2006jan31_richardson_letter.htmlTEXTR*cho \ ԁ Keeping promises -- Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB

The Saint Croix Courier

St. Stephen, NB

2006 January 31

Keeping promises

There was a major layoff in Charlotte County this past weekend in the salmon industry. I believe the number to be somewhere around 90 people or so laid off from their salmon processing jobs from Cooke's Aquaculture.

This is a lot of jobs lost and a very hard pill for the local economy to swallow. Many people are going to be very desperate and scared, rightfully so, for the next while. However as any company must, Cookes has to become profitable once again to survive or the whole company could well fold and that would mean even more jobs lost. Hopefully, once the situation is stabilized, growth will take place again in aquaculture and more jobs will become a reality.

I am hoping that our new Prime Minister, being from farming country out west, will take note of the situation here and free up the money promised for relief to salmon farmers in our area. Last summer the government promised $20 million in aid, and so far it has not come. Salmon farmers in our region are just asking for the same safety nets that are out there for land-based farmers. I hope that our newly elected and re-elected politicians will take note at the economic disparity in our region and decide to take positive action to help this area out, and the people negatively affected by the downward trend in aquaculture.

I also hope that they take note of the already fragile economy and what kind of a negative impact allowing huge LNG tankers will have by shutting down our waters to our economic use and how many more jobs will be lost here if that is allowed to move forward. Many salmon processors are already out of work.

How many more jobs will be lost when the other types of fishing are affected and tourism and whale watching is shut down? This area cannot afford any more negative impacts of this kind of magnitude.

I trust our elected officials are paying attention to what's happening here and will step in with the aid already promised but not yet delivered and will also step up to the plate and protect our waters and livelihoods from LNG, as was also promised.

Bruce Richardson
Barter Settlement


© 2006 Advocate Media
Article republished on Save Passamaquoddy Bay website with permission.

The Saint Croix Courier, St. Stephen, NB