Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lobster Industry In A State Of Crises

Lobster continues to be a serious issue on the Magdalen Islands!

The Magdalen Islands fishermen are to be paid five cents more per pound for their catch this week, but that is leaving the buyers in an unhappy state. The problem is not so much the price but the fact that the buyers can not easily find markets for their product and the many of the precious lobster are dying before they reach their destinations. Dead lobster does not help anyone.

The Quebec government started and advertising campaign early in May, within the province, with the slogan "Crack me open, I turn red!". However, it does not appear to be doing much good. Grosse Ile pound seems to be selling all the lobster they get in, but if the buyers can't re-sell the product quickly, then trouble is closer then the horizon, even for here.

Leonard Poirier from the Lobster Fishermen's Association for the Madalen Islands (l'Association des pecheurs proprietaires des Iles-de-la-Madeleine) is one of the members who has gone to Ottawa this week, to be a voice of reason for Quebec fishermen and for the 10,000 some odd fishermen of the Atlantic, their 25,000 helpers and the 25,000 lobster factory workers transforming the product (numbers are approximated). He denounced the the efforts of the governments, saying that they are not putting enough into the billion dollar industry, where the aide is needed. On May 22nd, Ottawa announced an offer of ten million dollars set aside for the fishermen of the Atlantic coast and Quebec to help in promoting their catches and bringing them to market.

The director of the Fisherman's Association will plead the cause of all Quebec fishermen today, May 26th, before the federal governments Fisheries and Ocean's Committee. Mr. Poirier believes that it will take sort term funding to cover a part of the costs of production for the fishing businesses. The money set aside to help the industry is not a solution for the immediate problem, as far as the fishermen are concerned. The proble right now is that there are not enough markets for the live lobster and this causes a risk fo general failure for the lobster fishery.

The three requests that were made to Ottawa by the fishing associations of Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces were basically all refused by the federal government.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Low Lobster Prices Causes Worry

The consumption of lobster, considered a luxury product, has dropped considerably on the American and Canadian markets during this period of economic recession. This drop in the consumption has caused a serious drop in price.

As well, the lobster fishermen of the Atlantic Provinces and of the Gaspesia request an emergency meeting with the Federal and Provincial Ministers to attempt to find a solution to this problem. In a communique, The Union of Fishermen, who represent some 9000 fishers, estimate that the authorities are ignoring the important benefits of this fish. The price paid for the lobster is actually somewhere around $2.75 to $3.50 per pound, which hasn’t been so low in thirty years.

The fishermen of Prince Edward Island are harvesting less lobster then they can, for fear that they will not be able to sell the product. They must limit their catches because the buyers on the wharves refuse to give them more than $3.50 per lobster.

For their part, the Fishermen’s Association of the Iles-de-la-Madeleine, the industry and the Deputy of Gaspesia have launched a vast campaign to convince consumers to buy Quebec lobster, last Friday evening.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Almost Six Million Dollars For Drinking Water In Grand-Entry

Today, May 11th, 2009, the Vice Premier, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Territory Occupation and the Minister Responsible for the Region of Gaspesia and the Islands, Mrs Nathalie Normandeau and the Deputy of the Magdalen Islands, Germain Chevarie, announced a financial aide of $5,630,215 in the framework of the Infrastructures Program Quebec-Municipalities (PIQM), for the construction of infrastructure for providing the distribution of drinking water in view of serving the future marine product transformation factory for the company, Cap-sur-Mer, located at Grand Entry. This last is the result of the merging of Madelimer inc. and Les Pecheries Gros-Cap inc., Madelimer and Big Cape Fisheries.

“The Madelimer factory employed around 320 workers before it was lost to fire in 2006. Taking in account held for this event and for the reorganization of the fishing industry in the last two years in the region, the construction project of the factory is linked to the restructuring of a new system to provide drinking water, and our government is proud to participate in raising the financial amount for the work,” declared the Deputy Chevarie.

The provision of drinking water is a primordial resource for re-launching the industrial activities, in the sector of Grand Entry. At the start of the new century, the enterprise Madelimer had problems providing water, with the existing wells. They had been using both Mario’s and John Fred’s water wells. However, minerals were deposited in the wells by the intrusion of sea water. These wells are no longer usable. After the infusion of salt water, Madelimer continued to use the water for the workings of the factory, but the sea water from the wells hastened the deterioration of the factory’s equipment. The construction project of the new factory, Cap-sur-Mer, is therefore linked directly to the re-drilling of a new system providing enough drinking water in this sector. For the first phase of the project, around forty-five residences will benefit from this investment in procuring quality drinking water. In the long term, the population of Grand Entry will be served by a providing infrastructure and a modern processing factory.

To accomplish this project, it is necessary to invest the amount of $5,926,542, in virtue of regulation 2.1 of the PIQM. The government of Quebec will contribute $5,630,215 and the Iles-de-la-Madeleine Municipality will provide the amount of $296,327.

“The aide agreed upon today with the Municipality of the Iles-de-la-Madeleine, nicely illustrates the engagement of our government, together with the communities in their efforts aimed at improving and having durable infrastructures. These investments written in the Quebec Plan for infrastructures, which will oversee more than 41.8 billion dollars for the period of 2008-2013, which 3.6 billion dollars will serve to maintain and update Municipal infrastructures,” said the Minister Normandeau.

For his part, the mayor of the Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Joel Arseneau rejoiced in having the support of the Government of Quebec for the accomplishment of this project, which allows the fishing industry to be restructured and his municipality to have it’s infrastructures rejuvenated.

Industry in Distress

The lobster industry’s fishermen for the Maritime Provinces, have called for an emergency meeting with the Federal and Provincial governments. Representatives of the lobster fishermen of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence have requested the meeting to discuss the crisis that their industry now faces.

