Lobster fishermen, including hundreds from the communities Michel Samson represents, came together these past 3 weeks to to raise the issue of low lobster prices. NDP and PC MLAs attended the fishermen’s rallies and meetings, but Liberals were nowhere to be seen.
The Liberal Office in Halifax did issue a press release on behalf of Michel Samson. But his absence in Arichat was noticed.
One reader suggested that Michel Samson’s fundraiser and Halifax landlord is the reason he failed to make it to the meetings. Edgar Samson (no relation) is a bulk buyer of lobster – one of Cape Breton’s largest in fact. And many fishermen believe bulk buyers are driving the price down to make more money as middle men. So we can see why a reader might suggest that.
Our concern is that Michel Samson may be avoiding public appearances until the Auditor General finishes his review of the Liberal MLA’s living expenses. That would be a mistake. Spending the summer in Richmond County would go a long way toward fixing the perception that he only visits on weekends.
Fisheries Minister Sterling Belliveau spoke to fishermen at the last meeting before the boats hit the water again. He told them of NDP efforts to get Marine Stewardship Council certification for the lobster fishery as a sustainable industry. Belliveau talked to them about the panel being struck to look at the issue and also announced provincial support for an ad campaign to promote Nova Scotia lobster.
Stephen McNeil has been mostly quiet on Michel Samson’s case and that’s disappointing to see – Samson is one of the few capable people McNeil has in his Caucus.
Perhaps if McNeil would defend Samson with the same vigor with which he has defended Manning MacDonald’s multiple vacations while the Legislature sat, Samson would be more inclined to get out and about more often.