March 7, 2019
Steveston, British Columbia – Communities across Canada are supported by small craft harbours that bolster local economies through tourism, recreation and commercial fishing. Small craft harbours are major economic sectors that help support coastal communities to create good jobs and a strong local economy. Keeping our harbours safe, open and in good repair is essential to our coastal communities remaining competitive. That’s why the Government of Canada is working with municipalities and other stakeholders to renew its network of small craft harbours across the country.
By investing in infrastructure, the Government of Canada is investing in people, promoting inclusive growth, and building stronger and safer communities. With 44,000 Canadians employed in the commercial fishing sector, including more than 5,200 in British Columbia, it is important that we sustain this industry for years to come.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, along with the Member of Parliament for Steveston─Richmond East, Joe Peschisolido, announced that the Government of Canada has invested over $33 million in 35 small craft harbours across British Columbia between 2016 and 2020 to ensure coastal communities can continue to create jobs, and local economies can thrive. This investment is in addition to the ongoing Small Craft Harbour Program operational budget.
We are making significant investments through our Small Craft Harbours Program to work with municipalities to renew the network of small craft harbours, and to repair, maintain and build key harbours across the country. By renewing and maintaining marine infrastructure, we can continue to support our local communities by creating jobs and opportunities that will benefit fish harvesters, their families, and residents and visitors alike, while facilitating growth in the tourism sector.
Minister Wilkinson also highlighted the removal of 10 vessels from small craft harbours in British Columbia as part of the Ocean Protection Plan’s Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Removal Program, several of which are currently being disposed of in Port Edward and will be completed this month.
“The Government of Canada is making unprecedented investments to build communities in the 21st century. Today, we are announcing investments in 35 Small Craft Harbours in British Columbia. These investments are supporting coastal communities and the fishing industry—a key economic sector that helps support these communities across the country. Investments that help improve communities are a priority for Canadians. When the government invests in the community, Canadians and the Canadian economy benefit.”
The Honourable Jonathan Willkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“Today’s investment will mean stronger coastal communities in our province. Investing in local small craft harbours helps not just the commercial fishing industry, but the communities in British Columbia as a whole. The work carried out will renew and maintain the infrastructure that is essential to the region, and stimulate job opportunities that will benefit fish harvesters and support our local communities.”
Joe Peschisolido, Member of Parliament for Steveston Richmond East
The funding announced today has and will continue to support 35 harbour projects throughout the province including float and wharf reconstructions, breakwater access development, electrical reconstruction, basin and maintenance dredging, divestitures, among other projects.
Today’s announcement took place at Steveston Harbour, which received $6.8 million to replace two wharves, repair three large buildings, undertake dredging and install a drive-down floating wharf.
Through Budget 2018, the Government of Canada invested $250 million over two years to renew its network of small craft harbours and work with municipalities and other stakeholders to enhance local communities, economies and foster job creation.
This is in addition to $100 million that will be invested in 2018-19 for repairs, maintenance, construction, and dredging at core commercial fishing harbours across Canada.
The mandate of the Small Craft Harbours Program is to keep harbours critical to the commercial fishing industry open and in good repair.
Small craft harbours provide critical support to the commercial fishing industry, which had landings valued at almost $3.4 billion in 2016.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada supports more than 1000 harbours across Canada with more than 5000 volunteers from harbour authorities.
Harbour restoration projects are undertaken in cooperation with the local harbour authorities that manage and operate facilities for local users.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Abandoned and Wrecked Vessels Removal Program is providing up to $1.325 million over five years to Harbour Authorities and other eligible recipients to remove and dispose of abandoned and wrecked vessels located in federal small craft harbours. To date, 23 vessels have been removed and disposed of across the country, and funding has been awarded to gain legal possession, which could lead to the removal of an additional 11 vessels, under the program.