Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lobster Industry Crises: Financial Aid of Almost One and a Half Million Dollars

The Minister of Agriculture, Fishing and Food and the Minister responsible for the Regions of Chaudière-Appalaches and of the Centre-du-Québec and Deputy of Frontenac, M. Laurent Lessard, announced on June 9th, 2009 that a series of measures evaluated at almost one and a half million dollars is to be given in order to help the lobster fishing enterprises of Quebec. He is working in collaboration with the Deputy of Gaspe, Mr. Georges Mamelonet and the deputy of the Magdalen Islands, Mr. Germain Chevarie.

As well, the lobster fishermen can prevail on measures of transitory aide which will be in effect until March 31, 2009. The first measure is made up of an amount by the Minister, to be used to help with the interest on their loans. The second proposes to reimburse loans fof the fishermen profiting from government funding, in the form of a loan guarantee.

“It is well that the federal government had announced recently the funding of 10 million dollars for the commercialization and the promotion of lobster, this incentive will be in effect for the fishermen only for the year to come. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans must accept her responsibilities and restructure the fishery, as the industry of Quebec requested and the other fishermen of the Atlantic. It is necessary to increase the minimal regulation size of the lobster, support the restructuring of the industry and allow fishermen to benefit from the employment insurance. The other provinces must be inspired from the industry of Quebec, to increase the quality of lobster and improve the value of their fishing businesses. I’ll continue to follow very close to the situation of the lobster fishermen over the course of the season, in order to assure the appropriate support,” Mr. Lessard said precisely.

Elsewhere, the Minister Lessard will follow his representations to the federal government in order that this last request be put to work on concrete solutions for the support of the industry of Quebec.

“The objective is the sort of aide for the fishing businesses, which were struck by the world wide economic crises, so that they can follow their activities, which represent an essential part of the economic development of the maritime regions of Quebec,” indicated the deputies of the Magdalen Islands (Germain Chevarie) and of Gaspe (Georges Mamelonet).

“The Fishermen Association of the Magdalen Islands (APPIM) and the group of professional fishermen of the south of Gaspésie estimates that Ottawa will use the example of the government of Quebec, which is to help it's fishermen victims of this major crises. The delivery of this funding program will allow us to concentrate on our work on a second level of aid to help the Quebec lobster fishermen,” declared M. Leonard Poirier and Oneil Cloutier, who had been encouraged by the support of the Minister Laurent Lessard.

The Quebec lobster fishing industry is comprised of 550 fishing businesses which supports 1,400 persons and which contributes in an important manner to the creation where it maintains some 2,000 employment positions in factories in maritime Quebec.

I'm thinking that fishermen of Quebec and the Maritimes don't benefit from a systematic Cooperative, such as that of the Cap Dauphin in Grosse Ile.

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