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N.L. fish harvesters reach deal, ending demonstration that shut down government

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Fish harvesters who protested outside the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature this week have struck a deal with the provincial fisheries minister and ended their demonstration.

John Efford, the fisherman who led the demonstrations, says the province has agreed to changes that will increase competition among processors and make it easier for the province’s fishers to earn a living.

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union, which represents inshore fishers, is calling the deal a victory that will improve market access for harvesters.

The union says in a statement that the government has agreed to allow fishers to sell their catch to buyers from outside the province, a key demand of the protesters.

The agreement was hammered out during a meeting between Efford, union executive members and provincial Fisheries Minister Elvis Loveless, who said the new arrangement will benefit everyone in the province, and especially those in rural communities.

The meeting came after hundreds of harvesters blocked government employees from entering the legislature on Wednesday, forcing the government to delay the unveiling of its budget by a day.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 22, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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