On Friday, the Department of Fisheries, Oceans announced that the Government of Canada will provide emergency assistance to fishers in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec, who are, or have been, prevented from fishing because of the current severe ice conditions.
Under the Ice Assistance Emergency Program, a total of up to $5 million has been allocated for payments for eligible applicants residing in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec, who have been affected by ice conditions in their fishing areas which has resulted in prolonged periods without any source of income.
Application forms for Ice Assistance Emergency Program will be available on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) website as of June 23, 2017, and will also be available at DFO and Service Canada offices in the ice-affected areas. Service Canada will begin processing applications on June 26, 2017. Payments will be issued as quickly as possible.
Eligible applicants will be fishers who had received Employment Insurance (EI) fishing benefits in 2016; whose EI Fishing Benefits ended in 2017 and who are currently not receiving or eligible for any EI benefits; and who fish out of ports in ice-affected areas.
Eligible applicants will receive $508 for each week of eligibility, unless they have earnings from fishing which would reduce the amount payable. All applicants must have a two-week period after their EI Fishing Benefits have ended before they become eligible to receive payments under the program.
The program will cover the period between May 7 and June 17 for Newfoundland, Southern Labrador, and Quebec. For Labrador (North of Cape St. Charles), the period is between May 28 and July 8. The end dates vary by area and have been established based on ice conditions and the extent of fishing activity.
Photo by David Greening