News Release Archive

  Premier John Savage has asked the federal fisheries minister
  to consider a gradual phasing-in of proposed licence fee
  In a letter sent to Fred Mifflin today, the premier said the
  proposed fees will mean a loss to the Nova Scotia economy
  between $10 and $20 million a year.
  This loss is "significant and cannot be ignored," the
  premier's letter states.
  "I am speaking about the devastation our communities are
  experiencing and I am not overstating the case. This point
  is being reiterated across Nova Scotia by numerous
  coalitions representing families, industry and municipal
  councils who fear for their future."
  The federal government last year proposed increases in
  licence fees that will bring the federal government $45
  million in additional revenue. The provincial government
  began protesting the fees last June. Since then there have
  been a series of letters, phone calls and face-to-face
  meetings between the Nova Scotia and federal government.
  Premier Savage and Fisheries Minister Jim Barkhouse met with
  the federal minister as recently as last Wednesday.
  In his letter to Mr. Mifflin this week, the premier said
  that if Ottawa isn't prepared to phase-in the increases,
  then the federal government should at least consider
  changing the method of collecting the fees.
  The premier suggested Ottawa might collect the fees at
  intervals during the year, as opposed to collecting the fees
  up front before the fishermen even had a chance to earn some
  The letter also asks the federal minister to re-examine the
  licensing policy as it affects handline, trapnet and weir
  fishers in Nova Scotia. The current classification plan is
  "not reasonable" given the economic significance of these
  Premier Savage also suggested the need for a task force to
  assess the cumulative impact fees and other policies will
  have on the fishing industry as well as communities across
  Nova Scotia.
  "Perhaps a task force, chaired by several members of
  Parliament, would be a mechanism to collect and assess
  information about the impact of the fees."
  Premier Savage asked the federal minister to consider Nova
  Scotia's proposals and report his findings back to the
  Contact: David Harrigan 902-424-6600
  jlw                          Feb. 13, 1996    4:30 p.m.