Tag Archives: Dominic LeBlanc

DFO minister: No compromise on independence of inshore fishery

Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans says there will be no backtracking on measures to preserve the independence of Atlantic Canada’s inshore fishery.”I’m not interested in weakening or diluting these policies,” Dominic LeBlanc told CBC News in a wide-ranging interview Tuesday. LeBlanc was responding for the first time to overtures from lobster buyers and plant owners in southwestern Nova Scotia who have floated schemes that would allow the companies ownership of a fisherman’s catch while somehow maintaining the independence of the fisherman.,,LeBlanc declined to discuss the impact on Atlantic Canada’s seafood exports to the United States in the event the Trump administration pulls out of the North American Free Trade Agreement. >click here to read<21:29 

Study finds U.S. regulations to protect killer whales near B.C. coast effective

American regulations that limit vessel noise and traffic around endangered killer whales off the West Coast are working, a new study says. NOAA said in its review of regulations adopted in 2011 that the changes are benefiting southern resident orcas without having negative effects on the local whale watching and tourism industries. Regulatory changes implemented by the American government prevent vessels from going within 200 yards, or 182 metres, from the whales.,,, Canada’s Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said last fall that similar regulations will be in place before the spring,,, click here to read the story 14:45

Canada is investing in science to protect our waters from oil spills

The Government of Canada is committed to keeping our marine and coastal areas clean and safe for the benefit of current and future generations. That is why we are taking concrete action, under the Oceans Protection Plan, to protect our marine and coastal areas from potential oil spills. Today, the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Kings-Hants announced on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, more than $80 million in new science funding for new partnerships, improved knowledge and new technologies that will help mitigate and prevent marine incidents such as oil spills. Why not stop drilling then? click here to read the press release 15:47

Department of Fisheries and Oceans installs security office, excavates hill where hunger strike held last spring

The hill is alive with the sound of an excavator at the start of the road leading to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) headquarters in St. John’s where Twillingate fisherman Richard Gillett held an 11-day hunger strike in April. The site where Gillett pitched his tent is all mud now. According to a statement from DFO, the excavation and the security office are part of new security and safety protocols being implemented at the facility.,, Gillett’s hunger strike started on April 13 and his supporters caused a bit of disruption at times for people trying to enter and leave the facility. But that wasn’t the only protest action by fishermen in the spring that caused some concern for DFO officials. click here to read the story 21:08

Seaspan launches Canadian Coast Guard’s first Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel

The first large vessel to be designed and built under the Canadian National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) was launched at Seaspan Shipyards on December 8. ‘Sir John Franklin’ is the first of three offshore fisheries science vessels (OFSV) which will be operated by the Canadian Coast Guard. In 2011, the government of Canada selected Seaspan to be its non-combat shipbuilder as part of the NSS program. click here to read the story 09:44

‘Stop this right now’: Cape Breton fisherman worried about seismic testing

Fishermen in Cape Breton are worried about the impact planned seismic testing at the Donkin mine will have on their lobster grounds and livelihoods. Kameron Coal has been given the green light to blast sound waves out of an air gun in an attempt to survey an area it leases offshore of Glace Bay. The company operates the Donkin mine, which extends underneath where Herb Nash fishes. “We’re asking them to stop this right now, and put an end to it and not let it happen,”,,, click here to read the story 16:32

Nova Scotia Lobster buyers want ‘above-board’ investment mechanism to secure supply

Next month, the season opens in Canada’s biggest lobster fishery but even before the first trap hits the water, there’s big news in southwestern Nova Scotia. It is a proposal from a coalition of prominent lobster dealers who want the federal government to grant them the authority to give loans to fishermen like a bank or any other financial institution. “They could put out the money, they would hold the mortgage and then they would have a business arrangement with [the] person owning the licence where they would, I assume, buy the product,” said Robert Thibault, spokesperson for the newly formed Western Nova Scotia Lobster Dealers Coalition. click here to read the story 12:40

Calling for a shutdown – Fish farm protestors challenge Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Protesters calling for the shutdown of fish farms interrupted a speech by Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Dominic LeBlanc on the dock of Victoria’s inner harbour Saturday. Joined by Minster of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna,,, The two ministers were invited to speak to announce the federal government had reached its 2017 conservation goal of designating five per cent of Canada’s oceans as protected areas. But that announcement was interrupted by a peaceful protest by a group called Fish Farms Out Now. click here to read the story 15:31

