April 17, 2019
Gibsons Landing, Sunshine Coast, BC – Coastal communities across Canada are supported by small craft harbours that bolster local economies and provide the commercial fishing industry with safe and accessible facilities. With approximately 45,000 Canadians employed in this sector, the Government of Canada is making investments to renew its network of small craft harbours across the country and work with municipalities and other stakeholders where investments and divestitures can enhance local communities.
On March 7, 2019, the Government of Canada announced that it 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 was in addition to the ongoing Small Craft Harbour Program operational budget.
Today, Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, on behalf of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced how that investment will specifically support the Gibsons Landing Small Craft Harbour and benefit the local and area economy.
Funds for the Gibsons Landing Harbour cover reconstruction of the existing harbour timber approach and wharfhead, which have suffered significant deterioration due to vehicle traffic and environmental factors. This work will ensure safety and continued use of the facility by the commercial fishing fleet. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested $2.3M in the Gibsons Landing Harbour, which includes projected expenditures to complete this project. Planning work started in 2018 and will be completed by spring 2020, and the specific dollar amount is not being announced until the tendering process is completed.
“Investments that help improve communities are a priority for our Government. When we invest in the community, Canadians and the Canadian economy benefit. Small Craft Harbour investments demonstrate the federal government’s commitment to local economies. We are proud of this investment to support the fishing industry-a key economic sector that helps support coastal communities across the country.
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“I’m pleased to announce this major investment for our community. Investing in the local small craft harbour helps the Sunshine Coast as a whole. The work carried out will not only renew and maintain the infrastructure that is essential to the region, but also stimulate job opportunities that will benefit fishermen and support our local communities. I am also pleased that with this funding we are able to support the ongoing outstanding work of the volunteer Harbour Authority Board who manages this facility.”
Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country
“The Board and the Staff of the Gibsons Landing Harbour Commission are delighted with this new investment in infrastructure maintenance for the harbour. We have been in discussions with Small Craft harbours for some time, leading to this major upgrade to our facilities. The reconstruction, particularly on the approach way to the dock, will ensure the safety of all who use the dock, and will enhance our ability to handle the diverse traffic using the wharf on a daily basis. We really appreciate the excellent partnership we have with Small Craft Harbours and look forward to a long a productive relationship.”
Joseph Wright, Chair, Gibsons Landing Harbour Authority
The harbour at Gibsons Landing is located at the entrance of the Strait of Georgia on the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia. It is managed by the Gibsons Landing Harbour Authority with Joseph Wright as the Chair and Jim Conway as the Harbour Manager.
The harbour has an estimated maximum capacity of 1,400 vessel meters and is used by approximately 20 commercial fishing vessels on a regular basis.
The top fisheries supported by Gibsons Harbour include salmon, prawn, halibut, tuna and black cod.
The Government of Canada is investing $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 $92 million that will be invested in 2019-20 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 $3.9 billion in 2017.
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.