As we mark World Oceans Day, I am struck by the strength of Canadians. This pandemic has highlighted that Canadians do not give up – and neither will we. While staying safe, Canadians from coast to coast to coast are continuing to do the important work that our country needs to keep our oceans economy healthy and strong. Together we are here for Canada – we are determined, collaborating, and innovating during COVID-19.
Canada’s fish and seafood sector has proven itself resilient and flexible in response to the unprecedented challenges that have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not business as usual and as a government, we recognize this.
Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, and her provincial counterparts; André Lamontagne, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for Quebec, Ross Wetmore, Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries for New Brunswick, Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources for Newfoundland and Labrador, Keith Colwell, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and Aquaculture for Nova Scotia, and Jamie Fox, Minister of Fisheries and Communities for Prince Edward Island, issued the following joint statement.
During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever that we work across all levels of Government to ensure Canadians are safe and local economies are supported. Today, provincial Fisheries and Aquaculture ministers from across Eastern Canada joined me for a call to discuss the rapidly evolving impacts of the COVID-19 on the industry in Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
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.
Today marks the start of National Invasive Species Awareness Week, giving Canadians an opportunity to learn more about aquatic invasive species and how we all can play a role in stopping their introduction and spread in Canada’s watersheds.
Yesterday the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard Jonathan Wilkinson accompanied by Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development in British Columbia Doug Donaldson, were in Lillooet, B.C. to participate in a helicopter fly-over assessment of the Big Bar Landslide on the Fraser River. While in Lillooet the Ministers met with key specialists working on the slide and impacted First Nations. The focus was on what next steps could be taken to best manage the impacts of this natural disaster on Fraser salmon runs.
As Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, I'm thrilled to mark this year's Western Arctic Oceans Day, which is being celebrated on July 1st in Sachs Harbour, the most northern community in the Northwest Territories.