Tag Archives: Dominic LeBlanc

‘This process was wrong’: N.L. fisheries minister says criticism of surf clams decision is building

Provincial Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne says there were so many problems with the way a lucrative surf clam contract was awarded that the decision should be reversed. Byrne said it’s not just the government and Indigenous communities and nations in this province taking a stand. “Indigenous nations and communities from all over Atlantic Canada and Quebec seem to be taking a much stronger, much more vocal and negative reaction to not just the decision, but how the decision was taken,” the MHA for Corner Brook, said on Thursday. >click to read<13:24

Names of Indigenous groups who won coveted Arctic surf clam quota announced >click to read<

Federal fisheries minister refuses to reverse decision on surf clam licence

Federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc has rejected calls to reverse his recent decision to award a multimillion-dollar Arctic surf clam fishing licence to a Nova Scotia company. LeBlanc says he understands there are hurt feelings among failed bidders, but he insisted the Cape Breton-based company and its Indigenous partners made the best case for Indigenous participation. The minister was responding to complaints from the Newfoundland and Labrador government and the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq chiefs. >click to read< 17:21

Minister should continue proportionate quota sharing approach with northern shrimp

An anticipated decrease in northern shrimp quotas in key shrimp fishing areas off Newfoundland and Labrador this year should result in the same proportionate quota sharing approach established last year, says the Canadian Association of Prawn Producers (CAPP). “Nobody likes to see a reduction in their quota, but in an area where the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) needs to be reduced, it is important that all fishers share these reductions in proportion to their share of the fishing quotas.” A major Northern Shrimp Advisory committee meeting is being held in Montreal today. >click to read<16:40

Indigenous leaders raise ‘serious questions’ about multimillion-dollar clam licence

A backlash is growing against a multimillion-dollar federal bid to promote reconciliation and economic development among Indigenous groups in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. A group that represents 13 Mi’kmaq First Nations in Nova Scotia issued a statement Friday saying it is joining politicians in Newfoundland and Labrador to demand Ottawa reverse its recent decision to award a lucrative Arctic surf clam fishing licence to a company based in Cape Breton that claims to have Indigenous partners in all five provinces.,,, “What we know to be true is that this is anything but reconciliation. This has pitted province against province, community against community, and First Nation against First Nation.” >click to read<12:36

Conservationists want emergency order to save killer whales off B.C. coast

Several conservation groups say the federal government’s failure to issue an emergency order reducing threats to endangered orcas off the B.C. coast ahead of fishing and whale-watching season could mean the species’ extinction. The organizations say Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna had not recommended an emergency order to cabinet by March 1, which could have seen priority feeding refuges established, fishing restricted and speed reductions for commercial vessels put in place for the season. >click to read< 19:35

Newfoundland and Labrador calls on Ottawa to quash surf clam fishing licence

The Newfoundland and Labrador government is demanding Ottawa reverse its decision to award a lucrative Arctic surf clam fishing licence to a Nova Scotia company that says it has Indigenous partners from every Atlantic province and Quebec. Newfoundland Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne says the Five Nations Clam Company does not have any Indigenous partners from Newfoundland and Labrador, despite a federal statement that claims otherwise. >click to read< 15:44

Outrage in Newfoundland as Indigenous groups get cut of Arctic surf clam fishery

Federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc’s decision to cleave off 25 per cent of the lucrative Arctic surf clam fishery and give it to a newly formed consortium of Indigenous groups has blindsided those who have depended on the industry on Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula for decades. “This is an unprecedented move,” Grand Bank Mayor Rex Matthews told CBC Radio’s The Broadcast. “To come in and expropriate 25 per cent of a quota that we’ve had for the last 27 years.” >click to read< 10:06

FISH-NL questions whether Ottawa purposely is out to eliminate inshore fishery and outports along with it

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says Ottawa’s decision to award a new Arctic surf clam licence to East Coast aboriginal groups amounts to Indigenous reconciliation on the backs of inshore harvesters and rural communities.,, “Our inshore harvesters and rural communities should be at the head of the line for any new quotas,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “Our harvesters are starving for fish, and the feds are taking from the few healthy stocks we have left, and carving them up for groups with no connection to the resource. That’s just wrong.” >click to read< 12:07

Clearwater Seafoods to pursue legal options after surf clam licence goes to First Nations group

Clearwater Seafoods says it will be pursuing legal options after its monopoly on Arctic surf clams came to an end Wednesday when a new licence for the species was issued to the Five Nations Clam Company. The company called the licence award a “failure in public policy and abuse of power by the Minister.”,,LeBlanc’s announcement that a new entrant was coming for Arctic surf clams was a controversial one in Newfoundland and Labrador, particularly in Grand Bank, where Mayor Rex Matthews was vocal in his opposition. >click to read< 11:16

New Arctic Surf Clam license to benefit First Nations in Atlantic Canada and Quebec

Enhancing access to fisheries provides an opportunity to create social and economic benefits for coastal and Indigenous communities, and further promote economic prosperity for middle class Atlantic Canadians. Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced that a new license for Arctic Surf Clam will be issued to the Five Nations Clam Company. This decision will significantly enhance Indigenous participation in the offshore fishery in Atlantic Canada. >click to read<19:29

