In this federal election, more than ever before, everyone in our coastal communities need to get out and vote.
Especially fishers and all those that depend on a vibrant, prosperous and safe fishing industry, principally in the South Shore St. Margaret’s electoral district.
Given some of their poll locations, especially in Shelburne County (from Barrington, Cape Sable Island, Shag Harbour, Bear Point, Woods Harbour to Forbes Point), the lobster fishing capital of Canada, they barely had a 40 per cent voter turn out in previous elections.
It has been said by some that it is often very difficult to get fishermen motivated enough to get out and vote.
Given what was allowed to take place in our coastal communities, especially in the lobster fishery the past two summers in St. Mary’s Bay and other Maritime communities, if that is not incentive enough to get fishermen out to vote, we are in deep trouble.
How could any member of a fishing community or anyone associated with a dependency on the fishery not get out and vote on or before Monday, September 20, 2021?
In my opinion, if in this election some South Shore St. Margaret’s fishing communities only have a 40 per cent voter turn out again, they will become complicit in the growing crisis in their own fishery.
When you can get people to turn out in huge numbers to protest and even to witness illegal activities, surely they can turn out in large numbers to participate in the democratic process that may actually prevent such chaos again in the future.
In my view, Minister Jordan and her senior enforcement officials created unnecessary chaos in our coastal communities with their poor to no communication policy and inappropriate actions starting in 2020.
Look at it this way, in power Minister Jordan talked the talk, but she failed to lead a Department to walk the walk. She first said that it was illegal in the summer of 2020 for commercial lobster fishing to take place during the closed lobster seasons. Then she either ordered or at least allowed her fishery officers to be ordered to stop their compliance monitoring and enforcement activities.
In asking for your vote again to cling to power, she has now apparently changed her position once again, at least for the time being. It appears suddenly she and her department now know how to quiet things down until at least the September election is over with.
Minister Jordan has shown us with her actions and poor judgment who she really is. We should believe her. I am a firm believer that when people show you who they really are, you should believe them, the first time.
She operated very badly with your vote. Now when seeking your vote once again for more power, she suddenly reacts differently.
To me, this simply suggests that she wants your vote more than wanting to do what is consistently right for our fisheries and our coastal communities.
Apparently, the Minister and the present federal government are hoping that the electors will suffer from short memory syndrome.
In my view, that is no description of a trustworthy DFO Minister.
Minister Jordan may not bear all the blame in this. However, that is a problem for the remaining electoral districts in Nova Scotia and across Canada.
Our coastal communities now have the opportunity, responsibility and obligation to vote for who they trust to represent them in Ottawa and the direction they want their government to take.
If there is not much higher voter turn out in this upcoming election, especially in the Shelburne County fishing communities, then those fishers and those communities who depend on the fishery have no one or nothing to complain about or blame except themselves. You will get and deserve what you do or do not vote for.
I worked under seven Liberal and seven Conservative DFO Ministers. Fortunately, I retired before I had to endure working under the present one. In my opinion, when someone shows you who they really are, you should believe them, the first time.