$5B credit announced for Canada’s aquaculture sector
By Nestor Arellano
Seafood growers, shellfish farmers, and processors in Canada will have access to a $5 billion loan program. The federal government hopes the money will help tide over the country’s aquaculture sector in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The $5 billion Farm Credit Canada loan program was announced last week by federal minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau.
The announcement followed the federal government’s earlier relief packages which included additional liquidity from the Business Development Bank of Canada and up to 75 per cent wage subsidy for eligible employers. In addition, the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit offers a taxable benefit of up to $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever that we work together across all orders of government to keep Canadians safe and communities supported. Today, we spoke for the second time in recent days, to discuss the rapidly evolving COVID-19 impacts on the fish and seafood industry in British Columbia,” Bernadette Jordan, minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard and Lana Popham, minister of Agriculture for British Columbia, said in a joint statement on March 27.
There are a number of programs the B.C. Government is working on to support all B.C. businesses and employees through the disruption caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Agriculture’s core programming that helps B.C. fish, shellfish and marine plant producers with local and international marketing efforts will also continue.