Fishers financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have two extra weeks to apply for the federal government’s Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program.
The original Sept. 21 deadline is now extended to 3 p.m. on Oct. 5 for self employed harvesters to submit their applications online.
In a press release Sept. 18 Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan encouraged anyone who thinks they may be eligible to visit the DFO website and learn how to apply.
“Our Government has said since day one that we will always look at ways we can adapt our COVID-19 support programs to ensure as many Canadians as possible can benefit from them,” Jordan said. “This extension means that all eligible harvesters, including those who have been on the water during their active season, have the same opportunity to apply and receive the financial support they need now.”
The Fish Harvester Benefit is structured similarly to the federal wage subsidy, offering income support covering 75 per cent of losses for harvesters whose income dropped by at least 25 per cent this year. The maximum benefit is $10,164. The program is open to self-employed commercial fish harvesters and fresh water harvesters, designated Indigenous harvesters operating under a communal commercial fishing licence, and sharepersons crew.
The Fish Harvester Grant is a sector-specific grant similar to the Canada Emergency Business Account, offering up to $10,000 of non-repayable support to the same group of self-employed harvesters. Sharepersons crew are ineligible.
The $469.4 million program is touted as the largest single investment in Canada’s fisheries in more than two decades.