The federal government announced funding through an Ice Assistance Emergency Program for fish harvesters impacted by the delayed opening of the fishery due to severe ice conditions.
“We are pleased that the federal government is providing support through an Ice Assistance Emergency Program for fish harvesters who are in a tough financial position through no fault of their own,” said Keith Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor President.
The Ice Assistance Emergency Program is a grant program, not an EI extension, and will be available to harvesters who are unable to fish due to unseasonably severe ice conditions once their 2019 EI benefits claim has ended. Information on how to apply will be available online on the DFO website on June 10, 2019.
A request for a benefits extension was submitted by FFAW-Unifor on April 18 to Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development as a result of the severe financial hardship experienced by harvesters due to delays in the snow crab and lobster fisheries on the province’s northeast and west coast.
Hundreds of families are still impacted by severe ice and have been without income for over two months as they await ice conditions to improve.
Today’s announcement is welcome news to the many families in need of funds to cover basic financial needs, however as spring ice conditions are a common occurrence in our province, a permanent solution with no waiting period is needed for both fish harvesters and plant workers affected by these delays.