Tag Archives: Federal Court of Canada

DFO wins court victory to prevent corporate control of inshore fishery in Atlantic Canada and Quebec

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has won a court decision upholding its right to prevent the corporate takeover of inshore fisheries in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. “It was a challenge of the government’s power to manage the fishery for all Canadians,” said Graeme Gawn, a lobster fisherman from Nova Scotia’s Digby County and a representative of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union. The federal victory came in a May 5 ruling released Monday from Justice Cecily Strickland of the Federal Court of Canada in the case of Kirby Elson, a fisherman from Labrador. Strickland ruled the federal fisheries minister was entitled to strip a snow crab fishing licence from Elson after he refused to exit a controlling agreement with two fish processors. The federal government contended the agreement was an effort to get around long-standing policies to preserve the independence of the region’s inshore fishery. click here to read the story 08:53

Potentially precedent setting fisheries case now in the hands of a Federal Court of Canada judge

A court case looming over Atlantic Canada’s inshore fisheries is now in the hands of a Federal Court of Canada judge. Justice Cecily Strickland reserved her decision Wednesday after two days of legal arguments in an Ottawa courtroom that centred on whether the minister of fisheries has the power to manage the fishery for social and economic objectives outside of fish conservation. Labrador fisherman Kirby Elson is appealing a 2015 decision by the minister to take away his snow crab licence because he refused to exit a controlling agreement with two fish processors, one that allowed them to control the licence and the wealth it generated. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says such agreements are an end run around its policies that individual fishermen — not corporations — are the beneficiaries of inshore licences. continue reading the story here  12:09

Labrador fisherman’s lawyers fight to keep his “controlling” agreement with fish processor

A lawyer for a Labrador snow crab fisherman who had his fishing licence stripped by the federal minister of fisheries said the minister had no authority to do so. Kirby Elson, 62, lost his licence in 2015 because he refused to exit a controlling agreement with two Newfoundland and Labrador fish companies that gave total control of the licence and its wealth to the companies. Byron Shaw, one of Elson’s lawyers, argued Tuesday the minister of fisheries has no authority to interfere in a contract that transfers wealth between a harvester and a third party. He said the policy the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is enforcing has nothing to do with the management of fish stocks. The case opened Tuesday at the Federal Court of Canada and is expected to last two days. continue reading the story here Stakes of inshore fisheries case are ‘absolutely massive,’ says observer, Why people are watching this case? continue reading the story here 08:04

Federal Court of Canada – Legal challenge threatening autonomy of inshore fishery opens today

The Federal Court of Canada will begin hearing a test case today in Ottawa that could overturn a decades-old policy that prevents a corporate takeover of inshore fishing licences in Atlantic Canada. The seafood processing industry, inshore fishermen’s groups and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) are all watching the case closely, albeit with very different expectations. “The stakes are important because we have seen other fisheries be taken over by corporations and it leaves less money in the hands of individuals and communities,” said Melanie Sonnenberg, president of the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation. The Federal Court case centres on Kirby Elson, a fisherman from the Labrador community of Cartwright, N.L. Elson was stripped by DFO of his snow crab licence in 2015 when he refused to exit a controlling agreement with fish processor Quinlan Brothers and a related company. Under the 2003 agreement, the company controlled the licence and the wealth it generated. Quinlan Brothers paid the licence fee, provided the vessel and crew, and paid for the insurance and maintenance. continue reading the story here 09:10