FISH-NL: DFO outreach meetings prove FFAW-Unifor no longer voice of inshore harvesters

The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the most common issue during a recent series of outreach meetings held around the province by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans is that the FFAW-Unifor is no longer the voice of inshore harvesters. “That sentiment was expressed at every single meeting — without exception — and with union representatives front and centre in the room,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. “The FFAW-Unifor no longer speaks for most harvesters, and that message should be loud, clear, and obvious to the entire fishing industry, including federal Minister Dominic LeBlanc.” >click to read< 09:27

Harvey Jarvis: Fishery proclamations much ado about nothing

For those who missed it, the week beginning Feb. 5th gave us a great example of how the media is used to convince us what a what a great job is being done. On day one we had a letter in The Telegram from the FFAW telling Dominic Leblanc what he should do (“Fishery corporations kick messaging into high gear,” Feb. 5), and the next day we had Dominic Leblanc standing at a podium telling everyone what he has done or is about to do. Then about 30 seconds later we had a press release from the FFAW patting itself on the back for another great win. I am referring, of course, to the news of how Dominic Leblanc is reversing some of Stephen Harper’s reforms plus making some changes to the Fisheries Act. >click to read< 08:31

FFAW, FISH-NL at odds over what Fisheries Act amendments will mean for N.L.’s inshore fishery

The federal Liberal Government said Tuesday it is restoring protections for the fishing industry that were taken away by the former Conservative government in 2012. And, in making the announcement, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc said there is more good news for the country’s fishing industry. The minister announced $284.2 million to support the restoration of protections to fish and fish habitats and to incorporate new modern safeguards in the industry. >click to read< 09:32

Minister announces changes to federal fisheries act

Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced today $284.2 million to support the restoration of protections to fish and fish habitats taken away by the former Conservative government in 2012, and to incorporating new modern safeguards in the industry. It was part of amendments to the Fisheries Act that LeBlanc outlined at a news conference in Vancouver. “To preserve, protect and help restore our environment we need a Fisheries Act that Canadians can trust,” LeBlanc stated. >click to read< 15:05 

Letter: Fishery corporations kick messaging into high gear

As is evidenced from two recent articles in The Telegram (the letter, Jan. 23 “We need to enhance Atlantic Canada’s fisheries” and the Jan. 26 editorial “Fisheries madness”), the corporate-owned processing and offshore sector is in full fear-mongering and misrepresentation mode. Faced with a minister of Fisheries and Oceans who is willing to speak the truth about the challenges to the inshore fishery, the corporations that have aggressively endeavoured to shape the economics of this fishery for the past 20 years are now being told to play by the rules and they are enraged at the prospect.>click to read< 08:51

Editorial: Fisheries madness

The federal government seems hell-bent on proceeding with ill-advised amendments to the Fisheries Act that pose particular threat to Atlantic Canadian inshore fishermen and processors. The importance of the fishery cannot be overstated — directly responsible for 80,000 jobs and $6.6 billion in exports — while the indirect economic impact is much greater. Yet Ottawa is hinting at major changes — especially with licence allocation — that could turn the industry upside down. >click here to read< 10:49 

More changes to snow crab fishery not ruled out – minister wants any changes to be fair across all crab fleets

Government is still weighing its options when it comes to more changes to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales, says federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc. Immediate rule changes to the crab fishery were announced Tuesday to help protect the whales. At least 17 died in Canadian and U.S. waters last year. Some died from being hit by ships and others from entanglements with fishing gear. Another right whale turned up dead Thursday in the waters off the coast of Virginia, the first to be reported this year. >click here to read< 22:38

Fines for violating whale-protecting speed may be inadequate, says fisheries minister

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc says he was “surprised” by the more than 500 reported speed limit violations in the Gulf of St. Lawrence last year and questions whether penalties should be stiffer to better protect North Atlantic right whales this year. “This is my own view, that a $6,000 fine may not represent an adequate sanction, it may not represent a sufficient deterrent,” said LeBlanc. ,,, As of late last week, only 14 of the 542 cases had resulted in a fine — all of them a minimum of $6,000, Transport Canada officials have said. >click here to read< 11:10

“We’re expecting 100 per cent compliance,” New snow crab fishing rules rein in use of ropes to protect North Atlantic right whales

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc has announced four changes to the snow crab fishery in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence to protect North Atlantic right whales from entanglement, including reducing the amount of rope floating on the surface and mandatory reporting of all lost gear. The new management measures will take effect immediately and will be enforced “very aggressively,” LeBlanc said during the news conference in Moncton on Tuesday. >click here to read<16:29

Bidders hungry for part of Arctic surf clam fishery after decades-long monopoly

The competition for newly available Arctic surf clam quota off Cape Breton has three times more applicants than previously reported, which is a sign of the interest in a fishery that has been controlled by a single company for decades. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says it is evaluating nine proposals vying for 8,924 tonnes of surf clams in 2018. Until this year, the surf clam fishery was held entirely by Clearwater Seafoods,,, >click here to read<10:37

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