Post TAG Program Flawed

July 3, 1998


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Post TAG Program Flawed
dated July 3, 1998

Post TAG Program Flawed
The post TAGS program announced recently by the federal government has created confusion and frustration among east coast fishers. Many people see it as just another step by Ottawa to get out of properly compensating the fishers who have lost their livelihood.

Earl McCurdy
FFAW/CAW President


"What we have here so far is a made in Ottawa solution, designed by people who are not familiar with the details of the industry that this program is supposed to assist and do not understand the consequence of some of these decisions for people and families and communities. What they should have done all along, and certainly need to do now is to have proper consultation with the people who are on the receiving end of this and make the program suit the circumstances."


Ottawa has earmarked $750 million for the Post TAGS program. It is supposed to be used to buy back fishery licenses, for economic development, and to provide for early retirement of eligible fishers. How the Post TAGS is to be implemented however is flawed, says McCurdy. He is meeting with government officials in an effort to redesign the program.

Earl McCurdy
FFAW/CAW President
"People should have the right to choose either a lump-sum cash out, which might suit people in some circumstances, or the biweekly checks which would be more suitable to other people. Secondly; the rules governing the early retirement program are too limiting as to who is eligible and they need to be fixed. The treatment of people whose TAGS have recently expired is inadequate and that needs to be addressed, and the rules of the license buyouts certainly the rules are far from clear. Our concern is that there is going to be a tax hit on that, which will greatly diminish the effectiveness of the program."

McCurdy points out that the Newfoundland fishery is not dead, that in 1997, the export value of Newfoundland fishery products was $575 million dollars.

Earl McCurdy
FFAW/CAW President
"The fishery will continue to be a very key part of the Newfoundland economy in the future. Really the role of this program should be to work with the people who are the victims of the collapse of the ground fish stock to try and move on to the future fisheries."


CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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