MS: ‘Strategy for Revitalizing the Great Slave Lake Commercial Fishery’

Mr. Speaker, I usually stand up her and talk about what this Government is doing wrong. The way I see it, that’s my job, and it’s the job of the Ministers to stand up and talk about what they’re doing right. But, Mr. Speaker, today I thought I’d give the government a break and actually celebrate some of the good work they’re doing.

Yesterday, the GNWT’s Strategy for Revitalizing the Great Slave Lake Commercial Fishery was officially unveiled in Hay River by the Minister of Industry, Tourism, & Investment, and the President of the NWT Fishermen’s Federation. The unveiling was attended by local fishermen, both of Hay River’s MLAs, Town Councilors and representatives, representatives of the Hay River Chamber of Commerce, the media, and residents.

The development of the Strategy, which has been years in the making, has been a collaborative effort between the government and the Fishermen’s Federation. The Strategy forecasts commercial fish sales to increase from around $1 million/year to $6 million/year over the 5-year roll out, but that is just the beginning. If we consider the possibilities for secondary products, we could be looking at an industry worth tens of millions of dollars in the future.

Now, I’m usually not a fan of strategies or action plans because I think they’re often used as excuses to plan, rather than do. However, I’m happy to say that I’ve seen the work that ITI officials are doing in the South Slave in conjunction with local fisherman, and although the Strategy was just unveiled I can attest that work is well underway. There is still much to be done, but I see sunny days ahead for the commercial fishery in Hay River and the NWT.

That’s it, Mr. Speaker. No cheeky comments – just a bit of good news, and some kudos for the Department and for my fellow MLA from Hay River.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Link to document: Strategy for Revitalizing the Great Slave Lake Commercial Fishery