Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development Minister Darin King provided an update Tuesday on the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s position regarding the ongoing dispute with the Government of Canada on the $400 million fisheries fund and the Canadian European Union Comprehensive Trade Agreement (CETA).
“The federal government shows no signs of living up to its commitment to the agreed $400 million fisheries renewal fund. Despite sustained effort on the province’s part, the Federal Government remains unprepared to enter into meaningful discussions to implement the agreement we reached. In fact, Minister Granter wrote Minister Moore on March 11 requesting such engagement. Minister Moore has not yet agreed to meet and despite being in the province on May 20, no meeting with the provincial government was arranged. Instead, Minister Moore decided to publicly restate the Federal Government’s reinterpretation of the June 2013 agreement,” King explained.
During negotiations, while issues similar to minimum processing requirements (MPRs) for other provinces were being protected, such as log export restrictions for British Columbia, no such accommodation was made for Newfoundland and Labrador. As negotiations continued, an agreement was reached on the creation of the fisheries renewal fund as a concession to the removal of jurisdictional authority on MPRs for products destined for the EU market, King said in government press release.
“While our government is pleased with the outcomes negotiated in partnership with the federal government in CETA, we must continue to act in the best interest of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The federal government has reneged on the fisheries fund and we have reached a point where our government must end this stalemate. As such, I have written to Minister Fast, and the European Union informing them of our government’s position moving forward. The Provincial Government cannot relinquish jurisdictional authority on MPRs on fish destined to the European Union when the Federal Government is not prepared to honour the terms of the negotiated fisheries fund.”
The letter to the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade is available at www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2015/btcrd/2605n03_letter2.pdf and the letter to Her Excellency Marie-Anne Coninsx, Ambassador of the European Union to Canada is available at www.gov.nl.ca/releases/2015/btcrd/2605n03_letter1.pdf