This letter is in response to a Feb. 12, 2019 article posted by CBC titled “Marystown's economy is at a low point. Can this industrial town bounce back?”. This article can be found online at the following link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/marystown-bounceback-struggles-1.5012006.
For a town that is familiar with cycles of boom and bust it is understandable that there would be skepticism towards any promise of new jobs in the area. No one is arguing that the opening of the Grieg NL salmon operation will create jobs, but the fear some people have is that this is just another case of too little, too late.
The local shipyard in particular is subject to cyclical job creation, which ebbs and flows with the demand for new ships. The construction of the Grieg facility has a significant difference. Grieg has a long-standing history as one of the leading salmon producers globally. The construction of this facility represents a huge investment on their part. Many critics accuse Grieg of looking to N.L. as a means of exploiting our natural resources and lenient government regulations for their own benefit, and at the cost to the local environment. When one considers the massive investment, to the tune of $180 million CAD, it is unlikely that their plans are only for the short term. They are in it for the long haul, and that could mean the difference in the economic survival of the Marystown region.
This is promising for the economic recovery of the community. The production plan for Grieg is a year- round process, meaning sustained employment. There are an estimated 600 direct jobs to be created, which will spin off into hundreds more in supporting industries and trickle-down employment.
N.L. has great economic promise, partly related to a relatively high unemployment rate and a population that is eager to work. The Grieg project goes to show the opportunities that are possible with suitable investment. I would argue that N.L. has a long way to go to become economically sustainable in the modern world. When investors see the value in moving business to N.L. we all benefit. Maybe it’s time we put some of our cynicism aside and have faith that our communities can and will flourish again.
Memorial University Aquaculture student