‘Playing with fire’: Fishing’s cruel seas and even crueler economics

On Feb. 12, 2013, an unseasonably warm evening, five young fishermen departed the West Head wharf on Cape Sable Island, N.S. aboard the Miss Ally, a 12-metre Cape Islander. The men, spanning in age from 21 to 33 — three of them fathers of young children—were headed out in pursuit of halibut, a valuable winter catch. On deck that night were Billy Jack Hatfield, a recently-engaged 33-year-old; Cole Nickerson, 28, a burly and strong former junior hockey player; Joel Hopkins, a 27-year-old father of two who absolutely loved the thrill of fishing; and Tyson Townsend, 25, a gifted athlete with a seven-month-old daughter. At the wheel, piloting the boat into darkness, was Katlin Nickerson, Miss Ally’s 21-year-old captain and owner. click here to read the story 13:13

Ottowa Targets Fishermen

Finance Minister Bill Morneau sucker-punched Canadian business owners, and now Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc wants to finish fishermen off. Mr. Morneau’s attempted seizure of retirement savings held by small business owners, farmers, doctors and lawyers is well-documented. In a similar attack, Mr. LeBlanc is going after fishermen, many of whom have spent decades building retirement nest eggs from their investments in licences and vessels. In a speech this summer in Chester, N.S., Mr. LeBlanc said he wants to “bring our government’s support for the middle class to life through a progressive fisheries policy.” Sound familiar? click here to read the story 08:34

Canadian Coast Guard names new SAR boats as Bay-class

The first in a fleet of Canadian Coast Guard’s new search and rescue (SAR) lifeboats will be named after Conception Bay in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canadian minister of fisheries Dominic LeBlanc announced on Monday. Following the lead ship in the class, up to 20 new “Bay”-class boats will be named after geographical bays across Canada. The CCGS Conception Bay will be stationed in the Atlantic region. The new high-endurance, self-righting search and rescue lifeboats will operate up to 100 nautical miles from shore, delivering improved search and rescue capability. click here to read the story 08:42

Clearwater to lose monopoly on Canada’s lucrative Arctic surf clam

Halifax-based Clearwater Seafoods is losing its monopoly on Canada’s lucrative Arctic surf clam. Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced Thursday that DFO will give 25 per cent of the current quota to a new entrant after a request for written proposals closes in November. Currently all three Arctic surf clam licences are held by Clearwater. The government says the fourth licence holder it is seeking must be majority Canadian-owned and be an Indigenous entity based in Atlantic Canada or Quebec. The licence will be for 2018. click here to read the story

Arctic Surf Clam – Decision to Reconfigure Access in 2018 – The new entrant in this fishery will be selected as a result of an Expression of Interest. Interested parties wishing to participate in this fishery must send a proposal to Jacinta Berthier through one of the options below: click here to read the press release 18:52

EDITORIAL: It’s time to share marine protection

Nova Scotia has already paid an upfront price for being an environmental pioneer. So it’s time to carefully consider the long-term impact of the aggressive implementation of new environmental measures and policies, including the creation of additional Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recently announced the boundaries of the new St. Anns Bank Marine Protected Areas, offshore Cape Breton. Roughly 4,400 acres in size, it will be forbidden ground for oil and gas activity. Limited commercial fishing will be allowed on about 25 per cent of the area. MPAs are rightly seen as ocean regenerators, areas in which marine ecosystems can thrive, and fish habitat can be protected.  That’s all good.  What’s puzzling is that little Nova Scotia, with its ocean-dependent economy, is being asked to bear a disproportionate share of the burden for Canada’s MPA initiative.  click here to read the story 12:48

Newfoundland hunger strike Fisherman Richard Gillett speaks with federal fisheries minister

A spokeswoman for Dominic LeBlanc said the fisheries minister spoke with Richard Gillett for more than an hour on Thursday evening, covering a broad range of issues. Laura Gareau said the two agreed to speak again, adding that LeBlanc expressed concern for Gillett’s health, and urged him to make his health and family a priority. About three dozen protesters went to the federal fisheries office in St. John’s, N.L., on Thursday morning to show support for Gillett, who has been on a hunger strike since last Thursday. Gareau said LeBlanc also expressed concern that the protest prevented nearly 400 Department of Fisheries and Oceans employees from getting to work, interrupting their ability to serve fish harvesters across Newfoundland and Labrador. click here to read the story 00:50

Easter Sunday marks the fourth day of Canadian Fisherman Richard Gillett’s hunger strike.

