Announcement, 1965

Announcement Image Page 1 (111k)
Announcement Image Page 2 (104k)


A Federal-Provincial programme designed to encourage the relocation of from four to five thousand households in many small Newfoundland fishing settlements to more suitable communities within the Province is announced jointly today by Federal Minister H. J. Robichaud and C. M. Lane, Minister of Fisheries of Newfoundland.

The long-term plan for the centralization of fishermen in Newfoundland will affect only those isolated communities in which at least ninety percent of the households agree to move. It will provide for the payment of a grant of one thousand dollars to each household, plus two hundred dollars for each member of the household, as well as actual travel and removal expenses for the household and their effects to a designated growth point within the Province. The major share of the cost will be borne by the Federal Government. The offer of assistance is to be in effect for five years dating from next April first. The programme is to be carried out gradually, with assistance to the households involved expected to average in the neighbourhood of twenty four hundred dollars. The total programme will cost several million dollars. A large number of isolated settlements are expected to be abandoned through the resettlement plan during the next five years. While the object of the programme is to centralize fishermen, the terms of the plan will apply to all households in a settlement, regardless of occupation. Payment of removal expenses and grants to non-fishing households and fishing households not wanting to continue in fishing would be for relocation in any approved locations within the Province. Those wishing to continue in fishing as an occupation would be eligible only when moving to approved fishing settlements where employment opportunities are offered either afloat or ashore. For some years past the Government of Newfoundland has provided financial assistance of up to six hundred dollars per household to encourage fishermen to move to more suitable locations within the Province, where agreement to move has been reached by all members of the community. Under this programme some ninety settlements have


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been abandoned, while gradual unassisted abandonment of some sixty additional settlements has also taken place. After abandonment of a settlement, the land is to revert to the Crown to prevent year round resettlement, although seasonal fishing or other operations can be carried out, but with no additional public facilities. Field administration of the new programme is to be the responsibility of the Provincial Government. A standing committee with representation from both Governments will be appointed to give general supervision to implementation of the programme. A study is to be made to establish the immediate and long-term absorptive capacity of selected “growth points” and the probable costs of extending existing facilities to meet the needs of a significant increase in population. The decision of the two Governments to speed up the resettlement scheme is considered basic to the successful development of the Newfoundland fisheries, and followed submission of a report made by senior Federal and Provincial officials who met in St. John's recently. These included representatives of the Department of Fisheries of Canada, Treasury Board, the Federal Departments of Public Works and Labour, the Atlantic Development Board and ARDA. Newfoundland representatives were from the Provincial Departments of Fisheries, Public Works, Highways, Municipal Affairs and Welfare and Economic Development. The plan stemmed from the realization by both Federal and Provincial Governments that opportunities for improvement of income and living standards of fishermen would continue to be limited so long as fishermen remained dispersed in several hundred small fishing settlements. Many of these have as few as ten or fifteen households, the fishermen use small boats and are dependent on fish coming close to shore as well as being handicapped by short fishing seasons, local curing of fish under salt, and restricted market opportunities.

5th. March, 1965.

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