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Canada ruling that prevents corporate takeover of inshore fishery upheld February 09,2019   |  Source: CBC News

In a decision released Friday, Canada's Federal Appeal Court sided with a 2017 Federal Court decision that upheld Ottawa's right to prevent the corporate takeover of inshore fisheries in Atlantic Canada and Quebec.

At issue are controlling agreements used by companies to get around longstanding policies that local fishermen control inshore licences and the profits that come from them.

The ruling revolves around the case of Labrador fisherman Kirby Elson, who entered a controlling agreement in 2003 with Quinlan Brothers Ltd. and Labrador Sea Products Inc. that gave the companies total control over every aspect of a licence — even in death. The companies provided the vessel, the crew, financed the boat and reaped the profits.

DFO set a 2014 deadline for fishermen to exit controlling agreements.

Elson was the only fisherman in the region who explicitly refused, and he became the test case when industry filed for a judicial review of the fisheries minister's decision to take his licence away.

The Federal Court sided with the fisheries minister and in Friday's ruling, the appeal court upheld the previous decision.

 

© 2018 CBC/Radio-Canada

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