Fisheries in British Columbia get support from the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund

News release

Fresh food. Worker safety. Over $9.6 million to keep British Columbian fish and seafood processors running safely through COVID-19.

Funding helps fisheries comply with new safety guidelines, better manage inventory and help secure Canada’s food system

March 17, 2021 – Delta, British Columbia – Western Economic Diversification Canada

The women and men of Canada’s fish and seafood processing sector are economic drivers in British Columbia and their contributions are vital to our national food supply chain. The sector faced immense challenges due to COVID-19, and the Government of Canada worked quickly to ensure they had the support it needed during this unprecedented time.

On April 25th, 2020, the federal government launched the $62.5 million Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF). This fund was created specifically to help Canada’s fish and seafood processing workers adapt to the challenges of COVID-19. Today the CSSF is supporting partners across Canada to retain their employees and maintain strong health and safety measures to ensure workers are protected. It is increasing the industry’s capacity process to store, package, and distribute healthy, high-quality products, as well as retool their processes and marketing to adapt to changing consumer demands.

By bolstering Canada’s seafood processing sector, the Government of Canada is helping position the national economy for strong, post pandemic recovery. Canada’s ocean industries contribute approximately $31.7 billion to Canada’s GDP every year, and the Government of Canada wants this number to grow. By investing in the fish and seafood processing sector at a critical time, the Government of Canada is paving the way for a stronger more resilient blue economy of the future.

Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced an investment of $9,610,288 through this fund for 71 projects throughout British Columbia.

This investment has helped fish and seafood processors based in British Columbia weather the pandemic, keep jobs in their community and prepare for a strong economic recovery. For example, North Delta Seafoods Ltd. has used CSSF funding to equip employees with modern personal protective equipment and acquire new processing and packaging equipment. This maintained jobs and helped produce safely packaged consumer-ready products for the retail marketplace, contributing to Canada’s food supply chains at a time when it was most needed.

An initiative of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the $62.5 million Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund is being delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is delivering over $10 million in funding across the West. In British Columbia, WD has partnered with the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC to deliver support to companies who need it most.

Quotes

"Canada’s food supply is vital to our well-being, and we must protect our front-line workers who deliver that food, including fisheries workers. We know that social distancing in processing plants can be complicated or even impossible, and that getting the catch to market has sometimes been a challenge. We value our fishers. We value our fisheries. And we continue to support them to remain viable through the pandemic and beyond.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

"We value our fishers. We value our fisheries. And we continue to support them to remain viable through the pandemic and beyond.” – Hon. Mélanie Joly

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“We are proud to partner with the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC to provide those in the fish and seafood processing industry with the right resources needed to address challenges and economic impacts brought on by the pandemic. Together, we are helping to protect the health and safety of workers at these facilities so that employees can remain employed, while businesses can continue their operations to ensure the integrity of Canada’s food supply.”
– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

“As the daughter of a fish-plant worker, I know how critical seafood processors are to our coastal and rural communities. When the pandemic hit, an immediate priority of our government was getting the processing sector the support it needed to keep workers safe and adapt to changing consumer demands. We created the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund specifically to address the unique needs of processors, and it’s inspiring to see how our partners in British Columbia and across Canada are using these funds to actually strengthen the sector. Through the CSSF, our seafood sector is re-tooling, re-branding, and finding new markets – all of which will help Canada’s national economy build back better.”
– The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

"The CSSF is helping fish and seafood processors protect their workers and continue to support the communities in which they operate.” – Hon. Bernadette Jordan

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“We’re so pleased to partner with Western Economic Diversification Canada to deliver this vital program. Thanks to the CSSF, we’re helping to keep our local food supply strong by supporting safety, capacity and market adaptability priorities for BC fish and seafood processors.”
– Don Low, Chair, Board of Directors, Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC (IAF)

Quick facts

  • The aim of the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF) is to stabilize Canada’s seafood processing sector by helping to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The goals and objectives of the CSSF program are worker health and safety, plant operations, market responsiveness and storage capacity.

  • The fund aligns with Western Economic Diversification Canada's core responsibility of economic development in Western Canada by supporting the economy and helping small and medium-sized enterprises.

Associated links

Contacts

Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
catherine.mounier-desrochers@canada.ca

Western Economic Diversification Canada
Media Relations
wd.media-medias.deo@canada.ca

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