Statement from the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard on the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 response


March 19, 2020

Ottawa, ON - The COVID-19 situation is fluid and rapidly evolving, and the Government of Canada will be there every step of the way to protect Canadians, support local businesses, and ensure families have the funds needed to weather the storm. In collaboration with our international partners, and based on the best available public health advice, Canada has taken a number of actions to help reduce the health impacts on Canadians. While this is a public health emergency, we know that it is exacting a toll on many people, personally, socially, and economically.

As Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, I am committed to providing the Canadian fisheries and aquaculture sectors the support needed so they can continue to provide the world with sustainably-sourced, high quality, high value, fish and seafood. I am in regular contact with many harvesters, processors, and representative groups to hear their concerns, understand the economic challenges this pandemic poses, and ensure their voices are represented.

In addition to managing the necessary public health aspects of this pandemic, our government has and will continue to step up to support Canadian businesses and their employees. As announced by the Prime Minister yesterday, a new set of economic measures has been introduced to help stabilize the economy and help Canadians during this challenging period. These measures, delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, will provide up to $27 billion in direct funds to Canadian workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of Canadian businesses and households.

Rest assured, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will continue to deliver on its mandate during these times. Fisheries will continue to be managed. Licences will continue to be issued. Our Conservation and Protection officers will continue to enforce the Fisheries Act. The Canadian Coast Guard will remain at the ready to provide assistance to mariners and ensure trade routes remain open in Canadian waters. Icebreaking and all essential Coast Guard services will continue.

The unpredictability of this situation continues to be the only thing we can take as a certainty. Fishing isn’t an easy way of life at the best of times. The sector has faced tough times before – and it will again. But much like those who work in our fisheries, the sector is truly resilient. I have confidence the market will rebound and the Government of Canada will be there to help every step of the way.

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Jane Deeks
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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