The Government of Canada has taken steps to support workers in the fishing industry who are feeling the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 14th, the Government of Canada announced up to $469.4 million in new measures to support fish harvesters who cannot access existing federal measures.
Fish Harvester Benefit
The Fish Harvester Benefit will help provide income support for this year’s fishing seasons to eligible self-employed fish harvesters and sharespersons crew who cannot access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Support will be provided to those that experience fishing income declines of greater than 25 per cent in the 2020 tax year, compared with a reference period to be identified.
Fish Harvester Grant
The Fish Harvester Grant will provide grants to help fish harvesters impacted by COVID-19, and who are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) or equivalent measures. The program would provide non-repayable support of up to $10,000 to self-employed fish harvesters with a valid fishing licence.
The May 14th announcement also proposed measures or changes to Employment Insurance (EI) that would allow self-employed fish harvesters and sharespersons to access EI benefits on the basis of insurable earnings from previous seasons (winter and summer claims).
Additional details on these measures are expected to follow. Read the announcement from the Government of Canada.