Fishermen’s frustration with DFO was newsmaker 20 years ago

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Eric Bourque's column


In weather-related news, Yarmouth reportedly had tied a record for heat, when, on July 17, the temperature had reached 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius), equalling a mark set three times before in 61 previous years of record keeping, the paper said.

Also from the Vanguard’s July 24, 1968 edition:

--A postal strike was disrupting local mail delivery. The Yarmouth post office had been shut down as a result of the labour dispute.

--The local tourism association was calling for the Bluenose ferry to spend the overnight hours in Yarmouth, starting in 1969.

--There was said to be a shortage of skilled tradesmen and a surplus of labourers in the Yarmouth area.

--Primetime westerns on CBC television included Gunsmoke (Fridays), The High Chaparral (Saturdays) and Bonanza (Sundays).


A Japanese firm had agreed to purchase bluefin tuna landed at Cape St. Mary. Fishermen would receive 20 cents a pound, with the price expected to climb in August. The plan was to bring the landed tuna to a Japanese freighter docked in Portland, the Vanguard reported in its July 25, 1973 edition.

What was to be done with Yarmouth’s paving plant? It was a question on which opinion was “very strongly divided,” the paper said. The matter was expected to be brought up again at the next regular town council session.

An open house was to be held at College Sainte-Anne, where “an extensive renovation program” had been carried out to make the college’s older buildings more functional while maintaining their architectural and historical character.

On the local entertainment scene, the Bells, a popular Canadian group at the time, were scheduled to perform at the Yarmouth vocational school in early August. Canadian singer Shirley Eikhard was on the same program.


News items from the Vanguard’s July 26, 1978 edition:

--Detoxification and follow-up services for alcohol and drug dependency were expected to start at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital in September 1978, with the facility to be fully up and running in April 1979.

--Father Leger Comeau was the new president of Nova Scotia’s Acadian federation. Father Comeau had been the federation’s first president a decade earlier.

--As they were about to open the Western Nova Scotia exhibition, organizers said there would more of an emphasis on agriculture compared to recent years.


Tom Siddon, the federal fisheries minister at the time, was talking tough about quota abuse, saying fishermen who repeatedly violated fishing quotas would face suspension of their licences. The minister had been in Yarmouth to attend part of Seafest and his comments on quota abusers were included in a story in the Vanguard’s July 26, 1988 edition. In a prepared statement on the issue, Siddon had said, “Repeat offenders must be punished and punished severely… I am taking this action to protect our fisheries from illegal activities and to deter those few fishermen who insist on sacrificing the health of the resource and economic future of their fellow fishermen for their own personal gains.”

A year had passed since the night-time arrival by boat of over 170 foreigners in Charlesville, Shelburne County, had made national and international headlines. Four people wanted by police in connection with the arrival of the foreigners (mostly Sikh refugees) in the summer of 1987 had been the focus of a year-long manhunt. The four faced charges of entering Canada at other than a designated point of entry and failing to report to an immigration officer, the Vanguard said.


Hundreds of fishermen had attended a meeting in Yarmouth – a session set up by the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council – and had used the occasion to express their frustration over the handling of their industry by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Fishermen felt DFO seemed “incapable of protecting the stocks it is supposed to manage,” the Vanguard reported in its July 27, 1993 edition.

Rio Algom had decided to proceed with the demolition of the buildings at its tin mine in East Kemptville, apparently leaving no chance of recovering the six-year tin ore resource left at the site, the paper reported. The province, however, was still looking for a buyer for the mine, a government official saying they would continue to do so until it was no longer feasible. A year-and-a-half had passed since Rio Algom had shut down the mine.




Organizations: Department of Fisheries and Oceans, CBC, Sainte-Anne Yarmouth Regional Hospital Acadian federation Rio Algom Fisheries Resource Conservation Council

Geographic location: Yarmouth, High Chaparral, Portland Nova Scotia Charlesville Shelburne County Canada East Kemptville

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