Liberals forcing buyers to take government course by 2017 or lose their license
ARGYLE, NS – Fisheries and Aquaculture critic Chris d’Entremont is calling on Minister Keith Colwell to answer some key questions about a mandatory lobster handling course the government is implementing.
On Feb. 17, a letter from the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture was circulated to lobster buyers in the province that stated they would need to complete a lobster handling course by 2017. Failure to do so would prevent buyers from having their licenses renewed or issued.
“Why is the government now requiring these buyers to take this course? Who was consulted? What’s the real goal of this course?” asks d’Entremont. “Let’s see this for what it is – red tape in a proud maritime industry. This government has some explaining to do.”
There have been no further details, including information on the course location and content, released to buyers.
“These buyers have been in the business for generations. They’re experts in their communities and beyond,” says d’Entremont. “The minister has to answer some key questions about this mandatory course.”
Specifically, Colwell must address how much does it cost; who is paying for it; who will be leading the instruction of the course; where will the course be delivered; were lobster buyers consulted on what the course will entail or if it’s needed; why is the government mandating this training now, and; what is the government’s ultimate goal in mandating this course?