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New Brunswick Urged not to Subsidise Lobster Industry

Crustaceans Sustainability Economics +5 more

CANADA - The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the New Brunswick government not to subsidise the lobster industry, despite ongoing protests by fishermen.

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On Friday, Fisheries Minister Michael Olscamp had promised to provide compensation after days of protests outside processing plants over a glut of cheap American lobster, reports CBCNews.

But the minister has since closed the door on financial compensation after the Maritime Fisheries Union rejected an undisclosed offer by the provincial government on Tuesday.

Kevin Lacey, Atlantic director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, says there's no reason the government should bail out fishermen in the province.

"I think there's a point to be made here about American lobster coming to New Brunswick plants. I think that's a fair issue for the fishermen to protest," Mr Lacey said.

"I think where our organisation sits is that we don't want to see the government subsidize the industry," he said.

"The province has undergone a very difficult last two years. Taxpayers in the province have suffered under a high inflation and low wage growth. And many businesses have suffered in this economy.

"And it sets a bad precedent that now, the province is looking to bail out lobster fishermen when so many others are suffering."

The fishermen say they wont hit the water until they get a better price for their landings and took their protest to federal Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield's office in Fredericton.