Morning Lake Winnipeg Reps, Fishers, Fish Sheds and Stations ,
On May 14th, the federal government announced two new programs to support commercial fish harvesters due to financial impacts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two programs are the:
- Fish Harvester Benefit Program, which will provide up to $267.6 M in lost income support to self-employed fish harvesters and share-persons crew who cannot access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or other federal income programs. The support will cover 75 percent of fishing income losses beyond a 25 percent income decline, up to a maximum of $847 per week for up to 12 weeks.
- Fish Harvester Grant Program, which will provide up to $201.8 M in grants to help fish harvesters through a non-repayable grant of up to $10,000 to self-employed fish harvesters with a valid licence. The size of the non-repayable grant is dependant on the historic income amounts.
In the coming weeks, the federal government will make an announcement with more information on these programs and how you can apply. They have also informed the Department that applicants will require a valid 2020 commercial net fishing licence to be eligible for these programs. As such, we are encouraging commercial fishers who wish to apply for these programs to make arrangements to pick-up their licence ahead of time. If your commercial licence was mailed to you, please follow the instructions included if the letter provided. To make an appointment to pick-up your licence at a district or regional office, please call ahead as some Agriculture and Resource Development offices may still be closed to walk-in traffic due to COVID-19, and many fisheries staff are currently working in the field. Please contact your local Conservation office to book an appointment.
At this time, this is all we know, and we will provide some clarification as to how to apply for these benefits once they are rolled out.