Federal Conservatives Support Manitoba’s
Increased Marketing Flexibility for Freshwater Fishers
GIMLI, MB –
James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman, and Robert
Sopuck, Member of Parliament for Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa, joined their
provincial counterparts today to celebrate the Province of Manitoba’s decision
to create flexible marketing options for commercial fishers in the province.
Following the announcement, MPs Bezan and Sopuck, along with Conservative
Fisheries Critic Mark Strahl, issued the following statement:
“We applaud the Province of Manitoba
for announcing their intention to withdraw from the Freshwater Fish Marketing Act
monopoly participation agreements. This is the first step toward allowing
Manitoba fishers the opportunity to market their own products and in
ensuring that they get the best prices for their catch.
“The Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation (FFMC) was
originally created to collectively market the catch of commercial fishers
in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and parts of
Northwestern Ontario. However, the FFMC does not provide fishers with
marketing freedom or competitive prices in comparison to commercial fishers in
other parts of North America. Additionally, the Auditor General of Canada
has been critical of FFMC waste and mismanagement.
“Due to these ongoing problems, the Provinces of Ontario,
Alberta and Saskatchewan have all formally withdrawn from FFMC over the past
few years. The Northwest Territories has also been working at leaving the
FFMC monopoly system for their commercial fishing industry.
“The previous Conservative government appointed a CEO who
was overhauling FFMC to make it more market responsive, efficient and working
on behalf of commercial fishers.
Unfortunately, the Liberal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans suspended
him without just cause.
“Conservatives support the creation of open markets that
attract investment, encourage innovation, create value-added jobs and build a
stronger economy for all Canadians. That is why our previous Conservative
government passed the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act, and
why our party adopted policy to allow marketing freedom for Western
Canadian commercial fishers and their families.
“Today, we are pleased to support the creation of flexible marketing options for
commercial fishers in Manitoba. As the Official Opposition, we call upon
the Liberal government to immediately implement marketing freedom in
Manitoba so commercial fishers can enjoy the same benefits being experienced in
the rest of Canada.”