07 July 2008

Going it alone, the federal version

The year:   1983.

The issue:  restructuring three bankrupt private fish companies into what would eventually become Fishery Products International.

GlobeFPIfederal The solution:  the federal government decided in late June 1983 to bypass the provincial government and invest $75 million in federal cash.  The resulting company was supposed to be entirely in the private sector with the federal government owning shares along with other investors.

The source:  A Globe and Mail story - left -  by Michael Harris. [Note:  To read the article, click on the picture and you can open it in a larger version.]

The previous May, the federal and provincial governments had a memorandum of understanding - according to the story signed by then fish minister Jim Morgan - but after a series of changes and further disagreements, federal fisheries minister Pierre de Bane turned up in St. John's to announce the "go-it-alone" option.

This is offered only as a curiosity since there are plenty of more clippings and many more details to the fishery restructuring in the mid-1980s and the eventual creation of FPI.

Still, it is interesting to see the federal and provincial governments in a disagreement.

It's even more interesting to see the willingness of the feds to go it alone on a fisheries issue.

Doesn't sound like the story you get from the usual sources, does it?


Update:  The story appeared on the front page of the Globe and Mail.  There's another little thing the local myth-mongers won't like.  The paper they love to hate as the read it every day actually put a major story about this province on the front page.