Belanger Advises Fishers To Call Loan Officers

Thursday, November 10, 2005 at 14:30



Northern Affairs Minister Buckley Belanger is advising commercial fishers to contact their loan officer if they’re having trouble making payments.


Recently, the head of their association asked the department if their loan payments could be re-worked or deferred, because of the tough market conditions and high fuel costs the fishers are facing.


According to John Carriere, some fishers are getting calls from collection agencies.


For most of the fishers, Northern Affairs represents their only lending agency.


Belanger says the government is aware of the fishers’ challenges and realizes the fishers’ tough situation is not of their own doing.


However, Belanger says the department can’t use a blanket approach on this issue, since each fisher’s loan situation is unique.


That’s why he’s asking fishers to try to work out arrangements with the department’s loan staff.


Belanger says he will review the information gathered by loan officers, and determine if there are some additional remedies the department could provide.


Belanger also says the province might be able to help fishers with the rising cost of gas, much like they help farmers.


However, unlike farmers, Belanger notes fishers don’t buy insurance for their catch, which he says hinders what the province can do in terms of other aid.