Saturday, April 21, 2012

FORTUNE IN LIMBO

 _________________________________
 "If this is rejected and OCI pulls out, 
they might not only pull out of Marystown 
but Fortune as well,"
Fortune Mayor
Charles Penwell
Dec 17, 2011
_________________________________

He vindictively cut funding to the FFAW.  Back in February, Provincial Fisheries  Minister Darin "Tito" King  suspended all provincial funds that were being provided to the FFAW. The money was not core operational money, but money that was used to lever funds for fishery science, of all things.

The announcement came as retaliation against the union for its vocal criticism of the minister and the former minister, Clyde Jackman, only days after a rally in Marystown where both politicians reputations were savaged.

The relationship between the province and the province's major fisheries union was as rotten as a piece of bait in the sun. It stank! The FFAW extended an olive branch but the minister flung it back at them. He flat out refused to meet with them. That bridge was burned!

At the time I wondered,  What are the possible implications of King's approach for other agencies, not-for-profits, companies and the like that do not tow the PARTY LINE? I wondered what the repercussions of having an opinion that does not jive with the PARTY LINE might mean for a lowly public servant like myself? It was a scary day in the realities of politics in what is fast becoming a banana republic.

Today Darin King met with members of the FFAW in Fortune. As predicted when the OCI "export offer" was rejected, the processor is rumored to be skipping town to process yellowtail flounder at a non-union plants on the south-west coast. (Codroy and Burnt Island)

VOCM is reporting that King told the FFAW that OCI  has the right  "to process yellowtail flounder at any processing plant in the province, however he says that's not something he would like to see"

It is something he would not like to see. Did he remind the gathering of his constituents that his party killed the socio/economically minded Fisheries Product International that put people before windfall profits? Did re remind them that this government has lost control of the fisheries agenda? Did he suggest any hope for the future of these towns? His message might as well have been suck it up butter cup, welcome to reality? There is nothing at all I can do for you. We let the horse out of the barn and it is not coming back.

The government has been under fire from just about every sector and player in the fishery for the past five years, they really are on their own. Small ground fish producers, big players and inshore fisherman have all been critical of the province's failure to show leadership and buoy the industry in challenging times.

This is the same crowd  that has washed it's hands of being part of the solution when it ditched the Clift MOU two years ago. It threw the ball back into the court of the union and the processors. It abdicated it's leadership role after promising to be part of the solution.

It is interesting that the cold war with the FFAW  ends when the plant at stake is Fortune. Whose provincial district is that again?

Back than King told CBC News "you’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem. And I see the FFAW right now as part of the problem.”, I wonder what people in Fortune think of that comment today?


1 comment:

Cyril Rogers said...

Peter, these are the people who lead our province and who are in a position to have a powerful impact on our future. Such gamesmanship and posturing is scary when these individuals can do so much damage to our resources and our ability to control and harvet them.

It is painfully obvious that their interests are not our interests, contrary to their protestations. We have no future in rural Newfoundland with people like Mr. King and this government because they simply have no idea how to revive the fishery and actually make it work. It is a daunting task to be sure but ignoring the voices of wisdom is not the way to go.

Just like the feds, they are not seeing the larger picture, except as it relates to corporate interests, and that will spell disaster for our rural communities. The only hope is a sea wind of political and social change that neither party wishes to occur because it would mean real pwoer and control comes back to the actual owners of the resource....ordinary people like fishermen, in whose best interest it is to build a sustainable fishery.