2019) – PC Opposition Fisheries critic Kevin Parsons is asking why Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne has been unable to deliver on fisheries joint management, a key plank in Dwight Ball's 2015 election platform and Byrne’s obligation as minister.

In the first mandate letter the Premier wrote to his Fisheries Minister, he demanded the Minister take action on fisheries joint management, and since then, the Liberals have even supported a PC resolution calling for fisheries joint management.

But Parsons said, “Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne hasn’t even raised joint management with the Fisheries Minister – not even when he was here in the province just days ago to campaign.  And while our provincial minister is silent and pretending everything is fine, Ottawa is actually moving in the opposite direction from joint management.”

“This was clear when the federal Liberals unilaterally stripped our province of surf clam quota until the federal minister got caught and stopped by the federal ethics commissioner.  But what has really changed since then?  Just days ago, Gerry Byrne was complaining that Ottawa made the decision on capelin harvesting without consulting him.”

Parsons said, “Gerry Byrne’s inability to get a say – or even get consulted – on basic fisheries management decisions by a federal minister in his own party contradicts something Mr. Byrne said in the House of Assembly in 2017.”

In the House on December 5, 2017, Parsons asked Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne why, after two years, he hasn’t even bothered to discuss joint management with the federal minister, despite the commitment in his Liberal red book and the obligation set out in his mandate letter.

Minister Byrne responded: “of course we always discuss joint management whenever we collaborate; that is joint management.

Parsons said, “If, as Mr. Byrne claims, we already have joint management through federal-provincial collaboration, then how did the surf clam decision get made without the province having a say?  How did the capelin decision get made without the province being consulted?  How did the federal Fisheries Act get amended without the principle of adjacency being added to reflect the province’s longstanding priority?  It’s clear we don’t have joint management because our own fisheries minister, Gerry Byrne, refuses to stand up for it.  We keep getting ignored because Mr. Byrne, his Liberal colleagues, and the silent seven Liberal MP’s, refuse to fight for us.”

 

Contacts:

Bradley Russell, Director of Policy and Research

(p) 1.709.729.3668

BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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