Published on June 24, 2014
Opposition Leader Steven Myers speaks Tuesday, June 24 at the public accounts committee hearing Auditor General Jane MacAdam's annual report.
Published on May 15, 2013
P.E.I. Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley answers questions from the media following a meeting of fisheries ministers in Amherst, N.S. on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Looking on is Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Sterling Belliveau.
TC Media photo by Darrell Cole
Opposition Leader Steven Myers says he’s not hearing anything positive about Fisheries Minister Ron MacKinley when he visits Island wharves.
“Time and again I heard from seasoned Island fishers, not just new entrants, that while prices were up a little this year, many of them will have to go west to supplement their income,” said Myers.
“The fishers I spoke with were blown away that a minister could spend almost $10,000 on food and perks for himself, when they have to make hard decisions at home.”
He said many Island fishers were on boat quotas during the season, which limited the amount of daily catch that fishers could sell, and early catches in May were not strong in some parts of the North Shore of Prince Edward Island.
“Fishers have been calling for leadership from Ron MacKinley since the tie-up last year, to no avail. All they’re asking for is a fair price and a sale for their lobster.”
Myers pointed out that the rising costs of doing business, low prices, and boat quotas have left many fishers making tough choices in order to meet their loan obligations and provide for their families now that the season is finished.
“They’re appalled that the minister spent $10,000 on buckets of chicken and burgers, but never bought a single lobster to support the fishery. $10,000 and more is the June payment for some fishers, and unlike MacKinley, they don’t have a government credit card to pay it.”
Myers says the landing day message was loud and clear — “the minister of fisheries has his priorities in all the wrong places and fishers are fed up.”