Government of Canada investment helping Bedford’s fish and seafood sector weather pandemic challenges

News release

COVID-19 safety, increased storage and automated equipment help the industry stay productive

March 24, 2021 – Bedford, Nova Scotia – 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 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 Geoff Regan, Member of Parliament for Halifax West, announced total investments of $2,056,250 to two companies with headquarters in Bedford, to help the region’s fish and seafood processing sector tackle challenges caused by the pandemic 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 of the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Clearwater Seafoods Limited Partnership is receiving a $2 million repayable contribution to increase its live lobster holding capacity at its plant in Arichat, Nova Scotia, and to purchase automated processing equipment for its plants in Lockeport and Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.

Fisherman’s Market International Incorporated is receiving a non-repayable contribution of $56,250 to install safety and physical distancing measures to protect employees and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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

“Many rural communities in Atlantic Canada rely on fish and seafood processing businesses as a foundational part of their economy. The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the sector, but our communities are resilient. These investments will help ensure these businesses remain productive, safe, and that they continue to play a leading role in our economic recovery.”
-    The Honourable Geoff Regan, Member of Parliament for Halifax West, 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 our local economy here in Nova Scotia, 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

  • In June 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 is now 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 its 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 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.

     

Associated links

Contacts

Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic
Development and Official Languages
Catherine.Mounier-Desrochers@canada.ca

Jane Deeks
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
343-550-9594
jane.deeks@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Chris Brooks
Communications Director, Nova Scotia
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-830-3839
Chris.Brooks@canada.ca

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