May 22, 2019
Ottawa, Ontario – Fisheries play a vital economic role in rural coastal communities across Atlantic Canada and Quebec. Over the past weeks, some fish harvesters in parts of Newfoundland and Labrador and parts of Quebec have faced delays in the start of the fishing seasons due to ice conditions, affecting their ability to earn income.
Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that the Government of Canada will provide emergency financial assistance to fish harvesters in the most affected areas of Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec.
The Government has set aside up to $5 million in emergency funding for payments to eligible applicants who are fishing out of ports in the most ice-affected areas of Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec.
Eligible applicants must be fish harvesters who had established and exhausted an Employment Insurance (EI) Fishing Benefits claim based on their fishing activity in 2018; who are not receiving or eligible for any EI benefits; and who fish out of ports in the identified ice-affected areas.
Eligible applicants will receive up to $508 for each week of eligibility. The program will cover the period between May 5 and June 15 for eligible areas in Newfoundland, Southern Labrador, and Quebec. For Labrador (North of Cape St. Charles), the period is between May 26 and July 6. The program eligibility period was established based on ice conditions and the typical start of fishing activity.