Province Playing Aggressive Role

Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (to Sept. 00)

September 18, 1998 4:05 PM

The province of Nova Scotia has and will continue to play an
aggressive role in ensuring commercial fishermen and others in
the St. Margaret's Bay area receive the support and assistance
they need dealing with the aftermath of the crash of Swissair
Flight 111. Part of the fishery in that area has been shut-down
since the crash.

A Halifax open-line radio show spent two hours Friday morning
deriding the provincial government for an alleged failure to come
to the aid of fishermen in the area.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," said Premier Russell
MacLellan.

The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture made representations
to the federal government that resulted in the fishing exclusion
zone being reduced, so more fishermen could go back to work. The
department is also brokering and facilitating discussions with
Swissair, and involving federal officials, concerning both
long-term compensation and more immediate assistance for
fishermen in need. The Department of Community Services is ready
to provide programs and services should anyone require emergency
relief.

In addition, the province initiated and is spearheading the
effort to ensure residents of the area have the emotional support
they require in dealing with the tragedy.

Provincial officials have held discussions with many fishermen in
the area, and the overwhelming response was that they (the
fishermen) did not want to make compensation an issue this soon
after the crash.

The province will not be offering compensation, because
compensation is a legal issue and legal responsibility will rest
elsewhere.


NOTE: The following is intended for use by broadcast media.


The provincial government says it is doing all

it can to help fishermen in the St. Margaret's Bay-area

get back on their feet following the crash of

Swissair Flight 111.

     Part of the fishery in that area has been

shut-down since the crash more than two weeks ago.

     On Friday morning, a Halifax open-line radio show

spent two hours blaming the government for not coming to

the aid of fishermen in the area.

     Premier Russell MacLellan was quoted as saying,

"Nothing could be further from the truth."

     He said the province, Swissair and federal

officials, are currently discussing issues such as

long-term compensation and immediate assistance for

fishermen in need.

-30-

Contact: Jim Vibert,
         Communications Nova Scotia,
         902-424-4886
         E-mail: vibertjc@gov.ns.ca

ngr                 Sept. 18, 1998              4:05 p.m.