MANITOBA – James Bezan, Conservative Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman and Niki Ashton, NDP Member of Parliament for Churchill-Keewatinook Aski responded today to the letter below from Hon. Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
MPs Bezan and Ashton stated:
“The response from Minister Jordan is out of touch and unacceptable. Once again, she fails to provide any commitment or timeline for the support announced for commercial fish harvesters back on May 14th. The government’s website has promised ‘more details will be available soon’ for ten weeks and counting!
“Canadians, including Manitoba’s freshwater commercial fishers, need a government who listens and acts. But instead, they have a government who makes promises and fails to deliver.
“Fishing is the economic backbone of many communities in our province. Without fishing, families and communities will be economically devastated. Fishers have been desperately reaching out to us, but the responses by Minister Jordan and the Liberal government to our questions and concerns have been pathetic.
“We have both been extremely clear in our requests, questions, letters and press conference on what Manitoba fishing families are asking for: immediately launch the application process for the Fish Harvester Grant Benefit and Fish Harvester Grant Business; identify a point person to work directly with Manitoba fishers; and ensure any oversupply at the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation is made available to foodbanks and other organizations addressing food insecurity as well as on an ongoing basis during this pandemic.
“We are deeply concerned not only about the immediate implications this pandemic is having on Manitoba’s fishing industry, but also for the medium to long term impact of this situation on tertiary businesses in Indigenous, rural and northern communities.
“Delivery of the fish harvesters benefit is desperately needed and long overdue. Now is the time for Minister Jordan and the Liberal government to walk the walk, instead of just talk, talk, talk.”
June 22, 2020 – Original letter to Minister Jordan:
July 10, 2020 – Press conference in Manitoba