Fortune brings OCI pressure to bear on King
A delegation from a Burin Peninsula town counting on Ocean Choice International's controversial plan to revamp its operations has lobbied government to not stand in the way.
Fortune Mayor Charles Penwell led a group that met Wednesday with Fisheries Minister Darin King, who has yet to decide on whether St. John's-based OCI can export most of its quota of groundfish, in return for creating about 110 year-round jobs through its Fortune plant.
"We wanted to press on the minister the importance of this proposal and of accepting it, perhaps with some conditions, but it's important for the future of the plant in Fortune and indeed the whole town," Penwell said.
Penwell said the stakes go beyond promised jobs for trawler workers and processing staff at the Fortune plant.
"If this is rejected and OCI pulls out, they might not only pull out of Marystown but Fortune as well," Penwell said.
Speaking with reporters, King reiterated that government has yet to make a decision on the proposal OCI brought forward last week, in the wake of its decision to close plants in Marystown and Port Union.
"If the will of the people in the province is to leave it in the water, we may very well do that," King said.
"But we'll do it making sure people have a full understanding of the potential consequences for the province and the industry."