The vice-president of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) set up camp in front of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans headquarters in St. John’s on Thursday. One of Gillett’s requests is a meeting with Dominic LeBlanc, the federal minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, to ask for an independent review of science and management at DFO. “Up until right now we haven’t heard anything from Minister LeBlanc,” Gillett said. Gillett said he thinks the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador is close to extinction. click here to read the story 17:25

Twillingate Fisherman Richard Gillett enters Day 2 of hunger strike: ‘If I can’t fish, I’m no good to no one’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Friday, April 14th, 2017 – Richard Gillett, an inshore fish harvester from Twillingate and Vice-President of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL), began a hunger strike Thursday afternoon on the grounds of DFO’s NL headquarters in St. John’s. Gillett’s demands include: a meeting with the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Dominic LeBlanc,  and his assurance of an independent review of DFO science/management; as well as an independent review of the relationship between DFO and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union. “Enough is enough,” says Gillett, “This is a desperate situation that needs to be looked into right now. The industry is in the worse mess it’s ever been in,” says Gillett, who’s been drinking only water since Thursday afternoon. “DFO science has been gutted and the management system we have today, when most of our fisheries are in crisis, is the same one that we had back in ’92 when the cod moratorium came down. And the FFAW, which is supposedly our union, stopped standing up for fishermen long ago and got in bed with DFO.” “If I can’t fish I’m no good to no one. I’m no good to myself. I’m no good to my family. I’m no good to my friends. I was meant to fish.” On Tuesday, April 11, Gillett, along with Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL, travelled to Ottawa and met with five of NL’s Liberal MPs, including: Gudie Hutchings, Yvonne Jones, Ken McDonald, Scott Simms and Nick Whalen. The MPs called the meeting to discuss the current fisheries crisis. click here to read the press release, and FISH-NL’s presentation 08:26

Canada Plays Leadership Role in Protecting Key Fish Stocks and Ecosystems in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

nafo-areaCanada expressed its strong support for science advice and strict management measures that protect straddling fish stocks in the Northwest Atlantic at the 38th annual meeting of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) in Varadero, Cuba last week. Quick Facts – The Canadian quota for 2+3KLMNO Greenland halibut in waters off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador was set at 5,478 tonnes for 2017, which is a rollover from 2016. –  The Canadian quota for 3LN redfish in waters off the east coast of the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador was increased by 1,619 tonnes to 6,049 tonnes for both 2017 and 2018. –  The Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) is an international regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) founded in 1979. NAFO’s overall purpose is to help its members work together and share knowledge to effectively manage and conserve the straddling fishery resources of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Read the press release here  16:56

Fisheries Minister plans ‘concrete’ action to fight declining Fraser River sockeye run

Fraser River'sCanada’s Minister of Fisheries says the government is taking action in a ‘rigorous and robust’ way to restore the Fraser River’s sockeye salmon run, and it’s a top priority of the prime minister. Dominic LeBlanc says the federal government is committed to recommendations that came out of the Cohen Commission of Inquiry four years ago, agreeing delayed action has been “unacceptable.” He did not see an immediate need to sever the ministry mandate, to end the promotion of salmon farming, as Cohen recommended. “I wouldn’t describe it as a conflict of interest,” said LeBlanc. I think there is a way for world-class, transparent, open and available science and management decisions that are transparent to Canadians to be made with respect to aquaculture sector … that are complimentary to the protection of the wild salmon.” With the right science and regulatory regime, he said Canadians have confidence in the safety of B.C.’s beloved wild salmon Read the rest here 14:50

Dominic LeBlanc shuns ‘part-time’ label, talks of future legacy as fisheries minister

dominic-leblancDominic LeBlanc spoke Wednesday about the legacy he hopes to leave as fisheries minister, a signal his appointment may not be as short-term as some of his critics have suggested. LeBlanc, who also works as government house leader, was appointment as minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard in a surprise announcement came last week, after the abrupt resignation of Hunter Tootoo. Tootoo resigned from cabinet and left the Liberal caucus to seek treatment for addiction issues, after what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said was a “very difficult situation.” “As some of you know, I have been on this job now for eight days,” LeBlanc said in his opening remarks at the launch of a national summit in Ottawa to mark World Oceans Day. He said that he hopes 40 years from now, “the legacy for me … is defined by the work that I can do with all of you on protecting and preserving our oceans, the ecosystems in our oceans, and leaving a legacy and a footprint that would inspire the people in this room and those whom you represent.” Read the story here 14:35