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Good news for province's wild fisheries: former fisherman Clifford Small new Tory Opposition critic

Clifford Small, Conservative MP for the central Newfoundland riding of Coast of Bays—Central—Notre Dame, has been appointed critic for Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard in the shadow cabinet of new Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.

MP Clifford Small is the son of an inshore fisherman, and one time fisherman himself. He was first elected in the September 2021 federal election.

From Wild Cove, White Bay, Clifford has his Class 4 Fishing Masters, and worked as an electrician before taking over the family fishing enterprise in 1994.

He fished crab, shrimp and seal, but is said to have sold out years ago. He began Smitty’s Restaurants in 2005, starting with the first one in Mount Pearl. Clifford has two grown children, and lives in Conception Bay South.

His uncle, the late Harold Small, served in the House of Assembly for the provincial Liberals in the early 1990s.

Small, who was one of Poilievre's eariest supporters, has served on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans since the 2021 election, and understands the commercial fisheries (particularly in his home province) better than any politician I know of any stripe.

Young Clifford pictured with his father, the late Allan Small, when he was building his first longliner.

It's fair to say that independent licensed owner-operator inshore fish harvesters have a champion in Clifford Small.

Finally, some good news on the federal fisheries front.

Onwards and upwards.

Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, SEA-NL

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is a professional, non-profit organization serving as the distinct voice for licensed, independent owner-operator inshore fish harvesters. You can read more about SEA-NL, and join us here.

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