Canada's NDP

NDP

July 3rd, 2020

LETTER: Freshwater Fish Needs Access to the Federal Surplus Food Rescue Program

Minister Bibeau,

I would like to encourage you and your government to support the application made by the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation for the Surplus Food Rescue Program. Access to this program is critical in terms of tackling food insecurity and supporting the work of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation on behalf of fishers across our region.

The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated food insecurity in First Nations and communities across our province and the country. Fish harvested in our part of the country is one of the healthiest sources of food available. Allowing for this fish currently in FFMC freezers to go to families and communities struggling in poverty and with food insecurity is key.

Furthermore, access to this program would generate some desperately needed revenue for the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation, which works on behalf of inland fishers. It is however important to point out that while this program is critical, your government must also ensure that the Harvesters Grant Benefit is made available to fishers directly. Fishers in our region are desperate. Their work and the revenue they generate is critical for their families and communities. They provide some of the best jobs in some of the poorest communities across the country. They need direct support. In addition to this, more work must be done to support FFMC in identifying new, alternative markets for fish going forward.

The FFMC’s proposal for the Surplus Food Rescue program is an important first step. We need your government to support fishers and fishing communities across our region.

I appreciate your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

MP Niki Ashton
Churchill—Keewatinook Aski