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St. John's-based OCI building new $10m 'showcase' fish plant ... in Nova Scotia

Not only that, but federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan says Canada’s fish and seafood sector is a vital part of the economy — “with Nova Scotia leading the way.”

OCI is run by brothers Martin and Blaine Sullivan. The company's mission statement says it will be "relentless in our pursuit of success." (CBC photo.)

That doesn’t say much for Newfoundland and Labrador’s fishery? Of course, the federal minister is from Nova Scotia, so what do you expect? (Look what Gail Shea did with northern shrimp for PEI. Read about it here.)

Personally, I expect a hell of a lot more for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Won’t be long before this place is an outport of Halifax with resettlement in the works.

Ottawa and Nova Scotia are providing Ocean Choice International with $10.3 million to build a new retail packing plant, and cold-storage distribution centre in Dartmouth. Read about it here.

The project will create up to 50 year-round jobs, and provide “a showcase within the fish and seafood sector related to advanced processing equipment.”

The obvious question is why isn’t OCI building its new plant in its home province?

OCI is building a controversial new development in Long Pond, Conception Bay South. Read about it here. But just an office, freezer, and dock — no "showcase" plant.


The cash for OCI is being provided from the $400-million Atlantic Fisheries Fund.

That’s the same $400 fund that was initially supposed to be solely for Newfoundland and Labrador as compensation for the province giving up minimum processing requirements as part of the Canada/EU free-trade deal. Read about it here.

We were the only province in Canada to give up a constitutional right.

But then the $400-million fund turned into a fund for all of Atlantic Canada, and here we are today with OCI building a "showcase" plant in Nova Scotia to package fish from provinces including Newfoundland and Labrador.

Then you read the news about how no level of government can say how much unprocessed frozen fish is being shipped out of Newfoundland and Labrador for processing around the world. Read about it here.

As a fishing province we have fallen desperately behind.

Ryan Cleary,


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