Mr. Speaker, today representatives from the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters are meeting with all political parties to discuss the end of the Atlantic groundfish strategy in August.
Close to 25,000 people will be affected and the greatest impact will be on Newfoundland where two-thirds of the recipients reside.
The government refuses to say what will happen when the program ends in just four months.
With 3,000 people about to be taken off of TAGS in May and the rest in August these people need an answer now.
The government has two reports in front of it that emphasize support for early retirement and licence buy-out programs, self-employment assistance for younger fisher people, community economic development assistance and an extension of TAGS until at least the end of May 1999.
We need a financial commitment from the government today.
This is Newfoundland's ice storm. The lights are still off and the need is just as great.