Thursday, June 16, 2016

City Council to invite Fisheries Minister to Prince Rupert to discuss fisheries issues

Mayor Brain will be extending an invitation to Fisheries Minister Dominic Leblanc in the near future, seeking to bring the Federal cabinet Minister to Prince Rupert to discuss North Coast fisheries issues with City Council.

The  decision to extend the invitation was reached after a recommendation from Councillor Barry Cunningham, who made the request after Council received an update on fisheries issues on the North Coast from Councillor Joy Thorkelson.

During Monday's council session the Councillor had  provided some background on last weeks trip to Ottawa by local UFAWU-Unifor representatives who took the issue of the closure of canning lines at Canadian Fish to a Standing Committee session on Parliament Hill.

As part of her short overview of the the committee session, Councillor Thorkelson noted that the focus of their presentation was to reinforce for the federal MP's that advocates for the North Coast fishery would like to see three principles currently in place on the east coast made part of the West Coast fishery.

Those three key elements include fleet separation, owner/operator issues and an adjacency requirement that would see fish caught in northern waters process in the northern region, something that the Councillor noted would be a made in British Columbia solution to the current situation facing the local cannery operation.

She also outlined how the group had asked the Standing Committee to consult with the city and the province on the issue of processing plants and the need for encouragement towards the theme of adjacency. Adding that the group had asked that either the Standing Committee, Department of Fisheries, or Fisheries Minister hold a commission of inquiry to come out to the coast to explore the three principles that the local union would like to see in place when it comes to the fishery.

Ms. Thorkelson also reviewed for Council the the process of consultation that takes place on the east coast. Taking note of how when east coast communities hold their engagement sessions the turn out and interest is always high.

Adding that it was her hope that the Federal government would consider similar types of discussions for the North Coast to get the feedback from those impacted by the recent developments in the fishing industry. Something that would provide an opportunity for residents of the region to share their thoughts on how fishing communities can benefit from the resource that is being caught next door to them.

You can review the background to Ms. Thorkelson's presentation from the City's Video Archive starting at the 29 minute point.

More items related to the UFAWU-Unifor efforts can be found on our Fishing Industry archive page here.

Further items related to City Council topics can be found on our Council Discussion page.

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