Nfld. & Labrador

Federal government denies trying to change CETA deal

There are signs that the federal government may not be ready to hand over $280 million for the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Rob Moore: Feds still on board with fisheries compensation

There are signs that the federal government may not be ready to hand over $280 million for the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador. 2:22

There are signs that the federal government may not be ready to hand over hundreds of millions of dollars for the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

However, Ottawa insists that it's not trying to change a fisheries compensation package tied to the European trade deal.

Premier Paul Davis said the federal government now wants people in the industry to show that the deal hurts them in order to get compensation.

Rob Moore, minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency as well as the federal cabinet representative for Newfoundland and Labrador, said that's not accurate.

"We are willing to compensate per any impact that has. And that has been our position," he said.

"We're committed to spending up to $280 million fund, and we're working out those details."

Former premier Kathy Dunderdale announced last year that the package — which is worth $400 million, once the province's shared is accounted for — would help compensate for the impact of a free trade deal with the European Union.

On Tuesday, the governing Tories released documents in the legislature relating to the negotiations.     

Davis said under Ottawa's new terms, the federal money could end up being redirected to other provinces.

In a statement released Tuesday evening, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Keith Hutchings said there was never a requirement that fisherman prove the deal hurts them in order to qualify for compensation.

He also said there was no requirement that the $280 million from Ottawa will also be available to other provinces.

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