Trudeau announces $62.5 million for Canada's fish and seafood industry

Apr 25 2020, 4:36 pm

Noting that “across the country, fish and seafood processors are working around the clock to make sure we have food to put on our tables,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a $62.5 million investment in Canada’s fish and seafood sector.

“We’re giving fish and seafood processors the resources they need to adapt to the many challenges brought on by COVID-19 and keep workers safe,” said Trudeau.

As part of this plan, the prime minister said the federal government is giving money to processors “so they can buy personal protective equipment for workers and adapt to health protocols.”

As well, Ottawa will “help fish processing plants buy new equipment, like freezers, so their product can stay good longer as they respond to a changing market.”

Dubbed the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund, the investment is meant to help businesses in the sector access short-term financing to pay for maintenance and inventory costs, add storage capacity for any unsold product, comply with new health and safety measures for workers, support new manufacturing/automated technologies to improve productivity and quality of finished seafood products, and to “adapt products to respond to changing requirements and new market demands.”

The federal government said the funding “will help ensure the resilience of the food system” by allowing Canada’s fish and seafood processing sector to “safely and efficiently process, store, package, and distribute healthy, high-quality products.”

Bolstering the country’s processing sector is “vital to supporting fish harvesters and feeding Canadians,” said Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan.

“We know this is a difficult time,” said Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. “This is why we are working with you to ensure the support being announced today will be implemented as quickly as possible.”

Through this new fund, said Joy, “we are helping Canada’s fish and seafood sector remain strong and stable. We have your back to help you keep your employees and bounce back from this pandemic.”