Wednesday, January 9, 2013

CETA threatens cornerstone of NL fishery: Cleary

St. John’s – St. John’s South-Mount Pearl NDP MP Ryan Cleary is calling on the federal Conservative  government to ensure minimum processing requirements for the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery are protected in the upcoming Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA).

Cleary’s call comes on the heels of a report published by Scott Sinclair of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives that highlights serious implications of the CETA deal for the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery — including the possible elimination of minimum processing requirements.

“CETA is being negotiated in the back room with no transparency whatsoever throughout the entire process,” says Cleary. “The Conservative government must ensure that the province maintains its ability to set minimum processing requirements and protect the livelihoods of on-shore fishery workers.”

Cleary is also concerned that the CETA deal will override the owner-operator, fleet-separation policies.

“The sanctity of the owner-operator, fleet-separation policy must be protected,” says Cleary. “There’s fear that CETA would leave the door open to the future elimination of the owner-operator, fleet-separation policy.”

“The provincial and federal governments have a responsibility to work together to ensure our fishery is protected,” says Cleary.  “I trust the provincial government’s recent processing exemption for Ocean Choice International to ship out unprocessed yellowtail flounder is not a prelude to the doors being blown off minimum processing.”

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