Prime Minister announces new support for Canada’s fish harvesters 
CA Source: Ottawa 5/14/2020

Canadians working in the fishing industry are feeling the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why the Government of Canada is taking action to support those workers, who help provide families and communities across the country with high-quality fish and seafood.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced up to $469.4 million in new measures to support Canada’s fish harvesters, who are economically impacted by the pandemic but cannot access existing federal measures. This investment builds on the $62.5 million for the new Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund announced last month to help Canada’s fish and seafood processing sector.

The Government of Canada will:

Launch the Fish Harvester Benefit, a program worth up to $267.6 million, to help provide income support for this year’s fishing seasons to eligible self-employed fish harvesters and sharespersons crew who cannot access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Support will be provided to those that experience fishing income declines of greater than 25 per cent in the 2020 tax year, compared with a reference period to be identified. This measure covers 75 per cent of fishing income losses beyond a 25 per cent income decline threshold, up to a maximum individual entitlement equivalent to what is provided under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy ($847 per week for up to 12 weeks).
Launch the Fish Harvester Grant, a program worth up to $201.8 million, to provide grants to help fish harvesters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and who are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Business Account or equivalent measures. This will give them more liquidity to address non-deferrable business costs. The program would provide non-repayable support of up to $10,000 to self-employed fish harvesters with a valid fishing licence. Size of the non-repayable support will vary depending on the level of fish harvesters’ historic revenue.
Propose measures or changes to Employment Insurance (EI) that would allow self-employed fish harvesters and sharespersons to access EI benefits on the basis of insurable earnings from previous seasons (winter and summer claims).

Additional details on these measures will be made available soon.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the resilience of Canada’s food system and its workers. We will continue to monitor and respond to the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19, and take additional actions as needed to protect the health and safety of Canadians, and stabilize the economy.


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