They have asked the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Gail Shea, to organize the meeting and that she convene the Ministers for Fisheries for the Atlantic provinces and Quebec.

The lobster fishermen on the Atlantic know the difficulties without precedent. The price they are offered at the wharf for their catches are lower then they have been for the last 30 years.

The weekend before last, the Federal Minister, Peter MacKay had indicated that Ottawa will look at many scenarios for helping the fishermen. Leonard LeBlanc, a fisherman of Cheticamp, isn’t rejoicing too quickly, “We are optimistic, but I think that we will have to wait and see exactly what it is they have to offer,” he said.

The fishers have three requests to ask of the Minister Gail Shea. Leonard LeBlanc explained that the first thing the fishers want is some security measures which will give all the fishermen admission to the employment insurance.

Second, the fishermen request that there be subsidies which will help them overcome the crisis.

Third, they request help to reduce the effort of fishing. “The third request, is for money from the Federal, Provincial governments and from the industry to repurchase long term permits,” Leonard LeBlanc said precisely.

They are now waiting for the response of the Minister, Gail Shea. The fishermen of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence dream of suspending the fishing, indicated Christian Brun, Speaker for the Union of Fishermen of the Maritimes (UPM).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

European Embargo on Seal Products

It was announced yesterday that the European Community would no longer accept products made from seal, caught during the annual seal hunt, in Canada.

The embargo was put in place, on all seal products on May 5th, 2008. The decision had been voted on Tuesday, by the European Deputies, with 550 votes for the embargo and 49 against. The Parliamentary vote is yet to be taken by the governments of the European Union within the next several weeks. The prohibition will begin in vigor by the next seal hunting season.

This ban on seal products will not affect the Inuit Communities of Canada and Greenland, who can continue their traditional hunt. Of course, this decision depends entirely that they do not hunt a large scale seal hunt for the pelts, oils and meat of the seal for commercial purposes within the European Union.

Canada and Norway have already announced that they will contest this ban before the World Business Organization. The decision of the European Union came after the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper went to Prague, to participate in the launching of the negotiations of an economic partnership with the European Union.

The International Humane Society Organization is rejoicing the decision of the EU and views it as historic. “This ban marks the start of the end of the massacre of the seal of Canada, a massacre that the whole world disapproves of,” declared Rebecca Aldworth, director of the Canadian branch of the International Humane Society.

Joel Arseneau, mayor of the Iles-de-la-Madeleine, deplores the decision of the European Union. He had indicated that this prohibition would represent a challenge for the industry, which must now find other markets. Mr. Arseneau declared that he cannot immediately know the economic impact of this decision. The mayor of the Iles-de-la-Madeleine precisely said that the enterprises have already started to explore other sectors, such as those in the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

C.A.M.I. Will Receive A Grant For $24,725

The Council for Anglophone Magdalen Islanders will receive a grant for $24,725 from the govenrment of Quebec to help support a better quality of life for the elderly in the community of Grosse Isle.  This announcement came from the National Assembly of Quebec today.

The Deputy of the Magdalen Islands, Germain Chevarie mand the announcement in the name of the Minister Responsible for the Elderly, Mrs Marguerite Blais, the grant of $24,725, in a project that is  destined to improve the conditions of life for the elderly of the community, within the framework of the program, 'From the Heart of the Action for the Elderly of Quebec'.

“The power of this program rests principally on the doing what it takes to help the initiative of local organizations.  The Council for Anglophone Magdalen Islanders (CAMI) of Grosse Ile has been accorded this aide to accomplish some of the projects which will assure the active growth of the elderly and which will favour as well their participation in the Anglophone community of the Archipelago,” declared the Deputy.

This year, 80 projects have been given to those who work for the benefit Quebec, for the financial aide of the government of Quebec. The total annual budget of the program is 1.6 million dollars, and the maximum functional aide accorded, by the project, is $30,000.

In the framework of the 2008-2009 edition, particular attention has been given to projects associated with the struggle countering the isolation of elderly persons, to support the helpers of the elderly, to the promotion of the adoption and of the maintenance of healthy ways of life around elderly persons, to the struggle countering the abuses and the mistreatment and to the prevention of suicide. 

“I would like to highlight the important collaboration of the community organizations and the regional dialogue tables, for the improvement of the condition of life for the elderly.  The government of Quebec is proud to support their initiatives which have not only beneficial incidences for the elderly persons, but also for the whole of society,” concluded the Minister Blais.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Why I love Blogging!!!

I recieved this award for the Magdalen Islands Blog , from AngelBaby at "Your Caring Angels".  Angel writes and inspirational web log that is full of character and wisdom. When visitors leaveher blog, they leaves with a sense of wellness and spiritually happy. If you have the time for one more read, try Your Caring Angels. It isn't a waste of your time.
Over the past few years, I've been doing a lot of blogging. I really enjoy writing, researching and learning new things. I doing all of these on multiple blogs, I have come to meet many people all over the world, who give me great joy in the simple matter of communicating. From these people I have learned to be patient, to love myself as I love others, to learn until the day I die and then learn some more. My life is far fuller now then it has ever been in all my years. LOL, notice that I didn't say how many year that was.

Here are the rules for this meaningful award:
The aims of this award:* 
As a dedication for those who love blogging activity and love to encourage friendships through blogging.*
To seek the reasons why we all love blogging!*
Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it*
Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award.*
Answer the award’s question by writing the reason why you love blogging.*
Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like.*
Don’t forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post. 

These are the bloggers that I am giving this beautiful award to:
Angel Baby  (I'm giving it back to here because she really is a caring angel, you know)
I'll think of a few others tomorrow.