Tories Cut Grit Salmon Farm Bailout In Half

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
21 April 2006, at 1:00am

CANADA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper's new Conservative government has cut in half the $20-million bailout for New Brunswick's salmon farmers announced by the former Liberal government. Steve Outhouse, the director of communications for Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn, confirmed yesterday that the Conservative government reviewed the program, cut it in half, and transferred responsibility from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. "There will be no money coming from DFO in this situation," he said. "We looked at it, evaluated it. There was no real way to transfer the money and so in order to do any kind of thing in a proper and timely fashion it was done through ACOA. "DFO does not have an authority to transfer that type of funding so basically this was an agreement that was reached unilaterally by the last federal government. Obviously the money never was transferred because it was determined to be done on a cost-sharing agreement that was never agreed to by the province. So, as a government, we are delivering $10 million that will actually go to the province but it will not be coming through DFO." He referred further questions to Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson, the Conservative MP for New Brunswick Southwest, but Thompson declined to grant an interview. His riding includes almost all the salmon growers in New Brunswick, a $200-million industry that has been battered by disease, questions of food safety, and poor markets. Source: CanadaEast