01/05/2015 08:32 EST | Updated 03/07/2015 05:59 EST

Trudeau Sends Davis Letter Of Support Over Fisheries Fund

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says he supports Newfoundland and Labrador's bid to get the federal government to spell out its financial commitment for a special fisheries fund.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government says Ottawa set up the fund in exchange for the province giving up minimum processing requirements for fish plants as part of a free trade agreement with the European Union.

Earlier this month, Premier Paul Davis said the Harper government should honour its promise to put $280 million into the $400-million federal-provincial fund.

However, the Prime Minister's Office has said an unspecified amount is available for direct losses in the fisheries sector but no "blank cheque" was ever offered.

In a letter to Davis, Trudeau says while the Liberal party supports free trade with the European Union, it also believes the Conservative government has failed to adequately address the concerns of the province's fish processors. As well, Trudeau says the federal government should honour its promise to help the fishing industry adjust to the new free trade deal.

Davis has threatened to reconsider the province's support for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the EU if the dispute can't be resolved.


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