Neville Lane believes that’s because, in the interim, more people will leave the area or find work elsewhere, leaving less needing assistance.
Municipal and provincial officials are scrambling to come up with an assistance plan that includes job retraining and relocation out of the White Bay area.
P. Janes & Sons closed the crab plant last week, along with two other facilities, leaving more than 300 out of work across the province — including more than 150 in Jackson’s Arm alone.
“The longer they leave it the better it is for them,” said Lane, who is also a Sop’s Arm councillor. “(My guess is) they’ll wait a year and come out with a package for the people who are left behind.”
Humber MHA Dwight Ball raised the question during a meeting last weekend about the official closure, stating it was “curious” that an announcement hasn’t been made.
In the end, Lane’s town, along with other rural areas of the province, will have to come up with other revenue sources. The average age of people living in his town is 63, he said, and some of them will end up leaving to find work in Labrador or Alberta, only to end up retiring back in White Bay in the next few years.
Mayor Claude Jones of Jackson’s Arm said he isn’t sure if there is any room for optimism.
“Maybe in a week or so I’ll have a better idea, but for now all we can do is wait,” he said. “We had two plants and now we have nothing, not a thing in the world to look forward to.”
Ball said recently that he’ll be meeting with company representatives in a week.