The Canadian government has approved $100 million in funding to support the immediate and urgent work currently being carried out on the recovery of lost fishing gear and repairs of small craft harbours damaged by Hurricane Fiona.
This funding is part of the $300 million Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund announced by Prime Minister Trudeau on 4th October this year. The Fund is coordinated by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), which is working with other federal departments and agencies to address recovery needs.
The funding announced by Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Joyce Murray and Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, will be administered by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to help clean up, dredge, and begin the needed repairs and rebuilding of critical infrastructure.
‘We are focused on making sure funding from the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund flows fast so we can support communities in rebuilding this infrastructure to be climate resilient, clean up the ocean, and help get harvesters and their communities back on their feet,’ Joyce Murray said.
The intention is to ensure that small craft harbours affected by the storm remain operational for users and become more resilient against future extreme weather, in addition to ensuring safe navigation so harvesters can get back on the water.
‘In the wake of Hurricane Fiona, communities across our region are facing many challenges. But as Atlantic Canadians do during hard times, we’re pulling together to help each other recover and rebuild. As always, ACOA will be there to help communities and businesses navigate the programs and supports available, including the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund,’ Ginette Petitpas Taylor commented.
The funding will also provide a boost to DFO’s Ghost Gear Fund, which supports concrete actions to prevent, retrieve and responsibly dispose of lost fishing gear.
$1.5 million will be used to support immediate efforts to clean up gear. A new call for proposals to distribute additional funds will be launched in the coming weeks, which will be available to third parties to complete additional ghost gear efforts in 2023.
Left to right: Molly Aylward of PEI Fishermen’s Association, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, PEI Heath MacDonald, Minister Joyce Murray, PEI Minister of Fisheries and Communities Jamie Fox, Allan Coady and Robbie Moore of Covehead Harbour Authority. Image: DFO