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Concerns related to public safety, security, and economic uncertainty
CLARE, NOVA SCOTIA (Nov. 27, 2020) – The Mayors and Wardens of eleven municipal units in Southwest Nova Scotia are working together with a unified voice to raise public safety, security, and economic concerns of the municipal units and their residents related to the ongoing tensions surrounding the fishery in Saint Mary’s Bay.
The eleven municipal units—the Municipalities of the Districts of Argyle, Barrington, Clare, Digby, Shelburne, and Yarmouth, and the Towns of Clarks Harbour, Digby, Lockeport, Shelburne, and Yarmouth—have a shared interest in helping reach a peaceful resolution to the current situation in Southwest Nova Scotia.
“With the holders of an estimated 1,693 lobster licences setting their traps in LFAs 33 and 34 on November 30th to start their 2020-2021 commercial fishing season, community concerns around public safety and security are heightened,” said Eddie Nickerson, Warden, Municipality of Barrington. “We all want a peaceful start to the commercial fishing season and to resolve the tensions in Saint Mary’s Bay.”
It is expected that the federal government will continue to provide increased resources to address public safety and security concerns, including an increased presence by the Canadian Coast Guard, RCMP, and Department of Fisheries and Oceans Officers in the area and on the water for the opening of the commercial fishing season and the foreseeable future.
The municipal leaders also encourage the federal government to establish and enforce a fair regulatory regime for the commercial and moderate livelihood fisheries that ensures conservation of the lobster stock and preserves the existing inshore commercial fleet.
“The lobster fishery is vital to our region and our province, and there is a very real anxiety among our community members that this important economic driver is in jeopardy the longer there is uncertainty around the commercial and moderate livelihood fishery,” said Ronnie Leblanc, Warden, Municipality of Clare. “We all want a long-term sustainable fishery for all fishers and we are here to support and work with those involved to find a peaceful resolution.”
The Mayors and Wardens of the eleven municipal units have been meeting virtually with key stakeholders involved in working toward a positive resolution.
On Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, the municipal leaders met with the Hon. Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret’s to begin a constructive dialogue and discuss their concerns. On Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, they met with Allister Surette, the Federal Special Representative, to better understand his role and to express concerns surrounding the ongoing situation.
The Mayors and Wardens look forward to ongoing discussions with Min. Jordan, Mr. Surette, and other stakeholders.
Warden Ronnie LeBlanc
Warden, District of the Municipality of Clare
Phone: (902) 769-8006