09 August 2016

OCI dumps troubled shrimp plant on taxpayers #nlpoli

Ocean Choice International is in better financial shape today, having successfully dumped a surplus shrimp processing facility on the people of Port Union.  The plant - seriously damaged in 2010 during Hurricane Igor still needs major renovations.

OCI put the plant on the market in 2012 but couldn't find buyers.  In 2012,  company president Blaine Sullivan said that even if the hurricane hadn't damaged the plant, OCI would have closed either Port Union or the company's other shrimp plant in Port aux Choix.  The company couldn't supply both profitably with declines in the shrimp quota.

A company with strong ties to the provincial and federal Conservatives, OCI picked up the Port Union plant and other assets after the former provincial Conservative administration hounded Fishery Products International into self-destruction.

Then-fisheries minister Tom Rideout  - right, precisely as illustrated,  - played a key role in the campaign to destroy FPI.

Neil King, the Liberal MHA for the district, posted on Facebook that he would "be working with the town to secure funding for renovations which will create jobs in the short term."  That money would come from taxpayers, of course, although King did say if he'd be looking to St. John's or Ottawa to help out.


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