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More than $33M Compensation paid in NL for Salmon Farm Errors

JIM BENNETT, M.H.A.

DISTRICT OF ST. BARBE

HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

Newfoundland and Labrador                                                                                 


For Immediate Release
October 4, 2013


FISHERIES MINISTER IN THE DARK ABOUT TRUE COST OF AQUACULTURE

Liberal Fisheries Critic Jim Bennett is amazed that the Provincial Fisheries Minister has no clue of the true cost of Finfish Aquaculture on the province’s south coast.  In August Bennett wrote to the Minister asking how much money the Canadian Food Inspection Agency had paid out to cover the cost of the Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) outbreak over a one year period.  The Minister responded saying he did not have access to the compensation amounts as that was the responsibility of the CFIA.  

Unknown to the Minister, Bennett also sent a letter to the CFIA asking the same question.  At the same time as the Provincial Minister was saying he didn’t know the answer to this vital issue the Federal agency quite willingly supplied the information.

Two salmon aquaculture companies have received $33,115,810 from the Federal government.  One of them, Gray Aquaculture, received $22,487,666 in free Federal money and still went bankrupt owing tens of millions of dollars to creditors, including the Province with $3,800,000.

Bennett says, “it’s amazing that this much money can flow past the Minister to prop up this unsustainable industry without the Minister even being aware”.  He says it’s even more troubling that the Minister is so inept that he doesn’t even know he can ask for information that the Federal government will give to any citizen who simply asks for it.

Bennett also asks, “what happens to this industry if the Feds figure out what a disaster it is and shut off the free money? If Gray Aquaculture could not make it with a $22,000,000 Federal handout, will Cooke Aquaculture go under next and cause the whole industry to collapse?”

Bennett says the only solution is to move to closed containment while the industry still has a chance to succeed and prosper.

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For more information contact    |    Bertha Brophy, 709-458-3257