Fisheries Minister’s vindictive attitude will not help fishery: NDP MHAs
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
NL NDP Fisheries and Aquaculture Critic Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits – White Bay North) and Labour Critic Dale Kirby (MHA, St. John’s North) reacted with dismay to government’s move to freeze funding for the FFAW.
“It’s not surprising the minister has decided to go down this petty and vindictive road,” said Kirby. “The attitude coming from government is very disturbing. Organizations and individuals must feel comfortable expressing their criticisms of government decisions and policy; we live in a democracy and government must not attempt to discourage public criticism by withholding funding.”
“Government should attempt to build policy based on facts and evidence, not on emotional reactions,” said Kirby.
Yesterday the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture directed department officials to freeze all funding given to the FFAW which is used in conservation and stock research.
“The minister is plainly not helping the situation,” said Mitchelmore. “He decided not to attend any of the recent public meetings held by the FFAW and now, simply because he has decided the union should not be criticizing government, he has cut their funding for research?”
“The minister needs to sit down and respect all perspectives on how we can improve the fishing industry,” said Mitchelmore. “This includes critical perspectives of government policy and their approach to developing policy; the minister can not move forward by dismissing the opinions he does not personally agree with.”