Building the small craft harbours of tomorrow: Minister Lebouthillier highlights a nearly half-billion dollar investment in Budget 2024

News release

April 29, 2024 - Ottawa, Ontario - From the Atlantic shores of Newfoundland and Labrador to the Arctic Ocean in Nunavut to the Pacific coast of British Columbia, small craft harbours are at the heart of Canada’s coastal communities. They are vital to fisheries sector, while supporting tourism and safe access to waterways for everyone.

Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and Mike Kelloway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, highlighted Budget 2024’s investment in small craft harbours, which are vital to the economies of fishing communities from coast to coast to coast.

Budget 2024: Fairness for Every Generation proposes to provide $463.3 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, for the repair and maintenance of small craft harbours, including those damaged by Hurricane Fiona. This is on top of the Department’s annual budget of $90 million for the Small Craft Harbours program. These investments will support local economic development for generations to come, providing safe and functional harbours for  Canadians working in the fisheries, aquaculture, construction, and marine engineering sectors.

The government of Canada is currently funding repairs and/or dredging at 40 harbours across the country to ensure that they are in good working condition to support our hardworking harvesters. Once Budget 2024 is adopted, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) will work to identify the priorities of each region and will announce the breakdown of this investment in due course.

Budget 2024 is a plan to deliver fairness for every generation. 

It is a plan to build a Canada that works better for everyone, where younger generations can get ahead, where their hard work pays off, and where they can buy a home—where everyone has a fair chance at a good middle class life.

First, the budget takes bold action to build more homes. Because the best way to make home prices more affordable is to increase supply—and quickly. It lays out a strategy to unlock 3.87 million new homes by 2031. Key measures include launching the new Public Lands for Homes Plan and Canada Rental Protection Fund, enhancing the Canadian Mortgage Charter, and creating a new Canadian Renters’ Bill of Rights.

Second, it will help make life cost less. The budget builds on the government’s transformative expansion of Canada’s social safety net—$10-a-day child care, dental care for uninsured Canadians, the first phase of universal pharmacare—and advances the government’s work to lower everyday costs for Canadians. This includes helping to stabilize the cost of groceries, cracking down on junk fees, and lowering the costs of banking. Budget 2024 also makes transformative new investments, including a National School Food Program and the Canada Disability Benefit.

Third, this year’s budget will grow the economy in a way that’s shared by all. The government’s plan will increase investment, enhance productivity, and encourage innovation. It will create good-paying and meaningful jobs, keep Canada at the economic forefront, and deliver new support to empower more of our best entrepreneurs and innovators. This includes attracting more investment in the net-zero economy by expanding and delivering the major economic investment tax credits, securing Canada’s advantage as a leader in artificial intelligence, and investing in enhanced research grants that will provide younger generations with good jobs and new opportunities. And it means ensuring Indigenous Peoples share in this growth in a way that works for them.

Budget 2024 will also make Canada’s tax system fairer by asking the wealthiest to pay a bit more—so that the government can invest in prosperity for every generation, and because it would be irresponsible and unfair to pass on more debt to the next generations. Budget 2024 is a responsible economic plan that upholds the fiscal objectives outlined in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, and sees Canada maintain the lowest deficit- and net debt-to-GDP ratios in the G7


“Small craft harbours are at the epicentre of our vibrant fishing communities from coast to coast to coast. Canada, the nation with the longest coastline in the world, must invest in resilient harbour infrastructure capable of facing the climate challenges of today and tomorrow. With Budget 2024, we're giving ourselves the means to achieve our ambitions, by equipping our harvesters with modern harbours where their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will carry on our finest maritime traditions.”

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Small craft harbours are the heart of our community of Cape Breton—Canso, in Nova Scotia – and are real drivers of employment and economic development. This investment will help with repairs and maintenance to keep our harbours in good working condition so that our coastal communities can continue to thrive for years to come.”

Mike Kelloway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

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Jérémy Collard
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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