“I just spent the full morning with the Grieg people,” Soucy told the Southern Gazette on Thursday.
During his meeting, Soucy asked a variety of questions about the operations and the process used in salmon farming,
“I want to know exactly what the different was in terms of their technology – not only the cages, but the hatchery, the fact that they’re raising the salmon to a much larger size before it goes in the ocean.”
Soucy’s other concerns included plans for waste management and the employment potential of the project.
“I asked every question that I had down, and they answered every one. I got a full appreciation for the rigorous assessment they have already gone through, and I think the project is moving forward.
“The region needs it, and I would (make) a poor member of parliament if I didn’t reflect and represent the needs and expectations of my constituents.”
Soucy felt there may have been some misconception on where he stood on the issue of aquaculture in the province.
“As a radio host I was always devil’s advocate,” he explained. “I’d stir things up as I was instructed to do, to create some conflict on the show and make it more interesting … so I said lots of things about all kinds of stuff.”
When it comes to the topic of aquaculture, “generally my interest is as most peoples’ – it has to be done right, so that we don’t regret anything we do,” he said.
“As long as we’re using due diligence, using state-of-the-art technology—learning from the past, it can be done. It’s an industry of the future and I certainly hope it happens here.”
Soucy told the Southern Gazette this is not his first time stepping into the political arena.
“I ran in ‘99 for the Liberals provincially against Jack Harris – I came close and certainly enjoyed that whole process. When I heard that Judy (Foote) was not only stepping down from cabinet but actually leaving politics, it struck me right away that it is an opportunity I could look at.”
Soucy said he is very familiar with the riding, having taught in Clarenville for a number of years, as well as spending a good bit of time on the Burin Peninsula visiting his wife’s family, who reside in Marystown.
“Through the radio show I’ve talked about so many issues with so many people in the riding I feel like I have a good grasp of the concerns here, as much or more as most people living in any one part of it.”