Industry still waiting for answers about lobster tax

August 13, 2014

(Shelburne, NS) NDP Fisheries critic Sterling Belliveau says people working in the lobster industry are frustrated by the lack of information coming from the Liberal government around the five-cent-per-pound lobster tax it announced almost three weeks ago.

Belliveau says the time has come for Minister Keith Colwell to announce the “mystery area” where the tax will be imposed. He also wants to know the dates, times and locations of long-promised consultations around the government’s planned two-cent-per-pound lobster levy for marketing.

“I’ve been contacted by lobster harvesters and buyers who have told me the Liberal government does not have a mandate from them to proceed with the two-cent-per-pound lobster marketing levy, let alone the five-cent-per-pound tax Minister Colwell says will be introduced in a yet to be named location,” says Belliveau. “The Liberals have created a great deal of uncertainty, people are getting frustrated and it’s time the Minister provides some clear answers.”

On July 24, Colwell unexpectedly announced a five-cent-per-pound tax on all Nova Scotia lobster landings. A few days later he backtracked, stating the five-cent tax would only be imposed in an undisclosed area as a “pilot project” and a two-cent-a-pound marketing levy would be introduced in the rest of the province.

“For the last three weeks every single fishermen in the province has been left in the dark, wondering if they are going to be forced to take part in an expensive experiment they have not consented to,” said Belliveau. “That has to change.”