Freshwater fisheries across the Prairies get support from the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund

News release

Fresh food. Worker safety. $500,000 to keep Prairie fish 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 – Edmonton, Alberta – Western Economic Diversification Canada

The women and men of Canada’s fish and seafood processing sector are economic drivers across the Prairies and Western Canada 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.

An initiative of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the $62.5 million 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.

Today, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada), announced an investment of $530,902 in 18 freshwater projects for 13 companies. This investment will help fish and seafood processors in the Prairie provinces weather the pandemic and prepare for a strong economic recovery, so that their communities can continue to thrive.

This announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada.

Here are the 13 companies receiving funding in this announcement:

  • 3854397 Manitoba Ltd. o/a Canadian Fish Guys, Riverton, Manitoba
  • Allan Johnson, Arnes, Manitoba
  • Chris Dalman, Arnes, Manitoba
  • Chris Kristjanson, Gimli, Manitoba
  • Ile a la Crosse Fish Company Inc., Ile a la Crosse, Saskatchewan
  • Kristjanson Fish, Gimli, Manitoba
  • Myera Nu-Agri-Nomics Group Canada, St. François Xavier, Manitoba
  • Negginan Fishing Station Ltd., Negginan, Manitoba
  • Nil Ray Farms Ltd., Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan
  • Olson Fish Hus Inc., Gimli, Manitoba
  • Prairie Fish Co., Poplarfield, Manitoba
  • Richard McDonald, Gunton, Manitoba
  • Sgambaro's Signature Seafoods, Edmonton, Alberta

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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“The Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund is playing a vital role to ensure food security, while also protecting the health and safety of workers in fish and seafood processing facilities across the Prairies. The investments announced today are a reflection of our commitment to provide the support and resources needed to ensure the integrity of our fish and seafood industry.”
– Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Western Economic Diversification Canada)

"As the daughter of a fish-plant worker, I know how critical seafood processors are to Canada’s regional economies. When the pandemic hit, an immediate priority of our government was getting the 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 are using these funds to actually strengthen the sector. Through the CSSF, Canada’s 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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Quick facts

  • The aim of the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF) is to stabilize Western 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 (WD) core responsibility of economic development in Western Canada by supporting the economy and helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

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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