Cape Breton organizations receive federal investment to recover, repair and rebuild post-Hurricane Fiona

News release

Uprooted trees on the side of a walking trail; damaged race track scoreboard; damanged wharf at a shipyard; broken utility pole.

The Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund is helping communities and businesses recover and build resilience for future climate-related weather events

March 5, 2024 · Sydney, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

When Hurricane Fiona wreaked havoc on cities and towns along the Atlantic coast, the Government of Canada responded quickly with programs designed to help the region with long-term recovery efforts and adaptations to help businesses and communities recover, restore and rebuild for the future.

Today, Jaime Battiste, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minsiter of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Sydney – Victoria, announced non-repayable contributions totalling $6,437,005 through the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund to four Cape Breton organizations. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA.

These investments will help establish comfort centres and upgrade facilities to improve emergency preparedness, and assist companies with storm-related repairs to regain productivity and restore and upgrade community infrastructure. For more information about the funding recipients and projects, please see backgrounder.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting communities and businesses impacted by Hurricane Fiona, and helping them build resilience against future climate-related disasters.


“Atlantic Canadians know that to weather the storm, we must pull together. Existing climate comfort centres play an essential role in our safety and security during times of crisis. It is vital that these facilities have the capacity, resources and tools to support and shelter our citizens when they need it most. And we also know that after the crisis, these centres help communities and businesses return to economic health and activity. Through the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund, the Government of Canada is able to help communities strengthen their climate comfort centres in Fiona-affected areas, build resilience, and improve planning for future climate-related disasters.“
- The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“It is truly incredible to see the resilience and commitment of communities, businesses and organizations who are re-building post-Hurricane Fiona. I am pleased that this funding is helping to advance recovery efforts, as well as supporting improvements to help minimize the impact of extreme weather events in the future.”
- Jaime Battiste, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minsiter of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Sydney – Victoria 

“Our shipyard facility in Cape Breton was devastated by the impact and damages caused by Hurricane Fiona. The level of destruction that resulted from the storm affected approximately 80 jobs and the current contracts that were underway at the time. This also affected Canadian Maritime Engineering’s ability to bid new contract work and continue to bring work into the facility and maintaining our workforce. Our company can implement our recovery plan to bring jobs back to pre-Fiona levels and restore its vital contracts and ongoing business, which is now underway, with the support of ACOA.”
- Tony Kennedy, President, Canadian Maritime Engineering Ltd.

“Having to declare a local State of Emergency as recently as several weeks ago amplifies the need for our municipality to invest in emergency preparedness and response.  This funding allows for necessary training and infrastructure required to ensure the safety of all residents in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality as we continue to see more frequent and severe weather events.”
- Mayor Amanda McDougall-Merrill, Cape Breton Regional Municipality

”Harness Racing Cape Breton is very appreciative of the support of the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund through ACOA. This support has allowed HRCB to resume normal business operations. It also enhances the spectator and visitor experience at the races with a state-of-the-art video display system.”
- Debra Rankin, Manager, Horse Racing Cape Breton

“The saying goes, ‘Many hands make light work.’ Our experience is that having the right equipment also creates the capacity for those hands to accomplish a great deal more. By supporting us with this contribution, ACOA has thrown us a lifeline and given us the confidence and capacity to continue our stewardship of the Baille Ard Nature Trails. Thank you.”
- David Gabriel, President, Baille Ard Recreation Association

Quick facts

  • Through the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund announced October 4, 2022, the federal government is providing up to $300 millionto support local communities and businesses affected by the storm and to help long-term recovery efforts.

  • ACOA is accepting applications to support communities, businesses and organizations in Atlantic Canada that were directly affected by Hurricane Fiona but are not eligible or are partly eligible for other sources of financial support. 

  • The Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund is a time-limited fund that will end on March 31, 2024. 

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Connor Burton
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Lauren Sinclair
Director of Communications
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Rob MacNamara
Communications Advisor, Mayor’s Office

Tony Kennedy
Canada Maritime Engineering Ltd.

Debra Rankin 
Manager, Harness Racing Cape Breton

David Gabriel
President, Baille Ard Recreation Association

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