April 25, 2020
Ottawa, Ontario – Canada’s fish and seafood sector is essential to our collective food security and our economy. The Government of Canada recognizes the need to support the hard-working women and men of the industry during this challenging time of COVID-19.
Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced $62.5 million of new assistance to the fish and seafood processing sector. This new Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund will help businesses:
- access short-term financing to pay for maintenance and inventory costs;
- add storage capacity for unsold product;
- comply with new health and safety measures for workers;
- support new manufacturing/automated technologies to improve productivity and quality of finished seafood products; and,
- adapt products to respond to changing requirements and new market demands.
This investment will help ensure the resilience of the food system by allowing Canada’s fish and seafood processing sector to safely and efficiently process, store, package, and distribute healthy, high-quality products, sourced from our fish harvesters and aquaculture operators, onto the plates of Canadians.
The funding announced today will provide tangible assistance to help address the financial strain and instability that the fish and seafood processing sector is facing. As we grapple with these uncertain economic times, the Government of Canada will continue to work with provincial and territorial partners, industry, Indigenous communities, and stakeholders to identify impacts from the evolving COVID-19 situation.
The Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund will be delivered through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, and Western Economic Diversification Canada. Further details on how and when processors can apply for assistance will be confirmed at a later date.
“The women and men in our fish and seafood sector have been feeding this country for generations. Through the new Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund, our government is investing directly into this sector, ensuring the industry has the support it needs to adapt to current realities brought on by COVID-19. Bolstering our processing sector is vital to supporting fish harvesters and feeding Canadians.”
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard
“We know this is a difficult time, and this is why we are working with you to ensure the support being announced today will be implemented as quickly as possible. Through this new Fund, we are helping Canada’s fish and seafood sector remain strong and stable. We have your back to help you keep your employees and bounce back from this pandemic.”
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages