NDP Fisheries Critic Christopher Mitchelmore (The Straits-White Bay North) is demanding the provincial government deal with the decaying former fishplant in Englee before something tragic happens in the Northern Peninsula community.
“The Provincial Government has failed to commit to the clean-up of the abandoned Englee fish plant, for which it is ultimately responsible,” said Mitchelmore. “On January 26, the roof of the structure collapsed. This was nearly eight years after the company that had been operating the plant abandoned it. Community representatives have been calling for the plant’s removal ever since, but government is apparently ignoring them.
“It is obvious to me this Government does not have a plan to deal with crisis situations” says Mitchelmore. “This dangerous situation in Englee could have been prevented and should be a lesson for this Government. Nobody was hurt this time, but there’s no guarantee about what will happen next time a portion of that plant falls down.”
Mitchelmore says the situation in Englee should be raising alarm bells in every community in the province with a fishplant. “What will stop Ocean Choice International, for example, from similarly walking away from communities in which it currently does business – or from plants it has closed?” Mitchelmore asked. “The Province must enact legislation to hold companies accountable, especially fish processers that are benefiting from the people’s resource.
“It is time to give communities control over their resources, entering into a royalty agreement with a processor,” he said. “If Government continues to give away our fishery to irresponsible processors, any town in Newfoundland and Labrador could be facing a crisis similar to the one in Englee.”
- Mitchelmore questions future of Marystown facility (liveruralnl.com)
- Abandoned Englee Fish Plant, Abandoned by Government (liveruralnl.com)