April 24th, 2020
Letter to Minister Jordan - The government must support fishers
Dear Minister Jordan,
I am writing to you to urge your Government to work with fishers in our region and through Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation (FFMC) to establish an emergency relief program given the crisis they are facing.
I have been contacted by fishers across our region who are very worried that they will not be able to make ends meet as the COVID-19 crisis has already impacted demand for their product as well as the daily operation of the FFMC plant in Winnipeg. The inland fishery is a key contributor to our local economies and the jobs created are invaluable in our region. The economic contributions of fishers are desperately needed given the high unemployment rates in our region that have only been exacerbated through this crisis.
The federal government must do everything possible to ensure that fishers have access to an emergency relief program so that they do not go under. The federal government ought also to recognize the work of fishers as essential work given that they harvest an important and healthy source of food. Work ought to be done with fishers and FFMC to create opportunities at this time to ensure fish being harvested is made more available to Canadian consumers.
Fishers in our region have seen the commitment made to the agricultural sector. We ought to see meaningful government support for inland fishers here in Manitoba and elsewhere who do critical work and provide a healthy source of food.
Time is of the essence. I look forward to your Government's response and action on this front.
MP Niki Ashton