M.P. Bezan highlights significant federal support for nine fishing harbours
March 18, 2015 – Gimli, Manitoba
James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk–Interlake, on behalf of the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced today that approximately $7.5 million will be invested across the province to improve safety and working conditions for fishermen at harbours in Manitoba.
Here in Gimli, the local harbor will undergo reconstruction of the concrete deck on the main breakwater wharf and on the fishermen’s wharf, as well as repairs to the adjacent wall to the wharf. The following projects will also be realized as a result of the federal funding announced today:
Balsam Bay: extension of the wave break on the wharf to provide shelter from wind and wave action;
Beren’s River: extension of a rubble mound breakwater;
Dauphin River: dredging of an expanded harbour basin, construction of new timber crib wharves and installation of new floating wharves;
Playgreen Point: construction of new rubble mound breakwater;
Poplar River: installation of a new concrete launch ramp and timber crib offloading wharf;
Rabbit Point: construction of a new rubble mound breakwater;
Thicket Portage: installation of a concrete launch ramp and timber floating wharves; and
Hnausa: installation of an electrical system.
Approximately eleven fishing harbours in Manitoba will benefit from this investment, with details on the other harbours to follow.
Since 2006, the Government of Canada has provided an unprecedented level of funding to support investments in public infrastructure across the country. Last fall, Prime Minister Harper announced an additional investment of $5.8 billion over the next two years to build and renew infrastructure across the country to support Canadian heritage, First Nations education, defence, borders, research, small craft harbours, transportation and search and rescue. As part of this funding, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard will receive a total of approximately $551 million. This includes $288 million for harbour improvements at small craft harbours.
Over the past five years, the Government of Canada has invested approximately $1.8 million in Gimli Harbour for improvements to the centre wharf, the replacement of floating wharves and piles, and upgrades to the electrical system.
Gimli Harbour is the home port to 66 commercial fishing vessels and 10 transient fishing vessels. It is a significant part of Lake Winnipeg’s fishing industry with annual landings worth more than $3 million of pickerel, whitefish and sauger.
The Government of Canada supports more than 1000 small craft harbours across Canada. Harbour improvement projects are undertaken in cooperation with the local harbour authorities that manage and operate facilities for local users.
Small craft harbours support the commercial fishing industry. Nearly 90 percent of all commercial fish harvesters in Canada use small craft harbour facilities, and their annual production represents approximately $1.6 billion.
“For generations, Canadian hard-working men and women have made their livelihoods from our waters. Without a question, small craft harbours are the cornerstone of the commercial fishing industry. Today’s announcement is part of our Government’s ongoing commitment to support harbours, local economies and foster job creation.”
The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
“Since 2006, our Government has continuously made major investments that create opportunities for Canadians and encourage the prosperity of Manitoba. We are proud to continue to support the hardworking commercial fishers of Manitoba. As always, we will continue to ensure safe and efficient working conditions for those who earn their livelihood at these harbours.”
James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk–Interlake
“We welcome the federal investment in both Gimli harbour and the other harbours in Manitoba, all of which contribute significantly to the economy of Manitoba. We are certainly happy to receive the support for our recreational boating and fishing industries.”
Eric Goodman, President Gimli Harbour Authority
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Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada