Canadian Government set to commit C$289m to small craft harbours

The Canadian Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Hunter Tootoo has announced an investment of C$289m ($219m) in small craft harbours across the country from 2016 to 2017.

The recent announcement adds an investment of C$32m ($24m) to an already committed value of C$149m ($113m), to be applied on small craft harbours (SCH) in the Canadian budget of this year.

SCH is a programme launched by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans across the nation to operate and maintain a national system of harbours offering safe and reliable access to coastal communities.

Supported by more than 5,000 volunteers nationally, SCH is based on three core strategies; maintenance of a network on core harbours key to the commercial fishing industry, locally controlling commercial fishing harbours by creating harbour authorities, and transferring the authority of non-essential harbours and recreational harbours to local communities through divestiture.

The Government of Canada is responsibe for the maintainance of more than 1,000 craft harbours across Canada, and repairing them when necessary.

The fishing industry contributed $6bn to the Canadian economy last year, while acting as a source of employment for around 76,000 Canadians.

Tootoo was reported as saying: “Infrastructure investment is a priority of the Government of Canada. It is good for Canadians and good for the Canadian economy.

“We are proud to announce this investment that will help to renew and preserve local harbour infrastructure, and foster local employment opportunities in coastal communities across Canada for years to come.”

The harbour investments are intended to address infrastructure rust out and attend to operational needs while benefitting fish harvesters by ensuring safe berthage and navigational access, as well as adequate wave protection and offloading facilities.

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