Canada investment helping fish and seafood sector in Eastern Prince Edward Island remain strong

From: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

May 14, 2021 – Cardigan, Prince Edward Island – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

The workforce of Canada’s fish and seafood processing sector is an economic driver in coastal and rural communities, and is vital to the national food supply chain. The sector faced immense challenges due to COVID-19, and the Government of Canada worked quickly to ensure it had the support it needed during this unprecedented time.

On April 25, 2020, the federal government announced the $62.5 million Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF). This fund was created specifically to help Canada’s fish and seafood processors adapt to the challenges of COVID-19. Today the CSSF is supporting projects across Canada to help processors retain their employees and maintain strong health and safety measures to ensure workers are protected. It is increasing the industry’s capacity to process, store, package and distribute healthy, high-quality products, as well as retool its processes and marketing to adapt to changing consumer demands.

By bolstering Canada’s fish and seafood processing sector, the Government of Canada is helping position the national economy for a strong, post-pandemic recovery. Canada’s ocean industries contribute approximately $31.7 billion to Canada’s GDP every year. By investing in the fish and seafood processing sector at this critical time, the Government of Canada is paving the way for a stronger more resilient blue economy in the future.

Federal government supports fish and seafood processors

Today, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Member of Parliament for Cardigan, announced total investments of up to $386,746 for six initiatives throughout Eastern Prince Edward Island to help the region’s fish and seafood processing sector address these tough economic times head-on and ensure its future viability. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, and of the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard.

The funding will help companies acquire new equipment to address health and safety measures in response to COVID-19 and improve storage capacity. Additional information on the projects is provided in the related backgrounder.

Today’s announcement reflects the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting all sectors affected by the pandemic. Projects like these will help the fish and seafood processing sector build back better, get more Atlantic Canadians back to work and create a more resilient, diverse economy.

Quotes

“Our fish and seafood processing businesses are the heart of the coastal communities that make up Eastern PEI. They’re an absolutely vital source of jobs, and these investments will help them adapt and bounce back from the pandemic as we start to come through it.”

– The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Member of Parliament for Cardigan, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“As the daughter of a fish-plant worker, I know how critical seafood processors are to the local economy in Prince Edward Island and all across Canada. When the pandemic hit, an immediate priority of our government was getting the processing sector the support it needed to keep workers safe and adapt to changing consumer demands. We created the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund specifically to address the unique needs of processors, and it’s inspiring to see how our partners are using these funds to actually strengthen the sector. Through the CSSF, our seafood sector is re-tooling, re-branding, and finding new markets – all of which will help Canada’s national economy build back better.”

– The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • On June 17, 2020, Minister Jordan launched the $62.5 million Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF) to support fish and seafood processors experiencing significant financial challenges caused by COVID-19.

  • CSSF is a Fisheries and Oceans Canada initiative delivered by three of Canada’s Regional Development Agencies: ACOA, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, and Western Economic Diversification Canada.

  • ACOA is delivering Atlantic Canada’s $42.7 million share of the fund, which has now been fully committed.

  • ACOA continues to invest in projects that promote sustainable local economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation through its regular suite of programs.

  • The Government of Canada is developing a Blue Economy Strategy to grow our ocean sectors through job creation, inclusion and conservation. Canadians are invited to share their views in an online engagement portal, which will collect diverse perspectives from coast to coast to coast, helping shape a strategy that will contribute to sustainable oceans, drive investment in our ocean industries, and create jobs in coastal communities as Canada charts its economic recovery from COVID-19. Online engagement is open until June 15, 2021.

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