Saturday, December 12, 2009

A correction and an oberservation

Dec. 12th Telegram letter to the editor

I wish to make a correction to my Nov. 27 letter to the editor ("An olive branch is still a stick"), and make a further point.

In the letter, I wrote that Loyola Sullivan, "Canada's $225,000-a-year Ambassador of Fisheries Conservation is a sell out - interested in toeing the federal bureaucratic line above all else."

In fact, Sullivan e-mailed me after the letter was published to say his salary falls between $143,000 and $168,700 a year.

My apologies to the sell out.

In the most recent news on the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization front ("Jones, Shea meet in Ottawa," Dec. 5), The Telegram reported that provincial Liberal Leader Yvonne Jones met recently in Ottawa with federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea.
Jones said she was surprised to learn that the federal government's decision on pending amendments to the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization is final.

The current debate in the House of Commons apparently won't change government's mind - no matter the outcome of the vote.

And no matter the considerable opposition expressed by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, all seven of our MPs, and a gaggle of former federal bureaucrats and local fisheries conservationists.

In a Nov. 30 editorial ("Put it to the test"), The Telegram suggested the NAFO amendments be put before an independent panel.

Forget that too, apparently.

Neither Newfoundland nor our fishery register on the federal radar, as evidenced in recent months by the Government of Canada's decision not to put the ban on seal products or damaging seafood tariffs ahead of a free-trade deal with the European Union.

British Columbia may get a judicial inquiry into the disappearance of Fraser River salmon, but our fish are apparently second-class, not worthy of an investigation.

And what's the hullabaloo over Hydro-Qu├ębec's decision to buy NB Power and potentially interfere with the delivery of Labrador power to U.S. markets?

Sure, all the feds have to do is step in and assure transmission between provinces.

Maybe what we need in Canada is not an Ambassador of Fisheries Conservation, but an Ambassador of Newfoundland and Labrador Conservation.

Ryan Cleary
St. John's

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