Canada's NDP


August 6th, 2020

Johns Calls on Government to Expand Application for Fish Harvester's Grant and Benefit

Port Alberni — Member of Parliament Gord Johns (Courtenay-Alberni) is asking the federal government to offer a larger window to fishers to apply for benefits under the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program aimed at helping them deal with the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Fish harvesters were hit hard by the crisis as early as January and they have already waited long enough for promised support”, said Johns. “The program was announced in mid-May and now they’re being told to wait even longer”.

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan announced today that the program won’t be open for applications until August 24 with a deadline less than an month later on September 21, 2020.

“This is unacceptable”, said Mr. Johns, “The application period falls in the middle of fishing season when workers will be on the water trying to make up for the losses they’ve already felt. Either they will need to stop working and come in to apply, or they won’t get any support at all”.

The Liberal government asked fishers to be patient when they announced this benefit in May. Johns is asking for a larger window to apply, especially since they took so long to develop this program.

“The government still hasn’t released details of the full program”, Johns added.