Canada's NDP

NDP

July 10th, 2020

MP Ashton calls on feds to deliver urgent support for commercial fishers

WINNIPEG - Today, NDP MP Niki Ashton (Churchill-Keewatinook) was joined by MP James Bezan and commercial fishers from across Manitoba to call on the federal government to deliver urgent help that they've already announced during the pandemic.

"Commercial fishers have been hit hard during this pandemic, and when the government announced help two months ago, people were hopeful," said Ashton. "Yet, that help never arrived. Justin Trudeau was quick to step up and offer hundreds of millions to his rich CEO friends but when it comes to struggling fishers and their families, all we get is broken promises."

In a letter to the Minister of Fisheries, MPs Ashton and Bezan called on the federal government to act urgently and make the Fish Harvester Grant Benefit and Fish Harvester Grant Business programs accessible to fishers. The MPs also asked the government to ensure that the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation to be involved in the efforts to make programs available to fishers.

"Fishers are facing a desperate situation. The government must step in to deliver the help they need," said Ashton. "Fishing is the economic backbone of many First Nations and communities in our province. Without help, families and communities will be devastated. The federal government must move beyond window dressing and deliver help now."

A video of the press conference can be viewed here.