Gov. Paul LePage and Portland officials are meeting in Augusta today to clear the air over anti-Portland comments attributed to the governor by a former member of his cabinet.

Last week, outgoing Marine Resource Commissioner Norman Olsen said he was ordered by LePage to stop cooperating with the city on commercial fishing issues because the city was “against” him, and that the governor would build a port elsewhere.

LePage aides denied the comments and said the governor understands Portland’s unique contribution to the state economy, regardless of its politics. It’s a good sign that the governor has made himself available to meet so quickly. But if he really wants to make a statement, it will take more than just words.

The groundfishing industry is in economic trouble and will need more than encouragement from Augusta. State regulations, like the ones that prevent draggers from landing lobsters in Maine, drive Maine boats to Massachusetts harbors. Infrastructure is crumbling and needs investment.

A gesture like having this meeting is important, but what happens after it’s over will matter much more.

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