News Release Archive

Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Jim Barkhouse said today that the
federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans' proposed fish
inspection cost recovery program is ill conceived and will hurt
the province's most important resource industry.

"DFO has arbitrarily decided to recover $4.8 million from the
fish processing sector without consulting the industry or the
province", Mr. Barkhouse said.

"It is unbelievable that a scheme of such magnitude may be
imposed without asking industry what it wants, what it needs and
what it can afford", said Mr. Barkhouse. "Ottawa seems intent on
downsizing Nova Scotia's fish processing industry by whatever
means available. Previous efforts have failed, so now they are
going for the wallet and only companies who can pay will stay.
Cost recovery is a tool for restructuring Nova Scotia's economy
to fit Ottawa's vision of a small and tidy industry."

Some fish companies estimate their costs may escalate by $25,000
or more because they are actively and aggressively exporting
product into international markets. Exporters will be placed at a
severe disadvantage vis-a-vis their competitors, because they
will not be able to recover their costs.

Mr. Barkhouse convened a meeting with fish processors on Tuesday
after learning the fees had been pre-published in the Canada
Gazette April 13. This means industry now has less than 30 days
to submit comments to the federal minister for consideration
before the package is sent to Privy Council for final approval.
If approved, the new fees will be payable by August 1.

Mr. Barkhouse said, "We need to know why DFO is proceeding
full-speed ahead with cost recovery when its life expectancy is
only eight months.

"Next April, all food inspection services will be delivered
through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, announced in this
year's federal budget. Planning should commence now to ensure the
transition takes place with as much industry input as possible.
To move ahead with an interim program not endorsed by industry
sends confusing signals about reducing duplication and creating a
positive environment for doing business," he said.


Contact: Diane Kenny  902-424-0308

trp                   Apr. 24, 1996 - 10:00 a.m.