July 17th, 2023
NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic calls for supports to help Snow Crab fishers through tough season
OTTAWA – On Monday, NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic Lisa Marie Barron sent a letter to the minister, urging her to support the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union’s (FFAW) Economic Assistance Proposal, which includes important financial support for snow crab fishers. With a complete market collapse, snow crab costs 71 per cent less than last year, putting fishers at risk.
“Communities in Newfoundland and Labrador rely on the snow crab industry, and the market collapse likely will make times even tougher for families already trying to keep up with their mortgages and grocery bills,” said Barron. “More than 7,500 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians support their families and keep a roof over their heads by fishing snow crab. Now, without support from the government, everything these fishers hold dear is at risk.”
Snow Crab in Newfoundland and Labrador brought in almost one billion dollars last year. However, this year fishers are facing a decline in snow crab earnings. The FFAW has an Economic Assistance Proposal that will support workers and protect the industry until the market bounces back.
The FFAW is urging the Liberals to lower the insurable number of hours for fishers to qualify for Employment Insurance (EI), to create an economic hardship grant of $10,000 for fishers struggling to stay afloat and to extend the Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loans.
“Right now, workers in Newfoundland and Labrador are struggling to keep up with costs that just keep going up, all the while their livelihood is at risk,” added Barron. “But the Liberals are sticking their heads in the sand and pretending that this isn’t happening because for their rich friends it’s not. And the Conservatives want to get rid of measures that help workers - Pierre Poilievre has even called EI a ‘tax’ and said he’d cut it.
New Democrats believe that during tough times, you shouldn’t have to struggle alone, and industry shouldn’t be left to collapse. That’s why we’re going to fight for an economic recovery plan to help fishers and coastal communities.”