Colwell needs mandate before collecting fees from lobster industry

February 19, 2015

(Shelburne, NS) NDP MLA Sterling Belliveau says regardless of what Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell calls his lobster marketing fee, he needs a mandate from the fishing industry before any money can change hands.

On Tuesday, Feb. 17 at a public consultation held in Yarmouth, Southwest lobster buyers held an impromptu vote on the Liberal government’s proposed two cent a pound levy and unanimously rejected it. Today Minister Colwell indicated that instead of the proposed levy, a different kind of fee might be collected for marketing.

“It seems like every week Minister Colwell is telling a different story,” says Belliveau. “First he was talking about a 5 cent levy, then he admitted he misspoke and it was going to be a two cent levy, then he started talking about an agreement with a mystery zone that never materialized, and now he’s talking about collecting a fee instead of a levy.”

“It’s all very confusing, but this much is certain – if Keith Colwell and the Liberal government want the Lobster industry to hand over any money they need to get a mandate. And the only way to get a mandate is to go out and hold a province wide vote,” adds Belliveau.