Belliveau concerned about lack of consultation regarding lobster handling course

March 11, 2016

(Shelburne, NS) NDP Fisheries Critic and MLA Sterling Belliveau is wondering why Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell would feel compelled to institute a mandatory lobster handling course without consulting the industry.

“The Minister is giving the impression that there was simply no time to consult on this issue.  It’s as if he awoke one morning to discover a crisis in how lobsters are handled in Nova Scotia.  I have seen no evidence that this is the case,” Belliveau said.

In mid-February, licensed lobster buyers received a letter from the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture stating that lobster buyers and their designates will be required to complete a formal Lobster Quality Handling Course in order to have their licence renewed or issued.   Belliveau is concerned that because the Minister failed to consult, there could be a fundamental misunderstanding of the issues and questions about the Minister’s intent.

“Those involved in the lobster industry know the importance of the quality of their product.  If one was looking for concerns to be addressed, wouldn’t you start by talking to those who handle lobsters for a living?  As we have seen with recently proposed Pharmacare changes, making decisions without proper consultation leaves Nova Scotians to question the McNeil government’s intentions,” Belliveau said.




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Emily Reid