Belliveau calls for vote on lobster levy

January 21, 2015

NDP Fisheries Critic Sterling Belliveau says he’s concerned the Liberal government is moving ahead with a  2 cent a pound lobster levy without a proper mandate from the industry.

He made the comments after the government announced it will be holding consultations on the levy in the coming weeks. The government release makes no mention of a process to quantify industry support.

“As I said from the beginning, it should be the industry’s decision whether or not a lobster levy is adopted,” says Belliveau. “I appreciate that the concept of the levy has received some support, I’m pleased the government is finally holding consultations on the matter, but unless a clear majority of industry members support the levy, it should not be implemented.”

Belliveau is urging the government to use the upcoming consultations to develop a process to determine if a mandate for the levy exists.

“At the federal level, DFO has a process where a vote is held before changes are made in the lobster industry,” said Belliveau. “Given the significance of this levy, I think it’s time the province adopt a similar process in order to respect the independence of our inshore fleet.”