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Fisheries Minister at odds with Premier’s direction on regulation

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Mandatory lobster handling training ignores Charter on regulation 

Halifax, April 6, 2016 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is concerned the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture is ignoring the Premier’s own legislation by imposing a lobster handling course on lobster processors and buyers. 

Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell is pushing ahead with a mandatory training plan for lobster handling without consulting the industry and without a proper cost/benefit analysis. This is in direct contravention of the Premier’s Charter of Guiding Principles for Regulation signed into law only a few months ago. 

“CFIB believes this decision from the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture is in direct contradiction of theRegulatory Accountability and Reporting Act,” said Nick Langley, Director of Provincial Affairs, Nova Scotia. “By making this a mandatory course and making it a condition of licensing, the Minister is essentially doing an end run on the legislation creating a regulatory requirement without honouring to the Premier’s Charter.”

The Premiers’ Charter of Governing Principles for Regulation clearly outlines in its Statement of Fundamental Intent on Regulation;

The Government will regulate to achieve its policy objectives only having demonstrated that satisfactory outcomes cannot be achieved by alternative self-regulatory or non-regulatory approaches; where analysis of the costs and benefits demonstrates that the regulatory approach is superior by a clear margin to alternative, self-regulatory or non-regulatory approaches; where the regulation and the enforcement framework can be implemented in a fashion which is demonstrably proportionate, accountable, consistent, accessible, targeted and predictable. 

CFIB has written the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture to point out the discrepancy.

“We’ve asked the Minister, given the rural nature of the lobster industry, to look at voluntary on-line quality control seminars (webinars) as a reasonable alternative.” Langley added. “Making these voluntary and removing the condition of license would serve the same purpose and would also align the measure with the government’s own legislation.”

CFIB and our members have been very supportive of measures taken by the province under the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness to ease regulatory burden and to have a better approach from government in regards to service delivery with provincial businesses. 

To arrange an interview with Nick Langley, please call 902-420-1997 or email [email protected]

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.