© Guardian photo
Souris-Elmira MLA Colin LaVie
Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley has abandoned Island Lobster fishermen entirely and has no plans of any kind to work with fishermen, says PC Fisheries Critic Colin LaVie.
“The Governor of Maine is supporting his fishing industry. Why is Ron MacKinley not doing the same?” asked LaVie.
LaVie was responding to MacKinley’s latest comments in The Guardian about the benefit Island fishermen will receive from the State of Maine increasing its lobster marketing efforts.
Maine is pouring money into its $370,000 lobster marketing budget, driving it up to $2.2 million dollars a year.
“It would appear Maine is looking to its own interests, not Prince Edward Island’s,” said LaVie.
“Ron MacKinley seems to believe the State of Maine will do his job for him, and that increased marketing of our fishery’s biggest regional competitor will assist Island fishers.”
LaVie said it is short-sighted to rely on Maine marketing to bolster the P.E.I. fishery, pointing to recent news reports as further proof.
“This summer the State Governor outlined his goal to have Maine’s fishery independent of Canadian processors within three years. Just this week in the Globe and Mail, the director of the Marine Lobstermen’s Association admitted that Maine is in direct competition with us, because ‘you compete lobster to lobster.’”
LaVie said that it is time for MacKinley to show some leadership, and that the minister’s lack of action is distressing to fishermen.
“It is clear that Ron MacKinley is content to let our biggest competitors beat our fishery to the punch,” said LaVie. “It is no wonder that our fishers feel abandoned by the Minister and the Ghiz Government.”