Thursday, September 30, 2010

One Program That Has Helped

Grande-Entree fishing boats
A program given by the Magdalen Islands Local Development Center (CLD), The Young Entrepreneurs Program was a resounding success with the young fishermen of the islands.

With an awarded budget of $400,000 in 2008, the CLD helped with many start up fishing outfits.

It wasn’t a surprise that the CLD chose to concentrate its efforts in the fishing industry, with more than 400 fishing enterprises from the islands.

This aide was given to the transfer of fishing permits and outfits to the next generation. Succession, training to be ready for the sea is more present in the fisheries industry that in any other sector in Quebec.

For the past three years, the CLD has helped thirty-five young Magdalen Islanders acquire their fishing business.  Mostly these young are the sons of captains and have been helpers for years.  They are young and have fishing diplomas from the local Island school board.

They each received a maximum grant of $12,000 from the CLD to help with the purchase of their new business. It also helped in defraying the training costs involved and it allowed the young fishermen to have management coaching.

However, the budget is now gone and the CLD hopes to have additional short-term funds from the Quebec government to continue in other sectors on the islands.

Over seven million dollars of investments were generated in less than three years in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

There Will Be No Exploration For Oil and Gas In Sections of the Gulf

The government of Quebec took the stand, late last week, that there would be no exploration or operating activities for oil or gas in the basin of the estuary and north-western Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Deputy Premier Nathalie Normandeau said that"in light of the results of the first strategic environmental assessment, we can already confirm that the basin that includes the Estuary and the north-western Gulf of St. Lawrence is too complex and fragile. "

"From the Isle of Orleans to the island of Anticosti, many of the communities are dependent on tourism-related activities or the commercial fishing and it is out of question for our government to develop a new industry to the detriment othesr already existing ", argued Ms. Normandeau.

The government is now awaiting the report of the second strategic environmental assessment in the fall of 2012, that covers the basin of the Bay of Chaleur, the Anticosti Basin (northern Gulf of St. Lawrence) and the Magdalen Basin (southern Gulf of St. Lawrence).

Once the report is submitted to the government in autumn 2012, "Consultations with Aboriginal coastal communities, and the  island of Anticosti basin, Madeleine and the Bay of Chaleur will take place," said Minister Normandeau.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) is to supervise the conduct of exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the marine environment.

"The SEA does not replace the work of the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE). Instead, it serves to establish the background which could be carried out against studies of environmental impact on specific projects of oil and gas development in the marine environment and which will subsequently be the subject of hearings BAPE ", said the government statement.

According to estimates, up to 2 billion barrels of oil could be drawn beneath the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, at the reservoir of oil and natural gas at the Old Harry site, which is the subject of a dispute between Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.