Today, FFAW-Unifor in collaboration with its partners, launched a new campaign to build a coalition for rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
Rural Works is a campaign to build and strengthen an economically vibrant and sustainable rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
The objective of Rural Works is to build a broad and inclusive coalition focused on strengthening rural economies with good jobs, better pay and a longer working season. The Rural Works coalition will bring together the fishing sector, local governments, and the business community to work together to continue driving employment and wealth in rural NL.
The fishery is worth more than $1 billion annually with most of those benefits flowing to rural NL. New fisheries opportunities working alongside a booming tourism industry have the potential to grow the prosperity of rural NL.
The coalition will work together to advocate for adjacency in fisheries management, meaning that those who live alongside the resource should benefit most from it.
“The economies of rural NL are held back by poor federal fishing policies that deny the people of NL the real benefits of the fishery. The federal government’s attack on applying adjacency and historic attachment when allocating fish quotas currently costs rural economies well over $70 million dollars annually. We’ve seen this with halibut and we’ve seen this with shrimp and it is a possibility with cod,” said FFAW-Unifor President Keith Sullivan.
Rural Works acknowledges that one of the largest hurdles to creating a strong, sustainable rural economy is the current demographic difficulties in many rural areas. The solution that Rural Works will pursue is to create new and better jobs.
“The jobs of the new fishery will require more skill, provide better pay, and be for a longer season. Those jobs will attract people back to our towns and attract new people as well. A sustainable community needs people and people need jobs,” said Twilingate Mayor Gordon Noseworthy.
Sullivan says the FFAW is well-positioned to lead this coalition and has already received tremendous support from municipalities and the business community.