N.L. fisheries union calling on election candidates to increase minimum wage

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The union representing inshore fishers in Newfoundland and Labrador is calling on party leaders during the provincial election to commit to increasing the minimum wage.

The Fish Food and Allied Workers Union released a series of recommendations for party leaders on Wednesday, with a focus on strengthening small coastal communities.

It is calling for policies to encourage more women and young people to join the industry and for a $15 minimum wage.

The Progressive Conservative party quickly followed up Friday with a statement of their own, pledging to create more jobs in the fishing sector and to fight for joint federal and provincial management of the fisheries, similar to the offshore oil sector.

Crosbie has said that he admires the legacy of his father, notoriously outspoken politician John Crosbie, who fought for financial help for fishers whose livelihoods were destroyed by the 1992 cod moratorium.

Meanwhile, Liberal Leader and incumbent Premier Andrew Furey said Thursday that Newfoundland and Labrador is one of just two provinces without an in vitro fertilization clinic and he committed to looking at how the government could help families who must leave the province to obtain the treatment.

Furey issued a statement saying the province must do what it can to deal with a "demographic crisis" caused by an aging population, outmigration and fertility rates that are among the lowest in Canada.

"Newfoundland and Labrador needs more young people, and a Furey government will encourage families to grow here through a number of different avenues," he said.

"Our government listens, and over several months we have heard the concerns of families hoping to bring a child into their communities as well as doctors looking at ways to offer IVF services.”

In the meantime, Furey said a Liberal government would review funding opportunities to help ease the financial burden for eligible Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who must travel to out-of-province fertility clinics for treatment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2021.

The Canadian Press