PORT AUX BASQUES – MHA Andrew Parsons (Burgeo – LaPoile) announced on Thursday, Nov. 5 that two new government jobs would be relocating to Port aux Basques from Stephenville. The two positions will be with Immigration, Skills and Labour (ISL), formerly known as Advanced Education, Skills and Labour (AESL).
“In the grand scheme of things it seems small but I think it is significant,” said Parsons via phone interview. “We’re going to see two full time positions transfer from Stephenville to the Port aux Basques office.”
The two offices are closely linked, with Port aux Basques falling in under the Stephenville office.
“The department looked at it and said it would be a good move for continuity purposes,” offered Parsons.
The minister noted that high staffing turnover is typical in other offices, but that isn’t the case in Port aux Basques. It is hoped that this will be the case for these two new positions as well.
“We haven’t had a new position in that office for over a decade,” said Parsons.
Parsons has been working to move the two positions over to the Lomond building location for about eight months. Staffing the positions will likely be done through normal government procedure, which may mean an internal posting first before an external posting is listed.
“Either way, when I see two full time jobs – government jobs – go to our area, then it’s a pretty cool thing,” says Parsons.
In the meantime, Parsons says that the cold storage feasibility study is still underway. He shared that on a personal level, he believes that the only logical place for a cold storage facility for live seafood being shipped by transport trailers is in Port aux Basques, but that the government obviously requires proof positive that is the case.
The department of Industry, Energy and Technology has also unveiled a $30 million dollar package. The funds are available to small businesses and non-profit organizations.
“It’s meant to help defray costs because of COVID,” says Parsons, “I’m saying to every small business out there: apply.”
Applications for the Small Business Assistance Program are available online at the provincial website: gov.nl.ca.