Government of Canada investment helping the fish and seafood sector in Newfoundland and Labrador remain strong
Federal funding for seafood businesses to tackle pandemic challenges
June 8, 2021 – St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador – 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 Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South–Mount Pearl, announced a total investment of $1,235,577 in two initiatives to help the fish and seafood processing sector in Newfoundland and Labrador tackle pandemic challenges 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.
The Barry Group Inc. of Corner Brook is receiving a $675,000 repayable contribution to implement three automated snow crab processing machines in its Witless Bay facility to help comply with COVID health and safety requirements, enhance yield and produce a high quality product. Ocean Choice International, based in St. John’s, is receiving a $560,577 non-repayable contribution to enhance safety training, undertake modifications for safe distancing of employees and increase capacity for health screening on vessels and at its plants province-wide.
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.
“Our ancestors came to this land for the fish. It’s who we are. Our government supports the fishery, so we’re helping our seafood processors deal with COVID-19 so that they can come out stronger on the other side of it.”
- The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South—Mount Pearl, 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 here in Newfoundland and Labrador, 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
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 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.
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