Government of Canada invests in the improvement of small craft harbours across Canada

News release

June 24, 2021

Ottawa, ON - Small craft harbours are the heart of Canada’s coastal communities. With approximately 45,000 Canadians employed in the fishing sector, small craft harbours provide the commercial fishing industry with safe access to our waterways. These harbours create vibrant hubs for community life, recreation and other marine sectors.

Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard announced that an additional $300 million will be invested over two years to repair, renew and replace Canada’s network of small craft harbours. These investments will help make harbours safer, will increase efficiency, and will create jobs from coast to coast to coast. The government has been working with municipalities and stakeholders to identify where investments and divestitures can enhance local communities. Further details on how these investments under Budget 2021-2022 will be allocated across the country will be announced in the coming weeks.

This announcement is in addition to ongoing annual investments the department is making to improve and maintain commercial fishing harbours. These investments support the growth of the commercial fishing industry and provide economic opportunities for coastal and remote Canadians.

Small craft harbours provide critical support to the commercial fishing industry, which had landings valued at approximately $3.7 billion in 2019. Coastal communities across Canada also benefit as these investments help ensure facilities are safe and accessible.  


“As part of our government’s plan to build back better, we are developing a Blue Economy Strategy to grow Canada’s ocean economy and create good jobs for the oceans sector and coastal communities. Our small craft harbours will be vital in these efforts, boosting local economies and elevating the vibrancy of communities. We are proud to support the fishing, tourism, and construction industries, alongside the coastal and rural communities that depend on these harbours.”  

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • DFO’s Small Craft Harbours Program keeps harbours critical to the commercial fishing industry open and in good repair.

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada supports 990 harbours across Canada with more than 5000 volunteers from harbour authorities.

  • Harbour restoration projects are undertaken in cooperation with the local harbour authorities that manage and operate facilities for local users.

  • The Small Craft Harbour Program budget for 2021-2022 is approximately $90 million; of this amount, approximately $70 million will be directly invested in projects for repairs, maintenance, construction and dredging at harbours.

  • The blue economy is an economy driven by sustainable, ocean resources and accounts for about $31.7 billion annually in Canada’s national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  It also represents nearly 300,000 Canadian jobs with direct, indirect and induced benefits in sectors as diverse as fisheries and aquaculture, marine transportation, ocean energy and technology, recreation and tourism.

  • Canada’s blue economy and its future growth depend on the sustainable use and management of our ocean resources. A Blue Economy Strategy will enable us to protect and revitalize the health of our oceans while taking advantage of emerging economic growth opportunities throughout ocean sectors.

Associated links


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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